The Holy Fire
Many ecumenists do not hesitate to justify their apostasy by making the following statement: “If we are heretics and graceless, the Holy Fire would not come down in Jerusalem during Holy Week”. This argument is untrue to say the least for the following reasons.
Firstly, it has always been an accepted truth in the Orthodox Faith that holy things always will remain holy whether they are in the hands of the Orthodox or they are in the hands of unbelievers. We know this from the relics of the Saints which worked miracles continuously, no matter who possessed them. The same can be said for the holy objects which the Saints have either worn or sanctified with the shedding of their blood. Again, the same can be said for the holy places which our Lord and the Saints have sanctified with their presence or because of the feats of virtue which they accomplished at those sights.
The Holy Fire, we therefore conclude, does not come down because of the Patriarch of Jerusalem; it comes down in spite of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. Why? Simply stated, the Lord’s sepulchre is the holiest shrine in Christendom. The heresy of any patriarch, the idolatry of any patriarch or the pollution of any patriarch, is not in any way going to destroy the sanctity of the Holy Sepulchre where our Lord accomplished the salvation of mankind. So whether the Patriarch of Jerusalem (as we have seen in recent years) is an ecumenist or a Mason or an fornicator, the holy places are always going to remain holy. The clear example of their holiness is the unique occurrence of the Holy Fire.
Secondly, if the Holy Fire comes down because of the holiness or the orthodoxy of the patriarch, this is a conclusion which is contrary to logic and sound teaching. As we said above, the Patriarchs of Jerusalem have proven to the world that they are not holy but rather unholy. This may explain why the Holy Fire at various years does not come down first to the patriarch, but rather lights the candles of those who are outside the kavouklion. This also explains why, to certain patriarchs who were secretly Masons, God did not permit the Holy Fire to come at all.
When we say the absence of holiness we are speaking of the patriarchate itself and its Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher which has fostered the corruption of this Church since the 1500’s. Ever since the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulcher was instituted to guarantee the ethnic leadership of only the Greeks there has never been a Patriarch of Jerusalem who has been canonized as a saint. Yet the Holy Fire comes on its appointed day to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in spite of the patriarch.
The last point which should be noted is that the Holy Fire is a miracle that is unique to Orthodoxy and is a comfort and consolation to all the Orthodox all over the world. We who are Orthodox, can truly boast in our consolation of the Holy Fire. When it descends, the Orthodox are gladdened and rejoice, whether they are the true Orthodox or whether they are the so-called “Orthodox” of the ecumenist variety. At the same time the heretics, the Jews, the Moslems, and all other unbelieving religions are ashamed of the reality of this miracle. They cannot explain why God permits this to happen only on Great Saturday according to the Orthodox Calendar. They can not rationalize or reconcile this with their own religion and are thusly shamed.
By Archbishop Gregory, Dormition Skete, Buena Vista, Colorado.
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
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