Incomplete Picture ...Again
- Some information I would like to share with everyone.
Well, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff strikes again. And, as with his slanted
"excerpts" from the ROCOR 1933 Encyclical to Metr. Sergius, here again
he is not quite giving us the whole story or complete picture.
After Vladyka Victor and the other hierarchs in China joined the Moscow
Patriarchate, Metr. Anastasy declared Shanghai to be a separate eparchy
and elevated Vladyka John to Archbishop.
Fr. Alexander's posting (see below, below) should be read together
with these other accounts:
1) "Man of God Archbishop John the Wonderworker"
(documents compiled by Archpriest Peter Perekrestov)
"After World War II, many Russian emigres in Shanghai, including some
clergy, took Soviet passports. The head of the mission, Archbishop
Victor, was among those who did so, as was the senior rector of our
cathedral, Protopresbyter Michael Rogozhin. We, together with Vladika
John, did not follow this example. I remember that Vladika John
received an announcement from the Soviet consulate that Archbishop
Victor was coming to Shanghai. Vladika John gathered together all of
the clergy and announced that he would not meet with Vladika Victor. We
supported him in this.
"When Archbishop Victor arrived in Shanghai from Peking, eight Komsomol
youth accompanied him as he walked toward the cathedral, where Father
Michael had just finished a moleben. We watched these events from the
church house. The next day, it happened I had to meet with Archbishop
Victor. He called us "Johnites." "Yes, and do you know why we favor
Vladika John?" I asked him. "If you want to know, I will tell you. Who
brought Vladika John here? You brought him to us. After Vladika John's
arrival you yourself came here many times and said to him: 'Vladika
John, I respect you, I recognize your high standards in life, and you
are a good leader. Continue in this way. And if the clergy don't listen
to you, don't hesitate to chastise them/ Vladika, didn't you say these
things?" "Yes, I did," admitted Vladika Victor. "That's why we listen
to him. And now you are against Vladika John. You are now a Soviet
citizen, and it is impossible to have any interaction with you. I am
Chinese; our clergy remained White, but you are Soviet [Red]. Do as you
Protopresbyter Elias Wen [Arch. John's faithful deacon and priest.]
2) Also see the account in St. Herman of Alaska's Press "Blessed John"
by Bishop Savva, pp. 76-77, the chapter "Fearless Champion of True
Orthodoxy" , wherein is recounted how Arch. John refused to recognize
Bishop Victor, and continued to serve, although put under ban by
3) The English-language journal "One Church" of the Exarchate of the
Moscow Patriarchate in North America (Vol XII, NN. 9-10, Sept.-Oct.
1958), p. 228 states:
" by Ukaze of Patriarch Alexis of Moscow, dated 27 December 1945, the
Mission in China was re-united to the Russian Mother Church and the
break caused by the schismatic activities of the Karlovitz Synod was
healed. But the perspectives for church work were somewhat clouded by
the schism in 1946 of the vicar bishop of Shanghai, John Maximovitch,
who took the lead in an opposition movement against the Patriarch and
his ruling bishop at Peking. The schism ended after the establishment
in China of the People's [Communist] Republic." [I.e., after the
departure of Vladyka John and his flock abroad.]
(The above article in "One Church" is a translation of the original
text which appeared in the "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate", No.
So there you have it from the Moscow Patriarchate' own mouth!
4) Jordanville's "Pravoslavnaya Rus", No. 23, 1999, pp. 5-7, has an
article entitled: "Archbishop John Maximovitch as the Defender of
Church Property in Shanghai", which gives a detailed account of his
conflict with Bp. Victor.
From: Fr. Alexander Lebedeff <lebedeff@...>
Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [paradosis] From an Epistle of St. John of Shanghai to His Flock
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2005 5:21 PM
For those who do not believe that the current process is in keeping
with the thinking of the great luminaries of the Church Abroad in the
past, here is an excerpt from the Epistle of St. John of Shanghai and
San Francisco, dated almost 60 years ago.
How amazingly perceptive was this holy hierarch!
The news concerning the reestablishment without any hindrance of
canonical-prayerful communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, which was
received by Archbishop Viktor on Great Saturday in response to his
appeal to His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei in August of the past year
(1945), sincerely gave us joy, because in it we perceived the
beginning of mutual understanding between the two parts of the
Russian Church, divided by the border, and the opportunity for mutual
support of the two centers which unite the Russian people, inside and
outside of our Fatherland. Striving toward our single mutual goal
while acting separately, in accordance with the conditions in which
each of them are found, the Churches inside Russia and abroad can
more effectively meet both their mutual, as well as the unique
challenges, which each of them has, until the time will come when
complete unification will be possible. At the present time, the
Church inside Russia must heal the wounds which were inflicted on Her
by militant atheism, and free itself from the bonds which hindered
the internal and external fullness of Her activities. The challenge
of the Church Abroad is the preservation from dissipation of the
children of the Russian Orthodox Church and the preservation of those
spiritual riches which they brought with them from their Motherland
and also the spread of Orthodoxy in those countries in which they live.
Epistle to the Orthodox Shanghai Flock, August 2, 1946
With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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