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Re: [orthodox-rocor] "Epistle"

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  • Father Maximos
    Dear List, I posted the so-called Epistle of Met. Vitaly in good faith, despite my serious misgivings about both its content and authorship. It does now appear
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 29, 2001
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      Dear List,

      I posted the so-called Epistle of Met. Vitaly in good faith, despite
      my serious misgivings about both its content and authorship. It does
      now appear that it is a forgery. Please read Vladyka Gabriel's letter
      in the matter below:

      Statement from the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops

      13/26 June 2001

      Martyr Aquilina, Martyr Antonina


      On 10/23 June 2001, I discovered a text on the internet entitled "An
      Encyclical Epistle" of His Eminence, Metropolitan Vitaly, First
      Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Since I
      am a permanent member of our Synod, the Deputy Secretary of the Synod
      and a hierarch who knows our Metropolitan well, since I have had the
      honor to live with him for many years under the same roof at the
      Synodal Residence, I am able to state with full responsibility:

      The text of the "Encyclical Epistle" was not composed by the
      Metropolitan. Besides its language and style, the following serves
      as proof of this:

      a) Our Vladyka writes Russian in Old Orthography and has always
      stressed his disdain for the New Orthography;

      b) At one of the recent sessions of the Synod of Bishops, Vladyka
      Metropolitan assured the members of the Synod that he would not
      address the flock with epistles without prior discussion with the
      members of the Synod;

      c) The "Encyclical Epistle" contains contradictions. At the
      beginning of the Epistle the Metropolitan maintains that he is
      subject to the decisions of the Council of Bishops, while at the end
      of the Epistle he for all practical purposes abrogates all the
      decisions of the most recent Council of Bishops.

      From the foregoing it follows that the First Hierarch signed a
      document written by some-one else, possibly under pressure from a
      group of clergymen led by Bishop Barnabas, forgetting that they were
      suspended from serving, and also that the Metropolitan is unaware of
      the meaning of this "Epistle."

      I do not intend to comment here on this document, but intend rather
      to infom our God- loving flock that this Epistle will be studied and
      discussed in the most serious manner at the next session of the Synod
      of Bishops. I also wish to remind the authors of this Epistle, who
      have palmed this document off on the Metropolitan, that, according to
      the Constitution of our Church, the Council of Bishops is its highest
      administrative organ.


      +Bishop Gabriel,

      Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops


      13/26 June 2001

      Martyr Aquilina, Martyr Antonina
      Russian Orthodox Church Abroad




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