***Deacon, how can the MP today seek forgiveness of the sins of
those in the past and now dead? Sounds a little like Mormonism. I
can no more atone for the sins of my father than the current
patriarch can atone for the sins of Sergius. Besides, the current
patriarch has already stated publicly on several occasions that he
is sorry for the Church's Soviet-era activities and that he regrets
they ever took place. What more is needed?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "Fr Anthony Bridges"
> I am glad you asked the question, "How is it that no one gets it?"
I am one who "does get it." As someone who has shared your views for
most of my 10 years in the Russian Church Abroad, I recently came to
what I sincerely hope is a better understanding of the "other side."
What I noticed is that all those highly intelligent and articulate
people who have reversed their positions say they did so after
meeting people in the Russian Church, in Russia. This doesn't
necessarily mean that they have met the enemy and have been seduced
by the charms thereof. It doesn't necessarily mean, either, that
they have abandoned the concerns they previously expressed about
Sergianism and Ecumenism. What it could mean is simply that they
have met these people and believe that they are sincere and
basically good people who share the same Orthodox faith that we
> Since we have made some moves toward reconciliation, and they have
made some reciprocal moves, and everyone has pretty much expressed
and even codified their objections about the issues, it is possible
that no more progress can be made unless we move closer to them. So,
one could take the position that though Sergianism and Ecumenism are
still serious concerns, some real progress has been made. And, what
is more, the MP does not officially espouse either of these
heretical positions as such, though there are still many concerns
about certain of their activities, and the seeming lack of
repentance about the past. But perhaps if we can take the next step
and get to know each other better, then they will see more clearly
the soundness of our objections, and possibly we will see that,
after all, there were mitigating circumstances in their history that
we only heard about, but did not know personally. For now, they
probably feel that they have said everything there is to say, and
they are probably wondering, "Why don't they get it?" It may be that
only after we get to know them better will we even know how to ask
the questions the way they need to be asked, or that we will see the
answers we need to see that will allow us to understand. And
naturally, this process would have to work both ways, or it would
not work at all.
> Let me put this another way: I think that many, probably all, of
the highly intelligent and dedicated people who have changed
positions on this are just as concerned about Sergianism and
Ecumenism as we are. However, having met the Russian Orthodox people
face to face, they are now choosing not to emphasize those concerns.
In other words, their emphasis has shifted from a concern with
abstract principles and historical events to a focus on the personal
and present. I realize that this shift of emphasis may appear to
some as a descent of the mind into a total lack of clarity. And what
is more, it may even appear unethical. But this is not necessarily
> There comes a point in negotiations where it no longer
accomplishes any clear good to remain stubbornly ensconced on one's
principles, saying, in effect, "I will not budge one inch toward you
unless and until you conform your personal position to my
principles, to my complete satisfaction." There comes a point, after
the other person has moved, where one has to move forward in good
faith, provided there is no deep and abiding disagreement on
fundamentals. This has happened many times in Church history, and
possibly it is now time for it to happen again.
> Deacon Anthony Bridges
> Joy of All Who Sorrow
> Cumming, GA
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Vladimir Koltypin
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 9:26 PM
> Subject: Re: [orthodox-rocor] Re: How Serious is This?
> Fr John,
> Its not that we "reject" reconciliation. We are all for it, but
with the right standards. You can't be friends with satan unless he
repents of his sins and that will never happen. We wish to see the
Church in Russia repentent for all that went on the last 90 years...
How is it no one gets that???
> "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Romano Byzantine
> > I see many troubled persons
> > expressing their concerns, and I see a perfectly viable
> > jurisdiction facing schisms within all because they wish to
be under a
> > patriarch of the Russian Church.
> JRS: ROCOR never was, and never has claimed to be, "an
> According to our official definition, we are only one part of
the Russian Orthodox Church.
> We were "by ourselves" for decades only because of Soviet
rule: because the Church in
> Russia was not free.
> I do not think we are facing any "schisms" at the present
time, because almost all of those
> who really wanted to leave, already left several years ago
with ROCiE (which is now falling
> However, there is a small group of people who reject the
current process of reconciliation,
> and who are very vocal.
> The flurry of e-mails and "open letters" can make them seem
more numerous than they
> really are.
> One of those activists recently published a protest bearing
over 700 signatures, among
> whom I found only a few names that I recognized.
> And I have been a priest in ROCOR for over 30 years.
> In Christ
> Fr. John R. Shaw
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