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15460Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Official Historical Position of the Russian Church Abroad

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Nov 2, 2005
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      Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

      >Should we bow before a false Church, and thus clearly show to the
      >world that they may consider a false Church as a true one, we would
      >betray God and serve the devil.

      One would certainly think that in the 78 years since the time of the
      "Declaration" of Metropolitan Sergius, or 62 years since Stalin
      allowed the election of a Patriarch of Russia, the Russian Orthodox
      Church Outside of Russia would have issued at least **one** official
      statement explicitly declaring the Moscow Patriarchate to be a "false Church."

      That was certainly **not** the view of Metropolitan Anastassy, who
      stated (in 1953, at the Sobor of Bishops):

      "They say that Patriarch Alexy sinned more than his predecessor.
      Whether he sinned more or less, we cannot deny his ordination. Much
      is said of their apostasy. But we must be cautious. We can hardly
      make an outright accusation of apostasy. In no place do they affirm
      atheism. In their published sermons they attempt to hold to the
      Orthodox line. They took and continue to take very strict measures
      with regard to the obnovlentsy, and did not tear their ties with
      Patriarch Tikhon. The false policy belongs to the church authority
      and the responsibility for it falls on its leaders. Only heresy
      adopted by the whole Church tarnishes the whole Church. In this case,
      the people are not responsible for the behavior of the leaders, and
      the Church, as such, remains unblemished."

      Vladimir--listen to Metropolitan Anastassy's words again: "the
      Church, as such," [he is talking about the Moscow Patriarchate
      here--saying that it, notwithstanding the "false policy" of its
      leaders] -- "remains unblemished."

      And this was all said long after the reestablishment of the
      Patriarchy in 1943, and after a large number of hyperbolic paeans by
      Patriarch Alexei I addressed to Stalin and well known to Metropolitan

      How can a Church which "remains unblemished" be a false Church?

      Also, Saint John of Shanghai wrote, in his Ukaz No. 650, to the
      Shanghai clergy, dated August 24, 1945, wrote:

      "Now, in view of the unquestionable (besspornogo) lawful (zakonnogo)
      heading (vozglavlenia) of the Russian Church by His Holiness
      Patriarch Alexei, elected by the All-Russian Church Council to
      succeed the reposed Patriarch Sergius, and recognized, as was his
      predecessor, by all of the autocephalous Churches, it is required, as
      in the past, to commemorate the name of the Head of the Russian
      Church, replacing the temporarily used expression: "the orthodox episcopate."

      "Therefore 1) at litanies, the Great Entrance and after the
      consecration of the Gifts TO COMMMEMORATE "OUR MASTER AND FATHER HIS
      years at the end of the service after "the holy orthodox patriarchs"
      to say the same; 3) after His Holiness the Patriarch to commemorate
      the other hierarchs, commemorated in the local churches." [Emphasis
      in the original Ukaz].

      Do you believe that St. John, who was clairvoyant, could not tell the
      difference between a "false Church" and a true one?

      Why do you, Vladimir, presume to have more discernment regarding the
      Moscow Patriarchate than did Metropolitan Anastassy or St. John of
      Shanghai and San Francisco?

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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