The following two brief reports will interest our readers on all sides of the question of Ukrainian autocephaly.

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Russia Paying Big Money for Articles, Black Propaganda in Light of Ukraine Developments
by Andreas Loudaros

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew yesterday sent a clear message to Russia vis-à-vis the Ukraine issue, stating that Constantinople has no intention whatsoever of giving in to pressure.

While addressing an audience at an event in Istanbul celebrating the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Feriköy Greek community, His All-Holiness made it clear that the prerogatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are rooted in the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils and legally binding for all within Orthodoxy.

“Whether our Russian brothers like it or not, soon enough they will get behind the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s solution, as they will have no other choice,” said Patriarch Bartholomew, adding that he is well aware of the Russian side’s efforts in funding the writing of articles and creating ‘black’ propaganda in order to strike back at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Read More


We urge the readers of Orthodoxy in Dialogue to study the following statement carefully and thoroughly. Note that even the laity are forbidden to commune in parishes and monasteries (including Mount Athos) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate anywhere in the world. In the US this means, among other things, ROCOR’s withdrawal from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America—whose goal of canonical Orthodox unity in the United States ROCOR has never supported anyway.
This statement’s repeated use of the offensive “the” Ukraine should not go unnoticed. It implies that Ukraine is no more than a region belonging to something larger, i.e., Russia.
One wonders where the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia finds canonical justification for its own existence as a global, non-territorial church.
The Moscow Patriarchate has also threatened to break communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Will Moscow make the same threat to its daughter church, the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)?

Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
[On the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church]

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia communicates to the plenitude of her clergy and faithful, and to her fellow Orthodox Christians throughout the world, her profound sorrow at the uncanonical undertakings perpetrated by the Church of Constantinople over the past days; in particular with regard to its Message of 11th October 2018. Simultaneously we express our complete support of the position taken by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow, following its meeting of 15th October 2018 and announced in its statement of the same date.

The illicit actions of the Church of Constantinople are able to suffer no canonical defence and constitute a grave and dangerous injustice against the traditions of Orthodoxy, as well as a shocking disregard for the spiritual welfare of the sheep of Christ (cf. John 10.3, 11). Having expressed its intention to establish stravropegia of its Church in the Ukraine, Constantinople thus solidifies its intrusion into another Local Church’s canonical territory, an anti-canonical violation of the highest order which the Synod of Constantinople has no power or right to undertake. We make explicit that under no circumstances will we consider such institutions to have any legal substance, nor will we acknowledge any legitimacy whatsoever to those who, deeming themselves shepherds, submit to these non-Church establishments. Read More



The Ecumenical Throne and the Church of Ukraine: The Documents Speak

Regardless of our readers’ respective positions on the question of Ukrainian autocephaly, the involvement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the rupture in communion enacted by the Moscow Patriarchate, we urge each and every one of you to read the document linked above. It summarizes the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s historical and pastoral rationale for moving forward with the project of an autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The main report runs to a brief twenty-two pages, followed by fifteen pages of appendices. These include photocopies of the 17th-century correspondence between Constantinople and Moscow regarding the status of the Kyivan Metropolitanate.

For the sake of clarity and historical accuracy one wishes that this document had adhered throughout to the scholarly consensus of naming St. Vladimir’s (Volodymyr in Ukrainian) 10th-century Kyivan principality as Rus’ (Русь) rather than Kyivan “Russia” (Россия). Read More

THE WONDER OF WORDS by Marin Mihalache

antique-quill-and-ink● Poetic inspiration has its origins in the archetypal images hidden in the subtle sensibility of the inner, spiritual, subconscious, and unconscious depths, in the surreptitious chambers of the heart, in the streams of awakened consciousness, where the divine encounters the human. Without emotional intelligence, imagination, and aesthetic sensibility, there would be neither poetry, nor religion, nor saints or mystics endowed spiritually with the gift to understand and bear witness to the perplexity of that meta-reality, the reality beyond reality—to the existence of that dream world and those celestial visions of which the rational mind is neither aware nor cognizant. When mankind can no longer dream and no longer create authentic poetry, when it will only know how to calculate and consume, that radiant glory of the divine image imprinted from the beginning inside the ground of being and in the depths of man’s heart will collapse under its own shadow, under the penumbra of man’s true identity, and man will no longer be human.

● Inspiration and the unbridled flame of poetic creativity can rise to the apex of a sublime aesthetic beyond the horizons of the world’s contingency. A poetic mind can also wander vainly through the obscure and dark pathways of a jungle of dreams and bewildering imagination. But we all must first wander through the mythopoetic labyrinth in search of the Minotaur hidden within us, through the desert of loneliness and transcendental despair, through the darkness of the unseen reality and dream, so that we can then come to the light by seeing what we actually sought, and which may be hidden within the depths of our unconscious mind long before we are born in this wonderful world. Read More



Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)

On October 12 Fort Russ News published a panic piece by “Metropolitan Jonah”—last name omitted, even parenthetically—entitled MANY THOUSANDS WILL DIE – The Coming Schism in Orthodoxy: “Repent, and Stop this Insanity” (all caps in the original for paranoiac effect). 

It’s hard for me to take the mystique confected by Metropolitan Paffhausen’s unkempt beard and hair and his white klobuk too seriously. I’ve known him since around 1984, when he was just Jim, a 25-year old convert and SVS graduate (or about to graduate) who pined endlessly after the winsome Susan S.

Susan was a fellow parishioner at St. John of Damascus Church in Poway CA. She rented a room in my family’s house around the time that my wife and I had our third child. Jim wanted me to talk Susan into going out with him. His misplaced interest made her laugh out loud in disbelief.

Any official vita that portrays Metropolitan Paffhausen on a straight trajectory from chrismation to seminary to monastery to the primatial throne of the Orthodox Church in America is simply not accurate. On the way to the monastery he tried assiduously to find himself a wife and to become a married priest with kids.

Following his “resignation” as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in 2012, it was reported that Metropolitan Paffhausen retained a lawyer and threatened the Holy Synod with legal action unless his demand for release to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was granted. It was also reported that the OCA released him to ROCOR with the proviso that he never be given an episcopal assignment. Six years after his forcible resignation and no longer a member of the OCA, he continues to style himself Metropolitan of All America and Canada on his currently active “public figure” Facebook page. Read More

ANNOUNCEMENT RE: UKRAINE by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate


Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:

1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.

2) To reestablish, at this moment, the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv, one of its many Stavropegia in Ukraine that existed there always.

3) To accept and review the petitions of appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Makariy Maletych and their followers, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy from all of the Autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above-mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church. Read More