BISHOP AUGUSTINE N. KATIOTES
(Translated from the Greek Original)
A Religious Deception (The Uniates)……….
Guardians, Be Vigilant!…………………………….
Towards a False-union?…………………………….
A’ Index to passages of holy Scripture…….
B’ Index to names and things………………
“The Latins are not only schismatics, but also heretics…” (Mark Eugenicos)
Let us remain in Orthodox
“The piety, or godliness, handed down to us by out fathers we shall not deny…In this we were born, in this we were baptized, in this we associated, in this we live and in this shall we fall asleep (die): and if the time invites us, we shall die a thousand times in its behalf and no one shall be able to separate us from this true confession. Do not move eternal bounds, nor transpose ancient legislations…Until the end, brothers in Christ, let us remain firm in Orthodoxy, let us keep godliness/piety unbroken, unshaken, and let us keep the faith sure, let us reverence the fathers, let us venerate the saints, let us fear the Lord, and let us not betray our salvation. No one compels us, nor is forced obviously, if we ourselves do not apostasize (fall away) from the good membership of the Church. Let us, then, manly and no one shall be able turn us over.
(See, “THE SURVIVING WORKS”, “TA EVRETHENTA”,
vol. A’, pp. 147,148, Leipsia, 1768)
Dedicated to the faithful children of the Orthodox Church struggling against papism, especially in the Hellenism abroad.
Since the time the patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras without the canonical decision of the Orthodox Church lifted the Anathema against the heretical papists and with frequent declarations and other activities hastened very quickly to the pope, to the orthodox world, and indeed to archbishoprics and metropolises which are dependent upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate, there was created a philo-papal and a philo-unionist climate, which reminds one of the climate prior to the fall of Constantinople. The philo-unionists then, hoping in the pope’s help for the saving of Constantinople, hastened to Ferrara and Florence and signed the false-union with the papists, being heavily pressured religiously, but also being played nationally, since essential help on the part of the pope for the saving of the Byzantine Empire was not given.
After the death of patriarch Athenagoras it was thought, that the philo-papal wave would dissolve. But unfortunately this continues to strike against the Orthodox Church, and indeed more powerfully. As events till today prove, apart from evilly cunning phrasal maneuverings papism has made no substantial step towards bridging the chasm between Orthodoxy and roman catholicism, and she remains unyielding in her errors/deceptions and heresies, and indeed in her insane dogmas concerning [papal] primacy and the infallibility of the pope. Nevertheless on the part of supposedly progressive orthodox, who are forgetful of the strict ordinances of Holy Scripture and the sacred Canons as regards relations with heretics, new openings are constantly being made towards papism. Now there prevails among many the opinion, that for the sake of unity the leader of the Christian world the pope must be recognized, whom his roman catholic followers even call living god! And a philo-papal spirit is especially observed in America and Australia.
The faithful children of the Church, which amidst an indifferent, apostasizing (falling away [from God]) and perverse generation, preserve the sensitivity and sense of the orthodox faith, are in a state of unrest from the philo-papal climate being formed and are asking to be informed well on the differences between Orthodoxy and papism. Now this unrest of the faithful children of the Church, the holiest of all unrests, which is in every respect justified and expressed through intense protests, provokes the powerful reaction of the philo-papal archbishops, metropolitans, bishops and priests of the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. And this reaction of the philo-papists reaches the point of the excommunication of faithful children of the Church! The persecution in our days of orthodox Christians reminds one of the persecutions of zealots of the orthodox faith during the abominable memory of the ecumenical patriarch John Bekkos.
Thus papism through meetings, co-prayers, concelebrations, exchange of gifts, and false-dialogues of papists with orthodox has succeeded in dividing the orthodox world again into unionists and anti-unionists, and the former to foster an antipathy for, to antipathize, hate and persecute the latter.
For the enlightenment and strengthening of the mentality of the pious/godly people our orthodox missionary brotherhood “The Cross” is reprinting and publishing in one issue, the present one, under the title “ANTI-PAPAL DISCOURSES”, five articles of the most reverend metropolitan of Florina, lord Augustine, the spiritual supervisor of the brotherhood. And for the avoidance of misunderstandings, for yet another time it is declared, that the union of the whole divided Christian world is the longing of all pious/godly Christians and a frequent prayer-wish of the Church, but the union, for it to be a true and holy union, gladdening earth and heaven, must not be supported upon the lie, upon falsehood, upon errors/deceptions and heresies, but must be supported upon the truth. Now the truth is the faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is the continuation of the Church of the first eight centuries. The Eastern Orthodox Church made no change to the dogmas of the faith of ancient Church. The roman catholics innovated and are in duty bound, are obligated, to set aside the innovations, so that the big obstacle for true union may be set aside.
In Athens on October 28, 1987
ORTHODOX MISSIONARY BROTHERHOOD
“THE CROSS” (“HO STAVROS”)
Issue no. 186 – Athens – 1956
(Republished at Athens in 1987 in ANTI-PAPAL DISCOURSES,
by Metropolitan Augustine Kantiotes, pp. 15-31)
“Brethren, you were bought with a price [by the precious blood of the God-man]:
be not slaves of men” (1 Cor. 7:23)
Our small country, my beloved, our small country can be called the land of the most paradoxical and most abnormal treaties. Poor, weak, and materially destroyed, having gone through fire and sword, Greece turns to those outside and shouts: Help me…And immediately her good friends from east and west hasten!
A Marvelous Opportunity For Exploitation
But unfortunately in the eyes of most, so that we do not say all, the misfortune of Greece is presented for them as a wonderful opportunity for variegated oppression and manipulation/exploitation. They give one? Ten, 100, 1000 they want to collect. For the securing of capitals they want to bind Greece with powerful bonds, the so called pacts, which no one can change, can shake, because for every disavowal even of the least detail detail, our small country, like a robust and unruly child, will be apprehended from the ear and will be led accused to the international courts! The aliens want to have Greece fastened to the stake of their cheapest interests; they want to have Greece as a cow, which they will milk, their children, grandchildren for many decades, for centuries! The mechanism of milking is the shares. And in many cases the aliens have achieved their dark underground designs in our country. This is borne witness to by the 130 “free” years of the life of modern Greece. [trans. note – When Greece wanted to manufacture its own car the powers that be disallowed her, to mention only one example.]
Unfortunate fatherland! You were created free by your Creator. Freedom is your sweetest song. On behalf of freedom, as much as no other people, from the most ancient times you struggled bravely. On an infinite number of battlegrounds your elect children shed rivers of blood both in older times and now. You are called a free nation. But unfortunately you are a slave, under the hands of anonymous companies, economic megamonsters, who through thousands of means suck out even the least moisture. How will you live? How will you progress? Water-works, lighting, land and air transportation, mines, all of whatever you have that is precious and you are not able to utilize for the lack of monies, the one after the other is going under the authority of alien companies. You have been bought out hundreds of times. In a short while yet and you will be called to pay tax even for the air that you breathe. Do not doubt quantitatively that, if it were possible for them to bind the air that you breathe, they would bind it and this common good of the Creator they would merchandize through a special bill as an anonymous company of the Greek atmosphere!
A Suspicious Pact
Greece: a country of the most paradoxical and abnormal, irregular treaties. But of all the political and economic treaties that Hellas has contracted with aliens, the worst will be that one, which in the skulls of certain Greeks for months is being studied and planned in the world abroad and on the lips of many is borne with the Latin name concordatum. Now what is the concordatum? An ecclesiastical agreement, a pact between the pope and Greece. A pact now by which no longer material goods (water, light, precious metals) he was aiming to subtract from the authority of Greeks and to place them under the control of alien companies, but according to a direct manner would come to strike the Hellenes on their most sacred sentiments; he would come to decrease the glory, to annihilate, to set at naught the most precious of all goods/blessings, the orthodox faith, for which our nation lives and breathes and has its reason for existence (raison de tra) in the world.
Concordatum! And, so that we may speak more simply and in more popular fashion, the pact between the pope and Greece, according to the Vatican’s theories concerning the concordat, would take on the following dialogue form.
Dialogue pope – Greece
POPE: Greece, I Love you! I also want to express my love in action. I see that one of your just causes, the just cause of the liberation of the mega-island of Cypress from the bonds of alien slavery, is not being recognized, but is being disdained, insulted and struck out against, because you are a small and weak country, and your enemies are big and powerful. Greece, I hear your sighs, your appeals and I hasten to help you. My power, material and spiritual is tremendous. Millions, hundreds of millions faithful are dependent upon me spiritually. A single motion of mine is enough. As a robot tribes and tongues will move on behalf of the sacred issue of Cypress. You see the representatives of many nations, who in the hall of the conferences of the United Nations are indifferent and yawn when hearing the word Cypress? These dead ones I will set into motion. With the means that I have at my disposal I will electrify them, I will make them loose the tongue-tier, to open their mouths, to speak rhetorically, to cast their vote on behalf of Cypress and thus Cypress will be loosed from her bonds and freedom will come into your bosom. It will come through me the all-powerful pope. But, in order for me to set into motion the whole mechanism of my vast empire, I ask one thing of you, the smallest thing. Just as so many other nations, I want you, too, to recognize my nation, to ordain a representative, to come to Vatican and worship my slipper which transmits a wealth of blessings to worshippers. This smallest thing I ask of you. If you do it, all my displeasures towards you of past centuries will be erased, you will be called my beloved daughter and you shall have whatever you ask for. I shall fervently recommend you to all my nations. And as my first gift you will have the liberation of Cypress…
GREECE (represented by her politicians): Most Holy father, I have heard your sweetest speech and I am moved. O, how good you are! All love, all affection. The fanatic elder-monastics and theologians of my Church present you different. But now you present yourself before me under a new enticing form. As a meek lamb! How can I not love you? How can I not contract close relations with you? Here I maintain relations with tigers and lions and bears, with nations, that is, that are grabbing, bloodthirsty, vindictive, materialistic and atheist, and with you, the sweetest father of Christianity, I will not have relations? And only the fact that you show your eagerness to help me on the burning issue of the liberation of Cypress is enough for me. Above all is Greece, her national issues. Religions and churches for me are simply means for the realization of my nationalistic aims. Fortunately new precepts are prevailing among my political men, one of which during the last elections declared that he is even eager to cooperate even with the devil when he is about to achieve his aim. Besides, out of Rome came forth the motto: “The aim sanctifies (justifies) the means”. Consequently this time I will close my ears to every elder-monastic admonition and I will come towards you and will embrace to edge of your shoe. Most Holy father, bless us!
This is the genuine voice of Greece? No. It is the voice of Frankish-struck Greeks, liars, those opportunist politicians and diplomats who believe in nothing but only a fruitless nationalism. And these unfortunately, in the ignorance of the people, oftentimes speak and make decisions.
All of Greece is being dragged, falls and pays homage, worships the pope. And the pope blesses…
But, orthodox Greeks, breathe! The idea of dialogue has not taken on flesh and bones. The disaster has not been executed. The paying of homage did not take place. A concordatum was not signed. For the new archbishop of Athens, lord Dorotheos, sensed the danger in time, called to an emergency meeting the orthodox Hierarchy, the Hierarchy decided against whatever form of diplomatic relations of Greece with the pope, the government retreated, the issue was abandoned, and here the papist and papal-worshippers cry and lament, because they did not have the fortune to see nuncios, to kiss the hems of cardinals, who would come to greet in an official function Greece as a worshipper of the pope.
The danger, by virtue of the resistance offered by the official Church, has passed. It passed? No. The turf has not been made firm yet. Muffled knocks are being heard. The papal-worshippers are getting ready for a new outsurge. As a serious Athenian newspaper wrote, if the concordat is abandoned, the desire however of certain political factors (figures) was not abandoned, so that for “national” purposes they may seek at some convenient time the contracting of diplomatic relations with the pope. These gentlemen will present the issue as being purely political, in which they will not allow the official Church of Greece to have any involvement. What are you saying papal-worshipping sirs? The official Church may not have involvement in such a serious issue? But previously our nation must dissolve the official pact with the Orthodox Church, must abolish the first two articles of the Greek Constitution, must become discolored as an orthodox Kingdom, and our king, accepting in his palace courts those sent by the pope, must cease being commemorated in our churches as most pious, as defender of the orthodox faith, and only then, sirs, in the ignorance of the Hierarchy will you be able to discuss this “political” issue.
The all-cunning enemy is lying in wait to attack. He is looking for the opportunity to achieve what is longed for. For this reason the orthodox powers of the nation must be found in a state of sacred vigilance. For this reason we, too, publish the present writing and according to the measures of our powers we enlighten and prepare the pious/godly people to deal with the danger coming from Rome, the pope.
But what is papism?
What Papism Is
Without reservation we say that papism is the overthrowing of the fundamental laws of the Church, of genuine Christianity. And behold why.
According to Scriptures the root, head, and foundation upon which the entire Christian edifice is supported is the God-man Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Alpha and the Omega of our faith, of our hope and of our love. He is the Leader. The voice of the Father heard twice from heaven, at the Jordan river and on Mount Tabor, established Him as eternal Leader in the Church: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well decided (“eu-dokisa”); listen to him” (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). The faith in Christ, the active faith, which is exhibited through absolute obedience to his commandments, even the least of them, is a fundamental law of the Church. Without this faith the Church can not be conceived.
Moreover, a fundamental law in the Church, which the God-man Lord established, is: as often and whenever among the faithful there appear serious disagreements concerning things of the faith, things that need to be done, worship matters – these differences are not solved by one only member of the Church, however official is his position, holiness and wisdom might be; but these matters are solved by the collective whole, by the Church, coming together and convening in holy Spirit (Matt. 18:17). According to this manner, that argument concerning circumcision, which shook up the apostolic Church, was solved, during which both Peter and Paul and the rest of the apostles and disciples spoke and developed their views on the subject; but when the decision was made, all subjected themselves to the voice of the Church (Acts 15:6-29). No one of them set his own authority above the authority of the Church. The infallible criterion in the Church, even when the chiefs of the apostles were living, was the Synod (Council).
But both of these fundamental laws, which pertain to the administration of the Church, papism overturned. In the Church the leader is the pope. In the Church the pope possesses infallibility. In the Church the pope is everything. Being driven by the demon of luciferian pride the pope usurped all the authorities, set his throne above the clouds, opened his mouth and, as another Nebucadnezzer, said: Nations and peoples, do you see me? Fall down and worship, pay homage to me. “By divine right” I am above lay people, monastics, deacons, priests, bishops, metropolitans, archbishops, patriarchs, regional and even those ecumenical Synods. When I am found on my seat and speak, I speak in holy Spirit and my decisions are infallible. I am the one and only, unique referee of Christ upon the earth. The soldiers who are faithful to me preach to the whole world the motto:
“Just as one God exists, one sun for the day, one moon for the night, in like manner God gave to the Church only one leader, the pope.” But not only ecclesiastical, but also political leaders obligated to obey me in all things. The two swords in the Gospel (Luke 22:38) symbolize the spiritual and worldly authority, and I must hold and use these two swords. Every authority comes from me. Woe unto the one who set himself against my volitions…
The pope, being clad with such ideas, established in the world a tyranny, a tyranny in the name of the Crucified One, whom he would say, that he and only he would represent upon the earth. And this tyranny ended up being unbearable, especially when upon the papal throne there sat individuals, who had no internal relation with the Christian faith and life. Popes thieves and robbers, making unrestrained use of power, brought huge corruption to the flocks of the West. The people murmured. The godly would sigh. Courageous preachers of the divine word, who dared to protest against the antichristian live and conduct of the popes, were apprehended and burnt alive, as the famous Jerome Savonarola (1452-1498), whose statue adorns today one of the squares of Florence. Rome, with the corrupt and unfaithful popes, who abolished every evangelical virtue, would appear already in the eyes of the peoples of the West as the whore of the seas, as the new Babylon. Finally the volcano of the wrath of the peoples erupted. In 1520 a revolution was preached and the strong struggle against the papists began. At the head of the struggle was Martin Luther, concerning whom Thomas Carlyle writes, that Luther took the ax of truth and with the surge of a hero attacked and crushed the idol of papism. The struggle lasted many decades. The civil war was raging. Blossoming cities were transformed into smoking ruins. The blood ran like a river. And the cause, the most serious of all, of that big disaster, which struck Europe, was the foolish, the antichristian ambition of the pope, so that all might fall down and embrace the edge of his foot and recognize him as the only leader of the Church upon the earth.
The popes, if they had even an ounce of real godliness or true piety, would be ashamed in projecting such foolish and antichristian ambitions, and, the worst of all, struggling for the enforcement of them upon the totality of Christianity. He who studies the history of this period oftentimes remembers J. Chrysostom, who, lamenting on account of the bad situations of the ecclesiastical divisions would preach, that the chiefest cause of them is the controlling-spirit, philarchia.
“Nothing is capable of dividing the Church thusly as the controlling-spirit, nothing thus kindles the wrath of God as the dividing of the Church” (See 11th homily on his commentary on the epistle to the Ephesians: P.G 62.85).
The incarnation of the controlling-spirit (philarchia, love of rule [over others]) is cursed papism, according to which not only active faith, but blind belief in the pope, and even if he commands things contrary to the genuine spirit of the spirit of the Gospel, as immortal fathers of the catholic Church have interpreted this, is recommended as the ideal, as the highest virtue. The pope an idol, the pope God! Peoples and nations “hear him and only him”. And not only the ambition for the entire Christian world to subject itself to one single man alone, adorned with an absolutist, totalitarian authority over souls and bodies, is an anti-christian ambition, but also the means, which papism has always used for its prevalence in the world, these, too, are anti-christian. A ready proof [of this] we in Greece have the unia. What is the unia. A Dourian horse, a satanic machination of papism, for the plundering of the soul of the orthodox. The uniate bishops and priests, while in soul and body belong to the pope and by this fact ought to externally also appear for their distinction with the garb of a papal priest, nevertheless, in the middle of Athens shamelessly and impudently circulate with the garb of the orthodox cleric and with various means, which they abundantly have at their disposal, propagandize the idea of the subjection of Greece to the pope and these wolves in sheep’s clothing deceive harmless and meek souls and no police organ of the fatherland moves nor apprehends these liars and imposters, to shave their beards and take from them the honorable emblems of the orthodox cleric; and only against our orthodox old calanderist brothers, has the condemnatory mania of the orthodox nation repeatedly turned! The uniates act and flourish unbothered and they celebrate sumptuously the 50 year anniversary of the arch-liar, their leader Chalvatzi.
The orthodox hearing and seeing these things operated by papism, we recall the Revelation of John: “And I say another beast rising from the earth, and it had two horns similar to lamb, and he spoke as a dragon” (Rev. 13:11). And papism appears as a lamb, but is a two-horned monster.
Never the Pope’s Slaves
Our beloved readers! Against this monarchic, absolutist, totalitarian authority, the anti-christian ambition of the pope, the orthodox conscience revolts. Against the arrogant designs of Rome the ever-memorable Photios, Keroularios, Joseph Bryennios, Mark Eugenicos, George Scholarios [all] struggled and saved the independence of the Orthodox Church, which existed as the all-bright ship, the true ark of our pious/godly nation, during the darkest days of its history. In this Church there exists the genuine, unadulterated (or non-counterfeit), the exact, the uncircumscribed, the supreme precept, the clearest apprehension and procession of the immortal ideas of Christianity. Papsim as an administration is a cancer. As an idea it is a lie, a falsehood, a myth which the lack of learning and “rule-mania” (archomania, controlling-spirit or if it be allowed the “control-freakness”) of the ecclesiastical rulers of Rome fabricated. And such-kind of lies, falsehoods and idols orthodox Hellas shall never worship. For she hears the trumpet of the Apostle Paul: “You were bought for a price: do not become slaves of people” (1 Cor. 7:23). The pope-worshippers here badly assess the situation and think the moment has come…And in persisting it is possible they may be found before surprises. The spirit of resistance of our ever-memorable fathers against schismatics and heretics shall be rekindled. Here in Greece papism shall find Thermopylas and will be crushed. Orthodoxy ultimately shall conquer, shall triumph and under her wings there shall be glory and a great deal of rest.
But the issue concerning papism has not been exhausted. It shall continue for the fuller enlightenment of our orthodox people.
Stay Far Away From the Latins! (Papists)
“Flee from them, brethren, and from communion with them; for such-kinds as these are false apostles, cunning workers, transformed into apostles of Christ. And it is no wonder: “for satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” It is no wonder therefore, if also his ministers are transformed into servants of justice, whose end shall be according to their works…Stand [fast] holding onto the traditions, which have been handed down to you and have received, both the written and the unwritten, in order that you may not be abducted by the error/deception of unordained things and fall away from the same support. Now God can do all things…and rid us ourselves of the evil tares, which as clean and useful wheat he may gather into His storehouses.”
(In John Karmiris’, The Dogmatic and Symbolic Monuments of the Orthodox Catholic Church, vol. I, Athens 1952, page 361-362)
By Metropolitan Augustine Kantiotes,
Issue no. 200 – Athens 1957
(republished repeatedly in a self-contained small pamphlet)
A RELIGIOUS DECEPTION
At one time, my beloved readers, at one time we had read in what way certain savage tribes of South America apprehend and kill dear. As known, dear is not captured easily. It is always careful, vigilant, sharp-minded, it hears even the smallest noise, it perceives danger and leaves most speedily. But the savages, the natives of Timoukoua, who have their dwellings in the vast mountain-ranges of North America, from which flows the Mississippi River, wanting to apprehend the dear, which in herds graze in their region, they craft the following manner.
After with much toil they apprehend a few, kill them, they take from them their skin and the hunters wear the skins of the killed dear, cover themselves completely, from head to feet, they walk on all fours and in this manner transformed, they sit in wait in those areas, in which the dear are wont to come to eat the tender grass and drink the clear water of the little rivulets and rivers. The dear, which see them, are not able to understand that under the hides of the dear are hidden the hunters, their killers and murderers. For the savages, who are hidden and appear as innocent dear, find the opportunity and hurl forth from close ranger their arrows, they wound and kill them. Of these false dear [ccomes] the death of the real, the true dear.
Throw a glance on the icon, and you shall see the deception and shall become sorrowful on account of these innocent and meek (harmless) animals, which fall victim to the savage Timoukoua of North America. The animal lovers shall be ready to protest…
But, O orthodox Greeks, you are become sorrowful and indignant for the method, which the above hunters utilize for the apprehension and the killing of dear? You do well. But much more, incomparably more, you must be sorrowful, and indignant and protest intensely, because orthodox souls, which according to David as dear thirst [for] God, thirst [for] the truth and justice, such-kind of souls, we say, fall victims to a religious deception never before seen, which in the midst of orthodox society of our fatherland these horned [beings] operate without blushing and unabashed. The matter concerns the uniates, who as regards the method, on the one hand, which they utilize for the easy capturing of victims, do not differ quantitatively from the savages of Timoukoura. But as regards the value of the object, [on the other hand,] which they want to capture through deceptive means, what comparison can be made? For these [people] capture the animals, which are destined for the nourishment of man, whereas these [others] capture souls, not in order to save them, not in order to be the good hunters, concerning which the prophet Jeremiah speaks (16:16), but in order to become evil hunters, cunning [crafty, machinating] workers, hypocrites, concerning which the Lord said “they go about the sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one, they make him into twice the son of Gehenna [or hell, literally a place outside the city proper where the Jews burned their garbage, and where they crucified the God-man. – trans. note.] than they” (Matt. 23:15)
The Unia: A Weapon Of Papism Against Orthodoxy
But let us leave the icons and let us come to the harsh reality.
Our orthodox people, who hears the word “uniates” asks: What are the uniates? What is the unia?
Unia is not a Greek word. It is a foreign word, probably of polish origin, which only it alone suffices to prove the external deliberation against Orthodoxy by her enemies. The unia is one of the weapons that papal propaganda utilizes so that it might subject the Orthodox Church. O Lord of love, of mercy and of pities, what means, what weapons, what machinations have not the people of Vatican not manufactured against us orthodox! Shall we enumerate them? The time does not allow us…The arbitrary [and high-handed] interventions of popes before the schism in the administration of the Eastern Church, against which fathers and teachers rose up against in protest: the crusades, who as the excuse, on the one hand, they had to liberated the all-holy places, but [on the other] as the deeper aim would hide the dissolution of the orthodox Byzantine empire and the triumph of papism; the false and notorious unions by force of the councils of Florence and Ferrara, against which the champion of Orthodoxy Mark Eugenicos rose up against; the overrunning of the Venetians against the islands of the Greek archipelago; the fearful machinations and crafting of intrigues by the embassadors of papal nations during Turkish rule, through which they overthrew from their thrones glorious patriarchs and led them into exile and the gallows; the religious schools in Rome and elsewhere, in which they drafted young orthodoxy men in order to transform them into betrayers of their faith, into janissaries of papism, into mortal enemies of Orthodoxy – all these things were means, weapons, which they used to dominate the fortress and for the flag of Orthodoxy to no longer wave in all of the East, to make the orthodox to fall down and worship the pope’s slipper, which the foolish ambition of westerners elevated above every authority in the world.
But all the attacks of the papists against our immaculate faith were repelled. Very few, nill, unworthy of mention were the results of their activities. Of the millions of orthodox a certain few thousand capitulated to the multi-form pressures, apostasized, or fell away from, the mother, from the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, and formed religious communities.
But from this failure Vatican did not despair. Its peaks convened a conference. Cardinals, bishops, abbots of big monastic orders spoke and set forth before their gathering all the elements of their activity amongst the orthodox. How few the fruits! So much money, so much wisdom, so much rhetoric, so much blood of centuries, and this East to remain unbending! Niether the enticements, then, nor the threats of papists would be able to separate her from the orthodox faith? The members of the convention were plunged in thoughts concerning what they must do. Lucifer, who in one cavity of the hall of the Vatican from invisibility was observing the [considerations] of the convention, took on the task of removing them from the “no-exit”. At a certain appropriate moment he threw out in the convention the idea of the unia. And it was not possible but from him alone for this same idea to originate, because he was the first imposter of the world. I think I hear him proposing his plan and through the mouth of a monk of the Jesuit order he spoke rhetorically the following.
– “My dearly beloved members of this convention! The nature of things compel us to confess a truth, and the truth in this case is that all orthodox people of the East foster a fearful antipathy toward us. For they have bad experience with regard to us westerners. And what evil did not our progenitors not do against them! Not as Christians, not as humans did they behave before the peoples of the East, but as wild bloodthirsty monsters they fell upon them. In the main they surpassed in savagery even the savagery of the Turks. The word frank has become the most hated word in the East. And for this reason, when they see a “Frank-priest”, they depart afar, just like sheep leave before wolves, dear leave before hunters and doves before hawks. Thus, as we are and as we appear, nothing can be done. Wolves, as they are and as they appear cannot enter into the pen. But if it is supposed that some one of the wolves wears a sheep’s skin? Then the pen will open and many sheep will approach the wolf in sheep’s clothing, or in the form of sheep, and thusly the wolf will become the ruler of the flock. The hunters of Timoukoura, as they are and as they appear, are not able to capture even a single dear, but if they wear the hide of a dear, then how many dear will approach and fall dead before their feet! But why, brethren and fathers, do I admonish to the imitation of methods of savage tribes for our propagandistic work? Our prototype is very near us. It is here. (At this point there occurred a certain brief silence. And immediately there was heard a hoarse voice continuing the discourse). Your prototype for your propagandistic work amongst the orthodox is I…lucifer, whose voice and thoughts are transmitted by the one speaking to you. Do you not remember what I did in paradise? If I had appeared just as I was to the foremother Eve, she would never have approached me; before my dreadful sight she would have departed afar; but when I transformed myself into the most beautiful paradisial animal and through it I spoke, then Eve was captured in my trap. She approached and I opened with her the known dialogue, whose result was the expulsion from paradise. The deception, behold my method. This method you too utilize, O bishops, cardinals, white and black popes. And upon hearing the form of the deception, please do not be shockingly surprised. Do not get rile up. Make no objection. I advise you, the much-experienced one, who knows how one wins through the method of the lie, [of falsehood] and of deception. So, without objection you will hear me and obey me. You will take off the clothing of the frankpriest, the so hated clothing for every orthodox soul, you will wear the robe and the kalymafchion (orthodox priest hat), you will stop shaving, you will grow beards, you will take on in every respect the form of the orthodox cleric. But be careful! You will have in your heart the whole pope. And thus you will come by the side of the orthodox. And then you will see the wonderful results of the new method, which, I entreat you, to baptize with the name of unia. So do you agree?”
– “Indeed, indeed. We agree! We applaud your plan, Lucifer”, the assembly answered.
– “I thank you very much, said Lucifer. I wish you brilliant successes”, and making a deep bow before the convention he departed and left the members of the convention to take especial care for the finding of suitable persons, which will put into practice the satanic plan. Thusly in the dark was born the unia…
The above a dream, an imaginary icon? But you must open the history of the Orthodox Church, in order to see what ravaging they did upon the regional church, bishoprics, metropolises and patriarchates of Orthodoxy these organs of the popes, who are called uniates. Exploiting the misery of the peoples of the East, with sheep skins these fearful wolves entered into the folds and chopped the sheep into pieces. Only from the Orthodox Church of Poland the unia succeeded in detaching approximately two million people and to form within the bowels of the orthodox polish people the uniate religious community, which is absolutely dependent upon the center in Rome. Especially during those centuries during which the orthodox were found under the sole of Turkish domination, the unia succeeded in leading astray into its nets entire populations and to bring on great unrest, disorder and confusion.
Orthodoxy, despite all the difficult external instances, did not remain as an indifferent spectator and witness to this grabbing of its spiritual children through this cunning manner, but as mother was pained and took an interest. Thus during the year 1722 there convened in Constantinople a Synod, in which participated the patriarchates of Constantinople Jeremiah III, Athanasios of Antioch III, and Chrysanthos of Jerusalem. This same synod condemned the uniates, these organs of the popes, which as an encyclical sent out to the whole orthodox membership
“by different sophisms, by both machinations and evil arts deceiving and completely persuading those of the Eastern Church of Christ to apostasize, or fall away, also, from correct dogmas and paternal traditions, and to believe and to accept as true the latin deception, the new innovations”.
And because the unia continues its underground work and sowed the weeds in the farm of Orthodoxy, the Orthodox Church also through another encyclical in 1838, stricter than the previous one, censured and stigmatized the cunning (sneaky) workers of the unia, who, instead of unity, as they promised, disrupted the unity of the Church in Antioch and cut to pieces her powers, so that the monarchy of the pope might prevail.
“We are endebted”, the patriarchs and bishops of the East who signed it, “to raise the voice of the Church and through our present patriarchal and synodical encyclical letter, as another evangelical trumpet, to trumpet forth to the Orthodox all over the earth, and indeed to those in Syria, Egypt and Palestine, and to publicly stigmatize, who are these wolves in sheep’s clothing, the cunning ones and imposters, the modern ones from the Lebanese mountains, showing themselves to appear as other dark lucifers, and casting as black and disgusting and choking cloud upon all the areas of Syria, Egypt and Palestine” (See John Karmiris, The Dogmatic and Symbolic Monuments of the Orthodox Catholic Church, Athens 1953, vol. II, p. 823 and 895, as also Chrysostom Papadopoulos, The Latin Propaganda in Syria, Alexandria 1949)
The Unia Spreads In The Hurricane
Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria saw these lucifers, as the synodical encyclical calls the uniates. And Greece remained outside of their evil-dealing activity? In the small kingdom of the free fatherland, which raised from the dead heroes of Orthodoxy, for 100 years the uniates were completely unknown. Not even one of them existed as a seed. But the wolves lay in ambush. As the popular saying goes, wolves rejoice in the hurricane. And some-such hurricane, a national turbulence, shaking our national ship, was the Asia Minor disaster of 1922. Then for the first time there appeared also the uniates in Greece with their head the notorious George Halvatsin, whom the pope ordained bishop of a non-existent bishopric, of Theodoroupolis, and established him in the middle of Athens, in order to bring the garb of the orthodox cleric also into the churches of the franks and to liturgize with the amphia, the garb of an orthodox bishop! When for the first time this leader of the uniates liturgized in the papal metropolitan temple of saint Dionysios of Athens with the full hierarchal orthodox garb, some orthodox person, who saw him and could not imagine that such-kind of deception was possible for clerics of an alien dogma to execute, he suffered confusion and thought that on that day in the papal temple liturgizing as an orthodox was our archbishop of Athens, Chrysostom Papadopoulos. He became filled with wrath and indignation and disseminated that Chrysostom “became a frank” and concelebrated with the papists. On the occasion of this news the orthodox membership was riled up, and the blessed Chrysostom, to calm the consciences of the orthodox down was forced also to say in writing that it was not he who liturgized in the papal temple, but George Halvatzis. And later between Halvatzis and the blessed archbishop Chrysostom there took place a correspondence, in which Chrysostom, despite the meek and tranquil nature that distinguished him, with a strict tongue cauterized the cunning (sneaky) nature of the unia and revealed her dark underground aims (See als “Ecclesia” or “Church”, an official publication of the Church of Greece, 1928, pp. 339-341).
But unfortunately, despite the protests of the then archbishop and the Holy Synod, Halvatzis, with a committee comprised of fanatic papal elder monks and elder nuns, wedged itself in the capital of Greece and began to work intensely.
For about 35 years this seat of the uniates, this leader of the uniates has been working in a dark, underground and disgusting manner at the expense of our Orthodox Church. Perhaps a special article would be needed to be published in order to present in detail the accomplishments of their activity and to persuade the gainsayers.
And yet this suspicious enemy of Orthodoxy upon dying a month ago and buried in grandiose fashion, the city of Athens honored him as much as they never honored archbishops of the official church and other famous men of our fatherland who have died. And still yet even political men of the country, baptized in the fonts of Orthodoxy, hunting for votes, participated in the exhibitions of sorrow, and what is most sorrowful even a certain hierarch of our Church sent to the uniate center a consolatory telegram upon the death of the leader of the unia, which was also published by them for the creation of impressions.
In this manner our Orthodoxy is not only deliberated against externally, but also internally is being undermined.
Papists, Do You Want the Same Method Of Dealing?
Beloved readers! The unia judged only from the moral and religious perspective, provokes dread for every faithful child of Orthodoxy. Never before has such-kind of a system of deception ever appeared in the religious life of humans. Truly an offspring of the night and not of day, a genuine child of Lucifer, who alone was capable of dictating such-kind of a method for the deceiving of orthodox souls.
The official Church of Greece, in the midst of whose bosoms the unia is operating and developing, ought to burnish its sword and to come down to the struggle against her. And to begin with, because the unia, as also every other papal organization has its center in Rome, the official Church of Greece must publicly direct to those in the Vatican the following question.
As you know, sirs, the Lord gave us the law, the so-called golden rule of our conduct towards one another. And this is the following. “As many of all the things that you want men to do unto you, thus you too do unto them” (Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31). On the basis of this law we ask: Whatever through the unia you are doing to us orthodox, do you want us, too, to do the same to you? And on the more analytical side: Do you want, “holy” fathers of the Vatican, a cleric of our Church equal in stature and according to the weight of your pope, do you want this cleric to cut his hair, shave his beard, to wear the white papal garb, amphia, of the pontiff and on one of the feastdays with papal garb to liturgize in an orthodox church remembering in his prayers the names of archbishops and patriarchs of Orthodoxy? Do you want such-kind of a false pope to go to Rome and to be established near the Vatican and to liturgize and bring on confusion in the consciences of your faithful who will see in Rome two popes? Do you want not only him, but a dozen orthodox clerics to come to Rome, to establish themselves there, too, and to go about all the cities of Italy with the broad-brimmed garb of your clerics and on account of the similar form your people will not be able to discern to what dogma these strange clerics belong? Do you want these latin-eccentric clerics of ours to execute various propaganda against papism, leading astray to their side inhabitants of the poorest neighborhoods of Rome? Do you, then, want such-kind of methods of deception and cunningness (sneakiness) to be used by us against you, so that you might understand what this saying means, “the pole maker is knocked out by the pole” (“passalos passalo ekkrouetai”)? To these questions of ours answer us sincerely, honorably, without turns and Jesuit sophisms. We are sure that neither today’s pope, nor cardinal, nor bishop, but neither even a lay person of your dogma wants a such-kind of appearance and activity of our clerics. But then how do these things, which you do not want us to operate at your expense, how do you dare without pangs of conscience to do at the expense of our Church? If you want, sirs, for that longed after day to come, “the union of all”, stop using such-kinds of methods that, as we have also said above, provoke dread to every uncorrupted conscience and broadens the opened chasm between East and West. The path leading to union is not traversed through the unia, but through that path, which the God-man inscribed saying: “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32).
The Greek Nation A Sleepless Guard Of Orthodoxy
But also to the Greek nation the official Church of Greece has her word to say. And her word this time shall be the censure for the inconsequential nature, which the nation maintains before Orthodoxy. While through the Constitution she recognizes Orthodoxy as being the prevailing religion of the nation, yet, nevertheless, she leaves free the enemies of Orthodoxy to bring on mortal wounds against her. Unfortunately our nation is indifferent about the incalculable damage to the spiritual interests of Orthodoxy. But if she wanted to be informed, that certain individuals, not belonging to the Greek police, are going about with police uniforms and with these uniforms deceive and violate citizens, what will she do? Would she remain indifferent? Never! But she would apprehend them immediately as imposters and would close them in jails for the counterfeiting of an office. Or, again, what would the Greek nation do, if it were informed that they have set into circulation counterfeit coins, which bear the icon of the king and are similar to genuine coins, but they are not genuine? Would it not seek to discover and apprehend those setting into circulation the counterfeit coins? Even yesterday we saw in newspapers the decision of government, which for the avoidance of confusion of the common people prohibited to organizations and companies and merchandizing stores to set into circulation advertising printed material printed in the form of national paper currency. But behold the uniates circulate freely as the advertising prints of papism in the form of Orthodoxy, and the nation is indifferent for the confusion and deception of the orthodox consciences. O orthodox nation! You tremble, that your citizens might not be deceived by counterfeiters and lose some small sum of money, and for this you take all your measures. But you do not tremble at all, that perhaps this people through the circulation of false spiritual paper currency of the unia in the form (typos) of Orthodoxy, which came forth the laboratories of papism, might lose the most precious good or blessing, the orthodox faith, which the highest rulers of this small much-tormented country swear to be her sleepless guardians.
But if through the political rulers of our orthodox nation the unia is considered to be an issue unworthy of mention, a hangnail, for us faithful children of the Church it is not a hangnail. The unia is a fearful dark, underworld system, it is the dourian horse of the pope, who lately was introduced also into our region for the dissolution of Orthodoxy. And because it is certain that neither the Vatican is about to be touched or moved by the protests of the orthodox, nor the nation will rise up from its lethargy and intervene for the dissolution of the nest of the uniates, one radical solution remains: a solution, which also at another time we indicated always, placed at the top of the title of this small paper (Christian Spark) of ours, and recommended and preached. What is the solution? For the Hierarchy to convene, for our hierarchs to stand up to high levels of thought and action, in which moved the spirits or intellects of the ever-memorable heroes and champion defenders of Orthodoxy, to denounce the pact of nation and Church as not being advantageous for the spiritual interests of Orthodoxy, and through a sublime preaching, which will have the tone of the preaching of Mark Eugenicos, Kosmas the Aeotolian, Papoulakon, Constantine Oeconomou from Oeconomon, to call the orthodox people to rally. And then we shall see if such-kinds of organizations of religious deception will be able to operate at the expense of Orthodoxy.
Let this one thing, then, be our motto: We seek our Church to be under not national laws, bound to spiritual movements, but free and vibrant.
Issue no. 264
The present article was first published in no. 264-265/1963 issue of the periodical “Christian Spark”. It was republished in a self-contained small pamphlet (Athens 1963).
“I shall set my throne above the stars of heaven” [Satan’s thought as recorded in Isaiah]
What is Vatican? It existed once as one of the most powerful nations of Europe, before whom kings and rulers of the East and West trembled. But now, O now! What vanity of human things. What a thundering disproving of worldly hopes and dreams. The all-powerful nation of the Vatican, which at other times set into motion entire armies and armadas and agitated East and West and humbled all-powerful empires, has now lost its tremendous expanse of turf and has been limited to a small strip of land, to a small nation, which the abominable memory for us Greeks, the dictator Mussolini, was pleased in 1929 to recognize officially. Through the signing between him and the pope of a special treaty, the treaty of Laterno, determined the geographical boundaries and the worldly rights of the little nation.
The Little Nation
The Vatican, set upon the right shore of the Tiber, as a wedge within the eternal city, has an expanse of 440 acres of land, numbers a population of about 1,000 inhabitants and contains a multitude of buildings, which number more than 11,000 rooms. And over all these buildings dominates the much spoken of temple of St. Peter, the biggest temple of Christendom. And the boast of western Christianity. The Vatican, by virtue of the said treaty, has its own flag, its own police force, its own currency, its own postal service, and is governed by a government, of which all the members are clerics, high officials of papism. Now there is discerned among all these the minister of foreign affairs, the most public person after the pope of the Vatican, with whom come into contact with the Holy Seat those who are designated embassadors of the nations, who recognize the Vatican as a nation. And certain nations have contracted with the Vatican special agreements, the so-called concordats, through which the nation of the pope acquires certain advantages of religious activity within the region of these nations. Greece, fortunately, despite the pressure of the Greek state, which persisted in the contracting of a concordat, by virtue of the powerful reaction of the blessed archbishop Spyridon and Dorotheos did not contract a concordat and an embassador of Greece by the papal court does not exist.
The Vatican, a Lilliputian nation in the midst of the nations of the world, as a point is marked on the geographical map of Europe, and not even as a point, perhaps evoking the ironic smiles of the citizens of those nations, which geographically are millions of times bigger than this small nation. Perhaps someone of the all-powerful dictatorships of the world, now already dead, who while WW II was still going on having taken part in the notorious convention of Yalta, during which the leaders of the big powers apart from the people’s [will] slaughtered the rights of the small nations; perhaps, when mention was made concerning the Vatican, he did not express himself ironically and being sarcastic did not ask, how many army divisions does the Vatican have at its disposal? Before the all-powerful armies and armadas, which at other times the Vatican had at its disposal, now only one company of Swedish weapon-bearers has remained, so that it may remind one melancholically of past worldly grandeurs!
Shall we, too, disdain the Vatican, just like that dictator? No. And not only, because this small nation, which is found inside the heart of the Italian peninsula, despite its smallness it numbers approximately 500 million followers, spread out in all the breadths and depths of planet, and on account of its organization it exerts a tremendous influence upon the whole inhabited earth, or oecumenis, but primarily because the Vatican is the seat of the leader of roman catholics, who until the blameworthy schism remained united with our Orthodox Church.
The Philo-unionist Movement
Lately there is observed a movement for the union of all the “churches” and especially of the Eastern Church with roman catholicism. Now various are the motivations of those seeking this union. And others of ours, cold and indifferent for whatever has reference to our faith, and from a politically perspective only seeing and judging things, shout to for the “churches” to be united, so that their political aims might be better served. And others, though they are not religiously cold and indifferent, like the former, but believe surely in Orthodoxy, yet, nevertheless, they do not delve deep into things and thus as light rocks are dragged away by the global current, the current through which every sacrifice of co-existence and being at peace with the world for the securing the undisturbed enjoyment of material goods, these people co-echo, superficially, the motto of the former. And finally, certain theologians and ecclesiastical circles of Orthodoxy, charmed by the visits to the papal courts and the smiles that the great diplomats of Vatican lavishly spread about, they believe that a big change, of cosmogonic character, is being performed in the bosoms of papism, a change, which must make us orthodox to see today in the Vatican sincere dispositions. “Let us hasten then”, they also shout, “to the Vatican, for conciliation and union.”
Thus the issue of relations of orthodox with the westerners, on the occasion indeed of the convening of Vatican Council II, has ended up again becoming timely, and the various commentaries are being published, not only in the religious press, but also in the political press. And a great deal of people has begun to be touched and moved and to be concerned regarding the issue of union.
We too, found to be in the midst of the philo-unionist movement of today, are not able to remain indifferent. It is necessary for us to research the issue. And because the Vatican is not an issue of yesterday [only], and history is a teacher, and from a certain perspective also a prophet of the future, we shall not close, as many recommend in this case, our hearing, so as not to hear the voice of history, but having previously opened history and seeing the past of papism, and finally we shall set forth, what things according to our humble opinion must be the stance of the orthodox before, in the face of, the philo-unionist movement of our days.
We have said that the Vatican is not an issue of yesterday. It is an old tree. Now what is its root? What is its beginning? What is the fundamental view (doxa), upon which the colossal edifice of roman catholicism is supported? It is the notorious primacy. It is the theory concerning the pope, which roman catholic theologians want to support primarily upon the passage Matt. 16:18: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of hades shall not overpower her”. This passage interpreted by followers of papism say, that Peter is the rock upon which the Church is supported, that to Peter were given certain privileges, the two keys, symbols of religious and worldly authority over all, that Peter established the church of Rome and for 25 continual years he functioned as her first bishop, and that, therefore, each bishop of Rome, as a successor of Peter, by divine right inherits all the rights of the apostle Peter over the Church, he becomes the locum tenens, the lieutenant of Christ upon the earth, the visible head of the militant Church, the leader of the whole Christian world, before whom, as infallible interpreter of the volitions of the Lord, every believer must bow his head and say, as in the Lord’s prayer: Holy Father, “thy will be done”! (Matt. 6:10).
But this interpretation of the said passage of Matthew, which even the small children of roman catholics suck on as a caramel, is mistaken. Not one and two, but in all 40 great fathers and teachers of the Church interpret this passage otherwise, upon which the papists want to support the primacy of the pope. The correct interpretation of the fathers and teachers of the Church is, that the rock upon which Christ said he would build his Church, is not the faith in Peter, but the rock is the faith in Christ, the confession that Jesus Christ is not simply a man, but is the son of the living God, just as Peter confessed by name, and as the other apostles [also confessed by their silence]. Of the 40 fathers and teachers of the Church, among which, according to S. Delattr, are also counted ten popes, we cite related passages of homilies of sacred Augustine, this great father of the Church, whom western Christianity honoring par excellence counts him among her four great teachers. Behold how sacred Augustine interprets the said passage:
“You are then Peter, and upon this rock, which you have confessed, upon this rock, which you have come to know, saying “you are the Christ, the son of the living God”, I shall build my Church, that is upon me, the son of the living God, I shall build my Church. Upon me I shall build you, and not me upon you.”
Now in another homily of his holy Augustine says:
“The Corinthians being divided and quarreling, who from among the apostles was superior to the others, in order to support their faith upon this matter, would say: “I am of Paul, and I am of Apollo, and I am of Cephas”, that is of Peter. But the others, not wanting to build upon Peter, but upon the rock, would say: “I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 1:12), which means, that, these neither the name of Paul, nor the name of Peter, but the name of Jesus Christ they wanted as the basis and foundation, so that even Peter might be supported upon the rock and not the rock (that is the faith in Christ) upon Peter”.
Finally in his famous book Concerning the City of God he writes the following.
“We, who are Christians, even with our words and with our works, do not believe in Peter, but in Him in whom even he, the same Peter had come to believe…He is Christ, Peter’s teacher, who catechized him in the way, which leads to eternal life: he also is our unique teacher”.
And so long as this is the true interpretation of the passage of Matthew, the whole theoretical edifice of the primacy comes crashing down into ruins. Now it is for this reason that westerners persistently and despairingly set themselves the task of attempting to support the theory concerning the primacy also upon other passages of the New Testament, but also upon other texts, of which, however, the critique has proved to be false, as the Pseudo-Isidorian credentials and others. The ink that the theologians have used up is a river wearing away their intellect so that they may support the teaching of the primacy. What vain toil!
But perhaps also the other theory, that Peter established the church of Rome and for 25 continual years was her first bishop, is supported upon a historical basis? History testifies that in idolatrous and world-ruling Rome, the seat of ceasars, simple Christians first preached Christianity, who for matters would come from the East to Rome. And even slaves, who would serve in the rich houses of the Romans and in those very palaces of the ceasars. It was, you see, a time, during which every Christian would exercise missionary work and as his first vocation had the dissemination of the Christian faith. So Christianity existed in Rome even before the arrival of the apostles there.
But even if we still accept that Peter established the church of Rome, what of it? Peter only established the church of Rome? Before he would reach Rome and martyr there, Peter had visited some 20 cities of the East and had established churches. But no one of the bishoprics of these churches of the East even conceived of raising ambitions concerning primacy, [just] because the apostle Peter had passed through their city. Can you imagine what would have happened in the Church, if all the bishops of the cities, which the apostle Peter had visited, would think just as the bishop of Rome thought? We would then have, instead of one primacy, a multitude of primacies, a multitude of bishops quarreling, as [did] the sons of Zebedee, which of them is the greatest. It is not possible for a dumber and more foolish idea to exist.
And yet! The followers of papism, setting the above theory as the substructure, began to build [upon it] the papal state, to raise up the pope’s throne. Continually the pope is elevated. In the beginning his followers said: “The pope is above all bishops.” After a short while they added: “ The pope is above all archbishops and patriarchs”. A wave of protest overcame the heart of the holy father, when he was informed that the bishop of Constantinople took on the title of ecumenical. A collision of thrones began. The throne of the pope was always being raised, as the tower of Babel. The pope not only above bishops, archbishops and patriarchs, but also even above rulers, kings and emperors. And only above them? The tendency for the elevation of the papal throne knows no bounds. Always higher is the pope’s throne! This is the motto of papists. And behold now the pope is above fathers and teachers of the Church. To a monk of a famous order of the roman catholics, who dared to express doubt about the theory concerning the pope, the spiritual father of the monastery said:
“We ought to follow first and foremost the word of the pope, when it concerns matters of the faith, despite the thousands of saints, Augustines, Jeromes, Gregories, Chrysostoms, etc.”.
But perhaps the tower of Chalani stops at this point? No. The pope’s throne always is higher! And behold now the pope is above those very ecumenical Synods, which he not only has the right to convene, but also, [once] having convened them, at whatever moment may dissolve or postpone them, or even in their different decisions to set forth the veto, more powerful than the opinion of thousands of bishops.
What throne was ever raised higher? Before the pope’s throne one sees falling face down even bishops and cardinals and princes and kings and kissing not his hand, but his slipper.
And we ask: the elevation of the pope to such-kind of height, is this in accord with the spirit of the New Testament, a spirit of deep humble-mindedness and simplicity, which Christ Himself, the eternal high-priest, and the prototype of all the hierarchs, taught upon the earth and indicated by his example? We think, that they shall not be far from the truth, those who, seeing the pope’s throne pridefully being raised above political and ecclesiastical thrones, above every principality and authority upon the earth, automatically recall in their memory a certain passage of Isaiah (14: 12-21). In this passage one sees that someone else (let us not name him), not remaining satisfied in the position he was found to be, full of pride and haughtiness, conceived in himself a plan for his elevation, through which he also heard the censure of the Most High through the following lightning-bolt words,
“You said in your intellect: I shall rise up to heaven, above the stars of heaven I shall set my throne; I shall sit in a high mountain, upon the high mountains to the north: I shall rise up above the clouds, I shall be like unto The Most High…” (Is. 14: 13-14).
But that other prop too, upon which is supported the theory concerning the pope, which is that the pope is infallible, is not able to stand. And how is it possible for infallibility to stand, this newer dogma of papism, when the history of popes mentions popes, who crashed upon the rocks of errors/deceptions and heresies, shipwrecking in regard to the faith? Was pope Marcellos infallible, to mention examples, who fell into idolatry and offered sacrifice on the altar of Aphrodite and the rest of the idolatrous gods to save his life and his property during the persecution of Diocletian? Was pope Julius infallible, who was condemned as a heretic by the synod in Sardis? Was Liberius infallible, who espoused the errors/deceptions of Arius and condemned as a heretic Great Athanasios the champion and defender of Orthodoxy? Was Felix II infallible, whose views were so fearful and scandalous, that the Christians of Rome would not enter into the temple, in which he liturgized? Was Honorius infallible, who was a fanatic follower of monotheletism, having been condemned by the Sixth Ecumenical Synod? Was Gelasios infallible, who set forth heretical views concerning the dogma of the divine Eucharist? Were the popes Sextus V, Urbanus VIII, Zacharias, Pious II and Pious IV, infallible who fell into various faults and errors/deceptions concerning correct teaching? But they shall answer us: The popes are infallible when they speak ex cathedra.
O their sophistry!
The history of the popes cries out. It cries out not only against those popes, who, through the errors/deceptions and heresies that they preached, loudly shouting disprove infallibility, but shouts out loudly still more against those popes, who through their degenerate and criminal life overthrew the charm of the pope of Rome, and provoked the wrath and indignation of the uprising of people. Shall we mention names? Shall we narrate lives? Shall we expose labors of popes? Even the white paper upon which we write will turn red out of embarrassment. Holy fathers robbers, evil-doers, felons, monsters surpassing the monstrosity even of the worst worldly rulers, whose names provoke the dread of souls. And what can one say regarding pope John XXIII, about whom a Greek journalist lately published a special book? The pope previous to the last wanted to be called John XXIII not so much, in our opinion, to prove that before him no canonical pope by the name of John XXIII existed, as much as, through his careful life to wash away the shame, which the name of that degenerate life and criminal pope had become attached to the papal throne.
And after so many errors/deceptions, so many heresies, so many degenerate lives, so many crimes of popes, one is at a loss as to understand how papists support the theory concerning primacy and infallibility.
But even if we still wanted to suppose that all the bishops of Rome, from the first to the last, constitute a gold chain of wise and holy men, among whom no heretic and degenerate exists, yet again the theory concerning the primacy is not able to stand hagiographically and historically. For a monarchical and absolutist, totalitarian regime in the Church, as is papism, the New Testament in no way favors. No one of the apostles lorded over the others. If the apostles differed among themselves, they differed as regards the height of virtues, just like mountain peaks do. But in respect to the apostolic office they were all equal. All were and were called apostles, and no one a super-apostle. And the questions that arose in the Church they would solve according to a democratic manner, as in the case of the choosing of the apostle Matthias, the choosing of the seven deacons, and in the case of circumcision, for which an apostolic Synod was convened, to whose decision all obeyed. The Church, according to the teaching of the New Testament, is similar to the body, in which all the members, even the ones considered to be the most humble, have their place, and by working in common sustain the body. Whereas the Church, according to the theory of papism, as one thinker has rightly observed, is like not unto the body, but like unto the pyramid, in which the higher, superior members pressure the lower, inferior ones, and the peak pressures all the parts without exception and rules over all.
The theory concerning primacy is, according to us, the fundamental difference between papism and the Eastern Church, a difference from which as from a cloudy source also originated all the other differences. And that Filioque, the most important dogmatic difference, if we want to delve deeper, we shall see that it was introduced into the Creed or Symbol of faith in order to extol the Son, and the Son being extolled, to extol Peter too, to whom the Son gave the authorities, and Peter being extolled to extol the pope too, that unique inheritor of the exceptional privileges of Peter!
Ubi papa, ibi Spiritus sanctus (=wherever the pope is, there is the holy Spirit): behold”, as the Russian theologian Nicholas Beliaeff, “behod the papal principle, through which the Roman bishops want to justify their ambition and claim to rule over even those very Ecumenical Synods. This same principle, continually developing, naturally and unevitably is in duty bound to bring apotheosis (deification) to papism.
The person studying the subject of papism remains amazed before arrogant ideas, claims and ambitions of the popes. Precisely this theory, leading to the divination of a single person, is first and foremost that, which provoked and provokes a crisis of conscience in the followers of roman catholicism. When in 1870 the infallibility of the pope was preached as dogma, about 200,000 followers of papism, together with their priests and bishops, not tolerating any more the flight of pride, to which the pope arose, drew away from roman catholicism and formed the religious portion of the old catholics, which until today exists as a living and intense protest against papism. Precisely this theory provokes the deep crisis of conscience also in the Hispanic monk of the frankish order, Paul DeBallester Convalier, who also wrote the greatly studied book entitled My Return to Orthodoxy, a book which is worth reading for every orthodox, so that he might see the harsh and painful journey of a soul until the same came out of the region of papism and reached Orthodoxy. Precisely this theory concerning primacy shall not cease even into the future to provoke the implacable questions in the depths of the souls, of the followers of the papal dogma, who, living in the midst of a world becoming all the more and evolving more democratically, seeing their church remaining under a totalitarian, absolutist regime, under a regime that undoubtedly constitutes the perversion of the genuine polity of the Church of Christ.
Have Things Changed?
But the philo-unionists will tell us:
These things that you write have to do with the past. And we are concerned not with the past, but the present. And on the basis of the present we want to regulate our relations with the Vatican. Now the present is dark, just like the past. On the horizon today a new day is turning rosy. Of what we are informed, the present is not at all like the past. Things have changed. Do you not see what is happening at Vatican Council II? How different do the papists behave today! How much bold voices are heard! What a wind of reformations breathes during the conferences of the council!…
So that, sirs, the present only interests you? But, in order to judge the present of an institution that has lived for centuries, as is the Vatican, it is not enough to take into consideration months and certain years, but a longer chronological period. Let us then take into consideration the last 50 years, during which dramatic events took place in the world and have enriched mankind with a great deal of experience and have left deep footprints of their traversing in people’s consciences. There has been published and translated into many languages, and into Greek, the book entitled The Vatican and the 20th century. In many points we do not agree with the author of the book. Yet, nevertheless, the book is worth reading. For whoever reads this book, gets an idea of the daidalian organization of the Vatican, and remains amazed. The Vatican is considered to be a religious center, and ought in every respect to breath the breeze of Christian spirituality. Yet however, the means, which it uses for the realization of its aims, are not always those means, which the apostle Peter would approve of. The author, a strict critic of papal methods, writes that force (violence), all-cunningness and the lie (falsehood) worked in large part for the raising up of the edifice of popery. Unfortunately the Vatican, in its burning desire to overpower the world spiritually and materially, has imitated methods that are in the main worldly, which nations utilize in their relations toward each other. And thus the Vatican has evolved into a fearful school, in which the higher staff of papism are catechized for years in the tongue of diplomacy, through which people learn to hide the truth and to speak the lie for the deception of others. But it is necessary to say that this tongue of diplomacy has no relation to the Gospel, which preaches absolute sincerity, the yes yes and the no no, and what is beyond these it condemns as originating from the evil one? (Matt. 5:37). Diplomacy and the Gospel can not be reconciled. Wherever the Gospel is, the lie is ostracized. Wherever there is diplomacy, there is the devil. For diplomacy is an art of the devil (a diabolical art).
School Of Diplomacy
The Vatican a diplomatic school. During the last 50 year period through its diplomacy, visibly and invisibly being mixed up in the majority of issues of nations, and not being able to satisfy its global feeling of justice through a sincere and powerful dealing of the problems of the world, in no small way has scandalized individuals and nations. An opportunism was always hiding in the activities of the Vatican, looking to serve the designs of papism. Perhaps our judgment is unjust? But we mention examples, a few of many. When our small fatherland was approaching her realization of pre-eternal longings and the great worshipful center of Orthodoxy, Sancta Sophia, was about to be rendered to Greece as the natural inheritor of Byzantium [The East Roman Empire, according to Bury’s appellation], was it not the Vatican that, which strongly reacted against the realization of the innermost yearning and the centuries-long burning longing of the Greek soul? When our small fatherland exerted all its powers for the liberation of millions of orthodox people, which for centuries was living under the heavy yoke of those belonging to an alien religion in Asia Minor, what was the stance of the Vatican and the roman catholic nations, which the Vatican most greatly influenced through its diplomacy? When the dictator of Rome wholly without cause turned his armored canons against Corfu and murdered the unarmed population, and the pan-hellenic citizenship lamented the victims and became indignant on account of the barbaric attack, was a protest heard from the Vatican for this crime? And when the same dictator unleashed another barbaric attack against the Christian country of Abyssania, and with mustard gas bombarded the unfortunate Abyssanians, only and only because they stood against the imperialistic designs of his megalomania, the Vatican, which for these criminal actions ought to have cut off diplomatic relations with the fascist Italian government, why yet again did it remain silent? And when Greece became without reason a target of the maniacal barbaric raid of the same dictator and her cities were being wildly bombed and the global wave of indignation was arising on account of the unjust attack of an empire against a small nation that wanted to preserve its independence, where was the Vatican?…Unfortunately the Vatican too is responsible for its scandalous toleration before the clamoring crimes of our century. For reasons of opportunism it also decided and cast its favor together with the big crimes, which the pope ought to have censured and rebuked and to excommunicate and by his strong stance to turn back the unjust insurrections and catastrophies of mankind.
These things, say the union-lovers, are true. But now lately, during the high priestly office of pope John XXIII who passed away and during the present Paul VI serving as high priest, a true revolution is being performed within the bosoms of papism and the Vatican is presented unrecognizable.
These the philo-unionists say. The elect professor of theology, Mr. Basilios Ioannides, in his important study concerning Vatican Council II gives us an icon of the state of today’s papism, at least just as the same appears in this Synod. In it for the first time the free expression of opinion was prohibited, vigorous voices of protest were heard, the nation of the Curia of cardinals was appearing that it was being abolished. Self-criticism was exercised. As a characteristic remark someone observed,
“the Roman catholic Church for the first time washes its filthy clothes before others”.
We take note of the above and are not hard-pressed to praise the virtues and certain activities of the last popes. But let us not hasten from certain manifestations to gather more general and enthusiastic conclusions. First and foremost let us not deceive ourselves. Far, very far, unfortunately still is the union towards which we all turn our hopes. Much road must be traversed for western Christianity to be found there where it ought to be found. The protests being heard today in Vatican Council II is as the protests of the old catholics, for which the ever-memorable Chrestos Androutsos would say that these same ones with “waves weakly are rising, [only] so that they may be eclipsed in the great ocean of papism”. Unfortunately the door remains unbroken. The throne of the pope is raised high between heaven and earth. The primacy and infallibility continue to remain invariable and unchanging. And whoever wants to be convinced in this regard, let him cast a glance upon the issue of “Catholikes” of October 16 ff., of this serious roman catholic newspaper published in Greece. In this issue, while with the greatest typographical elements are exempted the dictation of the uniate patriarch of Antioch, Maximos IV in the Council, proposing a different articulation of the theory of primacy, and there is created the impression that the fall of this theory is imminent, in the same issue and in the particular page it is judged as being the most secure newspaper of Athens, because it expressed the hope that Vatican Council II, endeavoring to facilitate the union of those standing apart, will abolish the dogma of primacy and of the infallibility of the pope.
However – stresses the “Catholiki” – the primacy and the infallibility are not ecclesiastical ordinances, which the Church can invalidate, but are dogmas, which no one is able to shake.
The papists, that is, according to the dictation of Maximos, can accept only a different phrasial formulation of these dogmas, and this so that these may become well-received by the easterners. In other words, the poison is offered as a sweet syrup. But precisely this manner of offering renders the poison most dangerous.
And then from this we ask: This is the true revolution, which is being conducted in the bosoms of papism, for which the lovers of union express themselves so enthusiastically?
THE CORRECT STANCE
So long as the primacy and the infallibility remain unshakable substructures, upon which papism persists to support itself, no hope of union of the Eastern Church with the westerners can exist for the present time. And the conversations with papists, which certain theologians and ecclesiastical circles seek, we think that these belong to the circle of those discussions, by which the chief of the apostles, Paul, gave to the first bishop of Crete the god-inspired advise, able to regulate also the relation of our Church with the westerners:
“Now quit yourself from foolish discussions and genealogies and quarrels and legal battles: for they are unbeneficial and vain. A heretical man after the first and second admonition abandon, seeing that such a one has deviated and sins being self-condemned” (Titus 3: 9-11).
Dialogue with roman catholics, concerning which mush talk was made in the Pan-orthodox Convention of Rhodes, has already occurred, in the flow of ten centuries from the blameworthy schism, and the results of the dialogue were nihilistic, and since then even wholly contrary to what was expected, because on account of the caustic nature, which the discussions took on, the chasm was broadened and the hearts grew colder even more. Correctly the ever-memorable hierarch George Papageorgiadis observed, who with a sharp-mind interpreted the issue of the relations between the easterners and westerners, that the discussions between these two sides
“occurred an infinite amount of times, and what has been writte, so that we might omit the oral discussions, fill the city of Athens”.
The Staunch Stand Of Archbishop Chrysostom
Behold why we straightway from the start accepted in this regard the staunch stance of the most blessed archbishop Athens lord Chrysostom, who refused our Church from sending observers to Vatican Council II, and by the sending of these make official and attribute a special glitter to the council, through the presence of orthodox bishops in it, as if the matter had happened to be concerning a real ecumenical synod. But even the Pan-orthodox Convention of Rhodes, for which one would initially not have objections, however under the conditions it took place, without the necessary proper preparation, he rightly considered that it would end up being fruitless, for which reason, also, he refused to send representatives to it, and to the bishop, a fanatic follower of the union-loving movement, he recommended that he procure for himself eye-ointment and to anoint his eyes and see clearly what is hidden behind the “sincere dispositions” of the Vatican. The without precedent co-understanding of the Patriarch of Constantinople with the rest of the orthodox churches convoking of panorthodox conferences, only and only because the ecumenical patriarch wants it, does not chance to have the approval of orthodox consciences, which rejects every tendency of absolutist, totalitarian administration of the Orthodox Church. We do not war against the pope so that we might establish another pope at the Phanar. Now the ecumenical patriarch Athenagoras is deceived, if he thinks that he is able through the diplomatic tongue, similar to the tongue of the Vatican, to govern Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy turns away from diplomacy. And always, and especially in the time in which we are living, we have need of raw sincerity, and not sugar-coated pills.
For these the disbelief of the archbishop of Athens toward the invitations of Rome are absolutely justified. And it strengthened and warmed the orthodox membership, so that it may stand against every external deliberation.
Conditions For Dialogue
Papism is obligated to prove its good dispositions in words of Congar, in the things, the realities themselves. And it shall prove its good dispositions through the following.
1. So long as the historic fact exists that papism first began with unrighteous hands and through HUmabart’s representative in 1054 set upon the sacrificial altar table of Saint Sophia’s a dreadful libel, full of unnamable insults against our Church, he is now obligated, fulfilling a work of elemental, fundamental justice, to condemn that libel, which constituted the mortal blow against the unity of the two churches.
2. Let him command the direct dissolution in every Orthodox country of the fearful wasp in the body of the Orthodoxy, the so-called unia, against which every incorruptible soul stands up in protest, on account of its deceptive form.
3. Just as our orthodox nation allowed, for roman catholics to have on Greek turf four bishops and one archbishop of Athens illegally, in order to shepherd a very small flock not justifying so many diocesean bishoprics, thus it is proper, not only the Italian government, but also the Vatican, to allow for there to be established in Rome and in other cities of Italy Greek orthodox diocesean bishoprics for the shepherding of the orthodox fold surpassing in number the number of roman catholics in the fold in Greece. And if we orthodox become established in Italy, we promise, that we will never commit the uncharacterizable action of the uniates, to present ourselves with a deceptive form.
Appeals Of Pope Paul VI
My beloved readers, the present pope, Paul VI, in his appeals to representatives of other dogmas intensely directs the admonition that we forget the past. Yes, holy father! We too agree with your appeal, because we hear the chief apostle, whose name you bear, saying:
“Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ”.
But is this alone enough, to forget the past? Just as the apostle Paul did not hesitate to condemn his past and with his worthy of marvel sincerity to confess his faults (Gal. 1:13), thus must the more modern popes do, too. Not simply to forget, but additionally to have the power of soul to condemn whatever during the past was said and done contrary to the gospel law and to the tradition of eight centuries of united Christianity. Have they, then, the power of soul to condemn the theory concerning the pope’s primacy and infallibility, of which both holy Scripture and the ecclesiastical tradition of the first centuries is ignorant? Do they have the power of soul to condemn undesirable proselytism? Do they have power of soul to dismantle the unia? We do not believe in Congar. When words are absent, the things, are something vain and empty, just as our ancient progenitors used to say. Leaps, not just steps but courageous leaps, the roman catholic world must mark so that it might reach there where it once stood with the Eastern Church. And we, if it is indicated and proved to us that we in some way committed injustice against the roman catholics, we shall not hesitate to confess it. Otherwise, if roman catholicism, upon its spreading out and its organization and discipline and missionary activity and by its material power has confidence and boasts, and shall continue to persist in the principles of papism, and by various methods seeks to expand its nation over the whole inhabited world, sucking in and assimilating all, if it continues – we say – this tactic, or scheme, it shall be an act of height of folly for us orthodox to open discussions with people, who do not have the disposition to budge from their positions for even a thousandth of a centimeter. Aimless and vain discussions the healthy and incorruptible consciences of the orthodox repel, and only certain idle professors of theology and certain vainglorious bishops, for well understood reasons, seek it out. But these few are very far from expressing the catholic conscience of the Orthodox Church, which upon being awakened will sweep them as straw out from their seats and thrones.
Issue no. 268 – Athens – 1964
(Republished at Athens in 1987 in ANTI-PAPAL DISCOURSES,
by Metropolitan Augustine Kantiotes, pp. 91-119)
GUARDIANS, BE VIGILANT!
“We shall not deny thee, O beloved Orthodoxy”
Yet again, my beloved readers, from our small guard-post, which for a twenty-year period we are keeping, as much as lies within our power, we shall shout to the pious/godly orthodox Greek people the saying: Guardians, be vigilant! The supreme duty before our orthodox faith does not permit us to be at rest, but obligates us, too, to cast forth a voice of protest, for whatever during these days of ours are occurring at the expense of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church. The matter for which we shall protest, is the tactic (scheme) of the Ecumenical Patriarch before papists. More specifically. It is the … patriarch Athenagoras. For, unfortunately, [with] no existing powerful figure or personality of a hierarch at the Phanar, capable of reacting [dynamically] against the arbitrary and anti-canonical activities of one man, the Ecumenical Patriarchate in essence does not exist. There exists only Athenagoras, administrating this historic Patriarchate according to an absolutist, totalitarian manner, to the greatest harm of Orthodoxy. In other times, during which superior hierarchs lived at the Phanar, a patriarch like Athenagoras not only would not be able to stand upon the throne, but he would be introduced to the ecclesiastical court for the violation of sacred and holy Canons and would be sent to Mount Athos, so that he might wash away through the tears of sincere repentance his canonical crimes…
The Censure and Rebuke of the [“Christian] Spark” (Spitha) Constant
This is not the first time that “SPARK” is occupied with the anti-canonical activities of Athenagoras. For a twelve-year period and more we have not ceased ringing the bell of danger on account of this patriarch. In the midst of the silence of a cemetery the “Spark” raised the voice of protest and censure. Now if from that time it was heard, we would not have been found today before the sorrowful developments, which the foolish and unbridled tactic (scheme) of the patriarch. For the evil would have been cut out at its root. What first and what second should I mention of whatever we censured and rebuked patriarch Athenagoras in writing and orally? The “Spark” censured patriarch Athenagoras, because, in an official patriarchal document, a writing of a chide teacher of spiritualism, this same system in and of itself satanic, he characterized as being “worth of attentive study”, a fact, which becoming known broadly among spiritualists in Greece not a little strengthened their movement. The “Spark” censured, second, patriarch Athenagoras, because, while the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece by an encyclical condemned the shameful exhibition of the naked fleshes of Greek women in the notorious beauty contests as an act treading against Christian morality, the Patriarch the gates of the Patriarchate and received the star-Hellas and was photographed with her, and the picture was purposefully published in an Athenian newspaper for the strengthening of the worldly view that beauty contests are not prohibited since even a patriarch blesses them. The “Spark” censured, third, patriarch Athenagoras, because he entered into a mosque and prayed together with ottomans. The “Spark” censured, fourth, patriarch Athenagoras, because he performed a memorial petitionary service and petitioned that God place the unbaptized, the ottomans, in the dwellings of the elect and saints… But recently, also, when in the middle of Athens, there was an invasion of masons, who came from the ends of the earth to hold an international convention, the editor of the “Spark” at a conference of representatives of orthodox religious bodies, rose up and said that, so long as persistent rumors, not proved false, bear saying that patriarch Athenagoras and his first organ, Iakovos of America, are masons, masonry will raise impudently its head, boasting that among its elect members she has even peaks of the Orthodox Church. The the patriarch then Athenagoras we said then that our conference must turn and direct a fiery question to him telegraphically: “Your All-holiness, the masons who came here are boasting that you too are a mason. We entreat you, disprove the scandalous rumor, which is shaking Christian consciences”. Unfortunately however, at those conferences expediency prevailed, so that the Patriarchate might not be exposed!
Light or darkness? Behold the question, which on the occasion of the activities of the patriarch we persistently direct ourselves to the Phanar asking the orthodox there: what after all does the Patriarchate there represent? If this Patriarchate, which is considered to be the eye of Orthodoxy, was become endarkened (obfuscated) so that it is not capable of discerning between light and darkness, between truth and deception/error, between orthodoxy (right belief) and cacodoxy (wrong belief), this for the orthodox world signifies a great spiritual disaster. For here too the word of Christ can find application: “If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness?” (Matt. 6:23).
Finally, growing tired from our constant protest, we were compelled in the “Spark” an open letter to patriarch Athenagoras. And we had hoped, that this letter, which moved [and touched the hearts] of the pious/godly greek people, would find some repercussion in those at the Phanar who are administrating and directing the lots of Orthodoxy. But unfortunately no attention was given to it. But quite the opposite, we collected not a few insults from the mouthpieces (spokesmen) of Athenagorian politique in America. Now we, upon seeing already that more than approximately three million orthodox Hellenes of America, Europe and Australia, dependent spiritually from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, are in danger on account of the tactic (scheme) of the patriarchate of suffering deep corruption of their religious and ethnic conscience, we – I say – through a special article clearly pointed out that there it is absolutely necessary that the this Hellenic homogeneity abroad must become dependent ecclesiastically upon the Authocephalos Church of Greece, which Church of Greece should be elevated to a Patriarchate. Thus Athenagoras and his “apprentices/helpers” would not be able to thresh Hellenism abroad, and to call Turkey their most beloved fatherland, and to embrace and hold joint prayer with the multi-named heretics of the West.
These things for twelve-year period we were saying and writing, re-echoing the thoughts and feelings of the faithful children of Orthodoxy domestically and abroad, which they would express to us, orally and in writing, their states of unrest for the tactics (schemes) of the patriarch. But unfortunately we were not heard. The appropriate measures were not taken. A strict line was not circumscribed. And patriarch Athenagoras strengthened his destructive journey. And behold the last events of the meeting of the patriarch and the pope – a meeting, which, wholly arbitrarily, and without previously coming to an understanding with the rest of the churches of Orthodoxy, he sought after and achieved – are coming to throw light upon the psychosynthesis of patriarch Athenagoras, and for it to be proved that this man thinking as he thinks, and acting as he acts, ultimately ends up constituting a great danger for Orthodoxy.
Certain theologians, being influenced by the contemporary global currents, recently now suck on as a caramel candy the word ecumenicity, ecumenical spirit, ecumenical movement! A nice word! But beneath this word is hidden the most fearful danger for Orthodoxy. What danger? We shall present it with an example.
… A woman is faithful to her husband, She does not allow some third person to enter in to their relations. Constantly she remembers the public promises that she gave before God and men. But this same woman happens to be a woman of rare beauty, and she entices the gazes of many. On account, however, of the woman’s honorable nature (integrity), whoever would dare to approach her and make a proposition concerning immoral relations, immediately she would repel him with wrath. And if he would persist, a strong slap by the honorable woman on his impudent face would make him come to his senses. Degenerate subjects, knowing this full well, utilize another method. They try to ascertain in what things this same woman takes pleasure. If, that is, she loves poetry, philosophy, fine art etc.. And from these things the secret lover will be grabbed by, and with great skill he will look to begin an innocent conversation on the subjects that are to the woman’s liking. How beautiful is this poem! How nice is this icon (image)! How amazing is this theatrical work! How sweet the music! Thusly begins the dialogue…And the simple and unsuspecting woman is left to be led astray in long conversations with the imposter, whose heart, during which time his tongue utilizes rhetoric concerning philology (literature) and fine art, skips beats in the secret hope of dominating the woman. And, since through conversations there is created a climate of great familiarity and mutual understanding, then “the fateful [thing]” shall finally come, that is, the dishonorable act, the shameful union, which began with an innocent dialogue, just as at one time in Eden the most cunning serpent with a sweet dialogue succeeded in deceiving Eve.
Do you understand, my beloved, what we want to say? Our word is parabolical, in the form of a parable.
The woman, concerning whom we speak of above, is our Orthodox Church. She is the beauty. She is the one clothed with the sun, according to the marvelous icon of the Apocalypse or Revelation. She is the one drenched by the sun, wearing on her head the crown of twelve stars and the moon under her feet (Rev. 12:1). She, the Orthodox Church, remained faithful to the Lord, to the eternal Bridegroom. She guarded pure the oral and written tradition of the Lord and the apostles, according to the god-insprired advise: “Stand fast, and hold onto the traditions that you have been taught either by our word or by our letter” (2 Thess. 2:15). This, the Orthodox Church, for 19 centuries is waging a powerful and bloody struggle against the multi-formed deception/error, against the variously named heresies, which sought to defile and corrupt her purity. Now one of the most fearful heresies is also papism, which on account of its errors/deceptions, its absolutist, totalitarian spirit and the fearful crimes she provoked the creation of Protestantism and the dividing up of all of Christendom. Yes. The papists are heretics, as the orthodox periodical “Soter” (“Savior”) rightly stresses in its last issue. The Orthodox Church’s persistence in the piety or godliness of her fathers her enemies, and indeed papism, know full well. And because these enemies through many examples have been persuaded that through war upon one single front they are not able to capture the fort of Orthodoxy, they have lately moved on to another tactic (scheme). They began a new war. The war of peace. Worse than the war of the crusades. Do you not hear the speech of the serpent, who is seeking to corrupt the precepts of Orthodoxy out of our simplicity? (2 Cor. 11:3). Behold what the serpent is saying:
O Orthodox Church! Why do you remain afar? Do not be afraid of me. I am not a dragon. I am a sweet angel that brings you the message of peace. I have no aim to touch you on anything. Hold on to your dogmas and traditions… Those are for theologians…I invite you to may salon to converse about other matters. To create together a common front against hunger, against misery, against atheism, against communism, against war etc.. Do not these issues move or touch you? Does not this proposition enthuse you? Come then to conduct our dialogue on a high level, on the level of ecumenicity and mutual understanding, and you will see how beautiful our meeting will be!
Our Orthodox Church! Our pained and martyric Mother! Shall you accept this proposition? Shall you open dialogue with papism? And do you not see through that in this proposition the danger exists, through the incapability and unworthiness of those representing you, for there to be created a situation to a terrible degree favorable to your enemies, in which, without you realizing it, you will fall into the lap of papism and there will occur…union, the falsely named union, spiritual adultery, the most dishonorable act, which could ever possibly occur and for which there will be need for centuries of repentance, and the orthodox, who will want to play the role of mid-wife of the Orthodox Church, there shall come a time when they shall sigh and shall say: This tongue, which spoke rhetorically about ecumenism and mutual understanding, let it be cut. These feet, which would run to meet the portrayed, hypocritical friendship with Orthodoxy, let them rot. These hands, which signed letters and memoirs of ecumenicity, let them fall!
This, my beloved, in a parabolic and realistic word is the much spoken of theory of ecumenicity which these “chanoi” Mongolian monarchs, or fools, are gulping down.
The theory concerning the ecumenical movement, under which all the forms of heresy can be housed, even the most one-sided elements, constitutes, we repeat, danger for the Orthodox Church. Because it devalues the importance of dogmas, these eternal truths of divine revelation, which, being formulated marvelously in the brief terms and definitions of the Ecumenical Synods, are the bones and the spinal column, without which the body is transformed into a flabby and formless mass. It depreciates, devalues and undervalues the sacred and holy Canons, which the followers of ecumenicity call anachronistic, dated and rusted weapons. To speak generally, it undervalues Orthodoxy on the whole, concerning which the followers of ecumenicity say that it is selfish and self-pleasing and a blasphemy for us to think that she only she is the true Church, possessing pure and unadulterated the truth of divine revelation. Thus the dogmas and morality, indisruptively united in Orthodoxy, in the ecumenical movement are tending towards vaporization and for [only] the deceptive form of love to remain. Thus the theory of ecumenicity and grabbing [and bundling] together of peoples, being supported by worldly and political circles of the age, for the buttressing of a secure peace invading already into the spiritual world, in which compromises are unacceptable, it can provoke conflict, confusion and unrest, a real Babel. Dough is useless, if it is mixed with other elements and loses its operative energy. And Orthodoxy is excellent dough, the dough of truth which is able to knead the whole mixture, but with the prerequisite that it remains unmixed with alien elements, clean. It is for this reason that the enemies of Orthodoxy are followers of the theory of ecumenicity. And we do not hesitate for this reason to call ecumenicity a new heresy, against which the Orthodox Church must defend herself with every power.
An Untimely Meeting
By the germ of this new heresy, unfortunately, patriarch Athenagoras has been attacked, who with his ecumenical title wants to give, by his getting mixed up in the ecumenical movement, a different meaning from that meaning, which would beat the hearts of his predecessors. He wants to be called ecumenical by heretics, papists and protestants, why not also by Mohammedans. To all, to the right and to the left, everywhere he spreads smiles, embraces all, all for him are good and saints. What does it matter of they are not orthodox? Thusly Athenagoras succeeds in collecting from all the heretics and those thinking in a worldly manner praises and applause. And in his person is found the application of the Lord: “Woe unto you when all speak well of you!” (Luke 6: 26).
Being goaded as by a gadfly and inspired under these ideas concerning the ecumenical movement patriarch Athenagoras accepted or rather sought out to meet with the pope, without examining the motives from which the pope moving showed a wholly eager disposition for the meeting, without previously asking and getting advise from sister orthodox churches concerning this meeting, without, most important, being afraid of the grave consequences, which an untimely and superficial meeting with the pope would have upon all of Orthodoxy, with the pope, – I say – who, it is worthy of note, is not disposed to take even a single step back as regards the principles of papism. Now that the pope had no disposition for a sincere approachment, but under theatrical embracings were hidden the cunning designs of unrepentant papism, this is indicated by the following events.
1. From the church of Bethlehem the pope directed to all Christians of the world the pronouncement, in which among other things he said the following:
“The union of the Churches is not possible to be achieved at the expense of the truths of the Faith. The door of the flock remains open. The reception shall be very warm.”
Who does not understand what these words of the pope mean? A serious Athenian newspaper commenting on the pope’s pronouncement wrote:
“Obviously the pope means as ‘truths of the faith’ the Catholic dogma, and as ‘flock’ with an open door (as many as are faithful enter in) the Catholic Church. That is, the lost sheep of Orthodoxy are invited to return to the bosoms of Rome, which will eagerly forgive them! And to other such achievements with health, lord Athenagoras, embassador of your most beloved fatherland Turkey!…”
2. The pope during his pilgrimage to the Holy Places was accompanied also by the patriarch of the uniates Maximos IV, a fact that testifies that he has no disposition [or intent] to abolish the deceptive schema/form of the unia. And in a sacred temple of the westerners, Saint Anna’s, the pope received all the hierarchs of the uniates, conversed with them most sweetly and blessed their “Christian” work in the midst of Orthodox.
3. The throne, as a religious newspaper listed, upon which the pope would sit, was higher than the throne upon which the patriarch sat. A behavior reminding one of Ferrara. Where is the meeting on equal terms by the two sitting in First Seats?
4. The pope denied to go through the pilgrimage route, for which the one orthodox person guarding it declared that only once it is opened for the catholic, the pope that is, pass through. Where is his humility? If it were possible at all the sites of worship at the holy land the flag of the Vatican would be waving!
5. In a telegraph, which the reverend metropolitan Axomis lord Nicholaos sent to the pope by which it was being asked that the pope take back the libel of anathema that he submitted in 1054 upon the holy table of saint Sophia, Cardinal Humbertos, in answering said the pope did not lift the excommunication, but made mention of other things, concerning mutual humility, love, understanding, conciliation…
Despite all the above [considerations] the patriarch continues to persist, that the present pope is borne by pure dispositions, and for this reason a trip by the patriarch to Rome and Florentia is being pre-announced, for the Orthodox Church to thus suffer new humiliations. And what is worse, as his official document, the patriarch, expressing himself enthusiastically for the warm reception, which he chanced to receive in Greece during his last visit, says that the Greek people are for the catholics and seek union with them! In this regard we give patriarch Athenagoras the following answer. The honors, which he chanced to receive in Greece, were not being given for his person, because as patriarch until today he did nothing courageous (manly) and high, or sublime in behalf of our fatherland, in season or out of season and to the point of disgust speaking everywhere, wherever he stood, concerning his most beloved Turkey and exhibiting the Turkish grandeur. So the honors were not referred to his person, but to the institution of the historical Ecumenical Patriarchate. Let it be allowed us to remind you as timely a certain myth, according to which a donkey driver loaded upon the poor four-footed animal on the left and right of its back two icons, of Christ and of the All-holy Virgin Mary: and seeing that the yoked beast, during its traveling in various places a large and innumerable crowd would come forth and get on its knees and worship, the miserable animal thought that these special honors were being render unto his being. And for this reason it began to become prideful, to stretch its ears and to walk majestically. But the donkey driver within a short time removed this self-deception from him. A few strong wippings and the dumb animal came to its senses… The myth is instructive! And as regards the other, that the Greek people is seeking union with the roman catholics, now that things are beginning to reveal themselves, Athenagoras and his entourage will learn in a short while, how mistaken his information is concerning the dispositions of the Greek people, which the persons who approached him during his visit here related to him. Let grace be unto those who for reasons of respect for the glorious history of the Ecumenical Patriarchate restrained the faithful people from entering into the Metropolitan church of Athens, when Athenagoras was liturgizing and his fame was being sung, and to shout, with a powerful voice, the [saying] anaxios! (“unworthy!”)
The Patriarch a Mason?
And how justified would this function be, if even there were no anti-canonical activities of the patriarch! Because after the surprise the Greek people by newspapers was informed that in Paris a book was published, entitled “The Sons of Light”, in which it is mentioned that patriarch Athenagoras is a mason. We asked for and saw the book. And truly, on page 313 the name of patriarch as a mason is mentioned.
Il avait des raisons plus particulieres de s’interesser a ce problime. Epris d’ idees oecumeniques, sans se douter alors qu’il reunirait un concile de ce nom, les movens qui pouvaient rapprocher l’Eglise romaine des Eglises protestantes et orthodoxies. Lui paraissaient d’un interet considerable et il placait en tete la maconnerie. Dans tous les pays protestants, de nombreux members du haut clerge etaient macons, tel le primat d’ Angeleterre, Fisher, archeveque de Cantoorbery. Mgr Roncalli avait suivi et encourage les efforts de certain orthodoxies pro-romains, notamment du comte Pangal, ancient minister des Affaires etrangeres du roi Carol et souverain grand commandeur de Roumanie, aujourd’hui decede, et de l’ ancient president du gouvernement de l’Ukraine, Marcotoune, 33 rue Cadet. Le patriarche de Constantinople Athanagore etait macon, egalement.
To be sure this book by the author Roger Peyrefitte, as is indicated on the cover, bears the character of a novel (roman). But we ask: If in a novel a common citizen is mentioned by name as a thief or fornicator or murderer, would he remain indifferent? Can one insult an honorable citizen in a novel? As many of those in Greece who read the book have been scandalized. And because also by other printed materials of a Kerkyrarian living in America there is the accusation that the patriarch and the archbishop of America are masons, the patriarch ought to, caring for his honor and esteem, disprove the accusation that he is a mason, an accusation having defrockment (unrobing) as a consequence, insomuch as masonry is a denial of Christ. So long, however, as the patriarch does not proceede to disprove this accusation, in the consciences of Christians, who read this book, in the daily Athenian newspapers and in printed materials out of America the dreadful news, the scandalization remains, in account no longer of journalists, but on account of the patriarch himself, who remains indifferent or does not want, for reasons he knows, to disprove this news. A Patriarch who is a mason on the ecumenical throne is an “abomination of desolation standing in a holy place”. The non-disproval strengthens the suspicion that behind the last theatrical meeting of patriarch and pope is hidden the finger of international masonry operating abroad internationally, which seeks not the union of the “churches”, but the humbling and humiliation of Orthodoxy, which remains the hard core of the Christian world, which with a mania masonry seeks to smash to pieces. Now in the presence at the side of the patriarch of the big businessman of cinematography Sp. Skoura, whom the patriarch called great offikialion of the Great Church of Christ, rewarding thus the … shameful production of movies, constitutes a new proof of the superficiality with which the patriarch is utilizing the patriarchal office. Advisors of Skouras, are Anthony Papas and Pierre De Mets … Naturally, whoever gives money and fills the treasuries, he, regardless as to whatever he believes, is declared not only a benefactor but also an advisor. Thus mammon is governor of the Church.
Should we continue the revelations of the psychosynthesis of lord Athenagoras? We shall reach the root of the evil. We shall reach abnormal days for our nation, during which clerics “spotharchides” who ruthlessly seek to rise to high offices, trampling upon recognized values of contemporary clerics, have achieved in throwing themselves upon enviable hierarchical thrones like wildcats. How they rose up to the thrones the veteran honorable president of the orthodox society “Three Hierarchs”, Mr. Pan. Barymbopiotes, knows. And the very reverend Father Gervasios Paraskevopoulos, preacher and spiritual father of Patrans, published in this regard a revealing article in the periodical “Anaplasis” ( Re-Creation; Re-Formation”) (issue no. 21/1954, p. 301). Among those thusly entering the sheep pen, just as it is too, that the manner of election of the bishop is according to holy Chrysostom and other fathers of the Church the touchstone of his worthiness or unworthiness, then we say that patriarch Athenagoras did not enter into the administration of the Church by the door, but “from elsewhere”. He is neither god-elected nor people-elected. And according to saint Nicodemos the Hagiorite, one can not expect any good from such-kinds of bishops. Because deep spirituality is absent, humility is not there, Christian grandeur is lacking.
For all the above reasons set forth above we consider patriarch Athenagoras wholly unsuited to take on the highest problem, the untangling of the relations of the Eastern Church and the roman catholics. All and whatever things touch the hands of this patriarch, except for the mysteries, shall be transformed into a disaster and a curse. Athenagoras, whom for a series of years we censured for various activities of his, is a danger for the Church. Working to be people-pleasing (“anthropareskian”) he is displeasing to God and to Orthodoxy. A new Bekkos is being hatched. But for this, also at fault are the hierarchs in the Patriarchate. Because the majority of them have ended up becoming servile. And being indifferent for every thing and for whatever anti-canonical action of the patriarch, they are heard to be saying: “What do I care? Let him do whatever he wants”. No bishops unfortunately exist in the Patriarchate, but little [Lilliputian] episcopals (“episcopidia”), as the ever-memorable metropolitan of Samos, Irenaos, used to say. These “little episcopals” constitute the obedient organs, which Athenagoras send forth everywhere, for the achievement of the aims of the ecumenical movement. The Patriarchate, as we have said, in essence does not exist, but only man’s ego, capable [only] of corrupting orthodox consciences through flattery and of bringing the ship vessel of the Church into the center of the whirlwind, or tornado, precisely where the pope and the rest of the heretics desire her to be. Now the few thousand orthodox remaining in Constantinople are unable to react against the patriarch, as would have reacted of course were they to be found on free Greek turf.
But the bishops of Greece bear responsibility too, and indeed those of Northern Greece, who commemorate his name in the holy churches. Certain ones from among them, as professor Mr. N. Tomadakis, notes, are distinguished for their theological equipment, and they ought not to have allowed a theologically unequipped patriarch with his little episcopals to lead the church down a cliff. Until when, O shepherds, shall you remain indifferent? Until when shall you sleep? Until when shall you watch dispassionately the ship of the Church to be guided by an incapable man into rocks and reefs? Do you not see that on the occasion of the untimely and foolish and vainglorious meeting of the patriarchate with the pope there is danger for a new shaking up of the Church to be created, and the old division into unionists and anti-unionists will return and knit new dramas? Or have you not heard that the patriarch during his last visit to Greece spread about unsparingly metals to journalists and other factors capable of influencing the common opinion, and that now these people with fanaticism are supporting the destructive for the Church tactic (scheme) of Athenagoras, and are strongly and skillfully and rabidly waging war against the archbishop lord Chrysostom, who for only this reason is worthy of religious and national gratitude? It was fortunate that at the last convening of the Holy Synod strong voices were heard, like that of the saint Trikkis, declaring that, if the patriarch continues following the same scheme, we shall not follow him. But this is not enough. Against the patriarch, whom the saint of Argolidos indicted and denounced for serious canonical transgressions, ecclesiastical justice must move as swiftly as possible. Athenagoras must be rendered incapable of doing harm to the Church. He must be defrocked and set outside of the battle. Some other hierarch, known for his orthodox views (phronemata) and excellently equipped theologically, must be elected and take the rudder of the Great Church of Christ and proceed to cleansing the manure of Avgeiou, which has gathered together around the Bosporos. Tolerance has lasted long enough, which for matters of such-kind of nature is transformed into guilt and crime. The banners of Orthodoxy must be raised by strong hands. Lay people and clergy, as many of us who believe in Orthodoxy, not only as a support but also as the purpose of our nation, as one man, seeing our most honorable orthodox faith in the greatest danger, are in duty bound to rise up and with a thunderous voice shout to Athenagoras and his company, followers of the new heresy of ecumenicity: STOP, sirs, you will not pass in Greece! We shall not permit you to bring us before an accomplished fact, against which the large mass of people will no longer will be able to react. We shall not allow you to sell us off to the pope.
Now to the new generation, the generation that is easily led astray by deceptive mottos, we turn and repeat the words of the ever-memorable Korais, who, living in the midst of a roman catholic environment and knowing the papists well, wrote the following most significant things to the accusers of Orthodoxy and praisers of roman Catholicism:
“For this superstition they deride us and to it they attribute the obstinacy of the common people not become united with the papists, and its firm resistance to those autocrats desiring to unite…But to this superstition (if superstition ever gave birth to anything good) we Greeks of today owe our existence. Without this most fortunate obstinacy of those before us, and superstition would increase still more, and the highly populated orders of the western monastics would devour the land of poor Greece, and the neronic criteria of the holy inquisition would burn the Greeks, as they burned many thousands of westerners, and the Eastern Church will become subjected, as a single head, to the pope.”
Finally, in these critical moments, during which Orthodoxy is in jeopardy, from this small guard-post we trumpet to all the faithful, Greek men and Greek women:
Orthodox! Remember whose Church you are children. Remember the rivers of blood that our fathers shed for the preservation of our faith to be unadulterated. Not even an iota did these people subtract or add to our faith. Remember the motto of the heroes of 21’. First for the faith and then for the fatherland those ever-memorable men struggled, who by their blood founded the unique throughout the world orthodox nation. All these, visible and invisible heroes and martyrs, shout to us from their graves: Children, stand upon the bulwark of Orthodoxy. GREEKS, BE VIGILENT!
A Powerful Contender Against Papism
“The antichrist are: the one is the pope and the other is…Curse the pope, for he shall be the cause”
(See our book by the same name, Athens, 1987 9th ed., pp. 286, 348)
The present article was published initially in the no. 406/1980 issue of the periodical “Christian Spark”, and was included also in our book CENSURE, (Athens 1983, pp. 244 ff.)
The present article was published initially in article no. 406/1980 issue of the periodical “Christian Spark”, and was included also in our book Censure (Athens 1983, pp. 244ff.).
TOWARDS FALSE UNION?
“But even if we or an angel from heaven preaches a gospel to you contrary to what we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Paul – Gal. 1:8)
The “CHRISTIAN SPARK”, this small newspaper, has repeatedly been occupied with the issue of the “union of the Churches” and sounded the alarm from the hastened activities of certain representatives of the Oecumenical Patriarchate, who were thinking and are thinking that the time of union is at hand. When patriarch Athenagoras lived and was found at the apogee of his glory according to the world and was famed for his daring initiatives as a global personality, this writer, an archimandrite then, directed to him an open letter, which was published in the no. 248-249/1962 issue of “Spark” (Spitha) (see also my book Censure, Athens 1983, p. 122 ff.).
And when in 1970, during the dictatorship, the same ecumenical patriarch, hastening towards union, proceeded through the press to declarations, by which he was appearing to be joining in essence papism, accepting the Filioque and the primacy of the pope, this writer, already a metropolitan, as also two other metropolitans of Northern Greece, lord Ambrose of Eleftheroupoleos and lord Paul of Paramythia, ceased the commemoration of the patriarch, as preaching bare-headedly errors or deceptions and heresies of papism.
Unfortunately the scheme, which the patriarch inaugurated, is continuing to be put into practice even after his death by his successor. Now a big-mouthed preacher of this scheme is the metropolitan of Chalcedon, lord Melitos, whom we, for his insane sermon in the metropolitan temple of Athens concerning the amnesty of the Bacchian orgies of the followers of the carnival, accused in April 1970 to the Sacred Synod. This hierarch is leading yet again in the last efforts for the “union of the Churches”, spending his time in frequent trips between Constantinople and Rome. Thusly we have reached to the beginning of the theological dialogue on May 29 of the running year in Rhodes between Orthodoxy and papism. Many things on the works of the meeting were said and written in daily newspapers and ecclesiastical periodicals.
Because the issue of the “union of the Churches” is most important, and many persistently ask, that also the “Spark” may set forth yet again its judgment/critique, we decided to write the present [article] as the least most contribution to the struggle in behalf of Orthodoxy, which approved theologians are waging, editors of religious periodicals and newspapers. Let there now be heard also the opinion of a presbyter bishop.
What the Past Teaches
Let us run back to the past. Let us open the pages of the history of the Church. Mentally we are found in Constantinople. It is July of 1054. A representation of the pope having at its head the so-called Humbart, a cardinal, appeared before the patriarchate and impudently expected, that the Church of Constantinople accept without discussion the papal dogmas. And because her proposals were repelled by patriarch Michael [named after archangel Michael] Keroulariou, who was supported by clergy and laity, the cardinal, as savage monk, on July 16 1054, he bolted into the sacred temple of Saint Sophia, during the moment which the divine liturgy was being performed, and he left upon the holy altar table a dreadful document, through which the patriarch and all orthodox were anathematized for not paying homage to the pope. Patriarch Keloularios, a man distinguished for his courage and adherence to Orthodoxy, convened instantly a Synod, which condemned and anathematized the papists who were blaspheming the Orthodox Church, and the decision of the Synod was announced to all the partriarchates of the East. The whole of the East remained in agreement as regards the correct stance of the patriarchate of Constantinople Michael before papism.
It is a fact that since then many attempts occurred by both sides for the bridging of the chasm, but all failed, on account of the arrogant claims of each of the popes each time, who had the pretension, to have all orthodox subject themselves to the pope, who declared himself not only the religious but also the political leader. In vain do our modest representatives, distinguished hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, to limit the prideful tone of the popes. Let us hear what Niketas of Nicomedia was saying to a representative of the pope in 1137:
“…When the pope has as his aim to send to us orders, thundering from the height of his throne, and to judge and command against our churches, without our consultation, but only according to his own thinking, where then is brotherhood, and indeed fatherhood? Then we will be slaves, and not children of the Church! And if it were necessary for us to bear such-kind of a yoke, then only the Roman Church would be able to enjoy her desired freedom and to give laws to all the rest, without the same [church] subjecting herself to any law. To what end therefore is the use of the knowledge of Holy Scriptures? To what end then is the use of the mind? A papal authority, being, according to your words, surpassing those [authorities] of all men, render all these things unbeneficial and vain.”
To this discourse, full of the humility and temperance of the orthodox hierarch of Anselm, the representative of the West, answered that, if he had known the grandeur of the papal seat, he would not have spoken thus, but would have subjected himself to the pope.
Now since the pope was not able spiritually to subject Orthodoxy, by the stimulation of the papal seat, there were organized the so-called crusades, in which the peoples of the West took part, with the excuse to liberate Jerusalem, which was occupied by muslims, but in the depth of these campaigns there was hidden the strong desire of the pope, to dissolve and punish the Byzantine empire for the disobedience of its inhabitants. This same desire was fulfilled. The crusades deviated from its apparent destination. The crusades as wild beasts fell upon the Byzantine empire, dominated its capitol, Constantinople, and during the time of its fall and occupation they proceded to commit crimes that provoke [utter] dread.
The blood-letting, which the Byzantine empire suffered from the attacking inroads of the crusades, was great. And yes, on the one hand, the papists were expelled from Constantinople, but the Byzantine empire weakened and since then was unable to recover fully. The crusades existed as one of the chief causes, for the sake of which Byzantium was not able to resist the invading onslaught of the hordes of Mohammed and on May 29 of 1453 the City was taken by storm and the flag of the half-crescent was raised upon the trullo of Saint Sophia.
A few years before the dissolution of Constantinople emperor John VII Palaiologos, seeing the constant weakening of the Byzantine empire, asked for the assistance of pope Eugenios for the struggle against the mohammedans. And with the hope, that he will chance the assistance of the westerners, John, despite the objections of chief teachers of Orthodoxy, accepted with patriarch Joseph to go to the West as head of the representation of clerics and lay people for negotiation. Long discussions were conducted in Florence and Ferrara. The orthodox were winning. But in the end the orthodox, entering into a terrible economic state, hungering and becoming naked were forced on July 6, 1339 to sign the term of union. Against this union the heroic metropolitan of Ephesus, Mark Eugenicos, protested intensely, and who, also, upon his return to Constantinople led the resistance of the orthodox people against false union.
Sorroful pages of ecclesiastical history, known to those who are occupied with ecclesiastical matters. But it is necessary for people to be reminded, not for hatred to be ignited against the people of the West, but for us orthodox to be instructed how much we must be careful in our relations with papism, who, as more modern history proves, is not inspired by the spirit of sincere love towards our Church.
A New Attempt
AND ALREADY we are found before a new attempt of papism, in appearance, on the one hand, for union, but in essence for the subjection of the Orthodox Church to the pope, whose infallibility, the primacy, the FILIOQUE the orthodox conscience of the pious/godly people has condemned.
This last attempt of the papal seat is being done under conditions, which for the pope’s designs are favorable more than ever before, but for the Orthodox Church is most unfavorable. And we shall be persuaded concerning this, if we cast a glance firstly upon the orthodox world, as it appears today.
Orthodoxy in Captivity
THE ORTHODOX WORLD, if we except certain colonies of the diaspora, which live in truly free and democratic countries and are Able to express freely their opinion, the orthodox – we say – world remains externally in its totality under unfavorable conditions. The orthodox people are yet again a Church in captivity, so that we may bring to mind the term, which the foreign author, Steven Runciman [trans. note.: — this brilliant Byzantinist has since passed away, but not before being granted Greek citizenship and prophesying Orthodoxy as the religion of the 21st century] uses, when describing the life of the Church during the years under turkish rule in his writing The Great Church in Captivity.
Yes! The orthodox people remain in captivity. You doubt this? Cast a glance, then, upon the whole region of Orthodoxy. To begin with, the european region. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, on account of inimical dispositions of the Turkish nation, remains in captivity, which is worse than every other form of captivity in the long history under the Turks. The flock of the Patriarchate continually is decreasing. From 500,000 orthodox Christians in Constantinople not even 6,000 have remained. The Theological School of Chalki, this glorious seedling of Orthodoxy, has been closed. “Apostle Andrew”, the unique journalistic organ of the Patriarchate, by ordinance of the Turks, closed. The movements of the metropolitans and of the other clerics are done under the strict control of the turkish police. The archbishop of America on account of his declarations in behalf of Greece is not able any more to visit the Patriarchate. And what is most significant, he is not elected patriarch, whom the clergy and Christian laity of Constantinople want, but he is elected, who is favorable to the Turks. Where is freedom? And if Turkey allows today, clerics belonging to the Turkish nation to participate in conventions outside of the Turkish nation, of course it allows this for political reasons, so that it might appear pleasing to the western powers, and indeed to the pope, whose political influence Turkey takes into account. Let a metropolitan of the Patriarchate at a convention outside turkey express himself in behalf of the Cypriates in captivity…
But do you think the other ancient patriarchates, of Jerusalem, Antioch, and of Alexandria, are found to be under better conditions? The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is sighing under the authority of the Jews. And the patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria are as small orthodox islands in the midst of an ocean of fanatics of other religions. But do you think that perhaps the more modern patriarchates of Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia are free? Woe! They all remain under the power of atheist totalitarian regimes, which intervene even in those internal issues of the churches, and, through the application of various forms of pressures, visible or invisible, they force the bishops and metropolitans to become agents of these atheist regimes. If the red beast, which dominates in these countries, for reasons of political opportunism, sets forth the motto of subjection of the churches to the pope, who, I beg to say, of those representing the patriarchate shall offer resistance to these things? We remind our dear readers of the conduct of the now passed away Russian metropolitan of Leningrad Nicodemus, who spoke and acted according to the commands of the beast. And what shall we say concerning the autocephalus Orthodox Church of Albania? The orthodox people of Albania, which it too has the right to take part in orthodox conventions, is found to be under the harsh persecution of Emver-Chotza, which reminds one of the persecutions of the first centuries.
But you will say: Behold the Orthodox Church of Greece. It appears, on the one hand, that we live in a free and democratic commonwealth and the people is called leader in the Constitution, but as most events prove, events with which the Christian Spark occupies itself with repeatedly, without the knowledge of the orthodox people decisions are being made according to the most absolutist manner, decisions destructive of Orthodoxy as the canon, or rule, of faith and life. And on account of the prevailing system of relations subsisting between state and Church, according to which the state legislates even outside but also within the Church (by law in force in the state), the impact of the state upon ecclesiastical things is clear. The Orthodox Church of Greece is prisoner of the state. For which reason we too, in the forefront of the “Spark” we have set forth the motto saying “We seek a free and vibrant Church”.
“Initiatives”, Corrosion, Relaxing Of Tone
BUT PERHAPS one might say, that in the Orthodox Church the things as regards administration differ. In papism in essence one administers, who has established his position with the infamous infallibility. In our Church however one does not govern but the many, who constitute the body of the Hierarchy. Our commonwealth is syllogistic, collective and not absolutist. We agree! In theory! In practice however what is happening? Let us say the truth. While we criticize as absolutist the system of administration of papism and we praise ours as being free and democratic, yet, nevertheless, it is not a rare thing the phenomenon of administration in the orthodox church by one person, who is called archbishop or patriarch. Do you want examples? When in 1965 patriarch Athenagoras lifted the excommunication against papism for its errors, or deceptions, and its heresies, an excommunication that was enforced after a synodical decision and univocal acceptance of all the patriarchates of the East, we ask, whom did the patriarch ask? Alone he proceeded to this action! The pope is in Rome, but Athenagoras was proven to be a pope also in Constantinople who went against the syllogistic system of administration of the Orthodox Church. The only one of the hierarchs then, who set himself against the arbitrary activities of the patriarch, was the ever-memorable Chrysostom II, archbishop of Athens, who was from Neapolis and Philipi.
But let us now come also to the Church of Greece. In 1923 during the dictatorial regime the new calendar was introduced. We ask: this rushed change of the calendar came to pass after a decision of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece? No. Only one, the archbishop of Athens Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, through the pressure of the state, enforced a new calendar. Surely, as we have written before, this change of the calendar does not conflict with the dogmas of our holy Church. But that the change of calendar, concerning the whole orthodox world, should have been done by the decision of all the orthodox churches, so that in this too, as an external sign, Orthodoxy may appear united, who can deny? As the ever-memorable wise professor Christos Androutsos used to say, the change of the calendar in Greece, under the conditions that it was done, was as an uncanonical act, or against canon law. This was harshly censured and rebuked by the ever-memorable metropolitan of Leontopolis Christophoros, who after these events became patriarch of Alexandria, in his special treatise under the title Calendar Issues “Hemerologica” (Alexandria 1923).
But that those occupying seats of patriarchates and autocephalus churches, consciously or unawares, without the opinion and permission of the synodical bodies, proceed to various initiatives, which break apart and disrupt the unity of Orthodoxy and expose her before the eyes of foreigners, this is not the only sorrowful phenomenon, which appears in the administration of the Orthodox Church. There exists yet another, more sorrowful thing than this.
The pious or godly people, who according to the orthodox teaching is the guardian of the orthodox faith, in these last times has undergone great corrosion. It is no longer that people, who at one time when only upon hearing the word heresy was horrified and avoided the association with the heretics, as carriers of pestilential disease…The faith became relaxed in tone and was weakened among the many. For the many it was an issue of indifference that the neighbor, or friend, or relative no longer believes in Orthodoxy…It is sufficient, they tell you, for the other to be good person, and I am not interested in what he or she believes. The roman catholic and the protestant but even that milleniarist [or so-called Jehovah’s witness], the denier of all the truths of the faith, is well accepted. And indeed when it depends on him or her to receive, also, some material gain, he or she is most beloved!
To this corrosion many factors contributed, and especially teachers and professors, literatures and journalists, but even theologians too, who being inspired by modernist apprehensions, and indeed by those of ecumenism, they sow their ideas everywhere, they continually blunt the sense perception of Orthodoxy and render the greek people indifferent before the errors, or deceptions, and heresies. And even that very greek Constitution has suffered from the influence of such kinds of ideas. An example is that the highest leader of the greek state (of the royal or presidential democracy) should surely be an orthodox Christian, in the last Constitution the relative ordinance was erased and consequently the president of the democracy can be a papist and a protestant, but also a milleniarist and a mason and a mohammedan and a Buddhist and an unbeliever even and an atheist! Those ever-memorable men of 1821, who, as they strongly proclaimed, struggled first in behalf of the faith and afterwards in behalf of the fatherland, how would they be able to imagine, that their descendants would become discolored religiously to such a degree, so they they would accept at the top of the pyramid of the state for man to be found not believing in the orthodox faith? Now one of these, the previous president of the democracy Constantine Tsatsos, as we have proved in numbers 400, 401/1979 issues of “Spark”, asked for the dogmas of Christianity to be cast out! And the professor of the external affairs preached the same things, who being led to court was pronounced innocent and already as a “national hero” goes about all over the cities of Greece now, being applauded by indifferent people, a people who has ceased now to protest against and to defend the faith. Now the present president of the democracy Constantinos Karamanlis visited Vatican, paid homage, or worshipped, the pope and, what is most significant, against the opinion of the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece, approved of the contraction of diplomatic relations with the nation of Vatican. And during his administration, with mr. George Stamati governing the ministry of Justice, against the opinion of the Church, voted in the law of divorce by default, or as the Greek terminology has it: “automatic divorce”. There was of course a reaction by the orthodox people, but not to that intensity, which one would have expected. Alas! For small and insignificant things, as “Soccer” the people rise up and set up road blocks and spill their blood. But for the most important things of the faith and of morality, which at one time shook up our people, there exists today a great relaxing of tone [that is the religious or spiritual sentiment and sensitivity]. Let us mention one example. For the question of divorce a rally took place in Athens. Against it a certain speaker lawyer would say, that such will be the reaction of the people, that the “automatic” [divorce (by default)] finally will not be voted in[to law]. And a certain religious periodical published a marvelous issue against the automatic divorce. But these [things] were words only. For after the publication of the law the same periodical published another many-paged devotional edition, in which it recommends conformation to the law, agreeing in this [regard also with] the above lawyer speaker of the rally. And what is most sorrowful of all, the Hierarchy, which univocally condemned the automatic divorce, instead of after its being voted into law to protest intensely and to provoke a pan-hellenic earthquake for the retraction of the blameworthy and sinful law, it slipped into inertia, and only a few hierarchs came to defend the decision of the Hierarchy, not signing automatic divorces and being persecuted penally.
Papism Remains Unmoved
WHY do we mention these things? Because we want to stress, that the Orthodox Church in the contemporary world is found to be in a terrible state. It is being attacked by many enemies. Its largest portion remains in captivity in atheist and totalitarian regimes. And it is deprived in the main of leadership worthy of the conditions, and for these reasons the time for the initiation of dialogue with papism is for us wholly unsuitable. Though it is the case for papism, which moves easily in may free countries inhabited by dense populations of its followers, has developed theological science and is adorned with the charm of a powerful religious leader, going about continuously all over the planet, the time is appropriate now more than ever before. The attempt of pope John Paul II, the incarnator of papal ideas, as his last declarations have proved him to be, the attempt not for the union of the two sides standing apart, but to subject Orthodoxy to papism and thus to rule over the whole inhabited world, or ecumene – this attempt – we say – of the pope has, now, many hopes for success, on account, also, of the activity between the orthodox of the fifth phalanx, clergy and laity, who in season and out of season champion the cause of “unity”.
Papism has not convinced us, that it has apostasized, or fallen away, from its errors, or deceptions, and heresies. Towards the deceiving if the superficial the cunning fox of Vatican changes his voice every once in a while and appears to the chickens of the East as the fox of the Aesopian fable, which transforming herself into a doctor appears as a chicken, so that supposedly she might offer therapy to the ailing chickens! But from her nails the chickens perceived, that under the peaceful appearance is hidden their implacable enemy, and with shouts expelled her.
The theologians of papism exchange phraseology, but the reality remains the same. For under the new up to date words the papists signify their old positions. The primacy of the pope is so deeply rooted in the conscience of the papal hierarchy, that only a miracle is capable of uprooting this and in its place plant the beautifully leaved and abundantly fruitful tree of freedom in Christ. As a famous Russian theologian said, for this fundamental view of papism to be overturned, their must occur in it a geological overturning. And whatever, by chance, certain purposeful retreats of papism are similar to, as the ever-memorable professor Christos Androutsos would say, these are like “weak waves, rising up so that they might expire in the big ocean of papism”.
FOR REAL UNION one is the path, which papism must traverse. It is the path of sincere repentance for all the errors and cacodoxies (false vies) that it taught and that it teaches, and the return to the base, to the dogmatic and moral teaching of the seven ecumenical Synods of the first eight centuries of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We confess, that the road is difficult, narrow and full of sorrow, but no other exists. Now the egoism of the pope, who has set his throne above the clouds of the sky, as another Lucifer, is the biggest obstruction to union. The ever-memorable metropolitan of Smyrna Chrysostom, having sacrificed his life in behalf of Orthodoxy and of our martyric nation, when was an archdeacon of Ephesus in 1896, published a widely read two-volume writing concerning the Church, and in examining in its fourth section the errors of papism he ends up with the following conclusion.
“In conclusion of our conscientious and orthodox studies we may summarize in these few words, that Rome has distorted the words of the Lord to Peter, and against every reason and interpretive canon, or rule, he extracted dogmas and teachings that are prideful and anti-christian; and he also distorted the traditions of the Fathers and, as if all these distortions were not enough, he established the undevout primacies of authority and absolutism upon sowed-together passages, Pseudo-clementine and Pseudo-kretalian ones, whose substructure is shameless falsehood; all these [acrobatics] were dared to be put into effect in the West after the ninth century. And the tearing apart [schism] and division of the Church of God, and still now maintaining open the wounds of the Church, is, first and foremost, this antichristian dogma of absolutism of Catholicism. And even if it were supposed that the other dogmatic differences between the Churches were taken away, and only the dogma of the primacy and the infallibility of the popes remained, still yet again union between the Churches will be impossible”.
These things the ever-memorable Chrysostom of Smyrna said. It is noteworthy, that his predecessor, truly a saint. Basil of Smyrna, the church of the West he does not call catholic, but papal, as being supported in its totality upon the infallibility and the primacy of the pope. Now the ever-memorable Nectarios of Pentapolis, the one declared a saint [officially by the Church], in his noteworthy writing Historical Study Concerning the Reasons For The Schism, in judging that infamous pope, the autocratic Innocent III, he writes, that he fell into big mistakes, and from the examination of his life and the lives of other popes ends up with the following conclusion.
“The popes sin and are hell-bound until the Second Coming, perhaps even eternally for the evils inflicted upon the greek Church and the false-unions and the impieties and the anti-christian ordinances” (volume II, p. 103).
So that, according to saint Nectarios of Pentapolis, the false-unions, which from time to time papism seeks to achieve, is a powerful weapon for the dissolution of Orthodoxy. The pope, as we have said before, is not interested in the real union of the churches. No! He is interested in a pseudo-union, subjection to the pope, whom saint Cosmas the Aeotolian for his errors/deceptions and heretical views as well, also, for his arrogant and haughty ambitions called him antichrist. Let us recall what evils he provoked to the orthodox world in the false-union of Ferrara, or during the false-union at the time of patriarch Bekkos!
The present pope, a genius diplomat, perceives that the contemporary condition of Orthodoxy provides him with a unique opportunity for the destruction of the fortress. And perhaps is it not indicative of his deeper dispositions the fact that the initiation of the workings of the theologial dialogue was designated to be on May 29, the day which for the orthodox greek people provokes tears and sighs? The 29th of May 1453 is the day of the fall of Constantinople. But the 29th of May 1980 in Rhodes, an island of shameless nudity, was the day of initiation of the destruction of the fortress of Orthodoxy, during which for more than four centuries the soul of the race was guarded incorrupted.
Theological conventions, meetings of hierarchs and whatever else, according to us are pretenses of papism. Let us not be deceived like the foolish chickens in the face of the transformed fox of Rome. The union, the false-union, has been decided. It has been decided in secret deliberations of East and West, machinations of a political, economical and religious nature, whose head is the pope. Now the plan for the realization of the aim is evolving according to phases in the ignorance of the orthodox people, who surprised one morning shall hear, that the union has been achieved! And a preamble to this is the co-prayers, or joint prayers, of orthodox with westerners, which according to a curious manner certain ones want to justify.
This Is Not the Time For Dialogues
MY BELOVED READERS! It is not an exaggeration, if we say, that we are found to be within a cyclone of fearful days for the orthodox faith. There is being effected in depth and breadth a betrayal, which we are not capable of imagining! A hierarch of the Orthodox Church, the metropolitan Leontopoulos Nicodimus, proceded to declarations, in which he says:
“It is characteristic that within the herein catholic circles it is said that things will be directed from a secret hiding place and remotely and apart from the shepherds of the two churches, by these clerics, and the flocks will be found before accomplished facts, [or events]. And so much as regards, on the one hand, the flocks of the Westerners, something unknown shall happen: and, [on the other] as concerns our Church, we tremble alongside the pious, or godly, Orthodox People, when there shall come to light machinations and it shall be revealed that those who were set to protect the Church and the Flock became co-guilty, or accomplices, of those who were deliberating against them” (See periodical “Ho Soter”, issue, 920/25-6-1980).
We share the fears. For unfortunately – let’s say the truth – for reasons known to the many the greek people shall be found religious unprepared for such a storm. It shall be abandoned unexpectedly, as in 1923, as in 1955, as in 1970, as in 1979, when in the ignorance of the people there were daring acts committed without the knowledge and permission of the pious, or godly, membership of Orthodoxy. Just as then, thus also now, the reaction is not about to be strong and seismic. The people is sleeping under the influence of the chlorophorm of ecumenism. To be sure, the small flock, which is left in the present century, having clerics as their head will react. But the evil of false-union shall be terrible. The dark underground design of papism in large part shall have been achieved.
For these reasons we believe, that this is not the time for theological dialogues and fruitless conversations. If for the pope it is an appropriate time, for us it is not an appropriate time. Orthodoxy from Crete to the Uralean mountains is undergoing a terrible crisis and it is necessary previously for her to put the things of her own house in order, to solve her internal problems, and freely and undistractedly, united and strong, to set herself the task afterwards of holding conversations and negotiations with papism.
My beloved! As bishop, having responsibility, for whatever happens not only in my jurisdiction, but also in the whole of Orthodoxy [according to canon law], I too am sounding the alarm [of danger] and propose, that the Hierarchy most swiftly convene, with the one and only unique subject-matter: “The Abstention of the Church of Greece from theological conventions and conversations with papism”.
This is not the time!
Schismatics and heretics
“Not only are the latins schismatics, but heretics too…And we, for no other reason tore ourselves away from them, other than for the fact that they are heretics: [wherefore, or] for which reason neither must we unite ourselves with them, unless they extirpate the addition, or interpolation from the Symbol [of Faith or Creed] and confess the Symbol, or Creed, just as we do.”
(Mansi 31A, 885DE)