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Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?

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  • vkozyreff
    Dear Father John, bless. You write: This gave them the idea of claiming that ROCOR has fallen under its own anathema (i.e. the anathema of 1983 , which
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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      Dear Father John, bless.

      You write:

      "This gave them the idea of claiming that "ROCOR has fallen under its
      own anathema" (i.e. the "anathema of 1983", which appears to have
      been authored by the Panteleimon-coterie)".

      We do not understand any longer whether ROCOR condemns or does not
      condemn ecumenism.

      The anathema of 1983 was never rescinded, but you keep suggesting
      that it does not have real power, because it was not authored by the
      right people. So, finally, is the anathema in force or is it not? If
      it is, than ROCOR clergy should act and write accordingly. If it is
      not, the anathema should be rescinded. If the anathema is rescinded,
      those who denounce ROCOR as becoming open to ecumenism are right.

      If the situation remains ambiguous as it is now, it will continue
      creating confusion, which is opposite to the Church calling.

      You write: "Similar claims have been made by various groups (the
      Matthewites, HOCNA, ROAC, ROCiE) over the years -- but in them, the
      date of ROCOR's supposed downfall was updated more than once, to suit
      individual interests.

      What is the basis for your stating that dates were mentioned "to suit
      individual interests"? Maybe dates were genuinely mentioned in
      relationship to various events suggesting that ROCOR was becoming
      more lenient towards to ecumenism, or sergianism.

      As seen in message 13708, even on Mt Athos, some are wondering.

      "Never refer to an enemy using scandalous names, but use respectful
      ones; on hearing this, your soul will learn from the tongue, become
      accustomed and undergo a change of heart towards him." St. John
      Chrysostom

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff


      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
      <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
      > Paul Bartlett wrote:
      >
      > > On another forum someone has asked if anyone know a source
      for the
      > > (or a) document in which those who formed HOCNA set out their
      reasons
      > > for taking their action to separate from ROCOR. The only
      material I
      > > have seen on the matter was some material largely from the ROCOR
      side,
      > > although it purported to reproduce some letters or other materials
      > > coming from the HOCNA party.
      >
      > JRS: HOCNA produced an "information packet" that at one point was
      about a ream of paper.
      > They sent it to me -- twice I think, back in early 1987, before the
      real heyday of the internet.
      >
      > Their "rationale" for separating from ROCOR was a claim that ROCOR
      had fallen into
      > ecumenism.
      >
      > Needless to say, that was not the "reason" -- the real reason was
      that Archimandrite
      > Panteleimon had been suspended, after the Synod had spent months
      investigating moral
      > accusations against him.
      >
      > The bishops assigned to the investigation were Archbishop Anthony
      of Los Angeles and the
      > present Archbishop Alypy, who was then Bishop of Cleveland.
      >
      > But in March of 1986, Vl. Alypy and I were present at a Vesper
      service in the Serbian Holy
      > Resurrection cathedral in Chicago, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. We
      did not vest, participate,
      > or at any time go behind the iconostas; we were merely present.
      >
      > But that was enough.
      >
      > The Panteleimonites were informed of this, by a certain Greek Old
      Calendar cleric phoning
      > them that very evening, perhaps before we even got home from the
      Serbian church.
      >
      > This gave them the idea of claiming that "ROCOR has fallen under
      its own anathema" (i.e. the
      > "anathema of 1983", which appears to have been authored by the
      Panteleimon-coterie).
      >
      > An important contribution to this rationale had come a few years
      before, from a series of
      > open letters written by Vladimir Moss and sent to most of the ROCOR
      clergy, in which he
      > made similar allegations.
      >
      > In that first series of letters from V. Moss, the claim was that
      ROCOR had "fallen at the Sobor
      > of 1974".
      >
      > Similar claims have been made by various groups (the Matthewites,
      HOCNA, ROAC, ROCiE)
      > over the years -- but in them, the date of ROCOR's supposed
      downfall was updated more
      > than once, to suit individual interests.
      >
      > The main key to the influence of such accusations has always been
      people's lack of familiarity
      > with ROCOR's history.
      >
      > In Christ
      > Fr. John R. Shaw
    • Fr. John R. Shaw
      ... JRS: ROCOR has always affirmed the unique truth of the Orthodox faith, and does not permit interfaith worship services. ... JRS: No anathema has the power
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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        Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

        > We do not understand any longer whether ROCOR condemns or does not
        > condemn ecumenism.

        JRS: ROCOR has always affirmed the unique truth of the Orthodox faith, and does not permit
        interfaith worship services.

        > The anathema of 1983 was never rescinded, but you keep suggesting
        > that it does not have real power, because it was not authored by the
        > right people.

        JRS: No anathema has the power to "act of itself" or to place anyone outside the Church;
        anathemas can be read or studied for their doctinal content, rather like a catechism, and they
        can be applied as Church law by a Synod over matters within its own jurisdiction.

        > So, finally, is the anathema in force or is it not? If
        > it is, than ROCOR clergy should act and write accordingly. If it is
        > not, the anathema should be rescinded. If the anathema is rescinded,
        > those who denounce ROCOR as becoming open to ecumenism are right.

        JRS: The anathema was nothing that was planned or even expected by the ROCOR hierarchs,
        including Metropolitan Philaret, who had gathered for the Sobor of 1983.

        However, its *content* is in agreement with the positions ROCOR has always held, and still
        holds.

        The only confusion is that caused by some who falsely represent it, as if it had placed all
        other Orthodox (over whom ROCOR has no authority) "outside the Church".

        > You write: "Similar claims have been made by various groups (the
        > Matthewites, HOCNA, ROAC, ROCiE) over the years -- but in them, the
        > date of ROCOR's supposed downfall was updated more than once, to suit
        > individual interests.
        >
        > What is the basis for your stating that dates were mentioned "to suit
        > individual interests"? Maybe dates were genuinely mentioned in
        > relationship to various events suggesting that ROCOR was becoming
        > more lenient towards to ecumenism, or sergianism.

        JRS: ROCOR obviously has not changed its stance on ecumenism.

        Sergianism was not mentioned in the "anathema of 1983".

        > As seen in message 13708, even on Mt Athos, some are wondering.

        JRS: People are quite liable to wonder, when they have been misled or disinformed on the
        issues.

        In Christ
        Fr. John R. Shaw
      • Fr. Alexis Duncan
        A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at other times is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our Church Abroad and her faithful children. It is
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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          A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at
          other times is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our
          Church Abroad and her faithful children. It is odd because
          if we believe our bishops in congregation are led by the
          Holy Spirit, then the anathema must necessarily speak for
          the Church as a whole.

          Now certain jurisdictions not in agreement might not
          recognize the anathema. That is true. However, whether they
          recognize it or not, if, as I say, we believe the Holy
          Spirit directs the synod of bishops, then it is a little
          like the fellow who doesn't recognize that planets invisible
          to the naked eye exist. Even if the synod of bishops were
          not directed by the Holy Spirit, the anathema still remains
          an historic pronouncement and it is either true or not.
          Would any Orthodox Christian dare say it is false?

          Now we have a thorny question. Can the synod of bishops be
          incorrect? Does the Holy Spirit direct them at one time and
          not at others? That opens a whole can of worms does it not?
          I have an understanding that a local synod of bishops
          possesses the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet might make
          mistakes. In other words, the Holy Spirit does not force a
          bishop to be correct. Such, I feel, was the anathematization
          of the Old Believers. It was a mistake, in my opinion.

          So, we still have the anathema of 1983 in force. We can
          discuss whether it was contrived or expected or secretly
          written or slipped in or any other number of charges
          stemming from our own personal suspicions or prejudices
          (even though that seems terribly wasteful of intellectual
          energies). But the bishops did accept it and none of them
          were dupes were they? So, it seems to me that until they
          rescind it, we confess it to be true.

          _________________________________________________
          Fr. Alexis Duncan
          Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
          Atlanta, GA
          www.orthodoxinfo.biz




          JRS: No anathema has the power to "act of itself" or to
          place anyone outside the Church;
          anathemas can be read or studied for their doctinal content,
          rather like a catechism, and they
          can be applied as Church law by a Synod over matters within
          its own jurisdiction.

          JRS: The anathema was nothing that was planned or even
          expected by the ROCOR hierarchs,
          including Metropolitan Philaret, who had gathered for the
          Sobor of 1983.
        • vjb
          Dear Fr. Alexis (bless), I read your post and it makes a perfect sense. Except that it seems that no one has ever challenged the validity of the anathema
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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            Dear Fr. Alexis (bless),

            I read your post and it makes a perfect sense. Except that it seems that no one has ever challenged the validity of the anathema (within or outside ROCOR). Therefore why would anyone want to have it rescinded? The question is, "Does ROCOR fall under its own anathema?" and "Who is to decide where this anathema applies?"

            viatcheslav
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Fr. Alexis Duncan
            To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 12:31 PM
            Subject: RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?


            A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at
            other times is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our
            Church Abroad and her faithful children. It is odd because
            if we believe our bishops in congregation are led by the
            Holy Spirit, then the anathema must necessarily speak for
            the Church as a whole.

            Now certain jurisdictions not in agreement might not
            recognize the anathema. That is true. However, whether they
            recognize it or not, if, as I say, we believe the Holy
            Spirit directs the synod of bishops, then it is a little
            like the fellow who doesn't recognize that planets invisible
            to the naked eye exist. Even if the synod of bishops were
            not directed by the Holy Spirit, the anathema still remains
            an historic pronouncement and it is either true or not.
            Would any Orthodox Christian dare say it is false?

            Now we have a thorny question. Can the synod of bishops be
            incorrect? Does the Holy Spirit direct them at one time and
            not at others? That opens a whole can of worms does it not?
            I have an understanding that a local synod of bishops
            possesses the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet might make
            mistakes. In other words, the Holy Spirit does not force a
            bishop to be correct. Such, I feel, was the anathematization
            of the Old Believers. It was a mistake, in my opinion.

            So, we still have the anathema of 1983 in force. We can
            discuss whether it was contrived or expected or secretly
            written or slipped in or any other number of charges
            stemming from our own personal suspicions or prejudices
            (even though that seems terribly wasteful of intellectual
            energies). But the bishops did accept it and none of them
            were dupes were they? So, it seems to me that until they
            rescind it, we confess it to be true.

            _________________________________________________
            Fr. Alexis Duncan
            Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
            Atlanta, GA
            www.orthodoxinfo.biz




            JRS: No anathema has the power to "act of itself" or to
            place anyone outside the Church;
            anathemas can be read or studied for their doctinal content,
            rather like a catechism, and they
            can be applied as Church law by a Synod over matters within
            its own jurisdiction.

            JRS: The anathema was nothing that was planned or even
            expected by the ROCOR hierarchs,
            including Metropolitan Philaret, who had gathered for the
            Sobor of 1983.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • michael nikitin
            Fr.George Kochergin stated that three times a contingent went to the Synod in New York to have a statement written by ROCOR that it did not serve with the
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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              Fr.George Kochergin stated that three times a contingent went to the Synod in New York to have a statement written by ROCOR that it did not serve with the Serbs who are in WCC and ecumenism. This statement was never written.

              And it was B.Alipy who ordained Fr.Gregory, now B.Gregory of Colorado, when monk Gregory was an accuser, although Monk Gregory says nothing like that happened to him personally and he was not an eye witness either.

              Michael N


              "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:Paul Bartlett wrote:

              > On another forum someone has asked if anyone know a source for the
              > (or a) document in which those who formed HOCNA set out their reasons
              > for taking their action to separate from ROCOR. The only material I
              > have seen on the matter was some material largely from the ROCOR side,
              > although it purported to reproduce some letters or other materials
              > coming from the HOCNA party.

              JRS: HOCNA produced an "information packet" that at one point was about a ream of paper.
              They sent it to me -- twice I think, back in early 1987, before the real heyday of the internet.

              Their "rationale" for separating from ROCOR was a claim that ROCOR had fallen into
              ecumenism.

              Needless to say, that was not the "reason" -- the real reason was that Archimandrite
              Panteleimon had been suspended, after the Synod had spent months investigating moral
              accusations against him.

              The bishops assigned to the investigation were Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles and the
              present Archbishop Alypy, who was then Bishop of Cleveland.

              But in March of 1986, Vl. Alypy and I were present at a Vesper service in the Serbian Holy
              Resurrection cathedral in Chicago, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. We did not vest, participate,
              or at any time go behind the iconostas; we were merely present.

              But that was enough.

              The Panteleimonites were informed of this, by a certain Greek Old Calendar cleric phoning
              them that very evening, perhaps before we even got home from the Serbian church.

              This gave them the idea of claiming that "ROCOR has fallen under its own anathema" (i.e. the
              "anathema of 1983", which appears to have been authored by the Panteleimon-coterie).

              An important contribution to this rationale had come a few years before, from a series of
              open letters written by Vladimir Moss and sent to most of the ROCOR clergy, in which he
              made similar allegations.

              In that first series of letters from V. Moss, the claim was that ROCOR had "fallen at the Sobor
              of 1974".

              Similar claims have been made by various groups (the Matthewites, HOCNA, ROAC, ROCiE)
              over the years -- but in them, the date of ROCOR's supposed downfall was updated more
              than once, to suit individual interests.

              The main key to the influence of such accusations has always been people's lack of familiarity
              with ROCOR's history.

              In Christ
              Fr. John R. Shaw




              ---------------------------------
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • byakimov@csc.com.au
              Father Alexis, Well (& correctly) said. protodeacon Basil from Canberra Fr. Alexis Duncan To:
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                Father Alexis,

                Well (& correctly) said.

                protodeacon Basil from Canberra




                "Fr. Alexis
                Duncan" To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
                <7848@adelphia.n cc:
                et> Subject: RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA
                Separation?
                02/03/2005 04:31
                AM
                Please respond
                to
                orthodox-synod






                A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at
                other times is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our
                Church Abroad and her faithful children. It is odd because
                if we believe our bishops in congregation are led by the
                Holy Spirit, then the anathema must necessarily speak for
                the Church as a whole.

                Now certain jurisdictions not in agreement might not
                recognize the anathema. That is true. However, whether they
                recognize it or not, if, as I say, we believe the Holy
                Spirit directs the synod of bishops, then it is a little
                like the fellow who doesn't recognize that planets invisible
                to the naked eye exist. Even if the synod of bishops were
                not directed by the Holy Spirit, the anathema still remains
                an historic pronouncement and it is either true or not.
                Would any Orthodox Christian dare say it is false?

                Now we have a thorny question. Can the synod of bishops be
                incorrect? Does the Holy Spirit direct them at one time and
                not at others? That opens a whole can of worms does it not?
                I have an understanding that a local synod of bishops
                possesses the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet might make
                mistakes. In other words, the Holy Spirit does not force a
                bishop to be correct. Such, I feel, was the anathematization
                of the Old Believers. It was a mistake, in my opinion.

                So, we still have the anathema of 1983 in force. We can
                discuss whether it was contrived or expected or secretly
                written or slipped in or any other number of charges
                stemming from our own personal suspicions or prejudices
                (even though that seems terribly wasteful of intellectual
                energies). But the bishops did accept it and none of them
                were dupes were they? So, it seems to me that until they
                rescind it, we confess it to be true.

                _________________________________________________
                Fr. Alexis Duncan
                Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                Atlanta, GA
                www.orthodoxinfo.biz




                JRS: No anathema has the power to "act of itself" or to
                place anyone outside the Church;
                anathemas can be read or studied for their doctinal content,
                rather like a catechism, and they
                can be applied as Church law by a Synod over matters within
                its own jurisdiction.

                JRS: The anathema was nothing that was planned or even
                expected by the ROCOR hierarchs,
                including Metropolitan Philaret, who had gathered for the
                Sobor of 1983.
              • Fr. John R. Shaw
                ... JRS: I have no doubt that the *content* of it is true. I don t think anyone in our Church has ever disputed that. The issue usually raised by those who
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                  Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

                  > So, we still have the anathema of 1983 in force. We can
                  > discuss whether it was contrived or expected or secretly
                  > written or slipped in or any other number of charges
                  > stemming from our own personal suspicions or prejudices
                  > (even though that seems terribly wasteful of intellectual
                  > energies). But the bishops did accept it and none of them
                  > were dupes were they? So, it seems to me that until they
                  > rescind it, we confess it to be true.

                  JRS: I have no doubt that the *content* of it is true. I don't think anyone in our Church has
                  ever disputed that.

                  The issue usually raised by those who make use of it to attack ROCOR, is the claim that
                  places all the other Orthodox outside the Church.

                  That is manifestly false.

                  The anathema is at best only a local measure by the Church Abroad. Regardless of whether it
                  is true or not, it does not apply to those who are not under the jurisdiction of the Church
                  Abroad, and it does not have any "automatic action" even within the Church Abroad. It is a
                  Church law -- not an entity with a life of its own.

                  While the Holy Spirit acts through all Orthodox bishops, no local Synod has ever claimed
                  infallibility.

                  The Church Abroad, like the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church before the
                  revolution, has made mistakes.

                  In Christ
                  Fr. John R. Shaw
                • Fr. Alexis Duncan
                  If others interpret the anathema to place them outside the Church, it is clearly polemics and a feeble attempt to screen the issue that they indeed might be
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                    If others interpret the anathema to place them outside the
                    Church, it is clearly polemics and a feeble attempt to
                    screen the issue that they indeed might be ecumenists.

                    At best only a local "measure" of a local church? That seems
                    to be somewhat twisted logic. An anathema isn't a "measure";
                    it is a pronouncement that something is abominable in the
                    sight of God. And if that abomination is truly an
                    abomination, then, of course, without doubt it is applicable
                    to those outside the Church Abroad due to the fact that it
                    resonates a heavenly truth. If the anathema is true and
                    expresses the truth the Lord has revealed, then it seems to
                    me that it extends well beyond the Russian Church Abroad. If
                    it expresses that ecumenism is a heresy and if this is true,
                    then those who openly and unabashedly practice ecumenism are
                    heretics. Right? Doesn't seem a stretch at all.

                    _________________________________________________
                    Fr. Alexis Duncan
                    Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                    Atlanta, GA
                    www.orthodoxinfo.biz



                    The issue usually raised by those who make use of it to
                    attack ROCOR, is the claim that
                    places all the other Orthodox outside the Church.

                    The anathema is at best only a local measure by the Church
                    Abroad. Regardless of whether it
                    is true or not, it does not apply to those who are not under
                    the jurisdiction of the Church
                    Abroad, and it does not have any "automatic action" even
                    within the Church Abroad. It is a
                    Church law -- not an entity with a life of its own.
                  • Fr. Alexis Duncan
                    Well, fortuantely, neither you nor I make that decision. :) _________________________________________________ Fr. Alexis Duncan Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                      Well, fortuantely, neither you nor I make that decision. :)

                      _________________________________________________
                      Fr. Alexis Duncan
                      Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                      Atlanta, GA
                      www.orthodoxinfo.biz



                      Dear Fr. Alexis (bless),

                      I read your post and it makes a perfect sense. Except that
                      it seems that no one has ever challenged the validity of the
                      anathema (within or outside ROCOR). Therefore why would
                      anyone want to have it rescinded? The question is, "Does
                      ROCOR fall under its own anathema?" and "Who is to decide
                      where this anathema applies?"

                      viatcheslav
                    • DDD
                      Odd? Here is an excerpt from an article written by [then] Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinow), printed in Orthodox Life in 1984, No. 4, shortly after the 1983
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                        Odd? Here is an excerpt from an article written by [then] Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinow), printed in Orthodox Life in 1984, No. 4, shortly after the 1983 Anathema Against Ecumenism appeared:

                        "By proclaiming this anathema, we have protected ****our flock**** from this apocalyptic temptation and, at the same time, have reluctantly put before the conscience of all the local Churches a serious issue, which sooner of later they must resolve in one way or the other. The future spiritual fate of the universal Orthodox Church depends on the resolution of this problem. *****The anathema we have proclaimed is *de jure* a manifestaton of a purely local character of the Russian Church Abroad, but *de facto* it has immense significance for the history of the universal Church, for ecumenism is a heresy on a universal scale....******" [small emphasis (*=italics) his, large emphasis (******) mine]

                        Some things to note here:

                        1) This appeared right after the Anathema, in 1984, and matches exactly what he said later in his 1986 (O.S.)/1987 (N.S.) Nativity Epistle. So, Metr. Vitaly did not take a new stance on the interpretation of the Anathema in 1987, as some claim.

                        2) He does say that "de jure" (by law, as far as its force of law goes) it is "a manifestation of a **purely local character*** ***of the Russian Church Abroad***. He also says at the beginning of this paragraph that the other local Churches must resolve this "serious issue" (not Anathema, not decree of the Church, but only an "issue") [themselves], implying it is *not* resolved *for* them by us, the ROCOR.

                        3) He then says that *de facto*(in actual fact, or in actual practice), it has immense significance for the history of the universal Church. He says it has significance, but not legal power. He mentions it as something "put before the conscience" of the local Churches. Now an Anathema is not something "put before the conscience" of someone, for them to decide themselves the way he is saying here.

                        If Metr. had felt that "the anathema must necessarily speak for the Church as a whole," then he would never have mentioned that "de jure it is a manifestation of a **purely local character*** of the Russian Church Abroad. He is, in fact, precisely saying that the Russian Church Abroad *cannot* speak for the Church as a whole, but only offer an example to "put before the conscience" of the Local Churches.

                        ust my 2c/.

                        --Dimitra Dwelley




                        _________________________________________________________________
                        �From: "Fr. Alexis Duncan" <7848@...>�Subject: RE: Re:
                        �Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?

                        �A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at other times
                        �is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our Church Abroad and her
                        �faithful children. It is odd because if we believe our bishops in
                        �congregation are led by the Holy Spirit, then the anathema must
                        �necessarily speak for the Church as a whole.
                      • for4z@aol.com
                        There is new website that was started by former victims of Fr. Panteleimon, to warn others of the dangers they feel exist at his monastery . One should be
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                          There is new website that was started by former victims of Fr. Panteleimon, to warn others of the dangers they feel exist at his monastery . One should be warned, some articles on the site are verbally graphic in nature, as they are personal accounts of the victims themselves. http://hocna.info/

                          -Nick Zaharov
                        • (matushka) Ann Lardas
                          Dear Nick, ... Panteleimon, to warn others of the dangers they feel exist at his monastery . One should be warned, some articles on the site are verbally
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 1, 2005
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                            Dear Nick,

                            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, for4z@a... wrote:
                            > There is new website that was started by former victims of Fr.
                            Panteleimon, to warn others of the dangers they feel exist at his
                            monastery . One should be warned, some articles on the site are
                            verbally graphic in nature, as they are personal accounts of the
                            victims themselves.

                            I am no defender of HOCNA, but I wouldn't send people to the site you
                            mention, not just because it's amazingly graphic and judgemental, but
                            also because there is nothing to indicate who sponsors it. Sometimes
                            there are things people have to know, in order to be wary. Statements
                            by our bishops tend to include such material. This particular site
                            gives more information than anyone needs, much of it in a petty and
                            judgemental manner. It's not conducive to peace and almost takes away
                            from the gravity of the issues which are really at stake here.

                            The late Met. Philaret, upon receiving and destroying an unsigned
                            letter, remarked that an anonymous letter "is written by a charlatan -
                            - and believed by a fool." I would not go so far as to say that this
                            statement pertains to the site you mention, but enough of the
                            material there is already available at pokrov.org (say what you will
                            of it, you know who runs it) that one doesn't have to take any
                            chances.

                            While the sexual allegations against Fr. Panteleimon receive the most
                            notice, various of the faithful had asked our bishops also to look
                            into controversial liturgical practices which Holy Transfiguration
                            Monastery enaged in, contrary to the directives of the Synod of
                            Bishops, such as receiving "converts" from new calendar jurisdictions
                            by Chrismation rather than by confession and communion, their
                            distribution and propagation of Lev Puhalo's theory on the soul after
                            death, and other such matters. The flight of the HOCNA clergy before
                            such things could come to pass means that so very much remains
                            unresolved, or has never been disputed or discussed.

                            From the lives of the Saints, we learn that in everything they
                            encountered, no matter how unseemly, they looked for something to
                            admire and emmulate. And so we should here. How different church life
                            could be if we showed the same sort of love and loyalty to our
                            bishops, who deserve it, that the followers of Fr. Panteleimon into
                            schism and beyond show him -- refusing to believe ill of him,
                            unwilling to discuss his faults in public and in private working on
                            forgiving them in their hearts. May God enlighten them and lead them
                            back to the Church. The whole thing is extremely sad and continues to
                            split families to this day. We can only love and pray.

                            In Christ,
                            Matushka Ann Lardas
                          • Fr. John R. Shaw
                            ... JRS: Are you saying that then-Archbishop Vitaly, when he wrote in 1984 that it was only a local measure, was offering twisted logic ? ... JRS: Perhaps it
                            Message 13 of 19 , Mar 2, 2005
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                              Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

                              > At best only a local "measure" of a local church? That seems
                              > to be somewhat twisted logic.

                              JRS: Are you saying that then-Archbishop Vitaly, when he wrote in 1984 that it was only a
                              local measure, was offering "twisted logic"?

                              > An anathema isn't a "measure";

                              JRS: Perhaps it was a mistake to represent this as an anathema. The bishops, after all, did not
                              really hurl any anathemas; they simply heard Vl. Afanassy say in his speech that "we ought to
                              include the ecumenists and modernists among those anathematized in the Sunday of
                              Orthodoxy service".

                              In Christ
                              Fr. John R. Shaw
                            • Fr. Alexis Duncan
                              You completely miss the point Dimitra. Certainly the Church Abroad has only the power to act within Her boundaries. However, if what She has to say is an
                              Message 14 of 19 , Mar 2, 2005
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                                You completely miss the point Dimitra. Certainly the Church Abroad has only the power to act within Her boundaries. However, if what She has to say is an immutable truth, then is most surely applicable to the entire Church. For example, when the Church of Greece glorified St. Nectarios, they were acting only on behalf of the local church. However, it is apparent to all that St. Nectarios is a saint glorified in heaven. Therefore, the entire chorus of the Orthodox Church sings his praises. If some local Orthodox Church chooses not to glorify him as a saint, they have that right I suppose. But they would be wrong, would they not?

                                _________________________________________________
                                Fr. Alexis Duncan
                                Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                                Atlanta, GA
                                www.orthodoxinfo.biz



                                Odd? Here is an excerpt from an article written by [then] Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinow), printed in Orthodox Life in 1984, No. 4, shortly after the 1983 Anathema Against Ecumenism appeared:

                                "By proclaiming this anathema, we have protected ****our flock**** from this apocalyptic temptation and, at the same time, have reluctantly put before the conscience of all the local Churches a serious issue, which sooner of later they must resolve in one way or the other. The future spiritual fate of the universal Orthodox Church depends on the resolution of this problem. *****The anathema we have proclaimed is *de jure* a manifestaton of a purely local character of the Russian Church Abroad, but *de facto* it has immense significance for the history of the universal Church, for ecumenism is a heresy on a universal scale....******" [small emphasis (*=italics) his, large emphasis (******) mine]

                                Some things to note here:

                                1) This appeared right after the Anathema, in 1984, and matches exactly what he said later in his 1986 (O.S.)/1987 (N.S.) Nativity Epistle. So, Metr. Vitaly did not take a new stance on the interpretation of the Anathema in 1987, as some claim.

                                2) He does say that "de jure" (by law, as far as its force of law goes) it is "a manifestation of a **purely local character*** ***of the Russian Church Abroad***. He also says at the beginning of this paragraph that the other local Churches must resolve this "serious issue" (not Anathema, not decree of the Church, but only an "issue") [themselves], implying it is *not* resolved *for* them by us, the ROCOR.

                                3) He then says that *de facto*(in actual fact, or in actual practice), it has immense significance for the history of the universal Church. He says it has significance, but not legal power. He mentions it as something "put before the conscience" of the local Churches. Now an Anathema is not something "put before the conscience" of someone, for them to decide themselves the way he is saying here.

                                If Metr. had felt that "the anathema must necessarily speak for the Church as a whole," then he would never have mentioned that "de jure it is a manifestation of a **purely local character*** of the Russian Church Abroad. He is, in fact, precisely saying that the Russian Church Abroad *cannot* speak for the Church as a whole, but only offer an example to "put before the conscience" of the Local Churches.

                                ust my 2c/.

                                --Dimitra Dwelley




                                _________________________________________________________________
                                From: "Fr. Alexis Duncan" <7848@...>Subject: RE: Re:
                                Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?

                                A terribly odd sentiment that I have heard expressed at other times
                                is that the Anathema of 1983 is only for our Church Abroad and her
                                faithful children. It is odd because if we believe our bishops in
                                congregation are led by the Holy Spirit, then the anathema must
                                necessarily speak for the Church as a whole.





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                              • Fr. Alexis Duncan
                                No Fr. John. The synod of bishops published an anathema to be appended to the service for those who have gone astray, sung on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. You know
                                Message 15 of 19 , Mar 2, 2005
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                                  No Fr. John. The synod of bishops published an anathema to
                                  be appended to the service for those who have gone astray,
                                  sung on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. You know that well and I am
                                  sure you have a copy of it. It wasn't just a "hearing" of a
                                  report or suggestion of Vladika Afannassy. Why would you
                                  suggest such an obvious misrepresentation? I have noticed
                                  that often when arguments find no substantive response, we
                                  frequently hear bits and pieces of nonsensical "infobytes"
                                  that may or may not be true, bearing no relation to the
                                  current discussion.

                                  Fr. John, let me ask. Are you saying that the anathema was
                                  wrong and should be rescinded? Are you saying that what is
                                  states represents a falsehood? If not, then why are you
                                  attempting to make strides in discrediting it? Just curious.

                                  _________________________________________________
                                  Fr. Alexis Duncan
                                  Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church
                                  Atlanta, GA
                                  www.orthodoxinfo.biz

                                  JRS: Perhaps it was a mistake to represent this as an
                                  anathema. The bishops, after all, did not
                                  really hurl any anathemas; they simply heard Vl. Afanassy
                                  say in his speech that "we ought to
                                  include the ecumenists and modernists among those
                                  anathematized in the Sunday of
                                  Orthodoxy service".
                                • Fr. John R. Shaw
                                  ... JRS: It isn t a misrepresentation -- it s a fact. The bishops, including Metropolitan Philaret, never had any intention of publishing an anathema . We
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Mar 2, 2005
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                                    Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

                                    > No Fr. John. The synod of bishops published an anathema to
                                    > be appended to the service for those who have gone astray,
                                    > sung on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. You know that well and I am
                                    > sure you have a copy of it. It wasn't just a "hearing" of a
                                    > report or suggestion of Vladika Afannassy. Why would you
                                    > suggest such an obvious misrepresentation?

                                    JRS: It isn't a "misrepresentation" -- it's a fact.

                                    The bishops, including Metropolitan Philaret, never had any intention of "publishing an
                                    anathema". We have been over this a thousand times.

                                    What happened is that, unexpectedly for all, Vl. Afanassy made that remark in his speech.

                                    It was not on the agenda at all.

                                    There was also no vote taken on it, no motion that it be made part of the acts of the Sobor.
                                    But Bishop Gregory added it to the minutes, and Metropolitan Philaret almost always deferred
                                    to Bishop Gregory's views.

                                    If you don't believe that, there is the amazing fact that the text was written, not in Russian or
                                    Slavonic, but *in English* -- at a time when there was not a single ROCOR bishop whose
                                    native language was English.

                                    If this "anathema" had been part of the program, it would either have been prepared in
                                    advance, and in Slavonic, or else it would have been composed by one or more of the
                                    bishops at the Sobor -- in their own language, not in English.

                                    The text had to be translated from English into Russian and Slavonic, which is pretty
                                    convincing proof that the bishops did not create it.

                                    Subsequently, there was also no announcement of this "anathema", until Fr. Neketas Palassis
                                    announced it in his "Orthodox Christian Witness".

                                    If this had been something planned by the bishops, it would have been on the front page of
                                    Pravoslavnaya Rus' immediately after the Sobor.

                                    > I have noticed
                                    > that often when arguments find no substantive response, we
                                    > frequently hear bits and pieces of nonsensical "infobytes"
                                    > that may or may not be true, bearing no relation to the
                                    > current discussion.

                                    JRS: In this case, I am simply telling the FACTS of the case -- a case that is so stubbornly
                                    misrepresented by those whose only purpose is to attack ROCOR.

                                    > Fr. John, let me ask. Are you saying that the anathema was
                                    > wrong and should be rescinded? Are you saying that what is
                                    > states represents a falsehood? If not, then why are you
                                    > attempting to make strides in discrediting it? Just curious.

                                    JRS: Note that you never answered my question: are you saying that Vl. Vitaly was "twisting"
                                    when he said that it applied only to ROCOR?

                                    I am not "attempting to make strides" in discrediting it.

                                    Also I have repeatedly answered your other questions above before you asked them.

                                    No, the contents are not false; what is false, is the way this text is represented: as if it were
                                    an ecumenical anathema hurled against the other Orthodox Churches, and therefore falling
                                    upon ROCOR, for having even the least contacts with them.

                                    Please note also: that when such anti-ROCOR arguments are thrown at us, you remain silent.
                                    But when someone like Fr. Alexander, Fr. Stefan or myself sets the record straight -- then
                                    you are concerned, and "reply" to the defenders of ROCOR!

                                    In Christ
                                    Fr. John R. Shaw
                                  • Fr. John R. Shaw
                                    ... act within Her boundaries. However, if what She has to say is an immutable truth, then is most surely applicable to the entire Church. For example, when
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Mar 2, 2005
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                                      Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:

                                      > You completely miss the point Dimitra. Certainly the Church Abroad has only the power to
                                      act within Her boundaries. However, if what She has to say is an immutable truth, then is
                                      most surely applicable to the entire Church. For example, when the Church of Greece
                                      glorified St. Nectarios, they were acting only on behalf of the local church. However, it is
                                      apparent to all that St. Nectarios is a saint glorified in heaven. Therefore, the entire chorus of
                                      the Orthodox Church sings his praises. If some local Orthodox Church chooses not to glorify
                                      him as a saint, they have that right I suppose. But they would be wrong, would they not?

                                      JRS: All Saints were first glorified (or even accepted without any formal glorification) by the
                                      local Churches in which they lived.

                                      Many such Saints were not in the calendars of the other Churches, at least not till recently:
                                      thus for example till a few years ago, "Edward" was thought not to be an Orthodox name.

                                      But local anathemas are not cast by the universal Church, and even if what they say is in
                                      accordance with the teaching of the Church, they do not automatically place anyone outside
                                      the Church.

                                      If an anathema is accepted by an Ecumenical Council, this means that it expresses what the
                                      Church has always taught.

                                      It does not mean, even in that case, that the anathema takes on a life of its own, and that
                                      unsuspecting victims who think they are still Church members, or clergy who are still
                                      outwardly "in good standing", cease to be such without any action by the hierarchy.

                                      If that were the case, nobody could be sure they really belonged to the Church at all.

                                      In Christ
                                      Fr. John R. Shaw
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