Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Will the Real Metropolitan Vitaly Please Stand Up?

Expand Messages
  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    ... The issue is not who is most mentally fit. The fact is that Metropolitan Vitaly formally **retired** and asked for a new First Hierarch to be elected.
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 6, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      >Dear Father Alexander, bless.
      >
      >Thank you for drawing our attention to the inconstancies of Met.
      >Vitaly's messages. I agree with you that they are disturbing.
      >
      >I think however that you will approve the following thought: however
      >strongly I stress them, the mistakes, shortcomings or sins of my
      >neighbour do not excuse mine in any way. Accusing others will never
      >make me right if I am wrong. It would certainly be a poor strategy
      >for the last judgement.
      >
      >Whatever the mental, physical or other incompetence of Metr.
      >Vitaly's, and however it might aggravate itself in the future, the
      >problem is not to chose between Met. Vitaly and Met. Lavr, after
      >deciding who is most mentally fit.


      The issue is not who is most mentally fit. The fact is that Metropolitan
      Vitaly formally **retired** and asked for a new First Hierarch to be elected.

      After that election, Metropolitan Vitaly came into the Synod meeting room,
      where the Sobor of Bishops was assembled, and congratulated Metropolitan
      Laurus with his election, wished him well, and again reiterated that he
      (Metropolitan Vitaly) was tired and happy to now be retired.

      Vladimir, I was there at the Synod when it happened.

      No one can **choose** to be with Metropolitan Vitaly after his retirement
      and the election of a new First Hierarch.

      I was present at the whole sordid affair when the elder Metropolitan was
      lured out of the Synod building and then whisked away in the car of Fr.
      Vladimir Shishkoff (in which, "completely by chance" Metropolitan Vitaly
      was sitting).

      And after this, a whole series of contradictory statements, all signed by
      Metropolitan Vitaly, began to appear.

      First, he announced the formation of a new Church--the Russian Orthodox
      Church in Exile.

      Then he announhced that this had been an error, and that they would be
      returning to use the name "Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia."

      An edict comes out declaring the breaking of communion with Metr. Cyprian
      of Fili.

      Soon after, a new edict comes out declaring that the previous edict was
      rescinded.

      Then, another edict comes out rescinding the recission.

      Metropolitan Vitaly writes to the Russian bishops that he blesses their
      consecrations of new bishops and even the formation of an independent Synod
      in Russia.

      Then, a few months later, when these consecrations take place, he signs an
      edict condemning these consecrations as anti-canonical.

      And so on.

      It should be clear to the unbiased reader that someone is manipulating the
      aged Metropolitan, or that he does not realize what he is doing.


      >The problem is : to obey or not to
      >obey a heretical bishop.

      You are talking about Bishop Ambrose here.

      Who has declared him to be a "heretical bishop"?

      You?

      Believe me, not a single bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      Russia considers Bishop Ambrose to be a heretic.

      So you put your own opinion above theirs? Above those who have been
      invested by God Himself with the authority to "rightly divide the word of
      truth"?

      >
      >
      >The inconstancy of Mt. Vitaly does not change anything about the
      >proposals below. The latter refer to monstrous inconsistencies about
      >which somebody will have to answer, sooner or later, before men,
      >before the Church and before Christ. For there is nothing hidden that
      >will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known
      >or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:16-18)
      >
      >
      >1. Vl Ambrose did transgress the canons in communing with a
      >parasynagogue, made of heretical schismatics (the Eulogians).

      First of all, none of the bishops of the Church Abroad considers the
      Parisian Exharchate to be a parasynagogue. It is an exharchate of the
      Ecumenical Patriarchate, which not one of the bishops of the Church Abroad
      considers to be a heretical parasynagogue. Every bishop of the Church
      Abroad considers the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be a grace-filled Orthodox
      Church, which is beset by the ills of new-calendarism and ecumenism--but is
      not outside the Church.

      The Eulogians were, at one point, declared to be schismatics by the bishops
      of the Church Abroad and their mysteries to be invalid.

      However, in 1934, Metropolitan Anthony removed and rescinded all of the
      sanctions against Metropolitan Eulogy and read a prayer of absolution over him.

      The Church Abroad has never reinstated the sanctions against the Eulogians
      and their successors.



      > Vl
      >Ambrose did transgress the canons openly, in public and repeatedly.

      How? By concelebrating with those the Church Abroad considers not to be
      heretics?

      Archbishop St. John (Maximovich) and Archbishop Anthony of Geneva
      consistently concelebrated with Eulogian clergy.

      The father of our Cathedral Choir Director, Fr. Michael Sokoloff, was an
      Archpriest in Paris in the Paris Exharchate throughout the time when
      Archbishop St. John was there. Our choir director said that very frequently
      Archbishop John would call Fr. Michael, or just show up, and they would go
      the Church and serve there together.

      You are accusing Archbishop St. John of trampling the Canons?

      Also, anyone living in France knows that the Scout Camp (Vitiaz Camp) in
      France was jointly served by both the Church Abroad and the Parisian
      Exharchate.

      More trampling of the Canons by Archbishop St. John?

      >He instructed his flock to do the same, even when they expressed
      >astonishment.

      None of the flock expressed any astonishment when Bishop Ambrose's
      predecessors had the same concelebrations.



      > He used his authority to encourage communion with
      >heretics

      This is simply nonsense.

      What heretics?

      Arians? Nestorians? Iconoclasts?




      >and to silence orthodox resistance to his innovations.

      Innovations?

      Concelebrations with the Paris Exharchate, the Serbian Patriarchate, and
      with New Calendarists had been going on in Western Europe for **decades**.

      How can they be called "innovations"?




      > A
      >bishop must use his authority to defend the purity of our faith, not
      >to endanger it.

      Agreed.

      Do you believe that Archbishop St. John was endangeing the faith when he
      concelebrated with Eulogians and New Calendarists?




      >2. Communing with heretics is being heretical. Members of a "Church"
      >that has a heretical stand are heretics even if they do not share the
      >views of their hierarchs, as long as they fail to break communion
      >with them.

      This is absolute nonsense.

      Following this deranged thinking would lead to the conclusion that no
      Orthodox Christian in the world could be sure that they are not
      heretics--because somewhere, at that moment, some bishop might express a
      heretical teaching--and then, POOF!--every single member of his Church, and
      every single member of any Church in communion with his Church would
      instantaneously become heretics and lose their salvation.

      Do you honestly believe that the Lord established His Church with a myriad
      of tricky trap-doors that the faithful could fall into unwittingly and thus
      lose their salvation?

      Do you believe that instead of trying to overcome their human weaknesses
      and passions and living a life in accordance with Christ's teachings--every
      Orthodox Christian has to live a life of paranoia--always wondering whether
      some bishop somewhere who is in communion with their own bishop might fall
      into heresy and then their (the Orthodox Christians') salvation is
      immediately lost?

      What kind of an unjust and cruel God do you believe in that would do this
      to the faithful members of His Holy Church?



      >3. Paradoxically, those who refused to follow their bishop to
      >parasynagogues

      The Church Abroad does not consider the Ecumenical Patriarchate or its
      exharchates to be parasynagogues **and never has**.



      >are accused of creating a parasynagogue themselves by
      >their very refusal to commune with parasynagogues. In fact, the
      >faithful had to break with the bishop, even before a synodal
      >judgement did take place, according to the tradition and canons.

      Exactly what heresy did Bishop Ambrose teach "openly and bare-headedly" in
      Church?

      It would be much more fruitful for the faithful to strive for their
      salvation, in full obedience to their bishop who is teaching no heresy at
      all, but acting exactly as had his predecessors.



      >4. The commission that defrocked the priests did so without hearing
      >the accused and judged them in spite of not being informed of
      >essential elements of the case, as was evidenced by our recent
      >correspondence with you and Father Pavlenko. So therefore, that act
      >of defrocking seems to be illegitimate and condemns its authors
      >rather than the "defrocked" ones.


      Absolutely untrue.

      The "accused" were clearly heard, since their positions were outlined in
      several written statements and "open letters," which all of the members of
      the commission had read. Both Frs. George Larin and Stefan Pavlenko were
      sent to Europe and met or spoke with by telephone with the "accused." The
      "accused" were also summoned to a special Synod Meeting at the time of the
      consecration of Bishop Agapit--and did not show up. They continued to serve
      despite having been suspended--and thus were subject to automatic
      deposition--even without a hearing.




      >5. The two Fathers de Castelbajac were received back by the Synod.
      >They still do not commemorate Vl Ambrose, and repented only
      >for "participating in the schism", not for refusing to obey the
      >bishop. That means that the Synod accepts that one may be in the
      >Church and not obey the diocesan bishop Ambrose.

      Illogical conclusion. We have had many historical instances where priests
      in conflict with their diocesan bishop were temporarily placed under the
      First Hierarch directly--this was the situation in our sister parish in Los
      Angeles, after a conflict arose with Archbishop Anthony. The parish (and
      its clergy) were simply placed directly under the Metropolitan.




      > If one person may
      >not obey his diocesan bishop, why should the others? Are the little
      >ones more imune than the two "repenting priests" to the danger of
      >heresy? The inconsistency reaches here an unprecedented height, as
      >the priests were repeatedly told, before their exclusion, that they
      >had to obey the bishop first, before any talk could take place.

      Good management of the Church (economia) allows for many different methods
      being applied in order to return errant clergy and faithful from schism.
      What was said before may not apply, as each situation is resolved according
      to its circumstances.





      >6. At least one member of the defrocking commission is known to have
      >communed with heretics himself some time ago.

      If the clergyman in question had actually communed with heretics, he would
      have been suspended and, if he failed to repent, would have been deposed.

      Every member of the commission was a high-ranking clergyman (a Chancellor
      of a Diocese and two Deans) in good standing in the Church Abroad.




      >He was thus evidently
      >not an appropriate judge in this case. From his angle, he would be
      >condemning himself by not condemning the priests, as the latter
      >denounced a similar offence in the bishop. In the eyes of God, maybe
      >this judge did condemn himself anyway. A judgement pronounced without
      >hearing the accused is a sin. Even Christ will hear us at the last
      >judgement (we would better prepare our defence).

      When the accused fail to appear, as happened with the "French clergy" when
      they were summoned -- then they are tried in absentia. And, since they
      dared to serve under suspension, they are subject to deposition even
      without a hearing.






      >7. We were recently advised by one of its nuns that the Bussy sur
      >Othe monastery in France (Eulogian parasynagogue having adopted the
      >Met Sergius declaration, in communion with the heretical MP and the
      >Constantinople Patriarchate) has recently received financial support
      >from Metropolitan Lavr, in spite of our Church having anathematised
      >both ecumenism and sergianism. I suppose this cannot be explained by
      >Met. Lavr advanced age, but this is definitely inconsistent.

      Metropolitan Laurus is 75 this year--hardly an "advanced age" for a bishop
      (we have had many bishops serve in full mental capacity throughout their
      eighties and some into their nineties).

      The Church Abroad has never officially declared that either the Moscow
      Patriarchate or the Constantinople Patriarchate is heretical, so your
      premise is false, on its face.

      From the times of Metropolitan Anthony, the Church Abroad has always tried
      to send out feelers of kindness to the members of the Paris
      Exharchate--"olive branches," if you will--striving to reestablish the
      unity of the Russian Church.

      You remember the directive of the 1993 Council of Bishops--"we must
      strive to reestablish the unity of all of the parts of the Russian Church,
      sundered by historical realities, without any condemnations or
      recriminations. . ."



      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • vkozyreff
      Dear Father Alexander, bless. You write: What heretics? Arians? Nestorians? Iconoclasts? As I have repeated many times on this forum, to be a heretic, it is
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 7, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Father Alexander, bless.

        You write:

        "What heretics? Arians? Nestorians? Iconoclasts?



        As I have repeated many times on this forum, to be a heretic, it is
        enough to follow one's own choice or opinion instead of divine truth
        preserved by the Church, so as to cause division among Christians.

        A heresy needs not be a major heresy to be a heresy.

        Heresy is a system of thought which contradicts true doctrine.

        It is false teaching, which all true Christians must reject (Matt.
        7:15; 2 Pet. 2:1)."

        Heresy is any obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which
        must be believed with divine and orthodox faith.

        Heresy is any opinion or doctrine at variance with religious
        orthodoxy.

        For the sake of clarity, ecumensim is a heresy, and sergianism too.

        Anathema is the spiritual suspension with which the Church may expel
        a person from her community for various reasons, especially denial of
        the faith or other mortal sins. The Church also may proclaim an
        anathema against the enemies of the faith, such as heretics and
        traitors (sergianists, for example), in a special service conducted
        on the Sunday of Orthodoxy (first Sunday of Lent).



        We have heard that many, saying they are Catholic, are living a life
        in common with Jews and pagans [...] in diverse errors, maintaining
        that they are not being harmed. [...] A great and deadly error! Pope
        Adrian I


        I grieve for having been, if only for an hour, in communion with
        guilty men. St. Martin of Tours


        It is an illusion to seek the company of sinners on the pretence of
        reforming them or of converting them; it is far more to be feared
        that they will spread their poison to us. St. Gregory Nazianzen


        Do not converse with heretics even for the sake of defending the
        faith, for fear lest their words instil their poison in your mind.
        Bl. Isaias


        For if they have doctrines opposed to ours, it is not fitting to be
        mixed up with them for this cause alone. [...] What do you
        say? "Their faith is the same; these men are orthodox"? Why, then,
        are they not with us? St. John Chysostom


        It is therefore unlawful, and a profanation, and an act the
        punishment of which is death, to love to associate with unholy
        heretics, and to unite yourself to their communion. St. Cyril of
        Alexandria


        But if you embrace the errors of these nations that dwell among you,
        and make marriages with them, and join friendships, know ye for a
        certainty that [...] they shall be a snare and a pit in your way, and
        a stumbling-block at your side, and stakes in your eyes, til the Lord
        your God take you away and destroy you. Josue 23:13


        You help the ungodly, and you are joined in friendship with those who
        hate the Lord; and therefore you did indeed deserve the wrath of the
        Lord. II Paralipomenon 19:2


        The accursed perversity of heretics [...] has so increased that now
        they exercise their wickedness not in secret, but manifest their
        error publicly, and win over the weak and simple-minded to their
        opinion. For this reason, We resolve to cast them, their defenders,
        and their receivers under anathema, and We forbid under anathema that
        any one presume to help heretics or to do business with heretics. III
        Lateran Council


        Saints Peter and Paul, in their Epistles, have loathed heretics, and
        warned us to avoid them. St. Cyprian


        St. Paul commands that a heretic be avoided after two warnings, that
        is, after showing himself to be manifestly obstinate. And this is
        what St. Jerome writes, adding that other sinners are excluded from
        the Church by excommunication, whereas heretics exile themselves on
        their own from the Body of Christ. St. Robert Bellarmine


        Outside are dogs. Apocalypse 22:13


        What fellowship does a holy man have with a dog? Ecclesiasticus 13:22


        Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what concord
        does Christ have with Belial? Or what part do the faithful have with
        the unbeliever? [...] Wherefore, go out from among them and be ye
        separate, says the Lord. II Corinthians 6:14-17


        Separate yourself from your enemies. Ecclesiasticus 6:13


        I have always regarded the Church's enemies as my own. St. Jerome


        Heresy is everywhere an enemy to Catholics. St. Gregory of Tours


        If any man who is called a brother be a servant of idols, with such a
        man do not keep company, not so much as to eat. I Corinthians 5:11


        I will not communicate with the choicest of them. [...] Depart from
        me, ye malignant ones! Psalm 140:4; 118:115


        John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and
        finding Cerinthus inside, rushed out of the bath-house without
        bathing, shouting: "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down,
        for Cerinthuis, an enemy of truth is inside!" And Polycarp himself
        replied to Marcion who met him on one occasion asking: "Do you know
        me?" "I do know you," replied Polycarp: "I know you to be the first-
        born of Satan!" Such was the horror which the Apostles and their
        disciples had against even holding even verbal communication with any
        corrupters of truth. St. Irenaeus of Lyons



        The major heresies fall into three categories: heresies of the nature
        of Christ; heresies of the Trinity; and heresies of man and
        salvation.

        Heresies of Christ

        The orthodox idea of Christ was that he is fully God, yet existed as
        fully human, the two natures being "eternally distinct and uniquely
        united" at the same time, and that he suffered as a human.

        Apollinarianism

        (named for Apollinarius) Belief that Christ had no soul, but rather
        was filled with logos, or the Word, and was neither fully human nor
        fully divine.

        Arianism

        (named for Arius) Belief that the Father existed before the Son, the
        Son was created by the Father, and there was a time when the Son did
        not exist.

        Docetism

        (from the Greek word dokesis, which means to seem) Belief that Christ
        was wholly God, and his humanity and suffering only seemed to be
        real.

        Dynamic Monarchianism

        Claimed Jesus Christ was simply a man, whom God filled with an
        impersonal power, either at his conception, baptism, or resurrection.
        This denies Christ taking any personality from God, and teaches that
        Christ "became" God.

        Ebionitism

        Belief that Jesus was nothing more that a prophet: a man, but not
        divin. Named after the Ebionites, a first-century Jewish-Christian
        sect who emphasized Jewish law and rejected Paul's teachings.

        Eutychianism

        (name after Eutyches of Constantinople) belief that Christ had only a
        divine nature, not a human one.

        Monophysitism

        This heresy denies the humanity of Christ. It removes the value of
        Christ's redemptive work, because it denies that Christ suffered as a
        man. It declares that Christ had a single (mono), divine, nature.
        This doctrine is still taught by the Oriental Orthodox churches:
        Coptic Church of Egypt; Ethiopian Orthodox; Syrian Orthodox; Armenian
        Orthodox; and Malankara (Indian) Orthodox.

        Monothelitism

        Belief that Jesus posessed one divine-human energia, not two
        cooperating (divine and human) wills. Still held by the Maronite
        Church in Syria.

        Nestorianism

        (named for Netstorius) Belief that God was not in Christ and that
        Mary gave birth only to the human Jesus. Nestorianism teaches that
        Jesus was filled with the logos, that only the human part of Jesus
        suffered and died, and that man simply needs an infilling of logos
        for salvation.

        Noeticism

        (named for Noetus) Belief that God moved as a single spirit into
        Mary, and was transferred into Christ at birth. God himself was
        crucified and raised himself from the dead.

        Heresies of the Trinity

        The orthodox idea of the Trinity is that God (the Father), Jesus
        Christ (the Son), and the Holy Spirit are simultaneously three
        distinct beings, and all the same being, none subserviant to another,
        all three with complete equality and a single will. There was no time
        when any did not exist.

        Macedonianism

        (named for Macedonius) Denied the diety of the Holy Spirit, asserting
        it was a servent, similar to the angels.

        Monarchianism

        The denial of three seperate beings in the Trinity. A famous
        Monarchianist, Sabellian, claimed the three persons of God are three
        facets of one personality, in the way that the sun is simultaneously
        hot, round, and bright. He became so associated with Monarchianism,
        that in the early church, heresy of any kind was called Sabellianism.

        Modalist Monarchianism

        Held that God was a single being, and that Father / Son / Spirit were
        simply three modes of the same being, only one being possible at a
        time. Taken to its logical extreme, it would have been impossible for
        the Spirit to descend as a dove and God's voice to be heard during
        Christ's baptism.

        Subordinationism

        Any doctrine that subordinates one being of the Trinity to another.
        Heresies of Man and Salvation
        The orthodox idea of man and his need for salvation is that God
        already knows all who are chosen for eternal life (the elect), yet
        man has the free will to choose whether or not to believe in Christ's
        redemptive work. These concepts hold so many paradoxes that men have
        frequently attempted to reconcile them with logic, leading to many
        heresies.

        Donatism

        (name for Donatus the Great) belief that the validity of a church
        office is determined by the "personal holiness" of the individual;
        that "morally unworthy" individuals are not qualified to perform the
        ecclessial duties of their office.

        Marcionism

        (named after Marcion) a denial that the Old Testament "Creator God of
        the Jews" and the "God of Goodness" revealed in the New Testament are
        the same God. Marcion developed a canon consisting of Luke and ten
        Pauline epistles, with all references to the Old Testament removed.

        Pelagianism

        (named for Pelagius) Claims that sin is a choice, and by choosing not
        to sin, man reach salvation on his own without need for Christ's
        forgiveness of sin.

        In God,

        Vladimir Kozyreff



        --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
        wrote:
        >
        > >Dear Father Alexander, bless.
        > >
        > >Thank you for drawing our attention to the inconstancies of Met.
        > >Vitaly's messages. I agree with you that they are disturbing.
        > >
        > >I think however that you will approve the following thought:
        however
        > >strongly I stress them, the mistakes, shortcomings or sins of my
        > >neighbour do not excuse mine in any way. Accusing others will never
        > >make me right if I am wrong. It would certainly be a poor strategy
        > >for the last judgement.
        > >
        > >Whatever the mental, physical or other incompetence of Metr.
        > >Vitaly's, and however it might aggravate itself in the future, the
        > >problem is not to chose between Met. Vitaly and Met. Lavr, after
        > >deciding who is most mentally fit.
        >
        >
        > The issue is not who is most mentally fit. The fact is that
        Metropolitan
        > Vitaly formally **retired** and asked for a new First Hierarch to
        be elected.
        >
        > After that election, Metropolitan Vitaly came into the Synod
        meeting room,
        > where the Sobor of Bishops was assembled, and congratulated
        Metropolitan
        > Laurus with his election, wished him well, and again reiterated
        that he
        > (Metropolitan Vitaly) was tired and happy to now be retired.
        >
        > Vladimir, I was there at the Synod when it happened.
        >
        > No one can **choose** to be with Metropolitan Vitaly after his
        retirement
        > and the election of a new First Hierarch.
        >
        > I was present at the whole sordid affair when the elder
        Metropolitan was
        > lured out of the Synod building and then whisked away in the car of
        Fr.
        > Vladimir Shishkoff (in which, "completely by chance" Metropolitan
        Vitaly
        > was sitting).
        >
        > And after this, a whole series of contradictory statements, all
        signed by
        > Metropolitan Vitaly, began to appear.
        >
        > First, he announced the formation of a new Church--the Russian
        Orthodox
        > Church in Exile.
        >
        > Then he announhced that this had been an error, and that they would
        be
        > returning to use the name "Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
        Russia."
        >
        > An edict comes out declaring the breaking of communion with Metr.
        Cyprian
        > of Fili.
        >
        > Soon after, a new edict comes out declaring that the previous edict
        was
        > rescinded.
        >
        > Then, another edict comes out rescinding the recission.
        >
        > Metropolitan Vitaly writes to the Russian bishops that he blesses
        their
        > consecrations of new bishops and even the formation of an
        independent Synod
        > in Russia.
        >
        > Then, a few months later, when these consecrations take place, he
        signs an
        > edict condemning these consecrations as anti-canonical.
        >
        > And so on.
        >
        > It should be clear to the unbiased reader that someone is
        manipulating the
        > aged Metropolitan, or that he does not realize what he is doing.
        >
        >
        > >The problem is : to obey or not to
        > >obey a heretical bishop.
        >
        > You are talking about Bishop Ambrose here.
        >
        > Who has declared him to be a "heretical bishop"?
        >
        > You?
        >
        > Believe me, not a single bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church
        Outside of
        > Russia considers Bishop Ambrose to be a heretic.
        >
        > So you put your own opinion above theirs? Above those who have been
        > invested by God Himself with the authority to "rightly divide the
        word of
        > truth"?
        >
        > >
        > >
        > >The inconstancy of Mt. Vitaly does not change anything about the
        > >proposals below. The latter refer to monstrous inconsistencies
        about
        > >which somebody will have to answer, sooner or later, before men,
        > >before the Church and before Christ. For there is nothing hidden
        that
        > >will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known
        > >or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:16-18)
        > >
        > >
        > >1. Vl Ambrose did transgress the canons in communing with a
        > >parasynagogue, made of heretical schismatics (the Eulogians).
        >
        > First of all, none of the bishops of the Church Abroad considers
        the
        > Parisian Exharchate to be a parasynagogue. It is an exharchate of
        the
        > Ecumenical Patriarchate, which not one of the bishops of the
        Church Abroad
        > considers to be a heretical parasynagogue. Every bishop of the
        Church
        > Abroad considers the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be a grace-filled
        Orthodox
        > Church, which is beset by the ills of new-calendarism and ecumenism-
        -but is
        > not outside the Church.
        >
        > The Eulogians were, at one point, declared to be schismatics by the
        bishops
        > of the Church Abroad and their mysteries to be invalid.
        >
        > However, in 1934, Metropolitan Anthony removed and rescinded all of
        the
        > sanctions against Metropolitan Eulogy and read a prayer of
        absolution over him.
        >
        > The Church Abroad has never reinstated the sanctions against the
        Eulogians
        > and their successors.
        >
        >
        >
        > > Vl
        > >Ambrose did transgress the canons openly, in public and repeatedly.
        >
        > How? By concelebrating with those the Church Abroad considers not
        to be
        > heretics?
        >
        > Archbishop St. John (Maximovich) and Archbishop Anthony of Geneva
        > consistently concelebrated with Eulogian clergy.
        >
        > The father of our Cathedral Choir Director, Fr. Michael Sokoloff,
        was an
        > Archpriest in Paris in the Paris Exharchate throughout the time
        when
        > Archbishop St. John was there. Our choir director said that very
        frequently
        > Archbishop John would call Fr. Michael, or just show up, and they
        would go
        > the Church and serve there together.
        >
        > You are accusing Archbishop St. John of trampling the Canons?
        >
        > Also, anyone living in France knows that the Scout Camp (Vitiaz
        Camp) in
        > France was jointly served by both the Church Abroad and the
        Parisian
        > Exharchate.
        >
        > More trampling of the Canons by Archbishop St. John?
        >
        > >He instructed his flock to do the same, even when they expressed
        > >astonishment.
        >
        > None of the flock expressed any astonishment when Bishop Ambrose's
        > predecessors had the same concelebrations.
        >
        >
        >
        > > He used his authority to encourage communion with
        > >heretics
        >
        > This is simply nonsense.
        >
        > What heretics?
        >
        > Arians? Nestorians? Iconoclasts?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >and to silence orthodox resistance to his innovations.
        >
        > Innovations?
        >
        > Concelebrations with the Paris Exharchate, the Serbian
        Patriarchate, and
        > with New Calendarists had been going on in Western Europe for
        **decades**.
        >
        > How can they be called "innovations"?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > > A
        > >bishop must use his authority to defend the purity of our faith,
        not
        > >to endanger it.
        >
        > Agreed.
        >
        > Do you believe that Archbishop St. John was endangeing the faith
        when he
        > concelebrated with Eulogians and New Calendarists?
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >2. Communing with heretics is being heretical. Members of
        a "Church"
        > >that has a heretical stand are heretics even if they do not share
        the
        > >views of their hierarchs, as long as they fail to break communion
        > >with them.
        >
        > This is absolute nonsense.
        >
        > Following this deranged thinking would lead to the conclusion that
        no
        > Orthodox Christian in the world could be sure that they are not
        > heretics--because somewhere, at that moment, some bishop might
        express a
        > heretical teaching--and then, POOF!--every single member of his
        Church, and
        > every single member of any Church in communion with his Church
        would
        > instantaneously become heretics and lose their salvation.
        >
        > Do you honestly believe that the Lord established His Church with a
        myriad
        > of tricky trap-doors that the faithful could fall into unwittingly
        and thus
        > lose their salvation?
        >
        > Do you believe that instead of trying to overcome their human
        weaknesses
        > and passions and living a life in accordance with Christ's
        teachings--every
        > Orthodox Christian has to live a life of paranoia--always wondering
        whether
        > some bishop somewhere who is in communion with their own bishop
        might fall
        > into heresy and then their (the Orthodox Christians') salvation is
        > immediately lost?
        >
        > What kind of an unjust and cruel God do you believe in that would
        do this
        > to the faithful members of His Holy Church?
        >
        >
        >
        > >3. Paradoxically, those who refused to follow their bishop to
        > >parasynagogues
        >
        > The Church Abroad does not consider the Ecumenical Patriarchate or
        its
        > exharchates to be parasynagogues **and never has**.
        >
        >
        >
        > >are accused of creating a parasynagogue themselves by
        > >their very refusal to commune with parasynagogues. In fact, the
        > >faithful had to break with the bishop, even before a synodal
        > >judgement did take place, according to the tradition and canons.
        >
        > Exactly what heresy did Bishop Ambrose teach "openly and bare-
        headedly" in
        > Church?
        >
        > It would be much more fruitful for the faithful to strive for their
        > salvation, in full obedience to their bishop who is teaching no
        heresy at
        > all, but acting exactly as had his predecessors.
        >
        >
        >
        > >4. The commission that defrocked the priests did so without hearing
        > >the accused and judged them in spite of not being informed of
        > >essential elements of the case, as was evidenced by our recent
        > >correspondence with you and Father Pavlenko. So therefore, that act
        > >of defrocking seems to be illegitimate and condemns its authors
        > >rather than the "defrocked" ones.
        >
        >
        > Absolutely untrue.
        >
        > The "accused" were clearly heard, since their positions were
        outlined in
        > several written statements and "open letters," which all of the
        members of
        > the commission had read. Both Frs. George Larin and Stefan Pavlenko
        were
        > sent to Europe and met or spoke with by telephone with
        the "accused." The
        > "accused" were also summoned to a special Synod Meeting at the time
        of the
        > consecration of Bishop Agapit--and did not show up. They continued
        to serve
        > despite having been suspended--and thus were subject to automatic
        > deposition--even without a hearing.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >5. The two Fathers de Castelbajac were received back by the Synod.
        > >They still do not commemorate Vl Ambrose, and repented only
        > >for "participating in the schism", not for refusing to obey the
        > >bishop. That means that the Synod accepts that one may be in the
        > >Church and not obey the diocesan bishop Ambrose.
        >
        > Illogical conclusion. We have had many historical instances where
        priests
        > in conflict with their diocesan bishop were temporarily placed
        under the
        > First Hierarch directly--this was the situation in our sister
        parish in Los
        > Angeles, after a conflict arose with Archbishop Anthony. The parish
        (and
        > its clergy) were simply placed directly under the Metropolitan.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > > If one person may
        > >not obey his diocesan bishop, why should the others? Are the little
        > >ones more imune than the two "repenting priests" to the danger of
        > >heresy? The inconsistency reaches here an unprecedented height, as
        > >the priests were repeatedly told, before their exclusion, that they
        > >had to obey the bishop first, before any talk could take place.
        >
        > Good management of the Church (economia) allows for many different
        methods
        > being applied in order to return errant clergy and faithful from
        schism.
        > What was said before may not apply, as each situation is resolved
        according
        > to its circumstances.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >6. At least one member of the defrocking commission is known to
        have
        > >communed with heretics himself some time ago.
        >
        > If the clergyman in question had actually communed with heretics,
        he would
        > have been suspended and, if he failed to repent, would have been
        deposed.
        >
        > Every member of the commission was a high-ranking clergyman (a
        Chancellor
        > of a Diocese and two Deans) in good standing in the Church Abroad.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >He was thus evidently
        > >not an appropriate judge in this case. From his angle, he would be
        > >condemning himself by not condemning the priests, as the latter
        > >denounced a similar offence in the bishop. In the eyes of God,
        maybe
        > >this judge did condemn himself anyway. A judgement pronounced
        without
        > >hearing the accused is a sin. Even Christ will hear us at the last
        > >judgement (we would better prepare our defence).
        >
        > When the accused fail to appear, as happened with the "French
        clergy" when
        > they were summoned -- then they are tried in absentia. And, since
        they
        > dared to serve under suspension, they are subject to deposition
        even
        > without a hearing.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > >7. We were recently advised by one of its nuns that the Bussy sur
        > >Othe monastery in France (Eulogian parasynagogue having adopted the
        > >Met Sergius declaration, in communion with the heretical MP and the
        > >Constantinople Patriarchate) has recently received financial
        support
        > >from Metropolitan Lavr, in spite of our Church having anathematised
        > >both ecumenism and sergianism. I suppose this cannot be explained
        by
        > >Met. Lavr advanced age, but this is definitely inconsistent.
        >
        > Metropolitan Laurus is 75 this year--hardly an "advanced age" for a
        bishop
        > (we have had many bishops serve in full mental capacity throughout
        their
        > eighties and some into their nineties).
        >
        > The Church Abroad has never officially declared that either the
        Moscow
        > Patriarchate or the Constantinople Patriarchate is heretical, so
        your
        > premise is false, on its face.
        >
        > From the times of Metropolitan Anthony, the Church Abroad has
        always tried
        > to send out feelers of kindness to the members of the Paris
        > Exharchate--"olive branches," if you will--striving to reestablish
        the
        > unity of the Russian Church.
        >
        > You remember the directive of the 1993 Council of Bishops--"we
        must
        > strive to reestablish the unity of all of the parts of the Russian
        Church,
        > sundered by historical realities, without any condemnations or
        > recriminations. . ."
        >
        >
        >
        > With love in Christ,
        >
        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
      • Margaret Lark
        From: jfraese Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 22:31:13 -0000 ... Just out of curiosity - can you tell me how continuing this discussion will
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 9, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          From: "jfraese" <jfraese@...>
          Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 22:31:13 -0000

          >...Perhaps we need to just continue to debate the issues without
          >actually attacking the motives of those involved in the debate, and
          >just assume that everyone is trying to be honest and trying get to
          >the bottom of things...

          Just out of curiosity - can you tell me how continuing this discussion will help you, me, or anyone else on this list to work out our own salvation?

          In Christ,
          Margaret Lark

          --
          Glory to God for all things!
          --
        • jfraese
          Dear Margaret, Is it important for our salvation that we be united with the Church? If it is, then wouldn t a discussion that deals with the question of where
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 9, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Margaret,

            Is it important for our salvation that we be united with the Church?

            If it is, then wouldn't a discussion that deals with the question of
            where the Church is be of relevance to our salvation?

            One can either read and benefit from the knowledge gained in the
            discussion, or read and become scandalized by the discussion... but
            as far as I can see, there's no point in putting my head in the sand
            and pretending that there's no relevancy to the issues discussed
            here, so I appreciate the dialogue.

            I apologize for being so inarticulate and offensive. Please forgive
            me.

            In Christ,
            Joshua Fraese


            --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Margaret Lark" <skovranok@t...> wrote:
            > From: "jfraese" <jfraese@i...>
            > Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 22:31:13 -0000
            >
            > >...Perhaps we need to just continue to debate the issues without
            > >actually attacking the motives of those involved in the debate,
            and
            > >just assume that everyone is trying to be honest and trying get to
            > >the bottom of things...
            >
            > Just out of curiosity - can you tell me how continuing this
            discussion will help you, me, or anyone else on this list to work out
            our own salvation?
            >
            > In Christ,
            > Margaret Lark
            >
            > --
            > Glory to God for all things!
            > --
          • Margaret Lark
            From: jfraese Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 18:15:35 -0000 ... Apparently it is *I* who need to apologize for being offensive, since no
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 10, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              From: "jfraese" <jfraese@...>
              Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 18:15:35 -0000

              >Dear Margaret,
              >
              >Is it important for our salvation that we be united with the Church?
              >
              >If it is, then wouldn't a discussion that deals with the question of
              >where the Church is be of relevance to our salvation?

              >...as far as I can see, there's no point in putting my head in the sand
              >and pretending that there's no relevancy to the issues discussed
              >here, so I appreciate the dialogue.

              >I apologize for being so inarticulate and offensive. Please forgive
              >me.

              Apparently it is *I* who need to apologize for being offensive, since no offense was taken. I simply wonder how this discussion helps us to work out our salvation.

              My point is that we seem to be setting ourselves up as judges of the actions of our clergy. Now, I do know that clergy make mistakes. They've done it before - witness the false union with Florence, historically - and they will do it again. After all, the Church on earth is a hospital for sinners, not a repository of saints.

              Once before, when I made the mistake of appointing myself judge and jury over someone, my Priest told me, "God will judge their actions. You concentrate on your own salvation." And I've tried to keep this in mind. Even with regard to schismatics - do we as individual Christians have the right to judge who is schismatic and who is not? Isn't that the job of the Church as a whole?

              I have enough of my own sins to struggle with, without focussing on the sins of the clergy, real or imagined. (I can have a pretty vivid imagination, if I let it get out of hand.) :-) So I would prefer not to worry about (a) the motives of Metr. LAVR; (b) the motives of Metr. VITALY; (c) the motives of ROCE; (d) the motives of ROCA; or (e) the motives of MP people who come into our churches.

              To respond to another post on this topic, it *is* possible, Mr. Kozyreff, that our patience, love, and "naivete" will win them genuinely to truth - I understand that even now, there is growing opposition within the body of the MP to continued participation in the WCC, and ecumenism in general.

              The short version - life is short, especially on the down side of fifty, and as someone far better than I once said, "I have not even begun to repent."

              In Christ,
              Margaret Lark

              --
              Glory to God for all things!
              --
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.