EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis). Helleniscope has been suggesting for the last few years that Turkey has made a definite turn toward Eurasia and that this turn is very well founded not only in President Erdogan’s Islamist ideology but in the deep national interests, economic and social. Since last year, this trend has taken a definite turn towards the BRICS alliance, which has been gaining ground quickly and is becoming the primary force behind the rising multi-polar world.  The BRICS seem ready to establish a new system to replace SWIFT for international payments. In addition, a new Bank to play the role of the World Bank is being put in place, and discussions about a new reserve currency to replace the USD are underway. Turkey has an economic structure similar to the rest of the BRICS: an 85 million-person population, an extensive agricultural and industrial base, and a strong military. 

Will the BRICS accept Turkey?  Last year, President Putin told Erdogan straight out that “if Turkey stays in NATO, there is no way to be accepted to the BRICS”.  I believe this is still the case: read the statement by Peskov carefully (see the Reuters report below).  But now it has become clear that Turkey will soon be ready to leave NATO.  Why? Because the alliance, led by the US, will support Israel’s horrific acts in Gaza.  And Erdogan’s Islamicist ambitions have no place in NATO. In addition, Turkey depends entirely on Russia for energy: Two substantial natural gas pipelines below the Black Sea and nuclear power plants (one ready, two to follow).

The repercussions for Greece, Cyprus, and Israel will be tremendous.  Take a look at the Middle East map: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran, and Ethiopia are now part of the BRICS. If Turkey joins, then the BRICS dominance in this most important part of the globe will be complete.  Greece has to be very careful: US/NATO will likely incite a Greek-Turkey war (and we all know there are many “sparks”) to solve the issue.  At this moment, Israel’s interests and Western Europe’s energy needs will likely force NATO to isolate Turkey from the gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.  But Turkey still has time to perform a balancing act, to come out ahead.

More analysis on these important issues will be provided in the days ahead.  Stay tuned.

BELOW IS THE NEWS BY REUTERS

==============

Kremlin welcomes Turkey’s reported desire to join BRICS

MOSCOW/ANKARA, June 4 (Reuters) – Russia welcomes Turkey’s reported desire to become part of the BRICS group of nations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, saying the subject would be on the agenda of the organisation’s next summit.
Peskov said there was heightened interest in BRICS – a group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – from various states, but said it was unlikely the grouping could completely satisfy all interested nations.
On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan began a visit to Beijing, the highest-level visit by a Turkish official to BRICS member China since 2012. Fidan held talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and other officials during the visit.
Asked whether Turkey would want to join BRICS during a talk at the Center for China and Globalization on Monday, Fidan said “we would like to of course, why would we not?”. However, he did not elaborate further.
Fidan was cited by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency as saying Ankara was also eyeing cooperation with BRICS members and that he would attend a planned meeting of the group next week in Russia.
It was not immediately clear whether Ankara would take steps to join the BRICS group, as Ankara has not previously stated its desire to formally join.
NATO member Turkey had come under fire by its Western allies in recent years over its ties with Russia, with some saying that its “axis” was shifting away from the Western military alliance.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Once Turkey leaves NATO they’ll have carte blanche to go after Greece and finish the job in Turkey.

    Peculiar how this news is coming out and a few days ago news from Turkey also came out that there are apparently plans to finally re-open Halki. Erdogan knows how to play both sides so whatever he does is usually calculated.

    If I were to guess, Turkey leaving NATO and joining BRICS is the end-of-the-end for the EP. They will have no reason to continue to allow the EP to operate in Turkey since the EP is a NATO/West asset.

    Over the next 6-12 months I would not doubt at all, in face I can almost guarantee, a color revolution in Turkey. ESPECIALLY if Turkey attempts to pass a similar foreign agents bill similar to what Georgia just passed.

  2. I doubt that these predictions will come to pass. Turkey benefits too much by playing both sides in the “Great Game” in Asia.

    Greece must tread carefully in any event.

  3. Petros you make very good points ..however . I do not agree with your premise that Turkey has Carte Blanche to go after Greece or Cyprus ! It is clear …that both Greece and Cyprus are clearly “Colonies of the United state and Israel Zionist Empire! Therefore, as we can see … the U.S dictates who Greece is to wage war on .. and who in the future she will wage war on ! The British wage all out war to preserve their U.S colony in 1776 from those who sought to take away their colony , do you think they will allow Turkey to take over their colony Greece ! I mean look what they are doing for Ukraine .. to preserve their recent colony..and have brought us to the point of Nuclear war ! The only thing that will happen .. is Turkey part of the Brics .. will join Russia, China, and the rest of the Bric Members as mortal threats to the clients of the ruling Republican and Democratic Crime Syndicate who no longer can compete in a “Free Market” which they have dominated for decades ! Mistotakis and Made in American Greek patriots nationals should be completely thrilled that they have surrendered Greece Sovereignty which they claimed only Turkey threatened, when in fact , it is America who has taken over ..and now prepared to do what they promised Greece ,when they took them over..go to war , maybe not for the people of Greece, but for the oligarks, Bankers, Wall street investors, Congress and Military of America! So, what did you expect …no one does anything , unless there is something they get out of it!

  4. Archon John Catsimatidis:

    “Russia would love to take charge of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and make it a Russian asset. Many years ago, there was a similar issue, but we resolved it with President Clinton. Currently, we are working very hard to have political influence in the United States, Congress, Senate, and the Executive Office of the President. That is the only option the Archons have. They need to influence the United States, which is the only one capable of protecting the Patriarchate and religious freedom.”

    https://www.greeknewsusa.com/catsimatidis-it-is-very-tragic-that-the-turkish-government-decided-to-convert-one-of-the-worlds-oldest-churches-into-a-mosque/

    • If they were not able to open the Halki Seminary (closed by the Turks since 1971) they are kidding themselves and fooling all of us. Also, in the process they destroyed the biggest asset Hellenism had, A UNITED ORTHODOXY. For all Hellenes around the globe the Archons will end up as synonymous to traitors – unless they change course soon.

    • Only the US can protect the Patriarchate? Like they did in 1922 when the US and European powers stopped Greece from entering Constantinople. Or after the 1955 pogroms in Constantinople when the US and NATO supported Turkey.

      The US is largely responsible for the Patrisrchate losing its flock. Incidentally the pro Bartholomew Russophobes should learn history. The Russian Church
      Condemned the 1955 pogroms.

  5. Russia has been trying to destroy a united Hellenic Orthodoxy ever since Tsar Ivan III promoted Moscow as “Third Rome” in the 15th century. That ambition is making great strides now, but the time will soon come when the whole world will turn against Russia and their heretical “Holy War” ideology. Another papism is rearing its ugly head, and its coming out of Moscow, not Constantinople.

    • The current schism is the result of the West using Constantinople as a weapon. Russia returned to Orthodoxy after 70 yrs of communist suppression. That was a major feat regardless of what else you might believe. The credit for this feat goes directly to Putin

    • You are wrong sir. The Russians helped the Orthodox under the Ottomans. Patriarch Jeremias II of Constantinople recognized Moscow’s status as the fifth ranking Patriarchate and approved of the Third Rome claims of Russia. See Steven Runciman’s The Great Church in Captivity, the chapter entitled Constantinople and Moscow.

      Perhaps you should read The Orthodox Church and Independent Greece 1821-1852 by Charles Frazee. Read how the British and the Germans carved up the Patriarchate of Constantinople to create the “autocephalous” Church of Greece. The Russians opposed carving up the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

      If there is anybody who opposes a United Hellenic Orthodoxy it is the unscrupulous anti Christian western powers. I happen to love the Church of Constantinople and I find it painful to see the extent to which the current Patriarch has worked to harm the Russian Church.

      The genocide of the Greeks in 1922 by the Turks was made possible by pro Turkish Americans and Europeans. The Patriarchate lost its flock in Asia Minor.

      The anti Greek pogroms of 1955 and the the further ethnic cleansing of Constantinople’s Greeks in 1964 brought the Patriarchate to ruin. The US and NATO did NOTHING to stop the Turks.

      The Patriarchate should not be depending on the Americans and NATO who are today importing the spiritually poisonous LGBT agenda to Orthodox countries while simultaneously arming the Nazi armies of Ukraine. The Patriarchate should be depending on the head of the Church Jesus Christ! Only the power of faith can save the Patriarchate from the Turks, not the Americans whose war on Christianity in Serbia, Cyprus, Syria, and Ukraine is well known.

      The following sermon in September 1955 from Archbishop of Athens Spyridon after the pogroms in Constantinople. Note the pro Russian sentiment.

      “Greece is mourning today….We are mourning for the acts of violence and the ruins. We are mourning for the burned Churches and the outrage. We are mourning for the miserable attitude of the Christian world. Before these abominable acts, the powerful keep silent, our friends assume a hypocritical attitude, and the authors of the cruelties jeer us, just because they are tolerated by those whose guilt is certain and proved…..

      The alleged defenders of civilization and Freedom have not yet realized to what extent they have ill-treated the ideals of supporting the acts of violence, and what arms they have offered to those considered their enemies. And yet, at the time when the powerful Russian Empire protected the Orthodox of the East, the barbarians never dared to commit such sacrifices…..”

      From the book The Mechanism of Catastrophe by Speros Vryonis

      The harm suffered by the Patriarchate has everything to do with the support for Turkey by the western powers. Russia has never harmed the Church of Constantinople.

    • Joseph,

      There have certainly been a lot of things that Moscow has done in past history that would not qualify as “honorable”, as well as many things that might be considered “controversial”, or even “disappointingly competitive”, however the notion of a new “papacy” historically originating in Moscow is not entirely accurate given what we are witnessing…

      A) It was Constantinople (Meletios Metaxakis and his buddies) that introduced the first major “modern” schism by making unilateral decisions in the 1920s about imposing the New Calendar without a wider Orthodox Synodical discussion & consent, a schism that still plagues us today, including with practical problems that resulted in our liturgical books…

      B) After Vatican 2, it was Constantinople and its eparchial synods that unilaterally decided to “relax” some practices concerning baptism / chrismation, causing a new schism (compared to what other jurisdictions continued to practice) that are now causing all sorts of problems, and providing the dangerous foundation for innovators like Elpidophoros to make heretical statements in February of 2020:

      https://ocl.org/greek-archbishop-of-america-declares-open-communion-for-non-orthodox-spouses/

      C) In the late 1990’s, the propaganda statement “the patriarch of Constantinople is the spritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians” started emerging in printed articles in North America and elsewhere, with very little opposition, until even mainstream media started quoting this unfortunate statement as well. That was a direct assault and rejection of the Synodical Tradition of the Orthodox Church. In essence, it’s a false statement that many people almost 30 years later believe to be true. The danger behind accepting this statement is exactly the opposite of what you are suggesting, because it is an attempt to “promote” the bishop of Constantinople into a position of “supreme hierarch” (a.k.a. Pope of the East)…

      D) The methodical escalation of this dogma was manifest in Elpidophoros’ heretical publication in 2011 that the “bishop of Constantinople” is “first without equals”, which was yet another Constantinopolitan “marketing innovation” that wasn’t exactly met with the commensurate outrage one might expect.
      https://ec-patr.org/primus-sine-paribus-pantisis-e-s-t-per-proteioy/

      E) And unilateral decisions to issue a “tomos” of autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismato-heretics under Philaret despite other autocephalous Churches strongly warning Constantinople not to do so prove that it is the bishop of Constantinople in fact that is behaving with the illusion of “supreme authority”, executing personal decisions without wider Synodical Church acceptance….(a.k.a. “Pope of the East”)

      Moscow has now retaliated (based on Canons) to an assault on its jurisdiction, not just against Constantinople, but also against Alexandria, and those bishops of Greece and Cyprus that have concelebrated with Epiphanios’ “team”.

      http://www.sourozh.org/maineng/2023/9/12/to-the-attention-of-pilgrims-from-the-russian-orthodox-churc.html

      That should have been expected, and it doesn’t automatically make Moscow the “perpetrator” despite what the Constantinopolitan (and recently the Alexandrian) propaganda engines have been spewing for the past 5 years… However, the historical points above are clear about which Patriarch is “trying hard” to position himself as the “Pope”.

      • Markos, to be clear, let’s examine the concept of primacy in the Orthodox Church. This concept is important to clarify. If I may, let’s first examine what primacy means in a local church. For example, let’s examine what primacy is for the Church of Cyprus.

        We all know the head of the Church of Cyprus is Archbishop George. He has distinct privileges that the other hierarchs don’t have. He can speak on behalf of the Church of Cyprus. He can call councils and spiritual courts and preside over them for the Church of Cyprus. When he serves a Primatial Divine Liturgy, he commemorates the heads of other churches, that is the diptychs. That’s something the other hierarchs of Cyprus simply don’t do. He is “first WITHOUT equal” in this regard. However, his opinion or vote in any Council of the Church of Cyprus would be equal to that of the other bishops. He is “first AMONG equals” in that regard.

        Archbishop George’s predecessor, Archbishop Chrysostomos, took an informal tally of the other bishop’s opinions regarding the OCU in Ukraine, and the majority of them either supported the recognition of the OCU or were not opposed to it. I believe the Church of Cyprus has 16 bishops, and maybe only 3 or 4 have vocally opposed it. Because of this informal tally, Archbishop Chrysostomos was therefore within his right, as first WITHOUT equal, to commemorate Metropolitan Epiphany of the OCU. Yes, he could have called a council on the matter, but that would have forced the minority dissenting bishops to accept and be silent, or go into schism. By not calling a council, he preserved the current unity of the Church of Cyprus, and perhaps more importantly, he also didn’t silence any dissenting opinions. The dissenters can still go into schism if they want. However, if they simply want to express dissenting opinions on the OCU, they are not prevented from doing so by any official Council of the Church of Cyprus. I believe this was a good reason for not calling a council on the matter.

        The primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch is similar to that of the head of any local church, except that his primacy is as head of a “Church of Churches”. As with the head of any local church, it is not just an honorary position either. There are distinct privileges the Ecumenical Patriarch has that the other bishops don’t have. In this sense, he is first WITHOUT equal. There are also separate and distinct privileges that he has as the Patriarch of Constantinople, and also as the Archbishop of Constantinople (his diocese). However, just like the head of any local church, if Patriarch Bartholomew calls any council, his opinion or vote means the same as any other bishop at the council. In that sense, he is first AMONG equals.

        The decision to use the Revised Calendar did not cause any schism between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the other heads of churches. Today, most of the heads of the Orthodox churches use the Revised Calendar. It is a minority that still use the Old Calendar: Jerusalem, Georgia, Russia, and Poland. The Old Calendarist schisms that still exist today were internal matters within those local churches that insisted on the switch, and quite possibly the switch was insisted by calling local councils on the matter. My point here is that sometimes there is very good reason for not making things quite so official and calling a council.

        In regards to the autocephaly of Ukraine, the fundamental issue has to do with an interpretation of the 1686 Patriarchal Act that gave the Metropolitan of Moscow the right to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev. The EP says that “right” was revocable. Moscow claims it isn’t. Regardless, the EP says that by revoking that “right”, the territory of Ukraine falls under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. The jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople is a separate thing from the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It’s not a papist argument.

        • I am sure Markos will answer properly but let me make a point on Cyprus: there are 9 metropolitans in Cyprus and half of them are against the ukrainian autocephaly. Above all, Kykkou monastery which is more powerful and wealthier than all metropolises of Cyprus put together (and enjoys more respect and credibility than the Archdiocese) is also against. But the way you look at the primacy is flawed and uninformed. The most educated and wise hierarch of world Orthodoxy today, Anastasios of Albania, ia also against, and reading his two letters to Bartholomew should satisfy you and everyone else – if you were able to be convinced by logical and educated arguments. But you prefer to push political arguments.

        • The late Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus originally did NOT recognize the fake Church of Ukraine. Only under pressure from Patriarch Bartholomew and without the approval of the sultan’s did he recognize the fake Church.

          Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria originally refused to recognize the fake Church but did so obviously because he is corrupt and under the Phanar’s influence. The Church of Greece for a year did not even put this matter for discussion by the holy synod.

          Only when Mike Pompeo went to Athens and asked Archbishop Ieronymos to recognize the fake Church did Athens do so. No Church recognized the fake Church in Ukraine in a clean and honest way.
          Only through bullying and external pressure was the fake Church recognized.

          And in the cases of Greece and Cyprus there were bishops, priests, professors, monastics, and faithful who refused to go along and protested.

          As for the Patriarch being “first without equals” his grace Bishop Irenei Steenberg of ROCOR wrote a response to that that exposed the ignorance of Archbishop Elpidophoros.

        • Joseph,

          Your response conveniently ignores significant details, and as a result this helps you promote an alternative selective reality:

          1) Your response doesn’t really incorporate the full spectrum of the concept of a Synod, or its historical context within Orthodoxy. How was it possible for the Synod of Jerusalem to depose Patriarch Eirinaios if it is only the local Patriarch (first among equals) who is authorized to call a Synod to begin with? Under what Canonical authority were the other bishops of the Synod able to depose him? Who was the “first among equals” on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of “tongues of fire”? Why is there a specific ancient Canon forbidding even the Patriarch himself to sit upon the Synthronon of a local bishop during a concelebration in the local bishop’s jurisdiction?

          2) During his tenure, Archbishop Chrysostomos intentionally expanded the number of bishops of the Synod of Cyprus, and promoted his own “good ol’ boys” in there, specifically to ensure that the majority of Synod of Cyprus is comprised of “compromised” individuals that can be more easily controlled and influenced by external entities on “important matters” such as the Ukrainian Tomos. Thus, presenting to us the “calculus” that there were “only 3 or 4 opposing voices” in an “artificially packed court of 16 (and prior to Chrysostomos 10 or so)” constitutes a shameful insult to our intelligence.

          3) Let’s talk about “legitimacy” for a moment… What happened to the voice of the people, whose choice was NOT George or Chrysostomos? Do you care that they were technically both “illegally” enthroned as Archbishop, if we were to apply the Canons as they were intended by the Church Fathers? Does that make Chrysostomos’ or George’s decisions any more or less legitimate in this light, based on your theory of “first without equals”, if they were not elected according to the Canons and the will of the people?

          4) Who cares about a 1686 “Patriarchal Act”, which was really more of a “clarification request”, and not an “Act”, during a strange time of political upheavals and destructive Uniate invasions in the Ukraine? Does that piece of paper from 1686 overrule or supercede the original “Patriarchal Act” that gave jurisdiction of Kiev (and the Caves) to the Rus who became Orthodox and whose Orthodox movement was born in that region when the mass conversions to Orthodoxy from paganism first took place? Who cares if the Rus eventually had to move their Patriarchate from Kiev to Moscow due to wars and invasions…does that mean they relinquished the territory of Kiev back to Constantinople? No way. That’s ridiculous to even think of… And if the 1686 “Patriarchal Act” as you call it is so material, why did Bartholomew sign his name on Constantinopolitan letterhead for the first 27 years of his tenure to both Moscovite Patriarchs Alexey and Kyril assuring them that a) Philaret was a schismatic, b) he was viewed by Constantinople as legitimately defrocked by Moscow (and by inferred extension anyone that he “tonsured”), and c) the Ukraine was Moscow’s jurisdiction.? Was the 1686 document “hidden” from anyone’s knowledge prior to 2018 when the Ukrainian tomos suddenly became a hot headline? Why is it that it took 27 years for Bartholomew to change stance, and why is it that the timing of that change coincided with geopolitical pressures, federal investigations into violations of US banking laws for “misuse of funds” from “restricted accounts”, etc? Again, please don’t insult our intelligence by presenting this “low impact”, minor document from 1686 as something that has any ability to overturn the MAJOR historical facts…

          So, this is now quickly turning into a “tale of two realities”… 🙂

  6. Hey Lipper .. the only people trying to destroy the Orthodox Church are the Zionist Jewish and Evangelical Protestant lawmakers of America and Israel who have funded the genocide of Greek Orthodox Christians in Palestine , Syria , Eastern Europe , and Cyprus! On the other hand Putin has done everything to protect the Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox Christians populist and clergy from the Jewish Zionist regimes of Israel and America who have sponsored the Terrorist organization that murdered orthodox and Catholic clergy and faithful of Allepo, Syria and other areas , which Russian Orthodox Church blessed Russian Orthodox Soldiers of Russia to destroy and protect the Orthodox and Christian faithful of Syria , and successfully did ! The U.S may be the only power to protect their “Mob boss” in Constantinople , but they certainly are not protecting Greek, Russian , or any other Orthodox Christians, only Jewish Zionist to commit genocide! But if you don’t believe me .. how about the Partriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church who called the Churches of the west to condemn the US for their criminal bombing of Syrian Orthodox Citizens in 2018 .. and only the Russia Orthodox Church and Putin responded as follows…

    However,
    God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!

    We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:
    . This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
    . This unjust aggression encourages the terrorist organizations and gives them momentum to continue in their terrorism.
    .
    We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to play its natural role in bringing peace rather than contribute to escalation of wars.
    .
    We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace
    And how did the “Good Archons” respond to their calls .. Nick is right .. the y already have shown that they are also under the Protection Racket of the Republican and Democratic crime families …

    • Michael1, ironically, the main political machine that has supported “Christian Zionism” as a major force in America is the so-called “Pro-Life” movement. This has continued to be the case ever since the “Rev” Jerry Falwell promoted a three-point political agenda for Evangelical Christians in the late 1970’s.

      The three points of Falwell’s “Moral Majority” was the following: it was against abortion, against rights for homosexuals, and against a Palestinian state. That agenda was credited with defeating Pres. Jimmy Carter (an Evangelical Christian who was ambivalent on abortion, supported rights for homosexuals, and supported a state for Palestinians.) Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood actor, supported the agenda of the “Moral Majority” and won the presidency. Ever since, Republican politicians have adopted those three points of the now-officially defunct “Moral Majority”. In reality, the “Moral Majority” has never gone away.

      The high profile “Pro-Life” movement has largely given Zionist politicians their votes and office. Thus it is largely the “Pro-Life” movement that has been the political machine behind Republican “Christian Zionism” and it’s support for the Israeli government.

      • Lipper… you will get no argument from me or any other informed Independent democratic or Republican voter and Patriot of America as to the merits of your allegation against one half of the ruling Crime Syndicates ruling America ! ” Racist White supremacist Protestant Zionist Republican lawmakers for decades ..support for Genocide, War crimes ,, crimes against humanity, and oppression and contradiction of human rights and religious freedoms, in not only Ukraine , Palestine, Syria , libya, Iraq, Afganiastan, Vietnam , Middle East , Europe but America which may taint the candidacy of Donald Trumps for President of the United States! However, Mr. Lipper, I do have an argument with you about allegation that the Russian Orthodox Church is under the control of the KGB and the fact that your beliefs and comment have been responsible for the deaths , persecution of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine , Europe and Middle East ! My response to those allegation have not been deemed printable , i guess by Helleniscope! ..

        • Michael1, the Russian Church that was brought back in 1943 was in symphonia with the political aims of Joseph Stalin and the KGB. This is clearly shown. I am not saying this was necessarily a bad thing either. The Church has always seen itself as the servant of the state, praying for government authorities, for the military, and trying to abide by state laws. While the KGB doesn’t officially exist anymore (now it is called the FSB), we can see that Patriarch Kirill is fully aligned with Vladimir Putin. There is undeniably a symphonia today between Church and state within the Russian Federation. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

          However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of the former Soviet states, like Ukraine and Estonia, now consider the Russian Federation a military threat. Especially disconcerting for those countries is Patriarch Kirill still claiming jurisdiction in their country and calling for “Holy War”. This is why the governments of those countries are insisting on a complete separation from Patriarch Kirill.

          Yet it is not just those former Soviet states that Patriarch Kirill claims jurisdiction in. He claims jurisdiction all over the world, including the U.S. Given the current trajectory towards WWIII, it is highly likely that we will soon see governments all over the world insisting that their local Russian church separate itself from the Moscow Patriarchate. Separation from the Moscow Patriarchate will be the price for their religious freedom.

          • Did you see the response from Markos? Take it into account and answer please.

            Yes, the Russian Church is likely to establish exarchates all over the world and this is natural. Because the Constantinople Patriarchate abandoned Orthodoxy and favors homosexuality along with union with the Catholics. Above all, Bartholomew is acting like a Pope showing no faith to Orthodoxy. So the Russian Orthodoxy projects itself naturally as a bastion of Orthodoxy. If Bartholomew wants to promote himself as a leader he should abandon the heresies.

  7. Putin is following in the footsteps of Joseph Stalin, who brought back the Russian Orthodox bishops out of exile and restored the Patriarchate in 1943 as a tool of Russian nationalism. Stalin was then persuaded by the bishops that the post-WWII Russian Church would be the dominant force in Orthodoxy and could gain control and influence over the other Orthodox churches. It was a church organized by the KGB, and that’s why all the Russian bishops were KGB assets. It is the last remaining Soviet institution that still exists today:

    https://www.newsweek.com/why-do-russians-trust-church-set-kgb-802635

    • As far as I know – and I am following these thing closely – the Russian church respected the nominal primacy (primes inter paribus) of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Especially in places like Mount Athos. The reverse is NOT true, as it shown in the case of Ukrainian autocephaly. Again, it was the West that provoked Russia and not the other way around. Of course you and others have every right to be blinded and fooled by propaganda.

    • Mr. Lipper,

      Church-State relations in Russia are no different than Church-State relations have been in Greece. The concept of “symphonia” which if I remember correctly originated with Saint Justinian Emperor of Constantinople.

    • And we can counter-argue that bishops in the Greek churches are assets of other “international influencers”…so what? Why are you singling out one instance and ignoring the travesty of Constantinople’s / Athens / Cyprus / Alexandria’s actions? We can even go back well prior to the KGB if you want, with infiltration of Mt. Athos with Russian spies dressed as monks, backed with the Czar’s money, and performing espionage on the movement of the Turkish military in the late 1800’s early 1900’s, prior to Mt. Athos’ liberation in 1912…Read up on the story of how the brotherhood of the “Δανηιλαιοι” was originally formed after St. Panteleimon was overrun by Russian monks (whose Czarist money influenced the Patriarch of Constantinople to threaten elder Daniel to either leave the monastery and stop complaining about the influx of Russians, or be turned over to the Turks as a spy), and virtually transformed from “Greek” to “Russian” within the span of a few years around the turn of 1900….At that time, Russian money was quite welcome by Constantinople…today, it’s “other influencer’s money”, isn’t it?

      Your selective use of one slice of this pizza is an unsuccessful attempt to distort the “macro” view.

      At the end of the day, corruption is corruption, and the faithful have to start throwing these compromisers out of their Church, whatever jurisdiction they belong in, and not allow their Church to become a “tool” of external influence. When we see any hierarch who is not consistent with Patristic and Canonical Tradition, we have to reject them.

      • Markos, if there was harmony between the Russian Church and the governments of Ukraine and Estonia, then there would be no problems. At times in the past, such harmony may have even existed, but that is not the case now.

        Vladimir Putin has called the collapse of the Soviet empire “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century”. He has a clear agenda to restore the Soviet empire, and the claims of jurisdiction in Ukraine and Estonia made by the Russian Church are a primary support of this aim.

        Ask yourself, realistically, how can Patriarch Kirill be the Patriarch of Ukraine and Estonia when he is not even allowed to enter either of those countries? Yes, it is absolutely politics. Meanwhile, Patriarch Bartholomew has been welcomed by the governments of both countries and has created a “back door” for those who wish to separate themselves from the Moscow Patriarchate. The only thing that the governments of Ukraine and Estonia are insisting on for Orthodox Christians is separation from the Moscow Patriarchate. That’s just the price of religious freedom in those countries.

        • Joseph if you keep following this convoluted road your comments will be spammed. Met. Onufriy of Ukraine is autonomous from Moscow and represents 70% of the Ukrainian Orthodox. You cannot confuse the results of the West’s intervention in Ukraine (where they organized a coup d’etat in 2014) with what was the normal situation before. Keep your propaganda for yourself and your kind. This is a place for honest and fair exchange of ideas.

        • Joseph, you are spewing dangerous rhetoric that is the product of years of “think tank” propaganda, generated by people that are foreign to Orthodox Tradition and History…in short, “that ain’t how things work”…and to answer your “foot-in-mouth” question:

          First of all, to say “Kyrill” isn’t allowed into a NATO country is an admission of NATO countries engaging in religious descrimination on political grounds…exactly the opposite from the ideals that NATO has based its existence on to secure a “free world”, correct?

          Furthermore, national boundaries are carved out by conquest constantly…that doesn’t mean that ecclesiastical jurisdictions change, based on a Patriarch residing within one set of “national boundaries”…Governments change…sometimes they are hostile to you, sometimes they are not…in the United States, we have witnessed the weaponization of the FBI against religious organizations and school parents, for example. Our Orthodox Church was built upon the martryrs of the first 3 centuries…hostility towards a Patriarch by a government is not a “foreign concept” for a student of history, even if that sadly means the perpetrating government is a “defender of the free world,” (a.k.a. a charter member of NATO – Estonia, etc)

          Thus, let’s examine the parallel to your question – the same way that Bartholomew claims to be the Patriarch of people living in countries that are outside the boundaries of Constantinople/Turkey…
          Your twisted logic has just legitimized the call for autonomy of every “Church” based on national boundaries….Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia, Mt. Athos, every nation in the EU, Hong Kong, Crete, the Dodecanese Islands, etc…let’s see Bartholomew do that first, and after he does that, loses his “empire”, and goes bankrupt by modeling things after your own view of the ecclesiastical universe, then we can sit down and have a gentlemens’ talk about Kyrill, too.

          • Markos, the big difference is that Patriarch Bartholomew is not calling for a “Holy War”. He is not even calling for war against Russia. No, he is calling for Russia to stop the war.

            Would you let somebody into your country if they declared or alluded to a “Holy War” against it?

          • Joseph – are you kidding? He was part of the forces which CAUSED the war!! And now he is calling to stop the war? I have been writing for over 6 years that giving autocephaly to the schismatics will cause violence – and I was proven correct. Now the – contrarian by personality – sinful to the core of his existence Bartholomew will pretend that he is a “dove of peace”? Give all of us a break, Joseph.. Take your propaganda elsewhere.

          • Joseph, you really should read some history before you type…”Holy War”, eh? I needed a good laugh (thanks for the joke).

            Bartholomew fueled the war with this Ukrainian autocephaly nonsense. Bartholomew fueled and has silently supported the takeover of the Kiev Caves, which have been in Moscow’s jurisdiction for 1000 years…do you call that a “fair Crusade”, sir? Or do you happen support the burning of churches and killing of clergy that has been enabled since the “tomos of autocephaly” was granted? Sounds like a “holy war” to me…

            Do you remember when Bartholomew declared “holy war” on Christodoulos of Athens, and removed him from the Diptychs, for the same jurisdictional arguments that Moscow cited to stop commemorating Bartholomew? What makes Bartholomew so “holy”?
            (Or, are you on his payroll to write some yellow journalism? That would explain a lot if you are…)

            If anything Bartholomew is continuing the Holy War that the Uniates declared on Orthodoxy in the Ukraine in the 1600s and 1700s…

  8. Theodoros, a major difference between the Russian Church and the Church of Greece is jurisdiction. The Church of Greece only claims jurisdiction within Greece. In contrast, the Russian Church literally claims jurisdiction anywhere and everywhere it wants to, and on every continent on earth including Antarctica. The concept of symphonia is fine, but what the Russian Church is doing goes way beyond that. Look at Estonia. The local Russian Church there is now at odds with the local government, and not because they’ve done anything wrong, but because they are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Church, and Russia’s proclamation of “Holy War against the West” is now considered a major military threat to Estonia. Patriarch Kirill may have symphonia with Putin, and that’s fine, but he doesn’t have symphonia in Ukraine or with any of the NATO countries like Estonia where he nonetheless still claims jurisdiction.

    • Joseph, I remind you that up to the time when Bartholomew gave autocephaly to Ukraine the Russian Patriarchate has respected the EP’s jurisdiction everywhere – including Africa. But when Bartholomew – ignored his own previous dictums and recognized the schismatics of Ukraine (also entering the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate – acknowledged as such for centuries) then all bets were off. The Moscow Patriarchate sent a committee led by Pat. Krill to Constantinople to try and change Old Bart’s mind. He was blackmailed by the American deep state – and this was impossible.
      Joseph, trying to put lipstick on a pig will NOT work here…

    • Joseph,

      The latest casualty of the collusion between Patriarch Bartholomew and the US foreign policy apparatus is the Church of Bulgaria. A division in that Church is now widening with the impending election of a new Patriarch. Several Bulgarian bishops served in Constantinople with the fake “bishops” of the OCU.

      This in turn has led Moscow to break communion with those bishops. So now Moscow is out of communion with a part of the Bulgarian Church as well as parts of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus.
      And a complete rupture of communion with Constantinople and Alexandria.

      The US appears ready to intervene in Bulgaria to influence the election of the next Patriarch. Having interfered in the affairs of the Church of Greece and using the Orthodox Churches as tools in the war on Russia, the US foreign policy establishment has shown itself to be a persecutor of the faith of Christ.

      Patriarch Bartholomew went along with the war on the Church of Russia and continues creating division among the local Churches. Do you think this destruction and disunity has been worth it?

      As for Lithuania and Estonia, they are under the omophorion of Moscow. Those governments have no business trying to coerce those Churches to leave Moscow.

      When the smoke clears, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is going to lose badly. The universal Church established the Church of Constantinople at the Second Ecumenical Council. The universal Church has the authority to abolish it at a future council.

      Not something I want to see, but it is becoming unavoidable as Patriarch and State Department continue creating division in Orthodoxy. Whatever mistakes the Moscow Patriarchate has made in its stance toward the war, its position on the canons and Church crisis is solid.

    • Define “Greece”, Joseph…how is it that Crete, the Dodecanese, Mt. Athos, the Northeast Aegean Islands, and Northern Greece (New Lands) are still claimed by Constantinople as its “jurisdiction”?

      Your argument has just been evaporated…

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