In a recent 700-word statement by the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod has petitioned the country’s government to “stop admitting foreign refugees.” It noted that “it has compassion for those already in the country but that accepting more refugees from the North Africa and Middle East could put at risk the existence of Bulgaria as a state and as a people.” It also went on to call the influx of refugees “a wave which has acquired all the signs of an invasion.” The statement signed by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit, said that in recent months the question had been repeatedly asked of what its position was on the refugee problem; the Church said, “it was obliged to think in terms of scripture, God’s commandments and the context of history, meaning having regard to the implications of events and how they would affect the long-time Orthodox people, the flock that our Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to our care.” This in turn raised the issue of whether the flow of refugees, if it continued in the current extent, “would change the existing ethnic balance in our fatherland Bulgaria.”
Many Orthodox Christians raised in the American melting pot wish to impose upon Orthodoxy an internationalist anthropology that claims Humanity is so completely one that distinctions such as ethnicity and race do not exist, or if they do exist are absolutely insignificant, and are just social constructs with no theological significance. God intended for organic Nations to exist as part of His creation, as well as to continue into eternity and are not just the by products of chance. It is also a sin for one to wish, let alone endeavor, to see Organic Nations come to an end or be snuffed out in any way whether through Hot Genocide (Physical violence) or the more popular Cool Genocide (Encouraged mass emigration and interbreeding).
Many today claim Ethno-Nationalism equals the heretical opinion of Ethno-Phyletism. I’m arguing that Ethno-Nationalism is not the same as Phyletism, that Phyletism is being misrepresented by those who want to see nationalism in all its forms destroyed, and identify those whom I firmly believe to be in error regarding this important issue. The great Romanian theologian Father Dumitru Staniloae was unknown to many and also a fervent nationalist. He wrote on this topic more than once throughout his life and never retracted anything he said on the subject. One article that I will be referring to is Orthodoxy and Nationalism.
Not all nationalisms are good. In fact we have seen throughout human history that unhealthy nationalisms have brought much suffering to the world. And when Father Dumitru posed the question, “Can nationalism be bad” his answer was, “It could be, if it presents itself as something vicious, petty, without heights and purity of feeling and thought.” I believe that in this statement we find the true essence of what Ethno-Phyletism really is about. However, one cannot say that Ethno-Phyletism is the same thing as a healthy Nationalism (Ethno-Patriatism) and preferential love for ones own people or the desire to preserve and defend them against enemies who would destroy them.
There is more than one way to destroy a nation. There is the outright wholesale slaughter of a people through hot genocide and then there is that which takes place through mass immigration and miscegenation (Cool genocide). Both have as their end result the annihilation of a race or nation of people. The Orthodox Church has never promoted this.
As Father Stanly Harakas wrote in his book 455 questions and answers about the Orthodox Church,
“I feel I made it very clear that the Church does not feel such marriages (inter-racial) are desirable, for many different reasons, many of which are practical and have to do with the chance of success for such marriages. In addition, we should also add that the Church holds that races and nations were created by God. Consequently, the total intermarriage would destroy the races which God created. The Church has never advocated or encouraged racially mixed marriages.”
The article “Orthodoxy and Ethnicity” from the booklet Orthodox Tradition put out by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies states: “As for the Church’s condemnation of phyletism, it is not directed at nationalism ….. Rather it addresses the notion that only one single nationality or race, over and above all others, will be saved.” But that said there is a healthy nationalism, one that cannot be but from God himself, a nationalism that is so closely related to the command to honor thy Father and Mother that the Moscow Patriarchate in it’s Basis of the Social Concept of The Russian Orthodox Church stated that,
“Christian patriotism may be expressed at the same time with regard to a nation as an ethnic community and as a community of its citizens. The Orthodox Christian is called to love his fatherland, which has a territorial dimension, and his brothers by blood who live everywhere in the world. This love is one of the ways of fulfilling God’s commandment of love to one’s neighbor which includes love to one’s family, fellow-tribesmen and fellow-citizens.”
We must go back to the primordial Creation story, of how God made the plants, animals and man in his pre-lapsarian condition. Father Staniloae says, “God first created at the beginning, Adam and Eve. But within themselves all the nations were potentially contained.” In this statement Father Staniloae demonstrates the universality of human nature as well as the idea of organic nations. It is worth noting that Genesis 1:24 states an important principle in God’s creative plan, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”
The opinion that different races come from separate ancestors, unrelated (Polygenism) has to be explicitly condemned. All men that have ever lived, no matter what country or race, have a shared common human nature, and are both harmed by the sin of Adam, as well as redeemed through Christ’s redemptive economy. But we cannot stop at this point and say, that Human nature is an abstract generic thing without particulars.
You cannot removed the individual or national characteristics from an individual or a nation in order to let the human aspect be pure. That would destroy very humanity itself. The national or the individual is the human itself which necessarily has a certain quality. A human without quality, cannot exist. In other words God intended for nations to exist before the fall as much as after the fall and even wills them into eternity. Some would assert that races and nations came about as a result of the Fall. This Father Dumitru denies when he asks, “Is a specific nationality a distortion of that which is human, a decay of the human being?” He answers by saying “Sin or evil is of another form than unity or diversity. It is a distortion, a disfigurement of the thing given, of the existence produced by another Power.” As I mentioned earlier Father Staniloae makes the point that nations will exist into eternity, he says, “I believe that God does not want to cancel out any of the national variety created by Him, or historical geography, but wants to transfigure, to exalt, to change the face. As God wants to unite people in one, He also did not want a single nation. Therefore I enjoy reading these wonderful words of Revelation, chapter 21, verse 25-26: “And the gates will not be shut by day, for night shall not be there. And the kings of the earth will bring into it the glory and honor of the nations “; So every nation in the next life will bring honor and glory and beauty. The beauty of Orthodoxy is that it promotes nations.
Now, where may you ask does Father Staniloaoe find the theological justification to say what he says about God intending the existence of specific races and ethnicities of men? He draws heavily from the theology of St. Maximos the Confessor. Maximus developed more than any writer before him the idea that the Word, the Logos, made all things by means of certain logoi (“words,” “reasons,” or “principles”) that come from Him. These logoi are the ideas and wills of God by which He creates everything and imparts unto everything its unique characteristics. The act of creation itself is the differentiation of the logoi which become multiple in creation while remaining one and simple in the divine Logos (Christ).
When God wills someone or something into existence, such as the logos of Paul, it is “spoken,” by God, and Paul comes to be. The logos of Paul has three aspects. (1) It is the cause of his existence, for prior to God saying, “fiat Paul,” there is literally, ontologically, no Paul to speak of. (2) It is the principle of Paul’s being, or the definition of who he is according to nature–not merely a generic human being, but this particular boy we call Paul. And (3) it also includes the divine intention or purpose for which God created Paul, his role in the divine plan and his ultimate salvation and union with God. So, Fr. Staniloaoe’s assertion is that nations, as can plainly be seen from his above statements and in the case of individuals, are made by means of God’s logoi, ie. part of predetermined will of Almighty God. As was also echoed by the late Metropolitan Vitaly of the Russian Church Abroad when he stated, “There is no man without a nation or tribe, nor is there a religion without a nation, just as there is no nation without a religion. These two phenomena are mutually dependent and cannot be separated either in time or in composition.”
In echoing the thought of Father Staniloae, Romanian theologian Father Dumitru Popescu goes on to say in an interview, “God created the world as a unity in diversity. Therefore, from the Orthodox point of view, the universal is not given a place over and above the particular, but it is side by side with it, because this universe is given the power of the Holy Spirit which is designed in Christ and the Church to transfigure all peoples and places. Patristic theology says that the Holy Spirit is everywhere present and entire in each part so as to intergrate the universal and particular.
Therefore, from the Orthodox viewpoint, world unity, like the unity of the Church, can only be a catholic community that affirms the identity of every people and every culture. It is not a closed identity, but open to all for mutual enrichment. Every people can make a specific contribution, which is for the benefit of others. And we think this is one concept of a community that can demonstrate the specific value of each nation, and a beneficial cooperation between them.” In his work Church and State, Father Popescu postulates that Orthodox social thought could be drawn from a model offered by Trinitarian theology. The dynamic vision of the unity and transcendence of the Trinity would represent the medium for dialogue between Orthodoxy and contemporary society.
In reflecting on the thought of Popescu, Romanian theological student A. Ionescu says: “In the patristic theology the particular is part of the universal without losing its identity. This aspect is emphasized in the cosmological theology of St. Athanasius and St. Maximus the Confessor:
“The One Reason (Logos)” is many “, and the many reasons (logoi) are one “(St Maximus) The cosmos retains the character of an icon made in the image of the Trinity, who possesses It’s rationality (in a sense).The Trinity is one in being but at the same time three in persons. After this model the Church possesses universality and at the same time particular specifics. Thus there is one universal Orthodox Church comprised of several national Orthodox Churches. The national churches are not some different entities within the universal, but are precisely the many manifestations of the universal, the universal couldn’t exist in concrete, as universal in itself, but only in the particular.”
Father Dumitru Staniloae was, by no means, a fringe theologian, but was a true representative of the “Canonical” Orthodox Church. I must mention that the Romanian Patriarchal Holy Synod itself condemned anti-nationalism as it is expressed by Masonry when it wrote, “Freemasonry fights against the natural law, willed by God, that mankind is composed of nations “-Point seven of the Romanian Church anti-freemasonry anathema (1937) ”
In conclusion, we must revere organic nations because of what they are: part of God’s unfolding of creation that will not terminate in the eschaton, but rather will continue unto the ages of ages as all nations stand before the throne of God praising him forever. St. John the Theologian prophesied in the book of the Apocalypse,
“And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
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I think it’s time for the bulgarian orthodox church to accept some jewish converts into it’s hierarchy.
using the terminology Hot genocide/Cool genocide is a pretty good idea. We can even find historical precedents for “cool genocide” such as what happened to the Australian pygmys and the sabines, and the arabization of the middle east.
There are only 1,363 Jews in Bulgaria. That’s enough for you to go door to door to entreat them. Have at it.
Why Bother? St. John Chrysostom noted in AD 400-
“God HATES the Jews.”
He also noted: “But if the Jews were to
say, that the word, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” means this, that those born of Isaac should be reckoned to him for a seed,
then the Edomites, too, and all those people, ought to be denominated his sons, since their forefather Esau was a son of his. But now so far are they from being called sons, that they are the greatest possible aliens…”
St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on Romans,
Thank you for this excellent post. Once upon a time these doctrines and considerations would have been the consensus of the Christendoms which allowed for ethnicities to form an entire patchwork of city states, principalities, kingdoms and nations co-exist in terms of ethnicity.
Excellent scholarship! All Christians (Orthodox, Catholic & Protestant) are indebted to this author for the broad scope of his knowledge of ethnology, anthropology and, especially, the Christian Faith. Bravo!!
that the ENTIRETY of the Church is now the fullness of the TWELVE TRIBES, restored and completed, after the expulsion and division of the Captivity. This is noted by St. Luke in Acts 1:6, and confirmed by St. Paul’s Epistles, as well as by Jas. 1:1, and St. Peter 1:1, as well as the Epistle to the Hebrews. For, if we are NOT God’s True Israel, then
the Epistle to the HEBREWS is not a part of OUR Canonical Scripture, and should be jettisoned. Which is, of course, utter folly. The Fathers considered the ‘world’ of the “Great Commission” to ONLY be the ECUMENE of the ‘inhabited Roman World’ as was made clear by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, in his Orthodox Dogmatic
If these points are obscured in an age of universal ‘love, peace and brotherhood’ [Jer. 6:14] it is no wonder. The “Jews and their lies” (as even Martin Luther noted, five hundred years ago) have had a CENTURY to foist this anti-incarnational error and blasphemy on the unsuspecting faithful within the West, as well as within Holy Orthodoxy. And
because the Church’s own leaders have long been complicit in their ‘accommodation to the world’-
How much more (to paraphrase St. Paul) have the LAITY been co-opted to believe this filth?
James Edwards’ columns on the modern American scene noted that ‘gay marriage’ would never have occurred without first submitting to the violation of the command, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’ in the 1967 Loving v. Virginia case, ‘legalizing’ miscegenation.
The fact that even mentioned something like this today makes the Faithful uneasy, shows that the rot has sunk DEEP within the Corpus Christi – the Body of Christ.
If Scripture notes that “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body?” [I Cor. 6;16] how are we to proceed with an honest
evaluation of the sentence that opens this response, if we no longer see the violation of the ‘racial purity clauses’ of the Pentateuch as normative for the Orthodox of the Ecumene?
There is so much much more to say, but one can only point out
one error at a time. Suffice it to say that Avdeyev’s publication in Russia of his ‘Raciology’ is clue enough, that the varying hominids on the planet are NOT all ‘one race- the Human race.’ How that applies to the Fall of Adam, is for another column.
opinion that different races come from separate ancestors, unrelated
(Polygenism) has to be explicitly condemned. All men that have ever lived, no
matter what country or race, have a shared common human nature, and are both
harmed by the sin of Adam, as well as redeemed through Christ’s redemptive
the opinions entertained by Mr. Klimakos are the standard ‘textus receptus’ of
much of MODERN European Christendom; that does not necessarily make it correct,
when applied to the Scriptures, nor to the history of the Orthodox Church in
her own self-witness.
are so many, many points of departure in that above-mentioned quote that, if
not dealt with, will lead us to adopting the atheist and secular worldview that
the Deicides have largely determined for us, from the rise of the Bolsheviks
and the Frankfurt School on down; that we (if we remain ignorant/placid of
these satanic errors) might never again be free, with that ‘glorious liberty of
the Sons of God.’ [Rom. 8:21] That
liberty, I must remind your readers, belongs (need I say it?) ONLY to the ‘Sons
of God;’ and clearly, most emphatically NOT to the sons of Slaves? [Gal. 4:30]
acknowledging and never doubting that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the
glory of God,’ [Rom. 3:23] the fallacy that all hominids on the planet ARE
those ‘sons of God’ is nothing less the heresy of Universalism, on a racial
scale; or universal salvation, on a theological scale. Which (if Orthodox were
to actually believe this) would mean that we all can adopt the heretical
stances of the current Roman Pontiff, and his most egregious errors, within
this cultic communion.
As many have written, and as
the Church made manifest, when she took upon herself the identity of the
‘Israel of God’ [Gal.6:16] at Pentecost,
the entirety of the Old Testament scriptures bespeaks of ONE people, ONE
race, ALONE as the recipient of God’s electing favor and mercy.
That this was not done away
with at the Cross, even as the scope of the spread of the Gospel was enlarged
to include the Hellenes (but only those peoples are mentioned in Scripture. -II
Tim. 3;16, you know!) is made manifest in that the entirety of the New
Testament, along with the old, PRESUMES A RACIAL – or at least an ETHNIC
CONSANGUINITY with the Israelites of old, even as it excludes the false
Israelites, even those who lived in Judea! While St. Paul talks about ‘sons of
Abraham’ he never denies the ‘promises unto the fathers’ AS THEY APPLY to the
NEW COVENANT PEOPLE.
This is fundamentally
important; for, if (as apostate Western Xtianity presumes) it’s a ‘y’all come’
for the religion of the people that ‘shall dwell apart,’ [Num. 23:9] we’re back
at the fallacy/heresy of Universalism, and the “NewChurch” of Rome is its
spokesman…. err, SpokesPERSON.
The Apostles clearly noted
From a recent Eleison Comments mailing from Bishop Williamson (a traditionalist Catholic/Thomist perspective:
What does the Church think of “racism”? Or of “anti-semitism”? Or of “sexism”? Or of “homophobia”? And so on and so on. In a liberal world where everybody is supposed to be nice to everybody, is it not surprising how “political correctness” seems to come up regularly with a new class of people for all of us to hate? The Catholic Church, following its divine Master, says we are to love our neighbour and to hate nobody, but it does not say we should love all our fellow-men indiscriminately. Let us see how a great Catholic theologian puts order into our love of God and man. Here are the bare bones of the 13 Articles of St ThomasAquinas’ Summa Theologiae, 2a 2ae, Question 26:—
1 Charity does have an order, because it is a friendship in supernatural bliss, and that bliss has its starting-point in God, and wherever you have things following from a starting-point, you have an order. (Notice how the Catholic immediately refers a major question to God. What might liberals immediately refer to as the starting-point of their “niceness”? Hatred of Nazis? Seriously . . . )
2 Charity must love God above neighbour, because charity is a friendship in bliss, and all bliss for myself or my neighbour has its source in God. (Where do liberals place the source of their happiness? In self-fulfilment? In their fellow-men? These are relatively poor forms of happiness.)
3 God must be loved above self, because all (unspoiled) creatures, each in their way, naturally love the common good above their particular good, and God is the natural and supernatural common good of all.
4 Spiritual self must be loved above spiritual neighbour, because I am closer to me than I am to my neighbour so that if I do not love me (spiritually), I am unlikely to love my neighbour. But –
5 Spiritual neighbour must be loved above corporal self, i.e., my own body, because spirit comes before body, because spirit partakes directly in bliss, while body partakes only indirectly (through spirit).
6 Some neighbours must be loved more than others, because they all vary in their closeness to one of the two poles of charity, objective to God, or subjective to me. Saints are closer to God, neighbours to me.
7 Objectively, Saints will be loved more than relatives, but subjectively neighbours will be loved more intensely than Saints, because in a variety of ways they are closer – “Charity begins at home.”
8 Essentially, blood-relatives will be loved above non-relatives,because blood-ties are natural, fixed and substantial. Accidentally however, other ties of friendship can be more powerful.
9 Objectively, parents are to be loved m ore than children, because as sources of life and of many benefits, parents are closer to God, but subjectively children can be closer to us for several reasons.
10 Father should be loved more than mother, as such, because by the part each plays in giving us life, the father is formal and active whereas the mother is material ( maternal ) and passive (St Thomas was writing about human beings who are normal and not de-natured as they are today).
11 Objectively, parents are to be loved more than wife, because as sources of life and of many benefits they are closer to God, but subjectively she who is “one flesh” with her husband is to be loved the more.
12 Objectively, somebody doing good to us is to be loved more than somebody we do good to, because they are a source of good to us, but by subjective closeness we love the more somebody that we do good to, for various reasons, e.g . “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
13 There will still be an order of charity in Heaven, especially the loving of God above all. Also the objective grading of neighbour for his closeness to God will count more there than it does here on earth.
“Racism”? – which races are closer to God, or to me? They are not all the same. “Anti-semitism”? – are “Semites” friends or enemies of God? “Sexism”? – do today’s women help or hinder me on my way to God? “Homophobia”? – how do “homos” stand with God?
“The Catholic Church, following its divine Master, says we are to love our neighbour and to hate nobody…”
Ezra, one of the reasons that I had to (literally HAD TO) leave the Romans, was because the WORLD’s doctrine had ALREADY infiltrated the Church, way back in 1970- when our parish priest “Fr. Bob” ( so trendy, so hip, with him wearing barefoot sandals in church under his ‘NovusOrdo’ vestments, all of this in freezing Upper Midwest Winters) talking about the ‘evils of the Vietnam War’ INSTEAD of the Gospel, I smelled a RAT, even when I was a mere teen. And it’s only gotten worse, since then. MUCH WORSE.
The Orthodox knew this, because (I later found out) this poison had been around for over a 1000 years, because of the Schism of 1054AD. Thus, when I finally read St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves’ comment on this ‘love your enemies baloney’ and heard the ORTHODOX exclusionary manner of defining this very important theological bit of minutae, I knew Rome was nothing less than a CULT. A Universalist cult. And everything that she stood for, was UTTERLY CONTRARY to the GOSPEL. Because she was corrupted at the heart of her theology- the filioque.
“The filioque is the outward, efficacious, and visible symbol of an inward and metaphysical depravity.” – Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, God, History, and Dialectic
Here, then, is St. Theodosius on this idea. “Love your enemies, but only your PERSONAL Enemies, and NOT the ENEMIES OF GOD.”
That pretty much sums up the fact that Ps. 139:21-22 is STILL part of even the RCC’s ‘Scriptures.’
Though, with the Synod on the Family’s NewChurch direction, perhaps not for much longer…. Misericordie, Domine.
I know that the Orthodox have a lot of hatred for the Catholic Church – much of it justified – but that is immaterial to this article. The Church that you are talking about here and condemning is, as you point out, the Novos Ordo Church, which is a counter-Church to the one created by Christ. This obsession with the filioque on the part of the Orthodox is unhealthy in my opinion. When the Faithful are besieged all around the globe, it strikes me as quite insane to insist that the Church should remain cleft in two on the basis of a single word – regardless of how much it is purportedly supposed to mean. As a nominal Catholic, I don’t give a fig for the filioque or the Pope for that matter. But none of that ever seems to matter to the Orthodox who seem intent on making sure that the Schism is never healed. Its unfortunate.
You’re the one that’s guilty, not I
I never said anything about guilt father, so I think you’re reading that into things. We’re all guilty in any case.
in that regard, yes. [Rom. 3:23]
Ezra. You are no ‘occasional RC’ if you even KNOW what the filioque is- or at least THINK you know what it is.
The reason for the Orthodox being so insistent on this point is that the ENTIRETY OF THE WEST’S malaise, lies at the feet of the Papacy inserting a philosophical Nuclear Bomb into the Nicene Creed.
Cam’s article shows what the fruit of the Filioque has led to… if you have eyes to see. https://cambriawillnotyield.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/breaking-free-of-the-pagan-wheel-of-fire/
I think the Orthodox use the filioque as a fig leaf for their deeply historical, and deeply justified disgust at the Papacy’s political interference throughout the centuries and its effort to conquer Orthodoxy. Regardless, as things stand, the Orthodox appear to have been right all along, I just wish they weren’t so spiritually vengeful and hostile toward their fellow Christians – but in many cases the Orthodox don’t even consider Catholic people brothers in Christ. The Saker is so poisoned against Catholic people that he says Muslims are closer to Orthodox than we are. How is that supposed to make even the most WILLING of Catholics feel about coming back to Orthodoxy? Its almost like we’re not even wanted and the Orthodox would rather see our souls damned in vengeance for the Papacy’s deeds. Its unfortunate.
It’s more of a belief that, if people WISH to be saved, they WILL (eventually) come to Holy Orthodoxy on their own (much as I did); the West’s salvation model (while false) is also bizarrely ‘skewed,’ in that they actually believe all and sundry should be saved, rather than use the biblical/Israelitish /Orthodox model, that ‘only those who are the Elect (race) will be saved, and the rest CHOOSE their damnation, and are both content to be damned, and REMAIN in their damnation: which is about what St. Paul noted, too. FWIW. But thanks for your clarification.