Dear Brother in Christ, Paul;
Your distress over the current troubles in ROCOR and in American
Orthodoxy in general touch me to the heart for I have agonized over many
of the same things. Below are some thoughts that I wrote to a friend,
I hope they will help somewhat. I am also including a few links on
good articles to read that may aid you in your search for answers.
I was raised in the Greek Archdiocese, but abandoned it 15 years ago.
One of the main reasons I moved to Atlanta, Georgia from Florida was to
have a good/traditional Orthodox parish to attend. When I moved up here
I visited all the parishes in Atlanta. The moment I stepped into the
parish of St. Mary of Egypt, I knew I was home! Fr. John Townsend is a
very traditional priest, my spiritual father and a saintly man. He is
one of the very few Christians who really lives what he preaches.
When I first moved up here, I had had my head filled with all kinds of
garbage by Greek clergy in regards to Old Calendarists, the ROCOR, etc.
Thanks to God, and lucky for me, I had had contact with Athonite monks
and was somewhat well read in the Church Fathers and in the lives of the
Saints, and was therefore able to distinguish authentic/traditional
Orthodoxy from its false/modernist/ecumenist imitation.
When I first joined St. Mary's parish, it was still in the OCA, but was
very traditional as was much of the Diocese of the South of the OCA, and
there was no ROCOR parish in Atlanta at the time, and mine and many
other's heads were filled with false, negative propaganda put out by the
GOAA and the OCA in regards to ROCOR. (Now we have two ROCOR parishes
in the Atlanta area, St. Mary of Egypt and Our Lady, the Joy of All Who
Sorrow). Over time, I and many others grew in our poor spiritual
knowledge and came to realize that the OCA was on a very bad path, away
from Orthodoxy, and that we could not be a part of it. Many of us
begged Fr. John to leave and join the Synod (ROCOR), but he wanted to
resist from within. Well, finally in 1997 he was pushed to do so,
which the following (highly recommended) link will explain:
So, I have been member of ROCOR in actuality since 1997, but in spirit
even several years before then. I miss terribly the Greek language,
Byzantine music and many Greek customs........ but I had to follow my
conscience and join a parish where I felt that true Orthodoxy was being
preached, taught and lived.
(Here is a family's own testimony of entering ROCOR from a modernist
jurisdiction, and why they did it:
Additional Links that may help calm your concerns and answer some of
We Christians are called by God, the Church and the Holy Fathers to do
all things in 'moderation'. We should follow what is called the 'Royal
Path' or the 'Middle Way'.
Zeal not According to Knowledge (On Pious people who become
Exposition on the present state of the Churches: By St. Basil the
(Very enlightening in regards to "church controversies")
The Royal Path: By. Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina
An excellent history of ROCOR, written by a Saint:
The OCA and ROCOR - Orthodoxy in America
My departure from the GOA (Someone else's dilemma)
Orthodoxy in America (Very informative, and also talks of all the
Orthodox Unity Today
yours in Christ,
Paul O. BARTLETT wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Jan 2003, vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@...> wrote:
> > You attempt here to show that using fallacies can lead to the truth.
> > This is a kind of intellectual sergianism.
> Could someone be kind enough to define "intellectual sergianism"?
> Just from a brief membership in these two mailing lists ("synod"
> and "rocor") I am beginning to wonder if there is so much contention
> that if God does guide me back to Orthodox Christianity then I wonder
> where I will hang my hat. I was orginally baptized at Holy
> Transfiguration Monastery, which then under the ROCOR but is now under
> some other jurisdiction. All this wrangling in American Orthodoxy is
> becoming very discouraging. Maybe I should just stay where I now am
> (which is outside Christianity entirely).
> Paul Bartlett
> bartlett at smart.net
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