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The US has nothing to teach the world about justice or politics

The impartiality of justice that America is supposed to stand for was mocked and blown to bits in the ongoing Kavanaugh confirmation circus.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Igor Ogorodnev wrote when referring to the status of dignity and honor, as well as honesty and justice, when it comes to American politics. Never has the depravity of the American political and media establishment been more easily shown than in the recent weeks concerning the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

This process, which is stuttering along, hampered by #MeToo inspired “slam the man” sexual allegations that lack corroboration, showed the disgusting level of partisanship and dishonesty exhibited by the opposition group to the Judge – the Democrat Party of the United States of America:

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Many outside the US watched Thursday’s hearing with open-mouthed revulsion at the bad faith, lack of due process and inhumanity on display. Dysfunction in the biggest Western democracy sets a poor example to the rest of the globe.

The present does not own the monopoly on ugly scenes in Congress – the McCarthy interviews are on tape, after all. Nor do either of the parties – from Kenneth Starr’s ultimately futile humiliation of Bill Clinton, to their intransigence during Obama’s two terms, Republicans largely set the tone for the partisanship that reigns today.

But make no mistake about it: in the age of a hysterical and agenda-driven news media, and a social media that amplifies its worst aspects, the Kavanaugh and Ford testimonies marked a new low. And it is the Democrats that have guided the process into a high-stakes wrestling match in a toxic swamp.

Disagreeing with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination on ideological grounds, and questioning his record and temperament are fine, even if it is to whip up your base before the upcoming mid-terms. This what the confirmation hearings were for (minus the choreographed interruptions from the gallery).

But to pull out a last-minute 36-year-old sexual abuse accusation that you have sat on for weeks, as Dianne Feinstein did, is a dirty trick, notwithstanding her protestations to senators on Thursday that she didn’t time the release of Ford’s testimony, or leak her name (who did then? This person acting against the wishes of a self-described abuse victim must surely be found and punished). As are the systematic stalling tactics in full evidence at the questioning – the condition-setting for the hearings, the alleged flying fears that fell apart after two questions, the “What about Mark Judge, when can we speak to him?” and the demands for an additional FBI inquiry, during which yet more allegations are sure to come out, as Michael Avenatti tap-dances around his office in anticipation. Could a single senator in the room from either party disagree, hand-on-Bible, that the Democrats are hoping to drag out the process to give themselves a better chance?

To do this, the party was prepared to turn a political attack into a personal one, and personal trauma into a political weapon. Whatever traction #MeToo had as a non-partisan campaign that concerns all women is now in question. “Believe women” has turned from an expression of sympathy to reticent victims to a battering ram for short-term political gain, deployed while faux-innocently asking “Why would any woman lie?” in the one case where the reasons to do so are glaringly obvious.

The Republicans’ scurrying to confirm their candidate is similarly blatant and unseemly. They called the accuser to speak, but how many of them would have changed their mind whatever she said? Five? Three? No one? Staging this hearing for them was as much of a charade about the optics. So polite on Thursday, by Friday Lindsey Graham was calling the accusations “garbage.”

Yet this is not what made Thursday’s proceedings tragic. Politicians in that room play their power games and have known each other for decades – but here, real people were involved. For all the disingenuous pretense that this was just a job interview (most employers don’t suddenly ask jobseekers to prove they are not a rapist to get to the next round), their entire lives were at stake over how they would come across in a single afternoon.

Christine Blasey Ford’s account might be fiction or her own truth, but here was a woman who was evidently genuinely traumatized, and having to relive the moment. And if she is telling the facts as they did happen, and she was assaulted by a drunk, violent Brett Kavanaugh, this is hardly the format that best serves to bring her justice. She said she was no pawn, but she was surrounded by politically-motivated lawyers, participating in some improvised talk show format in which smarmy praise from Democrats who regard her exactly as that chess piece, alternated with fragmented lawyerly questioning from a female prosecutor (once again all optics) looking for a “gotcha!” moment in frustrating five-minute chunks. She had been used.

Some observers said she “won” because she looked credible. The entire modern law was invented and allowed to flourish in America, that most legalistic of states, so that people wouldn’t be judged on their “credibility.” It’s fine that she turned out to be an educated, well-spoken woman, but what if she had turned out a little twitchy, or stuttered? Would that have meant that she wasn’t assaulted? After all, many viewers questioned Ford’s patchy memory, the number of times she looked down at her notes, or even her high-pitched voice.

[The] same goes for Brett Kavanaugh: Some saw a man under extreme pressure in indignant tears as he strove to save his name against allegations so vague they couldn’t even be substantively refuted. Yet his opponents online said his passion made it easy to imagine how angry he would have got before raping Ford (“and this is him sober”), while his tears – a quality supposedly demanded from modern men – merely made him too unbalanced to be a judge. Many just posted photos of unflattering facial expressions and the blotches on his face.

In any case, even if Ford provided specific details of her ordeal, this wouldn’t have changed anything. Kavanaugh would still have turned around and denied it. Thursday’s hearing was not just inadequate as a court, with its burden of proof, witnesses, evidence, judges and jury – it wasn’t even a tribunal attempting to establish the truth. Instead, it was designed to have the opposite effect, with all sides smearing each other for political gain entirely on the basis of he said/she said accounts.

In all of this, Mr. Ogorodnev completely gets the picture. What is amazing, as usual, is how much of the American press simply cannot find their way to the facts as clearly as this piece has so far summarized it. But Ogorodnev doesn’t stop here:

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Graham as the hearing wrapped up. But even if he was right, he was not the man to say it. Both over the longer term and in the past few weeks, it is [he] and the other senators who have allowed this human baiting show to take place.

And a cruelty circus there was: the tarred human targets drew to themselves millions of vitriolic opinions, self-righteous statements, and outright lies. Thousands of women told stories of their own sexual abuse (though there is a question if one man, not proven guilty, should be punished for another man’s crime, or even for the cause of equality before the law), abortion advocates reminded viewers that Roe v. Wade was in danger, the Washington Post wrote dissections of various slang terms in Kavanaugh’s yearbook.

On the other side, Republicans spoke of vast left-wing conspiracies – a subject the prospective Supreme Court justice himself raised – and reposted talking points from the questioning and fake memes casting doubts on Ford’s sexual morals, which somewhat misses the point, as well as being slander.

If there was nuance, it got drowned under the majority of the comments that went along strict party lines. Perhaps in an existential battle for the future of America’s legal system the ends justify the means and no one cares about the collateral. More chilling than all this was the tone of callous disregard for the people involved: even if someone believes that a man or woman may only have a ten percent chance of being innocent, shouldn’t they be treated with humanity, particularly in a murky situation like this? Neither Kavanaugh nor Ford are monsters, and even if they were, what of the compassion and tolerance on which much of America prides itself?

Instead, there were two sacrificial lambs in a kangaroo court among lying, plotting, openly amoral politicians, amid a cacophony of raw noise.

This is how the world saw the US on Thursday.

Scores of countries across the world live according to constitutions modeled on the US Bill of Rights, political systems fashioned after that of the US, legal practices that treat America as the gold standard. American leaders are icons of world history, countries hang on to their every word, and many attempt to emulate and follow them (yes, even Trump).

The US revels in this role, and just this week its leader spoke of its “unique values” and how America made the world better and stood up for it. These scenes are not going to persuade Saudi Arabia that democracy is efficient. It excites not awe but laughter within the walls of the Kremlin.

The US has two choices: to fight as best it can to preserve the remaining value of its institutions – Congress, the supreme court, security agencies, and the presidency – or to continue its all-out battle against itself, where everyone is a loser, even when someone is declared the winner either on this nomination, the mid-terms, or 2020.

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Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

Here is an article that looks at one of the little-discussed reasons for concerns about a Kavanaugh judgeship:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/judge-brett-kavanaugh-and-surveillance.html

If Justice Kavanaugh had his way, mass collections of Americans’ private data would be routine in spite of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution which protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Andrew Wilson
Guest

At this point, ideologies or political preferences are not the issue. Those were debated earlier. Using the pain of real people to change the outcome of a recognised and acceptable process is wrong and the United States will suffer for having allowed it.

Don’t allow yourself to justify the witchhunt on the basis of your preferences in respect of abortion or other issues. If you do so you are a part of the problems that are making the United States a laughing stock and contributing to the increasing possibility of a breakup of the Union.

john vieira
Guest

Oh bull…that has been happening since the 1960’s in the USA. The last bill slithered through by Obama as a Christmas present in 2016 enshrined Orwell’s “1984”…

Platon
Guest
Platon

And Clinton and Obama were different… how?

Tjoe
Guest
Tjoe

Apparently the Duran has become a partisan hack for the GOP. I voted Trump but Kavanaugh is going too far.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Why so? What happened to due process? A man is innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Have you a problem with that?

Lisa Karpova
Guest
Lisa Karpova

ameriKKKa is fascist, not a democracy, therefore you are guilty until you can prove otherwise.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Corporat Fascism to be precise.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Yah, I bet you did!

Donna
Guest
Donna

Lindsey Graham: “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

No, he wasn’t talking about the invasion of Iraq based on sham WMDs; or the invasion of Libya based on sham intel; or the invasion of Syria based on a sham civil war; or the orchestrated coup in the Ukraine based on a sham notion of democracy. He wasn’t talking about any of those minor shams. He was talking about the BIG sham — the Kavanaugh-Ford sham — only sham that counts for the US public and the US Congress.

Old Uncle Dave
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Old Uncle Dave

Emails which were released show Kavanaugh committed perjury during his 2006 hearings for a seat on the District Court. He should be impeached for that.

Platon
Guest
Platon

I do not know of a single american who does not perjure himself daily before breakfast. Do you?

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

And about morals, ethics, democracy…either.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Only jews should be allowed on the Bench… or in Congress… or the Senate… or as heads of Mass Media Corporations. Because only jews are fully human. Right?

John Nolan
Guest
John Nolan

Do Oceania citizens understand that the world is tired of laughing at their collective stupidity, their immoral, corrupt leadership, their demonic policies, as their political lap dogs pee on the furniture, the carpets, the public, whilst barking at reflections of themselves in a global mirror? How can any supposedly sane society tolerate the crap they are fed by their media, c.n.n., wishington pist, etc. Have the masses no access to alternate reporting of world events, or are they so brain dead, drugged and boozed into mental impoverishment, pretending all is well, and convinced that Russia is the source of all… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

Destroying such a monstrosity will be doing a kindness to it.

Platon
Guest
Platon

The USA makes me want to reach for a can of Raid.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Congratulations Trotskyites! Compared to this, Stalin’s ‘show trials’ were classy affairs.
That is quite an achievement!

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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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