Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia

ABOUT US

The Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia is a follower of the ancient traditions of the Goths, the Goth states on the territory of modern Poland and Ukraine, the Orthodox Goth Metropolis, the heritage of the Polish and Ukrainian nobility of the “Goth and Sarmatian genus,” Crimean Christians who were forcibly evicted by the Russian Empress Catherine II from the Crimea to the Azov steppes in the 18th century. The Order preserves the continuity of Goth traditions and unites the descendants of ancient noble families of various nationalities of the ancient Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus) and the Crimean Khanate, as well as individual representatives of other nations who share our worldview and desire to achieve a common goal. The Polish kings from the Swedish Vasa dynasty, namely: Sigismund III (1587-1632), Władysław IV (1632-1648), Jan II Casimir (1648-1668) had the hereditary title: By the grace of God, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russian, Prussian, Mazovian, Zhmud, Infland, Smolensk, Siversk, and Chernihiv, as well as the hereditary king of the Swedes, Goths, and Venedians. That is, the “Goth” identity is present in the titles of some kings of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. One of the popular theories about the origin of the Polish Piast royal dynasty is gothic roots.

Therefore, the Gothic foundation of our order organically fits into the “Sarmatian-Gothic” narrative of the Polish and Ukrainian nobility traditions.

In the 15th century, the Polish historian Jan Dlugosz was the first to write about the phenomenon of Sarmatism in Poland, which was later confirmed in the works of other historians - in particular, the “Treatise on Two Sarmatias” by Matwij Michowski, Martyn Belski, Martin Kromer and others. The nobles who were preoccupied with the fashionable in 15th-century Europe search for historical roots believed that they were descendants of the Goths and Sarmats, tribes who lived in the south of modern Ukraine.

Sarmatism influenced nobility lifestyle and clothing. At first it was an idealistic movement that glorified religiosity (regardless of denomination), honesty, national pride, courage, equality and love of freedom. Just the features that are characteristic of the Polish and Ukrainian nobility.

The Goths and Sarmats had certain examples and ideals of a man, citizen and king. The main features that every Goth and Sarmat must possess have been formed. Such traits were: love of freedom, sincerity, courage, hospitality, good-naturedness, individuality, independence. The king should think not about his own benefit, but about the welfare of the country. Above all, he must protect the freedom of the nobility, be fair and generous towards it. According to the Sarmats, the model kings were Boleslav the Brave, Casimir the Just, Casimir the Great, and Jan III Sobeski.

The Order has an “ecumenical” character, that is, it is open to the faithful of all Christian churches. The order is not knightly and does not confer titles, other than the general title of archon or archontess, which has a long history rooted in the Byzantine period of the life of the Goth Church.

Archon (old Greek ἄρχων from old Greek ἄρχη, which means power, word for word translation is “lord”, “leader”) - the highest official in many city-states of Ancient Greece.

In ancient Athens, they were elected from 1068 BC., from the time when the tsarist power was abolished. Initially, three archons were elected termless (for life), later for 10 years and from the 7th century BC. for 1 year only. From 582 BC. the number of archons was increased to nine.

According to researchers, the positions of archons originate from the gradual separation from the king of certain aspects of his power:

• the archon-polemarch received military power;

• archon-eponym, received judicial-administrative power, after him the year was named;

• Archon Basileus was a priest.

Athenian archons were appointed since the time of Solon from the highest property class, since the time of Cleisthenes they were appointed by lot, and since Aristides – from all citizens. Former archons were part of the Areopagus. The title of archon was later used only as an honorific until it disappeared in the 5th century BC.

During the Byzantine era, the archonship turned into the title of the ruler of individual states or territories, as well as court officials.

After the fall of Constantinople (1453), the honorary title of “archon” was given by the Patriarch of Constantinople, and in the 21st century it was given also in the Bulgarian Church, as a recognition of merit before the Orthodox Church.

Our Order, by granting the honorary title of Archon of the Great House of Gothia, emphasizes the equality of all noble members of the Order among themselves, as it was accepted among the nobility of the Commonwealth of Nations before.

The main Order goals and objectives are to preserve the traditions and heritage of the Crimean and Azov Greeks and Urum Christians, who are direct descendants of the Goths. The first step on this path is the liberation of the Crimea and the Azov sea region, which is a historical region where the Goths and other peoples who belonged to the Goth Church lived for centuries, from Russian occupation. All-round support of the independent Ukrainian state, which, together with the present day Republic of Poland, is the heir of the Commonwealth of Many Peoples, to whose ethnogenesis joined the Goths and other peoples of historical Goth. Our Order has the honor of protecting and defending Ukraine and Poland since the Goths don’t exist nowadays as a separate nation or ethnos, but dissolved among other ancient peoples, who today make up the present day Ukrainian and Polish nations. The next goal of the Order is to support the development of the idea of ​​the Intermarie. Intermarie is the concept of a partner states block from the Baltic to the Black and the Adriatic seas, as well as to support the idea of modern “Prometheusism”, which should inherit the movement of diaspora political organizations of the peoples of the former Russian Empire led by interwar Poland for the joint struggle against the USSR for the creation of their national states. Today's new Prometheusism is support for the liberation movement of peoples enslaved by the Russian Federation.

The idea of ​​an alliance of Intermarie states “from sea to sea” has a long history, dating back to the “Jagiellonian Commonwealth of Nations” within the borders of the common Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the 19th century, this idea was promulgated by Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski as a means to secure Poland and Europe altogether from Russian expansion and it involved the expansion of Poland to the south and the inclusion of Prussia.

The first head of the revived Polish state, Józef Piłsudski, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Józef Beck, and the leader of the Ukrainian national-democratic liberation movement of the late 1980s and 1990s, Vyacheslav Chornovil were later the supporters of the Baltic-Black Sea Union.

The project underwent numerous changes regarding the involvement of different peoples depending on the historical circumstances. Thus, after the First World War, Józef Pilsudski considered the Intermarie project, which was to include the modern territories of Poland (except Prussia), Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, who was elected in 2015, said that he wanted to create a new interstate alliance, the idea of ​​which has long been known under the name “Intermarie”. He stated:

“I am considering the idea of ​​creating a partnership block of states from the Baltic to the Black and Adriatic seas.”

The modern concept of the Intermarie is actively popularized by such Ukrainian philosophers of conservative orientation as Oleksandr Maslak, Ihor Zagrebelnyi, Olena Semenyaka, Eduard Yurchenko.

The founding conference of the Baltic-Black Sea Union Development Assistance Group was held by the Azov Movement in July 2016. The second conference was held in April 2017.

After the beginning of the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, in February 2022, the Order supported the Territorial Defense Unit, which was created in the Zaporizhzhia Region and took St. John of Gothia as its patron. The Order follows the example of its patron Saint John of Gothia, who at one time raised the Christian people of Goth to a liberation struggle against the Khazars and provides volunteer assistance and encourages noble people in Ukraine and the whole world to support Ukrainian national liberation movement against Russia, which is a modern Khazaria – the enslaver of other peoples.

The Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia admits Christians of noble origin to its ranks, by conferring the title of archon or archontess, presenting the appropriate order insignia or awarding its honorary members with the appropriate order insignia.

In addition, the Order awards meritorious volunteers and military personnel who are not members of the Order with the “Cross of Merit of the Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia.


HISTORY

History of the Metropolis of Gothia in the Crimea and North Azovian region

An independent Metropolis of Gothia arose in the Crimea at the end of the III century. The known dioceses of Scythia, Chersonese (Korsun), Bosporus, Fula, Sugde (Surozh) were part of the Metropolis of Gothia in the III century. Gothian bishop Unila is known to be at the turn of the IV-V centuries. It was John Chrysostomos himself who consecrated Bishop Unila for the Metropolitanate.

In the VIII century this metropolis included dioceses which were located on the territory of the Khazar Khaganate. The Khazars began to treat Christians more aggressively later, when the tension between the Khaganate and Byzantium increased.

The Diocese of Fula (in the Crimea) is mentioned in one of the registers of Constantinople throne dioceses, dated to the VIII century. In the same register, the Goth diocese is described as a metropolitan with a cathedral in the city of Doros and seven bishoprics subordinate to it: Khodzirov (neighboring Fula), Astilsk (Itil, Volga region), Khvalisk, Onogur, Retegsk, Huniv, and Timatarkh (Tmutorokan).

The local Orthodox population began to feel more free after the arrival of the Tatars in the Crimea, the Metropolis of Gothia developed, but continued to exist within the Crimean Peninsula. However, at the same time, other bishoprics were active in the Crimea. In the XII century the Fula diocese was attached to the Sugde one.

Most of the Orthodox dioceses on the peninsula were united into a single Metropolis of Gothia of Constantinople Patriarchate after the conquest of the Crimea by Ottomans in 1475. The center of the metropolis at that time was located in the Panagia monastery near Bakhchisaray. The Chersonese Diocese was also attached to it.

Kafa Diocese was joined to the Metropolis of Gothia in the 17th century and the Metropolis was called Gothia and Kafa until it was liquidated by the Russian government in 1788.

The Great Church Schism did not also bypass the Goth Church. The historian Aleksandr Berthier-Delagarde notes in his writings, that in the middle of the XV – at the beginning of the XVI centuries the Kherson diocese was ruled by the “Uniate” metropolitan. At the same time, that time diocese included only Khersones city, which became deserted. The Metropolitan lived in the surrounding villages that belonged to the Genoese. Kherson diocese merged with Goth due to its decline in the XV century. Two dioceses of Fula - the Orthodox and the “Uniat” are also mentioned by the scientist in his research. A written mention of the first one appears at the end of the IX century; it was united with Sugde diocese around 1156, after that both ones were raised to the status of a metropolitan (A.L. Bert'e-Delagard. Pravoslavnye i uniatskie eparhii, ih predely / Izvestiya Tavricheskoj Uchenoj Arhivnoj Komissii — №57 — Simferopol': Tipografiya Tavricheskogo gubernskogo zemstva, 1920. — S. 35-66).

The population of the Genoese settlements in the Crimea, especially Kafa (modern Feodosia) in the XII-XV centuries, was mainly the Armenians (this ethnic group predominated quantitatively) and the Greeks. The authorities, considering the small number of immigrants from Italy and economic expediency, tried to be lenient to the religious feelings of the Greeks and Armenians, while warning the Catholic bishops against interfering in their affairs. The local Orthodox hierarchy kept its titles and dependence on the Constantinople throne. However, as a result of long-term coexistence, the dominant Catholicism was the softer the more influential. As a result, a large part of the local Armenians recognized the primacy of the Pope (outside of Kafa, the Armenian patriarch recognized it already in 1141), and among the Greeks, attempts at a church union between Rome and Constantinople found a prepared and favorable ground.

The last efforts of the declining Byzantium to win at any cost the support of Europe against the Turks, at least through the recognition of the primacy of the Pope, were manifested in the Crimea., The Florentine Union was proclaimed on June 6, 1439, and was confirmed in the Cathedral of St. Sophia of Constantinople on December 12, 1452, but this did not save Constantinople, which was captured by the Turks on May 29, 1453. This union freed the Genoese to influence the Orthodox population in the Crimean possessions, where it was received leniently.

Not far from Kafa, which was nominally part of Sugde Diocese, a bishop of the Eastern Rite ordained by the Pope began the practice of appointing for the Orthodox Greeks. This appointment was initiated through the direct mediation of the initiator of the Florentine Union - Cardinal Vissarion, who had previously been the Orthodox Archbishop of Nicaea: he was born in Trebizond (modern Trabzon) and was in touch with his homeland. At that time, Kafa reluctantly submitted to the church hierarchs of impoverished Sugde (modern Sudak), where there were significantly fewer Orthodox as well as in all the villages.

The first union bishop of Kafa is mentioned without a name in 1464-1465, after Vissarion became the titular Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. After the death of the bishop in 1468, a new hierarch was to be elected by the clergy and the people, but this task was entrusted to Pope Paul II, who came from Venice. The pontiff appointed Pachomius, the former archbishop of Amasia (Turkey), to Kafa. The new hierarch was killed by robbers on his way from Rome to Kafa by land (the arrival by sea was impossible because of the Turks control over the Bosphorus Strait). Pope Sixtus IV, the successor of Paul II, appointed with his bull the former local priest Nicholas to the throne of the bishop of Kafa on July 6, 1472; he arrived in the city at the end of 1474.

Kafa was captured by the Turks in 1475, they made it the main city of their possessions on the peninsula. The last Uniate bishop of Kafa, elected by the population for the Greeks of Kafa and Soldai (Sudak), as stated in the bull of Pope Sixtus IV, had the title of Fula; such a name was apparently given in order to avoid identification with the Roman Catholic bishops of Kafa and Soldai. This title of the Uniate bishop was recorded as early as 1484, the time when a council against the union was held in Constantinople. Since then, the functioning of Armenian and Catholic religious communities and hierarchs in Kafa has become impossible due to the administrative dominance of Orthodoxy. During the XVI-XVIII centuries the Catholic Church tried to regain its former influence in the Crimea through missionaries and trade consuls; at that time, the title of Kafa bishops was preserved (during the period 1493-1664, eight of them changed), but without influence or importance in Kafa itself. At the same time, the city's uniates supported by the Turks retained the rights to church and parish property.

After Russian occupation of the Crimea in the XVIII century, Catherine II decided to resettle Crimean Christians to the Azov sea region, thus undermining the rapidly growing economy of the Crimean Khanate and populating the Azov sea region with the maximum-optimal number of Christian colonists, carriers of a high culture of craft production, trade and agriculture capable of effective mastering inhospitable at that time steppes of the “Wild Field”, this concept has been fixed on the territory between the Dniester and the Don since the time of the Mongol invasion.

In order to carry out the project of resettling Christians, the Russian side needed to secure the support and assistance of both the Christian and Muslim elites of the Crimean Khanate and at the same time aggravate the relationship between Muslims and Christians, who were considered from the point of view of Islam to be “people of the scriptures” who possessed broad rights in the Khanate throughout the entire history of the existence of the Girei state.

In order to “actualize” and do what was necessary for a quick solution to the issue of resettlement of Christians, Russian residents provoked the most conservative circles of the Muslim population to clash with Christians, the practice which began during the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774.

The Christian population of the Crimea reacted negatively to the news of the eviction to the uninhabited steppe lands, according to Hartahay: “The news about the departure of Christians spread throughout the Crimea ... Christians resisted the departure no less than Tatars. This is what the Yevpatoria Greeks said to the offer to withdraw from the Crimea: “We are satisfied with his highness the khan and our homeland; we pay tribute to our sovereign from long ago since our ancestors, and we will still not go anywhere even if they will cut us with sabers”.

Despite the fact that some part of the Christian population of the peninsula remained in the Crimea, having accepted Islam and joined the Muslim community of the region, the exodus of more than 30,000 Christians from the Crimean Khanate began under the leadership of Metropolitan Ignatius of Gothia, on July 28, 1778.

The result soon turned into a disaster, according to Archbishop Gavriil of Kherson and Tavriy, “...unfortunately, the circumstances did not exactly favor that (resettlement). Various diseases appeared among the emigrants and, moreover, the downy mildew appeared at that time in the Novorossiysk and Azov provinces, as a result of which many people died on the way”.

At first, Christians were offered a plot in the area of modern Pavlograd (Dnipropetrovsk region), but the colonists refused due to the lack of forest and fresh water. On May 21, 1779, the Russian empress, ignoring the wishes of the Christian immigrants, decreed that:

“Emigrants from the Crimea are granted privileges and freedoms, including full exemption from military service, from paying taxes for ten years, the creation of an elected body of self-government, and the diocese, ranks and autonomy of church administration are preserved under Metropolitan Ignatius’’. But the Russian authorities, despite the promises of preserving the Crimean Orthodox church self-government, liquidated the ancient Metropolitanate of Gothia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Three years later - in 1783, the Russian authorities liquidated the Crimean Khanate, which at that time was plunged into a deep political crisis and financial bankruptcy. The Tatars, rebelling against the khan's reforms, proclaimed their protégé and tried to overthrow Shahin-Geray. Another uprising was suppressed by Russian troops, who got rid of militants capable of resisting the occupation of Muslim population layers and established even greater control over the strategically important peninsula for them. Soon, Shahin-Girey abdicated and went into exile to Voronezh, and then to Kaluga. Later, he was released to the Greek island of Rhodes, on the territory of the Ottoman Empire, where he was killed.

In April 1783, Empress Catherine issued a manifesto according to which the territory of the Crimean Khanate was annexed to Russian possessions.

She proclaimed herself the “Queen of Chersonis of Tavria.” The Ottoman Sultan recognized the Crimea as a possession of the Russian Empire in the Iass Peace Treaty almost a decade later, in 1791.

Catherine II promised the residents of the Crimea, that has now become the Tavria province, all the best, regardless of religion and ethnicity in her 1783 manifesto: “We solemnly and unwaveringly promise for Ourselves and the Successors of Our Throne to maintain them on an equal basis with our natural subjects, protect and defend their persons, property, temples and natural faith...”.

However, the empress did not keep her promises as in the case of already resettled Christians. Having sworn allegiance to Russia, the Crimean nobility lost their lands in favor of the Russian nobility, which began to send serfs from their Russian estates to the territory of the Crimea. The indigenous population was able to preserve only the least fertile and unsuitable for agriculture lands. In addition, mosques and Muslim cemeteries were destroyed, and entire Tatar villages were ruined due to the changes in the direction of the sources of drinking water, which were carried out by the new owners of the peninsula to meet the needs of the new inhabitants of the Crimea. In addition, the Tatars lost a lot of land for pastures, which undermined their traditional way of life.

Many Crimean Muslims were forced to flee to Turkey. Part of the ancient Christian population of the peninsula also went to the territory of Rumelia.

By liquidating the last sovereign Crimean statehood and evicting a significant part of Christians from the territory of the Crimea, the Russian authorities not only gained control over a region, which was important from a strategic point of view and later was used by Russia as an important support point for expansion into the Caucasus and the Balkans, but also suspended the formation of the political identity of the people of the Crimea, which was rapidly developing under the conditions of the Shagin-Girey European reforms. The Russians liquidated the diocese of Gothia, which was independent of the Russian Church, which would possibly later become the “national church” of the Christian part of the national community of the Crimea and be reformed according to the Western model. Encroaching on the heritage of ancient Taurida and Byzantium, the Russian authorities destroyed the ancient cultural and religious components of the Crimean identity associated with it, seeking to appropriate the ancient Orthodox heritage of the Crimea and remove from the path any elements capable of claiming it.

The processes that took place in the Crimea, related to the liquidation of the Crimean Khanate and the replacement of the indigenous population by evicting and forcing them to emigrate, can be, in general, compared with the events that took place a little later on the other side of the globe. It is the infamous “Road of Tears” - a violent deportation of five civilized Indian tribes from their native lands in the southeastern United States to Indian reservations in the territory of the modern state of Oklahoma, which was carried out by the American authorities in 1831. As part of this resettlement, 4 to 15 thousand Indians died, according to the most modest estimates, some of whom were Christians. The events of this deportation, in contrast to the “Road of Tears” of the Crimean Christians, are covered in details in Maine Reed's novel “Osceola, Chief of the Seminoles” and film adaptations of the novel, numerous works of American historians and journalists, and are recognized by American society as an important milestone in the history of the United States of America formation.

The inhabitants of the Crimea and their descendants, who live in exile and in the occupied territories till nowadays, were less fortunate. The history of the expulsion of Christians and the political manipulations by the Crimean Tatar elites were hushed up by the Russian, and later by the Soviet-Bolshevik state ideology, which affirmed the thesis of the voluntary resettlement of Christians and the request of Muslims to accept them as Russian citizens.

The revival of the ancient heritage of the Church of Gothia in the Azov sea region began with the efforts of the Orthodox priest Fr. Yuriy Yurchyk (since 1999, bishop, and since 2005, archbishop) in 1993. The Donetsk and Mariupol Orthodox Diocese was created as part of the Patriarchate of Kyiv, which began to revive Metropolis of Gothia traditions. Greek (Rome and Urum) and German-speaking Orthodox communities also appeared along with Ukrainian-speaking parishes. In 2009, Archbishop Yuriy together with the clergy of the diocese concluded a personal union with the Catholic Church. The Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia was founded. Therefore, the heritage of the Goths got a chance for its next revival.

However, the development of civil-national identity in the Crimea and the Azov sea region was frozen for two centuries, the revival of which is impossible without processes of an ideologically impartial understanding and analysis of the ethnic history of the Crimea and the Azov sea region, which is a polyethnic palette of peoples and cultures, where West meets East since the time of Homer.

The foundation of Modern Eastern and Central Europe was laid during the time of the famous Goth king Hermanarich, called by the historian Jordan the new Alexander the Great. Modern Eastern and Central Europe continues to be the stronghold of European civilization on its eastern border.


FOREIGN REPRESENTATION OF THE ORDER

Foreign Representations of the See of St. John of Gothia, also known as the Great House of Gothia

The Head of the Great House of Gothia can appoint, also unilaterally, its own Representatives in foreign countries, after consulting the Councilor for Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Representatives of the Great House of Gothia promote us in their respective countries, maintaining relations at various levels with institutional authorities, media and citizens; they offer concrete support to the Great House of Gothia in case of need; they provide assistance to our people who are abroad. Any initiative of the Foreign Representatives must be agreed in advance with the Head and the Councilor for Foreign Affairs of the Great House of Gothia and approved by them.

Our Representatives abroad have the title: Apocrisiarius.

An apocrisiarius, the Latinized form of apokrisiarios (Greek: ἀποκρισιάριος), sometimes Anglicized as apocrisiary, was a high diplomatic representative during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The corresponding (purist) Latin term was responsalis (“he who answers”). The title was used by Byzantine ambassadors, as well as by the representatives of bishops to the secular authorities. The closest modern equivalent is a papal nuncio; the title apocrisiarius is also still employed by the Anglican Church.

Similarly, the Great House of Gothia can welcome representatives of foreign countries or dynasties wishing to establish a relationship with us, after consulting the Councilor for Foreign Affairs and with the favorable opinion of the Head of the Great House of Gothia.

The Great House of Gothia and other foreign states or dynasties can sign international conventions that regulate the relationship between them.

INSIGNIA OF THE ORDER


Great Cross of the Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia

In 2022, Archbishop Yuriy established the Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia to help build alliances with notable people throughout the World and advancing his plan to revive the heritage of the ancient Christian people of the Crimea and the coast of the Sea of Azov.

The Ecumenical Order of St. John of Gothia is highly awarded to the head of states/dynasties, also as awards of merit to loyal supporters of the See of St. John of Gothia and those who provide excellent services in the field of cultural achievement and education in Ukraine and throughout the World.

For nominations, please submit a request to the Chancellor at thehouseofgothia@gmail.com

Ranks

Men’s pre nominal: Archon

Ladies' pre nominal: Archontissa

VOLUNTEER UNIT OF THE TERRITORIAL DEFENSE OF SAINT JOHN OF GOTHIA

In order to protect the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine from the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, from the beginning of the active phase of the Russian invasion, a volunteer unit of St. John of Gothia was created, which performs tasks under the leadership of the Main Directorate of the National Police of Ukraine in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The unit included both veterans of the war in Eastern Ukraine, members of volunteer organizations, and people who picked up weapons for the first time.

Different, but united by a common goal, the volunteers of St. John firmly stand on the principles of liberating their land from the new hordes — Russian invaders and terrorists, as well as their henchmen in the occupied territories.

The current war requires new innovative types of intelligence activities. Any help would be appreciated.

The report of the purchase will be posted on our channel: https://t.me/stJohnlegion Contact: https://t.me/drjohannzpr