Re: "Friends"? ...Moderator?
- Dear Father Raphael, bless.
Yo seem to imply that I am angry because things do not evolve in the
ROCOR in the way that I, personally would like them to evolve. I
suppose you do not like the way things happen in the "Churches" that
you consider schismatic. If the latter would reply in telling you
that you are just angry because your personal will is not respected
in them, you would not be convinced either.
It is too easy an argument to say: "Be humble, and accept that
things should not be the way you want". I just want the Church to be
faithful, this has nothing to do with my personal will. I have just
to decide where the true Church is, and be with her.
Could Vl Sergius not say to those who did not follow him, that they
put their own personal desire before the will of those who had
authority on them?
Excommunicating the "dissenters" is not an orthodox way to ensure
unanimity in the Church. Telling that they "excluded themselves" is
not convincing either. I am not the only one to believe that
premature union is wrong, but it would still be wrong, even if I
would be the only one to say so.
In our discussion, I suggest not to resort to discrediting the
opponent by saying that what he is wrong because he expresses his
personal will. It is to be hoped that any sincere person wants what
he thinks to be right. I hope it is my case.
"The authority of the bishop is fundamentally the authority of the
Church. However great the prerogatives of the bishop may be, he is
not someone set up over the Church, but the holder of an office in
the Church. Bishop and people are joined in an organic unity, and
neither can properly be thought of apart from the other.
Without bishops there can be no Orthodox people, but without
Orthodox people there can be no true bishop. The Church, said
Cyprian, is the people united to the bishop, the flock clinging to
its shepherd. The bishop is in the Church and the Church in the
bishop (Letter 66, 8).
The relation between the bishop and his flock is a mutual one. The
bishop is the divinely appointed teacher of the faith, but the
guardian of the faith is not the episcopate alone, but the whole
people of God, bishops, clergy, and laity together. The proclamation
of the truth is not the same as the possession of the truth: all the
people possess the truth, but it is the bishops particular office
to proclaim it.
Infallibility belongs to the whole Church, not just to the
episcopate in isolation. As the Orthodox Patriarchs said in their
Letter of 1848 to Pope Pius the Ninth: Among us, neither Patriarchs
nor Councils could ever introduce new teaching, for the guardian of
religion is the very body of the Church, that is, the people (laos)
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "frraphver" <frraphver@s...>
> Dear Vladimir,and
> Within the Church of Christ there are many different viewpoints
> disagreements. We are held together through our common faith anddifferent
> common struggle to be one in the Truth of Christ's Church.
> But you say, "those who excluded us for not sharing their point of
> view" and often say this in different ways. There are two
> issues here. One is that we may express what we feel but in no wayobligated
> are those given the authority to shepherd Christ's Church
> to follow or obey what we say. The other point is: not having hadof
> those in authority do what you wished in regards to the direction
> the Church, were you really excluded or did you exclude yourself?sharing
> In Christ- Fr Raphael Vereshack
> --- In email@example.com, "vkozyreff"
> > Dear Father Raphael, bless.
> > Would you please say again that "the Church is not restricted to
> > those who think like us", to those who excluded us for not
> > their view that the time for the union with the MP had arrived,a
> > the rapprochement was without danger for the faith, and could go
> > in spite of sergianism, ecumenism, denial and disagreement from
> > sizeable part of the Church?
> > Please think of healing our schism before causing a new one by
> > contempt for sobornost.
> > In God,
> > Vladimir Kozyreff
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Paul O. BARTLETT"
> I can see some difficulty. One man's "schism" is another man'sas
> "faithfulness to Orthodoxy." To the latter, sticking to his guns,
> the expression goes, being faithful to Orthodoxy as he sees it,may in
> his eyes be "follow[ing] the Will of Christ and be[ing] a memberof His
> body." Was it St. Mark of Ephesus (my memory is a little hazy) whothe
> rejected the so-called Union of Florence and said that even if the
> whole world went along, he would remain faithful to Orthodoxy? In
> eyes of some, he was probably considered a schismatic. (And I getthe
> idea that there are at least some in Russia who consider ROCORdrawing and
> schismatic.) Just where do we draw lines, and who does the
> how?The drawing of lines must be in all humility of mind and mistrust of
> Paul Bartlett
> bartlett "at" smart "dot" net
> PGP key info in message headers
oneself. We have those we are to show honour & obedience to. We have
spiritual fathers (hopefully) whom we can ask advice from and be
guided by. We also need to have daily spiritual reading. Then of
course there is our own spiritual life grounded in the above and a
sacramental life. All of this helps us to discern the proper course
without becoming arbitrary & subjective.
You ask about St Mark of Ephesus & the Union of Florence. I think
discernment is what is needed. We should not be asking "how can I be
like St Mark of Ephesus?" We should be asking, "what is Christ's
will for the present situation?" Then I think we can see that our
bishops are not trying to lead us to deny our Faith. Perhaps what
they are leading us to will actually lead us to increase our faith
in Christ all the more.
In Christ- Fr Raphael Vereshack