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  • DcnJosephSuaiden 6:35 am on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply  


  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 4:37 am on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Ok, it’s official I guess 

    So here we go


  • DcnJosephSuaiden 4:06 am on December 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    everything in life is planning now.

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 11:42 pm on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Were there Bishops in the West Left After the Schism? 

    First: welcome to new visitors! Please feel free, whether Orthodox or not, to comment here on our site and we’ll do our best to answer. If there are problems signing up, let me know!

    Kenneth writes: “Tough questions for the Orthodox: If all the (Catholic) bishops of Rome became non bishops, after the 1054 Schism, then as the Orthodox are supposed to love everyone in all nations, who were the “true Orthodox bishops” appointed in the 1,000 years after the split? Give is the list of the “true apostolic bishops” in all those vast countries over which the bishop of Rome held jurisdiction before the split, up until this present day.”

    Well, that’s actually impossible– for a while. During the period between 1040 and 1080, a faction formed loyal to a mad cleric named Hildebrand of Savona, who became Pope of Rome (arguably illegally) and had amassed factions and military camps loyal to him. Through a serious of bloody campaigns, true Bishops that tried to stop him along with married clergy and loyal monastics (one of the Bishops protesting wrote a letter warning of the evils being done at the time; it is translated here on this site) were removed by force and replaced with loyalists to the Hildebrandian faction.

    So awful was the change being implemented that a council was held at Brixen to depose Hildebrand and install another Pope, Clement III, who actually did attempt to negotiate peace with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, Hildebrand’s successor Urban was able to convince the Byzantine Emperor of the ability to gather troops for a crusade against Islam. The faction which did in fact have an Orthodox understanding of secular authority and respect for the Church’s tradition was eventually killed off, the Hildebrandian faction became the Roman “Catholic Church” and the entire period was then euphemized as the “Investiture Controversy.” By using this period as a guide you can in fact see when each apostolic lineage in the West dies off. After this period, Roman and Orthodox missionizing in each other’s regions were historically treated with hostility.

    Now, since then, there were two failed attempts to unite heretical Rome with the Orthodox (1274 and 1453,) after which the Roman religion sought subjugation through the Uniate model– unite with politically desperate groups and let them keep their Orthodox practices, while in effect adopting Roman beliefs. Outside of this, certain mission areas led to overlap and confusion, such as the Spanish (Roman) and Russian missions on the West coast of the United States in the 18th century. Meanwhile, the Orthodox worked to bring the Uniates back to the true faith, and this led to one of the largest reconversions to Orthodoxy at the start of the 20th century, with the defection of St. Alexis Toth (and subsequently thousands of Uniates) to the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Bishop St. Tikhon of Moscow, then bishop of North America.

    Thus we can say without irony that there were NO Orthodox Bishops in the West from the completion of the Hildebrandian program of Urban II until the establishment of missions in Western territories. You find a history of interesting Orthodox missionaries such as St Tryphon of Pechenga, but until the 20th century there were no real established hierarchies outside Orthodox countries, and until then– even now– such missionary work is responded to with sectarian violence.

    I invite you to learn more about the fall of Rome with my video, “Who invented the Roman Catholic Church?” in the sidebar.

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 8:41 pm on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Apologia of the Married Clergy (a Real Letter from the XI Century) by Ulrich, Bishop of Imola 

    translated by Fr Atanasio Giorgi


    We know very few things concerning the author of this letter-apology. Ulrich was bishop of Imola (near Ravenna, Italy) from 1053 to 1074, year of his death. In AD 1059 the bishop wrote this letter to Pope Nicholas II, in order to defend his married clergy from the new pro-celibate reforms in the breast of the Roman Church. The epistle’s style is redundant and rethoric, typical of some Patristics. In the letter many public people are called to remembrance but without their name, perhaps to not scandalize the Pope, or maybe for they were already well known to the corrispondent.



    Me, Ulrich, bishop by name, son in love but servant in fear, to the guardian of the Roman See.

    As I had made no sense of the measure, O Father and Lord, in your decrees on the continence of clerics, which had recently come to me, fear and sadness troubled me in a single feeling. Fear, since it is written: “the opinion of those who command, both right and wrong, must be respected” (St. Gregory the Great, Homily in Evang., II 26,6). In fact, I was worried for those who find it difficult to stick to the Scriptures, because they, who barely obey a just prescription, once they have transgressed the unjust – an oppressive, indeed intolerable disposition of their pastor – would no longer feel bound to the commandments. I was sad and in pain as I thought how much the members needed their head, invalidated by such a large body.

    What is more serious, what is more worthy of the compassion of the whole Church than you– bishop of the highest See, which is called to herd everyone– having lost the sense of discretion? And not just from this you have deviated, when you wanted to force the clerics to abandon the marriage with a certain violence, while you should have only exhorted them. Is it not, in the judgment of all the masters of the Faith, violence that compels us to obey arbitrary decisions, taken against the rule of thegospel and the teaching of the Holy Spirit? Since there are plenty of examples of the Old and New Testaments in favor of moderation, you know, after all, and I beg your paternity of not bothering to have anyone mentioned in these pages.

    The Lord has certainly instituted the marriage of priests in Jewish law; and that he later forbade it is not written anywhere; indeed, he says the same thing in the Gospel: “There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven: not all are capable of this: whoever is capable of these things is capable of it.” (Mt 19,11-12). For this, the Apostle (Paul) says: “I do not give the Lord a command of the Lord, but a council.” (ICor 7.25).

    He was aware, in accordance with the aforementioned word of the Lord, that not everyone would live up to that ideal and foretold that many of his zealots, eager to please not to God but to men with a false image of continence, would have committed more serious things: they would have violated the wives of the others and would not have escaped from the intercourse with the males or the beasts. To prevent the contagion of this disease from becoming a devastating pestilence of the whole Church, (St. Paul) said: “to avoid debauchery every man has a wife.” (ICor 7.2) that this concerns exclusively the laity is a lie of the hypocrites present in every degree of the priesthood (2) who instead do not hesitate to abuse the wives of others and fully, we say crying, degrade in the aforementioned wickedness.

    They certainly did not rightly interpret the Scripture, whose breast, pressed too hard, drank blood instead of milk. In fact, that apostolic saying, “everyone has a wife”, does not allow exception, except for those who make a vow of continence and those who decide in the Lord to remain in virginity. (…)

    In order that you know with certainty that it should not be absolutely forced who did not make this vow, listen to what the Apostle says to Timothy: “the Bishop must be irreprehensible, the husband of only one wife” (I Tim. ). And, so that someone did not refer this sentence only to the Church (3), he added: “But if someone does not know how to govern his own family, how will he take care of the Church of God?” (I Tim 3,2).

    Besides, I know that the decrees of Pope Sylvester (4) have taught you enough that the wife must be blessed by the Church. Finally, the author of the canon law, agreeing with the decrees of the Holy Scriptures, rightly says: “The cleric is chaste or bound with certainty to a single marriage” (Apostolic canon VI).

    It is clear from all these texts that the bishop and the deacon are condemnable if they share among many women. If instead they cast out only the legitimate ones with the pretext of religion, without any difference in rank, they are thus condemned by canon law (canon V):

    “No one, bishop or priest, in any case drive his own wife under the pretext of faith, if he then goes away, he is excommunicated, and if he perseveres, he is deposed.”

    (…) Here the Bishop Ulrich remembers the episode of the martyr Pafmutius who rose up at the Council of Nicaea (325) defending the uxorìa from the bishops who wanted to impose celibacy. The episode is reported by Cassiodorus in the Tripartite Ecclesiastical History in chapter XIV.


    There are indeed supporters of celibacy, whose recklessness makes me laugh and their ignorance [makes me] cry, which invoke the authority of St. Gregory (the Great) in their favor. In fact, they ignore the fact that the dangerous decree containing this heresy promulgated by Saint Gregory was then retracted by himself with adequate fruit of penance.

    One day, in fact, having commanded that fishes be brought from his nursery, he percieved himself delivering more than six thousand heads of children. He groaned then, struck by intimate repentance and confessing that the cause of so much slaughter had been his decree on abstinence, and, as I said, he made adequate penance, adding to the apostolic saying “better to marry than to burn” (I Cor.7 , 9) its own maxim: “it is better to marry than to offer the occasion of death”. (5)

    So cease, Your Holiness, to oblige those who you should only persuade, so that you may not be found, God forbid, an enemy of both the Old and the New Testament, because of a law invented by you.

    Says St. Augustine to Donatus: “We fear only that your justice believes that it should punish by not considering the Christian meekness but the enormity of the sins, we beg you not to do it in the name of Christ, for sins must be repressed so that those who have repented of to have sinned. “(6) (…)

    Jerome says: “this can also concern those virgins who boast of modesty and who with impertinent face show off chastity, having other in mind, they do not know the definition given by the Apostle” saint of body and spirit “. in fact, the continence of the body to a corrupt soul, which does not possess the other virtues described by the prophet? ” (7)

    (…) And indeed, what can be more foolishly in favor of men and more subject to the divine curse on the fact that some bishops and archdeacons, so deeply plunged in lust, to appreciate adultery, incest … and shame! the very strange intercourse with the males, they say that the chaste marriages of clerics are repugnant and moved not by the desire for true justice but by the disdain of the false one, to command them as servants and force them to abstain, instead of praying them as companions and urge them to contain themselves.

    In fact, they accompany this advice to this turpine: “it is better to associate with many women in secret, rather than just one before everyone.” This certainly would not say if they came from or were on the side of Him who said: “Woe to you, Pharisees, who do all these things to be looked upon by men” (Mt 23, 5.13). Reverse men, who would have us prefer to be blushing sinners before the One to whom all things are clear and manifest, rather than being men before men.

    Therefore, although for their wickedness they do not deserve to be treated according to clemency, nevertheless we, mindful of the divine philanthropy and driven by intimate charity, we offer him the norm of the law that never divorces itself from the benevolence. We have been told by some people that some of these are going to tear and scourge the flock of the Lord without reason, to the point of arrogance they have come. I would not hesitate to define them as the Apostle said to Timothy: “in the end times some will apostatize by faith, paying attention to lame spirits and diabolical doctrines, men who will propose falsehoods for hypocrisy, cauterized by their conscience, and forbid to marry.” (I Tim 4,1-3).

    This is, if you look carefully, the host of the diffusers of a bad fruit, of this whole party of madness, which causes clerics, forced by the fury of the Pharisees to abandon, God forbid, their own legitimate wives, they are made fornicators and adulterers and accomplices very turbulent of other perversities of these same who blind, lead other blind, and plot this heresy inside the Church of God.

    Since none of those who know you, our Apostolic Lord, ignore that if I had valued with clarity of your habitual discernment as a great pestilence would be derived from your decision, that you would never succumb to suggestions so perverse, and we ask you with loyalty of due submission to act to the removal of such a great scandal from the Church of God and to eradicate the Pharisaic doctrine from the Godfold, so that not only in the flower of virginity, but also in the conjunction of marriage, each will see with purity Our Lord, who lives and reigns with God the Father and the Holy Spirit unto ages of ages. Amen.



    1) Moderation. Discretio in latin. [“Discretion” works as well here, I believe– DJS]

    2) Ulrich of Imola writes about well known people, for he gives no names. Probably, the reflection of bestiality and homosexualism is a reference to cardinal Peter Damian, well known for these sins.

    3) It was common to celibacy’s defenders to claim that St. Paul’s writings were allegorical.

    4) Acts of the Synod of Pope Sylvester, Canon VII, collected by St. Isidore of Seville states: “be the priest married to a single woman with the blessing of the Church”.

    5) This story is not present in the official catholic biographies of st. Gregory Dialogist. Seems he promulgated a degree against the marriage of priests, and he saw like a vision of the babies dead for the abortions of the priests’ wifes. Seeing that, st. Gregory decided to break his own law and to restablish the married priesthood.

    6) St. Augustine of Hippo, letter to Donatus, I, 10.

    7) St. Jerome, Comm. in Ier. 1,II, cap. 32

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 4:49 am on December 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    On the Future of the Site, the Videos and More of Your Questions (12/27 NS) 

    Not sure why but you have to click to Youtube right now, so we don’t control when people can see it outside YT. We’re looking at the issue

    EDIT: fixed

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 9:17 pm on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    On Unbaptized Infants 

    Hans asks: Who was the Father (or Fathers) who wrote on the fate of infants who died before baptism (mentioned in the podcast…?) Thanks a lot.

    Hieromonk Enoch: St. Gregory Nazianzen mentions the subject in Oration 40, sec. 23. St. Ambrose of Milan mentions it in “On Abraham” Book II, ch. 11, sec. 84. And the Lenten Triodion reading for Meatfare Saturday addresses it as well.

  • DcnJosephSuaiden 7:00 pm on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    This particular theme is handy, because it allows me to post things live like on a social… while not being on a social

  • Dcn Joseph Suaiden 4:29 am on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Dreading figuring out how to connect this and the personal site to Twitter again

    edit: maybe I shouldn’t

  • DcnJosephSuaiden 4:02 am on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Hello again, world! 

    It took me a bit, but I resolved to get out of Big Social as much as humanly possible. Insofar as I escaped Google, the Facebook network has proven a tad more difficult from which to extricate myself– family members are on it, friends put me in groups, I create groups, more people are on them and so on. Facebook does a fantastic job of basically dragging you into its community, whether you want to be there or not. But here’s what Imma do: I want to see if I can give you a few logical reasons to break free of Facebook as well as some interesting history that might change the way you see life when you log in.

    1. Facebook literally makes its money off your existence. Yes, you read that correctly. Your memes and shared kitty videos are worthless to Facebook. What they want are the things you don’t really notice or care about. They want to know more than what you are buying. They want to know where you are. They want to know who your family are. They want to know all about social and demographic factors. But why? There’s a funny reason for that. See, the more they know about what you would consider your passive life, the more they can control about your active life. And it’s not as simple as subtly switching you to Wesson from the leading brand. We’re talking about political manipulation, social manipulation, giving a network the power to fool you into thinking that your loved ones are doing something so that you do it, which is then weaponized to sell your loved ones on the idea because you are. In short, Facebook doesn’t make money advertising to you. It makes money controlling you.

    2. Facebook makes its money literally by being a poor repackaging of the internet for consumers. A fun fact is that GeoCities (for those who remember it) was a massive group of thousands of individual websites that collapsed through poor Yahoo! policy. The failure led users to bail on GeoCities, while many analysts realized that Yahoo! could have had a genuine and obvious competitor to the young social network. Everything you could get on Facebook before Facebook, you could do with a website, from making quick posts to putting up memes that would make it to your friends’ feeds or emails, creating and maintaining groups and even doing messaging (more on that shortly.) In short, by signing up to Facebook, users traded away the autonomy of their own message for a conformed and sterilized version of the Internet under the control of Facebook, Inc. And now, we’re almost a generation into the real internet being subsumed into the property of a few social media companies– the largest being Facebook and Google. But there’s still a choice, so I’m retaining that option!

    3. Deplatforming is real. One of the biggest differences between having your own online presence and having someone else own your online presence is accountability. For the most part, on blogging platforms, unless you are a full-on Nazi chances are that you will not be bothered, and even if you are, you can usually easily make a copy of your data for migration if you’re that much of a headache to a webserver. But on social, it’s not the case. Because of “swarming” (where likeminded boneheads will work in unison to get someone removed from the social media platform, often without cause) innocent people can literally have years of their online presence eradicated. (I guess I was lucky an online troll literally caused my deplatforming in 2000; it made me keenly aware of how easily companies will throw users under the bus.) People I know, gentle souls who I couldn’t imagine stomping on a cockroach, booted off Facebook for getting on a swarm’s bad side. And this isn’t a “left” or “right” wing thing. Tick off the wrong snowflakes and your days are numbered. Get on a Social Network’s bad side and your online presence can be wiped off the map.

    4. Facebook causes depression. Studies now show that depression and social media use, particularly Facebook, are linked. Isn’t that the most ironic part? You go on social media thinking that you are doing it to “stay in touch” and it leads to greater feelings of isolation and alienation than if you had skipped it altogether!

    5. You don’t need Messenger or Whatsapp, which are literally being used for reason #1, when there are better options. One of the funniest things about Google’s — and now Facebook’s– Messenger app was that it was based on a public messaging system known as XMPP. There are hundreds of XMPP servers all over the world and literally dozens of messaging apps based on XMPP for all operating systems and phone types. Anyone can start a XMPP account (or even host their own server for privacy.) The messaging works exactly the same way. All Facebook did was change the protocol and make it private to force you to use it “because everyone else is on”. Think it through. They made virtually public technology that millions were already using (even AOL chat, if I recall correctly, was XMPP-based at one point) into a private technology that users were then convinced they needed from Facebook. Remember Matthew Lesko, the guy who sold books about millions in free government money? Guess where he got that information? Yep– public resources. He made millions off stuff that was available for free. Facebook is doing that right now with XMPP tech that they literally added video chat to (there’s lots of ways to video chat, I know you’re smarter than that.)

    So for those reasons, I’m not only leaving Facebook regularly (I won’t be feeding them my data anymore, but will use my groups to feed back into my websites) but I invite you to do the same. Start a blog here on WordPress. Go to NeoCities and bring back your old fashioned website. Reach out to me on Messenger and I’ll give you my XMPP handle so you can chat with me when you need to (I have a great messenger on my phone– also, my phone has a phone number too for even better voice chat). Goodbye, cruel Facebook… and hello again, world!

    • DcnJosephSuaiden 7:59 am on December 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Diaconissa asks: “Meh, haven’t you said this before?”

      Yes… but I needed the tools.

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