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AFFLICTED WITH WESTERNISM: Ukraine continues to drink the Kool-Aid that is destroying the country

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Department of External Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) reported that on April 19, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by Resolution No. 8284, supported the appeal of the President of Ukraine P. O. Poroshenko to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I regarding the “granting of a Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.

This means that the government of a nation asked for a religious authority to recognize a State Church.

In the Protestant and somewhat libertine or agnostic West, this may not seem like anything important as news. Since most constitutional governments make use of the notion of separation between Church and State (inaccurately attributing this separation to that of the United States’ Constitution), it seems crazy from our point of view to see a State government petition a Church hierarch for recognition of a “State Church.”

Thankfully, the Russian government and the Russian Orthodox Church’s Ukrainian Exarchate recognize this fact even more clearly than the West does.

In accordance with Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Church is separate from the state, and therefore the Church decides on issues of Church life independently. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has canonical relations with Ecumenical Orthodoxy, did not appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew I to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine nor did it authorise the President or deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to do so. In connection to the above-mentioned initiatives, the government is overstepping its constitutional boundaries and interfering in Church affairs.

Such actions by the Ukrainian state in the religious sphere could be justified only if the Church in Ukraine had a legally established state status, as it was in the history of many states and still remains in certain states of the world. However, since the Church in Ukraine today does not have government status and is separate from the state, then the state authorities have absolutely no grounds whatsoever to meddle in Church affairs.

The Ukrainian government is playing a gamble with the Ecumenical Patriarch through using what the Western, and non-Orthodox countries in the world, may not know.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is the oldest body of Christendom in the world (yes, 1000 years older than the Roman Catholic Church, when viewed in terms of unchanging doctrine – Rome made changes that were not part of the Early Church’s dogma.)

And following the ancient model of the Church, there are presently fourteen or fifteen national jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church in the world, with each one being a national church for the nation in which it resides.

But Ukraine has THREE groups calling themselves Orthodox Churches, and two of them are considered “non-canonical”, that is, they are not recognized by the rest of the Orthodox world. The reasons for these two bodies’ lack of canonicity vary, but it is also noteworthy that the two noncanonical groups are also not even in communion with one another.

The comments above, then, come from the one universally recognized Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine, and it just so happens that this body is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. This is a nice long name, but what it means is simply that this Church is a branch, or exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, and as such it is aligned with and in obedience to, Kirill I, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

And for a Ukrainian who is inculcated to believe that all things Russia are evil, this is a distasteful situation.

The issue here, then is that the government of Ukraine, under the authority of its president, Petro Poroshenko, made an appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, to certify the Ukrainian  Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate (referred to as the “UOC-KP” in documents), as the sole “canonical” Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine. Patriarch Bartholomew is considered the “highest in honor” among the Orthodox Patriarchs, a position that used to be held by Rome before the Roman Catholic Church went its own way in 1054. While Patriarch Bartholomew has no authority over any other bishop, he THINKS he does sometimes, and the Poroshenko government is trying to make use of that to force this certification to happen.

Further, the civil government of Ukraine has no legal authority to petition Patriarch Bartholomew in this way. This is because the constitution of Ukraine does NOT have accomodation for an official State Church. Their constitution in fact specifically separates the Church from matters of State control, so the request is null and void right from the start.

Here, the Moscow Patriarchate is being extremely methodical about the application of both civil and Church laws as they apply in this situation.

The Moscow Church goes on to state the reality of the situation:

The issue of granting of Church autocephaly (falls within the competence of canon law, and not to the competence of state laws. Autocephaly is granted to the Church, and not to the state, and therefore the Church, and not the state, should initiate or ask for this status.

At the same time, it is a matter of concern that the granting of autocephaly (defined as complete self-rule, in communion with all canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions but under hierarchical obedience to none of them) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine is viewed as an issue not only of religion, but also of geopolitics. We believe that the sphere of religious life should not become the subject of political manipulation. We should not confuse Church and politics, and even more so geopolitical issues. In this regard, we consider it unacceptable that autocephaly should be viewed from a geopolitical point of view. For the Church, autocephaly is not a political issue, but an ecclesiological one, that is, with regards to the life and nature of the Church as the Body of Christ (cf. Eph. 1: 22-23)

In other words, what President Poroshenko and the Verkhovna Rada have done here is illegal and just utterly invalid. By rights, Patriarch Bartholomew should be bound to disregard this request completely.

Further, the Moscow-based Church notes that this issue is not one of real importance to anything religious, but is really about geopolitics. Western Ukraine has many people in it who want a national Church that is totally independent of Moscow simply because they don’t like Moscow, Putin, or Russia in general. This is not a legitimate reason to petition for autocephaly!

The main concern expressed by the Moscow Patriarchate, that autocephaly is an ecclesiological issue, having to do with the life and nature of the Church as the Body of Christ, is extremely important.

The leader of the UOC-KP is a self-styled “Patriarch” named Filaret. He used to be a high-ranking bishop under the Moscow Patriarchate, but he somehow acceded to the notion of Ukrainian nationalism “no matter what” and now works to try to create this body of believers that essentially is a religious adornment to the civil government. In this effort he is supported broadly by American senators such as John McCain (R-AZ) (sound familiar?) and others who do not know a thing about Orthodox Christianity or the Church, but who DO know that they want Ukraine in the fold of the West so as to harass Russia and continue to fence her off from the rest of the world.

In the rush to embrace the West, Filaret has given tacit approval by virtue of his presence at some very unsavory and unChristian activites, such as “blessing” the Eurovision contest in exchange for evicting the other non-canonical group, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) from some buildings at St Michael’s Monastery. That blessing involved giving tacit approval to Conchita Wurst, a transvestite and perverted individual, as host of the contest and concert event.

A group claiming the title of Church should never bless something that is so absolutely antithetical to Christianity.

This is true no matter what one’s personal opinion of Christianity is. This is not a bigoted statement. It is simply the fact that Christianity has very specific things to say about sexual perversion of various types, and to go against this is to go against the faith. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate sold its soul for a few rooms in a monastery, and threw Christ, it’s supposed Master, completely under the heels of Conchita Wurst’s perversion.

This is not the action of a body of believers that wishes to serve its Lord. It is something else.

And the tragedy is compounded by the fact that the United States has taken this side of the issue, rather than one that supports religious groups who stay true to their God.

A Church should never submit itself to worldly political whims. It ought to be the conscience that guides those who would do damaging things to not do them. And here, there is none of that.

May God help bring these people to their senses. But don’t expect any help from the West, because they want this insanity so as to isolate Russia, which is increasingly becoming visible as the last bastion of Christianity in the world.

It seems that in the West, the way to manage insanity is to press for it as strongly as possible, in hopes that trying really hard to do something that is wrong will somehow make it right. This is extremely true with Ukraine, the mother country of Russia itself.

And, yes, this is a strong statement and it will probably be taken as an offense by many dedicated Western Ukrainians and those who support them.

The only problem is that the plight of Ukraine now exists BECAUSE the people and leadership of this country have been fooled by the American and European dazzle, and they continue to believe it even as their economy crumbles under their feet. And along with the economy, and more importantly, the souls of a great people are being cast into the darkness.

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Saudis Admit Khashoggi Killed At Consulate “In Fist-Fight”, King Salman Fires 5 Top Officials

Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

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Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff has weighed in on the Khashoggi murder admission from KSA claiming “the Saudi report of Khashoggi is not credible.”

The White House issue a statement…

Via Zerohedge


Saudi Arabia confirmed tonight that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at its consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

In a statement put out on Saudi state television, citing an initial investigation by Saudi prosecutors, SPA said that:

“an argument erupted between him [Khashoggi] and others whom he met in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul leading to a fistfight which led to his death.”

Prosecutors said the investigation was still ongoing and that 18 people, all Saudi nationals, had so far been arrested, SPA reported.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public,” the statement said.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has removed a key royal adviser and a senior intelligence official..

King Salman issued an order to remove Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the state-run Ikhbariya television.

The monarch also relieved deputy intelligence chief Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

This follows the narrative reported by The New York Times on Thursday that Riyadh is looking to blame Assiri for the purported murder of Khashoggi in an effort to shield Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the blame.

Saudi King Salman has also ordered the formation of ministerial committee led by crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to restructure the general intelligence agency.

As Ali Shihabi, Founder, The Arabia Foundation, tweets:

“The removal of two top officials, a cabinet ranking, very powerful and close advisor of MBS and the Deputy Head of Foreign intelligence + 4 other Generals in foreign intelligence (virtually its whole top leadership) cannot be written off as a cover up. This is unprecedented.”

This is not saying “rogue killers” but implicating virtually the whole top leadership of foreign intelligence. They carried out a mission that went sour very quickly and tried to cover it up initially. Bad news travels slowly to the top.”

We await President Trump’s “very severe consequences.”

 

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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Our mainstream media remain consumed with the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and how President Donald Trump will deal with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Understandably so, for this is the most riveting murder story since O.J. Simpson and has strategic implications across the Middle East.

Yet far more critical to the future of our civilization is the ongoing invasion of the West from the Third World.

Consider the impact of the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 to throw open Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Last weekend, in a crushing blow to Merkel, the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of her CDU, won its smallest share of the vote in half a century, 37 percent. Her coalition party, the SPD, saw its share of the Bavarian vote fall to a historic low of less than 10 percent.

The right-wing Alternative for Deutchland saw its support rise to 10 percent and has become a force in German politics. Some conservatives are urging the CDU to adopt the AfD hardline on illegal immigration.

The message sent by the Bavarian electorate is the message voters across Europe have been sending to their own capitals for years: You are failing in your first duty — defense of the homeland from foreign invasion. Mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from a global South represents an existential threat to our Europe.

As Merkel’s chancellorship approaches its end, French President Emmanuel Macron, her progressive EU partner, has seen his approval fall to below 30 percent.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance may guard the Baltic and Black Sea regions against a Russian invasion from the east. But in Central, Southern and Western Europe, the more feared invaders are the peoples of Africa and the Muslim world, whose numbers are expected to triple or quadruple by this century’s end.

And as their numbers grow, so, too, does their desperation to escape, even at risk of their lives, the poverty, wars and repression of their homelands to cross the Med and fill the empty spaces left by a depopulating Europe.

It also now appears that the U.S. elections, not three weeks away, may be affected by another immigration crisis on the U.S. border.

As of Thursday, a caravan of 4,000 refugees without visas had crossed from Honduras into Guatemala and was heading toward Mexico. By Election Day, it will either have been stopped, or it will be here. And this caravan is a portent of things to come.

According to The Washington Post, during FY 2018, which ended last month, 107,212 members of “family units” crossed over into the U.S., “obliterating the previous record of 77,857 set in 2016.”

Citing DHS figures, the Post adds, “Border patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September alone, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”

When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his “zero tolerance” policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America:

Bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you, and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. Thus, when they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back.

Enraged, Trump has threatened to cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala if they do not stop the caravans and has warned Mexico he will use the U.S. military to secure our border.

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

As these migrants are almost all poor, not highly skilled, and do not speak English, most will join that segment of our population that pays no income taxes but qualifies for social welfare benefits like food stamps, medical care and free education in our public schools.

They are thus a net drain upon the resources of a nation that is already, at full employment, running a deficit of $779 billion a year.

These migrants, however, are a present and future benefit to the Democratic Party that built and maintains our mammoth welfare state, and which, in presidential elections, routinely wins 70 to 90 percent of the votes of people whose trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Not without reason, Democrats believe that if they can change the composition of the American electorate, they can control America forever.

If Donald Trump was elected on any one issue, it was immigration and his promises to secure the border, build the wall and halt the invasion.

How he deals with the impending crisis of the migrant caravan may affect both the fate of his party in November and his presidency in 2020.

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‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, but US-Saudi Ties Are Here to Stay

Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime?

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.

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