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The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    In discussions regarding the MP and Ecumenism, many seem to be under the impression that the MP was **always** involved in ecumenism, and that the Russian
    Message 1 of 26 , Jul 27, 2006
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      In discussions regarding the MP and Ecumenism, many seem to be under
      the impression that the MP was **always** involved in ecumenism, and
      that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was **always**
      staunchly against ecumenism and participation in the WCC.

      Nothing could be further from the truth.

      In fact, when the World Council of Churches was officially founded in
      1948, the Moscow Patriarchate convened a Pan-Orthodox Council that
      categorically rejected ecumenism and stated that participation in the
      WCC was incompatible with Orthodox ecclesiology.

      At that time, the ROCOR was actively involved with ecumenism, as it
      had been since the 1920s, and during the entire time of the tenure of
      Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy.

      The ROCOR was a Charter Member of the original founding
      organization--the precursor of the WCC and to this day one of its key
      elements: The Committee on Faith and Order.

      The ROCOR Sobors of Bishops blessed participation by bishops and
      clergy representatives at all of the meetings of the Faith and Order Commssion.

      Even as late as 1951, the ROCOR sponsored a European sub-Assembly of
      the WCC, held in Baden-Baden. You can see pictures of this assembly,
      with ROCOR Archbishop Benedict and Bishop Alexander surrounded by the
      usual WCC melange of Copts, Armenians, Anglicans, Methodists,
      Lutherans, etc. in the official history of the ROCOR, published
      during the time of Metropolitan Philaret in 1968 (the two-volume
      Sollogub opus).

      There you can also see pictures of Ecumenical meetings with
      Metropolitan Anthony participating in Serbia--especially meetings
      with Anglicans. One can see the bishops of the ROCOR in ecumenical
      dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican bishops.

      Recently, someone claimed that there was an Ukaz of the ROCOR in 1953
      banning all contact with the World Council of Churches.

      Why then do I have before me the Report to the Council of Bishops by
      Protopriest George Grabbe, describing in detail his participation in
      the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Evanston in
      1954? He was officially an observer, but was certainly officially
      representing the Church Abroad.

      And why is no one talking about the official delegation of the ROCOR
      to the Second Vatican Council in Rome, at the invitation of Pope John XXIII?

      This was an official delegation, headed by Archbishop Anthony of
      Geneva, Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin), Protopriests Igor Troyanoff
      and Alexander Troubnikoff-- with official Observer status.

      They participated in all of the major "official" events, such as the
      opening ceremonies in St. Peter's Cathedral, where they processed as
      part of the Orthodox church representatives, and the official
      receptions given to the "Orthodox sister churches" by the Pope.

      (This was actually quite interesting, because the Moscow Patriarchate
      had also been invited, and sent a delegation headed by Metropolitan
      Nikodim (Rotov). This was the first occasion where both a ROCOR and
      an MP delegation participated side by side, representing the Russian
      Church--which caused quite some interesting issues of protocol--order
      in the procession, seating at the sessions, receptions and banquets, etc.)

      And all of this with the full blessing of the Council of Bishops of
      the Church Abroad under Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret.

      Another rarely-mentioned fact in the collaboration of the ROCOR with
      the World Council of Churches and allied ecumenical organizations is
      that all of the bishops and clergy of the ROCOR in Germany and
      Austria received their salaries from the local Church World Service
      of the WCC--throughout all of the time that Metropolitan Philaret was
      First Hierarch. This continued virtually to the end of the 1990's.
      Our parishes in Germany and Austria were able to exist only because
      of the very significant subsidies received from the ecumenists-- for decades.

      One should also mention that the majority of members of the ROCOR who
      emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other
      countries from "Displaced Persons" camps in Germany and Austria had
      their travel expenses paid by the ecumenical Church World Service--so
      most of our older generation of parishioners (and clergy) -- are here
      only because of ecumenical organizations outreach programs.

      Cooperation by the ROCOR continues with ecumenical organizations to
      this day. The Russian Home for the Aged near the Strathfield
      Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, is operated by the National Council
      of Churches of Australia in close cooperation with our Diocese of the
      Church Abroad. If there were no cooperation between the NCCA and the
      ROCOR, thirty-five elderly ROCOR parishioners would have no home to live in.

      So, it is completely false to depict the ROCOR as being historically
      anti-ecumenical, while condemning the Moscow Patriarchate for
      participating in the WCC.

      It was the Moscow Patriarchate which first condemned, on strict
      Orthodox ecclesiological grounds, Orthodox participation in
      ecumenical organizations and specifically, the WCC.

      The Moscow Patriarchate joined the WCC only in 1961--when the ROCOR
      had been involved in it and its precursor throughout all of the
      previous decades since the 1920's -- and this cooperation continued,
      especially in the area of having clergy salaries paid in Europe by
      the WCC until just a few years ago.

      Condemning an organization while taking money from it would really be
      the height of hypocrisy, wouldn't it?

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mike Woodson
      Dear Rev. Protopriest Alexander: Surely you believe ecumenism is a good thing, since you advocate for the Moscow Patriarchate s position on many matters. The
      Message 2 of 26 , Jul 29, 2006
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        Dear Rev. Protopriest Alexander:

        Surely you believe ecumenism is a good thing, since you advocate for
        the Moscow Patriarchate's position on many matters. The MP is a
        member of the WCC.

        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
        <lebedeff@...> wrote:
        >
        > In discussions regarding the MP and Ecumenism, many seem to be under
        > the impression that the MP was **always** involved in ecumenism, and
        > that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was **always**
        > staunchly against ecumenism and participation in the WCC.

        The assumption that debunking an absolute statement of "always"
        involved or against ecumenism, picks an aspect of the argument that
        isn't central to the argument, that is, its perfect continuity in
        time. And, it doesn't speak to the changes in circumstances in the
        subject, that is how the WCC was then, as opposed to now, the inroads
        into the WCC and its members made by communist sypathetic clergy, and
        other factors, such as the introduction of patently offensive
        doctrines to Christian Orthodoxy by the WCC itself, which would make
        participation noxious.

        > Nothing could be further from the truth.

        Nothing? Nothing at all?

        >
        > In fact, when the World Council of Churches was officially founded
        > in
        > 1948, the Moscow Patriarchate convened a Pan-Orthodox Council that
        > categorically rejected ecumenism and stated that participation in
        >the
        > WCC was incompatible with Orthodox ecclesiology.

        Translation: it was imcompatible with the re-emerging hardline
        communist ideology asserted over Russia and the other enslaved
        republics by the Communist party following the end of WWII.

        I will quote St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco on this point of
        history from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 33:

        "When it was necessary, the Soviet government took broad advantage of
        the patritotism of the Russian people and put itself forth as an
        authrentically Russian government; but the war had not even been
        finished when the Russian patriotic slogans were thrown out, the
        government put in the first place the international politics and aims
        of Communism, although for the time being it did not completely
        renounce historical Russian aims that were useful for it at that time."

        Indeed, Orthodox ecclesiology was irrelevant to the regime by 1948, as
        evidenced by St. John's following account of the actions, not the
        words, of the ruling party:

        "Again, permitting an increase in the influence of the army and its
        officers during the war, the Soviet government later separated itself
        from the generals who had become popular, and sent into exile many
        outstanding soldiers, declaring that the whole success of the war
        should be ascribed to the Communist Party."

        This means any religious pronouncements of the time were calculated to
        make the Moscow Patriarchate appear religiously correct when in fact
        the Communist Party was paranoid of the MP having contact with outside
        influences, WCC or otherwise.

        In fact, it seems that ROCOR hierarchs were holding out hope that the
        Communists would be overthrown after WWII, and when it did not happen,
        by 1948, Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was established,
        according to St. John's history, p. 56.

        >
        > At that time, the ROCOR was actively involved with ecumenism, as it
        > had been since the 1920s, and during the entire time of the tenure of
        > Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy.

        Let's put this in context: the ROCOR's "involvment" was as an "observer."

        >
        > The ROCOR was a Charter Member of the original founding
        > organization--the precursor of the WCC and to this day one of its key
        > elements: The Committee on Faith and Order.
        >
        > The ROCOR Sobors of Bishops blessed participation by bishops and
        > clergy representatives at all of the meetings of the Faith and Order
        Commission.
        >

        A commission is one thing, a council another.

        > Even as late as 1951, the ROCOR sponsored a European sub-Assembly of
        > the WCC, held in Baden-Baden. You can see pictures of this assembly,
        > with ROCOR Archbishop Benedict and Bishop Alexander surrounded by the
        > usual WCC melange of Copts, Armenians, Anglicans, Methodists,
        > Lutherans, etc. in the official history of the ROCOR, published
        > during the time of Metropolitan Philaret in 1968 (the two-volume
        > Sollogub opus).

        And which sub-assembly was it. For what purpose? Were they on
        observer status? Where else would they gather information? Could
        they walk in and ask for access from any Western government? Not hardly.

        By 1951, Metropolitan Anastassy and the Synod of Bishops had moved to
        America, according to St. John's history. This is consistent with the
        racheting up of the Cold War by the Soviets, the drawing down from war
        and the cranking-up of clandestine KGB activity in Europe and through
        international organizations. I suspect that safety for the Synod of
        Bishops could not be guaranteed where they had been, and coming to the
        United States made sense for the long haul, considering the success of
        the Soviet regime in hardening itself once again to the reality that
        the people of faith had just saved its sorry artificial self again.

        >
        > There you can also see pictures of Ecumenical meetings with
        > Metropolitan Anthony participating in Serbia--especially meetings
        > with Anglicans. One can see the bishops of the ROCOR in ecumenical
        > dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican bishops.

        A very real illustration of how a picture is not worth a thousand words.

        >
        > Recently, someone claimed that there was an Ukaz of the ROCOR in 1953
        > banning all contact with the World Council of Churches.
        >
        > Why then do I have before me the Report to the Council of Bishops by
        > Protopriest George Grabbe, describing in detail his participation in
        > the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Evanston in
        > 1954? He was officially an observer, but was certainly officially
        > representing the Church Abroad.

        "Someone claimed," without more, doesn't tell us much. In any case,
        "any contact" could well be interpreted not to ban "observer" status.
        For example, one may observe an enemy force without having contact
        with it. The changing composition of the WCC, and the active efforts
        by the Soviets to infiltrate international organizations could well
        explain the changing nature of the WCC over time. There had been
        socialist ideologies which, even when WCC member churches and their
        missionaries held them in earnest or with good intentions, were
        exploited by the Soviet apparatus.

        >
        > And why is no one talking about the official delegation of the ROCOR
        > to the Second Vatican Council in Rome, at the invitation of Pope
        > John XXIII?

        The ROCOR sending a delegation would be the only way to find out what
        changes in the Roman Church were actually taking place without having
        to rely on the representations of others. I don't think it meant they
        were dancing with wolves with the Vatican in Australia or anything.
        Of that I'm confident.

        Also, let's compare sending a delegation to joining an extra-Church
        COUNCIL WITH the Vatican as the Moscow Patriarchate did. No obsever
        status, no sub-commission attendance, no nothing circumspect --
        wholesale, opportunistic joining of a Council other than that of the
        Orthodox Church. Again, the Orthodox Church is not enough for the
        Moscow Patriarchate -- it must have more -- it must be intimately
        involved with bigger councils outside of the Eastern Orthodox tree.

        You have to wonder if this sort of External Church Relations
        Department interaction could lead to an axe put to that tree by the
        hands of those claiming to lead within the Orthodox Church. One out
        of twelve can go bad from the beginning. Or do we not remember how
        St. Paul said that some were preaching unto his chains? Who else
        except those following the gospel according to Judas? Betrayal and
        denial are engraved on the External Church Relations Department of the
        Sovietized MP.

        >
        > This was an official delegation, headed by Archbishop Anthony of
        > Geneva, Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin), Protopriests Igor Troyanoff
        > and Alexander Troubnikoff-- with official Observer status.

        Observer status. Of course, and see above.

        >
        > They participated in all of the major "official" events, such as the
        > opening ceremonies in St. Peter's Cathedral, where they processed as
        > part of the Orthodox church representatives, and the official
        > receptions given to the "Orthodox sister churches" by the Pope.

        The Pope said it, but that didn't make it sisterly in fact.

        >
        > (This was actually quite interesting, because the Moscow Patriarchate
        > had also been invited, and sent a delegation headed by Metropolitan
        > Nikodim (Rotov). This was the first occasion where both a ROCOR and
        > an MP delegation participated side by side, representing the Russian
        > Church--which caused quite some interesting issues of protocol--order
        > in the procession, seating at the sessions, receptions and banquets,
        etc.)
        >
        > And all of this with the full blessing of the Council of Bishops of
        > the Church Abroad under Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret.


        When you need to know what's going on between the Vatican and the MP,
        and what changes are actually going to happen in Rome, you go
        yourself. When someone else controls the invitation list, you have no
        power over that. The degree of mischaracterization here is high.

        >
        > Another rarely-mentioned fact in the collaboration of the ROCOR with
        > the World Council of Churches and allied ecumenical organizations is
        > that all of the bishops and clergy of the ROCOR in Germany and
        > Austria received their salaries from the local Church World Service
        > of the WCC--throughout all of the time that Metropolitan Philaret was
        > First Hierarch. This continued virtually to the end of the 1990's.
        > Our parishes in Germany and Austria were able to exist only because
        > of the very significant subsidies received from the ecumenists-- for
        decades.
        >

        Virtually? It is especially telling that only the clergy in Germany
        and Austria received their salaries in this fashion since East Germany
        was a Soviet satellite at the time, and the Soviets had successfully
        crashed the WCC after which the socialist ideologies began flowing
        therein more rapidly. It is no coincidence, nor that the East German
        clergy were beholden to the Soviet influence up to the 90s, followed
        by rapid efforts by the MP to distinguish itself from the Soviets
        after that, presenting a harmless face to the WCC, and bearing fruit
        now by winning the status of hosts to the world's interreligious
        conference meeting.

        There is no doubt a larger agenda, the recommunion with the ROCOR of
        which is just a preliminary but necessary part. The more the MP is
        involved in unified international heterodox and non-Christian
        organizations, the more influence can be had through them to bring
        other Orthodox Christians you don't agree with into submission. For
        it is usually someone of your own camp Didn't we see this in a
        microcosm when the MP sicked the PLO security forces on the Hebron
        monastery? Yes.


        > One should also mention that the majority of members of the ROCOR who
        > emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other
        > countries from "Displaced Persons" camps in Germany and Austria had
        > their travel expenses paid by the ecumenical Church World Service--so
        > most of our older generation of parishioners (and clergy) -- are here
        > only because of ecumenical organizations outreach programs.

        "Only because" is an overstatement, however, it sounds like you are
        calling in a debt now ostensibly owed by the old timers to the
        ecumenical movement because of those days? And / or this is a reason
        to give a pass to the MP and its membership in the WCC now, as if we
        are talking about the same membership between eras? They differ
        significantly -- even starkly. For when they received help from any
        such heterodox organizations in the past, none had officially
        sanctioned homosexual clergy, bishops, or woman priests.

        On one hand the MP has supposed to evangelize the WCC, however now,
        one of its advocates is chastising the ROCOR members opposing
        ecumenism in a way that suggests the ecumenical movement today should
        be evangelizing the ROCOR instead when it is nowhere the same as then.

        Or do we remember the Holy Orthodox Church's stories of Muslim regimes
        throughout history offering hospitality and assistance if only the
        Christian would give up his or her stubborn adherence to the Orthodox
        faith and become a Muslim. But that only happened when Islam was also
        the government. And now, the Moscow Patriarchate, itself a Russian
        Federation entity as well as an ostensible Church organization, is
        coming to power again and asserting leveraging arguments in every area.

        It is especially incongruent to hear this argument about our ROCOR old
        timers from the same entity that presided over their forced relocation
        in life. But for the men currently in power in the MP, and their
        trainers and longtime benefactors, that forced relocation would not
        have been necessary. That is like a protection racket -- the thug who
        kicked you out of your house, when it becomes a powerful member of the
        landlord's ruling house, comes to you and argues that you owe
        gratitude to that house in the thug's name. So much for choices, so
        much for freedom, and so much for spiritual focus by the MP.

        >
        > Cooperation by the ROCOR continues with ecumenical organizations to
        > this day. The Russian Home for the Aged near the Strathfield
        > Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, is operated by the National Council
        > of Churches of Australia in close cooperation with our Diocese of the
        > Church Abroad. If there were no cooperation between the NCCA and the
        > ROCOR, thirty-five elderly ROCOR parishioners would have no home to
        > live in.

        And yet the MP has backed laws which ban activity by member churches
        that are involved in the NCC. And so, why would you argue that the
        ROCOR must express its gratitude for help now? Only because it is
        done in defense of the MP. Otherwise we would have heard such
        arguments earlier on. However, even then, gratitude could be
        expressed in other ways.

        >
        > So, it is completely false to depict the ROCOR as being historically
        > anti-ecumenical, while condemning the Moscow Patriarchate for
        > participating in the WCC.

        Completely -- more extremes. And, the above assertion does not
        properly characterize the ROCOR in its actions in the past.

        >
        > It was the Moscow Patriarchate which first condemned, on strict
        > Orthodox ecclesiological grounds, Orthodox participation in
        > ecumenical organizations and specifically, the WCC.


        "Strict Orthodox ecclesiological grounds" had no meaning in the Soviet
        MP of 1948. It is only smoke.


        > The Moscow Patriarchate joined the WCC only in 1961--when the ROCOR
        > had been involved in it and its precursor throughout all of the
        > previous decades since the 1920's -- and this cooperation continued,
        > especially in the area of having clergy salaries paid in Europe by
        > the WCC until just a few years ago.
        >
        > Condemning an organization while taking money from it would really be
        > the height of hypocrisy, wouldn't it?


        Again "involved" is a serious weasel word in this context as applied
        to the ROCOR, however, you have to say "joined" in reference to the
        MP. And the channeling of clergy salaries in Germany and Austria is a
        pretty narrow "involvement" which other churches also may have used.
        Who knows, the ROCOR may have even paid a fee for the service.


        > With love in Christ,
        >
        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >

        deferring to the love of Christ,
        Michael Woodson
      • Fr. John R. Shaw
        ... JRS: Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was not founded in 1948, but in 1930. The monks who founded the monastery (Frs. Panteleimon [Nizhnik], Joseph
        Message 3 of 26 , Aug 1 5:28 AM
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          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson" <singingmountains@...>
          wrote:

          > In fact, it seems that ROCOR hierarchs were holding out hope that the
          > Communists would be overthrown after WWII, and when it did not happen,
          > by 1948, Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was established,
          > according to St. John's history, p. 56.

          JRS: Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was not founded in 1948, but in 1930.

          The monks who founded the monastery (Frs. Panteleimon [Nizhnik], Joseph [Kolos] and
          hierodeacon Konstantin [Szwed] had not been happy with the monastic life at St. Tikhon's
          monastery in So. Canaan PA, and since land at that time was inexpensive in rural New York
          State, they bought 600 acres in Jordanville, NY.

          After the end of World War II, the brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev, which had been
          displaced from its home between the wars at Ladomirovo in the Carpathians, relocated to
          Jordanville.

          In 1948, Holy Trinity Seminary was established at the monastery.

          > "Strict Orthodox ecclesiological grounds" had no meaning in the Soviet
          > MP of 1948. It is only smoke.

          JRS: We are not living in 1948. This is 2006.

          If we could choose what year to live in, I am sure many people would migrate further back
          than 1948...

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw
        • Mike Woodson
          Yes, the Holy Trinity Seminary was opened in 1948 at Jordanville. That emphasizes the point all the more. It showed the need and committment to establish the
          Message 4 of 26 , Aug 1 6:04 AM
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            Yes, the Holy Trinity Seminary was opened in 1948 at Jordanville.

            That emphasizes the point all the more. It showed the need and
            committment to establish the free Church with a seminary to supply the
            ROCOR with priests who would nourish the faith and the people for the
            long haul.













            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
            <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
          • kseniya k
            what is ecumenism? can someone answer me? Oksana Mike Woodson wrote: Dear Rev. Protopriest Alexander: Surely you believe ecumenism
            Message 5 of 26 , Aug 1 7:57 AM
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              what is ecumenism? can someone answer me?
              Oksana

              Mike Woodson <singingmountains@...> wrote:
              Dear Rev. Protopriest Alexander:

              Surely you believe ecumenism is a good thing, since you advocate for
              the Moscow Patriarchate's position on many matters. The MP is a
              member of the WCC.

              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
              <lebedeff@...> wrote:
              >
              > In discussions regarding the MP and Ecumenism, many seem to be under
              > the impression that the MP was **always** involved in ecumenism, and
              > that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was **always**
              > staunchly against ecumenism and participation in the WCC.

              The assumption that debunking an absolute statement of "always"
              involved or against ecumenism, picks an aspect of the argument that
              isn't central to the argument, that is, its perfect continuity in
              time. And, it doesn't speak to the changes in circumstances in the
              subject, that is how the WCC was then, as opposed to now, the inroads
              into the WCC and its members made by communist sypathetic clergy, and
              other factors, such as the introduction of patently offensive
              doctrines to Christian Orthodoxy by the WCC itself, which would make
              participation noxious.

              > Nothing could be further from the truth.

              Nothing? Nothing at all?

              >
              > In fact, when the World Council of Churches was officially founded
              > in
              > 1948, the Moscow Patriarchate convened a Pan-Orthodox Council that
              > categorically rejected ecumenism and stated that participation in
              >the
              > WCC was incompatible with Orthodox ecclesiology.

              Translation: it was imcompatible with the re-emerging hardline
              communist ideology asserted over Russia and the other enslaved
              republics by the Communist party following the end of WWII.

              I will quote St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco on this point of
              history from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 33:

              "When it was necessary, the Soviet government took broad advantage of
              the patritotism of the Russian people and put itself forth as an
              authrentically Russian government; but the war had not even been
              finished when the Russian patriotic slogans were thrown out, the
              government put in the first place the international politics and aims
              of Communism, although for the time being it did not completely
              renounce historical Russian aims that were useful for it at that time."

              Indeed, Orthodox ecclesiology was irrelevant to the regime by 1948, as
              evidenced by St. John's following account of the actions, not the
              words, of the ruling party:

              "Again, permitting an increase in the influence of the army and its
              officers during the war, the Soviet government later separated itself
              from the generals who had become popular, and sent into exile many
              outstanding soldiers, declaring that the whole success of the war
              should be ascribed to the Communist Party."

              This means any religious pronouncements of the time were calculated to
              make the Moscow Patriarchate appear religiously correct when in fact
              the Communist Party was paranoid of the MP having contact with outside
              influences, WCC or otherwise.

              In fact, it seems that ROCOR hierarchs were holding out hope that the
              Communists would be overthrown after WWII, and when it did not happen,
              by 1948, Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville was established,
              according to St. John's history, p. 56.

              >
              > At that time, the ROCOR was actively involved with ecumenism, as it
              > had been since the 1920s, and during the entire time of the tenure of
              > Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy.

              Let's put this in context: the ROCOR's "involvment" was as an "observer."

              >
              > The ROCOR was a Charter Member of the original founding
              > organization--the precursor of the WCC and to this day one of its key
              > elements: The Committee on Faith and Order.
              >
              > The ROCOR Sobors of Bishops blessed participation by bishops and
              > clergy representatives at all of the meetings of the Faith and Order
              Commission.
              >

              A commission is one thing, a council another.

              > Even as late as 1951, the ROCOR sponsored a European sub-Assembly of
              > the WCC, held in Baden-Baden. You can see pictures of this assembly,
              > with ROCOR Archbishop Benedict and Bishop Alexander surrounded by the
              > usual WCC melange of Copts, Armenians, Anglicans, Methodists,
              > Lutherans, etc. in the official history of the ROCOR, published
              > during the time of Metropolitan Philaret in 1968 (the two-volume
              > Sollogub opus).

              And which sub-assembly was it. For what purpose? Were they on
              observer status? Where else would they gather information? Could
              they walk in and ask for access from any Western government? Not hardly.

              By 1951, Metropolitan Anastassy and the Synod of Bishops had moved to
              America, according to St. John's history. This is consistent with the
              racheting up of the Cold War by the Soviets, the drawing down from war
              and the cranking-up of clandestine KGB activity in Europe and through
              international organizations. I suspect that safety for the Synod of
              Bishops could not be guaranteed where they had been, and coming to the
              United States made sense for the long haul, considering the success of
              the Soviet regime in hardening itself once again to the reality that
              the people of faith had just saved its sorry artificial self again.

              >
              > There you can also see pictures of Ecumenical meetings with
              > Metropolitan Anthony participating in Serbia--especially meetings
              > with Anglicans. One can see the bishops of the ROCOR in ecumenical
              > dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican bishops.

              A very real illustration of how a picture is not worth a thousand words.

              >
              > Recently, someone claimed that there was an Ukaz of the ROCOR in 1953
              > banning all contact with the World Council of Churches.
              >
              > Why then do I have before me the Report to the Council of Bishops by
              > Protopriest George Grabbe, describing in detail his participation in
              > the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Evanston in
              > 1954? He was officially an observer, but was certainly officially
              > representing the Church Abroad.

              "Someone claimed," without more, doesn't tell us much. In any case,
              "any contact" could well be interpreted not to ban "observer" status.
              For example, one may observe an enemy force without having contact
              with it. The changing composition of the WCC, and the active efforts
              by the Soviets to infiltrate international organizations could well
              explain the changing nature of the WCC over time. There had been
              socialist ideologies which, even when WCC member churches and their
              missionaries held them in earnest or with good intentions, were
              exploited by the Soviet apparatus.

              >
              > And why is no one talking about the official delegation of the ROCOR
              > to the Second Vatican Council in Rome, at the invitation of Pope
              > John XXIII?

              The ROCOR sending a delegation would be the only way to find out what
              changes in the Roman Church were actually taking place without having
              to rely on the representations of others. I don't think it meant they
              were dancing with wolves with the Vatican in Australia or anything.
              Of that I'm confident.

              Also, let's compare sending a delegation to joining an extra-Church
              COUNCIL WITH the Vatican as the Moscow Patriarchate did. No obsever
              status, no sub-commission attendance, no nothing circumspect --
              wholesale, opportunistic joining of a Council other than that of the
              Orthodox Church. Again, the Orthodox Church is not enough for the
              Moscow Patriarchate -- it must have more -- it must be intimately
              involved with bigger councils outside of the Eastern Orthodox tree.

              You have to wonder if this sort of External Church Relations
              Department interaction could lead to an axe put to that tree by the
              hands of those claiming to lead within the Orthodox Church. One out
              of twelve can go bad from the beginning. Or do we not remember how
              St. Paul said that some were preaching unto his chains? Who else
              except those following the gospel according to Judas? Betrayal and
              denial are engraved on the External Church Relations Department of the
              Sovietized MP.

              >
              > This was an official delegation, headed by Archbishop Anthony of
              > Geneva, Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin), Protopriests Igor Troyanoff
              > and Alexander Troubnikoff-- with official Observer status.

              Observer status. Of course, and see above.

              >
              > They participated in all of the major "official" events, such as the
              > opening ceremonies in St. Peter's Cathedral, where they processed as
              > part of the Orthodox church representatives, and the official
              > receptions given to the "Orthodox sister churches" by the Pope.

              The Pope said it, but that didn't make it sisterly in fact.

              >
              > (This was actually quite interesting, because the Moscow Patriarchate
              > had also been invited, and sent a delegation headed by Metropolitan
              > Nikodim (Rotov). This was the first occasion where both a ROCOR and
              > an MP delegation participated side by side, representing the Russian
              > Church--which caused quite some interesting issues of protocol--order
              > in the procession, seating at the sessions, receptions and banquets,
              etc.)
              >
              > And all of this with the full blessing of the Council of Bishops of
              > the Church Abroad under Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret.

              When you need to know what's going on between the Vatican and the MP,
              and what changes are actually going to happen in Rome, you go
              yourself. When someone else controls the invitation list, you have no
              power over that. The degree of mischaracterization here is high.

              >
              > Another rarely-mentioned fact in the collaboration of the ROCOR with
              > the World Council of Churches and allied ecumenical organizations is
              > that all of the bishops and clergy of the ROCOR in Germany and
              > Austria received their salaries from the local Church World Service
              > of the WCC--throughout all of the time that Metropolitan Philaret was
              > First Hierarch. This continued virtually to the end of the 1990's.
              > Our parishes in Germany and Austria were able to exist only because
              > of the very significant subsidies received from the ecumenists-- for
              decades.
              >

              Virtually? It is especially telling that only the clergy in Germany
              and Austria received their salaries in this fashion since East Germany
              was a Soviet satellite at the time, and the Soviets had successfully
              crashed the WCC after which the socialist ideologies began flowing
              therein more rapidly. It is no coincidence, nor that the East German
              clergy were beholden to the Soviet influence up to the 90s, followed
              by rapid efforts by the MP to distinguish itself from the Soviets
              after that, presenting a harmless face to the WCC, and bearing fruit
              now by winning the status of hosts to the world's interreligious
              conference meeting.

              There is no doubt a larger agenda, the recommunion with the ROCOR of
              which is just a preliminary but necessary part. The more the MP is
              involved in unified international heterodox and non-Christian
              organizations, the more influence can be had through them to bring
              other Orthodox Christians you don't agree with into submission. For
              it is usually someone of your own camp Didn't we see this in a
              microcosm when the MP sicked the PLO security forces on the Hebron
              monastery? Yes.

              > One should also mention that the majority of members of the ROCOR who
              > emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other
              > countries from "Displaced Persons" camps in Germany and Austria had
              > their travel expenses paid by the ecumenical Church World Service--so
              > most of our older generation of parishioners (and clergy) -- are here
              > only because of ecumenical organizations outreach programs.

              "Only because" is an overstatement, however, it sounds like you are
              calling in a debt now ostensibly owed by the old timers to the
              ecumenical movement because of those days? And / or this is a reason
              to give a pass to the MP and its membership in the WCC now, as if we
              are talking about the same membership between eras? They differ
              significantly -- even starkly. For when they received help from any
              such heterodox organizations in the past, none had officially
              sanctioned homosexual clergy, bishops, or woman priests.

              On one hand the MP has supposed to evangelize the WCC, however now,
              one of its advocates is chastising the ROCOR members opposing
              ecumenism in a way that suggests the ecumenical movement today should
              be evangelizing the ROCOR instead when it is nowhere the same as then.

              Or do we remember the Holy Orthodox Church's stories of Muslim regimes
              throughout history offering hospitality and assistance if only the
              Christian would give up his or her stubborn adherence to the Orthodox
              faith and become a Muslim. But that only happened when Islam was also
              the government. And now, the Moscow Patriarchate, itself a Russian
              Federation entity as well as an ostensible Church organization, is
              coming to power again and asserting leveraging arguments in every area.

              It is especially incongruent to hear this argument about our ROCOR old
              timers from the same entity that presided over their forced relocation
              in life. But for the men currently in power in the MP, and their
              trainers and longtime benefactors, that forced relocation would not
              have been necessary. That is like a protection racket -- the thug who
              kicked you out of your house, when it becomes a powerful member of the
              landlord's ruling house, comes to you and argues that you owe
              gratitude to that house in the thug's name. So much for choices, so
              much for freedom, and so much for spiritual focus by the MP.

              >
              > Cooperation by the ROCOR continues with ecumenical organizations to
              > this day. The Russian Home for the Aged near the Strathfield
              > Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, is operated by the National Council
              > of Churches of Australia in close cooperation with our Diocese of the
              > Church Abroad. If there were no cooperation between the NCCA and the
              > ROCOR, thirty-five elderly ROCOR parishioners would have no home to
              > live in.

              And yet the MP has backed laws which ban activity by member churches
              that are involved in the NCC. And so, why would you argue that the
              ROCOR must express its gratitude for help now? Only because it is
              done in defense of the MP. Otherwise we would have heard such
              arguments earlier on. However, even then, gratitude could be
              expressed in other ways.

              >
              > So, it is completely false to depict the ROCOR as being historically
              > anti-ecumenical, while condemning the Moscow Patriarchate for
              > participating in the WCC.

              Completely -- more extremes. And, the above assertion does not
              properly characterize the ROCOR in its actions in the past.

              >
              > It was the Moscow Patriarchate which first condemned, on strict
              > Orthodox ecclesiological grounds, Orthodox participation in
              > ecumenical organizations and specifically, the WCC.

              "Strict Orthodox ecclesiological grounds" had no meaning in the Soviet
              MP of 1948. It is only smoke.

              > The Moscow Patriarchate joined the WCC only in 1961--when the ROCOR
              > had been involved in it and its precursor throughout all of the
              > previous decades since the 1920's -- and this cooperation continued,
              > especially in the area of having clergy salaries paid in Europe by
              > the WCC until just a few years ago.
              >
              > Condemning an organization while taking money from it would really be
              > the height of hypocrisy, wouldn't it?

              Again "involved" is a serious weasel word in this context as applied
              to the ROCOR, however, you have to say "joined" in reference to the
              MP. And the channeling of clergy salaries in Germany and Austria is a
              pretty narrow "involvement" which other churches also may have used.
              Who knows, the ROCOR may have even paid a fee for the service.

              > With love in Christ,
              >
              > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >

              deferring to the love of Christ,
              Michael Woodson






              ---------------------------------
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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Mike Woodson
              Dear Oksana, The meaning of ecumenical is positive, in the sense of the First Ecumenical Council, that is, the universal Orthodox Church of Christ. Here, in
              Message 6 of 26 , Aug 4 6:39 AM
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                Dear Oksana,

                The meaning of ecumenical is positive, in the sense of the First
                Ecumenical Council, that is, the universal Orthodox Church of Christ.

                Here, in discussions about involvement between Moscow and the WCC and
                the interreligious body it recently hosted, ecumenism is the movement
                toward unity between non-Orthodox Christian churches (heterodox) or
                non-Christian faiths, and the Orthodox Church of Christ at the cost of
                Orthodoxy in Christ. Some part or more of what makes the Orthodox
                Christian Church Orthodox goes by the wayside to close the deal on
                ecumenical unity. It also has the sense of a marriage of Israel with
                other gods.

                The problem as I understand this is that "a little leaven leaveneth
                the whole lump," when it comes to introducing compromises while
                entrusted with the Way, Truth and Life by the Church militant on
                earth, in her Orthodox tradition, scriptural rendering, and especially
                the precise path of spirituality which has at great cost over the
                thousands of years been expressed through the shedding of tears, sweat
                and blood to resist sin, to repent of it, and to replace it with the
                Orthodox Way of Christ.

                And so, as has been the case with many terms with a standard in them
                implied, "ecumenism" implies a standard of old, however, the
                conditions of the standard, i.e. universal Christ among us, if they
                fail, also cause the standard in the definition to fail. False
                universality of life in Christ is not universality of life in Christ.

                That's my limited understanding of ecumenism and the difference
                between the way it is treated in the ecumenical movement versus the
                Orthodox Church of Christ.

                Why would people be so stubborn about this? Because as we see, the
                world is not any tamer a sea, and the Ark was built to last, not to
                spring leaks and mix the salt water with the drinking water below and
                thereby driving the crew and the passengers mad, or alternatively,
                kill them with spiritual thirst over the long voyage of this life.

                I'd waited to answer your question in hopes a member of the clergy
                might write in first, but my post was quoted and so it appears you
                asked me. Apologies in advance for the long-winded answer.

                Glory to God.

                Michael


                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, kseniya k
                <city_girl_in_jeans@...> wrote:
                >
                > what is ecumenism? can someone answer me?
                > Oksana
              • kseniya k
                thank you, Michael. Oksana Mike Woodson wrote: Dear Oksana, The meaning of ecumenical is positive, in the sense of the First
                Message 7 of 26 , Aug 4 7:49 AM
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                  thank you, Michael.
                  Oksana

                  Mike Woodson <singingmountains@...> wrote:
                  Dear Oksana,

                  The meaning of ecumenical is positive, in the sense of the First
                  Ecumenical Council, that is, the universal Orthodox Church of Christ.

                  Here, in discussions about involvement between Moscow and the WCC and
                  the interreligious body it recently hosted, ecumenism is the movement
                  toward unity between non-Orthodox Christian churches (heterodox) or
                  non-Christian faiths, and the Orthodox Church of Christ at the cost of
                  Orthodoxy in Christ. Some part or more of what makes the Orthodox
                  Christian Church Orthodox goes by the wayside to close the deal on
                  ecumenical unity. It also has the sense of a marriage of Israel with
                  other gods.

                  The problem as I understand this is that "a little leaven leaveneth
                  the whole lump," when it comes to introducing compromises while
                  entrusted with the Way, Truth and Life by the Church militant on
                  earth, in her Orthodox tradition, scriptural rendering, and especially
                  the precise path of spirituality which has at great cost over the
                  thousands of years been expressed through the shedding of tears, sweat
                  and blood to resist sin, to repent of it, and to replace it with the
                  Orthodox Way of Christ.

                  And so, as has been the case with many terms with a standard in them
                  implied, "ecumenism" implies a standard of old, however, the
                  conditions of the standard, i.e. universal Christ among us, if they
                  fail, also cause the standard in the definition to fail. False
                  universality of life in Christ is not universality of life in Christ.

                  That's my limited understanding of ecumenism and the difference
                  between the way it is treated in the ecumenical movement versus the
                  Orthodox Church of Christ.

                  Why would people be so stubborn about this? Because as we see, the
                  world is not any tamer a sea, and the Ark was built to last, not to
                  spring leaks and mix the salt water with the drinking water below and
                  thereby driving the crew and the passengers mad, or alternatively,
                  kill them with spiritual thirst over the long voyage of this life.

                  I'd waited to answer your question in hopes a member of the clergy
                  might write in first, but my post was quoted and so it appears you
                  asked me. Apologies in advance for the long-winded answer.

                  Glory to God.

                  Michael

                  --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, kseniya k
                  <city_girl_in_jeans@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > what is ecumenism? can someone answer me?
                  > Oksana






                  ---------------------------------
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Aleksandr Andreev
                  Mike Woodson writes: Here, in discussions about involvement between Moscow and the WCC and the interreligious body it recently hosted, ecumenism is the
                  Message 8 of 26 , Aug 4 7:24 PM
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                    Mike Woodson writes:
                    "Here, in discussions about involvement between Moscow and the WCC and
                    the interreligious body it recently hosted, ecumenism is the movement
                    toward unity between non-Orthodox Christian churches (heterodox) or
                    non-Christian faiths, and the Orthodox Church of Christ at the cost of
                    Orthodoxy in Christ."

                    "Ecumenism" is one of the most frequently used, and misused, terms in
                    the Orthodox world. I think that it's important to distinguish between:

                    a. "Ecumenism" per se, that is, a belief that either the whole truth
                    does not exist in one "confession" or "denomination", and that the whole
                    truth can be re-established by bringing together different "confessions"
                    or "denominations"; or, a belief that dogmatic differences are
                    unimportant and should be ignored. I once met a guy on campus who told
                    me he didn't believe in creeds because creeds divide people.

                    b. "Pluralism", that is, an understanding that multiple religions exist,
                    and casting aside debate over truth and falsity, learning to cooperate
                    between religions. (because, quite frankly, any unbiased observer can
                    conclude which religion is true. The problem is, there are few unbiased
                    observers.)

                    The point of the latest inter-religious assembly, which gathered in
                    Moscow before the G8 summit was clearly not "ecumenical" but
                    "pluralistic". The point was to let G8 leaders know that religious
                    people are in the world, that they're active, and that political leaders
                    should consider their views. The point was also to discuss common
                    problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these are
                    noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secular world,
                    religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next time
                    politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we have
                    to say about it.

                    But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held in
                    the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
                    hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
                    delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
                    what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious violence
                    until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
                    didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.

                    +Aleks

                    ---------------
                    Aleksandr Andreev
                    Duke University
                    aleksandr.andreev@...
                    http://www.duke.edu/~aa63/
                  • Mike Woodson
                    Dear Aleks, ... whole ... confessions ... The above definition is ecumenism from the heterodox perspective. Heterodoxy is its premise, or and ecumenism is
                    Message 9 of 26 , Aug 6 12:57 AM
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                      Dear Aleks,



                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Aleksandr Andreev
                      <aleksandr.andreev@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > "Ecumenism" is one of the most frequently used, and misused, terms in
                      > the Orthodox world. I think that it's important to distinguish
                      between:
                      >
                      > a. "Ecumenism" per se, that is, a belief that either the whole truth
                      > does not exist in one "confession" or "denomination", and that the
                      whole
                      > truth can be re-established by bringing together different
                      "confessions"
                      > or "denominations"; or, a belief that dogmatic differences are
                      > unimportant and should be ignored. I once met a guy on campus who told
                      > me he didn't believe in creeds because creeds divide people.

                      The above definition is ecumenism from the heterodox perspective.
                      Heterodoxy is its premise, or and ecumenism is heterodoxy's
                      self-fulfilling prophecy which it would like the Orthodox Christian
                      Churches to adopt. They would call this "reconciliation" with the
                      Orthodox Church.

                      > b. "Pluralism", that is, an understanding that multiple religions
                      exist,
                      > and casting aside debate over truth and falsity, learning to cooperate
                      > between religions. (because, quite frankly, any unbiased observer can
                      > conclude which religion is true. The problem is, there are few
                      unbiased
                      > observers.)

                      According to one definition of pluralism
                      <http://www.bartelby.com/61/45/P0384500.html> , cooperation is not the
                      standard of pluralism, but tolerance. Tolerance does not necessarily
                      equal cooperation. And another definition holds that there can be no
                      monolithic (singular) explanation of all that is, that is, no universal
                      theory, which parallels ecumenism as you've defined it above.

                      > The point of the latest inter-religious assembly, which gathered in
                      > Moscow before the G8 summit was clearly not "ecumenical" but
                      > "pluralistic". The point was to let G8 leaders know that religious
                      > people are in the world, that they're active, and that political
                      leaders
                      > should consider their views. The point was also to discuss common
                      > problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these
                      are
                      > noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secular
                      world,
                      > religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next time
                      > politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we
                      have
                      > to say about it.

                      from the Moscow Summit Religious Statement
                      <http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=45156> (my emphases
                      with underlines):

                      "Our communities are also ready to develop dialogue with the adherents
                      of non-religious views, with politicians, with all civil society
                      structures, with international organizations. It is our hope that such a
                      dialogue continues, permitting religions to contribute to concord and
                      understanding among nations, a common home founded on the truth, built
                      according to justice, vivified by love and liberty. This dialogue should
                      be conducted on an equal footing, in a responsible way and on a regular
                      basis, with openness to any themes, without ideological prejudice. We
                      believe that the time has come for a more systemic partnership of
                      religious leaders with the United Nations."

                      And:

                      "We need to build a world order which combines democracy - as the way of
                      harmonizing different interests and as people's participation in
                      national and global decision-making - and respect to the moral feeling,
                      way of life, various legal and political systems, and national and
                      religious traditions of people."

                      > But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held
                      in
                      > the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
                      > hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
                      > delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
                      > what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious
                      violence
                      > until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
                      > didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.

                      We could revisit this last paragraph later.

                      >
                      > +Aleks
                      >
                      Thanks, Aleks.

                      Mike W.



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Mike Woodson
                      Hello again Aleks, Pluralism is also a governing theory. It suggests that groups govern, not the people in their diversity as individuals. The implication:
                      Message 10 of 26 , Aug 7 1:10 AM
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                        Hello again Aleks,

                        Pluralism is also a governing theory. It suggests that groups govern,
                        not the people in their diversity as individuals. The implication:
                        those who organize into blocs will win over individuals in the battle to
                        be arbiters of resources. The blocs that plague individual freedom,
                        both from sin and from government, are called parties, or, worse, The
                        Party. For it is in these organized blocs that the most venal,
                        ambitious and power seeking passions may be found, which move to
                        isolate, discredit or defeat all dissenters from the Party in power.
                        The best sort of government for people subject to the temptations of
                        power is one with lots of checks and balances.

                        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Aleksandr Andreev
                        <aleksandr.andreev@...> wrote:
                        > The point of the latest inter-religious assembly, which gathered in
                        > Moscow before the G8 summit was clearly not "ecumenical" but
                        > "pluralistic". The point was to let G8 leaders know that religious
                        > people are in the world, that they're active, and that political
                        leaders
                        > should consider their views.

                        Or else, what? They will strike out as power brokers over billions of
                        religious persons all over the globe and instruct the faithful to
                        overthrow or vote-out the governments that disagree with them? If once
                        such an interreligious body of leaders exercises the shared political
                        power of a new entity, do you think it will disband when it achieves a
                        few objectives? Or will it find the power more and more alluring,
                        seeking entrenchment and expansion?

                        Should any Church that names the name of Christ seek out such worldly
                        power? Is that what the Lord Jesus Christ sought? Did he accept it
                        even when it was set before him as a temptation by the devil in the
                        wilderness? And so what should Orthodox Christian clergy, even the holy
                        hierarchs, do? Organize and join a world interreligious organization to
                        keep from being "left out"? Or commune in their hearts with the Church
                        triumphant and wait on the Lord Jesus Christ to come establish the
                        government to end all governments, that is, the self-government of the
                        Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, or God Is Love?

                        > The point was also to discuss common
                        > problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these
                        are
                        > noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secular
                        world,
                        > religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next time
                        > politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we
                        have
                        > to say about it.

                        As a political bloc? When Pilate was about to order the scourging and
                        crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ and he asked the Lord if he knew
                        that he (Pilate) had the power to release him or send him to his death,
                        the Lord answered Pilate in a way that ministered to Pilate's need to be
                        healed of pride -- He said, " you would not have the power unless it
                        had been given to you from on high." And the Lord did not even say,
                        "unless I had given it to you," even though He could have said so. How
                        great He Is in His Lordly humility.

                        > But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held
                        in
                        > the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
                        > hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
                        > delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
                        > what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious
                        violence
                        > until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
                        > didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.

                        Not at all. Russia is a fine place to hold a G8 Summit in and of
                        itself. What is disappointing is that those whose careers enforced the
                        dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia remain in positions of power
                        that they have never even tried to relinquish as a repentance. Worse,
                        they now reach out to expand their influence to international political
                        affairs, using the Church as a vehicle and leveraging tool. And yet the
                        Lord said that His Kingdom was not of this world.

                        As for Russia not exterminating, not doing religious violence to, and
                        not forcibly converting anyone before the revolution in 1917 I will
                        defer to your expertise in making that statement, however, I would ask
                        you: what is a Pogrom other than a clap of thunder?

                        Remember what St. John Maximovitch envisioned as the repentance of those
                        in the Moscow Patriarchate who collaborated with pain and reservations
                        with the Soviet monstrosity. He wrote:

                        "The Lord God, Who preserved seven thousand men who did not bend the
                        knee
                        to Baal in the days of Elias, today also has a multitude of His servants
                        who secretly serve and pray to Him throughout the whole expanse of the
                        Russian Land. Even among the hieararchs outwardly subject to the Soviet
                        Regime, many are inwardly tormented by this; when the opportunity comes,
                        they will act according to the example of those at the Council of
                        Chalcedon who declared with tears that they had given their signatures
                        at the Robber Council under coercion, following the example of the Most
                        Holy Patriarch Paul, who was tortured by his conscience and took the
                        Schema in recognition of his weakness under the Iconoclasts."
                        --from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 37.

                        And when the wondrous St. John said St. Paul took on the Schema, what is
                        the story behind that? Read here:

                        "For, when the most holy Patriarch Paul, by the divine will, was about
                        to be liberated from the bands of mortality and to exchange his earthly
                        pilgrimage for a heavenly home with his Master Christ, he abdicated the
                        Patriarchate and took upon him the monastic life, and when we asked
                        him, Why hast thou done this? he answered, Because I fear that, if
                        death should surprise me still in the episcopate of this royal and
                        heaven-defended city, I should have to carry with me the anathema of
                        the whole Catholic Church, which consigns me to that outer darkness
                        which is prepared for the devil and his angels; for they say that a
                        certain synod hath been held here in order to the subversion of
                        pictures and images which the Catholic Church holds, embraces, and
                        receives, in memory of the persons whom they represent. This is that
                        which distracts my soul -- this is that which makes me anxiously to
                        enquire how I may escape the judgment of God -- since among such men I
                        have been brought up and with such am I numbered. No sooner had he thus
                        spoken in the presence of some of our most illustrious nobles than he
                        expired." --from The Imperial Sacra. Read at the First Session. (Found
                        in Labbe
                        and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 49.) page 531, with permission
                        from Medieval Sourcebook: The Second Council of Nicea, 787 AD
                        <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html
                        <http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html> > .


                        This post is too long, and that, by an unworthy sinner.

                        Glory to God in the highest.

                        Michael



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • antiquariu@aol.com
                        In a message dated 8/7/2006 8:49:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, singingmountains@yahoo.com writes: But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit
                        Message 11 of 26 , Aug 7 6:46 AM
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                          In a message dated 8/7/2006 8:49:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                          singingmountains@... writes:

                          But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held
                          in
                          > the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
                          > hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
                          > delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
                          > what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious
                          violence
                          > until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
                          > didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.






                          Aleks, making statements like the above seriously compromises your
                          credibility. The one thing you can say about the Romanovs, since the accession of
                          Mikhail Feodorovich, is that they have gone out of their way to ruthlessly
                          suppress and exterminate Russia's native populations, they just haven't been
                          terribly successful at it. It has nothing to do with some type of religious point
                          of view. It's sort of a Russian tradition: Bulgars -- hey, we even have a
                          saint called "The Bulgar Slayer", Koryaks, Chukchi, Itelmen, most of the
                          Central Asian states (remember the sieges of the Khanate of Bukhara? And the
                          reason that the Russians have such major problems in Chechnya today is because
                          they have been ruthlessly hunting Chechens for more than 300 years. Stalin,
                          like Hitler, just perfected technique.


                          Vova H.


                          Thankyou for your translation workorder! ALS appreciates the opportunity to
                          serve. Please come visit us at our corporate headquarters in the heart of
                          Virginia's beautiful Hunt Country.

                          Sincerely,

                          Werner Saemmler-Hindrichs
                          Director of Operations
                          ALS, Inc!

                          "Your global language solution!"

                          Salem House
                          Marshall, VA 20115
                          1-540-364-9041
                          1-703-832-0692 24 hour fax


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • goossir
                          For your information: 03 August 2006, 17:32 Alexy II highly appreciates Cardinal Willebrands work for Orthodox- Catholic relations Moscow, August 3, Interfax
                          Message 12 of 26 , Aug 7 8:14 AM
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                            For your information:

                            03 August 2006, 17:32
                            Alexy II highly appreciates Cardinal Willebrands' work for Orthodox-
                            Catholic relations

                            Moscow, August 3, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All
                            Russia extended condolences to Pope Benedict XVI over the death of
                            Cardinal Johannes Willebrands.

                            'I was grieved to learn about the death of Cardinal Johannes
                            Willebrands, one of the oldest prelates of the Roman Catholic Church,
                            with whom I was thoroughly acquainted. I would like to express my
                            sincere condolences to you and all those who knew this outstanding
                            church leader', the patriarch says in his message to the head of the
                            Vatican.

                            The primate of the Russian Church noted that Cardinal Willebrands was
                            well known and respected in the Orthodox world.

                            'A participant in Vatican II, gifted theologian and diplomat, he made
                            an invaluable contribution to the development of Orthodox-Catholic
                            dialogue', the patriarch stressed.

                            Throughout his long life, Cardinal Willebrands 'selflessly served his
                            flock and the cause of Christian unity, the establishment of good
                            relations among believers in Christ in the spirit of brotherly love',
                            reads the message whose text has been communicated by the Orthodox
                            Encyclopedia research center on Thursday.

                            Dutch by origin, Johannes Willebrands was born in September 1909,
                            ordained in 1934 and consecrated to bishop in 1960. That same year,
                            he was appointed secretary of the Council for Promoting Christian
                            Unity, a new body established by Pope John XXIII. In 1969, he was
                            made its president and remained in this office till December 1989.
                          • Fr. John R. Shaw
                            ... JRS: I see no harm in saying kind words about the dead. Dancing on somebody s grave, because they weren t Orthodox, is not going to win us any converts. In
                            Message 13 of 26 , Aug 7 1:25 PM
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                              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "goossir" <irene.goossens@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > For your information:
                              >
                              > 03 August 2006, 17:32
                              > Alexy II highly appreciates Cardinal Willebrands' work for Orthodox-
                              > Catholic relations

                              JRS: I see no harm in saying kind words about the dead. Dancing on somebody's grave,
                              because they weren't Orthodox, is not going to win us any converts.

                              In Christ
                              Fr. John R. Shaw
                            • Aleksandr Andreev
                              Vova H writes: The one thing you can say about the Romanovs, since the accession of Mikhail Feodorovich, is that they have gone out of their way to
                              Message 14 of 26 , Aug 7 8:26 PM
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                                "Vova H" writes:
                                "The one thing you can say about the Romanovs, since the accession of
                                Mikhail Feodorovich, is that they have gone out of their way to ruthlessly
                                suppress and exterminate Russia's native populations, they just haven't been
                                terribly successful at it."

                                Please present evidence to back up this statement.

                                The only group that has been "suppressed" as government policy were the
                                Old-Believers, primarily for political reasons, because the Russian government
                                perceived them as a security threat. At one point, that perception was
                                probably
                                justified, given that many Old-Believer groups were opposed to the government.
                                However, under Nicholas II, that policy was reversed.

                                No "native populations" in Imperial Russia were ever "suppressed", much less
                                "exterminated", as our interlocutor claims. There were no reservations, there
                                was no analogue to "Indian wars", there were no exterminations, and there were
                                no forced conversions to or from a religion. Those ethnic groups which
                                converted to Orthodoxy, like the Mordva, Ossetiny, &c, did so of free will.
                                Those who remained Muslim, Buddhist, or pagan, did so freely. Hence, Russia
                                still has substantial Muslim, Buddhist, and pagan populations.

                                The seiges of Khiva and Boukhara under Aleksandr II were political
                                moves, aimed
                                at counterbalancing growing British influence in Central Asia. Note that the
                                Khans of Khiva and Boukhara remained in power, simply reckognizing the
                                authority of St Petersburg, and that the populations remained Muslim.

                                As for the war in the Caucasus, ask any Ossetin or Ingush about the Chechens.
                                There was no Russian policy to exterminate Chechens, only a policy to defend
                                innocent people (many of them non-ethnic Russian) from ruthless bums.

                                Most (if not all) of the ethnic problems in modern Russia are the creation of
                                Lenin, Stalin, and communist ethnic ideology.

                                On Russian relations with ethnic minorities, I recommend reading N. Ya.
                                Danilevskiy, Rossiya i Evropa.

                                +Aleks

                                ---------
                                Aleksandr A Andreev
                                Duke University
                                aleksandr.andreev@...
                                http://www.duke.edu/~aa63/
                              • antiquariu@aol.com
                                In a message dated 8/7/2006 11:29:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, aleksandr.andreev@duke.edu writes: Vova H writes: The one thing you can say about the
                                Message 15 of 26 , Aug 7 10:56 PM
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                                  In a message dated 8/7/2006 11:29:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                  aleksandr.andreev@... writes:

                                  Vova H" writes:
                                  "The one thing you can say about the Romanovs, since the accession of
                                  Mikhail Feodorovich, is that they have gone out of their way to ruthlessly
                                  suppress and exterminate Russia's native populations, they just haven't been
                                  terribly successful at it."

                                  Please present evidence to back up this statement.



                                  The only group that has been "suppressed" as government policy were the
                                  Old-Believers, primarily for political reasons, because the Russian
                                  government
                                  perceived them as a security threat. At one point, that perception was
                                  probably justified, given that many Old-Believer groups were opposed to the
                                  government.
                                  However, under Nicholas II, that policy was reversed.

                                  No "native populations" in Imperial Russia were ever "suppressed"No "native
                                  "exterminated""exterminated"<WBR>, as our interlocutor claims. There were no
                                  was no analogue to "Indian wars",
                                  No, they were just Uncle-Tommed out. It was specific Imperial policy to
                                  categorize the native population as "inorodtsy" (different from us. . . ).
                                  There's your analogue.


                                  According to Akademiya Nauk anthropologist B. Dolgikh, Russians started the
                                  elimination of the Yukaghir and the Koryak in 1635. Study of the Yukaghir is
                                  indicative. The initial aim was to collect tribute in the form of sable furs
                                  from the native people and to build fortified towns along the banks of the
                                  River Yana. From there, they proceeded to the Indigirka, and then on to other
                                  areas. The Kolyma Valley was settled around 1643. The new settlers built
                                  towns to facilitate the collecting of tributes from the local inhabitants. The
                                  towns also served as places to keep hostages. Special detention houses were
                                  filled with hostages, held in order to force their relatives to bring in more
                                  pelts. Approximately 6 % of the adult males were permanently kept hostage.
                                  However, the Russians realized that this reduced the number of able-bodied
                                  hunters, so toward the end of the 17th century the system was changed and, instead
                                  of prime males, youngsters were detained. The mortality rate was high. The
                                  anthropologist B. Dolgikh considers hostage-taking to be one reason for drastic
                                  decrease in the Yukaghir population following the Russian invasion. The
                                  Russians managed to put a strain on relations between the Chukchi, the Koryak and
                                  the Yukaghir people. Among Russian officials there was competition for the
                                  right to collect tribute from the local people. The result was that some of
                                  the tribes had to pay tribute and supply hostages twice or more. Resistance
                                  was punished by wives and children being taken captive. Thus in the 17th
                                  century a lot of Yukaghir women were in the hands of Russian officials and
                                  traders. Dolgikh claims that between 1770 and 1780, for example, approximately 10 %
                                  of Yukaghir women of marrying age lived with officials and traders. The
                                  imbalance between the number of men and women, warfare, intermingling with
                                  neighboring peoples and the smallpox epidemics which ravaged Yakutia in 1657,
                                  1659--1660 and 1691--1692, all contributed to a marked decline in the Yukaghir
                                  population. While in the mid-17th century the Yukaghir numbered approximately
                                  4,700, by the 1680s the population had fallen to 3,700 and by the end of the
                                  century the number was 2,600 (B. Dolgikh). Thousands of people continued to fall
                                  victim to venereal diseases and frequent famines and in 1861 there were only
                                  1,000 Yukaghir in the province of Yakutia. In the 17th century the invaders
                                  did not have time to put ideological pressure on the Yukaghir or any other
                                  native people of Siberia. Conversions to the Russian Orthodox religion were
                                  random (The Yukaghir were given a drink and, when drunk, were made to cross
                                  themselves). Systematic conversions began in the early 18th century after a
                                  church had been built in the fort of Zashiver, on the Indigirka.So, holding
                                  hostages and forcing high mortality sounds pretty bad to me. The Yukaghir, who
                                  once blanketed eastern SIberia, are now down to less than 500 people. I give
                                  you your Indians.

                                  there were no exterminations, and there were no forced conversions to or
                                  from a religion. Those ethnic groups which converted to Orthodoxy, like the
                                  Mordva, Ossetiny, &c, did so of free will. Those who remained Muslim, Buddhist,
                                  or pagan, did so freely. Hence, Russia still has substantial Muslim,
                                  Buddhist, and pagan populations.

                                  Free will? You're serious? That's why Kaufmann and Bogolyubov had large
                                  cadre of priests with them when the invading armies pulled out of Orenburg?
                                  According to Bororas (Ak. Nauk), the eastern Siberian tribes were so upset at
                                  Russian efforts that they banded together for the purpose of squashing
                                  whatever Russian military influence could be brought to bear on them. That is why
                                  the Koryak are one of the few nationalities who retained their ethnic identity
                                  even beyond Stalin.

                                  And although this remark will get me in trouble, let's talk about Orthodoxy
                                  in Alaska. It's significant that Orthodoxy never spread among the Indians in
                                  Alaska and California, despite a major Russian presence. Why: the Aleut
                                  cosmology at time of contact had plenty of creation myth and death rite
                                  symbology which had orthodox parallels. So, Aleut conversions, no problem. The
                                  Tlingit continued attacking until 1867. The California Indians essentially
                                  ignored the Russians, as did the Haida and the Tsimshian. For what its worth,
                                  the latter two had no problem with Sheldon Jackson.





                                  The seiges of Khiva and Boukhara under Aleksandr II were political
                                  moves, aimed at counterbalancing growing British influence in Central Asia.
                                  Let's see if I understand this -- where were the thousands of British troops
                                  in Central Asia? There were none.



                                  Note that the Khans of Khiva and Boukhara remained in power, simply
                                  reckognizing the authority of St Petersburg, and that the populations remained
                                  Muslim.
                                  Really? Is this why Khokand disappeared? And why the entire Shakhriyabz
                                  valley was suppressed, vacated, and opened for Russian settlement - even with a
                                  new name - Ferghana. And seeing how Russian adventurism in Central Asia
                                  started in the 17th century, why blame the Brits? Yes, two of the three
                                  Khanates survived as vassal states, but the die were cast: the locals could not
                                  stand Russians, and revolted every time they got the chance, all the way to the
                                  1905 revolution and then the October revolution. Don't forget the Sufi
                                  revolt of 1898 (that would be Mohammad Ali Khalfa) who called for jihad against
                                  the Russians, not suppressed until practically the entire party was put to
                                  death. Then the draft board riots and stripping of autonomy in 1898, 1905, and
                                  1916. 1905 also saw the rise of the Jadid, who were also suppressed by
                                  shipping out to the Dal'nyj Vostok by the Gossudar, but that bit him later, when
                                  they returned in 1917 only too happy to serve the Commies.



                                  As for the war in the Caucasus, ask any Ossetin or Ingush about the
                                  Chechens.
                                  There was no Russian policy to exterminate Chechens, only a policy to defend
                                  innocent people (many of them non-ethnic Russian) from ruthless bums.



                                  Not so simple. A lot of these innocent people don't want to be defended by
                                  Russians. The Caucasus Wars went from 1817 to 1864, and the one thing we can
                                  say about all of them is that the Russians got their clocks cleaned. Those
                                  innocent people hated their defenders so much that widespread guerilla
                                  warfare (not just from Chechens) continued for almost a half century, and at least
                                  from the viewpoint of Western historians, is the single cause of the problems
                                  in the Caucasus today. Read your own national poets (Pushkin, and
                                  Shevchenko, although he's a Ukie). Fact is, Russians were in the Caucasus for the
                                  same reason Americans were on the 48th parallel - Manifest Destiny. It's just
                                  that the local populations were defeated. Could that be why Shamil is still
                                  considered a hero in the area today?


                                  Most (if not all) of the ethnic problems in modern Russia are the creation
                                  of
                                  Lenin, Stalin, and communist ethnic ideology.
                                  And they go back to the Messianic attitude (similar to the Brits' "White
                                  Man's Burden") of the Russians, in assuming that the entire Asian landmass was
                                  waiting for that infusion of Russian kulchur...



                                  On Russian relations with ethnic minorities, I recommend reading N. Ya.
                                  Danilevskiy, Rossiya i Evropa.





                                  Yessir, I'll get right on it. Sorry Professor, there are more sides to
                                  Russian history than one.

                                  Vova H.


                                  Thankyou for your translation workorder! ALS appreciates the opportunity to
                                  serve. Please come visit us at our corporate headquarters in the heart of
                                  Virginia's beautiful Hunt Country.

                                  Sincerely,

                                  Werner Saemmler-Hindrichs
                                  Director of Operations
                                  ALS, Inc!

                                  "Your global language solution!"

                                  Salem House
                                  Marshall, VA 20115
                                  1-540-364-9041
                                  1-703-832-0692 24 hour fax


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Basil Yakimov
                                  Dear ALL, See below the attachment in Russian - Father Alexander wrote before he bacame an advocate for the post soviet MP... Indeed it is very interesting
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Aug 9 4:25 PM
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                                    Dear ALL,

                                    See below the attachment in Russian - Father Alexander wrote before he
                                    bacame an advocate for the post soviet MP... Indeed it is very interesting
                                    reading , to say the least... it has now been translated...

                                    S Bogom!

                                    protodeacon Basil from Canberra


                                    "The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement Today

                                    Protopriest Alexander Lebedev

                                    Ecumenism is a terrible spiritual illness which has currently infected
                                    almost all Local Orthodox Churches. If we recall, that it was namely
                                    ecumenism which was the main reason for introducing the pernicious new
                                    calendar which destroyed not only the liturgical unity of the Orthodox
                                    Church but caused an entire series of woeful schisms and even the
                                    persecution of some Orthodox Christians by others, then one can justly
                                    assess ecumenism as truly the greatest evil of our times.

                                    The purpose of this article is not a reiteration of the well known history
                                    of the emergence of ecumenism among Orthodox Churches, in connection with
                                    which an anathema was proclaimed against ecumenism by the Russian Orthodox
                                    Church Abroad in 1983 and confirmed by it in 1998, but a brief overview of
                                    some of the latest events and documents which relate to the sphere of the
                                    ecumenical movement and the participation in it of Orthodox Churches.

                                    It would seem that there is no need to dwell on the precise definition of
                                    ecumenism, about which so much has been and is being written.

                                    However, currently the Russian Church Abroad is being attacked from two
                                    sides. From one side, the representatives of so-called "world Orthodoxy",
                                    particularly its liberal circles, consider us to be "schismatics", who are
                                    using the fight against ecumenism as a justification for our schism and to
                                    condemn Universal Orthodoxy. From the other side, the ultra-Orthodox
                                    fanatics are labeling our Church Abroad as "ecumenical" because of Her
                                    refusal to sever ties with the Jerusalem and Serbian Patriarchates which
                                    had been established throughout the entire history of the Russian Orthodox
                                    Church Abroad.

                                    The accusation that the Russian Orthodox Church is ecumenical is completely
                                    preposterous, since it was precisely the Russian Orthodox Church which
                                    first released the warning (in the epistles of the ever-memorable
                                    Metropolitan Philaret, who on five occasions appealed to the Heads of the
                                    Local Churches, attempting to explain how ruinous their involvement in
                                    ecumenism was). It was namely the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad which
                                    anathematized ecumenism. It was namely the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
                                    which published and continues to publish articles and books against
                                    ecumenism.

                                    Unfortunately, certain members of our flock are falling under the influence
                                    of such "zealots not according to reason", and we, the pastors are then
                                    forced to deflect these unjust accusations.

                                    The thinking of certain "ultra-Orthodox" zealots is so narrow, that for
                                    them even any personal meeting of an Orthodox clergyman with
                                    representatives of other faiths is already deemed to be "ecumenism".

                                    Because of this one must again give a precise definition of what exactly
                                    ecumenism is, and what is not ecumenism.

                                    In the simplest definition, ecumenism is the refutal of the basic teaching
                                    on the Unity of the Church. Ecumenism refutes the fact that the Church is
                                    One, and asserts that truth also exists within other religions, or that
                                    the fullness of truth exists only in a synthesis of them all.

                                    For an Orthodox person such a concept is unthinkable. As the Holy
                                    Scriptures state: "one Lord, one faith" (Eph.4:5). From this completely
                                    simple assertion proceeds the correct Orthodox attitude toward ecumenism as
                                    negative.

                                    Let us proceed to the main topic of this lecture: what new phenomena
                                    within ecumenism and participation therein of Orthodox Churches can be
                                    observed over the last few years?

                                    First of all we see in all the Orthodox Churches which participate in the
                                    ecumenical movement and who are members of the World Council of Churches,
                                    an increasingly growing resistance to ecumenism on the part of the clergy
                                    and laity, which is expressed in increasingly louder appeals for these
                                    Churches to withdraw from the WCC, and from the ecumenical movement in
                                    general.

                                    Under pressure from their flock, the Georgian and Bulgarian Churches have
                                    completely withdrawn from the WCC.

                                    In May of 1997, the Serbian Orthodox Church at its regular Hierarchical
                                    Council heard the report of a specially appointed hierarchical commission
                                    chaired by the Metropolitan of Montenegro, Amphilochius on the question of
                                    ecumenism, and officially endorsed that report together with the resolution
                                    it contained on the withdrawal of the Serbian Church from the ecumenical
                                    movement and WCC. Back in 1994, Bishop Artemii of Prizrensk had read his
                                    extensive epistle at a regular Hierarchical Council meeting which condemned
                                    ecumenism and the participation of the Serbian Church in the WCC.

                                    Under obvious pressure from its clergy and judicious flock, almost all the
                                    Orthodox Churches which had previously actively participated in the WCC,
                                    began to express, initially with caution, but later more openly,
                                    condemnation of this organization and began to raise the issue of continued
                                    participation in it of Orthodox Churches.

                                    The result of this was the Inter-Orthodox Meeting in Thessaloniki on April
                                    29-May 2, 1998, in which representatives of all Churches in communion with
                                    the Patriarch of Constantinople participated, and was chaired by its
                                    representative, Metropolitan Chrysostom of Ephesus.

                                    This meeting was held on the initiative of the Russian and Orthodox
                                    Churches in connection with the withdrawal of the Georgian Church from the
                                    WCC, and particularly to define the level of participation of Orthodox
                                    delegations at the forthcoming 8th General Assembly of the WCC in Harare,
                                    Zimbabwe.

                                    I will cite some quotes from the Concluding Document of this Inter-Orthodox
                                    Meeting:

                                    "9. However there are also certain tendencies among some of the Protestant
                                    members of the Council, which are reflected in WCC debates, but are
                                    unacceptable for the Orthodox. At many WCC meetings the Orthodox are
                                    forced to participate in discussions on matters which are completely
                                    foreign to their tradition. At the 7th Assembly in Canberra in 1991 and at
                                    the Central Committee meetings after 1992, the Orthodox delegates occupied
                                    a decisive position against intercommunion with the heterodox, against
                                    inclusive language, the ordination of women, the rights of sexual
                                    minorities and definite tendencies toward church syncretism. Their
                                    statements on these matters were considered to be statements from the
                                    minority, and as such, could not influence the procedure and moral
                                    character of the WCC."

                                    Specifically, the Inter-Orthodox meeting resolved that:
                                    a) Orthodox delegates participating in the Harare Assembly will
                                    jointly submit a statement from the Inter-Orthodox meeting in
                                    Thessaloniki.
                                    b) Orthodox delegates will not participate in ecumenical
                                    services, common prayer, divine services and other religious
                                    ceremonies at the Assembly.
                                    c) Orthodox delegates will not participate in the voting
                                    procedure, except for certain cases affecting the Orthodox, and with
                                    mutual consent. If necessary, they will represent Orthodox opinions
                                    and positions in discussions at plenary sessions and groups.
                                    d) These powers will remain in force until the completion of the
                                    radical transformation of the WCC, which would enable the appropriate
                                    participation of Orthodox churches."

                                    "Therefore, we state, that the current forms of Orthodox membership in the
                                    WCC no longer satisfy us. If the WCC structures do not change radically,
                                    other Orthodox Churches will also withdraw from the WCC, as the Georgian
                                    Orthodox Church has done."

                                    Indeed, at the 8th General Assembly in Harare, the Orthodox delegates acted
                                    in full accordance with the Thessaloniki resolutions. Here is what was
                                    written in this regard in the official announcement on the results of the
                                    Assembly:

                                    "At the Assembly a special place was occupied by the question of the
                                    Orthodox Churches' participation in the work of the WCC. The Orthodox
                                    Churches jointly presented the Assembly with a document from the
                                    Inter-Orthodox Meeting in Thessaloniki (April 29 - May 2, 1998) as a
                                    co-ordinated pan-Orthodox position with regards to the Council. The
                                    delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church (one infers the Moscow
                                    Patriarchate, A.L.), pursuant to the recommendations of the Inter-Orthodox
                                    meeting, refrained from participating in voting and prayers at the
                                    Assembly."

                                    "The Assembly adopted the decision to create a special commission of the
                                    World Council of Churches and representatives of Orthodox Churches to
                                    develop new WCC structural forms which would be acceptable for the Orthodox
                                    and would reflect their ecclesiological consciousness."

                                    It is likewise noteworthy that unlike previous General Assemblies, where
                                    the Moscow Patriarchate delegation was headed by several prominent
                                    metropolitans and archbishops, in Harare, the delegation was headed only by
                                    a hieromonk. We read in the official announcement:

                                    "The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church was headed by the Secretary
                                    of Inter-Christian relations of the Department of External Church Relations
                                    of the Moscow Patriarchate, Hieromonk Hilarion (Alfeev)."

                                    The reaction of leading Protestant circles of the WCC to these demands from
                                    Orthodox members on the radical change in WCC structures and to the threat
                                    of the possible withdrawal of all Orthodox Churches from that organization
                                    indicated that they were quite alarmed. For them, the Protestants, the
                                    participation of the Orthodox Churches in the WCC is the sole link which
                                    connects them to the early Apostolic Church, and since the Roman Catholic
                                    had never been a member of the WCC, the departure of the Orthodox would
                                    make the WCC an organization which would represent only the throng of
                                    feuding Protestant religious organizations.

                                    One must note, that even among the most ardent Protestant ecumenists one
                                    senses a change in their ecclesiology and in their understanding of the
                                    form and goals of the ecumenical movement and the role of the WCC.

                                    If recently it seemed that the goal of the WCC was to create some sort of
                                    "super-church" which would abolish those aspects dividing member churches,
                                    now the most prominent Protestant ecumenists preach something different.
                                    This is written about by the famous church writer Olga Mitrenina, in her
                                    article "Two Orthodoxies" printed in the internet journal "Religion in
                                    Russia", October 19th, 2001:

                                    "The idea of ecumenism as a new super-religion, uniting all existing
                                    religious ideas has become outdated. It is being replaced by a new theory
                                    - "Unity within plurality" (it is this combination which more frequently
                                    appears in the titles of conferences and ecumenical meetings), or as the
                                    Lutheran bishop Gunner Staalsett expressed, "reconciled diversity" of
                                    religions. Speaking on August 7, 2000 at the "Festival of Peace" in
                                    Auxburg (reported by ENI, August 23, 2000), Bishop Staalsett noted that
                                    "the first instinctive reaction to globalization is the increased attention
                                    to phenomena connected with personal identity". Staalsett emphasized that
                                    the system of relations among religions "should not lean on the idea of one
                                    religion and should not strive toward syncretism, that is the mixing of
                                    religions."

                                    This change is merely a transfer into the church sphere of new concepts for
                                    battling with the enemies of the idea of "globalization". In precisely the
                                    same manner they had previously spoken about the idea of a "Unified
                                    Europe", where people would not be citizens of their own countries but
                                    citizens of a One Europe. When this was not accepted by the public at
                                    large and provoked loud opposition, they then began to speak about
                                    "oneness in diversity". Currently this trend has also affected the WCC,
                                    where all are now invited to keep their diversity with the condition, of
                                    course, that they will all be together under a common aegis of a global
                                    interchurch organization.

                                    In returning to the topic of the attitude of the Moscow Patriarchate toward
                                    the ecumenical movement, it must be recalled that in August 2000 the
                                    Hierarchical Sobor of the Moscow Patriarchate was held, which confirmed
                                    certain platform reports including the attitude of the MP toward the
                                    ecumenical movement. This document had already been discussed at the
                                    previous Hierarchical Sobor of our Church, and we have no need to discuss
                                    it again thoroughly. Many positive elements could be found in it, but it
                                    still is far from reflecting that principal Orthodox position which one
                                    would like to see.

                                    In general when one examines the participation of the Orthodox Churches in
                                    the ecumenical movement, it is important to keep in mind that the
                                    participation of these Churches is not a reflection of some sort of organic
                                    movement within each of these Churches; it is spurred on and supported
                                    only by those whom one may call "professional ecumenists". In each of the
                                    Local Churches there is a definite small group of people whose primary
                                    occupation is attending various international ecumenical conferences and
                                    meetings, or hosting them. They all know each other well, and comprise a
                                    sort of "club of the select", whose members travel around the world, at the
                                    expense of the church, of course, and who are far more familiar with the
                                    inner and social rooms and services of the most prestigious hotels than
                                    with the altar, whose servants they are according to ordination.

                                    It will be very difficult for these "professional ecumenists" to reject
                                    their privileges and fraternity in the select club, and it's understandable
                                    that they will deploy every effort to resist their abolition.

                                    However, among the ordinary clergy and the broad mass of flock in all the
                                    Churches of so-called "World Orthodoxy" ecumenism is not even an issue.
                                    What does ecumenism mean to the believing granny in Russia, or in Greece or
                                    in Serbia? How few of them know of its existence?

                                    This is why we must realistically examine the issue of ecumenism and
                                    understand that even ecumenical meetings and periodic statements from,
                                    let's say, the Patriarch of Constantinople, membership of Local Churches in
                                    the WCC and the work of "professional ecumenists" do not reflect on the
                                    broad circle of the faithful in these Local Churches, and who continue to
                                    remain unblemished and completely Orthodox.

                                    On the backdrop of the foregoing, concretely, can the Orthodox Church
                                    participate and be a member of the WCC or similar organizations?

                                    In the early period of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad,
                                    this question had received a positive answer.

                                    As the ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret wrote in his first "Sorrowful
                                    Epistle":

                                    "What concerns our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Her view was expressed
                                    with particular precision upon appointing representation on December 18/31,
                                    193l to the Committee on the Continued Conference on Faith and Order.

                                    This definition states:

                                    "In preserving the faith in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the
                                    Synod of Bishops confesses that this Church had never divided. The only
                                    question is who belongs to it and who does not. Simultaneously, the Synod
                                    of Bishops ardently greets every attempt of the heterodox to study Christ's
                                    teaching on the Church in the hopes that through such study, particularly
                                    through the participation of representatives from the Holy Orthodox Church,
                                    they will ultimately come to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church, being
                                    the pillar and ground of truth (I Tim:3,15), has fully and without error
                                    preserved the teaching handed by Christ the Saviour to His disciples. With
                                    this faith and such a hope the Synod of Bishops gratefully receives the
                                    invitation of the Committee on the Continued Conference on Faith and
                                    Order."

                                    Now, of course, the situation is different. Even the representatives of
                                    world Orthodoxy at the aforementioned Inter-Orthodox meeting in
                                    Thessaloniki would have had to recognize that: "After one hundred years of
                                    Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement and fifty years in the WCC
                                    we do not see sufficient progress in the multilateral theological
                                    discussions among Christians. On the contrary, the gap between the
                                    Orthodox and Protestants grows wider commensurate with the strengthening of
                                    the above-mentioned tendencies within certain Protestant denominations."

                                    Even the very name of the WCC is unacceptable for an Orthodox person, since
                                    it places an equal sign between all religious organizations which are part
                                    of it, thereby asserting that the Church is not One, but that there are
                                    many.

                                    Unconditionally, the Orthodox conscience cannot permit any Orthodox Church
                                    to belong to such organizations.

                                    On the other hand, is any contact or even joint action between Orthodox
                                    clergy and laity and representatives of other faiths ecumenism and a
                                    betrayal of Orthodoxy?

                                    Of course not.

                                    As it was written in the 1933 Encyclical Epistle of the Hierarchical Sobor
                                    of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, within the lifetime of Metropolitan
                                    Anthony and Archbishop Anastassy:

                                    "While the Church exists on the earth, it remains closely linked with the
                                    destinies of human society and cannot be imagined outside of space and
                                    time. For Her it is impossible to remain outside of any contact."
                                    Although these words were written within the context of the attitude of the
                                    Church toward the state, they are completely applicable to the question of
                                    contact with other faiths, particularly bearing in mind the fact, that
                                    almost all of us are living in lands where Orthodoxy is not the prevalent
                                    religion and we are surrounded by heterodox.

                                    Hence, encounters with the heterodox are not only unavoidable, but even
                                    desirable in certain circumstances.

                                    We, the Orthodox are also members of a society and citizens of the
                                    countries where we live. And we are called upon by the Lord Himself to
                                    witness before the entire world and distribute the Light of Christ's Truth,
                                    and not to hide that light which "enlightens all" under a bushel, but to
                                    place it on the "candlestand that it may shine to all". We can, therefore,
                                    meet with the heterodox to instruct them in the true faith, to explain
                                    questions about the Orthodox faith, to overturn prejudices and false
                                    information about Orthodoxy, and also to engage in joint actions which are
                                    beneficial for society. For example, it is permissible to jointly, with
                                    representatives of other faiths, appeal to government bodies, both local
                                    and national, for the protection of the innocent, for the defence of civil
                                    morality, to fight against the killing of unborn infants, to jointly
                                    collect funds for charity and to participate in national mourning for
                                    victims of natural disasters, for instance, earthquakes, floods,
                                    hurricanes, or as recently, terrorist attacks.

                                    The Orthodox do not need to hide from such joint actions at all. This is
                                    not ecumenism, but merely the active and vital participation in the life of
                                    the country and its people, of which we are a part.

                                    What is impermissible for Orthodox clergy is concelebration or joint prayer
                                    with representatives of other faiths, for such conduct is strictly
                                    forbidden by the Holy Canons of the Church.

                                    However, the mere presence, of course without vestments, at a prayer by
                                    representatives of other faiths during a gathering to mourn victims of a
                                    disaster can in no way be called concelebration or joint prayer with
                                    heretics. If an Orthodox clergyman is participating in such a gathering
                                    (of course, the priest must receive a blessing in advance from his ruling
                                    bishop), he may sit courteously during the prayers by representatives of
                                    other faiths, and if invited by the organizers of the gathering to read a
                                    brief prayer, Orthodox in form and content, he may, without embarrassment,
                                    as has regrettably happened, call upon the Holy Trinity and our Saviour,
                                    the Lord Jesus Christ.

                                    For the Apostles, after the Resurrection of Christ, continued to come to
                                    Jewish temple and pray there, and also preach in pagan temples, as is seen
                                    from the book of Acts of the Holy Apostles. No one would dare call then
                                    "ecumenists" because of such conduct.

                                    Similarly, one cannot accuse the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy of
                                    ecumenism for being present, on the invitation of the Archbishop of
                                    Canterbury, at a service in the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Apostle Paul
                                    in London, and when the Archbishop of Canterbury introduced Metropolitan
                                    Anastassy and offered that he bless the congregation on behalf of the
                                    entire suffering Russian Church, the Metropolitan obliged.

                                    Of course, in all these matters one must adhere to the voice of pastoral
                                    conscience, and also to the guidance of the canons of the Holy Church and
                                    directions from Supreme Church Authority.

                                    In conclusion I would like to make several concrete suggestions, in order
                                    to help both the clergy and flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
                                    correctly relate to the problem of ecumenism and the attitude to the
                                    heterodox.

                                    1. Continue to publish and distribute articles, books, videos and
                                    information on the internet about the pernicious essence of
                                    ecumenism.

                                    2. Continue in the spirit of the ever-memorable Metropolitan
                                    Philaret in presenting the representatives of the Local Churches with
                                    Epistles, explaining the
                                    incompatibility of the ecumenical movement with Orthodoxy.

                                    3. To encourage and support the Churches which have withdrawn from the
                                    WCC, and to support those in other Local Churches, who battle with
                                    ecumenism, and particularly in our much-suffering Homeland.

                                    4. To make withdrawal from the WCC an absolute condition for
                                    establishing or restoring eucharistic union between the Russian
                                    Orthodox Church Abroad with any Local Church.

                                    5. To carefully follow all new trends in the ecumenical milieu, analyze
                                    them from an Orthodox perspective and, when appropriate, to openly
                                    expose all actions which do not correspond to the Orthodox view.

                                    6. To reprint and disseminate guiding rules for the clergy of our
                                    Russian Church Abroad which concern contacts with representatives of
                                    heterodox religions.

                                    7. And of course, to pray heartily to God for the conversion of our
                                    Orthodox brethren who have gone astray, that the Lord may enlighten
                                    their minds and hearts and that once again the true holy faith may be
                                    established on the entire earth.

                                    Missionary Leaflet #131, Holy Trinity Orthodox Mission, 2001".


                                    > In discussions regarding the MP and Ecumenism, many seem to be under
                                    > the impression that the MP was **always** involved in ecumenism, and
                                    > that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was **always**
                                    > staunchly against ecumenism and participation in the WCC.
                                    >
                                    > Nothing could be further from the truth.
                                    >
                                    > In fact, when the World Council of Churches was officially founded in
                                    > 1948, the Moscow Patriarchate convened a Pan-Orthodox Council that
                                    > categorically rejected ecumenism and stated that participation in the
                                    > WCC was incompatible with Orthodox ecclesiology.
                                    >
                                    > At that time, the ROCOR was actively involved with ecumenism, as it
                                    > had been since the 1920s, and during the entire time of the tenure of
                                    > Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy.
                                    >
                                    > The ROCOR was a Charter Member of the original founding
                                    > organization--the precursor of the WCC and to this day one of its key
                                    > elements: The Committee on Faith and Order.
                                    >
                                    > The ROCOR Sobors of Bishops blessed participation by bishops and
                                    > clergy representatives at all of the meetings of the Faith and Order
                                    > Commssion.
                                    >
                                    > Even as late as 1951, the ROCOR sponsored a European sub-Assembly of
                                    > the WCC, held in Baden-Baden. You can see pictures of this assembly,
                                    > with ROCOR Archbishop Benedict and Bishop Alexander surrounded by the
                                    > usual WCC melange of Copts, Armenians, Anglicans, Methodists,
                                    > Lutherans, etc. in the official history of the ROCOR, published
                                    > during the time of Metropolitan Philaret in 1968 (the two-volume
                                    > Sollogub opus).
                                    >
                                    > There you can also see pictures of Ecumenical meetings with
                                    > Metropolitan Anthony participating in Serbia--especially meetings
                                    > with Anglicans. One can see the bishops of the ROCOR in ecumenical
                                    > dialogue with the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican bishops.
                                    >
                                    > Recently, someone claimed that there was an Ukaz of the ROCOR in 1953
                                    > banning all contact with the World Council of Churches.
                                    >
                                    > Why then do I have before me the Report to the Council of Bishops by
                                    > Protopriest George Grabbe, describing in detail his participation in
                                    > the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Evanston in
                                    > 1954? He was officially an observer, but was certainly officially
                                    > representing the Church Abroad.
                                    >
                                    > And why is no one talking about the official delegation of the ROCOR
                                    > to the Second Vatican Council in Rome, at the invitation of Pope John
                                    > XXIII?
                                    >
                                    > This was an official delegation, headed by Archbishop Anthony of
                                    > Geneva, Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin), Protopriests Igor Troyanoff
                                    > and Alexander Troubnikoff-- with official Observer status.
                                    >
                                    > They participated in all of the major "official" events, such as the
                                    > opening ceremonies in St. Peter's Cathedral, where they processed as
                                    > part of the Orthodox church representatives, and the official
                                    > receptions given to the "Orthodox sister churches" by the Pope.
                                    >
                                    > (This was actually quite interesting, because the Moscow Patriarchate
                                    > had also been invited, and sent a delegation headed by Metropolitan
                                    > Nikodim (Rotov). This was the first occasion where both a ROCOR and
                                    > an MP delegation participated side by side, representing the Russian
                                    > Church--which caused quite some interesting issues of protocol--order
                                    > in the procession, seating at the sessions, receptions and banquets,
                                    etc.)
                                    >
                                    > And all of this with the full blessing of the Council of Bishops of
                                    > the Church Abroad under Metropolitans Anastassy and Philaret.
                                    >
                                    > Another rarely-mentioned fact in the collaboration of the ROCOR with
                                    > the World Council of Churches and allied ecumenical organizations is
                                    > that all of the bishops and clergy of the ROCOR in Germany and
                                    > Austria received their salaries from the local Church World Service
                                    > of the WCC--throughout all of the time that Metropolitan Philaret was
                                    > First Hierarch. This continued virtually to the end of the 1990's.
                                    > Our parishes in Germany and Austria were able to exist only because
                                    > of the very significant subsidies received from the ecumenists-- for
                                    > decades.
                                    >
                                    > One should also mention that the majority of members of the ROCOR who
                                    > emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, and other
                                    > countries from "Displaced Persons" camps in Germany and Austria had
                                    > their travel expenses paid by the ecumenical Church World Service--so
                                    > most of our older generation of parishioners (and clergy) -- are here
                                    > only because of ecumenical organizations outreach programs.
                                    >
                                    > Cooperation by the ROCOR continues with ecumenical organizations to
                                    > this day. The Russian Home for the Aged near the Strathfield
                                    > Cathedral in Sydney, Australia, is operated by the National Council
                                    > of Churches of Australia in close cooperation with our Diocese of the
                                    > Church Abroad. If there were no cooperation between the NCCA and the
                                    > ROCOR, thirty-five elderly ROCOR parishioners would have no home to live
                                    > in.
                                    >
                                    > So, it is completely false to depict the ROCOR as being historically
                                    > anti-ecumenical, while condemning the Moscow Patriarchate for
                                    > participating in the WCC.
                                    >
                                    > It was the Moscow Patriarchate which first condemned, on strict
                                    > Orthodox ecclesiological grounds, Orthodox participation in
                                    > ecumenical organizations and specifically, the WCC.
                                    >
                                    > The Moscow Patriarchate joined the WCC only in 1961--when the ROCOR
                                    > had been involved in it and its precursor throughout all of the
                                    > previous decades since the 1920's -- and this cooperation continued,
                                    > especially in the area of having clergy salaries paid in Europe by
                                    > the WCC until just a few years ago.
                                    >
                                    > Condemning an organization while taking money from it would really be
                                    > the height of hypocrisy, wouldn't it?
                                    >
                                    > With love in Christ,
                                    >
                                    > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


                                    (See attached file: Lebedev Fr Alexander Ecumenism 01.11.25.doc)

                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • frvictor@comcast.net
                                    Dear Father Basil, With all due respect, I think it is rather a cheap shot to call Father Alexander an advocate for the post Soviet MP. That the Sobor of
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Aug 9 5:29 PM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Dear Father Basil,
                                      With all due respect, I think it is rather a cheap shot to call Father Alexander "an advocate for the post Soviet MP." That the Sobor of Bishops assigned Father Alexander as the Secretary of our Commission is true, and that the purpose of the Commission is to see if the divisions of the Russian Church came be overcome, particularly the issues with seemed to concern our Church, the actions of Metropolitan Sergius, and Eccumenism. That it is the desire for the division to end, is the position of the Russian Church Abroad. Father Alexander is an advocate of the Russian Church Abroad, and is a faithful servant of his ruling bishop, Archbishop Kyrill, and a faithful servant of our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus, I think this is beyond question. I think it would be fair the Father Alexander is an advocate in healing the wounds of the Russian Church and ending the division.

                                      Father Alexander accepted his assignment as Secretary out of obedience, and in the process of diolog, clearly understands to situation of the Russian Church in Russia much better than many of us do, and much better than I suppose he understood at any earlier time, just as Archimandrite Luke, for example admitted that his views on the Moscow Patriarchate changed after going to Russia.

                                      It is good that Father Alexander's article was translated, and is circulating. Like most of what he writes, it is very solid. It would be fair as well, however, to have asked Father Alexander if he would like for it to be posted, if he wishes to edit any parts, especially given his experience over the past five years on this and other subjects.

                                      I am left with the impression, given your introductory remarks, that what is really going on here is the old "got ya." Father Alexander wrote " ...To make withdrawal from the WCC an absolute condition for establishing or restoring eucharistic union between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with any Local Church." It is fair to ask if Father Alexander still holds such a rigid view given his expanded knowledge and recent experience. Bishop Evtikhi seems to have changed his views after Sobor --isn't this normal for someone who ultimately trusts the will of the Church, and not his own opinions? Are we going to keep on posting articles and sermons of his when he held a different view? Our Church is blessed to have such faithful servants such as the members of the Commission, which includes the V. Rev. Alexander Lebedev. Because, in part, of their efforts, there is real hope that our division with the Church in Russia may soon be over. None of them should be labeled "advocates of the
                                      post Soviet M.P."

                                      Again, the article is an excellent read, it is good it is posted. Let's just be fair.

                                      In Christ,
                                      Priest Victor Boldewskul

                                      p.s. I admit that my continual hammering at the point that you serve with the Serbian Church, including with the Patriarchate, even though they are members of the WCC, may be a cheap shot as well. This will be the last time I'll do it ...(:


                                      \-------------- Original message --------------
                                      From: Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...>

                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Dear ALL,
                                      >
                                      > See below the attachment in Russian - Father Alexander wrote before he
                                      > bacame an advocate for the post soviet MP... Indeed it is very interesting
                                      > reading , to say the least... it has now been translated...
                                      >
                                      > S Bogom!
                                      >
                                      > protodeacon Basil from Canberra
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >

                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Mike Woodson
                                      Dear Rev. Fr. Victor, By stating the circumstances of appointment to the Commission, the job called for, and your view of the writings of Father Alexander, it
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Aug 12 10:21 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Dear Rev. Fr. Victor,

                                        By stating the circumstances of appointment to the Commission, the job
                                        called for, and your view of the writings of Father Alexander, it does
                                        not refute the position that he has been an advocate for the Moscow
                                        Patriarchate. It suggests that he is following orders, and that you
                                        believe that the MP's positions on lifting the suspension on
                                        communion are sound. Many in the Church do not share that view.

                                        Fr. Alexander has chastised persons in the ROCOR for opposing the
                                        Moscow Patriarchate's agenda in his writings. And the MP's agenda is
                                        consistently portrayed as a simple desire for loving reconciliation
                                        while its actions (fruits) do not comply with that. This current MP,
                                        possessing the legitimacy of the ROCOR's communion under its power,
                                        will be able to set the tone for MP's to come and will also insure
                                        that the political interests supporting it will more easily
                                        consolidate their hold on power in Russia.

                                        If your position is that it is impossible for clergy to be misled then
                                        laymen might as well just cease to speak and act at all.

                                        And yet, isn't this what the entire MP (Soviet and post-Soviet)
                                        problem is? That it says one thing to some clergy and laypersons
                                        (ROCOR), and another to other clergy and laypersons, on the basis of
                                        political advantage and posturing but no one can question it because
                                        it comes from higher ranks of clergy. Is that what the MP the ROCOR
                                        should legitimize in the eyes of the Russian people? Authority
                                        without repentance to make it humbly held authority?

                                        It has often been argued that those opposing the lift on the
                                        suspension of communion under this MP's influence, are like broken
                                        records. Do you know why? It is because those who would gloss over
                                        the MP's lack of fulfillment of the conditions keep up with the same
                                        denials and platitudes which sound very much like the MP's official
                                        positions.

                                        The presumption that reconciliation means reconciliation on this MP's
                                        terms (that is, now, under this MP) is the essence of Father
                                        Alexander's recent writings. The motive is unclear, but the reality
                                        is, Fr. Alexander has been an advocate for the MP's desires.

                                        Michael



                                        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, frvictor@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Dear Father Basil,
                                        > With all due respect, I think it is rather a cheap shot to call
                                        Father Alexander "an advocate for the post Soviet MP." That the Sobor
                                        of Bishops assigned Father Alexander as the Secretary of our
                                        Commission is true, and that the purpose of the Commission is to see
                                        if the divisions of the Russian Church came be overcome, particularly
                                        the issues with seemed to concern our Church, the actions of
                                        Metropolitan Sergius, and Eccumenism. That it is the desire for the
                                        division to end, is the position of the Russian Church Abroad. Father
                                        Alexander is an advocate of the Russian Church Abroad, and is a
                                        faithful servant of his ruling bishop, Archbishop Kyrill, and a
                                        faithful servant of our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus, I think
                                        this is beyond question. I think it would be fair the Father Alexander
                                        is an advocate in healing the wounds of the Russian Church and ending
                                        the division.
                                        >
                                        > Father Alexander accepted his assignment as Secretary out of
                                        obedience, and in the process of diolog, clearly understands to
                                        situation of the Russian Church in Russia much better than many of us
                                        do, and much better than I suppose he understood at any earlier time,
                                        just as Archimandrite Luke, for example admitted that his views on the
                                        Moscow Patriarchate changed after going to Russia.
                                        >
                                        > It is good that Father Alexander's article was translated, and is
                                        circulating. Like most of what he writes, it is very solid. It would
                                        be fair as well, however, to have asked Father Alexander if he would
                                        like for it to be posted, if he wishes to edit any parts, especially
                                        given his experience over the past five years on this and other subjects.
                                        >
                                        > I am left with the impression, given your introductory remarks, that
                                        what is really going on here is the old "got ya." Father Alexander
                                        wrote " ...To make withdrawal from the WCC an absolute condition for
                                        establishing or restoring eucharistic union between the Russian
                                        Orthodox Church Abroad with any Local Church." It is fair to ask if
                                        Father Alexander still holds such a rigid view given his expanded
                                        knowledge and recent experience. Bishop Evtikhi seems to have changed
                                        his views after Sobor --isn't this normal for someone who ultimately
                                        trusts the will of the Church, and not his own opinions? Are we going
                                        to keep on posting articles and sermons of his when he held a
                                        different view? Our Church is blessed to have such faithful servants
                                        such as the members of the Commission, which includes the V. Rev.
                                        Alexander Lebedev. Because, in part, of their efforts, there is real
                                        hope that our division with the Church in Russia may soon be over.
                                        None of them should be labeled "advocates of the
                                        > post Soviet M.P."
                                        >
                                        > Again, the article is an excellent read, it is good it is posted.
                                        Let's just be fair.
                                        >
                                        > In Christ,
                                        > Priest Victor Boldewskul
                                        >
                                        > p.s. I admit that my continual hammering at the point that you serve
                                        with the Serbian Church, including with the Patriarchate, even though
                                        they are members of the WCC, may be a cheap shot as well. This will be
                                        the last time I'll do it ...(:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > \-------------- Original message --------------
                                        > From: Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...>
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Dear ALL,
                                        > >
                                        > > See below the attachment in Russian - Father Alexander wrote
                                        before he
                                        > > bacame an advocate for the post soviet MP... Indeed it is very
                                        interesting
                                        > > reading , to say the least... it has now been translated...
                                        > >
                                        > > S Bogom!
                                        > >
                                        > > protodeacon Basil from Canberra
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                      • Archpriest David Moser
                                        ... I frequently have the opportunity to speak with Fr Alexander Lebedeff about this and many other issues. I can state unequivocably that Fr Alexander is NOT
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Aug 12 9:11 PM
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson"
                                          <singingmountains@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > the reality
                                          > is, Fr. Alexander has been an advocate for the MP's desires.
                                          >

                                          I frequently have the opportunity to speak with Fr Alexander Lebedeff
                                          about this and many other issues. I can state unequivocably that Fr
                                          Alexander is NOT an "advocate for the MP's desires" He is, however,
                                          an advocate for the welfare of the Church and especially for the
                                          welfare of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Certainly
                                          it is true that at times he may *appear* to acvocate for the "MP" but
                                          those are the times when the desires of the MP coincide with the
                                          welfare and good estate of the whole Russian Church. There are many
                                          hings about which Fr Alexander is not free to speak publicly (nor will
                                          I knowingly betray his confidence) however, after speaking with him
                                          (and being forthright about my own concerns and questions,) I have
                                          never gone without a reasoned and well supported answer which is, in
                                          the end, to the greater benefit of ROCOR and of the Russian Church as
                                          a whole. Yes, there are things which would be to our (ROCOR's) sole
                                          benefit but which would harm the Russian Church and Fr Alexander
                                          always chooses the welfare and benefit of the whole Church over even
                                          the parochial interests of his (our) little part of the Church. Your
                                          accusation that he is "an advocate for the MP" is certainly inaccurate
                                          and mistaken at best, and at the worst outright slander.

                                          Archpriest David Moser
                                        • Mike Woodson
                                          Dear Rev. Fr. David, It is understandable that you hold your friendship with loyalty. However, if as you wrote to me regarding Fr. Alexander: it is true that
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Aug 14 7:19 AM
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Dear Rev. Fr. David,

                                            It is understandable that you hold your friendship with loyalty.

                                            However, if as you wrote to me regarding Fr. Alexander:

                                            "it is true that at times he may *appear* to advocate for the "MP""

                                            and

                                            "Your accusation that he is "an advocate for the MP" is certainly
                                            inaccurate and mistaken at best, and at the worst outright slander."

                                            . . then the second statement presupposes that to advocate for the MP
                                            would be so bad as to constitute a "accusation" and a "slander" toward
                                            anyone to whom that role was attributed. And yet, there are times,
                                            you have stated, in which advocacy for the MP would be good for the
                                            Russian Orthodox Church as a whole.

                                            How could all of those positions implied in your post be true at the
                                            same time if you have forcefully identified advocacy with the MP as
                                            something evil to be associated with? If true, why must we associate
                                            boost such an organization with the ROCOR's endorsement?

                                            Michael





                                            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Archpriest David Moser"
                                            <moserd@...> wrote:
                                            > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson"
                                            > <singingmountains@> wrote:
                                            > > the reality
                                            > > is, Fr. Alexander has been an advocate for the MP's desires.
                                            > >
                                            > I frequently have the opportunity to speak with Fr Alexander Lebedeff
                                            > about this and many other issues. I can state unequivocably that Fr
                                            > Alexander is NOT an "advocate for the MP's desires" He is, however,
                                            > an advocate for the welfare of the Church and especially for the
                                            > welfare of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Certainly
                                            > it is true that at times he may *appear* to acvocate for the "MP" but
                                            > those are the times when the desires of the MP coincide with the
                                            > welfare and good estate of the whole Russian Church. There are many
                                            > hings about which Fr Alexander is not free to speak publicly (nor will
                                            > I knowingly betray his confidence) however, after speaking with him
                                            > (and being forthright about my own concerns and questions,) I have
                                            > never gone without a reasoned and well supported answer which is, in
                                            > the end, to the greater benefit of ROCOR and of the Russian Church as
                                            > a whole. Yes, there are things which would be to our (ROCOR's) sole
                                            > benefit but which would harm the Russian Church and Fr Alexander
                                            > always chooses the welfare and benefit of the whole Church over even
                                            > the parochial interests of his (our) little part of the Church. Your
                                            > accusation that he is "an advocate for the MP" is certainly inaccurate
                                            > and mistaken at best, and at the worst outright slander.
                                            >
                                            > Archpriest David Moser
                                            >
                                          • Archpriest David Moser
                                            ... Mr Woodson, you chose to state that Fr Alexander holds a position that he does not, and further you imply that such a position is somehow not desirable. I
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Aug 14 3:17 PM
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson"
                                              <singingmountains@...> wrote:

                                              > . . then the second statement presupposes ....

                                              Mr Woodson, you chose to state that Fr Alexander holds a position that
                                              he does not, and further you imply that such a position is somehow not
                                              desirable. I answered you in that spirit. If you want to pick apart
                                              the semantics of a comment - please go right ahead, but that doesn't
                                              change the fact that both the ROCOR and the MP are parts of the
                                              Russian Church and that for both of us the welfare of the whole
                                              Russian Church should outweigh our own petty politics.

                                              I have seen the reality of the IV All-Diaspora Council distorted
                                              beyond belief into an account of something I don't even recognize as
                                              having been a part of. I have seen those who truly love the Russian
                                              Church and who have worked to the limit of their own strength on her
                                              behalf slandered and twisted and misrepresented. You and many of
                                              those who have become your allies and advocates have taken something
                                              beautiful (the true sense of sobornost and oneness that we experienced
                                              at the Sobor) and defaced it - Lord have mercy. I assume that you too
                                              love the Russian Church, however, your "defense" of her seems to be
                                              worse than the alternative - but God knows. Please, if you feel it
                                              necessary, continue to slander me, to slander the senior clergy and
                                              our hierarchs who have been given the responsibility to find the truth
                                              of the matter - but just because you continue to act in this vein
                                              doesn't make it right and doesn't make it true or right or good.

                                              May God forgive you - and for my part can I do any less.

                                              Archpr David Moser
                                            • Mike Woodson
                                              Dear Rev. Fr. David, Our exchange was not over semantics. May God resolve the distance between us by His Truth, and have mercy on everyone subject to this
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Aug 15 7:28 AM
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Dear Rev. Fr. David,

                                                Our exchange was not over semantics. May God resolve the distance
                                                between us by His Truth, and have mercy on everyone subject to this
                                                current deception coming from the MP and filtering its way through men
                                                who easily give sway to authorities for authority's sake.

                                                Thank you for saying 'God forgive you,' as I need God's forgiveness.
                                                However, my conscience is not troubled by opposing the powerplays of
                                                this Moscow Patriarchate until its political hierarchs resign in
                                                penance.

                                                Too many want to be on the winning team no matter whether the team is on
                                                government steriods or not. For the MP it is clear: the Holy Church,
                                                and her Holy Mysteries, is not enough. Waiting on the Lord for change
                                                is not enough. There must be worldly commissions, conferences and
                                                political intrigues.

                                                The worldly agenda is about appearances, and will not permit the sort of
                                                confessions and actions that the hierarchs of the MP need to make to be
                                                truthful about their ongoing role in Caesar's affairs, failing to obey
                                                the Lord Jesus Christ and embezzling time and energy from His House of
                                                Prayer to feed Ceasar's petulant demands. This spirit that believes
                                                that the Church is not enough is or is like the one that deeply poisoned
                                                Rome and led it to exemplify the schism that bred many more, and brought
                                                yet more war and bloodshed.

                                                Glory to God in the middle of this mess. God will steer the Ark and
                                                deliver the Church.

                                                michael


                                                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Archpriest David Moser"
                                                <moserd@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Mr Woodson, you chose to state that Fr Alexander holds a position that
                                                > he does not, and further you imply that such a position is somehow not
                                                > desirable. I answered you in that spirit. If you want to pick apart
                                                > the semantics of a comment - please go right ahead, but that doesn't
                                                > change the fact that both the ROCOR and the MP are parts of the
                                                > Russian Church and that for both of us the welfare of the whole
                                                > Russian Church should outweigh our own petty politics.
                                                >
                                                > I have seen the reality of the IV All-Diaspora Council distorted
                                                > beyond belief into an account of something I don't even recognize as
                                                > having been a part of. I have seen those who truly love the Russian
                                                > Church and who have worked to the limit of their own strength on her
                                                > behalf slandered and twisted and misrepresented. You and many of
                                                > those who have become your allies and advocates have taken something
                                                > beautiful (the true sense of sobornost and oneness that we experienced
                                                > at the Sobor) and defaced it - Lord have mercy. I assume that you too
                                                > love the Russian Church, however, your "defense" of her seems to be
                                                > worse than the alternative - but God knows. Please, if you feel it
                                                > necessary, continue to slander me, to slander the senior clergy and
                                                > our hierarchs who have been given the responsibility to find the truth
                                                > of the matter - but just because you continue to act in this vein
                                                > doesn't make it right and doesn't make it true or right or good.
                                                >
                                                > May God forgive you - and for my part can I do any less.
                                                >
                                                > Archpr David Moser
                                                >
                                              • Bratislav Peplinski
                                                Dear in Christ Mr Woodson, You write below that you will oppse the MP untill its political hierarchs resign in penance . Such a demand seems out of character
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Aug 15 9:32 PM
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Dear in Christ Mr Woodson,

                                                  You write below that you will oppse the MP untill "its political hierarchs resign in penance". Such a demand seems out of character for you, who so highly values the privacy of ones spiritual status. You realize that you have no authority or right to decide who needs penances, let alone what the penances should be. What any particular Bishop of Christ repents of (excepting, perhaps, heresy) is between him, his spiritual Father and God. And it is also between these three that any penance will be decided upon, whether or not you happen to think it a just enough penance to "fit the crime".

                                                  Also, I've read your views about "waiting on the Lord" when it comes to the Mp. But do you think it even possible that while you are "waiting for the Lord" to start His work, He is already in the midst of it, waiting for you to join Him?

                                                  Your brother,
                                                  Bratislav
                                                  Mike Woodson <singingmountains@...> wrote:
                                                  Dear Rev. Fr. David,

                                                  Our exchange was not over semantics. May God resolve the distance
                                                  between us by His Truth, and have mercy on everyone subject to this
                                                  current deception coming from the MP and filtering its way through men
                                                  who easily give sway to authorities for authority's sake.

                                                  Thank you for saying 'God forgive you,' as I need God's forgiveness.
                                                  However, my conscience is not troubled by opposing the powerplays of
                                                  this Moscow Patriarchate until its political hierarchs resign in
                                                  penance.

                                                  Too many want to be on the winning team no matter whether the team is on
                                                  government steriods or not. For the MP it is clear: the Holy Church,
                                                  and her Holy Mysteries, is not enough. Waiting on the Lord for change
                                                  is not enough. There must be worldly commissions, conferences and
                                                  political intrigues.

                                                  The worldly agenda is about appearances, and will not permit the sort of
                                                  confessions and actions that the hierarchs of the MP need to make to be
                                                  truthful about their ongoing role in Caesar's affairs, failing to obey
                                                  the Lord Jesus Christ and embezzling time and energy from His House of
                                                  Prayer to feed Ceasar's petulant demands. This spirit that believes
                                                  that the Church is not enough is or is like the one that deeply poisoned
                                                  Rome and led it to exemplify the schism that bred many more, and brought
                                                  yet more war and bloodshed.

                                                  Glory to God in the middle of this mess. God will steer the Ark and
                                                  deliver the Church.

                                                  michael

                                                  --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Archpriest David Moser"
                                                  <moserd@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Mr Woodson, you chose to state that Fr Alexander holds a position that
                                                  > he does not, and further you imply that such a position is somehow not
                                                  > desirable. I answered you in that spirit. If you want to pick apart
                                                  > the semantics of a comment - please go right ahead, but that doesn't
                                                  > change the fact that both the ROCOR and the MP are parts of the
                                                  > Russian Church and that for both of us the welfare of the whole
                                                  > Russian Church should outweigh our own petty politics.
                                                  >
                                                  > I have seen the reality of the IV All-Diaspora Council distorted
                                                  > beyond belief into an account of something I don't even recognize as
                                                  > having been a part of. I have seen those who truly love the Russian
                                                  > Church and who have worked to the limit of their own strength on her
                                                  > behalf slandered and twisted and misrepresented. You and many of
                                                  > those who have become your allies and advocates have taken something
                                                  > beautiful (the true sense of sobornost and oneness that we experienced
                                                  > at the Sobor) and defaced it - Lord have mercy. I assume that you too
                                                  > love the Russian Church, however, your "defense" of her seems to be
                                                  > worse than the alternative - but God knows. Please, if you feel it
                                                  > necessary, continue to slander me, to slander the senior clergy and
                                                  > our hierarchs who have been given the responsibility to find the truth
                                                  > of the matter - but just because you continue to act in this vein
                                                  > doesn't make it right and doesn't make it true or right or good.
                                                  >
                                                  > May God forgive you - and for my part can I do any less.
                                                  >
                                                  > Archpr David Moser
                                                  >






                                                  ---------------------------------
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                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • Mike Woodson
                                                  Dear Bratislav, Thanks for your response, and those are fair and reasonable questions. It really isn t my call for repentance alone, it was St. John
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Aug 16 6:51 AM
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Dear Bratislav,

                                                    Thanks for your response, and those are fair and reasonable questions.
                                                    It really isn't my call for repentance alone, it was St. John
                                                    (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco.

                                                    Here is the sort of repentance St. John expected of the hierarchy of the
                                                    Moscow Patriarchate, and a passage to the proceedings in the 8th Century
                                                    to which he refers as an example:

                                                    Remember what St. John Maximovitch envisioned as the repentance of those
                                                    in the Moscow Patriarchate who collaborated with pain and reservations
                                                    with the Soviet monstrosity. He wrote:

                                                    "The Lord God, Who preserved seven thousand men who did not bend the
                                                    knee to Baal in the days of Elias, today also has a multitude of His
                                                    servants who secretly serve and pray to Him throughout the whole expanse
                                                    of the Russian Land. Even among the hieararchs outwardly subject to the
                                                    Soviet Regime, many are inwardly tormented by this; when the opportunity
                                                    comes, they will act according to the example of those at the Council of
                                                    Chalcedon who declared with tears that they had given their signatures
                                                    at the Robber Council under coercion, following the example of the Most
                                                    Holy Patriarch Paul, who was tortured by his conscience and took the
                                                    Schema in recognition of his weakness under the Iconoclasts."

                                                    --from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 37.

                                                    And when the wondrous St. John said St. Paul took on the Schema, what is
                                                    the story behind that? Read here:

                                                    "For, when the most holy Patriarch Paul, by the divine will, was about
                                                    to be liberated from the bands of mortality and to exchange his earthly
                                                    pilgrimage for a heavenly home with his Master Christ, he abdicated the
                                                    Patriarchate and took upon him the monastic life, and when we asked him,
                                                    Why hast thou done this? he answered, Because I fear that, if death
                                                    should surprise me still in the episcopate of this royal and
                                                    heaven-defended city, I should have to carry with me the anathema of the
                                                    whole Catholic Church, which consigns me to that outer darkness which is
                                                    prepared for the devil and his angels; for they say that a certain synod
                                                    hath been held here in order to the subversion of pictures and images
                                                    which the Catholic Church holds, embraces, and receives, in memory of
                                                    the persons whom they represent. This is that which distracts my soul --
                                                    this is that which makes me anxiously to enquire how I may escape the
                                                    judgment of God -- since among such men I have been brought up and with
                                                    such am I numbered. No sooner had he thus spoken in the presence of some
                                                    of our most illustrious nobles than he expired."

                                                    --from The Imperial Sacra. Read at the First Session. (Found in Labbe
                                                    and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 49.) page 531, with permission
                                                    from Medieval Sourcebook: The Second Council of Nicea, 787 AD:

                                                    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html

                                                    ---

                                                    It seems to me that if praying at St. John's place of repose during the
                                                    All Diaspora Conference was an important act of consultation, how
                                                    important was it to follow his counsel as written? The Holy Gospels in
                                                    which the Lord asks his disciples, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, but
                                                    do not what I say?" applies, except that I could wonder whether St. John
                                                    of Shanghai and SF is wondering, why do you call on me for consultation
                                                    but not listen to what I have already counseled on this matter of the
                                                    repentance of the Moscow Patriarchate hierarchs?

                                                    Why no one responds to what St. John said on this, because it cannot be
                                                    avoided that they are disregarding the actual saint when seeking his
                                                    counsel.

                                                    your brother,
                                                    Michael







                                                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Bratislav Peplinski
                                                    <bratislavbrad@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Dear in Christ Mr Woodson,
                                                    >
                                                    > You write below that you will oppse the MP untill "its political
                                                    hierarchs resign in penance". Such a demand seems out of character for
                                                    you, who so highly values the privacy of ones spiritual status. You
                                                    realize that you have no authority or right to decide who needs
                                                    penances, let alone what the penances should be. What any particular
                                                    Bishop of Christ repents of (excepting, perhaps, heresy) is between him,
                                                    his spiritual Father and God. And it is also between these three that
                                                    any penance will be decided upon, whether or not you happen to think it
                                                    a just enough penance to "fit the crime".
                                                    >
                                                    > Also, I've read your views about "waiting on the Lord" when it comes
                                                    to the Mp. But do you think it even possible that while you are "waiting
                                                    for the Lord" to start His work, He is already in the midst of it,
                                                    waiting for you to join Him?
                                                    >
                                                    > Your brother,
                                                    > Bratislav





                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Bratislav Peplinski
                                                    Dear in Christ Michael, You make a good point and it is indeed a point that should not go unconsidered. To be honest, I agree with the sentiment that St John
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Aug 16 8:30 PM
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Dear in Christ Michael,

                                                      You make a good point and it is indeed a point that should not go unconsidered. To be honest, I agree with the sentiment that St John (and yourself) express. But that does not mean that without the penitential act of resignation I will oppose the MP and refuse to call them brothers and share with them the One Cup and One Loaf. It is not for me and even, unfortunately perhaps, not for St John to mete out penances. Such things will be decided by the All Russian Synod when that is possible.

                                                      Lastly, I do not believe that our hierarchs are so evil or blind as to merely pay lip service to St John while they knowingly or unknowingly act contrary to his written opinions. It pains me to say it, because St John holds a dear place in my heart, but even the opinions of saints can be wrong or to some degree unfitting for the circumstances. Our current leaders might see there to be a big enough difference between the MP St John wrote of and the MP we are seeking to reconcile with as to warrant action other than recommended by our saintly Vladyka.

                                                      Be well and God keep you,
                                                      Bratislav

                                                      Mike Woodson <singingmountains@...> wrote:
                                                      Dear Bratislav,

                                                      Thanks for your response, and those are fair and reasonable questions.
                                                      It really isn't my call for repentance alone, it was St. John
                                                      (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francisco.

                                                      Here is the sort of repentance St. John expected of the hierarchy of the
                                                      Moscow Patriarchate, and a passage to the proceedings in the 8th Century
                                                      to which he refers as an example:

                                                      Remember what St. John Maximovitch envisioned as the repentance of those
                                                      in the Moscow Patriarchate who collaborated with pain and reservations
                                                      with the Soviet monstrosity. He wrote:

                                                      "The Lord God, Who preserved seven thousand men who did not bend the
                                                      knee to Baal in the days of Elias, today also has a multitude of His
                                                      servants who secretly serve and pray to Him throughout the whole expanse
                                                      of the Russian Land. Even among the hieararchs outwardly subject to the
                                                      Soviet Regime, many are inwardly tormented by this; when the opportunity
                                                      comes, they will act according to the example of those at the Council of
                                                      Chalcedon who declared with tears that they had given their signatures
                                                      at the Robber Council under coercion, following the example of the Most
                                                      Holy Patriarch Paul, who was tortured by his conscience and took the
                                                      Schema in recognition of his weakness under the Iconoclasts."

                                                      --from The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: A Short History, p. 37.

                                                      And when the wondrous St. John said St. Paul took on the Schema, what is
                                                      the story behind that? Read here:

                                                      "For, when the most holy Patriarch Paul, by the divine will, was about
                                                      to be liberated from the bands of mortality and to exchange his earthly
                                                      pilgrimage for a heavenly home with his Master Christ, he abdicated the
                                                      Patriarchate and took upon him the monastic life, and when we asked him,
                                                      Why hast thou done this? he answered, Because I fear that, if death
                                                      should surprise me still in the episcopate of this royal and
                                                      heaven-defended city, I should have to carry with me the anathema of the
                                                      whole Catholic Church, which consigns me to that outer darkness which is
                                                      prepared for the devil and his angels; for they say that a certain synod
                                                      hath been held here in order to the subversion of pictures and images
                                                      which the Catholic Church holds, embraces, and receives, in memory of
                                                      the persons whom they represent. This is that which distracts my soul --
                                                      this is that which makes me anxiously to enquire how I may escape the
                                                      judgment of God -- since among such men I have been brought up and with
                                                      such am I numbered. No sooner had he thus spoken in the presence of some
                                                      of our most illustrious nobles than he expired."

                                                      --from The Imperial Sacra. Read at the First Session. (Found in Labbe
                                                      and Cossart, Concilia, Tom. VII., col. 49.) page 531, with permission
                                                      from Medieval Sourcebook: The Second Council of Nicea, 787 AD:

                                                      http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/nicea2.html

                                                      ---

                                                      It seems to me that if praying at St. John's place of repose during the
                                                      All Diaspora Conference was an important act of consultation, how
                                                      important was it to follow his counsel as written? The Holy Gospels in
                                                      which the Lord asks his disciples, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, but
                                                      do not what I say?" applies, except that I could wonder whether St. John
                                                      of Shanghai and SF is wondering, why do you call on me for consultation
                                                      but not listen to what I have already counseled on this matter of the
                                                      repentance of the Moscow Patriarchate hierarchs?

                                                      Why no one responds to what St. John said on this, because it cannot be
                                                      avoided that they are disregarding the actual saint when seeking his
                                                      counsel.

                                                      your brother,
                                                      Michael

                                                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Bratislav Peplinski
                                                      <bratislavbrad@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Dear in Christ Mr Woodson,
                                                      >
                                                      > You write below that you will oppse the MP untill "its political
                                                      hierarchs resign in penance". Such a demand seems out of character for
                                                      you, who so highly values the privacy of ones spiritual status. You
                                                      realize that you have no authority or right to decide who needs
                                                      penances, let alone what the penances should be. What any particular
                                                      Bishop of Christ repents of (excepting, perhaps, heresy) is between him,
                                                      his spiritual Father and God. And it is also between these three that
                                                      any penance will be decided upon, whether or not you happen to think it
                                                      a just enough penance to "fit the crime".
                                                      >
                                                      > Also, I've read your views about "waiting on the Lord" when it comes
                                                      to the Mp. But do you think it even possible that while you are "waiting
                                                      for the Lord" to start His work, He is already in the midst of it,
                                                      waiting for you to join Him?
                                                      >
                                                      > Your brother,
                                                      > Bratislav

                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • Mike Woodson
                                                      Dear Bratislav, Thank you for your kind words, and especially for those good words about holy Saint John the Wonderworker. During his writing of the Short
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Aug 18 12:25 AM
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Dear Bratislav,

                                                        Thank you for your kind words, and especially for those good words
                                                        about holy Saint John the Wonderworker. During his writing of the
                                                        Short History of the ROCOR, St. John's thinking was steeped in prayer,
                                                        labor and peace, without a semblance of passionate lecturing.

                                                        Such are reasons that I trust his substantive observations, and not
                                                        only that, there are very significant distinctions between the MP on
                                                        one hand and the people of the Church in Russia on the other. To my
                                                        mind, putting off the MP is not equal to harming, hurting or
                                                        condemning the Russian faithful. On the contrary, for Russians
                                                        rediscovering their faith, it would be spiritually and perhaps
                                                        physically protective to wait out the resignation or passing of the MP
                                                        hierarchs as God permits their era to pass.

                                                        Too many words (as usual).

                                                        Michael

                                                        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Bratislav Peplinski
                                                        <bratislavbrad@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > Dear in Christ Michael,
                                                        >
                                                        > You make a good point and it is indeed a point that should not go
                                                        unconsidered. To be honest, I agree with the sentiment that St John
                                                        (and yourself) express. But that does not mean that without the
                                                        penitential act of resignation I will oppose the MP and refuse to call
                                                        them brothers and share with them the One Cup and One Loaf. It is not
                                                        for me and even, unfortunately perhaps, not for St John to mete out
                                                        penances. Such things will be decided by the All Russian Synod when
                                                        that is possible.
                                                        >
                                                        > Lastly, I do not believe that our hierarchs are so evil or blind
                                                        as to merely pay lip service to St John while they knowingly or
                                                        unknowingly act contrary to his written opinions. It pains me to say
                                                        it, because St John holds a dear place in my heart, but even the
                                                        opinions of saints can be wrong or to some degree unfitting for the
                                                        circumstances. Our current leaders might see there to be a big enough
                                                        difference between the MP St John wrote of and the MP we are seeking
                                                        to reconcile with as to warrant action other than recommended by our
                                                        saintly Vladyka.
                                                        >
                                                        > Be well and God keep you,
                                                        > Bratislav
                                                        >
                                                        >
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