--- In orthodox-synod@y..., ninamezencev@y... wrote:
> --- In orthodox-synod@y..., ndvander@y... wrote:
> > Can someone translate and post the Epistle of Metropolitan Vitaly
> > http://www.russia-talk.com/otkliki/ot-97.htm ?
> > It seems that he disagrees with the October Sobor and he is
> > for a new Sobor to rediscuss the issues.
> I am waiting for the translation myself. Be patient, I am sure it
> will be translated into English on the Monastery Press.
Hereunder an English translation i just received. It is not yet at
Wish you all a food continuation of the lent.
Valentina from France
(UNNOFICIAL TRANSLATION FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY PLEASE DO NOT
Message of His Eminence the Metropolitan Vitalii
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Beloved Fathers, brothers and sisters!
It is with the aim of preserving peace and unity among us that I
address myself to you once again as the First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad. I believe that it is my duty to voice my
opinion about the situation that has resulted from the Council of
Bishops that took place in October of 2000.
While I recognize the Council of Bishop as the supreme ruling body of
our Church, to whom I, as the First-Hierarch, am also subordinated, I
wish to remind that no Church authority can lay claim to
infallibility in questions of the Truth. History is replete with
examples of entire Local Churches being infected with heresies and
other spiritual ailments for very long periods of time and this being
reflected in counciliar decisions. In such cases subsequent councils
had to revoke the incorrect decisions of preceding councils.
It is with great sadness that we now see the turmoil and temptation
among our clergy and laity that have been caused by the Message and
decisions of the Council of Bishops of the ROCA.
It is also with much regret that we have to admit that some of our
bishops now have taken upon themselves to embark upon a new course
for our Church and that this new course is at odds with the one which
was handed down to us by our predecessors.
While I cannot by my own authority correct that which was done,
neither can I further remain silent when I see how the consequences
of our mistakes are disturbing the spiritual life of our flock and
causing disturbances. I find it imperative to convene a new Council
as soon as possible which will have to critically assess the main
decisions and documents which were adopted and which will have the
legal right to annul some of our decisions.
After much consideration we have concluded that some of the decisions
of our Council were mistaken in particular those which reflected an
attempt to come closer together with the world ecumenist community
globally and to engage in unwarranted contacts with the Moscow
Patriarchate in particular. This has been, in particular, reflected
in the following documents and statement of the council:
The so-called "Social Doctrine" of the Moscow Patriarchate this is
a purely Roman-Catholic concept which is foreign to the Orthodox
Church and which, regardless of its possibly well-meaning intentions,
holds nothing profitable for the Orthodox Christian. This Doctrine
does not reflect any repentance for the past mistakes and in no
manner can it cross out the treacherous Declaration of 1927.
The "Glorification" of the Holy New Martyrs by the Moscow
Patriarchate, which was conceded under the pressure of the pious
people and which was accompanied by numerous humiliating disclaimers,
which totally deny the eschatological significance of the slaying of
the Tsar, cannot be a cause of joy or consolation for us. We all
know that the Holy Royal Martyrs suffered precisely for their Royal
ministry. Their slaying was a part of a wider program to destroy the
God-established Orthodox State. With its compromises and lies about
the Royal Martyrs and with its refusal to recognize the spiritual
feat (podvig) of the Tsar's servants the Moscow Patriarchate
deliberately draws it flock away from the correct spiritual
understanding of the committed crime. The Moscow Patriarchate, which
participated in the persecution of the confessors, now, without any
repentance, glorifies them! It is impossible to qualify this in any
other way than as a "spiritual cynicism" which is completely
unacceptable in the Church. We must also note that this same seal of
deception lies upon the "glorification" of the New Martyrs in which
the Patriarchate shamefully ignored the martyr Metropolitan Joseph of
We do not share the belief of some of our brothers about
the "spiritual revival" which allegedly is taking place in Russia.
According to the information we are receiving, what is happening in
Russia is not a "spiritual revival" but only a "gliding of the golden
cupolas" of the churches that, according to Saint Amvrosii of Optino,
it will be impermissible to attend. In this context, we pray for and
we endeavor to spiritually strengthen those of our small communities
that, regardless of the corrupt Soviet laws and the numerous
difficulties they must face, remain steadfastly in our Church.
The creation of a Commission "on unity" with the Moscow Patriarchate
has to be unequivocally denounced as a mistake of the Council of
Bishops. There can be no such committee as there is no object for
The Serbian Church received us as homeless refugees in 1920 and,
following the 39th Apostolic Canon, granted us the canonical status
of Russian Church. For this we will always remain deeply thankful
and in debt to her. But following the Second World War, the Church
that continued to exist under the Communist rule of Tito could no
longer be considered to be the same Church as the Church of the Holy
Patriarch Varnava that had offered sanctuary to the Russian
refugees. Her submission to the worldly rulers and her participation
in the interfaith ecumenical movement does not allow us to ask to
remain in communion with the Serbian Patriarchate, currently headed
by Patriarch Pavle.
It saddens us to recognize that in our times, when the processes of
apostasy have reached new destructive heights, the Council's Message
did not call upon the faithful to triple their vigilance towards
these processes; we are also pained to admit that recent new
nominations to the cathedras of Western-European and Russian dioceses
have resulted in so much distress and troubles.
Our pastors and our pious flock have always stood side by side with
their bishops. This was the strength of the Russian Orthodox
Church. Pastors are not simply irresponsible implementers of the
orders of the higher Church hierarchy, but they are in the first
ranks of the servants of Christ and His children. They are not
bureaucrats who can be directed only by orders and who can be held in
submission with threats. They are servants of our Lord, as we all
are. They are our life-force and we must protect them as the pupil
of our eye and never let them fall into despair and leave into
schisms, so we do not share with them this terrible responsibility.
I, as the fourth First-Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church
Abroad, am following the same direction as the Blessed Metropolitans
Antonii, Anastasii and my blessed predecessor the Metropolitan
Filaret, whose incorrupt relics were found in 1998, which is a sign
from above of the truthfulness of the path he followed all his life.
I therefore appeal to you all to remain patient and to avoid any
hasty conclusions or actions. We are living in difficult times. And
the Enemy of our salvation is always ready to catch us in his nets.
I therefore appeal again to you "Fear not little flock (Luke 12:32)
our Lord is with us! And if our Lord is with us, who is against us?
Do not forget that the most frightening thing for us is to abandon
the Truth, that is to abandon Christ."
22 June 2001
Saint Kirill, Bishop of Antioch
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
In manuscript : "I ask all priests to read this Epistle from the
ambon and to distribute it among their parishioners"
ps : you'll find the fac simile of Vladyka's signature at: