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19119RE: [orthodox-synod] waiting?

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  • Elias G Gorsky
    Feb 4, 2007
      The Council of Bishops and the Synod Of Bishops followed the letter and
      spirit of the resolution of the 4th All-Diaspora Sobor - the union was to
      occur "at the appropriate time" and all vowed to " follow the Bishops". The
      Council of Bishops deemed the current time to be appropriate. It is
      certainly their prerogative to do so, being mandated by the Holy Spirit to
      lead the Church. If some disagree as to the "appropriateness of the time",
      it may be their "right" to disagree, but it does not nullify the bishops'
      decision. Even if the bishops are wrong in deeming the time to be
      appropriate, it is not sufficient reason to disobey and leave the bishops.
      Anyone doing so is going into schism. The only reason for leaving one's
      bishop is the bishop's preaching heresy bare-headed in Church. Being wrong
      as to the appropriateness of time does not even come close.

      The part in the resolution regarding the pending Local Council of the _One_
      Russian Church to settle any remaining differences, it is obvious from the
      wording that it is a Council of the ONE Russian Church, thus requiring the
      Union of the two parts of the Russian Church to have already occurred. In
      any case, it is impossible to have a SOBOR, in other words SOBORNOST, of
      parts of the Russian Church which are not in communion with each other.

      People accusing our bishops of acting uncanonically do not have leg to stand
      on - it is all based on adulteration of the facts. It is rather very sinful
      and uncanonical to hurl such baseless accusations onto one's lawful
      hierarchs and spiritual fathers.

      Archpriest Ilya Gorsky

      -----Original Message-----
      From: mary marczyk [mailto:dodee842@...]
      Sent: Sunday, February 04, 2007 6:13 AM
      To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] waiting?


      Yes the first, I think paragraph did say that all who voted at the SObor
      would follow the Bishops but the Bishops have not followed the outcome of
      the SObor and ognored some very crucial facts. I think the following
      letters will explain my comment about the Following the resolution byt the
      Bishops from Sobor( Council):
      №27: An open letter by the delegates to the Sobor

      A Letter of a Group of IVth All-Diaspora Council's Delegates

      We were the delegates at the IVth All-Diaspora Council held in San Francisco
      in May, 2006. The clergy and laypeople at the Council met in a spirit of
      true brotherly love and much progress was made to come to a mutual
      understanding of the many difficult issues facing our church. We are
      increasingly concerned that the Resolution of the IVth All-Diaspora Council
      and the discussions which took place there are being portrayed incorrectly
      by representatives of our Church. Also, that the Council and its Resolution
      are being used as pretexts for further steps toward union which were not
      sanctioned by the Council.

      The Council's Resolution did not call for the immediate establishment of
      Eucharistic communion or canonical union between the Moscow Patriarchate
      (MP) and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). The first
      draft of the Council's Resolution did indeed propose such a union. At the
      suggestion of numerous delegates, it was omitted from subsequent drafts and
      does not appear in the final version. The Resolution does express, almost
      unanimously, "our resoluteness to heal the wounds of division within the
      Russian Church" so that we may serve together and commune from one Chalice,
      but "in the appropriate time."

      His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus recently stated that there is no exact time
      for this and there are still important questions which need to be resolved
      before this can occur. His Eminence cites ecumenism as being chief among
      them and the Council delegates shared his concern. That is why the
      Resolution specifically addresses this matter, when it states that the MP's
      participation in the World Council of Churches "evokes confusion among our
      clergy and flock." It then appeals to the hierarchy of the MP "to heed the
      plea of our flock to expediently remove this temptation." The question of
      "sergianstvo" was also discussed extensively at the Council, and though it
      may not have appeared in the Council's Resolution, it remains an important
      issue for us as well.

      We therefore find it completely appropriate that Bishop Agafangel, in his
      letter to his diocese, correctly explained to his faithful that these issues
      must still be resolved by the working committees before any further action
      is taken. He also noted that the relationship of the two churches must be
      resolved at a Local (Pomestnyi) Council (Sobor) of One Russian Church. The
      call for a Local Council was expressed in this Council's Resolution and we
      eagerly await the convocation of such a council to further heal the
      divisions between us.

      It is important to note that the Council's Resolution does not include any
      mention of the "Act of Eucharistic Communion," which apparently was
      considered at the Council of Bishops immediately following the Council. The
      draft of the "Act" was read to all the delegates at the Council, but it was
      not voted on nor accepted officially at the Council. The "Act" proposes
      conditions for union which are not desirable by many delegates and we ask
      that the bishops set it aside and allow the process of the working
      committees to continue.

      The unification process is not served by bishops or clergy of our Church
      concelebrating with representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate as if union
      has already occurred. Bishop Mark's recent meeting with Met. Kyrill in
      Jerusalem and possible serving together is an example of actions which can
      lead to confusion and discord within our church. The laypeople do not know
      how to understand these different manifestations. We are equally saddened
      that the Patriarch's invitation to have B. Mark become involved in matters
      in the Surrey diocese in England was accepted by our bishops. The matter was
      strictly an internal matter of the Moscow Patriarchate and should have been
      handled by them alone.

      Not too long ago, a seminarian from ROCOR was tonsured a deacon at the
      Moscow Theological Academy. We believe this is also premature and only
      imperils the ongoing process. Our hearts go out to the faithful in Russia
      and we look forward to the day that we will be one with them, but all in due
      time. For now, let us allow the process to continue. Our desire, as stated
      in the IVth All-Diaspora Council's Resolution, is to place our "complete
      trust and love of the pastors and laity to our First Hierarch, His Eminence
      Metropolitan Laurus and the Council of Bishops" to lead us to the
      realization of God's will for our Church.

      The 4th All-Diaspora Council put their trust in His Eminence and the Council
      of Bishops to continue working to resolve the issues before us and prepare
      for the Local Council. Much progress has been made and with God's blessing
      we shall achieve, as stated in the Council Resolution, "the restoration of
      that unity which is desired by all."


      №48: Engl. transl. of the diocesan Resolution proposed by the "Loyal

      "We, the clergy of the Eastern American Diocese, having gathered in the
      blessed city of Sea Cliff, express our great sorrow and anguish as we view
      the efforts of a distinct group of bishops and clerics of our Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) to force the premature
      establishment of Eucharistic communion with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP).
      This is being done in spite of the statement made in the 4th All-Diaspora
      Council Resolution and Bishops Council Resolution that the "Matter of union
      within the Church of Russia will not be put off, but done only after the
      resolution of the remaining disputed points in a mutually satisfying
      manner." The disputed points that have scarred our Church in the past and to
      this day, remain a deep wound in the body of our Church. They are the
      membership of the MP in the WCC, ecumenism, sergianstvo and the unlawful
      appropriation of the title "the Mother Church" by the MP.

      Our conscience forbids us to follow the uncanonical and groundless decisions
      made by the members of the negotiating committees, who do not seek to
      fulfill the Will of God and His Truth, but rather to please earthly masters.
      The ratification of the Act without the resolution of all the disputed
      points that torment the Russian Church forces ROCOR to fall under its own
      anathema, which is stated in all the cathedrals of our Church during the
      Triumph of Orthodoxy service. We are concerned for this group of clergy who
      violate the Canons and Laws of the Holy Church without remorse and who do
      not heal the wounds in the its body, but rather, worsen them.

      We are saddened that the most fundamental principles of the lawful and
      canonical leadership of the Church in the spirit of true unity are being
      violated. The resultant discord among the church faithful is leading to
      schism, which, according to the teachings of the Holy Fathers of the ancient
      Church, is the worst heresy of all. We pray before the Hodigitria of the
      Russian disapora, the Kursk-Root Wonderworking icon, and the relics of Saint
      John, the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, that peace, unity,
      trust, the softening of hearts, love, tranquility and seriousness of purpose
      rule throughout all the parts of our Church Abroad - since when one part of
      our church body is ill, the entire Church suffers.

      We feel this pain deeply.

      Therefore, we, the clergy and laypeople of the Eastern American Diocese and
      participants of the Pastoral Conference, express our support for the efforts
      to heal the rift dividing all the parts of the Russian Orthodox Church.
      Alas, we cannot agree to the stipulation in the Act that all previously
      issued declarations preventing complete Eucharistic communion are now deemed
      invalid or no longer binding. The declarations of the 4th All-Diaspora
      Council can be negated and invalidated just as easily, not to mention all
      the other Councils, held by ROCOR earlier and which constituted the basis of
      our split. No negotiating committee has the right to ask on behalf of the
      Local Church of all its faithful to behave in a manner contradictory to the
      Holy Canons, which should guide every Christian in his or her life.

      Currently, we see that there are those who are leading ROCOR into schism
      without any regard to the canons or the wisdom of the Church Fathers. We
      aver our distrust of the members of the ROCOR negotiating committee,
      including Archbishop Mark, Archpriest Alexander Lebedev and Archpriest
      Nicholas Artemoff.

      We state our support for Archbishop Hilarion, the First Deputy to the ROCOR
      Hierarch, who brings attention in his letter to Synod to the disputed points
      that have not been resolved within the MP (ecumenism, WCC, sergianstvo) and
      that they may lead to schism within our Church.

      We state our support for our governing bishop, Bishop Gabriel, for his
      steadfastness in the Truth and hope that he remains, as did his
      great-grandfather Holy New Martyr Gabriel, a witness to God's Truth to the

      We state our support for Bishop Daniel who sent his opinion to the Hierarch,
      Metropolitan Lavr, that the ill-timed union with the MP will lead ROCOR to

      We are deeply grateful to Bishop Agafangel, and to the entire clergy
      vouchsafed to him by God, for their witness to the Truth and their
      steadfastness in the belief that while sergianstvo and ecumenism remain deep
      wounds in the body of the Church, Eucharistic communion cannot occur.

      We state our support for the 72 clergymen of our Church, who have made the
      hierarchy of our Church aware of the serious consequences of these actions
      and how they may indeed lead to a schism within ROCOR.

      We demand an accounting of our sacred possessions, which our bishops and
      clergy have recently given out as gifts, as we consider these actions to be
      the submission of spoils to a Patriarch, whose election was never recognized
      by our bishops.

      We appeal to the episcopate, clergy and laypeople of our Church and
      emphatically ask them to weigh carefully each statement they make, not to
      mention each act, in these fateful days, when our ROCOR is being pushed to
      the brink of schism and secession.

      Let us remember the word of God that we shall answer for every prideful
      word, not to mention deed, at Judgment Day. Amen."



      DDD <dimitradd@...> wrote:
      On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 15:12:22 +1100 (EST), mary marczyk wrote:
      HI Dimitra,

      YOur comment would be fair if the Synod of BIshops had followed the
      Resolutions of the SOBOR, but they did not. Perhaps we need to ask
      why this was so? Indeed, this question has been asked and there have
      been no replies to this as far as I am aware.

      Hi, Mary (?) (Dodeegirl?),

      This is the second post I've read that claims our bishops have not followed
      the resolutions of the Sobor. Could you please enumerate what resolutions
      you feel have not been followed, and why?

      One of the resolutions of the Sobor was that clergy and people would follow
      the Bishops. It doesn't look like *that* resolution is being followed by
      everyone... (I'm being serious, not sarcastic...)

      Thanks for your reply (and hope I see it among the hundreds of posts),

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