Dear Rev. Fr. Alexander:
Exclusivist attitudes are neither good or bad of themselves. It
depends what is being excluded. If what is being excluded pleases God
to exclude, exclusivity is good.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ taught His own to separate
themselves from the practices of His own, yet all were Jews. He
taught His own not to adopt the leaven of His own. How He had
stretched His arms out to Jerusalem, but it would not come to Him.
And so rather than compromise and join the majority who would not come
to Him, He chose to die +exclusively uncompromised+ for them all
before the Heavenly Father and Holy Spirit, His co-eternal Persons and
One God, and the entirety of existence knew God did this.
> We just recalled how Bishop Damian of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
> participated in the Service of Nomination at the time of the
> consecration of Archimandrite Philaret to be Bishop of Brisbane in 1963.
> In 1965, Archbishop Iakovos came to the Synod building on 93rd st. to
> serve a Trisagion before the remains of Metropolitan Anastassy.
> These things would become unthinkable a few years later, under the
> influence of HTM.
The things that the Ecumenical Patriarchate had conceded had also
become unthinkable for the keeping of Orthodox Christian traditions,
hadn't they? Also, hadn't the Soviets, in part through the MP sought
to incite and influence the other jurisdictions against the ROCOR?
It is the doctors who are the worst patients it is said, who, upon
*feeling* better leave the hospital prematurely while still contagious
and risk the spread of disease among patients. Such is the MP. The
erosion of the holy traditions (EP and MP at present) by example would
include the failure to follow one's own Church's previously subscribed
medical advice for *fully* treating illnesses of the soul. And the
most fearful thing is a spiritual contagion on the hands of those who
purport to heal, for when the real healer is available, the people do
> It should be remembered tha Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy
> **always** considered the Church Abroad to be a very real part of the
> whole of the Orthodox Church--no matter what the calendar.
And an organ of the whole body with immune cell responsibilities may
make the rest of the body *feel* bad even while "instigating"
conditions designed to the kill the viruses circulating through that
ailing body, and making entrance into the immune organ conditional on
cleansing. That's a good instigation in the Church militant, isn't
it? And spiritual physicians may even institute quarantines via
communion suspensions to heal other parts of the body not out of
haughtiness, but out of love and wisdom.
> Metropolitan Anthony participated in the enthroniztion of Patriarch
> Myron of Romania (new calendar), for example. Metropolitan Anastassy
> assisted Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem in restoring the hierarchy of
> the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
Consider that as spiritual physicians, hierarchs of the ROCOR with
their counterparts who were spiritual in any jurisdiction, were able
to exercise judgment in what medicine and healing they would involve
themselves in. They were there, we weren't. Did they turn the ROCOR
over to the EP? You write as if they would have or should have. Is
this supposed to imply a precedent for the lifting of the communion
suspension with the current MP, and so release all barriers to the
MP's canonical power to rule ROCA?
And yet no Metropolitan of the ROCOR ever turned their flock over to
the Ecumencial Patriarch or the Moscow Patriarchate for spiritual
leadership while these others continued twisting the faith under
external influences. However, you would imply, it seems, that turning
the ROCOR over to the inevitable canonical control of the Moscow
Patriarchate now, by a lifting the suspension of communion is
analogical to what the ROCOR's Metropolitans would have done in their
relations to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The suspension of Holy Communion was never about suspension of Holy
Communion for the sake of interrupting communion among jurisdictions.
It was adopted as a method of healing for some jurisdictional
leaderships that have been led their flocks into the erosion of
Orthodox Christian traditions.
> Throughout the term of Metropolitan Anastassy, all commemorations of
> bishops at litanies and at the Great Entrance began with the words
> "The Holy Orthodox Patriarchs."
Commemoration is prayer for them. And yet we do not pray for the only
Holy One, God, as if He needed our prayers. And so if the Patriarchs
need prayers, it suggests that they are subject to ailing when doing
other than administering communion. If outside of administering
communion, leaders of the flock are exemplifying or teaching
incomplete repentance, then communion becomes a dangerous thing to
those following an example of ill-preparation for receiving the
Eucharist. St. Paul warned against this.
> HTM was the instigator of the Decision of the Sobor of Bishops of the
> ROCOR (1971) changing the method of reception of converts from the
> time-honored practice of the Church of Russia and HTM was the author
> of the Anathema against Ecumenism of 1983.
Time honored things change when dishonorable circumstances over time
require it to make them God honored instead of time honored. However,
even at the first Council of the Church recounted in Acts of the
Apostles, variances in fasting rules were made for various convert
peoples according to their spiritual condition. Isn't that the case
with the changes in reception alluded to above?
> HTM instigated contacts of ROCOR with the various Old Calendar Greek
> jurisdictions in the 1970s --which Metropolitan Anastassy would never
> have permitted, as he was always concerned about having good
> relations with the official Local Orthodox Churches.
When you speak for Metropolitan Anastassy, you claim the ability to
say what the holy hierarch would have judged to be right in times
after his blessed repose? You say what he would "never," do and choose
some brothers over other brothers, implying a permanance of division
between the OC Greek believers and the NC believers, and so go way
beyond those now opposing the lifting of the communion suspension
under this MP leadership lineup. The criticism of the OC Greeks also
comes at a time when discredting the OC Greeks has become important
for the MP to get what it wants from the ROCOR, again reasserting its
old leadership style of "divide and conquer."
After long periods of engaging in institutional sins of power by
participation and or consent, it makes sense for repentance to include
giving up power by the Soviet era MP hierarchy and its disciples. How
otherwise is repentance exemplified from the top? And how else can we
be more certain that those serving are serving in answer to the call
of Christ and not the devil?
> So--it is perfectly clear that the "monastics of HTM" did a great
> deal in pushing the ROCOR into a more exclusivist ttitude.
> with love in Christ,
> Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
deferring to the love of Christ,