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6043Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: He Who Restraineth

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Jul 19, 2002
      Joseph Digrande wrote:

      >Acccording to the eyewitness of the ceremony, Arch.
      >Pitirim, Sergius entered the Church 3 times on his
      >knees begging for forgiveness. All three times the
      >crowd in the Church begged Pat. Tikhon to :"Holy
      >Vladyko, do not believe him>"
      >On the third time Pat. Tikhon said,
      >"The former Met. Sergius as having fallen away into
      >the anti=God heresy of living-Church renovationism,
      >and as having drawn many Orthodox priests, monks and
      >laity into destruction, is to remain for the rest of
      >his life weeping for what he has done and from now on
      >cannot touch church serving, but will remain in the
      >rank of a simple monk."
      >And he instructed him to remain in a certain monastery
      >without departing from it, in complete obedience to
      >the father abbot. And before Christ and His Angels and
      >the Holy Church the former Met. Sergius gave a
      >promises to fulfull everything he had promised
      >exactly. But alas, he immediately deceived the
      >Patriarch, broke his promise to him, boldly trampled
      >on the canons of the Catholic and Apostolic Church. He
      >deceived everyone he could deceive, he declared that
      >he had received complete forgiveness from "His
      >Holiness" and began to serve. IN view fo the canons of
      >the Holy Apostles, Holy Councils and Holy Fathers,
      >after this he is not only considered banned but also
      >completely deposed, even excommunicated...
      >And this deception was successful for in those days
      >that were so difficult for the Church, the voice of
      >His Holiness the Pat could scarcely be heard beyond
      >the Donskoy Monastery where he lived in

      This is a complete fabrication and absolutely does not correspond to the
      truth. It is a fable--a myth concocted by some fanatical anti-Sergianist.
      There were plenty of eyewitnesses to the formal repentance of Metropolitan
      Sergius and the full and accurate description was published many times,
      including in early ROCOR sources, such as Gleb Rahr's "Subjugated Church."

      And what is clear is that Patriarch Tikhon accepted Metr. Sergius's
      repentance and personally assisted in vesting him in full vestments of a
      Metropolitan and immediately concelebrated Divine Liturgy with him.

      There are obvious errors in the narrative presented by Joseph--such as "he
      entered the Church 3 times on his knees begging forgiveness" when the
      actual procedure of repentance was that the penitent would, inside the
      Church, make three full prostrations, asking forgiveness of the Patriarch,
      the clergy, and the faithful.

      The most telling error is that it states that Patriarch Tikhon, at that
      time, "lived in imprisonment," when it is known that Patriarch Tikhon was
      released from imprisonment in July of 1923 (he had been arrested in May of
      1922). After his release in July of 1923 and up to his repose in April,
      1924 patriarch Tikhon was not restricted in his ecclesiastical activity--he
      traveled freely aroung Moscow, serving at the various Churches and was
      extremely active in sermons, letters, appeals, etc., so that it is
      ridiculous to state that "his voice could scarcely be heard."

      Joseph later posted regarding Metropolitan Sergius appointment:

      >Good question/I will have to dig a little to find the
      >exact date he became the vicar at Nizhniy Novgorod and
      >how he became one. Also what evidence that the
      >Communists wer involved in his placement there. The
      >Patriarch was pretty much a prisoner of the Donskoy
      >Monastery at that time. I will get back to you with
      >what I can find/ joseph digrande

      First of all, Metr. Sergius was not appointed "vicar" at Nizny Novgorod.
      That was not a vicariate, but a major Metropolitan See, where he was
      appointed Ruling Bishop.

      Historical evidence is plentiful on this issue.

      Metr. Sergius was in the Renovationist schism from the middle of 1922 to
      the beginning of 1924.

      Immediately after his repentance, Metr. Sergius was appointed by Patriarch
      Tikhon to the see of Nizhny Novgorod (the exact date was March 18/31, 1924).

      Less than two months later, on May 8/21, 1924, Patriarch Tikhon and his
      Patriarchal Synod issued a Decree about the reorganization of the Higher
      Church Administration and the appointment of the members of the Holy Synod
      and of the Higher Church Council.

      Reading from the actual Ukaze:

      "Appointed as permanent members of the Holy Synod under the chairmanship of
      Patriarch Tikhon are:

      Metr. Sergius of Nizhny-Novgorod
      Metr. Kyrill of Kazan
      Metr. Tikhon of the Urals
      Metr. Seraphim of Tver'
      Metr. Peter of Krutitsk" . . .

      . . .and 6 more Archbishops (including Archbishop Joseph of Rostov (later
      Metropolitan of Petrograd) and one other Bishop.

      So it is perfectly clear that not only was Metr. Sergius **not** removed
      from serving and reduced to the status of a simple monk, as the fabrication
      depicts, but actually he was given a criitically important see and
      appointed the **ranking member** of the Holy Synod by Patriarch Tikhon.

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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