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Epistle of ROAC Synod to ROCA Sobor - part 2/2

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  • Olga Mitrenina
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2000
      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
      rank
      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
      Patriarchate"
      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
      of
      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
      own anathema.

      The concelebrations of clergy and even bishops of the Church Abroad
      with
      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
      almost
      exceeded the Soviet sergianists in ecumenical enthusiasm, while her
      relationships with her local communists was just as submissive as was that
      of
      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
      with
      the ROCA.

      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
      Greek
      metropolitans with his followers calls the hierarchs of "World Orthodoxy"
      the
      "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
      Church
      (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
      hierarchs
      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,
      Anastasy
      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
      many
      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
      understanding
      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
      without
      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,
      his
      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"
      claims
      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
      Church
      + 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
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