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14422Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Associated Press Reports on Documents

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Jul 1, 2005
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      Gene073 wrote:

      >with your permission, gentlemen, I will let Metropolita Philret pipe in on
      >this discussion
      >Exerpts from St.Metr.Philaret's letter ...... 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.
      >This pseudo-church has been twice anathematized. His Holiness Patriarch
      >Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Sobor anathematized the Communists and
      >all their collaborators. This dread anathema has not been lifted till this
      >day and remains in force, since it can be lifted only by a similar
      >All-Russian Church Sobor, as the canonical supreme ecclesiastical authority.

      A might schizophrenic Metropolitan Philaret you are presenting here, if
      these quotes are actually written by him. Just because a letter has been
      circulating on the internet for quite some time does not mean that it is

      Do you have proof positive that this was actually written by Metropolitan

      Now, assuming for a moment that this was actually written by him--

      this would mean that Metropolitan Philaret, who was a clergyman of the
      Moscow Patriarchate for 17 years (1945-1962), during that entire time was a
      clergyman of a "twice-anathematized pseudo-church." Since a pseudo-church
      cannot have grace or true mysteries, this would mean that all of the
      liturgies and other mysteries that he served during these 17 years were
      graceless and invalid.

      Do you think that he believed that?

      At the time of his election to be the First Hierarch, Metropolitan
      Philaret, in his acceptance speech, expressed his awe that the bishops were
      able to choose him, notwithstanding the fact that he had just recently left
      the Moscow Patriarchate, which he called simple an "unfortunate
      jurisdiction"--not a pseudo church.

      Now--contrast the statements quoted above (which are purportedly from a
      private letter to an individual priest and so, not meant for publication,
      and devoid of any official status)--with the Statements of Metropolitan
      Philaret that were from official Epistles.

      In one, he states that the Moscow Patriarchate is one of the three parts of
      the Russian Church, in addition to the Catacomb Church and the Church
      Abroad. In this official document he does not say that the Russian Church
      is composed of two parts: the Catacomb and the Church Abroad, and that
      there exists a third entity--a twice-anathematized pseudo church calling
      itself the Moscow Patriarchate. No he writes: 'in addition to the Catacomb
      Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, which have no communion with one
      another, there exists a third part of the Russian Church--the Russian
      Church Abroad." Clearly he is calling the Moscow Patriarchate one of the
      three parts of the Russian Church.

      Also, in another official Epistle, Metropolitan Philaret dedicated the
      entire Epistle to a condemnation of a recent ruling by the Soviet
      government forbidding children to attend Church. In this Epistle, he speaks
      about how terrible it is for the Soviet government to deny children the
      opportunity to go to Church and receive the Holy Mysteries--i.e. Holy
      Communion, as he said "in the few churches permitted to be open." Clearly
      he is not talking about the Catacomb Church, because none of them,
      obviously, were "permitted." He was talking about the churches of the
      Moscow Patriarchate. And what does this mean? It means that Metropolitan
      Philaret considered the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate to have valid
      Mysteries. If he considered the Moscow Patriarchate to be a pseudo
      church--he would have to believe that all of its mysteries were graceless
      and invalid--and so, would have expressed no concern about children being
      denied Holy Communion in such churches.

      Believe me--I was the cell-attendant of Metropolitan Philaret in 1966, just
      a couple of years after his enthronization. Later, when I became Secretary
      of the Eastern American Diocese, I also served as his personal secretary
      (1976-1982) and had countless discussions with him and even "ghost-wrote" a
      number of his epistles. Never in all this time did he express the thought
      that the Moscow Patriarchate was graceless.

      During that time he penned a very positive foreward to an article about
      Moscow Patriarchate Elder Tavrion, which was published in "Orthodox Word."
      Not a word of condemnation for Elder Tavrion for being in the Moscow
      Patriarchate, and not a word about the Moscow Patriarchate being a

      Also, in 1980, when Moscow Patriarchate Priest Dimitry Dudko was arrested,
      Metropolitan Philaret directed that all parishes hold special prayer
      services for him and commemorate him at the prokomedia.

      Would he have done this if he considered Fr. Dimitry to be a member of a
      graceless pseudo-church?

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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