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RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Sviatitel' Sergij

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  • michael nikitin
    Fr. John Shaw more then once stated that Anathema of 1983 WAS written by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In fact the same HOCNA s anathema was reaffirmed in
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 8, 2004
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      Fr. John Shaw more then once stated that Anathema of 1983 WAS written by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In fact the same HOCNA's anathema was reaffirmed in 1998 and signed by all of our bishops in Mansonville. Of course these Greeks would not stay in ROCOR after we began to serve with Serbian Church which is in Ecumenism after their Anathema was not obeyed. If anyone will write that Serbian Church is not really in Ecumenism, then some of our priests should not protest against union with MP because of Ecumenism.

      Fr.John Shaw writes a lot of things but has no one to collaborate it when he writes about Boston. We cannot ask the dead, but we do have their writings and they say just the opposite of what you and Fr. John write.


      The quotes of St.Metr.Philaret mentioned are relevant to the topic. They simply show how much of a turmoil ROCOR was in. If there was any hint of heresy in Boston the bishops would have written something about it, but in the letters below and in many more letters and statements we don't see anything as heresy was ever mentioned. You received your information from hear-say - unless you consider Metr. Anthony Khrapovitsky's Dogma of Redemption a heresy.

      What you say just doesn't hold up. It sounds like you have something personal to this negativity towards Boston. Singing? I also don't care for Byzantine chants and Valaam chants. Too boring and too monotonous. But, each to his own.

      I go to Holy Trinity Monastery often and see stereotypical "converts" and Russians who wear prayer ropes, long dresses and six head coverings. Matushka Drobot ( a very pious woman) and her daughters are stereotypical by your definition. What about our Old Believers in Pennsylvania? I have been to Russia and saw the same. Just because we don't care for the head coverings and like mini-skirts doesn't mean we should stereotype people who do not wear them.

      Metr.Philaret sent B.Gregory Grabbe to investigate the supposedly moral misconduct in Boston. B.Gregory spent some time at the Monastery and found nothing and wrote so.

      When St.Metr.Philaret reposed the moral misconduct was brought up again with the help of a priest, about who B.Gregory Grabbe states, who had an enmity to HTM. But this time no one spent any time at the Monastery for investigation, to speak to the monks in the monastery, but we were all quick to believe hear-say. In other words, our bishops and each one of us, judged them guilty without investigating the whole situation. It looks like our Bishops wanted them to leave ROCOR, it was convenient for our Bishops that they would leave ROCOR and after waiting patiently for a whole year they, to the delight of many, finally left.

      Interestingly that one accuser ran off with a woman. B.Gregory of Colorado (should I say any more?) when he left the monastery, praised them in the beginning but when was offered a priesthood by B. Alippy suddenly changed his story. In other words, he wasn't even involved. Bishop Gregory Grabbe stated categoricly, by canon law all of the accusers who ran away in the night and stole monastery's property are not fit to be accusers. Why didn't they go to Bishop Constantine who was living in the monastery at the time right away? Why didn't they go to the police?

      If Fr. Alexis knew B.Gregory Grabbe and respected him then he would have no problem agreeing with his letters below in which he comes to the defense of Boston.

      Michael N


      11/24 March 1987

      Dear Vasily Ivanovich,

      Thank-you for your letter of March 16.
      Concerning those who left us, you are mistaken. Fist of all, it is not
      only Greeks, but also Russian and Americans. I always found it easy to work
      with them. They departed from us because our hierarchs hounded them out.
      This is the fruit of the work of enemy agents, and of chauvinism on our part
      (of several of our bishops), and of the banishment of love as the guiding
      principle of administration. For you see, they condemned Fr. Panteleimon
      without an investigation. Not a single investigator came to the monastery,
      just as the Metropolitan never visited even once. None of the exonerating
      evidence, which I submitted while still an active member, was taken into
      consideration; the accusation was founded upon the testimonies of people
      who, according to the canons, cannot be witnesses against a priest. It is
      significant that the entire brotherhood remained with Fr. Panteleimon. The
      mode of operation of the chief investigator, Archbishop Antony of Los
      Angeles, consists of of driving a person to despair by means of injustice,
      impelling him in such a state to depart, and then defrocking him for doing
      so. A simplified method, but not Christian. That this method had been
      employed in the cases of Fr. Antony (Grabbe) and of Fr. Panteleimon was
      admitted by the Metropolitan in a conversation with a delegation of clergy.
      I was removed because I was forever reminding everyone concerning the
      canons. With me taking part it would not have been possible to pass lawless
      resolutions. Partly it is a matter of personal feeling (against Fr.
      Panteleimon/me), but I cannot rule out the influence of agents.
      Incidentally, my correspondence from Russian expresses his perplexity at
      some of the broadcasts of Fr. V. Potapov, an active participant in brewing
      this mess who has a certain sympathy for part of the moscow Patriarchate.
      Incidentally, in the past Fr. Panteleimon always spoke out against us
      having a Greek made a bishop. He left only after they (the ROCA) had first
      approved the newly-elected abbot, and then a few days later had accused him
      without a trial, and had entrusted the superiorship to Archbishop Antony of
      Los Angeles, who manifestly acted like a battering ram in order to destroy
      the monastery, which possesses a great and valuable property gathered by Fr.
      Panteleimon.
      Of course, I write this in strict confidence, only for your information.
      Of course all this is quite complicated, and it is difficult to point the
      finger at anyone in particular, especially in writing..
      I hope that your flu soon passes. Concerning the Conference, my
      participation will depend on the state of my health. At present I would not
      be able to endure it.
      In the love of Christ,...

      and

      Most-reverend Vladykas and Fellow Hierarchs.
      For fifty-five years I, at the bidding of the Most-blessed Metropolit
      Anthony, and then under his two successors, have served the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
      I was always thankful to God for this, especially during these last
      years, because the Lord has preordained Her to be, most likely, the last
      bulwark of truth in the face of the triumphantly increasing "Mystery of
      Iniquity". Is it not for this reason that
      non-Russians have been drawn into her bosom, and have also become our
      spiritual children? And thus, in addition to our Russian flock, the
      responsibility for them before God has been laid upon us.
      The three Hierarchs indicated above, by means of love, built up the
      Russian Church Abroad, which, while preaching and witnessing to the Truth, and at the same time maintaining condescension towards human weaknesses, did not
      allow sinful manifestations to pull down Her edifice. On account of this
      she attracted new spiritual children of the Truth. Our First-Hierarchs
      always remembered that only Truth, united with love, attracts people to the
      Church and unites them to Her. A policy lacking this principle, and based
      solely on the divulging of sins and a striving after vengeance for them, does not help matters: here even proper zeal becomes, according to the apostle, not only a "sounding brass", but even a ferment for temptations and speedy
      demoralization.
      Our departed First-Hierarchs found ways, without unnecessary noise and
      general scandal, but rather with love and discretion, to overcome sinful
      manifestations, capturing the hearts of the faithful not by punitive zeal,
      but by love and discretion, always being guided by Canon 102 - now-forgotten
      by us - of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which I ardently beg you to read
      right now, in order to understand me correctly.
      At present we are experiencing demoralization in many places, especially
      among the newer spiritual children of our Church who had been drawn to Her
      by our confession of the Truth, but who are now alienated by our punitive
      administration lacking in love.
      Permit me to speak my mind regarding the latest decision concerning Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston, which has brought about the defection
      from us of the two wee-ordered monasteries, and which may have a colossal
      and most grievous impact on our dioceses in North America, affecting forty
      parishes.
      Metropolitans Anthony and Anastasy taught me that the benefit or harm
      for the flock of punitive decisions depends to a great degree on whether or not
      their equity and necessity are indisputably perceived by those accused and
      by the broad circle of the faithful affected by these decisions. Whereas
      here the resolution concerning Fr. Panteleimon and Fr. Isaac is felt to be
      unjust by the vast majority of our flock, especially among the Greek flock in the Boston area; and in the majority of people it evokes consternation and indignation.
      Such also is the reaction of all the clergy by the area (approximately ten
      men). In that regard it must be kept in mind that all the parishes of that
      region - except for Holy Epiphany, whose pastor has been at enmity with Holy
      Transfiguration Monastery - are quite attached to it and respect Fr.
      Panteleimon.
      One detail must also be borne in mind: the property of Holy
      Transfiguration Monastery, which has been gathered by Fr. Panteleimon, starting with nothing, is now worth millions. The removal of its founder and the
      appointment of the investigator, Archbishop Anthony, as Abbot, even if only
      temporarily, could easily evoke among the Greeks the suspicion that this
      case was instigated from mercenary motives on our part. For many who are
      well-informed concerning the
      condition of church life in the Boston area, it remains a question whether
      or not the Synod knew all these details when it reached its decision.
      We are now faced with great spiritual wound and a temptation for many
      people, And they shall criticize and judge the First-Hierarch and all the
      Hierarchs. As one who knows this flock - inasmuch as the past few years
      Metropolitan Philaret was unable to travel there and sent me - my heart
      breaks at the thought of the temptation it is undergoing and of the possible
      consequences. I therefore implore all the Reverend Members of the Sobor to consider urgent measures for the healing of this serious malady which
      has come upon the faithful, so that they might sense that the Russian
      Orthodox Church Abroad is for them not an evil step-mother, but a loving
      mother.
      Your Graces, the Boston affair is one of such magnitude, that not only
      the
      Diocesan hierarch shall answer for it before God, but all the members of the
      Sobor, since the decision, unfortunately, was not made by him personally,
      but in council. all the members shall answer for the monks, nuns, and
      faithful who shall leave us, not having endured the trial. How shall we
      feel, when at the Terrible Judgment we behold them on the left side because
      of us?
      I ask forgiveness that, although having been retired, in this instance I
      break silence and sound the alarm.

      September 1986


      "Fr. Alexis Duncan" <7848@...> wrote:
      I try to be fair. I knew Vladika Gregory and he had
      mentioned some odd things in Boston. He even used the word
      "heresy" when describing a couple of teachings. He saw them
      although he did not publicly voice them perhaps. He
      certainly would not have been sitting on the internet like
      you and me!

      HOCNA did not write much of anything other than their own
      materials. They did not write the anathema. That is fantasy.

      I don't know if you were around then, but I was and I had
      friends influenced by the Bostonites. I wasn't since I
      couldn't stand the moaning and screeching of their chant. I
      unabashedly do not like the stuff. These friends were
      terribly mixed up. They were the stereotypical "converts"
      who wore prayer ropes, long dresses to the floor and six
      head coverings. That was the rather cultish mentality that
      really turned me off. Their devotion to the "elder" was a
      true turning point for me away from such things. I was
      fortunate to have guides that were more to my taste from
      Jordanville and New York.

      But all that aside, Vladika Philaret reposed before the
      schism, so I don't think we can use his witness in what
      eventually happened. It is understood that he had respect
      for the Boston monastery. But then again, he never saw the
      seedy underside of the beast. Had he known the accusations
      of supposed moral misconduct, he would have immediately
      taken notice.

      The quotes you mention from Vladika Philaret doesn't seem to
      have much to do with this topic.





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    • Fr. John R. Shaw
      ... by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In fact the same HOCNA s anathema was reaffirmed in 1998 and signed by all of our bishops in Mansonville. JRS: It was
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 8, 2004
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        Michael Nikitin wrote:

        > Fr. John Shaw more then once stated that Anathema of 1983 WAS written
        by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In fact the same HOCNA's anathema
        was reaffirmed in 1998 and signed by all of our bishops in Mansonville.

        JRS: It was *not* signed by the bishops. You simply repeat this claim
        over and over.

        > Fr.John Shaw writes a lot of things but has no one to collaborate
        it when he writes about Boston.

        JRS: You write "collaborate", but I think you mean "corroborate".

        It's curious that people who make glib enough claims themselves, and
        offer no "corroboration" -- turn around and demand "absolute,
        incontrovertible proof" from others!

        "Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke
        16:31).

        In Christ
        Fr. John R. Shaw
      • michael nikitin
        The Synod s reaffirming of HOCNA s anathema of 1983 in 1998 was signed by the bishops in Mansonville. Fr.John posted: Neither will they be persuaded, though
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 8, 2004
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          The Synod's reaffirming of HOCNA's anathema of 1983 in 1998 was signed by the bishops in Mansonville.

          Fr.John posted:
          "Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke 16:31).

          Fr.John, you are no Apostle Luke!

          I have written letters of B.Gregory Grabbe and St.Metr.Philaret as my corroborations.

          Fr.John's corroborations are all dead.

          Michael N

          "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
          Michael Nikitin wrote:

          > Fr. John Shaw more then once stated that Anathema of 1983 WAS written
          by Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In fact the same HOCNA's anathema
          was reaffirmed in 1998 and signed by all of our bishops in Mansonville.

          JRS: It was *not* signed by the bishops. You simply repeat this claim
          over and over.

          > Fr.John Shaw writes a lot of things but has no one to collaborate
          it when he writes about Boston.

          JRS: You write "collaborate", but I think you mean "corroborate".

          It's curious that people who make glib enough claims themselves, and
          offer no "corroboration" -- turn around and demand "absolute,
          incontrovertible proof" from others!

          "Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke
          16:31).

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw


          __________________________________________________
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        • (matushka) Ann Lardas
          Dear Michael, About the investigation of Holy Transfiguration, culminating in their departure the week that Frs. Panteleimon and Isaac were suspended by ...
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 9, 2004
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            Dear Michael,

            About the investigation of Holy Transfiguration, culminating in their
            departure the week that Frs. Panteleimon and Isaac were suspended by
            Synod, you wrote:

            >When St.Metr.Philaret reposed the moral misconduct was brought up
            again with the help of a priest, about who B.Gregory Grabbe states,
            who had an enmity to HTM.
            But this time no one spent any time at the Monastery for
            investigation, to speak to the monks in the monastery, but we were
            all quick to believe hear-say. <

            This is a misrepresentation. The bishops did not stay at the
            monastery during the time of their investigation, but they spoke to
            EVERYONE concerned. The bishops who investigated made several trips
            to Boston to interview both the witnesses and the accused. In fact,
            the monastery complains, in some of the letters from that time, that
            the bishops refused to stay at or interview witnesses and accused at
            the monastery (several rooms of which had been wired for sound for an
            intercom system by the former Father Eugene, and so conversations
            could have been heard by those for whom they were not intended) but
            rather did their investigations at the hotel (back then called the
            Swisse Chalet, now operating under another name). Letters by
            defenders of our bishops outline how two monks were caught sitting on
            the floor outside the bishop's room listening to another monk's
            testimony. It's true that the bishops who investigated did not stay
            at the monastery itself, but not that they didn't investigate.

            There were fourteen witnesses in all, not just one priest "who had an
            emnity." Several of the accusers had mailed their complaints to the
            late Metropolitan during his lifetime, but their letters were found
            only after His Eminence's repose. Others came forward once the
            initial investigation began. Then, when Fr. Panteleimon came back to
            the monastery from Liturgy in Worcester with Met. Vitaly on
            Radonitsa, 1986, and announced that all charges would soon be
            dropped, three monks who had been recipients of undesired attention
            but were still living at the monastery met with each other and
            decided each to go to one of the investigating bishops to report
            first hand what had happened to each of them.

            I had long wondered where the ugly rumor that our bishops hoped
            somehow to profit from the sale of the monastery property had come
            from, and I was deeply grieved to learn, through the letter you
            posted, that it had been repeated by if it did not originally stem
            from a retired ROCOR bishop himself. But it's just ugly speculation,
            having nothing to do with fact. The monastery property remained,
            during the whole time they were with us and throughout their various
            sojourns since, not in the bishops' names as church property should
            be but rather under the name of the corporation which the monks
            formed, first their original corporation, later under one structured
            with a more openly congregational constitution, after the lawsuits
            that netted HOCNA, however briefly, the Worcester and Ipswich
            parishes. (The Blanco monastery had a similar
            arrangement, "Ecumenical Monks, Incorporated.") No such sale could
            have taken place, then, no matter what Vladyka Anthony (chosen by our
            bishops because he had been respected by the monks before) had
            desired or even attempted.

            Even more evil was a rumor, already 17 years old, that there was
            a "plot" in place to make a gift of the monastery to the Moscow
            Patriarchate to hasten the process of union with the MP, which
            detractors of our bishops have rumored would take place at the next
            Christmas, Pascha or Sobor every year since. Such rumors would have
            taken on a humorous cast (a few years ago when such a rumor,
            about "Reunion by Pascha!!!" was hot, a reader snorted, "Oh, puh-
            lease. We'll be lucky if by Pascha we've all received the Nativity
            encyclical.") were it not for the fact that they a) invite people to
            mistrust and judge our bishops, believing those who accuse them over
            our bishops themselves, and b) they depict union with the Moscow
            Patriarchate to be the result of an evil decision on the part of our
            bishops rather than the result of healing changes wrought by nothing
            less than the Holy Spirit in Russia.

            This is a quintessential error, one that mistakes the very purpose of
            our Church.

            It assumes that the Moscow Patriarchate had somehow changed in such a
            way as to be beyond God's redemption, and that ROCOR, rather than
            being regent for a captive prince, rather than being the voice of the
            speechless, the free part of a Church that is wounded and captive but
            still alive, still in need of our prayers and love, had somehow
            metamorphosed into the Only Vestige of Orthodoxy Left on Earth. What
            a thought!

            The Church of Constantinople was captive, but God led Her to freedom.
            The Russian Orthodox under the Tartar Yoke were captive, but God
            didn't leave them to rot. The Church suffered under emperors and even
            Patriarchs who, for a season, fell prey to one heresy or another in
            one place or another -- iconoclasm, Arianism, Manichiean heresy, you
            name it -- but God didn't let the Church stay in such circumstances.

            Union, reunion, recognition, whatever verb you choose, will only take
            place when our bishops and the MP bishops believe and practice the
            same things, because the work of our church in exile, to preserve the
            texts and teachings and practices of the Church and share them with
            our captive bretheren and encourage them in our brother Orthodox in
            Russia once they are free -- will have come to full fruition. Since
            1992, throughout Russia they have been using, printing, teaching
            from, praying from, the books which Jordanville saved and printed and
            preserved and mailed and even smuggled back into Russia during the
            dark days. If reading these books can make Roman Catholics from
            Boston and Protestants from the midwest and Buddhists in California
            see and believe and choose to find and follow and live the Orthodox
            faith, why can they not have had the same effect upon Russian souls?
            Why should they not have turned souls, stiffled under atheistic
            teachings, turn toward God as plants lean toward the sun, and find
            nurture and solace, and blossom and grow?

            After each of the heresies that plagued the Church, when an
            ecumenical council solved the problem, those who had fallen into
            false believe were received back simply by believing and teaching the
            lie no longer. You can read about it here:

            http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/resistance/roca_lardas.htm

            Why could not the healing after years of Sergianism and the
            corruptive influence of ecumenism be so simple?

            The Church was founded on Pentacost through the descent of the Holy
            Spirit. And it is God Himself who reaches out and snatches us all out
            of darkness and leads us to Her. To doubt the healing and salvific
            powers of the Church is to doubt the ability of the Holy Spirit, to
            not believe in the power and might of God to fix what is broken, to
            restore what has been sullied, to liberate the captives, to set
            aright the fallen. It is inconsistent to think that God can save us
            but that somehow Patriarch Alexis is beyond His reach.

            We prayed for this miracle. We beg for it in the prayer for Russia at
            every Liturgy. Our spiritual forefathers longed for it. Why would one
            think that it could never happen? Or that it would be betrayal for
            our bishops to recognize such a miracle when it occurs? Only the
            enemy of our salvation would want to turn what should be so joyous
            into something unpleasant, something that makes otherwise dutiful and
            righteous sons of the Church turn into the older brother from the
            parable of the Prodigal Son.

            But there are those who, having cast aside the lawful authority of
            our bishops, WHOM THEY THEMSELVES SOUGHT OUT for protection and
            instruction, now will not be satisfied until we hold our hierarchy in
            the same disregard that they do. Rebellion wishes to take for its own
            or at the very least curtail the authority which the bishops rightly
            have from God, through the Holy Spirit, through their ordination, for
            those who have rejected the bishops' God-given authority do not
            respect it, and they wish for us to disrespect both it and our
            hierarchs themselves.

            This is sin.
            May God protect us from it.
            It cannot lead to salvation.

            Your original complaint, then, about the HTM investigation would seem
            to be a small thing, but it is a gateway through which all kinds of
            evil things can come in. Our bishops conducted the investigation of
            Holy Transfiguration Monastery with all due dilligence and
            discretion, respecting the canons and having no regard for persons,
            not valuing the testimony of one over another despite years of
            friendship with the monastery on the part of several of the
            investigators. They concluded that the situation warrented further
            attention. The monastery did not want such attention, and fled. The
            rest is history; your account of it is not.

            In Christ,
            Matushka Ann Lardas,
            baptized at HTM under ROCOR in 1974.
          • German Ciuba
            Dear Matushka, Thank-you for an exceptionally well-written message, combining solid argumentation and spiritual fervour with factual support. Would that your
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 11, 2004
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              Dear Matushka,
              Thank-you for an exceptionally well-written message, combining solid
              argumentation and spiritual fervour with factual support. Would that
              your voice were heard by some of those who frequently post messages to
              this list!
              Hieromonk German Ciuba

              (matushka) Ann Lardas wrote:

              >
              > Dear Michael,
              >
              > About the investigation of Holy Transfiguration, culminating in their
              > departure the week that Frs. Panteleimon and Isaac were suspended by
              > Synod, you wrote:
              >
              > >When St.Metr.Philaret reposed the moral misconduct was brought up
              > again with the help of a priest, about who B.Gregory Grabbe states,
              > who had an enmity to HTM.
              > But this time no one spent any time at the Monastery for
              > investigation, to speak to the monks in the monastery, but we were
              > all quick to believe hear-say. <
              >
              > This is a misrepresentation. The bishops did not stay at the
              > monastery during the time of their investigation, but they spoke to
              > EVERYONE concerned. The bishops who investigated made several trips
              > to Boston to interview both the witnesses and the accused. In fact,
              > the monastery complains, in some of the letters from that time, that
              > the bishops refused to stay at or interview witnesses and accused at
              > the monastery (several rooms of which had been wired for sound for an
              > intercom system by the former Father Eugene, and so conversations
              > could have been heard by those for whom they were not intended) but
              > rather did their investigations at the hotel (back then called the
              > Swisse Chalet, now operating under another name). Letters by
              > defenders of our bishops outline how two monks were caught sitting on
              > the floor outside the bishop's room listening to another monk's
              > testimony. It's true that the bishops who investigated did not stay
              > at the monastery itself, but not that they didn't investigate.
              >
              > There were fourteen witnesses in all, not just one priest "who had an
              > emnity." Several of the accusers had mailed their complaints to the
              > late Metropolitan during his lifetime, but their letters were found
              > only after His Eminence's repose. Others came forward once the
              > initial investigation began. Then, when Fr. Panteleimon came back to
              > the monastery from Liturgy in Worcester with Met. Vitaly on
              > Radonitsa, 1986, and announced that all charges would soon be
              > dropped, three monks who had been recipients of undesired attention
              > but were still living at the monastery met with each other and
              > decided each to go to one of the investigating bishops to report
              > first hand what had happened to each of them.
              >
              > I had long wondered where the ugly rumor that our bishops hoped
              > somehow to profit from the sale of the monastery property had come
              > from, and I was deeply grieved to learn, through the letter you
              > posted, that it had been repeated by if it did not originally stem
              > from a retired ROCOR bishop himself. But it's just ugly speculation,
              > having nothing to do with fact. The monastery property remained,
              > during the whole time they were with us and throughout their various
              > sojourns since, not in the bishops' names as church property should
              > be but rather under the name of the corporation which the monks
              > formed, first their original corporation, later under one structured
              > with a more openly congregational constitution, after the lawsuits
              > that netted HOCNA, however briefly, the Worcester and Ipswich
              > parishes. (The Blanco monastery had a similar
              > arrangement, "Ecumenical Monks, Incorporated.") No such sale could
              > have taken place, then, no matter what Vladyka Anthony (chosen by our
              > bishops because he had been respected by the monks before) had
              > desired or even attempted.
              >
              > Even more evil was a rumor, already 17 years old, that there was
              > a "plot" in place to make a gift of the monastery to the Moscow
              > Patriarchate to hasten the process of union with the MP, which
              > detractors of our bishops have rumored would take place at the next
              > Christmas, Pascha or Sobor every year since. Such rumors would have
              > taken on a humorous cast (a few years ago when such a rumor,
              > about "Reunion by Pascha!!!" was hot, a reader snorted, "Oh, puh-
              > lease. We'll be lucky if by Pascha we've all received the Nativity
              > encyclical.") were it not for the fact that they a) invite people to
              > mistrust and judge our bishops, believing those who accuse them over
              > our bishops themselves, and b) they depict union with the Moscow
              > Patriarchate to be the result of an evil decision on the part of our
              > bishops rather than the result of healing changes wrought by nothing
              > less than the Holy Spirit in Russia.
              >
              > This is a quintessential error, one that mistakes the very purpose of
              > our Church.
              >
              > It assumes that the Moscow Patriarchate had somehow changed in such a
              > way as to be beyond God's redemption, and that ROCOR, rather than
              > being regent for a captive prince, rather than being the voice of the
              > speechless, the free part of a Church that is wounded and captive but
              > still alive, still in need of our prayers and love, had somehow
              > metamorphosed into the Only Vestige of Orthodoxy Left on Earth. What
              > a thought!
              >
              > The Church of Constantinople was captive, but God led Her to freedom.
              > The Russian Orthodox under the Tartar Yoke were captive, but God
              > didn't leave them to rot. The Church suffered under emperors and even
              > Patriarchs who, for a season, fell prey to one heresy or another in
              > one place or another -- iconoclasm, Arianism, Manichiean heresy, you
              > name it -- but God didn't let the Church stay in such circumstances.
              >
              > Union, reunion, recognition, whatever verb you choose, will only take
              > place when our bishops and the MP bishops believe and practice the
              > same things, because the work of our church in exile, to preserve the
              > texts and teachings and practices of the Church and share them with
              > our captive bretheren and encourage them in our brother Orthodox in
              > Russia once they are free -- will have come to full fruition. Since
              > 1992, throughout Russia they have been using, printing, teaching
              > from, praying from, the books which Jordanville saved and printed and
              > preserved and mailed and even smuggled back into Russia during the
              > dark days. If reading these books can make Roman Catholics from
              > Boston and Protestants from the midwest and Buddhists in California
              > see and believe and choose to find and follow and live the Orthodox
              > faith, why can they not have had the same effect upon Russian souls?
              > Why should they not have turned souls, stiffled under atheistic
              > teachings, turn toward God as plants lean toward the sun, and find
              > nurture and solace, and blossom and grow?
              >
              > After each of the heresies that plagued the Church, when an
              > ecumenical council solved the problem, those who had fallen into
              > false believe were received back simply by believing and teaching the
              > lie no longer. You can read about it here:
              >
              > http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/resistance/roca_lardas.htm
              >
              > Why could not the healing after years of Sergianism and the
              > corruptive influence of ecumenism be so simple?
              >
              > The Church was founded on Pentacost through the descent of the Holy
              > Spirit. And it is God Himself who reaches out and snatches us all out
              > of darkness and leads us to Her. To doubt the healing and salvific
              > powers of the Church is to doubt the ability of the Holy Spirit, to
              > not believe in the power and might of God to fix what is broken, to
              > restore what has been sullied, to liberate the captives, to set
              > aright the fallen. It is inconsistent to think that God can save us
              > but that somehow Patriarch Alexis is beyond His reach.
              >
              > We prayed for this miracle. We beg for it in the prayer for Russia at
              > every Liturgy. Our spiritual forefathers longed for it. Why would one
              > think that it could never happen? Or that it would be betrayal for
              > our bishops to recognize such a miracle when it occurs? Only the
              > enemy of our salvation would want to turn what should be so joyous
              > into something unpleasant, something that makes otherwise dutiful and
              > righteous sons of the Church turn into the older brother from the
              > parable of the Prodigal Son.
              >
              > But there are those who, having cast aside the lawful authority of
              > our bishops, WHOM THEY THEMSELVES SOUGHT OUT for protection and
              > instruction, now will not be satisfied until we hold our hierarchy in
              > the same disregard that they do. Rebellion wishes to take for its own
              > or at the very least curtail the authority which the bishops rightly
              > have from God, through the Holy Spirit, through their ordination, for
              > those who have rejected the bishops' God-given authority do not
              > respect it, and they wish for us to disrespect both it and our
              > hierarchs themselves.
              >
              > This is sin.
              > May God protect us from it.
              > It cannot lead to salvation.
              >
              > Your original complaint, then, about the HTM investigation would seem
              > to be a small thing, but it is a gateway through which all kinds of
              > evil things can come in. Our bishops conducted the investigation of
              > Holy Transfiguration Monastery with all due dilligence and
              > discretion, respecting the canons and having no regard for persons,
              > not valuing the testimony of one over another despite years of
              > friendship with the monastery on the part of several of the
              > investigators. They concluded that the situation warrented further
              > attention. The monastery did not want such attention, and fled. The
              > rest is history; your account of it is not.
              >
              > In Christ,
              > Matushka Ann Lardas,
              > baptized at HTM under ROCOR in 1974.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
              >
              >
              >
              >
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            • michael nikitin
              (matushka) Ann Lardas wrote: The rest is history; your account of it is not. Matushka Ann Lardas, you are in disagreement with
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 13, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                "(matushka) Ann Lardas" <matanna@...> wrote:
                "The rest is history; your account of it is not."


                Matushka Ann Lardas, you are in disagreement with St.Metr.Philaret and Archbishop Gregory Grabbe. Your issue is with them.

                B.Gregory Grabbe wrote:
                For you see, they condemned Fr. Panteleimon
                without an investigation. Not a single investigator came to the monastery,
                just as the Metropolitan never visited even once. None of the exonerating
                evidence, which I submitted while still an active member, was taken into
                consideration; the accusation was founded upon the testimonies of people
                who, according to the canons, cannot be witnesses against a priest. It is
                significant that the entire brotherhood remained with Fr. Panteleimon."

                also:

                "In that regard it must be kept in mind that all the parishes of that
                region - except for Holy Epiphany, whose pastor has been at enmity with Holy
                Transfiguration Monastery - are quite attached to it and respect Fr.
                Panteleimon."

                Guess who I believe.

                Michael N

                P.S. Please read below:

                A LETTER FROM METROPOLITAN PHILARET (VOZNESENSKY) TO A PRIEST OF
                THE CHURCH ABROAD CONCERNING FATHER DIMITRY DUDKO AND THE
                MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE

                Exerpts from St.Metr.Philaret's letter:

                Now a few words on the tragedy of poor Father Dimitry Dudko.
                From the very beginning of his activities, when his name was being mentioned more and more often as a pillar of Orthodoxy, and moreover, the members of the Synod, the hierarchs, were joining their voices to this; I, however, the author of these lines, immediately kept out of it and forewarned my fellow hierarchs that a disaster might happen here. How so? Because in the USSR, according to the premise of Archimandrite Constantine, there is now a satan-ocracy. There rules he whom the Saviour called a liar and the father of lies. This lie reigns there. Therefore one cannot trust anything that occurs there. Any seemingly spiritually encouraging fact may turn out to be a falsification, a forgery, a deception, or a provocation...
                Why did this calamity befall Father Dimitry Dudko? Let's assume the best, not suspecting him of conscious collaboration with the KGB and betrayal of his convictions, but simply noting the sad fact that he did not endure, but was broken; he capitulated before the enemies of the Church. Why? It would seem that he did display courage and daring; and then suddenly, such an inglorious end. Why?! Because his activity took place outside of the true Church...
                What then is the Soviet church? Archimandrite Constantine has often and
                insistently stated that the most horrible thing that the God-hating regime has done in Russia is the creation of the Soviet Church, which the Bolsheviks presented to the people as the true Church, having driven the genuine Orthodox Church into the catacombs or into the concentration camps.
                This pseudo-church has been twice anathematized. His Holiness Patriarch
                Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Sobor anathematized the Communists and all their collaborators. This dread anathema has not been lifted till this day and remains in force, since it can be lifted only by a similar All-Russian Church Sobor, as the canonical supreme ecclesiastical authority. And a terrifying thing happened in 1927, when the head of the Church, Metropolitan Sergius, by his infamous and
                apostate Declaration, subjected the Russian Church to the Bolsheviks and proclaimed collaboration with them. And thus in a most exact sense was fulfilled the _expression in the prayer at the beginning of Confession: having fallen under their own anathema! For in
                1918 the Church anathematized all the confederates of Communism, while in 1927 she herself joined the camp of these collaborators and began to laud the red, God-having regime to laud the red beast spoken of in the Apocalypse.
                As if that is not enough. When Metropolitan Sergius promulgated his criminal Declaration, then the faithful children of the Church immediately separated themselves from the Soviet church, and thus
                the Catacomb Church was formed. And she, in her turn, has anathematized the official church for its betrayal of Christ. And it was within this very church of evil-doers that the activities of Father Dimitry Dudko occurred, who has frankly declared in the press that he is not going to break with the Soviet church but will remain in her. Has his spiritual eyes been open, and had he seen the true nature of the official church, he might have found within himself the courage to say: I have hated the congregation of evil-doers, and with the ungodly will I not sit I am breaking off with the company
                of the enemies of God, and I am withdrawing from the Soviet church. Why, then for us he would have become one of our own his courage would have destroyed the barrier which irrevocably stands between us by virtue of the fact that the Sobor adopted as its guiding principle the Testament of Metropolitan Anastasy. For in this Testament it is ordered that we must not have any communion whatsoever with the Soviets, not only no communion in prayer, but not even ordinary contact in daily life. But as long as Father Dimitry would have refused to remain in the Soviet pseudo-church, and would have withdrawn from membership in her the barrier would no longer have applied to him..........
                The hierarch Theophan the Recluse in his own day warned that a terrible time was approaching when people would behold before their eyes all the appearance of church grandeur solemn services, church order, and such while on the inside there would be total betrayal of the Spirit of Christ. Is this not what we see in the Soviet church? Patriarchs, Metropolitans, all the priestly and monastic orders and at the very same time, an alliance with the God-haters, that is, a manifest betrayal of Christ.
                To this company belongs also Father Dimitry Dudko. Of course, his sincere religious feelings compelled him to preach concerning God and not to condone many of the disgraceful happenings in the lives of Russian people. But for him, Pimen was, and likely still is, his spiritual head, the head of the Soviet hierarchy; while for us, it is not at all so. For our Sobor in 1971 passed a resolution: on the basis of such and such canons to consider the election of Pimen as unlawful and invalid, and to consider all his acts and decrees as having no force or significance.
                How difficult is Father Dimitry Dudko's position now! What is he to do?
                Continue his pastoral work? And what can he say to the faithful? Say the same thing that he said before his repentance? But then, he has already renounced this! Say the opposite? Why, they believed him before when he preached that which won for him the trust and respect of the faithful and now, how will he look them in the face? One girl correctly said that there is one way out for him: make a genuine repentance in atonement for the one he just now made. But in order to do
                that he must depart from the church of the evil-doers for the true Church, and there make his repentance. However, in return, the red church will undoubtedly deal with him with particular malice and cruelty. Of course, by crossing over to the true Church, he will pass over into the realm of Divine grace and strength, which can fortify him just as it fortified those catacomb nuns. God grant that he find the true and saving path.
                I should also like to note the following. The Catacomb Church in Russia
                relates to the Church Abroad with love and total confidence. However, one thing is incomprehensible to the Catacomb Christians: they can't understand why our Church, which realizes beyond a doubt that the Soviet hierarchy has betrayed Christ and is no longer a bearer of grace, nevertheless receives clergy of the Soviet church in their existing orders, not re-ordaining them, as ones already having grace. For the clergy and flock receive grace from the hierarchy, and if it [the hierarchy] has betrayed the Truth and deprived itself of grace, from where then does the clergy have grace? It is along these
                lines that the Catacomb Christians pose the question.
                The answer to this is simple. The Church has the authority in certain cases to employ the principle of economia condescension. The hierarch Saint Basil the Great said that, in order not to drive many away from the Church, it is necessary sometimes to permit condescension and not apply the church canons in all their severity. When our Church accepted Roman Catholic clergy in their orders, without ordaining them, she acted according to this principle. And Metropolitan Anthony
                [Khrapovitsky], elucidating this issue, pointed out that the outward form successive ordination from Apostolic times that the Roman Catholics do have; whereas the grace, which the Roman Catholic church has lost, is received by those uniting [themselves to the Church] from the plenitude of grace present in the Orthodox Church, at the very moment of their joining. The form is filled with content, said Vladyka Anthony.
                In precisely the same manner, in receiving the Soviet clergy, we apply the principle of economia. And we receive the clergymen from Moscow not as ones possessing grace, but as ones receiving it by the very act of union. But to recognize the church of the evil-doers as the bearer and
                repository of grace, that we cannot do, of course. For outside of Orthodoxy there is no grace; and the Soviet church has deprived itself of grace.
                In concluding my lengthy letter, I should like to point several things out to you, Father. The Bishops' Sobor resolved to be guided by and to fulfill the Testament of Metropolitan Anastasy, in which the late First Hierarch bade us not to have any communion with the Soviet church
                whatsoever, not only no prayerful communion, but not even ordinary contact. On what basis then have you and other clergymen had direct relations with Father Dudko? And have written him letters, etc.? No matter how sincere a man you may have considered him to be, nevertheless, can your private opinion annul a ruling adopted by the Church? Now, had Father Dudko said: I am breaking with the official church and leaving her then you could have entered into lively contact with him. But in the absence of that, your actions constitute a violation of ecclesiastical discipline. Dudko wrote to me personally, but I did not answer him although I could have said much. By the way, on what basis did you, even before this, take into your head to commemorate an archbishop of the Soviet church during the Great Entrance? Who gave you the right to do that, which hierarch who, how, where, when?.. Be more careful, my dear, zealous, but, ah, too impetuous fellow minister!





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