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It Is Time to Know Our History

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  • Athanasios Jayne
    ... From the ROCOR website: http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/articles/ prlebedevresp .html Over the last few months, I have been
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 21 9:59 AM
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      From the ROCOR website:

      http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/articles/
      prlebedevresp\.html

      Over the last few months, I have been listening with
      interest to various statements on church affairs both
      in conversations and in the press. I feel the concern
      that many people in our Church have, and I am certain
      that other believers share it. Of course, any changes
      will cause stress, and a sense of disorientation. This
      is especially applies when we are speaking of the Holy
      Church, the bastion and keeper of the Truth.

      I wish to share my thoughts on this matter:

      First, there is no doubt that the attitude of the
      Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia towards the
      Russian Orthodox Church in Russia of the Moscow
      Patriarchate has undergone essential changes. These
      changes are an absolutely natural consequence of the
      fundamental changes in social and ecclesiastical life
      in Russia that have taken place over the past fifteen
      years.

      During the time that representatives of the Church in
      Russia was enslaved and under almost complete control
      of the God-fighting Soviet power, unable to speak
      openly about the true situation, and, in fact,
      remaining silent about the persecution that the Church
      suffered at the hands of the communist authorities—of
      course, upon the Church Abroad lay the responsibility
      of speaking openly--to remain the sole free voice of
      the Russian Orthodox Church, to persistently witness
      the podvigi [labors-in-Christ] of the New Martyrs and
      Confessors of Russia.

      But now—the situation has fundamentally changed. The
      Church in Russia is free in its actions—spiritual
      literature is published, seminaries are opened along
      with monasteries and convents, churches are built and
      restored, church schools are established, etc. The
      Church there now speaks openly about the terrible
      times of the persecution by the Soviet state. Huge
      churches dedicated to the New Martyrs and Confessors
      of Russia are being built, and every Church has icons
      of these martyrs, especially of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas
      II and his Family.

      How can anyone say that nothing has changed? These are
      not "Potemkin villages" to fool tourists, or the
      simple "gilding of cupolas." This is a religious
      renaissance of truly stupendous proportions.

      And, we must ask ourselves—do we want to be part of
      this overwhelming religious revival or no?

      Of course, one can speak of the many everyday problems
      in contemporary Russia, including church life. And
      such problems are inevitable, especially considering
      the aftereffects of 80 years of communist rule.

      Some people will point out the personal sins of
      individual clergymen in the MP and try to use those as
      an indictment of the entire Russian Church. But to do
      so is not only un-Christian, but, in fairness, it
      could be pointed out that if one looks carefully at
      the history of our own Church Abroad, one will find no
      lack of individual clergymen with personal sins
      equally onerous.

      There are those who say that we must "demand"
      repentance from those in the MP, clergy and laity. One
      could ask, first of all, where in the Scriptures or in
      Our Lord's sayings, or in the entire teaching of the
      Church does it say that we, Christians, have the right
      to demand repentance of anyone but our own selves?

      But, to return to the crux of the matter, there are
      those who accuse the current leadership of the Church
      Abroad of "abandoning its historical positions" and
      "taking a new course." Those who would say this are
      simply expressing their own complete ignorance of the
      historical course of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia. This course is not defined by the
      "cold war" rhetoric that representatives of our Church
      engaged in during the time that the Church in Russia
      was subjugated to the godless state. No, it is clearly
      expressed in the foundational documents of our Church,
      in Conciliar Epistles of our Sobors of Bishops, and in
      such documents as the "Testament" of Metropolitan
      Anastassy.

      The Regulations of our Church Abroad, state in
      Paragraph 1:

      "1. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
      an indissoluble part of the Russian Orthodox Church,
      and for the time until the extermination in Russia of
      the atheist government, is self-governing on conciliar
      principles in accordance with the resolution of the
      Patriarch, the Most Holy Synod, and the Highest Church
      Council [Sobor] of the Russian Church dated 7/20
      November, 1920, No. 362."

      Note the words carefully: "for the time until the
      extermination in Russia of the atheist government,
      [the Church Abroad] . . . is self-governing. . ."

      This paragraph—the most fundamental paragraph of the
      entire Regulations of the Church Abroad, defining its
      nature and the conditions under which it exists—states
      that our Church Abroad is not a completely independent
      organization; instead it is only a "part" of the
      Russian Orthodox Church, and that its self-governance
      is temporary—existing only for the time that an
      atheistic government still exists in Russia.

      Let me ask the question directly: Do you accept the
      formulation here as the binding principle defining the
      separate existence of the Church Abroad? If the answer
      is yes, then how can you be opposed to the Church
      Abroad acting in accordance with its own fundamental
      constitution, and noting the indubitable fact of the
      extermination in Russia of the atheistic government,
      taking steps to end the separation of the sundered
      parts of the Church of Russia, an "indissoluble" part
      of which it always considered itself?

      Now let us look at the most significant Conciliar
      Epistle of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      Russia regarding the relationship between the Church
      Abroad and the enslaved Church in Russia. This is the
      Conciliar Epistle of our Sobor of Bishops of 1933, a
      whole 23 pages long, in answer to an Epistle of
      Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) written earlier
      that year. The Epistle of the Church Abroad is signed
      by Metropolitan Anthony, Archbishop Anastassy (later
      to be First Hierarch) and all of the bishops of the
      Church Abroad.

      In it we read:

      "Hence, it is apparent that the organs of the
      Ecclesiastical Administration Abroad have in nowise
      striven to appropriate the rights of autocephaly for
      itself, as Metropolitan Sergius accuses us. To the
      present day the entire Church organization abroad has
      considered and still considers itself an extraordinary
      and temporary institution, which must be abolished
      without delay after the restoration of normal social
      and ecclesiastical life in Russia."

      Note the words that say that the Church Abroad
      "considers itself an extraordinary and temporary
      institution, which must be abolished without delay
      after the restoration of normal social and
      ecclesiastical life in Russia."

      And let us not try to play with words, trying to say
      that the social and ecclesiastical life in
      contemporary Russia is not "normal," that is not the
      point. It is perfectly clear from the Conciliar
      Epistle of the Church Abroad from which this quote is
      taken, that the Church Abroad considered the
      eradication of the atheistic Soviet government,
      dedicated to the destruction of Church life, as the
      criterion for judging whether "normal" ecclesiastical
      and social life was restored. There are those who say
      that the current government of the Russian Federation
      comprises many of the same people who were part of the
      Soviet governmental apparatus, so, therefore, nothing
      has changed.

      We should remember from history, that even though the
      same people may have served two different regimes, it
      is not the individuals who matter, but the ideology of
      the state.

      There were plenty of government workers and officials
      in the new Soviet government who had been government
      workers and officials in the Tsarist government—in
      fact, most of the generals and senior officers of the
      Red Army were former Imperial officers. Does this mean
      that the presence of these people in the new Soviet
      governmental and military apparatus signifies that
      there was really no change between the two regimes,
      before and after the Revolution?

      I am quite sure that after the Baptism of Russia, the
      noblemen and people in authority who surrounded Grand
      Prince Vladimir were the same ones who surrounded him
      and were in authority when they were all pagans. Does
      this mean that their continued service to the Grand
      Prince and the State, now as baptized Christians,
      meant that the new Christian State was really the same
      pagan state?

      No more, then, does the presence of former communist
      functionaries in the new government of the Russian
      Federation mean that the government itself is the same
      old communist government.

      The new government is radically different. With
      regards to the Church, it not only does not attempt to
      destroy the Church or to instill militant atheism into
      all citizens—but it is actively working with the
      Church in giving the Church the ability to have its
      Church life develop peacefully and fruitfully.

      That is what is meant by the words of the Church
      Abroad's Conciliar Epistle "restoration of normal
      ecclesiastical and social life in Russia."

      Let us turn to one more foundational document, the
      "Testament" of Metropolitan Anastassy, which in its
      concluding paragraph states:

      "As regards the Moscow Patriarchate and its hierarchs,
      for so long as they are found in close, active, and
      benevolent cooperation with the Soviet regime, which
      openly confesses its total-godlessness and strives to
      implant atheism in the entire Russian nation, then the
      Church Abroad, maintaining her purity, must not have
      any canonical, prayerful, or even ordinary communion
      with them whatsoever, at the same time leaving each
      one of them to the final judgment of the Sobor of the
      future free Russian Church."

      This document even more clearly and unequivocally
      states what the conditions are for restoration of
      canonical, prayerful, and even ordinary communion with
      the Moscow Patriarchate and its hierarchs, namely,
      when they cease to be "found in close, active, and
      benevolent cooperation with the Soviet regime, which
      openly confesses its total-godlessness and strives to
      implant atheism in the entire Russian nation."

      There can be absolutely no question that the hierarchs
      in the Moscow Patriarchate are no longer "found in
      close, active, and benevolent cooperation with the
      Soviet regime, which openly confesses its total
      godlessness and strives to implant atheism in the
      entire Russian nation."

      There is no Soviet regime, there is no regime which
      openly confesses its total-godlessness and strives to
      implant atheism in the entire Russian nation—quite the
      contrary!

      Let me ask the question directly.

      Do you accept the formulation given by Metropolitan
      Anastassy as the binding criterion by which the Church
      Abroad must be guided when deciding when to
      reestablish canonical, prayerful or even ordinary
      communion with the hierarchs of the Moscow
      Patriarchate?

      If the answer is yes, then how can you be opposed to
      the Church Abroad acting in accordance with its own
      fundamental principles as voiced in the Testament of
      Metropolitan Anastassy, and noting the indubitable
      fact that the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate are
      no longer found in close, active, and benevolent
      cooperation with the Soviet regime, which openly
      confesses its total-godlessness and strives to implant
      atheism in the entire Russian nation— taking steps to
      end the separation of the sundered parts of the Church
      of Russia, and "indissoluble" part of which it always
      considered itself?

      The current steps being taken by the Church Abroad are
      absolutely in keeping with its historical position, as
      expressed in these foundational documents, and, in
      fact, are dictated by them.

      Some critics today state that proof that the Russian
      Church Abroad has changed its path is the use in
      recent official statements and epistles of the
      patriarchal title for the present head of the Russian
      Church. They say that it was not written that way in
      the past.

      But again, this is evidence of ignorance of historical
      documents of our Church.

      In October 1945, Metropolitan Anastassy of Blessed
      Memory wrote a long Epistle addressed to the Russian
      Orthodox people. In it, the name of Patriarch Alexii I
      (Simansky) is mentioned many times.

      Metropolitan Anastassy's Epistle begins with the
      following words: "The new head of the Russain Church,
      Patriarch AlexyÉ" (p. 213 in Yubilejniy Sbornik trudov
      Mitropolitan Anastasija po sluchaju 50-letija ego
      svjashchennosluzhenija [Anniversary Compendium of the
      Works of Metropolitan Anastassy on the 50th
      Anniversary of His Clerical Service], Jordanville,
      1948).

      In that same Compendium, on page 221, we read: "Since
      the present head of the Russian Church follows the
      example" And again, on page 225: "The dependence of
      the new head of the Russian Church" and further,
      "between the bishops of the Church Abroad and the
      head of the Russian Church"

      The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia in Munich in 1946 expressed itself
      exactly the same way, in its Conciliar Epistle, which
      includes the following words: "The Supreme
      Ecclesiastical Administration in Russia in the person
      of the present head of the Russian Church, Patriarch
      Alexii."

      In another Epistle in 1945, Metropolitan Anastassy
      calls Patriarch Alexii "the new helmsman of the
      Russian Church."

      Without any conditions, the wise First Hierarch of the
      Church Abroad calls Patriarch Alexii the Patriarch,
      and at the same time, the Head or Helmsman
      specifically of the Russian Church—not of the Moscow
      Patriarchate.

      If our wisest archpastors allowed themselves to
      express themselves this way almost 60 years ago, when
      the entire Church administration in the Soviet Union
      was under full control of the godless state, who can
      object to the use of such expressions now, when the
      Church in Russia is free?

      Incidentally, in the Conciliar Epistle of Munich in
      1946, there is a clearly-expressed definition of when
      it would be possible to enter into canonical communion
      with the Moscow Patriarchate, to wit, that it is
      impossible: "Éwhile the supreme Church authority in
      Russia is in an unnatural union with the godless state
      and while the entire Russian Church is deprived of the
      true freedom provided to Her by Her Divine nature."

      It should be clear to everyone that the criterion
      expressed here has already elapsed.

      I would like to make some comments on other documents.

      In the "Appeal by the Laity" date June 27, 2004, it
      speaks of the need for an All-Diaspora Council with
      the participation of bishops, clergy and laity before
      any resolutions regarding any form of reconciliation
      with the Moscow Patriarchate are made.

      The Appeal states that this issue "must be examined
      "soborno" [with conciliarity] by representatives of
      all component parts of our Church, with the aim of
      reaching spiritual unity. With God's help, such unity
      has guided our Church during the course of many
      decades throughout many non-Christian and non-Orthodox
      ordeals and temptations."

      Regarding this, I would like to state that our Church
      Abroad throughout the course of the decades of its
      existence has never had "spiritual unity" on many
      major issues.

      As all must know, the Church Abroad was deeply divided
      on the issue of the restoration of the Romanoff
      dynasty in Russia. The future Metropolitan Anastassy
      and many other bishops were quite opposed to the
      position of Metropolitan Anthony on this issue.

      In later years, there was great disagreement among the
      bishops on the question of the glorification of St.
      John of Kronstadt, with Metropolitan Anastassy taking
      the principled position that the Church Abroad, being
      only a temporary part of the Church of Russia, did not
      have the authority to glorify any saints on its own.

      Some time later, there were great divisions among our
      bishops on the question of the glorification of the
      New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, headed by the
      Tsar Martyr and the Royal Martyrs.

      There was no unanimity among our bishops on the issues
      of establishing Eucharistic communion with the
      Cyprianite group of Greek Old Calendarists and their
      affiliated groups in Bulgaria and Romania.

      Neither was there unanimity on the question of our
      Church Abroad opening parishes in Russia (thus
      creating the rather ludicrous concept of parishes of
      the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in
      Russia - ROCORIR).

      This decision was also in direct contradiction of the
      Statutes of the Church Abroad, which, in Paragraph 2,
      clearly define the canonical territory of the Church
      Abroad as being those "outside the borders of Russia":

      "2. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
      composed of those who are outside the borders of
      Russia and are guided by the lawful hierarchy of a
      diocese with their parishes, church communities,
      spiritual missions and monasteries."

      Notwithstanding this, the Synod, in 1990, made the
      decision to open parishes there, a decision with
      undoubtedly far-reaching consequences.

      Let me ask the question directly.

      Was there an All-Diasporan Council with the
      participation of bishops, priests and laymen called to
      decide any of these significant issues, upon which
      there was no unanimity among the bishops, the clergy,
      or the flock?

      Why did people not protest, for example, when the
      decision was made to open parishes in Russia that
      "sobornost'" was being violated, since the clergy and
      laymen were not able to be heard on this matter?

      Incidentally, the bishops of our Church Abroad already
      have experience with inviting laity to participate in
      the discussion of issues. A representative of the
      laity, Peter Nikolaevich Budzilovich, was invited to
      the Council of Bishops of 2000, at which he gave a
      report. In gratitude for this rare honor, he soon
      thereafter became the bitterest enemy of our Synod of
      Bishops, disseminating all sorts of disinformation on
      his website.

      Fourth, regarding some recent comments regarding the
      process of negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate,
      it is clear to me that some do not understand the
      process, or they would not be questioning the need for
      confidentiality of working documents, prior to their
      acceptance by both sides.

      The ecclesiastical administrations of both sides made
      the decision to delegate the negotiations to special
      commissions appointed by each side.

      The Commissions would meet separately, then jointly,
      to work through the issues and to propose solutions
      that would be mutually accepted.

      The Commissions themselves are only arms of the
      Councils of Bishops on both sides, and do not have the
      authority to make any decisions themselves.

      Therefore, their working documents and drafts, both
      those prepared by each side, and those that are
      jointly worked out by the commissions—must be
      confidential, until they are reviewed and approved by
      the actual Councils of Bishops, which have the
      authority to do so.

      Disclosure of unapproved draft documents would be
      foolish. Does the Press Secretary have the right to
      publish a draft of a presidential speech that has not
      been reviewed and approved by the President?

      Of course not.

      The basic issue is that many people do not seem to be
      able to understand the difference between "secrecy"
      and "confidentiality."

      If one is honest, one would have to say that the
      amount of information that has been made public about
      the discussions currently going on between the
      Commissions of the Church Abroad and the Moscow
      Patriarchate is unprecedented.

      There have been several official statements regarding
      the work of the Commissions, both before and after the
      first joint meeting, there are published joint
      statements, and there was a lengthy personal report by
      one of the participants that was posted on the Synodal
      web site.

      The fundamental areas of discussion have been
      announced and are no secret.

      The Commission of the Church Abroad, after its first
      working meeting, met with the Synod of Bishops and
      explained the methodology and presented the list of
      issues that were to be discussed and the approach to
      be taken, and received instructions from the First
      Hierarch and the members of the Hierarchical Synod and
      their blessing to proceed.

      After the first joint meeting, the President and
      Secretary of the Commission of the Church Abroad
      presented to the Synod of Bishops a full report on the
      meeting in Moscow, and went through all of the
      documents, word by word. The draft documents worked
      out at the first joint session were carefully assessed
      by the members of the Synod of Bishops, and nothing in
      them was found to be in contradiction to the principle
      positions of the ROCOR. As noted in its official
      announcement, "The Synod of Bishops expressed its
      gratitude the Committee on discussions with the Moscow
      Patriarchate, expressing the hope that the two
      committees labor in the future for the good of the
      Church in the spirit of brotherly love, holding to the
      truth and to the unadulterated Orthodox Confession of
      Faith."

      So—there is complete and close coordination and
      direction of the work of the Commission of the Church
      Abroad by its Synod of Bishops, and all of this is
      being announced to the public through the medium of
      the Synodal website.

      What would be unethical, however, would be the
      publication of working documents of one side that have
      been superseded by jointly worked out documents, or
      the publication of any documents prior to their review
      and acceptance by the Supreme Ecclesiastical
      Authorities—the Synods of Bishops of both sides.

      Again, as I stated, I believe that a significant
      problem lies in the fact that many people in the
      Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia simply do
      not know the history of their Church.

      For example, they do not have a complete understanding
      of the assessment of the Church Abroad regarding the
      Deputy Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne,
      Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky).

      How many of our parishioners (or even clergy) are
      aware of the Conciliar Epistle of the 1933 Sobor of
      the Church Abroad?

      In it, we read:

      "We are taking fully into account the extraordinary
      difficulties of the position of Metropolitan Sergius,
      who is now the de facto head of the Church of Russia,
      and are aware of the heavy burden of responsibility
      for the fate of the latter, which lies upon him. No
      one, therefore, has the audacity to accuse him for the
      mere attempt to enter into dialogue with the Soviet
      regime so as to obtain legal standing for the Church
      of Russia. Not without foundation does the puty locum
      tenens of the Patriarchal Throne say in his
      aforementioned Declaration that only "armchair
      dreamers can think that such a vast community as our
      Orthodox Church, with all its organization, can exist
      peacefully in a country while walling itself off from
      the authorities." While the Church exists on earth, it
      remains closely bound up with the fates of human
      society and cannot be imagined outside time and space.
      It is impossible for it to refrain from all contact
      with a powerful societal organization such as the
      government; otherwise it would have to leave the
      world."

      Here we have Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy and
      all of the Bishops of the Church Abroad, six years
      after the "Declaration" of 1927, referring to
      Metropolitan Sergius as the "de facto head of the
      Church of Russia," and expressing sympathy with his
      position, even quoting favorably from the
      "Declaration." Few, however, know this.

      At the Pastoral Conference in Nyack, there was a great
      deal of concern expressed by some of our clergy
      regarding the book on Metropolitan Sergius, "The
      Keeper of the House of God," recently published by
      Sretensky Monastery in Moscow. Those who spoke
      commented on this book and its expressions of praise
      directed to Metropolitan Sergius as being proof of the
      resurgence of Sergianism.

      Now, I am holding in my hands another book, also
      published in a Monastery, only not by the Sretensky
      Monastery in Moscow, but by Holy Trinity Monastery in
      Jordanville: "Motives of My Life, by the ever-memorable
      "Avva" of the Church Abroad, Archbishop Vitaly
      (Maximenko).

      In this book there is an essay by Archbishop Vitaly,
      entitled "Our Debt [Responsibility] Before the Mother
      Church."

      In it we read the following:

      "We wish to point out our direct responsibility
      [debt], our great responsibility [debt] before the
      Mother-Russian Church and we will speak of this with
      all our love and devotion to Her, with deep
      prostration before the podvig of Patriarch Sergius,
      ("s glubokim prekloneniem pred podvigom Patriarkha
      Sergiia"), but with full obedience also to the Truth
      of Christ and the Church, deeply believing, that 'the
      Truth is great and can do all.'" (Motives of My Life,
      p. 71.)

      ". . . with deep prostration before the podvig of
      Patriarch Sergius. . ."!!!

      Truly, what could be more "Sergianist" than that?

      Yet this statement appears in a book that was not only
      printed, but reprinted in a second edition by our
      monastery in Jordanville, under Archbishop Averky,
      during the time of Metropolitan Anastassy— a book
      which contains the Imprimatur of Protopresbyter
      Michael Pomazansky, the Spiritual Censor of the Church
      Abroad.

      Another fact, in the same vein, that is virtually
      unknown is that on October 26-27, 1943, Archbishop
      Vitaly, Bishop Ieronym, and Bishop Ioasaph took part
      in a Sobor of Bishops in North America, which
      discussed the election of Metropolitan Sergius to be
      Patriarch of Russia, and passed a Resolution accepting
      this election, and directing that the Patriarch of
      Moscow be commemorated during services, together with
      Metropolitan Anastassy and the local Metropolitan
      Theophilus. Following this decision, Metropolitan
      Theophilus, on November 11, 1943 issued an edict that
      the commemoration of all three hierarchs must be
      performed in all churches in North America.

      Upon the repose of Patriarch Sergius (May 15, 1944),
      on May 23, 1944, Metropolitan Theophilus issued
      another edict, directing that the name of the
      Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Alexei
      (Simansky) was to be commemorated in all parishes.
      This edict was confirmed on May 31 by the Sobor of
      Bishops of North America, again, with the
      participation of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who
      signed the Resolution.

      Therefore, it is a historical fact that from 1943 in
      all our parishes in North America (and this would
      include the San Francisco Cathedral of the Holy Virgin
      and our own Los Angeles Cathedral), the Patriarch of
      Moscow was commemorated at divine services together
      with Metropolitan Anastassy. This lasted right up to
      the time of the Cleveland Council in 1946.

      Yet how many of our people in the Church Abroad are
      aware of this fact?

      Or, how many are aware of the similar Ukaz, No 650,
      dated August 24, 1945, by St. John of Shanghai and San
      Francisco, directing that the name of Patriarch Alexei
      I of Moscow and All Russia be commemorated at all
      divine services?

      The wise archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia very carefully refrained from direct
      criticism of the Deputy Locum Tenens of the
      Patriarchal Throne, Sergius, recognizing the difficult
      circumstances in which he found himself. For example,
      Archbishop Mefodii of Harbin and Manchuria, at the
      conclusion of his long article "On the Recognition of
      the Moscow Ecclesiastical Authority by the Soviet
      State," writes:

      "Regarding the matter of the recognition by the Church
      of the godless Soviet state, we tried in every way not
      to name the Deputy and we speak of the Moscow
      Ecclesiastical Authority, bearing in mind that the
      actions of the Deputy may have been coerced through
      pressure exerted upon him by the agent of the GPU,
      Tuchkov, always by his side, who is a Soviet
      Procurator of sorts; let any though of criticism of
      the Deputy be far from us, for he is an unwilling
      prisoner of the tyrannical authorities; especially
      since we had no intention of casting stones at our
      suffering Mother Russian Church, as we are accused of
      by some. We examined the very act of recognition, and
      our Archpastoral consciences oblige us to answer the
      matter which disturbs the believing souls. Everything
      in this article that we may be blamed for, if anything
      at all, is addressed not to the Deputy so much as to
      those who speak and act in his name."

      So, it should be patently clear that the Church
      Abroad, as represented by its eminent archpastors, did
      not so blanketly condemn Metropolitan, later Patriarch
      Sergius, as some may have thought.

      We hear the accusation being raised against the
      bishops and clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate that
      they are just "Chekists in ryassas."

      In fact, a conversation I had with one of our
      clergymen at the Conference in Nyack, (who was so
      propagandized that he seemed to sincerely believe that
      every priest and bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate had
      horns growing out of his head), went something like
      this:

      Me: "But look at all of the churches that are being
      built, the monasteries restored, the seminaries
      opened?"

      Him: "Bah! Chekists in ryassas!"

      Me: "But look at all of spiritual material that is
      being published and distributed?"

      Him: "Bah! Chekists in ryassas!"

      Me: "But look at all of the parish schools that have
      been opened, where children are being taught the Law
      of God?"

      Him: "Bah! Chekists in ryassas!"

      I would like to ask in all honesty—how can you have an
      intelligent conversation with someone who acts like
      this?

      I must say that I was stunned by the unfitting
      behavior of some of our clergymen during the
      Conference in Nyack. They apparently had forgotten
      that guests from the Moscow Patriarchate, visiting
      from Russia, were invited to participate in the
      Conference by the First Hierarch of the Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence
      Metropolitan Laurus. It is accepted practice that when
      a guest is invited to your home, it is rude to attack
      or berate them. At least, I was reared that way.

      Especially upsetting was hearing the simply boorish
      speeches made by some of our comrade co-pastors who
      were educated, or better yet, raised in the former
      Soviet Union. Never during the ties of our eminent
      archpastors such as Archbishop Nikon or Archbishop
      Averkii did any clergyman dare to behave or speak out
      is such a way in the presence of the First Hierarch
      and archpastors of our Church. I was simply ashamed.

      Now let us return to the matter at hand.

      There are those who have brought up the book that I
      wrote on the Moscow Patriarchate in 1994, and who
      accuse me of now expressing views that are
      diametrically opposed to those which I held before.

      The answer is in the title of the book itself, and in
      its epigraph, which relate to the teaching of our Lord
      that a tree is known by its fruits.

      In 1994, the nature of the fruits being brought forth
      by the tree of the Moscow Patriarchate were still
      difficult to discern.

      Ten years later, these fruits are clearly seen—and
      there is no doubt that these fruits are good and even
      more than good, and, since our Lord said that an evil
      tree cannot bring forth good fruit—then the tree
      itself must be good.

      The fact of the matter is that remarkable religious
      renaissance is taking place in Russia—something to
      which I can attest as a witness.

      After the conclusion of the joint meeting of the two
      Commissions, I stayed in Moscow for several days,
      living at the Sretensky monastery.

      On Saturday, June 28, the Vigil began at 6:00pm and
      ended at 9:30. After that, I was invited to a small
      supper in the brotherhood's dining room, then went to
      my room for a brief rest.

      At twelve midnight, hundreds of parishioners gathered
      outside the Sretensky Monastery, where they and the
      brethren of the monastery were taken by bus to the
      Christ the Savior Cathedral, where the Tikhvin Icon of
      the Mother of God was.

      The monastery, as all monasteries and parishes in
      Moscow, had been assigned a particular time slot to
      serve moliebens and akathists before the Tikhvin Icon.
      The Sretensky Monastery's time slot was 1:00 am - 5:00
      am on Sunday morning.

      It was an amazing sight, as throughout the night,
      thousands of people were streaming into the enormous
      Cathedral to venerate the icon, young and old, in two
      rapidly moving files. Three in the morning—four in the
      morning—the lines never stopped. For four days, day
      and night, this continued.

      We left the Cathedral around five in the morning, got
      back to the monastery at 5:30, just in time for
      morning prayers and the rule before Communion. The
      early Liturgy started at 7:00am; the later one at 10.

      At 4:00 pm, the buses were back. The brethren and
      parishioners of the Sretensky Monastery (and I, as
      their guest) were taken back to the Christ the Savior
      Cathedral, where 1,200 clergymen were arrayed to
      participate in the Procession of the Tikhvin Icon
      around the Christ the Savior Cathedral and then on,
      down the Kremlin embankment, and up past St. Basil's
      Cathedral and across the Red Square to the Church of
      the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.

      Over 250,000 people participated in this procession,
      which lasted four hours.

      And, what— all of the participating clergymen were
      really "Chekists in ryassas"?

      I don't think so!

      If any of those reading these lines could have been
      there, I am sure they would have been moved to tears,
      as I was.

      Another example:

      In Ekaterinburg, on the day of the Royal Martyrs (July
      4/17), an all-night service is held in the huge Church
      on the Blood, built on the spot of the murder of the
      Holy Royal Martyrs.

      This is not an "All-night Vigil" like we are used to.
      This was, literally, a service that lasted all night,
      with liturgy ending at about 5 in the morning.

      And then, after serving and praying all night, the
      Archbishop, 50 priests, and 7,000 parishioners set off
      on foot in a Procession of the Cross, following the
      exact path by which the bodies of the Royal Martyrs
      were taken to Ganina Yama to be disposed of.

      This procession covers 18 kilometers—something like 12
      miles, and takes four and a half hours. The Procession
      ends at the Memorial Cross at the Monastery of the
      Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama, where a Molieben and
      Akathist are served.

      Do we, in the emigration, have the will and the
      stamina to do this?

      Do you think that such a demonstration of devotion to
      the Tsar-Martyr and the other Royal Martyrs is
      something that would be pleasing to Chekists in
      ryassas?

      The fundamental reality is that the Russian people
      have spoken.

      To them, there is only one Russian Church—that of the
      Moscow Patriarchate.

      We, who have for eighty years had our spiritual eyes
      always turned to Russia and to its faithful people,
      cannot now, when the terrible shackles of communist
      oppression have been shattered, turn our backs on the
      Russian people who have suffered so much, and who are
      now returning to openly confess their faith and
      restore that which was destroyed.

      Instead, we must be with them, in body and in spirit,
      and in prayerful communion with the Russian people and
      the Russian Church in the homeland.

      This is the moment that our teachers, the First
      Hierarchs of the Church Abroad and its other great
      spiritual directors have always been awaiting—the time
      when we can be one again with the faithful Russian
      people in the holy land of Russia.

      The choice is a simple one.

      Do you wish to be with the Russian people and the
      Church of Russia?

      Or do you wish to be with Budzilovich in his basement,
      proclaiming proudly that you are the only "true"
      Russian Church?

      The choice is yours.

      I appreciate this opportunity to express my opinions
      on the issues that concern us all.

      With deep affection and esteem for all who love our
      Church, and with love in Christ,

      Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff

      August 5, 2004
      Bell Canyon, California
    • a-geos
      The Dead End Spiritual Path of the Moscow Patriarchate At the present time, a time of religious decline, of spiritual and moral decadence throughout the whole
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 21 12:12 PM
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        The Dead End Spiritual Path of the Moscow Patriarchate

        At the present time, a time of religious decline, of spiritual and moral
        decadence throughout the whole world (which is attempting to envelop Russia
        as well), one cannot remain unconcerned by the spiritual condition of the
        Russian people. After the [supposed] fall of the communist regime, our
        vision focused on Russia with hopes for her rebirth. But later we discerned
        the fraud underlying this "fall," in which a significant role was played by
        the perennial enemy of Russia -- the West. Rejoicing with all our hearts at
        the restoration of destroyed churches and the construction of new ones, and
        at the conversion of many people to the faith, we see with sorrow that the
        path taken by the Moscow Patriarchate has not changed at all, and is, as
        before, leading the Russian people nowhere, into a dead-end of religious
        modernism, compromise, and acquiescence. Instead of addressing and
        resolving all the canonical and dogmatic questions that led to the division
        of the Russian Church and leading their people to victory over the powers
        of evil by pure Orthodoxy and by the truth handed to us by the Fathers ,
        the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate are moving farther and farther
        away from the Truth in the direction of the pan-heresy of ecumenism.

        From the earliest of times, the Church of Christ has withstood the trials
        of various heresies. The devil attempted to fight against the truth of
        Christ with a series of heresies, and now he has gathered together all the
        falsehoods of the world in ecumenism. Here we find ancient Arians,
        Monophysites, Monothelites, Ikonoclasts, and all sorts of distortions of
        the faith by contemporary sects, by non-Christian and even by pagan
        religions. Ecumenism calls for the removal of barriers not only between the
        various Christian confessions, but also between religions, in order to
        create a "Great Church," which would be the synthesis of all existing
        churches. At this time, already, there are joint services being performed
        with the participation of representatives of various world religions and
        confessions. Here are just a few examples of the liturgical innovations of
        the ecumenists in which the Moscow Patriarchate has joined: ritual dances
        of natives around the altar table, use of contemporary rock music,
        theatrical shows, joint prayer and even common celebration of the "eucharist."

        All of this has shown that the teaching of the Holy Fathers regarding the
        fact that "the Communion of the heretics is the food of the demons." has
        been forgotten. These types of ecumenical joint activities attempt to
        destroy the boundaries of the Church of Christ, and lead to the furtherance
        of religious relativism and the dissemination of neo-paganism. The
        ecumenical movement has grown to enormous proportions and has engulfed
        almost all of the Orthodox Churches. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Of
        Russia remains one of the few Churches in the whole world that has not
        joined the World Council of Churches.

        Understanding the nature of the abyss toward which the M P is pulling the
        faithful people of Russia, we acknowledge our responsibility before them.
        Undoubtedly, in Russia there are still clergy and laity who are not in
        agreement with the ecumenical orientation and compromising ideology of the
        M P. And for that reason, we would like to say to them: "Truth does not
        permit disagreement in questions of faith. Now is the time to turn away
        from the evil fruit and to return to the Truth, which was given to us as an
        inheritance by the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church, and which has
        withstood the fires of tribulation and has been witnessed to by the blood
        and sufferings of the New Martyrs of Russia".

        +Bishop Kyrill of Seattle (ROCOR) [now Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco]

        ================================================================

        The Opinion of Bishop Kyrill of Seattle in Connection with the "Statement"
        of Archbishop Mark of Berlin (ROCOR) and Archbishop Theophan (MP) Regarding
        Ecclesiastical Unity.

        It was with great sadness that I read the "statement" of the participants
        in the ninth meeting between clergy of the ROCOR and the MP on the
        territory of Germany. This statement, I am deeply convinced, is an
        irresponsible collection of demagogic phrases, containing not even one
        healthy thought that could lead to the resolution of the myriad
        ecclesiastical problems of the Russian Orthodox Church at the end of the
        20th century.

        Recently, more than ever before, the question of the unification of the MP
        and the ROCOR is being trumpeted. Very sadly, these statements most often
        issue from the mouths of people for whom yearning for ecclesiastical truth
        is foreign, and who sow discord into the minds of their spiritual children.
        In order that my position might be understood correctly I would like the
        following points to be taken into consideration:

        1. The tragic disunity of the Russian Church occurred in 1927 because of
        the signing of the sadly notorious Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius
        (Stragorodsky). It is well known that up to this day neither that act
        itself, nor any of its ardent supporters have been officially condemned
        within Russia by the administration of the MP - while, realistically, that
        would be the first step that could lead to the healing of the
        ecclesiastical situation in Russia.

        2. The division between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox
        Church Outside of Russia has been deepened by the failure of the MP to
        recognize many of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. These have, in
        fact, been sacreligiously rejected by the MP, which has demanded that they
        first be politically rehabilitated by civil authorities, something that has
        never occurred in the history of the Orthodox Church. But having been freed
        from the control of the government, the MP could a long time ago have
        unequivocally glorified all the New Martyrs. In reality, the Patriarchate
        is looking and waiting to see in which direction the political winds will
        blow. And how shameful and hurtful it is to read in the Joint Declaration
        of Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Archbishop Theophan (MP), that the main
        issue that is dividing us, specifically the blood of millions of New
        Martyrs, they call "misunderstandings" and the result of some kind of "lack
        of knowledge," which is incomprehensible to me (see p. 1 of the
        "Declaration").

        3. The current administration of the MP is constantly trampling on the
        Canons and the dogmas of the Holy Church by actively participating in the
        pan-heresy of the 20th century - ecumenism - and in the World Council of
        Churches. In recent times the process of secularization of the Church
        within Russia has increased and the conversion of its administration from a
        totalitarian structure into a commercial one has become the norm of life.
        (We know of many examples of dioceses opening commercial ventures,
        including selling tobacco and alcohol, involvement with money laundering
        and collaboration with the Mafia). Not stopping at this, the MP continues,
        just as it was in previous decades, to be the handmaiden of a government
        which is foreign to the national interests of Russia. It is also becoming
        an increasingly active force on the political arena.

        4. The fact of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
        as the free part of the Russian Church is a great help to the Orthodox
        people of Russia, who are trying to defend the glory of Orthodoxy from
        attacks by all detractors. Our voice is the only one which for almost
        eighty years has been carrying the truth of God into Russia. We also hear
        the cries and sighs of the stalwart defenders of the purity of the faith in
        the motherland.

        These cries are especially loud at the present time. And if "unification"
        with the MP, which Archbishop Mark is trying to accomplish, has become so
        timely, then why are there so many pastors within Russia who are struggling
        to find a way out of the spiritual dead-end that the post-Soviet church
        administration is ardently trying to lead them into? (We know well that the
        price of searching for the truth is very high - sometimes it even costs
        lives - for example, take the threats that were received by the recently
        murdered Archpriest Alexander Zharkoff in St. Petersburg just before his
        transfer under the omophorion of the Russian Church Abroad). From the very
        beginning of its canonical existence the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
        Russia has considered itself to be the temporarily self-administering free
        part of the Russian Church, whose calling is to serve God's truth and love.
        At the present time, however, we are faced with ever more frequent attempts
        by anti-church forces to accuse the ROCOR of lacking love in the matter of
        the unification of the two parts of the Russian Church.

        Based on all the above I consider that the time for unification has not yet
        come. The MP and the ROCOR have never been so far apart from one another as
        at the present time.

        We have always sympathized with the Church in Russia when it languished
        under the yoke of the atheist powers. Now that it has become "freed" from
        them, the MP has openly turned against us and against its Orthodox populace
        within Russia, (take, for example, the statements of Patriarch Alexis about
        the ROCOR, the Hebron affair, and the attempts to take away our churches in
        Europe and America).

        But in this difficult time every hierarch must be responsible as never
        before for his episcopacy and for every one of his words, spoken or
        written. We must clearly realize that true unity of the two parts of the
        Russian Church is found not in the unification of the administration of the
        Church, but in unification in faith, in standing firmly in it, and in love.

        The question of such unity can be resolved only at a forthcoming free
        All-Russian Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church similar to the free Great
        All-Russian Sobor of 1917-1918, if all of the conditions required for the
        convocation of such a council will be met. God willing, at this future
        Sobor, it will be possible in open and honest discussions to resolve all of
        the problems of our ecclesiastical being that have developed during the
        20th century. Meanwhile, those who, on their own, circulate various
        Epistles in the spirit of "unity" and "love" in actuality confuse our flock
        all the more, and sow even more discord in the minds and souls of the
        faithful, denying them true love, because, according to the words of the
        Apostle, love "doth not behave itself unseemly" (I Corinthians 13,5).

        + Bishop Kyrill [now Archbishop Kyrill]
      • Gene T
        I am a little confused here What is the provenance and date of these statements ? a-geos wrote: The Dead End Spiritual Path of the Moscow
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 21 1:24 PM
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          I am a little confused here
          What is the provenance and date of these statements ?


          a-geos <a-geos@...> wrote:

          The Dead End Spiritual Path of the Moscow Patriarchate

          At the present time,
        • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
          George Spkruts posted two retracted statements by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America (purposely dishonestly removing their dates, so
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 22 7:59 AM
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            George Spkruts posted two retracted statements by Archbishop Kyrill of San
            Francisco and Western America (purposely dishonestly removing their dates,
            so readers cannot tell when these statements were made), which Archbishop
            Kyrill has officially, directly, and openly rescinded and repudiated--and,
            further, Archbishop Kyrill has expressly forbidden the republishing of
            these rescinded statements, which do **not** at all express his current views,

            It is highly unethical to go against the wishes of the rightful owner of
            intellectual property--the author himself.

            Archbishop Kyrill's wishes should be respected.

            With love in Christ,

            Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • goossir
            Dear Father Alexander, Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour that we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was rescued by
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 31 5:31 AM
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              Dear Father Alexander,

              Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour that
              we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was rescued by
              lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and is
              diabolic.

              If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of the
              martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the Church, then
              the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly keeps
              claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church. The
              faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom the
              ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.

              If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she has
              indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and we
              should leave her.

              If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to witness
              about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if she
              still considers herself as being called to return to Russia, than the
              ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she is
              the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.

              But who represents the true ROCOR?

              In Christ,

              Irina Pahlen
            • vkozyreff
              Dear List, Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the traditional ROCOR
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 31 1:02 PM
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                Dear List,

                Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in the
                excerpt below (my poor translation).

                In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father Alexander
                wanted to demonstrate.

                I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the MP
                is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).

                I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or because
                he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller than
                in Father Alexander's text.

                In God,

                Vladimir Kozyreff

                "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again, this
                does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal" public
                and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                the MP.

                In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction elsewhere
                in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                their position:

                " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church direction
                even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from the
                point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia Church
                Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion (at
                least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "…

                Vl Agafangel




                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                > Dear Father Alexander,
                >
                > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                that
                > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was rescued
                by
                > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and is
                > diabolic.
                >
                > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                the
                > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the Church,
                then
                > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                keeps
                > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                The
                > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom the
                > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                >
                > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                has
                > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and we
                > should leave her.
                >
                > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                witness
                > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if she
                > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia, than
                the
                > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she is
                > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                >
                > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                >
                > In Christ,
                >
                > Irina Pahlen
              • Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                vkozyreff wrote: Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP, and about what he
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 31 11:02 PM
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                  "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:>
                  > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                  > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                  > traditional ROCOR position.
                  ________________________________________________

                  This post begins with a red herring: "Father Alexander writes in a
                  very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP..."

                  In fact Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the
                  words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that clearly
                  show that it is part of the understanding of our Church, concerning
                  itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN CHURCH
                  (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov).

                  The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the OVERALL
                  understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-à-vis the other=

                  parts of the Russian Church.

                  Archbishop Agafangel's quotations incorporate the position of the
                  Church Abroad to specific >>>events and conditions that existed during
                  the period that the document was formulated<<<, and had a necessary
                  and appropriate strictness to the chosen wording.

                  Time has passed, conditions have changed, and an >>>ATTEMPT<<< at
                  normalization has been BLESSED by the Synod of Bishops which has
                  commenced.

                  A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak his mind and
                  defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once the BISHOPS
                  in Council decide for the Church what its actions will be, a Bishop of
                  that Council is honor and duty bound to support the Churches actions
                  or at least not do anything that can potentially undermine those actions.

                  Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko

                  --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff"
                  <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                  > Dear List,
                  >
                  > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                  > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                  > traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                  > arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in the
                  > excerpt below (my poor translation).
                  >
                  > In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                  > biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                  > Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father Alexander
                  > wanted to demonstrate.
                  >
                  > I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the MP
                  > is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).
                  >
                  > I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                  > claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                  > John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or because
                  > he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                  > knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller than
                  > in Father Alexander's text.
                  >
                  > In God,
                  >
                  > Vladimir Kozyreff
                  >
                  > "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                  > considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                  > the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again, this
                  > does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal" public
                  > and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                  > the MP.
                  >
                  > In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                  > nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                  > submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction elsewhere
                  > in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                  > their position:
                  >
                  > " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church direction
                  > even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from the
                  > point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia Church
                  > Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                  > there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                  > confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion (at
                  > least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                  > canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                  > Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "…
                  >
                  > Vl Agafangel
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                  > <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                  > > Dear Father Alexander,
                  > >
                  > > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                  > that
                  > > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was rescued
                  > by
                  > > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and is
                  > > diabolic.
                  > >
                  > > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                  > the
                  > > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the Church,
                  > then
                  > > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                  > keeps
                  > > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                  > The
                  > > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom the
                  > > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                  > >
                  > > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                  > has
                  > > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and we
                  > > should leave her.
                  > >
                  > > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                  > witness
                  > > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if she
                  > > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia, than
                  > the
                  > > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she is
                  > > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                  > >
                  > > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                  > >
                  > > In Christ,
                  > >
                  > > Irina Pahlen
                • vkozyreff
                  Dear Father Stefan, bless. You write: Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that
                  Message 8 of 14 , Sep 1, 2004
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                    Dear Father Stefan, bless.

                    You write: "Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements)
                    the words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that
                    clearly show that it is part of the understanding of our Church,
                    concerning itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN
                    CHURCH (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov)".

                    VK: For a pomestnaya tserkov to be a pomestnaya tserkov, it should be
                    a tserkov to start with.

                    You write: "The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the
                    OVERALL understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-a-vis
                    the other parts of the Russian Church."

                    VK: I think Vl Agafangel's quotations are as good as Father
                    Alexander's for that matter, and more complete.

                    You write: "A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak
                    his mind and defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once
                    the BISHOPS in Council decide for the Church what its actions will
                    be, a Bishop of that Council is honor and duty bound to support the
                    Churches actions or at least not do anything that can potentially
                    undermine those actions.

                    VK: When Vl Agafangel quotes ROCOR documents and explores ROCOR
                    history, as Father Alexander encourages us to do, he does not express
                    personal opinions, but the position of the Church.

                    The position of the Church was expressed also in Vl Kyrill of Seattle
                    and in Father Alexander's previous position. What I fail to
                    understand, is why we are told that we cannot quote the latter any
                    longer. Even if an author has changed his mind, his published works
                    are public and thus quotable. It is a historical fact that the author
                    changed his mind if he did. It would be normal even to change one's
                    mind if the object of the position has changed. The problem is that
                    we cannot see that the MP renounced sergianism or ecumenism.

                    Father Alexander says that we have no right to demand that the MP
                    repent. We do not demand this, God does. If I claim that lies can
                    save the Church, or that pure souls can sacrifice their purity and
                    accept to get corrupt to save the Church, then I am out of God. I am
                    in sin, bareheadedly and overtly.

                    If I am in sin, I must repent. It has nothing to do with any demands
                    that I would or would not have.

                    In God,

                    Vladimir Kozyreff


                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko"
                    <StefanVPavlenko@n...> wrote:
                    > "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:>
                    > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                    > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                    > > traditional ROCOR position.
                    > ________________________________________________
                    >
                    > This post begins with a red herring: "Father Alexander writes in a
                    > very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP..."
                    >
                    > In fact Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the
                    > words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that
                    clearly
                    > show that it is part of the understanding of our Church, concerning
                    > itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN CHURCH
                    > (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov).
                    >
                    > The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the OVERALL
                    > understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-à-vis
                    the other=
                    >
                    > parts of the Russian Church.
                    >
                    > Archbishop Agafangel's quotations incorporate the position of the
                    > Church Abroad to specific >>>events and conditions that existed
                    during
                    > the period that the document was formulated<<<, and had a necessary
                    > and appropriate strictness to the chosen wording.
                    >
                    > Time has passed, conditions have changed, and an >>>ATTEMPT<<< at
                    > normalization has been BLESSED by the Synod of Bishops which has
                    > commenced.
                    >
                    > A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak his mind and
                    > defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once the BISHOPS
                    > in Council decide for the Church what its actions will be, a Bishop
                    of
                    > that Council is honor and duty bound to support the Churches actions
                    > or at least not do anything that can potentially undermine those
                    actions.
                    >
                    > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                    >
                    > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff"
                    > <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                    > > Dear List,
                    > >
                    > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                    > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                    > > traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                    > > arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in
                    the
                    > > excerpt below (my poor translation).
                    > >
                    > > In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                    > > biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                    > > Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father
                    Alexander
                    > > wanted to demonstrate.
                    > >
                    > > I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the
                    MP
                    > > is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).
                    > >
                    > > I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                    > > claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                    > > John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or
                    because
                    > > he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                    > > knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller
                    than
                    > > in Father Alexander's text.
                    > >
                    > > In God,
                    > >
                    > > Vladimir Kozyreff
                    > >
                    > > "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                    > > considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                    > > the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again,
                    this
                    > > does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal"
                    public
                    > > and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                    > > the MP.
                    > >
                    > > In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                    > > nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                    > > submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction
                    elsewhere
                    > > in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                    > > their position:
                    > >
                    > > " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church
                    direction
                    > > even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from
                    the
                    > > point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia
                    Church
                    > > Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                    > > there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                    > > confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion
                    (at
                    > > least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                    > > canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                    > > Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "…
                    > >
                    > > Vl Agafangel
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                    > > <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                    > > > Dear Father Alexander,
                    > > >
                    > > > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                    > > that
                    > > > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was
                    rescued
                    > > by
                    > > > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and
                    is
                    > > > diabolic.
                    > > >
                    > > > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                    > > the
                    > > > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the
                    Church,
                    > > then
                    > > > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                    > > keeps
                    > > > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                    > > The
                    > > > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom
                    the
                    > > > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                    > > >
                    > > > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                    > > has
                    > > > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and
                    we
                    > > > should leave her.
                    > > >
                    > > > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                    > > witness
                    > > > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if
                    she
                    > > > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia,
                    than
                    > > the
                    > > > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she
                    is
                    > > > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                    > > >
                    > > > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                    > > >
                    > > > In Christ,
                    > > >
                    > > > Irina Pahlen
                  • vkozyreff
                    Dear Father Stefan, bless. What you say amounts to consider that the bishop does not exist, but that only the synod does; that the bishop does not have the
                    Message 9 of 14 , Sep 1, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Father Stefan, bless.

                      What you say amounts to consider that the bishop does not exist, but
                      that only the synod does; that the bishop does not have the right to
                      teach, except what the synod allows him to teach.

                      If a majority in the Synod should vote that 2+2=5, then the bishop,
                      according to you, must acknowledge publicly that 2+2=5. This theory
                      of the subjugation of the bishop (and necessarily also of the lay
                      people) to the Synod, having precedence on the obedience owed to the
                      Gospel and to the ecumenical Councils reminds of the Soviet "polls",
                      which were always unanimous. Today Vl. Agafangel has dared express
                      his point of view. He immediately gets ostracized and is accused.
                      Accused of what? Of having dared.

                      This concept of the relationship between bishops and the Synod is
                      foreign to orthodoxy. Less diplomatically said, it is a heresy. This
                      is the mechanism by which a schism degenerates into a heresy. To
                      justify itself, it must resort to quibbles, and quibbles lead to a
                      fallacious proposition.

                      Of course, the Synod, as an executive structure needs a majority rule
                      to implement its administrative mission. It is however a fallacious
                      extrapolation to conclude that the majority rule can be used to
                      establish the truth.

                      Obviously, a vote could not be an adequate instrument to establish
                      the spiritual truth. Even more, it cannot be a way of establishing
                      the factual truth. This however does not stop the apologists of
                      the "desired rapprochement" to claim that "the ROCOR has never denied
                      that the MP had grace and conversely". They stick to their position
                      even if their proposal is infirmed by the facts. For some in ROCOR
                      (L) a proclamation weighs heavier than facts.

                      In God,

                      Vladimir Kozyreff


                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko"
                      <StefanVPavlenko@n...> wrote:
                      > "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:>
                      > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                      > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                      > > traditional ROCOR position.
                      > ________________________________________________
                      >
                      > This post begins with a red herring: "Father Alexander writes in a
                      > very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP..."
                      >
                      > In fact Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the
                      > words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that
                      clearly
                      > show that it is part of the understanding of our Church, concerning
                      > itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN CHURCH
                      > (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov).
                      >
                      > The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the OVERALL
                      > understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-à-vis
                      the other=
                      >
                      > parts of the Russian Church.
                      >
                      > Archbishop Agafangel's quotations incorporate the position of the
                      > Church Abroad to specific >>>events and conditions that existed
                      during
                      > the period that the document was formulated<<<, and had a necessary
                      > and appropriate strictness to the chosen wording.
                      >
                      > Time has passed, conditions have changed, and an >>>ATTEMPT<<< at
                      > normalization has been BLESSED by the Synod of Bishops which has
                      > commenced.
                      >
                      > A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak his mind and
                      > defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once the BISHOPS
                      > in Council decide for the Church what its actions will be, a Bishop
                      of
                      > that Council is honor and duty bound to support the Churches actions
                      > or at least not do anything that can potentially undermine those
                      actions.
                      >
                      > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                      >
                      > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff"
                      > <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                      > > Dear List,
                      > >
                      > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                      > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                      > > traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                      > > arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in
                      the
                      > > excerpt below (my poor translation).
                      > >
                      > > In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                      > > biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                      > > Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father
                      Alexander
                      > > wanted to demonstrate.
                      > >
                      > > I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the
                      MP
                      > > is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).
                      > >
                      > > I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                      > > claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                      > > John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or
                      because
                      > > he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                      > > knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller
                      than
                      > > in Father Alexander's text.
                      > >
                      > > In God,
                      > >
                      > > Vladimir Kozyreff
                      > >
                      > > "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                      > > considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                      > > the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again,
                      this
                      > > does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal"
                      public
                      > > and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                      > > the MP.
                      > >
                      > > In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                      > > nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                      > > submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction
                      elsewhere
                      > > in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                      > > their position:
                      > >
                      > > " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church
                      direction
                      > > even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from
                      the
                      > > point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia
                      Church
                      > > Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                      > > there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                      > > confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion
                      (at
                      > > least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                      > > canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                      > > Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "…
                      > >
                      > > Vl Agafangel
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                      > > <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                      > > > Dear Father Alexander,
                      > > >
                      > > > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                      > > that
                      > > > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was
                      rescued
                      > > by
                      > > > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and
                      is
                      > > > diabolic.
                      > > >
                      > > > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                      > > the
                      > > > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the
                      Church,
                      > > then
                      > > > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                      > > keeps
                      > > > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                      > > The
                      > > > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom
                      the
                      > > > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                      > > >
                      > > > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                      > > has
                      > > > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and
                      we
                      > > > should leave her.
                      > > >
                      > > > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                      > > witness
                      > > > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if
                      she
                      > > > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia,
                      than
                      > > the
                      > > > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she
                      is
                      > > > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                      > > >
                      > > > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                      > > >
                      > > > In Christ,
                      > > >
                      > > > Irina Pahlen
                    • byakimov@csc.com.au
                      Father Stefan Some conditions have changed but not all of them - the Cheskisti aka Drozodov & others are ruling the MP. It seems white washing & sweeping
                      Message 10 of 14 , Sep 1, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Father Stefan


                        Some conditions have changed but not all of them - the Cheskisti aka
                        Drozodov & others are ruling the MP.
                        It seems white washing & sweeping under the rug began with chekist
                        "Drosdov" & now has moved over t o some in
                        ROCA, Ask one of the MP metropolitans in the Baltic states if chekist
                        Drosdov & others who were Judases in the soviet times
                        have somehow changed & are no longer working in their previous posts.
                        Perhaps you can ask chekist Putin & he should say to you, if he is honest,
                        as he has said recently ..........a KGB agent never changes he is always a
                        KGB agent.

                        Forgive me Father Stefan but you need not to be blind to see the hypocrisy
                        of the whole thing. Father Alexander is an excellent
                        adapter, a chameleon & his quotes are out of context we all know that & we
                        all know this from seminarian days that's how Father Alexander
                        works....... I would not want to be on a sinking ship with Father
                        Alexander at the HELM.

                        Asking for your prayers & blessing.

                        unworthy protodeacon Basil from Canberra




                        "Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@...> on 01/09/2004
                        04:02:43 PM

                        Please respond to orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com

                        To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                        cc:
                        Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: It Is Time to Know Our History



                        "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:>
                        > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                        > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                        > traditional ROCOR position.
                        ________________________________________________

                        This post begins with a red herring: "Father Alexander writes in a
                        very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP..."

                        In fact Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the
                        words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that clearly
                        show that it is part of the understanding of our Church, concerning
                        itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN CHURCH
                        (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov).

                        The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the OVERALL
                        understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-à-vis the other
                        =

                        parts of the Russian Church.

                        Archbishop Agafangel's quotations incorporate the position of the
                        Church Abroad to specific >>>events and conditions that existed during
                        the period that the document was formulated<<<, and had a necessary
                        and appropriate strictness to the chosen wording.

                        Time has passed, conditions have changed, and an >>>ATTEMPT<<< at
                        normalization has been BLESSED by the Synod of Bishops which has
                        commenced.

                        A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak his mind and
                        defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once the BISHOPS
                        in Council decide for the Church what its actions will be, a Bishop of
                        that Council is honor and duty bound to support the Churches actions
                        or at least not do anything that can potentially undermine those actions.

                        Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko

                        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff"
                        <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                        > Dear List,
                        >
                        > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                        > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                        > traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                        > arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in the
                        > excerpt below (my poor translation).
                        >
                        > In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                        > biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                        > Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father Alexander
                        > wanted to demonstrate.
                        >
                        > I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the MP
                        > is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).
                        >
                        > I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                        > claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                        > John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or because
                        > he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                        > knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller than
                        > in Father Alexander's text.
                        >
                        > In God,
                        >
                        > Vladimir Kozyreff
                        >
                        > "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                        > considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                        > the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again, this
                        > does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal" public
                        > and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                        > the MP.
                        >
                        > In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                        > nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                        > submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction elsewhere
                        > in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                        > their position:
                        >
                        > " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church direction
                        > even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from the
                        > point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia Church
                        > Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                        > there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                        > confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion (at
                        > least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                        > canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                        > Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "?
                        >
                        > Vl Agafangel
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                        > <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                        > > Dear Father Alexander,
                        > >
                        > > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                        > that
                        > > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was rescued
                        > by
                        > > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and is
                        > > diabolic.
                        > >
                        > > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                        > the
                        > > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the Church,
                        > then
                        > > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                        > keeps
                        > > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                        > The
                        > > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom the
                        > > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                        > >
                        > > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                        > has
                        > > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and we
                        > > should leave her.
                        > >
                        > > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                        > witness
                        > > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if she
                        > > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia, than
                        > the
                        > > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she is
                        > > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                        > >
                        > > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                        > >
                        > > In Christ,
                        > >
                        > > Irina Pahlen



                        -
                      • Fr. John R. Shaw
                        ... JRS: First of all, I don t know how you were brought up, but I was told the following, long ago, by a very devout Russian lady whose father had been a
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 2, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dcn. BAsil Yakimov wrote:

                          > - the Cheskisti aka
                          > Drozodov & others are ruling the MP.

                          JRS: First of all, I don't know how you were brought up, but I was told
                          the following, long ago, by a very devout Russian lady whose father had
                          been a priest who battled and kept his village church open during the
                          worst of the Soviet persecution:

                          "Why should we not attack priests or call them names?

                          Because you do not know what he is doing at this moment. He may be
                          carrying the Holy Gifts, or he may be celebrating the Divine Liturgy,
                          or reading the Gospel. And how could one, at that moment, be calling
                          him a scoundrel or using some such term of abuse?

                          > Father Alexander is an excellent
                          > adapter, a chameleon & his quotes are out of context we all know
                          that & we
                          > all know this from seminarian days that's how Father Alexander
                          > works....... I would not want to be on a sinking ship with Father
                          > Alexander at the HELM.

                          JRS: This is simply character assassination.

                          It is true that Fr. Alexander was gifted by God with a brilliant mind.
                          That was no doing of his own, it was part of God's plan for him.

                          And there are always people who envy those who have different gifts
                          than they themselves.

                          When Fr. Alexander was a seminarian, some of the others played a prank
                          on him -- "ustroili temnoe". But he took it in a Christian way.

                          Once when he was visiting Chicago, after the Divine Liturgy, a lady in
                          the choir came out of church to find she had a flat tire. Fr.
                          Alexander, who had just concelebrated with me, changed the tire for her
                          at once, in his podriasnik.

                          The fact that someone does not agree with you is no excuse to try
                          and "demonize" them.

                          In Christ
                          Fr. John R. Shaw
                        • DDD
                          Deacon Basil of Canberra: Your below post publicly badmouthing Fr. Alexander, your fellow clergyman and senior-to-you priest, is utterly out of line. --Dimitra
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 2, 2004
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                            Deacon Basil of Canberra:

                            Your below post publicly badmouthing Fr. Alexander, your fellow clergyman and senior-to-you priest, is utterly out of line.


                            --Dimitra Dwelley



                            On 2 Sep 2004 08:32:12 -0000, orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                            From: byakimov@...
                            Subject: Re: Re: It Is Time to Know Our History

                            Father Stefan


                            Some conditions have changed but not all of them - the Cheskisti aka
                            Drozodov & others are ruling the MP.
                            It seems white washing & sweeping under the rug began with chekist
                            "Drosdov" & now has moved over t o some in
                            ROCA, Ask one of the MP metropolitans in the Baltic states if chekist
                            Drosdov & others who were Judases in the soviet times
                            have somehow changed & are no longer working in their previous posts.
                            Perhaps you can ask chekist Putin & he should say to you, if he is honest,
                            as he has said recently ..........a KGB agent never changes he is always a
                            KGB agent.

                            Forgive me Father Stefan but you need not to be blind to see the hypocrisy
                            of the whole thing. Father Alexander is an excellent
                            adapter, a chameleon & his quotes are out of context we all know that & we
                            all know this from seminarian days that's how Father Alexander
                            works....... I would not want to be on a sinking ship with Father
                            Alexander at the HELM.

                            Asking for your prayers & blessing.

                            unworthy protodeacon Basil from Canberra
                          • maestro_vg
                            no comment... this not-so-subtle outburst speaks for itself... dVG ... aka ... chekist ... posts. ... honest, ... always a ... hypocrisy ... that & we ...
                            Message 13 of 14 , Sep 3, 2004
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                              no comment... this not-so-subtle outburst speaks for itself...
                              dVG

                              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, byakimov@c... wrote:
                              > Father Stefan
                              >
                              >
                              > Some conditions have changed but not all of them - the Cheskisti
                              aka
                              > Drozodov & others are ruling the MP.
                              > It seems white washing & sweeping under the rug began with chekist
                              > "Drosdov" & now has moved over t o some in
                              > ROCA, Ask one of the MP metropolitans in the Baltic states if
                              chekist
                              > Drosdov & others who were Judases in the soviet times
                              > have somehow changed & are no longer working in their previous
                              posts.
                              > Perhaps you can ask chekist Putin & he should say to you, if he is
                              honest,
                              > as he has said recently ..........a KGB agent never changes he is
                              always a
                              > KGB agent.
                              >
                              > Forgive me Father Stefan but you need not to be blind to see the
                              hypocrisy
                              > of the whole thing. Father Alexander is an excellent
                              > adapter, a chameleon & his quotes are out of context we all know
                              that & we
                              > all know this from seminarian days that's how Father Alexander
                              > works....... I would not want to be on a sinking ship with Father
                              > Alexander at the HELM.
                              >
                              > Asking for your prayers & blessing.
                              >
                              > unworthy protodeacon Basil from Canberra
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > "Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@n...> on 01/09/2004
                              > 04:02:43 PM
                              >
                              > Please respond to orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                              >
                              > To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                              > cc:
                              > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: It Is Time to Know Our History
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:>
                              > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                              > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                              > > traditional ROCOR position.
                              > ________________________________________________
                              >
                              > This post begins with a red herring: "Father Alexander writes in a
                              > very authoritarian way about the necessity to join the MP..."
                              >
                              > In fact Father Alexander quotes (here and in other statements) the
                              > words of the official proclamations of our Church Abroad that
                              clearly
                              > show that it is part of the understanding of our Church, concerning
                              > itself, that it must seek the unity of the LOCAL RUSSIAN CHURCH
                              > (Pomestnaya Rossiskaya Tserkov).
                              >
                              > The parts Father Alexander quotes are in context with the OVERALL
                              > understanding of the position of the Church Abroad vis-à-vis
                              the other
                              > =
                              >
                              > parts of the Russian Church.
                              >
                              > Archbishop Agafangel's quotations incorporate the position of the
                              > Church Abroad to specific >>>events and conditions that existed
                              during
                              > the period that the document was formulated<<<, and had a necessary
                              > and appropriate strictness to the chosen wording.
                              >
                              > Time has passed, conditions have changed, and an >>>ATTEMPT<<< at
                              > normalization has been BLESSED by the Synod of Bishops which has
                              > commenced.
                              >
                              > A bishop of our Orthodox Church is duty bound to speak his mind and
                              > defend his personal position at the SYNOD COUNCILS, once the BISHOPS
                              > in Council decide for the Church what its actions will be, a Bishop
                              of
                              > that Council is honor and duty bound to support the Churches actions
                              > or at least not do anything that can potentially undermine those
                              actions.
                              >
                              > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                              >
                              > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff"
                              > <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                              > > Dear List,
                              > >
                              > > Father Alexander writes in a very authoritarian way about the
                              > > necessity to join the MP, and about what he considers to be the
                              > > traditional ROCOR position. I think however that all of his
                              > > arguments are clearly refuted by Vl Agafangel. For instance, in
                              the
                              > > excerpt below (my poor translation).
                              > >
                              > > In more than one case, Vl Agafangel shows that a complete (not a
                              > > biased, selective and partial) quotation of texts referred to by
                              > > Father Alexander mean in fact the opposite of what Father
                              Alexander
                              > > wanted to demonstrate.
                              > >
                              > > I think it should be made clear that the enthusiasm to join the MP
                              > > is not the conciliary position even of ROCOR (L).
                              > >
                              > > I recommend very warmly the reading of Vl Agafangel's reply. To
                              > > claim that he is wrong (as all ex-MP clergy, according to Father
                              > > John Shaw) because he has a personal quarrel with the MP or
                              because
                              > > he is "disgrunted" would be absurd. In Vl Agafangel's reply, the
                              > > knowledge about the ROCOR history does not seem to be smaller than
                              > > in Father Alexander's text.
                              > >
                              > > In God,
                              > >
                              > > Vladimir Kozyreff
                              > >
                              > > "From the above, Father Alexander concludes that "the ROCOR
                              > > considered the fall of the God-fighting regime as a criterion for
                              > > the restoration of a "normal" social and Church life ". Again,
                              this
                              > > does not mean in any way that the restoration of a "normal" public
                              > > and church life must translate into an immediate association with
                              > > the MP.
                              > >
                              > > In the quote given, as well as in the disposition of the ROCOR,
                              > > nothing is said or implied about the direction of the soviet-
                              > > submitted MP. There is a discussion about this direction elsewhere
                              > > in the Message, where the bishops cautiously, but clearly express
                              > > their position:
                              > >
                              > > " Can one justify the existing organisation of the church
                              direction
                              > > even of the orthodox or of the so-called Tikhonite Church, from
                              the
                              > > point of view of the canons and definitions of the All-Russia
                              Church
                              > > Sobor of 1917-1918? Are not righteous objections being expressed
                              > > there about the legitimacy of the present Synod, which has been
                              > > confiscated by metropolitan Sergii under his personal discretion
                              (at
                              > > least in the person of its most influential members) and is the
                              > > canonical mandate of the present deputy to the Vicar of the
                              > > Patriarchal Throne not suspect? "?
                              > >
                              > > Vl Agafangel
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir"
                              > > <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                              > > > Dear Father Alexander,
                              > > >
                              > > > Fervour is holy if it is directed to the Truth. If the fervour
                              > > that
                              > > > we can see in Russia expresses faith in a Church that was
                              rescued
                              > > by
                              > > > lies, then that fervour expresses faith in a false Church and is
                              > > > diabolic.
                              > > >
                              > > > If that fervour is an expression of faith in the true Church of
                              > > the
                              > > > martyrs who stood fast and never used lies to defend the Church,
                              > > then
                              > > > the faith that we see is not directed to the MP who stubbornly
                              > > keeps
                              > > > claiming that sergianism was a bold step that saved the Church.
                              > > The
                              > > > faith is directed to the true Russian Orthodox Church, of whom
                              the
                              > > > ROCOR is the only canonical representative left.
                              > > >
                              > > > If the ROCOR has lost faith in herself and in the Truth, if she
                              > > has
                              > > > indeed nothing to offer to Russia, then her fruits are bad, and
                              we
                              > > > should leave her.
                              > > >
                              > > > If the ROCOR has kept the true orthodox faith and is able to
                              > > witness
                              > > > about the Truth it in spite of "isolation" and persecution, if
                              she
                              > > > still considers herself as being called to return to Russia,
                              than
                              > > the
                              > > > ROCOR is the Church in which the people of Russia believes, she
                              is
                              > > > the true Russian orthodox Church, and we must stay with her.
                              > > >
                              > > > But who represents the true ROCOR?
                              > > >
                              > > > In Christ,
                              > > >
                              > > > Irina Pahlen
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > -
                            • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                              ... Here is what Metropolitan Vitaly wrote on the question of grace in the ... Our Russian Orthodox Church never stated that the Moscow Patriarchate in its
                              Message 14 of 14 , Sep 4, 2004
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                                Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

                                >Obviously, a vote could not be an adequate instrument to establish
                                >the spiritual truth. Even more, it cannot be a way of establishing
                                >the factual truth. This however does not stop the apologists of
                                >the "desired rapprochement" to claim that "the ROCOR has never denied
                                >that the MP had grace and conversely". They stick to their position
                                >even if their proposal is infirmed by the facts. For some in ROCOR
                                >(L) a proclamation weighs heavier than facts.

                                Here is what Metropolitan Vitaly wrote on the question of grace in the
                                Moscow Patriarchate on May 13/26, 1990:

                                >"Íàøà Ðóññêàÿ Ïðàâîñëàâíàÿ Çàðóáåæíàÿ Öåðêîâü íèêîãäà íå çàÿâëÿëà î òîì,
                                >÷òî Ìîñêîâñêàÿ Ïàòðèàðõèÿ â ñâîåé ñîâîêóïíîñòè áåçáëàãîäàòíàÿ, èáî åñëè
                                >ýòî áûëî áû òàê, òî âñå åÿ òàèíñòâà áûëè áû ëèøåíû áëàãîäàòè Ñâàòàãî Äóõà.
                                >Äðóãèìè ñëîâàìè âåñü ðóññêèé íàðîä êðåùåííûé áûë áû íå êðåùåííûé, íå
                                >âåí÷àííûé, íå ïðèîáùåííûé ê Ñâÿòûì Òàéíàì Õðèñòîâûì. Çäåñü â ýìèãðàöèè
                                >ñðàçó æå ïîñëå Âòîðîé Ìèðîâîé Âîéíû, êîãäà ñîòíè òûñÿ÷ü ðóññêèõ íå
                                >âåðíóëèñü íà ðîäèíó è âîøëè âñå â íàøè ïðèõîäû, òî èç èõ íåäð âûøëî öåëîå
                                >òå÷åíèå ìûñëè ÷òî âîîáùå Ìîñê. Ïàòðèàðõèÿ íå ìîæåò íèêàê áûòü áëàãîäàòíîé.
                                >Ñ ïîìîùèþ Áîæèåé íàì óäàëîñü ñïðàâèòñÿ ñ ýòèì íåïðàâîìûñëèåì è òåïåðü
                                >î÷åíü ðåäêî âñòðå÷àåøü åùå ïðåäñòàâèòåëåé ýòîãî òå÷åíèÿ."
                                >
                                >Ìèòðîïîëèò Âèòàëèé, 26-13 ìàÿ 1990 ã.


                                "Our Russian Orthodox Church never stated that the Moscow Patriarchate in
                                its entirety is graceless, for if this had been so, then all of her
                                mysteries would have been devoid of the grace of the Holy Spirit. In other
                                words all of the baptized Russian people would have been unbaptized,
                                unwedded, un-communicated to the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Here in the
                                emigration right after the Second World War, when hundreds of thousands of
                                Russians did not return to their Motherland and joined all of our parishes,
                                form their interior came forward a whole current of thought that the Moscow
                                Patriarchate can not at all in any way be grace-filled. With the help of
                                God we were able to deal with such incorrect thought and now one very
                                rarely still comes across a representative of this current.

                                Metropolitan Vitaly, 13/26 May, 1990"


                                Vladimir, was Metropolitan Vitaly lying when he stated that our Church
                                Abroad has never declared the Moscow Patriarchate in its entirety to be
                                graceless?

                                Do you believe differently from Metropolitan Vitaly on this issue?



                                With love in Christ,

                                Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


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