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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
Guest
Platon

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

Platon
Guest
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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US continues to try to corner Russia with silence on Nukes

Moscow continues to be patient in what appears to be an ever more lopsided, intentional stonewalling situation provoked by the Americans.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on March 17th that despite Russian readiness to discuss the present problem of strategic weapons deployments and disarmament with its counterparts in the United States, the Americans have not offered Russia any proposals to conduct such talks.

The Kremlin has not yet received any particular proposals on the talks over issues of strategic stability and disarmament from Washington, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Sunday when commenting on the statement made by US National Security Adviser John Bolton who did not rule out that such talks could be held with Russia and China.

“No intelligible proposals has been received [from the US] so far,” Peskov said.

Earlier Bolton said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired on Sunday that he considers it reasonable to include China in the negotiation on those issues with Russia as well.

“China is building up its nuclear capacity now. It’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at strengthening our national missile defense system here in the United States. And it’s one reason why, if we’re going to have another arms control negotiation, for example, with the Russians, it may make sense to include China in that discussion as well,” he said.

Mr. Bolton’s sense about this particular aspect of any arms discussions is correct, as China was not formerly a player in geopolitical affairs the way it is now. The now all-but-scrapped Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, was a treaty concluded by the US and the USSR leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, back in 1987. However, for in succeeding decades, most notably since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has been gradually building up weaponry in what appears to be an attempt to create a ring around the Russian Federation, a situation which is understandably increasingly untenable to the Russian government.

Both sides have accused one another of violating this treaty, and the mutual violations and recriminations on top of a host of other (largely fabricated) allegations against the Russian government’s activities led US President Donald Trump to announce his nation’s withdrawal from the treaty, formally suspending it on 1 February. Russian President Vladimir Putin followed suit by suspending it the very next day.

The INF eliminated all of both nations’ land based ballistic and cruise missiles that had a range between 500 and 1000 kilometers (310-620 miles) and also those that had ranges between 1000 and 5500 km (620-3420 miles) and their launchers.

This meant that basically all the missiles on both sides were withdrawn from Europe’s eastern regions – in fact, much, if not most, of Europe was missile-free as the result of this treaty. That is no longer the case today, and both nations’ accusations have provoked re-development of much more advanced systems than ever before, especially true considering the Russian progress into hypersonic and nuclear powered weapons that offer unlimited range.

This situation generates great concern in Europe, such that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on both Moscow and Washington to salvage the INF and extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, or the New START as it is known.

“I call on the parties to the INF Treaty to use the time remaining to engage in sincere dialogue on the various issues that have been raised. It is very important that this treaty is preserved,” Guterres said at a session of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Monday.

He stressed that the demise of that accord would make the world more insecure and unstable, which “will be keenly felt in Europe.” “We simply cannot afford to return to the unrestrained nuclear competition of the darkest days of the Cold War,” he said.

Guterres also urged the US and Russia to extend the START Treaty, which expires in 2021, and explore the possibility of further reducing their nuclear arsenals. “I also call on the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New START Treaty before it expires in 2021,” he said.

The UN chief recalled that the treaty “is the only international legal instrument limiting the size of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals” and that its inspection provisions “represent important confidence-building measures that benefit the entire world.”

Guterres recalled that the bilateral arms control process between Russia and the US “has been one of the hallmarks of international security for fifty years.”

“Thanks to their efforts, global stockpiles of nuclear weapons are now less than one-sixth of what they were in 1985,” the UN secretary-general pointed out.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The new START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent. Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of extending the Treaty.

 

 

 

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Trump witch hunt dots connected: CNN to Steele to John McCain (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 110.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss documents released which show that Christopher Steele admitted to using posts by ‘random individuals’ on the CNN community website ‘iReport’ in order to back up his fabricated Trump dossier.

President Trump took note of Steele’s use of CNN citizen journalist posts, in a twitter tirade that blasted the British ex-spy for running with unverified community generated content from a now now-defunct ‘iReports’ website as part of his research.

Trump the proceeded to rip into late neocon Arizona Senator John McCain, tweeting that it was “just proven in court papers” that “last in his class” McCain sent the Steele’s dossier to media outlets in the hopes that they would print it prior to the 2016 US election.

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Via The Daily Caller

A federal court unsealed 43 pages Thursday of a deposition that former British spy Christopher Steele gave as part of a lawsuit over his infamous anti-Trump dossier.

To the disappointment of many observers, the full deposition was not unsealed in Thursday’s motion. Instead, portions of Steele’s interview, which he gave in London on July 13, 2018, were unsealed in separate court filings submitted in the lawsuit.

Steele’s full deposition totaled 145 pages. The portions published Thursday focus mainly on questions about the dossier’s claims about Aleksej Gubarev, a tech executive who Steele alleges took part in the hacking of Democrats’ computer systems.

Gubarev has vehemently denied the claim and sued Steele and BuzzFeed News, which published the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, who handled the lawsuit, ordered a slew of previously sealed documents to be made public Thursday. Ungaro dismissed the lawsuit on Dec. 19 but did not weigh in on whether the dossier’s claims about Gubarev were accurate.

It is unclear whether Steele’s entire deposition will be released. A source familiar with Steele’s interview tempered expectations of any bombshells in the document, saying that Steele avoided going into detail about his efforts to create the dossier and his sources.

A deposition given by former State Department official David Kramer was perhaps the most enlightening document contained in the dump.

Kramer, a longtime associate of late Arizona Sen. John McCain, was BuzzFeed’s source for the dossier. Kramer shared the dossier with at least 11 other reporters, including CNN’s Carl Bernstein. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Gave Dossier To A Dozen Reporters)

Kramer obtained the dossier in late November 2016 after visiting Steele in London. Steele acknowledged that Kramer and McCain were picked as conduits to pass the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. McCain met with Comey on Dec. 9, 2016 and provided all of the dossier’s memos that had been written up to that point.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” Kramer said in the deposition when asked why Steele and his business partners at Fusion GPS wanted McCain to meet with Comey.

Via Washington Examiner

Former British spy Christopher Steele admitted that he relied on an unverified report on a CNN website for part of the “Trump dossier,” which was used as a basis for the FBI’s investigation into Trump.

According to deposition transcripts released this week, Steele said last year he used a 2009 report he found on CNN’s iReport website and said he wasn’t aware that submissions to that site are posted by members of the public and are not checked for accuracy.

web archive from July 29, 2009 shows that CNN described the site in this manner: “iReport.com is a user-generated site. That means the stories submitted by users are not edited, fact-checked, or screened before they post.”

In the dossier, Steele, a Cambridge-educated former MI6 officer, wrote about extensive allegations against Donald Trump, associates of his campaign, various Russians and other foreign nationals, and a variety of companies — including one called Webzilla. Those allegations would become part of an FBI investigation and would be used to apply for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

During his deposition, Steele was pressed on the methods he used to verify allegations made about Webzilla, which was thought to be used by Russia to hack into Democratic emails.

When asked if he discovered “anything of relevance concerning Webzilla” during the verification process, Steele replied: “We did. It was an article I have got here which was posted on July 28, 2009, on something called CNN iReport.”

“I do not have any particular knowledge of that,” Steele said when asked what was his understanding of how the iReport website worked.

When asked if he understood that content on the site was not generated by CNN reporters, he said, “I do not.” He was then asked: “Do you understand that they have no connection to any CNN reporters?” Steele replied, “I do not.”

He was pressed on this further: “Do you understand that CNN iReports are or were nothing more than any random individuals’ assertions on the Internet?” Steele replied: “No, I obviously presume that if it is on a CNN site that it may has some kind of CNN status. Albeit that it may be an independent person posting on the site.”

When asked about his methodology for searching for this information, Steele described it as “what we could call an open source search,” which he defined as “where you go into the Internet and you access material that is available on the Internet that is of relevance or reference to the issue at hand or the person under consideration.”

Steele said his dossier contained “raw intelligence” that he admitted could contain untrue or even “deliberately false information.”

Steele was hired by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. Fusion GPS was receiving funding at the time from the Clinton campaign and the DNC through the Perkins Coie law firm.

The series of memos that Steele would eventually compile became known as the “Trump Dossier.” The dossier was used in FISA applications to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

When asked whether he warned Fusion GPS that the information in the dossier might be “Russian disinformation,” Steele admitted that “a general understanding existed between us and Fusion … that all material contained this risk.”

Steele also described his interactions with Sen. John McCain’s aide, David Kramer, whose own deposition showed that he provided BuzzFeed with a copy of the dossier and had spoken with more than a dozen journalists about it.

“I provided copies of the December memo to Fusion GPS for onward passage to David Kramer at the request of Sen. John McCain,” Steele said. “Sen. McCain nominated him as the intermediary. I did not choose him as the intermediary.”

When asked if he told Kramer that he couldn’t “vouch for everything that was produced in the memos,” Steele replied, “Yes, with an emphasis on ‘everything.'”

When asked why he believed it was so important to provide the dossier to Sen. McCain, Steele said: “Because I judged it had national security implications for the United States and the West as a whole.”

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Trudeau’s Top Bureaucrat Unexpectedly Quits Amid Growing Corruption Scandal

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

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Via Zerohedge


Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of several of Trudeau’s close advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.

And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…

…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.

Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour.Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens around Trudeau, on Monday another of the key Canadian government officials at the center of the SNC-Lavalin scandal has quit his post.

Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, the highest-ranking position in Canada’s civil service and a key aide to Justin Trudeau, announced his retirement Monday. Trudeau named Ian Shugart, currently deputy minister of foreign affairs, to replace him.

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

“It is now apparent that there is no path for me to have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the leaders of the opposition parties,” he said, citing the need for impartiality on the issue of potential foreign interference. According to Bloomberg, the exact date of his departure is unclear.

As we reported in February, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, quit following allegations that several key Trudeau government figures pressured her to intervene to end a criminal prosecution against Montreal-based construction giant SNC. Wernick was among those she named in saying the prime minister’s office wanted her to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Wernick has since twice spoken to a committee of lawmakers investigating the case, and during that testimony both defended his actions on the SNC file and warned about the risk of foreign election interference, as “blame Putin” has become traditional Plan B plan for most politicians seeing their careers go up in flames.

“I’m deeply concerned about my country right now, its politics and where it’s headed. I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election,” he said in his first appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, before repeating the warning a second time this month. “If that was seen as alarmist, so be it. I was pulling the alarm. We need a public debate about foreign interference.”

Because somehow foreign interference has something to do with Wenick’s alleged corruption.

Incidentally, as we wonder what the real reason is behind Wernick’s swift departure, we are confident we will know soon enough.

Anyway, back to the now former clerk, who is meant to be non-partisan in service of the government of the day, also criticized comments by a Conservative senator and praised one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.

Wernick’s testimony was criticized as overly cozy with the ruling Liberals. Murray Rankin, a New Democratic Party lawmaker, asked the clerk how lawmakers could “do anything but conclude that you have in fact crossed the line into partisan activity?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said he seemed “willing to interfere in partisan fashion for whoever is in power.”

Whatever Wernick’s true motives, he is the latest but not last in what will be a long line of cabinet departures as the SNC scandal exposes even more corruption in Trudeau’s cabinet (some have ironically pointed out that Canada’s “beloved” prime minister could be gone for actual corruption long before Trump). Trudeau had already lost a top political aide, Gerald Butts, to the scandal. A second minister, Jane Philpott, followed Wilson-Raybould in quitting cabinet.

Separately, on Monday, Trudeau appointed a former deputy prime minister in a Liberal government, Anne McLellan, as a special adviser to investigate some of the legal questions raised by the controversy. They include how governments should interact with the attorney general and whether that role should continue to be held by the justice minister.

As Bloomberg notes, the increasingly shaky Liberal government hasn’t ruled out helping SNC by ordering a deferred prosecution agreement in the corruption and bribery case, which centers around the company’s work in Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya. Doing so would allow the company to pay a fine and avoid any ban on receiving government contracts. That decision is up to the current attorney general, David Lametti; of course, such an action would only raise tensions amid speculation that the government is pushing for a specific political, and favorable for Trudeau, outcome.

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