RE: [orthodox-synod] Re: Documents Concerning the HOCNA Separation?
- 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
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wrong and should be rescinded?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
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
- Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:
> No Fr. John. The synod of bishops published an anathema toJRS: It isn't a "misrepresentation" -- it's a fact.
> 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?
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 noticedJRS: In this case, I am simply telling the FACTS of the case -- a case that is so stubbornly
> 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.
misrepresented by those whose only purpose is to attack ROCOR.
> Fr. John, let me ask. Are you saying that the anathema wasJRS: Note that you never answered my question: are you saying that Vl. Vitaly was "twisting"
> 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.
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!
Fr. John R. Shaw
- Fr. Alexis Duncan wrote:
> You completely miss the point Dimitra. Certainly the Church Abroad has only the power toact 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
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.
Fr. John R. Shaw