22 Years Ago ... Fr Seraphim Rose
- "[T]his spirit of 'correctness' for its own sake turns out to be fruitless.
As an example, I can tell you of a very good friend of ours, one of the
zealot fathers of Mt. Athos. He is a 'moderate' zealot, in that he
recognizes the grace of New Calendar sacraments, accepts the blessings of
priests of our Church, and the like; but he is absolutely strict when it
comes to applying the basic Zealot principle, not to have communion not only
with bishops whose teaching departs from Orthodox truth, such as the
Patriarch of Constantinople, and not only with anyone who has communion with
him, but anyone who has communion with anyone who in any remote way has
communion with him. Such 'purity' is so difficult to attain in our days (our
whole Russian Church Abroad, for example, is 'tainted' in his eyes by some
measure of communion with the other Orthodox Churches) that he is in
communion with only his own priest and ten other monks in his group on the
Holy Mountain; all of the rest of the Orthodox Church is not 'pure.'
Perhaps there are only ten or twelve people left in the world who are
perfectly 'strict' and 'pure' in their Orthodoxy -- this I really don't know;
but it simply cannot be that there are really only ten or twelve Orthodox
Christians left in the world with whom one can have true oneness of faith,
expressed in common communion. I think that you can see that there is some
kind of spiritual dead-end here; even if we had to believe such a narrow view
of Orthodoxy according to the letter, our believing Christian heart would
rebel against it. We cannot really LIVE by such strictness; we must somehow
be less 'correct' and closer to the HEART of Orthodox Christianity."
-- Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina; St Herman Winter Pilgrimage, 1979.
Fr Joseph Huneycutt
St Nicholas Church (ROCOR)