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Re: [orthodox-synod] 2nd Request--ROCOR Clergy: I Would Like to Know...

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  • George
    I know I ve asked this before and had no response but I ll give it another shot. The folks who feel communion with the MP represents all these aweful things.
    Message 1 of 22 , May 2, 2007
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      I know I've asked this before and had no response but I'll give it another shot.

      The folks who feel communion with the MP represents all these aweful things. Can you please explain what the Only Holy Apostolic Orthodox Church is. What are the boundries, how many or few are the beleivers?

      George Green

      On Wednesday, May 02, 2007, at 08:07PM, "Athanasios Jayne" <athanasiosj@...> wrote:
      >XB!
      >
      >Dear Group members,
      >
      >I have so far received no substantive response to my
      >previous inquiry, so I thought I should try again:
      >
      >The Moscow Patriarchate and Church in Russia, to this
      >day, has not ceased Eucharistic fellowship with the
      >now heretical Local Churches of Antioch and Alexandria.
      >I am not aware of *any* instance in which the MP has lodged
      >even a verbal protest against the actions of these Churches
      >relative to the heretical Syrians and Copts--not *one* word
      >(though I welcome correction if I am mistaken).
      >
      >We have heard a lot about the MP's anti-Ecumenist
      >document. However, unless it is *acted* upon, what is it
      >really worth? The public actions of these two ancient Sees
      >are unmistakably Ecumenist--they are a clear and concrete
      >manifestation of the "Branch Theory" Ecclesiology which
      >our own Synod--just a few weeks ago--solemnly Anathematized.
      >Antioch and Alexandria are now recognizing, as Orthodox,
      >schisms which *refuse* to confess the dogmatic faith of the
      >Church. Antioch and Alexandria are saying that these
      >schismatics are, and always have been, *part* of the
      >Orthodox Church--but as "invisible" branches (it would seem),
      >since there was no discernible connection to the Orthodox
      >Church in either Faith or Sacrament. Have we only now, 1,500
      >years later, been blessed with the sanctity and wisdom to
      >see beyond the errors of the holy Fathers, and even of the
      >Ecumenical Councils themselves--and to correct them?
      >
      >The only question that remains, is to understand what this
      >means for us in ROCOR on May 17th. If, as I understand it,
      >ROCOR will, on that day, again become an integral and
      >constituent part of the Moscow Patriarchate and Church in
      >Russia--not only in origin, identity, and in spirit, but
      >also in One Body by One Eucharistic Communion, and by our
      >Commemoration of the Patriarch in all our Divine Liturgies,
      >then it seems to me that though we retain the name ROCOR,
      >and a degree of administrative independence, we are, in
      >reality, becoming PART of the MP, or rather, we will BE
      >the MP--the "MP Abroad" (so to speak), as we were the
      >"MP Abroad" prior to the Communist Revolution. The real
      >change is that now ROCOR will have a greater degree of
      >administrative independence than was the case prior to
      >the Revolution.
      >
      >If this is correct, if we are not only "reconciling" with
      >the MP, not only "entering into Communion" with the MP,
      >but rather, UNITING with the MP, and becoming *part* of the
      >MP, then ROCOR will be fully part of the Local Church of
      >Russia. It follows, then, that if ROCOR is fully part of
      >the Local Church of Russia, under her Patriarch, then ROCOR
      >will and *must* be in Communion with whatever Local Churches
      >the MP is in Communion with, is this not so? How can one part
      >of a Local Church refuse, on grounds of *heresy,* to be in
      >Communion with any Local Church which is in Communion with
      >our Patriarch and Holy Synod of Russia? Surely this would
      >cause a rift within the Local Church of Russia, such that
      >all who acted in defiance of, or condemned, the Patriarch
      >and Holy Synod of Russia, would very likely be deposed by
      >them.
      >
      >So, how can ROCOR maintain the integrity of her Orthodox
      >faith and confession under these circumstances? How can she
      >unite with a Local Church which is in Communion with heretics
      >(Antioch and Alexandria), without thereby being in Communion
      >with heretics herself, and thus compromising her glory,
      >her Orthodoxy? How can our Hierarchs remain silent in this
      >matter? This is *far* worse than simply praying with heretics
      >in the WCC, or being a member of it. This is actual
      >*Communion* with heretics, a betrayal of the Body and Blood
      >of Christ, and of the most sacred gift and trust of the
      >Priesthood.
      >
      >I ask Fr. John Whiteford, who was instrumental in my
      >conversion to holy Orthodoxy,
      >
      >I ask Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, who made me a Catechumen
      >and gave me my name,
      >
      >I ask Fr. John McCuen, who Baptized me, and anointed me
      >with Holy Chrism,
      >
      >and I ask Fr. John R. Shaw, who taught me a balanced
      >understanding of the holy Canons and their Anathemas
      >--knowledge that is most needful in these times, as a
      >shield against schism.
      >
      >I ask you, and all the Clergy of ROCOR who might read
      >these words, I ask from the heart: If ROCOR, as she is now,
      >is true and God-pleasing, without any spot or wrinkle, and
      >with a pure Communion, why should we--why should *I*--unite
      >with a Local Church which is in Communion with heretics?
      >What is my duty toward God and the Church and my soul
      >in this matter?
      >
      >When I became Orthodox, I chose ROCOR for a reason.
      >I chose ROCOR because her Orthodoxy was pure and
      >uncompromising. I chose ROCOR because her Clergy
      >and people were willing to suffer for the faith,
      >to keep it, to grow it, and to pass it on to their
      >children as an inheritance unimpaired, and a priceless
      >treasure. Its cost was the very Blood of God. What shall
      >we say on that Day, if that Blood is required at our
      >hands, because we betrayed it into the hands of
      >heretics?
      >
      >What shall we say?
      >
      >From the second Open Letter recently published by the
      >faithful monks of holy Mt. Athos:
      >
      >"In essence, all those who commemorate the name of the
      >Patriarch, express the same faith with him, according to
      >the teachings of the Holy Fathers and the Tradition of the
      >Church. We do remind you here of the words of the Martyrs
      >of the Holy Mountain, whom you say that you deeply respect
      >and honor, to the latin-lover emperor Michael the 8th:
      >"The Orthodox Church is from above; the commemoration of
      >the name of the High Priest in the altar indicates complete
      >agreement with him. Because it is mentioned in the comments
      >about the Divine Liturgy that the priest commemorates the
      >name of the high priest, indicating thus his obedience to
      >the higher authority, that he is in complete communion with
      >him and that he considers himself his successor in the Faith
      >and in the holy Sacraments".
      >
      >___________________________
      >
      >Athanasios Jayne
      >(ROCOR)
      >
      >
    • Athanasios Jayne
      ... the ecumenical council which condemned these two Local Churches. Could you tell me when this happened, and what was said? Or are we back to everyman his
      Message 2 of 22 , May 2, 2007
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        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, antiquariu@... wrote:
        >
        > Whereas I appreciate your concern, I must have missed
        the ecumenical council which condemned these two Local
        Churches. Could you tell me when this happened, and what
        was said? Or are we back to everyman his own ecumenical
        council?

        > Seriously, <<

        Dear Vova,

        It is my belief, based firmly upon the teaching of
        the Orthodox Church and Holy Fathers, that the
        Hierarchs of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria
        have made heretical decrees, and on that basis,
        I have called them heretical. Was Iconoclasm a heresy
        only *after* it was condemned by the Seventh Ecumenical
        Council? Was Arianism a heresy only *after* it was
        condemned by the First? Is it your contention that
        the Iconoclasts and Arians were Orthodox before their
        canonical and synodal condemnation, and that no one
        should have called them heretics before then? Is it
        your contention that all who called them heretics
        before their canonical and synodal condemnation,
        sinned in doing so? What Ecumenical Council has
        said that the Pope of Rome is a heretic? None, and
        yet, he *is* a heretic--and no Orthodox Christian
        would say otherwise. Vova, would you agree with me
        that the Pope of Rome is a heretic? Please tell me
        what Ecumenical Council entitles you to do so, or
        tell us openly that you do not believe that the Pope
        of Rome is a heretic. What Ecumenical Council
        condemned the Monothelites as heretical before
        St. Maximus the Confessor (who was never Ordained)
        decided that they were, and refused Communion with
        them, and at the same time condemning their decrees?
        Was St. Maximus the Confessor wrong, in your opinion?

        You are free to disagree with me concerning Antioch
        and Alexandria. However, as I say, my conclusions
        concerning them rest upon the teachings of the Orthodox
        Church and Holy Fathers--and you are not free to
        disagree with *them.* If you do not regard the decrees
        of Antioch and Alexandria concerning the Monophysite
        Syrians and Copts as heretical, then you have indeed
        "missed the Ecumenical Councils," by which their heresies
        are clearly revealed and condemned.

        It is for the holy Hierarchs to put Conciliar judgments
        into effect, and I fully realize that. But for a
        layman to recognize heresy, and to say so, is not a
        usurpation of the prerogatives of the Clergy, who alone
        have the power and right to apply the canonical
        *consequences* of heresy when it is necessary--including
        excommunication, deposition, and anathema. The most
        a layman can do, is to bear witness to the truth as he
        is able, to the best of his ability, and to live in
        accordance with it himself. May the Lord grant you and
        I the grace and the strength to do so.

        Athansios Jayne
        (ROCOR)
      • antiquariu@aol.com
        Dear in-Christ Athanasios! Great answer! I do not agree with all of it, but I do with most, and it is a great answer. Please follow my interlining. In a
        Message 3 of 22 , May 3, 2007
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          Dear in-Christ Athanasios!

          Great answer! I do not agree with all of it, but I do with most, and it is
          a great answer. Please follow my interlining.


          In a message dated 5/3/2007 8:47:22 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
          athanasiosj@... writes:

          Dear Vova,

          It is my belief, based firmly upon the teaching of
          the Orthodox Church and Holy Fathers, that the
          Hierarchs of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria
          have made heretical decrees, and on that basis,
          I have called them heretical.
          Vova: and yet here it is your personal judgment until such a time as this
          is endorsed by a Council.


          Was Iconoclasm a heresy
          only *after* it was condemned by the Seventh Ecumenical
          Council? Was Arianism a heresy only *after* it was
          condemned by the First? Is it your contention that
          the Iconoclasts and Arians were Orthodox before their
          canonical and synodal condemnation, and that no one
          should have called them heretics before then? Is it
          your contention that all who called them heretics
          before their canonical and synodal condemnation,
          sinned in doing so?

          Vova: Well, er, yes. Divinely inspired or not, one only has to red the
          transactions of the councils and the commentaries of the Church Fathers to see
          that these issues were far from clear. They rent the Church and the Empire,
          and many whom we now revere as saints were for at least some of their
          existence on the wrong side of the argument. As far as iconoclasm is concerned, even
          today there are those who would have you believe that their is a canonical
          prohibition against everything except flat aspect Byzantine graphics, and fact
          is, there isn't. And then comes the question of the incredible number of
          self-righteous schismatics (The "True," "Holy," and "Genuine" wings, the
          "Resistance" wings, etc. I know it's Augustinian (Hippo) thought, but I firmly
          believe, along with St Augustine, that schism begets schism, and that -- in
          keeping with how the Church reintegrates heretics -- heresey is much easier to
          overcome than schism. Even S John Chrysostomos says use love, whereas our
          self-righteous would rather concemn.



          What Ecumenical Council has
          said that the Pope of Rome is a heretic? None, and
          yet, he *is* a heretic--and no Orthodox Christian
          would say otherwise. Vova, would you agree with me
          that the Pope of Rome is a heretic? Please tell me
          what Ecumenical Council entitles you to do so, or
          tell us openly that you do not believe that the Pope
          of Rome is a heretic.

          Vova: I do not not believe that the Pope is a heretic. As one of my
          favorite priests told me once (ROCOR), I have judgment, not a blagodarometer in my
          pocket. I have heard our own hierarchs (specifically Metropolitan Vitaly)
          utter things that were completely at odds with the little I know of theology,
          yet we didn't call him a heretic, we called him a senile old man under the
          influence of the nechestnye. So, no, until Pope Benedict is formally condemned
          by a council I will not resort to such. That does not, however, mean that I
          subscribe to Roman Catholic teachings that are heretical and have been
          identified as such. Nor, for that matter, do I believe that Elder Ephraim is a
          heretic, since he has not been formally condemned as such. I have even greater
          issue with Elder Ephraim than I do with Pope Benedict, but God has given me
          judgment and discernment to be able to reject heretical teachings, and
          rebaptism is on the top of that list. Open enough?





          What Ecumenical Council
          condemned the Monothelites as heretical before
          St. Maximus the Confessor (who was never Ordained)
          decided that they were, and refused Communion with
          them, and at the same time condemning their decrees?
          Was St. Maximus the Confessor wrong, in your opinion?


          Vova: You mean that wonderful monk saint who was martyred by Constantinople
          (ahh, got to love those Byzantines) for professing Orthodoxy AND obedience
          to Rome? No, S. Maximos was not wrong. I actually have read most of his
          extant writings, and you should too. He certainly makes some pretty eloquent
          comments and arguments about the primacy of the Roman Church, and the
          shallowness that made up the Orthodox Church of his time. Really gives you some
          insight into the Glories of Byzantium. . .

          Athanasios: You are free to disagree with me concerning Antioch
          and Alexandria. However, as I say, my conclusions
          concerning them rest upon the teachings of the Orthodox
          Church and Holy Fathers--and you are not free to
          disagree with *them.* If you do not regard the decrees
          of Antioch and Alexandria concerning the Monophysite
          Syrians and Copts as heretical, then you have indeed
          "missed the Ecumenical Councils," by which their heresies
          are clearly revealed and condemned.

          It is for the holy Hierarchs to put Conciliar judgments
          into effect, and I fully realize that. But for a
          layman to recognize heresy, and to say so, is not a
          usurpation of the prerogatives of the Clergy, who alone
          have the power and right to apply the canonical
          *consequences* of heresy when it is necessary--includin*
          excommunication, deposition, and anathema. The most
          a layman can do, is to bear witness to the truth as he
          is able, to the best of his ability, and to live in
          accordance with it himself. May the Lord grant you and
          I the grace and the strength to do so.



          Vova: Agreed, and I have even read the canons which prohibit bishops from
          staying in hotels, inns and visiting taverns. The body of canon law is
          frequently at odds with itself: it was created by fallible men. You had it
          right with "the best of his ability. . ."

          What we absolutely do have to be careful with is believing our own
          propaganda; history and hagiography are written for a purpose, and that purpose is
          frequently at odds with the truth. I can hardly wait until we work up Ferrara
          and Florence (or should I say Basel, since that's where this council started)
          , and that very minor backwater village priest who became the champion of
          Orthodoxy. What happened was wonderful, but what was described in the
          hagiographies and in the watered down modern Orthodox treatments of the issue is
          sheer nonsense. So, no, I don't believe everything I'm told by any source.
          That's why we have a Creed - Symbol of Faith. Our definition of Orthodoxy rests
          in that document alone. All other essays, hagiographies, etc. are
          superfluous, and not necessarily accurate or true.

          Looking forward to continuing this one.

          In Christ,

          Vova H.






          ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Archpriest David Moser
          ... Here is the core of the issue - *your* belief and *you* deciding who is heretical and who is not. This is not Orthodoxy, this is protestantism. The ones
          Message 4 of 22 , May 4, 2007
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            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Athanasios Jayne"
            <athanasiosj@...> wrote:
            >
            > It is my belief, ... and on that basis,
            > I have called them heretical. ...

            Here is the core of the issue - *your* belief and *you* deciding who
            is heretical and who is not. This is not Orthodoxy, this is
            protestantism. The ones who are given the grace by God to make such
            determinations are the heirarchs, not everyone. The Church is not a
            democracy where everyone's opinion is equal. The Church has one head
            Jesus Christ and He and only He gives grace to certain members to be
            the archpastors of the flock. He does not give this grace to the
            whole flock, nor does He give it to all the "under shepherds" but only
            to the arch-shepherds. The archpastors (the hierarchs) do not
            themselves make such decisions, but can only speak with authority when
            they speak in unison - and even that statement is subject to our Holy
            Tradition. It is the height of pride for any single person,
            particularly any single layman to assume that he is the equal of a
            synod of bishops.

            > my conclusions
            > concerning them rest upon the teachings of the Orthodox
            > Church and Holy Fathers--and you are not free to
            > disagree with *them.*

            Exactly - it is not the teachings of the Church with which anyone
            disagrees, but rather your personal conclusions drawn from those
            teachings and your personal ideas of how those teachings should be
            interpreted and applied. To make yourself the arbiter of the teaching
            and practice of the Church is nothing more than protestantism applied
            to the whole of Tradition rather than to limited solely to written
            scripture.

            Archpriest David Moser
          • Athanasios Jayne
            ... Dear Father, I can t believe that you actually read the statements of Antioch and Alexandria, which I have characterized as heretical, before you made this
            Message 5 of 22 , May 5, 2007
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              Fr. E. wrote:

              > All your reasonings concerning Great apostolic
              > Patriarchates of Antiochia and Alexandria just sheer
              > example of blasphemy against Jesus Christ and His
              > apostles who have founded these churches in the power
              > of the Holy Ghost. Don't trust your human logic in the
              > spiritual matters...

              Dear Father,

              I can't believe that you actually read the statements
              of Antioch and Alexandria, which I have characterized as
              heretical, before you made this accusation against me.
              Did you read them, Father, or did you make this grievous
              accusation against me before you examined the basis of
              my assertion?

              If you haven't read them, Father, here are links to the
              relevant statements:

              ANTIOCH: http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.html
              ALEXANDRIA: http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state05.html

              1) Father, do you believe that the contents of these
              official Synodal and Patriarchal statements are entirely
              Orthodox?

              2) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document (above) He recognizes the baptism of the
              Anti-Chalcedonian Copts to be the "one Baptism" spoken of
              by St. Paul in Ephesians 4:5, thus confessing that the
              Anti-Chalcedonians possess the same Mystery of Baptism
              as the Orthodox Church?

              3) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document He recognizes and accepts as a true Mystery
              the Marriages of the Anti-Chalcedonian Copts, thus
              confessing them to possess the same Mystery of Marriage
              as the Orthodox Church?

              4) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document He allows Marriages between the Orthodox,
              and the Anti-Chalcedonian Copts?

              5) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document He agrees to give the Mysteries of the
              Orthodox Church to the Anti-Chalcedonian spouses of
              Orthodox Christians, and also affirms that the Orthodox
              who are married to Anti-Chalcedonians, may receive the
              "Mysteries" from the Anti-Chalcedonian Copts?

              6) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document He affirms, contrary to the decrees of the
              Holy Fathers in Ecumenical Council, that the Anti-
              Chalcedonian Copts "have always loyally maintained the
              same authentic Orthodox Christological faith, and the
              unbroken continuity of Apostolic tradition"?

              7) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Alexandria, when in
              this document He agrees, contrary to the Holy Fathers in
              Ecumenical Council, that the Anathemas decreed by our
              Holy Fathers should be "lifted," and that there should be
              a "restoration of full Communion" between the Orthodox
              and the Anti-Chalcedonian Copts?

              8) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document (above) He and His Synod call the Syrian
              Anti-Chalcedonians "our brothers"? The meaning here
              can only be that of spiritual brotherhood.

              9) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, calls the gathering of
              the Syrian Anti-Chalcedonians, a "sister Church"?

              10) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, say that union with
              the Syrian Anti-Chalcedonians "will give the Eastern
              Orthodox more light and radiance, that it has lacked for
              centuries before"? Do you share their "conviction that
              this orientation is from the Holy Spirit," and that this
              move toward union with them is "inspired by the Holy
              Spirit"?

              11) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, say that we should
              "affirm total respect for the Holy Fathers of both
              Churches"? Can you be unaware that our Holy Orthodox
              Fathers *Anathematized* their "Holy Fathers" in
              Ecumenical Council?

              12) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, say that Orthodox
              students should attend theological studies taught by
              the Syrian Anti-Chalcedonians?

              13) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, say that NO member
              of the Syrian Anti-Chalcedonians who wishes to convert
              to Orthodoxy, and become a member of the Orthodox Church,
              can be permitted to do so? Do you agree with the Hierarchs
              of Antioch that such persons ought to be refused entrance
              into the Orthodox Church "irrespective of all motivations
              or reasons"?

              14) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, permit Orthodox Bishops
              and Priests to be co-celebrants, together with the Syrian
              Anti-Chalcedonians, in the ministration of the Mysteries
              of Baptism and Marriage?

              15) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, permits Orthodox Clergy
              to give all of the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church, to
              the Syrian Anti-Chalcedonians, and also for the Orthodox to
              receive the so-called Mysteries from the clergy of the Anti-
              Chalcedonians "in localities where there is only one priest"?

              16) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, allows the clergy of the
              Anti-Chalcedonians to use Orthodox temples, and also
              allows Orthodox Clergy to use the temples of the Anti-
              Chalcedonians?

              17) Do you agree with the Patriarch of Antioch, when in
              this document He, with His Synod, permits the Orthodox
              to have Anti-Chalcedonian Godparents and Marriage
              witnesses, and for the Anti-Chalcedonians to have Orthodox
              Godparents and Marriage witnesses?

              I must believe, Father, that you were unaware of the contents
              these Patriarchal and Synodal decrees, when you accused
              me of "blasphemy against Jesus Christ and His apostles" for
              opposing such things, and for saying that these statements
              by the Hierarchs of Antioch and Alexandria are heretical.

              If you were mistaken in this, Father, I forgive you most
              willingly. If, however, after being fully aware of what the
              Hierarchs of Antioch and Alexandria have said, you still
              accuse me of blasphemy against Christ and His Apostles,
              I still forgive you, but I also receive your accusation as
              the blessing of the Lord Himself, Who has honored me,
              a sinner, to suffer false accusation for His sake.

              I say again, and may I say it always and to my last breath,
              with the help of God Who is my Witness, that the Hierarchs
              of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria have made
              heretical confessions. I say this not of myself, not based
              upon my own human logic (as you suggest), but rather
              because it is the confession of Orthodoxy according to
              the Church and our God-bearing Fathers.

              The Hierarchs of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria,
              by their words and deeds, have made themselves liable to
              Anathema and deposition--and so do all who remain in
              Communion with them.

              Athanasios Jayne
              (ROCOR)
            • antiquariu@aol.com
              In a message dated 5/5/2007 9:24:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, athanasiosj@juno.com writes: The Hierarchs of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria, by their
              Message 6 of 22 , May 5, 2007
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                In a message dated 5/5/2007 9:24:24 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                athanasiosj@... writes:

                The Hierarchs of the Churches of Antioch and Alexandria,
                by their words and deeds, have made themselves liable to
                Anathema and deposition--Anathema and deposition--<WBR>an
                Communion with them.

                Athanasios Jayne
                (ROCOR)






                Khristos voskrese!

                Lord have mercy, Athanasios, I have seen almost every one of those points
                you made (Intermarriage, recognition of baptisms, godparents, etc) carried out
                in ROCOR churches without too much fuss, and also with the knowledge and
                endorsement of the hierarchs. And this was not by beginner or convert priests.
                As far as the other points, patriarchs calling for lifting of anathemas and
                so forth, what's wrong and heretical about that? Anathemas can and are lifted
                based on more accurate understanding of what's going on. The canons - and
                the interpretations thereof by councils - are hardly absolute.

                What is absolute in Orthodoxy is that our hierarchs working in concert
                (sobornost') are who call the shots. Initially, I had thought your arguments
                resembled those of Torquemada (Roman Catholic Inquisition), but more and more I
                see I was wrong. Your regular pet peeve of the week sounds a lot like more
                like the Lord High Protector, Oliver Cromwell, himself. It's a very Protestant
                line of approach to sack the hierarchs because certain lay people are in a
                better position to deal with heresy. Let's hang them all and start over! To
                paraphrase one of our dear Supreme Court justices, "I can't define heresy,
                but I knows it when I sees it."

                I know I surprised you with my last direct answers about Pope Benedict --
                haven't heard a peep from you since then on that topic -- but tell me, with
                those agonistean burdens on your shoulders, like worrying about the state of
                the church and those evil heretics down there in Africa, do you have any time
                left to help your neighbor or roll out pierogies or whatever else they do in
                your neck of the woods?

                Last question directed at you: why are the heretics and schismatics you
                favor (i.e., the "true" rebaptizers and "zealots" any better than churches
                seeking to redefine potential conciliar screw-ups?

                Wishing you a wonderful weekend and a better Sunday,

                Vova H.



                ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Athanasios Jayne
                ... and Alexandria via Moscow.
                Message 7 of 22 , May 6, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Fr. A. wrote:
                  >
                  >...In 12 days we shall also be in communion with Antioch
                  and Alexandria via Moscow.<<

                  XB!

                  Dear Father (et al),

                  I think it would be more accurate to say that "In 12 days
                  ROCOR shall be in Communion with Antioch and Alexandria
                  because ROCOR will be PART of the Moscow Patriarchate."

                  We will not be "in Communion with Moscow," we will be
                  PART of the Church of Russia--under the Moscow Patriarchate.

                  So, we will be in Communion with Antioch and Alexandria--not
                  "via" anybody else, but rather, we will, ourselves, as a
                  Church, be in Communion with Antioch and Alexandria, directly,
                  through our own Hierarchs, because Patriarch of Moscow will
                  be our supreme Hierarch on earth.

                  This is a *crucial* difference and change from ROCOR's past
                  relations with Churches such as Antioch or Constantinople,
                  despite the efforts of many to confuse and obscure this
                  matter, intentionally or unintentionally.

                  The Canons address Communion with heretics. To my knowledge,
                  they do *NOT* address, per se, "Communion with those who are
                  in Communion with heretics who are in Communion with
                  schismatics." Previously, ROCOR distanced itself from Local
                  Churches which were *themselves* involved in heresy.
                  So long as there was no manifest heresy in a Local Church,
                  ROCOR did not distance itself from them, even when they were
                  in Communion with Churches that were increasingly entangled
                  with heresy.

                  We see this in the precedant of ROCOR's Communion with
                  the Serbians and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. These
                  Churches still maintained an Orthodox confession, and
                  so we were in Communion with them. But we were increasingly
                  separating from Churches like Constantinople and Antioch,
                  due to their increasingly manifest departure from
                  Orthodoxy. Thus, ROCOR did not have normative relations,
                  did not have unhindered Hierarchical Communion with
                  Local Churches whose Hierarchs made heretical
                  confessions.

                  This distance, or gradual "walling off" from the sick
                  members of the Church, will no longer hold true for
                  ROCOR after 17 May. On that day, it is the intention
                  of our Hierarchs to *unite* with the MP, a Local Church
                  which is in direct, full, normal, unhindered, and
                  Hierarchical Communion with Local Churches that are
                  ailing under Hierarchs of heretical confession. Therefore,
                  ROCOR will no longer be, itself, innocent of a breach of
                  the Canons which prohibit Communion with heretics.

                  This is a new situation, and, I contend, a clear departure
                  from ROCOR's previous ecclesiastical relation to heresy
                  within Orthodoxy. It is a change in practice reflecting
                  a change in Ecclesiology. Previously, our Hierarchs
                  affirmed that the Ecclesiology of the Holy Synod in
                  Resistance, for example, was "identical" to that of ROCOR,
                  and ROCOR's actions in the real-world substantially
                  supported this claim. ROCOR's present course, then, is
                  demonstrably a departure from this Orthodox and Patristic
                  Ecclesiology, which avoided Communion with heretics, fully
                  in accordance with the Canons and Holy Fathers of the
                  Church.

                  Those who have attributed a sort of "contamination" or
                  "electric" or even (and let me say that childish words have
                  no place here) a "cooties" Ecclesiology to me, have seriously
                  misunderstood me, and are attempting to discredit me by a
                  false association with erroneous Matthewitism. I do not
                  ascribe to the errors of Matthewitism, which I have often
                  repudiated as both false and schismatic. As I have said
                  before, I hold to the moderate Eccesiology of Resistance
                  which was previously also professed by our own ROCOR
                  Hierarchs, and I believe that this is one and the same with
                  the Patristic, Canonical, and Traditional Ecclesiology of
                  Orthodoxy itself.

                  I do not "unchurch" the Antiochians and Alexandrians. I say
                  that their Hierarchs have confessed heretical errors, and
                  have for years now, openly, and in essence "bare-headed
                  and in the Church," by official, Patriarchal, and Synodal
                  statements. Therefore, on the basis of the holy Canons
                  and teaching of the Holy Fathers, I say that they are
                  *liable* to Anathema and deposition. I do not say that they
                  have *already* been Anathematized by the Church, or that
                  they are *already* deposed, because the Canons are not
                  self-enforcing or automatic. Such application of the Canons
                  can *only* be done by a great Synod of Orthodox Hierarchs,
                  after a just examination of their case, and if the offending
                  Hierarchs do not repent of their errors. Until that time,
                  they remain Grace-bearing Hierarchs of the Church; that is,
                  their Mysteries are true Mysteries. At the same time, they
                  are also ailing members of the Church. Those who separate
                  themselves from the Communion of such ailing members, pending
                  a hoped-for Canonical and Synodal judgment, are not only not
                  schismatic, but are even worthy of praise, according to
                  St. Photios the Great and the Holy Hierarchs assembled in
                  Council with Him, because their act of separation has, as
                  its ultimate purpose, the preservation of the purity of the
                  Orthodox Faith, and the unity of the Orthodox Church in
                  truth.

                  Those who say that there is no difference between being in
                  direct, unhindered, and direct Hierarchical Communion with
                  a Local Church, and being "in Communion via an intermediate,"
                  assert that which is untenable. If such a theory were correct,
                  then it would also be correct to say that ROCOR never ceased
                  to be in Communion with the MP, which would make the historic
                  Act of 17 May largely superfluous and insignificant. But it
                  is neither superfluous nor insignificant. We are, in part,
                  "restoring" that which once did not exist before in the same
                  way--namely, Communion: full, direct, unhindered, and
                  Hierarchical, as between members of one and the same Local
                  Church, which ROCOR and the MP will be, in every sense, on
                  that day.

                  Athanasios Jayne
                  (ROCOR)
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