St. Paul's Mission to Greece

Clement of Alexandria
 [...] The Greeks say, that after Orpheus and Linus, and the most ancient of the poets that appeared among them, the seven, called wise, were the first that were admired for their wisdom. Of whom four were of Asia--Thales of Miletus, and Bias of Priene, Pittacus of Mitylene, and Cleobulus of Lindos; and two of Europe, Solon the Athenian, and Chilon the Lacedaemonian; and the seventh, some say, was Periander of Corinth; others, Anacharsis the Scythian; others, Epimenides the Cretan, whom Paul knew as a Greek prophet, whom he mentions in the Epistle to Titus, where he speaks thus: "One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. And this witness is true." You see how even to the prophets of the Greeks he attributes something of the truth, and is not ashamed, when discoursing for the edification of some and the shaming of others, to make use of Greek poems. Accordingly to the Corinthians (for this is not the only instance), while discoursing on the resurrection of the dead, he makes use of a tragic Iambic line, when he said, "What advantageth it me if the dead are not raised? Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners." [...]

 [...] Since, then, the Greeks are testified to have laid down some true opinions, we may from this point take a glance at the testimonies. Paul, in the Acts of the Apostles, is recorded to have said to the Areopagites, "I perceive that ye are more than ordinarily religious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with the inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. God, that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him; though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we also are His offspring." Whence it is evident that the apostle, by availing himself of poetical examples from the Phenomena of Aratus, approves of what had been well spoken by the Greeks; and intimates that, by the unknown God, God the Creator was in a roundabout way worshipped by the Greeks; but that it was necessary by positive knowledge to apprehend and learn Him by the Son. "Wherefore, then, I send thee to the Gentiles," it is said, "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith which is in Me." Such, then, are the eyes of the blind which are opened. The knowledge of the Father by the Son is the comprehension of the "Greek circumlocution;" and to turn from the power of Satan is to change from sin, through which bondage was produced. We do not, indeed, receive absolutely all philosophy, but that of which Socrates speaks in Plato. "For there are (as they say) in the mysteries many bearers of the thyrsus, but few bacchanals;" meaning, "that many are called, but few chosen." He accordingly plainly adds: "These, in my opinion, are none else than those who have philosophized right; to belong to whose number, I myself have left nothing undone in life, as far as I could, but have endeavoured in every way. Whether we have endeavoured rightly and achieved aught, we shall know when we have gone there, if God will, a little afterwards." [...]

The Demons

The Church teaches the existence of demons. What are demons? Demons, like the angels, are spirits: immaterial and bodiless, but evil spirits which oppose God and seek the spiritual destruction and annihilation of man, though it is not uncommon to find situations in which they bodily torture man and make man's life on earth sheer tyranny within that measure of freedom allowed them by God. And God allows them this freedom either for the punishment or chastisement of the sinner, or for the trial of the righteous. The demons were not created by God as demons: evil and unclean spirits. In the beginning they were brilliant angels-just as all the heavenly spirits. However, they were overcome and dominated by arrogance and pride. Thus, under the leadership of their capitan Lucifer, Eosphoros (lit the light-bearing angel), who subsequently became Satan, they revolted against God. Lucifer tried to become like God in all things by domineeringly usurping divine authority and glory. "I will go up above the clouds", thought Lucifer, "I will set my throne above the clouds. I will I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14, 13-14). For this reason, God cast him down into Hades, and with him all those angels who believed and followed him. All these became demons, evil spirits, and their leader became the Devil, Satan, the " father of lies", as our Lord so names him. The Tempter, the Dragon of Revelation, the ancient Serpent, who appeared to Eve as a serpent in order to lure her into disobedience and sin, Belial, Beelzebub-as he is called in the New Testament- the Seducer who seduces the universe, possessing deadly hatred for God and blind passion against man. His demons are like him.
Of course there do exist people who deny the existence of demons, people who say that the Devil does not really exist. "And what is the Devil?" they ask. "He is merely the personification of evil". Yet practically every page of the New Testament speaks about Satan and mentions so many people who were possessed by demons and from whom our Lord cast them out. The Evangelist St. John emphasizes that "for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil" (I John 3, 8). It is indeed sad when people and especially Christians deny this truth, so abundantly witnessed to by Holy Scripture. Indeed, such a denial could prove both disastrous and fatal. To deny the Devil's existence is to fall into one of Satan's very own traps, set in order to trap with all certainty his victims, and to lure them first into sin and then to cast them into perdition.
That the demons at their creation were free and immaterial angels and that they made ill use of their freedom, becoming dark and evil, "their uncleanness not being attributed to their creation," that "they are not evil by nature, but good, having been created with good intent and for a good purpose, and having no trace of evil implanted within them by the Creator, but possessing freedom of choice and the power to remain with God or to separate themselves from the good, and that they did not remain where God had created them but reviled Him and fell from heaven", are truths taught by all the Fathers of the Church. Indeed, St. Athanasius underlines the type of evil responsible for Lucifer's being cast out of heaven and transformed into Satan. He clearly and lucidly states that Satan was not cast out from heaven "because of fornication, adultery or theft", but because of his arrogance and pride. And Cyril of Alexandria verifies that the Devil "was banished from the heavenly courts" "because he dared to say: I will be like the Most High, and because he "imagined that he could" though a creature, "ascend to the nature of the Creator". To become "co-ruler with Him Who has the dominion over all", as St. Basil states.

The Origin of Evil

It is quite possible that one might ask the following question: "If the world was created by God and it was created 'very good', then where does evil come from?" Why does evil exist to so great a degree in the world? Did our benevolent God create evil along with good? Did He will that so much evil exist along side so much beneficence? It would be blasphemy for us to accept such a premise, for from the all-good God only goodness can proceed. But for us to understand this better it is necessary that we distinguish between the two forms of evil: i.e. natural or physical evil and moral or ethical evil. Natural evil is all that is sad and painful in nature and in man's life. Such things are for example earthquakes, storms, floods, disasters which strike at man and sweep away the earth's bounties. In this list we may safely include disease, poverty, hunger, unemployment, and so many other things from which many suffer. Does God desire these things? If He doesn't, then why does He allow them to happen? Why does He let His rational creatures suffer and be harmed? We answer: No, God does not desire natural evil, nor does He desire diseases and poverty or destruction. But because these trials and afflictions often restrain man from going down-hill towards evil, and because at other times they give cause for righteous and saintly men to manifest their virtue and to provide a good example for wicked men, for this reason God allows-we can say even desires-natural evil, so that these two salutary purposes may be fulfilled. Thus, through war men cease their depravity and wantoness, they abandon their faithlessness and with faith turn to repentance and prayer. Furthermore, God, in order to advance the cultivation and expression of virtue, allowed such great tragedies to occur to the righteous Job. In the end He sends him a fearful disease, and under such fearful circumstances all the faith and patience of the righteous man shines forth as an eternal example. In like manner, God tries that most holy preacher of the Gospel, St.Paul, with a fearsome disease, "a thorn in the flesh" as the Apostle terms it, and in this way all his faith, his virtue, his love and dedication to God is revealed. Thus we can rightly say that natural evil gives rise to faith and repentance, and brings about virtue and sanctity, and for this reason God desires it, for it brings forth so much good fruit. He wants it and certainly allows it for the great spiritual benefit of man. And now we come to moral or ethical evil. Whence comes moral evil, i. e. sin? This evil (sin), which as we have already pointed out is in and by itself alone evil, true evil which smites and kills man's soul, is the invention of Satan, the progeny and true son of the Evil One. The wicked devil conceived it and put it into circulation first among the angels, and succeeded in beguiling some of them and leading them into evil and transforming them into demons like himself. He also introduced evil to man, who accepted it and became sinful. Even today evil exists, as do men who accept and follow and live according to the dictates of evil. Thus, evil is not the creation of God but the work of the evil devil and evil man. As long as man by his free will has made his choice between good and evil and freely listened to the promptings and inspirations of the Evil One, and preferred evil over good he has become himself evil and wicked: evil in his actions and deeds. Thus, he, too, becomes an evil man, a cause of evil. Hence, it would not be wrong to say that evil secondly, after its inventor, the Devil, springs from the evil man who accepts and espouses it. Evil thus has its origin from the wicked Devil and from evil men. From God who is holy it is impossible for evil to proceed. Holy Scripture states: "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed" (James 1, 13-14). Because each one of us has within him evil desires, it is for this reason that he does evil. The cause of this evil then is man and not God, who is holy. God hates and abhors evil and desires to root it out of the hearts of men and to destroy it from the face of the earth. Indeed, God so hates and punishes evil that He could once and for all destroy it. But He does not do so. Why? Because in so doing He would reduce and set at naught man's free will, for virtue through force and coercion is unthinkable. St. John of Damascus says: "Whatever happens through force is neither logical nor virtuous". Virtue is virtue only when it is the fruit and accomplishment of man's free will and effort. Man has been given free will and self-determination so that through good use of his free will he may achieve real virtue. When this is accomplished, then man becomes an object of wonder and marvel both to angels and men, worthy of every reward and grace, worthy of the kingdom of heaven.
St. Basil, speaking about natural evil and the good that can come of it, says the following: "For this reason epidemics in cities and nations, droughts and the coarse events in the life of each individual limit the increase of evil. So, such natural evils are born of God, and save of the true evil, i e the birth of sin. Hence the woulds of the body and those painful things occurring without, have been devised so that we might refrain from sin". All tribulations in life are allowed by God and sent by Him in order to wound man and thus prevent him from sinning, for it is "chiefly sin that deserves the name evil". True evil is sin and it is sin that ought to be called evil. St. John of Damascus says that God by His benevolence "very often allows misfortunes to befall even the righteous, so that He may in this way manifest to others the latent faith hidden in him. He allows the blessed to suffer badly so that he will not fall away from his right conscience or prevent him, like Paul, from falling into prideful arrogance because of the power and grace given him".

What are the Holy Angels?

The angels are immaterial, spiritual and immortal beings. They do not posses a material body such as ours but are spiritual beings and therefore invisible. They cannot be seen, just as our soul, which is also a spirit, cannot be seen. God created the angels before He created the material word. This derives from the words of God who said to Job: "When the stars were made, all my angels praised me with a loud voice" (Job 38, 7).
That the angels are a creation of God is clearly stated in Holy Scripture: "by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities or powers" (Col. 1, 16). Thrones, dominions, principalities and powers are names of various angelic orders.
As immaterial and spiritual beings the angels transport themselves with ease from place to place; however, they are not omnipresent like God, for they, too, are creatures of God with limited abilities and powers. Though their powers are much greater, indeed, incomparably greater, than those of man, they are nevertheless found infinitely lacking when compared to God's omnipotence. Their knowledge is also great. Much greater than human knowledge; yet it cannot be compared with God's omniscience. Their wills were tested when Lucifer rebelled against God, and through divine grace their will has become firmly rooted in good, towards which it continuously inclines. It is for this reason that they are called the Holy Angels.
At times-whenever God so willed- they have been sent to holy men in order to reveal to them God's will. At such times they took on the form and appearance of young men, occasionally winged, and spoke in human tongue, otherwise it would have been impossible for them to announce to man God's will.
According to the Blessed St. John the Damascene, "an angel is an intelligent essence in perpetual motion, with free will, incorporeal, ministering to God, having obtained by grace an immortal nature". Hence, the angels are spirits-pure spirits-immaterial, heavenly, bodiless and immortal. For this reason, they are also called heavenly and bodiless powers, and are much superior to man, both in knowledge and in power; yet they are neither all-wise nor all-powerful, for only God is such. The angels are divided into three hierarchal orders: Seraphim-Cherubim-Thrones
St. John the Damascene further states concerning angels: "They are in perpetual motion, with free will, having obtained by grace an immortal nature". "They are", he continues, "rational and intelligent, and endowed with free will, immortal not by nature but by grace... They are not hemmed in by walls and doors, bars and seals. When they are in heaven they are not on earth, and when they are sent by God down to earth they do not remain in heaven". Three angels are referred to by name in Holy Scripture: Michael, the leader of the people of Israel; Gabriel, the Angel of the New Testament and Raphael. Of the three, two are Archangels.


by Macarius Notaras
18th Century Archbishop of Corinth


To receive Communion the usual two or three times a year is good and helpful, but to receive Communion more frequently is far better. Remember, the nearer a person comes to the light, the more light he gets. The closer he draws to the fire, the warmer he is. The nearer he approaches sanctity, the more saintly he becomes.
In the same way, the more often one draws near to God in Communion, the more one receives light and warmth and holiness. My friend, if you are worthy to make your Communion two or three times a year, you are worthy of making it more often, as St. John Chrysostom tells us, by maintaining your own earlier preparation and worthiness.
But what does stop us from taking Communion? The answer is our carelessness and laziness, and we give way to these faults so much that we are not sufficiently prepared to be able to receive Communion.
There is another way of looking at this problem, too. People like this do not, in fact, obey God's commandment as they imagine they do. Where did God, or any one of the saints for that matter, bid us communicate two or three times a year? Nowhere is this found. Therefore we must be very sure that, when we obey a command, it is our duty to see that we are obeying it exactly as it says. That is, we must pay attention to the place, the time, the purpose, the method and all the conditions in which it should take place. Thus the good action that we wanted to perform will be perfect in every detail and well pleasing to God.
You can see that the same thing applies to the case of Holy Communion. It is both necessary and very beneficial to the soul for a person to receive Communion frequently. It is also in obedience to the commandment of God. It is a good deed well done and well-pleasing to God. On the other hand to communicate only three times a year is neither in obedience to a command nor a perfect good deed. Because it is not good in itself, its results are not good.
Therefore, like all the rest of God's commandments, every one requires the right time, as it says in the Book of Ecclesiastes, "For everything there is a season."
This is true also with regard to the command about Holy Communion. We must receive the proper time; and that means the proper time is the moment when the priest exclaims, "In the fear of God and with faith and love draw near."
Is this heard only three times a year? Oh, no. Yet, although everyone must eat two or even three times a day in order that the material body may live, must the unfortunate soul only eat three times a year-or perhaps even once-the food that gives it life in order to live the spiritual life? And isn't this completely absurd? Even if this is not the case, I am very much afraid that we may be deriving no benefit from complying with the commandments, because we water them down and spoil them. So we are not keepers of the law, but breakers of the law.
I believe, Lord and I confess that You are truly the Christ, Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the greatest. Moreover, I believe that this is in truth Your sacred Body and that this is in truth Your precious Blood. Therefore, I beseech You, have mercy on me and forgive me my offenses, both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word or deed,
willing or unwilling; and render me worthy to partake of Your sacred mysteries without condemnation, for remission of sins and everlasting life. Amen.
Son of God, receive me today as a partaker of Your mystical supper; for I will not speak of the mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You the kiss of Judas. But like the thief I will confess You. Remember me, Lord, in Your kingdom.

We thank You, loving Master, benefactor of our souls, that again today You have counted us worthy of Your heavenly and immortal Mysteries. Set us a straight path; make us all firm in reverence of You; keep watch over our lives; safeguard our movements; through the prayers and intercession of the glorious Theotokos and ever-virgin, Mary and of all Your saints. Amen.

Jesus Christ the Light and Hope of the World

       by Protopresbyter George E. Metallinos
With the year 2000, Christianity completes two millennia of historical presence and witness.Christianity, however, means Jesus Christ, since the God-man is He who entered redemptively into the world at some historical moment, altering the process and meaning of History. The completion of the second Christian millennium calls not only for a celebration, but also for offering an account of the pilgrimage of the Christian world, and of the relation of contemporary Christians to the Founder of the Church.It is primarily, we Orthodox, the authentic-original Christians who, in spite of our sins, remain faithful to the tradition of our Saints, that are called to witness to the world what Christ means for us, and with what mindset we enter into the third Christian millennium. l reasons, reject the Godhead of Christ, but one may not reject the historicity of His Person.
The greater persecution, however, of Christ and the Faith in Christ is that which is derived from within, from the Christians themselves. These are the heretics of all the centuries who deny either the Godhead or the manhood of Christ, distort His word, falsify His Truth and “teach men so” (Matthew 5:19). All these are not able to stamp out Christ, but by weakening Him, they kill human beings because they offer them a counterfeit Christ who can not save. The shrinkage of Christ in some aspect of his identity, then (e.g., great teacher, miracle worker, social innovator, etc.), amounts to a quashing of Christ, and also to a clear denial of Him. Christ saves when He is accepted entirely, as He revealed Himself (i.e., as “the Son of the living God” – Matthew 16:17). This is how His Apostles and Saints accepted Him, and this is how He is received by all those who are saved throughout the ages. For this reason…
9. Orthodox Christology secures salvation.
Christ’s question to His disciples, “who do people say that I am” (Matthew 16:16), has exposed this very problem. If this question is not correctly answered, within the limits of an authentic Christology, there can be no possibility of salvation for any human being. Christ’s Person is often falsely presented. All the Christological heresies offer a non-existing Christ, perfectly unrelated to Him, who became incarnate for our salvation. From Docetism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monotheletism and Monoenergism to the current falsifications of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Scientologists, etc., all accept a hypothetical Christ who is not the Christ of history, but of metaphysics and deceit.
The falsification of the Faith in Christ in the sphere of dogma inevitably incurs the falsification of the word of Christ in the sphere of society. The Church as a communion of Saints, on the other hand, unceasingly hands over the One Christ, the true Christ, from generation to generation, over and against the various heretical falsifications of Him. This is achieved with the preaching and the pastoral care of the Holy Fathers, by means of the Ecumenical Synods, the liturgical practice and the spiritual life of the struggling believers.
Multifaceted heretical deceit gives rise to the formation of a Christianity without Christ. This is the result of the tragic confusion, which dominates our times. It is a confusion, which is aggravated by the entry of human society into the insanity of the so-called New Age and New World Order. This is the darkest and, therefore, the most dangerous period of human history, because it is already linked with new mythologies (e.g., the new millennium), apocryphal viewpoints (Aquarius – the Devil – takes the position of Pisces – Christ) and millenarian expectations (visions of universal prosperity), while in essence it is the old world that is being reproduced with all its pathology and pathogenic evolution. The much-advertised globalization of the supporters and propagandists of the new system, in spite of some of its positive aspects, leads to a deceitful society where cultural and ethnic peculiarities are razed to the ground, while this kind of society is shaped by a paideia (educational training) which is being conformed to uniformity, and by the mass media of communication. Development of things leading “towards a common flock,” which could be viewed as fulfillment of the word of Christ (John 10:16), is overshadowed by a spontaneous query: Yes, but under which shepherd? Would this shepherd be Christ himself, as He said, or the pseudo-Christ of the New Age?
Never before has the Person of Christ suffered such diminution, nor has Christianity met with such a threat, as in the context of a so-called universal religion which is being composed by the New Age. The convergence of the New Age movement with a universal religion (Assisi 1,2 and 3, 1986-1994 and 1998) does not leave any doubt, anymore. Through the participation of the representatives of the Christian world, a universal religion gets promoted. This is the religion where the All-holy Person of Christ is leveled to the ground and is literally revoked, as it is mixed in with all the fabricated divinities of a fallen world. Never before has the uniqueness and exclusivity of Christ as Savior of the world been questioned so directly and absolutely. For this reason alone, the New Age, historically speaking, is the greatest challenge to Orthodoxy. What the Devil failed to achieve with the persecutions and heresies is now pursued by the renewed ecumenism of the universal religion. Orthodoxy is called to save the truth about Christ, remaining faithful to the tradition of its saints, so that Christ may remain as the life and the hope of the world.

The Schism of the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox


Exactly nine hundred years have passed since the separation of the two great Churches of Christendom when the Western Church broke away from the Eastern Orthodox. Many still seek the cause of this most unfortunate division. Actually, it can be found in the difference concerning the Primacy of the Pope of Rome.
Until the Fifth Century A.D. there was not even a single instance of dissention or antagonism between the two Churches. The bishop of Rome had always been considered the First in the order of hierarchy. This was a natural consequence of the position of Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire. When Constantinople became the new capital of the Byzantine State its Bishop assumed the second position in the ranks of hierarchy. The third canon of the Second Ecumenical Council (381) designates the position of honor of the Bishop of Constantinople as second only to that of the Bishop of Rome. This decision of the Council is based on the premise that Constantinople is the new Rome, and incidentally, it has been retained among the titles of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
This indicates, as was brought out at the Council, that the political importance of the city defined the honorary status of its hierarchy. The same fact was repeated with emphasis by the now renown 28th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council held at Chalcedon in 451. At that time, the Bishop of Constantinople was acclaimed as equal in honor to the Bishop of Rome.
In the meantime, erroneous beliefs began to circulate in the Church of the West. Of these, the most serious was an addition to the Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople concerning the Holy Spirit. The Church of Rome wanted to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds "and from the Son". In Latin, this addition was accomplished by the word, "filioque".
It should be made clear at this point that the Creed or PISTEVO was compiled and authorized as the Christian Confessions of faith by the First and Second Ecumenical Councils. The first seven articles of the Creed were approved at the First Council and the remaining five were composed at the Second Council which was held in Constantinople. The Eighth article states "and in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped..." The addition of "filioque" ("and from the Son") was first heard in Spain during the middle of the Sixth Century. From there, this innovation spread to other western countries. It is most noteworthy however, that during the early part of the Ninth century,Pope Leo III protested against this addition to the Creed. Convinced that it should remain as it has been written and proclaimed by the first two Ecumenical Councils. He ordered that the Creed be inscribed without any change upon two silver plaques. These were placed in St. Peter's at Rome for all to see. This is a historical fact which is accepted by all historians as true.
The first to object strongly to this addition to the Creed, and to other errors of the Western Church, was Photios, the great Patriarch of Constantinople, who flourished in the middle of the Ninth Century. Photios was a brilliant scholar and theologian who held a high position in the Imperial Byzantine Court. He attained great literary fame with his monumental work, "Myrio Biblos", in which he summarized 280 ancient writings of which the majority were subsequently lost. Due to his great ability and exceptional virtues as a layman he was admitted to the priesthood and in a period of six days he was ordained deacon, priest and bishop. On Christmas day of 857, he was enthroned as Patriarch of Constantinople.
The discord between the Eastern and the Western Church continued on a livelier vein even after Patriarch Photios. The Eastern Church, with the Patriarch of Constantinople at its head, protested against the errors in dogma taught by the western Church. Constant appeals were made to Rome to renounce all error and conform with the teachings of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the first eight centuries.Simultaneously, the Western Church, with the Pope as its head, maintained that the entire Christian Church was obliged to adhere without discussion to the pronouncements of the Roman See. They maintained that the primate of the Church of Rome was the vicar of Christ on earth, because he was supposedly the heir to the primacy of St. Peter whom Christ our Lord had installed as head of the universal Church and who founded the Christian Church of Rome.
Now let us see what we can learn from the original account of the events in question:
a) We should first consider that passage from the Gospel according to St. Matthew upon which the Roman Catholics base the primacy of St. Peter. Our Lord was at Caesarea of Philippi (Matt.16) when he asked His Disciples, "Whom do men say that I am?" And they said, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets". He saith unto them, "but whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art Christ the Son of the Living God". And Jesus answered and said unto him,"Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt.IΣΤ¨13-18).

It is quite evident from these words of our Lord that He built His Church not upon Peter for then He would have clearly said,"Thou art Peter and upon thee I will build my Church," but upon the rock of the true Faith which Peter confessed.Christ our Lord clearly said that His Church is built upon the truth which Peter declared that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. Only through considerable distortion of the text can one draw the conclusion of the Roman Catholics, that Christ built the Church upon Peter.
b) It is  also clear from the Scriptures that St. Peter had no authority over the Apostles. In his Epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul states that when he saw Peter was not thinking correctly, he corrected him in the presence of others, "But when Peter was to come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed" (Gal B:11).Further down, St. Paul elaborates by saying, "...when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, "if thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Gal B:14). On the basis of these words of St. Paul we may justly question, "Is there even a trace of recognition here of Peter's authority to teach without the possibility of errors?".
c) Concerning the foundation of the Christian Church in Rome there is authoritative testimony that it was not accomplished by St. Peter. It was established by Christians who settled in Rome. Moreover, St. Paul considered it his Church He mentioned this in his epistle to the Romans "....from Jerusalem and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation...for which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you. Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to You: for I trust to see you in my journey" (Gal.IE:19-20,22-23).
From this passage, therefore, we clearly see that St. Paul had no knowledge that St. Peter was in Rome or that Peter had founded the Church there. On the contrary,he says that he feels obliged to preach the gospel where no other Apostle taught so that he would not build upon the foundation laid by another. Surely this is an explicit testimony that St. Peter was in no way connected with the foundation of the Church of Rome. Actually, St. Peter served the Church for many years in Antioch, as verified by St. Jerome, and then went to Rome where he suffered martyrdom with St. Paul.
d) In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the order of precedence given to the Apostolic Sees was determined exclusively by the political importance of various cities. The Bishop of Rome was recognized as first because Rome was capital of the empire. Originally, the Bishop of Constantinople was designated as second by the Second Ecumenical Council. Subsequently, when Constantinople became the capital of the Byzantine Empire and was referred to as New Rome, the Fourth Ecumenical Council proclaimed the Bishop of Constantinople equal in rank with the Bishop of Rome.
The Bishop of Alexandria was designated third, because his city was then the great center of learning; and following him were the Bishop of Antioch and Jerusalem. If the position of honor were determined not by the political but by the religious significance of the city, does it not stand to reason that the primacy of honor would be reserved for Jerusalem,the Mother Church of Christendom? There would be no dispute in that case, for our Lord lived there, was crucified there and arose from the tomb there. Moreover, the first Christian Church was founded in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
These are the true and accurate facts as they are brought to light by the authentic documents which make up Ecclesiastical History. It is very unfortunate that the Western Church insists on its viewpoint for so many centuries.
We Orthodox are deeply grieved that our Roman Catholic brethren distort the facts. We are praying daily and will continue to pray that the Roman Catholic Church will again embrace the truth, as many learned laymen of that faith have done already. That event will be one of the most momentous in the entire history of mankind. It will mark the beginning of the fulfillment of the prayer of our Lord on the night of His betrayal, "Father, I pray that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me".
                                                          Archbishop Michael


Papacy is a heresy
" The papacy is included among the heretical weeds forever appearing in the church of God which is very often plagued and continues to plague the salvation of mankind in Christ; in being bad seeds and rotten members they are justly cut off from the healthy body and the Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ".

(Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimos 1895)
Infallibility is a heresy
"Through the dogma of "Infallibility" the Western church lost its spiritual freedom. It lost its beauty and balance, and was deprived of the wealth of the grace of the Holy Spirit, the presence of Christ ,so that,  from spirit and soul ended up a dead body. We are truly grieved for the injustice done to the church and we pray from the bottom of our hearts that the Holy Spirit illumine the mind and the heart of the Most Blessed Pontiff to have him return to the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH that which he took from her, something that should never have taken place".

(St. Nektarios)

The "Third Fall"
"In the history of mankind there are 3 falls : The fall of Adam, of Judas the Iscariot and that of the Pope. The essence of falling into sin is always the same: the desire to become God by oneself. In this manner, a man insensibly equates himself with the devil, because he also wants to become God by himself to replace God with himself...The fall of the Pope lies exactly in this very thing: to want to replace the Godman with the man..."

(Justin Popovich of Serbia)

"It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism-the primacy of the Pope exhalting himself equal to God".
(St. Mark the Evgenikos)
"My brothers, I studied for forty and fifty years. I read many books about the Jews, the idolaters, and about the impious and heretics. I studied the depths of wisdom. All the other faiths are false and counterfeit. Only our own faith, the Orthodox Christianity,is True and Holy.
(St.Kosmas the Aitolos)
"The Latins are not only schismatics but heretics...we did not separate from them for any other reason other than the fact that they are heretics. This is precisely why we must not unite with them unless they dismiss the addition from the Creed "filioque" and confess the Creed as we do"
(St. Mark the Evgenikos)
"Neither the Papist nor the Protestant church can be considered as the True church of Christ. The first was altered by a number of innovations and the accursed despotism (Primacy) due to which resulted the schism from the Orthodox. The same goes for the Protestants whose innumerable innovations lead to total anarchy and chaos. Only the Orthodox church maintained the teachings of Christ flawlessly without a single innovation. Only in the Orthodox church does unity exists. The unity which the Savior was petitioning from the Father saying, "Holy Father keep them in your Name those that you gave me so they can be one just like we are one. John IZ:11.
(St. Nectarios of Aigina)
"Those that are not reborn by the divine grace in the only ONE,  HOLY, CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH, they do not consist of (comprise) any church, neither visible nor invisible".
(St. Nektarios)
"As long as the main causes of the schism remain the same...union is impossible".
(St. Nektarios)
"All those of you that are genuine children of Orthodoxy, leave as quick as possible from the priests who succumbed to Latin rule (Uniads), and neither congregate with them nor accept a blessing from their hands".
(St. Germanos of Constantinople).
"The Latins are unbaptized because they do not keep the three immersions while baptizing...let them learn that a baptism is not complete by petitioning the Holy Trinity only, byt what is also needed is the likeness (typos) of the death, the burial and the resurrection of the Lord...for us to be participants in the likeness of the death of Christ and His three-day burial; it is imperative that the three immersions take place otherwise this is impossible..."
(St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite).

Ecumenism is heresy

by Athanasios S. Fragopoulos

We should define Ecumenism and what it means to be an Ecumenist.
Ecumenism is a new heresy which has appeared in our days, and Ecumenists are the followers and expounders of this movement. Ecumenism is a fearful and dangerous heresy from which we Orthodox must stand far apart. Indeed, we ought to fight against it by enlightening those Orthodox who are ignorant of Ecumenism and what it entails.
Ecumenism maintains that: the truth and Grace of Christ is not to be found in any one single Church, but partially in all Churches. A little bit of it is to be found in the Orthodox Church, a little bit in the Papal, and a little bit in the Protestant Churches. Now if we put all these Churches together and create an Ecumenical Church we also unite all the pieces of the faith and the truth, and come up with the whole truth of Christ. The Ecumenical Church, the Ecumenists claim, is a tree with many branches. (This is the so-called "Branch Theory"). In this way they try to deceive the simple-minded. Each branch is a Church. Orthodoxy is one branch, Papalism another, Protestantism yet another, and so on. Put all the branches together as composing one tree and you come up with the Church of Christ-which of course is a "Church" of all the heresies and false teachings.But if this is so, then one ask, where is the one Church which Lord Jesus Christ established? Where is the one and only truth, the one body, the one Spirit, the one Lord, the one faith, the one baptism of which St. Paul speaks (Eph. 4, 4-6)? How can Orthodoxy stand side by side with heresy, faith with unbelief, truth with error? It is impossible.
Ecumenism was invented supposedly to do away with division and unite divided Christianity. But that which is divided cannot be joined, and the Ecumenists shall never achieve the "union of the Churches" because there are not many Churches but only one Church of Christ: The Orthodox Catholic Church which all may join by repenting of their errors and by renouncing their false doctrines.
Then shall we have the wondrous union of all in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ. This is the universality and ecumenicity of the Church. This, and not Ecumenism.


Ecumenism in the true sense, is having all of humanity embrace the truth of the gospel, having every person on this planet come to the Truth Himself, The Christ.
However, the type of ecumenism that accepts all Christians confessions as equal (Branch Theory), that is equally sharing bits and pieces of the truth and teaches love above truth, ignorance of dogma for the sake of peace, and disregard of differences which tend to divide, this type of ecumenism is the latest child of Free Masonry and the great-grandfather of the Antichrist, a true menace of the Church.
The Church is in imminent threat of being overcome by a storm of compromise and capitulation to heterodox doctrine and practice, and no sincere Orthodox Christian, layman or otherwise, can blamelessly remain idle while his path to salvation is washed away.
We call you to follow the Holy Fathers' direction and turn away from that dangerous and false ecumenism which fills our souls with self-importance and the soul-numbing and worldly subjectivity unfortunately so prevalent in post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism.
Let us heed the guidance of the Holy Fathers, who direct us to seek the union that Christ wishes: far from every worldly purpose and every compromise.
By remaining rooted and immovable in our Orthodoxy, we also give an opportunity to any of the heretics to awaken and to be incorporated into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, so that they might find salvation.
Ecumenism is heresy! That is quite clear. Moreover, it is the heresy of heresies.
Of all the errors that so-called "Ecumenism" comprises, the most fundamental and profound is its error concerning the very nature of the Church itself. This is an ecclesiological heresy. It is contrary to the Nicean-Constantinopolitan confession of faith, for it asserts that there is no "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
(From the Monastery of Saint Shio of Mghvime: An Open Letter To The Patriach Of Georgia April 14/27, 1997)
The Orthodox Church teaches that she has no need to search for a "lost unity", because her historic consciousness dictates that she is the Una Sancta (=The One Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church) and that all Christian groups outside of the Orthodox Church can recover their unity only by entering into the bosom of that Church which preserved its identity with early Christianity.
(Statement of the Delegates of the Orthodox Church delivered at the N.A. Faith and Order study conference, Oberlin, Ohio, Sept. 1957).
As a member and Priest of the Orthodox Church, I believe that the Church in which I was baptized and brought up in is in very truth the Church, that is, the true Church and only true Church. I believe this for many reasons: by my personal conviction and by the inner testimony of the Spirit which breathes in the sacraments of the Church and by all that I could learn from Scripture and from the universal tradition of the Church. I am therefore compelled to regard all other Christian churches as deficient, and in many cases I can identify these deficiencies accurately enough. Therefore, for me, Christian reunion is simply universal conversion to Orthodoxy. I have no confessional loyalty, my loyalty belongs to Una Sancta. (Father Georges Florovsky: Ecumenism I: A Doctrinal Approach p. 134)
Contemporary ecumenism is built on supposition, on a human supposition, that the Church is not one, but many. The Church cannot be divided. From the Church it is possible only to fall away. In truth, the Church is an organism of the God-man, His Body, His Personality, and thus the Church is One, in all worlds. Contemporary ecumenism offers false christ, false messiahs and false prophets. Contemporary ecumenism is clearly secular, communistic and papal, because these share with ecumenism a high regard for the "social", temporal and worldly. For contemporary ecumenism the God-man does not occupy the center, from where we must look first of all for the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness. True unity is not possible through "dialogue", but only by repentance before the God-man and His Body, the Church. Without the God-man Christ, the so-called churches are the abode of Satan (Rev.B:9)
(Father Justin Popovich:The Hidden Conscience Of Orthodoxy: An Interview With Father Peter Milosevich).

The Orthodox Church

«Ο μη πιστεύων κατά την παράδοσιν της Εκκλησίας άπιστος έστιν»

(Αποσπάσματα από τον ένθρονιστήριον λόγον του Γέροντος Εφραίμ Φιλοθεΐτου, 1974)

Εκείνοι που ομιλούν πληθωρικά περί αγάπης νο­θεύουν το περιεχόμενο της για να περιπτυχθούν όλους τους αιρετικούς όλων των αποχρώσεων. Είναι τόσο ψεύ­τικη αυτή η αγάπη όσο και τα ψεύτικα λουλούδια....