Repost from 2000: On Reception of Converts in the Russian Church
- My, my!
Never have I had so many words put into my mouth (good thing they're not
fattening!) than in the recent posting by "N.," which he entitled
"Consensus Patrum vs. Father Alexander," as if the Holy Fathers were all,
in concert, attacking my views.
In reality, of course, what we have here is "N." attacking the
historical positions of the Russian Orthodox Church, while I am trying, as
its loyal son, to defend them.
Through incredible logic-defying leaps of rhetoric and innuendo, "N."
comes to conclusions that are total figments of his imagination.
I do not believe *anything* that "N." accuses me of believing.
In fact, I have posted very little of my "beliefs" at all. Yesterday's
posting was basically a proof that my statement regarding what leading
theologians and luminaries of the Russian Church thought about Roman
Catholic mysteries was the truth. I provided numerous quotations, giving
full details of the sources of each quotation.
Why argue with me, when these are statements of the leading hieraarchs and
theologians? Argue with them, instead.
And if the statement found in the official "Handbook for Clergy" that
anyone who would dare to rebaptize a Roman Catholic was an "ignoramus" (see
Bulgakov, "Handbook for Clergy, Kharkov, 1900, p. 931, where Paragraph 82
of the "Directives for Parish Clergy" is quoted) offends you, argue with
the Russian Orthodox Church which published that statement--not me. The
statement actually says "rebaptize," ["perekreshchivat'] not "baptize," by
Tell me, "N.," were the four Patriarchs who met in Council in 1484 in
Constantinople and who issued an official Declaration that Roman Catholics
must not be receieved by Baptism, but by Chrismation, and who wrote a
special Order of Service for that purpose--were they ignorant of or in
opposition to the "Consensus Patrum"?
Tell, me, "N.," was St. Mark of Ephesus, who wrote an Epistle after the
Council of Florence-Ferrara in which he stated that Roman Catholics must be
received by Chrismation ignorant of or in opposition to the "Consensus
It is a well-documented fact that the Russian Orthodox Church throughout
its history, except for some 40 years (from 1620 to 1667) directed that
Roman Catholics be received by Chrismation--not Baptism.
If that bothers you, "N.," argue with the Russian Church--not with me.
Now, just for the record, I will state my beliefs, openly and unequivocally.
I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I believe that within the Holy Church is all that is necessary for
salvation. It posesses the grace of the Holy Spirit. Its mysteries are
true and salvific.
About whatever is outside the Holy Church, I do not know or care.
I also believe it is not my place to put limits on where God chooses to
spread His Divine Grace or Whom He wishes to save.
Now, argue with that, "N."!
With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff