Epistle of ROAC Synod to ROCA Sobor - part 2/2
- If Metropolitan Sergius, as the holy new martyrs pointed out, had
"distorted the dogmatic face of the Church", then under his successors we
must speak no longer of distortion, but of a complete overthrow of the Holy
Dogmas, and first of all - of the Dogma of the Church as being one and only
one. In consequence of this trampling on the Holy Dogmas there appeared
crying violations of the Holy Canons - for example, the categorical ban on
joint prayers with the heterodox under threat of being deprived of one's
and expelled from the Church.
Is it necessary to cite examples of the excesses of the ecumenists,
which are the more blasphemous in that they have been committed in the name
of Christ? In 1983 those abroad had the opportunity of seeing on television
the raising of a pagan idol by delegates of the Fourth Assembly of the World
Council of Churches in Vancouver, among whom were representatives of the
Moscow Patriarchate, while in Russia the "Journal of the Moscow
in its account of this ecumenical Assembly was not ashamed to mention this
hideous act in the most positive terms.
After the ecumenical Assembly in Vancouver the Russian Church Abroad,
headed by the holy Hierarch Philaret, in its Council in Mansonville in 1983
delivered ecumenism to anathema.
With the fall of the "iron curtain", there finally appeared the
opportunity for the forcibly divided parts of the Russian Orthodox Church to
unite. But it turned out that in the years that had passed since the death
the holy Hierarch Philaret (1985), too much had changed in the Church Abroad
- and a significant part of Her was now under threat of falling under their
The concelebrations of clergy and even bishops of the Church Abroad
the clergy and episcopate of the ecumenist Orthodox Churches - which was to
have ceased after the Mansonville council of 1983 - again became a
commonplace phenomenon. The concelebrations of the majority of the hierarchs
of the Church Abroad, not to speak of the other clergy, with the clergy of
the ecumenical Serbian patriarchate became a real scourge. And these
concelebrations took place in spite of the fact that this patriarchate
exceeded the Soviet sergianists in ecumenical enthusiasm, while her
relationships with her local communists was just as submissive as was that
her Soviet "sister". These concelebrations have not ceased even now, after
the recent epistle of the Serbian patriarch to his Muscovite brother, in
which he affirms that his patriarchate no longer has communion in prayer
It was also with a heavy feeling of perplexity that we observed the
hasty proclamation, in the Hierarchical Council of the ROCA that took place
in 1994, that the ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili and Orope was
identical to the ecclesiology of the Church Abroad. We cannot accept as
Orthodox the basic position of this ecclesiology - that the saving grace of
the sacraments can supposedly be guaranteed to abide in heretical
communities, albeit only up to their conciliar condemnation. One of the
metropolitans with his followers calls the hierarchs of "World Orthodoxy"
"sick" members of one and the same Body of Christ - His True Church. One
branch is healthy, the other sick. We understand that the ecclesiological
resolution of the Council of 1994 is a natural step further downwards after
the Nativity Epistle of 1986, which was distributed under the signature of
Metropolitan Vitaly, in which the meaning of the anathema against ecumenism
accepted in 1983 was restricted, against all logic, to "members of our
(that is, the Church Abroad)" - as if an anathema applies, not to a heretic,
but to a jurisdiction! But we also saw, and we see to the present day, that
there are enough people in the Church Abroad who understand the whole
destructiveness of the resolutions, and that these people are trying to
correct the mistake of the Hierarchical Council in 1994.
But of course that which we perceive with the greatest heaviness is the
ever-increasing tendency of the Church Abroad towards union with the Moscow
Patriarchate. It is worthy of note that the very possibility of negotiations
with her was sanctioned in principle by the same Council of the ROCA in 1994
which recognized the crypto-ecumenist ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian.
At a time when the Moscow Patriarchate was preoccupied with unity with
the Catholics (the Balamand unia of 1993 - this document has not been
disavowed: on the contrary, certain of its positions have been widely
realized in life) and with the Monophysites (the Chambesy union of 1990;
within the bounds of the programme outlined in it the Moscow Patriarchate is
now getting very close to the Armenian monophysite church), certain
of the Church Abroad have been insistently seeking to get closer to the
Moscow Patriarchate - even in spite of the fact that the patriarchate takes
less and less account of the very existence of the Church Abroad,
exappropriating her property now not only in Russia, but also abroad. This
has delivered a huge blow to the dignity of the Church Abroad and Her
hierarchy even in the eyes of "outsiders". But still sadder is the fact that
this witnesses to the apostasy of part of the hierarchs of the ROCA from the
path bequeathed to Her by the first-hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony,
and Philaret - that is, to their apostasy from Orthodoxy.
If the other, healthy part of the ROCA does not find within itself the
strength to halt the strivings of the apostates, then the final degeneration
of the ROCA into a false ecclesiastical organization and Her subsequent
dissolution in the ecumenical "great and spacious sea" (Psalm 103.27) of
"World Orthodoxy" will become a burning question in the nearest future.
In Russia the stand-off between the Church Abroad and "World Orthodoxy"
in the person of the MP has taken a particularly acute form, and therefore
the Russian parishes of the ROCA did not have the possibility of waiting
years until the hierarchs abroad re-established Church discipline and were
again established on the path of the holy Hierarch Philaret. This was the
cause of the break in eucharistic communion between the Russian [Rossijskoj]
Orthodox Church and the Hierarchical Synod of the ROCA which took place in
1995. Unfortunately, our actions at that time did not meet with
on the part of the clerical leadership of the ROCA, which, contrary to the
spirit and the letter of Ukaz no. 362 and its own evident inability to
restrain the tendencies towards apostasy from the faith in the dioceses
abroad, began to insist on his own full right to realize supreme
ecclesiastical authority in Russia.
The five years that have passed since then have shown whether or not we
were right in our fears.
Our position remains: faithfulness to the dogmas and holy canons of the
Orthodox Church and, moreover, the preservation of the Orthodox Faith
contamination from the ecumenical filth of "World Orthodoxy" and its organic
part - the Moscow Patriarchate. It was on this path that Her ever-memorable
first-hierarch, the holy Philaret, left the Russian Church Abroad for us,
successors, and this position of ours is similar to that of the majority of
Old Calendarist Greek hierarchs and their flock. We have no "separate"
in relation to the Moscow Patriarchate: it is no more than a part of the
global and now already ecumenical sergianism, which with the same zeal that
Metropolitan Sergius once served Stalin now serves the New World Order and
the coming unification of everyone and everything. It is in no way worse or
better than some Serbian or Constantinopolitan patriarchate. With all these
ecumenical jurisdictions the Russian Orthodox Church broke canonical
communion under the holy Hierarch Philaret.
If you, your Graces, honourable Archbishops, clergy and laymen, choose
to return to the faith of the fathers - the holy fathers of Universal
Orthodoxy and the fathers of our Church Abroad - then we shall be together
again. Unity of canonical communion will be quickly restored between us, as
soon as unity of faith is restored.
But if it is not - if within the Church Abroad there is not found the
strength to stop Her slide into the quagmire of "World Orthodoxy", then the
end is inevitable: the Moscow Patriarchate will suck up into itself her
remains scattered around the world, and the muddy waters of ecumenism will
close above Her head forever.
May this not be!
The means of salvation are the same for all times: to hear and to carry
out, amidst the wavering, unstable elements of the world, the everlasting
voice of the true Mother Church uttered from on high: As you have believed -
"in that stand and be saved" (I Corinthians 15.1).
+ Valentine, Archbishop of Suzdal and Vladimir,
President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian [Rossijskoj] Orthodox
+ Theodore, Bishop of Borisovskoye and Sanino
+ Seraphim, Bishop of Sukhumi and Abkhazia
+ Victor, Bishop of Daugavpilis and Latvia
+ Hilarion, Bishop of Sukhodolsk
+ Anthony, Bishop of Yaransk
Protopriest Andrew Osetrov, Secretary of the Hierarchical Synod