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Re: [orthodox-synod] What is an Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the Recluse

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  • Basil Yakimov
    Dear Kseniya, You can find quite a lot about ecumenism in Englsh here: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ & the ROCA stance against ecumenism (the Witness
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 26, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Kseniya,

      You can find quite a lot about ecumenism in Englsh here:
      http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ & the ROCA stance against ecumenism
      (the Witness of the ROCA) can be found here:
      http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_rocor.aspx

      I hope this will be of assistance to you. Should you require it in Russian
      then I will point you to the sites where this info is located....

      S Bogom!

      protodeacon Basil from Canberra

      "Orthodox participation in the Ecumenical Movement has degenerated more and
      more into an anarchical, truth-despising and canon-despising activity. As
      such, it cannot but have the strong condemnation of it by enlightened,
      pious Orthodox Christians. For they take their Faith with the greatest
      seriousness, regarding it as the only Truth—the Truth that leads to
      salvation.

      —Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, "Fr. Georges Florovsky on Ecumenism," p. 15

      "The Orthodox do not expect the other Christians to be converted to
      Orthodoxy in its historic and cultural reality of the past and the present
      and to become members of the Orthodox Church."

      —Statement of the Orthodox delegates at the WCC General Assembly in Nairobi
      in 1975

      Often when the Ecumenistic activities of certain Orthodox hierarchs or
      jurisdictions have been openly criticized on this [email] list, the charge
      has been made that this is "bad-mouthing," "gossip," "whispering," etc. But
      let me make clear why these activities are not things that Orthodox
      Christians can ignore. Twice in as many days I have had private e-mail from
      non-Orthodox people (one a Protestant, and one a Roman Catholic) who in
      response to my claims that the Orthodox Faith is the True Faith, and that
      the Orthodox Church is not a church, but the Church, pointed to Orthodox
      involvement in Ecumenism to refute these claims.

      I will not go into the examples they gave (which were specific) because I
      do not want the point I am making to be side tracked by a "did not/did so"
      debate. Let it suffice to say that these non-Orthodox people interpreted
      these actions as contradictory to any suggestion that the Orthodox Church
      is what it has always claimed to be. Ecumenism is not a question we can
      avoid. It is a deadly serious pastoral and evangelistic problem that all
      Orthodox Christian are forced to deal with. I wish we could just go about
      the work of Christ and say our prayers, and simply ignore the betrayal of
      Orthodoxy that we see around us—but the Ecumenists do not afford us this
      luxury. Their activities are an affront to our Faith and to our ministry,
      and are a stumbling block that hinders those who we seek to bring into the
      Faith.

      I should start a file, and save every post I get from the Heterodox in
      which similar objections are thrown in my face on the basis of Orthodox
      involvement in Ecumenism. It really is something I often encounter—and it
      really does make me angry.

      —Fr. John Whiteford, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad"

      ........



      kseniya k
      <city_girl_in_jea
      ns@...> To
      Sent by: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      orthodox-synod@ya cc
      hoogroups.com
      Subject
      Re: [orthodox-synod] What is an
      27/07/2006 02:27 Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the
      AM Recluse


      Please respond to
      orthodox-synod@ya
      hoogroups.com






      can you explain to me what ecumenism is?
      Oksana

      Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...> wrote:


      What is an Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the Recluse
      (Translated from the Russian text published in Pravoslavnaya Rus, #4,
      1974).

      Rarely does the Rite of Orthodoxy, which is now being performed, take
      place without censures and reproaches on somebody's part. And no matter
      how many sermons are given explaining that the Church here acts wisely for
      the salvation of her children -- still the malcontents just keep repeating
      their line. Either they do not listen to the sermons, or these sermons do
      not strike home as regards the latter's perplexities, or perhaps they have
      formed their own conception of this rite and do not want to abandon it, no
      matter what you tell them.

      To some people our anathemas seem inhumane, to others constricting. Such
      charges might be valid in other situations, but there is no way they can
      apply to our Rite of Orthodoxy. I will clarify for you briefly why the
      Church acts thus, and I think you yourselves will agree with me that in so
      doing, the Church acts wisely.

      What is the holy Church? It is a society of believers, united among
      themselves by a unity of confession of divinely revealed truths, by a
      unity of sanctification by divinely established Mysteries, and by a unity
      of government and guidance by God-given shepherds. The oneness of
      confession, sanctification, and administration constitutes the rule of
      this society, which is obligatory for anyone who joins it. Membership in
      this society is contingent upon accepting this rule and agreeing with it;
      remaining in this society is contingent upon fulfilling it. Let us see how
      the holy Church grew and how it continues to grow. The preachers preach.
      Some of the listeners do not accept the preaching and leave; others accept
      it and as a result of accepting it are sanctified by the holy Mysteries,
      follow the guidance of the shepherds, and thus are incorporated into the
      holy Church -- they are churched. That is how all the Church's members
      enter her. In entering her, they are mingled with all her members, they
      are united with them, and they remain in the Church only as long as they
      continue to be one with them all.

      From this simple indication regarding how the Church is formed, you can
      see that as a society, the holy Church came to be and continues to exist
      just like any other society. And so regard it as you would any other, and
      do not deprive it of the rights belonging to any society. Let us take, for
      example, a temperance society. It has rules which every member must
      fulfill. And each of its members is a member precisely because he accepts
      and abides by its rules. Now suppose that some member not only refuses to
      abide by the rules but also holds many views completely opposed to those
      of the society and even rises up against its very goal. He not only does
      not himself observe temperance but even reviles temperance itself and
      disseminates notions which might tempt others and deflect them from
      temperance. What does the society ordinarily do with such people? First it
      admonishes them, and then it expels them. There you have an anathema! No
      one protests this, no one reproaches the society for being inhuman.
      Everyone acknowledges that the society is acting in a perfectly legitimate
      manner and that if it were to act otherwise, it could not exist.

      So what is there to reproach the holy Church for when she acts likewise?
      After all, an anathema is precisely separation from the Church, or the
      exclusion from her midst of those who do not fulfill the conditions of
      unity with her and begin to think differently from the way she does,
      differently from the way they themselves promised to think upon joining
      her. Recollect how it happened! Arius appeared, who held impious opinions
      concerning Christ the Savior, so that with these notions he distorted the
      very act of our salvation. What was done with him? First he was
      admonished, and admonished many times by every persuasive and touching
      means possible. But since he stubbornly insisted upon his opinion, he was
      condemned and excommunicated from the Church -- that is, he is expelled
      from our society. Beware, have no communion with him and those like him.
      Do not yourselves hold such opinions, and do not listen to or receive
      those who do. Thus did the holy Church do with Arius; thus has she done
      with all other heretics; and thus will she do now, too, if someone appears
      somewhere with impious opinions. So tell me, what is blameworthy here?
      What else could the holy Church do? And could she continue to exist if she
      did not employ such strictness and warn her children with such solicitude
      about those who might corrupt and destroy them?

      Let us see -- what false teachings and what false teachers are
      excommunicated? Those who deny the existence of God, the immortality of
      the soul, divine providence; those who do not confess the all-holy
      Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One God; those who do not
      acknowledge the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption by
      His death on the Cross; those who reject the grace of the Holy Spirit and
      the divine Mysteries which bestow it, and so forth. Do you see what manner
      of issues they touch upon? These are issues which are the very reason the
      holy Church is the Church, principles upon which she is founded and
      without which she could not be that which she is. Therefore those who rise
      up against such truths are to the Church what those who make attempts
      against our lives and our property are to us in our daily life. Robbers
      and thieves, after all, are nowhere permitted to carry on freely and go
      unpunished! And when they are bound and handed over to the law and to
      punishment, no one considers this to be inhumane or a violation of
      freedom. On the contrary, people see in this very thing both an act of
      love for man and a safeguard for freedom -- with regard to all the members
      of society. If you judge thus here, judge thus also concerning the society
      of the Church. These false teachers, just like thieves and robbers,
      plunder the property of the holy Church and of God, corrupting her
      children and destroying them. Does the holy Church really err in judging
      them, binding them, and casting them out? And would it really be love for
      man if she regarded the actions of such people with indifference and left
      them at liberty to destroy everyone else? Would a mother permit a snake to
      freely crawl up to and bite her little child, who does not understand the
      danger? If some immoral person were to gain access to your family and
      begin tempting your daughter, or your son -- would you be able to regard
      their actions and their speeches with indifference? Fearing to gain a
      reputation for being inhumane and old-fashioned, would you tie your own
      hands? Would you not push such a person out the door and close it against
      them forever?! You should view the actions of the holy Church in the same
      way. She sees that individuals of corrupt mind appear, and corrupt others
      -- and she rises up against them, drives them away, and calls out to all
      those who are her own: Beware -- so-and-so and such-and-such people wish
      to destroy your souls. Do not listen to them; flee from them. Thus she
      fulfills the duty of motherly love, and therefore acts lovingly -- or as
      you put it, humanely.

      At the present time, we have a proliferation of nihilists, spiritists and
      other pernicious clever ones who are carried away with the false teachers
      of the West. Do you really think that our holy Church would keep silence
      and not raise her voice to condemn and anathematize them, if their
      destructive teachings were something new? By no means. A council would be
      held, and in council all of them with their teachings would be given over
      to anathema, and to the current Rite of Orthodoxy there would be appended
      an additional item: To Feyerbach, Buchner, and Renan, to the spiritists,
      and to all their followers -- to the nihilists - - be anathema. But there
      is no need for such a council, and there is no need either for such an
      addition. Their false teachings have already all been anathematized in
      advance in those points where anathema is pronounced to those who deny the
      existence of God, the spirituality and immortality of the soul, the
      teachings concerning the all-holy Trinity and concerning the divinity of
      our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you not see with what wisdom and foresight the
      holy Church acts when she makes us perform the present proclamation and
      listen to it? And yet they say, "This is outdated." It is precisely now
      that it is relevant. Perhaps 100 years ago it was not relevant. But one
      must say concerning our time, that if a Rite of Orthodoxy did not as yet
      exist, it would be needful to introduce one, and to perform it not only in
      the capital cities but in all places and in all churches: in order to
      collect all the evil teachings opposed to the Word of God, and to make
      them known to all, in order that all might know what they need to beware
      of and what kind of teachings to avoid. Many are corrupted in mind solely
      due to ignorance, whereas a public condemnation of ruinous teachings would
      save them from perdition.

      Thus, the Church excommunicates, expels from her midst (when it is said,
      "Anathema to so-and-so", that means the same thing as, "So-and-so: out of
      here"), or anathematizes for the same reason that any society does so. And
      she is obliged to do this in self-preservation and to preserve her
      children from destruction. Therefore there is nothing blameworthy or
      incomprehensible about this present Rite. If anyone fears the act of
      anathema, let him avoid the teachings which cause one to fall under it. If
      anyone fears it for others, let him restore him to sound teaching. If you
      are Orthodox and yet you are not well disposed toward this act, then you
      are found to be contradicting yourself. But if you have already abandoned
      sound doctrine, then what business is it of yours what is done in the
      Church by those who maintain it? By the very fact that you have conceived
      a different view of things than that which is maintained in the Church,
      you have already separated yourself from the Church. It is not inscription
      in the baptismal records which makes one a member of the Church, but the
      spirit and content of one's opinions. Whether your teaching and your name
      are pronounced as being under anathema or not, you already fall under it
      when your opinions are opposed to those of the Church, and when you
      persist in them. Fearful is the anathema. Leave off your evil opinions.
      Amen.

      Examples of Anathema from the Holy Canons
      Canon I of the Second Ecumenical Council
      "Let not the Symbol of Faith be set aside…but let it remain unchanged:
      and
      let every heresy be given over to anathema…"

      Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council
      "Let no one be permitted to bring forward, or write or compose a different
      faith besides that defined by the holy Fathers who assembled with the Holy
      Spirit in the city of Nicaea. And whoever dares to compose a different
      faith, or present, or offer [one] to those wishing to turn to the
      knowledge of the truth…let such, if they be bishops or belong to the
      clergy, be alien bishops from the episcopate, and clerics from the
      clergy--and if they be laymen, let them be given over to anathema."
      Solemn Anathema against ecumenism
      Pronouncement of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside Russia, 1983, signed by all the Bishops, to be permanently added
      at the end of the Anathemas listed in the "Rite of Orthodoxy," celebrated
      on the First Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Orthodoxy:

      To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church
      is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of
      life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the
      future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions
      will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the Priesthood
      and Mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the
      baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore,
      to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics
      or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their heresy of ecumenism under
      the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated
      Christians, Anathema!


      ---------------------------------
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Basil Yakimov
      Dear Kseniya, You can find quite a lot about ecumenism in Englsh here: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ & the ROCA stance against ecumenism (the Witness
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 26, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Kseniya,

        You can find quite a lot about ecumenism in Englsh here:
        http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ & the ROCA stance against ecumenism
        (the Witness of the ROCA) can be found here:
        http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_rocor.aspx

        I hope this will be of assistance to you. Should you require it in Russian
        then I will point you to the sites where this info is located....

        S Bogom!

        protodeacon Basil from Canberra

        "Orthodox participation in the Ecumenical Movement has degenerated more and
        more into an anarchical, truth-despising and canon-despising activity. As
        such, it cannot but have the strong condemnation of it by enlightened,
        pious Orthodox Christians. For they take their Faith with the greatest
        seriousness, regarding it as the only Truth—the Truth that leads to
        salvation.

        —Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, "Fr. Georges Florovsky on Ecumenism," p. 15

        "The Orthodox do not expect the other Christians to be converted to
        Orthodoxy in its historic and cultural reality of the past and the present
        and to become members of the Orthodox Church."

        —Statement of the Orthodox delegates at the WCC General Assembly in Nairobi
        in 1975

        Often when the Ecumenistic activities of certain Orthodox hierarchs or
        jurisdictions have been openly criticized on this [email] list, the charge
        has been made that this is "bad-mouthing," "gossip," "whispering," etc. But
        let me make clear why these activities are not things that Orthodox
        Christians can ignore. Twice in as many days I have had private e-mail from
        non-Orthodox people (one a Protestant, and one a Roman Catholic) who in
        response to my claims that the Orthodox Faith is the True Faith, and that
        the Orthodox Church is not a church, but the Church, pointed to Orthodox
        involvement in Ecumenism to refute these claims.

        I will not go into the examples they gave (which were specific) because I
        do not want the point I am making to be side tracked by a "did not/did so"
        debate. Let it suffice to say that these non-Orthodox people interpreted
        these actions as contradictory to any suggestion that the Orthodox Church
        is what it has always claimed to be. Ecumenism is not a question we can
        avoid. It is a deadly serious pastoral and evangelistic problem that all
        Orthodox Christian are forced to deal with. I wish we could just go about
        the work of Christ and say our prayers, and simply ignore the betrayal of
        Orthodoxy that we see around us—but the Ecumenists do not afford us this
        luxury. Their activities are an affront to our Faith and to our ministry,
        and are a stumbling block that hinders those who we seek to bring into the
        Faith.

        I should start a file, and save every post I get from the Heterodox in
        which similar objections are thrown in my face on the basis of Orthodox
        involvement in Ecumenism. It really is something I often encounter—and it
        really does make me angry.

        —Fr. John Whiteford, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad"

        ........



        kseniya k
        <city_girl_in_jea
        ns@...> To
        Sent by: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
        orthodox-synod@ya cc
        hoogroups.com
        Subject
        Re: [orthodox-synod] What is an
        27/07/2006 02:27 Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the
        AM Recluse


        Please respond to
        orthodox-synod@ya
        hoogroups.com






        can you explain to me what ecumenism is?
        Oksana

        Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...> wrote:


        What is an Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the Recluse
        (Translated from the Russian text published in Pravoslavnaya Rus, #4,
        1974).

        Rarely does the Rite of Orthodoxy, which is now being performed, take
        place without censures and reproaches on somebody's part. And no matter
        how many sermons are given explaining that the Church here acts wisely for
        the salvation of her children -- still the malcontents just keep repeating
        their line. Either they do not listen to the sermons, or these sermons do
        not strike home as regards the latter's perplexities, or perhaps they have
        formed their own conception of this rite and do not want to abandon it, no
        matter what you tell them.

        To some people our anathemas seem inhumane, to others constricting. Such
        charges might be valid in other situations, but there is no way they can
        apply to our Rite of Orthodoxy. I will clarify for you briefly why the
        Church acts thus, and I think you yourselves will agree with me that in so
        doing, the Church acts wisely.

        What is the holy Church? It is a society of believers, united among
        themselves by a unity of confession of divinely revealed truths, by a
        unity of sanctification by divinely established Mysteries, and by a unity
        of government and guidance by God-given shepherds. The oneness of
        confession, sanctification, and administration constitutes the rule of
        this society, which is obligatory for anyone who joins it. Membership in
        this society is contingent upon accepting this rule and agreeing with it;
        remaining in this society is contingent upon fulfilling it. Let us see how
        the holy Church grew and how it continues to grow. The preachers preach.
        Some of the listeners do not accept the preaching and leave; others accept
        it and as a result of accepting it are sanctified by the holy Mysteries,
        follow the guidance of the shepherds, and thus are incorporated into the
        holy Church -- they are churched. That is how all the Church's members
        enter her. In entering her, they are mingled with all her members, they
        are united with them, and they remain in the Church only as long as they
        continue to be one with them all.

        From this simple indication regarding how the Church is formed, you can
        see that as a society, the holy Church came to be and continues to exist
        just like any other society. And so regard it as you would any other, and
        do not deprive it of the rights belonging to any society. Let us take, for
        example, a temperance society. It has rules which every member must
        fulfill. And each of its members is a member precisely because he accepts
        and abides by its rules. Now suppose that some member not only refuses to
        abide by the rules but also holds many views completely opposed to those
        of the society and even rises up against its very goal. He not only does
        not himself observe temperance but even reviles temperance itself and
        disseminates notions which might tempt others and deflect them from
        temperance. What does the society ordinarily do with such people? First it
        admonishes them, and then it expels them. There you have an anathema! No
        one protests this, no one reproaches the society for being inhuman.
        Everyone acknowledges that the society is acting in a perfectly legitimate
        manner and that if it were to act otherwise, it could not exist.

        So what is there to reproach the holy Church for when she acts likewise?
        After all, an anathema is precisely separation from the Church, or the
        exclusion from her midst of those who do not fulfill the conditions of
        unity with her and begin to think differently from the way she does,
        differently from the way they themselves promised to think upon joining
        her. Recollect how it happened! Arius appeared, who held impious opinions
        concerning Christ the Savior, so that with these notions he distorted the
        very act of our salvation. What was done with him? First he was
        admonished, and admonished many times by every persuasive and touching
        means possible. But since he stubbornly insisted upon his opinion, he was
        condemned and excommunicated from the Church -- that is, he is expelled
        from our society. Beware, have no communion with him and those like him.
        Do not yourselves hold such opinions, and do not listen to or receive
        those who do. Thus did the holy Church do with Arius; thus has she done
        with all other heretics; and thus will she do now, too, if someone appears
        somewhere with impious opinions. So tell me, what is blameworthy here?
        What else could the holy Church do? And could she continue to exist if she
        did not employ such strictness and warn her children with such solicitude
        about those who might corrupt and destroy them?

        Let us see -- what false teachings and what false teachers are
        excommunicated? Those who deny the existence of God, the immortality of
        the soul, divine providence; those who do not confess the all-holy
        Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One God; those who do not
        acknowledge the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption by
        His death on the Cross; those who reject the grace of the Holy Spirit and
        the divine Mysteries which bestow it, and so forth. Do you see what manner
        of issues they touch upon? These are issues which are the very reason the
        holy Church is the Church, principles upon which she is founded and
        without which she could not be that which she is. Therefore those who rise
        up against such truths are to the Church what those who make attempts
        against our lives and our property are to us in our daily life. Robbers
        and thieves, after all, are nowhere permitted to carry on freely and go
        unpunished! And when they are bound and handed over to the law and to
        punishment, no one considers this to be inhumane or a violation of
        freedom. On the contrary, people see in this very thing both an act of
        love for man and a safeguard for freedom -- with regard to all the members
        of society. If you judge thus here, judge thus also concerning the society
        of the Church. These false teachers, just like thieves and robbers,
        plunder the property of the holy Church and of God, corrupting her
        children and destroying them. Does the holy Church really err in judging
        them, binding them, and casting them out? And would it really be love for
        man if she regarded the actions of such people with indifference and left
        them at liberty to destroy everyone else? Would a mother permit a snake to
        freely crawl up to and bite her little child, who does not understand the
        danger? If some immoral person were to gain access to your family and
        begin tempting your daughter, or your son -- would you be able to regard
        their actions and their speeches with indifference? Fearing to gain a
        reputation for being inhumane and old-fashioned, would you tie your own
        hands? Would you not push such a person out the door and close it against
        them forever?! You should view the actions of the holy Church in the same
        way. She sees that individuals of corrupt mind appear, and corrupt others
        -- and she rises up against them, drives them away, and calls out to all
        those who are her own: Beware -- so-and-so and such-and-such people wish
        to destroy your souls. Do not listen to them; flee from them. Thus she
        fulfills the duty of motherly love, and therefore acts lovingly -- or as
        you put it, humanely.

        At the present time, we have a proliferation of nihilists, spiritists and
        other pernicious clever ones who are carried away with the false teachers
        of the West. Do you really think that our holy Church would keep silence
        and not raise her voice to condemn and anathematize them, if their
        destructive teachings were something new? By no means. A council would be
        held, and in council all of them with their teachings would be given over
        to anathema, and to the current Rite of Orthodoxy there would be appended
        an additional item: To Feyerbach, Buchner, and Renan, to the spiritists,
        and to all their followers -- to the nihilists - - be anathema. But there
        is no need for such a council, and there is no need either for such an
        addition. Their false teachings have already all been anathematized in
        advance in those points where anathema is pronounced to those who deny the
        existence of God, the spirituality and immortality of the soul, the
        teachings concerning the all-holy Trinity and concerning the divinity of
        our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you not see with what wisdom and foresight the
        holy Church acts when she makes us perform the present proclamation and
        listen to it? And yet they say, "This is outdated." It is precisely now
        that it is relevant. Perhaps 100 years ago it was not relevant. But one
        must say concerning our time, that if a Rite of Orthodoxy did not as yet
        exist, it would be needful to introduce one, and to perform it not only in
        the capital cities but in all places and in all churches: in order to
        collect all the evil teachings opposed to the Word of God, and to make
        them known to all, in order that all might know what they need to beware
        of and what kind of teachings to avoid. Many are corrupted in mind solely
        due to ignorance, whereas a public condemnation of ruinous teachings would
        save them from perdition.

        Thus, the Church excommunicates, expels from her midst (when it is said,
        "Anathema to so-and-so", that means the same thing as, "So-and-so: out of
        here"), or anathematizes for the same reason that any society does so. And
        she is obliged to do this in self-preservation and to preserve her
        children from destruction. Therefore there is nothing blameworthy or
        incomprehensible about this present Rite. If anyone fears the act of
        anathema, let him avoid the teachings which cause one to fall under it. If
        anyone fears it for others, let him restore him to sound teaching. If you
        are Orthodox and yet you are not well disposed toward this act, then you
        are found to be contradicting yourself. But if you have already abandoned
        sound doctrine, then what business is it of yours what is done in the
        Church by those who maintain it? By the very fact that you have conceived
        a different view of things than that which is maintained in the Church,
        you have already separated yourself from the Church. It is not inscription
        in the baptismal records which makes one a member of the Church, but the
        spirit and content of one's opinions. Whether your teaching and your name
        are pronounced as being under anathema or not, you already fall under it
        when your opinions are opposed to those of the Church, and when you
        persist in them. Fearful is the anathema. Leave off your evil opinions.
        Amen.

        Examples of Anathema from the Holy Canons
        Canon I of the Second Ecumenical Council
        "Let not the Symbol of Faith be set aside…but let it remain unchanged:
        and
        let every heresy be given over to anathema…"

        Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council
        "Let no one be permitted to bring forward, or write or compose a different
        faith besides that defined by the holy Fathers who assembled with the Holy
        Spirit in the city of Nicaea. And whoever dares to compose a different
        faith, or present, or offer [one] to those wishing to turn to the
        knowledge of the truth…let such, if they be bishops or belong to the
        clergy, be alien bishops from the episcopate, and clerics from the
        clergy--and if they be laymen, let them be given over to anathema."
        Solemn Anathema against ecumenism
        Pronouncement of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
        Outside Russia, 1983, signed by all the Bishops, to be permanently added
        at the end of the Anathemas listed in the "Rite of Orthodoxy," celebrated
        on the First Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Orthodoxy:

        To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church
        is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of
        life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the
        future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions
        will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the Priesthood
        and Mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the
        baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore,
        to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics
        or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their heresy of ecumenism under
        the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated
        Christians, Anathema!


        .
      • kseniya k
        Thank you, it explained everything quiet clearly. It is hard to believe though how widespread this problem is. Oksana/Kseniya Basil Yakimov
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 1, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Thank you, it explained everything quiet clearly. It is hard to believe though how widespread this problem is.
          Oksana/Kseniya

          Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...> wrote:





          Dear Kseniya,

          You can find quite a lot about ecumenism in Englsh here:
          http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ & the ROCA stance against ecumenism
          (the Witness of the ROCA) can be found here:
          http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_rocor.aspx

          I hope this will be of assistance to you. Should you require it in Russian
          then I will point you to the sites where this info is located....

          S Bogom!

          protodeacon Basil from Canberra

          "Orthodox participation in the Ecumenical Movement has degenerated more and
          more into an anarchical, truth-despising and canon-despising activity. As
          such, it cannot but have the strong condemnation of it by enlightened,
          pious Orthodox Christians. For they take their Faith with the greatest
          seriousness, regarding it as the only Truth—the Truth that leads to
          salvation.

          —Dr. Constantine Cavarnos, "Fr. Georges Florovsky on Ecumenism," p. 15

          "The Orthodox do not expect the other Christians to be converted to
          Orthodoxy in its historic and cultural reality of the past and the present
          and to become members of the Orthodox Church."

          —Statement of the Orthodox delegates at the WCC General Assembly in Nairobi
          in 1975

          Often when the Ecumenistic activities of certain Orthodox hierarchs or
          jurisdictions have been openly criticized on this [email] list, the charge
          has been made that this is "bad-mouthing," "gossip," "whispering," etc. But
          let me make clear why these activities are not things that Orthodox
          Christians can ignore. Twice in as many days I have had private e-mail from
          non-Orthodox people (one a Protestant, and one a Roman Catholic) who in
          response to my claims that the Orthodox Faith is the True Faith, and that
          the Orthodox Church is not a church, but the Church, pointed to Orthodox
          involvement in Ecumenism to refute these claims.

          I will not go into the examples they gave (which were specific) because I
          do not want the point I am making to be side tracked by a "did not/did so"
          debate. Let it suffice to say that these non-Orthodox people interpreted
          these actions as contradictory to any suggestion that the Orthodox Church
          is what it has always claimed to be. Ecumenism is not a question we can
          avoid. It is a deadly serious pastoral and evangelistic problem that all
          Orthodox Christian are forced to deal with. I wish we could just go about
          the work of Christ and say our prayers, and simply ignore the betrayal of
          Orthodoxy that we see around us—but the Ecumenists do not afford us this
          luxury. Their activities are an affront to our Faith and to our ministry,
          and are a stumbling block that hinders those who we seek to bring into the
          Faith.

          I should start a file, and save every post I get from the Heterodox in
          which similar objections are thrown in my face on the basis of Orthodox
          involvement in Ecumenism. It really is something I often encounter—and it
          really does make me angry.

          —Fr. John Whiteford, Russian Orthodox Church Abroad"

          ........



          kseniya k
          <city_girl_in_jea
          ns@...> To
          Sent by: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
          orthodox-synod@ya cc
          hoogroups.com
          Subject
          Re: [orthodox-synod] What is an
          27/07/2006 02:27 Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the
          AM Recluse


          Please respond to
          orthodox-synod@ya
          hoogroups.com






          can you explain to me what ecumenism is?
          Oksana

          Basil Yakimov <byakimov@...> wrote:


          What is an Anathema? By Bishop Theophan the Recluse
          (Translated from the Russian text published in Pravoslavnaya Rus, #4,
          1974).

          Rarely does the Rite of Orthodoxy, which is now being performed, take
          place without censures and reproaches on somebody's part. And no matter
          how many sermons are given explaining that the Church here acts wisely for
          the salvation of her children -- still the malcontents just keep repeating
          their line. Either they do not listen to the sermons, or these sermons do
          not strike home as regards the latter's perplexities, or perhaps they have
          formed their own conception of this rite and do not want to abandon it, no
          matter what you tell them.

          To some people our anathemas seem inhumane, to others constricting. Such
          charges might be valid in other situations, but there is no way they can
          apply to our Rite of Orthodoxy. I will clarify for you briefly why the
          Church acts thus, and I think you yourselves will agree with me that in so
          doing, the Church acts wisely.

          What is the holy Church? It is a society of believers, united among
          themselves by a unity of confession of divinely revealed truths, by a
          unity of sanctification by divinely established Mysteries, and by a unity
          of government and guidance by God-given shepherds. The oneness of
          confession, sanctification, and administration constitutes the rule of
          this society, which is obligatory for anyone who joins it. Membership in
          this society is contingent upon accepting this rule and agreeing with it;
          remaining in this society is contingent upon fulfilling it. Let us see how
          the holy Church grew and how it continues to grow. The preachers preach.
          Some of the listeners do not accept the preaching and leave; others accept
          it and as a result of accepting it are sanctified by the holy Mysteries,
          follow the guidance of the shepherds, and thus are incorporated into the
          holy Church -- they are churched. That is how all the Church's members
          enter her. In entering her, they are mingled with all her members, they
          are united with them, and they remain in the Church only as long as they
          continue to be one with them all.

          From this simple indication regarding how the Church is formed, you can
          see that as a society, the holy Church came to be and continues to exist
          just like any other society. And so regard it as you would any other, and
          do not deprive it of the rights belonging to any society. Let us take, for
          example, a temperance society. It has rules which every member must
          fulfill. And each of its members is a member precisely because he accepts
          and abides by its rules. Now suppose that some member not only refuses to
          abide by the rules but also holds many views completely opposed to those
          of the society and even rises up against its very goal. He not only does
          not himself observe temperance but even reviles temperance itself and
          disseminates notions which might tempt others and deflect them from
          temperance. What does the society ordinarily do with such people? First it
          admonishes them, and then it expels them. There you have an anathema! No
          one protests this, no one reproaches the society for being inhuman.
          Everyone acknowledges that the society is acting in a perfectly legitimate
          manner and that if it were to act otherwise, it could not exist.

          So what is there to reproach the holy Church for when she acts likewise?
          After all, an anathema is precisely separation from the Church, or the
          exclusion from her midst of those who do not fulfill the conditions of
          unity with her and begin to think differently from the way she does,
          differently from the way they themselves promised to think upon joining
          her. Recollect how it happened! Arius appeared, who held impious opinions
          concerning Christ the Savior, so that with these notions he distorted the
          very act of our salvation. What was done with him? First he was
          admonished, and admonished many times by every persuasive and touching
          means possible. But since he stubbornly insisted upon his opinion, he was
          condemned and excommunicated from the Church -- that is, he is expelled
          from our society. Beware, have no communion with him and those like him.
          Do not yourselves hold such opinions, and do not listen to or receive
          those who do. Thus did the holy Church do with Arius; thus has she done
          with all other heretics; and thus will she do now, too, if someone appears
          somewhere with impious opinions. So tell me, what is blameworthy here?
          What else could the holy Church do? And could she continue to exist if she
          did not employ such strictness and warn her children with such solicitude
          about those who might corrupt and destroy them?

          Let us see -- what false teachings and what false teachers are
          excommunicated? Those who deny the existence of God, the immortality of
          the soul, divine providence; those who do not confess the all-holy
          Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One God; those who do not
          acknowledge the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption by
          His death on the Cross; those who reject the grace of the Holy Spirit and
          the divine Mysteries which bestow it, and so forth. Do you see what manner
          of issues they touch upon? These are issues which are the very reason the
          holy Church is the Church, principles upon which she is founded and
          without which she could not be that which she is. Therefore those who rise
          up against such truths are to the Church what those who make attempts
          against our lives and our property are to us in our daily life. Robbers
          and thieves, after all, are nowhere permitted to carry on freely and go
          unpunished! And when they are bound and handed over to the law and to
          punishment, no one considers this to be inhumane or a violation of
          freedom. On the contrary, people see in this very thing both an act of
          love for man and a safeguard for freedom -- with regard to all the members
          of society. If you judge thus here, judge thus also concerning the society
          of the Church. These false teachers, just like thieves and robbers,
          plunder the property of the holy Church and of God, corrupting her
          children and destroying them. Does the holy Church really err in judging
          them, binding them, and casting them out? And would it really be love for
          man if she regarded the actions of such people with indifference and left
          them at liberty to destroy everyone else? Would a mother permit a snake to
          freely crawl up to and bite her little child, who does not understand the
          danger? If some immoral person were to gain access to your family and
          begin tempting your daughter, or your son -- would you be able to regard
          their actions and their speeches with indifference? Fearing to gain a
          reputation for being inhumane and old-fashioned, would you tie your own
          hands? Would you not push such a person out the door and close it against
          them forever?! You should view the actions of the holy Church in the same
          way. She sees that individuals of corrupt mind appear, and corrupt others
          -- and she rises up against them, drives them away, and calls out to all
          those who are her own: Beware -- so-and-so and such-and-such people wish
          to destroy your souls. Do not listen to them; flee from them. Thus she
          fulfills the duty of motherly love, and therefore acts lovingly -- or as
          you put it, humanely.

          At the present time, we have a proliferation of nihilists, spiritists and
          other pernicious clever ones who are carried away with the false teachers
          of the West. Do you really think that our holy Church would keep silence
          and not raise her voice to condemn and anathematize them, if their
          destructive teachings were something new? By no means. A council would be
          held, and in council all of them with their teachings would be given over
          to anathema, and to the current Rite of Orthodoxy there would be appended
          an additional item: To Feyerbach, Buchner, and Renan, to the spiritists,
          and to all their followers -- to the nihilists - - be anathema. But there
          is no need for such a council, and there is no need either for such an
          addition. Their false teachings have already all been anathematized in
          advance in those points where anathema is pronounced to those who deny the
          existence of God, the spirituality and immortality of the soul, the
          teachings concerning the all-holy Trinity and concerning the divinity of
          our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you not see with what wisdom and foresight the
          holy Church acts when she makes us perform the present proclamation and
          listen to it? And yet they say, "This is outdated." It is precisely now
          that it is relevant. Perhaps 100 years ago it was not relevant. But one
          must say concerning our time, that if a Rite of Orthodoxy did not as yet
          exist, it would be needful to introduce one, and to perform it not only in
          the capital cities but in all places and in all churches: in order to
          collect all the evil teachings opposed to the Word of God, and to make
          them known to all, in order that all might know what they need to beware
          of and what kind of teachings to avoid. Many are corrupted in mind solely
          due to ignorance, whereas a public condemnation of ruinous teachings would
          save them from perdition.

          Thus, the Church excommunicates, expels from her midst (when it is said,
          "Anathema to so-and-so", that means the same thing as, "So-and-so: out of
          here"), or anathematizes for the same reason that any society does so. And
          she is obliged to do this in self-preservation and to preserve her
          children from destruction. Therefore there is nothing blameworthy or
          incomprehensible about this present Rite. If anyone fears the act of
          anathema, let him avoid the teachings which cause one to fall under it. If
          anyone fears it for others, let him restore him to sound teaching. If you
          are Orthodox and yet you are not well disposed toward this act, then you
          are found to be contradicting yourself. But if you have already abandoned
          sound doctrine, then what business is it of yours what is done in the
          Church by those who maintain it? By the very fact that you have conceived
          a different view of things than that which is maintained in the Church,
          you have already separated yourself from the Church. It is not inscription
          in the baptismal records which makes one a member of the Church, but the
          spirit and content of one's opinions. Whether your teaching and your name
          are pronounced as being under anathema or not, you already fall under it
          when your opinions are opposed to those of the Church, and when you
          persist in them. Fearful is the anathema. Leave off your evil opinions.
          Amen.

          Examples of Anathema from the Holy Canons
          Canon I of the Second Ecumenical Council
          "Let not the Symbol of Faith be set aside…but let it remain unchanged:
          and
          let every heresy be given over to anathema…"

          Canon VII of the Third Ecumenical Council
          "Let no one be permitted to bring forward, or write or compose a different
          faith besides that defined by the holy Fathers who assembled with the Holy
          Spirit in the city of Nicaea. And whoever dares to compose a different
          faith, or present, or offer [one] to those wishing to turn to the
          knowledge of the truth…let such, if they be bishops or belong to the
          clergy, be alien bishops from the episcopate, and clerics from the
          clergy--and if they be laymen, let them be given over to anathema."
          Solemn Anathema against ecumenism
          Pronouncement of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
          Outside Russia, 1983, signed by all the Bishops, to be permanently added
          at the end of the Anathemas listed in the "Rite of Orthodoxy," celebrated
          on the First Sunday of the Great Fast, the Sunday of Orthodoxy:

          To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church
          is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of
          life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the
          future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions
          will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the Priesthood
          and Mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the
          baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore,
          to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics
          or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their heresy of ecumenism under
          the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated
          Christians, Anathema!


          .





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