Pseudo-Bishops at the End of Time
Excerpts from Against A False Union by Alexander Kalomiros, published 1967:
It is imperative that Christians realize that the Church has a sacramental and not an administrative foundation; then they will not suffer that which has happened to the Westerners who followed the Pope in his errors because they thought that if they did not follow him, they would automatically be outside the Church.
Today the various patriarchates and archdioceses undergo great pressures from political powers which seek to direct the Orthodox according to their own interests...
The Orthodox people must become conscious of the fact that they owe no obedience to a bishop, no matter how high a title he holds, when that bishop ceases being Orthodox and openly follows heretics with pretenses of union "on equal terms." On the contrary, they are obligated to depart from him and confess their Faith ... The bishop is a consecrated person, and even if he is openly sinful, respect and honor is due him until synodically censured. But if he becomes openly heretical or is in communion with heretics, the the Christians should not await any synodal decision, but should draw away from him immediately.
XXX. At The End Of Time
The world and the devil are leading the Church to such frightening trials that the day might come when all the bishops of the land will enter into communion with the heretics. What will the faithful do then? What will the few do who have the heroism not to follow the masses, not to follow their kin, their neighbors, and their fellow citizens?
All the faithful will have to understand that the Church is not there where it appears to be. Liturgies will continue to be performed and the churches will be filled with people, but the Church will have no relation with those churches or those clergy and those faithful. The Church is where the truth is. The faithful are those who continue the unbroken Tradition of Orthodoxy, that work of the Holy Spirit. The real priests are those who think, live, and teach as the Fathers and the Saints of the Church did, or at least don't reject them in their teaching. Where that continuity of thought and life does not exist, it is a deception to speak of the Church, even if all the outward marks speak of it.
There will always be found a canonical priest, ordained by a bishop, who will follow the Tradition. Around such priests will gather the small groups of the faithful who will remain until the last days. Each one of these small groups will be a local catholic Church of God. The faithful will find in them the entire fullness of the grace of God. They will have no need of administrative or other ties, for the communion that will exist among them will be the most perfect there can be. It will be the communion in the Body and Blood of Christ, communion in the Holy Spirit. The golden links of the unalterable Tradition will connect those Churches among themselves as well as with Churches of the past. with the Church triumphant of heaven. In these small groups the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church will be preserved intact...
It is possible, then, in the last days when the various churches and religions will have been united and will appear as a single whole, that the genuine Orthodox Church will appear disintegrated, fragmented into small, scattered, sparse parishes...
In the last days all will claim to be Orthodox Christians, and that Orthodoxy is as they understand it to be. But in spite of all this, those who have a pure heart and a mind enlightened by divine grace will recognize the Orthodox Church despite the apparent divisions and utter lack of external splendor. They will gather around the true priests, and they will become the pillars of the Church. Let the people of the world do whatever they will. Let there be ecumenical conferences; let the churches be united; let Christianity be adulterated; let the Tradition and life be changed; let the religions be united. The Church of Christ will remain unaltered, as St. John Chrysostom says, because if even one of her pillars remains standing, the Church will not fail. "Nothing is stronger than the Church. She is higher than the heavens and broader than the earth. She never grows old; she always flourishes.
A pillar of the Church is every true believer who adheres to the Tradition of the Fathers in spite of all the frightful currents of the world which attempt to pull it away. Such pillars will exist until the end of the world, whatever might happen. Besides, when these things come to pass, the coming of the Lord will not be far off. That state of affairs will be the most fearful sign that His coming is approaching. Precisely then will the end come.