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Re: [orthodox-synod] Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?

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  • 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 1 of 19 , Mar 1 12:22 PM
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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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    • 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 2 of 19 , Mar 1 3:35 PM
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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 3 of 19 , Mar 1 3:37 PM
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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 4 of 19 , Mar 1 8:17 PM
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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 5 of 19 , Mar 1 8:29 PM
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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 6 of 19 , Mar 1 9:30 PM
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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 7 of 19 , Mar 2 5:18 AM
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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 8 of 19 , Mar 2 5:24 AM
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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 9 of 19 , Mar 2 5:34 AM
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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 10 of 19 , Mar 2 7:56 AM
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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 11 of 19 , Mar 2 8:02 AM
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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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