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MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
The Papacy and Its Unholy State: A Worldwide W a k e - u p C a l l to Orthodox Leaders
By Raphael Masterjohn, from “The Light of Orthodoxy,” Vol. 1, No. 1 (07/15/2007).
FROM THE EDITOR of "Orthodox Heritage:" In light of recent events, related to the self-declaration of the Latin Pope Benedict XVI and his reassertion of “universal primacy” for the Latins’ church, Orthodox Heritage has published this excellent and theologically correct article, written from the heart of an Orthodox layman. May our Lord reward him for his courageous stand and may all of our clergy, and especially our hierarchy, heed to this layman’s wake-up call.
Our position will remain that the current philo-papist and the related ecumenical movements are (at their best) a sell-out of Orthodox dogma, tradition and values. May our Lord and Savior grant His mercy and protect Orthodox faithful from the treacherous progression of ecumenism whose primary goal is the wipe-out of Orthodoxy!
The Faith which I was taught by the Holy Fathers, which I taught without adjusting according to the times, this Faith I will never stop teaching; I was born with it and I live by it.
On July 10, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the “universal primacy” of his Roman Catholic church, approving a document released on Tuesday, July 10, 2007, proclaiming that Orthodox Churches are “defective.” This was the Pontiff’s latest manner of insulting Jesus Christ and His True Church.
For almost a thousand years since the great Apostasy of Rome, having separated from the true Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Papacy has falsely proclaimed itself the Catholic Church. Orthodox leaders of our times know that the Orthodox Church alone is the true Catholic Church, and we all confess this in our Holy Creed. These leaders have thought that dialogues with the Papists could bear fruit, hoping that Rome would renounce its errors and embrace the unchanging Orthodox faith. The Papacy will never budge a single inch away from its fundamental dogma: “the Pope is the only super-bishop ruling over all, to be questioned by no one, and the infallible representative of God on earth.”
The Pope says that the Orthodox Churches are indeed “churches” and that they enjoyed “many elements of sanctification and truth.” “But,” he said, “they lack something because they do not recognize the primacy of the Pope—and are defective causing them harm.”
The Pope insults the Lord Christ Himself, who is the Head of the Orthodox Church, His Body, for there is no separation between Christ and Orthodox Christians who live in Christ and in whom Christ lives. The Pontiff thus insinuates that Christ is defective and wounded to His harm. For whatever is said about Christ’s body, the Church applies to the Head of the Body. Christ established this truth, saying: And the King shall answer them, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. (Mt 25:40). Insulting the Body of Christ necessarily redounds upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Body.
A Loud, Wake-Up Call to All Orthodox Leaders, Worldwide
Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows that shall he reap. (Gal 6:7).
Papal primacy, with its infamous and inane self-proclamation of infallibility, is the most damaging heresy ever to wage war against the true Church and Body of Christ, and it has been waging this war for over a thousand years. The Pope shamelessly proclaims to the world that the Papacy is the Church that Christ founded on earth. No wonder the name of Christ is blasphemed among the nations, for the Pope is not at all like Christ. Christ said of Himself, Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and humble in my heart and you shall find rest for your souls. (Mt 11:29). Christ descended into the world to offer Himself as a ransom, to be mocked and spat upon, to be struck and crowned with thorns, and be crucified. Then, as our Creed says: On the third day He arose from the dead . . . and He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, whose Kingdom shall have no end.
In 1870, the Papacy proclaimed the wretched idea of its own infallibility to all its followers and the whole world. Many Papal bishops protested vociferously but to no avail, for the travesty was already accomplished. Their protests fell on deaf ears, and gradually the whole Papacy accepted the most unacceptable dogma of supreme arrogance—the infallible man! With an infallible man sitting in Rome, what need is there for the God-Man Christ? They assert that He is away up in heaven, but we have our own man-god sitting in Rome. All our hope is in him, for he can never lead us astray as he is protected with infallibility. The Pope, having the only keys to heaven, promises to open the pearly gates for those who honor him and pay him homage.
Poor deceived people, is your promise of salvation in the Pope or in Jesus Christ? Was the Pope incarnate and crucified for you? Christ is calling you to abandon the Papacy. I am the light of the world, whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. (Jn 8:12). The Pope is not the light of the world, and he knows it well. All the Vatican knows that the Roman Papacy was officially established on forged documents which supposedly gave him all religious and secular power in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, holding all the keys to everything. Open your Bibles and you will see that the Pope cannot bring you to heaven, for each one of us will stand before God alone and be judged for what we have done in this world. Christ does not call us to honor and pay homage to a particular Bishop, Patriarch or Pope. He does call us to abandon all sin, to pray with fasting and tears, to struggle, and as He commands: Be holy for I am holy. Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Mt 5:48).
Deception, Slaughter and Forced Conversions
Billions have been deceived into believing that the Papacy, even after 1870 with the Pope now propelled to the utter pinnacle of haughtiness, is the same Church that Christ founded. But it is not the same for the Light of Orthodoxy, Christ, is the Good Shepherd, and arrogance and falsehood are foreign to the God-Man. For nearly a thousand years, since the great schism, or more properly, the
Great Apostasy, the Papacy has both openly and clandestinely waged war against Christ and His Orthodox Church, slaughtering countless martyrs and witnesses, who refused to become enslaved to the Pope of Rome, if only by commemorating his name. As recently as WWII, the Papist Archbishop Stepinac was behind the Ustashi’s slaughter of almost a million Serbian Orthodox Christians. Many were offered a single opportunity to survive—to reject Holy Orthodoxy with Christ as their Head and Leader in faith and recognize the Supreme Pontiff and Pope of Rome as their head and leader in faith. The bloody Stepinac, the war criminal who blessed the slaughter of Orthodox Serbs, was recently sainted by the Pope of Rome. As St. John of Kronstadt declared: The Pope usurped the authority of Christ… a string of blood runs through their history. (from “My Life in Christ”). Much of the blood spilled and blessed by Papal agents was that of Orthodox Christians, as history confirms.
Dialogue with this heretical enemy is forbidden by Holy Scripture. A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonishment, reject, knowing that such a man is subverted and sins being self-condemned. (Tit 3:10-11). If some say that the Papacy is not heresy, St. John the Theologian and Holy Apostle advises: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us they would have continued with us: but they went out that they may be seen, that they were not of us. (1 Jn 2:19).
The Pope Does Not Desire Union
The Pope has no desire for union, and this demonstrates the hypocritical intent of the Papacy. The dialogues that are taking place are a sham, for why are there dialogues when the Pope openly declares that he does not seek union. The Pope cannot possibly alter his concept of being the “true church.” He does not want to repent and join Orthodoxy, and for this reason, in his mania, he calls us “defective.” His statement assures us of these things. His only goal is absolute dominion and authority over the Orthodox Church of Christ. The Devil has tried this in the past and he will try again. The Pope’s desire is one: to seize us and place us under his dominion and authority and thus succeed in robbing us of our freedom in Christ. He has said that he will seek a new way to exercise his authority as a robber who tells you that he will find a new way to rob your house.
The Pope has always sought to spiritually plunder and rob Orthodox Christians of their true Faith. He has demonstrated this many times, especially during the Fourth Crusade, when the Papists sacked the City, raping and slaughtering its inhabitants. Later, his soldiers of fortune violated the Holy Mountain and massacred many monastics. What was the monastics’ crime? They refused to pray with the Papists and pay homage to their unholy leader, the Pope. The Pope went on to invent Unia, wherein Orthodox Christians receive significant material help from the Pope and keep all their traditions, but lose their Orthodoxy, for they were forced to commemorate “the (un)Holy Father, the Pope of Rome.” These ex-Orthodox traitors became know as “Uniates.” What is their goal since abandoning the true Faith? They join the Pope and wage war against the faithful Orthodox—a war that continues to this day. The instant they accepted this offer and fell into the trap, they lost the grace of the Holy Spirit as well as their eternal salvation, for they chose the Pope in preference to Jesus Christ. They are despised by Catholics and shunned by the Orthodox Christians; they have accordingly surrendered their eternal inheritance found only within the true Faith, the Orthodox Faith. This is what will happen to all Orthodox Christians who join the Pope. It is spiritual suicide, for Christ will place them among the goats.
The Pope Provides Clarity of His True Position
The Pope has indeed cleared the air. He has proclaimed all future discussions to be null and void, for he has made it perfectly clear that nothing expected will come of them, and the Papacy will never change. It is the duty of all Orthodox leaders to immediately cease the folly of wasteful and dangerous dialogue with the enemy of Orthodoxy. He has insulted Christ and His Body as defective, which includes the Theotokos, the Holy Apostles, Holy Orthodox Fathers, and millions of Saints, Martyrs and Confessors. For all of these constitute the Body of Christ..
The Theotokos Proclaims the Papists Enemies of Her Son and Herself
When the Papists attacked Mt. Athos in the 13th century, the Theotokos warned a monk through her holy icon, as he was chanting to her, Rejoice! From her icon, she suddenly replied: And you rejoice, holy elder; go and warn the Elder Thomas at the Monastery that my enemies and my Son’s enemies are coming.
Indeed, the inimical Papists did come as the Virgin foretold, demanding that the monastics submit and commemorate the Roman Pontiff. They ruthlessly slaughtered monks with the sword, others they drowned or burned to death with fire. They were offering the monastics life in return for a single bow to their master, the tyrannical Pope. Let all of us from this day on, remember these words of the Theotokos: My enemies and my Son’s enemies are coming. Let us ignite a fire in our hearts to fight against the Papacy and all heresies, as our Forefathers fought against heresies in their days, preserving and passing down to us the Holy Orthodox Faith. The Holy Theotokos leaves no doubt that the Papacy is the arch-enemy of the Orthodox Church, and they continuously seek to deceive Orthodox Christians so that we abandon the true Faith and submit to this imposter.
Orthodox Leaders, Abandon This Enemy of our Faith
Orthodox leaders, with the Orthodox blood of Jesus Christ coursing through your body and soul, it is your sacred duty to lead us to victory over heresy and to openly challenge the Papacy with all its false claims, false dogmas and false hope of salvation. Boldly proclaim to the whole world his insults and blasphemy against Christ and His Holy Church, purchased with His Blood. If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31). Think of this: if one of us dared to claim for ourselves what the Pope claims for himself, who would tolerate or give attention to such a person? Most people would say that we have lost our sanity. But what does this say about the Pope? For the Pope claims supreme primacy and infallibility, seeking homage from the whole world and the honor and glory for which he thirsts.
Wherever he goes he longs repeatedly to hear the cry of the masses: “Viva il Papa.” Great effort is made by thousands to draw near the Pope. However, not much effort is exerted to draw closer to Christ. Christ taught us to draw near Him, follow His example, and to fast and pray that our life may reflect Him with meekness, humility and the burning desire to suffer for the sake of Christ and Holy Orthodoxy. The Lord who came down from heaven desired no earthly glory, My kingdom is not of this world. (Jn 18:36). Indeed, for His desire was to undergo His voluntary Holy Passion and to be crucified in the flesh, in order to save and resurrect into eternal life all those who chose to honor and love Him. But the Pope does not seek the glory of God but his own glory before the whole world. He firmly demands that he be recognized as the one and only “super Bishop,” rising high above all mankind and high above every other Bishop or Patriarch. He claims that he is the only authority in the Church. Every clergyman and layman must be subservient to him. The Pope asserts that he alone is Christ’s Vicar, having been “appointed by the God-Man.” Indeed, they do not believe that the God-Man is present in the Papacy. But, if Christ the God-Man is absent from the Papacy, the Holy Spirit is also absent, for wherever Christ is, there also are the Father and Holy Spirit. The Pope not only usurped Christ’s authority but also the authority of the Holy Spirit, claiming to be the guide of the entire church.
Let us attend as Jesus Christ establishes who is the genuine Guide and Leader of His Church: I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he will show you things to come. (Jn 16:12-13). The Holy Spirit is the Comforter of Orthodox Christians and guides us into all truth.
The Imposter Pope Speaks
The Popes theorizes: “Christ is not present but absent and invisible. Behold me! I have been appointed by Christ as your head. I am the visible Head of the Church, and only by unity with me are you in the church. Do not think that the Holy Spirit is your guide, for I am your guide and I will lead you into all truth, which I and only I will proclaim from Rome. For God has bestowed upon me alone, universal primacy and authority over the entire world. More than that, it is impossible for me to err in the faith for I alone am the reliable and infallible one! I alone possess the keys to heaven and hell. I stand before you as a humble and gentle man.”
Indeed the Pope appears as a harmless and loving man, but the Papacy never ceases to plot and scheme so as to destroy the Orthodox Church which alone stands against his fraudulent empire from below and hampers his quest of absolute dominion over all Christians. For the Lord is the Master, Head and King of Orthodoxy and the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and divine Guide. Certainly the Pope’s guide and mentor is not Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, for Christ clearly says My kingdom is not of this world. (Jn 13:86).
Jesus Never Gave His Authority to One Man; Certainly He Did Not Confer This on St. Peter
Jesus Christ has never abandoned His Church, nor did He establish the Pope as his vicar, nor did He give him authority over His Church; for Christ alone is above all men. Christ alone has the primacy in His Church. Christ the God-Man is our sinless and infallible Master, a characteristic that can never apply to any sinful man. Christ refutes Papal claims, as He spoke and gave His divine authority not to one man, not to the Pope or Peter, but to all of his Disciples: Jesus spoke to them, saying: All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded to you, and lo, I am with you to the close of the age. (Mt 28:18).
Behold, here is the authority of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church known as Orthodoxy. Jesus Christ never places His authority in the hands of one man, for He demands two or three witnesses in everything. The Papacy apostatized from the Church that Jesus Christ founded and established a strange and new system with tyrannical authority posing as Vicar of Christ. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mt 18:20). Christ taught us that He came in His Father’s name: I am come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me; if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. (Jn 5:43). When the Bishop of Rome usurped authority over the whole Church of Christ, he went out in his own name, proclaiming his authority and worldly power, and the world received him and offered him homage.
For the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, for our Holy Faith preserved by Christ, for the rivers of blood shed by martyrs for two thousand years, for our Holy Mother, Orthodoxy, let all faithful and noble Orthodox leaders, worldwide, abandon the inane philo-papism which can only lead us further away from Christ. Let all Orthodox then rise up and with one voice solidly refute the papal mania, which causes the leader the Latins to imagine himself as a savior above all humanity, holding the keys to heaven and hell, and deciding who enters heaven and who is shut out. He is a man who fancies himself as the teacher of mankind, and as the only representative of God on earth. He forbids anyone to judge him for anything, yet claims to be the absolute judge of everyone. Who would doubt that such egoistic ideas are the ravings of a maniac? How can any reasonable person believe that the meek and humble Christ would leave mankind in the hands of a haughty and arrogant man who claims to possess properties that belong exclusively and unequivocally to God alone?
The Pope Spits on Orthodox Christians, Declaring Them “Defective”
With respect to our Holy Orthodox Faith, he spits out calling us “defective,” the one and only Church that constitutes the genuine Body of Christ, and in spitting on us, he does the same to our Lord. Who can remain passive and asleep, upon hearing this clarion call to action? The Pontiff has thrown down the gauntlet. The supreme majestic and pompous Pontiff cries out: “I accuse all Orthodox Christians to be defective. You are harmfully wounded, unable to be saved without my supreme Majesty! If you will be perfect, come under my dominion. You are defective and sorely need me, the only one who can make you whole, for without me you can do nothing.” O the audacity and pride!
A Call to Action
Arise Orthodox Patriarchs, Metropolitans, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and laymen! Let the whole Orthodox world arise for the sake of Holy Orthodoxy on which the wild beast in Rome is now attacking, insulting our Lord and His Body. I beg all of you, do not stand idly by while this apostate claims that he is the Church, that he is the Lord and Master of the Church, that he is the only Head and Guide of the Church. Never again meet with this enemy or communicate about sacred things with him. Will you dare to call the Papacy a sister church again? Will you dare to accuse the Holy Spirit of sanctifying their banalities, asserting their sacraments as valid? Will you again dare to call the pontiff a brother in Christ? Christ himself commands you and all of us to avoid the false teachers and preachers who claim that Christ is with them. One is your Teacher, Christ, and you are all brothers. (Mt 23:8). All of us who fail to speak out and separate from them, and challenge their apparent authority over the world, will certainly be condemned by Jesus Christ and cast out of the kingdom as worthless servants.
Renouncing the pseudo-Christ Pope, let us proclaim Christ and His true Church before men. To not confess the true Church and distinguish it from the false churches is the same as to deny Christ. Whoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever shall deny me before men, him will I deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Mt 10:32-33).
We, the Orthodox Christians throughout the world, have inherited the unsullied faith of Christ, the faith of the Apostles, the faith of the martyrs and saints, and this faith has been passed down to us, from generation to generation, for two thousand years. As stewards of this precious Faith, it is our sacred duty to defend our Holy Orthodoxy and refute the Pope along with his insults as he proclaims that Christ and His Body are spiritually defective. As lovers of truth, we always have and always will reject all cries of the wolves to follow a pseudo-Christ, for Christ forewarns us to remain faithful to Him alone. We are His sheep and have no other Shepherd, and as sheep we know our Shepherd, and we will not follow a hireling.
Then if any man shall say unto you, behold, Christ is here or there, do not believe him. For there shall arise false christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, so much as to deceive even the chosen ones. Behold, I have told it to you before. (Mt 24:23-24).
Arise O Lord, show your power and authority! Come and save us who are faithful to You, O Lord! Heap evils upon them, Lord, who are glorious on earth! Take the more humble and meek among them, who are in the enemy’s clutches, out of the Papacy and into the bosom of Orthodoxy, granting them and us your great mercy and eternal life.