Dear Father Alexander, bless.
You write, in a way that perfectly corresponds to the present
"This "Appeal" violates a decision made by the Synod of Bishops and
by our First Hierarch that all working documents of the joint
commissions of the Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate would be
I think that this secretive approach is typically MP (Soviet) in
style. From here, it is obvious who leads the exercise (Nye Russkim
dukhom pakhnyet). We should not play by their rules, because these
rules are not orthodox (they violate our sobornost') and because we
cannot challenge them on that field.
Please see Vl Agafangel comments:
"And in this fundamental question we shouldn't - not having the right
to - adopt the methods and the practice of the MP. But on the
contrary, we should protest against such practice as far and with as
much strength as possible. Because the question is about the
preservation of one of the most important characteristics of the
Orthodox Church - its sobornost".
Let us not try to be smarter than the Evil one: if we accept his
rules, we are lost. Vl Agafangel knows what he is talking about. The
Russians in the emigration have always underestimated the wickedness
of the Bolshevik, especially when they want to attract us in their
nets by using our naïve love for Russia and orthodoxy.
I will always remember how my father (we were in Africa in those
days) tried to dissuade his friend, a Russian surgeon born in
Finland, to return to Russia in the fifties. Stalin had promised
pardon to all those who would return to serve the fatherland. My
father did not succeed. Our friend left with his wife and his
daughter. He was never seen again.
The important is not to know whether they call themselves communist
or not (they have many aliases). It takes more than what we have seen
to eradicate that abject infection which changes your very nature,
like a virus.
Who they are, that is the question. They used to dwell in the
comunist structures, but did it never occur to you that they are
perfectly able to migrate into other structures that can fool many
(all those who want to be fooled, in fact)? The clearest sign (you do
not like signs) is that they never repented. What other evidence do
you need? Are we so childish to believe that if we very, very hard
wish that they convert, they did?
"Atheistic Marxism-Communism, or Bolshevism, the struggle with which
is the chief task of all national-minded Russian patriots, is just
one of the offspring, one evil result of this "worldwide evil." To
struggle only against it means just to cut off the branches without
noticing the trunk and roots which gave birth to them and nourished
Unfortunately, many of us see only these branches, paying no
attention to the trunk and roots. Even more: this root source of
the "worldwide evil" seems to some quite inoffensive, even favorably
inclined toward us and our church, and many of us are ready to look
to it for aid for, ourselves and for support in the struggle against
(Vl Averky of Syracuse)
--- In email@example.com
, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
> Some have questioned why the "Appeal" of Bishop Agafangel has not
> posted to the official website of the Church Abroad.
> As the Senior Editor of the website of the Russian Orthodox Church
> of Russia and as the Secretary of the Synodal Commission on
> with the Moscow Patriarchate, I can answer the question directly.
> 1) This letter is a letter from a Bishop of the Church Abroad
> his Synod and Sobor.
> As such, it must be treated as a confidential communication among
> of our Church--as are the deliberations of the Synod and Sobor.
> be elementary. Our bishops **must** have the ability to express
> opinions openly and freely, and their discussions and deliberations
> also be protected from public dissemination. What **is**
> the public are the Resolutions that are passed--not the discussions
> written or verbal opinions of the various bishops.
> Bishops are free to express their opinions to the Synod or Sobor,
> their fellow bishops, and do so. However, inter-episcopal
> must be privileged. We have seen in the past how deliberate
> privileged communications between the First Hierarch and other
> been exploited by enemies of our Church and has caused harm.
> In his statement, Bishop Agafangel himself writes:
> "I am writing this appeal out of concern that the documents
> our commission for negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate may,
> public, lend themselves to more than one interpretation."
> And, at the conclusion, he speaks of the necessity of avoiding "the
> possibility of a range of interpretations of the documents
submitted by our
> committee for negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate," and
> possibly grievous consequences of such interpretations. . ."
> So it is clear to anyone who understands the process of delicate
> negotiations, that position papers, drafts, and other working
> must be kept confidential. Again, this is so elementary that it is
> difficult to understand why it has to be explained.
> Notwithstanding his own words, Bishop Agafangel proceeds to quote
> certain working documents of the Commission of the Church Abroad
> make comments upon their content.
> Should the Church Abroad, in the middle of delicate negotiations,
> in a position where it can be viewed as being unable to fulfill its
> commitment, made at the highest level, to keep working documents of
> Commission confidential?
> I think not.
> This was brought to the attention of Bishop Agafangel, and he
> proceeded to remove his "Appeal" from his diocesan website, where
> been originally posted.
> Should our own clergy then proceed to disseminate this document, in
> violation of the confidentiality of communications between bishops
> their Synod, in violation of the commitment to keep working
> the Commission confidential, and after Bishop Agafangel himself
> document from his website?
> I think not.
> With love in Christ,
> Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]