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Haitian Orthodox Mission: a special neeed

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  • Fr. Gregory Williams
    One of our readers, Nicolas Neptune, the once-16-year-old who, together with a few of his friends, was in effect the founder of St. Augustine s at Jacmel, is
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 4, 2007
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      One of our readers, Nicolas Neptune, the once-16-year-old who, together with
      a few of his friends, was in effect the "founder" of St. Augustine's at
      Jacmel, is in his final year of studies in agricultural engineering. His
      school fees have been underwritten throughout his university studies by a
      faithful contributor. But now, in order to complete his degree, he must
      undertake and complete an on-the-ground project, studying the cultivation of
      hot peppers in the region around the parish. His project (which I have read
      and find impressive) has been approved by the university.

      But in order to accomplish it (in effect, the equivalent of a thesis), he
      has several needs which must be met:

      A PC laptop computer (Macs are virtually unknown in Haiti, and I can't
      afford to take on an additional role as computer support guy) of reasonably
      recent vintage.

      A digital camera -- anything of reasonable resolution and in good
      functioning order, capable of downloading to the PC will do.

      And about $1500 to cover costs for topographic maps, printing, rental of
      specialized equipment, transport, etc.

      Should a surplus of laptops and/or cameras turn up, I know well where to put
      them to good use!


      In Christ Jesus,
      Fr. Gregory Williams

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      The Saint John of Kronstadt Press
      The Haitian Orthodox Mission
      The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation/Agape Community
      1180 Orthodox Way
      Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA

      Catalog of books & recordings: www.sjkp.org
      Information on the Haitian Mission: www.orthodoxhaiti.org
      Information on Church of the Annunciation: www.annunciation.us

      Phone: (615) 536-5239
      FAX: (615) 536-5945
      E-mail: frgregory@...
    • Fr. Gregory Williams
      May the Lord bless and protect us all! Follows the amended text (the section concerning permissive non-commemoration is supplied from a later communication,
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 16, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        May the Lord bless and protect us all! Follows the amended text
        (the section concerning "permissive non-commemoration" is supplied from a
        later communication, and some now irrelevant material has been deleted) of a
        letter sent to Met. Laurus, Abp. Hilarion, and Bp. Gabriel early in
        December. Vladyka Gabriel e-mailed me to the effect that the letter
        expressed his own perception admirably, and that he had distributed copies
        to all the bishops. Apologies to those who receive multiple copies; this
        text has already been distributed in a narrower circulation. A Russian
        translation has been prepared (I did not request it, but rather was asked
        permission for it to be made). I can supply either English or Russian in
        Microsoft Word 5.1 format (or as a pdf if necessary, though that takes a bit
        of doing and makes for a much larger file) as an attachment to an e-mail
        response.

        Please note that I have been off the rocaclergy list for unknown reasons for
        a couple of weeks and two requests to be reinstated have bee ignored. So
        any response needs to be directed to me personally, not to the list.

        21 Nov/ 4 Dec 2006
        Entry of the Mother of God

        Beloved Archpastors and Fathers in God:

        With heavy heart I regard the impending (so it seems) submission of our
        Church to the Moscow Patriarchate. For more than a quarter-century we have
        worked together, seeking first, I trust, the Kingdom of God. By His Grace,
        the work of the St. John of Kronstadt Press has flourished, and the Church¹s
        mission in Haiti has grown, and our tiny parish of the Annunciation has held
        firm in the Faith. Now, I look upon the impending dissolution of my family,
        spiritual and corporeal, and I weep ‹ serving, perhaps for the last time,
        with many of my brethren with whom I have so long labored. My own family is
        only one of hundreds, more likely thousands, which will be shattered if the
        proposed submission actually takes place.

        As you well know, I am not Russian, nor Greek, nor Syrian. I am at least as
        much Haitian as American at this point ‹ and really neither. My commitment
        is to Orthodox Christianity ‹ and so it should be for every Orthodox
        Christian. But it seems that an overwhelming tide of sentiment for ³Russian
        unity² is driving the move to submission, with much else laid aside, to be
        dealt with at a later date ‹ or altogether ignored.

        Were the Moscow Patriarchate what it pretends to be, and is in effect
        proclaimed to be by the proposed ³Act of Canonical Communion² ‹ that is,
        truly the Orthodox Church of Russia, then there would be no question: we,
        ROCOR, must either resume our place within it, or be canonically established
        as a wholly independent body. But, historically and ecclesiologically, I
        cannot see this to be the case.

        But what is today known as the Moscow Patriarchate has no historical or
        theological continuity with the Orthodox Church of Russia, the Church of St.
        Tikhon and the New- Martyrs and Confessors. By the might of the Soviet
        state, the once-legitimate Metropolitan Sergius, having gone into schism,
        became at best a usurper, at worst an outright impostor and fraud. The
        post-Declaration ³Church² was wholly the creation of the Soviet power,
        conceived to further its own evil designs. Following in the same model was
        the ³restoration² of the ³patriarchate², at Stalin¹s behest. Unless we
        engage in Soviet-style rewriting of history (and it seems there are many so
        occupied), this history cannot be undone. What was created was at best a
        schism (the legitimate Orthodox Church of Russia continuing within Russia in
        the catacombs, outside Russia in what is now known as the Russian Orthodox
        Church Outside Russia). It was a schism (or far worse) compounded by its
        later engagement in ecumenism, rightly condemned by the Anathema proclaimed
        by our Church.

        Such a separation cannot be remedied by ³negotiations², but only by open
        acknowledgment of the Truth and public repentance on the part of those who
        have perpetrated the false ³church². This has not occurred. ³Regret² will
        not do.

        At a recent meeting of the clergy of the Southern Deanery, one of my brother
        priests (himself a proponent of submission), asked what would satisfy us
        (those who cannot in good conscience be party to such a submission). This
        is a fair question ‹ for, to the best of my knowledge, all of us grieve at
        the current situation, in which we are (we believe rightly) sacramentally
        isolated from nearly all of what claims to be Orthodoxy ‹ not only the
        schismatic Moscow Patriarchate, but as well the so-called OCA, the
        Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the rest of ³World Orthodoxy². We would dearly
        love to see an and to this isolation ‹ but not at the expense of Truth.

        I can answer only for myself, but suspect many others would make a similar
        answer. On the count of what has come to be known as ³Sergianism², the
        answer is fairly simple. A clearly stated renunciation by the Moscow
        Patriarchate (in the person of the ³patriarch² himself and enacted by
        synodal decree) of the infamous ³Declaration² which proclaimed the
        submission of the ³Church² to the State, and public repentance for having
        participated in the institution which falsely proclaimed itself to be the
        ³Russian Orthodox Church² would be necessary. Further, those individuals
        who received their illegitimate ecclesiastical authority from that Soviet
        institution must publicly repent and retire from their offices ‹ or be
        reinstated by a legitimate Sobor ‹ not one controlled by those very same
        persons and their appointees. Impossible? No; for with God all things are
        possible.

        With respect to ecumenism, the question is far more complex, for it involves
        not only the Moscow Patriarchate, but as well all those bodies with which it
        is in sacramental communion. (If the ³Act² is ultimately adopted and
        implemented, those who accept the submission would likewise be in communion
        with those same bodies). As to the Moscow Patriarchate itself, an immediate
        and unconditional withdrawal from the World Council of Churches would be an
        encouraging sign, though far from a complete response.

        Incomplete, because it would not address the question of the other bodies
        with which the Moscow Patriarchate remains in sacramental communion.
        Briefly, only the two most egregious cases need be mentioned: The ecumenist
        activities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (and its subsidiary, the Greek
        Orthodox Church in the Americas) are too well-known and too current to
        require further comment; even one of its most ³traditional² hierarchs
        publicly proclaimed the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church to be
        ³two lungs² of the same body. But far more serious is the second: What
        calls itself the Orthodox Church of Syria has formally and publicly entered
        into sacramental union with the heretical Monophysite church of Syria (which
        even now on its web site proclaims its rejection of the Council of Chalcedon
        and adherence to its heresy). In our own backyard we have, of course, its
        child, the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Are we to be a party to
        all this? God forbid!

        Thus, the only fully satisfactory response to this issue on the part of the
        Moscow Patriarchate would be for it adopt the course set by Metropolitan
        Philaret, of blessed memory, and to sever sacramental communion with those
        ecclesiastical bodies which engage in such heretical activity. Impossible?
        No. But, sadly, unlikely.

        For most of the twenty-six years since my baptism and ordination, I have
        found it necessary frequently to reassure troubled people that no
        ³intercommunion² with the Moscow Patriarchate was imminent, that I believed
        our hierarchs would hold firm in their commitment to true Orthodox
        Christianity. I watched schism after schism, grieved over the premature
        flight of many of my brother priests out of fear of such an event, and
        continued (and still continue) to voice my conviction that only official (as
        opposed to disorderly and disobedient behavior) action is ground for active
        response. Now, it appears, we are on the brink of such action. If the
        ³Act² as proposed is actually adopted by our hierarchy, and proceeds to
        implementation (in the form of public concelebration by hierarchs of our
        Church and those of the Moscow Patriarchate), our Church as I have known it
        will have ceased to exist ‹ or will continue to exist only as a remnant
        Church, not a party to the ³Act² or submission to the Moscow Patriarchate.

        Should that day arrive, God forbid, I cannot in good conscience be a party
        to the submission. I have no ³plans², have communicated with no other
        hierarchs, and do not know what is to become of me personally, nor of those
        committed into my charge. As directed by ukase, I will do my best to inform
        my flock of the situation, of the proposed actions ‹ and of my own response
        to it. In response to numerous anguished inquires, from clergy and lay
        people alike, I have counseled the same: wait, and pray; when and if the
        day of definitive action comes, the godly path will become apparent.

        As you well know, I have resisted, and continue to resist, anything
        resembling the Mansonville schism. This does not mean, however, that my
        conscience is quiescent. Vladyka Gabriel, you and I discussed the proposed
        preposterous "permissive non-commemoration" some months ago, at which time
        you found it as absurd as I. Indeed, it is an insult to the integrity and
        intelligence of those to whom it is addressed. How does this differ from a
        conscripted soldier hiring a replacement, or a Christian who hires someone
        to take his place before the idol?

        I cannot commemorate a false patriarch, nor can I be part of the false
        church which he heads -- whether I myself utter his name at liturgy or not.
        The time has not yet come, though it now appears it almost certainly will do
        so -- but when it does, if need be I'll stand alone, whatever form that
        might take. At that point, as I see it the Church which gave me birth and
        has nourished me will have ceased to exist, swallowed up in an anti-church.
        I won't have "gone into schism" or "left" -- I'll simply be left standing
        where I was before.

        What is that point? The point at which submission is formally declared,
        and/or Metropolitan Laurus publicly concelebrates with or commemorates the
        pseudo-patriarch.

        Is it possible I am wrong? Of course, and I freely admit that I might yet
        be ³enlightened² ‹ but not by ³negotiations² and rewriting of history.

        On the brink of departure for a two-week visit to our missions in Haiti, I
        am especially concerned for the future of the flock there: two priests, a
        deacon, six established missions, some hundreds of faithful. What is to
        become of them? Again, I will do my best to explain the situation (in a
        meeting of clergy and the most aware readers and laymen next week), and to
        explore with them their options.

        Beloved hierarchs: If this ³Act² is adopted and implemented, it will have a
        devastating effect upon me personally, and upon a very large number of our
        clergy and faithful. Many will scatter, grieving and reluctant, into other
        ³jurisdictions². Not a few will despair and fall into total apostasy. Some
        will withdraw into isolation (as has already at least one family), doing
        their best to survive with private prayers and readers¹ services, cut off
        from all sacramental communion.

        In the name of God, I beseech you, stop this course while it is yet
        possible. Continue discussions, of course ‹ not only with the Moscow
        Patriarchate, but even with outright heretics, where it is possible in good
        faith. But discussions are not negotiations, and the Truth is not to be
        compromised.

        Prior to sending this letter of appeal to you I have shared it with a few
        close associates amongst the clergy (not for further distribution), trusting
        their insights to help me better to say what must be said. I intend later ‹
        but only after allowing time for your responses, if any ‹ to make it public,
        believing truly that ³by silence is God betrayed².

        Please forgive me if I have been over-bold, or if I have in any way offended
        you. I regret that I cannot simply lay my own conscience aside and follow,
        blindly as a sheep the shepherd. Had I been able to do that earlier in my
        life, I would never have become Orthodox ‹ and I cannot do so now. Begging
        your prayers...



        In Christ Jesus,
        Fr. Gregory Williams

        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
        The Saint John of Kronstadt Press
        The Haitian Orthodox Mission
        The Orthodox Church of the Annunciation/Agape Community
        1180 Orthodox Way
        Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA

        Catalog of books & recordings: www.sjkp.org
        Information on the Haitian Mission: www.orthodoxhaiti.org
        Information on Church of the Annunciation: www.annunciation.us

        Phone: (615) 536-5239
        FAX: (615) 536-5945
        E-mail: frgregory@...





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Seraphim Patterson
        You speak for many of us Fr. Gregory. Thank you for expressing these thoughts so well to our Bishops. Seraphim
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          You speak for many of us Fr. Gregory. Thank you for expressing these
          thoughts so well to our Bishops.

          Seraphim

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
          > [mailto:orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Fr.
          > Gregory Williams
          > Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 4:11 PM
          > To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Letter of appeal to our hierarchs
          >
          > May the Lord bless and protect us all! Follows the amended
          > text (the section concerning "permissive non-commemoration"
          > is supplied from a later communication, and some now
          > irrelevant material has been deleted) of a letter sent to
          > Met. Laurus, Abp. Hilarion, and Bp. Gabriel early in
          > December. Vladyka Gabriel e-mailed me to the effect that the
          > letter expressed his own perception admirably, and that he
          > had distributed copies to all the bishops. Apologies to those
          > who receive multiple copies; this text has already been
          > distributed in a narrower circulation. A Russian translation
          > has been prepared (I did not request it, but rather was asked
          > permission for it to be made). I can supply either English or
          > Russian in Microsoft Word 5.1 format (or as a pdf if
          > necessary, though that takes a bit of doing and makes for a
          > much larger file) as an attachment to an e-mail response.
          >
          > Please note that I have been off the rocaclergy list for
          > unknown reasons for a couple of weeks and two requests to be
          > reinstated have bee ignored. So any response needs to be
          > directed to me personally, not to the list.
          >
          > 21 Nov/ 4 Dec 2006
          > Entry of the Mother of God
          >
          > Beloved Archpastors and Fathers in God:
          >
          > With heavy heart I regard the impending (so it seems)
          > submission of our Church to the Moscow Patriarchate. For more
          > than a quarter-century we have worked together, seeking
          > first, I trust, the Kingdom of God. By His Grace, the work of
          > the St. John of Kronstadt Press has flourished, and the
          > Church¹s mission in Haiti has grown, and our tiny parish of
          > the Annunciation has held firm in the Faith. Now, I look upon
          > the impending dissolution of my family, spiritual and
          > corporeal, and I weep ‹ serving, perhaps for the last time,
          > with many of my brethren with whom I have so long labored. My
          > own family is only one of hundreds, more likely thousands,
          > which will be shattered if the proposed submission actually
          > takes place.
          >
          > As you well know, I am not Russian, nor Greek, nor Syrian. I
          > am at least as much Haitian as American at this point ‹ and
          > really neither. My commitment is to Orthodox Christianity ‹
          > and so it should be for every Orthodox Christian. But it
          > seems that an overwhelming tide of sentiment for ³Russian
          > unity² is driving the move to submission, with much else laid
          > aside, to be dealt with at a later date ‹ or altogether ignored.
          >
          > Were the Moscow Patriarchate what it pretends to be, and is
          > in effect proclaimed to be by the proposed ³Act of Canonical
          > Communion² ‹ that is, truly the Orthodox Church of Russia,
          > then there would be no question: we, ROCOR, must either
          > resume our place within it, or be canonically established as
          > a wholly independent body. But, historically and
          > ecclesiologically, I cannot see this to be the case.
          >
          > But what is today known as the Moscow Patriarchate has no
          > historical or theological continuity with the Orthodox Church
          > of Russia, the Church of St.
          > Tikhon and the New- Martyrs and Confessors. By the might of
          > the Soviet state, the once-legitimate Metropolitan Sergius,
          > having gone into schism, became at best a usurper, at worst
          > an outright impostor and fraud. The post-Declaration ³Church²
          > was wholly the creation of the Soviet power, conceived to
          > further its own evil designs. Following in the same model was
          > the ³restoration² of the ³patriarchate², at Stalin¹s behest.
          > Unless we engage in Soviet-style rewriting of history (and it
          > seems there are many so occupied), this history cannot be
          > undone. What was created was at best a schism (the legitimate
          > Orthodox Church of Russia continuing within Russia in the
          > catacombs, outside Russia in what is now known as the Russian
          > Orthodox Church Outside Russia). It was a schism (or far
          > worse) compounded by its later engagement in ecumenism,
          > rightly condemned by the Anathema proclaimed by our Church.
          >
          > Such a separation cannot be remedied by ³negotiations², but
          > only by open acknowledgment of the Truth and public
          > repentance on the part of those who have perpetrated the
          > false ³church². This has not occurred. ³Regret² will not do.
          >
          > At a recent meeting of the clergy of the Southern Deanery,
          > one of my brother priests (himself a proponent of
          > submission), asked what would satisfy us (those who cannot in
          > good conscience be party to such a submission). This is a
          > fair question ‹ for, to the best of my knowledge, all of us
          > grieve at the current situation, in which we are (we believe
          > rightly) sacramentally isolated from nearly all of what
          > claims to be Orthodoxy ‹ not only the schismatic Moscow
          > Patriarchate, but as well the so-called OCA, the Ecumenical
          > Patriarchate, and the rest of ³World Orthodoxy². We would
          > dearly love to see an and to this isolation ‹ but not at the
          > expense of Truth.
          >
          > I can answer only for myself, but suspect many others would
          > make a similar answer. On the count of what has come to be
          > known as ³Sergianism², the answer is fairly simple. A clearly
          > stated renunciation by the Moscow Patriarchate (in the person
          > of the ³patriarch² himself and enacted by synodal decree) of
          > the infamous ³Declaration² which proclaimed the submission of
          > the ³Church² to the State, and public repentance for having
          > participated in the institution which falsely proclaimed
          > itself to be the ³Russian Orthodox Church² would be
          > necessary. Further, those individuals who received their
          > illegitimate ecclesiastical authority from that Soviet
          > institution must publicly repent and retire from their
          > offices ‹ or be reinstated by a legitimate Sobor ‹ not one
          > controlled by those very same persons and their appointees.
          > Impossible? No; for with God all things are possible.
          >
          > With respect to ecumenism, the question is far more complex,
          > for it involves not only the Moscow Patriarchate, but as well
          > all those bodies with which it is in sacramental communion.
          > (If the ³Act² is ultimately adopted and implemented, those
          > who accept the submission would likewise be in communion with
          > those same bodies). As to the Moscow Patriarchate itself, an
          > immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the World Council
          > of Churches would be an encouraging sign, though far from a
          > complete response.
          >
          > Incomplete, because it would not address the question of the
          > other bodies with which the Moscow Patriarchate remains in
          > sacramental communion.
          > Briefly, only the two most egregious cases need be mentioned:
          > The ecumenist activities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (and
          > its subsidiary, the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas)
          > are too well-known and too current to require further
          > comment; even one of its most ³traditional² hierarchs
          > publicly proclaimed the Orthodox Church and the Roman
          > Catholic Church to be ³two lungs² of the same body. But far
          > more serious is the second: What calls itself the Orthodox
          > Church of Syria has formally and publicly entered into
          > sacramental union with the heretical Monophysite church of
          > Syria (which even now on its web site proclaims its rejection
          > of the Council of Chalcedon and adherence to its heresy). In
          > our own backyard we have, of course, its child, the
          > Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Are we to be a party
          > to all this? God forbid!
          >
          > Thus, the only fully satisfactory response to this issue on
          > the part of the Moscow Patriarchate would be for it adopt the
          > course set by Metropolitan Philaret, of blessed memory, and
          > to sever sacramental communion with those ecclesiastical
          > bodies which engage in such heretical activity. Impossible?
          > No. But, sadly, unlikely.
          >
          > For most of the twenty-six years since my baptism and
          > ordination, I have found it necessary frequently to reassure
          > troubled people that no ³intercommunion² with the Moscow
          > Patriarchate was imminent, that I believed our hierarchs
          > would hold firm in their commitment to true Orthodox
          > Christianity. I watched schism after schism, grieved over the
          > premature flight of many of my brother priests out of fear of
          > such an event, and continued (and still continue) to voice my
          > conviction that only official (as opposed to disorderly and
          > disobedient behavior) action is ground for active response.
          > Now, it appears, we are on the brink of such action. If the
          > ³Act² as proposed is actually adopted by our hierarchy, and
          > proceeds to implementation (in the form of public
          > concelebration by hierarchs of our Church and those of the
          > Moscow Patriarchate), our Church as I have known it will have
          > ceased to exist ‹ or will continue to exist only as a remnant
          > Church, not a party to the ³Act² or submission to the Moscow
          > Patriarchate.
          >
          > Should that day arrive, God forbid, I cannot in good
          > conscience be a party to the submission. I have no ³plans²,
          > have communicated with no other hierarchs, and do not know
          > what is to become of me personally, nor of those committed
          > into my charge. As directed by ukase, I will do my best to
          > inform my flock of the situation, of the proposed actions ‹
          > and of my own response to it. In response to numerous
          > anguished inquires, from clergy and lay people alike, I have
          > counseled the same: wait, and pray; when and if the day of
          > definitive action comes, the godly path will become apparent.
          >
          > As you well know, I have resisted, and continue to resist,
          > anything resembling the Mansonville schism. This does not
          > mean, however, that my conscience is quiescent. Vladyka
          > Gabriel, you and I discussed the proposed preposterous
          > "permissive non-commemoration" some months ago, at which time
          > you found it as absurd as I. Indeed, it is an insult to the
          > integrity and intelligence of those to whom it is addressed.
          > How does this differ from a conscripted soldier hiring a
          > replacement, or a Christian who hires someone to take his
          > place before the idol?
          >
          > I cannot commemorate a false patriarch, nor can I be part of
          > the false church which he heads -- whether I myself utter his
          > name at liturgy or not.
          > The time has not yet come, though it now appears it almost
          > certainly will do so -- but when it does, if need be I'll
          > stand alone, whatever form that might take. At that point, as
          > I see it the Church which gave me birth and has nourished me
          > will have ceased to exist, swallowed up in an anti-church.
          > I won't have "gone into schism" or "left" -- I'll simply be
          > left standing where I was before.
          >
          > What is that point? The point at which submission is formally
          > declared, and/or Metropolitan Laurus publicly concelebrates
          > with or commemorates the pseudo-patriarch.
          >
          > Is it possible I am wrong? Of course, and I freely admit that
          > I might yet be ³enlightened² ‹ but not by ³negotiations² and
          > rewriting of history.
          >
          > On the brink of departure for a two-week visit to our
          > missions in Haiti, I am especially concerned for the future
          > of the flock there: two priests, a deacon, six established
          > missions, some hundreds of faithful. What is to become of
          > them? Again, I will do my best to explain the situation (in a
          > meeting of clergy and the most aware readers and laymen next
          > week), and to explore with them their options.
          >
          > Beloved hierarchs: If this ³Act² is adopted and implemented,
          > it will have a devastating effect upon me personally, and
          > upon a very large number of our clergy and faithful. Many
          > will scatter, grieving and reluctant, into other
          > ³jurisdictions². Not a few will despair and fall into total
          > apostasy. Some will withdraw into isolation (as has already
          > at least one family), doing their best to survive with
          > private prayers and readers¹ services, cut off from all
          > sacramental communion.
          >
          > In the name of God, I beseech you, stop this course while it
          > is yet possible. Continue discussions, of course ‹ not only
          > with the Moscow Patriarchate, but even with outright
          > heretics, where it is possible in good faith. But discussions
          > are not negotiations, and the Truth is not to be compromised.
          >
          > Prior to sending this letter of appeal to you I have shared
          > it with a few close associates amongst the clergy (not for
          > further distribution), trusting their insights to help me
          > better to say what must be said. I intend later ‹ but only
          > after allowing time for your responses, if any ‹ to make it
          > public, believing truly that ³by silence is God betrayed².
          >
          > Please forgive me if I have been over-bold, or if I have in
          > any way offended you. I regret that I cannot simply lay my
          > own conscience aside and follow, blindly as a sheep the
          > shepherd. Had I been able to do that earlier in my life, I
          > would never have become Orthodox ‹ and I cannot do so now.
          > Begging your prayers...
          >
          > In Christ Jesus,
          > Fr. Gregory Williams
          >
          > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The Saint John of
          > Kronstadt Press The Haitian Orthodox Mission The Orthodox
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        • All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
          The Very Most Rev. Metropolitan LAURUS and the Synod of Bishops Dear Master: Bless! We intend that this letter serve as a token of our enormous and heartfelt
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 17, 2007
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            The Very Most Rev. Metropolitan LAURUS
            and the Synod of Bishops

            Dear Master:
            Bless!

            We intend that this letter serve as a token of our enormous and
            heartfelt gratitude for your most cherished efforts in bringing about
            the healing of the division within the Russian Orthodox Church. We,
            the Monastic Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour, join in
            supporting the unanimous decision of the Fourth All-Diaspora Council
            concerning the unification of the Russian Church and now very eagerly
            await the carrying out of the approved Act of Canonical Union.

            As Your Eminence knows, thousands of Orthodox hierarchs, clergy and
            laity from all jurisdictions will resound with ours in rejoicing over
            this great and historic event! As a united Russian Church we shall
            now be able to speak worldwide with far greater influence on the
            moral and ethical issues that face us, bearing now credible witness
            to the oneness of the Church made manifest in the sharing of a single
            chalice.

            We offer up our prayers that our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has brought
            us to this historic moment, will continue to sustain and inspire all
            of your most fruitful efforts.

            Asking your Episcopal blessings, we remain,

            Your faithful children,

            Hieromonk Tryphon
            and Brotherhood


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