Proclamation of Orthodox believers from the Prague Eparchy
(Czech & Russian versions are aailable) Based on many prayers and requests of Orthodox believers who ask us, including many priests who do not wish to be named, we would like and we consider our duty as the Metropolitan Office, which is in the middle of these calls, to forward this following proclamation of believers of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
Prague, 19th April 2013
We, Orthodox believers Prague Eparchy
and believers of our local Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, consider our duty to express our deep disappointment over the recent events in the Prague Eparchy and the entire local Church concerning the canonical complaint of His Beatitude Christopher in this proclamation. In the same way, we want to demonstrate our disappointment over the progression of this case. We consider without any doubt our statement and we cannot do anything else but bring our dissatisfaction to light and thus submit our disagreement with the solution. At the same time we want to express our starting point how to solve existing situation.
Based on verbal and printed statements of speakers and people approved to communicate, this case within our local Church and public, as well as from official resolutions and declarations, including issued press reports by the Sacred Synod, there is no doubt that His Beatitude Christopher did not make anything
of which he was accused and for which he should be held and tried by the Court of the Sacred Synod.
According to the official announcement of the Sacred Synod, His Beatitude Christopher voluntarily decided to abdicate. Sacred Synod said, that He did it in order to maintain peace and conciliation of the Church. His Beatitude said in His official statement: "I abdicate from my service for the good and peace of the Orthodox Church in the Czech and Slovak Republics. I want to live the rest of my live in a monastery, which the Church will assign to me." Next He continues: "Of course, if I will be asked by the Church, I am always ready to work for it, because I love it. I please believers and priests for keeping the unity of Church and for respect and love, and that everyone should close their ranks around their pastors." His statement in the form of a written document was generally approved and adopted by the Sacred Synod.
Regarding these facts, we Orthodox believers hereby declare that it was clear beyond any doubt that we have always stood in unity (and of course also during this artificially initiated case) with our pastor Christopher. We stood in unity behind His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher, the regularly elected eparchial archbishop even as the Head of the Holy Office of our Church elected by the Mercy of the God. In the same manner we still stay in the strong unity also today, how we learned it from holy fathers and from the entire Orthodox Church, undivided and with love, how it was taught by our priests and how it was personified in His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher as our behavioral pattern for all of us. Father Christopher retains our full confidence, support and loyalty of Orthodox Christians from our local churches in the Czech Republic and the Slovak
Now is the time when our Church needs to re-unite even those who are hesitating and who have been intoxicated by a poison spilled on our Church and its Representative. They are confused and their belief and attitude are so affected that they need a genuine spiritual medicine that could help them to cure. They need the leadership by a good pastor again.
Our entire local Church certainly needs the true spiritual help and leadership by those who love the Church. We understand very well that our only Highest Pastor is the Lord Jesus Christ, who sends servants for His Church, whose by the Holy Spirit help Him to lead His Church. Lord Jesus Christ is a head and we are limbs and body. In the same way, we recognize that Lord Jesus Christ is bringing those servants who are (using their reputation, knowledge, experience, wise counsel and excellent gratuitous selfless devoted work) able to navigate the Church from muddy and turbulent
waters. This is our situation now. In this time, we do not need any new inexperienced pastor. However we always have had and still have such the most experienced pastor! His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher was always an excellent, educated, experienced and fully respected navigator of our Church. There is no doubt that the Orthodox Church and we, believers of this local Church, need that Father Christopher will take again His functions and will stand again the representative with a determination to lead the Church and its believers from raging waters.
History of our Church says that the Church is always tempted and tested. It is attacked by the opponent of the God. It is Satan and his servants and daemons. This was on the beginning, when our Lord was tempted in a desert, or during betrayal of Judas or denial of Lord Jesus by the Apostle Peter. It was concerned also in our local Church during the mission of brothers St. Kyrillos and St.
Methodios from Salonika, when there were dark political interests related to the overthrow of St. Fotios from the patriarchal throne in Constantinople. This completely changed conditions of the mission of St. Kyrillos and Methodios, whether it has been happened or committed by the will of God. Then St. Fotios was forced to resign, but later he took his office again with even greater grace of God. While opponents of God and St. Fotios including those various usurpers of secular or ecclesiastical power are forgotten in the abyss of history, but St. Fotios and his work is still well known and will be living for ever. Let us see at our situation how it is repeating from time to time!
There is a great piece of work behind Father Christopher. Nobody can impeach His unprecedented work of a brave priest, eparchial bishop and metropolitan. Our very small Church blossoms, there is number of temples repaired, built and consecrated, there are built new
monasteries, there are founded new monastic groups, there is built a new spiritual academy, philanthropic centers, immigrant centers, there is a growing care for all believers and indigents, a number of new priests were ordained, more new parishes were grown, more and more students attend our three faculties of theology in Slovakia, Bohemia and Moravia. Our Church did not suffered any spiritual or material shortage, etc. Relations of our local Church with other Orthodox Churches, as well as the Patriarchate of Constantinople, are just thanks to the authority and diplomacy of Father Christopher on the very good level as well. There was very good and reputable relation of our Church and the public, until the moment when this false case has been launched in order to spot and blast the reputation of Father Christopher and all of us.
But we believe that our Church will overcome and certainly restore its good name and reputation of Father Christopher,
because it is already clear beyond any doubt that the truth is arising to the light, the truth that this false case was only an unjust attempt by opponents of the Orthodox Church trying to harm, whether they were from inside the Church or from outside. Indeed, it is clear as it was in the past, that Satan and his servants are disgusted by nothing. We should take the lesson from the situation before eleven centuries, how it was with St. Kyrillos and St. Methodios and also with St. Fotios. At that time St. Fotios was overthrown and during his absence until His comeback there were made several changes, which were not good for the Church. After His comeback, St. Fotios had to do a lot of fixes and amendments with help of God Mercy. But now, please, do not let get away the good pastor, because it could happen that our local Church could meet a bad experience. Until a time when St. Fotios returned back to His office, it was too late for our Church in many
ways, because in the meantime there were taken irreversible steps having negative impact on the entire history of Orthodoxy in the Central European Region.
Based only on this matter of facts, this is why we Orthodox believers turn in this moment to His Beatitude Christopher and all of You, Pastors of the Holy Synod, to deliver our sacred and legitimate will of the God's people. Our will is not in the contradiction but it is fully in accordance with Orthodox canonical rules and the Constitution of the Orthodox Church as well as with guidelines and procedure rules of the Orthodox Church and other regulations. Our will is our pray that His Beatitude Christopher should reconsider His opinion on His resignation and will return back to the service of the archbishop of Prague and the Metropolitan of Orthodox Church in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. We pray that His Beatitude Christopher will lead us again to our salvation in this world in
which we find ourselves, but of which we are not coming from, how it says us the Lord Jesus Christ in His New Testament message. Anybody who has any doubts or concerns about whether it could be a "non-precedent" and whether it is even possible to do it in accordance with the canonical rules or laws or regulations and the traditions of the Orthodox Church, let them look into the history. This was the case of St. Fotios or many others having both similar or different reasons for their resignation and being called back to their services by the will of Orthodox believers.
We humbly ask all Orthodox believers of good will who have a genuine and selfless interest about the future of our local Orthodox Church to join this canonical initiative. Let they express their personal declaration of their good will and their pure interest and involvement in order to help to realize the justice, order, unity and peace in our local Orthodox Church. Let it will be
added to their good on the truth of God.
We ask all Orthodox believers of good will to disseminate, support and promote this proclamation each other. First of all, let they send it to these addresses: arcibiskup.simeon@...
(to write an e-mail, it would be enough to click on these addresses)
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