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The CIA’s Man in Constantinople

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The U.S. government is making itself felt in Orthodox interior politics.

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Each person is conscious of that the Moscow Patriarchate is in mattress with the Kremlin. Few trace that the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is deeply beholden to the United States government.

This lack of abilities is unsightly, provided that many Greek Orthodox leaders are reasonably proud of the real fact. In 1942, Athenagoras Spyrou—the Archbishop of The US for the Greek Orthodox Church—wrote to an agent of the Office of Strategic Products and services. “I possess three Bishops, three hundred monks, and an unlimited and a ways-flung group,” Athenagoras wrote. “One and all below my expose is below yours. You furthermore mght can report them for any service you require. There’ll seemingly be no questions requested and your directions will seemingly be done faithfully.”

In 1947, the OSS used to be rechristened as the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA. One twelve months later, Athenagoras used to be elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the non secular leader of Jap Orthodoxy.

One also can point out that, when Athenagoras reached out to the OSS, his native Greece used to be below Nazi occupation. It is miles understandable that a Greek bishop in The US would relief the American wrestle effort. Nonetheless it used to be bigger than that. Athenagoras used to be a valid supporter of American exceptionalism and encouraged Washington’s militarist foreign coverage. The U.S. Consul in Istanbul recounted a dialog with Athenagoras in 1951: “As odd, he talked at some dimension of his perception that the United States have to live in the Shut to East for several centuries to meet the mission which had been given it by God to supply freedom, prosperity and happiness to all other folks.”

(These quotes, by the manner, are pulled from a discuss given by an Orthodox historian called Matthew Namee at Holy Depraved Hellenic School, the Greek seminary in Boston. These are no longer malicious forgeries peddled by Russian propagandists—the Greek Orthodox are reasonably proud of their association with the American deep mumble.)

Athenagoras used to be no longer merely an Americanist. He used to be furthermore is called a renovationistas liberal Orthodox are known. In 1964, he met with Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem; collectively, they officially take hang of the mutual excommunications placed by their predecessors in 1054. This gesture sparked outrage during Orthodox world. Athenagoras used to be accused of compromising the Orthodox Faith for the sake of a paper union with Rome.

The present Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, is in the reduction of from the the same fabric as Athenagoras. He is terribly shut to Pope Francis; the 2 fragment a passion for mass immigration and environmental activism. Additionally like Athenagoras, Bartholomew shares a shut relationship with the U.S. government—a partnership that has proven mutually helpful.

The Ecumenical Patriarch is the non secular leader of Orthodoxy. On the opposite hand, he easiest has divulge jurisdiction over a number of thousand Orthodox Christians in Turkey. The relaxation of the Greek Orthodox world are autocephalous, or self-governing. This entails the Church of Greece, the Church of Cyprus, and the American metropolises (or dioceses). Many glimpse to Bartholomew for leadership, however they put no longer appear to be without delay below his authority. It is miles furthermore price noting that an unlimited majority of Orthodox Christians throughout the enviornment belong to the Russian Orthodox tradition. These church buildings enact no longer glimpse to Bartholomew for leadership in any meaningful manner. Some, like the Patriarchate of Moscow, are in schism with Constantinople.

Bartholomew is no longer the “pope” of Orthodoxy—even though he would desire to be. Over the supreme few decades, the ecumenical patriarch has furthermore worked to consolidate laborious energy over the reasonably plenty of Greek Orthodox church buildings. This effort has proven most fruitful in the United States.

In 2014, Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, the present Archbishop of The US and Bartholomew’s inheritor apparent, printed a transient essay called “First With out Equals.” Its title used to be a play on the phrase first among equals, or first among equals. This title first and major referred to the Pope of Rome, however used to be transferred to Patriarch of Constantinople by the Orthodox following the Expansive Schism of 1054. Certainly, the Schism itself used to be triggered in no miniature segment by a plot that the Roman Pontiffs did no longer appreciate the rights and privileges of their fellow bishops, especially in the Christian East. Clearly, the Archbishop used to be signaling his settle on to domesticate a extra authoritarian, centralist ecclesiology within the Orthodox Church, a philosophy which has been dubbed Greek papism.

In 2022, sooner or later of an interview with the Greek newspaper Ta NeaElpidophoros used to be requested if he anticipated to change into the next Ecumenical Patriarch. Elpidophoros demurred, claiming that “the succession will seemingly be determined by God.” This, too, is a thorough departure from Orthodox tradition. Basically, it goes beyond Greek papism. Even the Roman Catholic Church explicitly denies that the Pope is chosen by God.

On the opposite hand, the United States government officially supports the doctrine of Greek papism, as will seemingly be proven. Strengthening the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s plot within world Orthodoxy serves two functions. First, it necessarily subtracts from the influence of Constantinople’s rival, the Moscow Patriarchate. Washington regards Russian Orthodoxy as a tool for Kremlin propaganda and, in consequence of this truth, a legit target for counterintelligence operations. Secondly, the renovationist Ecumenical Patriarchs are racy partners in Washington’s campaign to unfold liberal, democratic values throughout the globe.

Scheme shut into consideration, as an illustration, the schism in the Ukrainian Church. In 1990, the Patriarchate of Moscow granted self-governing station to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). It used to be no longer, on the opposite hand, given paunchy autocephaly. On the opposite hand, a group of Ukrainian nationalists led by then-president Minister Petro Poroshenko organized an “self enough” Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). With the relief of Western media, these nationalists successfully branded the canonical UOC as the “Russian Church.”

In 2018, when requested about the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s expose for autocephaly, Kurt Volker—then Special Advertising and marketing and marketing and marketing consultant of the United States Department of Exclaim for Ukraine—perceived to wave the ask off. He insisted that the U.S. government does no longer rob a plot on such matters and would appreciate the resolution of Bartholomew and his synod.

Net no mistake: By declaring that the resolution belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the U.S. government is taking a plot. Initially, autocephaly can not be granted unilaterally by any patriarch or bishop. Second, if the resolution belonged to any individual, it often is the Patriarch of Moscowthe non secular leader of Slavic Orthodoxy. Even the massive Kallistos Ware denounced the Ecumenical Patriarchate for meddling in the Ukrainian Church:

Though I am a metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I am below no circumstances satisfied about the plot taken by Patriarch Bartholomew. With all due appreciate to my Patriarch, I am plod to say that I accept as true with the glance expressed by the Patriarchate of Moscow that Ukraine belongs to the Russian Church. In spite of all the pieces, the Metropolia of Kiev by an agreement of 1676 used to be transferred from the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to that of the Patriarchate of Moscow. So, for 330 years Ukraine has been segment of the Russian Church.

Third, upright days earlier to Volker gave his interview, Joe Biden—then easiest the outmoded vp—flew to Ukraine to command his relief for the OCU. As soon as Bartholomew ruled in desire of the OCU church, Secretary of Exclaim Mike Pompeo expressed the Trump administration’s firm relief for his resolution. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, our government has implicitly supported Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky’s coverage of seizing property (including church buildings) from the UOC and transferring them to the OCU. In one particularly egregious episodea nationalist mob attacked a UOC church throughout a funeral, dispersed the worshippers and beat the celebrant-priest so badly he had to be hospitalized. The kicker? It used to be a funeral for a Ukrainian soldier who died struggling with against Russia.

This one detail can not be emphasized enough: With out reference to the media claims, the canonical UOC is no longer an arm of Russian influence. Its contributors are no longer “pro-Russia”; out of the ordinary much less are they Russian collaborators. They, too, are giving their lives to protect their fatherland against Russian aggression. Nonetheless that doesn’t subject to Washington or Constantinople. By supporting the separatists, Bartholomew is undermining Moscow’s influence within world Orthodoxy. And that’s excellent for the Russophobes in our foreign-coverage establishment.

In 2019, the Exclaim Department gave $100,000 to the Orthodox Instancesa news attach strongly aligned with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The motive? “To counter entities spreading pretend news and misguiding believers in Orthodox communities”—in other words, Russian disinformation.

It’s ironic that Trump’s Exclaim Department pursued this pro-Constantinople agenda provided that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is overtly and proudly aligned with the Democratic Party. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of The US boasts:

President Truman most frequently emphasized the legitimate-American convictions of Patriarch Athenagoras and the significance and influence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, alongside with the Greek Orthodox group in the U.S., as wanted to American foreign coverage goals. Indeed, Truman saw the Patriarchate and Athenagoras as critical to bolstering the legitimate-Western derive to the bottom of of both Greece and Turkey, to boot to to promoting stability in the Heart East.

In 2020, Patriarch Bartholomew wrote to congratulate his passe friend Biden for defeating Donald Trump in the presidential election. “That that you just can perchance easiest have faith my huge pleasure and pleasure to your a hit election as the Forty sixth president of your out of the ordinary nation, the United States of The US.” Archbishop Elpidophoros, in that very same interview with Ta Neafurthermore supplied a thinly-veiled endorsement of Joe Biden:

In The US, the risk of abortion has been fully politicized…. It is miles as if the ideal qualification for being a vivid Christian or a vivid politician is reckoning on one’s stance on the risk of abortion. All other principles and doctrines of Christianity enact no longer subject; you’d also very neatly be a prison, a liar, a swindler, a warmonger, violent, or a misogynist, however if you happen to also will seemingly be against abortion, then you’d also be a politician neatly suited enough for “pious other folks” to help.

As Rod Dreher identifiedthis miniature-noticed interview comprises a host of honest revelations. As an illustration, Elpidophoros is no longer simply involved that abortion has been “politicized”: he’s overtly pro-different. “Ladies undergo the paunchy burden in giving beginning and raising their young other folks, whereas males, in every other case without delay fascinated about the pregnancy, enact no longer undergo the the same burden,” he knowledgeable Ta Nea. “Therefore, we have to relief ladies folk’s intellectual to construct reproductive choices of their very own free will.” Elpidophoros furthermore discusses how proud he used to be to help the protests which erupted after the death of George Floyd, to boot to the irascible “homosexual baptism.”

For of us who aren’t up on their Orthodox church politics: In 2022, Elpidophoros baptized the sons of two neatly off Greek-Individuals, Evangelo Bousis and Peter Dundas. (The young other folks had been conceived through surrogacy.) The baptism used to be performed in Vouliagmeni, a suburb of Athens. This obtain 22 situation off a firestorm in world Orthodoxy for 2 causes. On the origin, it is low to baptize a baby if there may per chance be miniature to no likelihood of their being raised in step with the Church’s teachings. The fogeys are making a dedication to their baby to the Christian faith with out giving them the tools to meet that dedication. Second, visiting clergy (including bishops) have to receive permission from the local metropolitan earlier to publicly celebrating the sacraments within their jurisdiction. In this case, the local metropolitan used to be Antonios of Glyfada. Elpidophoros requested and used to be granted permission to baptize the young other folks of an American couple, however did no longer notify Antonios that the fogeys had been a same-sex couple.

Elpidophoros used to be condemned by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece to boot to the monks of Mount Athoshowever he didn’t care. The Archbishop used to be simply giving the Orthodox world a taste of how he’ll enact issues once he turns into Ecumenical Patriarch.

There’s extra. In 2019, Elpidophoros appointed Father Alexander Karloutsos as vicar-general for the Archdiocese of The US. Father Alexander is, for all purposeful functions, the Biden family’s pastor. He sits on the board of the Beau Biden Foundation and serves as a spiritual handbook to the President. In 2015, Father Alexander attended a (now irascible) dinner hosted by Hunter Biden on the Café Milano in Georgetown. The dinner used to be a deepest reception for several Jap European oligarchs, including Yury Luzhkov, the profoundly deplorable outmoded Mayor of Moscow. This used to be the night that Hunter launched his father to Vadym Pozharskyi, an government at Burisma, allegedly relaxing the deal for which Baturina had paid Hunter $3.5 million the twelve months earlier to.

Extra troublingly, Father Alexander is furthermore shut to John Poulos, the Greek-Canadian founding father of Dominion Voting Systems. Father Alexander has been credibly accused of serving as a run-between for Poulos and the Bidens sooner or later of the 2020 election scandal. It is miles alleged that the priest relayed recordsdata between the 2 parties, however can not be subpoenaed in consequence of Novel York’s clergy privilege guidelines. Though all parties admit that Father Alexander used to be in frequent communication with both parties sooner or later of that time, they furthermore command that he used to be simply offering them non secular counsel. Surely both Poulos and Biden spent these sophisticated months in prayer and fasting.

Because it occurs, in 2018, Father Alexander furthermore came during himself on the guts of an $80 million monetary scandalwhich used to be probed by the U.S. government. The federal government’s investigation to the subject used to be dropped quickly after it started, no subject the real fact that no clarification used to be ever unearthed. When President Biden awarded Father Alexander the Presidential Medal of Freedom supreme twelve months, he jokingly warned, “I’m going to damage your recognition by speaking.”

Sadly, such allegations of corruption are somewhat widespread in the Archdiocese of The US. The Greek Orthodox Church is by a ways the wealthiest denomination in this country relative to its dimension. (A Roman Catholic priest can put a question to to construct no bigger than $Forty five,000 per twelve months; a Greek Orthodox priest can derive upwards of $130,000.) There are reasonably plenty of neatly-established 2nd-abilities families who smooth feel a deep loyalty to the Church even though they possess an inclination no longer to word very faithfully.

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In other words, the Archdiocese of The US is in roughly the the same plot that the Catholic Church used to be below Kennedy. It is miles neatly off in capital and resources however largely beholden to secular, liberal donors. Therefore why the Hellenic School Holy Depraved, the Greek Orthodox seminary, refers to outmoded congressman Michael Huffington as a “devoted Orthodox Christian” no subject the real fact that he’s a practising homosexual who publicly dissents from the Church’s instructing on sexuality.

Happily, most Greek Orthodox jurisdictions are no longer renovationist; neither are they in the pocket of the American government or beholden to liberal, secular donors. Basically, when the Greek parliament voted to ratify same-sex marriage, the Church of Greece called the resolution “demonic” and excommunicated several of the “frightful lawmakers” who voted for the bill.

Nonetheless whatever our government also can claim, it would promote Bartholomew and his successor, Elpidophoros, as “Greek Popes” in expose to liberalize Greek Orthodoxy and counter Russian Orthodoxy. That is the coverage of the U.S. government. There are Exclaim Department personnel (and taxpayer dollars) dedicated to reaching this true purpose. It is miles mentioned—overtly; gleefully—in the key institutions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archdiocese of The US. And yet any individual who suggests that it is a ways a frightful betrayal of both the American other folks and the Orthodox devoted is straight away accused of being a “Russian asset.” Lope figure.


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