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Metropolitan Vitaly's Christmas Epistle

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  • Christopher Birchall
    The text of Metropolitan Vitaly s Christmas Epistle follows as plain e-mail text. A PDF file will be available in the near future at the following address:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 6, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      The text of Metropolitan Vitaly's Christmas Epistle follows as plain e-mail
      text. A PDF file will be available in the near future at the following
      address:
      http://www.monasterypress.com/Metlet.html

      Protodeacon Christopher Birchall
      Vancouver, Canada

      Прилагается текст Рождественского Послания Митрополита Виталия на русском и
      английском языках. В формате PDF Вы найдете его в
      ближайшее время на интернете по адресу:
      http://www.monasterypress.com/Metlet.html

      Протодиакон Христофор Берчель
      Ванкувер; Канада


      ***********************************
      Рождественское Послание
      Митрополита Виталия
      Первоиерарха Русской Православной Зарубежной Церкви

      Христос Раждается,
      Славите!

      Каждый Великий Православный Праздник содержит в себе не только историческое
      его происхождение, но главным образом, его ежегодное Благодатное повторение,
      со всей ему присущей силой.

      Раждается среди нас чудесно от Приснодевы Марии Сам Всемогущий Господь с
      человеческим именем Иисус, и по тому древнему обычаю прибавляется еще одно
      имя, выражающее надежды родителей, кем станет в своей жизни их дитя. В
      данном случае, Ему дали имя Христос, т.е. Помазанник Божий, посланный Богом
      для нашего вечного спасения. Многие тогда решили, что Он будет Спасителем от
      болезни, от беды, от горя. Никто не мог подумать, кроме Самой Матери Божией,
      что Ее Сын будет Спасителем от греха, от вечной смерти Ада.

      И теперь нет во всем мире другого имени кроме Иисуса Христа, призывание
      которого спасет человека от вечной смерти. Каждый из нас должен в своей
      жизни стараться идти по стопам своего Великого Учителя: Богочеловека Иисуса
      Христа, сколько есть сил и всегда только ища Его Божественной Благодатной
      помощи.

      Аминь.

      Митрополит Виталий
      Рождество Христово - 2001 года

      *********************************

      Christmas Epistle
      from Metropolitan Vitaly
      First Hierarch
      of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

      Christ is Born, Glorify Him!

      Each of the Great Orthodox Festivals contains within itself both its
      historical origins, and also, most importantly, the annual repetition of its
      Divine Grace together with all its inherent power.

      The Almighty Lord Himself is born among us in miraculous fashion from the
      Ever-Virgin Mary with the human name of Jesus, and following the ancient
      custom another name is added, expressing the hopes of the parents as to what
      their child will become in life. In this case He was called the Christ,
      meaning "He who is anointed by God," sent by God for our eternal salvation.
      Many people then decided that He would be their Saviour from diseases, from
      disasters and grief. Not one person could have thought, other than the
      Mother of God Herself, that Her Son would be the Saviour from sin, from the
      eternal death of hell.

      So now there is no other name upon earth besides that of Jesus Christ which
      man can call upon, and so be saved from eternal death. Each of us must try
      in his life to follow in the steps of our great teacher, the God-Man Jesus
      Christ, as far as his strength permits, and always only while seeking the
      help of His Divine Grace.


      Metropolitan Vitaly
      Nativity of Christ, 2001
    • Olga Mitrenina
      http://www.roac-suzdal.narod.ru ADDRESS Of the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal Diocese of the Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 10, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        http://www.roac-suzdal.narod.ru
        ADDRESS
        Of the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal Diocese
        of the Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox Church
        to all Orthodox Christians in the Fatherland and in the Diaspora

        We, participants in the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity
        of the Suzdal Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, being zealous for the
        glory of God and the preservation of the patristic Orthodox teaching,
        address
        all those to whom Orthodoxy is dear. And first of all we address those
        clergy
        and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), both in Russia and
        abroad, whose Christian conscience cannot be reconciled with the treacherous
        course of action chosen by the hierarchy of the Church Abroad.

        In spite of difficulties and obstacles raised up on the path of our
        salvation, the Suzdal Diocese and the whole Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox
        Church strives to go by that path which was trodden by the Russian Orthodox
        Church headed by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. By the mercy of God and the
        prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, our parishes have
        increased the numbers of their members and continue, as far as they are
        able,
        the work of regenerating Orthodoxy in Russia.

        For us a huge significance attaches to the blessing and instruction of
        Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) that was given by him before his blessed end to the
        parishes of the Suzdal Diocese that were in the process of regeneration.

        10 years ago, the parish of the Emperor Constantine left the Moscow
        Patriarchate. This became an important event in the history of the Russian
        Orthodox Church, since in Russia for the first time there appeared a legal
        Orthodox community not entering into the structure of the sergianist
        hierarchy.

        Much has changed in the past years. But the saddest thing for us has
        been the clear apostasy of the Church Abroad for its own confessing path.
        That which has been taking place there in the last years witnesses to the
        fact that power in the Hierarchical Synod belongs now, not to the zealots of
        Orthodoxy, but to people who are not ashamed crudely to violate the canons
        and wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and
        Philaret. An eloquent witness to this apostasy from true Orthodoxy has the
        acceptance by the Church Abroad in 1994 of the heretical ecclesiology of
        Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili.

        The results of the last Hierarchical Council of the ROCA vividly
        witness
        to the fact that the hierarchs of the Church Abroad are intending to unite
        with the Moscow Patriarchate, and this elicited the perplexity of many
        representatives of the clergy, monastics and laity.

        The situation that has developed is fraught with schism, which
        threatens
        to become the last event in the life of the ROCA: a part of her will be
        swallowed up by the Moscow patriarchate, while another part will disperse
        amongst various jurisdictions.

        Many have been deceived by the council of the MP which took place in
        August, 2000, at which the following documents were approved:

        1) "The Basic Principles of the Relationship of the ROC to heterodoxy;
        2) An Act glorifying the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia;
        3) "The Bases of the Social Conception of the ROC".

        An analysis of these documents shows that no substantial change in the
        sergianist-ecumenist course of the Moscow patriarchate can be foreseen.
        Ecumenism has not been condemned as a heresy, and the Moscow patriarchate
        remains a member of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenist
        organisations.

        The glorification of some of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of
        Russia was not done without omissions and cunning, that is, it was not done
        in an ecclesiastical manner. In particular, the Moscow patriarchate did not
        repent of its own many years of slander against the Holy New Martyrs, who
        condemned sergianism.

        In the "social doctrine of the MP" many have seen a renunciation of the

        declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his course of action. But not only
        is
        there not a word about repenting of the heresy of sergianism in this
        document: the name of Metropolitan Sergius is not mentioned at all. The
        document, like many previous sergianist declarations, is unsubstantiated.

        The Moscow patriarchate for many decades faithfully served Soviet
        power,
        and now it serves the New World Order. And it is with this "church" that the
        hierarchy of the Church Abroad wishes to unite.

        All heretics in all ages have, under the guise of serving Christ,
        served
        Antichrist and prepared his coming. But most of them, on falling away from
        the Church, have departed from Orthodox tradition. Sergianism is
        particularly
        dangerous because it strives to preserve unchanged the external forms, using
        them as nets in which to catch, if it were possible, even the elect.

        Beloved in Christ Jesus, brothers and sisters!

        Many today are faced with the question: is it possible to preserve
        one's
        faithfulness to True Orthodoxy while remaining in the Church Abroad, which
        is
        consciously hurling itself into the embraces of the ecumenist "World
        Orthodoxy". We all very well understand that a significant part of the ROCA
        will not follow its clerical leadership along the false path.

        The Congress of the Russian Orthodox Church calls on all these zealots
        of Orthodoxy to come over under the omophorion of the Hierarchs of the
        Russian Orthodox Church.

        We wish to emphasise that we are far from a striving to lord it over
        whomever it may be. We only want to help those who need help in acquiring a
        canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence.

        The Russian Orthodox Church is not striving to close in on itself. On
        the contrary, we desire communion with the True Orthodox Christians of all
        countries and peoples. We intend to take practical steps to establish full
        canonical communion with sister True Orthodox Local Churches.

        November 12/25, 2000.

        Archbishop Valentine, President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian
        Orthodox Church.
        Members of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church: Bishop
        Theodore, Bishop Seraphim, Bishop Victor, Bishop Anthony, Bishop Timothy.
        Protopriest Andrew Osetrov, Secretary of the Hierarchical Synod.
        And the signatures of many other participants in the Congress.
      • lmickle@concentric.net
        As the moderator of this list has already underscored, the orthodox-synod list consists of ROCOR members and those well-disposed toward ROCOR. One of our
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 10, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          As the moderator of this list has already underscored, the orthodox-synod
          list consists of ROCOR members and those well-disposed toward ROCOR. One of
          our "well-disposed friends," a person one who had already been preparing the
          field for a schism while she was still claiming to be a part of ROCOR and
          denying that she was a part of the Suzdal group, now presents an unambiguous
          manifesto: ROCOR has been an apostate organization since at least 1994,
          with a hierarchy which is "...not ashamed crudely to violate the canons and
          wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and
          Philaret..." ...to set upon on a "treacherous course of action," and is "...
          intending to unite with the Moscow Patriarchate...," and to "...[hurl]
          itself into the embraces of the ecumenist 'World Orthodoxy.'" Now the
          Suzdal group adds that ROCOR is neither canonical nor part of the Church,
          for it calls for the zealots of Orthodoxy to leave ROCOR and come under the
          omorphorion of the Russian Orthodox Church., so that they might "acquir[e] a
          canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence...," "...seek communion
          with the True Orthodox Christians of all countries and peoples..." and take
          practical steps "...to establish full canonical communion with sister True
          Orthodox Local Churches...."

          Forgive me for "stirring the pot" by asking a series of questions:
          1) Fr. Moderator: Does this type of agitprop belong on the orthodox-synod
          list?
          2) How often must we be told that the Sobor said things it did not say, did
          things it did not do, planned a course it has not planned?
          3) How often is it necessary to repeat, both with respect to the
          pronouncements of the MP and our bishops' assessments -both the positive and
          the negative - of those pronouncements: Read the actual statements, and
          don't rely on the statements of those who [now overtly state] that they wish
          to rend the body of the Church.
          4) Is it necessary to remind the intended audience of the Suzdal manifesto
          that a bit of history is being rewritten? When the Suzdal group joined
          ROCOR, it seemed to think ROCOR was canonical, and was part of the Russian
          Church. I believe that it was Metropolitan Vitaly, speaking on behalf of
          the Synod of Bishops of Rocor, who subsequently declared Valentin and those
          with him to be outside the Church.
          5) If a unification with the TOCs is anticipated, do those TOCs include the
          group which in violation of the canons, left ROCOR to avoid canonical
          proceedings brought to sort out charges of sexual improprieties among their
          clergy? Do they include those under a former ROCOR archimandrite Antony
          Grabbe, who, in violation of the canons, fled ROCOR rather than face
          canonical proceedings on a number of charges, and who has been advertised on
          this list by a (former?) member of ROCOR as Archbishop of North America?
          What "canonical status" will those who leave ROCOR find by responding to
          this call for schism?
          6)Would it be inappropriate to ask why the zealous defenders of Orthodoxy
          who are publishing assessments critical of the ROCOR Sobor do not also
          publish those assessments which are in support of our bishops, statements by
          those who trust in their Hierarchs, and who do not read into the statements
          of our Hierarchs things they have not said?

          Once again, asking your forgiveness for wearying you all with my inchoate
          musings.

          Deacon Leonid Mickle


          -----Original Message-----
          From: Olga Mitrenina [mailto:alektor@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 11:48 AM
          To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com
          Subject: [orthodox-synod] Address

          http://www.roac-suzdal.narod.ru
          ADDRESS
          Of the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal Diocese
          of the Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox Church
          to all Orthodox Christians in the Fatherland and in the Diaspora

          We, participants in the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity
          of the Suzdal Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, being zealous for the
          glory of God and the preservation of the patristic Orthodox teaching,
          address
          all those to whom Orthodoxy is dear. And first of all we address those
          clergy
          and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), both in Russia and
          abroad, whose Christian conscience cannot be reconciled with the treacherous
          course of action chosen by the hierarchy of the Church Abroad.

          In spite of difficulties and obstacles raised up on the path of our
          salvation, the Suzdal Diocese and the whole Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox
          Church strives to go by that path which was trodden by the Russian Orthodox
          Church headed by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. By the mercy of God and the
          prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, our parishes have
          increased the numbers of their members and continue, as far as they are
          able,
          the work of regenerating Orthodoxy in Russia.

          For us a huge significance attaches to the blessing and instruction of
          Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) that was given by him before his blessed end to the
          parishes of the Suzdal Diocese that were in the process of regeneration.

          10 years ago, the parish of the Emperor Constantine left the Moscow
          Patriarchate. This became an important event in the history of the Russian
          Orthodox Church, since in Russia for the first time there appeared a legal
          Orthodox community not entering into the structure of the sergianist
          hierarchy.

          Much has changed in the past years. But the saddest thing for us has
          been the clear apostasy of the Church Abroad for its own confessing path.
          That which has been taking place there in the last years witnesses to the
          fact that power in the Hierarchical Synod belongs now, not to the zealots of
          Orthodoxy, but to people who are not ashamed crudely to violate the canons
          and wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and
          Philaret. An eloquent witness to this apostasy from true Orthodoxy has the
          acceptance by the Church Abroad in 1994 of the heretical ecclesiology of
          Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili.

          The results of the last Hierarchical Council of the ROCA vividly
          witness
          to the fact that the hierarchs of the Church Abroad are intending to unite
          with the Moscow Patriarchate, and this elicited the perplexity of many
          representatives of the clergy, monastics and laity.

          The situation that has developed is fraught with schism, which
          threatens
          to become the last event in the life of the ROCA: a part of her will be
          swallowed up by the Moscow patriarchate, while another part will disperse
          amongst various jurisdictions.

          Many have been deceived by the council of the MP which took place in
          August, 2000, at which the following documents were approved:

          1) "The Basic Principles of the Relationship of the ROC to heterodoxy;
          2) An Act glorifying the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia;
          3) "The Bases of the Social Conception of the ROC".

          An analysis of these documents shows that no substantial change in the
          sergianist-ecumenist course of the Moscow patriarchate can be foreseen.
          Ecumenism has not been condemned as a heresy, and the Moscow patriarchate
          remains a member of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenist
          organisations.

          The glorification of some of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of
          Russia was not done without omissions and cunning, that is, it was not done
          in an ecclesiastical manner. In particular, the Moscow patriarchate did not
          repent of its own many years of slander against the Holy New Martyrs, who
          condemned sergianism.

          In the "social doctrine of the MP" many have seen a renunciation of the

          declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his course of action. But not only
          is
          there not a word about repenting of the heresy of sergianism in this
          document: the name of Metropolitan Sergius is not mentioned at all. The
          document, like many previous sergianist declarations, is unsubstantiated.

          The Moscow patriarchate for many decades faithfully served Soviet
          power,
          and now it serves the New World Order. And it is with this "church" that the
          hierarchy of the Church Abroad wishes to unite.

          All heretics in all ages have, under the guise of serving Christ,
          served
          Antichrist and prepared his coming. But most of them, on falling away from
          the Church, have departed from Orthodox tradition. Sergianism is
          particularly
          dangerous because it strives to preserve unchanged the external forms, using
          them as nets in which to catch, if it were possible, even the elect.

          Beloved in Christ Jesus, brothers and sisters!

          Many today are faced with the question: is it possible to preserve
          one's
          faithfulness to True Orthodoxy while remaining in the Church Abroad, which
          is
          consciously hurling itself into the embraces of the ecumenist "World
          Orthodoxy". We all very well understand that a significant part of the ROCA
          will not follow its clerical leadership along the false path.

          The Congress of the Russian Orthodox Church calls on all these zealots
          of Orthodoxy to come over under the omophorion of the Hierarchs of the
          Russian Orthodox Church.

          We wish to emphasise that we are far from a striving to lord it over
          whomever it may be. We only want to help those who need help in acquiring a
          canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence.

          The Russian Orthodox Church is not striving to close in on itself. On
          the contrary, we desire communion with the True Orthodox Christians of all
          countries and peoples. We intend to take practical steps to establish full
          canonical communion with sister True Orthodox Local Churches.

          November 12/25, 2000.

          Archbishop Valentine, President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian
          Orthodox Church.
          Members of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church: Bishop
          Theodore, Bishop Seraphim, Bishop Victor, Bishop Anthony, Bishop Timothy.
          Protopriest Andrew Osetrov, Secretary of the Hierarchical Synod.
          And the signatures of many other participants in the Congress.

























          Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
        • Fr. Gregory Williams
          ... Far from inchoate musings. Hear, hear! I think it is high time, Fr. Mark, to bar such propaganda from this list, whether coming from some sort of 5th
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 10, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Fr. Leonid Mickle's post began:

            >As the moderator of this list has already underscored, the orthodox-synod
            >list consists of ROCOR members and those well-disposed toward ROCOR. One of
            >our "well-disposed friends," a person one who had already been preparing the
            >field for a schism while she was still claiming to be a part of ROCOR and
            >denying that she was a part of the Suzdal group, now presents an unambiguous
            >manifestoŠ?
            >
            >Once again, asking your forgiveness for wearying you all with my inchoate
            >musings.
            >
            >Deacon Leonid Mickle
            >
            Far from inchoate musings. Hear, hear! I think it is high time, Fr.
            Mark, to bar such propaganda from this list, whether coming from some
            sort of 5th column within, or from schismatics and/or heretics (how
            much difference is there!) without.
            --
            --Fr. Gregory Williams

            * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
            1180 Orthodox Way
            Liberty, TN 37095-4366 USA

            Phone: (615) 536-5239
            FAX: (615) 536-5945
            E-mail: frgregory@...
          • Oleg
            I did not graduate from a seminary. I did not read the decisions of the October Sobor with a loupa, so I may have missed something. But beyond saying that
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 10, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              I did not graduate from a seminary. I did not read the decisions of the
              October Sobor with a loupa, so I may have missed something. But beyond
              saying that there are some positive moves in the MP, there was nothing there
              to indicate an impending union of ROCOR with MP.

              And I have not seen any MP rep inventorying property at my church (St.
              Sergius in San Francisco).

              The meanspirited and rebellious messages recently posted on this list (in
              the name of God's truth) disturb me much more than anything the MP has done
              lately.

              God have mercy.

              Oleg
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: <lmickle@...>
              To: <orthodox-synod@egroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 11:46 AM
              Subject: RE: [orthodox-synod] Address


              > As the moderator of this list has already underscored, the orthodox-synod
              > list consists of ROCOR members and those well-disposed toward ROCOR. One
              of
              > our "well-disposed friends," a person one who had already been preparing
              the
              > field for a schism while she was still claiming to be a part of ROCOR and
              > denying that she was a part of the Suzdal group, now presents an
              unambiguous
              > manifesto: ROCOR has been an apostate organization since at least 1994,
              > with a hierarchy which is "...not ashamed crudely to violate the canons
              and
              > wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and
              > Philaret..." ...to set upon on a "treacherous course of action," and is
              "...
              > intending to unite with the Moscow Patriarchate...," and to "...[hurl]
              > itself into the embraces of the ecumenist 'World Orthodoxy.'" Now the
              > Suzdal group adds that ROCOR is neither canonical nor part of the Church,
              > for it calls for the zealots of Orthodoxy to leave ROCOR and come under
              the
              > omorphorion of the Russian Orthodox Church., so that they might "acquir[e]
              a
              > canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence...," "...seek
              communion
              > with the True Orthodox Christians of all countries and peoples..." and
              take
              > practical steps "...to establish full canonical communion with sister True
              > Orthodox Local Churches...."
              >
              > Forgive me for "stirring the pot" by asking a series of questions:
              > 1) Fr. Moderator: Does this type of agitprop belong on the orthodox-synod
              > list?
              > 2) How often must we be told that the Sobor said things it did not say,
              did
              > things it did not do, planned a course it has not planned?
              > 3) How often is it necessary to repeat, both with respect to the
              > pronouncements of the MP and our bishops' assessments -both the positive
              and
              > the negative - of those pronouncements: Read the actual statements, and
              > don't rely on the statements of those who [now overtly state] that they
              wish
              > to rend the body of the Church.
              > 4) Is it necessary to remind the intended audience of the Suzdal manifesto
              > that a bit of history is being rewritten? When the Suzdal group joined
              > ROCOR, it seemed to think ROCOR was canonical, and was part of the Russian
              > Church. I believe that it was Metropolitan Vitaly, speaking on behalf of
              > the Synod of Bishops of Rocor, who subsequently declared Valentin and
              those
              > with him to be outside the Church.
              > 5) If a unification with the TOCs is anticipated, do those TOCs include
              the
              > group which in violation of the canons, left ROCOR to avoid canonical
              > proceedings brought to sort out charges of sexual improprieties among
              their
              > clergy? Do they include those under a former ROCOR archimandrite Antony
              > Grabbe, who, in violation of the canons, fled ROCOR rather than face
              > canonical proceedings on a number of charges, and who has been advertised
              on
              > this list by a (former?) member of ROCOR as Archbishop of North America?
              > What "canonical status" will those who leave ROCOR find by responding to
              > this call for schism?
              > 6)Would it be inappropriate to ask why the zealous defenders of Orthodoxy
              > who are publishing assessments critical of the ROCOR Sobor do not also
              > publish those assessments which are in support of our bishops, statements
              by
              > those who trust in their Hierarchs, and who do not read into the
              statements
              > of our Hierarchs things they have not said?
              >
              > Once again, asking your forgiveness for wearying you all with my inchoate
              > musings.
              >
              > Deacon Leonid Mickle
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: Olga Mitrenina [mailto:alektor@...]
              > Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2001 11:48 AM
              > To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com
              > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Address
              >
              > http://www.roac-suzdal.narod.ru
              > ADDRESS
              > Of the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal
              Diocese
              > of the Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox Church
              > to all Orthodox Christians in the Fatherland and in the Diaspora
              >
              > We, participants in the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and
              laity
              > of the Suzdal Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, being zealous for
              the
              > glory of God and the preservation of the patristic Orthodox teaching,
              > address
              > all those to whom Orthodoxy is dear. And first of all we address those
              > clergy
              > and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), both in Russia and
              > abroad, whose Christian conscience cannot be reconciled with the
              treacherous
              > course of action chosen by the hierarchy of the Church Abroad.
              >
              > In spite of difficulties and obstacles raised up on the path of our
              > salvation, the Suzdal Diocese and the whole Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox
              > Church strives to go by that path which was trodden by the Russian
              Orthodox
              > Church headed by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. By the mercy of God and
              the
              > prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, our parishes
              have
              > increased the numbers of their members and continue, as far as they are
              > able,
              > the work of regenerating Orthodoxy in Russia.
              >
              > For us a huge significance attaches to the blessing and instruction
              of
              > Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) that was given by him before his blessed end to
              the
              > parishes of the Suzdal Diocese that were in the process of regeneration.
              >
              > 10 years ago, the parish of the Emperor Constantine left the Moscow
              > Patriarchate. This became an important event in the history of the Russian
              > Orthodox Church, since in Russia for the first time there appeared a legal
              > Orthodox community not entering into the structure of the sergianist
              > hierarchy.
              >
              > Much has changed in the past years. But the saddest thing for us has
              > been the clear apostasy of the Church Abroad for its own confessing path.
              > That which has been taking place there in the last years witnesses to the
              > fact that power in the Hierarchical Synod belongs now, not to the zealots
              of
              > Orthodoxy, but to people who are not ashamed crudely to violate the canons
              > and wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy
              and
              > Philaret. An eloquent witness to this apostasy from true Orthodoxy has the
              > acceptance by the Church Abroad in 1994 of the heretical ecclesiology of
              > Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili.
              >
              > The results of the last Hierarchical Council of the ROCA vividly
              > witness
              > to the fact that the hierarchs of the Church Abroad are intending to unite
              > with the Moscow Patriarchate, and this elicited the perplexity of many
              > representatives of the clergy, monastics and laity.
              >
              > The situation that has developed is fraught with schism, which
              > threatens
              > to become the last event in the life of the ROCA: a part of her will be
              > swallowed up by the Moscow patriarchate, while another part will disperse
              > amongst various jurisdictions.
              >
              > Many have been deceived by the council of the MP which took place in
              > August, 2000, at which the following documents were approved:
              >
              > 1) "The Basic Principles of the Relationship of the ROC to heterodoxy;
              > 2) An Act glorifying the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia;
              > 3) "The Bases of the Social Conception of the ROC".
              >
              > An analysis of these documents shows that no substantial change in
              the
              > sergianist-ecumenist course of the Moscow patriarchate can be foreseen.
              > Ecumenism has not been condemned as a heresy, and the Moscow patriarchate
              > remains a member of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenist
              > organisations.
              >
              > The glorification of some of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of
              > Russia was not done without omissions and cunning, that is, it was not
              done
              > in an ecclesiastical manner. In particular, the Moscow patriarchate did
              not
              > repent of its own many years of slander against the Holy New Martyrs, who
              > condemned sergianism.
              >
              > In the "social doctrine of the MP" many have seen a renunciation of
              the
              >
              > declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his course of action. But not only
              > is
              > there not a word about repenting of the heresy of sergianism in this
              > document: the name of Metropolitan Sergius is not mentioned at all. The
              > document, like many previous sergianist declarations, is unsubstantiated.
              >
              > The Moscow patriarchate for many decades faithfully served Soviet
              > power,
              > and now it serves the New World Order. And it is with this "church" that
              the
              > hierarchy of the Church Abroad wishes to unite.
              >
              > All heretics in all ages have, under the guise of serving Christ,
              > served
              > Antichrist and prepared his coming. But most of them, on falling away from
              > the Church, have departed from Orthodox tradition. Sergianism is
              > particularly
              > dangerous because it strives to preserve unchanged the external forms,
              using
              > them as nets in which to catch, if it were possible, even the elect.
              >
              > Beloved in Christ Jesus, brothers and sisters!
              >
              > Many today are faced with the question: is it possible to preserve
              > one's
              > faithfulness to True Orthodoxy while remaining in the Church Abroad, which
              > is
              > consciously hurling itself into the embraces of the ecumenist "World
              > Orthodoxy". We all very well understand that a significant part of the
              ROCA
              > will not follow its clerical leadership along the false path.
              >
              > The Congress of the Russian Orthodox Church calls on all these
              zealots
              > of Orthodoxy to come over under the omophorion of the Hierarchs of the
              > Russian Orthodox Church.
              >
              > We wish to emphasise that we are far from a striving to lord it over
              > whomever it may be. We only want to help those who need help in acquiring
              a
              > canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence.
              >
              > The Russian Orthodox Church is not striving to close in on itself. On
              > the contrary, we desire communion with the True Orthodox Christians of all
              > countries and peoples. We intend to take practical steps to establish full
              > canonical communion with sister True Orthodox Local Churches.
              >
              > November 12/25, 2000.
              >
              > Archbishop Valentine, President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian
              > Orthodox Church.
              > Members of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church: Bishop
              > Theodore, Bishop Seraphim, Bishop Victor, Bishop Anthony, Bishop Timothy.
              > Protopriest Andrew Osetrov, Secretary of the Hierarchical Synod.
              > And the signatures of many other participants in the Congress.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • msg
              ... It is impossible to bar such propaganda preemptively. Without complete moderation of all postings, one can only act after the fact. Some contrary
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 10, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                At 03:58 PM 1/10/01 -0600, you wrote:
                >Far from inchoate musings. Hear, hear! I think it is high time, Fr.
                >Mark, to bar such propaganda from this list, whether coming from some
                >sort of 5th column within, or from schismatics and/or heretics (how
                >much difference is there!) without.

                It is impossible to "bar" such propaganda preemptively.
                Without complete moderation of all postings, one can
                only act after the fact. Some contrary opinions will
                see the light of day. Is that bad? First we limit
                the ravings of Fr Elia, now Olga posts, who's next?
                Where do you suggest we draw the line? This list was
                never meant to be an official organ of an approved
                line.

                When the diversity of this list's membership was questioned,
                I asked on the clergy list for accused "enemies" of ROCA
                (present on this list) to be revealed, so that the intended
                list membership (friends and members of ROCA) could be
                maintained. No one wanted to name names, but Olga herself
                has revealed, I think, the limits of our tolerance. She's
                entered into the realm of proselytization, and outright attack
                on ROCA. I am not suggesting she is an enemy, and it is
                easy to love someone such as herself who really believes she
                is doing us a service by posting what she has posted. It's
                not really friendly however for a guest to accuse one's hosts
                of treachery, schism and apostasy.

                But then, as Fr Alexander Lebedev has said about his own
                very controversial quotations posted to the orthodox-tradition
                list, these are not her words, she is only reporting them
                without comment.

                Ouch! our ox is being gored now, and the emotional response
                is predictably like that on the tradition list in response
                to Fr Alexander and Fr John Shaw's postings. Many would say
                turnabout is fair play. I appeal however to all posters on
                all lists to discern the membership and to not intentionally
                goad the primary audience.

                There are other forums with a more general audience, where
                such information as Olga has provided would not be considered
                inappropriate. Here in the context of the synod list it
                cannot be considered anything but.

                Of course we now have to have a conversation about the
                limits of tolerance and what constitutes "propaganda" or
                "agitprop"

                Fr Leonid wrote:

                > 1) Fr. Moderator: Does this type of agitprop belong on the
                >orthodox-synod list?

                I don't believe so.

                >2) How often must we be told that the Sobor said things it did not
                >say, did things it did not do, planned a course it has not planned?

                This is just my opinion, but I think there will continue
                to be questions until there is a clearer understanding of
                what happened - and people feel safe in asking questions
                without fear of being labeled with "fifth column" or other
                such epithets.

                >3) How often is it necessary to repeat,...

                How often do we repeat the cycle of the Gospel lessons?

                4) Is it necessary to remind the intended audience of the Suzdal manifesto
                that a bit of history is being rewritten? ...

                Yes, it is necessary. That would, in fact, be a good place
                to start. It is best to leave out personal digs, and only
                act on fact.

                >5) If a unification with the TOCs is anticipated, do those TOCs include the
                >group which in violation of the canons, left ROCOR to avoid canonical
                >proceedings brought to sort out charges of sexual improprieties among their
                >clergy? Do they include those under a former ROCOR archimandrite Antony
                >Grabbe, who, in violation of the canons, fled ROCOR rather than face
                >canonical proceedings on a number of charges, and who has been advertised on
                >this list by a (former?) member of ROCOR as Archbishop of North America?
                >What "canonical status" will those who leave ROCOR find by responding to
                >this call for schism?

                These are all good questions, which may now need to be
                taken to a more appropriate forum such as:

                Orthodox-tradition@egroups.com

                but since you have raised them here, perhaps there are
                some who will now feel compelled to present answers here.

                >6)Would it be inappropriate to ask why the zealous defenders of Orthodoxy
                >who are publishing assessments critical of the ROCOR Sobor do not also
                >publish those assessments which are in support of our bishops, statements by
                >those who trust in their Hierarchs, and who do not read into the statements
                >of our Hierarchs things they have not said?

                Not inappropriate, but surely more than a little beyond
                the realm of reasonable expectations. I don't see
                partisans doing such things elsewhere. Viable lists
                allow for more than one side of an issue to be aired,
                so that balance is not lost. I'm sure no one here is
                suggesting anything more authoritarian than that here.
                Counter the propaganda, don't squash it, otherwise people
                get paranoid and find it easy to believe the worst.

                As a ROCA priest today wrote on the orthodox-tradition
                list:

                "When emotion *prevails,* truth is cast aside. [...]

                "People who are in political, religious, and economic leadership
                know very well that emotion clouds the mind, tempers resolve,
                and divides members of any society. Used "properly" emotions
                can manipulate any person, institution, or nation caught in its
                unthinking, non-logical grasp. Spiritual abuse, as found in sects
                and may be found in the followers of a "charismatic" leader, for
                example, is based on knowing the emotional make-up of the
                adherent - and then using it against him/her.

                "Some of us tend to be more emotional in nature than others
                and are, therefore, more easily led, more easily discouraged,
                more easily depressed, and more easily maneuvered into sinful
                situations, than those who are less so and who are more
                cognitive and rational in thinking.

                "We are creatures who have emotions and also reasoning powers.
                They both have their proper place in life. Reason, however, must
                supercede emotion. Reason must temper emotion.

                "It seems that in all of us reason and emotion are in a constant
                struggle. Unfortunately, emotion comes easily. To exercise reason,
                in the throes of emotion, is the struggle.

                "As we walk through life the path to the goal must be paved with
                reason."
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