After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Moscow and Ecumenism

Moscow and Ecumenism


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Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 7:49 PM
To: Joanna Higginbotham

Joanna - use this as you wish. Very sad, but not surprising!

Draft Orthodox catechism defends ecumenism
Catholic Herald, 1 August 2017

A new draft catechism of the Russian Orthodox church has declared ecumenical discussions to date ‘completely faithful and obedient’ to Christian teaching, in opposition to critics of ecumenism within the church.

The Catechesis of the Russian Orthodox Church, issued with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, follows a submission to the Council of Bishops in February, and is published for Church-wide discussion.

The sixth and final part of the document, which covers attitudes towards the non-Orthodox, is non-negotiable, but its assertion that ecumenical representatives have acted “in complete agreement with the canonical rules” runs contrary to prominent voices within the church, who have pointed to the dangers of the ecumenical movement.

Many figures within the Orthodox Church, including St Justin Popovich, Elder Ephraim of Katounakia, St Paisios the Athonite, St Seraphim of Sobolev, Fr Seraphim Rose, and Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos), have been vocal about the dangers the movement poses.
Following last year’s Council on Crete, the Churches of Georgia and Bulgaria were also guarded in their responses.

The February 2016 joint declaration between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis contained expressions “which are by no means indisputable, and sometimes erroneous,” according to Fr George Maximov.

Part VI of the draft catechism quotes a Pan-Orthodox meeting in Thessaloniki in 1998:

During Orthodox participation of many decades in the ecumenical movement, Orthodoxy has never been betrayed by any representative of a Local Orthodox Church. On the contrary, these representatives have always been completely faithful and obedient to their respective Church authorities, and acted in complete agreement with the canonical rules, the Teaching of the Ecumenical Councils, the Church Fathers and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church (7.3)

The draft catechism follows an initial submission to the Council of Bishops in January. The council then forwarded the draft to the permanent members of the Holy Synod, the primates of the patriarchate’s autonomous Churches, the first hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the heads of Synodal institutions and theological schools, and diocesan bishops who expressed a desire to participate in reviewing the text.

The idea of creating a modern catechism was first raised at the Bishops’ Council in 2008.

Prominent theologians of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as professors of various theological academies, have been involved in the project.

Guest reviews are being accepted for Parts I-III, while Parts IV-VI are non-negotiable.

The full text of the draft catechesis can be found at theolcom.ru.

Tennessee Hippie

4 August 2017 
Prichard's Grocery Store parking lot
Alexandria, Tennessee
     The young man is an employee who helps shoppers carry out their groceries.
     20 years ago there was no such thing as a Tennessee Hippie.  If rednecks spotted one they would jump him, hold him down, and cut off his hair.  This one is wearing boots that jingle-jangle when he walks.

Rat Snake

10 July 2017 
Caves Springs, Tennessee
Not a very big one.  Harmless snake.  Eats rodents.


• Kenyan Christians killed by Moslems for refusing to recite Moslem prayers

• Are solar eclipses proof of God?




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John-Peter Presson

Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Masters, Fathers bless.

I found this recording in my archive recently and posted it to my SoundCloud file


--it is a recording of the Anaphora responses in Greek as chanted in the old Patriarchal style -plainchanted as opposed to chanted to the long melodic forms used from the 19th Century on in various composed "leitourgica". At first their austerity may be disconcerting to listeners accustomed to tuneful or virtuosic Leitourgika, but when they are placed in sequence with the celebrant’s recitations, one is led to a deeper appreciation of the thematic unity and spiritual power of the great Eucharistic Prayer attributed to St. John Chrysostom. This simplicity serves to clarify the textual structure of the responses.  They are simple, elegant responses to the Eucharistic dialogue, similar in concept to the "Dominus vobiscum" dialogue of the pre-Vatican II high mass ritual, in contrast to the more contemporary practice of using the responses as a sort of  "musical wallpaper" for the priest's eucharistic prayers (for the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, for the chant geeks out there, the lag time for the priest's prayers is not that great, and as is demonstrated the English sample from our Schola Cantorum, most of the lag is easily filled).

It is interesting to note that this WAS the standard of the Patriarchal chapel for many centuries, and the practice of using more extended was imported into the Patriarchate after attempts, particularly by Athenagoras 2 to replace the chant tradition with more contemporary Sakalleridis melodies and westernized compositions into the Patriarchal Church.
Aficianados of the Greek Byzantine Choir of the late Archon Protopsaltis Lycourgos Angelopoulos will recognize these responses from their Divine Liturgy CD, now out of print.

The Cathedral Schola in Portland chants it in English at 14:21 in this clip https://soundcloud.com/john-p-presson/part-two-of-yesterdays-liturgy-with-the-st-marks-cathedral-choir-members and has done so in this form for several years.

John-Peter Presson
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna & Portland (ΓΟΧ)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral -Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna est distantia, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica. - Guido of Arrezzo

Repose of Father Christian Doucet

FW: Repose of Father Christian Doucet


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Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 10:16 AM
Reply-To: dutikow@juno.com
To: Dutikow

From: Saint Edward Brotherhood [mailto:info@saintedwardbrotherhood.org]
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 10:36 AM
To: Undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Repose of Father Christian Doucet

Bless! From the Fili and Oropos website today;

The repose of Father Christian Doucet - 

            May our Saviour grant him rest withr saints.  Memory Eternal!

Combining Christ with Belial, by New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)

On the Execution of a Monstrous Plan – Combining Christ with Belial, by New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)

New Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky)

Presented below is a letter written on July 16/29, 1927 by Holy Martyr Hilarion (Troitskiy) to N.N. about Metropolitan Sergey's (Stragorodskiy) Declaration. Although written 90 years ago, this letter remains highly relevant to our time. Holy Martyr Hilarion was an active supporter of the revival of the patriarchate. In many ways thanks to his remarkable speech at the Local Council of 1917-1918, for the first time in more than 200 years, a Patriarch of Moscow was elected. After the election of Patriarch Tikhon, Bishop Hilarion became his secretary and advisor, negotiating on behalf of the Church with state representatives to soften government policy on religion. The Bishop's active efforts provoked the discontent of the authorities and in the 1920s he was convicted and sentenced to three years in the prison camps followed by another three years of internal exile. The Holy Martyr concluded his earthly path in Leningrad: at a transfer station from one prison camp to another he contracted typhus, soon after died, and was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery in St. Petersburg in 1929.

My dear friend! 

While I was still under the impression that your anxious letter of October 2 (15) had on me, I looked in my notebook to remind myself of some of my relatively dated notes associated with the subject of your anxiety. This is what I drafted on February 18 (March 3), 1924.

"Perhaps we will soon find ourselves a small island in an ocean of wickedness. As the fall of the autocracy initially crept up gradually and then quickly concluded, leaving the image of Russian statehood changed, so too is the revolutionary reform process in our Church unfolding in a similar fashion and can also quickly come to a conclusion. The state of church relations can evolve as if in a kaleidoscope. The Renovationists could suddenly emerge as the ruling "church party" in Russia, and such a party would have very few opponents if the overt Renovationists and the covert traitors come to terms with each other and together cloak themselves in the guise of canonicity. Of course, one can also assume that developments could go in another direction, but in any case, the true children of the Ecumenical Church of Christ must remain vigilant and stand guard with burning lights.”

"For an Orthodox person the difficulty of our current time consists, among other things, if not primarily, (as I wrote in my notebook on January 1 (14), 1925) in that the present life of the Church requires a highly spiritual attitude towards oneself. One cannot rely on official pastors (bishops and priests), nor can one formally apply the canons to solve the issues presented in church life, nor in general can one limit themselves to a legalistic approach to the matter, but instead it is necessary to have a spiritual feeling that will show Christ's path among the many available paths that have been trampled by wild animals in sheep's clothing. Life has posited questions that can only be resolved correctly, ecclesiastically correctly, by stepping beyond custom, form, rule, and being guided by senses trained in discerning good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). Otherwise, it is easy to defile the sanctity of one's soul and begin burning one's conscience (1 Timothy 4:2) through accommodation, according to the rules, with the falsehoods and filth that the bishops themselves have brought into the Church's enclosure. On a "legal" basis, one can even accept the Antichrist…"

Have not church events of recent weeks confirmed these forebodings? Has not the frightening outcome, which was foreseen in our soul two-three years ago, come closer to reality with the second accession of Metropolitan Sergey to the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church? Did not the epistle of Metropolitan Sergey and his Synod, which provoked diverse and well-deserved negative criticisms, cast the church organization headed by him into the abominable, adulterous embrace of an atheistic, blasphemous and Christ-battling (antichrist) government (the variety of epithets directed by me at the Soviet authorities, are not meant as invective but in an essential, strictly defined sense - comment added by Archbishop Hilarion) and did not this terrible wickedness enter the bowels of our Church? Note that this epistle did not come from the schismatic Renovationists, nor the Borisovites and their like renegades, nor from the Living Church heretics, but from the legitimate, canonical, and presumably Orthodox hierarchy. The main provisions of the epistle are based on texts (although sometimes with distortions, for example see the false interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:1-2) of the Holy Scriptures and with the experience of the ancient Church that is presented as homogenous with current experience. On the other hand, the epistle seeks and hopes to meet the urgent needs of tormented believers, exhausted by persecution, with promises of peace and quiet. And many, many, especially among the clergy, respond sympathetically to this appeal by Metropolitan Sergey and his Synod.

This symphony of godless power and the legal hierarchy of the Orthodox Church has resulted in some "positive" fruits: bishops (although not those of the highest quality and not the very "guilty") have been returned from internal exile (although not very distant exile) and have been appointed to dioceses (although not those from which they were driven), and the acting Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Sergey, has a Synod (although it more resembles a Chief Procurator's Office of lawful hierarchs [although most of them are "damaged," i.e. in the church context they are compromised by their long-standing and firm orientation toward the godless GPU, among other issues]); Metropolitan Sergey's name is presented by all as the real helmsman of the Russian Church, but, alas!; this name is a counterfeit coin, because in reality the decision maker of the fate of the Russian Church and Her bishops, both those persecuted and those protected, i.e. those to whom mercy has been shown and who have been placed in diocesan sees (the latter is especially sad!), is the current Chief Procurator of the "Russian Orthodox Church" Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Tuchkov (Metropolitan Sergey would not dare to deny all this as he was the unfortunate initiator, or rather, the instrument of the monstrous plan to combine Christ with Belial – comment added by Archbishop Hilarion). To anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that, contrary to the decree on the separation of the Church from the state, the Orthodox Church has entered into a close, active alliance with the state. And with what a state?! With a state not lead by an Orthodox Tsar (in their day many members of the Church vigorously objected to the connection of the Church with such a state -- comment added by Archbishop Hilarion), but with a state whose main task is to destroy all religion on earth and, above all, Orthodox Christianity, as it sees in Orthodoxy, and rightly so, the primary world base of religious faith and a first-class fortress in Her battle with materialism, atheism, theomachism and Satanism (which is practiced, according to popular rumor, by some of the authorities of this world).

"…And he carried me (one of the seven angels) away in the Spirit into a wilderness," said John the Apostle, "and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names…And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: 'Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.' And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly" (Revelation 17:3,5,6).

And how could the Seer (John the Apostle) not marvel when he saw before him the transfiguration of the "woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1), into "the great harlot" (Revelation 18:2), into "the mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations…drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." (Revelation 17:5-6)! My friend! Do we not see something quite similar with our own eyes? Do not events occur before us that involuntarily bring to mind the spiritual contemplation of the Seer of the New Testament? Compare the above words from the Book of Revelation with the deeds and actions of our Living Church members and Renovationists! Are they not applicable to them, almost to the smallest detail!?

Much more significant, in the above noted apocalyptic sense, are the events of the last days associated with the name of Metropolitan Sergey. More significant, if only for the fact, that the scarlet beast with the name of blasphemy on its heads is not being ridden by a self-declared schismatic, but by a faithful wife, possessing an image of genuine piety apparently not desecrated by prior apostasy. This is the main, terrible aspect of what is happening right now before our very eyes, which effects the deepest spiritual interests of the children of the Church of God. It is immeasurable in its consequences, which cannot be even approximated, but which is essentially of global importance, the same importance that has belonged from its inception to the Church of Christ, the one true (orthodox) Church, which the forces of hell are attacking with unprecedented force, and with which we are organically connected not only in this age, but also in future ages, if indeed we love future ages. What are we to do in these terrible moments of a new danger instigated by the enemy against our Mother, the Holy Orthodox Church? What are we to do so as not to fall out of Her blessed, saving bosom and to not join the wickedness of the blasphemous beast and the harlot sitting on it? Lord, show us the path we should follow!

"After this I saw," continued John the Apostle, "another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. He cried out mightily with a loud voice, saying: ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and hateful bird." (Revelation 18:1-2) "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues" (Revelation 18:4).

Do not think, my dear, that I propose these apocalyptic eschatological insights as an immutable, dogmatic interpretation of these citations from the Book of Revelation. This would be an inexcusable pretension, absurd impudence, on my part. I am just drawing a dotted line between the images of the Apocalypse and contemporary church events, which compel one's thoughts to these prophetic images and which for their part, throw a bright ray of light on these events. "One repeatedly sees in the Old Testament that the same prophecies first come to pass in small form but then have another, higher and final fulfillment" (for the sake of this letter's length, I won't cite examples). This fact is sufficient to justify the juxtapositions that I have made and which I offer for your Christian consideration and submit to your friendly court. I fervently ask for your prayers for me to be enlightened by the grace of the Spirit of Truth, without which our human consideration of spiritual things often proves to be only "the irritation of a mind imprisoned." Neither the broadest scholarship, nor the most profound innate intelligence, nor the most refined natural mysticism, can give a satisfactory understanding of the mysteries of God. And in this instance we are abutting a mystery, the great and, in a certain sense, final mystery of the earthly existence of the Church and humanity.

The question that naturally arises in reading the last verse that I quoted from the Book of Revelation, in which the faithful are urged to leave Babylon, is also a mystery, i.e. when must the people of God make their way out. One extremely scholarly, thoughtful, pious and humble interpreter of the Book of Revelation answers this question thus: "when Babylon is at the threshold of judgment"..."This was the experience of the ancient church, which departed from the ruins of Israel and Jerusalem, and for whom the signal of its liberation was the judgment over the Old Testament peoples.”

The Church then had sufficiently clear and even externally defined directions for its Exodus (Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14, and especially Luke 21:20). Is it possible to say this about the signs of the Lord's prescribed exodus in that final epoch, to which in the final analysis, the words of the Seer apply and which is presumably a prediction for the present time? The "threshold of judgment" is neither a chronological nor an outwardly visible sign. To recognize this threshold, people must have open spiritual eyes. To the Pharisees who asked the Lord: "When will the Kingdom of God arrive?" the answer given was, "…the kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed," i.e. the Kingdom of God does not come in an observable way for sensuous eyes, "nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21) "This means," according to Bishop Ignatiy Brianchaninov, "one must abandon a carnal and sinful life, and then through repenting and living according to the commandments of the Gospel, cleanse and adorn one's spiritual temple, after which the Holy Spirit will bless it and perform its final purification and decoration." To such a temple God descends and establishes His spiritual, invisible, but altogether quite palpable and perceptible Kingdom. Whoever accepts within himself the Kingdom of God, can recognize and avoid the Antichrist or withstand him. Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God within himself, will not recognize the Antichrist and, in an incomprehensible manner to oneself, will surely become his follower; they will not recognize the approaching end of the world and the terrible second coming of Christ; it will find them unprepared. No human teaching in word and words is sufficient instruction for what requires instruction in the soul's inner chamber, that is instruction from God Himself. Having attained within oneself the Kingdom of God, one has the Holy Spirit as a guide, Who teaches all truth to the guided person and does not allow him to be deceived by lies, clothed to deceive most conveniently in the illusions of truth.

A blessed monk very correctly said, in talking about the Antichrist, "many will believe in the Antichrist and will praise him as a mighty God. Those who always have God in themselves, whose hearts are enlightened through pure faith, will see the truth (about the Antichrist) and will recognize him. For all those who have a vision of God and wisdom, the advent of the tyrant will be understandable. But for those whose minds are perpetually focused on the things of this life and who love things of the earth, it will be incomprehensible, because they are too attached to the things of this life.  Even if they hear the word, they will not believe and will be indignant at the one who speaks to them." They will consider him a madman, worthy of only contempt and regret. Mankind, tarnished by its carnal wisdom, will not believe in the Second Coming of the Lord at all. "…in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4) (Bishop Ignatiy Brianchaninov, Homily on the Kingdom of God, Monday of the 26th week, Collected Works, 3rd edition, volume 4, pp. 266-268).

That the now ruling "dark power" thinks, reasons, and acts in the style of these scoffers, is beyond doubt and should come as no surprise. And will contemporary church leaders, who "possess an image of piety and rejection of its strength," and who have combined with the "scoffers" of this age, will they not consider "the madness that deserves only contempt," the thoughts that my soul presents to meet yours? Recently, one bishop, defending the orientation of Metropolitan Sergey, intimidated his interlocutor, who was indignantly rejecting this orientation, by arguing that those who disagree with Metropolitan Sergey will remain in such a minority that they will be one of the many small sects that exist in our country.

The poor Bishop forced to resort to such an impotent argument to defend the nascent "Soviet Orthodox Church!" He would do well to remember the words of the Savior about whether the Son of Man shall find faith on earth (Luke 18:8)! He would do well to remember the many apostolic predictions about the impoverishment of faith and the multiplication of all wickedness in the end times! He would do well to remember what the Seer said about the Church in Sardis, in which only "a few people" "did not defile their garments," and the glorious Church in Philadelphia, "not having much power," but retaining the word of the Lord and not denying Christ's name (Revelation 3:4,8)! A "plurality" and a "majority" are necessary in parliaments and political parties, but not in the Church of God, which is the pillar and affirmation of Truth, independent of such categories and even in opposition to them as the Church is a witness unto itself.

"The Gospel will be known to everyone," says Bishop Theophan (Govorov) about the times preceding the appearance of the Antichrist (interpreting 2 Thessalonians - comment added by Archbishop Hilarion), "but one part will not believe the Gospel, another greater part will be heretical, will not follow God's teachings, but will build a faith of its own invention although based on the words of Scripture. Of these invented faiths there will be many...There are already many of them but there will be even more. Every kingdom will have its own faith confession, then every district with its own confession, then every city, and in the end, perhaps, every head will keep its own confession. Wherever people create their own faith, and do not accept God's teachings, there can be no other way. And all of these confessions will appropriate to themselves the name of Christians." This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, according to Bishop Theophan, "there will be a part that maintain the true faith as it was imparted by the Holy Apostles. Of these, a not insignificant part will only be faithful in name, but in their hearts will not have the attitude that is required by faith, as they too love the present. Although the Christian name will be heard everywhere, and everywhere churches and church rites will be seen, all of this is a facade as inside it is outright apostasy. The Antichrist will spring from this ground and will grow in the same spirit of outward appearance. Later, having given himself to Satan, he will explicitly leave the faith and...those not maintaining the truth of Christianity, he will carry away to a clear retreat from Christ the Lord.”

It is worth pondering this, my dear! I consider it appropriate to inform you of the following. Some two-three weeks ago, I read a letter that contained the original (in quotation marks) words of a certain well-known "blessed" one that were said by her in response to a question about Metropolitan Sergey in which the questioner, apparently, indicated that Metropolitan Sergey did not transgress against Orthodox dogma, and was thus not a heretic. "Well, what do you mean not a heretic!" the blessed one said, "he is worse than a heretic, he has bowed to the Antichrist, and if he does not repent, he will have a place in hell." All of this taken together and much more, both visible and audible, forces all living believing souls to be very alert and to carefully look at the picture unfolding before them of the wife seated on the beast.

These souls feel a new, unprecedented danger to the Church of Christ and, of course, are sounding the alarm. They, for the most part, are not hurrying toward a final break with the church "adulterers," in the hope that their consciences are not burnt to ashes, and that therefore repentance and correction, i.e. repudiation of the dark deeds that they have started, is possible. Will this hope come to pass?! From my soul I say, please Lord! But in the very depths of my soul, I find doubts and I am not yet ready to dot the i. Maybe time will dot it, or more precisely the Lord of time! He will save us both from frivolous haste and from the indecent, indifferent slowness in this terribly critical situation in which the Providence of God has placed us! So here, my friend, is my lengthy response to your short, but written from your heart, letter.

May the Lord keep and make us wise in these grim and terrible moments of our spiritual life!

Loving you, your brother in the Lord ...

A priest who lies...

from Joanna's notepad

A story about St. John S&SF that, as far as I know, never made it into print.  This story was circulated on the west coast USA back when St. John was still alive, and was heard by Reader Daniel Everiss who remembers it to this day:

It happened that Abp. John came into a situation where a priest had lied about something, and the lie was verified.  For a number of days afterwards he went about muttering repeatedly, "a priest who lies...  a priest who lies..."  

I understand St. John's disbelief.  It seems utterly impossible that a priest could be capable of telling lies to people.   A priest serves at God's altar, faces Him in such an intimate way, trusts Him and depends on Him to accomplish the miracle of the Eucharist which he then dispenses to God's people.  How could he  also dispense an untruth, a lie?

It seems impossible.

"Lies destroy love.
Love prevents lies."

It seems just as impossible that any Orthodox person, whether clergy or layman, could lie to a brother.  I can imagine a scenario where I would lie, like if the KGB were looking for my brother and asked me where to find him, I would certainly lie and send them looking in the opposite direction.  There would be no love lost in that situation.

But within the Body of Christ lies destroy love.  And if we have love, it prevents us from lying to a brother, if we have love for God (Truth) and love for neighbor (made in God's image).  Where there is Love, lies are not possible, -- we don't give untruths to people we love.  It is not possible to mix the two.  I understand St. John's mutterings –– something impossible had occurred, something too hard to believe.  

Maybe the priest who lied had been a KGB agent.  KGB agents don't have any problem lying –– their whole life is a lie.

But if he were not a KGB agent?  What would cause an Orthodox person to lie to a brother?   It would have to be some terrible passion, like a drug addiction.  Addicts are forced to lie and steal because of their addiction.  And actually it was an addict who I quoted above, "Lies destroy love – Love prevents lies."  My daughter observed this, and made note of it, during the time she was enslaved by a heroin addiction.

Lies can be sneaky, because if we are lying to ourselves, then we will end up inadvertently lying to others.  We can find ourselves exaggerating or embellishing, which is also lying and not innocent or acceptable for Orthodox Christians.  These lies are sad.  But utterly horrifying is the the lie that is a made up story, intending to manipulate another person, purposely causing them to believe something that is not true to get them to behave (or not behave) in a certain way.   It seems impossible that an Orthodox person would tell such a lie to another Orthodox person, knowing Christ's prayer and God's will for our unity, oneness.  I understand why St. John was shocked and needed time for it to sink in, turning it over in his mind for days, "...a priest who lies..." 


•Transfiguration in Romania
     Here is a link to a nice video of the beginning the Liturgy on Transfiguration at the Slatioara Monastery in Romania, in which several hierarchs from the ROCA, who were headed by Met. Agafangel, took part:

• Are solar eclipses proof of God?

a Reader Daniel private sharing here made not private

from Joanna's notepad:  This man needs to be x-communicated, if he has not already x-communicated himself.
Any of our people who support this nonsense are severely handicapped by their intellects.  Don't listen to them.  (Hello, Etna.) 


Shared ONLY with Joanna-& Minas for your.... amusement (?): "John Granger: Quick Announcement and a Favor..."...what I received today-


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Dan Everiss

Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 12:26 PM

Of course, I shall not share this!...from "John Granger, the Dean of Harry Potter Scholars" (!!!)😵

From: Potter Pundits <potterpundits@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, August 7, 2017 9:03 PM
To: oregdan@hotmail.com
Subject: John Granger: Quick Announcement and a Favor...

Dear Harry Potter Reader,

My name is John Granger, "the Dean of Harry Potter scholars," and I write you today because I am just finishing up the scripts and about to begin shooting four video classes about the artistry and meaning of the world's best-selling books. These classes will be available to Hogwarts Saga readers world wide in a free 'Potter Pundit Summer School' online later this month. 

The dream of making first-tier Potter scholarship accessible, interactive and affordable to everyone has been a project I've been working on since my first book was published in 2002. I'm excited about making a break-through in bringing the best in fandom and academic thinking to J.K. Rowling's global audience of readers.

Before the digital cameras roll and we lay out the live webinar subjects, though, I want to be sure we're talking about exactly what you want to know more about.

Can you help me make sure these four classes cover at least some of the material you're most interested in?

I have put together a multiple choice question survey that takes less than five minutes to fill out. I am grateful enough for your participation that I will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card in a random drawing to one of the people who completes it (be sure to get to the end to sign up for that drawing!).

Thank you in advance for helping us out! I'll write next week about how to sign up for the free 'Potter Pundits Summer School.'


John Granger

  • Link for the Harry Potter Reader Survey
  • Post: Please share this survey with your friends who are serious Potter Philes - the more, the merrier - and the better our survey results! Thanks.
  • Post Post: If you've received this email by mistake, I'm sorry. Just hit "reply" and "send" and I won't ever bother you again.

Potter Pundits | 328 NW 26th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73103
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 (follow-up).  Rdr. Daniel received a 2nd email from John Granger about a month later.

Sharing with Joanna, just for your interest- I really do not personally know this man at all! Unsubscribed


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Dan Everiss

Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 8:57 PM
And, I cannot remember ever having any past conversations with him,
nor do I remember ever having received any emails, with his name attached, from him before.

From: John Granger <psaltejohn@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, September 4, 2017 7:05 PM
To: Dan Everiss
Subject: Unsubscribed

Dear Reader Daniel,

Your prayers.

I have received your request via Joanna Higgenbotham to unsubscribe from my email address list and have deleted your name from it.

I apologize if the blanket survey request I sent out to this list caused you any inconvenience or proved a distraction from your important work.

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New Testimony about Metr. Nikodim & Patr. Kyrill

New testimonies about the secret "testament of Metropolitan Nikodim", which is performed by his pupil - Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev)
Author: Nun Vera. Publication date: August 11, 2017 . Category: Moscow Patriarchy .
Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) often expresses the hope that the Orthodox and Catholic Churches will unite in one form or another.

These statements have long surprised no one, although they call the deaf murmur of a part of the “Orthodox community”. Nevertheless, the public does not offer active resistance, and probably considers such statements to be a non-binding “figure of speech”.

In a similar spirit, Cyril spoke on May 21, meeting in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior a particle of the relics of St. Nicholas, the World of Lycian miracle-worker, who arrived in Moscow from the Catholic church of the Italian city of Bari. Along the way, it turned out that the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate agreed on the delivery of this particle to Russia at a “historic meeting” with the Pope on February 12 of last year. Meeting the particle, Cyril put on the miter of his spiritual father - Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), who died at a reception at the Pope in 1978 ...

In order to understand the "geopolitical" strategy of the current head of the ROC MP, it is not superfluous to get acquainted with the convictions of the most authoritative person in his life. Rumors that Metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov), a secret or even explicit Catholic, circulated during his lifetime. This is not surprising, because at some point in his life Nicodemus sincerely became interested in Catholicism, although now, 40 years later, it is not so easy to distinguish his convictions from execution of instructions of the "competent authorities" in this hobby. Archpriest Lev Lebedev, who converted from the ROC MP to the ROCOR in the 90s, even claimed in his articles that Nicodemus received cardinal dignity from Pope Paul VI. However, the actual documentary evidence of the Catholic views of Nikodim has always been lacking. One of the few texts of this kind are the memoirs of a Greek Catholic priest from the Western Ukraine, Mikhail Gavryliv, who studied in the 1970s. in the Leningrad Theological Schools of the Russian Orthodox Church, and closely associated with Metropolitan Nicodemus. These memories are almost unknown to the Russian-speaking reader, since they were published in Rome in small editions in the Ukrainian language. The original text of the memories is available online . For the first time in Russian, we publish some of their fragments that are sensational in nature.

Parents about. Mikhail Gavryliv, as well as his grandfather and grandmother were victims of Stalinist repression, and the priest himself studied in 1971-77 at the Leningrad Theological Seminary and Academy. The Leningrad metropolitan at that time was Nicodemus (Rotov), and the rector of the seminary and academy in 1974 was his favorite student, the 27-year-old archimandrite Kirill (Gundyaev). After serving for some time in the temples of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Ukraine, Fr. Mikhail Gavriliv eventually went to the underground Greek Catholic Church and was one of the most active participants in its revival in 1989–90.

In the modern ROC MP, Metropolitan Nicodemus is perceived very contradictory. On the one hand, there is an influential group of his ardent admirers and followers of his business - led by the current Patriarch. They are called "Nikodimovtsy", and their theological views - "Nicodemism". The St. Petersburg newspaper “Orthodox Russia” by Konstantin Dushenov, who eventually went to prison for three years, where he “rehabilitated”, was the information headquarters of the struggle against the “Nikodimovtsy”. Patriarch Kirill constantly arrives at the grave of Nicodemus in St. Petersburg, and at the most solemn holidays he sits in his old, but such nostalgic "Seagull". In the early years of his patriarchate, Cyril bore the idea of canonizing Nicodemus, but Protodeacon Andrei Kuraev destroyed everything, “too far” in his struggle against the “blue lobby” in the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate, waving (with the help of some memories of Nicodemus) to the Patriarch himself.

“Nikodimovtsy” in the ROC MP oppose the “anti-Knobimovs”. Quantitatively, there are much more of them, they are traditionalists and conservatives, but they do not have the same weight as their opponents. The St. Petersburg metropolitan John (Snychev), from under whose omophorus Konstantin Dushenov, was at one time the banner of “antinicodismism”. Now there is no ideological banner for this trend: unless Professor Aleksey Osipov from the Moscow Theological Academy (at the ideological level) and Metropolitan Kliment (Kapalin) is the only alternative candidate in the last round of the election of Kirill as Patriarch in 2009.

"Stampato di Roma"
The most important question that arises in the controversy of "Nikodimovtsy" and "antinikodimovtsevtse" concerns whether or not the Orthodox should be united with Catholics or not. It is no coincidence that the central event of the patriarchate of Cyril was his meeting with the Pope in Havana. And the bringing in of the relics of St. Nicholas is presented to the public as the first visible result of this meeting. There should be a lot of such results: Cyril wants to have time to fulfill the “covenant of Abba Nicodemus” during his life. Memories of this “testament” will help us to decipher it. Michael Gavrilivo.

Almost immediately after entering the seminary, in the fall of 71, Michael began to go to confession to the Leningrad Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. He soon learned that other seminarians shared an interest in Catholicism. This, for example, Valery Smirnov (later became hieromonk Mark, led a program on Radio Liberty, edited the newspaper NG-Religion and worked in the journal Science and Religion) and hieromonk Ambrose (Blinkov), who served in the parish in Valday . They also revealed to the young seminarian a “secret” that Metropolitan Nicodemus, a former candidate for the Patriarchs and the second person in the hierarchy of the ROC MP, is a staunch Catholic.

Soon the young man from Galicia became a subdeacon of the metropolitan, and Nicodemus took him with him on daily walks. Their communication became more and more trusting, and once Nicodemus admitted: “You know, Misha, I, too, was once an ordinary Russian priest, with long hair and in leather boots. But when I began writing my dissertation on Pope John XXIII, I realized that real Christianity is not about that. ” John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) occupied the papal throne in 1958-63. and had a reputation as a “pink dad” because of his outspoken sympathy for the left and his friendly correspondence with Khrushchev. But Nicodemus was not “pink”, but “red”: starting from the social teaching of the pope, in his dissertation he hints at the global project of combining Christianity and communism as a new, alternative way of human development. Probably, this “geopolitics” was transformed by the student of Nikodim Kirill into the concept of a global “Russian world”, paradoxically combined with rapprochement with Catholicism.

Once, Mikhail Gavriliv recalls, when Nicodemus was traveling with Moscow seminarians (the current bishops Markell (Winds) and Simon (Ishunin) were also sitting in the car), he began to warmly defend the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, who, as we know, divided by the Orthodox, and then also set forth the Catholic doctrine on the transfiguration of the Holy Gifts (bread and wine) at the liturgy at the time of pronouncing the “setting words” (“Take, eat ...” and “Drink from her all ...”). However, Nicodemus fully revealed himself as a Catholic before Mikhail on September 6, 1975 in Novgorod. On the evening of that day, while walking around the Metropolitan's garden, Nicodemus took monastic vows from the young man and swore him oath of allegiance to the Apostolic see, that is, to the Pope. “Next,” writes Fr. Michael, - Metropolitan Nicodemus ordered me to be guided in the monastic life by the statutes of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order - AS), and when we returned to Leningrad, after some time he handed me these statutes, translated into Russian. " In October-November of the same year, Nicodemus ordained the author of the memoirs to the deacon and priest.

The main sacrament of the Orthodox Church - the Eucharist, or liturgy, during which the offering of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ takes place - is performed on a small silk plate, in which the relics of the martyrs are sewn. It is called "antimins", and without it liturgy is impossible. Metropolitan Nicodemus, in his diocese, "replaced the antimins of the Moscow Patriarchate," recalls Fr. Michael, with new antimins brought from Rome ... In these Catholic antimins it was written in the lower part in small letters: “Stampato di Roma”. In order not to arouse suspicion and dissatisfaction of the extra-Orthodox part of the clergy of his diocese, Metropolitan Nicodemus instructed Hieromonk Ambroise Blinkov to cover this inscription, and Father Ambrose crossed out the black ink written in “Stampato di Roma”.

"Do not try to deceive them ..."
But not all in the memories of. Michael Gavriliva about Metropolitan Nicodemus is so beautiful and touching. The fact is that in the end a native Catholic from Western Ukraine and a romantic Catholic in the image of the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Russian Federation fell out. And the reason for their separation was the KGB, which in those years completely ruled the legal Church.

In the life of every seminarian of those years, there came a moment when he was “summoned to the military registration and enlistment office”, where polite civilian employees offered to sign a letter of cooperation and choose a secret pseudonym. There were cases of failures, but they signified the impossibility of a church career and, at best, service in the countryside. Having heard the “tempting offer,” Mikhail promised to think and came to consult Nicodemus. He said: “This is good, over time you will find the right level in your relations with them. Behave with them at ease and do not philosophize too much in conversations, the most important thing is for them to have the firm conviction that you are a good citizen and patriot of your socialist state and at the same time a Christian who performs his duties. Look, do not try to deceive them, in relations with them you need to be honest. " 
Performing "obedience," oh. Mikhail continued the “contacts” and even chose an undercover pseudonym for himself - although it was not possible to achieve ease, which was spoken about by Nicodemus, the communication was still not getting better. Although security officers opened before the young priest dizzying prospects. “Learn modern languages, especially English,” they said, “they will come in handy in the future.”

As a test assignment, the KGB instructed the new agent to write a testimonial to his fellow student Petri Sarho from Finland, which Mikhail, along with Petri, wrote. Further tasks grew like a snowball - it was necessary to report compromising information on their comrades, more and more. When the conscience of Michael finally lost peace, he again turned to Nicodemus for advice. “You have to go through all this to achieve more,” he answered.

Still, at the end of the 75th, Gavriliv broke off relations with the KGB, so directly and telling his supervisors that he did not want to be a snitch. "You, father, fool and stubborn crest," - so responded to this Nicodemus, in general, not too fond of Ukrainians. Later, two Catholics formally reconciled in the image of the Orthodox, but the relationship of trust in the relationship was no longer there.

The author’s memorable farewell conversation with the metropolitan took place in the summer of 77, before Mikhail returned to Ukraine and a year before Nicodemus died. The metropolitan said that the “backward” Byzantine-Russian rite is much worse than the modern Latin. The Last Testament of Nicodemus Gavrilivo sounded like this: “Hold on to your Catholic convictions and do everything possible for the development of the Catholic business not only in Ukraine, but also in Russia. Be careful".
Knowledge of the true religious views and motives of the activities of Metropolitan Nicodemus is important because they predetermine the motives and values of Patriarch Kirill, which are difficult to discern with the “naked eye”. After the young Volodya Gundyaev survived his crisis of faith, it was Nicodemus who took him, the 17-year-old young man, under his care - and for some 8 years he made the rector of the academy, and then the bishop. In 1971, brightness and non-standard prevented Nicodemus from becoming Patriarch; but this dream came true in his closest disciple, Cyril. Therefore, the ministry of Cyril is, by and large, the execution of the program of Nicodemus, which the teacher did not have time to complete.

Alexander Soldatov