Actually, in the name of fairness, this is not what was said. I was
sitting right beside Bishop Gabriel, and across from Fr. Victor. The
question had been raised about our relations with other churches as a
result of a possible "union" with the MP. Fr. Victor was proposing as a
possibility that some sort of autonomy might be negotiated, even for a
period of 20 years or so in order to "protect" us from some of the other
lesser influences in the Orthodox world--like how all of this would wash
with the OCA, for example. There was nothing indicated that this sort of
deal was in the works at all, just as a hypothetical.
As far as the comment about our not having had canonical bishops for the
last 200 years, this was indeed said, but the quote is way out of
context. In the discussion of various "canonical" issues, Fr. Victor was
pointing out, that, strictly speaking, "canonical" bishops in Russia
went out with the advent of the Synodal system forced on the Church by
Peter the Great. Yet the Church went on, so applying the adjective
"non-canonical" doesn't always mean what we would like it to. This
explains why the Bishop remained silent, because strictly speaking, a
"canonical" system was replaced by a Lutheran innovation preferred by
Fr. Constantine was at the rear of the hall in regards to where the
Bishop and Fr. Victor were seating, so I can only surmise that perhaps
he did not hear this correctly.
I make no comment on any of the above as positive or negative, but this
is what was said.
Deacon Mark Smith wrote:
> Well now that I seem to be sucked into this... I just called Father
> Konstantin in France and he was shocked that our good clergy have
> denied hearing Fr. Victor say his comments about autonomy. So he told me
> "Father Victor stated (right in front of the bishop) that "there is no
> way we are going to be uniting right away with them what we're going to
> do is to negotiate a deal about autonomy with them for at least twenty
> years then we will get to know them better before we join..." Also he
> made the reply when someone mentioned that the MP is uncanonical that
> "we have not had canonical bishops for the last 200 years." The Bishop
> said nothing!
> Anybody wants to confirm this with him go right ahead.
> Please post this
> Fr. Andrew
> P.S. Of course this is just personal opinion.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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