A Letter to Dcn Nikolay Lukianov
June 7, 2007
Dear Fr. Nikolay,
We in the Parish Council are writing to you on behalf of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, a new parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), formed on May 17, 2007. The rector of Holy Ascension is Father Igor Hrebinka.
We were deeply concerned by your letter, and also, agree with many of your points. The signing of the Act has been a divisive event in our church and forced all of us to make very difficult decisions. Despite what decisions have been made, we must, above all, continue to treat each other with Christian love and respect.
Hopefully, as time goes on, we will be able to come together and unite in our dedication to the values and principles of the Church Abroad. Many of us are well acquainted with your father, Fr. Valeriy, and your brother, Fr. Sergey, and have the utmost respect for the entire Lukianov family. Your church has long served as an example for the rest of us. We have similar respect for Bishop Gabriel and Fr. Seraphim. Clergy such as these have led and nourished countless generations and deserve our gratitude.
That is why we categorically reject the accusations, personal slurs, and statements made on certain web sites. They have no place in our church community and we want no part of such discourse. We certainly see a need for lay people to voice their opinion, as they did at the All-Diaspora Council, as long as they work together with the clergy to resolve the issues facing all of us and maintain a civil level of discussion.
We believe the Bishops under the leadership of Met. Lavr have embarked on a path that holds many possible dangers. As you noted correctly, the issues of sergianism and ecumenism have not been adequately addressed, and we fear this will lead to other deviations from our Churchs beliefs. That is why we have decided to honor the authority of Bishop Agafangel, because he has been unwavering in his defense of the Church Abroad. As he and many others have counseled, it is folly to think that simple mortals can do battle with the Enemy. Only our Saviour, the Incorruptible One, can win such battles. Our duty is preserve our Church and try to be worthy of Gods blessings.
We fervently hope that all the differences between the groups opposed to the subjugation of our Church to the Moscow Patriarchate can eventually find a common language. We can then work together for our mutual salvation. We can then also reach out to other Orthodox churches that renounce the pernicious effects of modernism and remain true to our calling to preserve Orthodoxy in this world.
Holy Ascension Orthodox Church
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