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Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Few webpages on this website have stirred more controversy and deep thought than Abp. Viganò's Letter on the Russia Ukraine Crisis and the following passionate Refutation of Viganòs Letter by Pidlubniak, writing from war torn Ukraine. Now, a new perspective is offered by Crisis Magazine, from a 30,000 foot Catholic altitude to perhaps bring it all back from a mostly worldly to a more religiously historical point of view.
Like (I suspect) most Catholic Americans, most of this is new to me; I never heard of this "Third Rome", or of Moscow ever having been considered by anyone as being a new center for preserving Christianity.
As I read the article, while Abp. Viganò never says it, the author indicates that he "strongly hinted at" Patriarch Kirill in Moscow now being the world's chief protector of Catholic orthodoxy.
Admitting that I have more difficulty than the author in separating the (worldly) politics from the (heavenly) religion in this discussion, is not the Patriarch Kirill solidly behind Putin's invasion of Ukraine and the restoration of the old Soviet Empire? Something is missing here, perhaps in my own education, and I don't get this.
But then, like (I suspect) most Catholic Americans, I also have trouble parsing and fully understanding the paragraph from Viganò's letter that the author unpacks in his article.
I hope someone out there has a better religious and historical grasp of this whole topic than I have, because I need to more fully understand what Abp. Viganò is saying, one way or another.
Has Abp. Viganò crossed the line from religion to politics, or not?
The only thing Truth has going for Him in this world is us.
The restoration of Truth = Reality in the hearts and minds of men is now totally dependent upon you and me; if we don't do it, it won't get done.
Sign the Letter to your Bishop, and make our Church Catholic again.
Join Cardinal Burke's Storm Heaven Rosary Campaign.
Get behind President Trump, and make America Constitutional again.
Pray for a strategic collaboration between Abp. Vigano and Trump.
With fear and trembling, work out your salvation--Phil 2:12
Seek the Truth; Find the Way; Live the Life.
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Date: Tue Mar 22 07:19:42 2022
Indeed... The Third Rome is a heretical/schismatic concept, because the Orthodox Church are schismatics themselves - they do not follow the Pope's leadership and so, history tells us that they inevitably follow politics/monarchs. "Third Rome" is just one of many political ploys of Muscovy - the Muscovite Tzar Ivan the Third used this as a justification to become a universal Basileus for all the Orthodox factions and churches at the time, since Constantinople has fallen to the Ottoman horde and the Constantinople Patriarch was rendered politically impotent. That's why Ivan the Third was the first who styled himself as Tzar (the word comes from "Caesar" - through, the first Tzar to be expressly crowned as such was his grandson Ivan the Fourth - better known as Ivan the Terrible for his cruelty) and why he married the Byzantine princess, Sophia Palaiologina - and also broke his formal subordination to the Golden Horde. All in order to strengthen that claim and become the strongest of Orthodox monarchs... However, the idea of a "Third Rome" was fully created by Zosimus the Bearded, the Moscow Metropolitan, at the end of 15th century - then, the Pskov monk Philotheus popularized the formulation "two Romes fell - the third is Moscow and there shall be no fourth" of this idea, justifying it with by a passage from Revelation 17:10. The Third Rome is a purely political concept, with express undertones that tell the other Orthodox nations and churches subordinating themselves to the "center" that is Moscow. In short, this doctrine is just a forerunner to the imperialistic Russian Panslavism (unification of Slavs based on their heritage - with Moscow at the center, naturally) and the modern "Russkiy mir"/"Russian world" (formulated by Patriarch Kirill, this doctrine states that nations with "common historical memory" should "unify"/be conquered if need be - with Russia at it's center/that Russia should return it's Soviet and Imperial territories, too. All these imperialistic doctrines are what's responsible for war with Ukraine, by the way). I would caution Archbishop Vigano in putting his trust in "KGB in robes" - because it's far, far worse then the Western Lavender Mafia. We're talking about a tobacco oligarch masquerading as a Patriarch - a literal KGB agent, successor of another KGB agent Alexei the Second. And what kind of Christian leader endorses invasion of a peaceful, Christian neighboring nation?
Date: Tue Mar 22 14:16:52 2022From:
Third Rome refers to the doctrine that Russia or, specifically, Moscow succeeded Rome and Byzantium Rome as the ultimate center of true Christianity and of the Roman Empire. This is the most generally misunderstood and abused of the several expressions of Russia's new place in the world resulting from domestic and international events of the 1430s and 1520s. The monk Filofei of the Pskov-Eliazarov monastery formulated it in one or two epistles, written between 1523 and 1526, which were then reworked during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Neither epistle survives in its original form or a manuscript assuredly from Filofei's time. The first, probably written in 1523 to 1524 to the state-secretary administrator of Pskov, Mikhail Misiur-Munekhin, attacks astrology, the Roman Catholic Church, and the claims of the Holy Roman Empire, and in this connection asserts that Russia, with Moscow's Dormition Cathedral at its center, is the third and final Roman Empire according to the prophetic books. Filofei's unnamed opponent was Basil III's German physician Nicholas Bülew, who promoted astrology and Church union with Rome. The second epistle, addressed to an unnamed tsar—perhaps Basil III (1524–1526) or possibly Ivan IV (1533–1584)—and conceivably not by Filofei at all, calls upon the addressee to enforce the proper application of the sign of the cross by his subjects; protect church wealth; suppress homosexuality; be an ethical, just, and pious ruler; and, in oblique form, fill hierarchical vacancies.
Third Rome thinking served to elevate Russia's conception of its place within the Orthodox Christian world and the requirement to preserve the faith and its rituals in unadulterated form. If this potentially messianic doctrine played a role in the establishment of the Russian patriarchate in 1589, and may have helped Russians acquire a sense of responsibility toward the Orthodox and later Uniate subjects of Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire, at no time did it figure in aggressive policies toward non-Orthodox or non-Uniate peoples. Modern attempts to enshrine it as an essential element of Russian consciousness since the early 1500s have no basis.
The Christian notion of migrating sacrosanct goes back to the foundation of Constantinople as New Rome (still in the official title of the patriarch of Constantinople) and its subsequent claims to be a New Jerusalem, the center of a messianic kingdom. In the course of competing with Byzantium, even before the Eastern and Western Churches separated (over the course of the 860s to 1054), the German (Holy Roman) emperors also claimed to represent the true Rome. Similarly, while the Byzantine Empire still existed, among the Orthodox Slavs, Bulgarians claimed that their capital, in this case, Trnovo, was the New Imperial City (Constantinople) in the 1300s.
Russians did not seriously dispute Byzantium's pretenses until after the Council of Ferrera-Florence, from 1438 to 1439, when factions of the Greek and Russian Orthodox church accepted union with Rome. By defending Orthodoxy against Roman Catholicism, the Moscow metropolitans treated first Basil II and then Ivan III as new Constantine. With the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, Muscovy/Russia became the Orthodox monarchy. As Ivan III discarded the legal and ceremonial remnants of subordination to the Qipchak (Golden Horde) khans during the period of 1476 to 1480, Archbishop Vassian Rylo of Rostov argued the absurdity of an inviolable oath from a genuine tsar to a false one of brigand descent. In presenting new Eastern tables for the years following the year 1492 c.e., which Orthodox calendars considered to be the millennial year 7000 since Creation, Metropolitan Zosima declared Moscow to be the new Constantinople, which itself was the New Rome in one early copy and New Jerusalem in several others. Ivan's diplomacy vis-à-vis Imperial German pretenses on the 1480s to 1490s and the coronation ceremony of his grandson Dmitry in 1498 emphasized the historic equality of Russia and Byzantium's rulers. In the 1510s Joseph of Volok, while claiming that the Orthodox Tsar is in power like unto God, asserted that any wavering from Orthodoxy would lead to the fall of Russia, as other Orthodox kingdoms had ended due to apostasy. Historical works produced in the 1520s by this school of thought (Russian Chronograph, Nikon Chronicle ) underscored the preeminence of Russia among Orthodox realms, while genealogical inventions used for state diplomacy asserted Roman dynastic origins of Russia's ruling house.
Filofei was not the only Russian churchman of his time to oppose Bülew's ideas; so did Metropolitan Daniel and Maksim Grek. Others also asserted a new world-historic claim for Russia.
Ostrowski, Donald. (1998). Muscovy and the Mongols: Cross-Cultural Influences on the Steppe Frontier, 1304–1589. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Poe, Marshall. (2001). "Moscow, the Third Rome: The Origins and Transformation of a 'Pivotal Moment.'" Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 49:412-29.
David M. Goldfrank
Date: Tue Mar 22 14:28:47 2022
From Christianity.com: Origin of the Orthodox Church
Almost two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and founded the Church, through His Apostles and disciples, for the salvation of man. In the years which followed, the Apostles spread the Church and its teachings and founded many churches, all united in faith, worship, and the partaking of the Mysteries (or as they are called in the West, the Sacraments) of the Holy Church.
The churches founded by the Apostles themselves include the Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome, and Constantinople. The Church of Alexandria was founded by St. Mark, the Church of Antioch by Sanit Paul, the Church of Jerusalem by Saints Peter and James, the Church of Rome by Saints. Peter and Paul, and Church of Constantinople by Saint Andrew. Those founded in later years through the missionary activity of the first churches were the Churches of Sinai, Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and many others.
Each church has always had independent administration, but, with the exception of the Church of Rome, which finally separated from the others in the year 1054, are united in faith, doctrine, Apostolic tradition, sacraments, liturgies, and services. Together they constitute what is called the “Orthodox Church”, literally meaning "right teaching" or "right worship", derived from two Greek words: orthos, "right," and doxa, "teaching" or "worship."
The Orthodox Church proclaims to stand in direct continuity with the earliest Christian communities founded in regions of the Eastern Mediterranean by the apostles of the Lord Jesus
Constantine And Constantinople
The destiny of Christianity in those areas was shaped by the transfer in 320 AD of the imperial capital from (Old) Rome to (New "Rome") Constantinople by Constantine I. As a consequence, during the first Eight Centuries of Church history, most major cultural, intellectual, and social developments in the Christian church also took place in that region; for instance, all ecumenical councils of that period met either in or near Constantinople.
Missionaries, coming from Constantinople, converted the Slavs and other peoples of Eastern Europe to Christianity (Bulgaria, 864; Russia, 988) and translated Scripture and liturgical texts into the vernacular languages used in the various regions.
Thus, the liturgy, traditions, and practices of the church of Constantinople were adopted by all and still provide the basic patterns of contemporary Orthodoxy.
The Great Schism of Eastern and Western Christianity
Developments were not always consistent with the evolution of Western Christianity, where the bishop of Rome, or pope, came to be considered the successor of the apostle Peter and head of the universal church by divine appointment. Eastern Christians were willing to accept the pope only as first among patriarchs. This difference explains the various incidents that grew into a serious estrangement. One of the most vehement disputes concerned the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed, which the Western church added unilaterally to the original text.
The schism came slowly. The first major breach came in the Ninth century when the Pope refused to recognize the election of Photius as the patriarch of Constantinople. Photius in turn challenged the right of the papacy to rule on the matter and denounced the filioque clause as a Western innovation.
The growing disputes between East and West reached another peak in 1054 AD when mutual anathemas were exchanged. The sacking of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade (1204 AD) intensified Eastern hostility toward the West.
Attempts at reconciliation at the councils of Lyon (1274 AD) and Florence (1438-39 AD) were unsuccessful. When the papacy defined itself as infallible (First Vatican Council, 1870 AD), the gulf between East and West grew wider. Only since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) has the movement reversed, talks are bringing serious attempts at mutual understanding..
Beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church accepts as authoritative the resolutions of the seven ecumenical councils that met between 325 AD and 787 AD and established the basic teachings on the Trinity and the Incarnation. In later centuries Orthodox councils also made doctrinal determinations on Grace (1341 AD, 1351 AD) and took a stand in reference to Western teachings.
The Church continues the early traditions of Christianity, as babies receive the Eucharist and confirmation, and the episcopate and the priesthood are understood in the light of Apostolic succession. Apostolic Succession is recognized to be the continuation of the Holy Tradition by right-believing Bishops. Both married men and monks may become priests, but priests, bishops, and monks may not marry. The veneration of Mary, as Theotokos (Mother of God), is central to Orthodox Incarnational Theology, and the intercession of saints is also emphasized in the Orthodox Holy Tradition.
After an early controversy on the subject, the Icons, of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints are now seen as visible witnesses to the fact that God has taken human flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Liturgy used by the Orthodox Church has been translated from Greek into many languages. It is always sung, not just spoken. The faithful receive Holy Communion on a spoon. They are given both the consecrated bread (NIKA), and the sanctified wine from the gifts offered and sanctified at the given Divine Liturgy. Holy Communion is never taken from any "reserve."
Monasticism, which had its origins in the Christian East (Egypt, Syria, Cappadocia), has since been considered in the Orthodox Church as a prophetic ministry of men and women, showing through their mode of life the action of the Holy Spirit. The monastic republic of Mount ATHOS, Greece, is still viewed among Orthodox Christians as a center of spiritual vitality. [Some excerpts from the Beliefs and Practices of Eastern Orthodoxy]
Modern Adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy
The most common estimate of the number of Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 225-300 million individuals.
Other assessments, such as in The Encyclopedia of the Developing World, place the amount of overall Orthodox adherents in 1996 at 182 million individuals, including the following listings:
Russian Federation: 70-80 million
Ukraine: close to 30 million
Romania: 20 million
Greece: 9.5 million
United States: close to 7 million
Serbia and Montenegro: close to 7 million
Bulgaria: 6 million
Belarus: 5 million
Kazakhstan: 4 million
Moldavia: 3 million
Georgia: 2.8 million
North Macedonia: 1.2 million
United Kingdom: 440,000
Austria: about 70,000
Switzerland: about 70,000
Date: Tue Mar 22 2022
From: Vic Biorseth
We wrote about the great East-West schism in the Fracturing of Chrisitanity page, among others.
Date: Thu Mar 24 04:19:26 2022
Location: Greater Houston, Texas-USA
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is not only brilliant and full of spiritual wisdom, he has real in-depth knowledge and an unparalleled perspective from his years of experience and cultivated connections from decades as a Vatican insider. His words ring true with crystal clarity in my mind AND heart. They are an answer to my eremitic prayers ever since the summer of 2018, pleading that the Lord please EXPOSE for all to see, everything that has been going on in secret. He is a key foil to all the Great Deceiver has been attempting to accomplish within his 100-year window of opportunity. Praise God for him! Praise God.
Politics cannot be separated from religion. God is intricately involved in all the affairs of men and the workings of the world. As Jesus told those in the seats of power during the original Holy Week: “You have no power except what God has given you.” He sets leaders up and takes them down. His Will be done on earth. The story of salvation history is headed towards its dénouement.
Date: Thu Mar 24 2022
From: Vic Biorseth
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life; please God, and live forever.
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Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in
thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life:
and few there are that find it! Beware of false prophets, who come to you in
the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Jesus Christ; Matt 7:13-15
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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