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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    Greeting at the Opening of the Council of Bishops of 1964, at Which Metropolitan Philaret was Elected First Hierarch of ROCOR (on the 40th Anniversary of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 5, 2004
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      Greeting at the Opening of the Council of Bishops of 1964,
      at Which Metropolitan Philaret was Elected First Hierarch of ROCOR (on the
      40th Anniversary of the Election and Enthronement
      of Metropolitan Philaret)
      (in Russian)

      On these solemn Paschal days there can be no other greeting than the joyous
      ТChrist is Risen,У and I am elated to hear the no less celebratory response
      ТIndeed He is Risen!У Yes, indeed He is risen, and we are reaping the
      benefits of His victory. The radiance of this light illuminates our
      Council, a Council we have awaited for so long, not knowing what it would
      bring us in these days of the bright joy of the victory of Christ over
      evil. Christ has risen from the dead in order to give life to all, and we
      are vitally sensing this victory over death, gained by Him through the holy
      struggle of His suffering. It is good to see all those who have come for
      this church celebration, which is brightly manifested in the important days
      of the Council, which determines the very existence and passing of church
      life. Now, more than before, Тthe grace of the Holy Spirit gathers us.У It
      gives us joy, strength and wisdom. It is the breath of the Divine Spirit
      and it reveals to us the treasured mysteries of the Church. It is pleasing
      to see the representatives of the entire Church Abroad, to which the Lord
      entrusted the preservation of the treasured pearl of Holy Orthodoxy. We
      sense the breath of the Spirit of God, with Which we live and move. We hope
      that in our communion, in our mutual love, in the spirit of wisdom we will
      find the way to build the Church upon the right path. In order to rid
      ourselves of that which has borne division and enmity, which recently came
      about in these troubled times, we must open ourselves to the work of grace.
      May we be allowed to remember this division only in order that we may guard
      you against it in the future. When the Church divides itself in conflict,
      then those who are close and dear to us seem to transform into enemies, who
      seek not the common good, not consolation, but hostility and anger, as
      though we were born to be enemies to each other, and not for unity. And we
      desire to set aside the enmity and hatred which so does not become us, lest
      we bear the heavy burden of responsibility of not fulfilling the oath which
      we give during our consecration. In our work of ecclesiastical creation and
      labor we must be the guiding forces, especially now, in these times filled
      with troubles. And we hope that mutual love will correct those moved by
      zeal beyond wisdom. We must be thankful to God that He grants us the
      opportunity to carry on our work in mutual love. Let us pray that the Lord
      turns us away from all that is harmful and all that is dangerous. Now, as
      we begin our ecclesiastical labor, we must pray especially fervently that
      the Lord grant us wisdom, and especially that He imparts unto us the fear
      of God, from which all our work especially depends. While godlessness grows
      in our Homeland, true mutual love is especially needed, and courage in the
      preservation of Orthodox truth. We must treasure the truth, to which our
      ecclesiastical life is directed. The life of the Church is built according
      to a special plan unseen by us. It is full of mysterious movement,
      unfathomable to the human mind. The Lord sometimes even allows temptations,
      when truth is almost hidden from us for a time, and then we must pray that
      the Lord steer our ship along the path of the truth. Sometimes we are
      threatened by tribulations of the spirit of evil in the world. The spirit
      of communism, of deceit and of lies leads to death. We will travel upon the
      path of confessing the Word of God in this troubled time. There is nothing
      more dangerous than the path of deceit. May the Lord help us stand firm to
      the end and acquire the path of truth and not to shame our calling, in
      order to achieve the triumph of our Orthodox Faith through our mutual love
      and unity, which is the victory of Christ?s Resurrection. May our Lord
      Savior be with us, Whose glory is now and for ever. Amen.

      From the editors: On the day of his election as First Hierarch of the
      Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Grace Bishop Philaret
      (Voznesensky, +1985) of Brisbaine, asking the blessing of His Eminence
      Metropolitan Anastassy for his new position, offered to appoint the latter
      as Honorary President of the Council and Synod of Bishops for life, while
      St. John of San Francisco (Maximovich, +1966), supported the proposal to
      grant His Eminence Metropolitan Anastassy the title "Blessed" and the right
      to wear two panaghias. The minutes of the Council of Bishops of 1964 state:

      "Both offers were accepted and "axios" and Many Years are sung to the
      Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy "Metropolitan Anastassy thanked everyone for
      the honors, which he had not expected at all, and so remained speechless
      when they were offered. He expressed joy for the unity of spirit, but not
      to his new position, which he did not feel he deserved and which he would
      eagerly decline if he had the right to do so. Several times, the bishops
      approached the topic and he always refused the honor, feeling himself
      unworthy. He fully shared the overall joy of the Bishops and was in unity
      of spirit with them. 'This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will
      rejoice and be glad in it.' There is indeed something to be joyful about. A
      new era is beginning and the Metropolitan joins our common joy. We rejoice
      that the Lord has consoled us after terrible tribulations, which we all
      endured. So many times it seemed that our holy work, to which we had
      dedicated our entire lives, might be destroyed. The Lord gazed upon us and
      showed us His mercy. The unity achieved by us is dear to us to the highest
      degree, and it is especially joyous to see this concord now. All the
      Bishops proved to be at the high level of their calling, showing unity of
      spirit. The Metropolitan said that he wished that this would always be the
      case in the future. The Lord now reminds us that we all come from one
      root?the Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky, +1936), who fathered
      us and is our unseen leader. There is nothing better than to "live as
      brothers together," and we must strive to live this way while it is given
      to us. We emphasized this unity from our common father, Metropolitan
      Anthony, who laid the foundations of our Church and who spoke so much about
      love in his works. May his memory be blessed and may he rejoice on this
      day, for he loved us truly as his children. Today may his soul rejoice in
      the Lord. May the Lord forthwith heed our humble prayers and may He bless
      our young brother, who has brought us the joy of new life.

      "The Metropolitan thanked all the bishops for their love, which accompanied
      him over the long life's journey and which he feels he does not worthy of,
      but which illuminates his days. We must give thanks that the Lord, Who in
      the days of tribulation showed us the true love that conquered the world.
      He showed us the grace and peace when we did not expect it. We had
      temptations, but they disappeared like smoke. We cherish the talents of our
      electee. May the Lord's grace be with him and may it protect and save all
      of us, leading us towards a better fate.

      "In conclusion, Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy asked to sing Many Years
      once more, now to Metropolitan Philaret, which the Council did.

      "All the members of the Council approached Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy
      and His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret with their greetings, after which
      the act was drawn up and signed."
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