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RTA: Orthodox Confession part 1

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  • Rev Mark Gilstrap
    In reviewing some nearly lost archives of the ORTHODOX list I ran across this letter sent during this same spiritual season 7 years ago on the Sunday of Holy
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2001
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      In reviewing some nearly lost archives of the ORTHODOX
      list I ran across this letter sent during this same
      spiritual season 7 years ago on the Sunday of Holy
      Pentecost June 6, 1994.

      A LETTER OF ORTHODOX CONFESSION by Archimandrite Adrianos, former
      Confessor and Elder at the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai
      (written 1994)

      1) THE NECESSITY OF AN ORTHODOX CONFESSION

      It is truly good and sweet for Monastics to live a life of prayful
      stillness, and what is more, this is their calling. However, when times
      are difficult, as they are today, when the spiritual Ship of the Holy
      Orthodox Church is suffering the deadly plagues of the last times, to
      acquiesce is a denial of the Faith, and the lack of a consistent
      confession in deed and word is completely inexcusable.

      St. Theodore the Studite is very clear and unambiguous: "For it is a
      commandment of the Lord that we should not keep silent at a time when
      the Faith is in peril. Hence when it is a matter of Faith, one cannot
      say, 'Who am I?' A priest, perhaps? So what? A farmer? This, too, is
      beside the point. A pauper, perhaps, who only provides his daily
      sustenance? '...I have no stake or interest in the matter.' Woe, the
      stones would cry out, and you are silent and unconcerned?" (Epistle
      II.81; PG 99:1321B).

      Unfortunately, the shepherds of the official Church, when they are not
      preaching in an un-Orthodox manner, keep their lips closed in sinful
      silence. This is precisely what academic theology is doing. I hoped in
      my prayers that some barrage and censure would be directed against all
      of the uncanonical and un-Orthodox activities which are taking place in
      the Church, and which are increasing day by day at a most alarming rate
      rather than diminishing.

      2) UN-ORTHODOX PHILOPAPISM

      Everyone is aware of the so-called "dialogue of love," which the
      unfortunate Patriarch Athenagoras inaugurated and which his like-minded
      successors Demetrios and Bartholomew have continued, with the heretical
      and anti-Greek Pope.

      The Holy Hieromartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Cosmas of Aitolia
      denounces the Pope of Rome as ANTICHRIST and urges us to curse him for
      all of the tribulations which, on his account, will assail our blessed
      nation and our Holy Orthodoxy.

      The Latin-minded Patriarch Athenagoras preached that the Orthodox
      Church, prior to him, was in error, and he officially lifted the
      anathemas against pan-heretical Papism, while the Papophiles who have
      continued his anti-Orthodox course formally proclaimed only last year in
      Balamand, Lebanon, that Papism and Orthodoxy are "Sister Churches" in
      the full sense of the term.

      The deceitful slogans and sermons concerning love and peace overlook the
      true unity of the Faith, and promote a love without Truth, even though
      Love and Truth are inseparable.

      The great Joseph Bryennios writes the following about this false peace:
      "It is good for all to be at peace, as long as they agree on piety...,
      because there is evil concord just as there is good concord. For to
      those for whom friendship is an occasion for perdition, hatred becomes
      the basis for virtue. And disagreement for the sake of dispassion is
      better than agreement" (The Complete Works of Joseph Bryennios, Vol.1,
      p.482).

      4) SINAI'S FALL INTO ECUMENISM

      For thirty consecutive years I served faithfully at the Holy Monastery
      of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, where God walked. I was a daily Priest,
      a Spiritual Father, a chanter, and a hermit at the Holy Hesychasterion
      of the Monk-Martyrs Galaction and Episteme.

      For many years I endured the insults and slights that came forth from
      the Patriarchate of Constantinople against the spotless Bride of Christ,
      the Most Holy Orthodox Church!

      I exercised oikonomia for a period of time, awaiting - albeit in vain -
      the repentence and return of the innovators to the correct path.
      However, the spirit of heretical Ecumenism has soaked to the marrow not
      only the clergy of the Phanar, but unfortunately also the clergy of
      other local Orthodox Churches, the official Church of Greece being no
      exception.

      Unfortunately Damianos, the Archbishop and Abbot of the Holy Monastery
      of Sinai, was also attacked by the virus of ecumenism, and, in
      particular, he ceased to commemorate Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem
      after the relevant decision of the so-called "Great and Extraordinary
      Synod" of the Phanar, which was directed in a spirit of persecution
      against His Beatitude in July of 1993.

      In this way, Archbishop Damianos sides with the friends of Papism and
      Protestantism, prays with them, and contributes to the apostasy of
      ecumenism.

      I personally, as much as other Fathers of the Monastery, in private and
      in gatherings, censured him, because we could not tolerate joint prayers
      with innovators and friends of heretics.

      However, he "did not want to understand." He continued and continues to
      preach with bared head in words and deeds whatever the Latin-minded
      Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the others who hold the same
      views preach and practice. And not only that, he publicly insults the
      Spiritual Father of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine, Patriarch
      Diodoros, in an unseemly fashion.

      We reproached Archbishop Damianos, who had deviated terribly, for
      unjustifiably breaking off commemoration of the Patriarch of Jerusalem,
      insofar as those living in the Monastery are canonically obligated to
      commemorate the Presiding Bishop of the Holy City, Jerusalem, since from
      its creation the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine has been spiritually
      subject to the Patriarch of Jerusalem;... but to no avail!

      5) THE TERMINATION OF MY RELATIONS WITH THE "OFFICIAL" ORTHODOX

      In the light of all these considerations, and of many others which are
      neither written down nor described, I decided to break ecclesiastical
      communion with St. Catherine's and to relieve myself of my
      responsibilities.

      My soul is distressed, brethren, Fathers, and children beloved in the
      Lord, because Holy Orthodoxy is being beheaded by the sword of
      ecumenism. Holy things are being given to dogs and the Pearl is being
      trampled by swine.

      I abandoned the security of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine and went
      forth into the struggle, because it was not possible for me to do
      otherwise.

      Orthodoxy was in peril; Piety, our Mother, was being blasphemed; the
      worship handed down by the Fathers was being betrayed. How could I put
      up with this, when I had been fighting for Orthodoxy for the whole of my
      life up till the present?

      I went to Australia to meet my brother (according to the flesh), and
      there I preached against ecumenism and all heresies. From the pulpit I
      censured all those who undertake joint prayers and dialogues with the
      Papists, the ecumenists, and heretics of every kind.

      The Papophile and ecumenist Archbishop Stylianos was very bothered,
      since his views were not in accordance with what the Sacred Canons of
      our Holy Orthodox Church prescribe.

      Naturally, I did not go to take a blessing from the impious Archbishop
      Stylianos, because he preaches with bared head the pan-heresy of
      ecumenism and blasphemes the Name of the Holy Trinity with his
      anti-Orthodox proclamations.

      I did the very same thing during my visit to Canada, because Bishop
      Sotiros of Toronto, a subordinate of the arch-ecumenist Iakovos, has the
      same views as Archbishop Stylianos. About the unfortunate Archbishop
      Iakovos, what can I say? His un-Orthodox views have been notorious for
      many years.

      (continued)
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