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Sv: Sv: Sv: Sv: [orthodox-synod] Fr. Stephan Krasovitsky's "Open Letter..."

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  • Nikolaj
    ... From: Fr. Alexander Lebedeff To: Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 6:37 PM Subject: Re: Sv: Sv: Sv:
    Message 1 of 4 , May 30 4:23 PM
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Fr. Alexander Lebedeff <lebedeff@...>
      To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 6:37 PM
      Subject: Re: Sv: Sv: Sv: [orthodox-synod] Fr. Stephan Krasovitsky's "Open Letter..."


      > Nikolaj wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      > >Metropolitan Sergii send a letter to the Karlovci in oct 1926 saying that
      > >he urged them to set up their own administration, since the situation in
      > >Moscow was totally unpredictable and they should not rely on help from
      > >Moscow for the time being.
      > >The Synod published this letter, and then Metropolitan Sergii was
      > >immediately arrested and sent to prison for 8 months.
      > >Only then, after being released in 1927 did he issue his declaration of
      > >loyalty.
      >
      > It is absurd to link the arrest of Metr. Sergius to the publication of his
      > letter by the Synod Abroad. The bolsheviks had plenty of reasons to arrest
      > Metr. Sergius, as they had arrested Metropolitans Peter, Agathangel, and
      > Kyrill prior to that. Were the arrests of these previous Patriarchal Locum
      > Tenentes also due to something done by the Synod Abroad?
      >
      Dear Fr Alexander
      Think again - is it really so absurd?
      Did you read the letter? Don't you think the publication
      of such a letter was a good argument for the reds to arrest him?
      They could have arrested him before the publication of the letter but didn't.

      >
      >
      > >Yes there was a huge difference between their positions. Patriarch Tikhon
      > >actually excommunicated the whole bolshevik leadership
      >
      > well, he couldn't excommunicate anyone who was not a member of the Russian
      > Orthodox Church--and the "whole bolshevik leadership" were declared
      > atheists, the majority of whom did not have a Russian Orthodox background,
      > as you know well.
      >
      And Father, you know well that, this was exactly what Patriarch Tikhon did.
      He excommunicated them and forbid them to approach the sacraments.
      Or will you deny this?


      > >and on several occasions opposed the reds openly.
      >
      > He spoke out against injustices committed by the reds against the Church
      > and its faithful. He did, quite early on, state that the clergy must be
      > totally apolitical, and that all of the faithful must follow the laws of
      > the State as long as these laws did not violate their Christian consciences.
      >
      Yes, and this statement kept the reds at bay for a while.
      But Patriarch Tikhon protested against the confiscation
      of Liturgical vessels and other abuses, so what was this
      declaration worth ?
      Two years after the declaration of 1927
      the reds introduced the most terrible law ever to be effectuated against
      the church - the law on religion of 1929.
      None of their declarations helped the church. Not the one from 1919
      not the one of 1927.

      > >Later, when Met Sergii was in the focus, the soviet power was totally in
      > >power and could do what they wanted with him.
      >
      > I think that the Soviet power was totally in power by 1920, long before 1927.
      >
      Wrong - the situation in church of 1920 was far from the same as in 1927.
      In 1920 the reds were still far from having control with the church.
      They created various schisms in this period to weaken the Patriarch and the
      civil war was hardly over.
      Russia is big, and the administration of the country was far from secure.
      They did not even launch the "concept" of the Soviet Union until 1922
      as you know.

      >
      > >The Patriarchal Church under Sergii was much more weak and divided by the
      > >various schisms taking place.
      >
      > I think that there was no schism more divisive than the schisms of the
      > Renovationists and Living Church groups--and that occurred during the time
      > of Patriarch Tikhon.

      But it stil weakened the church for many years.
      Metropolitan Sergij did not take over a fully functional
      administrative Church apparatus from Patriarch Tikhon?
      And how about the Grigorians?
      They certainly played a big role in forcing Met Sergij to take action
      when he was in Kazan and forbidden to go to Moscow.

      > >The declaration of "civil loyalty" issued by Patriarch Tihkon already in
      > >1919, was not issued under the same pressure as the one given by the from
      > >prison newly released Met Sergii in 1927.
      >
      > We do not know what pressure Metr. Sergius was under in 1927. It was likely
      > extremely heavy--as it was on Patr. Tikhon, as well. But Patr. Tikhon did
      > not cave in on the most important questions--the actual administration of
      > the Church was not handed over to the Soviet State, and Patr. Tikhon never
      > praised the bolsheviks for their "great benevolence" to the Church, as did
      > Metr. Sergius.
      >
      No of course its terrible, but ROCOR praised Hitler later on - and it is not any better!
      Met Anastasy was not under persecution when he wrote the following:
      "the erection of this Church strengthens our belief in your historical mission.
      You have erected a House to the Heavenly Lord. May
      He bless your national building labours-the creation of your Empire"

      This does not look as if the Met did not know anything about
      Hitlers intentions.

      And further on:
      "We have learned from most reliable sources that the faithful in Russia, groaning under the yoke of serfdom, await their deliverer and pray God unceasingly that He will preserve you, guide you and grant you His all-powerful help. "

      Just a "thank you note"????
      Really!

      > >By the way, after Patriarch Alexii had replaced Sergii in 1945 this plead
      > >for loyalty of 1927 was never repeated in his the appeals from ROC to ROCOR.
      >
      > You are confusing two things. Patriarch Tikhon told the clergy and the
      > faithful to be totally apolitical and to obey the laws of the State.
      >
      > Metropolitan Sergius required that all of the clergy of the Church Abroad
      > sign an Oath of Loyalty to the Soviet State, and refrain from any public
      > criticism of it or its actions.

      > And this demand for an oath of loyalty by the emigre clergy was repeated
      > many times during the time of Patriarch Alexei--in 1945, in 1948, and many
      > years later. I, personally, received an appeal to "rejoin with the Mother
      > Church" in 1975 or 1976 (this was sent out to all of the clergy of the
      > Church Abroad by the Moscow Patriaarchate)--and it certainly restated the
      > demand that I sign a pledge of loyalty to the Soviet State and refrain from
      > criticizing it.
      >
      Can you document that?
      It would be interesting, because I have not been able to locate such
      a demand from the ROC to ROCOR of 1975 or 1976 in any of my books.

      >
      >
      >
      > >Why is that?
      > >It was quite obvious that the some of the activities of the synod was
      > >damaging to the
      > >clergy in ROC. For example the 1922 issued appeal of "war against bolshevism".
      > >This gave the bolsheviks really good reason to propagandize against religion
      > >in Russia. It was "clear" from the activities of the diaspora church, how
      > >the bolsheviks
      > >"had to deal with Christianity". At least this was used as "propaganda
      > >firepower" by the satanic reds.
      >
      > First of all, the bolsheviks needed no "really good reason" to propagandize
      > against religion in Russia. They started doing this from day one. By 1922,
      > a huge number of priests and bishops had been arrested, sent into harsh
      > exile or executed. This was not the result of any actions by the Church
      > Abroad. It was part of the bolshevik goal to destroy all religion. The fact
      > that the bolsheviks used statements made by the Church Abroad as propaganda
      > firepower does not change the essence of the war against religion that was
      > started in 1917--not 1922.
      >
      Yes they as you say yourself, persecuted the church from the beginning.
      If you read the history, you will note how big a role the propaganda
      played in this persecution. To turn the russians against their church
      the reds badly needed propaganda - especially about "conspiracies from abroad".

      >
      >
      > >Why did Patriarch Tikhon write in his 1923 encycle, (when he was not in
      > >prison)
      > >that he did not know about the setting up of the Synod in Konstantinople?
      >
      > How in the world could that statement be taken seriously, when Patriarch
      > Tikhon, in 1921, sent a formal greeting and blessing to the First
      > All-Diasporan (Vsezarubezhnyj) Sobor. That document is found in the massive
      > "Akty Patriarkha Tikhona." The Patriarch also confirmed the appointment of
      > Metropolitan Platon to the North American Diocese by the Russian Church
      > Abroad. How could anyone believe that he "did not know" of its existense?

      Read the encyclical of 1923.
      The first All diasporan sobor is not the same body as the later self-created ROCOR.

      > Also, Izvestia published in 1924 an excerpt from a letter by Patriarch
      > Tikhon to Metropolitan Anthony in which he said concerning statements that
      > had been published saying that he, the Patriarch, was walling himself off
      > from the emigre counter-revolutionaries"" "I wrote all of this for the
      > authorities. You stay and continue working." "Vsyo eto ja napisal dlya
      > vlastej. A Ty sidi i rabotaj."
      >
      It is reminding of the letter of Metropolitan Sergij to ROCOR of october 1926.
      But how come, that suddenly Izvestia becomes a reliable source?????
      >
      > >Furthermore, the bishops never asked release from Patriarch Tikhon before
      > >they went under, first
      > >The Ecumenical Patriarch and then under the Serbian Patriarch.
      >
      > Actually, the whole point of Patriarch Tikhon's Ukase No. 362 was to define
      > how bishops were to act if they were **unable** to freely communicate with
      > the Patriarchal administration. So, with the Bishops abroad being unable to
      > freely communicate with the Patriarchal central administration in Russia,
      > how could they "ask for release"?

      If they were unable to communicate with him, how could they
      know which statements were to be believed or not?
      Because they did believe in some and not in others.

      > The fact that Patriarch Tikhon sent his greeting and formal blessing to the
      > All-Diasporan Council in Sremski Karlovtsy in 1921 is a de facto
      > recognition and blessing of Church Abroad's existense under the protection
      > of first the Ecumenical Patriarch and then the Serbian Patriarch.
      >
      You know very well that the Patriarch ordered the synod to dissolve itself.
      A greeting is not the same as a recognition.

      >
      > >The ecumenical patriarch also supported the grigorians, who made things
      > >extremely
      > >difficult for patriarch Tihkon - and actually at one point recognized the
      > >grigoriansas the official Russian Church.
      > >Was it not strange that the Synod went to him?
      >
      > This is totally confused. The future bishops of the Church Abroad, many
      > clergy and several hundered thousand of the faithful together with remnants
      > of the White Army under General Wrangel, left in a convoy from Crimea to
      > Constantinople in 1920. That was where they ended up. Of course, the
      > bishops of the Church Abroad would appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarchate
      > for protection--they were sitting at his door!

      You did not answer my question about the grigorians.
      Of course it was logical to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch,
      but they did not stick to what was in the statute creating their synod.

      > And the recognition by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Living Church
      > (not the Gregorians) came much later, in 1922-3 during the incarceration of
      > Patriarch Tikhon. How can this have affected what happened in 1920?
      >

      >
      > >How could the Patriarch of Konstantinople grant authority to bishops
      > >serving under the Russian Patriarch without his knowledge?
      >
      > These were bishops **in exile** due to political circumstances, who
      > appeared on the Patriarch of Constantinople's doorstep together with
      > hundreds of clergy and several hundred thousand Russian refugees. Of
      > course, the EP granted them shelter. There was no free communication with
      > Patriarch Tikhon at this time (he was under house arrest and all
      > communications were screened by the bolsheviks).
      >

      >
      > >As I understand it, this authority was only valid in non-orthodox countries.
      > >In orthodox countries like Greece, Serbia Bulgaria and so on, the diaspora
      > >clergy
      > >was encouraged to simply join the local churches?
      >
      > There is no limitation in Ukase No. 9084 of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on
      > the countries to which it applied: it says that the Russian bishops were
      > given the authority to "form an administration, a temporary ecclesiastical
      > epitropy, for **all** the needs of the Russian faithful." The Church Abroad
      > did, while in Constantinople, report to the Patriarch of Constantinople on
      > all its actions, which included:

      Aha? That is to say that you claim that this Ukase gives ROCOR rights
      to break the canons? Because it is against the canons to open dioceses
      on other juristictions territory without the consent of the local bishops.
      I do not belive this to be true.

      > 1) In January 1921 the Church Abroad appointed Metropolitan Evlogy the
      > Administrator of all Russian parishes in Western Europe, since these
      > parishes could no longer be administered by the Metropolitan of St.
      > Petersburg, as had been the case before the Revolution. On March 26, 1921,
      > the Church Abroad ordered that all parishes in Western Europe commemorate
      > the name of Metropolitan Evlogy at all services, instead of that of
      > Metropolitan Benjamin of Petrograd. On April 8, 1921, Ukaze No. 424 of the
      > Patriarchal Synod and Sobor in Moscow **confirmed** the appointment of
      > Metropolitan Evlogy by the Church Abroad.

      How could ROCOR administrate a territory which did not belong to them?


      > 2) In May, 1921, there was held in Constantinople a Sobor of Bishops of the
      > Church Abroad. This Sobor was held under the Presidency of an offical
      > delegate of the Patriarch of Constantinople. At this Sobor, the Bishops of
      > the Church Abroad formally assumed ecclesiastical direction of the entire
      > Russian diaspora, and the "Supreme Ecclesiastical Administrartion of the
      > Russian Orthodox Church Abroad" was formally constituted.

      Again -ROCOR decides that ROCOR has unlimited power to do
      whatever it sees fit. Do you know the response of Patriarch Tikhon
      to this decision?

      > 3) And, regarding the question of whether its authority extended to
      > non-Orthodox countries only, on August 18/31, 1921, the SEAROCA appointed
      > Bishop Seraphim of Lyubna to be the administrator of all Russian parishes
      > in Bulgaria. On September 21/October 3, 1921, the SEAROCA appointed
      > Metropolitan Anthony to be the administrator of all Russian parishes in Serbia.
      >
      > And all of this was done with the knowledge of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
      >
      In Serbia (and bulgaria) ROCOR also had no canonical territory, as this
      territory belongs to the Serbian Patriarch - not the Ecumenical
      Patriarch - not ROCOR.

      >
      >
      > > > Also, Nikolai's statement that the Synod Abroad was founded when Patriarch
      > > > Tikhon was in jail is factually incorrect. The Synod Abroad was founded in
      > > > 1920, while Patriarch Tikhon was incarcerated only in 1922.


      > >Im sorry but - But no it was not. Only in 1923 was ROCOR founded in Serbia.
      > >And that happened after the synod dissolved itself on the orders
      > >from the Moscow Patrarchate. It immediately re-created itself in
      > >the form we know it today.
      >
      > This is picking nits. The Church Abroad has as its founding date 1920, not
      > 1923. From its origin, and to this day, it has considered itself to be the
      > supreme ecclesiastical authority for all Russian parishes abroad. The minor
      > name changes that occurred in 1920-1923 do not affect its essential nature
      > or position.
      >
      This is what we in my language "pulling fish out of the water".
      Another example of ROCOR deciding that ROCOR has the sole
      power and authority over the diaspora.
      You know very well that this "authority" was not accepted by huge parts of
      the diaspora, and that the truth is not so simple as you state it.

      >
      > >Why did the Metropolitan Anastassy send a congratulational letter to
      > > > >Hitler in 1939 prasing Hitlers politics ?
      > > >
      > > > This is a typical red herring, often tossed out by supporters of the
      > > Moscow
      > > > Patriarchate.
      > >
      > >Because it shows that "sergianism" is not limited to a certain juristiction
      > >or other. It happenes from time to time in all local churches under pressure.
      > >Not that I would ever defend the sergianism of MP, but the sins of MP
      > >does not justify the canonical mistakes of other juristictions.
      >
      >
      > There is no way that Metropolitan Anastassy's address can be compared to
      > Sergianism. Sergianism's essence is that one may lie in order to "save" the
      > Church. Those lies include outright denial of the persecution of the
      > Church, and the denial of its martyrs. (The Sergianists continually, from
      > 1927, right up to 1990, claimed that *no one* had been killed for their
      > faith in the Soviet Union, and that those who had been imprisoned or
      > executed were sanctioned by the government solely for their political actions).
      >
      > Where does one find such lies in the Address of Metropolitan Anastassy?

      Well, the fact that he was not even forced to write such a scandalous letter
      does make the affair seem rather strange to me?
      Yes, it is easy to state that "one never bowed to communism" when
      one lives in New York.

      >
      >
      > > > Let's take this letter in its true context.
      > > >
      > > > First of all, this Address was written in 1938--not 1939.
      > > >
      > > > Second, Hitler was the popularly elected leader of a country in which
      > > there
      > > > were 80 parishes belonging to the Church Abroad, served by clergy who were
      > > > German nationals, and whose parishioners were German nationals. There were
      > > > three bishops, headed by Metropolitan Seraphim (Lade), himself a native
      > > German.
      > >
      > >The Metropolitan later went over to the MP.......!
      >
      > That has nothing to do with the situation of the Church in Germany in 1938.

      Maybe not, but it shows that what you claim, namely that ROCOR was the
      only logical body to assume control of all the diaspora what not shared by all the hierarchs.

      >
      > >And many of the 80 parishes were taken from Met Evlogij.
      >
      > So what? The fact that the German government's courts declared that the
      > Church Abroad was the sole legal ecclesiastical administration for Russian
      > parishes in Germany was **even more reason** for the Head of the Church
      > Abroad to thank the German government. In the Synod's view, the German
      > government had assisted in returning parishes to their lawful owner--the
      > Synod, and out of the hands of the schismatic Evlogians.
      >
      This was the Nazi-goverment who a few years later massacred millions
      of russians and burned a lot of churces.
      And how can the Nazi-court decide what is canonical or not in the affairs
      of the russian orthodox church?
      Can you tell me that?

      >
      >
      > > > The German government donated to the Russian Church Abroad a large
      > > piece of
      > > > land in a prestigeous area in Berlin to have a new Cathedral built there,
      > > > and heavily subsidized the construction. Metropolitan Anastassy came from
      > > > Yugoslavia for the consecration of the new Cathedral, and gave an Address
      > > > in which he thanked the German state and its head, for their generous
      > > > assistance in having this Cathedral built. Formal addresses to Heads of
      > > > State are usually rhetorically quite flowery and complimentary, and this
      > > > one was as well.
      > >
      > >Indeed it was. An example:
      > >"Your great achievements on behalf of the German people and towards the
      > >greatness of the German Empire have made you an example worthy of imitation,
      > >a model of devotion to one's own people and one's Fatherland, and of how one
      > >must stand up for one's national and spiritual values."
      >
      > An unbiased historian would confirm that Hitler did restore German's pride
      > and devotion to their Fatherland. He ended inflation, made the trains run
      > on time, built the first Autobahns, supported the development of the
      > "people's car" (Volkswagen) which is still popular more than 60 years later
      > and lots of other things that were positive. This was all wiped out later
      > by his wars of aggression, and the horrors of the death camps. But none of
      > that had happened in 1938.
      >
      And you believe that nobody knew what was coming?
      Do you believe that Hitler was discreet in his "restoration of pride" in Germany?
      If I were you, I would not get in to deep in defending Hitlers policies.
      The death camps were in effect already from 1933.


      >
      >
      > > > So, reading it 60 years later, in the context of World War II and its
      > > > horrors, including the concentration camps, is unfair.
      > >
      > >But no more unfair than to keep passing judgement
      > >to the ROC because of the 1927 declaration.
      >
      > Absolutely not. Metropolitan Anastassy's address was an expression of
      > gratitude for things done to the **benefit** of the Church (such as the
      > construction of a magnificent cathedral and the return of parishes held by
      > schismatics). Metr. Sergius' Declaration was a total lie--thanking the
      > Soviet State for its "benevolence" to the Church, when the State had
      > already destroyed thousands of churches and massacred millions for their faith.
      >
      > Can't you see the diference between the two?
      >
      That Evlogij is a schismatic is a postulate on your behalf.
      Canonically he wasn't a schismatic.

      And Met Anastassy also thanks Hitler for his "benevolence" to ROCOR:

      >
      >
      >
      > >This Address was made **before** the War, just two years after the whole
      > >world came to the
      > > > Munich Olympics which Hitler had made as a showpiece for his regime, and,
      > > > at which, the American delegation, as did all the others, expressed its
      > > > gratitude to the German State and its Head for their hospitality. The
      > > > Address of Metropolitan Anastassy was also made at the same time that the
      > > > former King of England, the Duke of Windsor, visited Germany and had very
      > > > cordial meetings with Hitler.
      > >
      > >And again - the sins of others do not justify one's own!!!
      >
      >
      > The world's perception of Hitler in 1938 was a very different one. There
      > were huge numbers of Hitler supporters in Great Britain and in the United
      > States, who hels massive rallies in support of him.
      >
      So what? So there is even today.
      Does this change the facts of Hitlers policies?


      > > > So, in its context, the Address of Metropolitan Anastassy was quite
      > > > appropriate. Do you think, Nikolaj, that the government of any country
      > > that
      > > > gives land for and massively supports the construction of a magnificent
      > > > Cathedral for the Church Abroad should not be formally thanked at its
      > > > consecration?
      > > >
      > >This was far more than a "formal thanking".
      > >There was no need to go as far as he did in praising Hitlers qualities..
      >
      > If President Bush was to authorize the donation of a prime piece of
      > property in Washington D.C. for a new Cathedral of the Church Abroad, and
      > have the government massively support the cost of its construction, you
      > better believe that the speeches at its consecration would be praising
      > Bush's qualities in equally flowery language.
      >
      I do not doubt this.

      >
      > > >
      > > > >5) Why does ROCOR consider itself capable of passing judgement about
      > > other
      > > > >juristictions level of "grace"? From where comes this "supremacy"?
      > > >
      > > > Actually, the ROCOR officially has the position of **not** judging the
      > > > question of grace in other jurisdictions, so the question is nonsensical.
      > > >
      > >Really? How come then that the only juristiction where it is being
      > >claimed that MP has "no grace" is ROCOR?
      >
      > Actually, I believe that every Greek Old Calendarist jurisdiction (with the
      > exception of the Cyprianites) believes the Moscow Patriarchate to be
      > without grace. So does the jurisdiction of "Metropolitan" Valentine of
      > Suzdal. Also, that is the position of the majority of catacomb
      > jurisdictions in Russia, as well.
      >
      Do you think that the "spiritual supremacy" of for example Valentin
      in Suzdal is valid proof of the "lack of grace" in the ROC?
      The canonical structure and origin of the Greek old Calendarists
      is also questionable, and so are the catacomb juristictions.
      And you did not deny that ROCOR thinks of itself that it is
      capable of passing such a jugdement.

      >
      > >How about Prof Andreyevs book? Is it
      > >not endorsed by the ROCOR Monastery of Jordanville?
      >
      > No. It was reprinted by Monastery Press in Canada, run by Fr. Andrew
      > Kencis, who republished it because it agrees with his narrow views.
      >
      > For another view, take a look at Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko)'s book,
      > "Motives of My Life"--published in Jordanville (in two editions) with the
      > blessing of Archbishop Averky and with an Imprimatur by the Synod's
      > Official Censor Librorum, Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky. In it you will
      > find Archbishop Vitaly writing: "with deep reverence to the struggle of
      > Patriarch Sergius" (s glubokim prekloneniem pered podvigom Patriarkha
      > Sergija," and at least twenty references to the Moscow Patriarchate as the
      > "Mother Church."
      >
      Sounds interesting indeed. Thank you for the titles.

      >
      > > >
      > > > >6) Why does ROCOR open parishes on the territory of others
      > > juristictions -
      > > > >this is uncanonical.
      > > >
      > > > The Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1920 gave the Church Abroad the
      > > authority to
      > > > establish parishes all over the world.
      > > >
      > >Not true!
      > >The authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was only valid to establish
      > >parishes in non-orthodox countries!
      > >Its' authority does not include
      > >the territory of other canonical Patriarchs.
      >
      > See above, where the Church Abroad, under the supervision of the Ecumenical
      > Patriarchate, appointed Bishops to administer Russian parishes in Serbia
      > and Bulgaria.
      >
      Where ROCOR had no canonical territory!

      >
      >
      > > And the Ecumenical Patriarch
      > >recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as such.
      > >The parishes that "it gave authority" to create was only for the forming of
      > >parishes for the Russian diaspora - this I believe does not include Russia
      > >itself?
      >
      > The establishment of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      > Russia **in Russia** is problematical. The intentions were pure, however,
      > since this was the only way to tend to the needs of the Orthodox Christians
      > of Russia who refused to submit to the KGB-directed Moscow Patriarchate.
      > The Synod finally acceded to the woeful cries of those faithful, who had
      > been commemorating Metropolitan Philaret and then Metropolitan Vitaly for
      > many years already.
      >
      Everybody form the Patriarch down to the most obscure starosta had to be registered
      in the "department of religious affairs" - under KGB.
      So you might say that all Orthodox believers who did some service for the church
      were KGB agents.

      Are you absolutely certain that these "woeful cries" were the only reason Father?
      I would like to believe you, but in Russia there is quite a different attitude to this problem.
      So whom are we to believe?
      >
      > > >
      > > > >7) The Southern High Church Administration is often claimed to be the
      > > > >origins of ROCOR. This is only partly true, since what we today knows as
      > > > >ROCOR was created much later in Serbia in Karlovci.
      > > >
      > > > This statement makes no sense. The Russian Church Abroad evolved from the
      > > > Southern High Church Administration, to the Temporary Church
      > > > Administration, to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. So the
      > > > **origins** of the ROCOR are definitely to be found in the High Church
      > > > Administration of the South of Russia.
      > > >
      > >Only when you speak about its members.
      > >The structure was changed and the number of laypeople participating
      > >also changed, and so was the political influence of various groups
      > >for example the Higher Monarchist Council.
      > >There is also the case of Rodzianko, who was kicked out.
      >
      > None of this affects the essence of the Church Abroad as the supreme
      > ecclesiastical authority for all the Russians in diaspora. Neither the
      > name, nor the internal administrative structure matter.

      This "supremacy" is self-proclaimed and you know that.
      The structure doesnt matter? That is a rather strange view
      when it comes to such an important thing as a body
      claiming to have such "supremacy".
      >
      >
      > > >
      > > > >Is it not true, that the Administration that Patriarch Tikhon gave his
      > > > >blessing to, was only the Administration found in southern Russia during
      > > > >the civil war on Russian territory, and NOT such an administration abroad
      > > > >as the later self-created ROCOR?
      > > >
      > > > Not true. The Patriarchal Ukaze No. 362 does not mention any specific
      > > > territories at all, and gives the blessing for bishops who are unable
      > > to be
      > > > under the administration of the higher church administration in Moscow for
      > > > whatever reason, to gather together and form a temporary higher church
      > > > administration.
      > >
      > >Exactly, but this Ukaze was issued during the civil war.
      > >To claim that this situation was still the same when ROCOR created
      > >itself in 1923 in Serbia is not very logical.
      >
      > Again, you are totally wrong on this. The Church Abroad was founded
      > immediately upon the emigration of Russians after the civil war. Its first
      > organizational meeting was actually on board a Russian warship, docked at
      > the port of Constantinople. The Church Abroad as constituted in 1923 is an
      > organic continuation of the Church founded in 1920--not a new Church.
      >


      >
      >
      >
      > >Several of the diaspora bishops and metropolitans abroad went
      > >over to Moscow without any pressure.
      >
      >
      > Some of them (the bishops in the Far East) did this under total oppression
      > under Soviet occupation.
      >


      >
      >
      > >A very possible reason for this, might certainly have been because of the
      > >uncertainty of ROCORs canonical origins.
      >
      > Absolutely ungrounded speculation.

      So you say father, so you say............
      >

      > Neither the Patriarch of Constantinople, nor the Patriarch of Serbia, nor
      > the Archbishop of Athens, nor the Patriarchs of Jerusalem, Antioch, and
      > Alexandria had problems with ROCOR's canonical origins in 1921. And neither
      > did the Patriarch of Moscow.
      >
      Yes, this is again the typical ROCOR black and white attitude.
      Im sorry but history is never black and white and
      neither is the history of ROCOR and ROC.
      You are trying to present ROCOR as "juristictionally and
      canonically infallible" - but history shows different, as I have pointed out.
      However, it seems to me, that you still choose to ignore certain seemingly
      unpleasant points about the uncanonical origins of the synod, but
      I understand that this cannot be any different
      and I thank you for your answers.
      I hope that my questions were not dishonourable,
      they were not intended to be.
      Thank you for that.

      It will soon be "Troitse" and I will now leave this discussion
      and wish you a peaceful and blessed feast.

      In Christ
      sinful and ignorant Nikolaj

      >
      > With love in Christ,
      >
      > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
      >
      >
      > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      >
      >
    • Nikolaj
      You think that it was wrong of the clergy to help defend Russia against Germany? + Nikolaj People, seized by passions, will rape the Scriptures according to
      Message 2 of 4 , May 31 2:33 PM
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        You think that it was wrong of the clergy to
        help defend Russia against Germany?

        +
        Nikolaj

        "People, seized by passions,
        will rape the Scriptures according
        to their desires"
        (St. Clement of Alexandria )
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <valichka@...>
        To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 8:30 PM
        Subject: Re: Sv: Sv: Sv: [orthodox-synod] Fr. Stephan Krasovitsky's "Open Letter..."


        > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Rev. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
        >
        > > On Wed, 30 May 2001, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff wrote:
        > > >
        > > > We do not know what pressure Metr. Sergius was under in 1927. It
        > was likely extremely heavy--as it was on Patr. Tikhon, as well. But
        > Patr. Tikhon did not cave in on the most important questions--the
        > actual administration of the Church was not handed over to the Soviet
        > State, and Patr. Tikhon never praised the bolsheviks for their "great
        > benevolence" to the Church, as did Metr. Sergius.
        >
        > > If I remember correctly, Metropolitan Sergius chose his words
        > > in a rather intersting way: he spoke of Comr. Stalin's "concern for
        > the spiritual needs of the Russian people".
        >
        > What about Metropolitan Sergius concern for the earthly needs of the
        > Red Army? In oct. 1941, as the front line was approaching Moscow,
        > Stalin decided to send away Met Sergius from Moscow to Ulianovsk
        > where he spent 2 years. During the 1st year, Met. Sergius send
        > 10 "Patriotics letters". He gathered 3 millions rubles for the army
        > needs. Then in dec. 1942, Met. Sergius opened a subscription for a
        > tank division named "Dimitri Donskoj". Stalin sent him a telegram (my
        > translation) "i ask you to tell the russian orthodox clergy and
        > worshippers my gratitude for their concerns about the tank force of
        > Red Army. I gave the order for the opening of a bank account at
        > Gosbank". Within 2 months the clergy and the people gathered 6
        > millions rubles for the tank division.
        > Experts from the book "Ruskaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov pred litsom
        > gospodstvuiuchago zla" Jordanville 1991.
        > For other extracts, see my message Nr.4784.
        >
        > ps : (for Nikolaj I guess) and don't accuse me of
        > being "antipatriotic". Remember who was accused of "anti patriotic
        > and anti governmental acts" at a certain time?
        > >
        > > This has always seemed a rather memorable turn of speech to
        > me...
        > >
        > > In Christ
        > > Fr. John R. Shaw
        >
        >
        > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • Nikolaj
        ps : (for Nikolaj I guess) and don t accuse me of being antipatriotic . Remember who was accused of anti patriotic and anti governmental acts at a certain
        Message 3 of 4 , May 31 3:06 PM
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          "ps : (for Nikolaj I guess) and don't accuse me of
          being "antipatriotic". Remember who was accused of "anti patriotic
          and anti governmental acts" at a certain time?"

          Please (for Viacheslav I guess)
          when did I bring such an accusation against you?
          In Christ
          Nikolaj


          "People, seized by passions,
          will rape the Scriptures according
          to their desires"
          (St. Clement of Alexandria )
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <valichka@...>
          To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 8:30 PM
          Subject: Re: Sv: Sv: Sv: [orthodox-synod] Fr. Stephan Krasovitsky's "Open Letter..."


          > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Rev. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
          >
          > > On Wed, 30 May 2001, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff wrote:
          > > >
          > > > We do not know what pressure Metr. Sergius was under in 1927. It
          > was likely extremely heavy--as it was on Patr. Tikhon, as well. But
          > Patr. Tikhon did not cave in on the most important questions--the
          > actual administration of the Church was not handed over to the Soviet
          > State, and Patr. Tikhon never praised the bolsheviks for their "great
          > benevolence" to the Church, as did Metr. Sergius.
          >
          > > If I remember correctly, Metropolitan Sergius chose his words
          > > in a rather intersting way: he spoke of Comr. Stalin's "concern for
          > the spiritual needs of the Russian people".
          >
          > What about Metropolitan Sergius concern for the earthly needs of the
          > Red Army? In oct. 1941, as the front line was approaching Moscow,
          > Stalin decided to send away Met Sergius from Moscow to Ulianovsk
          > where he spent 2 years. During the 1st year, Met. Sergius send
          > 10 "Patriotics letters". He gathered 3 millions rubles for the army
          > needs. Then in dec. 1942, Met. Sergius opened a subscription for a
          > tank division named "Dimitri Donskoj". Stalin sent him a telegram (my
          > translation) "i ask you to tell the russian orthodox clergy and
          > worshippers my gratitude for their concerns about the tank force of
          > Red Army. I gave the order for the opening of a bank account at
          > Gosbank". Within 2 months the clergy and the people gathered 6
          > millions rubles for the tank division.
          > Experts from the book "Ruskaya Pravoslavnaya Tserkov pred litsom
          > gospodstvuiuchago zla" Jordanville 1991.
          > For other extracts, see my message Nr.4784.
          >
          > ps : (for Nikolaj I guess) and don't accuse me of
          > being "antipatriotic". Remember who was accused of "anti patriotic
          > and anti governmental acts" at a certain time?
          > >
          > > This has always seemed a rather memorable turn of speech to
          > me...
          > >
          > > In Christ
          > > Fr. John R. Shaw
          >
          >
          > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
        • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
          ... Of course I read the letter. It is an excellent answer to the MP propaganda that the Synod Abroad is schismatic and must be reunited to the Mother
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 1, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            >
            > > It is absurd to link the arrest of Metr. Sergius to the publication of his
            > > letter by the Synod Abroad. The bolsheviks had plenty of reasons to arrest
            > > Metr. Sergius, as they had arrested Metropolitans Peter, Agathangel, and
            > > Kyrill prior to that. Were the arrests of these previous Patriarchal Locum
            > > Tenentes also due to something done by the Synod Abroad?
            > >
            >Dear Fr Alexander
            >Think again - is it really so absurd?
            >Did you read the letter?

            Of course I read the letter. It is an excellent answer to the MP propaganda
            that the Synod Abroad is "schismatic" and must be "reunited" to the "Mother
            Church." In this letter, the Acting Deputy Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal
            Throne gives his explicit blessing for the formation of a Synod of Bishops
            Abroad.



            >Don't you think the publication
            >of such a letter was a good argument for the reds to arrest him?

            They needed no good argument. What dictatorship needs reasons for arresting
            people it doesn't like?


            >They could have arrested him before the publication of the letter but didn't.

            This is the classic fallacy: "post hoc ergo propter hoc." Just because
            something happens **after** something else it in no way should be a proof
            that it happened **because** of the prior event.

            Statistics show that 99% of murderers ate french fries within a week of
            committing their crimes. Is that a cause of the effect?


            > >
            > >
            > > >Yes there was a huge difference between their positions. Patriarch Tikhon
            > > >actually excommunicated the whole bolshevik leadership
            > >
            > > well, he couldn't excommunicate anyone who was not a member of the Russian
            > > Orthodox Church--and the "whole bolshevik leadership" were declared
            > > atheists, the majority of whom did not have a Russian Orthodox background,
            > > as you know well.
            > >
            >And Father, you know well that, this was exactly what Patriarch Tikhon did.
            >He excommunicated them and forbid them to approach the sacraments.
            >Or will you deny this?

            Please explain to me how the Church can excommunicate someone who was not
            in communion with it. Patriaarch Tikhon said:

            "Vlastiu dannoju Nam ot Boga, zaprechaiem vam pristupat k Tainam
            Khristovym, anafematstvuem vas, esli tolko vy nosite echio imena
            khristianskoe i khotia po rojdeniu svoemu prinadlejyte k Tserkvi
            Pravoslavnoy."

            It is clear from these words that they apply only to Orthodox
            Christians--not militant atheists, mostly of Jewish background, who were
            the overwhelming majority in the bolshevik regime (19 of 21 members of the
            Central Executive Committee).



            > > >and on several occasions opposed the reds openly.
            > >
            > > He spoke out against injustices committed by the reds against the Church
            > > and its faithful. He did, quite early on, state that the clergy must be
            > > totally apolitical, and that all of the faithful must follow the laws of
            > > the State as long as these laws did not violate their Christian
            > consciences.
            > >
            >Yes, and this statement kept the reds at bay for a while.
            >But Patriarch Tikhon protested against the confiscation
            >of Liturgical vessels and other abuses, so what was this
            >declaration worth ?
            >Two years after the declaration of 1927
            >the reds introduced the most terrible law ever to be effectuated against
            >the church - the law on religion of 1929.
            >None of their declarations helped the church. Not the one from 1919
            >not the one of 1927.

            An important point that proves that the Declaration of 1927 should never
            have been written. After it, both Sergianists and anti-Sergianists were
            ground up in the same maw of the Red Terror. So what was gained by this
            lying declaration, except the loss of the Church's standing in and for truth.




            > > >Later, when Met Sergii was in the focus, the soviet power was totally in
            > > >power and could do what they wanted with him.
            > >
            > > I think that the Soviet power was totally in power by 1920, long before
            > 1927.
            > >
            >Wrong - the situation in church of 1920 was far from the same as in 1927.

            I never said that.



            >In 1920 the reds were still far from having control with the church.
            >They created various schisms in this period to weaken the Patriarch and the
            >civil war was hardly over.
            >Russia is big, and the administration of the country was far from secure.
            >They did not even launch the "concept" of the Soviet Union until 1922
            >as you know.

            So what. As far as control over the Church was concerned, it started with
            the November 1917 edict on the Separation of the Church from the State.

            >No of course its terrible, but ROCOR praised Hitler later on - and it is
            >not any better!

            Absolute nonsense. Metropolitan Anastassy, a guest in a country with 80
            parishes under the ROCA, with a flock consisting of loyal German citizens,
            praised the state and its elected leader for doing something of real
            benefit to the Church Abroad--the construction of the Berlin Cathedral.

            Metr. Sergius and his successors falsly praised Stalin for his "great
            benevolence" to the Church, when that "benevolence" consisted of the
            destruction of tens of thousands of churches and millions of the faithful.

            Which is better?



            >Met Anastasy was not under persecution when he wrote the following:
            >"the erection of this Church strengthens our belief in your historical
            >mission.
            >You have erected a House to the Heavenly Lord. May
            >He bless your national building labours-the creation of your Empire"
            >
            >This does not look as if the Met did not know anything about
            >Hitlers intentions.

            I imagine the word Metr. Anastassy used was "Reich"--not "Empire." That's
            what the German state was called: The Third Reich. Would these words have
            been inappropriate if they had been uttered in thanks to the Kaiser if he
            had built a Cathedraal in the capital city for the Russian Church?



            >And further on:
            >"We have learned from most reliable sources that the faithful in Russia,
            >groaning under the yoke of serfdom, await their deliverer and pray God
            >unceasingly that He will preserve you, guide you and grant you His
            >all-powerful help. "
            >
            >Just a "thank you note"????
            >Really!

            One of Hitler's most powerful stands was his stand against communism. The
            destruction of communism was clearly a goal shared by the Russian
            emigration and its leadership.


            I, personally, received an appeal to "rejoin with the Mother
            > > Church" in 1975 or 1976 (this was sent out to all of the clergy of the
            > > Church Abroad by the Moscow Patriaarchate)--and it certainly restated the
            > > demand that I sign a pledge of loyalty to the Soviet State and refrain
            > from
            > > criticizing it.
            > >
            >Can you document that?

            I don't think I kept. Perhaps some other priests did.


            >It would be interesting, because I have not been able to locate such
            >a demand from the ROC to ROCOR of 1975 or 1976 in any of my books.
            >
            > >

            That's because you're using totally biased MP books.


            >The first All diasporan sobor is not the same body as the later
            >self-created ROCOR.

            Absolute nonsense. It was the same group of bishops, headed by the same
            Metropolitan Anthony. When Esso Corp. changed its name to Exxon Corp., with
            the same Board of Directors and management team, is this a "new"
            corporation? As they say, "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a
            duck--it's a duck."


            > >
            >It is reminding of the letter of Metropolitan Sergij to ROCOR of october 1926.
            >But how come, that suddenly Izvestia becomes a reliable source?????
            > >

            It is a very important source for describing Church-State relationships in
            the years 1920-1925. You ought to read it on microfilm. Every issue had a
            section called: "Sredi Tserkovnikov" ("Among the 'Churchists'"). Almost
            every issue had descriptions of the arrests and trials of clergymen.
            Despite its atheist goal, the newspaper turned out to be an archive of
            materials on the New Martyrs.


            >If they were unable to communicate with him, how could they
            >know which statements were to be believed or not?
            >Because they did believe in some and not in others.

            Simply by the nature of the statements. It does not take a genius to
            differentiate statements made "in the party line" and those that are not.




            > > The fact that Patriarch Tikhon sent his greeting and formal blessing to
            > the
            > > All-Diasporan Council in Sremski Karlovtsy in 1921 is a de facto
            > > recognition and blessing of Church Abroad's existense under the protection
            > > of first the Ecumenical Patriarch and then the Serbian Patriarch.
            > >
            >You know very well that the Patriarch ordered the synod to dissolve itself.

            You know, I believe you need some lessons in basic chronology. You are
            constantly putting events that occured **after** something, **before**
            something.

            The Patriarch's greeting came in 1921. The dubious Ukaze, without the
            Patreiarch's signature, dissolving the SEAROCA came in 1922.



            >A greeting is not the same as a recognition.

            You better believe it is, if it is addressed to the All-Diasporan Council
            of the Russian Church Abroad. If the Patriarch did not recognize this
            Church structure, why would he send a greeting blessing its work to be read
            athe opening session of its Council.

            > > There is no limitation in Ukase No. 9084 of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on
            > > the countries to which it applied: it says that the Russian bishops were
            > > given the authority to "form an administration, a temporary ecclesiastical
            > > epitropy, for **all** the needs of the Russian faithful." The Church
            > Abroad
            > > did, while in Constantinople, report to the Patriarch of Constantinople on
            > > all its actions, which included:
            >
            >Aha? That is to say that you claim that this Ukase gives ROCOR rights
            >to break the canons? Because it is against the canons to open dioceses
            >on other juristictions territory without the consent of the local bishops.
            >I do not belive this to be true.

            The Dioceses of the Church Abroad in Orthodox countries such as Serbia and
            Bulgaria were opened with the blessings of the local bishops.


            >How could ROCOR administrate a territory which did not belong to them?

            Metropolitan Evlogy was a founding member of the ROCOR.




            > > 2) In May, 1921, there was held in Constantinople a Sobor of Bishops of
            > the
            > > Church Abroad. This Sobor was held under the Presidency of an offical
            > > delegate of the Patriarch of Constantinople. At this Sobor, the Bishops of
            > > the Church Abroad formally assumed ecclesiastical direction of the entire
            > > Russian diaspora, and the "Supreme Ecclesiastical Administrartion of the
            > > Russian Orthodox Church Abroad" was formally constituted.
            >
            >Again -ROCOR decides that ROCOR has unlimited power to do
            >whatever it sees fit. Do you know the response of Patriarch Tikhon
            >to this decision?

            Yes. He sent an official greeting and blessing to this Ecclesistical
            Administration Abroad later that same year.




            > > 3) And, regarding the question of whether its authority extended to
            > > non-Orthodox countries only, on August 18/31, 1921, the SEAROCA appointed
            > > Bishop Seraphim of Lyubna to be the administrator of all Russian parishes
            > > in Bulgaria. On September 21/October 3, 1921, the SEAROCA appointed
            > > Metropolitan Anthony to be the administrator of all Russian parishes in
            > Serbia.
            > >
            > > And all of this was done with the knowledge of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
            > >
            >In Serbia (and bulgaria) ROCOR also had no canonical territory, as this
            >territory belongs to the Serbian Patriarch - not the Ecumenical
            >Patriarch - not ROCOR.

            Yet the Serbian and Bulgarian Patriarchates gave their blessings for the
            ROCOR to open dioceses on their canonical territories.

            >This is what we in my language "pulling fish out of the water".
            >Another example of ROCOR deciding that ROCOR has the sole
            >power and authority over the diaspora.
            >You know very well that this "authority" was not accepted by huge parts of
            >the diaspora, and that the truth is not so simple as you state it.

            That is absolute nonsense. The Synod of the Church Abroad was recognized as
            the supreme authority by **the entire Russian episcopate** in the
            emigration. It appointed the following administrative responsibilities
            (Ukase of March 22/April 4, 1922): Western Europe--Metr. Evlogy;
            Yugoslavia--Metr. Anthony; Bulgaria--Archbishop Seraphim;
            Constantinople--Arch. Anastassy; North America--Archbishop Alexander (also
            in Alaska--Bishop Anthony); for China--Arch. Innocent' for Japan--Arch.
            Sergius; for Manchuria--Archbishop Methodius; for Greece, Cyprus,
            Jerusalem, Egypt, and South America, the Synod retained direct control itself.

            In September of 1923, the episcopate of the Church Abroad consisted of 35
            bishops: Metropolitans Anthony, Evlogy, and Platon; Archbishops Methody
            (Kharbin), Innocent (Peking), Seraphim (Finland), Eleuthery (Lithuania),
            Anastassy of Kishinev, Theophan of Poltava, Euthemios (Brooklyn); Bishops
            Anthony of Alaska, Sergius of Bielsk, Vladimir of Bialostok, Adam, Meletios
            of Zabaikal, Nestor of Kamchatka, Simonof Shanghai, Jonahof Tien-Tsin,
            Appolinary of Belgorod, Daniel of Okhotsk, Sergius of Novorossyisk, Gabriel
            of Chelyabinsk, Germogen of Ekaterinoslav, Theophan of Kursk, Michael of
            Aleksandrovsk, Seraphim of Lubny, Benjamin of Sebastopol, Michael of
            Vladivostok, Damian of Tsaritsyn, Panteleimon of Pinsk, Stephan of
            Pittsburgh, Alexander of North America, John of Latvia, and Sergius of Tokyo.


            >This was the Nazi-goverment who a few years later massacred millions
            >of russians and burned a lot of churces.

            A few years later, right?

            And remember that the German armies were (at first) met with flowers.
            Thousands of churches in the entire occupied territory were reopened.


            >And how can the Nazi-court decide what is canonical or not in the affairs
            >of the russian orthodox church?
            >Can you tell me that?

            That's not what I said. I said "legal" not "canonical." And it is the
            responsibility of the courts of every country to adjudicate the legal
            ownership of property, including church properties. We've had dozens of
            such cases adjudicated by the courts in the US and Canada, and Europe.



            > >
            >And you believe that nobody knew what was coming?

            I think few people "knew" what was coming. Did the US predict the bombing
            of Pearl Harbor. Monday morning quarterbacking is a useless pastime.


            >Do you believe that Hitler was discreet in his "restoration of pride" in
            >Germany?
            >If I were you, I would not get in to deep in defending Hitlers policies.
            >The death camps were in effect already from 1933.
            >

            Concentration camps were actually "invented" by Lenin in 1918.




            > > >
            > > >But no more unfair than to keep passing judgement
            > > >to the ROC because of the 1927 declaration.
            > >

            The 1927 Declaration radically changed the position of the Church. Prior to
            it, the Church could still walk with its head high, knowing that it did not
            cave in to the demands of the militant atheists. After that Declaration
            everything changed, and the Church began living a lie and serving two masters.



            > >
            >That Evlogij is a schismatic is a postulate on your behalf.
            >Canonically he wasn't a schismatic.

            He was part of the Church Abroad, and then separated himself from it. That
            is the definition of a schismatic.


            >Do you think that the "spiritual supremacy" of for example Valentin
            >in Suzdal is valid proof of the "lack of grace" in the ROC?

            Actually, I was responding to your incorrect statement that no other
            jurisdiction considers the MP graceless. I also have never stated that I
            believed that or that that was the official position of the Church Abroad
            (which it isn't).


            >The canonical structure and origin of the Greek old Calendarists
            >is also questionable, and so are the catacomb juristictions.


            True

            >And you did not deny that ROCOR thinks of itself that it is
            >capable of passing such a jugdement.


            Only on those who have broken away from it (such as the Evlogians or the
            Valentinians, or HOCNAites).


            > >
            > > See above, where the Church Abroad, under the supervision of the
            > Ecumenical
            > > Patriarchate, appointed Bishops to administer Russian parishes in Serbia
            > > and Bulgaria.
            > >
            >Where ROCOR had no canonical territory!


            This was not a problem for all of the local Orthodox Churches, who
            recognized this, either de facto or de jure.

            > >
            >Everybody form the Patriarch down to the most obscure starosta had to be
            >registered
            >in the "department of religious affairs" - under KGB.
            >So you might say that all Orthodox believers who did some service for the
            >church
            >were KGB agents.

            Registration with the KGB is a lot different from being an active agent. It
            is quite clear that many of the leading hierarchs of the MP, including the
            Patriarch, were **active agents** of the KGB, who fulfilled tasks assigned
            to them and were rewarded with commendations and awards. It is also a fact
            that during the Soviet time, no candidate for bishop could be consecrated
            without first being vetted by the KGB--this extended to priests in
            important parishes, and even to those entering the Seminaries.


            >This "supremacy" is self-proclaimed and you know that.

            It was accepted by every Russian bishop in the world outside of Russia (see
            above), by all the Patriarchates, and recognized by Patriarch Tikhon.


            >The structure doesnt matter? That is a rather strange view
            >when it comes to such an important thing as a body
            >claiming to have such "supremacy".

            What difference does it make if the Synod is comprised of bishops, clergy
            and laymen, or just bishops. In the beginning, the Synod tried to pattern
            itself on the Great All-Russian Council of 1917-1918, which included lower
            clergy and lay participants in its administrative structures. This was
            later changed, although the Church Abroad still considers its highest
            ecclesiastical authority to be All-Diasporan Councils, which do include
            members of the lower clergy and laymen--not just bishops.


            >Yes, this is again the typical ROCOR black and white attitude.
            >Im sorry but history is never black and white and
            >neither is the history of ROCOR and ROC.
            >You are trying to present ROCOR as "juristictionally and
            >canonically infallible" - but history shows different, as I have pointed out.

            Never have I said that. But the fact that certain bishops chose to separate
            from the Church Abroad and go their own way does not affect the basic
            raison d'etre of the Synod--to be the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority over
            the entire Russian diaspora.



            >However, it seems to me, that you still choose to ignore certain seemingly
            >unpleasant points about the uncanonical origins of the synod, but
            >I understand that this cannot be any different
            >and I thank you for your answers.

            I believe I am stating the facts--facts that are undisclosed in the MP
            propaganda pamphlets about the Church Abroad.



            >I hope that my questions were not dishonourable,
            >they were not intended to be.
            >Thank you for that.

            I never assumed that they were dishonorable, just based on lack of or
            incorrect information.



            >It will soon be "Troitse" and I will now leave this discussion
            >and wish you a peaceful and blessed feast.
            >
            >In Christ
            >sinful and ignorant Nikolaj

            A blessed feast to you, too.



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            > > With love in Christ,
            > >
            > > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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            With love in Christ,

            Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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