Biden’s Proxy War with Russia

Dateline: March 5, 2022

Russian armed forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.

Our own United States federal government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have been itching for this proxy war with Russia for a very long time. Now they have it. They have encroached on the Russian sphere of influence by increments over the last thirty years since the toppling of the Berlin Wall ended the Cold War. They have kept NATO fresh well past its expiration date and expanded its membership to the nations of Eastern Europe, breaking their promise NOT to expand it beyond Germany. They have infiltrated the Ukrainian nation, triggered the Maidan Coup D’èta. Since 2014, they have armed the corrupt Ukrainian government and backed the slaughter by Neo-Nazis of 14,000 Ukrainians, most of whom are ethnic Russians in the southeastern Donbas. They have ignored the Minsk Agreements for a ceasefire.

It is no wonder that Mr. Putin decided that he had finally had enough. He would not tolerate the existence of such a regime on the border with Russia. He has threatened several times in the past to invade Ukraine in order to put an end to the shenanigans. With thousands of his troops amassed on the border, Putin even offered one last time to refrain from invading Ukraine if President Zelensky and his government would simply give assurances to remain a neutral country and refuse to join NATO.

Biden, Putin, Zelensky
Mr. Zelensky relayed the Russians’ offer to his patrons in Washington, but he was instructed to turn it down!

We can only surmise that it was our own Commander-in-Chief Joseph Biden who was directly responsible for the refusal. If so, then this war between Russia and Ukraine is HIS fault – not because of a negligence that stems from his obvious senility, but rather because it was deliberate. We have to conclude then that it was Biden’s plan all along to cause this war. And then to blame it on Putin. And to stir up the American people to support the ravaging of a country with a corrupt government…just like our own! And, by doing so, to improve his dismal poll numbers. Who knows how far this premeditated war will escalate in the near term? Let us hope that it does not expand to any of the states who are members of NATO. And let us pray to God that it never goes nuclear.

What a monstrous betrayal Mr. Biden’s administration has perpetrated on the Ukrainians… and on us Americans! They say that our president is willing “to fight the Russians to the last Ukrainian”. That may be so. Mr. Biden and the cynical warmongers of both American political parties now have blood on their hands. If the bulk of what I have written here is true, then may God have mercy on their souls on the day of reckoning!

Blocked by Elpidophoros’ Twitter

I suppose I had it coming. When His Eminence made those subtle remarks at the National March for Life, I just couldn’t let them go unchallenged. The archbishop made an association between the Blessèd Virgin’s willing response to the Archangel Gabriel and the “autonomy of women” to abort their pregnancies. One had to read between the lines to get what he was trying to say, but it was manifestly obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. Cunning comments like that delivered by a bishop before thousands of pro-lifers have a chilling effect to say the least. Bishops are supposed to be guardians of the Faith, so such misguidance from the primate of an Orthodox Church begs the question:

Is he truly Orthodox?

So, why did I just post that? There are two reasons:

  1. Braggadocio. I wanted to brag that I was one of those who had “spoken truth to power”. I had challenged the archbishop face to face two years ago and he was kind enough to answer my queries. Now that he has done some very controversial things, there is cause to challenge him more vigorously.
  2. Confirmation. The archbishop – or his Twitter troupe of handlers – have added to the ever-mounting evidence that many leftists don’t want to engage with those who differ with them. Others have been blocked by Elpidophoros; I’m only the latest.

I’ve been on a long journey to the Faith – a journey that I had never planned on beginning. “The Hound of heaven” has led me along to this point where now I have found the true Church. Just think how disturbing it is to a convert like me who has come home and breathed a sigh of relief, only to find that there is a traitor in the house. Is it too alarmist to say such a thing?

While my daughter was growing up, she adored Audrey Hepburn for her poise and gentility. I dare say that she became much like the actress that she so emulated. Boys in particular have a deep yearning in their hearts for heroes. They have an instinctive admiration for strong and good men who will set an example for them to become as they mature. There are lots of antiheroes out there, especially in our aimless generation, and many boys emulate them for lack of better examples. They lead them to listlessness or worse.

But there are heroes to be found. Being an Anglophile, I am not ashamed to admit that one of my heroes has always been Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest Englishman of the twentieth century. Even Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated at the opening of the war in the European Theatre that perhaps Churchill was the greatest man alive.

I have been Orthodox for a few years now but I am still looking for heroes amongst the hierarchy. Abp. Elpidophoros is no hero of mine since he acts more like a corrupt politician than like a man of God. I’m sad to say that, but it appears to be true nonetheless. One man of the Faith whom I admire no end is the well-known St. Paisios of recent memory, who was not even a deacon. God grant us more humble heroes of the Faith like Paisios for us to emulate in these very disturbing times.

Canada is now officially a dictatorship. The United States is led by an empty suit. Russia’s tanks are rolling as their president takes advantage of our president’s senility. China is already at war with us in every way but the obvious one. Meanwhile, on the ecclesiastical scene, Constantinople is nipping at Moscow’s heels at every turn. The Phanar is hell-bent on dividing the Church by uniting with the Rome. To top it off, our health care bureaucracy has utterly betrayed the public that they are there to serve.

Am I overreacting? Let’s hope that some of our bishops will take up the mantle and lead the way in the midst of these unprecedented crises. Can anyone point out an American bishop who is able to meet the challenge?

Dr. Paisios’ List of Noes

Have you watched the Pandemia webinar? The webinar was presented by Orthodox Reflexions on January 10, but the recording is still available if you didn’t see it. The production featured a distinguished panel of Orthodox experts who spoke from their expertise in various fields relating to the current Covid-19 pandemic. First up was Dr. Michael Robles, who goes by his baptismal name, Paisios. Dr. Paisios is a pathologist who practices in Texas.

Dr. Paisios Michael Robles

During his presentation at the webinar, Paisios enumerated a list of qualifications for a normal vaccine that were all missing from the mRNA so-called “vaccines” that have been injected into most arms, and continue to be foisted upon the general populace. Below are the reasons that the inoculations do not qualify as vaccines and have been received only emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Here is the doctor’s list. There have been…

No animal studies. Potential vaccines are normally tested on animals for two to four years before tests are performed on human volunteers.

No immunological studies.

No genotoxicity (chemicals that damage the cell’s DNA) studies.

No cancer studies.

No embryo studies.

No informed consent.

No exclusion criteria. Eg. pregnant women are normally excluded from trials.

No data safety monitoring board.

No end-point adjudication committee. Eg. no safety report from the FDA or the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

No respect for past vaccine failures. Eg. the polio vaccine.

No autopsy reports.

Now, doesn’t that list give you pause? We cannot avoid concluding that the mRNA vaccines were distributed worldwide with undue haste when we note that most vaccines take a full seven to fifteen years to develop and that most of them fail to qualify along the way. Let us also remember that while they were being rushed to market, the usage of cheap and effective medicines ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine was suppressed by none other than Dr. Tony Fauci.

Dr. Tony Fauci

If “America’s doctor” and chief medical advisor to the president had permitted the nation’s physicians to practice medicine freely, as is their due, they could have repurposed these two off-patent medicines early in the onset of each infection with Covid-19 and saved countless lives. But No! again. Fauci was more interested in using his permanent office at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to micromanage the nation’s response to the pandemic. He was dead set on holding all treatments at bay while he rushed his pseudo-vaccines to the federal government for universal distribution. Cavalierly ignoring the obstacles that would normally have been in place, Fauci used the lavish funding from congressional appropriation bills, making billions of dollars for his cronies in the pharmaceutical industry and research universities. Our children and grandchildren will be paying for this boondoggle for generations to come.

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

February the second falls in a year numbered 2022. So, 2/2/22 is the date when we again celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, along with the Purification of the Virgin Mary. In the West it’s called Candlemas. This date may come to mind whenever the sacramental Churching of Women is performed in our parishes forty days after the birth of a child. Children don’t contract Covid-19, thank God. Let’s remember that when Big Brother turns up the heat and threatens to vaccinate our children – or our grandchildren – with these faux vaccines.

More Progressive Indoctrination from Archbishop Elpidophoros

by Nicholas. Originally published at Orthodox Reflections

 JANUARY 28, 2022  AbortionAmerican LifeGreek ArchdioceseJurisdictionsOCA

Archbishop Elpidophoros attended the annual March for Life Rally and provided an introduction and a prayer. As is often the case, the Archbishop mixed in seemingly Orthodox thoughts with a heaping helping of progressive indoctrination. Here’s the main part of what he said.

For most Orthodox Christians, the first part is not controversial. Except that it’s phrased interestingly, isn’t it? The Archbishop does not call for a ban on abortion. He points out that all are made in the image and likeness of God, and so children are worthy of our protection. How are we supposed to protect them? The Archbishop doesn’t say. That part is left vague. If you want to read it as a call to legally protect the unborn, you certainly can. Given the context of the March for Life, that would be a rational supposition. But you don’t have to assume that at all. The paragraph ends with a kind of “it takes a village” sentiment that could mean anything.

Weak sauce really. But even so, whatever pro-life sentiments the Archbishop expresses in the first paragraph are quickly undone in the second when he says, “At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women.” After that paragraph he followed up with, “We march not for coercion.” You can find all remarks here. I’m going to ignore the fluff in the second paragraph about the Most Holy Theotokos and Our Lord Jesus Christ. Archbishop Elpidophoros, or his speech writer, only put that in to make it all seem more “Orthodox.”

For anyone having paid attention to the abortion debates over the past 40 years, what the Archbishop is saying is crystal clear. It is yet another version of “personally opposed to abortion” but “support a women’s right to choose.” If the Archbishop had been completely honest, he would have expressed himself thusly, “As a Christian, I am personally morally opposed to abortion. We should take steps to help women and children through social programs and, hopefully, that will reduce demand for abortions. But we can’t coerce women into childbearing against their wills. We must trust women to make their own decisions and we must respect their bodily autonomy.”

Pro-lifers are not the only ones to interpret his speech this way. The GOARCH Press Office triumphantly retweeted a pro-abortion interpretation of the Archbishop’s words:

Clearly, GOARCH is not ashamed of the clear implications of what the Archbishop had to say. Nor are they concerned about any kind of backlash for being so openly pro-baby murder. So what gives?

Promoting Revolution Within the Form – The academics and hierarchs running GOARCH are clearly on a longish-term mission to transform the Orthodox Church into a prettier version of The Episcopal Church. A goal similar to what Pope Francis is busy pursuing in the Roman Church. Critical to this goal is slowly, but continuously, making the Faithful more and more comfortable with progressive concepts. Like a spoonful of sugar, mix in just enough genuine Orthodoxy to make the progressive medicine easier to swallow. Have a hierarchical liturgy in an Episcopal Church all decked out in a rainbow flag, but don’t endorse gay rights in the Church. Too far, too fast. Instead, let the imagery subtly do its job and talk about how open and loving Orthodox Christians are:

As Orthodox Christians, we are not about exclusivity, but about authenticity. We say with the Lord Jesus Christ, “whoever is not against us is for us!” [*] We openly embrace those who differ from us, not to manifest any compromise, but to extend to others the love and acceptance of Christ.

The frog that boils slowly doesn’t even realize it is danger. Until too late.

Or you have Nicholas Anton from GOARCH proclaim that racism is incompatible with Orthodoxy, and then in the same speech almost imperceptibly endorse Critical Race Theory concepts that amount to anti-White racism. Archbishop Elpidophoros has done the same thing in his talks about the need to combat “systemic racism.” Also remember that the Archbishop has a horrible record concerning the experimental COVID jabs that only exist through the immoral use of aborted fetal cells. He justified these horrific betrayals on moral grounds (thereby weakening our anti-abortion witness in the U.S.):

  • He endorsed the jabs, even opening clinics in parishes
  • He gave an award to the Pfizer CEO (among others)
  • He actively betrayed his own people who were seeking religious exemptions from the jabs by declaring there were none possible for Orthodox Christians.
  • He is fine with mandates, even at the Greek seminary.

There are many more examples besides these. The subtle alteration of Orthodoxy in a progressive direction is not an accident. It is not because a foreign-born hierarch is being manipulated by academics or just doesn’t understand the implications of what he is saying. This is a deliberate plan to keep the outer trappings of Orthodoxy the same, while fundamentally altering the Faith.

Nothing to See Here –  For this to work, people who would oppose the transformation of Orthodoxy must be encouraged not to notice. Orthodox Christians want to believe the best about others, especially about hierarchs. Who wants to believe an Archbishop of the Church is actively undermining the faith? No one, actually. So as long as the statements / actions are somewhat vague, then many well-meaning Orthodox Christians will defend the Archbishop and GOARCH. The squabbling among the Faithful provides cover for the revolutionaries.

Remember we kind of skipped over the point about the Theotokos in the second paragraph? Right now there is a fierce debate on Twitter as to whether or not the Theotokos is a perfect model of how to respond to a pregnancy. The most important part, that the paragraph is an endorsement of a woman’s right to choose abortion, is completely lost in the noise and confusion. That verbiage was not included by accident.

Rallying the Elect – While vagaries provide cover to keep the normie Orthodox from stampeding, the progressives recognize when they are being encouraged. The pro-abortion activist who celebrated the Archbishop’s words recognized immediately what he was saying. The revolution needs support from an active minority, just as much as it needs the acquiescence of the Faithful majority. If you ever doubt your understanding of something said or done, check out the blogs, social media, and forums for progressive “Orthodox.” All doubt will be removed. Stick around and read them for awhile. The goal is that when you are the minority, what you read there will be what is published on the official jurisdictional sites.

Don’t Expect the Other Bishops to Speak up – More than one Orthodox Christian has asked, “If this was a purposefully vague endorsement of abortion on demand, why didn’t any of the other bishops there say anything?” Because that is not how the game is played in the United States. It really isn’t. Bishops and clergy, especially across jurisdictional lines, hold their criticism of each other. This is frustrating for the Faithful, because we are looking for men to step up and defend the truth. That may happen at some point. But for now, his brother bishops will not reign in Elpidophoros. Bishops may get cashiered for legit crimes (sex abuse, embezzlement), but not for being politically progressive to the detriment of the Faith.

This is not Just GOARCH – There are individuals trying to redefine the Orthodox Faith in many, perhaps all, jurisdictions. If you have the time, watch this lecture by Fr. John Jillions of the OCA as he attacks “fundamentalism”,  and promotes the “Catholicity” of the Church as requiring us to listen to academics who reject the moral teachings of the Orthodox Faith.

In closing, let us note that after his performance at the March for Life, Archbishop Elpidophoros paid a call on the Ukrainian ambassador to pledge his undying support.

The war in the Ukraine is a civil war between Ukrainians. It began as a result of the U.S.-backed coup that brought neo-Nazis to power. Progressives, like those that infest and surround GOARCH, constantly decry nationalism and fascism, unless it is in Ukraine. Neo-Nazis and ultranationalist murderers are just fine there, as long as they inconvenience Russia while slaughtering Ukrainian civilians with U.S.-provided weapons. What kind of Orthodox Faith is this that puts itself at the service of murder and oppression? 

There is an ongoing peace process to end the war, and there have been two agreements, both of which the Kiev Government has refused to follow. At the encouragement of the U.S., by the way. The United States and the Patriarch of Constantinople, through their actions, have contributed to the horror of this conflict. It is time to stop interfering and allow the sides to settle their differences in a peaceful manner.  Blessed are the peacemakers, after all.

For additional takes on the Archbishop’s words at the March for Life, see these links:

They Just Can’t Help Themselves, Can They?

Parsing the Archbishop’s Words


Nicholas – member of the Western Rite Vicariate, a part of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America

Parsing the Archbishop’s Words

Abp. Elpidophoros, the controversial primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, spoke and prayed at the March for Life in D.C. on January 21, 2022. His short comments reiterated the Church’s unequivocal dogma regarding the sacredness of human life. Given the setting, and given the moral Tradition of the Church, he could not have done otherwise. But one sentence from his comments stood out amongst the others. You might call it the proverbial “snake in the grass”. That is the innocent-sounding statement that appears to support the so-called right of expectant mothers to choose to snuff out the human life growing in their wombs. People today are pretty sensitive to remarks like it.

Let’s make an attempt to parse the venerable archbishop’s comments. (You can find them in their entirety under my own here.)

“We affirm the gift of sanctity of life – all life, born and unborn.” In the Bible we see the inverse etched in stone; i.e., the general commandment in Exodus 20 where God prohibits murder. Thou shalt not kill. If murder is forbidden by God, then surely life bears sanctity. It may sound like an extrapolation here, but Christ himself said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me.” (Mt. 19:14) To paraphrase, our Lord is saying that we should allow children to have life and fellowship with God. Christ did not go on record regarding the specific issue of abortion.

The Church which is Christ’s body has always condemned the infanticide of abortion. Fr. John Peck has made a list of the concise statements of the early Church Fathers in this regard. Each of these sources, saints, and canons listed has clearly condemned abortion: Letter to Diognetus, Didache, Letter of Barnabas, St. Clement, St. Hippolytus, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Basil, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. John Chrysostom, Canon XCI, Canon II, Canon XXI. So far in his comments, it would seem that Abp. Elpidophoros is performing the obvious duty of a bishop to guard the Faith handed down by his predecessors.

He goes on “…We confess that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.” Some Orthodox Fathers go a step further and opine that we are surely made in God’s image, but that we must strive in our individual podvig to attain likeness unto him. Okay, let’s not wander too far into the weeds. Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” I’ll take that at face value.

Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man. God incarnate. Some Western theologians have gone so far as to describe the crucifixion of Christ as deicide. At the moment of decision, the Jewish crowd eagerly exonerated Pontius Pilate by shouting, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children.” (Mt. 27:25) You can’t help but shudder when you recall that their action seemed to invite the future antisemitic persecutions that pepper the history books.

If we apply this notion of deicide further, it’s worth considering that to take the life of a baby or an adult made so like unto God is to commit an act tantamount to deicide. If one kills a man, one is murdering a being created so much like God that he is perilously close to killing God himself. That is just my theological musing, but it makes me wonder. The Orthodox stance is that Christ’s human nature was indeed killed on Golgotha, but that his divinity remained intact. It was that divinity that raised his body to glorious resurrected life on the third day. Thanks be to God.

Let’s get back to the archbishop’s comments. “We are all responsible for the well-being of children. We are their “keepers,” and “cannot shirk from (sic) our accountability for their welfare.” That word “keepers” reminds one of the words of Cain when he inadvertently suggested that he was his brother’s keeper. Cain, let us remember, is Eve’s son.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. (Gen. 4:9-12)

We can debate whether Cain was supposed to be Abel’s keeper, but he was certainly not supposed to murder him. Regardless, both of the brothers were adults, so their responsibility toward each other certainly didn’t rise to the level of a mother’s responsibility for her baby.

“Autonomy” comes from the root that means literally “self law”, or “having its own laws”. Oftentimes we hear that the Holy Theotokos and Virgin Mary answered in the affirmative when the Archangel Gabriel told her that she would conceive the Christ-child. “Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) Frankly, when Gabriel says, “…thou shalt…and shalt…and thou shalt…” it sounds awfully much like fiat and very little like an offer. Basically Gabriel is telling Mary how things are going to go down. But Mary, being a devout young virgin given to prayer and full of grace, and in seamless alignment with the will of God, naturally responds with undoubting eagerness. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) Mary indicates her humble obedience to the God whom she adores with all her heart. There is no indication of a need for Mary to consider the offer and weigh her options. She does not hesitate. The conversation flows effortlessly from Gabriel’s pronouncement to Mary’s acceptance. It doesn’t seem to me to be a statement where Mary exerts her autonomy by answering in the affirmative, but rather more like a spontaneous release of her utter devotion.

The one archetypal woman that had had the sort of autonomy or “self law” that the archbishop may have been hinting at was Eve, Cain and Abel’s mother. The original woman. She was the one who listened to the siren call of the serpent in the garden, reasoned to herself, and partook of the fruit that was promised to make her like a god. Theosis in one bite! No need for the striving for holiness through penitence and askesis. With that one bite came the ancestral sin that became the proclivity of all flesh. However, Mary, the second Eve, overcame the curse brought on by the first Eve’s disobedience in her innocent response, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” Cain could have benefitted from such humility and avoided the curse of wandering around like a homeless man.

The radical feminism that pursues unfettered autonomy for women has made a fatal mistake. In the 1970s they burned their bras and whined about the inconvenience of their own sexuality. They complained that they were trapped in a body that was too awkward to accept. They considered it a form of servitude to remain virgins until they married, and then to bear and raise children and keep a household. The sexual revolution unlocked the ancient chastity belt that used to prevent women from having unwarranted coitus and unwanted babies. “Recreational sex” became all the rage. The birth-control pill that came on the market in 1960 allowed “uninhibited” women to have sexual intercourse without the natural consequence of their actions. Droves of them pursued their dreams and became career women, often while married yet childless. Some of the barren ones came to themselves after menopause, but it was too late for them to have children, so they wept at the opportunity now and forever lost.

Contraceptives of The Pill’s caliber of effectiveness, and some other less-effective methods, didn’t prevent all pregnancies, of course. Untold millions of children have been conceived despite their parents’ prophylactics and too many of them have been subject to “dilation and extraction”. Women who claim an autonomy so thorough-going that they consider themselves to be the arbiters of their baby’s fate while in the womb can turn themselves into quiet killers. And, their doctors and nurses into guilty accomplices. The “sperm donor” men who nervously coax their now-pregnant women to have an abortion exhibit a callous irresponsibility. They shirk or shrink from their duty as fathers and share in the execution of the heinous plot. It is not just the expectant mother who is drawn into sin.

Orthodox teachers often state that God has created us with free will. We have choices. For example, Joshua challenged the Israelites at Shechem, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Joshua 24:15) There are few things that should be of greater cause for fear and trepidation as that doctrine of free will since it carries with it such grave consequences if the moral choices we make are the wrong ones. People who have no knowledge of the Scriptures or Tradition easily succumb to gross immorality. Even those who have that knowledge are prone to succumb.

Skip ahead to the New Testament. The primitive Galatian parish seemed to be anxious to return to the bondage of the circumcision even though Christ had set them free from the observation of the Jewish ordinances. Our liberty as Christians is a fragile thing, indeed, and the Galatians seemed to prove it. The never-ending pandemic restrictions have reminded us of that, too. St. Paul exhorts us, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Galatians 5:13,14)

Certainly, a young pregnant woman can grasp at her autonomy to determine the fate of her child, but God help her if she makes the wrong choice! Is her baby not her closest neighbor? Flesh of her flesh and bone of her bone? Countless women have later rent their hearts in grief over the loss of their children at their own hands. That is a remorse that is never fully overcome, even once the sin is forgiven. The early Church’s penalty for committing the grave sin of abortion or infanticide was not the death penalty. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Canon XXI actually reduces the prior and stricter penance for the act of abortion to ten years of excommunication. A decade of separation from the life-giving body and blood of our Lord is still a long time. The archbishop was not wise to even utter the few words that, given the moral authority of his high office, merely suggested the freedom of a woman to choose such a fateful option – one that used to come with such an onerous penance.

“She freely chose to bring Him into the world, and God respected her freedom. ” What is the archbishop trying to say here? That Mary could have made the opposite choice to not allow the Holy Spirit to hover over her, and God would have respected that freedom, too, for the sake of her purported autonomy? Is he suggesting that either choice was available to Mary and either choice would have been as valid as the other? Might she have answered Gabriel and said, “Let me sleep on it. I’ll get back to you when I’ve made my decision.” Is that it? Is the archbishop implying that women’s autonomy derives from Mary’s free response and therefore they are free to choose to have an abortion? Will God respect that? The bishop is fudging. I wish he would clarify what he said and dispel all doubt.

The moral relativism that the archbishop’s words imply is certainly not in sync with the teachings of the Church. The choice that Mary made, if we insist that it was indeed a choice, she made while Gabriel was speaking in the future tense. The Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive. Pregnant women, by contrast, are already with child, so the choice that the archbishop implies that they make after the fact of conception to exert their autonomy is not one that can be compared to the timing of Mary’s choice. The logic doesn’t pass muster. To sacrifice an unborn child on the altar of radical feminism is an abomination, and subtle arguments to make an impossible comparison between the Virgin Mary’s so-called choice with the choice of a woman who aborts the child in her womb is an insult to our intelligence. Worse, it smacks of blasphemy.

That begs the question: Is the archbishop truly Orthodox? Or is Abp. Elpidophoros so enthralled by the secular humanist agenda that he felt it necessary to use such a momentous occasion to betray the Faith and give a sup to the zeitgeist? This will sound sarcastic, but after witnessing the controversial actions that he took last year, we must admit that at least the archbishop has been consistent.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Today, we come together in solidarity with our Brother Bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.

We affirm the gift and sanctity of life – all life, born and unborn. As Christians we confess that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.  Every life is worthy of our prayer and our protection, whether in the womb, or in the world. We are all responsible for the well-being of children. We are their “keepers,” and cannot shirk from our accountability for their welfare.

At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women.  It is they who bring forth life into the world.  By His incarnation, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ assumed human nature, through His conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. She freely chose to bring Him into the world, and God respected her freedom. We can and must make the case for life, both born and unborn, by our own example of unconditional love.

We march not for coercion.

We march with compassion,

With empathy,

With love.

And with our arms extended to embrace all.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Lord, You have granted us the opportunity to offer these common prayers in unison and have promised that when two or three gather in Your name, You are there also. Fulfill now, O Lord, who was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit, the petitions of Your servants. Remember, Lord, the people here present and those who are absent with good cause. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of Your mercy. Remember, O God, all those whom we are not able to commemorate by forgetfulness or because of their multitude since You know the name and age of each, even from their mother’s womb. For You, Lord, are the helper of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, the savior of the afflicted, the haven of the voyager, and the physician of the sick, the protector of the voiceless. Be all things to all, You who know all people, their requests, their households, and their needs. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into being, sealing each person with love and sanctity. May we come to the light of Your Truth and glorify You, the Giver of Life, together with Your Father, and Your All-Holy and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.