In truth, Fr. John, the first premise in error stated below is that
those who do not commune under the same eccesiastic authority as to
geographical jurisdictions in the church militant, are therefore not
people reconciled to each other. If that were true, then those who
do not partake of communion on any given Sunday because they had not
confessed, had not prepared, or perhaps had yet to reconcile
themselves with some individual person before communion (if even a
weaker brother) would not be reconciled with their fellows in any
jurisdiction. Therefore, reconciliation as you use or misuse the
term, has no monolithic or permanent meaning.
Another problem with your premise is that you and others have stated
that the old and new calendars make little difference as to the
spiritual effect of communion between jurisdictions. If a calendar
used in the church militant makes no difference in heaven, that is,
that time cannot control the spiritual reality of Christians
communing with varied understandings of when a particular feast day
actually is in the space-time continuum subject to Heaven, then how
can two sets of Orthodox Christians communing under varied
understandings of leadership worthiness in the church militant make
them any less in communion with the Lord Jesus Christ, each having a
part with Him, and therefore together as members of His true Bride?
Isn't the only unfinished business regarding the leadership
circumstances of the communion arrangement in the Russian Church,
the actual repentance and healing of that MP leadership?
The above is the only way I have understood the suspension that you
and some others mischaracterize as a severance in order to misdirect
the church from the spiritual purpose of the suspension.
If as it was true, in the New Testament, the Lord supped with his
disciples without inviting the members of the Jewish councils and
pharisees, wasn't it true that he established a new leavening for
the children of Israel apart from the leadership/teaching/leaven of
the Jewish councils without excluding the Jews overall? Yes. It
was, and yet, did it make Israel any less His own people for whom He
also in part lived, died, rose again and ascended to the right hand
of the Father in Heaven, only to open Heaven to the gentiles too?
Indeed, if the Lord Jesus Christ were in the ROCA's Synod, would He
not sup in the Synod to ultimately replace the leadership over the
whole of the new Israel as found in Russia?
Isn't the ROCOR suspension of communion with the local Russian
Church only a means of treating the ill-leadership problem over the
Russian local Church that is resident in the MP, and that, for the
benefit of ALL? Yes it was, and is, unless all has been completed in
that repentance. Or what, is repentance from militant atheism and
its disease track to ecumenism something to be subjected to loose
economia as if it were merely a sinful fall into irritation in
traffic, an ephemeral argument with a loved one or a course joke?
It is an institution in which former extremes were allowed to rule
the soul from which we would sooner beware of a bounce to another
extreme. This spiritual concern is what ought to come to mind as
members of a Soviet collaborating MP not only support a government
that fifteen years after the USSR's fall still glorifies Soviet
heroes, and itself insists on staying in power.
And what if, at the last judgment, judgment was suspended until the
last moment before the twinkling of an eye, and the utmost
opportunity for full repentance were given while yet spiritually the
Church as defined in heaven and by the Lord's sight, carried on in
spiritual communion with the Master of All, Jesus Christ? Would that
not be the ultimate reconciliation option for everyone concerned?
Isn't that how the fast is all the way to the last hour before the
Holy Mysteries on the Lord's Pascha?
It seems that, based on the words sent by the Lord to the angels of
the churches militant on earth in the Revelation, that the Lord had
something to forgive and change among all branches of His Church
militant on earth. I assume that hasn't changed and will not change
until the Second Coming. However, I do not see that to mean that
the treatments that the Lord's Holy hierarchs bound on earth to heal
people before the last day, should be abrogated merely because
certain others *feel* with their emotions, and arguing by force of
ethnic yearning, that the treatment is too much, and must end.
What is this passionate attachment to time-is-of-the-essence
thinking regarding the lift of the communion suspension against this
MP (not the Russian local Church)? Wouldn't leaving what you and
your fellows consider the "weaker brothers" in the ROCA behind,
those who oppose the lifting of the ROCA communion suspension *at
this time* be an example of failing to bear with the "weaker
brothers" as they exist in your perspective?
It is possible, by the way, that the weaker brothers are those who
cannot muster the patience for full spiritual change in the Moscow
Patriarchate leadership before finishing the spiritual medical
treatment that the suspension on communion was always meant to be.
I think that unless pride guides one's thought entirely, that should
not be foreclosed as a possibility. If it is impossible to consider
whether one's course is honest, how is it possible to be humble?
Isn't that also what a fast is about? Holding out for fuller
preparation for the Holy Mysteries, even sometimes past the time
when emotions would compel us to break it? And we know the Moscow
Patriarchate is not a leadership instituted under a God-controlled
Church, but rather an atheistic state-controlled church. It is an
undisputable fact that the MP leadership remains of that
composition. How is that a healing of its leadership for the benefit
of the Russian people? Contrarily, how is the addition of the
ROCA's nod of legitimacy not like a failure to finish an anti-biotic
treatment that allows the disease in the MP to become resistant to
final change? Is this not one of the most momentous spiritual
issues at stake in the coming months?
To *not* be able to wait until that treatment was complete, such
that the MP's allegiance ceased to be with ecumenism, ceased its
emphasis on fleshly government collaborations in world
organizations, and stopped sounding the fearful alarms about loss of
ethnic purity, is to subsume the ROCA into that very dynamic of
leadership commemoration and joint-venture with the MP of the
world. How can that be a circumspect Sheparding or a preservation
of the Church? Did not the scripture say for us to "walk
circumspectly" to navigate around such pitfalls and passions in
church leadership? And if the blind lead the seeing, isn't just as
if both were blind?
The one who is leading is the one who has made the concessions. The
Lord Jesus Christ, made no concessions to the Jewish council or the
Roman governor to change the Divine course He was on to save all of
the universe and mankind within it. I am so glad He did not make
any concessions to Pilate or to the Jewish councils. Instead He
forced them to either convert and follow Him, or, to lie about Him
after his death, resurrection and ascension, saying that his
disciples took Him away.
And so, Fr. John, how you could be reasoning from the authority of
the Christian faith on this matter, whether you are a strong brother
or a weak brother, I cannot see. It is not possible to take your
teachings as anything other than falsification of the original
reasons for the suspension on communing under MP authority as it
remains, or as a mischaracterization of the lift of the suspension
as "reconciliation." The ROCA was never "un-reconciled" with the
Russian Orthodox Church herself, but was one with her. She was,
however, *not communing* with or under the MP leadership as it was
and still is over the Russian local church, whether by compulsion or
deception, for the purpose of not steering the Russian Church
further into the false leaven of the Moscow Patriarchate.
It seems that you absolutely must be operating on a political
agenda, or else you would not mischaracterize the true nature of the
suspension of commmunion under this MP. An MP that is whitewashed
by external works is not necessarily white as snow within the book
of Life, the hearts therein. A white-washed tomb of leadership it
must be considered until such time as it repents of the *right* it
asserts in itself, after all of its origins, to lead the One Russian
the weakest brother hoping in the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the men
corrupted by the power they have,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
> --- In email@example.com, "Bushunow, Peter"
> > Father John Shaw writes that several generations have gone since
Holy Russia -- that it
> >would take years of work for historians and ecclesiologists to
sort out the situation. Yes,
> >I agree! It will take many years, possibly many generations.
> > God willing our hierarchs and the people pushing for this union
will humble themselves
> >and slow down.
> JRS: My point is not that we should wait for future generations to
sort out all the details of
> 20th century church history, but rather, that nobody ever will
> Perhaps at the Last Judgment there will still be those who say
that "the time has not yet
> come" for reconciliation?
> In Christ
> Fr. John R. Shaw