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I. Introductory Remarks
Remember, I am only giving you a general introduction to all of this. You have to do your homework!
A. Background: Faith comes first. To deal with the Culture War, first we have to be in the Church, and that starts with confession of Faith. Love has to be based on truth and the struggle for the good. See Excursus B below for the connection of the powers of the soul to the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love.
B. Summary of our last class. Ecclesiological principles.
1. Making the true confession of faith ontologically changes people. Denying the confession of faith also ontologically changes people.
2. One must have the correct and saving confession of Faith to be in the Church.
3. People who deny the confession of Faith and are therefore not in the Church cannot be bishops or priests.
4. To be in the Church one must be united in the Holy Mysteries to a bishop and his clergy who themselves have the saving confession of Faith and are in the Church.
II. History of the Apostasy of Ecumenism in the 20th Century and Up till Now
Let’s start with situation now and then go back to see how we got here. This will give us a framework within which to understand the details/data of the history starting in the early 20th century. So important to have the framework, because otherwise the data can confuse you, and there are ill-intentioned people who want to confuse you.
A. Current Situation: Atlanticist Establishment/Anglo-Zionist cabal vs. “Russia” or “Eurasia.” Cold Warriors’ delusions: “West” are the good guys. “Holy Russia” groupie delusions: “East” are the good guys.” My experience of watching that YouTube of the MP consecration of that church and then Putin’s talk to the ROCOR-MP hierarchs. Two great pincers of the same monster. Take your pick: Satan or Antichrist. Illustrated in the Ukraine imbroglio. Is the opposition real or faked? Doesn’t matter: The demons in hell fight each other.
1. All the big players are in the WCC or in communion with those in WCC.
2. All the big players have some kind of deal with the pope. Lifting of the Anathemas, Balamand Agreement, the EP’s constant prayers with popes, Kyrill’s Havana Statement.
The WCC is obviously in the service of Antichrist. The pope is obviously in the service of Antichrist (or just out and out Satan – cf. the Amazonia Synod going on now in the fall of 2019). So where does that leave the “Orthodox” who cooperate with them? They steadfastly refuse to leave the WCC and steadfastly refuse to denounce the pope and have nothing to do with him. St. Cosmas Aitolos says, “Curse the Pope!”
If you are in a WO group, ask your priest, “Why is our jurisdiction in the WCC?” See what he says. Ask yourself if the answer is one that an intelligent adult with a conscience would swallow.
B. The Ecumenical Patriarchate and Ecumenism
Intro: To organize our discussion, we’ll use the headings “Ecumenism” and “Sergianism.” Again, see The True Orthodox Church and Heresy of Ecumenism – http://hotca.org/pdf/TrueOrthodoxOppositionEcumenism.pdf for a concise explanation of these two terms. The two “big boys” are the EP and the MP. Both are ecumenist and sergianist, but the former is more obviously ecumenist and the latter is more obviously sergianist. Today we’ll talk about the EP.
1. The EP does not really have a flock any more. So it had to position itself as some kind of global papacy for the Orthodoxy. Read St. John Maximovich on this problem at http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/decline.aspx
2. It is well-known that the leadership of the EP has been involved in Freemasonry at least since the patriarchate of Meletios Metaxakis in the 1920’s. Patriarch Athenagoras and Harry Truman, etc, etc. So the EP is an instrument of Anglo-Zionist, Atlanticist global strategy. I don’t think I need to explain to our audience that you can’t be a Christian and a Freemason at the same time. And it is not that the EP leadership is only covertly Masonic. Rather their aggressive leadership of ecumenism puts the Freemasonic philosophy – “brotherhood of man,” etc. – into action. The latest manifestation of this is Pat. B’s obsession with being the “Green Patriarch.”
3. Timeline: Reminder – Read the book by St. Edward Brotherhood, Christian Union? An Orthodox Christian’s Guide to Ecumenism: Past, Present and Future by the St. Edward Brotherhood
1920 – Letter “To the Churches of Christ everywhere…”
1924 – Change of the calendar
1948 – Formation of the WCC – as time goes on, they become “organic” members” going to meetings with pagan ceremonies, etc.
1964 – Athenagoras meets with Paul VI
1965 – Lifting of the anathemas
1975 – Thyateira Confession – puts the lifting of anathemas into action by proposing intercommunion with RC’s and Anglicans.
See the Three Sorrowful Epistles by St. Philaret of New York: First two: http://www.st-sergius.org/Bio/Metp/sorrow.html and the third:
1990 – Chambesy Agreement – denies the 4th Ecumenical Council and approves monophysitism – on the basis of this there is practically sacramental intercommunion nearly everywhere with the monophysites, and officially with the Antiochians.
1993 – Balamand Agreement – O and RC “sister churches” with ontologically identical sacraments
See the Excursus below on “Joint Statements”. Boiling the frog slowly: Say they are only “study documents” to give plausible deniability.
Since then Patriarchs Demetrios and then Bartholomew have stayed on the same path. No repentance whatsoever, and, moreover, punishing or threatening those who oppose them. The commemorators of Mt. Athos and those like them are controlled opposition and their witness is, well, not a witness.
More recent years: Open liturgical commemoration of Pope Benedict at the Phanar, staying buddies with Francis the Satanic apostate, ascendancy of Zizioulas, “First Without Equals” ecclesiology. 2016 Council of Crete. It’s really getting crazy.
C. How to Respond? One’s practical situation: Discernment
As we go along, the question one should ask is “How do I respond to all this?” To give a head start on your study of this question I suggest some further reading:
Two essays by Hiermonk (now Bishop) Maximus, “Why the True Orthodox are Truly Orthodox” and “The Problem of the Conservative New Calendarism”
1. A World Orthodox believer has this realization: I’ve gotta get outta here! But to where?
2. Be patient, investigate, pray. God wants your salvation more than you do.
3. Fr. Anthony Gavalas story. My practical conclusions – Bishop must be O, not in communion with non-O, have apostolic succession, trying not to be a schismatic, and not crazy. And you have to be able to work with him, and he has to be someone who won’t destroy your family or your parish.
In closing: Let us have the good zeal and love one another. Discerning good zeal vs. bitter zeal or zeal “not according to understanding.” i. Always confess vanity. ii. Ask forgiveness if you go over the line. iii. But you can’t wait till your perfect before you fight for the Faith.
Let us prefer nothing whatever to Christ; and may He bring us all together to life eternal. Amen. (cf. Rule of St. Benedict, end of Chapter 72).
Excursus A: On the Powers of the Soul; the True, the Good, and the Beautiful; and the Cardinal and Theological Virtues
Hippy dippy Orthodox who don’t want to deal with tough questions about confession of faith quote Dostoevsky and say that “Beauty will save the world,” by which they (not Dostoevsky) mean that Orthodoxy is all about aesthetics and emotions, while to be concerned about the dogmas, the canons, etc is “unloving” or “Latin” or “legalistic” and so forth. As long as we have icons, beautiful services, etc, all is well. But of course this isn’t true. The contemplation of the Divine Beauty, and its concomitant virtue, which is Love, are the consummation of our spiritual journey, but they are not the foundation. Let’s do a review to set this straight.
Following Plato (in The Republic) and the Fathers, we understand there are three powers of the soul, that these three powers of the soul each have their respective objects and the cardinal virtues corresponding to these objects (see Wisdom 8:7) , and that three of these cardinal virtues correspond to the three theological virtues of I Corinthians 13:13). The chart below shows how they relate to each other:
Power of the Soul—>Object——>Cardinal Virtue——>Theological Virtue
Logos (reason, mind)——->Truth– > Wisdom/Prudence———–> Faith
Thymos (drive, will)——–>the Good–> Courage/Fortitude—-> Hope
Epithymia (desire)———–>the Beautiful–> Temperance———> Love
The vision of divine beauty is the highest state, the goal, but you have to start with the knowledge of the truth, which motivates your courageous fight for the good, which leads upwards to the vision of the divine beauty. Yes, beauty can motivate the beginning of your struggle (as with the emissaries of St. Vladimir at Hagia Sophia), but you cannot attain the ultimate vision of beauty without the previous steps.
Excursus B: On “Joint Statements”
The patristic attitude towards meetings to clarify doctrine is summarized accurately in these remarks by the Anglican editor of the NPNF series II, volume XIV, on the Seven Ecumenical Councils:
The editor, however, ventures to call the attention of the reader to the fact that in this, as in every other of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the question the Fathers considered was not what they supposed Holy Scripture might mean, nor what they, from à priori arguments, thought would be consistent with the mind of God, but something entirely different, to wit, what they had received. They understood their position to be that of witnesses, not that of exegetes. They recognized but one duty resting upon them in this respect – to hand down to other faithful men that good thing the Church had received according to the command of God. The first requirement was not learning, but honesty. The question they were called upon to answer was not, What do I think probable, or even certain, from Holy Scripture? but, What have I been taught, what has been entrusted to me to hand down to others? When the time came, in the Fourth Council, to examine the Tome of St. Leo, the question was not whether it could be proved to the satisfaction of the assembled Fathers from Holy Scripture, but whether it was the traditional faith of the Church. It was not the doctrine of Leo in the fifth century, but the doctrine of Peter in the first, and of the Church since then, that they desired to believe and to teach, and so, when they had studied the Tome, they cried out: “This is the faith of the Fathers! This is the Faith of the Apostles!…Peter hath thus spoken by Leo! The Apostles thus taught!…” Henry R. Percival, M.A., D.D., editor’s introduction to the Acts of the First Ecumenical Council, “Nice and Post-Nicene Fathers,” Second Series, Volume XIV
So… why do the ecumenists have these academic discussions and joint statements?
It re-opens closed questions and reframes the questions with innovative, tendentious terminology that determines the outcome.
It changes the Church’s method from confession to “scientific exploration,” which means accepting constantly changing, new conclusions.
Dialogue with error means that error has something good that truth does not have.
It gives the impression that we know something the Fathers did not.
It advances the One World Religion Agenda while at the same time providing plausible deniability.
And the reality is that all of these men involved in these dialogues really hate each other.