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Fw: OK, Let's Focus on the Real Issue

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  • Vladimir Kozyreff
    Dear Father Alexander, On June 29, you announced that, after discussing the orthography and style of Metropolitan Vitaly s last epistle, you accepted to focus
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 1, 2001
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      Dear Father Alexander,

      On June 29, you announced that, after discussing the orthography and style of Metropolitan Vitaly's last epistle, you accepted to focus on the basic issue. You produced the message below. This text of yours discusses the reason why Metropolitan Vitaly would have send this message now.

      Excuse me for insisting. The issue you discuss may be "basic", but is still not the real issue. The real issue is the content of the epistle, which you do not address.

      I would like to add two remarks:

      - Concerning the enquiry on authorship, the hierarchs - specialists discuss the Metropolitan style, expressions, speeling etc., which they seem to know profoundly for having worked in close cooperation with him. The only thing they do not seem to be interested in is the thinking of the Metropolitan. The espistle is totally consistent with our Metropolitan thinking. Friends of mine who have privately visited the Metropolitan report that his conversation announced exactly the epistle he sent a few days later. One may be interested to know that the Metropolitan speaks also to lay people.

      - My understanding of sobornost is that, in case a Council produces an epistle which is not understood or not accepted by a sizeable part of the Church (including a first hierarch, a few bishops, a great number of priests and lay people), the Council should gather again and rework its conclusions. Statutes are less important than unity of the Church, justice and Truth. The Holy Spirit does not blow only on the majority of the Synod. We are not papists.

      Vladimir Kozyreff.

      From: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
      Date: Fri Jun 29, 2001 1:11 pm
      Subject: OK, Let's Focus on the Real Issue


      Several posters have complained that in all the discussion regarding the authorship of the "Epistle" attributed to Metropolitan Vitaly, the real
      issues that it raises are not being addressed.

      OK. Let's focus on the basic issue.

      Why would the Metropolitan issue such an Epistle on the eve of a meeting of the Council of Bishops, scheduled to take place in just two weeks? ....


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
      Regarding ... That s fine, except for the fact that the Metropolitan often forgest what he said or did only a half hour previously. So calling him or talking
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 1, 2001
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        Regarding



        >I would like to add two remarks:
        >
        >- Concerning the enquiry on authorship, the hierarchs - specialists
        >discuss the Metropolitan style, expressions, speeling etc., which they
        >seem to know profoundly for having worked in close cooperation with him.
        >The only thing they do not seem to be interested in is the thinking of the
        >Metropolitan. The espistle is totally consistent with our Metropolitan
        >thinking. Friends of mine who have privately visited the Metropolitan
        >report that his conversation announced exactly the epistle he sent a few
        >days later. One may be interested to know that the Metropolitan speaks
        >also to lay people.

        That's fine, except for the fact that the Metropolitan often forgest what
        he said or did only a half hour previously. So calling him or talking with
        him later is of no consequence.




        >- My understanding of sobornost is that, in case a Council produces an
        >epistle which is not understood or not accepted by a sizeable part of the
        >Church (including a first hierarch, a few bishops,

        How stupid do you think our hierarchs are?

        This Epistle was read and discussed, voted on, and approved and signed by
        the Council of Bishops, including the First Hierarch, Archbishop Lazarus,
        and Bishops Agathangel and Benjamin.

        Are you seriously telling me that they **did not understand** what they
        were doing??

        In that case, if they are too stupid to understand what they are doing, why
        should any retraction that occurs by them months later carry any weight?
        Did they somehow become more intelligent during those months?

        If they were morons in October, and their signatures on the Synod
        resolutions and epistle were due to their stupidity, what miracle potion
        has since been consumed by them to make them lose their denseness?




        >a great number of priests and lay people),

        I imagine we could find some examples of denseness there, no?



        >the Council should gather again and rework its conclusions. Statutes are
        >less important than unity of the Church, justice and Truth. The Holy
        >Spirit does not blow only on the majority of the Synod. We are not papists.


        Nor is intelligence the exclusive possesion of dissenting clergy. Quite the
        contrary.


        With love in Christ,

        Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
      • gsnroc@yahoo.com
        ... doing, why ... weight? ... potion ... Perhaps this miracle potion Fr.Alexander speaks of is having the humility to admit that you made a mistake.Christ s
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 1, 2001
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          --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
          wrote:
          > Regarding
          >
          > In that case, if they are too stupid to understand what they are
          doing, why
          > should any retraction that occurs by them months later carry any
          weight?
          > Did they somehow become more intelligent during those months?
          >
          > If they were morons in October, and their signatures on the Synod
          > resolutions and epistle were due to their stupidity, what miracle
          potion
          > has since been consumed by them to make them lose their denseness?
          >
          >
          > With love in Christ,
          >
          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

          Perhaps this "miracle potion" Fr.Alexander speaks of is having the
          humility to admit that you made a mistake.Christ's teaching on
          humility and repentance is one of the basic and more important tenets
          of our faith.It seems that when politics is the driving force,the
          truth often gets shoved aside.
        • Fr. John Whiteford
          ... Excuse me for insisting. The issue you discuss may be basic , but is still not the real issue. The real issue is the content of the epistle, which you do
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 2, 2001
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            --- Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
            "Excuse me for insisting. The issue you discuss may be "basic", but
            is still not the real issue. The real issue is the content of the
            epistle, which you do not address."



            OK... which issues are not addressed already in
            the following document... just to point to one
            example?

            http://www.rocor.org/documents/2001-03-15-appeal.html

            =====
            ********************************************************
            * Fr. John Whiteford IC -|- XC *
            * ----|---- *
            * St. Jonah of Manchuria Orthodox Mission | *
            * Serving the Spring, Woodlands, \| *
            * and Conroe, Texas area. |\ *
            * http://www.saintjonah.org/ NI | KA *

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          • The Stephens
            Who has declared our Metropolitan to be incompetent? Fr. Seraphim Stephens ... From: Fr. Alexander Lebedeff To:
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 2, 2001
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              Who has declared our Metropolitan to be incompetent?
              Fr. Seraphim Stephens
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...>
              To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, July 01, 2001 10:09 PM
              Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Fw: OK, Let's Focus on the Real Issue


              > Regarding
              >
              >
              >
              > >I would like to add two remarks:
              > >
              > >- Concerning the enquiry on authorship, the hierarchs - specialists
              > >discuss the Metropolitan style, expressions, speeling etc., which they
              > >seem to know profoundly for having worked in close cooperation with him.
              > >The only thing they do not seem to be interested in is the thinking of
              the
              > >Metropolitan. The espistle is totally consistent with our Metropolitan
              > >thinking. Friends of mine who have privately visited the Metropolitan
              > >report that his conversation announced exactly the epistle he sent a few
              > >days later. One may be interested to know that the Metropolitan speaks
              > >also to lay people.
              >
              > That's fine, except for the fact that the Metropolitan often forgest what
              > he said or did only a half hour previously. So calling him or talking with
              > him later is of no consequence.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > >- My understanding of sobornost is that, in case a Council produces an
              > >epistle which is not understood or not accepted by a sizeable part of the
              > >Church (including a first hierarch, a few bishops,
              >
              > How stupid do you think our hierarchs are?
              >
              > This Epistle was read and discussed, voted on, and approved and signed by
              > the Council of Bishops, including the First Hierarch, Archbishop Lazarus,
              > and Bishops Agathangel and Benjamin.
              >
              > Are you seriously telling me that they **did not understand** what they
              > were doing??
              >
              > In that case, if they are too stupid to understand what they are doing,
              why
              > should any retraction that occurs by them months later carry any weight?
              > Did they somehow become more intelligent during those months?
              >
              > If they were morons in October, and their signatures on the Synod
              > resolutions and epistle were due to their stupidity, what miracle potion
              > has since been consumed by them to make them lose their denseness?
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > >a great number of priests and lay people),
              >
              > I imagine we could find some examples of denseness there, no?
              >
              >
              >
              > >the Council should gather again and rework its conclusions. Statutes are
              > >less important than unity of the Church, justice and Truth. The Holy
              > >Spirit does not blow only on the majority of the Synod. We are not
              papists.
              >
              >
              > Nor is intelligence the exclusive possesion of dissenting clergy. Quite
              the
              > contrary.
              >
              >
              > 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/
              >
              >
            • Vladimir Kozyreff
              Dear Father John, The disputed last epistle of Vl. Vitaly proposes that a new Council should meet to take into account the meaning of those within the Church
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 2, 2001
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                Dear Father John,

                The disputed last epistle of Vl. Vitaly proposes that a new Council should
                meet to take into account the meaning of those within the Church who think
                that the post October council poslanie should be re-written.

                What can one oppose to such a conciliatory programme, if one is genuinely
                concerned about sobornost?

                Sobornost, sobor, council, unanimity, meeting... What other concepts can I
                quote to stress the idea of oneness, that should inspire and guide us?

                The text you mention of course has a lot of positive aspects. In orthodoxy,
                what governs is not statements or texts, but experience, be it mystical,
                personal contacts or whatever. Nothing will replace personal meetings for
                people to reunite and reconcile with one another.

                What is to be gained by not meeting and not searching unanimity? Is loosing
                face more tragic than loosing one's soul?

                Father Alexander says that I call the attitude of the Synod "stubborn"
                because I do not like it. Not so. I call it stubborn because it persists in
                ignoring the calls of a sizeable part of the Church.

                Father Alexander asks which "magic potion" had those who signed the post
                October Council poslanie change their minds. "Gospod umudryaiet sleptsi".
                Did it never occur to you that you reconsidered a position that you had held
                for a time? Is a person not stubborn to refuse in principle to reconsider
                his position? Is it not a lack of humility and a risk to miss the Truth?

                In God,

                Vladimir Kozyreff




                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Fr. John Whiteford" <frjohnwhiteford@...>
                To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 12:55 PM
                Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: Fw: OK, Let's Focus on the Real Issue


                > --- Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                > "Excuse me for insisting. The issue you discuss may be "basic", but
                > is still not the real issue. The real issue is the content of the
                > epistle, which you do not address."
                >
                >
                >
                > OK... which issues are not addressed already in
                > the following document... just to point to one
                > example?
                >
                > http://www.rocor.org/documents/2001-03-15-appeal.html
                >
                > =====
                > ********************************************************
                > * Fr. John Whiteford IC -|- XC *
                > * ----|---- *
                > * St. Jonah of Manchuria Orthodox Mission | *
                > * Serving the Spring, Woodlands, \| *
                > * and Conroe, Texas area. |\ *
                > * http://www.saintjonah.org/ NI | KA *
                >
                > __________________________________________________
                > Do You Yahoo!?
                > Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
                > http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Archives located at http://www.egroups.com/group/orthodox-synod
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
              • Father Maximos
                At the last regular Synod meeting the following document was issued, signed by His Eminance Metropolitan Vitaly. This meeting was only a few months ago, how
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 2, 2001
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                  At the last regular Synod meeting the following document was issued,
                  signed by His Eminance Metropolitan Vitaly. This meeting was only a
                  few months ago, how does one reconcile this with the ideas expressed
                  in the so-called epistle recently issued?



                  Having assembled for a regular session of the Synod of Bishops, we
                  found it necessary to bear witness again to our inner unity and
                  unshakable stand in the truth of the Church. We are alarmed by the
                  discord which has drawn in certain parts of our ecclesial organism.
                  In connection with this, we affirm that all of us, the members of the
                  Synod of Bishops, presided over by our president, His Eminence
                  Metropolitan Vitaly, unanimously stand by the decisions and
                  statements adopted at the Council of Bishops, and we cannot agree
                  with any attempt to introduce a spirit of doubt and disagreement into
                  our midst.


                  Over the course of eighty years, we have sensed that our
                  responsibility lies before the fullness of the Church of Russia, both
                  abroad and in our much-suffering homeland. Our decisions and thoughts
                  are always guided by this twofold responsibility.


                  It is not because we deserve it that we have inherited all the
                  richness of the Church of Russia; yet we strive to preserve it and to
                  pass it on. And now also we continue to occupy the steadfast
                  positions of our confession of the Faith before the whole world,and
                  we therefore naturally rejoice when we perceive positive changed
                  occurring among our much-suffering Russian people.


                  The Constitution of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                  itself defines our existence and binds our activities with
                  responsibility before the entire Church of Russia. In our time, when
                  it open persecution has ceased, our relations require interpretation
                  and healthy assessment. With this aim in mind, the Council of Bishops
                  which convened in the year 2000 set up several committees to study
                  the paths of the Church of Russia, past and future. Such a step is
                  not an innovation; rather it is organic, and consequently is an
                  extension of our former path.


                  Reminding all the faithful children of our Church that it is
                  essential not to submit to the attempts of the enemy of our salvation
                  to rend the seamless garment of the Church, we call upon you all
                  henceforth to stand firmly in the truth of the Church and to preserve
                  the unity of love.


                  26 January/8 February 2001


                  Metropolitan Vitaly [signature]
                  President of the Synod


                  Members of the Synod
                  [signed:]
                  Archbishop Laurus
                  Archbishop Mark
                  Archbishop Alypy
                  Bishop Gabriel
                  Bishop Kyrill
                  Bishop Michael

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Anthony Bridges
                  ... Metropolitan Vitaly. This meeting was only a ... issued? ... Father Maximos, asking your blessing, I want to try to answer your question. It appears to be
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 3, 2001
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                    --- Father Maximos <mga@...> wrote:
                    > At the last regular Synod meeting the following
                    > document was issued,signed by His Eminance
                    Metropolitan Vitaly. This meeting was only a
                    > few months ago, how does one reconcile this with the
                    > ideas expressed in the so-called epistle recently
                    issued?
                    >

                    Father Maximos, asking your blessing, I want to try to
                    answer your question. It appears to be true, as we
                    have been told, that there is a difference between the
                    Metropolitan's signature affixed to a document from
                    the Synod, such as you have quoted, and a document
                    which only he himself produces.

                    While I do not wish to give an opinion one way or the
                    other about the current controversy (believing that in
                    time it will be clarified), what I have said above
                    seems to be supported by Vladyka Vitaly's
                    "Post-Conciliar Epistle," whose views are apparently
                    not in sympathy with those of the October 2000
                    Epistle, even though he signed that Synodal Epistle as
                    well.

                    I quote the Post-Conciliar Epistle here:

                    Epistle
                    from Metropolitan Vitaly
                    First Hierarch
                    of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

                    Beloved brothers and sisters

                    Now that the meeting of the Bishops' Council, or
                    Sobor, is over, I consider it my duty, as First
                    Hierarch of the Holy Russian Orthodox Church Outside
                    Russia, to assure all of you that our Church, which
                    has followed along the straight path of Christ these
                    80 years, will not turn aside into any dubious byways.
                    On the other hand, we cannot be indifferent and silent
                    as regards questions affecting what is happening on
                    the spiritual level in Russia.

                    The Moscow Patriarchate has now glorified the Royal
                    Martyrs, whom we have glorified long ago, and we have
                    sent thousands of icons of them throughout the whole
                    of Russia. In this way the whole of Russia became
                    aware of the activities of the Russian Orthodox Church
                    Outside Russia. Now many people cannot help wondering
                    why the Moscow Patriarchate did not simply recognize
                    our glorification and adopt it for itself. The answer
                    is very simple. To recognize our glorification would
                    mean recognizing our Church Abroad as a lawful Church
                    which had left the borders of the fatherland and
                    existed these 80 years beyond the borders of Russia,
                    with the blessing of the last lawful Patriarch of
                    Russia, Patriarch Tikhon. This is something which the
                    Moscow Patriarchate to this very day cannot and will
                    not do. Meanwhile believers in Russia demand a
                    glorification. So the Moscow Patriarchate decided to
                    perform an act of political machination and undertake
                    its own glorification, with the sole aim of quietening
                    the voice of its believers and thereby managing to
                    prolong its own existence. In other words, the Moscow
                    Patriarchate, which is the direct heir of the Soviet
                    executioners, arrayed in the fleece of an innocent
                    sheep put on over its wolf's hide, is now glorifying
                    the murdered and tormented victims of its own
                    communist leaders. Before that, for years the Moscow
                    Patriarchate was in full concord with the Bolsheviks
                    and the rulers in the USSR who exterminated hundreds
                    of thousands of believers. Despite this it was clear
                    that the Russian people could not be torn away from
                    the Church of Christ. That Pascha would always remain
                    the peoples' greatest festivity. That red easter eggs,
                    kulich and cheese-pascha would adorn everyone's table
                    at Easter time and even the state bakeries would sell
                    the special Easter kulich while calling it sweetened
                    bread. Seeing all this, Stalin was brought to a state
                    of wild fury and said, "Obviously we can't turn all
                    Russians into Bolsheviks; so we and only we will give
                    them a Patriarch, as well as all the reverend clergy
                    they need, and we'll open churches, which we will sell
                    to them and increase taxes the whole time until they
                    have no more means to exist."

                    The silent answer of believers in Russia to this was
                    that they started to pray in their homes, and in each
                    such apartment they made a house church with an
                    iconostas and icons and even made their own incense
                    using the resin from pine trees and drops of rose oil.
                    Churches like this exist up to the present day.
                    Despite the wonderful church buildings of the
                    Patriarchate, the sumptuously arrayed clergy and
                    splendid choirs, many believers prefer the crowded
                    conditions of these apartments. Even at Pascha, when
                    the processions are taking place in the official
                    churches to the resounding peals of bells, there are
                    people in apartment buildings, in corridors, quietly
                    going in single file with candles in their hands, and
                    singing in a whisper "Christ is Risen!" You cannot but
                    ask yourself, "Who are these people?" They are
                    believers who, while living in Russia alongside all
                    the others, understand and feel precisely what the
                    Moscow Patriarchate is, and what is its purpose and
                    direction. These very people look to us, seeking our
                    protection and understanding. Up to this day they have
                    received this from us and I want to assure all the
                    children of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
                    that nothing has changed. As we have continued
                    fearlessly on our path these 80 years, so we shall
                    continue further. Our path is a very lonely one,
                    because we stand for the Truth, but fear not, little
                    flock, the Lord is with us! And if the Lord be with
                    us, who shall be against us?

                    Now I want to return to the questions which are so
                    disturbing to many of you. Firstly I want to express
                    my profound gratitude to all of you for your trust and
                    love towards me, and in order to reassure you I want
                    to explain the following. The Epistle from the Council
                    of Bishops, in accordance with the laws governing a
                    Council - an Assembly, or Sobor (since the very word
                    "Sobor" means a common decision) must be signed by
                    all. If any of the bishops has his own personal
                    opinion, he has the right to express it separately in
                    writing. The fact that I signed the Epistle is far
                    from meaning that I am in agreement with each and
                    every statement in it and I know that there are other
                    bishops who thought as I do, but to compose an Epistle
                    with which all would be completely satisfied is
                    virtually impossible.

                    There is one further point which is of great concern
                    to many of you. This is the establishment of a Synodal
                    Committee to discuss questions of the unity of the
                    Russian Church. I myself questioned what unity could
                    be under consideration, when it should be quite clear
                    to all that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
                    Russia, which has preserved its spiritual freedom
                    these 80 years, will never proceed to unite with the
                    Moscow Patriarchate.

                    And so, faithful children of the Russian Orthodox
                    Church Outside Russia, know that our Church has not
                    betrayed its path and that we also, if we desire our
                    salvation, must follow her path. There will be many
                    trials and temptations, but remain as always faithful
                    to the Lord and His Church, and do not forget that the
                    most terrible thing for us is to depart from the Truth
                    - which is to say, from Christ Himself.

                    Metropolitan Vitaly
                    Feast of the Presentation of the
                    Mother of God in the Temple
                    21 November / 4 December, 2000


                    And here is the epistle from the Synod you had
                    previously quoted. Reading this one, it is clear that
                    it is from the entire Synod, not only the
                    Metropolitan, and, as we have been told, all must sign
                    this type of document.

                    So there is no mystery here.

                    Father Deacon Anthony
                    Our Lady, Joy of All Who Sorrow
                    Cumming, GA


                    >
                    >
                    > Having assembled for a regular session of the Synod
                    > of Bishops, we found it necessary to bear witness
                    again to our inner unity and
                    > unshakable stand in the truth of the Church. We are
                    > alarmed by the
                    > discord which has drawn in certain parts of our
                    > ecclesial organism.
                    > In connection with this, we affirm that all of us,
                    > the members of the
                    > Synod of Bishops, presided over by our president,
                    > His Eminence
                    > Metropolitan Vitaly, unanimously stand by the
                    > decisions and
                    > statements adopted at the Council of Bishops, and we
                    > cannot agree
                    > with any attempt to introduce a spirit of doubt and
                    > disagreement into
                    > our midst.
                    >
                    >
                    > Over the course of eighty years, we have sensed that
                    > our
                    > responsibility lies before the fullness of the
                    > Church of Russia, both
                    > abroad and in our much-suffering homeland. Our
                    > decisions and thoughts
                    > are always guided by this twofold responsibility.
                    >
                    >
                    > It is not because we deserve it that we have
                    > inherited all the
                    > richness of the Church of Russia; yet we strive to
                    > preserve it and to
                    > pass it on. And now also we continue to occupy the
                    > steadfast
                    > positions of our confession of the Faith before the
                    > whole world,and
                    > we therefore naturally rejoice when we perceive
                    > positive changed
                    > occurring among our much-suffering Russian people.
                    >
                    >
                    > The Constitution of the Russian Orthodox Church
                    > Outside of Russia
                    > itself defines our existence and binds our
                    > activities with
                    > responsibility before the entire Church of Russia.
                    > In our time, when
                    > it open persecution has ceased, our relations
                    > require interpretation
                    > and healthy assessment. With this aim in mind, the
                    > Council of Bishops
                    > which convened in the year 2000 set up several
                    > committees to study
                    > the paths of the Church of Russia, past and future.
                    > Such a step is
                    > not an innovation; rather it is organic, and
                    > consequently is an
                    > extension of our former path.
                    >
                    >
                    > Reminding all the faithful children of our Church
                    > that it is
                    > essential not to submit to the attempts of the enemy
                    > of our salvation
                    > to rend the seamless garment of the Church, we call
                    > upon you all
                    > henceforth to stand firmly in the truth of the
                    > Church and to preserve
                    > the unity of love.
                    >
                    >
                    > 26 January/8 February 2001
                    >
                    >
                    > Metropolitan Vitaly [signature]
                    > President of the Synod
                    >
                    >
                    > Members of the Synod
                    > [signed:]
                    > Archbishop Laurus
                    > Archbishop Mark
                    > Archbishop Alypy
                    > Bishop Gabriel
                    > Bishop Kyrill
                    > Bishop Michael
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                    > removed]
                    >
                    >


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                  • Ascension Monastery
                    ... This is certainly possible, but there are other possible answers as well. The main difference between these two types of documents is that the one he signs
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 5, 2001
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                      >--- Father Maximos <mga@...> wrote:
                      >> At the last regular Synod meeting the following
                      >> document was issued,signed by His Eminance
                      >Metropolitan Vitaly. This meeting was only a
                      >> few months ago, how does one reconcile this with the
                      >> ideas expressed in the so-called epistle recently
                      >issued?
                      >>
                      >
                      >Father Maximos, asking your blessing, I want to try to
                      >answer your question. It appears to be true, as we
                      >have been told, that there is a difference between the
                      >Metropolitan's signature affixed to a document from
                      >the Synod, such as you have quoted, and a document
                      >which only he himself produces.
                      >
                      >While I do not wish to give an opinion one way or the
                      >other about the current controversy (believing that in
                      >time it will be clarified), what I have said above
                      >seems to be supported by Vladyka Vitaly's
                      >"Post-Conciliar Epistle," whose views are apparently
                      >not in sympathy with those of the October 2000
                      >Epistle, even though he signed that Synodal Epistle as
                      >well.



                      This is certainly possible, but there are other possible answers as
                      well. The main difference between these two types of documents is
                      that the one he signs in his capacity as the President of the Council
                      of Bishops has the "force of law' as it were. It is the conciliar
                      voice of the Church ( I am not claiming it is infallible) whereas the
                      documents produced by himself alone are his considered opinions and
                      they do not have the authority to reverse the decision of the Council
                      of Bishops. Any reversal of the course chartered by the Council in
                      2000, must be done by the Council of Bishops which is the supreme
                      canonical authority. I am sure there will be an effort by some to do
                      so at the next Council meeting, and we must have faith that the right
                      and proper course will be pursued. May God grant strength to our
                      Hierarchs to do that which is well-pleasing to God, and to resist the
                      efforts of those who , though they may think they do well, are
                      tearing our Church apart.


                      In Christ

                      the sinful monk

                      Maximos+


                      Rev.Hieromonk Maximos
                      Ascension Monastery
                      Russian Orthodox Church
                      Outside of Russia (ROCOR)
                      706-277-9442 ( voice)
                      775-640-2325 ( fax)
                      http://www.monastery.org
                      http://shop.monasteryproducts.org


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Anthony Bridges
                      Deacon Anthony wrote: It appears to be true, as we have been told, that there is a difference between the Metropolitan s signature affixed to a document from
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 5, 2001
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                        Deacon Anthony wrote:

                        It appears to be true, as we have been told, that
                        there is a difference between the Metropolitan's
                        signature affixed to a document from the Synod, such
                        as you have quoted, and a document which only he
                        himself produces.

                        While I do not wish to give an opinion one way or the
                        other about the current controversy (believing that in
                        time it will be clarified), what I have said above
                        seems to be supported by Vladyka Vitaly's
                        "Post-Conciliar Epistle," whose views are apparently
                        not in sympathy with those of the October 2000
                        Epistle, even though he signed that Synodal [should be
                        Conciliar] Epistle as well.
                        >

                        Father Maximos wrote:

                        >
                        > This is certainly possible, but there are other
                        > possible answers as well. The main difference
                        > between these two types of documents is
                        > that the one he signs in his capacity as the
                        > President of the Council
                        > of Bishops has the "force of law' as it were. It is
                        > the conciliar voice of the Church ( I am not
                        > claiming it is infallible) whereas the
                        > documents produced by himself alone are his
                        > considered opinions and they do not have the
                        > authority to reverse the decision of the Council
                        > of Bishops. Any reversal of the course chartered by
                        > the Council in 2000, must be done by the Council of
                        > Bishops which is the supreme canonical authority.

                        Deacon Anthony replies:

                        Father, with your blessing, let me say that what you
                        have stated above is not a different answer to what I
                        gave, as far as I can see, but an explanatory
                        expansion of that answer. Your original question, as I
                        recall, was how could the same person have signed both
                        the October 2000 Epistle and the recent controversial
                        Epistle. The answer is that one is part of the
                        procedure of the Council of Bishops and the other is
                        from the Metropolitan himself.

                        We know that the Metropolitan does not have the
                        authority to reverse the decision of a Council.


                        > I am sure there will be an effort by some to do
                        > so [i.e "reverse the course chartered by
                        > the Council in 2000",from above] at the next Council
                        meeting,
                        > and we must have faith that the right and proper
                        > course will be pursued.


                        According to both the Council and the Metropolitan, we
                        have not entered upon a new course, so there is no
                        need for reversal.


                        > May God grant strength to our Hierarchs to do that
                        > which is well-pleasing to God,
                        > and to resist the efforts of those who, though they
                        > may think they do well, are tearing our Church
                        apart.
                        >

                        From this it sounds as though you already know what
                        "that which is well-pleasing to God" is. Or am I
                        misunderstanding you?


                        deacon Anthony






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                      • Father Maximos
                        Dear Father Anthony, I think you are correct when you say there is no essential difference in what we both said. I think though there are those who wish to
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jul 5, 2001
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                          Dear Father Anthony,

                          I think you are correct when you say there is no essential difference
                          in what we both said. I think though there are those who wish to
                          create a scission between the Metropolitan and his fellow Hierarchs
                          and this is unfortunate.

                          You are very much correct when you say that the principles of the
                          2000 Sobor were not a "new course" but the historical course of the
                          Church Abroad, what I was attempting to say was the course as laid
                          out at the 2000 Sobor, forgive me if I was unclear or ambiguous.
                          Although you say you know that the Metropolitan cannot reverse the
                          decisions of the Council, there are many that do not appear to know
                          that is the case.

                          At 2:46 PM -0700 7/5/01, Anthony Bridges wrote:
                          >From this it sounds as though you already know what
                          >"that which is well-pleasing to God" is. Or am I
                          >misunderstanding you?


                          I hope that I do, and I hope you do too. If not why are we daring to
                          speak at all? I think following the traditional course of our Church
                          with respect and obedience to the norms of the Orthodox Church is
                          well pleasing to God. I think doing those things contrary to this is
                          not well pleasing to God.


                          In Christ

                          the least of monks

                          Maximos+
                        • Anthony Bridges
                          Father Deacon Anthony Bridges writes: I seem to have stuck my orarion in my diaconal mouth yet again! Most of my comments re the acrimony of orthodox lists do
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 5, 2001
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                            Father Deacon Anthony Bridges writes:

                            I seem to have stuck my orarion in my diaconal mouth
                            yet again!

                            Most of my comments re the acrimony of orthodox lists
                            do not apply to the orthodox-synod list, but mostly to
                            the orthodox-rocor list (if I have got them straight).
                            I get the two confused, because they are the two I
                            read on Yahoo!, and because there is a great deal of
                            cross-posting between the two.

                            However, I would reiterate the advice to stick to the
                            basics and avoid most of the Internet lists. A better
                            use for the Internet for new converts is to read the
                            doctrinal stuff on the various jurisdiction websites,
                            such as the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and to read
                            the articles at orthodoxinfo.com, etc.

                            This advice is based on my own experience as a
                            convert. It takes a LONG time to get SOME perspective
                            and develop the patience required to deal with the
                            controversies on these lists. In fact, I can't claim
                            to have attained either, which is why I mostly stay
                            away from posting, and just read.

                            It is far more important to attend all the services at
                            church, to pay attention to what is being read, to
                            read the Fathers or good books by Metropolitan of
                            Nafpakthos, Hierotheos Vlachos, etc. (Ascension
                            Monastery Bookstore is a good place to buy some of
                            these wonderful books, www.mga.org, I believe). After
                            a few YEARS, one might start to gain some perspective,
                            if only a little.

                            The lists might be good for making contacts and asking
                            certain questions, and perhaps this orthodox-synod
                            list is intended for that, while avoiding the worst of
                            the controversy.

                            I apologize for any confusion I have caused, and I
                            retreat into the fast...

                            Deacon Anthony







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