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PASTORAL ADDRESS BY METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY

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  • Basil Yakimov
    PASTORAL ADDRESS BY METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY AT THE OPENING OF THE SOBOR OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA held during October 5-18,
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 30, 2006
      PASTORAL ADDRESS BY METROPOLITAN ANASTASSY
      AT THE OPENING OF THE SOBOR OF BISHOPS OF THE
      RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA
      held during October 5-18, 1959.
      (Reprinted from "Orthodox Life" 1959 )

      Today we have heard the sacred words: "Today the grace of The Holy Spirit
      has brought us together". They are said not only with our lips, but with
      our hearts. Every good deed is the gift of God's grace, and especially so
      is the Church Council - the Sobor. The Lord already has manifested to us a
      whole series of graces. Before we were able to meet together, it was
      necessary to make careful preparations. It was not an easy task to bring
      together the bishops from all parts of the world. The Lord God helped us
      to overcome all the difficulties, and we were able to gather here even in
      greater number than in former years. It was pleasing to the Lord that we
      should assemble not in some other place, but in a city which is the center
      and source of many political influences, where often the fate of the whole
      world is decided upon. It was favorable to the Lord that by this time we
      would be able to meet in this wonderful building, which corresponds to the
      significance of our task. We have come together at an appropriate time,
      when the Church is in need of showing a right path that is to be followed
      in these frightful times. Never before has our Church been exposed to such
      great danger as in the present time. It is with most intense fury that
      evil has struck at our homeland, Holy Russia. There in the sacred Kremlin,
      where the relics of the Moscow saints commemorated today repose, Satan has
      entrenched his throne, and spreads evil from there throughout the world.
      If previously this evil was held separate by the iron curtain, now this
      iron curtain has fallen and the doors are wide open for its dissemination
      throughout the world. The Bolsheviks are especially endeavoring to spread
      their influence in this country, as in a main center, from where the
      struggle is being waged with them. We see how the flame of sacred faith is
      gradually dying throughout the world, and the number of believers is
      diminishing and everywhere corruption and evil grows increasingly.
      Everywhere the number of saintly persons is diminishing; pure, innocent
      living has become rare, and even children are committing heinous crimes.
      In vain is our culture called Christian. At the present time it is leading
      mankind into a condition of folly, where science has arrived at the
      revelation of such destructive means, that today the world is standing at
      the edge of a bottomless abyss, and nobody knows what is capable of taking
      place on the morrow. And so in these frightful days, the Lord has
      scattered us throughout the world in order that we could be witnesses of
      His Gospel and spread it everywhere. But the world does not want to
      forgive us because we are not of the world. For this reason the world
      hates us and in every way tries to arm itself against us. We have many
      enemies, on the right and on the left, because we carry on the spreading
      of this Sacred Word. We are weak, but the Lord has granted grace to us to
      keep His True faith in its purity, and we carry this sacred treasure
      everywhere for the salvation of mankind. There stands before us the very
      important problem of missionary activity, - and we must show ourselves to
      be worthy and be zealous in its promotion, asking the Lord to give us
      wisdom with his grace. Now the decisive days are approaching, for the
      world is coming close to the end of its existence. "His coming is close at
      hand . . ." And we must not only teach others, but ourselves also fulfill,
      following the examples of the Moscow saints, whom we have commemorated
      today. They stand before us as Orthodox Zealots, and we must follow their
      example, turning aside completely from the dishonesty of those who have
      now occupied their throne. Oh if they could but arise; they not only would
      not recognize any of their successions, but rather would have turned
      against them with severe condemnation. With what zeal St Phillip would be
      set aflame against the weakfaith representatives of the Church, who
      indifferently look and see how the innocent blood of their flock flows,
      and yet do not condemn the enemies of the Church, but endeavor in every
      manner to flatter the atheists in authority. How the great adamantine
      Patriarch Germogen would have arisen in righteous indignation, seeing the
      hierarchy remain deceitfully silent at a time when atheistic propaganda is
      being circulated widely, forgetting that by their silence they are
      betraying God. Let us in every way turn aside from them, but at the same
      time let us arm ourselves with apostolic zeal. We must avoid as a
      pestilence every kind of contact with them. You know that these people
      with thoroughly burned consciences will never cease from waging war on us,
      although they constantly change their methods of warfare.

      At times they openly attack and at times they utilize a circumventing
      maneuver in order to conceal their true purpose. Often they appear as
      angels of light, in order to delude even the chosen ones if possible.
      Unfortunately, many are not aware of this and fall victims into their
      nets. We have enemies everywhere, not only among them, but far beyond the
      boundaries of our church fortress. Catholics and Protestants arise against
      us. Protestants do no want to forgive us because we stand firmly on the
      rock of Orthodox Tradition. And for Catholics there exists one aim, our
      enslavement and subjugation, and for this reason all means are
      permissible. They do not desire to forgive us for our firm stand, and wish
      by every means to weaken our authority. And so we must today, more than
      ever, shield ourselves with the armour of faith, and ask God for wisdom,
      remembering the saying of the Apostle: "take care how ye walk in danger,
      not as fools, but as wise men". We shall cherish these words, and we shall
      have but one purpose, to save the sheep entrusted to us by Christ. Let us
      look upon the icons of the saints of Moscow and emulate them, let us gird
      ourselves in the armour of truth, and then the grace of God will not be
      taken away from us. We saw today a multitude of people who gathered for
      the Moleben prayer. What had caused them to be brought together? Again it
      was the grace of God. May it continue to manifest itself in action, and
      dwell within our Church Council (Sobor), which I declare opened.
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