A LETTER FROM METROPOLITAN PHILARET (VOZNESENSKY) TO A PRIEST OF
THE CHURCH ABROAD CONCERNING FATHER DIMITRY DUDKO AND THE
Exerpts from St.Metr.Philaret's letter:
"As if that is not enough. When Metropolitan Sergius promulgated his
criminal Declaration, then the faithful children of the Church immediately
separated themselves from the Soviet church, and thus
the Catacomb Church was formed. And she, in her turn, has anathematized the
official church for its betrayal of Christ."
"What then is the Soviet church? Archimandrite Constantine has often and
insistently stated that the most horrible thing that the God-hating regime
has done in Russia is the creation of the Soviet Church, which the
Bolsheviks presented to the people as the true Church, having driven the
genuine Orthodox Church into the catacombs or into the concentration camps."
"I should also like to note the following. The Catacomb Church in Russia
relates to the Church Abroad with love and total confidence. However, one
thing is incomprehensible to the Catacomb Christians: they can't understand
why our Church, which realizes beyond a doubt that the Soviet hierarchy has
betrayed Christ and is no longer a bearer of grace, nevertheless receives
clergy of the Soviet church in their existing orders, not re-ordaining them,
as ones already having grace. For the clergy and flock receive grace from
the hierarchy, and if it [the hierarchy] has betrayed the Truth and deprived
itself of grace, from where then does the clergy have grace? It is along
lines that the Catacomb Christians pose the question.
The answer to this is simple. The Church has the authority in certain cases
to employ the principle of economia condescension. The hierarch Saint Basil
the Great said that, in order not to drive many away from the Church, it is
necessary sometimes to permit condescension and not apply the church canons
in all their severity. When our Church accepted Roman Catholic clergy in
their orders, without ordaining them, she acted according to this principle.
And Metropolitan Anthony
[Khrapovitsky], elucidating this issue, pointed out that the outward form
successive ordination from Apostolic times that the Roman Catholics do have;
whereas the grace, which the Roman Catholic church has lost, is received by
those uniting [themselves to the
Church] from the plenitude of grace present in the Orthodox Church, at the
very moment of their joining. The form is filled with content, said Vladyka
In precisely the same manner, in receiving the Soviet clergy, we apply the
principle of economia. And we receive the clergymen from Moscow not as ones
possessing grace, but as ones receiving it by the very act of union. But to
recognize the church of the evil-doers as the bearer and
repository of grace, that we cannot do, of course. For outside of Orthodoxy
there is no grace; and the Soviet church has deprived itself of grace."
"In concluding my lengthy letter, I should like to point several things out
to you, Father. The Bishops' Sobor resolved to be guided by and to fulfill
the Testament of Metropolitan Anastasy, in which the late First Hierarch
bade us not to have any communion with the Soviet church
whatsoever, not only no prayerful communion, but not even ordinary contact."
Read #7: Letter declaring departure.
HOCNA left and THEN the Bishops defrocked them all.
How about Metr. Joseph of Petrograd's Anathema to MP Church.
and ROCOR's own anathema of 1986 to ALL who are in the Ecumenism.
How can we take communion from the MP which is in Ecumenism
"Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...
JRS: 1) Even if this claim were true, my point was not that ROAC and
ROCiE (and of course their spiritual sister HOCNA) had been defrocked
by some other Church, but that they were formed by clergy who had
*already* been defrocked by ROCOR, while they were under the spiritual
authority of ROCOR and thus subject to ROCOR's discipline.
2) But ROCOR has of course never "defrocked" the MP, nor has ROCOR
ever "defrocked" any other hierarchy not under its own rule.
3) And the Catacomb Church is not an organized entity, nor does it have
any recognized public voice. It could not, by virtue of
We speak of the "Catacomb Church" as an entity, in the same way as we
speak of "Scandinavia", or "Asia". There is no country
called "Scandinavia": it is only a geographical area. In the same sense
there is no one Catacomb Church, only catacomb churches.
Fr. John R. Shaw
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