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[orthodox-synod] Fw: Answers to R. Miller and K. Kettenhofen (part 2)

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  • Fr. Stephen Fraser
    ... From: Fr. Stephen Fraser Sent: Friday, June 04, 1999 5:13 PM Subject: Re: Answers to R. Miller and K. Kettenhofen (part 2) Some (many?) of us in the ROCOR
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 4, 1999
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, June 04, 1999 5:13 PM
      Subject: Re: Answers to R. Miller and K. Kettenhofen (part 2)

      Some (many?) of us in the ROCOR are concerned about the
      apostasy from Orthodoxy taking place in *all*+ of the local
      Churches today. We are concerned for only one reason: the
      Church of Christ is getting smaller; therefore, the salvation of
      souls is getting less - perhaps even the salvation of those who now
      *are* Orthodox. Christ has told us that when he comes again
      the faith will be hard to find. Metropolitan Vitally has also written
      that the true Body and Blood of Christ will be found only in a
      few places. Without the Body and Blood of Christ, the Orthodox
      Christian cannot have life.
       
      Furthermore, No one is trying to hide the fact that the ROCOR sent
      observers to Vatican II, or to the Pan Christian Conferences that
      led to the WCC. Yes, the Heterodox, it seems, were even allowed
      to stand in the sanctuary during services. Dialogue and condescension
      with the Heterodox had (has) its place. However, we did not become
      members of these organizations. When the real intent of ecumenism
      became apparent, the allowing of Heterodox (even some Orthodox) in
      the sanctuary was stopped. Perhaps the ROCOR may, one day,
      send delegates to the WCC to witness to the truth of Christ and His
      Church. Why not? Even Christ had to walk among sinners (and still does)
      in order to bring the Word of Truth. However, to join them, and to
      lend our presence to their errors, as Sergianist/Ecumenist World Orthodoxy
      has, is truly something else. 
       
      One of the problems of some Orthodox is that they have been part of 
      the ambivalence and lack of resolve on the part of some of their
      fellow Orthodox for so long that it is now considered a threat to
      their of way life when this is pointed out. Instead of looking at it
      from the viewpoint of preservation of the Church and the Faith, it is
      viewed as "them against us." There is no axe to grind. There is merely
      an angst warning us about the end times and its consequences for
      those who are trying to be followers of Christ. We know that the majority
      of those who call themselves Orthodox will, in fact, be outside
      the Church. Who wants to be outside the Church?
       
      We might want to take a brief look at what the Church Abroad has
      said its position is as a Church proclaiming Orthodoxy to all the world:
       
      1)    we are not to have any dialogue with the MP; neither on the parish,
             monastic, nor patriarchal level. (How can the MP have grace when
             we consider it infected with the heresies of Sergianism and Ecumenism;
             uncanonical; and non-existent? It is, in fact, schismatic. We have
             not recognized the elevation of anyone to the Patriarchal Throne since
             St. Tikhon! Do schismatics and heretics have grace?)
        
      2)    since we regard the OCA as being in schism from us, we are not to
             have even "prayerful communion" with them.
       
      3)    the Anathema of 83 has settled once and for all our stand against
             those who proclaim the ecumenist dogma and who belong to 
             their organizations. We are not in communion with them.
             (The Serbian Patriarchate is one of these. How can one commemorate
             the Pope and still be Orthodox? How can any Orthodox Christian be
             in communion with such a one?)
       
      4)    the Church Abroad has not *officially* said there is no grace outside of
             her. Since this is so, she allows us the possibility of using extreme
             discretion and caution in any decision we may make about giving
             the mysteries to those not of her. (In making these decisions we
             are *not* to give scandal to those of us who are "weaker" or lack
             understanding. Those of the household come *first,* then, others.
             St. Paul would not even touch meat if in doing so it would give scandal.
             Any decision to give pastoral comfort to those not in communion with
             us must take into consideration *all* who *are* of us. Furthermore,
             since no direction (at least not definitive) has been forthcoming
             concerning giving the mysteries to those with whom we are not in
             communion, using discretion *not* to give must be respected by
             those who use occasional, extreme discretion *to* give. Under the
             present circumstances, not to give the mysteries is the better choice.)
       
      Actually, concerning bullet 4, why all the fuss on the part of those who are
      not of the ROCOR with regards to our mysteries? It is simple. To receive
      the mysteries from the Church Abroad legitimizes their position in World
      Orthodoxy. They know our official stand. When we capitulate, however,
      we delay (discourage) their decision to embrace the strictness of Orthodox
      teachings and canon law. Along the same line of thought, the great sadness
      of Fr. Ephraim's decision to return to the ecumenist Greek Church was the
      postponement to enter the fullness of Orthodoxy on the part of all those
      who would have followed him.
       
      All the clergy of the ROCOR are brothers in Christ. The parishioners are their
      spiritual sons and daughters. We all love our beloved ROCOR. It is not a
      "them against us" battle. Speaking for myself, I have one concern and one
      burning desire  - Orthodoxy!
       
      + Parentheses and emphases are mine and convey my thoughts.
       
      In Christ,
      Fr. Stephen
       
       
       
       
       
       

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    • alypius
      AMONG MANY OF TODAY S ORTHODOX, THERE SEEMS TO BE AN IMPATIENCE WITH THEIR (UNACKNOWLEDGED?) BROTHERS IN WORLD ORTHODOXY --AND WITH THE MODERATE WING OF
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 5, 1999
        AMONG MANY OF TODAY'S ORTHODOX, THERE SEEMS TO BE AN IMPATIENCE WITH THEIR
        (UNACKNOWLEDGED?) BROTHERS IN "WORLD ORTHODOXY"--AND WITH THE MODERATE WING
        OF ROCOR--THAT STRIKES ME AS EXCEEDING WHAT ONE FINDS IN THE CHURCH'S
        HISTORY OF DEALING WITH, FOR EXAMPLE, ROME, THE MONOPHYSITES, OR THE
        NESTORIANS. IT MAKES ME THINK OF THE OLD BELIEVER DISPUTE, IN WHICH THE OLD
        BELIEVERS WENT SO FAR AS TO STATE THAT THE REIGNING TSAR WAS THE ANTICHRIST.
        I UNDERSTAND NOW WHY SO MANY CLERGY OUTSIDE ROCOR HAVE SUCH A POOR OPINION
        OF US. ITS NOT BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL ECUMENISTS AND MODERNISTS. PRIEST
        STEPHEN'S RECENT POST READS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A HAL LINDSEY BOOK.
        REMINDS ME OF MY DAYS AS A HARDSHELL FUNDMENTAL BAPTIST. SO WHEN'S THE NEXT
        ROCOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINAR?

        Some (many?) of us in the ROCOR are concerned about the
        apostasy from Orthodoxy taking place in *all*+ of the local
        Churches today: the
        Church of Christ is getting smaller; therefore, the salvation of
        souls is getting less - perhaps even the salvation of those who now
        *are* Orthodox. Christ has told us that when he comes again
        the faith will be hard to find. Metropolitan Vitally has also written
        that the true Body and Blood of Christ will be found only in a
        few places....
        There is merely
        an angst warning us about the end times and its consequences for
        those who are trying to be followers of Christ. We know that the majority
        of those who call themselves Orthodox will, in fact, be outside
        the Church....
        1) we are not to have any dialogue with the MP; neither on the parish,
        monastic, nor patriarchal level. (How can the MP have grace when
        we consider it infected with the heresies of Sergianism and
        Ecumenism;
        uncanonical; and non-existent? It is, in fact, schismatic. We have
        not recognized the elevation of anyone to the Patriarchal Throne
        since
        St. Tikhon! Do schismatics and heretics have grace?)

        IF THIS WERE THE FORMAL TEACHING OF THE ROCOR BISHOPS, WHO REALLY WOULD BE
        IN SCHISM? "LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL."

        2) since we regard the OCA as being in schism from us, we are not to
        have even "prayerful communion" with them.

        3) the Anathema of 83 has settled once and for all our stand against
        those who proclaim the ecumenist dogma and who belong to
        their organizations. We are not in communion with them.
        (The Serbian Patriarchate is one of these. How can one commemorate
        the Pope and still be Orthodox? How can any Orthodox Christian be
        in communion with such a one?)

        4) the Church Abroad has not *officially* said there is no grace outside
        of
        her. Since this is so, she allows us the possibility of using extreme
        discretion and caution in any decision we may make about giving
        the mysteries to those not of her. (In making these decisions we
        are *not* to give scandal to those of us who are "weaker" or lack
        understanding. Those of the household come *first,* then, others.
        St. Paul would not even touch meat if in doing so it would give
        scandal.
        Any decision to give pastoral comfort to those not in communion with
        us must take into consideration *all* who *are* of us. Furthermore,
        since no direction (at least not definitive) has been forthcoming
        concerning giving the mysteries to those with whom we are not in
        communion, using discretion *not* to give must be respected by
        those who use occasional, extreme discretion *to* give. Under the
        present circumstances, not to give the mysteries is the better
        choice.)


        All the clergy of the ROCOR are brothers in Christ.

        AND WHAT ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CLERGY WHO ARE NOT OF ROCOR?

        The parishioners are their
        spiritual sons and daughters. We all love our beloved ROCOR. It is not a
        "them against us" battle. Speaking for myself, I have one concern and one
        burning desire - Orthodoxy!

        DEFINED AS NARROWLY AS POSSIBLE? NOW I'VE SEEN IT ALL: "BOB JONES"
        ORTHODOXY! "A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND." (NO, MY FELLOW
        AMERICANS, THAT'S NOT FROM ABE LINCOLN.)
        I GUESS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER IS THIS: IS ROCOR _A_ CHURCH OR _THE_
        CHURCH? ~ALYPIUS--WITHOUT EXPLANATION, MY POSTS HAVE BEEN SET FOR REVIEW
        EVER SINCE I POSTED A RESPONSE TO FATHER MICHAEL AZKOUL--EVEN THOUGH THE
        LATTER DESCRIBED MY LETTER AS "FRIENDLY." IF THIS REPLY DOES NOT APPEAR ON
        THE LIST, DUE TO ITS NOT CONFORMING TO A ROCOR VERSION OF POLITICAL
        CORRECTNESS, AND/OR DUE TO THE INCREASINGLY OBVIOUS ANIMOSITY OF MY PARISH
        PRIEST-CUM-LIST MANAGER TOWARDS ME, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THOSE PARTIES
        WHO RECEIVE THIS MESSAGE ADDRESSED TO THEIR PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESSES MUST
        REPLY PRIVATELY. THIS IS INTENDED TO BE A PUBLIC POSTING. ALSO, FORGIVE
        THE CAPS, BUT THE ">" SYMBOL DID NOT APPEAR BEFORE THE QUOTED PASSAGES AS I
        COMPOSED THIS RESPONSE. THANK YOU ALL, INCLUDING FR STEPHEN, FOR YOUR
        PATIENCE. IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES OVER WHO IS THE CHURCH ARE NOT TO BE
        CONSTRUED AS PERSONAL DISLIKE. I THINK MOST PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS.


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