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Official Historical Position of the Russian Church Abroad

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    In the midst of accusations that some people are rewriting the history of the Church Abroad --the following text from the official publication of the Synod of
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 29 2:45 PM
      In the midst of accusations that some people are "rewriting the
      history of the Church Abroad"--the following text from the official
      publication of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia -- "Church Life," edited by (at that time)
      Protopresbyter George Grabbe (issue of April-June, 1966), should be
      read and noted carefully:



      "THE RUSSIAN CHURCH ABROAD

      "What shall we say about the canonical status of the Russian
      Church Abroad?

      "First of all, that she may exist only on condition of horrible
      persecution of the Russian Church in the U.S.S.R. on the part of
      militant atheists, who have set themselves the aim of totally
      annihilating the Church and striving by all means to achieve this.

      "Under normal conditions of life, we repeat once again, An
      **independent** state of existence of a part of the Russian Church
      outside the borders of Russia would be **impossible** and
      **unthinkable.** But even now there is a limit to this (i.e.
      independent) existence - the cessation of persecutions of the
      Church and her freedom in Russia.

      "From this we conclude, that the existence of the Russian Church
      Abroad is a **temporary** phenomenon, **conditional upon**
      persecutions of the Russian Church. If you like, **an abnormal**
      condition. " (Page 61)


      [All of the emphasis in the passage quoted is from the original,
      where the words marked between double asterisks appear in boldface type].

      "Those who have ears, let them hear."

      I would appreciate hearing substantive comments on this text.

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • Michael Malloy
      ... Fortunately, I am not familiar with the rewriting Fr. Alexander mentions. It is understandable that people cannot forgive the state sanctioned murder of
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 30 8:36 PM
        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
        <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
        >
        > In the midst of accusations that some people are "rewriting the
        > history of the Church Abroad"...

        Fortunately, I am not familiar with the "rewriting" Fr. Alexander
        mentions. It is understandable that people cannot forgive the state
        sanctioned murder of their family members during the Soviet Era.

        > "What shall we say about the canonical status of the Russian
        > Church Abroad?
        >
        > "First of all, that she may exist only on condition of horrible
        > persecution of the Russian Church in the U.S.S.R. on the part of
        > militant atheists, who have set themselves the aim of totally
        > annihilating the Church and striving by all means to achieve this.

        This is perfectly clear.
        >
        > "Under normal conditions of life, we repeat once again, An
        > **independent** state of existence of a part of the Russian Church
        > outside the borders of Russia would be **impossible** and
        > **unthinkable.** But even now there is a limit to this (i.e.
        > independent) existence - the cessation of persecutions of the
        > Church and her freedom in Russia.
        >
        > "From this we conclude, that the existence of the Russian Church
        > Abroad is a **temporary** phenomenon, **conditional upon**
        > persecutions of the Russian Church. If you like, **an abnormal**
        > condition. " (Page 61)

        Even as an outsider, this is what I have always been taught. Thank
        God the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has maintained the
        faith in the diaspora while at the same time making this faith
        accessable to those not born into it.

        The very little I understand of the current talks with the MP suggest
        a self governed ROCOR much as it is now rather than a loss of the true
        faith.

        Reader Michael Malloy
        Columbus OH
      • michael nikitin
        Yes, we will be self governing until we want bishops. Then we have to get a blessing from the MP s Patriarch. We cannot make someone a bishop for ourselves
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 1, 2005
          Yes, we will be self governing until we want bishops. Then we have to get a blessing from the MP's Patriarch.
          We cannot make someone a bishop for ourselves unless the Patriarch approves and gives his blessing. Yes, freedom or self governing, but not on making a bishop. This is what an Autonomous Church is.

          Michael N


          Michael Malloy <sputnikpsalomschchika@...> wrote: ---
          The very little I understand of the current talks with the MP suggest
          a self governed ROCOR much as it is now rather than a loss of the true faith.

          Reader Michael Malloy
          Columbus OH




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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • vkozyreff
          Dear Michael, An autonomous Church is one that depends on a mother Church, not an independent one. The Mother Church can rescind the autonomy at any time. If
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 1, 2005
            Dear Michael,

            An autonomous Church is one that depends on a mother Church, not an
            independent one.

            The Mother Church can rescind the autonomy at any time.

            If we believe that the MP is the true Church, we must unite at once.

            If we negotiate, it shows that we have doubts.

            The uniates have "kept their faith" and our creed. Their regognising
            the papal authority and supporting herresy however is what make them
            apostates and heretics.

            If we commemorate a false patriach and get our legitimacy from a
            false Church, we are not the true Church any longer. Commemorating a
            bishop is not only a formula.

            Should we bow before a false Church, and thus clearly show to the
            world that they may consider a false Church as a true one, we would
            betray God and serve the devil.

            "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and
            worship me." Matthew 4, 9

            In God,

            Vladimir Kozyreff


            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Malloy"
            <sputnikpsalomschchika@y...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
            > <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
            > >
            > > In the midst of accusations that some people are "rewriting the
            > > history of the Church Abroad"...
            >
            > Fortunately, I am not familiar with the "rewriting" Fr. Alexander
            > mentions. It is understandable that people cannot forgive the state
            > sanctioned murder of their family members during the Soviet Era.
            >
            > > "What shall we say about the canonical status of the Russian
            > > Church Abroad?
            > >
            > > "First of all, that she may exist only on condition of
            horrible
            > > persecution of the Russian Church in the U.S.S.R. on the part of
            > > militant atheists, who have set themselves the aim of totally
            > > annihilating the Church and striving by all means to achieve this.
            >
            > This is perfectly clear.
            > >
            > > "Under normal conditions of life, we repeat once again, An
            > > **independent** state of existence of a part of the Russian
            Church
            > > outside the borders of Russia would be **impossible** and
            > > **unthinkable.** But even now there is a limit to this (i.e.
            > > independent) existence - the cessation of persecutions of the
            > > Church and her freedom in Russia.
            > >
            > > "From this we conclude, that the existence of the Russian
            Church
            > > Abroad is a **temporary** phenomenon, **conditional upon**
            > > persecutions of the Russian Church. If you like, **an abnormal**
            > > condition. " (Page 61)
            >
            > Even as an outsider, this is what I have always been taught. Thank
            > God the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has maintained the
            > faith in the diaspora while at the same time making this faith
            > accessable to those not born into it.
            >
            > The very little I understand of the current talks with the MP
            suggest
            > a self governed ROCOR much as it is now rather than a loss of the
            true
            > faith.
            >
            > Reader Michael Malloy
            > Columbus OH
            >
          • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
            ... One would certainly think that in the 78 years since the time of the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, or 62 years since Stalin allowed the election
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 2, 2005
              Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

              >Should we bow before a false Church, and thus clearly show to the
              >world that they may consider a false Church as a true one, we would
              >betray God and serve the devil.

              One would certainly think that in the 78 years since the time of the
              "Declaration" of Metropolitan Sergius, or 62 years since Stalin
              allowed the election of a Patriarch of Russia, the Russian Orthodox
              Church Outside of Russia would have issued at least **one** official
              statement explicitly declaring the Moscow Patriarchate to be a "false Church."

              That was certainly **not** the view of Metropolitan Anastassy, who
              stated (in 1953, at the Sobor of Bishops):

              "They say that Patriarch Alexy sinned more than his predecessor.
              Whether he sinned more or less, we cannot deny his ordination. Much
              is said of their apostasy. But we must be cautious. We can hardly
              make an outright accusation of apostasy. In no place do they affirm
              atheism. In their published sermons they attempt to hold to the
              Orthodox line. They took and continue to take very strict measures
              with regard to the obnovlentsy, and did not tear their ties with
              Patriarch Tikhon. The false policy belongs to the church authority
              and the responsibility for it falls on its leaders. Only heresy
              adopted by the whole Church tarnishes the whole Church. In this case,
              the people are not responsible for the behavior of the leaders, and
              the Church, as such, remains unblemished."

              Vladimir--listen to Metropolitan Anastassy's words again: "the
              Church, as such," [he is talking about the Moscow Patriarchate
              here--saying that it, notwithstanding the "false policy" of its
              leaders] -- "remains unblemished."

              And this was all said long after the reestablishment of the
              Patriarchy in 1943, and after a large number of hyperbolic paeans by
              Patriarch Alexei I addressed to Stalin and well known to Metropolitan
              Anastassy.

              How can a Church which "remains unblemished" be a false Church?

              Also, Saint John of Shanghai wrote, in his Ukaz No. 650, to the
              Shanghai clergy, dated August 24, 1945, wrote:

              "Now, in view of the unquestionable (besspornogo) lawful (zakonnogo)
              heading (vozglavlenia) of the Russian Church by His Holiness
              Patriarch Alexei, elected by the All-Russian Church Council to
              succeed the reposed Patriarch Sergius, and recognized, as was his
              predecessor, by all of the autocephalous Churches, it is required, as
              in the past, to commemorate the name of the Head of the Russian
              Church, replacing the temporarily used expression: "the orthodox episcopate."

              "Therefore 1) at litanies, the Great Entrance and after the
              consecration of the Gifts TO COMMMEMORATE "OUR MASTER AND FATHER HIS
              HOLINESS ALEXEI, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA; 2) at the many
              years at the end of the service after "the holy orthodox patriarchs"
              to say the same; 3) after His Holiness the Patriarch to commemorate
              the other hierarchs, commemorated in the local churches." [Emphasis
              in the original Ukaz].

              Do you believe that St. John, who was clairvoyant, could not tell the
              difference between a "false Church" and a true one?

              Why do you, Vladimir, presume to have more discernment regarding the
              Moscow Patriarchate than did Metropolitan Anastassy or St. John of
              Shanghai and San Francisco?

              With love in Christ,

              Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
            • vkozyreff
              Dear Father Alexander, bless. You quote Metropolitan Anastassy (whom ROCOR clerics on this forum accuse of sergianism vis à vis Hilter, now) as saying: The
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 3, 2005
                Dear Father Alexander, bless.

                You quote Metropolitan Anastassy (whom ROCOR clerics on this forum
                accuse of sergianism vis à vis Hilter, now) as saying: "The false
                policy belongs to the church authority and the responsibility for it
                falls on its leaders. Only heresy adopted by the whole Church
                tarnishes the whole Church. In this case, the people are not
                responsible for the behavior of the leaders, and the Church, as
                such, remains unblemished."

                Indeed, Vl Anastassy distinguished between the leaders and the
                believers. He accused the first ones and supports the second ones. He
                says that the mistakes of the leadres are separate from the Church
                herself. That is why the leaders (the MP with which you "negotiate")
                do not represent the true Church.

                Your quote of St John has been discussed previously on this forum. It
                appears that he never supported the MP leadership. He said: "One's
                attitude to this hierarchy can be the same as to the other
                representatives of this regime." Archbishop John, manuscript, Russkiy
                Pastyr Archive.

                In God,

                Vladimir Kozyreff

                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
                <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
                >



                > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                >
                > >Should we bow before a false Church, and thus clearly show to the
                > >world that they may consider a false Church as a true one, we would
                > >betray God and serve the devil.
                >
                > One would certainly think that in the 78 years since the time of
                the
                > "Declaration" of Metropolitan Sergius, or 62 years since Stalin
                > allowed the election of a Patriarch of Russia, the Russian Orthodox
                > Church Outside of Russia would have issued at least **one**
                official
                > statement explicitly declaring the Moscow Patriarchate to be
                a "false Church."
                >
                > That was certainly **not** the view of Metropolitan Anastassy, who
                > stated (in 1953, at the Sobor of Bishops):
                >
                > "They say that Patriarch Alexy sinned more than his predecessor.
                > Whether he sinned more or less, we cannot deny his ordination. Much
                > is said of their apostasy. But we must be cautious. We can hardly
                > make an outright accusation of apostasy. In no place do they affirm
                > atheism. In their published sermons they attempt to hold to the
                > Orthodox line. They took and continue to take very strict measures
                > with regard to the obnovlentsy, and did not tear their ties with
                > Patriarch Tikhon. The false policy belongs to the church authority
                > and the responsibility for it falls on its leaders. Only heresy
                > adopted by the whole Church tarnishes the whole Church. In this
                case,
                > the people are not responsible for the behavior of the leaders, and
                > the Church, as such, remains unblemished."
                >
                > Vladimir--listen to Metropolitan Anastassy's words again: "the
                > Church, as such," [he is talking about the Moscow Patriarchate
                > here--saying that it, notwithstanding the "false policy" of its
                > leaders] -- "remains unblemished."
                >
                > And this was all said long after the reestablishment of the
                > Patriarchy in 1943, and after a large number of hyperbolic paeans
                by
                > Patriarch Alexei I addressed to Stalin and well known to
                Metropolitan
                > Anastassy.
                >
                > How can a Church which "remains unblemished" be a false Church?
                >
                > Also, Saint John of Shanghai wrote, in his Ukaz No. 650, to the
                > Shanghai clergy, dated August 24, 1945, wrote:
                >
                > "Now, in view of the unquestionable (besspornogo) lawful
                (zakonnogo)
                > heading (vozglavlenia) of the Russian Church by His Holiness
                > Patriarch Alexei, elected by the All-Russian Church Council to
                > succeed the reposed Patriarch Sergius, and recognized, as was his
                > predecessor, by all of the autocephalous Churches, it is required,
                as
                > in the past, to commemorate the name of the Head of the Russian
                > Church, replacing the temporarily used expression: "the orthodox
                episcopate."
                >
                > "Therefore 1) at litanies, the Great Entrance and after the
                > consecration of the Gifts TO COMMMEMORATE "OUR MASTER AND FATHER
                HIS
                > HOLINESS ALEXEI, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA; 2) at the many
                > years at the end of the service after "the holy orthodox
                patriarchs"
                > to say the same; 3) after His Holiness the Patriarch to commemorate
                > the other hierarchs, commemorated in the local churches." [Emphasis
                > in the original Ukaz].
                >
                > Do you believe that St. John, who was clairvoyant, could not tell
                the
                > difference between a "false Church" and a true one?
                >
                > Why do you, Vladimir, presume to have more discernment regarding
                the
                > Moscow Patriarchate than did Metropolitan Anastassy or St. John of
                > Shanghai and San Francisco?
                >
                > With love in Christ,
                >
                > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                >
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