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Bush Forbids the Ambassador of the US to Attend Church of the MP

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Interesting article today in Novyj Region 2 In Russian): http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html It says: The President of the United States George Bush forbade the
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 2, 2005
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      Interesting article today in Novyj Region 2 In Russian):

      http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html

      It says:


      The President of the United States George Bush forbade the American
      Ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, to attend the Holy Protection
      Monastery in Kiev.

      This was reported to correspondents of New Region by parishioners of
      St. Nicholas Church, which is found on the territory of the monastery.

      The ambassador told the believers that the American leadership is
      unhappy with his visits to the monastery, which belongs to the "Moscow Church."

      Earlier, Kievites regularly saw Herbst praying in the Nikolsky Church
      of the Holy Protection Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of
      the Moscow Patriarchate, where the American Ambassador even baptized
      his children.

      We should be reminded that the Nikolsky Church is found close to the
      American Embassy to Ukraine."

      ====================================


      Hey--look at that! Isn't that classic "Sergianism," with the State
      (this time ours) interfering in religious affairs and matters of
      conscience of believers?

      Now, contrast that with a different note, from our ROCOR Bishop
      Agafangel (Odessa). On his site:

      http://www.ipc.od.ua/

      Bishop Agafangel reports that the same John Herbst, Ambassador of the
      United States to Ukraine, has been elected at the Diocesan Assembly
      of the Odessa diocese to be the lay representative of the Diocese at
      the All-Diasporan Council of the Church Abroad in San Francisco next
      year, as he is a parishioner of our Church in Malin.

      Of course, seeing as how Ambassadors are in charge of CIA
      intelligence gathering (civil and military)--since the CIA bureau
      chief in the Embassy reports to the Ambassador--we have even more
      "Sergianist" overtones.

      How can we then accuse the MP of KGB ties and close ties to the
      government, when we are electing our own high-ranking U.S. government
      officials with CIA connections to be delegates at our Church Councils?

      Besides, if he attends the MP church in Kiev, how can he be elected
      as a delegate to the ROCOR Council?

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • mh2t
      Dear Fr. Alexander and list members, I am John Herbst s eldest daughter. When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander posted on this
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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        Dear Fr. Alexander and list members,

        I am John Herbst's eldest daughter.

        When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander
        posted on this list this morning, my initial reaction was amusement.
        To what depths had this journalist sunk in order to get a "scoop?"
        Not even having spoken to my parents about it yet, I knew that none
        of it was true.

        First, and most verifiably false, is the statement that I and my four
        siblings were baptized at Pokrovsky Monastir'. Being that I am 27 and
        my youngest brother is 13, none of us were baptized in Ukraine. We
        were all baptized in ROCOR churches in Washington, D.C.,
        Philadelphia, and Lakewood, N.J. You can check the records if you'd
        like.

        Second, whatever you think about the president, he doesn't give two
        hoots about where my family attends services. And even if President
        Bush really did care, my father is a successful diplomat who has
        served his country with aplomb for 25 years. He wouldn't risk his
        dignity or his career by kvetching to the babushki after the service.

        So, I read the article, and laughed to myself, thinking "What
        garbage," and "Why on earth would they print such drivel?"

        But then I continued to Father's comments below the article. I was
        shocked and disappointed. Shocked because, naively, I had not until
        this moment realized what malice and willful deceit had penetrated
        the current debate in our church. Disappointed, because I would have
        hoped that my father's service to our church during the Jericho
        takeover (due largely, by the way, to his status as a "high-ranking
        government official") would have accorded him a modicum of respect
        and some reprieve from vindictive and unsubstantiated attacks. At the
        very least, Father, couldn't you have tried to verify the story before
        posting it along with your implicit belief in its merit? My father
        would have been happy to answer your concerns.

        Yes, my father was asked to serve as a representative of our parish
        in Malin. Yes, he, my mother, and my siblings who still live at home,
        attend that parish. They do often go to other (MP) churches, as Malin
        is several hours away from Kiev by car. There are many beautiful and
        historical churches in Kiev, and my family is of course taking
        advantage of the opportunity to visit them. However, they only
        commune in Malin. This does not diminish their membership in ROCOR.
        Again, I am surprised that I even have to explain this.

        As for Pokrovsky Monastir', my entire family attended Nativity
        services there in January 2004. But last winter, during the
        elections, the sermons there became filled with such anti-American
        bile that my family understandably became uncomfortable. So they
        stopped going to Pokrovsky, and began attending services at other
        churches in Kiev during the weeks that they did not make it to Malin.

        As far as the other comments go, I am reluctant to dignify them with
        a response. But, I am afraid that others will read them and believe
        them without question if I do not object. There is an allegation in
        your posting, Father, that my father shouldn't participate in the
        council because he works for the government. As a priest, you should
        know better than anyone that the Lord calls people to service not
        only in our churches and monasteries, but in other capacities as
        well. We don't all have the opportunity to shed our secular lives and
        seek refuge in the Church, but it doesn't diminish our ability or
        responsibility to participate in the life of ROCOR.

        Fr. Alexander, if you knew my father, you would know that he is a
        thinking man of integrity, who values rational thought and discourse,
        who would rather uncover the truth through reason than malign another
        from afar, and who, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is capable of
        thoughtful and meaningful participation in the church's debate. If
        you had attempted to verify anything that you wrote or posted, you
        would have discovered these things.

        On the issue of union, there can, of course, be rational
        disagreement. I hope that, in the future, the debate can proceed
        without baseless and irresponsible slander.

        Forgive me for my boldness, Father, but I could not take your
        comments sitting down. I hope that I have clarified some
        things for you and for this list.

        In Christ,
        Masha Herbst


        "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
        >
        > Interesting article today in Novyj Region 2 In Russian):
        >
        > http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html
        >
        > It says:
        >
        >
        > The President of the United States George Bush forbade the American
        > Ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, to attend the Holy Protection
        > Monastery in Kiev.
        >
        > This was reported to correspondents of New Region by parishioners
        of
        > St. Nicholas Church, which is found on the territory of the
        monastery.
        >
        > The ambassador told the believers that the American leadership is
        > unhappy with his visits to the monastery, which belongs to
        the "Moscow Church."
        >
        > Earlier, Kievites regularly saw Herbst praying in the Nikolsky
        Church
        > of the Holy Protection Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
        of
        > the Moscow Patriarchate, where the American Ambassador even
        baptized
        > his children.
        >
        > We should be reminded that the Nikolsky Church is found close to
        the
        > American Embassy to Ukraine."
        >
        > ====================================
        >
        >
        > Hey--look at that! Isn't that classic "Sergianism," with the State
        > (this time ours) interfering in religious affairs and matters of
        > conscience of believers?
        >
        > Now, contrast that with a different note, from our ROCOR Bishop
        > Agafangel (Odessa). On his site:
        >
        > http://www.ipc.od.ua/
        >
        > Bishop Agafangel reports that the same John Herbst, Ambassador of
        the
        > United States to Ukraine, has been elected at the Diocesan Assembly
        > of the Odessa diocese to be the lay representative of the Diocese
        at
        > the All-Diasporan Council of the Church Abroad in San Francisco
        next
        > year, as he is a parishioner of our Church in Malin.
        >
        > Of course, seeing as how Ambassadors are in charge of CIA
        > intelligence gathering (civil and military)--since the CIA bureau
        > chief in the Embassy reports to the Ambassador--we have even more
        > "Sergianist" overtones.
        >
        > How can we then accuse the MP of KGB ties and close ties to the
        > government, when we are electing our own high-ranking U.S.
        government
        > officials with CIA connections to be delegates at our Church
        Councils?
        >
        > Besides, if he attends the MP church in Kiev, how can he be elected
        > as a delegate to the ROCOR Council?
        >
        > With love in Christ,
        >
        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Fr. Basil Grisel
        Brava Masha ! I see that your diplomatic endeavors have improved your journalistic abilities. You are quite gifted in both. Thank you for taking the time to
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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          Brava Masha !

          I see that your diplomatic endeavors have improved your journalistic abilities. You are quite gifted in both.

          Thank you for taking the time to open and clarify this subject.

          I pray that one thing is undoubtedly true in the article, that you father will be a representative to the Sobor in May. I would feel very happy to know a person of his stature will be there.

          Our family misses you dearly.

          S Bogom, Father Basil Grisel
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: mh2t<mailto:mh2t@...>
          To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com<mailto:orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 6:17 AM
          Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Bush Forbids the Ambassador of the US to Attend Church of the MP


          Dear Fr. Alexander and list members,

          I am John Herbst's eldest daughter.

          When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander
          posted on this list this morning, my initial reaction was amusement.
          To what depths had this journalist sunk in order to get a "scoop?"
          Not even having spoken to my parents about it yet, I knew that none
          of it was true.

          First, and most verifiably false, is the statement that I and my four
          siblings were baptized at Pokrovsky Monastir'. Being that I am 27 and
          my youngest brother is 13, none of us were baptized in Ukraine. We
          were all baptized in ROCOR churches in Washington, D.C.,
          Philadelphia, and Lakewood, N.J. You can check the records if you'd
          like.

          Second, whatever you think about the president, he doesn't give two
          hoots about where my family attends services. And even if President
          Bush really did care, my father is a successful diplomat who has
          served his country with aplomb for 25 years. He wouldn't risk his
          dignity or his career by kvetching to the babushki after the service.

          So, I read the article, and laughed to myself, thinking "What
          garbage," and "Why on earth would they print such drivel?"

          But then I continued to Father's comments below the article. I was
          shocked and disappointed. Shocked because, naively, I had not until
          this moment realized what malice and willful deceit had penetrated
          the current debate in our church. Disappointed, because I would have
          hoped that my father's service to our church during the Jericho
          takeover (due largely, by the way, to his status as a "high-ranking
          government official") would have accorded him a modicum of respect
          and some reprieve from vindictive and unsubstantiated attacks. At the
          very least, Father, couldn't you have tried to verify the story before
          posting it along with your implicit belief in its merit? My father
          would have been happy to answer your concerns.

          Yes, my father was asked to serve as a representative of our parish
          in Malin. Yes, he, my mother, and my siblings who still live at home,
          attend that parish. They do often go to other (MP) churches, as Malin
          is several hours away from Kiev by car. There are many beautiful and
          historical churches in Kiev, and my family is of course taking
          advantage of the opportunity to visit them. However, they only
          commune in Malin. This does not diminish their membership in ROCOR.
          Again, I am surprised that I even have to explain this.

          As for Pokrovsky Monastir', my entire family attended Nativity
          services there in January 2004. But last winter, during the
          elections, the sermons there became filled with such anti-American
          bile that my family understandably became uncomfortable. So they
          stopped going to Pokrovsky, and began attending services at other
          churches in Kiev during the weeks that they did not make it to Malin.

          As far as the other comments go, I am reluctant to dignify them with
          a response. But, I am afraid that others will read them and believe
          them without question if I do not object. There is an allegation in
          your posting, Father, that my father shouldn't participate in the
          council because he works for the government. As a priest, you should
          know better than anyone that the Lord calls people to service not
          only in our churches and monasteries, but in other capacities as
          well. We don't all have the opportunity to shed our secular lives and
          seek refuge in the Church, but it doesn't diminish our ability or
          responsibility to participate in the life of ROCOR.

          Fr. Alexander, if you knew my father, you would know that he is a
          thinking man of integrity, who values rational thought and discourse,
          who would rather uncover the truth through reason than malign another
          from afar, and who, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is capable of
          thoughtful and meaningful participation in the church's debate. If
          you had attempted to verify anything that you wrote or posted, you
          would have discovered these things.

          On the issue of union, there can, of course, be rational
          disagreement. I hope that, in the future, the debate can proceed
          without baseless and irresponsible slander.

          Forgive me for my boldness, Father, but I could not take your
          comments sitting down. I hope that I have clarified some
          things for you and for this list.

          In Christ,
          Masha Herbst


          "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w<mailto:lebedeff@w>...> wrote:
          >
          > Interesting article today in Novyj Region 2 In Russian):
          >
          > http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html<http://www.nr2.ru/kiev/44736.html>
          >
          > It says:
          >
          >
          > The President of the United States George Bush forbade the American
          > Ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst, to attend the Holy Protection
          > Monastery in Kiev.
          >
          > This was reported to correspondents of New Region by parishioners
          of
          > St. Nicholas Church, which is found on the territory of the
          monastery.
          >
          > The ambassador told the believers that the American leadership is
          > unhappy with his visits to the monastery, which belongs to
          the "Moscow Church."
          >
          > Earlier, Kievites regularly saw Herbst praying in the Nikolsky
          Church
          > of the Holy Protection Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
          of
          > the Moscow Patriarchate, where the American Ambassador even
          baptized
          > his children.
          >
          > We should be reminded that the Nikolsky Church is found close to
          the
          > American Embassy to Ukraine."
          >
          > ====================================
          >
          >
          > Hey--look at that! Isn't that classic "Sergianism," with the State
          > (this time ours) interfering in religious affairs and matters of
          > conscience of believers?
          >
          > Now, contrast that with a different note, from our ROCOR Bishop
          > Agafangel (Odessa). On his site:
          >
          > http://www.ipc.od.ua/<http://www.ipc.od.ua/>
          >
          > Bishop Agafangel reports that the same John Herbst, Ambassador of
          the
          > United States to Ukraine, has been elected at the Diocesan Assembly
          > of the Odessa diocese to be the lay representative of the Diocese
          at
          > the All-Diasporan Council of the Church Abroad in San Francisco
          next
          > year, as he is a parishioner of our Church in Malin.
          >
          > Of course, seeing as how Ambassadors are in charge of CIA
          > intelligence gathering (civil and military)--since the CIA bureau
          > chief in the Embassy reports to the Ambassador--we have even more
          > "Sergianist" overtones.
          >
          > How can we then accuse the MP of KGB ties and close ties to the
          > government, when we are electing our own high-ranking U.S.
          government
          > officials with CIA connections to be delegates at our Church
          Councils?
          >
          > Besides, if he attends the MP church in Kiev, how can he be elected
          > as a delegate to the ROCOR Council?
          >
          > With love in Christ,
          >
          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >








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        • Fr. John R. Shaw
          ... JRS: Obviously, we all should have been more careful before believing this story. This is not the first time journalistic misstatements have figured in the
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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            Regarding:

            > When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander
            > posted on this list this morning, my initial reaction was amusement.
            > To what depths had this journalist sunk in order to get a "scoop?"
            > Not even having spoken to my parents about it yet, I knew that none
            > of it was true.

            JRS: Obviously, we all should have been more careful before believing this story. This is not
            the first time journalistic misstatements have figured in the debates about reconciliation in
            the Russian Church.

            However, the allegations did "hit a nerve" for many of us, especially those who have been
            disturbed by our country's foreign policy, such as partisan involvement in the election of
            Yushchenko in the Ukraine.

            In Fr. Alexander's defense, though, I doubt he knew the Herbst family, or had any way of
            readily checking the story.

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
          • Michael Coleman
            Dear Masha, Your points are well taken; accepting a news article without fact checking is foolish. Without defending Fr. Alexander on any political or
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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              Dear Masha,

              Your points are well taken; accepting a news article without fact checking is foolish. Without defending Fr. Alexander on any political or ecclesiastical point, I think maybe his original intent at the bottom of his original post may not have been actually to slander your father by accusing him of Sergianism, but rather to use your father's service to our country as an analogue to Sergianism that some might use to discredit your father as well as the ROCOR-MP rapprochement in general.

              In other words, I took it that Fr. Alexander was not saying your dad was a Sergianist, but: How foolish to say the entire MP is without grace (and therefore we should not reunite with it) simply because the leadership of the MP has cooperated with the Soviet governmental authority! And why is it foolish? Because we ourselves (ROCOR) also utilize the talents of a governmental official and son of ROCOR. Fr. Alexander is asking (taunting) his opposition thus: shall we then call ROCOR Sergianist because Ambassador Herbst is a ROCOR delegate? I believe he would answer no to that question.

              Fr. Alexander, am I right in this?

              Your friend,

              Misha
              St Luke Orthodox Church
              Garden Grove, CA

              "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
              Regarding:

              > When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander
              > posted on this list this morning, my initial reaction was amusement.
              > To what depths had this journalist sunk in order to get a "scoop?"
              > Not even having spoken to my parents about it yet, I knew that none
              > of it was true.

              JRS: Obviously, we all should have been more careful before believing this story. This is not
              the first time journalistic misstatements have figured in the debates about reconciliation in
              the Russian Church.

              However, the allegations did "hit a nerve" for many of us, especially those who have been
              disturbed by our country's foreign policy, such as partisan involvement in the election of
              Yushchenko in the Ukraine.

              In Fr. Alexander's defense, though, I doubt he knew the Herbst family, or had any way of
              readily checking the story.

              In Christ
              Fr. John R. Shaw







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            • gene703
              Dear Misha, There is a huge difference between russian state security officials appointing and sometimes outright slaughtering bishops and clergy ( that s the
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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                Dear Misha,

                There is a huge difference between russian state security officials appointing and sometimes outright slaughtering bishops and clergy ( that's the other side of sergianism proper for you ) and a private US citizen (when mr. Herbst goes to sunday services I am sure he does not go there as a US ambassador) openly participating in the affairs of his US based church as a publicly, I dare say democratically, elected delegate to to the sobor. See what I mean ?

                Gene

                Michael Coleman <usmichael_fws_net@...> wrote:
                Dear Masha,

                Your points are well taken; accepting a news article without fact checking is foolish. Without defending Fr. Alexander on any political or ecclesiastical point, I think maybe his original intent at the bottom of his original post may not have been actually to slander your father by accusing him of Sergianism, but rather to use your father's service to our country as an analogue to Sergianism that some might use to discredit your father as well as the ROCOR-MP rapprochement in general.

                In other words, I took it that Fr. Alexander was not saying your dad was a Sergianist, but: How foolish to say the entire MP is without grace (and therefore we should not reunite with it) simply because the leadership of the MP has cooperated with the Soviet governmental authority! And why is it foolish? Because we ourselves (ROCOR) also utilize the talents of a governmental official and son of ROCOR. Fr. Alexander is asking (taunting) his opposition thus: shall we then call ROCOR Sergianist because Ambassador Herbst is a ROCOR delegate? I believe he would answer no to that question.

                Fr. Alexander, am I right in this?

                Your friend,

                Misha
                St Luke Orthodox Church
                Garden Grove, CA

                "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
                Regarding:

                > When I read the ridiculous article about my father that Fr. Alexander
                > posted on this list this morning, my initial reaction was amusement.
                > To what depths had this journalist sunk in order to get a "scoop?"
                > Not even having spoken to my parents about it yet, I knew that none
                > of it was true.

                JRS: Obviously, we all should have been more careful before believing this story. This is not
                the first time journalistic misstatements have figured in the debates about reconciliation in
                the Russian Church.

                However, the allegations did "hit a nerve" for many of us, especially those who have been
                disturbed by our country's foreign policy, such as partisan involvement in the election of
                Yushchenko in the Ukraine.

                In Fr. Alexander's defense, though, I doubt he knew the Herbst family, or had any way of
                readily checking the story.

                In Christ
                Fr. John R. Shaw







                Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod





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              • Carol Surgant
                I am distressed that Ambassador Herbst has been slandered in this way. My apologies to the Hebst family for those of us who believed this story. The story had
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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                  I am distressed that Ambassador Herbst has been slandered in this way. My apologies to the Hebst family for those of us who believed this story.
                  The story had elements that appeared credible at first glance given our current focus on "political correctness' and growing religious supression in the U.S.

                  For anyone concerned that the Russian government is interfering in Church affairs, perhaps you should look first at what is going on in this country.

                  In a current controversy in the US military, Airforce chaplains have been prohibited from using the name "Jesus" in open prayer, since it might offend someone. This is a dramatic contrast with Russia today where priests are encouraged to have an active presence on military bases and in war zones. I observed in churches in the former Soviet Union, men in police and military uniforms also attending the services-- not to take notes on who was there as in Soviet times, -- but concentrated in prayer, making the sign of the cross and prostrations, waiting in long lines for confession and communion, standing long periods after the service for Pannychidas, and bringing their children to baptism. Yet in this country, last year an army general was reprimanded for publicly speaking about his faith while in uniform.
                  50 years ago in this country, students were allowed to read the Bible as literature and for moral intruction in American public schools. This is no longer permitted in US public schools, yet Orthodoxy is now being taught in schools in Russia.
                  The Canadian government prohibits religious ministers (or anyone else) from openly speaking against homosexuality. We are probably close to such a prohibition in this country, a threat against our churches' tax-exemption based on such "discrimination" and and if our country follows Canada, even prosecution for "hate speech" of a priest/minister who dares to openly preach what God has taught us.
                  If current trends continue, it may come about that the Orthodox Church is less persecuted in Russia than in America! Perhaps the Moscow Patriarchate should be concerned that the US government is interfering too much in our church life.

                  In Christ,
                  Carol Surgant

                  mh2t <mh2t@...> wrote:
                  When I read the ridiculous article about my father ...


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                  ... Michael is absolutely correct. The comments at the end of the post were meant as a challenge to those who would call Sergianist any cooperation between
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
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                    At 08:21 AM 11/3/2005, Michael Coleman wrote:

                    >Dear Masha,
                    >
                    >Your points are well taken; accepting a news article without fact
                    >checking is foolish. Without defending Fr. Alexander on any
                    >political or ecclesiastical point, I think maybe his original intent
                    >at the bottom of his original post may not have been actually to
                    >slander your father by accusing him of Sergianism, but rather to use
                    >your father's service to our country as an analogue to Sergianism
                    >that some might use to discredit your father as well as the ROCOR-MP
                    >rapprochement in general.
                    >
                    >In other words, I took it that Fr. Alexander was not saying your dad
                    >was a Sergianist, but: How foolish to say the entire MP is without
                    >grace (and therefore we should not reunite with it) simply because
                    >the leadership of the MP has cooperated with the Soviet governmental
                    >authority! And why is it foolish? Because we ourselves (ROCOR)
                    >also utilize the talents of a governmental official and son of
                    >ROCOR. Fr. Alexander is asking (taunting) his opposition
                    >thus: shall we then call ROCOR Sergianist because Ambassador Herbst
                    >is a ROCOR delegate? I believe he would answer no to that question.
                    >
                    >Fr. Alexander, am I right in this?
                    >
                    >Your friend,
                    >
                    >Misha
                    >St Luke Orthodox Church
                    >Garden Grove, CA


                    Michael is absolutely correct.

                    The comments at the end of the post were meant as a challenge to
                    those who would call "Sergianist" any cooperation between the Church
                    and the State, or the participation of government officials in Church matters.

                    They were in no way intended to disparage Mr. Herbst or his service
                    to the American government or his Church.

                    I apologize to anyone who may have misunderstood what I was trying to
                    say. I should have been more clear.

                    With love in Christ,

                    Prot. Alexander Lebedeff



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