By Protopresbyter Theodoros Zisis,Professor of the Theological School of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki
The God fearing members
of the Church of Christ, full of bitterness and sadness followed the
events that took place during the meeting of the Patriarch Bartholomew
and Pope Benedict in Constantinople. Among the many phone calls the
author received from many regions and metropolises, including the Holy
Mountain, expressing this bitterness, special impression was made by
the spiritual and most Reverend +++ of Thessalonika together with a
large number of his spiritual children, when he said that he cannot
rest and he sorrows till death because they raped and dishonoured our
mother Orthodoxy. A married clergy and father of many children, of the
Holy Metropolis of Demetriathos, who decided to discontinue
commemorating his bishop who was in agreement with the Patriarch's
actions, when I reminded him of the possible repercussions and
punishments for doing so, he replied, "I prefer to till the fields as a
simple farmer and hold onto my faith, than cooperate in its demolition
and end up in hell together with the Patriarch and Bishops.
I do not know if this simple and not so literate priest had read the writings of the Holy Fathers. What he said though expresses the timeless conscience of the Church, in the stand of the faithful laity against the bishops and presbyters when they do not uphold the word of truth but instead strengthen heresy and deceit. In a number of specific confessions of the Fathers, there exists the saying, "Bad Obedience and Holy Disobedience". We are simply reminded of the indicative opinion of the great fighter of Orthodoxy, Great Athanasius against the Arian heresies. He writes that in situations where the bishop or presbyter, the eyes of the Church, behave badly and causes the people to become scandalized, they must be expelled, even if it risks for the faithful to be without a shepherd. It is better and advantageous to meet in the churches without bishops and priests, rather than the faithful be cast in hell together with the bishops and priests, where the Jews of Christ's period ended up with their Chief Priests Annas and Caiaphas. "It is better to meet with them in a blessed home, than to be cast out with them like Annas and Caiaphas, in the lake of fire". This is what Agiorite Hieromonk Gabriel did in our time when with his short and courageous Declaration and Confession ceased to commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew after his co-worship and common declaration with the previous Pope, some two years ago, during the enthronement feast in Rome on 29 June 2004 and the inauguration of a Holy Orthodox church on July 1 of the same year. Following, he writes, " so that it may not appear that with my silence I condone what goes on. I shall not take part in the attendant commemorations of the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch but I shall remain in my cell doing my normal and accepted monastic duties only to indicate my protest and until the holy community of the Holy Mountain take clear and appropriate position on the events happening these days".
2 . The narcotic of Ecumenism and of associates in increasing doses.
There are many alert and
sensitive consciences of the Orthodox people, who however, do not hear
or see the voice or stand of the many different faithful. The clergy
and theologian who sing praises and worship the beast of the
Revelation, the religious band of the antichrist, the leveling of the
religions and confessions, the multicultural and multi-religious model
of the so called New Age, that turns the world into darkness and the
corruption of the pre-Christian era, that was aged and corrupted by the
evil one, they now are shown as opposite of what they are and are
magnified. With the same measure that Christ is persecuted and people
are de-Christianized, especially in the western and "civilized" world,
under the responsibility of Papism and Protestantism, the devil
progresses. The truth of God is modified, the true knowledge of God of
the Gospel, with the lie of the new idolatry of multi-culturalism and
syncretism (blending or fusion). The resultant slackening of the
observance of the commandments, with the people ending up with the
"untried mind" "paid by every evil" even in the perpetration of the
most repugnant filth of Sodomy, that is praised and practiced by even
homosexual clergy, as the Apostle Paul precisely presents in the
pre-Christian era in the first chapter of his epistle to Romans that
they wish to return to the so called New Age of syncretism and
pan-religion. No matter how many meetings occur between the Pope and
the Orthodox Patriarchs, the only way of re-evangelization of the
Christians is the return through repentance, in imitation of St Peter's
shedding of tears for denying Christ, now by the Pope for denying Holy
Orthodoxy of the common Fathers and Saints of the first millennium. If
he continues to selfishly insist on the so called claim of Peter and
the keys of the Kingdom as he does these days in Constantinople in his
secular ambitions and primacy, then the saying "shepherd my flock" does
not apply but "go behind me Satan, for you do not mind the things of
God but of the people".
In this climate therefore, of the so called New Age that is cultivated by the Papist and Protestant Ecumenism, with further panorama of the pan religion of the antichrist, Christ and the Church are not proclaimed as the unique light and the only road to salvation, unfortunately with the concurrence of most of the Orthodox Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops. We lie when we sing at the end of the Sacred Liturgy, that "we have seen the true light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have received the true faith the indivisible Trinity we worship". Unfortunately the light that the patriarchal Holy Liturgy gave out at the Phanar, with the liturgical co-celebration with the Pope, was not the true light, the true faith but the darkness and the deceit of heresies, of the filioque, of the primacy, of the unleaven, of the purgatory, of the created grace, the distortion of all the mysteries, the worldly church of the Vatican that succumbed to the temptations of the devil to obtain wealth and power, to become a worldly state and in essence to stop having any relationship with Christ and Christianity, according to Dostoyevsky.
And the darkness was transmitted all the way to the Orthodox missionaries who were asked how could they now convince people to become Orthodox and not Roman Catholics or how could they empower those that had become Catholic, who are very numerous in the missionary countries, to come to Orthodoxy, when it was shown to the whole world pictures of co-worshipping and often co-celebrating of the presiding Pope and the 46 apostolic canon, which forbids us to recognize the baptism and the Sacred Eucharist of the heretics. Again unfortunately, they have been recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other Orthodox churches which quietly allow even the sharing of the chalice. "Who turns the light of communion into darkness? Or the agreement with Christ to the agreement with Belial? or who places the faithful with the unfaithful? How can we dare in a few days to address the born Christ and sing, " Your birth Christ our God, has brought forth to the world the light of knowledge" and like the magi so shall we worship "as the sun of justice" and receive our salvation in the "One , Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" the symbol of Faith, in the Orthodox Church? How many Churches, how many faiths, how many baptisms exist, one, many, lots? If it is not one, the Orthodox and St Paul err when they say, "One Lord, one faith and one baptism".
These questions though are now no more puzzling, even the meaning of heresy has become incomprehensible. People ceased to differentiate between correct and false, between truth and deceit. The narcotic of ecumenism, this new religion of the antichrist, the panheresy according to the Elder Justin Popovitz, given in small doses over many years and wrapped in Orthodox looking covering like the Unia, with falsely interpreted sections of the Holy Gospel and of the Church Fathers, has drugged the consciences of most people and even of many clergy and theologians. It has created an imaginary, false state of peace and union with the so called dialogue of love, where the crowds rest blissfully, unsuspectingly taking free, through the media, the pill of ecumenical heroin. The doses continuously become stronger by the simple collaboration in both practical and secular topics, through the declarations of Orthodox representatives at the ecumenical conferences, that only the Orthodox Church is the true Church, we arrived at the complete destruction of the holy canons, with the openly obvious common prayers in the eyes of the angels and the people, to the horrible travesty on the mystery of the Holy Eucarist, mystery of total true union, with the liturgical embraces of the heretics and the supplications of the deacons for them and the singing of the "many years" by the chanter.
3. The steps of Athenagoras are not the steps of the Apostles and of the Fathers .
one imagine the Great Athanasius, having Arius sitting across on the
anti-throne, to pray together and embrace each other on the "lets love
each other" and the chanters singing to Arius the "may you have many
years" so that he may continue his heretical and destructive work? How
does the icon that depicts St Nicholas smacking and slapping Arius
relate with the icon of the Patriarch embracing the pan-heretic Pope
and believing his presence to be a blessing? Who is correct St Cosmas
Etolos cursing the Pope, or the Patriarch praising and treating him
like a brother? The desert monks of Palestine with their leader, who is
also celebrated these days, St Savva, who kept the Church unblemished
from the heresy of "Single Will" or the wretched and poor monk from the
Holy Mountain who composed hymns and troparia to honour the visit of
the heretic Pope at Phanar? Do these Agiorites have anything in common
with the holy martyr Agiorites who were martyred because they opposed
the papist Patriarch John Vekkos?
It is certain that St Efimia's incorrupt body that is in the patriarchal cathedral of St George, who "praised the Orthodox and tore down the false believers" the Monophysites, she does not rejoice but sorrows with all these events and shrinks her grace. The same happens with St Gregory the theologian and St John Chrysostom, whose relics were venerated by both Patriarch and Pope, they did not rejoice but sorrowed. The apostolic succession is not only dependant on historical succession to the thrones, but it is also succession on process and teaching, and as the saying goes "on process participator and on the thrones successor". Succession ceases when the continuation of the truth of the Orthodox Faith, breaks down. The only truth in the addresses and speeches of the Patriarch is that he follows in the steps of his predecessors Athenagoras and Demetrius. However, the history of the Church does not start with Athenagoras but there is a history of over two thousand years of struggling Patriarchs and Confessors, archpriests, priests, monks, and lay people against Papism from Great Photius to the present. Of course we the Orthodox follow those that are acknowledged by the time tested conscience of the Church, Saints and Fathers and not those that are in heresy and Latin leaning recent Patriarch, Archbishops and Bishops. The steps of Athenagora and Demetrius are not the steps of the Apostles and the Fathers.
4 . The fence of Orthodoxy collapses, Bishops are not communed or commemorated
These were written being
fully conscious of the historical actual events we live in, of the
negative and damaging actions and demonstrations against Orthodoxy.
They were also written in full consciousness of the responsibilities
and consequences of this our stand. We prefer to be persecuted and
despised, to remaining silent and less vocal than the fish, in front of
the obvious assault on the Orthodox Faith, instead of cultivating the
friendship and sympathy of the friends of the papists and Latins. We
wait and pray that the Orthodox camp becomes empowered with bishops and
even the balking and wavering priests and monks. The truth though does
not depend on numbers and money. The many have often strengthened the
lie and deceit. We point out that the television pictures on the
meeting of the Patriarch with the Pope, the liturgical embraces and
well wishing, awakened the conscience of many, who ascertain that the
integrity of the truth is compromised, that the bishops commemorated in
the Sacred Liturgy, the guarantors of the union of faith, do not uphold
the word of truth, are not in communion with the Saints in their
presence but in essence they are uncommuned, since they are in
communion with the uncommuned. The responsibility is great for anybody
who stays silent when the Faith is endangered.
Saint Gregory Palamas who was criticized by his fellow monks, because he left the agiorite isychast monastery, the prayer and watchfulness, and went to Thessalonika to take on the struggle against the papist Varlaam and sympathizers, characterizes it as "unpious Piety" the abdication of presenting the dogmatic teaching of the Church and the checking of heresy and deceit as the Holy Fathers did for lesser evils. True piety is not to follow those that destroy the fences to allow the heretics to enter but the Godfearing Fathers. If one should overlook and underestimate the teaching of even one of the Fathers, he weakens the fence at that point, where a crowd of wicked heretics will soon find access. One sorrows and deeply wriggles, just considering the Patriarchal breach, that considers the Holy Fathers who have struggled against the Pope, as victims of the devil and worthy of the forgiveness and mercy of God. If however Great Photius, Saint Gregory Palamas, Saint Mark the Courteous, Saint Cosmas Etolos, Saint Nikodemus the Agiorite and many more fighters against the papist heresies are members and victims of the devil, we should cross them out from the list of Saints, cancel the feasts and ceremonies and instead of calling for their intercession and their help, we should perform remembrance and thrice holy services that God may forgive them. However St Gregory Palamas says "It is true piety not to doubt the Godbearing Fathers. Moreover the theologies of the word spoken by the saints, provide the rules of true piety and measure, each sealing and completing the enclosure of piety, without neglecting any part, through which the wickedness of the heretics could find great access. It likens those who keep silent and do not struggle against the heresies as a third type of Godlessness, where in the first two types it ranks the unbelievers and the heretics. This assessment is blessed when one reflects on the grave breach that silence means consent.
5. Ignoring the sacred canons. "The guilty does not guilt make"
We shall not proceed
further any more. We had decided in view of Christmas to postpone the
struggles and wait. The situations however continue, piety is
demolished, the understanding of divine incarnation is voided and
salvation is resisted. Christmas without true Christ, without true
faith, means absolutely nothing, results in a secular feast of material
wellbeing and bodily comforts. In a few days the scene will be repeated
in Rome on the visit of Archbishop Christodoulos. In the future we
shall present a shattering miracle of St Spyridon who is feasted,
Patron Saint of Corfu, who expelled and sent far away from the
Cathedral and consequently from the Orthodox Church, the Pope, as well
as the commentary on the miracle of St Athanasius of Parou. In
continuation and with the help of God and the intercessions of the
strugglers against the Pope, the Saints who confessed and were
martyred, we shall comment on theological and ecclesiological basis,
the events at the Phanar "following the Holy Fathers" and not "the
steps" of Athenagoras and his predecessor Meletius Metaxaki. We shall
show that apart from the usual co-prayers, during co-liturgical
services, the chalice is shared in "ecumenical" liturgies and is simply
hidden, and not shown officially because the ecumenical heroin has not
yet drugged all the conscience, of some "fanatics" who refuse to be
drugged and react.
It is incomprehensible to pursue the union with the heretics and to tear ourselves apart from our Orthodox brothers, those to embrace and these to excommunicate and punish. We remain united with the established Church of the Saints, with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, as her inmates and children. We accept all the dogmas, all her sacred canons, all the ecumenical and local Synods and we resist and renounce all the numerous heresies, old and new of the Papists and Protestants. Whoever justifies them as divinely inspired teachings, whoever recognizes the mysteries and the grace of the so called sister churches, whoever has belittled and ridiculed the Church, by counting her among with the heresies of the so called churches; they tear and divide the Orthodox faithful and come under the specific punishments of the holy canons that are not obsolete, nor voided but valid, valid and shall always be valid. The new age, the new building started with the incarnation, with the birth of Christ, and continues by the Apostles and the Fathers. The Patriarchs and Bishops did not start it, by differentiating the ages and dividing the Church to evade the consequences of continuity and identity.
Whoever dares to use personally and according to their self interests some canons against the fighters and confessors of Orthodoxy, let them think that firstly it is obvious and clear by everything they say and do that they are themselves guilty of contravening a number of canons and apart of the saying, "the guilty do not guilt make", they risk in cases of unjust decisions the danger of harming themselves in this life or after death. We commemorate typically some canons that have been completely shred apart by the transgressors. "A Bishop or Presbyter or Deacon who just co-celebrates with the heretics will be excommunicated, but if he permitted them to co-officiate as clerics shall be defrocked. A Bishop or a Presbyter who accepts the baptism of the heretics will be defrocked, for what accord could there be between Christ and Belial? Or what can a believer share with an unbeliever? For the heretics should not be allowed to enter the house of God, if they persist in heresy. Nor should anyone seek the blessing of the heretics and schismatics for it is nonsense and not a blessing. Do not congregate with the .heretics and schismatics". "Espouse the sacred canons, heeding their full commandment and keep them unblemished, as trumpeted by the Holy Spirit through the famous Apostles, as well as the Holy Ecumenical Synods and those locally assembled to pronounce similar commandments, and those of our Holy Fathers, for each and everyone was pronounced by the Holy Spirit, setting the responsibilities. Those that they anathematize, we anathematize too, and those they defrock we defrock too, and those they excommunicate, we excommunicate too, and those that they punish, we punish too.