Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Spiritual Testament of St. Seraphim of Vyritsa (corrected text)
- Fr.Sergei fails to mention the MP being in schism.
The MP is in schism from the historic Russian Church
and ROCOR as written in St.Metr.Philaret's Epistles below.
Schismatics must ask to be admitted into the True Church.
What are our bishops doing going to the schismatic MP, but not
ROCOR(V) or ROAC for dialogue? Is this our new policy?
Only if we are not the True Church would it not be necessary for
schismatics like the MP to ask forgiveness and admittance.
On the other hand, if our bishops believed we are the schismatics or
a sect as Metr.Agafangel stated, then it would be understandable
that they ask forgiveness and kiss the hand of the Patriarch of our
Mother Church the MP.
EPISTLE OF METROPOLITAN PHILARET (1965)
"The courageous majority of the sons of the Russian Church did not
the declaration of Metr. Sergy, considering that a union of the Church
the godless Soviet State, which had set itself the goal of annihilating
Christianity in general, could not exist on principle.
But a schism nonetheless occurred. The minority, accepting the
formed a central administration, the so-called "Moscow Patriarchate,"
while being supposedly officially recognized by the authorities, in
fact received no legal rights whatever from them; for they continued,
without hindrance, a most cruel persecution of the Church. In the words
Joseph, Metropolitan of Petrograd, Metr. Sergy, having proclaimed the
declaration, entered upon the path of "monstrous arbitrariness,
and betrayal of the Church to the interests of atheism and the
of the Church."
The majority, renouncing the declaration, began an illegal
existence. Almost all the bishops were tortured and killed in death
among them the locum tenens Metr. Peter, Metr. Cyril of Kazan, who was
respected by all, and Metr. Joseph of Petrograd, who was shot to death
the end of 1938, as well as many other bishops and thousands of
monks, nuns, and courageous laymen. Those bishops and clergy who
miraculously remained alive began to live illegally and to serve Divine
services secretly, hiding themselves from the authorities and
this fashion the ../resistance/cat_1974.htmCatacomb Church in the
"Rev. Sergei Overt" <frsovert@...> wrote:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rev. Sergei Overt" <frsovert@...>
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 6:52 PM
Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Spiritual Testament of St. Seraphim of
> Vladimir Kozireff wrote:
> > Communism considers that the faith is the opium of the people.
> > Communism has endeavoured to destroy the Church. An orthodox must
> > necessarily be an uncompromising anti-communist. Are you not?
> my answer:
> Well Vladimir, you are absolutely right! We are anti-communists
> and this is why our ROCOR exists. This is why the administrative
> not schism, has lasted so long in the Local Church of Russia.
> We could not have anything to do with a captive church administration
> in Moscow. Metropolitan Sergius was "v kletke!", in a Soviet Bolshevik
> To illustrate this read the various accounts about this period in 20-th
> century Russian Church history. I precicely mean history, this was in the
> For example, there is information about the attempt of Archimandrite
> Leonty Filippovic, later the ROCOR Archbishop of Chile, how he tried to
> visit and meet
> with Vladika Mitropolit Sergii in Moscow and was unable to.
> This was around 1933-34. See his biography serialized in three issues
> of Pravoslavnaiya Zhizn, Numbers 3, 4 and 5, 1996. It was impossible
> to meet with the hierarch who replaced the Locum Tenens of the
> Church, Metropolitan Peter, just as it was impossible to meet with
> Metropolitan Peter himself. I believe there was a desire to meet, but in
> those dark
> times it was impossible in the reality that was The Soviet Union. It was
> our Russian Emigre author Ivan Solonevich termed "Rossiya v konzlagere",
> Soviet Russia - "One Big Soviet Consentration Camp".
> What about a meeting of Metropolitan Anastasy with
> Metropolitan Sergius? - also in those days impossible! If Vladika
> Mitropolit Anastasy would have returned to Russia to travel to see
> Mitropolit Sergii, what would have happened? He would have been arrested
> and perhaps put in prison or executed. Such a meeting could not have taken
> In those days it was impossible to have any contact.
> Today we have a different situation. Three of our respected hierarchs have
> succsesfully traveled back into Russia and met with the heir of the
> temporary Patriarchal Synod of Metropolitan Sergius and his hierarchs
> in Moscow. Noone arrested them or put them in prison.
> Soon our ROCOR first hierarch will officially also travel there to meet
> the main church administrator of Russia. The threat
> that existed from the communist tyranny no longer exists and we
> are able to have free travel to Russia. Many ROCOR clergy and
> today travel to Russia extensively and on an on going basis
> Vladimir Kozyreff:
> > You write: "(the zealots) do not trust the changes in today's
> > Russia. It all seems to be too good, to be true".
> > This is an incomprehensible statement. Is it "too good" that the MP
> > sticks to sergianism and to ecumenism in spite of everything, and
> > that ROCOR(L) turns a blind eye to it?
> my answer:
> Vladimir, I do not understand why you think my statement is
> incomprehensible. Our anti-communist emigres truly fear
> a return to Soviet tyrany. It is very difficult for some people
> here in the Diaspora to believe the religious freedom that now
> exists in Russia. That is all. Though they rejoice for Russia
> and her much-suffering people. Because they can now openly
> attend church and church life is reviveing.
> Metropolitan Laurus and our Synod are not turning a blind eye,
> they just want to go see for themselves. To meet with the
> Patriarch, to see church life for what it is on an official level.
> As respectable people. Both us and MP.
> Vladimir Kozyreff:
> > You write :" The non-Russians and those who joined us from other
> > jurisdictions fleeing "modernism" fear Ecumenism and a betrayal of
> > the traditionalistic "true Orthodoxy" of ROCOR.
> > Let me advise you that I am Russian and that do I fear modernism
> > (which should not be placed between quotation marks). I do fear also
> > ecumenism and the betrayal of true orthodoxy (which should not be
> > placed between quotation marks either).
> my answer:
> You are an amazing Russian and I respect you for your views.
> (Most average ROCOR Russian parishioners don't have your zeal.)
> I also, am against Ecumenism and consider it a heresy as our ROCOR
> has declared in 1983. Though I also realize that the majority of
> our Russian emigre flock has a different understanding. I will not
> repeat what I wrote in my previous post, but the answer is
> there. I believe ROCOR laity have been tainted by Ecumenism
> and our clergy and hierarchs have not fought enough with
> it on the "home front" in our parishes.
> I also do not like modernism of the spiritually unhealthy variety.
> I don't like it when this modernism
> and Ecumenism shows up among our "lifelong proper and faithfull ROCOR
> parishioners". I have seen various strains of the "Ecumenism and Moderism
> Virus" of different forms in our ROCOR also. I have made the concious
> decision of not running from the Church I was baptised and raised in,
> even though I have seen both sin and many other problems.
> Perhaps "sergianism" also, of the "zarubezhny variety".
> (Once when someone asked about how long has one
> of our older ROCOR hierarchs, now since reposed, known me an older
> very eagerly answered "Vladika has known Fr. Sergei since he was
> an infant in diapers!")
> I do not judge ROCOR or MP. We are two parts of the same Russian Church.
> We both have problems of various varieties.
> I do not believe in looking for the better or "more perfect" jurisdiction.
> I am in ROCOR becouse this is where I always was.
> I have always felt myself being part of the whole Orthodox Church of
> not "some other" more correct or more true part and part of Universal
> I do not believe running to a different Church administration or to schism
> is an answer to ecclesiastical problems.
> Vladimir Kozyreff:
> > You write "Regretfully this created the uncalled for recent schism
> > and the sad situation ROCOR we have with today".
> > Again, this is just a statement. The truth, in my view, is that the
> > ROCOR became confused and forgot that the Church cannot be a group
> > of nice people belonging to an institution that was created by
> > Stalin to deceive the people and to destroy the faith. The Church is
> > the true apostolic Christian community, founded by Christ, in union
> > with its true, canonical bishops.
> > You write: "Despite the problems, ROCOR today, is finally following
> > the clear and middle road, not weaving to the right or to the left
> > (to extremes). We do not condemn any other canonical Local Orthodox
> > Churches and consider them Orthodox (do not call them "Graceless")
> > and yet we keep out treasured ROCOR tradition.
> > What is your view about the ROCOR(L)actions against Vl Vitaly? Is
> > this the middle road?
> > You write: "We pray for the healing of the entire Russian Church
> > which includes the thousands of believers in Russia, many of whom
> > are new converts to the faith in the recently opened new churches of
> > the MP. We cannot reject the Orthodoxy of these people".
> > If those people that you talk about follow the MP's teaching, they
> > believe that sergianism was a necessary sin to save the Church from
> > annihilation. This is not an orthodox concept, and this should be
> > rejected. Those who believe in that view are not orthodox, even if
> > we love them very much and long for unity. If they do not follow the
> > MP's teaching, they are not in the Church either, because the Church
> > is unity between the believers and their bishops.
> > Let me suggest that, by implying (as a few before you in this List)
> > that true orthodoxy is making concessions to the truth in order to
> > achieve unity between wrong and right, you spread confusion.
> my answer:
> We can not judge the Orthodoxy of these new people in MP.
> Many are very innocent to the sins of the church administration.
> They are coming to God and to His Holy Church. We do not know what is
> in their hearts. We have to try to help them and give them a chance.
> Not turn them into schismatics. I believe opening ROCOR
> churches in Russia might have been a mistake.
> Look at what happened in Greece. Our ROCOR Archbishop
> Leonty Filippovich of Chile, traveled to Greece and organized
> ordinations of bishops for what he thought were suffering
> Greek Orthodox Christians. Little did he know how they
> would latter splinter and fragment into schism after schism.
> Will the same thing happen in the new Russia where religious
> freedom is now guaranteed. Is this a new tactic to destroy the
> Orthodox Chuch by splintering and schism?...........
> That's why I could not follow the Mansonville schism and
> have now become very cautious of various old calendarists
> and ultra-traditionalists.
> Many of whom I believe joined our parishes not understanding
> what we were all about. Some are now "disappointed" in us that
> we recognize Grace in the sacraments of the new calendarist
> jurisdictions and that our bishops "kissed the hand of the Patriarch in
> What were they supposed to do? Spit on it!????...............
> As I have alrady stated, we cannot reject the Orthodoxy of these
> people in Russia. I think, most of the laity never heard of "Sergianism".
> The people who I encounter coming from Russia and praying
> on our churches now (most are from MP),
> do not really think much about the church administration
> In conclusion, I believe it is the responsibility of our hierarchs and not
> for you or me to argue about this or try to prove something. "Mir
> popravliyat po svoyemu". If our hierarchy will travel to
> Russia to meet with MP hierarchy they are responsible, not
> you or me. Our laity should stop critisizing and hurdleing uncalled for
> accusations and writing various things against the clergy
> trying to instill mistrust and suspision in the laity.
> Better look at you own personal spiritual lives before writing
> against your own church. I have recently read the most awfull
> things in the Argentinian newspaper "Nasha Strana". Only Bolsheviks
> tried to discredit clergy in such a way!
> Vladimir Kozyreff:
> > As we have discussed it before quite a few times on this forum,
> > orthodoxy is not about preferring love to faith, but about
> > understanding that truth and faith cannot be separated. This is the
> > true orthodox message. Unfortunately, it is being discredited and
> > endangered by those who should defend it in our confused times.
> > In God,
> > Vladimir Kozyreff
> > my answer:
> By my answers I do not wish to say anything hurtful to you Vladimir,
> or to anyone.
> I answer you how I understand these issues and in all honesty.
> I am truly sadened by the schism of ROCOR today and I do not see
> an end to it. People are not speaking with one another, families are
> in the Russian emigre communities and so on. Schism is not a good thing.
> Forgive me and God Bless you.
> With love in Christ,
> Fr. Sergei Overt
> > --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Rev. Sergei Overt"
> > <frsovert@3...> wrote:
> > > Dear Viatcheslav,
> > > Your observation may be correct.
> > > After WWII ROCOR became extreme in
> > > attitude because things began to change
> > > in the Orthodox World. Before the war,
> > > ROCOR represented the Russian Church in the
> > > West and now with the new Patriarch in Moscow,
> > > Alexij Simansky there began contacts with other Local
> > > Orthodox Churches by the MP church administration.
> > > ROCOR began to be isolated by this,
> > > maintaining contact with only the Jerusalem and
> > > Serbian Patriarchates. The laity who were
> > > as you said, displaced persons, were very fearful
> > > of communism and the Soviet Union in general.
> > > The ROCOR became more and more extreme
> > > and isolated from other Orthodox.
> > > Most Russian emigrants stayed with ROCOR because
> > > of its anti-communist attitude. You see, it was
> > > a simple answer back in 1969 or 70 after OCA,
> > > went ahead and received Autocephaly from MP.
> > > If you wanted to be part of a church that was in contact
> > > with Soviet controlled bishops go to OCA, if you wanted
> > > to be part of a free anti-communist church with
> > > independent status in free America go to ROCOR.
> > > Issues such as Ecumenism amongst the Russians
> > > were not a problem. Many of the laity had ecumenistic
> > > attitudes about their faith on a personal level all along.
> > > (All the "Mixed" marriages amongst the Russian emigration for
> > > example! Allowed by majority of ROCOR). I have even herd of a
> > > real extreme attitude where is "better to be a Roman
> > > Catholic then Moscow Patriarchate", because the Vatican
> > > is anti-communist.
> > > The ecumenism question came in the late 1970's and 80's
> > > when more converts and old calendarist Greeks
> > > joined ROCOR. For example, Fr. Nikitas Palasis
> > > and his parish in Seattle, the HTM in Brookline and others.
> > > I believe, there were two separate groups
> > > and "approaches" in our ROCOR at that time.
> > > One for the Russian emigrant parishes and one for these
> > > new zealots and the English speaking converts they brought in.
> > > The new zealots taught the faith in English, held conferences,
> > > encouraged publication of religious literature with their ideology
> > > and so on. The Russian part of ROCOR quietly prayed,
> > > continued a peaceful church life, established parishes
> > > for their communities, sometimes not without infighting,
> > > tried to promote Russian emigre culture, anti-communism,
> > > allowed mixed marriages and began to see that in many
> > > parishes the majority of people were older and even became
> > > accepting of the attitude that the younger generation should
> > > assimilate with North American non-Orthodox culture.
> > > Many of the young people were lost to the practice
> > > of Orthodoxy as a living religious way of life.
> > > Church was "a cultural thing" for people of
> > > Russian decent in America.
> > > ROCOR parishes became "grandmas' church".
> > > I have sadly observed this phenomenon many times
> > > in my parish and others. This is especially apparent at
> > > the funerals of the older generation. The Orthodox faith
> > > was not passed on by these people.
> > > I recently noticed this also at Radonitsa, how there
> > > are more and more Russian graves and less and less
> > > relatives of these people visit them.
> > > I will also add that among the older Russian clergy
> > > (especially the Russian parish priests),
> > > the new zealots were not in favour and many saw these ideals
> > > from HTM Brookline as not what they were used to in their
> > > religiosity. I know of sad situations that transpired
> > > when, for example a non-Russian priest of this
> > > new zealot persuasion was sent to serve a Russian parish.
> > > To his amazement and dismay the poor man would
> > > realize that the Russians did not hold to or agree
> > > with his extreme views about the Orthodox faith.
> > > This all changed when HTM Brookline left
> > > and started their own jurisdiction for the parishes and clergy
> > > that went with them. Some of their ideas (for example,
> > > that all other Orthodox are "Graceless") they left among
> > > our more religious ROCOR people both Russian and non-Russian.
> > > Hence, we see as things began to change after 1990 in other
> > > jurisdictions and in the world in general, another type of
> > > ROCOR extremism appeared.
> > > Some ROCOR Russians raised with the anti-communist
> > > ideology do not trust the changes in today's Russia.
> > > It all seems to be, too good, to be true. The non-
> > > Russians and those who joined us from other jurisdictions
> > > fleeing "modernism" fear Ecumenism and a betrayal of the
> > traditionalistic
> > > "true Orthodoxy" of ROCOR.
> > > Regretfully this created the uncalled for recent schism and the
> > > sad situation ROCOR we have with today.
> > > The HTM Brookline schism was the first and effected mostly
> > > only the old calendarist Greeks and converts, the second,
> > Mansonville
> > > schism is a combination of the two currents based on the past
> > > combined ideologies of both Russian emigrant fear and convert
> > zealotry.
> > >
> > > Despite the problems,ROCOR today, is finally following the clear
> > and middle
> > > road, not weaving to the right or to the left (to extremes). We do
> > not
> > > condemn
> > > any other canonical Local Orthodox Churches
> > > and consider them Orthodox (do not call them "Graceless") and yet
> > we
> > > keep out treasured ROCOR tradition. We pray for the
> > > healing of the entire Russian Church which includes the thousands
> > > of believers in Russia, many of whom are new converts to the faith
> > > in the recently opened new churches of the MP.
> > > We cannot reject the Orthodoxy of these people.
> > >
> > >
> > > Now Viatchesalv, about the Hierarchy of ROCOR during this time
> > > after the war. Metropolitan Anastasy simply followed the path
> > > of Metropolitan Peter Poliyansky of Krutitsk and
> > > Metropolitan Kyrill Smirnov of Kazan. This was in line with
> > > the canonical situation. MP was a new church administration,
> > > ROCOR remained loyal to the original old one. The one Metroplitan
> > > Peter was the lawful leader of. Church life continued.
> > > ROCOR had no contact with Metropolitan Peter though.
> > > Times were difficult.
> > > As I have said already, ROCOR was never as extreme as it became
> > after
> > > the WWII and I have explained why.
> > > Metropolitan Sergius and Metropolitan Anthony in the 1930's
> > > even exchanged correspondence as best they could.
> > > Again, times were difficult.
> > > Today ROCOR bishops can travel to Russia and speak to
> > > the Patriarch directly and sit at the same table.
> > > Times have changed.
> > > Obviously, this was impossible then.
> > >
> > > Respectfully,
> > > Fr.Sergei
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