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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Dealing with Heresy -- A Historical Perspective

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  • Michael Nikitin
    The Anathema Against Ecumenism was signed by all the Bishops of ROCOR. In the sixties when St.Metr.Philaret served with the Serbs the Anathema Against
    Message 1 of 44 , Sep 7, 2002
      The Anathema Against Ecumenism was signed by all the Bishops of ROCOR.
      In the sixties when St.Metr.Philaret served with the Serbs the Anathema
      Against Ecumenism was not signed. After the signing of the Anathema of '83
      we can not serve with the Serbs or anyoone who is in ecumenism.

      Fr.Alexander does what his Bishops do rather than what our Church gave us?
      This is what the Catholics do. They listen to the Pope rather than the Holy

      Fr.Alexander claims he is not in error because his Bishop Kyrill who wrote a
      letter saying he will never serve with the Serbs who are in ecumenism( see
      letter of B. Kyrill at the
      http://www.monasterypress.com site).

      When Fr.Alexander became a priest who did he give an oath of obedience to
      first? He who puts the epitrachelion on his neck or Him who gives the Bishop
      Grace to to that.

      B.Kyrill does not have the authority over the Synod of Bishops who signed
      the Anathema Against Ecumenism.

      Michael N.

      From: "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...>
      Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Dealing with Heresy -- A Historical
      Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2002 07:04:30 -0700
      Vladimir wrote:

      >Dear Father Alexander, bless.
      >� If you acknowledged that you judged the priests without due
      >understanding of the case, because you did not hear them and thus did
      >not know exactly the facts about Vl Ambrose's actions (which seems to
      >be a fair account of the reality);

      I don't acknowledge this at all. I read all of their written complaints to
      the Synod regarding Bishop Ambrose and consider tehm to be baseless and
      without merit.

      >� If you acknowledged that, having communed with the Serbian
      >Church yourself, you were prejudiced in a case regarding communion
      >with anathematised heresies (which would be true);

      Not at all. I lived at the Synod in the middle sixties when Metropolitan
      Philaret concelebrated with clerics of the Serbian Patriarchate (Hieromonks
      Maxim and Hrizistom) on a regular basis. I went to Seminary in Jordanville
      with several Seminarians sent there by the Serbian Patriarchate--there is
      one studying there even now.

      I concelebrated with Bishop Jovan of the Serbian Church at his cathedral in
      Los Angeles at the explicit direction of my Ruling Bishop, Archbishop
      Anthony of San Francisco--together with him, in fact on Vidovdan a few
      years ago.

      And, my current Ruling Bishop, Bishop Kyrill, has invited the Serbian
      priest Fr. Ilia Balach to concelebrate with him every time Bishop Kyrill
      has served in our Cathedral. (Fr. Ilia is the Architect in charge of our
      cupola project).

      How can you accuse me of error, when I am doing what my lawful bishops are
      telling me to do and doing themselves?

      >� If you acknowledged that you overlooked the fact that the
      >priests had been restored in their right (and their duty) to
      >celebrate by Vl Vitaly when you judged them (which is true);

      Again--totally wrong.

      Metropolitan Vitaly had no authority to overturn or rescind a decision of a
      Ruling Bishop of any diocese of the Church Abroad, especially one that had
      been confirmed by the Synod of Bishops (with Metropolitan Vitaly's
      participation and with his signature on it). The First Hierarch has no
      authority to overturn or rescind a decision of the Synod of Bishops, as it
      is a higher authority than his.

      >� If you acknowledged that Father Stephan Pavlenko did not
      >understand exactly that the priests did accept to commemorate the
      >bishop while waiting for a judgement (which appeared true on this

      It has been made clear on this forum (by you, actually) that the mutinous
      priests were placing **conditions** on their agreeing to commemorate their
      Ruling Bishop--conditions that were rejected by the Synod of Bishops.

      >� If you acknowledged that you were mistaken in believing that
      >obedience to the bishop was a prerequisite condition for the priest
      >to keep their priesthood (which is evidently not the case).

      I don't acknowledge that at all.

      When I was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, I gave an oath before
      the Holy Cross and Holy Gospel that I would be loyal and obedient to my

      It is the bishop who places the epitrachelion on the neck of the priest and
      gives him a blessing to serve.

      If the bishop wishes to remove that blessing and tells me to hang up my
      epitrachelion (i.e. places me under suspension), I in obedience and
      humility must comply.

      By being ordained and promising loyalty and obedience to my hierarchy, I
      also agreed to have the hierarchy decide how and when to punish me,
      including suspension and deposition from holy orders.

      By being ordained and promising loyalty and obedience to my hierarchy, I
      also accepted the consequences for my actions-- that if I would dare to
      serve under suspension, I could be automatically deposed from holy orders.

      When the errant clergy in France accept the same position, then maybe the
      following could occur:

      >Then the judgement would be annulled, unity and peace in God would
      >return to our Church, the priests would be back in her fold, and the
      >schism would be over (Some economia might be applied as needed).
      >There is no shame in acknowledging an error, on the contrary. "If any
      >one ... is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone..."
      >(John 8:6-8)

      However, Vladimir, you are focusing only on the issue of suspensions and
      depositions and the question of commemoration of Bishop Ambrose with regard
      to his concelebrations.

      But, unfortunately, the problems are far deeper.

      See the insulting tone and the crude and rude language of the latest
      missive by the chief ideologist of the French schism, Protodeacon German
      Ivanov-Trinadsatyj, at:


      Do you think, Vladimir, after reading that article, that this type of
      vitriol is conducive to mending the unfortunate rift in Europe among our
      former clergy?

      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff

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    • sergerust2002 <sergerust@hotmail.com>
      ... Well, your arithmetic is mistaken, father. The 2 Castelbajacs broke with bishop Amvrossy – this was the very matter discussed – still you count them on
      Message 44 of 44 , Dec 13, 2002
        Fr Alexander (Lebedeff) wrote:

        > how in the world could you and your people say, as they did,
        > again and again, that the "majority" of the clergy
        > of the Western-European Diocese broke with Bishop Amvrossy?

        Well, your arithmetic is mistaken, father.

        The 2 Castelbajacs broke with bishop Amvrossy – this was the very
        matter discussed – still you count them on "your side".

        Moreover, 2 other priests – not mentioned at all in your count
        – left communion with vl. Lavr and joined vl. Varnava / Met.
        Vitaly, but somehow you want to hide the matter to the List.

        Last but not least, you count priest Adrian Eschevarria among the
        ecclesiastically correct.

        How come ?

        I thought he had been banned, together with priest Paul Tsvetkov
        (who, subsequently repented) as a result of their public letter of
        October 1/14 2000 (1)

        Serge Rust

        (1) It might be worth reading this public and instructive letter:

        Geneva, October 1/14, 2000

        Dear parishioners,

        On the eve of the XXth century, our parish is at a turning point of
        its existence.

        Many persons among the responsible parish organs expressed their wish
        on one hand not to stay away anymore from the ecclesial renewal in
        the Russian Church (to which our community is historically linked)
        and, on the other hand, to be able to fully commune with the orthodox
        pleroma from now on.

        In response to the desire expressed by a part of the clergy and by
        the Parish Council to join the Church of Russia, we very recently
        received a proposal of His Holiness Alexis 2, Patriarch of Moscow and
        of all Russia, to receive us in the bosom of the Moscow Patriarchate,
        and to grant to our Parish the stavropigical status, i.e. of total
        administrative and financial independence. The building and the goods
        of our church will not be alienated by an external power, and the
        members of the clergy will keep their posts.

        The Parish Council, nearly in its entirety, finds it opportune to
        answer favorably to this proposal. It is time, indeed, that mistrust,
        ignorance and resentment give place to confidence, comprehension and
        love in Christ.

        We are conscious that some of you will be shocked, or even indignant,
        by this perspective. Alas, the recent positions taken by the ROCOR
        Synod of Bishops do not leave us other choices if we want to remain
        members of the universal Orthodox Church.

        We wish however to consult you. You will find attached a
        "Reminder of the main events of the Russian Orthodox Church since
        reestablishment of the Patriarchate in 1917". With this
        information, you are kindly invited to express your opinion in
        written, in Russian or in French, and to mail it to us before October
        31, at the Chancellery of the church (Fr Paul or fr Adrain, Russian
        orthodox church, 18 Baumont street, 1206 Geneva). Your personal
        notice will be read only by your priests, who will draw an anonymous

        May our Lord ... by the intercession of ... by the prayers of ...
        bless you and grant you the wisdom so that we may do the right choice.

        Priest Adrien Echevarria Archpriest Paul Tzvetkoff
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