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The Problem with Having an Idee Fixe

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    There is a real difficulty in having an intelligent dialog with someone who position is based entirely on an idee fixe. Vladimir Kozyreff is in that position.
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 2 11:50 AM
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      There is a real difficulty in having an intelligent dialog with
      someone who position is based entirely on an idee fixe.

      Vladimir Kozyreff is in that position.

      His idee fixe is that the Moscow Patriarch is a false church -- or,
      put otherwise, --not the Church. He states that it lost apostolic succession.

      But when and how it stopped being the Church--that escapes him.

      And, most importantly, he, although maintaining that he is being true
      to the traditional positions of the Church Abroad, cannot find a
      single official document of the ROCOR that would support his
      contention--and this in the face of any number of documents that
      prove otherwise.

      That is the problem with having an idee fixe.

      It makes one stubbornly hold to that which is unsupported by evidence.

      Did the Moscow Patriarchate lose grace and stop being the Church in
      1927, when Metropolitan Sergius issued the Epistle commonly called
      the "Declaration"?

      How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR not say anything
      about this in its 25-page Conciliar Epistle of 1933, specifically
      written to express the ROCOR position vis-a-vis Metropolitan Sergius
      and the path expressed in the 1927 Declaration?

      Would the ROCOR not have had the responsibility, in 1933, six years
      after the publication of the Declaration, to pronounce that
      Metropolitan Sergius and his Church Administration were outside the
      Church and graceless, if it were so?

      How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1938 declare that
      there were no impediments for clergy of the ROCOR to concelebrate
      with clergy of Metropolitan Sergius, quoting (and ratifying) the
      words of Metropolitan Kirill, that the sin of Metropolitan Sergius
      does not extend to his subordinate clergy. Here is the Sobor
      Resolution of 1938.


      "DISCUSSED: concelebration with the clergymen of the jurisdiction of
      Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.

      METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY points out that clergymen arriving from Russia
      from this jurisdiction are immediately admitted into prayerful
      communion, and refers to the opinion of Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan
      in his epistle, published in Tserkovnaya Zhizn' [Church Life], that
      Metropolitan Sergius' sin does not extend to the clergymen under him.

      DECREED: To recognize that there are no obstacles to prayerful
      communion and concelebration with clergymen of Metropolitan Sergius."

      Now, Vladimir, is this the Old ROCOR speaking , or the "New ROCOR"?

      Do you agree with this authoritative decision of the Sobor of Bishops
      of the ROCOR, 11 years after the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius?

      If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1938, had considered
      Metropolitan Sergius and his clergy to be "not the Church"--would
      they have issued such a Resolution?

      In such a case, they would have had to issue a Resolution that said:
      "Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod are outside the Church and have
      lost apostolic succession--so it is absolutley forbidden to
      concelebrate with any of their clergy."

      But-- they didn't do that.

      Did the Moscow Patriarchate become "not a Church" and lose apostolic
      succession and grace in 1943, when Stalin allowed it to resume
      functioning and begin reopening churches and allowed the election of
      a Patriarch?

      Then how could Metropolitan Anastassy, at the the Sobor of Bishops of
      1953, say the folowing:

      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, was this the Old ROCOR speaking, or the "New ROCOR"?

      Read what he said at the Sobor of Bishops in 1953:

      "Whether he [Patriarch Alexei I] sinned more or less than his
      predecessor, **WE CANNOT DENY HIS ORDINATION"

      (This means, Vladimir, that we cannot deny that he has Apostolic Succession).

      And Metropolitan Anastassy said: "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."

      Do you hear that, Vladimir?

      The Church itself (here he is talking about the Church of Patriarch
      Alexei I) remains "unblemished."

      If it remains unblemished, how can it be a false Church, or "not the Church"?

      Even the Sobor Document of 1971 regarding the election Patriarch
      Pimen, which some have tried to use to prove the "gracelessness" of
      the Moscow Patriarchate, in reality proves exactly the opposite.

      If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1971, considered the Moscow
      Patriarchate to be "not the church" or having lost Apostolic
      succession or graceless, there would have been no need for a three
      page Epistle, going on into minute details concerning the process of
      the election of the Patriarch in 1917.

      All that would have been needed was one sentence that would have
      said, "we reject the election of Pimen as Patriarch because the
      Moscow Patriarchate is a false church and graceless."

      But that's not what happened.

      The same could be said of the Epistle of Metropolitan Philaret in
      1965, where he says that there are three parts of the Russian
      Church-- and that the Moscow Patriarchate is one of them (in addition
      to the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church). If he considered the
      Moscow Patriarchate to have lost apostolic succession and graceless
      and not a Church, he would have written: "There are two parts of the
      Russian Church; the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church. There is
      also a false Church calling itself the Moscow Patriarchate, which is
      graceless and not a church."

      But that's not what he wrote.

      Also, in another long Epistle in 1965, Metropolitan Philaret directs
      his attention to the news that the Soviet government issued new
      restrictions against bringing children to Church. He wrote how
      terrible it was to deny children the great joy of receiving the Holy
      Mysteries (clearly talking about the "few churches remaining open in
      the Soviet Union, i.e. churches of the Moscow Patriarchate). If he
      thought that the Moscow Patriarchate was graceless, he would not have
      issued that Epistle, because it wouldn't matter if children received
      Communion in churches of a false church or not, since these false
      churches have no real Mysteries.

      To wind up.

      The discussions regarding the pending rapprochement with the Moscow
      Patriarchate have been going along for some fifteen years now.

      There have been many rabid opponents of the process of reconciliation
      speaking out at length on this issue.

      If the official position of the "Old ROCOR" had truly been that the
      Moscow Patriarchate had lost apostolic succession and was not the
      Church, but an apostate false church and its mysteries were invalid
      and graceless--don't you think that in all of this time, the
      opponents would have come up with at least a single official document
      of the ROCOR that said so?

      Sadly, Vladimir, your position is not in keeping with that of
      Metropolitan Anastassy (see above) and the historical ROCOR.

      And you do not understand the consequences of your idee fixe--that
      the Moscow Patriarchate is not the Church.

      If that were so, then tens of millions of people in Russia are not
      being baptized, married, having their sins remitted, or receiving the
      Holy Mysteries.

      You, with the stroke of a pen (or the press of a key), have the
      audacity to "excommunicate" tens of millions of people, based solely
      on your own opinion--an opinion that is shared by none of the local
      Orthodox Churches, by the way.

      300 million Orthodox Christians in the whole world consider the
      Moscow Patriarchate to be the valid, canonical Church of Russia.

      And Vladimir Kozyreff thinks that **his** opinion is more correct than theirs.

      What incredible hubris.

      With love in Christ, and sincere prayer that you overcome your
      extraordinary stubbornness and see the light.

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • gene703
      Dear Fr. Alexander, I have a short, simple question for you. Did current Moscow Patriarch Alexei II gain his positions first as a bishop and later as a
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 2 12:55 PM
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        Dear Fr. Alexander,

        I have a short, simple question for you.

        Did current Moscow Patriarch Alexei II gain his positions first as a bishop and later as a patriarch through free canonical ellections or was he appointed to both posts by Soviet/RF government ?

        It is really a multiple choice question - the answers being
        - yes
        - no
        - forget this KGB stuff, let's just go forward and be nice to each other

        Gene T

        "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...> wrote:
        There is a real difficulty in having an intelligent dialog with
        someone who position is based entirely on an idee fixe.

        Vladimir Kozyreff is in that position.

        His idee fixe is that the Moscow Patriarch is a false church -- or,
        put otherwise, --not the Church. He states that it lost apostolic succession.

        But when and how it stopped being the Church--that escapes him.

        And, most importantly, he, although maintaining that he is being true
        to the traditional positions of the Church Abroad, cannot find a
        single official document of the ROCOR that would support his
        contention--and this in the face of any number of documents that
        prove otherwise.

        That is the problem with having an idee fixe.

        It makes one stubbornly hold to that which is unsupported by evidence.

        Did the Moscow Patriarchate lose grace and stop being the Church in
        1927, when Metropolitan Sergius issued the Epistle commonly called
        the "Declaration"?

        How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR not say anything
        about this in its 25-page Conciliar Epistle of 1933, specifically
        written to express the ROCOR position vis-a-vis Metropolitan Sergius
        and the path expressed in the 1927 Declaration?

        Would the ROCOR not have had the responsibility, in 1933, six years
        after the publication of the Declaration, to pronounce that
        Metropolitan Sergius and his Church Administration were outside the
        Church and graceless, if it were so?

        How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1938 declare that
        there were no impediments for clergy of the ROCOR to concelebrate
        with clergy of Metropolitan Sergius, quoting (and ratifying) the
        words of Metropolitan Kirill, that the sin of Metropolitan Sergius
        does not extend to his subordinate clergy. Here is the Sobor
        Resolution of 1938.


        "DISCUSSED: concelebration with the clergymen of the jurisdiction of
        Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.

        METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY points out that clergymen arriving from Russia
        from this jurisdiction are immediately admitted into prayerful
        communion, and refers to the opinion of Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan
        in his epistle, published in Tserkovnaya Zhizn' [Church Life], that
        Metropolitan Sergius' sin does not extend to the clergymen under him.

        DECREED: To recognize that there are no obstacles to prayerful
        communion and concelebration with clergymen of Metropolitan Sergius."

        Now, Vladimir, is this the Old ROCOR speaking , or the "New ROCOR"?

        Do you agree with this authoritative decision of the Sobor of Bishops
        of the ROCOR, 11 years after the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius?

        If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1938, had considered
        Metropolitan Sergius and his clergy to be "not the Church"--would
        they have issued such a Resolution?

        In such a case, they would have had to issue a Resolution that said:
        "Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod are outside the Church and have
        lost apostolic succession--so it is absolutley forbidden to
        concelebrate with any of their clergy."

        But-- they didn't do that.

        Did the Moscow Patriarchate become "not a Church" and lose apostolic
        succession and grace in 1943, when Stalin allowed it to resume
        functioning and begin reopening churches and allowed the election of
        a Patriarch?

        Then how could Metropolitan Anastassy, at the the Sobor of Bishops of
        1953, say the folowing:

        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, was this the Old ROCOR speaking, or the "New ROCOR"?

        Read what he said at the Sobor of Bishops in 1953:

        "Whether he [Patriarch Alexei I] sinned more or less than his
        predecessor, **WE CANNOT DENY HIS ORDINATION"

        (This means, Vladimir, that we cannot deny that he has Apostolic Succession).

        And Metropolitan Anastassy said: "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."

        Do you hear that, Vladimir?

        The Church itself (here he is talking about the Church of Patriarch
        Alexei I) remains "unblemished."

        If it remains unblemished, how can it be a false Church, or "not the Church"?

        Even the Sobor Document of 1971 regarding the election Patriarch
        Pimen, which some have tried to use to prove the "gracelessness" of
        the Moscow Patriarchate, in reality proves exactly the opposite.

        If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1971, considered the Moscow
        Patriarchate to be "not the church" or having lost Apostolic
        succession or graceless, there would have been no need for a three
        page Epistle, going on into minute details concerning the process of
        the election of the Patriarch in 1917.

        All that would have been needed was one sentence that would have
        said, "we reject the election of Pimen as Patriarch because the
        Moscow Patriarchate is a false church and graceless."

        But that's not what happened.

        The same could be said of the Epistle of Metropolitan Philaret in
        1965, where he says that there are three parts of the Russian
        Church-- and that the Moscow Patriarchate is one of them (in addition
        to the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church). If he considered the
        Moscow Patriarchate to have lost apostolic succession and graceless
        and not a Church, he would have written: "There are two parts of the
        Russian Church; the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church. There is
        also a false Church calling itself the Moscow Patriarchate, which is
        graceless and not a church."

        But that's not what he wrote.

        Also, in another long Epistle in 1965, Metropolitan Philaret directs
        his attention to the news that the Soviet government issued new
        restrictions against bringing children to Church. He wrote how
        terrible it was to deny children the great joy of receiving the Holy
        Mysteries (clearly talking about the "few churches remaining open in
        the Soviet Union, i.e. churches of the Moscow Patriarchate). If he
        thought that the Moscow Patriarchate was graceless, he would not have
        issued that Epistle, because it wouldn't matter if children received
        Communion in churches of a false church or not, since these false
        churches have no real Mysteries.

        To wind up.

        The discussions regarding the pending rapprochement with the Moscow
        Patriarchate have been going along for some fifteen years now.

        There have been many rabid opponents of the process of reconciliation
        speaking out at length on this issue.

        If the official position of the "Old ROCOR" had truly been that the
        Moscow Patriarchate had lost apostolic succession and was not the
        Church, but an apostate false church and its mysteries were invalid
        and graceless--don't you think that in all of this time, the
        opponents would have come up with at least a single official document
        of the ROCOR that said so?

        Sadly, Vladimir, your position is not in keeping with that of
        Metropolitan Anastassy (see above) and the historical ROCOR.

        And you do not understand the consequences of your idee fixe--that
        the Moscow Patriarchate is not the Church.

        If that were so, then tens of millions of people in Russia are not
        being baptized, married, having their sins remitted, or receiving the
        Holy Mysteries.

        You, with the stroke of a pen (or the press of a key), have the
        audacity to "excommunicate" tens of millions of people, based solely
        on your own opinion--an opinion that is shared by none of the local
        Orthodox Churches, by the way.

        300 million Orthodox Christians in the whole world consider the
        Moscow Patriarchate to be the valid, canonical Church of Russia.

        And Vladimir Kozyreff thinks that **his** opinion is more correct than theirs.

        What incredible hubris.

        With love in Christ, and sincere prayer that you overcome your
        extraordinary stubbornness and see the light.

        Prot. Alexander Lebedeff









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      • vkozyreff
        Dear Father Alexander, We have read this from you a couple of times already, and already replied to all of your arguments and questions, for instance about the
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2 1:10 PM
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          Dear Father Alexander,

          We have read this from you a couple of times already, and already
          replied to all of your arguments and questions, for instance about
          the date when the "MP ceased to be the Church". The archives of the
          two lists (ROCOR synod and orthodox tradition) are full with replies
          to your questions.

          Usually, after a certain silence, you come again with all that had
          been refuted. You tried to discredit me by mentioning my idée fixe,
          and I acknowledge your brave effort. I do not see myself as the
          champion against the unia, however. I am not that important a target,
          and the idea of opposing the MP is not mine, as you know. I just took
          it up from my ROCOR. So, it is not hubris but humble obedience to the
          Church that has educated me in this matter.

          In an environment of "treason, cowardice and deceit", we have to
          choose between bishops and priests who oppose one another. Shall I
          chose you? Do I believe in you? The problem with you is that you
          appear as a defector (to say the least), in our eyes of simple
          mortals. Defectors are handicapped in terms of credibility.

          In my English language adventure, you are the one who exposed me for
          the first time to the word "rescind", about Abp Kyrill. In addition,
          Father John Shaw has revealed to us the weakness of the ROCOR
          bishops, so quick to follow directives of influential behind the
          scene actors. If they rescinded their anathema on ecumenism, why
          should we believe in those bishops today?

          For so long, you stated that canon 15 of the 1st and 2d was not
          applicable to sergianism and ecumenism, but we know they do, and you
          know it, given your deep knowledge of ecclesial matters . Why should
          we believe you?

          You are taken away by your enthusiasm and make gross logical errors.
          You know that I am not "excommunicating" anybody. If I judge that you
          are uniting with an evil organisation and leading the faithful to
          perdition, my judgement is only an appreciation. It will have no
          consequence on anybody's salvation. God will judge you. My opinion is
          just a prognostic.

          If the rhythm of these exchanges is not too fast, I shall see whether
          I can again reply to some of your specific arguments. By the way, why
          do you say that nobody seriously disputed the canonicity-legitimacy
          of Met Sergius taking the post of patriarch, knowing that you did
          dispute this yourself? Again, why should we believe you? You are the
          teacher, I am not. In the course of these few last years, I have lost
          faith in so many New ROCOR clerics.

          Please read again message 15536 on "orthodox synod".

          On November of 1994 you and Fr. George Larin wrote a letter to the
          Bishops' Council of our Church criticizing the message of 8 lay
          members of our Church who in their address to the Council demanded
          the unification with Moscow Patriarchy. You and Fr. Larin
          wrote: "Significantly is that the authors of the address call "Mother
          Church" not the Church to which the say they belong, but the Moscow
          Patriarchy "remaining under "Pervosvjatitelskim" omophorion of His
          Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia". The fact that the
          Moscow Patriarchy is really the creature of the atheistic communist
          regime by some reason has escaped from their acknowledgement. Any
          person even with little knowledge (and specially the ones who dare to
          give instructions to the Bishops' Council) must know that "His
          Holiness" is a straight appointee of the Soviet rulers who was their
          zealous collaborator during all his career".
          Read again "The canonical and legal position of the MP" by Vl George
          Grabbe, published in 1971 by the Russian ecclesiatical mission in
          Jerusalem.

          In Christ,

          Vladimir Kozyreff



          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
          <lebedeff@...> wrote:
          >
          > There is a real difficulty in having an intelligent dialog with
          > someone who position is based entirely on an idee fixe.
          >
          > Vladimir Kozyreff is in that position.
          >
          > His idee fixe is that the Moscow Patriarch is a false church -- or,
          > put otherwise, --not the Church. He states that it lost apostolic
          succession.
          >
          > But when and how it stopped being the Church--that escapes him.
          >
          > And, most importantly, he, although maintaining that he is being
          true
          > to the traditional positions of the Church Abroad, cannot find a
          > single official document of the ROCOR that would support his
          > contention--and this in the face of any number of documents that
          > prove otherwise.
          >
          > That is the problem with having an idee fixe.
          >
          > It makes one stubbornly hold to that which is unsupported by
          evidence.
          >
          > Did the Moscow Patriarchate lose grace and stop being the Church in
          > 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius issued the Epistle commonly called
          > the "Declaration"?
          >
          > How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR not say anything
          > about this in its 25-page Conciliar Epistle of 1933, specifically
          > written to express the ROCOR position vis-a-vis Metropolitan
          Sergius
          > and the path expressed in the 1927 Declaration?
          >
          > Would the ROCOR not have had the responsibility, in 1933, six years
          > after the publication of the Declaration, to pronounce that
          > Metropolitan Sergius and his Church Administration were outside the
          > Church and graceless, if it were so?
          >
          > How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1938 declare
          that
          > there were no impediments for clergy of the ROCOR to concelebrate
          > with clergy of Metropolitan Sergius, quoting (and ratifying) the
          > words of Metropolitan Kirill, that the sin of Metropolitan Sergius
          > does not extend to his subordinate clergy. Here is the Sobor
          > Resolution of 1938.
          >
          >
          > "DISCUSSED: concelebration with the clergymen of the jurisdiction
          of
          > Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.
          >
          > METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY points out that clergymen arriving from
          Russia
          > from this jurisdiction are immediately admitted into prayerful
          > communion, and refers to the opinion of Metropolitan Kirill of
          Kazan
          > in his epistle, published in Tserkovnaya Zhizn' [Church Life], that
          > Metropolitan Sergius' sin does not extend to the clergymen under
          him.
          >
          > DECREED: To recognize that there are no obstacles to prayerful
          > communion and concelebration with clergymen of Metropolitan
          Sergius."
          >
          > Now, Vladimir, is this the Old ROCOR speaking , or the "New ROCOR"?
          >
          > Do you agree with this authoritative decision of the Sobor of
          Bishops
          > of the ROCOR, 11 years after the Declaration of Metropolitan
          Sergius?
          >
          > If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1938, had considered
          > Metropolitan Sergius and his clergy to be "not the Church"--would
          > they have issued such a Resolution?
          >
          > In such a case, they would have had to issue a Resolution that
          said:
          > "Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod are outside the Church and have
          > lost apostolic succession--so it is absolutley forbidden to
          > concelebrate with any of their clergy."
          >
          > But-- they didn't do that.
          >
          > Did the Moscow Patriarchate become "not a Church" and lose
          apostolic
          > succession and grace in 1943, when Stalin allowed it to resume
          > functioning and begin reopening churches and allowed the election
          of
          > a Patriarch?
          >
          > Then how could Metropolitan Anastassy, at the the Sobor of Bishops
          of
          > 1953, say the folowing:
          >
          > 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, was this the Old ROCOR speaking, or the "New ROCOR"?
          >
          > Read what he said at the Sobor of Bishops in 1953:
          >
          > "Whether he [Patriarch Alexei I] sinned more or less than his
          > predecessor, **WE CANNOT DENY HIS ORDINATION"
          >
          > (This means, Vladimir, that we cannot deny that he has Apostolic
          Succession).
          >
          > And Metropolitan Anastassy said: "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."
          >
          > Do you hear that, Vladimir?
          >
          > The Church itself (here he is talking about the Church of Patriarch
          > Alexei I) remains "unblemished."
          >
          > If it remains unblemished, how can it be a false Church, or "not
          the Church"?
          >
          > Even the Sobor Document of 1971 regarding the election Patriarch
          > Pimen, which some have tried to use to prove the "gracelessness" of
          > the Moscow Patriarchate, in reality proves exactly the opposite.
          >
          > If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1971, considered the
          Moscow
          > Patriarchate to be "not the church" or having lost Apostolic
          > succession or graceless, there would have been no need for a three
          > page Epistle, going on into minute details concerning the process
          of
          > the election of the Patriarch in 1917.
          >
          > All that would have been needed was one sentence that would have
          > said, "we reject the election of Pimen as Patriarch because the
          > Moscow Patriarchate is a false church and graceless."
          >
          > But that's not what happened.
          >
          > The same could be said of the Epistle of Metropolitan Philaret in
          > 1965, where he says that there are three parts of the Russian
          > Church-- and that the Moscow Patriarchate is one of them (in
          addition
          > to the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church). If he considered the
          > Moscow Patriarchate to have lost apostolic succession and graceless
          > and not a Church, he would have written: "There are two parts of
          the
          > Russian Church; the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church. There is
          > also a false Church calling itself the Moscow Patriarchate, which
          is
          > graceless and not a church."
          >
          > But that's not what he wrote.
          >
          > Also, in another long Epistle in 1965, Metropolitan Philaret
          directs
          > his attention to the news that the Soviet government issued new
          > restrictions against bringing children to Church. He wrote how
          > terrible it was to deny children the great joy of receiving the
          Holy
          > Mysteries (clearly talking about the "few churches remaining open
          in
          > the Soviet Union, i.e. churches of the Moscow Patriarchate). If he
          > thought that the Moscow Patriarchate was graceless, he would not
          have
          > issued that Epistle, because it wouldn't matter if children
          received
          > Communion in churches of a false church or not, since these false
          > churches have no real Mysteries.
          >
          > To wind up.
          >
          > The discussions regarding the pending rapprochement with the Moscow
          > Patriarchate have been going along for some fifteen years now.
          >
          > There have been many rabid opponents of the process of
          reconciliation
          > speaking out at length on this issue.
          >
          > If the official position of the "Old ROCOR" had truly been that the
          > Moscow Patriarchate had lost apostolic succession and was not the
          > Church, but an apostate false church and its mysteries were invalid
          > and graceless--don't you think that in all of this time, the
          > opponents would have come up with at least a single official
          document
          > of the ROCOR that said so?
          >
          > Sadly, Vladimir, your position is not in keeping with that of
          > Metropolitan Anastassy (see above) and the historical ROCOR.
          >
          > And you do not understand the consequences of your idee fixe--that
          > the Moscow Patriarchate is not the Church.
          >
          > If that were so, then tens of millions of people in Russia are not
          > being baptized, married, having their sins remitted, or receiving
          the
          > Holy Mysteries.
          >
          > You, with the stroke of a pen (or the press of a key), have the
          > audacity to "excommunicate" tens of millions of people, based
          solely
          > on your own opinion--an opinion that is shared by none of the local
          > Orthodox Churches, by the way.
          >
          > 300 million Orthodox Christians in the whole world consider the
          > Moscow Patriarchate to be the valid, canonical Church of Russia.
          >
          > And Vladimir Kozyreff thinks that **his** opinion is more correct
          than theirs.
          >
          > What incredible hubris.
          >
          > With love in Christ, and sincere prayer that you overcome your
          > extraordinary stubbornness and see the light.
          >
          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
          >
        • Vladimir Kozyreff
          Dear Father Alexander, Below is a quotation from Met Anastasy (whom you accuse of sergianism with Hitler). In Christ, Vladimir Kozyreff And we must not only
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 7 4:31 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Father Alexander,

            Below is a quotation from Met Anastasy (whom you accuse of sergianism with
            Hitler).

            In Christ,

            Vladimir Kozyreff
            "And we must not only teach others, but ourselves also fulfill, following
            the examples of the Moscow saints, whom we have commemorated today. They
            stand before us as Orthodox Zealots, and we must follow their example,
            turning aside completely from the dishonesty of those who have now occupied
            their throne. Oh if they could but arise; they not only would not recognize
            any of their successions, but rather would have turned against them with
            severe condemnation."


            Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky) Address to the Sobor of Bishops, 1959

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...>
            To: <orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com>; <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2006 8:50 PM
            Subject: [orthodox-synod] The Problem with Having an Idee Fixe


            > There is a real difficulty in having an intelligent dialog with
            > someone who position is based entirely on an idee fixe.
            >
            > Vladimir Kozyreff is in that position.
            >
            > His idee fixe is that the Moscow Patriarch is a false church -- or,
            > put otherwise, --not the Church. He states that it lost apostolic
            > succession.
            >
            > But when and how it stopped being the Church--that escapes him.
            >
            > And, most importantly, he, although maintaining that he is being true
            > to the traditional positions of the Church Abroad, cannot find a
            > single official document of the ROCOR that would support his
            > contention--and this in the face of any number of documents that
            > prove otherwise.
            >
            > That is the problem with having an idee fixe.
            >
            > It makes one stubbornly hold to that which is unsupported by evidence.
            >
            > Did the Moscow Patriarchate lose grace and stop being the Church in
            > 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius issued the Epistle commonly called
            > the "Declaration"?
            >
            > How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR not say anything
            > about this in its 25-page Conciliar Epistle of 1933, specifically
            > written to express the ROCOR position vis-a-vis Metropolitan Sergius
            > and the path expressed in the 1927 Declaration?
            >
            > Would the ROCOR not have had the responsibility, in 1933, six years
            > after the publication of the Declaration, to pronounce that
            > Metropolitan Sergius and his Church Administration were outside the
            > Church and graceless, if it were so?
            >
            > How then could the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1938 declare that
            > there were no impediments for clergy of the ROCOR to concelebrate
            > with clergy of Metropolitan Sergius, quoting (and ratifying) the
            > words of Metropolitan Kirill, that the sin of Metropolitan Sergius
            > does not extend to his subordinate clergy. Here is the Sobor
            > Resolution of 1938.
            >
            >
            > "DISCUSSED: concelebration with the clergymen of the jurisdiction of
            > Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.
            >
            > METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY points out that clergymen arriving from Russia
            > from this jurisdiction are immediately admitted into prayerful
            > communion, and refers to the opinion of Metropolitan Kirill of Kazan
            > in his epistle, published in Tserkovnaya Zhizn' [Church Life], that
            > Metropolitan Sergius' sin does not extend to the clergymen under him.
            >
            > DECREED: To recognize that there are no obstacles to prayerful
            > communion and concelebration with clergymen of Metropolitan Sergius."
            >
            > Now, Vladimir, is this the Old ROCOR speaking , or the "New ROCOR"?
            >
            > Do you agree with this authoritative decision of the Sobor of Bishops
            > of the ROCOR, 11 years after the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius?
            >
            > If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1938, had considered
            > Metropolitan Sergius and his clergy to be "not the Church"--would
            > they have issued such a Resolution?
            >
            > In such a case, they would have had to issue a Resolution that said:
            > "Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod are outside the Church and have
            > lost apostolic succession--so it is absolutley forbidden to
            > concelebrate with any of their clergy."
            >
            > But-- they didn't do that.
            >
            > Did the Moscow Patriarchate become "not a Church" and lose apostolic
            > succession and grace in 1943, when Stalin allowed it to resume
            > functioning and begin reopening churches and allowed the election of
            > a Patriarch?
            >
            > Then how could Metropolitan Anastassy, at the the Sobor of Bishops of
            > 1953, say the folowing:
            >
            > 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, was this the Old ROCOR speaking, or the "New ROCOR"?
            >
            > Read what he said at the Sobor of Bishops in 1953:
            >
            > "Whether he [Patriarch Alexei I] sinned more or less than his
            > predecessor, **WE CANNOT DENY HIS ORDINATION"
            >
            > (This means, Vladimir, that we cannot deny that he has Apostolic
            > Succession).
            >
            > And Metropolitan Anastassy said: "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."
            >
            > Do you hear that, Vladimir?
            >
            > The Church itself (here he is talking about the Church of Patriarch
            > Alexei I) remains "unblemished."
            >
            > If it remains unblemished, how can it be a false Church, or "not the
            > Church"?
            >
            > Even the Sobor Document of 1971 regarding the election Patriarch
            > Pimen, which some have tried to use to prove the "gracelessness" of
            > the Moscow Patriarchate, in reality proves exactly the opposite.
            >
            > If the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, in 1971, considered the Moscow
            > Patriarchate to be "not the church" or having lost Apostolic
            > succession or graceless, there would have been no need for a three
            > page Epistle, going on into minute details concerning the process of
            > the election of the Patriarch in 1917.
            >
            > All that would have been needed was one sentence that would have
            > said, "we reject the election of Pimen as Patriarch because the
            > Moscow Patriarchate is a false church and graceless."
            >
            > But that's not what happened.
            >
            > The same could be said of the Epistle of Metropolitan Philaret in
            > 1965, where he says that there are three parts of the Russian
            > Church-- and that the Moscow Patriarchate is one of them (in addition
            > to the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church). If he considered the
            > Moscow Patriarchate to have lost apostolic succession and graceless
            > and not a Church, he would have written: "There are two parts of the
            > Russian Church; the Church Abroad and the Catacomb Church. There is
            > also a false Church calling itself the Moscow Patriarchate, which is
            > graceless and not a church."
            >
            > But that's not what he wrote.
            >
            > Also, in another long Epistle in 1965, Metropolitan Philaret directs
            > his attention to the news that the Soviet government issued new
            > restrictions against bringing children to Church. He wrote how
            > terrible it was to deny children the great joy of receiving the Holy
            > Mysteries (clearly talking about the "few churches remaining open in
            > the Soviet Union, i.e. churches of the Moscow Patriarchate). If he
            > thought that the Moscow Patriarchate was graceless, he would not have
            > issued that Epistle, because it wouldn't matter if children received
            > Communion in churches of a false church or not, since these false
            > churches have no real Mysteries.
            >
            > To wind up.
            >
            > The discussions regarding the pending rapprochement with the Moscow
            > Patriarchate have been going along for some fifteen years now.
            >
            > There have been many rabid opponents of the process of reconciliation
            > speaking out at length on this issue.
            >
            > If the official position of the "Old ROCOR" had truly been that the
            > Moscow Patriarchate had lost apostolic succession and was not the
            > Church, but an apostate false church and its mysteries were invalid
            > and graceless--don't you think that in all of this time, the
            > opponents would have come up with at least a single official document
            > of the ROCOR that said so?
            >
            > Sadly, Vladimir, your position is not in keeping with that of
            > Metropolitan Anastassy (see above) and the historical ROCOR.
            >
            > And you do not understand the consequences of your idee fixe--that
            > the Moscow Patriarchate is not the Church.
            >
            > If that were so, then tens of millions of people in Russia are not
            > being baptized, married, having their sins remitted, or receiving the
            > Holy Mysteries.
            >
            > You, with the stroke of a pen (or the press of a key), have the
            > audacity to "excommunicate" tens of millions of people, based solely
            > on your own opinion--an opinion that is shared by none of the local
            > Orthodox Churches, by the way.
            >
            > 300 million Orthodox Christians in the whole world consider the
            > Moscow Patriarchate to be the valid, canonical Church of Russia.
            >
            > And Vladimir Kozyreff thinks that **his** opinion is more correct than
            > theirs.
            >
            > What incredible hubris.
            >
            > With love in Christ, and sincere prayer that you overcome your
            > extraordinary stubbornness and see the light.
            >
            > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
            >
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            >
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