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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism

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  • kseniya k
    thank you, Michael. Oksana Mike Woodson wrote: Dear Oksana, The meaning of ecumenical is positive, in the sense of the First
    Message 1 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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    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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.


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              [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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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.


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                      [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 10 of 26 , Aug 9 4:25 PM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 of 26 , Aug 16 8:30 PM
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                                          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 20 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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