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Efforts to split the Orthodox Church intended to isolate Russia

Moscow’s excommunication of Constantinople may be part of the plan of the West to further isolate Russia by demonizing its Church.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The big news in geopolitics in Ukraine and Russia the last several weeks has been about the status of a church more than about the fighting in Donbass or the assassination of the leader of the Donetsk Republic. However, the uncanonical (this is synonymous with “illegal” in matters concerning the Eastern Orthodox Church) efforts by Ukraine’s so-called “Kyiv Patriarchate” to leapfrog from schismatic status to the official national Church of Ukraine have been assisted by – you guessed it – the United States.

And it is working.

Poster showing schismatic church leader to visit Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The self-proclaimed leader of this schismatic Church, Filaret Denisenko, known by many as “Patriarch Filaret” is making an American tour. This is of course being billed as a “Patriarchal visit to the United States” and for many well-meaning people it will certainly be that way.

However it is a farce. The Kyiv Patriarchate is not accepted as a legitimate Orthodox Jurisdiction by any of the fifteen canonical local Orthodox Churches. It is actually amazing that the Patriarch of Constantinople is even giving this matter the time of day, but for the understanding that this man, Patriarch Bartholomew, is alternately having dreams of papal grandeur (well, he was educated in Rome) and apparently, support from American people, probably with the promise of money.

Maybe he should ask the people of Ukraine how well that promise worked out before taking the bait.

So, why is this important? This is just a religious issue, isn’t it?

Actually, probably not. One of the often discussed, but poorly documented conspiracies regarding Russia from the Soviet times is called the “Dulles Plan.”

Given the present state of American denial of Christianity as much more than an out-of-date set of nice ideas and traditions, the American people generally would have a difficult time understanding that a major component of the society of Russia and the adjoining countries to it like Poland, Ukraine, the Czech lands, Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia and so on is a very strong relationship with Eastern Orthodox Christianity. These countries all have very dedicated Orthodox populations, even in lands like Poland, where there is a great deal of persecution by Roman Catholics and others.

The biggest Church in all of Orthodoxy is that of Russia, with the Patriarch of Moscow leading this group of Christians. For the last thousand years since the breakaway of Rome from this very ancient communion, the Orthodox Church has held together as a confederation of local national jurisdictions, sometimes differing in language and cultural traditions, but adhering, letter-perfect, to the faith as it was taught by Christ and his Apostles.

This adherence is remarkably strong and the aforementioned Dulles Plan, coined for the name of its creator, Allen Dulles, lays out a strategy for defeating Russia – not just Communist Russia, but Russia after the fall of Communism – by attacking the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church.

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One of the reactions of the local churches was a round condemnation of Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions and a voicing of unity with the Moscow Patriarchate. But most of the Churches that voiced this are those communities that are physically close to Russia. While the oldest Church in the world – the Antiochian Orthodox Church – also voiced her support, the implication has come to the open talk of Russia breaking communion with Constantinople if the Ukrainian schismatics are legitimized. 

A possible blowback for this is actually to further isolate Russia, which has been getting this treatment on the geopolitical end ever since President Vladimir Putin put the 2013 Valdai speech about the collapse of Western morality into action. Once the Western media and politicians saw that President Putin meant to be serious about this the isolation of Russia began in greater and greater force to the point where it is today.

This does not mean that the breaking of communion should not happen if Constantinople continues its wayward course. In fact, to preserve the Church it is probably necessary, though tragic. But this will also result in a new order in the Orthodox Church, with the Patriarch of Moscow becoming the most likely “first among equals” due to the size and power of the Russian Church.

This will have the effect of drawing much more virulent attacks against Moscow from the West. While a possible way around that is to grant primacy to one of the remaining ancient sees, like Jerusalem, Antioch or Alexandria, Moscow nevertheless is very likely to be given the leadership role.

Many people dispute the reality of the Dulles plan. But even if it were not real, what is taking place now would certainly fit the goals that are attributed to it.

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Jorge BizarroClem KadidlehopperRev. Michael ShanbourJohn NolanDr. Valeria Nollan Recent comment authors
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Robert Michael Szallavary Sullivan
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Robert Michael Szallavary Sullivan

One has to ask the question, why the Roman Catholic Pope in Rome, the leader of 1.2B Roman Catholics worldwide, has not immediately and publicly went on record, and issued a strong formal condemnation of Ukraine–in conjunction with the West–using religion as a political tool, to inflict social damage on the Russian Federation, and its people? Is the Pope an independent religious leader, or he is another spineless stooge of the West? Roman Catholics sitting idly by, as this action plays out might want to consider how they would react, if a foreign nation(s) contrived to instigate a similar schism… Read more »

Jorge Bizarro
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Jorge Bizarro

Good question… pretty easy and obvious answer: the Churches concerned by this article are not anymore under Roman Bishop authority, so the Pope is simply avoiding meddling in someone else’s flocks. A wise thing to do, especially because these ‘Byzantine’ issues historically have been like a poked wasps nest that gets everybody stung for no obvious reason. The Latin Church has learnt the lesson.

Dr. Valeria Nollan
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Dr. Valeria Nollan

This is canonically an illegal step, and all Orthodox Christians who are faithful to Sacred Tradition going back at least as far as 325 CE will recognize its illegality.

John Nolan
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John Nolan

When will citizens realize that the Russian orthodox church, as the Greek orthodox, are nothing more than branches of the ‘not so great’ whore, her daughters, who are subservient to mumma Fatican’s will. According to the Bible, on which Christianity is founded, there is only one Church, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church, not man. Christianity is not a religion, religions are control techniques, used by questionable people, built on foundations of shifting sands, where men can pervert or change the Word of God, contrary to Scripture, Rev.22:18-19, to manipulate the generally Scriptural ignorant masses. There… Read more »

Rev. Michael Shanbour
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Rev. Michael Shanbour

Dear John, what is terribly ironic about your comments is that everything you said is agreed with by the Orthodox Church: 1. There is only one Church (and the Orthodox Church has been that Church from 33AD); 2. Christianity is NOT a religion, it is the Life that flows from God, the Holy Trinity, Himself, through the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit; 3. the Orthodox Church is not founded on Peter but on Peter’s CONFESSION of Jesus as the Son of the Living God; 4. Jesus Christ is the only Head… Read more »

Clem Kadidlehopper
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Clem Kadidlehopper

Trump studied at a Jesuit University, Pompeo is Jesuit trained, Brennan and his cohorts almost to a man are Jesuit University graduates. Suppose the Catholic hierarchy might have something to do with this.
In fact US Intelligence is almost 100% Jesuit controlled.
Wonder why that doesn’t strike anyone peculiar.

Jorge Bizarro
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Jorge Bizarro

This is why Christ properly designated a Head (and ONLY ONE) for His Church: Peter!
Without a supreme Authority, bad or good, the Church is but doomed.

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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