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The Biggest Threat to US National Security Is the US Government

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures, it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata”.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


A dictatorship does not represent the public but only the aristocracy that, behind the scenes, controls the government.

Jonathan H. Adler, Professor at Case Western University School of Law, noted, regarding George W. Bush’s secret policy for the NSA to access everyone’s phone-records, that “The metadata collection program is constitutional (at least according to Judge Kavanaugh),” and he presented Judge Kavanaugh’s entire published opinion on that. Kavanaugh’s opinion stated that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution could be shoved aside because he thinks that the ‘national security’ of the United States is more important than the Constitution. Kavanaugh wrote:

The Government’s program for bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata serves a critically important special need – preventing terrorist attacks on the United States… In my view, that critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program…

The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty…

In sum, the Fourth Amendment does not bar the Government’s bulk collection of telephony metadata under this program.

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures (such as seizures of all of this private information from everyone), it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata” (collection of both phone numbers in each phone conversation from and/or to anyone in the United States), because a “critical national security need [“preventing terrorist attacks on the United States”] outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

As a consequence, for each American, the US federal Government knows everyone whom you call, and who calls you — it knows all of your phone-contacts — and it does so because everything in the US Constitution can be overridden by any “critical national security need” such as “preventing terrorist attacks” such as occurred on 9/11, which attacks hadn’t at all been enabled by the then-existing lack of such police-state measures here. Kavanaugh’s opinion simply ignored that fact — didn’t even discuss it. Instead of that’s having produced the ‘intelligence failure’, the US Government — especially the US President — prior to 9/11, had refused to allow its agents to inform the US President of the actionable information that they had found and that they were struggling to get to him prior to the attacks. Bush didn’t want to know, until the attacks had already occurred. He demanded deniability.

As regards the reason why this police-state procedure which Kavanaugh backs is needed now, after 9/11 — though it had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (except for the latter’s having served in far-right-wingers’ propaganda such as Kavanaugh’s opinion, as being the alleged excuse for the ‘intelligence failure’), and though martial law hasn’t yet even been declared in the US — no one has publicly said anything. But is it really “reasonable” that the Government permanently stores all of this telephone-data from everyone, even if a given citizen does not, and in many instances doesn’t get to see it even on the phone-bill? Who actually benefits from this? It’s a severe situation that isn’t seriously being publicly discussed; such discussion is effectively banned in at least all of the major ’news’ media (which pretend to be concerned about protecting citizens’ most-basic rights — and not only about their own).

Judge Kavanaugh was appointed to the US Supreme Court by a President who has threatened to go to war against Russia if Russia follows through with its announced plan to exterminate the Al-Qaeda-led forces in the only province of Syria that is at least 90% in favor of Al Qaeda and/or of ISIS — the province that is well over 90% jihadists and their pre-war supporters; it’s by far the most-jihadist province in all of Syria. Consequently, this alleged opposition to “Radical Islamic Terrorism” on the part of candidate and now US President Donald Trump, the President who appointed Judge Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land, is entirely and blatantly fakeTrump and his allies support Al Qaeda in Syria, just as Obama did.

Three nations have been prominently alleged to have been the secret cause of the 9/11 attacks. One of them is Shiite Iran, which is the only Government that is accused by the US Government, and which the US Government has fined billions of dollars as having been the cause of the 9/11 attacks, even though there’s no credible evidence that Iran had planned those attacks, nor that Iran had financed either the planning or the execution of those attacks. Iran is instead a Government which the US Government had controlled during 1953-1979 and whose US-installed regime of torture became overthrown in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution against the US-installed Iranian regime, at which time both the fundamentalist-Sunni Sauds — the royal family who own Saudi Arabia — and the fundamentalist-Jewish aristocracy who control Israel, declared Iran to be an “existential threat” against themselves; and the US Government has both of those Governments as allies to overthrow this post-US-stooge Government of Iran.

In 1996, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud and his friend FBI Director Louis Freeh managed to blame the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia not on the fundamentalist-Sunni US-and-Saudi-created Al Qaeda, which were widely thought to have done it, but instead on Iran, which both the US and Saudi Governments hated; and the retiring Freeh then recommended Robert Mueller to replace himself, and the retiring Robert Mueller recommended James Comey to replace himself, and thus all three FBI Directors endorsed the Saudi accusation against Iran, that Iran was behind the Khobar Towers bombing, even though no reliable evidence has yet been supplied that Iran had had anything at all to do with it. Mueller himself had a long history as the aristocracy’s master of cover-ups designed to misdirect blame either sideways or else downward but always away from the actual culprits and especially away from the culprits at the very top of the given criminal or traitorous operation. He’s the master of ‘investigative’ deception, serving the aristocracy, not the public. Wherever there are aristocratic conflicts to be resolved by lawyers, it’s almost never good guys versus bad guys but almost always monsters versus monsters. The US and its allies are simply bullies who lie, psychopathically.

All recent US Presidents say that “Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism”, even though (other than against Israel) all or nearly all Islamic terrorism has been perpetrated by fundamentalist Sunnis (such as Saudis), and virtually none by any Shiites at all.

Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable. Israel (like the Sauds) is an enemy of the American people, but (unlike the Sauds) it didn’t cause 9/11. Osama bin Laden’s financial bagman, when asked where the money came from to pay the “salaries” of all Al Qaeda members, said “Without the money of the — of the Saudi, you will have nothing” of Al Qaeda.

The evidence is overwhelming that the Sauds financed the 9/11 attacks and that George W. Bush and some of his friends were also involved in it but were careful to make sure they had deniability — ignorance of the advance details — so as not to be able to be nailed for their advance involvement in the arrangements that had been made for the attacks. Bush, of course, relied on a close staff that included not only FBI director Mueller but Brett Kavanaugh, the current Supreme Court nominee by Donald Trump — and Trump had been elected after a Presidential campaign in which he had pretended to loathe the Bushes and their — and Obama’s — policies. Trump overturns the least-bad of Obama’s policies, but is otherwise simply an even bolder fascist than those two Presidents had been.

This is entirely a bipartisan matter — the same US aristocracy controls all American political Parties that have any chance of ruling the nation. For example, the opinion by Judge Kavanaugh was the only opinion that was published from any of the 11 judges though the ruling by the Court was unanimous. Among the ten other judges was the Chief Judge, Merrick Garland, whom President Obama subsequently appointed to the US Supreme Court and the Republicans blocked from being considered by the full Senate. President Obama was a defendant in this particular case, and all 11 judges on it ruled in his favor. If the Chief Judge had been the lone one to rule against him, then perhaps the Chief Judge (Garland) would not have been appointed (exactly four months later, on 16 March 2016) by the President to the Supreme Court. Garland was rejected by the Republicans because the President who appointed him labeled himself with the competing brand. The minor differences between US Supreme Court judges nowadays are the differences that separate the two political brands, not actually differences in basic beliefs or values, though the propaganda by the competing brands pretends to basic differences between them. Anyone who opposes the existing secret rule by the aristocracy won’t even be appointed, much less confirmed. This is today’s American ‘democracy’.

So, clearly, just as the US regime and its ‘news’ media had lied to say that Saddam Hussein needed to be eliminated because he possessed and was building up “WMD” and even nuclear weapons; and just as Muammar Qaddafi was similarly slaughtered on the basis of US-and-allied lies; and just as those and other US invasions — such as in Syria and in Yemen — have made America and the world vastly worse-off except for the US weapons-makers such as Lockheed Martin and the other US ‘Defense’ Department’s contractors and the US extraction firms such as ExxonMobil and Halliburton which gained new sources of lands to strip of their natural resources by means of such military invasions, the biggest threat to US national security is the US Government itself — and especially its military, which spends around half of the entire world’s military budget each year.

As part of this growing US police-state, every phone call that anyone in the US participates in is information that this regime has (since 9/11) been collecting on that individual. We are all ‘national security’ suspects, now. The US Government isn’t only the chief enemy of Iraqis, and of Libyans, and of Syrians, and of Iranians, and of Yemenis, and of Afghans, and of Russians, and of Chinese, etc.; it is also the chief enemy of the American people (though it doesn’t cause us hell like it causes the residents in those target-countries). And it is the chief enemy of Europeans, too. More recently, the US Government has, in effect, even declared economic war against Europe.

President Barack Obama said, and repeated many times, that the United States is “the one indispensable nation” — meaning that all others are “dispensable.” Adolf Hitler had said essentially the same thing about Germany; and, like recent US Presidents, he acted accordingly. Today’s US Government is the enemy of FDR’s US Government, and is not only the enemy of America’s Founders, in these and so many other basic matters. Today’s America is the fascist United States Government. All “dispensable” countries deal with that top fascist one, in whatever way the given nation’s aristocracy chooses to deal with it. Most aristocracies choose to share, however they can, in the Empire’s (the US aristocracy’s) loot from this military, propaganda, and extraction, system. But some other “dispensable” nations resist the US aristocracy. And some others are quiet, on the sidelines, for as long as they can be there, to avoid their becoming targets themselves. Dealing with such a bully is difficult for everyone.

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Clem KadidlehopperBilly ShearsThe MaestroeddingGuy Recent comment authors
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Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That’s easily fixed, throw away your stupid “smart” phones and go back to paper mail. Let’s see them try and read EVERY letter of the BILLIONS that would go through the mailing system every day.

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

That and the fact I am about to stop using a cellular phone, or even a land line, for that matter.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Bush knew 9.11 was coming down and he let them do it. Planning went in place while we watched the President Bill impeachment. This appointment is Kav’s reward for helping to pull it off. Hilda was promised the Presidency but that didn’t work out too well 2X.

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Author and I soooo disagree on Israel participation. Planning all went into place while we watched the President infidelity show with the Jewess Monica. Patraeus was assigned to Jewess Paula to make sure he didn’t have a late night talk with wifey….and show a conscience.

Guy
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Guy

“Many Americans who oppose the US Government, but who aren’t intelligent, say that instead Israel caused the 9/11 attacks, even though no reliable evidence has been cited for that allegation, either, and much of the ‘evidence’ that is cited for it is fraudulent or otherwise disprovable.” I beg to differ.There is evidence that the mossad was involved and at the very least knew about the event about to happen .The dancing Israelis , the fake moving van ,of which the owners disappeared so mysteriously and conveniently .The so called art students , etc. No hard proof yes , but plenty… Read more »

Billy Shears
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Billy Shears

Guy, I am w you. There is PLENTY of evidence to that effect; before and after the event. And, guilty parties are put away every day on circumstantial evidence alone. If the gubmint was actually interested in the truth, the WTC complex would have been treated as a crime scene and there would have been an actual criminal investigation instead of the sham that was perpetrated on the world.

edding
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edding

Kavanaugh’s opinion disregards the fact that Bill Binney the former top technical director at the NSA and his team had designed a program that was in fact much better at meeting the national security needs of the country cited by Kavanaugh, while also protecting the 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure- and if Kavanaugh had considered it, it would have become clear that the dragnet program that Kavanaugh upheld was in fact UNREASONABLE. The NSA under General Hayden not only refused to use Binney’s program, in order to outsource the procurement at a multiple of the cost of… Read more »

The Maestro
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The Maestro

His interpretation is the absolute antithesis of the 4th amendment, IMHO, folks. I don’t see words except in “special needs of the government” anywhere in the 4th amendment. I love how these types cherry pick which words to use when quoting the BOR. Just another statist in a black robe helping to pave the road to tyranny. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place… Read more »

Clem Kadidlehopper
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Clem Kadidlehopper

Well why would the State Fascists that run the US Government get Trump elected if he wasn’t one of them. NO one is getting in, unless he’s a qualified Fascist! The Jesuits will set to that with their Georgetown graduates running the CIA and State Department as well as the other 16 US Intel agenices. That’s like doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Cheney, Clinton, Bush, Obummer, and now Mr. Trumpet are all on the same band wagon, but the essence of the story is that those who know them and those who control them, know it.… Read more »

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Fusion GPS founder trapped in legal jeopardy, bets on Democrat midterm win to bury Russiagate hoax (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 135.

Alex Christoforou

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Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr and ex-FBI official James Baker are set to testify before Congress, but Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.

The man at the center of the Russiagate hoax, Glenn Simpson, headed the espionage/PR smear firm Fusion GPS, which ordered the discredited and fake Trump ‘dossier’, which John McCain handed to the FBI, and which Buzzfeed News published as actual news.

Simpson has a lot of explaining to do, and now appears trapped in his “under oath” lies.

Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, husband to Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.

Simpson also stated under oath that he never discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application, which was used to spy on Carter Page and kick off the ‘Russiagate hoax’.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the legal jeopardy entangling Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Republicans are close to breaking the ‘Russiagate hoax’ wide open, but Simpson is betting on delay tactics, and a subsequent Democrat midterm House victory, to save his ass from prosecution, and bury his involvement in a brazen attempt to discredit and remove an elected US President.

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According to Zerohedge, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson may be in “real legal jeopardy” over inconsistent testimony given to Congress regarding his involvement in a massive counterintelligence effort against then-candidate Donald Trump, including the infamous Steele dossier.

Speaking with Fox News Maria Bartiromo, John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said…

“I’m not surprised that Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.”

“He probably should. He’s in real legal jeopardy. Very clearly someone is not telling the truth.”

Via The Daily Caller… 

Simpson, who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, informed Congress on Thursday that he will plead the Fifth to avoid speaking with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Committee in an interview set for Tuesday.

“The reason for that … is that Glenn Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with Bruce Ohr or discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application in 2016 or the 2016 presidential election,” said Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary panel.

Via Fox News ‘Sunday Morning Futures’

Via Zerohedge

Ohr told the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees in an August 28 interview that he met with Simpson in August and December of 2016 to discuss Fusion GPS’s opposition research into Donald Trump.

Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS for the anti-Trump effort at the time.

Simpson, however, told a different story to the House Intelligence Committee on November 14, 2017, when he said that he hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the DOJ or FBI until after the election. While he did acknowledge meeting with Bruce Ohr (meetings which would result in Ohr’s demotion), Simpson never disclosed his wife’s employment.

“Ohr, who has been demoted twice since December, was also in frequent contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier. Steele, a former British spy, was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible links to the Kremlin.

Steele met with the Ohrs on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump team. Ohr met just after with FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” – Daily Caller

Following the 2016 election, Steel and Ohr met over a dozen times, despite the FBI having blacklisted Steele for improper media disclosures concerning his work.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Patriarch Bartholomew lifts anathemas on schismatics in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Most of the Orthodox world is in strong opposition to this move by Patriarch Bartholomew, whose motivations seem not to be of Christ.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The biggest news in the Eastern Orthodox world in recent times occurred on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, lifted the anathemas against two schismatic Ukrainian Churches and their leaders, paving the way to the creation of a fully independent Ukrainian national Orthodox Church.

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This announcement was given in English and is shown here in video with the textual transcript following:

“Presided by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018 in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda. The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length, the ecclesiastical mater of Ukraine in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishp Ilarion of Edmonon, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed (emphasis added):

First, to renew the decision already made, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine;

Second, to re-establish at this moment the stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev—one of its many starvorpegion in Ukraine that existed there always;

Third, to accept and review the petitions of appeal of Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich and their followers who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy of all the autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church;

Fourth, to revoke the legal binding of the Synodal letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through economia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev elected by the clergy-laity assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople;

Fifth, to appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”

There are a few things that must be said about what this declaration is not before we get to the matter of what the points of actually are. The point of reference is the strict letter of the text above itself.

  • This is not a granting of autocephaly (full independent self-rule status) like the fourteen universally canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. However, it is a huge step towards this status.
  • As far as Constantinople is concerned, Filaret Denisenko, the leader and “Patriarch” of the “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and Makary, the “Metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church”, and all their faithful are now restored to communion. The statement says that this applies to “The Church” which may be trying to state that these two men (and all the faithful that they lead), are now in communion with the entirety of canonical Orthodoxy, but more likely, this may be a carefully worded statement to say they now are in communion with Constantinople alone.
  • There is an official call for the cessation of the violence directed against the Moscow Patriarchate parishes and communities, who are the only canonically recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and who are also the largest by far in that country. The Kyiv Patriarchate and Uniate (Roman oriented) Greek Catholics in Ukraine have gone on record for seizing MP church properties, often by force, with neo-Nazi sympathizers and other radical Ukrainian nationalists. So this official call to cease the violence is now a matter of public record.

However, the reaction has been far less civil than the clergy wished for.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: “Expressing his view of the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko added, “This is a great victory of the God-loving Ukrainian people over the Moscow demons, the victory of Good over Evil, the victory of Light over Darkness.”’

Perhaps this is the reason Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine (exarch under the Moscow Patriarchate) has been labeled an enemy of Ukraine and is now receiving death threats. Very civil.

Poroshenko’s statement is all the more bizarre, considering that it has been Ukrainian ultra-nationalists that have been violently attacking Moscow – related parishes in Ukraine. This has been corroborated by news sources eager to pin the blame on Russia, such as the U.K. Guardian.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, based in Kiev and supportive of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been under intense cyber attack since October 11th, when the EP’s announcement was issued.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary: “What happened at the Synod in Istanbul yesterday shocked the entire Orthodox world. It seems the Patriarchate of Constantinople is consciously embarking on a path of schism in world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew ignored the calls of the Local Churches to convene a meeting of the primates to work out a common and conciliar solution to the Ukrainian Church issue and unilaterally made very serious but erroneous decisions. I hope the Orthodox world will give this action an objective evaluation… Having received the schismatics into communion, Patriarch Bartholomew did not make them canonical, but has himself embarked on the path of schism. The schismatics remain schismatics. They did not receive any autocephaly or tomos. It seems they have lost even that independence, although non-canonical, that they had and which they always emphasized.”

Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia:“The Orthodox world recognizes the only canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. This fact was repeatedly mentioned and confirmed by the primate of the Great Church of Christ His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on behalf of all present at the Synaxis of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches that was held in Chambésy (Switzerland) from January 21 to 27, 2016. Therefore, any attempt to legalize the Ukrainian schismatics by the state authorities should be strongly condemned by all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wrote two letters to the Ecumenical Patriarch, advocating that the provision of a new autocephaly is possible only with the consent of all local Orthodox Churches. According to Sedmitza.ru (Translation by Pravoslavie.ru),

“In these letters, it was very clearly stated that the granting of autocephaly cannot be the prerogative the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, that new autocephalies must be created only with the consent of all the Local Orthodox Churches, as the Holy Synod of Antioch also said in its recent statement.”

Pat. Irinej also warned the Patriarchate of Constantinople against making such major decisions unilaterally, because “it will not bring harmony and peace to the Ukrainian land, but, on the contrary, will cause new divisions and new schisms.”

The Holy Synod of Antioch, the oldest Orthodox Church, and actually the very first place where the disciples of Christ were even called “Christians” weighed in on the issue as well and they had several things to say:

“The fathers examined the general Orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to a unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissensions and quarrels within the one Church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous Churches as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox world.

To summarize, this move by Constantinople is not being warmly received by many, many people. Most of the local Churches are on record giving their reaction to this process. In brief, here is the list most of the Local Churches and a one or two word summary of their reactions.

Patriarchate of Georgia: Unilateral action is wrong; Constantinople and Moscow must cooperate and find a solution together.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: recognizes Ukraine as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church alone, as do all other local Churches

Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa: The Church does not bow to politicians. Moscow-led church is the only canonical Church in Ukraine.

Archbishop of Cyprus: Decries the Ukrainian situation but offered to mediate a discussion between Moscow and Constantinople

Bulgarian Patriarchate: Interference of the State in Church affairs leads to serious and negative consequences for both.

Polish Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Sawa called for a council of Orthodox ruling hierarchs to discuss this situation.

Estonian Orthodox Church: Condemns Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

Greek Archdiocese of America: Supports Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

The Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus quoted): “Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?”

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR): Ceased commemoration of Constantinople, ceased concelebration with Constantinople.

This issue has also rocked the secular geopolitical world.

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