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Church legalization by fiat of Ecumenical Patriarch reveals desire for power

The Patriarch of Constantinople acts like the Pope and tries to control other Orthodox countries, which is illegal in the Orthodox Church.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on September 28 that the plans of the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant complete independence (“autocephaly”) to the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church signal the Ecumenical Patriarch’s own aspirations to power.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chief of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations described the situation told the Izvestia daily news on Friday:

“What’s happening in Ukraine now is not a simple territorial dispute between the two Churches, as someone might think,” he said. “That’s something bigger. This is a conscientious and open imposition of powers by Constantinople on others and it’s tantamount to papist claims.”

“We can see quite clearly the Patriarch of Constantinople doesn’t consider other local [national] Churches as subjects in pan-Orthodox relations,” metropolitan Hilarion said. “From his point of view, Phanar [his headquarters in Constantinople / Istanbul] is the only place where all the decisions can be taken.”

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According to Met. Hilarion, the Ecumenical Patriarchate not only refuses to discuss the matter of Ukrainian autocephaly with Moscow, but with other local Orthodox Churches as well.

“Even the delegation, which Phanar empowered to hold talks with local Churches on the Ukrainian problem, visited their Primates for telling them about a decision that had already been taken, not for taking counsel with them on Constantinople’s plans,” metropolitan Hilarion said. “The envoys of the Constantinople Patriarchate said it more than once.”

“The Russian Church shouldn’t fear an isolation of some kind,” he said. “If Constantinople continues its non-canonical actions, it will put itself outside the canonical field, outside the canonical understanding of the Church organizations that gives a distinctive mark to the Orthodox Church.”

His Eminence Hilarion recalled that after the Great Schism of the Holy Christian Church in 1064, which divided it into Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, the Patriarch of Constantinople has always occupied the top position in the Diptychs – the table specifying the order of commemoration of Primates of Orthodox Churches.

This precedence has always been viewed as precedence of honor but not precedence of power and the Patriarch of Constantinople has been viewed as the first among the Primates of autocephalous Churches, who are equal to him,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

It was only in the 20th century that the Ecumenical Patriarchs began to lay claims to some particular powers in the in the Eastern Orthodox Church but these ambitions are devoid of theological or canonical grounds,” he said.

At present, Ukraine has only one religious organization that has the canonical status in the world of global Eastern Orthodoxy – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate, which is led by Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kiev and all Ukraine.

Simultaneously, the country has two more organizations referring themselves as Orthodox Churches – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the so-called ‘Kiev Patriarchate’ and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church that takes root in a reformist movement of nationalistic Ukrainian clerics of the early 20th century.

The canonical Church has about 12,000 parishes and 200 monasteries in its realm.

Ukrainian authorities have been striving to set up a national Orthodox Church disconnected from Moscow Patriarchate since the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic declared itself independent from the USSR in 1991.

On September 7, 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed two exarchs to Ukraine as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed resolute protest over and profound indignation over the move.

TASS further reports in a related article that Ukraine’s leader, President Petro Poroshenko, claimed on September 22 that the process of obtaining autocephaly was nearing its completion.

While this sort of news may seem inconsequential to Western readers or people not affiliated with the Orthodox Church, it is actually of extremely major importance in the Eastern Orthodox world. Russia has the largest and most powerful jurisdiction within Eastern Orthodox Christianity, but this church is the oldest of all Christian confessions, with one of its locales, Antioch, actually mentioned in the book of Acts. Many people in the Middle Eastern countries can actually trace their family history back to one or another of the very Apostles themselves.

While religion and religiosity in the West is often seen as somewhat detached from “reality”, for the Eastern Orthodox Christian, the Church is of incredible importance. That is why this issue figures so significantly for Ukraine and Russia both, since both countries are historically Orthodox. With the EuroMaidan revolution in 2014, the powers that ascended to primacy in Ukraine have sought to tear it away from its historical roots and bring it into the orbit of Western Europe. Not only is this struggle political in the secular sense, it is so in the ecclesiastical sense, with Rome’s presence in the region as well, in the form of the Greek Catholic, or Uniate churches, that follow the Eastern Orthodox rites but are in allegiance to the Pope, and the two schismatic Orthodox groups that are being used to bolster Ukrainian nationalism rather than to be the representation of Christ’s Church on earth.

This was never made more clear than in a statement by Crimean Tatar journalist Aider Mudzhabayev, as reported on the Soros-affiliated site OpenDemocracy.net:

“I see this as a big step forward. God willing… hmmm, I’m an atheist, but God willing it’ll go that way”.

For many “church passers-by” and atheists like Mudzhabayev, “our” “Ukrainian” church should be recognised and receive a Tomos on autocephaly.

Metropolitan Hilarion pointed out in an interview with Worlds Apart journalist Oksana Boyko, that he expects any “new, independent” Ukrainian church to be not only unrecognized by the rest of the Orthodox world, but that this group would be infiltrated with immoral values pumped in from the West. With statements like the above, it is easy to see why he thinks so.

Petro Poroshenko thinks that this development will “put Ukraine into a strong position in [its] struggle with Russia.”

The earlier possible granting of autocephaly by to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will put Ukraine into a strong position in struggle with Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Friday with an interview with Novoye Vremya radio [Radio NV].

“I think – and this isn’t quite a spiritual utterance on my part but a political one, you could say – that the issuing of Tomos [an edict by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on granting autocephaly to a Church – TASS] in the nearest months puts us and the Church into a very strong position,” he said when the anchor asked him if it would be easier for Ukraine “to go against Russia” if the Ukrainian Church got autocephaly.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who appeared in the Verkhovna Rada national parliament on Thursday, said the process of obtaining autocephaly was nearing completion.

In context with this statement is President Poroshenko’s stated promise that the Moscow-based (and only canonically recognized) Orthodox Church in Ukraine would be protected by the Ukrainian authorities. But with statements like this above, it looks more and more like that was just a lie.

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John NolanPlatonwigginsA.F. Recent comment authors
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A.F.

The Russian Church will be banned in Ukraine, at last

wiggins
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wiggins

Yep…….they’ll have the synagogue of Satan in its place……Rejoice…Rejoice.

Platon
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Platon

Yes, welcome to the Talmudist Synagogue of Satan.
I am sure you will have a hot time there.

Platon
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Platon

You mean in Nulandistan? To all intents and purposes the Ukraine is dead. Nothing left now but the stink.

Platon
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Platon

Luckily, what happens in the former The Ukraine, stays in the former The Ukraine… about six feet under.
Too bad though that the Khazar fake-jews are carrying out the Kissingerian Edict there: “The chief task of the CIA is now the depopulation of the Third World.”

You would have thought the former The Ukraine had enough problems without American Khazar fake-jews and the CIA and NATO running all over them and egging them on to extinction.

I guess Hitler’s plan (under the Third Reich) is also finally coming true under the Fourth Reich – ‘Lebensraum’ – the depopulation of The Ukraine.

John Nolan
Guest
John Nolan

It is humourous to read these threats, though one finds the citizens are unwilling to check prophecy regarding Israel.
All Israel is not Israel, the Kazarian Jews are not Israel, and, according to prophecy, there are only 144,000 true descendants of Isaac, who are true descendants of Isaac, who will be saved.
The rest of false Israel, one of the most perverted nations on earth, are to be annihilated.

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Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

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One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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