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The Homily of Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis on His Ceasing Commemoration of an Ecumenist Bishop

Introduction by Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.

 

Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis is one of the most significant contemporary theologians and clergymen in the Holy Orthodox Church. Proven to be an unyielding and true confessor of Holy Orthodoxy against those ecumenists who are looking to subvert the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, he is a professor emeritus of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, earned his doctoral degree in 1971 and since then has been a prolific Orthodox Christian writer over the course of his life. He was once a clergyman belonging to the Ecumenical Patriarchate where he authored many patriarchal articles and encyclicals. However, because he sharply criticized the “acquittal” of uniates and the ecclesiologically heretical text of the Balamand Agreement in 1993 he was forbidden by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to participate in the dialogue with the Roman Catholics, even as a representative of the Church of Greece because of his Orthodox traditionalist world-view. Father Theodore, having grown extremely concerned for the Church due to the constant preaching of ecumenistic heresy among the hierarchs, took a stand on March 5th, 2017, on the Sunday of Holy Orthodoxy where he announced to his parishioners in a masterful and inspirational homily his invocation of the 15th Canon of the First-Second Council of Constantinople [861 A.D.] under Saint Photios the Great in which a clergyman may lawfully cease commemoration of his bishop if that bishop is preaching heresy bare-headedly. This canon which has been accepted by the universal Orthodox Church states,


For those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president [bishop], who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in Church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not Bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.


On the Sunday of Orthodoxy, in which the whole Orthodox Church confesses the victory of Orthodoxy over all heresies, Fr. Theodore broke communion and ceased commemoration of Metropolitan Anthimos (Roussas) of Thessalonica. This historical homily is translated from the Greek below as well as the video recording of it in which his flock rightfully exclaim, Axios!

 

The Homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy (March 5th, 2017) with the Announcement of the Cessation of Commemoration of the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki

By

Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis


“The time has come, that of the beginning of the spiritual and confessional struggles. As we heard previously from the Gospel reading. So that we don’t deviate from the program of homilies that we now do every Sunday of this Church period, to the challenge of Nathaniel “What good comes from Nazareth?” Philip answered, “Come and see.” Come and see and learn from experience. Because previously Philip had said, “what Moses and the Prophets wrote in the law we found.” We found [the] Savior, we found salvation! We found Him for whom the people awaited ages to come down to earth. And if you doubt, come and see. «Ἔρχου καί ἴδε». And our Lord Jesus Christ says at the end of this Gospel passage, “You, Nathaniel, saw something small and miraculous from me, that I recognized you while you were still under the fig tree, and you marveled. You will soon see much greater miracles”. And he said: “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” From now on the heavens will open. You will see angels to ascend and descend, the earth will become paradise. The Church will be founded, the world will be filled with saints, ascetics, it will be filled with holiness, goodness and love. “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending.” And the earth will fill with saints and angels.

Rev. Protopresbyter Theodore Zisis

And if one only thinks of the monastic order, the pious ascetics, whose lives are characterized as angelic lives, can attest that the earth truly was filled with angels. From people which, as though they don’t live with a body, with flesh, live an angelic life on the Earth. But could the evil, could Satan tolerate this establishment of the Kingdom of God, this Kingdom of holiness, this love? The one who, in the era before Christ, did whatever he wanted, was the world ruler of that age. Did he not try to cancel even this world-saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ? Did he not try, while He was an infant, a small child still, the Christ, to kill Him through Herod? Did he not try as well through the high priests and the Pharisees, the priesthood of that age of the Jews, to make him disappear? He did not avoid them, though. Christ was crucified, but resurrected. The good and benevolent, that is, conquered the dark forces.


There is an awesome image in Revelations when a few years ago we interpreted Revelations here, we were shocked by the Book of Revelations, which shows this direction that Christ will follow on earth, the Church that is Christ expanding throughout the ages. The Church is Christ. And Revelations tells what the Church will encounter in its story! In the 12th chapter of Revelations, John the Evangelist tells us, “and there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars… and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads…. and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered.” And that woman, the one under the sun, our Panagia, the Devil was sent, when our Virgin Mary was about to give birth to the Lord Jesus Christ, “for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” And our Panagia gave birth to our Lord Jesus Christ, a male, who was and will forever be shepherding the world with a rod of iron. And did the Devil calm down? “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” And when the persecution against the first Christians began, because of the monks the Church was saved in the desert.


And in Revelations, the John the Evangelist gives us a terrible image of the battle which took place up in heaven, between the Archangels and satan. Michael and his Angels who fought against the dragon. “And the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” And a triumphant voice was heard: The devil was defeated from heaven, he was thrown, and the angels were defeated by the lamb and His blood “and when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth” (and when the dragon saw that he was thrown from heaven and was defeated by Christ and his Angels) “he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child,” the persecution against Our Lady and against the Church began, “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And the dragon was angered, because it was unable to hurt the Church, and constantly throughout the history of the Church, he makes war against all of us. Against whom? “With the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”


I have made this introduction, my dear ones, to tell you in a few words that the Church throughout its history has been fought, and fought fiercely, and having been fought the Church won! For can anyone defeat God? St. John Chrysostom tells us, "If you fight against a man, you will overcome or be defeated. But if you fight the Church, your victory is impossible." If you fight the Church, it is impossible to win. "For it is impossible to defeat God." Because the Church is directed by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. The persecutions against the Holy Apostles by the Jews and the idolators have passed, the persecutions of the first three centuries have passed, which gave us multitudes of martyrs, rivers of blood of the Holy Martyrs, and the Devil has not been calmed, although he could not defeat the Church. And he began internally with the heresies, internal warfare, and gave birth to the heresies, Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Dioscorus, and in the 8th and 9th centuries the great heresy of Iconoclasm arose, the triumph against which our Church celebrates today.


The heresy of Iconoclasm greatly troubled the Church for a century or more. It began in 730 A.D. during the reign of Leo the Isaurian and ended in 843 A.D., when the Empress Theodora triumphantly restored the icons as they are today. A century and more with some breaks. And in justifying the Synaxarion, as to why our Church ordained this present triumphal feast of Orthodoxy, it tells us that it ordained this feast of Orthodoxy for what reason? I have said it many times, because I am moved by this reason, which is sometimes fulfilled, sometimes not. "And ever since then, the holy confessors have decreed that this holy feast be made an annual feast, lest we fall into this wickedness ourselves." Then they decided to make it the Sunday of Orthodoxy, to anathematize heresies, to glorify the saints, "memory eternal - anathema," so that we, listening to the anathemas and praises, may never again fall into heresy. And our Church did not escape easily in that period, as I said, and do you know how the redemption began? That is why at the beginning I said, "the time has come, the beginning of spiritual struggles." It began with monks. The end of this whole period of iconoclasm began with monks. And now monks, dozens of monks on Mount Athos, today at this hour, are working and called me yesterday: "Father Theodore, we will be with you, we will pray, so that we too, as we put an end to iconoclasm, can begin to put an end to another great heresy [ecumenism], worse than iconoclasm. We pray with you."


The synaxarion tells us that the struggle against the iconoclasts began from the monks. "And because of this, a divine visitation is made to the great Ioannikios in the mountains of Olympus. For the great ascetic Arsacius, being come to him, "God has sent me to you, he says, as if to the most holy man Isaiah, who was imprisoned in Nicomedia, we came to him to learn what is pleasing to God and fitting for His Church." Should the monks gather, hold a meeting and see what God wants, what should we do with this heresy? And they decided, "This is what the Lord says. Behold, the end of the enemies of our images has come." The time has come to end this story with iconoclasm. And then these monks went as a delegation to the emperor and to Queen Theodora, and all this process began, so that I do not prolong the speech too much, because we have significant things to say both here and in the reception room today. The road is long and you must be patient. And so, the reaction of the monks began, and the period of iconoclasm came to an end, which at the same time signaled once again the Triumph of Orthodoxy. What a wealth, what a treasure Orthodoxy is! Our faith! From the time of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ until today.


We are constantly, constantly, constantly treasuring holiness, goodness, love, saints. Even in our day God gives us saints. And I have said it before, “The envoys of the Russian ruler Vladimir were astonished when they came to Constantinople and went into the Church of St. Sophia and heard the chanting, heard the hymns, they saw the chief priests, the deacons, the priests dressed, the architectural beauty of the temple and said, ‘here it is as if we are in heaven and not on earth.” This is our Orthodoxy, the wealth, the treasure of the Holy Fathers in worship, in hymns. There is no other treasure like it. Even at the end of the Byzantine Empire, the well-known monk Joseph Bryennios, the teacher of St. Mark of Ephesus and Patriarch Gennadios Scholarios, realizing then that the heresy of the Papacy was coming to overwhelm and overpower us, said these triumphant words which we often say incompletely, "My Orthodox faith, that is my riches, that is my glory, that is my generation, that is my crown, that is my boast"!


This is our identity, we celebrate today, all Orthodox. "Our Orthodox faith, that's our wealth, that's our glory, that's our glory, that's our race, that's our crown, that's our glory"! She is our pride, our identity, our wealth, our treasure. And it adds up to what is an exaltation, "Thou shalt not deny thy friendly Orthodoxy, thou shalt not lie to thy ancestral respect, thou shalt not withhold thy mother's piety. In you we were born and in you we live and in you we shall sleep. We will not deny thee. We were born Orthodox, we are raised Orthodox, and we will die Orthodox. "You are called for a time, and for you we shall be born again." And if necessary, we will die for you, Orthodoxy. And many, many holy martyrs have died.


And what happened after the end of iconoclasm? Did the heresies end? Why did the Fathers say, "We will perform this rite so that we may not fall into the same impiety again." Did the iconoclasm end the heresies? They did not. Two centuries later there was the great schism of the Papacy. The Papacy separated, fled, separated from the Orthodox Church. It fell into heresy. And who instigated this heresy? I say this, because it is of great importance and has a very great bearing on what I will tell you next and on what I am already doing today and will do next. Who again instigated this heresy? The dragon the great, the serpent the arch-evil. And who says this? Father Theodore? It was said by St. Gregory Palamas, the Archbishop of Thessalonica. Let all the theologians in the theological schools and the archpriests and patriarchs, who become servants of this dragon, the great, ancient one, hear this. What does St. Gregory Palamas say? "Once again, the terrible and evil serpent, raises his head and whispers the things contrary to the truth." Again, the ancient serpent, the devil, raises his head and whispers to us the opposite of the truth. 'Thou Aryans, thou Apollinarians, thou Eunomians and Macedonians, thou most others, adapting themselves to this offending one, by means of their tongue, he has praised the evil against the Holy Church.' Satan takes the heretics, adapts them to his body and leaves the poison against the Church. And further on, coming to his days, St. Gregory Palamas says, "Thus is how the conceivable and therefore rather pernicious serpent, the first and middle and last evil, the wicked man, etc." What is he doing? "By these he persuaded Latins, bringing in new things [dogmatic innovations] concerning God."


With the Latins, the Papists, who are his [satan's] instruments, who are his subordinates, who are his minions, listen to all of you who think that the Papacy is the church and which was also decided at the Council of Crete that the Papacy is the church, "through these persuasive Latins about God and the Catholics, he is bringing in voices." And do not think, he says, that even the slightest thing in the teaching of the Church is to be overlooked. "Thou shalt not be little in the least of these concerning God." As far as our faith is concerned, even the smallest thing is not small. And in summarizing St. Gregory Palamas' attitude of our Church through the centuries - now we have another - towards the Papacy and all heresies, what does he say? Should we unite, embrace, pray together? At the Phanar, the Patriarch and the Pope hug, kiss, pray together.

"At the Phanar, the Patriarch and the Pope hug, kiss, pray together."

And in Crete, acknowledgement. What does St. Gregory Palamas say? "But we, having been taught by the theosophy of the fathers, should not ignore the meanings," we were taught by the Holy Fathers not to ignore the traps of the evil one - you should memorize this - "in no manner will we come into communion with you," we will never receive you into communion, heretics, popes, protestants, monophysites, "never will we receive you as communicants, as long as you also say that the Spirit comes from the Son." As long as you continue to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son [filioque], as long as you continue to be heretics, we have no relationship with you, no communion with you. And it is not only the opinion of St. Gregory Palamas, it is the opinion of the whole Church.


In this way our Church went on until the time of St. Gregory Palamas and until the period of Ferrara-Florence, where an attempt was made to unite with the Pope. There was again an Atlantean, a giant of Orthodoxy, St. Mark of Ephesus, who, while everyone else signed the synodal decisions, as they have now signed the synodal decisions of Crete, some are right who say that the Council of Crete is a continuation of the Council of Ferrara-Florence - they all signed then the treasonous document, and only one of them did not sign, St. Mark of Ephesus. And then the Pope said what is known, "Well, we have accomplished naught." We have done nothing.


If only we had some bishops now, if only we had one bishop who would come out in the open and say: "I do not agree," in our country, in our Greece "I do not agree, I condemn, I reject the Council of Crete, it is a treacherous council, it signed heresies, the pan-heresy of ecumenism!" There are of course others and it is a pity outside Greece, some Patriarchates, who did not take part in the Council of Crete. The Patriarchates of Bulgaria, Georgia, Moscow, Antioch. And while then, as St. Gregory Palamas says, the evil one whispered heresies in the ears of the Latins, his minions, the papists who are his minions, he did not succeed in seducing the Orthodox. Many centuries have passed and despite the Turkish rule and our sufferings, we have kept our faith, we have not lost it after Ferrara-Florence. Because of St. Mark of Ephesus, we kept our faith. And now the evil one is playing another trick.


And this ploy and this heresy that has been whispered again in the ears of some heretical patriarchs, some archbishops, is the pan-heresy of ecumenism, which, like iconoclasm, is now and again lasting for a century. What has the devil now whispered in the ears of some patriarchs, of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the [Free] Mason? "You are not only the Church. God loves everyone. He loves the papists and protestants, He loves the monophysites, and everyone is the church." These days, a graduate of Halki, a professor in Austria, a supporter of Crete and present in Crete, surprised us and said that, "Well, all these opponents assert that only the Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church?". Yes, dear one, only we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Church of the Fathers. But they don't believe it. They believe that all are churches, all heretics are churches and all heretics will be saved. So, they began from the beginning of the 20th century to preach this heresy of ecumenism, that people are not saved only in the Orthodox Church, they are saved everywhere, and they are saved even in other religions.


And inter-Christian ecumenism became inter-religious ecumenism. Do you not see now the love affairs with Islam? They are even making mosques here and there, protecting them, so that they can grow and slaughter us. They were carried with the Pope, the Patriarch and the Archbishop to Lesvos in the summer to welcome the Muslims. And the patriarch is handing out Korans. And the others imitate him and hand out Korans. Islam in the spotlight. And in Islam people are saved. Unprecedented things! Unprecedented heresies! And of course, this insight - I will not bore you, I have said it, I have written it many times - is not mine alone. Throughout the last century, after this pan-heresy of ecumenism began, there have been reactions from many: chief priests, theologians, the Holy Mountain. And I have noted here to read you some reactions against this pan-heresy of ecumenism, excellent reactions, so that you can see what we are doing now, what we are doing today! Iconoclasm was dealt with then, Orthodoxy triumphed. Now the ecumenism which is in us? Where we have the ecumenists next to us? In our churches, in our Metropolises, next to us are the heretics, the iconoclasts. What shall we do now?

"And inter-Christian ecumenism became inter-religious ecumenism. Do you not see now the love affairs with Islam?"

In a decision of the Holy Community of Mount Athos in 1987 it says, "The Holy Mountain, however, does not share the view that outside of Orthodoxy [that] there are churches." "There are only communities of heretics and schismatics. Confessing faith in Christ, but otherwise from what the Holy Church of Christ confesses, which is One and identical with the Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholics are schismatics and heretics. Without valid sacraments and divine grace." Mount Athos now, a few years ago. Let me remind you what the new saint, the great Serbian teacher, Justin Popovich says, "Ecumenism is a common name for the pseudo-Christianities, for the pseudo-churches of Western Europe. Within it lies the heart of all European humanism, with Papism at its head. All these pseudo-Christianities, all these pseudo-churches are nothing but one heresy alongside another heresy. Their common evangelical name is Pan-heresy." And an Orthodox professor - Orthodox professors are rare nowadays - Professor Andreas Theodorou, has a very fine position, 'Ecumenism is not a heresy and pan-heresy, as it is usually described, but something much worse than pan-heresy. Ecumenism is a transgression, a fornication, a misrepresentation, a legitimation of all heresies. It transcends all heresies. And also, a wonderful position on ecumenism by a well-known elder, Father Epiphanios Theodoropoulos, who wrote a shocking letter to Patriarch Athenagoras, a courageous letter, helps us all to understand what Ecumenism is, why we are protesting, because in a moment I will announce something that I suspect you understand, so that you understand what it is that we are protesting.


So, the holy elder, Epiphanios Theodoropoulos, says to Athenagoras in 1969, "Your Holiness, you have long shown us that you are a follower of the most awful syncretism. Have you understood what the infamous ecumenism means at its core? Have you delved into the spirit of this construct? Underneath the infamous ecumenism is not just a heresy, it is this denial of the apocalyptic character of the Christian Faith. Therefore, ecumenism is in the hands of all heresy. The heresy of the Arian paradigm, for example, as well as all other heresies pale before the monster of ecumenism. For all Christian heresies, even the most blasphemous, did not even think of questioning the uniqueness and exclusivity of Christianity as truth by revelation." All heresies were wrong, but none of them said that Christianity is not the absolute truth. Ecumenism says that we are not the only truth, there are other truths, there is other salvation. So we waited for this ecumenism, this pan-heresy, the worst of all heresies, we waited for them to condemn it. And we fought for all this. The 18 volumes of Theodromia (A Greek Theological Journal), for 18 years now, are full of these struggles we have made against the pan-heresy of ecumenism. Mount Athos, archpriests, us, the world. We remember what happened with the Pope! What an uprising there was then! And what happened? Was the pan-heresy of ecumenism condemned? And what is it now that makes us no longer tolerate this situation? Why have we tolerated this situation for so many years? Wasn't there any more room for some kind of postponement?


The same question was posed in 1969-1970 by Mount Athos to Athenagoras. All the monasteries of Mount Athos, with the exception of a few, abolished Athenagoras' memorial service in 1968. Among the few monasteries that did not cease commemoration was the Monastery of Stavronikita, where St. Paisios was a monk at the time. Then, before the Monastery of Stavronikita cut the memorial service, St. Paisios wrote a letter to the Elder Charalambos Vassilopoulos. A graceful letter, as all of St. Paisios' letters are graceful. And what did St. Paisios say? Against Athenagoras, before they ceased commemoration. In this letter he recommended not to rush to cut the memorial, to wait, and everyone has done it now, "but St. Paisios says not to cut the memorial." But St. Paisios did not stand there. He went ahead.


In that letter St. Paisios says, "I imagine that everyone will understand that my writings are nothing but my deep pain for the lineage and cosmic love of our unfortunate father, Mr. Athenagoras." I am in pain, says St. Paisios, Athenagoras hurts us. How much does Bartholomew hurt us now? A thousand times more. "It seems he loved another modern woman, called the papal church, because our Orthodox Mother makes no impression on him, for she is very modest. This love that was heard from Constantinople, resonated with many of his children who live in the cities." And further: 'To my regret, of all the sympathizers I have known, I have not seen that they have neither a crumb of spirituality nor bark. But they know how to speak of love and unity. And much more which I will not tell you all. And what did St. Paisios do there? When he saw that Athenagoras was not stopping, but moving on, and while the Monastery of Stavronikita was wondering what to do then, to cease the memorial or not, they were informed of what Athenagoras had said then, "We are deceived and sinful, if we think that the Orthodox faith came down from heaven and that other doctrines are unworthy. The purpose of every religion is to justify man. All religions, not just us." And the most terrible thing Athenagoras said. According to Athenagoras, the Church does not exist, we must reestablish it together, with the heresies together to reestablish the Church. And writes then, the then Abbot Vasilios (Gontikakis), later Abbot of the Monastery of Iviron, and co-signed by the monk Gregory and the monk Paisios.


What do they write to him? "The fact that the name of the Patriarch is mentioned in the Monastery of Stavronikita today, a rare thing for a Monastery of Mount Athos, is done with tolerance, out of respect for the Church and not as an expression of a condemnation of this lineage." We do not agree with this line. And shortly afterwards, the following year, when Athenagoras went on to make other statements and said that "filioque" and "proteio" [primacy of honor] are not important differences, they are just customs, writes then the abbot of the Monastery of Stavronikita, the Archimandrite Vasilios "and the brothers with me in Christ" and St. Paisios, who shortly before said "be careful not to cut the memorial easily." So the document says, "After the statement of the Patriarch about the filioque and the protean as simple customs, we postponed the memorial [liturgical commemoration], feeling that the time limit for the memorial had passed." There is no more room for postponement, we can't wait any longer.


If then, my dears, all those years ago, in 1970, forty-seven years ago, "all room for maneuver has gone," what room for maneuvering is left now with the destruction wrought by Patriarch Bartholomew and the other ecumenists? Earlier I wrote an essay that Orthodoxy is in danger. I had shown in that text the erosion we have suffered in the hierarchy, in the theological schools, even on Mount Athos! How many years have passed? Is there a right of revocation? When we even have a synodal ratification of ecumenism in the pseudo-synod of Crete? There are some among you, even some of my own occasional Athonites, who say, "Well, why, Father, are you thinking of cutting off the memorial of Anthimos? Is Anthimos an ecumenist?" I'll tell you downstairs at the headquarters, so you can see how Antimos is an ecumenist, so I won't take up any more of your time here. I have important things to announce to you in the gallery. But the key point that proves that we must cut [off] the memorial is the summit of Crete. There is no more room for maneuvering. The holy canon (15th of Epiphany) says that when a bishop preaches heresy with a bare head, then we cut off his memorial. Is there a higher level, an authentic level, that the whole world can see, and even in writings that remain, than a Great Council? The writings of this Council will remain, if we do not condemn them, they will remain for eternity, "scripta manent" [spoken words fly away, written words remain].


Since the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki praises the Council of Crete and approves and accepts what was decided in Crete, he accepts and preaches the heresy of ecumenism nakedly. And he himself is an ecumenist. I will not bore you further, I will only read you the end of a text I sent him announcing the interruption of the memorial. I'll read you the whole text downstairs. So in the text I sent to the Metropolitan of Thessaloniki I say the following: "To the category of ecumenical bishops you obviously belong, Your Eminence, Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, Mr. Anthimos, as I explained to you in the letter I sent you a few days ago, in response to your fatherly letter of introduction and admonition, in which you recommended that I cease speaking about ecumenism and the Council of Crete, because I am supposedly upsetting the consciences of the Church's population. You confirmed your ecumenical identity "bare-headed" with your praising [and] acceptance of the false Council of Crete during the Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, on 23-24 November 2016, and with the order to read and distribute in the Holy Churches of your Metropolis the false text "To the People."


No matter how much effort you and the other ecumenical bishops make to embellish the false synod, you will not succeed. For it is neither a Holy, nor a Great, nor a Synod, as is evident from the true testimony of the fullness of the Church. Because you therefore fall within what the 15th Canon of the First-Second Council of St. Photios (861), summarizing the Apostolic and Patristic Tradition, states about bishops who preach heresy, I therefore interrupt the commemoration of your name [parishioners applause and yell 'Axios'] during the sacred services symbolically from today's Sunday of Orthodoxy. My priestly conscience cannot tolerate that the Church, through the Holy Fathers and the Holy Synods, condemns all heresies and the iconoclasts today, but that you recognize heresies as churches and form with the iconoclastic Protestants the "World Council of Churches." [If] remembering your name, I declare that I too am an ecumenist, that I have the same faith as you and that I am lying before the Truth, our Lord Jesus Christ, the sacrificer and sacrifice on the Holy Table, as you are lying now and almost all the bishops of old and new Greece, claiming that the Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod are standing on the Word of Truth.


I will be very happy if, by applying the Holy Canons, especially the 15th [Canon] of the First-Second Council, you too, praise the struggles for piety or at least let me carry out my liturgical and teaching work in the Holy Church of St. Anthony. "I don't want to leave St. Anthony's. I'll tell you in the gallery what I said to a bishop who called me yesterday and recommended me: "Father, don't do it. It will cause a great disturbance." It's time for a riot, for the world to wake up, for the world to know! So let me officiate at St. Anthony's. This is what Patriarch Athenagoras did, when the Athonites stopped commemorating him, and this is what the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece did for the three metropolitans who were not commemorated. No measures were taken against them, and thus divisions were avoided, which would have been avoided if, after the reform of the Calendar, the Church had left those who wished to follow the Old Calendar within its bosom, as it had left many Local Churches and Mount Athos.


If you start persecution, you will be a violator of the Holy Canons and a creator of schismatic situations. I will not cause a schism, because I will not join a schismatic group, nor will I mention another bishop. I will look forward with good hope to repeating your memorial when you publicly and "in church" condemn the heresies of Monophysitism, Papism, Protestantism, the pan-heresy of Ecumenism and reject the Council of Crete. If you stick to your pro-Papal and ecumenical convictions, I will have no further communion with you.


Following the Atlas of Orthodoxy, Saint Mark the Noble, who, summarizing the Synodical and Patristic Tradition of the Church, said, what did he say? "All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils and all the Holy Scriptures exhort us to avoid the heterodox and to have no communion with them." Listen to the text, "All the Doctors of the Church, all the Councils and all the Divine Scriptures forsake the heterodox and give up communion with them." He recommended that we should avoid the Latinophroni [Latin-Minded], the equivalent of today's ecumenists, as one flees from snakes. Listen to "Flee from them as one flees from a snake."And he also had the conviction that the more he moved away from the Latin patriarch and his ilk, the closer he came to God and the Saints, and when he separated from them, he was united with the truth and the Holy Fathers and Theologians of the Church. "For I am convinced that when I depart from this and such things, I come near to God and to all the Saints, and, being separated from them, I am united to the truth and to the Holy Fathers and Theologians of the Church."


I, as a little shepherd and teacher, am doing my duty to the Church, today on this Sunday of Orthodoxy. And I wish and expect from you too, as magnificent ones, to do what God enlightens you. Amen.

 


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