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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Russian Orthodox Responses to the ROCOR Bishops' Epistle

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  • Daniel Lieuwen
    ... Father, bless. What a great idea. God grant you many years. Under the mercy, Daniel
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 7, 2000
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      > On behalf of the Parish of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Fletcher,
      >North Carolina: We, the undersigned Priest, Warden, and Council Members do
      >hereby agree wholeheartedly with the recent Epistle from the Sobor of Bishops
      >(Oct.14/27). It is a courageous stand in the face of increasing,
      >God-pleasing, change in Russia, and in recognition of labours still lacking.
      >We humbly ask your prayers and blessings as we, too, struggle toward
      >salvation in these ever changing times.
      >
      >May God grant you all many, many years!
      >
      >Your servants in Christ God,
      >
      >[Signed by Priest, Warden, and all Council members.]
      >
      >
      >Fr Joseph Huneycutt

      Father, bless.

      What a great idea. God grant you many years.

      Under the mercy,

      Daniel
    • Rd. Constantine Wright
      Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! I affirm that I support and profess the historic position of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, as exemplified in the
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 7, 2000
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        Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

        I affirm that I support and profess the historic position of the Russian
        Orthodox Church Abroad, as exemplified in the writings of the First
        Hierarchs of ROCOR of blessed memory, Metropolitans Anthony, Anastassy, and
        Philaret, and of our beloved preent First Hierartch Vladyka Vitaly.

        Some have desired a fuller explanation.

        >Resolutions of the Southern Deanery Clergy Conference of the Eastern
        > >America Diocese Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
        >
        >November 13, 2000
        >
        >1. We, the participants of the Clergy Conference gathered together in >the
        >parish church of the Holy Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All >Who
        >Sorrow" in Cummings, Georgia, under the omophorion of His Grace, >Bishop
        >Gabriel of Manhattan, express our sincere gratitude to the >Council of
        >Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad for its >efforts to the glory
        >of God and His Holy Church, culminating in the >Conciliar Epistle issued
        >by our hierarchs in the city of New York on >October 27, 2000.

        It is impossible to express gratitude for the recent Sobor Epistle, for
        there are serious defects in it, which have already been pointed out in the
        responses made by Fr. Paisius of NY, Fr. Tikhon of Koenigsburg, Frs.
        Vladimir and Sergei of Holy Transfiguration Skete in Mansonville - and many
        others - which I absolutely support and agree with.

        >2. As underscored in the Conciliar Epistle of the Council of Bishops, >it
        >is imperative that spiritual growth among the clergy and faithful >of the
        >Church be encouraged. Lack of piety results in a negative >impact on the
        >witness of our Church. Time spent in condemning the
        >faults of others is time wasted, time better devoted to prayer for >their
        >correction.

        I catagorically reject the attempt to imply that the historic stand of ROCOR
        and the other True Orthodox has been taken merely against faults. I remarked
        on this in an article I wrote from the notes of Fr. Raphael Vereshack, a
        ROCOR priest who sought refuge in ROCOR from the Metropolia/"OCA":

        "Sergianism and Ecumenism are not personal sins. Rather, they are heresy,
        attitudes which eat away at the doctrinal and pious integrity of our Church.
        In this day and age they are brazenly promoted and openly taught principles
        for "running" the Church, which infect the whole flock. How different they
        are from the secretive and guilty actions of the traditores of the Fourth
        Century! We see that they are not "personal sins" which would justify
        charges of Donatism, but instead are soul-destroying heresies which every
        sober and attentive Orthodox Christian still in a modernist Orthodox body,
        be it the Moscow Patriarchate, the "OCA", or some other, ought to recognize
        and flee with all possible speed."

        I categorically reject any attempt to separate the idea of "spiritual
        growth" from the defense of the Church against thses or any heresies, and of
        the idea that speaking out in defense of Tradition precludes praying for the
        conversion of those in error.

        >3. We urge that, in making public statements, all members of our >clergy
        >exercise caution, discretion and Christian love. Let us >remember that any
        >and all pronouncements made by a clergyman may >reflect upon the entire
        >Church.

        I affirm that speaking up when some even of our own hierachs and clergy make
        erroneous statements is the correct and Orthodox thing to do. Remember that
        St. Paul spoke of *himself* when he said, "But even if *we* or an angel from
        heaven preach any other gospel, let him be anathema." I reject this or any
        attempt to coerce the members of the Church into being silent in the face of
        heresies, for silence is complicency. It is not without reason that Fr.
        Victor Potapov entitled his work exposing the rise and rationale of
        Sergianism "By Silence is God Betrayed"

        It is the right and the duty of each Orthodox Christian regardless of rank,
        even if he is a layman, to speak out against heresies and in defense of the
        Faith. As Patrick Barnes excellently and succinctly put it, "It is the duty
        of the entire Church, the Royal Priesthood of
        Believers, to not only be aware of the issues, but to speak out
        against clear and public violations of our Tradition in order to
        preserve it: '...because the protector of religion is the very body of
        the Church, even the people themselves...' (from the *Encyclical of the
        Eastern Patriarchs*, 1848)"

        This is likewise the tradition of the local Russian Orthodox Church to
        which we belong. In the spirit of this Resolution no one could have spoken
        out against Sergius and his Declaration, yet we know that Professor Andreyev
        - a layman - was part of a delegation that went to protest Seergius'
        actions.

        Likewise, the renowned Russian lay theologian Alexis Khomiakov has written
        thusly:

        "When an entire country is being calumniated, private individuals who are
        citizens of this country have an unquestionable right to defend it, but they
        have just as much right to face the slander in silence allowing the future
        to exonerate their homeland... Not so in the matters of Faith or the Church.
        Being the revelation of Divine truth on earth, the Church, in its very
        essence, is intended to become the common homeland for all people, and It
        does not permit any of Its children to remain silent in the face of slander
        directed against It, and aimed at the distortion of Its dogmas and
        principles... The only sword which It [the Church] may use... is the word.

        For this reason every member of the Church not only may by right respond to
        slander to which It is subjected, but is obliged to do so. Silence, in this
        case, would be a transgression not only against those who have the happiness
        to belong to the Church, but also, and even to a greater extent, againts
        those who could have been blessed with the same happiness, if false concepts
        would not have deflected them from truth. Every Christian, when hearing of
        attacks againts the faith he confesses, is obliged to defend it to the
        extent of his abilities and without waiting for a special sanction, because
        the Church does not have any official advocates." (quoted from "Neskol'ko
        slov pravoslavnago khristianina o zapadnykh veroispovedaniiakh", in
        *Theological Works*, Prague, 1867, Vol. II, pp. 31-32)

        This applies even and especially to those of us in ROCOR who affirm her
        historic principled stand for True Orthodoxy against the heresies of
        Sergianism and Ecumenism.

        The Resolution speaks of love. It is love that compels me and each of us to
        speak out against the Sergianist church and the other Ecumenist bodies of
        so-called "world orthodoxy." As the sainted Metropolitan Philaret has said
        in his First Sorrowful Epistle, "Can any one of us be silent if he sees that
        many of his brethren simultaneously are walking along a path that leads them
        and their flock to a disastrous precipice through their unwitting loss of
        Orthodoxy?"

        Or as the same holy First Hierarch of ROCOR of blessed memory said in
        another place of those who tried to silence the defense of Tradition in this
        same way: "'Love, you see,' [they said] 'should unite us, and there is no
        need to emphasize our differences.' But such talk ceased when I cited the
        words of one of the Holy Fathers which read thus: if we, supposedly in the
        name of love, so as not to trouble our neighbors, are going to keep quite
        about their error and not explain to them that they are on a false path,
        then this is not love, but hatred! Does he do well who, upon seeing a blind
        man approaching a precipice, does not tell him about it, so as not to
        "trouble" him? Is that then love?"

        May ROCOR Faithful who love her historic stand and care for those who may be
        taken in by the Sergianists and Ecumenists *always* speak out and be not
        silent.

        With Christ's love,
        Rd. Constantine

        #############################################################
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        #-----------------------------------------------------------#
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      • Daniel Lieuwen
        People need to show reticence in criticizing their bishops. Those that do show they are ready to defy their bishops whenever they disagree with them while
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 7, 2000
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          People need to show reticence in criticizing their bishops.
          Those that do show they are ready to defy their bishops whenever
          they disagree with them while claiming loyalty are not being honest with
          themselves. This is not to say that one can never disagree, but that one's
          first response should not be to blast one's disagreement on the internet.

          I am tired of seeing people who pretend a loyalty to what Metropolitan
          Vitaly says in a way that makes papal infallibility look like a mere
          trifle when they agree with him, but then turn on the bishops (including
          Metropolitan Vitaly) as a whole when they disagree with them.
          This is self-delusion.

          Under the mercy,

          Daniel
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