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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Bush Forbids the Ambassador of the US to Attend Church of the MP

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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







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





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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 4 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 5 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 6 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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