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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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