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Re: [orthodox-synod] Economia 101 was: MP/ROCOR

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  • Joachim Wertz
    Fr. John, please tell me if I am wrong, was not the late Archbishop Andrei of Rockland (formerly Fr. Adrian) of everlasting and saintly memory, a priest of,
    Message 1 of 48 , Jan 2, 1904
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      Fr. John, please tell me if I am wrong, was not the late Archbishop Andrei
      of Rockland (formerly Fr. Adrian) of everlasting and saintly memory, a
      priest of, and ordained in the Moscow Patriarchate, and who was received
      into ROCOR as a priest without any chrismation, etc.? I personally remember
      Fr. Pateleimon of Boston saying that Archbishop Andrei was his spiritual
      father.
      I had the privilege of consulting Vl. Andrei on a personal matter back in
      1975, while he was already bedridden.
      Joachim Wertz

      ----------
      From: "Rev. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@...>
      To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Economia 101 was: MP/ROCOR
      Date: Tue, Feb 27, 2001, 11:19 AM


      On Mon, 26 Feb 2001, Father Maximos wrote:

      > >On Mon, 26 Feb 2001 frandrew@... wrote:
      > >>
      > >> I have just placed an article written by Metropolitan Anthony
      > >>entitled"The Basis On Which Economy may be used in the reception of
      > >>converts" It
      > >> originally was called "Why Anglican Clergy could be Recieved in
      > >>their orders." the URL is http://www.monasterypress.com/ftp.html
      > >>and the file
      > >>
      > >> I think this can help both of you with this question.
      > >> No more chess games for me this is the first week of Lent!

      >
      > Could in theory , but aren't and shouldn't. This article doesn't
      > address what I said at all.

      This also is not an answer to the question that I asked--as to
      whether or not the countless Russians in the Church Abroad, who were
      baptized in Russia in the churches of the Patriarchate, are members of the
      ORthodox Church or not.

      To imply that "economy could be used" or that they may be in the
      same boat as Anglicans is not an answer to a simple yes-or-no question.

      In the case of Anglicans, we are talking of people (such as I
      myself once was!) who were raised outside of the Orthodox Church, but then
      were converted. The reason that Anglican clergy are reordained
      (universally), is that otherwise they would tend to think of joining the
      Orthodox Church as a mere transfer or "jurisdictional change".

      The Russian laity that we speak of (and with them priests and
      bishops in the past, as well as others who were subsequently ordained
      priests and consecrated bishops in the Church Abroad) have not "undergone
      a conversion". They think of themselves has having been Russian Orthodox
      all their lives; many of them were baptized in the USSR at the risk of
      their parents' careers, freedom or even lives. The most crucial wave of
      emigration left Russia during the German occupation, for the most part as
      forced workers, though some spontaneously and with great sufferings.
      In the DP camps or elsewhere outside the Soviet Union they found Russian
      parishes, usually ROCOR parishes, and joined them. In America, they often
      helped to *found* such parishes, and have often remained the backbone of
      these churches for upwards of half a century. It is because of them that
      many of the rest of us have found a spiritual home.

      And are they then members of the Orthodox Church or not? To say
      No would mean that we may have been fooling ourselves all these years in
      thinking that we had churches, and godparents, clergy and bishops. To say
      "Maybe" would mean that we do not know what we have.

      The only answer that is in accord with the reality of our Church
      is Yes. And if Yes, then there is no basis for "baptizing" people from the
      Moscow Patriarchate.
      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nikolaj
      The Moscow Patriarchate was unlawfully founded an entire seven years later in 1927 Not so. Met Sergii only became Patriarch in 1943. Not in 1927. The Russian
      Message 48 of 48 , Mar 20, 2001
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        "The Moscow Patriarchate was unlawfully
        founded an entire seven years later in 1927"

        Not so.
        Met Sergii only became Patriarch in 1943. Not in 1927.

        The Russian Patriarchate was revived after 217 years during the Sobor of 1917-18.
        Why is it nessecary to distort such simple facts
        that everybody can check?
        I simply cannot understand this...?

        One can think what one might like to think
        about MP, about ROCOR, but the facts
        are facts - like them or not.
        I think there has been enough falsification
        of history by soviet-"historians" as well
        as western "historians".

        The Russian Patriarchate was never "abolished"
        and then "re-invented".
        The methods used to elect the Patriarch were highly questionable, but
        it is not nessecary to distort the facts.
        They speak for themselves.

        The Patriarchate was lead by the soviet-manipulated Met. Sergii, who
        was lawfully Locum Tenes to the Patriarchal Throne, by being chosen as
        such by Met Peter (himself elected as such in1918)


        But ROCOR stil has a strange beginning. First there is the claim that
        the Patriarch supported the creation of ROCOR. This is claimed
        to be based in the "Temporary Church Administration of South Russia"
        But Patriarch Tikhon did not bless the moving to Konstantinople and
        he did not even know that a Synod had been set up by the Patriarch in Konstantinople.
        The beginnings of ROCOR was under the Ecumenical Patriarch (who is now often
        attacked by certain ROCOR circles)
        The Encycle of Patriarch Tihkon from 1923 (after his release) shows that he did
        not know that this administrative synod had been set up by Konstantinople.
        The Synod never even asked for an official release from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

        The declaration of Met Sergii is always used as the excuse to hate MP,
        but strangely nobody ever talks about the declaration of loyalty issued
        already in 1919 by Patriarch Tikhon and that was even during the civil war!
        Patriarch Tikhon refused to bless the white armies, and the stand of the
        Metropolitans and clergy in the South (where whole regiments were sometimes
        formed solely of clergy - may God grant these honourable Russian patriots rest with the Saints!!)
        gave Patriarch Tikhon much trouble in Moscow.
        The reason of Patriarch Tikhons refusal was that the civil war
        was a war of brother against brother, and this is the most terrible and
        most impossible war of all. Nevertheless it was very much a civil war against
        the bolsheviks!!!
        So this "loyalty" to Patriarch Tikhon also seems rather muddled in certain aspects to
        a fool like me?

        Patriarch Tikhons problems with stearing a course where the bolsheviks wouldnt
        totally destroy the Church was very much the same as those met by Metropolitan Sergii
        7 years later. Metropolitan Sergii was like Tikhon and many other Hierarchs jailed
        several times and for several years he was under heavy suspicion for conspiring
        with Russian Monarchists abroad.
        Don't forget that Met Sergii and Met Antonij Khrapovitsky were close friends for decades
        before these things happened.
        Before the "revolution" Met Sergii was one of Russia leading and most respected
        Theologians, and his works are still used today (even by ROCOR-clergy)

        I will not go further into this, because I know the reactions of this list, and
        nobody has yet been able to give me a decent answer to my questions about
        ROCORs canonical problems.
        The last attempt I made to find out, was met with hate mail and verbal
        abuses and threats instead of facts. (Of course that is a kind of answer too)

        Personally I think there should be some sort of a balance in the Official statements
        that are accepted as speaking the Truth about our Orthodox Church.

        There can be no doubts that MP made some dreadful canonical mistakes
        under Met Sergii - but the faults and sins of others, does not clean away our own
        mistakes! Not even the sins of the much-hated Russian Patriarchate.

        "The ever-memorable hieromonk of our Western American Diocese, Father
        > Seraphim (Rose), wrote the following in 1976: "The royal path of true
        > Orthodoxy today is a mean that lies between the extremes of ecumenism and
        > reformism on the side, and a zeal not according to knowledge (Rom. 10, 5)
        > on the other. True Orthodoxy does not go in step with the times on the one
        > hand, nor does it make strictness or correctness or canonicity (good in
        > themselves) an excuse for pharisaic self-satisfaction, exclusivism, and
        > distrust, on the other" ("Orthodox Word", September-October, 1976, p. 147)."

        Indeed so, and this last danger seems to be the most dangerous
        temptation, as it leads some to believe that ROCOR is like
        the pope - infallible when speaking about "juristictional purity"
        or other Church-matters, and when certain ROCOR-circles claims some sort of a
        "spiritual supremacy" in presiding over the decision of
        "where there is Grace and where there is not"

        It is exactly this distrust, self-righteousness and
        mechanical thinking that both Blessed Fr Seraphim as well as many other memorable spiritual
        personalities in ROCOR warned against, which is now dragging
        the level of ROCOR down to where it is unworthy for ROCOR, and extremely sad
        and indeed the pain caused by these self-inflicted wounds made
        by pride and disobedience towards our Hierarchs is very real..!

        Of course the ROC or MP is the Mother Church.
        That our Mother has been very sick for 70 years and still hasn't
        recovered fully should not make us hate her!
        Or maybe ROCOR has no mother?
        I do not believe this is so.

        When I entered ROCOR I hoped to find here the spiritual
        heritage well-preserved and intact from Holy Russia.
        As time is going by, I more and more fear that this heritage
        is mostly preserved in the books translated by memorable
        and Godloving priests like Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose and
        others.

        I fear that there is a great danger that hating MP (or hating anything or anybody else
        for that sake), will make ROCOR loose whatever Holiness it has preserved from Russia.

        Ok, I am now open to verbal abuses in the usual vicious phrases.
        (Though I pray that I will some day find some real
        answers to my questions about ROCOR)

        In Christ
        Nikolaj


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Fr. Alexander Lebedeff <lebedeff@...>
        To: <orthodoxjurisdictions@egroups.com>; <orthodox-tradition@egroups.com>; <ORTHODOX@...>; <orthodox_synclergy@...>; <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 10:17 PM
        Subject: [orthodox-synod]


        > AN APPEAL
        >
        > Of the Pastoral Conference of the Clergy of the Western American Diocese of
        > the
        > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
        >
        > I.
        >
        > It is with deep sorrow and anxiety that we, the clergy of the Western
        > American Diocese, having gathered together in the God-preserved city of San
        > Francisco, have come to learn about statements and actions in the midst of
        > our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia which have been provoked by
        > mistrust and misunderstanding, and sometimes even deliberate distortion of
        > the Epistle and Resolutions of the latest Sobor of Bishops of our Church.
        >
        > Our conscience and our hearts cannot be at peace because of the actions
        > taken against the Church and because of the rude and sometimes insolent and
        > unfounded accusations directed towards our Higher Church Authority in the
        > persona of the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia, as well as towards individual archpastors. We are grieved that the
        > very basis of lawful and canonical church governance in the spirit of true
        > sobornost is trampled upon. Because of this, dissension is sown in the
        > midst of the Church, and this, consequently, leads to schism, which
        > according to the teaching of the Holy Fathers is worse than heresy. We are
        > praying, especially before the Directress of the Russian Diaspora, the
        > miraculous Kursk-Root Icon, and the relics of Saint John the Wonderworker
        > of Shanghai and San Francisco, so that peace, unity, trust, the softening
        > of hearts, love, calm, and sobriety will triumph in all parts of our Church
        > Abroad. For when one member of our church body is hurting then the entire
        > Church is in pain. We feel this pain acutely.
        >
        > Amongst those rising up against our archpastors, the Sobor of Bishops, and
        > their Resolutions, we find not only laymen, but clergymen as well. We would
        > like to believe that they are not acting consciously, but out of ignorance
        > or as a result of hidden provocation. Their actions and words are so
        > foreign to the spirit of trust, love, and obedience to the Church -- a
        > spirit to which we, the clergy, were called to by our archpastor of many
        > years, the Most Reverend Archbishop Anthony, a man of prayer, who passed
        > away in the Lord last year. We are trying not only to remember his loving
        > heart, but to live according to his testaments.
        >
        > In regards to the above, we, the clergy of the Western American Diocese,
        > participants in the Pastoral conference, _unanimously_ express our support,
        > oneness of mind, and fidelity to the Most Reverend First-Hierarch of our
        > Church, Metropolitan Vitaly and the entire Sobor of Bishops, as well as to
        > our newly assigned Ruling archpastor, the Right Reverend Bishop Kyrill of
        > Western America and San Francisco. We consider and believe that the Holy
        > Spirit has been guiding and continues to guide our archpastors in their
        > _conciliar_ resolutions, and thus we express our complete agreement with
        > both the past Epistles and Resolutions of the Sobor of Bishops, as well as
        > with the Epistle and Resolutions of the latest Sobor of Bishops in October
        > of the year 2000.
        >
        > Because of the current discord in some parts of the Church our archpastors
        > are in even greater need of the prayers and support of the clergy and
        > faithful loyal to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. We call
        > all of our co-pastors and flock to this as well.
        >
        > At the same time, it is with tears that we beg those of our co-pastors and
        > faithful who do not accept the decisions of the Sobor of Bishops, those who
        > are revolting against the hierarchy and bringing into temptation the
        > "little ones", to return to the path of true church life, obedience, love,
        > and trust.
        >
        >
        > II.
        >
        > Because of the above mentioned perturbations and opposition to Higher
        > Church Authority, we consider it necessary, at least briefly, to witness
        > that no radical change in the course of the Church or departure from Her
        > historical position took place at the Sobor of Bishops in the year 2000.
        > The Epistle and Resolutions of this Council are in complete agreement with
        > all of the previous conciliar resolutions and precisely reflect the
        > unchanging, historical course of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia and Her relationship to the Moscow Patriarchate.
        >
        > Opponents to the latest Sobor of Bishops are trying to show that the "new
        > course" of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia lies in the
        > recognition of the Moscow Patriarchate as the "Mother Church". First, the
        > expression "Mother-Church" is nowhere to be found in the conciliar
        > resolutions and Epistles of the Council of 2000. Second, it is completely
        > absurd for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, founded in 1920
        > in accordance with Holy Patriarch Tikhon's Ukase, to consider the Moscow
        > Patriarchate its Mother Church. The Moscow Patriarchate was unlawfully
        > founded an entire seven years later in 1927 after the usurpation of the
        > lawful Church Authority by Metropolitan Sergius, the Deputy to the Locum
        > Tenens to the Patriarchal Throne. At that time he issued the infamous
        > "Declaration" of the Church's complete loyalty to the godless Soviet State.
        > The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has always refused to
        > consider the new church structure created by Metropolitan Sergius to be
        > lawful and canonical; it refuses this to this very day. How can our Church
        > consider the hierarchal structure created by Metropolitan Sergius to be
        > canonical, when a number of the Moscow Patriarchate's best church
        > historians themselves refer to Metropolitan Sergius' authority as
        > "non-canonical" (see the Acts of Holy Patriarch Tikhon published by the
        > Saint Tikhon Theological Institute in Moscow)?
        >
        > For the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia the Mother Church always
        > was and always will be the historical Local Russian Orthodox Church in Her
        > fullness. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has always
        > considered itself to be merely the free part of the Russian Orthodox Church.
        > It is erroneous to consider that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia is defined solely by its opposition to the Moscow Patriarchate. The
        > essence of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in not in the
        > rejection of something, but in the constructive "building up" in Christ: in
        > the confession of true Orthodoxy to the whole world; in the preservation of
        > the fullness of the teaching and traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church;
        > and the transmission of these without change to the future generations; in
        > the nurturing of Russian Orthodox people in the Diaspora; in helping the
        > suffering Russian people in the Homeland; in missionary activity, in the
        > enlightenment of the people of all nations where Russians have settled with
        > the light of Christ's Truth.
        >
        > Among the most important sacred duties of the Russian Orthodox Church
        > Outside of Russia has been to witness the truth about the persecuted Church
        > in the enslaved Russian land and to dispel every lie issuing forth from
        > official representatives of the godless authority, including the lies by
        > hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate obedient to this authority.
        >
        > In order to fulfill this sacred duty -- to speak the truth about the actual
        > condition of the Church in the Homeland -- cautious and careful observation
        > by the archpastors and pastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia of all aspects of church life in Russia were and are required. An
        > honest and objective approach to assessing the events in our Homeland
        > cannot limit itself exclusively to negative statements.
        >
        > In the course of the entire nearly seventy-five year period after the
        > Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia has decisively condemned the Moscow Patriarchate leadership's
        > cooperation with the godless authority and their false statements on the
        > true condition of the Church under the Soviet yoke. The Russian Orthodox
        > Church Outside of Russia immediately and fully justifiably stated that
        > while the church authority under Metropolitan Sergius and his successors
        > continues to have close ties and submits to the directives of the godless
        > authorities, She cannot have any communion with the Moscow Patriarchate.
        > However, at no time and in no manner has the Russian Orthodox Church
        > Outside of Russia broken its spiritual ties with the much-suffering Russian
        > people and with those clergymen who have faithfully continued to fulfill
        > their pastoral duties in the most difficult of circumstances.
        >
        > The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia under
        > the ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret's leadership wrote about this in
        > 1981. While condemning the union between the hierarchy of the Moscow
        > Patriarchate and the godless authorities, the Synod of Bishops in its
        > Resolution of August 12/25, 1981 stated: "This [absence of liturgical
        > communion] does not interfere with the fact that we are observing the
        > currents of religious life in Russia with sorrow and love for our people.
        > In some cases we see complete ruin. Nonetheless, in other cases we at least
        > see attempts by some, even while formally submitting to the Patriarchate,
        > to remain free of the apostatical politics of her leaders, thus trying in
        > this way to attain salvation even on the territory of a kingdom of the
        > antichrist".
        >
        > "Any degree of departure from Sergianism can be considered a step in the
        > direction of pure Orthodoxy, although not yet opening the road to our
        > communion."
        >
        > "Our interest in the events of church life in Russia cannot help but to
        > take note of the more positive phenomena on the background of complete
        > apostasy as well. We should not limit our attention exclusively to those
        > things that deserve unconditional condemnation".
        >
        > This is what the Synod of Bishops wrote under the presidency of
        > Metropolitan Philaret 20 years ago.
        >
        > For the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia the leadership of the
        > Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox faithful were never
        > synonymous. And never, not in any official documents, did the Russian
        > Orthodox Church Outside of Russia state that the Moscow Patriarchate was
        > void of grace.
        >
        > On the contrary, in their official Epistles our First-Hierarchs and
        > archpastors have often spoken of the courageous struggles of the Russian
        > faithful -- of those who attended and participated in Divine Services in
        > those few churches that were open (obviously not catacomb churches, since
        > the Catacomb Church did not and could not have any open churches).
        > For example, in 1960 Metropolitan Anastassy in his Homily on the "Sunday
        > of All Saints Who have Shone Forth in the Russian Land" noted that Holy
        > Russia is alive not only in the Catacomb Church, but that: "She still lives
        > in the hearts of those Russian people who have remained faithful to
        > Orthodoxy, who openly confess it, zealously attending any churches that
        > have remained open in Russia" (Reprinted in "Orthodox Russia", No. 10,
        > 1999).
        >
        > Likewise, in 1964, the Sobor of Bishops under the presidency of
        > Metropolitan Philaret and with the participation of Saint John of Shanghai
        > and San Francisco the Wonderworker, the current First-Hierarch of the
        > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan (then Archbishop)
        > Vitaly, and Archbishop Averky (Taushev), in its Epistle writes: "They [the
        > god-opposing Communists] have contrived a new, truly diabolical plan in
        > their war against the faithful: it is forbidden by the godless government
        > of the USSR for children and young men and women from the ages of 3 to 18
        > to be allowed into God's churches and to be communed with the Body and
        > Blood of Christ. And in order to mock the Church even more, this directive
        > by the authorities has to be enforced by the clergymen themselves -- they
        > are the ones who must prohibit youth from approaching the Chalice of Christ
        > and demand the removal of children and youth from the churches".
        >
        > Could it be that the archpastors of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia under Metropolitan Philaret would make such a statement if they
        > considered the above mentioned clergymen of the Moscow Patriarchate to be
        > without grace and the Sacraments performed by them to be invalid?
        >
        > The opposition to the latest Council of Bishops maintains that it is
        > "walling itself off" from those who consider the Moscow Patriarchate a part
        > of the Russian Orthodox Church. In that case they should be reminded that
        > they are also walling themselves off from Metropolitan Philaret himself,
        > who, in
        > his "Epistle to My Fellow Orthodox Bishops in Christ and to All to Whom the
        > Fate of the Russian Church is Dear" (1965) wrote the following: "However,
        > in the Soviet Union, besides the True Orthodox Church and the Moscow
        > Patriarchate, who have no liturgical or other contact between themselves,
        > there exists yet a third part of the Russian Church (emphasis added) -- free
        > of persecution and repression -- the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia".
        >
        > In 1994 the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        > Russia spoke about these various parts of the Russian Orthodox Church. In
        > their Epistle, the Bishops stated the following: "Conscious of our own
        > responsibility before God and men, we, the hierarchs of the Church of
        > Russia who are free of all outside interference, propose that the time has
        > come to seek active contact with all the parts of the One Russian Orthodox
        > Church, which have been separated from one another as a result of
        > historical circumstances". Incidentally, this conciliar resolution was
        > signed by the former Bishop Valentine (Rusanstev) who subsequently fell
        > into schism.
        >
        > When we read all of these Epistles of the past Councils of Bishops and
        > First-Hierarchs it becomes apparent that no contradiction, no "change" in
        > the course of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has taken
        > place. On the contrary, the latest Epistle is a continuation of past Sobors
        > and constitutes with them an organic, complete and consistent, integrated
        > ecclesiastical world-view and course.
        >
        > The efforts of a small group of opponents of the Sobor of Bishops of 2000
        > to distort the truth about the historical positions of the Russian Orthodox
        > Church Outside of Russia, their statements, open letters, responses,
        > appeals and opinions, distributed almost exclusively by e-mail and over the
        > internet, will prove to be in vain. As a rule, the spirit of these
        > "statements", their tone and at times rudeness, animosity and audacity,
        > reveal how foreign to the true spirit of the Church these authors are and
        > how gravely they are in error. During these days of Great Lent the Holy
        > Church especially prays: "may the tongue be cleansed from improper speech"
        > (First prayer of the faithful, Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts). The
        > Church also warns us that "vain words [should] not find entry to our sense
        > of hearing" (ibid.). How sad it is that new members of the Church are
        > influenced by the "vain words" of those opposed to the Higher Church
        > Authority and its decisions! Often these relatively new members have
        > insufficient knowledge or are insufficiently acquainted with the extensive
        > material witnessing to the true historical course of the Russian Orthodox
        > Church Outside of Russia. And, likewise, many do not have sufficient
        > experience in church life. Seeds of doubt are sown in the minds of these
        > "little ones", and this brings anxiety, dissension, and disobedience into
        > the fold of the Church.
        >
        > It is appropriate to recall the words of the ever-memorable Archbishop
        > Anthony of Geneva and Western Europe regarding obedience in the Church:
        > "You know that in the Church there exists a hierarchy, in which the lower
        > members must submit themselves to the higher. So, for example, if a bishop
        > does not submit himself to the Sobor of Bishops, then he ceases to be a
        > bishop of the Church of the Christ. If a priest does not listen to his
        > bishop, he ceases to be a priest. If a layman does not listen to his
        > pastors, he ceases to be a Christian. In this way all of the Church of
        > Christ is based on obedience to God and every one who is a member of the
        > Church is bound by this obedience" (Reprinted in "Orthodox Russia", No. 17,
        > 1999).
        >
        > Let us also recall the strict warnings of the Synod of Bishops of the
        > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia under the presidency of
        > Metropolitan Philaret. These warnings, although written 20 years ago, are
        > entirely applicable to the contemporary situation and state of Church life:
        > "If no one is supposed to condemn his neighbor in haste, even more care is
        > demanded where our own Primate is concerned. [Note: at that time the Synod
        > was concerned with criticism directed at the Metropolitan. In our situation
        > it would be quite appropriate to change the word 'Primate' to 'Higher
        > Church Authority', since our contemporary critics are directing their
        > accusations against the entire Sobor of Bishops.] Rash implications about
        > his allegedly unorthodox preaching as well as open criticism in sermons
        > reveal a tendency towards condemnation and division which is unseemly in
        > Christians. The Apostle said, 'Who art thou that judgest another man's
        > servant?' How much more appropriate might it be to say. 'Who art thou that
        > judgest thy Metropolitan?' Such an attitude, which can easily develop into
        > schism, is strongly censured by the canons of the Church, for it shows
        > willful appropriation by clerics of the 'judgment belonging to
        > metropolitans' (Canon XIII of the First-and-Second Council). Everyone must
        > be very careful in his criticism, particularly when expressing it publicly,
        > remembering that 'Judgment and justice take hold on thee' (Job 36, 17
        > Septuagint translation). If, contrary to the apostolic teaching about
        > hierarchical distribution of duties and responsibilities, all the clerics
        > and laymen were to supervise their hierarchs (I Cor. 12, 28-30), then
        > instead of being a hierarchical Body of Christ, our Church would turn into
        > a kind of democratic anarchy where the sheep assume the function of the
        > shepherd. A special grace is bestowed upon bishops to help them in their
        > work. Those who seek to control their bishop should be reminded of Canon
        > LXIV of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which quotes the words of St. Gregory
        > the Theologian: Learning in docility and abounding in cheerfulness, and
        > ministering with alacrity, we shall not all be the tongue which is the more
        > active member, not all of us apostles, not all prophets, nor shall we all
        > interpret. And again: Why dost thou make thyself a shepherd when thou art a
        > sheep? Why become a head when thou art a foot? Why dost thou try to be a
        > commander when thou art enrolled in the number of the soldiers?.."
        >
        > "The situation of the Church in Russia is without precedent, and no norms
        > can be prescribed by any one of us separately. If the position of the
        > Catacomb Church would change relative to its position in past years, any
        > change in our attitude would have to be reviewed not by individual
        > clergymen or laymen but only by the Council of Bishops, to which all
        > pertinent matters should be submitted" (Copy of the Resolutions of the
        > Synod of Bishops from August 12/25, 1981, signed by Bishop Gregory Grabbe).
        >
        > It is sad that by their actions, today's critics of the latest Sobor of
        > Bishops, possibly not even realizing it, are bringing joy to the enemies of
        > the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and especially to the ancient
        > enemy of our salvation. It is common knowledge that in the course of
        > decades, organs of the KGB and their obedient collaborators have attempted
        > to do everything possible towards the annihilation of the Russian Orthodox
        > Church Outside of Russia. Today's "antagonists" continue their work. The
        > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is being attacked from two sides:
        > ecumenists and modernists on one side and on the other -- the "super-correct
        > of True Orthodoxy". In today's assaults on the Russian Orthodox Church
        > Outside of Russia we see how both the Moscow Patriarchate's renovationist
        > elements and the followers of the so-called "Bishop of Suzdal" Valentine,
        > the Bostonite group of former Archimandrite Panteleimon and other
        > pseudo-catacomb and pseudo-Orthodox groups have joined together.
        > Back in the IV century Saint Gregory the Theologian wrote about such
        > assaults from both sides: "Whosoever remains in peace and bends not to the
        > one, nor to the other side, endures evil from both sides: either they
        > despise him, or they attack him." (Homily 23, "On Peace"). Are not the
        > archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in their
        > fullness in this very predicament?
        >
        > The ever-memorable hieromonk of our Western American Diocese, Father
        > Seraphim (Rose), wrote the following in 1976: "The royal path of true
        > Orthodoxy today is a mean that lies between the extremes of ecumenism and
        > reformism on the side, and a zeal not according to knowledge (Rom. 10, 5)
        > on the other. True Orthodoxy does not go in step with the times on the one
        > hand, nor does it make strictness or correctness or canonicity (good in
        > themselves) an excuse for pharisaic self-satisfaction, exclusivism, and
        > distrust, on the other" ("Orthodox Word", September-October, 1976, p. 147).
        >
        > It is in the spirit of brotherly love that we remind our brothers in Christ
        > that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia zealously prays for the
        > union of all separated parts of the Russian Orthodox Church. In the prayer
        > to the Holy New-Martyrs of Russia, confirmed by the Sobor of Bishops under
        > the presidency of Metropolitan Philaret (1981), we hear the following plea:
        > "O Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Church of Russia, hear our
        > fervent prayer!.. Implore of God... that all schism in our Church shall
        > cease, so that we may all be one..."
        >
        > The clergymen of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox
        > Church Outside of Russia, gathered at the pastoral conference, heard a talk
        > dedicated to the memory of a great archpastor of the Russian Church, the
        > last bishop of the old school of Blessed Metropolitan Anthony
        > (Khrapovitsky), the ever-memorable Archbishop Anthony of Western America
        > and San Francisco. A month before his repose, on the Feast of the
        > Transfiguration of the Lord, 2000, he said the following:
        >
        > "Contemporary Russia hangs between radiant hope and darkness. She can
        > resurrect or be lost forever."
        >
        > "Tomorrow the Moscow Patriarchate will canonize the Royal Martyrs... this
        > is good, this is the first step. We canonized the Royal Martyrs for both
        > their pious life and for their martyric end. But we should welcome the
        > Moscow Patriarchate for their initial step. Many things still separate us,
        > but this first step gives hope. Despite everything we should manifest
        > goodness".
        >
        > In these days of Great Lent we call upon both our flock and our co-pastors
        > who are in the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and
        > especially those who are disobedient and are causing unrest and temptation,
        > to heed the words of our righteous hierarch and despite everything to
        > "manifest goodness" so that with joy, peace, a pure conscience, heartfelt
        > simplicity, and love we may greet Him, Who rose on the third day, our Lord
        > Jesus Christ, the Head of our Church.
        >
        > All the Participants of the Pastoral Conference
        > of the Western American Diocese:
        >
        > Archimandrite ANASTASSY
        > Archpriest Alexis POLUEKTOV
        > Archpriest Alexander LEBEDEFF
        > Archpriest Stefan PAVLENKO
        > Archpriest Peter PEREKRESTOV
        > Archpriest John OCANA
        > Archpriest Mark GOMEZ
        > Archpriest George KURTOW
        > Archpriest Serge KOTAR
        > Priest Paul VOLMENSKY
        > Priest Vladimir ANDERSON
        > Priest Alexander KRASSOVSKY
        > Priest Yaroslav BELIKOW
        > Priest David MOSER
        > Priest Peter SHASHKOV
        > Priest Boris HENDERSON
        > Hieromonk TRIPHON
        > Priest Anatole LYOVIN
        > Priest Ilia MARZEV
        > Protodeacon Alexis KOTAR
        > Archdeacon ANDRONIK
        > Deacon John McCUEN
        > Deacon Dimitri JAKIMOVICZ
        > Monk PAUL
        >
        > 2/15 of March, 2001
        > Third Week of Great Lent
        > San Francisco, California
        >
        >
        >
        >
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