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4201Re: [orthodox-synod] Bishop Varnava Walls Himself Off

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  • Reader Dionysi
    Mar 1, 2001
      Is this the correct e-mail to get into contact with Vladyka Varnava to talk about a personal matter? I only correspond in english.
      Reader Dionysi

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: intrprtr@...
      Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 10:33 PM
      To: true-orthodox@yahoogroups.com; orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com; orthodoxjurisdictions@yahoogroups.com; orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com; ortho-praxis@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [orthodox-synod] Bishop Varnava Walls Himself Off

      Your Eminence,
      Most-Eminent Vladyko Metropolitan!
      Venerable Archpastors!
      Beloved Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!
      Of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

      The supreme executive body that we have is the Bishops' Sobor. However, in
      order that the supremacy of the Sobor might be recognized, it has always
      been necessary for the fullness of the Church to be in agreement with
      it. There have been many instances in the history of the Church, as we
      know, when subsequent sobors were forced to annul the incorrect decisions
      of those that had preceded them.

      After the 2000 Bishops' Sobor, which has evoked a multitude of questions,
      objections and disagreements, which tend to "rend the unity of the Church,"
      the Bishops' Synod, that convened February 6 - 8 of this year [2001], not
      only did not hearken to this voice of the clergy and the flock [of ROCOR],
      but confirmed, in the most unconditional way, all the decisions and
      declarations of the Sobor of 2000.

      In direct disagreement with the declaration of the Synod of Bishops, three
      hierarchs in Russia are rescinding their signatures from the erroneous
      decisions of said sobor.

      Not having signed the sobor epistle, I confess, together with them, that I
      had acted rashly and without due consideration in affixing my signature to
      the letter to the Serbian Patriarch, and I repent of having done so.

      Today, however, it is impossible to stand upon repentance alone, seeing how
      a group of bishops, led by Archbishop Mark of Germany, is undeviatingly and
      successfully realizing a change in the life of our Church -- a change that
      bears no turning aside -- a change that is directed toward their "desired
      rapprochement" and "spiritual union" with the MP, as well as with other
      official [i.e., so-called "canonical" (gs)] churches, which leads to their
      gradual distancing from the true confession of the Orthodox Faith, at the
      expense of an advantageous and pleasing position in today's world.

      The obvious impossibility, under the present circumstances, of setting
      aright the newly-introduced ecclesiastical course, which was instituted
      after the Bishops' Sobor and Synod, without a prior conciliar discussion of
      the matter in the Church, forces us to take the only remaining salvific
      path, which preserves the spiritual freedom of our Russian Orthodox Church

      Wherefore, I wall off myself, my clergy, and my flock, from those who are
      called bishops, "prior to a conciliar examination" of this new course
      [which they are pursuing].

      In his letter to the sergianist archimandrite Lev Yegorov, Metropolitan
      [St.] Iosif of Petrograd gave the following illustration:

      "I will never consider myself to be a schismatic, even though I were to
      remain entirely alone, as once did one of the holy confessors. This is not
      at all a matter of numbers; never forget that for a minute: 'The Son of
      God, when He cometh again, will he even find any at all on earth who are
      faithful?' [sic. in the Russian original (gs)] And perhaps the last
      'rebels' against those who betray the Church and those who are accomplices
      in Her destruction will not only not be bishops or proto-priests, but the
      simplest of mortals, just as, at the Cross of Christ, His last, agonized,
      final breath was received by a few simple souls who were close to Him."

      "Do not judge me harshly and clearly understand the following:

      1. I am by no means a schismatic, and I call not for schism, but for the
      cleansing of the Church from those who sow actual schism, and who call for it.

      2. To point out to another his errors and transgressions is not schism.

      3. Refusal to accept healthy rebukes and direction is truly schism and a
      trampling upon truth."

      "You mention, in passing, that among the ways to truth 'Christ showed us
      yet another new way: love ye one another,' which way, apparently, you
      consider me to have left out of my purview in the course of my
      actions! Let me remind you, Father, in regard to this, of the wondrous
      conclusion of Metropolitan Filaret in his sermon concerning loving [our]
      enemies: 'Shun the enemies of God; strike against the enemies of the
      Fatherland; love your enemies.'"

      "[Metropolitan] Sergii's defenders say that the Canons permit separating
      oneself off from a Bishop only for a heresy condemned by a Sobor; my
      rejoinder to this is that the acts of M. Sergii fall sufficiently under
      this condition, too... On top of that, what is worse and more pernicious
      than any heresy, when they drive a knife into the very heart of the Church,
      into Her freedom and dignity?

      -- 'And let us not lose, imperceptibly, bit by little bit, that freedom
      which our Lord Jesus Christ, the Liberator of all men, granted us by His
      Blood.'" (Canon 8 of the III-rd Oecumenical Council).

      'Fear not, little flock, the Lord is with us! And if the Lord is with us,
      then who can be against us?! Do not forget that the most frightful thing
      possible for us is to depart away from the Truth, i.e., from Christ.'

      I remain devoted to the Russian Church Abroad, and Your unworthy
      intercessor in prayer.

      Cannes, 15 / 28 February 2001
      Holy Apostle Onesimus
      +Bishop Varnava [Barnabas]

      + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
      + + + + + + + + + + +

      -- GeoS

      "Communing with great Russian ... culture ..., with its eternal humaneness
      and principled values, can be but beneficial for each person in expanding
      his horizons; and in those people who are capable of thought, it will even
      tend, in the final analysis, to stimulate them toward justice and
      liberty." -- Vladimir Rudinskii



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