April 20, 2005

Benedict XVI: The Ecumenical Pope?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 2:27 pm

In my recent post regarding the 1999 Lutheran-Catholic Joint Declaration, I named Cardinal Ratzinger as the force behind the Catholic “response” to the JDDJ objecting to some of its conciliatory language. I had said that “I am no Vatican-watcher, but my understanding is that this subsequent statement was issued by Cardinal Ratzinger and other Catholic conservatives.” How ironic then, that this man is now Pope Benedict XVI.

Naturally then for Protestants, the new Pope’s willingness to continue ecumencial progress is a concern. In a joint statement yesterday, Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Rev. Ishmael Noko, Lutheran World Federation general secretary, voiced this concern. From an ELCA press release:

The unity of the church — which Jesus Christ prayed for — is an important goal to strive for, and will also be a major contribution to the unity of humankind, the two Lutheran world leaders said. Pope Benedict XVI will meet “strong expectations” in this area, since the hope for Christian unity calls for significantly new approaches, they said.

“As Lutherans we expect especially that ecumenical progress can be made on the basis of the substantial theological agreements that have been achieved through 40 years of international Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue, particularly with regard to justification, ministry and sacraments,” the statement said. “Let us pray together that God may show
us ways forward by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“The main contribution of the churches … is the message of God’s free, justifying grace, with its many spiritual and social consequences,” said Hanson and Noko. “The significance of this message was ecumenically recognized five years ago when the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification was signed.”

[T]he new pope will be expected not only to continue the many contributions of Pope John Paul II, but also to provide new strategies, Hanson and Noko said.

This seems to be a rather pointed message to Pope Benedict, which apparently he understood. In a message this morning delivered to the Cardinals, Pope Benedict said:

… His (Peter’s) current successor takes as his primary task that of working — sparing no energies — to reconstitute the full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers. This is his ambition, this is his pressing duty. He is aware that showing good sentiments is not enough for this. Concrete acts that enter souls and move consciences are needed.

In the wake of his predecessors, he is fully determined to cultivate any initiative that might seem appropriate to promote contacts and understanding with representatives of different churches and ecclesial communities.

I address everybody, even those who follow other religions or who simply look for an answer to life’s fundamental questions and still haven’t found it. To all, I turn with simplicity and affection, to ensure that the church wants to continue weaving an open and sincere dialogue with them, in the quest for the real good for man and society.

Could it be that we have misjudged the new Pope? From Christianity Today (hat tip to verbum ipsum):

Coming from the land of the Protestant Reformation, this allegedly doctrinaire Catholic has already made it clear by his very actions the journey out of the “tyranny of relativism,” whose properties are suspended ethical principles, must be an all-Christian enterprise.

Almost unnoticed by the world’s media looking for sensations at the memorial service for John Paul II, Ratzinger quietly communed Brother Roger Schutz, the Swiss Protestant pastor and founder of the vibrant ecumenical community in Taizé, France.

Benedict XVI, arguably the foremost Catholic theologian of our time, has always been an ecumenist, though never a fuzzy one. If he gives the Sacrament to a member of another Christian church—and Schutz was not the only one—he makes it abundantly clear he consider this person a fellow member of the mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church.

It may be that as prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger had one agenda, and as Pope Benedict he has an entirely different one. Let us hope so. I am grateful for his reassuring words today, and pray for his success in furthering the unity of all Christianity.


  1. Benedict XVI spent 24 years in the role of “High Inquisitor”. That may have informed the expression of his thoughts in a way much different than the role of pontiff will. Wait and see.

    Comment by Keli — April 21, 2005 @ 11:58 am

  2. Ratzinger

    The smoke belched from the rooftop and bells rang out as Cardinal Ratzinger was elected the new pope. During this conclave Western news venues were hijacked as when OJ Simpson was on trial. Senseless news updates permeated the air waves. If some cardinal sneezed they reported it. Papal drivel took over talk radio. Everyone in the West was subjected to a never ending stream of papal nonsense and live video feeds. Countless news reports aired, filled with senseless discussions about the papacy. These reports included the term orthodox and orthodoxy regarding this newly elected pope. I could not hold myself back from laughing. I thought to myself, what a paradox. A heterodox pope is being referred to as orthodox. In actuality Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI promised to be a defender of modern Roman doctrine. What kind of “truths” were these Western reporters talking about? I would really like to know as everything in Roman Catholicism has been changed, altered, revised, rewritten, readapted or somehow adulterated by papal innovations. Simply put, in the so-called Roman Church today there is absolutely nothing left intact of the ancient Christian church in its pure, ancient and unadulterated form. Is any of this truth? Since 1054 AD the papacy has been the protector of all modern innovations and anti-evangelical papal heresies. Again, Western news reports spoke of the truths taught by John Paul II and how Benedict XVI will also be some sort of truth defender. Not to be too redundant but I am utterly bewildered as I cannot think of anything true in Roman Catholicism. Today Rome is a heterodox secular organization that calls itself a church and staves off news reports about new and even sicker child molestations. As like any cult, Roman Catholicism has a vested interest in holding fast to her cacophony of heresies and fairytale traditions. The Vatican rolls out all measures to protect and sweep under the carpet her deeply entrenched sub-culture of gay pedophile clergy with the hope that the laity will simply forget about it.

    On January 25, 2005 the Associated Press, (AP) reported, “A long-desired trip by Pope John Paul II to Russia could only occur if the Vatican renounces efforts to expand Rome-affiliated churches in traditional Christian Orthodox areas, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said. The condition set by Patriarch Alexei II – contained that day in a reply to questions from The Associated Press – (AP) reinforces previous statements and suggests Russian Orthodox leaders have not been swayed by recent Vatican overtures that have included the return of an important icon and the relics of two Orthodox saints”. I will address these later!

    Meanwhile in the West news reports still circulate about child molestations, court cases and multi million dollar out of court settlements, the Los Angeles Diocese being one of the largest. The Rev. Daniel McCormack, pastor of St. Agatha parish in Chicago is again back in the headlines with more charges of crimes committed against childern.


    Two years ago the first American Roman Catholic bishop was indicted, the former head of the Springfield, MA, Diocese, Bishop Thomas Dupre. Then it was Austrian archbishop, Kurt Krenn resigning after being blamed for the Austrian Seminary Child Porn Scandal. Of course we must not forget that John Paul II gave Boston’s despicable sweep it under the carpet, Cardinal Law a position of honor in Rome.

    Yes the secularized Western news media will feed on sensational news. As it fed on papal news during the conclave, today and tomorrow it will denigrate anything it considers even remotely Christian. It is true that isolated cases of child abuse occur in each and every segment of society. What is truly shocking is the massive scale at which this phenomenon occurs within the Roman Catholic Church. These are not simply isolated cases, but a thriving and apparently protected sub-culture within the very walls of the Vatican. Just type into the Google search engine the phrase, “Catholic Sex Abuse” and you will now find over ten million hits that cover massive cases of gay pedophilia at the hands of Roman Catholic clergy world wide.


    In the West the Roman Catholic Church assumes a position of mastery over all of Christendom. An alcoholic never thinks they have a problem with alcohol. A gambler thinks there is nothing wrong with what he-s doing. If others attempt to point out that a problem exists they will certainly encounter a strong resistance. This same principle needs to be kept in mind when speaking to any Roman Catholic apologist. The apologist will immediately attempt to turn the spotlight off the burning issue of their severe pedophile problems by turning the tables onto you. Much the way a defense attorney will blame the rape victim instead of his client the accused rapist. Papal apologists will never blame their precious popes as all Roman Catholics are indoctrinated in CCD by the age of ten that the popes were all brought to power by Christ Himself whom perched them upon some lofty golden throne. Of course I may sound ridiculous, but the brainwashing does amount to this. Roman Catholicism is nothing short of the largest acceptable cult on planet earth. As an Orthodox Christian the papacy and the Rev. Moon’s Unification Church have much in common.

    This is not just about John Paul’s red capped minion Cardinal Ratzinger becoming Pope Benedict XVI. Nor is this about the severe sub-culture of child molestation within the Roman Catholic Church. It is about the evil and corruption inherent in a so-called church whose jurisdictional bishop proudly proclaims to be the Vicar of Christ. Regardless, any serious student of history will research countless examples of papal abuses and corruption throughout the centuries. The point is not whether the Bishops of Rome have been evil, surely we all know this as a fact. We are also sure that the so-called churches of the West have had more than their fair share of impious clerics and rogues. Yet, the corruptions of the office of the so-called “Vicar of Christ” whom the popes claim to be, the Supreme Pontiff and the teacher of the unbroken faith are all the more glaring, unbelievable and even comical because of these exalted and boastful claims. Pope Benedixt XVI has his hands full with all the difficult daily chores of the papacy.

    Let’s face it, the covert defense and protection of child predator priests and helping his cover-it-up bishops cope is indeed hard work. So is putting out the proper media spin for public consumption. This Vatican needs Benedict XVI as a defender of its heterodoxy as the so-called Roman Church disintegrates into even more factions. The real problem facing Rome today is that it ceased long ago to be a canonical church. Today it is a secular business organization with heretical teachings and false traditions. It is an organization in utter chaos. Marxist liberationists, the secular humanistic Jesuits, traditionalists, feminists, the European liberal theologians, New Age charismatic-catholics, gay priests, lesbian nuns and other nuns that desire to be priests, it’s pedophile subculture along with the 74,995 other rebellious tribes of Rome that are too numerous to mention here. The laity consists of a wide range of nominal believers in various states of rebellion against Rome and their own papacy.

    Roman Catholic’s in America are numbed by the constant reports of child molestations at the hands of their clergy. The newspapers have a new story in almost every edition. Most ordinary Catholics simply write these stories off and rationalize it all away. They say this happens in other Christian Churches too. One woman told me, “you all just haven’t got caught yet!” Again, this may occur from time to time elsewhere in sporadic cases, never in the extreme severity as in the Roman Catholic Church. John Paul II is dead and buried. Ratzinger is now the new pope. Even now with access to the facts, ordinary Catholics would rather bury their heads in the sand and talk about how good, great and holy this John Paul II was….

    Back to the pedophiles for a moment:

    When these pedophile clergy have been exposed by the US Judicial system it is how these predators have been dealt with by their Roman Catholic bishops that gives one the discernment that this problem is indeed a pervasive sub-culture tolerated and inherent within the very walls of the Vatican and the so-called Roman Church. It appears that this system has been held together by the last pope and will continue to be held together by Benedict XVI. The Vatican’s red capped bishops tow the line to keep the secret pervert society alive and well. Archdiocese lawyers defend the predator priests and collection baskets become defense funds. Think about it, John Paul II openly talked about how the pedophile problem caused him great pain. This came out of one side of his mouth, yet from the other side of his mouth he kept the secret pervert society intact. Is this holy? Look at Boston’s despicable Cardinal Law and the new position of honor given to him by Pope John Paul II. Had he been an Orthodox bishop, he and all his gay pedophile clergy would have been officially defrocked by the Holy Synod then turned over to the Russian government for prosecution and on the way severally beaten by an angry Russian Orthodox populace. He would certainly not be given a position of honor within any Orthodox patriarchate.

    At the local parish level, the Roman Catholic mass collections go into the “defense funds” for the sexed up child predator clergy whom still vigorously fight the victims. Last year Chicago newspapers spoke about a fund raising event where the wealthy donated millions to the local Archdiocese that had been put into the red by out of court sex abuse settlements. This is like having a Fortune 500 fund raising event for Michael Jackson so he can pay his lawyers, win his case and go back to Never Land and molest more little boys. The parishioners and wealthy Catholics know deep down this is true, but will continue to shell out the money. Why? These Roman Catholics are brainwashed followers of the papacy and will never blame the pope or the papacy for any of this. These defense attorneys, paid out of the collection box will make the victims suffer even more trauma to benefit the pedophile clergy by making them testify. These emotionally shell shocked, scarred and traumatized people are forced to remember more and more of the painful anguish in order to exonerate a known pedophile priest. Then the priest is exonerated and put back into another parish where he again commits more sodomy against children. The memories of the terror inflicted upon these poor people when at the trusting and tender age of eight or ten some predator priest seduced them with some cheap altar wine. All of this pain re-hashed to exonerate a known pedophile predator. How holy is this? Chaos and controversy continues to swirl around Rome’s heretical and utterly desacralized altars, but this fact has never stopped the Vatican. The last pope and his red capped minions, including Ratzinger, spent each and every waking moment trying to invent more insidious, deceitful and evil schemes to get inside Russia to convert Orthodox Russians unto the errors and heresies of the papacy. The facts about the modern papacy remain: there is not one trace, not one shred, nor one hint, nor single germ of evidence in antiquity that can prove Rome’s untenable claims that papal authority existed since the beginning. These claims were founded upon pseudo documents and untenable arguments attempting to imply the pope’s position always existed. The Donation of Constantine- and the Isidorian decretals- are but two of the most famous forgeries.
    True, Rome now accepts the falsity of the Donation and these other pseudo documents but does not renounce any of the authority wrongly claimed as a result of them. http://history.hanover.edu/texts/vallaintro.html
    Due to this fact Rome’s so called unchanging tradition is nothing more than a poorly written fairy tale. As history plainly bears witness, the four Holy Orthodox Sees of the East were never subject to the Roman bishop, nor did they ever submit themselves to him. To Rome’s intense consternation the Orthodox Church continues to preserve the Ancient unadulterated Truths in all things. If Christ is not about “Truth in All Things” then what is He about?

    John Paul II and his Orthodox hating cabal, including Ratzinger, spent all the years of his papacy “obsessed with converting the Russians”, not to Christ, but unto the errors of the heretical papacy. John Paul II hop-scotched all around the former Soviet Union in his pope-mobile hoping he would someday end up on a heresy crusade inside Holy Orthodox Russia. Despite the protests of Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II, John Paul II held an MTV style heresy mass in the Ukraine, much to the consternation of the local Orthodox populace. This pope then went on to Orthodox Greece where absolutely nobody wanted him or any of his heresies. Of course the secular butt kissing Greek politicians did not want to offend their Western counterparts so they allowed him a visit. The monks and ordinary Greek people held up signs saying, “Heretic Go Home”. John Paul then went on to Bulgaria where again more butt kissing Western leaning politicians could not say no. Again, none of the local Orthodox people wanted him or his lies. Even the Bulgarian Orthodox patriarch urged John Paul to abandon his heresies and return to the ancient condition of things and the “True Fold”, of Christ’s Holy Orthodox Catholic Church. John Paul and his red capped minions then tried another deceitful scheme. They tried to pass off a fake of the holy Kazan icon so this pope could fly into Kazan airport and then sneak his way into Orthodox Russia. This is the papal fake referred to by the AP writer in the first paragraph. A last ditch attempt was then made. John Paul II wanted to hand deliver this fake icon to Patriarch Alexei II. Our Holy Father Alexei said that the pope was not needed or wanted in Russia and that he should just stay home. Then two years ago the Vatican tried to manipulate the Georgian government to get the pope a paid for audience inside Orthodox Georgia. That planned heresy mission also never got off the ground.

    The last insidious Vatican scheme

    Before his death, late in 2004 John Paul decided to return the relics of the Orthodox Saint’s John Chrysostom and Gregory Nazianzen that had been stolen by Latin Crusaders during the sack of Constantinople in 1204 AD. These relics stolen by papal thieves have been kept in St. Peter’s Basilica as war booty for 800 years. John Paul II returned these precious Orthodox relics stolen by papal thieves 800 years earlier to Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on the Feast Day of St. Andrew 2004. Of course there was a price, another Vatican scheme. John Paul II expected that by this gesture all would be forgiven. By returning a tiny fragment of what the papacy had stolen during the evil Crusades this pope expected Bartholomew to use his influence with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II to get John Paul II an audience inside Russia. This guy (John Paul II) simply could not take no for an answer. Imagine if John Paul II had had just one eighth this much drive to rid his so-called church of pedophile predators. This return of Orthodox relics is the other event referred to by the AP writer from the first paragraph.

    Simply put, John Paul II’s life long dream was not to rid his so-called church of the evil scourge of pedophiles, but to ride his pope mobile inside Russia on a mission to convert the Russians unto the errors and heresies of the papacy. This pope never spoke about returning the relics of the beloved Orthodox bishop, St. Nicholas of Myra, nor most importantly did he ever speak about renouncing the cacophony of heresies and errors created by the papacy after 1054 AD.

    Living in the West all I have ever heard was how good John Paul II was and all the good, great and holy things that he did. Now I am hearing that he was the greatest pope in history and they want to rename him “Pope John Paul the Great” then canonize him some saint. What does any of this senseless drivel really mean?

    Let’s actually view the facts!

    The fact is that this now dead pope never renounced the evil work of the insidious “uniat church” in the Ukraine and elsewhere. He upheld the canonized devil, “Josaphat the Malevolent” He established papal dioceses inside Russia where no followers of his lies and heresies exist. To further irritate the Moscow Patriarchate this pope set up another papal diocese inside Kazakhstan where there are less than 100 Roman Catholics of Germanic and Polish origin. Finally, he never renounced any of the innovations, lies and heresies introduced after the Roman Patriarchate left the One True Orthodox Catholic Church in 1054 AD. Remember that the Vatican has a vested interest in its many lies, it’s cacophony of heresies, its many fairy tales and all of its fables.

    During his lifetime, John Paul II canonized someone whom we (Orthodox) would have anathematized. “If in coming to face with God we accept Him in our lives, then we are converting. We become a better Hindu, a better Muslim, a better whatever we are…What God is in your mind you must accept” (from Mother Teresa: Her people and her work by Desmond Doig, Harper and Row, NY p. 156 )

    Had Mother Teresa lived during the Seven Holy Ecumenical Synods and had made the above statement before the assembly of bishops, for all in attendance to hear and to fully comprehend her profound heretical words. She would have been anathematized and excommunicated as a heretic, certainly not venerated after her death as a saint. I can only imagine the consternation of St. Athanasios, St. Basil, St. Gregory or especially St. Nicholas of Myra. St. Nicholas would have had a type-A tantrum upon hearing her words of heresy.

    So what exactly was so good, great and holy about this now dead bishop? Please tell me. What did he do besides preside over a heterodox secular institution that calls itself a church and which holds fast to its many heresies? This so-called church keeps intact and protects its sub-culture of gay pedophile clergy and sexed up perverts. A so-called church that shells out hundreds of millions of US dollars in restitution to victims, spends tens of millions to fight the victims, but still keeps intact the “secret pervert society” of gay pedophile predator priests. How holy is this? Imagine this, John Paul II issued an invasive encyclical “Humanae Vitae” worded in explicit detail instructing married Roman Catholics what they can and cannot do in the privacy of their own marital bedrooms. As a married Roman Catholic you must keep a mental checklist about what parts your spouse actually touched and for what reasons as marital sex is only to produce children. You cannot use a condom with your wife, she cannot take a pill. Oral sex is a strict taboo between husband and wife, says this heretics encyclical. Remember, you are only supposed to have sex to propagate; all other sexual body contact between husband and wife is strictly taboo. Don’t you find this even in the slightest way a little bit bizarre? You are given an instruction booklet of what to do and what not to do with your own spouse behind the sacred door of your own marital bedroom, yet there is not a single word in any encyclical condemning clergy pedophilia.

    If John Paul was as holy as people say he was why didn’t he enter the rectory bedrooms of his own queer priests and all his sweep it under the rug bishops that reported directly to him? Isn’t this a bit twisted and duplicitous? In this encyclical this dead pope wanted to officially warn YOU and infer that you will burn in Hell for having oral sex with your own spouse as this is strictly taboo, but there is not one word in any encyclical about all the queer pedophile priests that are aroused by little boys and whom continue to molest children. Sorry to be so blunt, but it was necessary to put a point across. Nor did this dead pope ever officially ask for the resignation of any bishop involved in covering up these despicable and horrific crimes. Again, in the case of Boston’s despicable Cardinal Law, John Paul II actually gave him a position of honor in Rome. What was so great and holy about this action? Now think about it. I mean really think about it. What good and truly holy thing did this dead pope actually do? What good will Ratzinger do? Despite all the chaos and controversy and despicable evil that lurks inside the walls of the Vatican, the papacy and his red capped minions make converting the Russians to the papacy, “Numero Uno” on the Vatican agenda. They hope you just forget about the pedophilia.

    My Roman Catholic friends remind me about the so-called 1917 apparition at Fatima. I have read much on this topic. What I understand about this delusion is that it calls upon “Russians to convert”. This conversion has absolutely nothing to do with conversion to Christ, but rather it’s an Orthodox conversion to the papacy which Rome seeks. According to the fables of Fatima, Orthodox Russians in the Motherland, and in Diaspora, are supposed to consecrate themselves to the Virgin Mary “in union with the papacy” as the evil delusion requested otherwise “various nations will be annihilated”.

    I find the delusions of Fatima absolutely ludicrous and nothing short of pure evil. If this were really the Mother of God giving messages about the future, why wouldn’t she say anything at all about the massive cases of pedophilia? If I can type into Google, “Catholic Sex Abuse” and get over ten million hits about Roman Catholic Sex Abuse, why wouldn’t the Mother of God say something, say anything about this?


    Her Son and our Lord warns us of His special wrath in connection with harming a child? Still never a peep about this in any Vatican Marion delusion. No, this is certainly not the Mother of God but an evil delusion. Why should I, or why would I ever want to be, “in union” with the heretical papacy on anything as the so-called apparition requested? Why should I consecrate myself to the Virgin Mary as the pope requested? Why do I need to be in union with, subject to, or in any way connected to the excessive and boastful pride of the papacy and above all the many heresies and errors of the roman pontiff? It is unthinkable that the Virgin Mary I know as the Theotokos would ever want me or any other Orthodox Christian to be in union with the heretical papacy. For any Roman Catholic to tell me that the blessed lips of the Mother of God said such things is an evil abomination. That if we Orthodox Russians do not submit to her request “various nations will be annihilated” is obviously deluded by evil as these words are that of a malevolent supernatural creature from the lake of fire below, certainly not from the Mother of God.

    There are very few places in the Gospels where it is recorded that the Mother of God spoke, but each one of them is highly significant. One could spend a life-time meditating on her sayings and never exhaust their meaning. Otherwise she is totally silent in order that her Son, the Word, may speak. Nothing can ever surpass the holy Virgin’s two sublime titles: her own choice Handmaid of the Lord, and that which the Church has given her Theotokos-Gk., Mother of God. Neither can anything of greater importance be added to her last recorded statement, which remains an eternally true, relevant and universal message,

    “Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.”

    With a purpose, Roman Catholics were never taught that “Mariology” and consecration to the Mother of God began in the Orthodox East. (Holy Synod of Ephesus 431 AD) and was brought to bear on the West on an Eastern initiative. In simpler terms Orthodox Christians were consecrated to the Holy Virgin long before anyone within Rome’s jurisdiction ever was. This is long before Rome began inventing Marian fairytales.. This is why we Russians refer to our Homeland as “The Motherland”. Our Holy land of Rus was long, long ago consecrated to the Orthodox Bogoroditsa- Rus (Theotokos-Gk.) Mother of God. Towards that end, monasticism and the veneration of the Saints and Holy relics was also brought to bear on the West on an Orthodox Eastern initiative. Do not forget that during the first three centuries the Liturgy in Rome was sung in Greek. The origin of the Roman Catholic rosary comes from the much older “prayer rope” used in the East by the Orthodox to pray the “Jesus Prayer” of St. John Klimakos of the Holy Mountain (Sinai). All does not come from Rome my friends, as practically nothing Christian does. Christianity was born in the East and will forever remain an Eastern religion. Rome is the center of the universe only in the pope’s proud, heretical and boastful mind.

    Adding insult to injury, Russia is now filled with vast evils brought from the Western spiritual vacuum that the papacy and his so-called church represents. The Increase in crime, AIDS, pornography, prostitution and even the increased rate of abortion emanate from all the filth and trash that has been imported into Russia from the spiritual vacuum of the West. Roman Catholic apologists have always, tried to reduce the immense differences between the papacy and Orthodoxy to a few historical and cultural misunderstandings that belong to another time and place. The fact remains – this may have been true in 1054 AD, but since then Rome has introduced a cacophony of papal errors and heretical innovations, one heaped upon another. These are neither cultural nor historical misunderstandings, but nothing less than sheer heresy.

    Mincing some of Frank Schaeffer’s words with my own I shall say, the so-called Roman church today is not the one that separated from Orthodoxy in 1054 over the issue of papal monarchism, as well as the pope’s authority to add a new and heretical doctrine to the Nicene Creed. Even Western Christians of 1054 would not recognize their adulterated church today. Ironically, they would feel more at home in the Orthodox Church than their own, particularly when it comes to worship. This is because Orthodoxy, despite its diverse jurisdictions, has maintained its liturgical integrity and historical practices and would never adulterate and pollute itself with heresy as has the papacy within their centralized papal monarchy.

    The Roman liturgical tradition has disintegrated aesthetically, and as the beauty of worship disappears, so does awe. Prayer is a teacher, and minimized, trivialized, desacralized and modernized Roman prayer fails to teach very much. It is our deeply rich, historic, and theologically packed liturgical tradition that is the treasure of Orthodoxy. The heretical papacy has rejected so many ancient traditions of Christian worship–its fasts, rites, mystery, and poetry. Come to the US and drop in on any Roman Catholic parish and witness hand-waving “praise masses”, cookies for children during their (matzo-azyme) Eucharist. Watch interpretive dancers fluttering down the aisles, lame “Peter, Paul and Mary” style folk music, watch women, children and even non-catholic passerby distribute communion. These are all similar trappings of post-Vatican II trivialized worship. It’s not something we Orthodox would ever want to go near. Nor do some Catholic churches’ New Age-flavored classes in Buddhist Zen meditation and enneagram spirituality have much appeal to people who call themselves “Orthodox Christian” for a reason.

    The Orthodox liturgical tradition is too precious to be squandered to satisfy the ecumenist ambitions of any pope, spineless Orthodox bishop, or committee of theologians. Years of fruitless “dialogue” and “photo-ops” won’t be redeemed by any disastrous reunion. As traditional Roman Catholics openly say, modern innovation has destroyed anything once considered sacred in contemporary Roman worship. Traditional Catholics often drive many miles to find one of the few remaining Roman churches that worship in a way that they think can even be called Catholic. What they call “modern innovation” is really the mindless innovations of the papacy. But again a deluded Roman Catholic can never blame the papacy directly for anything.

    Let us Orthodox count our many blessings! Let’s never squander our great treasure of liturgical worship and betray our collegial tradition. Why would we ever want to join ourselves to heretical Rome, when Rome cannot tell us what their worship is or what it should be, and when it will clearly not renounce the authority it wrongly claimed at the beginning of the second millennium. We also cannot forget the cacophony of errors and heretical innovations that have been piled one on top of another since then. Orthodoxy has preserved crucial elements of worship without a papal monarchy. And if church is not about worship, then what is it about?

    An Orthodox Christian revival is occurring in Russia, all of the senseless fairytales of Fatima will not stop this fact. The insidious Vatican mission to convert Russia unto the errors of the papacy will fail miserably. Day by day in Latin America, Rome loses more and more to Evangelical Protestantism. The western media’s attention still remains on the horrific scandals caused by sexed up child predator priests and the bishops that are still covering up the despicable crimes. The papal churches in Western Europe are almost empty. In Paris today there are more Muslim minarets than Christian spires. The 75,000 tribes of Rome are in unrest and in rebellion against their own papacy. Pope Benedict XVI is too late. The vast majority of Catholics are lukewarm nominal believers in varying states of rebellion. In other words, chaos and controversy will continue to swirl around Rome and her trivialized altars. The West wonders why the Russian people and Government do not want the Roman Catholic Church or any of her despicable pedophile predators on their holy soil or on their canonical territory. Simply put the Vatican desires to turn Russia into some kind of papal “Never Land”. The Orthodox Russian people will never let this occur.

    To conclude, there has been no greater assault on the West than the one presented by the proud and boastful papacy after 1054AD. The institution of the papacy has bludgeoned many would-be believers with lies and falsehoods throughout the centuries causing the exponential degradation and trivialization of the Western Christian Faith and its worship. It has also produced another kind of evil, the Crusades, the Inquisition, St. Bartholomew-s Day Massacre the “Malleus Maleficarum” , the slaughter of the Huguenots, the slaughter of the Serbian Orthodox during WWII under Anton Pavelich and most recently the discovery of the Vatican sub-culture that tolerates and hides the molestation of very little children, to name but a few. Sadly, maybe the latter has been going on for many centuries. We will simply never know.

    With the creation of the papacy, Roman Catholics have impaled tradition and dragged it down the heretical path of their own whims and innovations. Hardly being of divine decree, the papacy was not even a good and sensible human invention. From the tenth century onwards, the “Western Church”, through the papacy, brought onto herself strange and heretical doctrines and innovations not known to the Un-Divided Orthodox Catholic Church of Antiquity. In these last times the evil one has rent from the Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ even whole nations in the West, having inflated the bishops of Rome with thoughts of excessive arrogance, which has given birth to diverse, lawless, heretical and anti-evangelical innovations. And not only so, but furthermore the popes of Rome from time to time, pursuing absolutely and without examination modes of union according to their own fancy, strive by every means to reduce to their own errors the Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ, which throughout the world walks unshaken in the Orthodoxy of faith transmitted to her by the fathers. In doing so Rome has been torn away and removed far from the True and Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ.

    Let’s look at facts. Nicholas the first was in fact the first pope. They who before this occupied the see of Rome, were only bishops, successors, not of St. Peter, as has been declared and repeated to satiety, but of Linus, who was already bishop of Rome when St. Peter arrived in that city, to seal there by his martyrdom the faith he had preached. The defenders of the papacy commit, therefore, at the outset, one of the grossest historical errors in carrying back the papacy, that is, the papal sovereignty, to the origin of Christianity. This error has led them to a thousand others, impelled, as they have been, to seek proofs for the support of this false theory in the history of the Church and in the writings of the ancient fathers. The papacy has thus wrested facts and distorted testimonies. They have even dared to attack Holy Scripture, and by delusive anti-Catholic (that is Orthodox) interpretation, made it bear false witness in favor of their system. It is thus that the Church of Rome was the first to give example of those individual interpretations for which she so bitterly reproaches – Protestantism. The papacy was the first to abandon the Catholic rule of the interpretation of the sacred books; she has put aside the collective interpretation of which the fathers of the Church have been the faithful echoes, and upon her own authority she has presumed to discover in Scripture that which the Orthodox Catholic Church has not found there.

    As a result of the errors of the papacy Martin Luther would protest heretical papal innovations. Then Ulrich Zwingli, Calvin and others would arrive on the scene. As a consequence the West today knows over 28,000 sects that call themselves Christian. (See the 2000 US Census) In other words, as a direct result of the proud and boastful papacy massive Christian division would be born in the Western world. The Protestant evangelical tradition came to life with their belief in “sola scriptura” and the rejection of any organized church.


    This attempt to return to the Early Church by throwing everything away and starting over from scratch is an error and contradictory. For example, if you believe in the concept of the Holy Trinity you are really following the Apostolic Fathers of the Orthodox Catholic Church and the Holy Ecumenical Synods whom established these basic doctrines. If you look to the authority of the New Testament you must first realize who had the authority to construct the New Testament in the first place. Does the Bible produce the church or did the Church produce the Bible? The answer: It was authorized and constructed by the Orthodox Church and her first three Holy Ecumenical Synods. I doubt many Protestants have ever bothered to study the apostolic sources outside the Gospels or the Ecumenical Synods of the Early Christian Church. It’s like claiming you can understand the US government while refusing to read the Federalist Papers or any court decisions. Besides, there is little doubt that the only Church the early Christians would even begin to recognize today would be the Orthodox Church. What the evangelicals have created has no direct relationship whatsoever with the Church as it was founded.

    The papacy and the Vatican has come thus to arrogate for her usurped sovereignty a divine foundation. She has drawn from this principle all its consequences; the pope has become the “vicar of Jesus Christ”, the necessary centre of the Church, the pivot of Christianity, the infallible organ of heaven. These papal errors were so skillfully disseminated in the Western countries that they were there gradually adopted. The protests which they drew forth were indeed continued, but partaking of the spirit of the age, they were not sufficiently pointed; such even as were raised against the abuses of the papacy, admitted as beyond question a divine basis for that institution. Since 1054 AD Rome has created a cacophony of fables and fairy tales. Marion delusions then affirm these heretical papal dogmas “as manna falls from Heaven”, These are colossal obstacles to any true reunion. Certainly this dead pope returning a fake copy of the Kazan icon was not the answer, nor was his return of stolen war booty (Holy Relics of Orthodox Saints) kept in the Vatican for 800 years.

    We Orthodox know that the Holy Orthodox Church has instructed us, through the glorious Apostles, Sacred Scriptures and the teachings of our holy Fathers that confession and defense of the Orthodox Faith is necessary, for the time will come when people “shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned aside unto fables” 2 Tim. 4:4

    How necessary then is it for the Western heterodox to come back and return home to the ancient and unadulterated doctrines of the Early Undivided Orthodox Catholic Church in order to attain “Truth in all things” after which they so earnestly seek. Can you easily understand if you intelligently consider the command of the heaven-ascended Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians, saying:

    ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle’ . . .

    “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their own conversation:”Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.” ( Heb. xiii. 7,8 )

    The Humble Thoughts
    Of An Orthodox Christian+
    Misha Mikhailovich 2006+


    Imperial Unity and Christian Division
    John Meyendorff
    St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press 1989

    Let’s Keep Our Distance” Article Frank Schaeffer

    The History of the Byzantine State
    George Ostrogorsky 1969

    “An Anniversary of Mourning”
    Josephat the Malevolent
    by Nicholas Maas 1996

    The Orthodox Church
    Timothy Ware 1990, Penguin books

    The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy
    Holy Apostles, Dormition Skete 1990
    Desmond Doig, Harper and Row, NY p. 156

    An Orthodox Reply to Pope Pius IX (1848)

    Discourse on the Donation of Constantine, Lorenzo Valla,

    The Myth of Papal Infallibilility ( St. John of Kronstadt Press)

    “We must let our Christ shine forth upon the Western nations, our Christ whom we have preserved intact and whom they have never known”. Fyodor Dostoevsky, “The Idiot”
    Pt. 4, Ch. 7

    Comment by M. Mikhailovich — May 8, 2006 @ 11:28 am

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