> > 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
>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
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
>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
>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
>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
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"????
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
> > 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
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
> > 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**
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
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
>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.
>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
> > 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
>in the "department of religious affairs" - under KGB.
>So you might say that all Orthodox believers who did some service for the
>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
>It will soon be "Troitse" and I will now leave this discussion
>and wish you a peaceful and blessed feast.
>sinful and ignorant Nikolaj
A blessed feast to you, too.
> > With love in Christ,
> > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff