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6000RE: [orthodox-synod] FWD: The historical position of the Church Abroad

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  • vladimir kozyreff
    Jun 29, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear List,

      I am afraid Metropolitan Philaret was more critical to the MP than Father
      Alexander Lebedeff seems to imply.

      As can be seen below, Father Alexander Lebedeff, quotes Metropolitan
      Philaret, and comments:

      "Metropolitan Philaret could easily have written the following: "In addition
      to the Catacomb Church and the Russian Church Abroad, which have preserved
      the Church both in Russia and abroad, there exists a third entity calling
      itself the Russian Church, namely the Moscow Patriarchate, which is a
      creation of the Stalinist regime and is totally the void of the grace." But,
      that's not what he wrote."

      Please allow me to quote Metropolitan Philaret too:

      A letter from Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) to a priest of the Church
      Abroad concerning father Dimitry Dudko and the Moscow Patriarchate

      "In concluding my lengthy letter, I should like to point several things out
      to you, Father. The Bishops' Sobor resolved to be guided by and to fulfil
      the Testament of Metropolitan Anastasy, in which the late First Hierarch
      bade us not to have any communion with the Soviet church whatsoever, not
      only no prayerful communion, but not even ordinary contact. On what basis
      then have you and other clergymen had direct relations with Father Dudko?

      And have written him letters, etc.? No matter how sincere a man you may have
      considered him to be, nevertheless, can your private opinion annul a ruling
      adopted by the Church?

      Now, had Father Dudko said: I am breaking with the official church and
      leaving her then you could have entered into lively contact with him.

      But in the absence of that, your actions constitute a violation of
      ecclesiastical discipline. Dudko wrote to me personally, but I did not
      answer him although I could have said much. By the way, on what basis did
      you, even before this, take into your head to commemorate an archbishop of
      the Soviet church during the Great Entrance? Who gave you the right to do
      that, which hierarch who, how, where, when?.. Be more careful, my dear,
      zealous, but, ah, too impetuous fellow minister! "


      In Christ,

      Vladimir Kozyreff


      -----Message d'origine-----
      De : Mark Gilstrap [mailto:gilstrap@...]
      Envoye : jeudi 27 juin 2002 22:57
      A : orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      Objet : [orthodox-synod] FWD: The historical position of the Church
      Abroad


      >From another list:

      ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
      From: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...>
      Reply-To: Orthodox Christianity <orthodox@...>
      Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 12:45:38 -0700

      ---------------------- Information from the mail
      header -----------------------
      Sender: Orthodox Christianity <orthodox@...>
      Poster: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...>
      Subject: The historical position of the Church Abroad
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---

      There has been a lot of discussion on the lists concerning the historical
      position of the Russian Church Abroad with regards to the Moscow
      Patriarchate. Some people have provided quotes from individual Bishops,
      priests, or lay persons, from polemical articles or from personal letters.

      However, if one really wants to understand the true historical position of
      the Church Abroad, the most logical place to turn would be to the official
      Conciliar Epistles of the various Bishop's Sobors over the many decades
      of the existence of the Church Abroad.

      Even more important would be to look at the official Epistles of the
      highest authority in the Church Abroad-- the All-Diasporan (Vsezarubezhbye)
      Sobors, which take place with the participation not only of the bishops of
      the Church, but also representatives of the clergy and the laity. There
      have only been the three such All-Diasporan Sobors in the history of the
      Church Abroad. The last one was held in 1974.

      I had the honor and the privilege of being a delegate and a speaker at this
      Sobor, and participated in all of the sessions and deliberations.

      That Sobor produced an extremely important document, namely "The Epistle of
      the Third All-Diasporan Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      Russia to the Orthodox Russian People in the Homeland."

      Now, it should be obvious to everyone that there can be no document that
      would clearly state the official position of the Church Abroad to the
      Church in Russia that would have more weight then of its official Epistle
      to the Russian People in the Homeland. If Metropolitan Philaret and the
      other Bishops of the Church Abroad and the clergy and the laity
      participating in the Sobor truly believed that the Moscow Patriarchate was
      a false church and devoid of grace, this Epistle to the Russian People in
      the Homeland would have been just the instrument to warn the Russian flock
      not to have anything to do with the apostate Moscow Patriarchate.

      But what, instead, do we read in this Epistle?

      "In their never-sleeping prayers for one another, in their love for the
      Lord Jesus, in their faithfulness to the ideal of the past and f u t u r e
      [original emphasis] Orthodox Russia (Rus') the faithful archpastors,
      pastors, monks and laymen on both sides of the Iron Curtain are
      one. Together they comprise the Holy Russian Church -- indivisible, as is
      indivisible the seamless shroud of Christ."

      And let no one think that the Sobor was talking only of the Catacomb Church
      in this context.

      The entire Epistle was a response to a Letter addressed to the
      All-Diasporan Sobor by the noted Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and
      it particularly addressed those issues that had been brought up by
      Solzhenitsyn-- specifically concerning the Church in Russia.

      Here is another quote from this 5-page Epistle.

      "The Sobor witnesses:

      "The borderline between preservation of the Church and scandalous
      self-preservation was drawn by the Most-Holy Patriarch Tikhon, by his
      lawful Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Peter, by Metropolitan Kyrill of Kazan,
      by the Metropolitan of Petrograd Joseph and by the confessors of Solovky
      led by Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky).

      "This borderline in recent years was again clearly delineated by Archbishop
      Hermogen, some priests, among them Nikolai Gainov and Dimitri Dudko, by the
      laymen of Vyatka led by Boris Talantov, by the defenders of the Pochaev
      Lavra, such as Theodosia Kuzminichna Varavva, and by many others."

      Notice that the Sobor praised the stand of MP Archbishop Hermogen, of MP
      Priests Gainov and Dudko, and others who were all part of the Moscow
      Patriarchate. The Catacomb Church is not mentioned in this context at all.

      The Catacomb Church, however, is mentioned in the another context, in a
      different part of the Epistle, where the Sobor states that after spiritual
      renewal of Russia and the freeing of the Church which events are yet to
      come, "then the Moscow Patriarchate and the Catacomb Church and we, the
      Church Abroad will stand before the judgment of the local Council of the
      Russian Orthodox Church."

      This clearly indicates that all three parts of the Russian Church,
      explicitly including the Moscow Patriarchate, are equally subject to answer
      before a future All-Russian Council.

      This part of the Epistle reflects the previously stated position of the
      Church Abroad, proclaimed by Metropolitan Philaret in his own Epistle to
      the Russian flock, that these are the three parts of the Russian Church. He
      had written: "in addition to the Moscow Patriarchate and the Catacomb
      Church, there is a third part of the Russian Church, namely the Russian
      Church Abroad."

      Metropolitan Philaret could easily have written the following: "In addition
      to the Catacomb Church and the Russian Church Abroad, which have preserved
      the Church both in Russia and abroad, there exists a third entity calling
      itself the Russian Church, namely the Moscow Patriarchate, which is a
      creation of the Stalinist regime and is totally the void of the grace."

      But, that's not what he wrote.

      Therefore, all those who are interested in understanding the true
      historical position of the Russian Church Abroad, should look carefully at
      the official Epistles of the Sobors over previous decades.

      Only then will they see that the positions expressed by the Sobors of the
      Church Abroad in 2000 and 2001 in no way have strayed from the historical
      positions expressed by previous Sobors.

      Let me repeat the words of the Epistle of the 1974 All-Diasporan Sobor once
      more, because they are so important:

      "In their never-sleeping prayers for one another, in their love for the
      Lord Jesus, in their faithfulness to the ideal of the past and f u t u r e
      [original emphasis] Orthodox Russia (Rus') the faithful archpastors,
      pastors, monks and laymen on both sides of the Iron Curtain are
      one. Together they comprise the Holy Russian Church -- indivisible, as is
      indivisible the seamless shroud of Christ."

      That was the position of the Church Abroad 28 years ago.

      It is still the position of the Church Abroad today.

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

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