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Praying with heretics – so what?

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  • sergerust2002
    ... So what ? We know it was a concert. That s not the question. The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts prayers or are they not ? ... Fr
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 26, 2002
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      Fr Stefan wrote :
      > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
      > C O N C E R T!!!!!!

      So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
      The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts prayers or
      are they not ?


      > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
      > and you are not allowing your self to understand.

      Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be « unlocked », then
      please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or when
      you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you fall
      asleep), are you praying or are you not?

      I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
      underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?

      "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain
      nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour is
      coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father
      in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is
      spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
      (John 4-21...)


      In Christ,
      Serge Rust
    • Hristofor
      ... I blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Vladyka Ilarion. On the way back to the bus from (I belive) the Pool of Siloam, we stopped in to a
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 26, 2002
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        At 08:16 PM 10/26/2002, you wrote:
        >So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question. The question
        >was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts prayers or are they not ?

        I blessed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Vladyka Ilarion. On
        the way back to the bus from (I belive) the Pool of Siloam, we stopped in
        to a Catholic church nearby. As is the custom on ROCA pilgrimages, our
        whole group sang an appropriate tropar at the site (regardless if the site
        is in Orthodox, heterodox, Muslim or Jewish hands.). A group of heterodox
        pilgrims were so moved they asked us to sing once again, which we did.
        Although the tropar was in Church Slavonic, what if we sung in English and
        we happened to sing Our Father? Surely, knowingly or unknowingly, the
        heterodox English speakers would "have prayed along", wouldn't they have?
        Would THAT be considered an ecumenical prayer service?

        The extremes that the ROCiEites now go to makes me surprised that they did
        not splinter off earlier...

        Hristofor
      • stefanvpavlenko
        Mr. Rust, Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a room in which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that room who is not
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 27, 2002
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          Mr. Rust,

          Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a room in
          which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that room
          who is not Orthodox is also praying, you then are >>anathema<<
          because interfaith prayer has occurred,
          ...welcome Serge to the depths of HELL.
          If you pray at a CONCERT, and someone else happens to be praying at
          that concert, it is not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE -it is not interfaith
          prayer, it is a CONCERT.
          It is fruitless and sinful to continue this ignorant discussion.
          Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko



          --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...> wrote:
          > Fr Stefan wrote :
          > > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
          > > C O N C E R T!!!!!!
          >
          > So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
          > The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts prayers
          or
          > are they not ?
          >
          >
          > > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
          > > and you are not allowing your self to understand.
          >
          > Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be « unlocked », then
          > please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or when
          > you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you fall
          > asleep), are you praying or are you not?
          >
          > I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
          > underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?
          >
          > "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this
          mountain
          > nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour is
          > coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
          Father
          > in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God
          is
          > spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
          truth."
          > (John 4-21...)
          >
          >
          > In Christ,
          > Serge Rust
        • goossir
          Dear Father Stephan, Bless ! This « CONCERT » in Geneva was organised and planned between a couple of Jewish choirs and The Choir of the Russian Orthodox
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 27, 2002
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            Dear Father Stephan, Bless !

            This « CONCERT » in Geneva was organised and planned between a
            couple of Jewish choirs and The Choir of the Russian Orthodox
            Church. How can this be found normal, especially when you read the
            following?
            David Starr (thank you David!) quoted in post 6762: "When St. John
            the Divine (II Jn. 7-10) says that we cannot even welcome or bless
            the deceivers who deny that "Christ is come in the flesh".
            How can a Christian accept that an official Orthodox choir sings
            prayers with official "deceivers who deny that Christ is come in the
            flesh" Where is the logic? How can both coincide?
            I am sorry, I do not understand.

            If it was traditional, folkloric music, why not? But it is the
            chanting of Psalms. Yes, Psalms were Jewish, the Chosen People,
            when they were singing the glory of God, and preparing the venue of
            Christ. But, now, those who call themselves Jews refused him, by
            this they separated from us.
            For 2000 years, the Jewish people (meaning here religion) are aware
            of Christianity. For 2000 years they still refute Christ, Son of
            god. They still await the messiah. So, why mingle with those who
            deny us? Why try to be "nice" and in this way support them in their
            heresy?

            You are hoping that some could convert. But, if they wanted to
            convert, then they will come in our choir, like the Yale choir which
            was several times mentioned to give credit to this concert.
            Being open does not mean to go and flatter, compromise or ignore
            people in their mistakes but to have our house open to anyone who
            wants to come and learn. Being open also means to testify for the
            Truth, which is the best way to show your love.
            All these stories about praying in a plane, or any X places next to
            Muslims, Jews, etc. are ludicrous. It is of course not considered
            as interfaith praying.
            You are mixing two fundamental things:
            One is an organised, planned, voluntary event with heretics, another
            is an unplanned, sudden, involuntary happening. This was already
            explained in previous posts.
            This kind of mixing the genres to give the impression that some
            condemn things or people that should not be condemned, and make them
            look like some kind of fanatic, is not very loyal.

            Yours in Christ,
            Irina Pahlen

            In orthodox-synod@y..., "stefanvpavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@n...>
            wrote:
            > Mr. Rust,

            > Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a room
            in
            > which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that
            room
            > who is not Orthodox is also praying, you then are >>anathema<<
            > because interfaith prayer has occurred,
            > ...welcome Serge to the depths of HELL.
            > If you pray at a CONCERT, and someone else happens to be praying
            at
            > that concert, it is not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE -it is not
            interfaith
            > prayer, it is a CONCERT.
            > It is fruitless and sinful to continue this ignorant discussion.
            > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...> wrote:
            > > Fr Stefan wrote :
            > > > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
            > > > C O N C E R T!!!!!!
            > >
            > > So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
            > > The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts
            prayers
            > or
            > > are they not ?
            > >
            > >
            > > > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
            > > > and you are not allowing your self to understand.
            > >
            > > Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be « unlocked », then
            > > please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or when
            > > you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you fall
            > > asleep), are you praying or are you not?
            > >
            > > I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
            > > underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?
            > >
            > > "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this
            > mountain
            > > nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour is
            > > coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
            > Father
            > > in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
            God
            > is
            > > spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
            > truth."
            > > (John 4-21...)
            > >
            > >
            > > In Christ,
            > > Serge Rust
          • stefanvpavlenko
            This is an endless and fruitless argument, Please refer to message N0. 6782 and see what Metropolitan, now in ROAC Saint Philaret blessed… was that
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 27, 2002
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              This is an endless and fruitless argument, Please refer to message
              N0. 6782 and see what Metropolitan, now in ROAC "Saint Philaret"
              blessed… was that Ecumenism. All these people from ROCiE and other
              schismatic groupings claim that there is a shift in the actions of
              the Church Abroad from what it was in the past, and then when the
              past events are compared to the so called "new direction" we see that
              there is no change, or that ROCOR ( L ) is stricter than the ROCOR of
              years ago!
              Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko

              --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "goossir" <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
              > Dear Father Stephan, Bless !
              >
              > This « CONCERT » in Geneva was organised and planned between a
              > couple of Jewish choirs and The Choir of the Russian Orthodox
              > Church. How can this be found normal, especially when you read the
              > following?
              > David Starr (thank you David!) quoted in post 6762: "When St. John
              > the Divine (II Jn. 7-10) says that we cannot even welcome or bless
              > the deceivers who deny that "Christ is come in the flesh".
              > How can a Christian accept that an official Orthodox choir sings
              > prayers with official "deceivers who deny that Christ is come in
              the
              > flesh" Where is the logic? How can both coincide?
              > I am sorry, I do not understand.
              >
              > If it was traditional, folkloric music, why not? But it is the
              > chanting of Psalms. Yes, Psalms were Jewish, the Chosen People,
              > when they were singing the glory of God, and preparing the venue of
              > Christ. But, now, those who call themselves Jews refused him, by
              > this they separated from us.
              > For 2000 years, the Jewish people (meaning here religion) are aware
              > of Christianity. For 2000 years they still refute Christ, Son of
              > god. They still await the messiah. So, why mingle with those who
              > deny us? Why try to be "nice" and in this way support them in
              their
              > heresy?
              >
              > You are hoping that some could convert. But, if they wanted to
              > convert, then they will come in our choir, like the Yale choir
              which
              > was several times mentioned to give credit to this concert.
              > Being open does not mean to go and flatter, compromise or ignore
              > people in their mistakes but to have our house open to anyone who
              > wants to come and learn. Being open also means to testify for the
              > Truth, which is the best way to show your love.
              > All these stories about praying in a plane, or any X places next to
              > Muslims, Jews, etc. are ludicrous. It is of course not considered
              > as interfaith praying.
              > You are mixing two fundamental things:
              > One is an organised, planned, voluntary event with heretics,
              another
              > is an unplanned, sudden, involuntary happening. This was already
              > explained in previous posts.
              > This kind of mixing the genres to give the impression that some
              > condemn things or people that should not be condemned, and make
              them
              > look like some kind of fanatic, is not very loyal.
              >
              > Yours in Christ,
              > Irina Pahlen
              >
              > In orthodox-synod@y..., "stefanvpavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@n...>
              > wrote:
              > > Mr. Rust,
              >
              > > Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a room
              > in
              > > which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that
              > room
              > > who is not Orthodox is also praying, you then are >>anathema<<
              > > because interfaith prayer has occurred,
              > > ...welcome Serge to the depths of HELL.
              > > If you pray at a CONCERT, and someone else happens to be praying
              > at
              > > that concert, it is not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE -it is not
              > interfaith
              > > prayer, it is a CONCERT.
              > > It is fruitless and sinful to continue this ignorant discussion.
              > > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...>
              wrote:
              > > > Fr Stefan wrote :
              > > > > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
              > > > > C O N C E R T!!!!!!
              > > >
              > > > So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
              > > > The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts
              > prayers
              > > or
              > > > are they not ?
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
              > > > > and you are not allowing your self to understand.
              > > >
              > > > Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be « unlocked », then
              > > > please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or when
              > > > you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you fall
              > > > asleep), are you praying or are you not?
              > > >
              > > > I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
              > > > underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?
              > > >
              > > > "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this
              > > mountain
              > > > nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour is
              > > > coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
              > > Father
              > > > in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.
              > God
              > > is
              > > > spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
              > > truth."
              > > > (John 4-21...)
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > In Christ,
              > > > Serge Rust
            • vkozyreff
              Dear Father Stefan, bless. We all have trespassed the rules out of compassion, incorrectly understood brotherly love, etc. I have been part of a common choir
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 28, 2002
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                Dear Father Stefan, bless.

                We all have trespassed the rules out of compassion, incorrectly
                understood brotherly love, etc. I have been part of a common choir
                (MP, Constantinople and ROCA). In most cases, we were wrong, with the
                exception of possible economia applications.

                The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the rule
                and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.

                We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP, when
                in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see it
                with our own eyes in deeds. People get excommunicated for objecting
                to this.

                In God,

                Vladimir Kozyreff




                --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "stefanvpavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@n...>
                wrote:
                > This is an endless and fruitless argument, Please refer to message
                > N0. 6782 and see what Metropolitan, now in ROAC "Saint Philaret"
                > blessed… was that Ecumenism. All these people from ROCiE and other
                > schismatic groupings claim that there is a shift in the actions of
                > the Church Abroad from what it was in the past, and then when the
                > past events are compared to the so called "new direction" we see
                that
                > there is no change, or that ROCOR ( L ) is stricter than the ROCOR
                of
                > years ago!
                > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                >
                > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "goossir" <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                > > Dear Father Stephan, Bless !
                > >
                > > This « CONCERT » in Geneva was organised and planned between a
                > > couple of Jewish choirs and The Choir of the Russian Orthodox
                > > Church. How can this be found normal, especially when you read
                the
                > > following?
                > > David Starr (thank you David!) quoted in post 6762: "When St.
                John
                > > the Divine (II Jn. 7-10) says that we cannot even welcome or
                bless
                > > the deceivers who deny that "Christ is come in the flesh".
                > > How can a Christian accept that an official Orthodox choir sings
                > > prayers with official "deceivers who deny that Christ is come in
                > the
                > > flesh" Where is the logic? How can both coincide?
                > > I am sorry, I do not understand.
                > >
                > > If it was traditional, folkloric music, why not? But it is the
                > > chanting of Psalms. Yes, Psalms were Jewish, the Chosen People,
                > > when they were singing the glory of God, and preparing the venue
                of
                > > Christ. But, now, those who call themselves Jews refused him, by
                > > this they separated from us.
                > > For 2000 years, the Jewish people (meaning here religion) are
                aware
                > > of Christianity. For 2000 years they still refute Christ, Son of
                > > god. They still await the messiah. So, why mingle with those who
                > > deny us? Why try to be "nice" and in this way support them in
                > their
                > > heresy?
                > >
                > > You are hoping that some could convert. But, if they wanted to
                > > convert, then they will come in our choir, like the Yale choir
                > which
                > > was several times mentioned to give credit to this concert.
                > > Being open does not mean to go and flatter, compromise or ignore
                > > people in their mistakes but to have our house open to anyone who
                > > wants to come and learn. Being open also means to testify for
                the
                > > Truth, which is the best way to show your love.
                > > All these stories about praying in a plane, or any X places next
                to
                > > Muslims, Jews, etc. are ludicrous. It is of course not
                considered
                > > as interfaith praying.
                > > You are mixing two fundamental things:
                > > One is an organised, planned, voluntary event with heretics,
                > another
                > > is an unplanned, sudden, involuntary happening. This was
                already
                > > explained in previous posts.
                > > This kind of mixing the genres to give the impression that some
                > > condemn things or people that should not be condemned, and make
                > them
                > > look like some kind of fanatic, is not very loyal.
                > >
                > > Yours in Christ,
                > > Irina Pahlen
                > >
                > > In orthodox-synod@y..., "stefanvpavlenko" <StefanVPavlenko@n...>
                > > wrote:
                > > > Mr. Rust,
                > >
                > > > Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a
                room
                > > in
                > > > which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that
                > > room
                > > > who is not Orthodox is also praying, you then are >>anathema<<
                > > > because interfaith prayer has occurred,
                > > > ...welcome Serge to the depths of HELL.
                > > > If you pray at a CONCERT, and someone else happens to be
                praying
                > > at
                > > > that concert, it is not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE -it is not
                > > interfaith
                > > > prayer, it is a CONCERT.
                > > > It is fruitless and sinful to continue this ignorant discussion.
                > > > Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...>
                > wrote:
                > > > > Fr Stefan wrote :
                > > > > > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
                > > > > > C O N C E R T!!!!!!
                > > > >
                > > > > So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
                > > > > The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts
                > > prayers
                > > > or
                > > > > are they not ?
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
                > > > > > and you are not allowing your self to understand.
                > > > >
                > > > > Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be « unlocked », then
                > > > > please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or
                when
                > > > > you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you
                fall
                > > > > asleep), are you praying or are you not?
                > > > >
                > > > > I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
                > > > > underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?
                > > > >
                > > > > "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this
                > > > mountain
                > > > > nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour
                is
                > > > > coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
                > > > Father
                > > > > in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship
                him.
                > > God
                > > > is
                > > > > spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
                > > > truth."
                > > > > (John 4-21...)
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > In Christ,
                > > > > Serge Rust
              • larry most
                GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST - GLORY TO HIM FOREVER I AGREE stefanvpavlenko wrote:Mr. Rust, Then we are back again to the argument that
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 28, 2002
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                  GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST - GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
                  I AGREE
                  stefanvpavlenko <StefanVPavlenko@...> wrote:Mr. Rust,

                  Then we are back again to the argument that if you are in a room in
                  which you may be praying and at that time someone else in that room
                  who is not Orthodox is also praying, you then are >>anathema<<
                  because interfaith prayer has occurred,
                  ...welcome Serge to the depths of HELL.
                  If you pray at a CONCERT, and someone else happens to be praying at
                  that concert, it is not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE -it is not interfaith
                  prayer, it is a CONCERT.
                  It is fruitless and sinful to continue this ignorant discussion.
                  Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko



                  --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...> wrote:
                  > Fr Stefan wrote :
                  > > It was not an INTER-FAITH SERVICE, it was a
                  > > C O N C E R T!!!!!!
                  >
                  > So what ? We know it was a concert. That's not the question.
                  > The question was: are the Psalms and the Liturgical texts prayers
                  or
                  > are they not ?
                  >
                  >
                  > > Vladimir, you are locked into your incorrect reasoning
                  > > and you are not allowing your self to understand.
                  >
                  > Fr Stefan, if you have the chance to be � unlocked �, then
                  > please respond to Mr Kozyreff's question : when you sing or when
                  > you hear a Psalm, be it in a concert hall (and unless you fall
                  > asleep), are you praying or are you not?
                  >
                  > I may be in the church, on the roof, in weightlessness or
                  > underwater : if I say a psalm I pray, don't I ?
                  >
                  > "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this
                  mountain
                  > nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father ...But the hour is
                  > coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the
                  Father
                  > in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God
                  is
                  > spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
                  truth."
                  > (John 4-21...)
                  >
                  >
                  > In Christ,
                  > Serge Rust


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                • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                  ... There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than those that forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops and create a
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 29, 2002
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                    Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:


                    >The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the rule
                    >and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.

                    There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than those that
                    forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops and
                    create a schismatic group.

                    Such behavior is, of course, correctly sanctioned by excommunication.

                    What is amazing is how you and others are grasping at straws in order to
                    justify your unlawful separation from your lawfully appointed bishop.

                    Allowing members of a church choir to sing in a concert in which members of
                    a Jewish choir are also singing--each group separately--does not make a
                    bishop a heretic.

                    I am confident that not one bishop of the Church Abroad and not one
                    clergyman of the Church Abroad considers Bishop Ambrose to be a heretic
                    because of the Geneva choir's participation in this concert.

                    So you are standing quite alone in your falsely drawn conclusions.



                    >We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                    >sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP, when
                    >in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see it
                    >with our own eyes in deeds.


                    You know, I thought you yourself had stated that Bishop Ambrose had said
                    something quite different: that the obstacles to rapprochement with the MP
                    are "only psychological"--not that he had actually said that "ecumenism and
                    sergianism are more an obstacle."

                    Now you say that what you had previously admitted was something that had
                    not said but only implied--you actually heard him say with your own ears.

                    So, which is it, Vladimir?

                    Did he say "only psychological obstacles"? Or did he actually say
                    "sergianism and ecumenism are no more an obstacle", as you now aver?



                    > People get excommunicated for objecting
                    >to this.

                    No, people get excommunicated for going into schism, which is worse than
                    heresy, according to the Holy Fathers.

                    Here is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, signed by Metropolitan Vitaly, to
                    the French clergy, announcing their suspensions and the reasons for the
                    suspensions. Also a clear opportunity for them to repent and be reinstated
                    was offered--and, finally, a summons giving them the opportunity to present
                    themselves in person before Archbishop Laurus and other Bishops of the
                    Synod in Munich on May 2, 2001, where their future would be discussed.

                    ============================================

                    Ukaz
                    From the Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

                    The following clergy of the Western-European Dioceses: Protopriest Michel
                    de Castelbajac, protopriest Benjamin Joukov, protopriest Paul Poirier,
                    protopriest Radu Apostolescu, priest Nikolai Semenov, priest Quentin de
                    Castelbajac, priest Nikolai Apostolescu, protodeacon Vsevolozhski,
                    protodeacon German Ivanov 13th.
                    --------------------------------------------
                    The Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia On
                    April 11/24, 2001 has heard:

                    A written report dated February10/23 2001 by two clerics -- protopriest
                    George Larin and protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, wherein they detailed their
                    investigation concerning the unrest within the Western-European Diocese.
                    They spent there 11 days.

                    The Bishop's Synod, upon an exhaustive review of the above mentioned
                    report, has determined:

                    The above named clerics, for the violation of Church discipline and the
                    disobedience to the Higher Church Authority, and for the refusal to pray
                    during services for their duly appointed by the Sobor of 2000 Diocese
                    Hierarch, Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose, on the basis of the Church Canons
                    of the Twice-Called Council 14th and 15th, and the Apostolic Canons 25 and
                    31 are suspended by the Bishop's Synod until their full repentance.

                    If they repent and agree not only to commemorate, but also to obey their
                    ruling hierarch. Bishop Ambrose, they will stop their rebellion against
                    church authority and then may be returned to service.

                    All of them must come to Munich on May 2, 2001 (new style) to meet with
                    Archbishop Laurus to discuss their future position.

                    They are to be given [these] ukazes,

                    + Metropolitan Vitaly
                    Chairman of the Bishop's Synod

                    +Archbishop Laurus
                    Secretary of the Bishop's Synod
                    ========================================

                    This Ukaz and Summons are the canonically correct way of dealing with
                    clergy who have violated the Canons and gone into rebellion against their
                    bishop.

                    Instead of humbly accepting the appeal to repent and return to obedience
                    and going to the appointed meeting, the French clergy spurned the appeal
                    and wrote a very haughty reply:



                    ========================================
                    Address of the West-European Diocese Clergy to Archbishop Laurus.

                    Your Eminence,

                    Christ is Risen!

                    On the eve of the Synod of Archbishops we once again addressed you with a
                    humble request, because of your visit to Europe, to arrange a meeting with
                    us in France.

                    In response to this some of us were informed by fax that you summon us all
                    to Munich on May 2-nd. For most of us, even for professional reasons, such
                    a short notice gives no chance to respond to this summons.

                    Besides, you invite us not to find a positive solution to this unbelievable
                    situation in which we were put in by the decision of the October Sobor, but
                    we have to appear wearing the brand of suspension.

                    Under such circumstances, what meaning do you attach to this impossible
                    rendez-vous?

                    As far as we are concerned, we see none.


                    We ask for your holy prayers,

                    West-European Diocese Clergy

                    17/30 April 2001

                    Copy: to Metropolitan Vitaly.


                    ======================================================

                    Tell me honestly, Vladimir.

                    Is this the correct response of clergy to a formal Ukaz and Summons from
                    their Metropolitan and Synod of Bishops?

                    Remember, all of these are **Clergy** of a hierarchical Church, and subject
                    to its discipline.

                    They all swore a solemn oath before the Gospel and Cross, at the time of
                    their ordination, of fealty, loyalty and obedience to their hierarchical
                    superiors--their ruling bishop and the Synod of Bishops of the Church Abroad.

                    So, instead of responding,

                    "Yes, Your Eminences, we accept with humility the suspension placed on us
                    by the Synod of Bishops and we will be in Munich on the date appointed. We
                    welcome the opportunity to present our case in person."

                    --which would have been the proper Orthodox response--

                    they responded, basically:

                    "We won't come. Our other "professional responsibilities" are more
                    important than the issue of our standing as clergy of the Church. Although
                    we are just a few hours by train or car from Munich, your summons, faxed to
                    us five days ahead, came too late for us to drop everything and get out
                    there, although our future as clergy is at stake.

                    Besides, we disparage your motives ahead of time, without even appearing
                    before you and hearing what you have to say.

                    So, get lost."
                    ========================================

                    In light of this, Vladimir, or Irene, or Serge, please don't tell me that
                    the bishops "refused to hear" the French clergy. The Synod, at great
                    expense, sent a special delegation of two highly-respected Archpriests to
                    meet with the clergy in France and Belgium. The two priests the Synod sent
                    had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type
                    leather-jacketed thugs in Brussels, who told them that they would "break
                    their faces" if they tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized them to
                    serve at the Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what these
                    "revniteli blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)

                    And the bottom line is, when the French clergy were summoned to a meeting
                    with the bishops in Munich--they refused to go.

                    And that's that.



                    With love in Christ,

                    Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                  • vkozyreff
                    Dear Father Alexander, bless. You write: The two priests the Synod sent had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type leather-jacketed
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Father Alexander, bless.

                      You write: "The two priests the Synod sent had to endure even threats
                      of physical violence from Soviet-type leather-jacketed thugs in
                      Brussels, who told them that they would "break their faces" if they
                      tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized them to serve at the
                      Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what these "revniteli
                      blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)"

                      Indeed, many "new Russians" in our parish found it particularly
                      offensive to see the bishop considering that there were no obstacles
                      to our reunion with the MP (except psychological ones). Why then,
                      they say, did we come to the ROCA?

                      This case has already been discussed on this forum. We have already
                      reported that the person who had threatened Father Stefan Pavlenko in
                      words had prostrated before him on the next day and asked pardon.
                      Father Stefan Pavlenko and he have then embraced one another as a
                      sign that peace had been restored between them. The sin has thus been
                      forgiven by Father Stefan and probably by God too. The verbal
                      aggressor has given us all a beautiful example as to what to do when
                      we have offended someone.

                      I suggest we follow the following principles in pour discussions:

                      1. Let us not use personal sins as evidence that a position that we
                      do not like and that happens to be that of a sinner is wrong,
                      especially if the sin has already been confessed and forgiven. St
                      Peter did attack the soldier that had come to arrest Christ. This
                      does not demonstrate that loving Christ is wrong. St Peter is one of
                      the greatest saints. The fact that I, sinner, have wrongly defended
                      my faith does not demonstrate that my faith is wrong.

                      2. When we have offended somebody, let us ask forgiveness to God and
                      to the person that we have offended as soon as reason comes back to
                      us.

                      3. Let us remember that for a Christian, pardoning is not optional
                      but mandatory, whether the offender has or has not asked for
                      forgiveness. In pardoning, we are not so much helping the offender,
                      than helping ourselves in our salvation. As we have judged, we will
                      be judged. Very often, our neighbour's sin has already pardoned by
                      God before we know it ourselves

                      Asking pardon is much more difficult for the offender that for the
                      offended to pardon. This must make us forbearing when we are offended.

                      When God has granted His pardon, all is for Him as if the sin had
                      never been committed. Reminding the pardoned sin to the person that
                      has been forgiven is a sin. Let us not have a longer memory than
                      God's.

                      I confess that most often, I am too weak to observe the principles
                      that I have just mentioned. Please help me when I will need it and do
                      not condemn me too quickly when I fail.

                      In Christ and asking pardon to all those that I have offended,

                      Vladimir Kozyreff


                      --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > >The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the rule
                      > >and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.
                      >
                      > There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than
                      those that
                      > forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops
                      and
                      > create a schismatic group.
                      >
                      > Such behavior is, of course, correctly sanctioned by
                      excommunication.
                      >
                      > What is amazing is how you and others are grasping at straws in
                      order to
                      > justify your unlawful separation from your lawfully appointed
                      bishop.
                      >
                      > Allowing members of a church choir to sing in a concert in which
                      members of
                      > a Jewish choir are also singing--each group separately--does not
                      make a
                      > bishop a heretic.
                      >
                      > I am confident that not one bishop of the Church Abroad and not one
                      > clergyman of the Church Abroad considers Bishop Ambrose to be a
                      heretic
                      > because of the Geneva choir's participation in this concert.
                      >
                      > So you are standing quite alone in your falsely drawn conclusions.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > >We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                      > >sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP, when
                      > >in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see it
                      > >with our own eyes in deeds.
                      >
                      >
                      > You know, I thought you yourself had stated that Bishop Ambrose had
                      said
                      > something quite different: that the obstacles to rapprochement with
                      the MP
                      > are "only psychological"--not that he had actually said
                      that "ecumenism and
                      > sergianism are more an obstacle."
                      >
                      > Now you say that what you had previously admitted was something
                      that had
                      > not said but only implied--you actually heard him say with your own
                      ears.
                      >
                      > So, which is it, Vladimir?
                      >
                      > Did he say "only psychological obstacles"? Or did he actually say
                      > "sergianism and ecumenism are no more an obstacle", as you now aver?
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > > People get excommunicated for objecting
                      > >to this.
                      >
                      > No, people get excommunicated for going into schism, which is worse
                      than
                      > heresy, according to the Holy Fathers.
                      >
                      > Here is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, signed by Metropolitan
                      Vitaly, to
                      > the French clergy, announcing their suspensions and the reasons for
                      the
                      > suspensions. Also a clear opportunity for them to repent and be
                      reinstated
                      > was offered--and, finally, a summons giving them the opportunity to
                      present
                      > themselves in person before Archbishop Laurus and other Bishops of
                      the
                      > Synod in Munich on May 2, 2001, where their future would be
                      discussed.
                      >
                      > ============================================
                      >
                      > Ukaz
                      > From the Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                      Russia
                      >
                      > The following clergy of the Western-European Dioceses: Protopriest
                      Michel
                      > de Castelbajac, protopriest Benjamin Joukov, protopriest Paul
                      Poirier,
                      > protopriest Radu Apostolescu, priest Nikolai Semenov, priest
                      Quentin de
                      > Castelbajac, priest Nikolai Apostolescu, protodeacon Vsevolozhski,
                      > protodeacon German Ivanov 13th.
                      > --------------------------------------------
                      > The Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                      On
                      > April 11/24, 2001 has heard:
                      >
                      > A written report dated February10/23 2001 by two clerics --
                      protopriest
                      > George Larin and protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, wherein they detailed
                      their
                      > investigation concerning the unrest within the Western-European
                      Diocese.
                      > They spent there 11 days.
                      >
                      > The Bishop's Synod, upon an exhaustive review of the above
                      mentioned
                      > report, has determined:
                      >
                      > The above named clerics, for the violation of Church discipline and
                      the
                      > disobedience to the Higher Church Authority, and for the refusal to
                      pray
                      > during services for their duly appointed by the Sobor of 2000
                      Diocese
                      > Hierarch, Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose, on the basis of the Church
                      Canons
                      > of the Twice-Called Council 14th and 15th, and the Apostolic Canons
                      25 and
                      > 31 are suspended by the Bishop's Synod until their full repentance.
                      >
                      > If they repent and agree not only to commemorate, but also to obey
                      their
                      > ruling hierarch. Bishop Ambrose, they will stop their rebellion
                      against
                      > church authority and then may be returned to service.
                      >
                      > All of them must come to Munich on May 2, 2001 (new style) to meet
                      with
                      > Archbishop Laurus to discuss their future position.
                      >
                      > They are to be given [these] ukazes,
                      >
                      > + Metropolitan Vitaly
                      > Chairman of the Bishop's Synod
                      >
                      > +Archbishop Laurus
                      > Secretary of the Bishop's Synod
                      > ========================================
                      >
                      > This Ukaz and Summons are the canonically correct way of dealing
                      with
                      > clergy who have violated the Canons and gone into rebellion against
                      their
                      > bishop.
                      >
                      > Instead of humbly accepting the appeal to repent and return to
                      obedience
                      > and going to the appointed meeting, the French clergy spurned the
                      appeal
                      > and wrote a very haughty reply:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ========================================
                      > Address of the West-European Diocese Clergy to Archbishop Laurus.
                      >
                      > Your Eminence,
                      >
                      > Christ is Risen!
                      >
                      > On the eve of the Synod of Archbishops we once again addressed you
                      with a
                      > humble request, because of your visit to Europe, to arrange a
                      meeting with
                      > us in France.
                      >
                      > In response to this some of us were informed by fax that you summon
                      us all
                      > to Munich on May 2-nd. For most of us, even for professional
                      reasons, such
                      > a short notice gives no chance to respond to this summons.
                      >
                      > Besides, you invite us not to find a positive solution to this
                      unbelievable
                      > situation in which we were put in by the decision of the October
                      Sobor, but
                      > we have to appear wearing the brand of suspension.
                      >
                      > Under such circumstances, what meaning do you attach to this
                      impossible
                      > rendez-vous?
                      >
                      > As far as we are concerned, we see none.
                      >
                      >
                      > We ask for your holy prayers,
                      >
                      > West-European Diocese Clergy
                      >
                      > 17/30 April 2001
                      >
                      > Copy: to Metropolitan Vitaly.
                      >
                      >
                      > ======================================================
                      >
                      > Tell me honestly, Vladimir.
                      >
                      > Is this the correct response of clergy to a formal Ukaz and Summons
                      from
                      > their Metropolitan and Synod of Bishops?
                      >
                      > Remember, all of these are **Clergy** of a hierarchical Church, and
                      subject
                      > to its discipline.
                      >
                      > They all swore a solemn oath before the Gospel and Cross, at the
                      time of
                      > their ordination, of fealty, loyalty and obedience to their
                      hierarchical
                      > superiors--their ruling bishop and the Synod of Bishops of the
                      Church Abroad.
                      >
                      > So, instead of responding,
                      >
                      > "Yes, Your Eminences, we accept with humility the suspension placed
                      on us
                      > by the Synod of Bishops and we will be in Munich on the date
                      appointed. We
                      > welcome the opportunity to present our case in person."
                      >
                      > --which would have been the proper Orthodox response--
                      >
                      > they responded, basically:
                      >
                      > "We won't come. Our other "professional responsibilities" are more
                      > important than the issue of our standing as clergy of the Church.
                      Although
                      > we are just a few hours by train or car from Munich, your summons,
                      faxed to
                      > us five days ahead, came too late for us to drop everything and get
                      out
                      > there, although our future as clergy is at stake.
                      >
                      > Besides, we disparage your motives ahead of time, without even
                      appearing
                      > before you and hearing what you have to say.
                      >
                      > So, get lost."
                      > ========================================
                      >
                      > In light of this, Vladimir, or Irene, or Serge, please don't tell
                      me that
                      > the bishops "refused to hear" the French clergy. The Synod, at
                      great
                      > expense, sent a special delegation of two highly-respected
                      Archpriests to
                      > meet with the clergy in France and Belgium. The two priests the
                      Synod sent
                      > had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type
                      > leather-jacketed thugs in Brussels, who told them that they
                      would "break
                      > their faces" if they tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized
                      them to
                      > serve at the Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what
                      these
                      > "revniteli blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)
                      >
                      > And the bottom line is, when the French clergy were summoned to a
                      meeting
                      > with the bishops in Munich--they refused to go.
                      >
                      > And that's that.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > With love in Christ,
                      >
                      > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                    • boulia_1
                      Dear brother in Christ Vladimir, God forgives. I appreciate your sentiments in this post: they are very noble and Orthodox. But I earnestly wonder, why did you
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dear brother in Christ Vladimir,

                        God forgives.

                        I appreciate your sentiments in this post: they are very noble and
                        Orthodox. But I earnestly wonder, why did you choose to respond only
                        to one of Father Alexander's comments; only to his small mention of a
                        thuggish parishioner threatening physical violence? It was fair of you
                        to explain on behalf of this man that he was later penitent and
                        forgiven, but is it fair to ignore the rest of the
                        Archpriest's message, which he clearly took time and care to prepare
                        for your benefit?

                        Father Alexander directly addressed the question which you, Irina
                        Pahlen, and others have raised repeatedly (ad nauseum) on this list:
                        you repeatedly have asserted that your beloved French clergymen were
                        not given the opportunity for a "fair trial" within the ecclesiastical
                        court system. This is the basis for your continuing stream of divisive
                        messages against our cross-bearing hierarchs, starting with
                        Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Mark, Bishop Amvrossy, etc.

                        Father Alexander has provided hard evidence that the French clergy
                        were, in fact, given an opportunity to be heard, which *they*
                        (disobediently and thus uncanonically, I presume) rejected outright
                        (and rather rudely, I would daresay). Did you not read that part?
                        Does it not touch your conscience or your intellect? Why only pick on
                        one splinter (the anecdotal mention of the violent -- later penitent
                        -- leather-clad man) when a large beam has been revealed?

                        You have repeatedly expressed that you love the Church sincerely, and
                        that you only, earnestly want answers to honest questions. An honest
                        answer has been authoritatively offered, with evidence: does it fall
                        on deaf ears? If so, then your motives for continued rabble-rousing
                        will be very questionable. If not, perhaps, thank God, you will accept
                        what is, find peace, and maybe could even be able to play a role in
                        mending the unfortunate damage that this "pozor" has wreaked for so
                        long.

                        I sincerely wish you the best, and beg pardon if I have offended.

                        In Christ's love,
                        Elizabeth





                        --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "vkozyreff" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>
                        wrote:
                        > Dear Father Alexander, bless.
                        >
                        > You write: "The two priests the Synod sent had to endure even
                        threats
                        > of physical violence from Soviet-type leather-jacketed thugs in
                        > Brussels, who told them that they would "break their faces" if they
                        > tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized them to serve at the
                        > Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what these "revniteli
                        > blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)"
                        >
                        > Indeed, many "new Russians" in our parish found it particularly
                        > offensive to see the bishop considering that there were no obstacles
                        > to our reunion with the MP (except psychological ones). Why then,
                        > they say, did we come to the ROCA?
                        >
                        > This case has already been discussed on this forum. We have already
                        > reported that the person who had threatened Father Stefan Pavlenko
                        in
                        > words had prostrated before him on the next day and asked pardon.
                        > Father Stefan Pavlenko and he have then embraced one another as a
                        > sign that peace had been restored between them. The sin has thus
                        been
                        > forgiven by Father Stefan and probably by God too. The verbal
                        > aggressor has given us all a beautiful example as to what to do when
                        > we have offended someone.
                        >
                        > I suggest we follow the following principles in pour discussions:
                        >
                        > 1. Let us not use personal sins as evidence that a position that we
                        > do not like and that happens to be that of a sinner is wrong,
                        > especially if the sin has already been confessed and forgiven. St
                        > Peter did attack the soldier that had come to arrest Christ. This
                        > does not demonstrate that loving Christ is wrong. St Peter is one of
                        > the greatest saints. The fact that I, sinner, have wrongly defended
                        > my faith does not demonstrate that my faith is wrong.
                        >
                        > 2. When we have offended somebody, let us ask forgiveness to God and
                        > to the person that we have offended as soon as reason comes back to
                        > us.
                        >
                        > 3. Let us remember that for a Christian, pardoning is not optional
                        > but mandatory, whether the offender has or has not asked for
                        > forgiveness. In pardoning, we are not so much helping the offender,
                        > than helping ourselves in our salvation. As we have judged, we will
                        > be judged. Very often, our neighbour's sin has already pardoned by
                        > God before we know it ourselves
                        >
                        > Asking pardon is much more difficult for the offender that for the
                        > offended to pardon. This must make us forbearing when we are
                        offended.
                        >
                        > When God has granted His pardon, all is for Him as if the sin had
                        > never been committed. Reminding the pardoned sin to the person that
                        > has been forgiven is a sin. Let us not have a longer memory than
                        > God's.
                        >
                        > I confess that most often, I am too weak to observe the principles
                        > that I have just mentioned. Please help me when I will need it and
                        do
                        > not condemn me too quickly when I fail.
                        >
                        > In Christ and asking pardon to all those that I have offended,
                        >
                        > Vladimir Kozyreff
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
                        > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > >The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the
                        rule
                        > > >and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.
                        > >
                        > > There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than
                        > those that
                        > > forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops
                        > and
                        > > create a schismatic group.
                        > >
                        > > Such behavior is, of course, correctly sanctioned by
                        > excommunication.
                        > >
                        > > What is amazing is how you and others are grasping at straws in
                        > order to
                        > > justify your unlawful separation from your lawfully appointed
                        > bishop.
                        > >
                        > > Allowing members of a church choir to sing in a concert in which
                        > members of
                        > > a Jewish choir are also singing--each group separately--does not
                        > make a
                        > > bishop a heretic.
                        > >
                        > > I am confident that not one bishop of the Church Abroad and not
                        one
                        > > clergyman of the Church Abroad considers Bishop Ambrose to be a
                        > heretic
                        > > because of the Geneva choir's participation in this concert.
                        > >
                        > > So you are standing quite alone in your falsely drawn conclusions.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > >We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                        > > >sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP,
                        when
                        > > >in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see
                        it
                        > > >with our own eyes in deeds.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > You know, I thought you yourself had stated that Bishop Ambrose
                        had
                        > said
                        > > something quite different: that the obstacles to rapprochement
                        with
                        > the MP
                        > > are "only psychological"--not that he had actually said
                        > that "ecumenism and
                        > > sergianism are more an obstacle."
                        > >
                        > > Now you say that what you had previously admitted was something
                        > that had
                        > > not said but only implied--you actually heard him say with your
                        own
                        > ears.
                        > >
                        > > So, which is it, Vladimir?
                        > >
                        > > Did he say "only psychological obstacles"? Or did he actually say
                        > > "sergianism and ecumenism are no more an obstacle", as you now
                        aver?
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > > People get excommunicated for objecting
                        > > >to this.
                        > >
                        > > No, people get excommunicated for going into schism, which is
                        worse
                        > than
                        > > heresy, according to the Holy Fathers.
                        > >
                        > > Here is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, signed by Metropolitan
                        > Vitaly, to
                        > > the French clergy, announcing their suspensions and the reasons
                        for
                        > the
                        > > suspensions. Also a clear opportunity for them to repent and be
                        > reinstated
                        > > was offered--and, finally, a summons giving them the opportunity
                        to
                        > present
                        > > themselves in person before Archbishop Laurus and other Bishops
                        of
                        > the
                        > > Synod in Munich on May 2, 2001, where their future would be
                        > discussed.
                        > >
                        > > ============================================
                        > >
                        > > Ukaz
                        > > From the Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                        > Russia
                        > >
                        > > The following clergy of the Western-European Dioceses: Protopriest
                        > Michel
                        > > de Castelbajac, protopriest Benjamin Joukov, protopriest Paul
                        > Poirier,
                        > > protopriest Radu Apostolescu, priest Nikolai Semenov, priest
                        > Quentin de
                        > > Castelbajac, priest Nikolai Apostolescu, protodeacon Vsevolozhski,
                        > > protodeacon German Ivanov 13th.
                        > > --------------------------------------------
                        > > The Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                        Russia
                        > On
                        > > April 11/24, 2001 has heard:
                        > >
                        > > A written report dated February10/23 2001 by two clerics --
                        > protopriest
                        > > George Larin and protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, wherein they
                        detailed
                        > their
                        > > investigation concerning the unrest within the Western-European
                        > Diocese.
                        > > They spent there 11 days.
                        > >
                        > > The Bishop's Synod, upon an exhaustive review of the above
                        > mentioned
                        > > report, has determined:
                        > >
                        > > The above named clerics, for the violation of Church discipline
                        and
                        > the
                        > > disobedience to the Higher Church Authority, and for the refusal
                        to
                        > pray
                        > > during services for their duly appointed by the Sobor of 2000
                        > Diocese
                        > > Hierarch, Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose, on the basis of the
                        Church
                        > Canons
                        > > of the Twice-Called Council 14th and 15th, and the Apostolic
                        Canons
                        > 25 and
                        > > 31 are suspended by the Bishop's Synod until their full
                        repentance.
                        > >
                        > > If they repent and agree not only to commemorate, but also to obey
                        > their
                        > > ruling hierarch. Bishop Ambrose, they will stop their rebellion
                        > against
                        > > church authority and then may be returned to service.
                        > >
                        > > All of them must come to Munich on May 2, 2001 (new style) to meet
                        > with
                        > > Archbishop Laurus to discuss their future position.
                        > >
                        > > They are to be given [these] ukazes,
                        > >
                        > > + Metropolitan Vitaly
                        > > Chairman of the Bishop's Synod
                        > >
                        > > +Archbishop Laurus
                        > > Secretary of the Bishop's Synod
                        > > ========================================
                        > >
                        > > This Ukaz and Summons are the canonically correct way of dealing
                        > with
                        > > clergy who have violated the Canons and gone into rebellion
                        against
                        > their
                        > > bishop.
                        > >
                        > > Instead of humbly accepting the appeal to repent and return to
                        > obedience
                        > > and going to the appointed meeting, the French clergy spurned the
                        > appeal
                        > > and wrote a very haughty reply:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ========================================
                        > > Address of the West-European Diocese Clergy to Archbishop Laurus.
                        > >
                        > > Your Eminence,
                        > >
                        > > Christ is Risen!
                        > >
                        > > On the eve of the Synod of Archbishops we once again addressed you
                        > with a
                        > > humble request, because of your visit to Europe, to arrange a
                        > meeting with
                        > > us in France.
                        > >
                        > > In response to this some of us were informed by fax that you
                        summon
                        > us all
                        > > to Munich on May 2-nd. For most of us, even for professional
                        > reasons, such
                        > > a short notice gives no chance to respond to this summons.
                        > >
                        > > Besides, you invite us not to find a positive solution to this
                        > unbelievable
                        > > situation in which we were put in by the decision of the October
                        > Sobor, but
                        > > we have to appear wearing the brand of suspension.
                        > >
                        > > Under such circumstances, what meaning do you attach to this
                        > impossible
                        > > rendez-vous?
                        > >
                        > > As far as we are concerned, we see none.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > We ask for your holy prayers,
                        > >
                        > > West-European Diocese Clergy
                        > >
                        > > 17/30 April 2001
                        > >
                        > > Copy: to Metropolitan Vitaly.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ======================================================
                        > >
                        > > Tell me honestly, Vladimir.
                        > >
                        > > Is this the correct response of clergy to a formal Ukaz and
                        Summons
                        > from
                        > > their Metropolitan and Synod of Bishops?
                        > >
                        > > Remember, all of these are **Clergy** of a hierarchical Church,
                        and
                        > subject
                        > > to its discipline.
                        > >
                        > > They all swore a solemn oath before the Gospel and Cross, at the
                        > time of
                        > > their ordination, of fealty, loyalty and obedience to their
                        > hierarchical
                        > > superiors--their ruling bishop and the Synod of Bishops of the
                        > Church Abroad.
                        > >
                        > > So, instead of responding,
                        > >
                        > > "Yes, Your Eminences, we accept with humility the suspension
                        placed
                        > on us
                        > > by the Synod of Bishops and we will be in Munich on the date
                        > appointed. We
                        > > welcome the opportunity to present our case in person."
                        > >
                        > > --which would have been the proper Orthodox response--
                        > >
                        > > they responded, basically:
                        > >
                        > > "We won't come. Our other "professional responsibilities" are more
                        > > important than the issue of our standing as clergy of the Church.
                        > Although
                        > > we are just a few hours by train or car from Munich, your summons,
                        > faxed to
                        > > us five days ahead, came too late for us to drop everything and
                        get
                        > out
                        > > there, although our future as clergy is at stake.
                        > >
                        > > Besides, we disparage your motives ahead of time, without even
                        > appearing
                        > > before you and hearing what you have to say.
                        > >
                        > > So, get lost."
                        > > ========================================
                        > >
                        > > In light of this, Vladimir, or Irene, or Serge, please don't tell
                        > me that
                        > > the bishops "refused to hear" the French clergy. The Synod, at
                        > great
                        > > expense, sent a special delegation of two highly-respected
                        > Archpriests to
                        > > meet with the clergy in France and Belgium. The two priests the
                        > Synod sent
                        > > had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type
                        > > leather-jacketed thugs in Brussels, who told them that they
                        > would "break
                        > > their faces" if they tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized
                        > them to
                        > > serve at the Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what
                        > these
                        > > "revniteli blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)
                        > >
                        > > And the bottom line is, when the French clergy were summoned to a
                        > meeting
                        > > with the bishops in Munich--they refused to go.
                        > >
                        > > And that's that.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > With love in Christ,
                        > >
                        > > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                      • sergerust2002
                        Dear Elisabeth, I refer to your post 6835. Fr Alexander s last post 6822 is the demonstration of what Vladimir has been saying since a long time: THE « Munich
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
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                          Dear Elisabeth,

                          I refer to your post 6835.

                          Fr Alexander's last post 6822 is the demonstration of what
                          Vladimir has been saying since a long time: THE « Munich meeting
                          » WAS NOT A TRIAL.

                          You have now the proof in fr Alexander's own post : THE VERDICT
                          HAD BEEN RELEASED BEFORE THE MUNICH MEETING!

                          Here are the dates:
                          The verdict = April 24 (a fabricated date – nobody received this
                          verdict on that date)
                          The Munich meeting = May 2.

                          Do you call a Trial, a meeting where the accused are condemned in
                          advance?


                          Moreover, at the Munich meeting:

                          - there was no appointed Ecclesiastical Court : the Synod is an
                          executive, not an judicial body in the Church.

                          - there was no "Synod meeting" : non-synod members were
                          present and synod members were absent. In particular
                          the First Hierarch was absent; his absence was not fortuitous.

                          - the invitation was not "to a Synod" but to meet one
                          particular member of the Synod. (The clergy proposed to attend a
                          previous Synod meeting, but this was refused)

                          - the invitation was not to a judicial hearing but "to debate
                          about their future".

                          - that particular synod member had previously taken one side and even
                          threaten the French clergy, which is incompatible with the role of o
                          judge.


                          Is this what you call the "hard evidence" provided by fr
                          Alexander?

                          "Does it not touch your conscience or your intellect?"


                          CONCLUSION:

                          The French clergy has indeed been sentenced without being heard. In
                          no way can you consider this "having received the opportunity of
                          a fair trial". Irrespective of the related responsibilities and of
                          the outcome of a potential serious trial, this is obviously
                          uncanonical and blatantly abusive.

                          Denying this fact would be only an additional dishonesty and –
                          as you term it – a "divisive" discourse, a promotion of
                          soviet justice, rather than church justice.

                          Why the MP [methods of a bygone time] apologetics?



                          In Christ,
                          Serge Rust.
                        • vkozyreff
                          Dear Father Alexander, bless. You quote me: We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and sergianism are no more an obstacle to our
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 31, 2002
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dear Father Alexander, bless.

                            You quote me: "We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that
                            ecumenism and sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with
                            the MP, when in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and
                            we see it with our own eyes in deeds."

                            You say: "Bishop Ambrose had said something quite different: that the
                            obstacles to rapprochement with the MP are "only psychological".

                            I say: "In October 200, when returning from the Council, and in an
                            attempt to calm down the crisis that his conduct of church affairs
                            had caused, Bishop Ambrose stated, at the time of a parish assembly
                            meeting in Geneva, that the only obstacles that prevented us from
                            uniting with the MP are psychological ones. Vl. Ambrose did not
                            specify that it was as a private opinion of his.

                            How do we understand this?

                            Only
                            Function: adjective
                            1 : unquestionably the best : PEERLESS
                            2 : alone in its class or kind : SOLE <an only child>

                            We deal here with meaning n°2, "alone in its class". This means thus
                            that, in Vl Ambrose's view, the "psychological obstacles" group is
                            alone in the class of obstacles that prevent us from uniting with the
                            PM. This means that all other groups of obstacles are excluded from
                            the class of those that prevent our uniting with the MP, because
                            there is only one group in the class, the group of psychological
                            obstacles. Are thus excluded from the class of obstacles that prevent
                            our uniting with the MP, the obstacles of dogmatic nature and those
                            related with anathema, like sergianism or ecumenism, if those
                            categories are not members of the psychological group, which is
                            obvious.

                            I think Vl Ambrose's view is not the view of the Church. Is it Father
                            Alexander's?

                            In God and asking your prayers,

                            Vladimir Kozyreff


                            --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            > >The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the rule
                            > >and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.
                            >
                            > There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than
                            those that
                            > forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops
                            and
                            > create a schismatic group.
                            >
                            > Such behavior is, of course, correctly sanctioned by
                            excommunication.
                            >
                            > What is amazing is how you and others are grasping at straws in
                            order to
                            > justify your unlawful separation from your lawfully appointed
                            bishop.
                            >
                            > Allowing members of a church choir to sing in a concert in which
                            members of
                            > a Jewish choir are also singing--each group separately--does not
                            make a
                            > bishop a heretic.
                            >
                            > I am confident that not one bishop of the Church Abroad and not one
                            > clergyman of the Church Abroad considers Bishop Ambrose to be a
                            heretic
                            > because of the Geneva choir's participation in this concert.
                            >
                            > So you are standing quite alone in your falsely drawn conclusions.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > >We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                            > >sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP, when
                            > >in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see it
                            > >with our own eyes in deeds.
                            >
                            >
                            > You know, I thought you yourself had stated that Bishop Ambrose had
                            said
                            > something quite different: that the obstacles to rapprochement with
                            the MP
                            > are "only psychological"--not that he had actually said
                            that "ecumenism and
                            > sergianism are more an obstacle."
                            >
                            > Now you say that what you had previously admitted was something
                            that had
                            > not said but only implied--you actually heard him say with your own
                            ears.
                            >
                            > So, which is it, Vladimir?
                            >
                            > Did he say "only psychological obstacles"? Or did he actually say
                            > "sergianism and ecumenism are no more an obstacle", as you now aver?
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > > People get excommunicated for objecting
                            > >to this.
                            >
                            > No, people get excommunicated for going into schism, which is worse
                            than
                            > heresy, according to the Holy Fathers.
                            >
                            > Here is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, signed by Metropolitan
                            Vitaly, to
                            > the French clergy, announcing their suspensions and the reasons for
                            the
                            > suspensions. Also a clear opportunity for them to repent and be
                            reinstated
                            > was offered--and, finally, a summons giving them the opportunity to
                            present
                            > themselves in person before Archbishop Laurus and other Bishops of
                            the
                            > Synod in Munich on May 2, 2001, where their future would be
                            discussed.
                            >
                            > ============================================
                            >
                            > Ukaz
                            > From the Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                            Russia
                            >
                            > The following clergy of the Western-European Dioceses: Protopriest
                            Michel
                            > de Castelbajac, protopriest Benjamin Joukov, protopriest Paul
                            Poirier,
                            > protopriest Radu Apostolescu, priest Nikolai Semenov, priest
                            Quentin de
                            > Castelbajac, priest Nikolai Apostolescu, protodeacon Vsevolozhski,
                            > protodeacon German Ivanov 13th.
                            > --------------------------------------------
                            > The Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                            On
                            > April 11/24, 2001 has heard:
                            >
                            > A written report dated February10/23 2001 by two clerics --
                            protopriest
                            > George Larin and protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, wherein they detailed
                            their
                            > investigation concerning the unrest within the Western-European
                            Diocese.
                            > They spent there 11 days.
                            >
                            > The Bishop's Synod, upon an exhaustive review of the above
                            mentioned
                            > report, has determined:
                            >
                            > The above named clerics, for the violation of Church discipline and
                            the
                            > disobedience to the Higher Church Authority, and for the refusal to
                            pray
                            > during services for their duly appointed by the Sobor of 2000
                            Diocese
                            > Hierarch, Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose, on the basis of the Church
                            Canons
                            > of the Twice-Called Council 14th and 15th, and the Apostolic Canons
                            25 and
                            > 31 are suspended by the Bishop's Synod until their full repentance.
                            >
                            > If they repent and agree not only to commemorate, but also to obey
                            their
                            > ruling hierarch. Bishop Ambrose, they will stop their rebellion
                            against
                            > church authority and then may be returned to service.
                            >
                            > All of them must come to Munich on May 2, 2001 (new style) to meet
                            with
                            > Archbishop Laurus to discuss their future position.
                            >
                            > They are to be given [these] ukazes,
                            >
                            > + Metropolitan Vitaly
                            > Chairman of the Bishop's Synod
                            >
                            > +Archbishop Laurus
                            > Secretary of the Bishop's Synod
                            > ========================================
                            >
                            > This Ukaz and Summons are the canonically correct way of dealing
                            with
                            > clergy who have violated the Canons and gone into rebellion against
                            their
                            > bishop.
                            >
                            > Instead of humbly accepting the appeal to repent and return to
                            obedience
                            > and going to the appointed meeting, the French clergy spurned the
                            appeal
                            > and wrote a very haughty reply:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ========================================
                            > Address of the West-European Diocese Clergy to Archbishop Laurus.
                            >
                            > Your Eminence,
                            >
                            > Christ is Risen!
                            >
                            > On the eve of the Synod of Archbishops we once again addressed you
                            with a
                            > humble request, because of your visit to Europe, to arrange a
                            meeting with
                            > us in France.
                            >
                            > In response to this some of us were informed by fax that you summon
                            us all
                            > to Munich on May 2-nd. For most of us, even for professional
                            reasons, such
                            > a short notice gives no chance to respond to this summons.
                            >
                            > Besides, you invite us not to find a positive solution to this
                            unbelievable
                            > situation in which we were put in by the decision of the October
                            Sobor, but
                            > we have to appear wearing the brand of suspension.
                            >
                            > Under such circumstances, what meaning do you attach to this
                            impossible
                            > rendez-vous?
                            >
                            > As far as we are concerned, we see none.
                            >
                            >
                            > We ask for your holy prayers,
                            >
                            > West-European Diocese Clergy
                            >
                            > 17/30 April 2001
                            >
                            > Copy: to Metropolitan Vitaly.
                            >
                            >
                            > ======================================================
                            >
                            > Tell me honestly, Vladimir.
                            >
                            > Is this the correct response of clergy to a formal Ukaz and Summons
                            from
                            > their Metropolitan and Synod of Bishops?
                            >
                            > Remember, all of these are **Clergy** of a hierarchical Church, and
                            subject
                            > to its discipline.
                            >
                            > They all swore a solemn oath before the Gospel and Cross, at the
                            time of
                            > their ordination, of fealty, loyalty and obedience to their
                            hierarchical
                            > superiors--their ruling bishop and the Synod of Bishops of the
                            Church Abroad.
                            >
                            > So, instead of responding,
                            >
                            > "Yes, Your Eminences, we accept with humility the suspension placed
                            on us
                            > by the Synod of Bishops and we will be in Munich on the date
                            appointed. We
                            > welcome the opportunity to present our case in person."
                            >
                            > --which would have been the proper Orthodox response--
                            >
                            > they responded, basically:
                            >
                            > "We won't come. Our other "professional responsibilities" are more
                            > important than the issue of our standing as clergy of the Church.
                            Although
                            > we are just a few hours by train or car from Munich, your summons,
                            faxed to
                            > us five days ahead, came too late for us to drop everything and get
                            out
                            > there, although our future as clergy is at stake.
                            >
                            > Besides, we disparage your motives ahead of time, without even
                            appearing
                            > before you and hearing what you have to say.
                            >
                            > So, get lost."
                            > ========================================
                            >
                            > In light of this, Vladimir, or Irene, or Serge, please don't tell
                            me that
                            > the bishops "refused to hear" the French clergy. The Synod, at
                            great
                            > expense, sent a special delegation of two highly-respected
                            Archpriests to
                            > meet with the clergy in France and Belgium. The two priests the
                            Synod sent
                            > had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type
                            > leather-jacketed thugs in Brussels, who told them that they
                            would "break
                            > their faces" if they tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized
                            them to
                            > serve at the Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what
                            these
                            > "revniteli blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)
                            >
                            > And the bottom line is, when the French clergy were summoned to a
                            meeting
                            > with the bishops in Munich--they refused to go.
                            >
                            > And that's that.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > With love in Christ,
                            >
                            > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                          • boulia_1
                            Dear Serge, lurkers, First of all, I spell my name with a Z (English), not an S (German). I am sorry, but I still do not understand how your camp fervently
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 31, 2002
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Dear Serge, lurkers,

                              First of all, I spell my name with a Z (English), not an "S" (German).

                              I am sorry, but I still do not understand how your 'camp' fervently
                              clings to the idea that a group of clergy, *directed* to meet with
                              more senior clergy -- HIERARCHS -- was correct to respond in the
                              manner which they did! By refusing to go to Munich, it seems they took
                              it upon themselves to close dialogue in this matter. What right did
                              they have to do this? If they so vehemently disagreed with the
                              'verdict,' why not 'appeal'?

                              And, by saying that April 24 is a fabricated date, you're publicly
                              accusing Father Alexander of lying? Did I understand that correctly?
                              That's a serious thing, a layman publicly charging a clergyman of
                              prevarication.

                              It is clear: the French clergy had a chance to meet with senior
                              members of the Synod, if not the Synod in full, and the assigned
                              assistant to the First Hierarch, then secretary of the Synod and the
                              future First Hierarch. (Indeed, for those who dispute Met. Vitaly's
                              opinion of Met. Laurus, I think the fact that the former dispatched
                              the latter to handle such a delicate and important matter is telling
                              of both his recognisance that he was already too weak to travel and
                              deal with such matters, as well as his faith in his long-time Brother
                              Hierarch... but I digress...).

                              I'm not knoweldedgeable enough (at ALL) about the
                              details, nor ecclesiastical "law" to assess the "legality" of what
                              happened, prior to that. But I trust the Metropolitans (including
                              Vitaly, who oversaw this at the time, no?) and Laurus, and such senior
                              clergy as ArchPriests George (Larin), Stefan and Alexander, all of
                              whom are far more educated in such matters than me or you, no?

                              Bottom line; if those priests were *earnestly* seeking dialogue and to
                              be heard, it seems to me they would have taken *any* opportunity they
                              could. They didn't. If they had any seemly humility (as the
                              glorious blessing of Mary to become Mother of God showed us is a trait
                              most pleasing to God), they would have crawled on hands and knees to
                              Munich.

                              They did not. They responded not only negatively, but rudely. I
                              still don't understand how that is defensible behavior of lower clergy
                              toward hierarchs... !!!

                              Finally, I also don't see how using the phrase "soviet" in reference
                              to the hierarchs (or their defenders) is any way appropriate. It is
                              extremely offensive, for reasons that are obvious. For shame.

                              I am genuinely sorry for you and your like-minded brothers and
                              sisters; it seems you are so wrapped up in anger and bitterness that
                              you cannot see straight. Unfortunately, this negativity spreads like a
                              cancer. May God bless you and help you, and all of us, find peace.

                              In Christ's love,
                              Elizabeth





                              --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...> wrote:
                              > Dear Elisabeth,
                              >
                              > I refer to your post 6835.
                              >
                              > Fr Alexander's last post 6822 is the demonstration of what
                              > Vladimir has been saying since a long time: THE « Munich meeting
                              > » WAS NOT A TRIAL.
                              >
                              > You have now the proof in fr Alexander's own post : THE VERDICT
                              > HAD BEEN RELEASED BEFORE THE MUNICH MEETING!
                              >
                              > Here are the dates:
                              > The verdict = April 24 (a fabricated date – nobody received this
                              > verdict on that date)
                              > The Munich meeting = May 2.
                              >
                              > Do you call a Trial, a meeting where the accused are condemned in
                              > advance?
                              >
                              >
                              > Moreover, at the Munich meeting:
                              >
                              > - there was no appointed Ecclesiastical Court : the Synod is an
                              > executive, not an judicial body in the Church.
                              >
                              > - there was no "Synod meeting" : non-synod members were
                              > present and synod members were absent. In particular
                              > the First Hierarch was absent; his absence was not fortuitous.
                              >
                              > - the invitation was not "to a Synod" but to meet one
                              > particular member of the Synod. (The clergy proposed to attend a
                              > previous Synod meeting, but this was refused)
                              >
                              > - the invitation was not to a judicial hearing but "to debate
                              > about their future".
                              >
                              > - that particular synod member had previously taken one side and
                              even
                              > threaten the French clergy, which is incompatible with the role of o
                              > judge.
                              >
                              >
                              > Is this what you call the "hard evidence" provided by fr
                              > Alexander?
                              >
                              > "Does it not touch your conscience or your intellect?"
                              >
                              >
                              > CONCLUSION:
                              >
                              > The French clergy has indeed been sentenced without being heard. In
                              > no way can you consider this "having received the opportunity of
                              > a fair trial". Irrespective of the related responsibilities and of
                              > the outcome of a potential serious trial, this is obviously
                              > uncanonical and blatantly abusive.
                              >
                              > Denying this fact would be only an additional dishonesty and –
                              > as you term it – a "divisive" discourse, a promotion of
                              > soviet justice, rather than church justice.
                              >
                              > Why the MP [methods of a bygone time] apologetics?
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > In Christ,
                              > Serge Rust.
                            • vkozyreff
                              Dear Father Alexander, bless. You write, hereunder: So, which is it, Vladimir? In 1994, you published a 235-page book titled The Deceitful Fruit. The
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 31, 2002
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Dear Father Alexander, bless.

                                You write, hereunder:

                                "So, which is it, Vladimir?"

                                In 1994, you published a 235-page book titled "The Deceitful Fruit.
                                The origins and the essence of the Moscow Patriarchy" (Plod lukavyi.
                                Proiskhozhdenie i sushchnost' Moskovskoi Patriarkhii). The book is an
                                excellent summary of all kinds of misdeeds by the MP, including the
                                KGB service of their bishops and on and on.

                                Today, however, you are solidly behind the movement to join
                                the MP, in spite of the fact that nothing changed since the time your
                                book was published.

                                So, which is it, Father Alexander?

                                In Christ,

                                Vladimir kozyreff

                                --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > >The novelty is that now, trespassing the rules has become the rule
                                > >and not trespassing the rule is sanctioned by excommunication.
                                >
                                > There are hardly any canonical rules that are more strict than
                                those that
                                > forbid clergy and laity to separate themselves from their bishops
                                and
                                > create a schismatic group.
                                >
                                > Such behavior is, of course, correctly sanctioned by
                                excommunication.
                                >
                                > What is amazing is how you and others are grasping at straws in
                                order to
                                > justify your unlawful separation from your lawfully appointed
                                bishop.
                                >
                                > Allowing members of a church choir to sing in a concert in which
                                members of
                                > a Jewish choir are also singing--each group separately--does not
                                make a
                                > bishop a heretic.
                                >
                                > I am confident that not one bishop of the Church Abroad and not one
                                > clergyman of the Church Abroad considers Bishop Ambrose to be a
                                heretic
                                > because of the Geneva choir's participation in this concert.
                                >
                                > So you are standing quite alone in your falsely drawn conclusions.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > >We are told that Bishop Ambrose has never said that ecumenism and
                                > >sergianism are no more an obstacle to our reunion with the MP, when
                                > >in fact we have heard it with our own ears in speech and we see it
                                > >with our own eyes in deeds.
                                >
                                >
                                > You know, I thought you yourself had stated that Bishop Ambrose had
                                said
                                > something quite different: that the obstacles to rapprochement with
                                the MP
                                > are "only psychological"--not that he had actually said
                                that "ecumenism and
                                > sergianism are more an obstacle."
                                >
                                > Now you say that what you had previously admitted was something
                                that had
                                > not said but only implied--you actually heard him say with your own
                                ears.
                                >
                                > So, which is it, Vladimir?
                                >
                                > Did he say "only psychological obstacles"? Or did he actually say
                                > "sergianism and ecumenism are no more an obstacle", as you now aver?
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > > People get excommunicated for objecting
                                > >to this.
                                >
                                > No, people get excommunicated for going into schism, which is worse
                                than
                                > heresy, according to the Holy Fathers.
                                >
                                > Here is the Ukaz of the Synod of Bishops, signed by Metropolitan
                                Vitaly, to
                                > the French clergy, announcing their suspensions and the reasons for
                                the
                                > suspensions. Also a clear opportunity for them to repent and be
                                reinstated
                                > was offered--and, finally, a summons giving them the opportunity to
                                present
                                > themselves in person before Archbishop Laurus and other Bishops of
                                the
                                > Synod in Munich on May 2, 2001, where their future would be
                                discussed.
                                >
                                > ============================================
                                >
                                > Ukaz
                                > From the Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                                Russia
                                >
                                > The following clergy of the Western-European Dioceses: Protopriest
                                Michel
                                > de Castelbajac, protopriest Benjamin Joukov, protopriest Paul
                                Poirier,
                                > protopriest Radu Apostolescu, priest Nikolai Semenov, priest
                                Quentin de
                                > Castelbajac, priest Nikolai Apostolescu, protodeacon Vsevolozhski,
                                > protodeacon German Ivanov 13th.
                                > --------------------------------------------
                                > The Bishop's Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                                On
                                > April 11/24, 2001 has heard:
                                >
                                > A written report dated February10/23 2001 by two clerics --
                                protopriest
                                > George Larin and protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, wherein they detailed
                                their
                                > investigation concerning the unrest within the Western-European
                                Diocese.
                                > They spent there 11 days.
                                >
                                > The Bishop's Synod, upon an exhaustive review of the above
                                mentioned
                                > report, has determined:
                                >
                                > The above named clerics, for the violation of Church discipline and
                                the
                                > disobedience to the Higher Church Authority, and for the refusal to
                                pray
                                > during services for their duly appointed by the Sobor of 2000
                                Diocese
                                > Hierarch, Right Reverend Bishop Ambrose, on the basis of the Church
                                Canons
                                > of the Twice-Called Council 14th and 15th, and the Apostolic Canons
                                25 and
                                > 31 are suspended by the Bishop's Synod until their full repentance.
                                >
                                > If they repent and agree not only to commemorate, but also to obey
                                their
                                > ruling hierarch. Bishop Ambrose, they will stop their rebellion
                                against
                                > church authority and then may be returned to service.
                                >
                                > All of them must come to Munich on May 2, 2001 (new style) to meet
                                with
                                > Archbishop Laurus to discuss their future position.
                                >
                                > They are to be given [these] ukazes,
                                >
                                > + Metropolitan Vitaly
                                > Chairman of the Bishop's Synod
                                >
                                > +Archbishop Laurus
                                > Secretary of the Bishop's Synod
                                > ========================================
                                >
                                > This Ukaz and Summons are the canonically correct way of dealing
                                with
                                > clergy who have violated the Canons and gone into rebellion against
                                their
                                > bishop.
                                >
                                > Instead of humbly accepting the appeal to repent and return to
                                obedience
                                > and going to the appointed meeting, the French clergy spurned the
                                appeal
                                > and wrote a very haughty reply:
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > ========================================
                                > Address of the West-European Diocese Clergy to Archbishop Laurus.
                                >
                                > Your Eminence,
                                >
                                > Christ is Risen!
                                >
                                > On the eve of the Synod of Archbishops we once again addressed you
                                with a
                                > humble request, because of your visit to Europe, to arrange a
                                meeting with
                                > us in France.
                                >
                                > In response to this some of us were informed by fax that you summon
                                us all
                                > to Munich on May 2-nd. For most of us, even for professional
                                reasons, such
                                > a short notice gives no chance to respond to this summons.
                                >
                                > Besides, you invite us not to find a positive solution to this
                                unbelievable
                                > situation in which we were put in by the decision of the October
                                Sobor, but
                                > we have to appear wearing the brand of suspension.
                                >
                                > Under such circumstances, what meaning do you attach to this
                                impossible
                                > rendez-vous?
                                >
                                > As far as we are concerned, we see none.
                                >
                                >
                                > We ask for your holy prayers,
                                >
                                > West-European Diocese Clergy
                                >
                                > 17/30 April 2001
                                >
                                > Copy: to Metropolitan Vitaly.
                                >
                                >
                                > ======================================================
                                >
                                > Tell me honestly, Vladimir.
                                >
                                > Is this the correct response of clergy to a formal Ukaz and Summons
                                from
                                > their Metropolitan and Synod of Bishops?
                                >
                                > Remember, all of these are **Clergy** of a hierarchical Church, and
                                subject
                                > to its discipline.
                                >
                                > They all swore a solemn oath before the Gospel and Cross, at the
                                time of
                                > their ordination, of fealty, loyalty and obedience to their
                                hierarchical
                                > superiors--their ruling bishop and the Synod of Bishops of the
                                Church Abroad.
                                >
                                > So, instead of responding,
                                >
                                > "Yes, Your Eminences, we accept with humility the suspension placed
                                on us
                                > by the Synod of Bishops and we will be in Munich on the date
                                appointed. We
                                > welcome the opportunity to present our case in person."
                                >
                                > --which would have been the proper Orthodox response--
                                >
                                > they responded, basically:
                                >
                                > "We won't come. Our other "professional responsibilities" are more
                                > important than the issue of our standing as clergy of the Church.
                                Although
                                > we are just a few hours by train or car from Munich, your summons,
                                faxed to
                                > us five days ahead, came too late for us to drop everything and get
                                out
                                > there, although our future as clergy is at stake.
                                >
                                > Besides, we disparage your motives ahead of time, without even
                                appearing
                                > before you and hearing what you have to say.
                                >
                                > So, get lost."
                                > ========================================
                                >
                                > In light of this, Vladimir, or Irene, or Serge, please don't tell
                                me that
                                > the bishops "refused to hear" the French clergy. The Synod, at
                                great
                                > expense, sent a special delegation of two highly-respected
                                Archpriests to
                                > meet with the clergy in France and Belgium. The two priests the
                                Synod sent
                                > had to endure even threats of physical violence from Soviet-type
                                > leather-jacketed thugs in Brussels, who told them that they
                                would "break
                                > their faces" if they tried to fulfill the Ukazes that authroized
                                them to
                                > serve at the Memrial Church in Brussels ("Mordu nabyom," is what
                                these
                                > "revniteli blagochestia" told the Archpriests.)
                                >
                                > And the bottom line is, when the French clergy were summoned to a
                                meeting
                                > with the bishops in Munich--they refused to go.
                                >
                                > And that's that.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > With love in Christ,
                                >
                                > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                              • goossir
                                Dear Elisabeth, Thank you for this mail. I enjoyed the civilised and conciliatory tone which I hoped for in our debate. First of all, speaking for myself and
                                Message 15 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
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                                  Dear Elisabeth,

                                  Thank you for this mail. I enjoyed the civilised and conciliatory
                                  tone which I hoped for in our debate.
                                  First of all, speaking for myself and quite another few, we are
                                  absolutely not wrapped up in anger and bitterness. We were just
                                  dreadfully sad and sorry of the situation, as children from a
                                  divorced couple and wished desperately to mend it. But, and
                                  sometimes we forgot, that nothing can be done without God.

                                  Regarding Munich, Fr Alexander said that it is a few hours drive
                                  from Belgium and France. Actually it is 10 hours drive minimum (it
                                  is more or less the same by train). You should know as I understand
                                  that you live in Germany.
                                  In these circumstances, to receive a summoning 5 days in advance is
                                  very short. Do not forget, that some members of the clergy work
                                  and have obligations that could not be dropped right away. Anyone
                                  with good sense could realise this.

                                  But why was a trial already done before the summoning? Should it
                                  not be the other way round?

                                  I remember as well (and this was mentioned already several times on
                                  this list) that the French Clergy begged to present their case in
                                  New York long time before they were suspended, but their request was
                                  rejected.

                                  When I started these discussions, I sincerely wished to clear up
                                  matters and thought that a lot came from reciprocal misunderstanding
                                  and pride.

                                  We understood all your arguments and in good faith replied to them.
                                  When we made some mistake, we acknowledged them immediately. But
                                  when you (or Father Alexander, or Father John, of Hristofor, etc.)
                                  gave wrong informations, we never saw any acknowledgement (ex. house
                                  situation of some priests, Vl Varnava's actions, and so on). You
                                  just ignored our corrections.
                                  To prove your points, you quoted concillar decisions, not giving
                                  them at length. When you read them at length, any simple minded
                                  people could see what they really meant.
                                  None of our arguments were addressed in depth (why two priests are
                                  allowed to not commemorate their bishop?, the autonomy (from whom?)
                                  that Vl. Mark suggested in an interview, the refusal to judge Vl
                                  Ambrose, why texts (from Fr Seraphim Rose) are truncated on the
                                  ROCOR website? and I could go on up to the famous epistle of October
                                  2000, where it was said that "we fervently welcome the prayer of
                                  whole Russian people to all the holy New-martyrs of Russia, and
                                  especially to the martyred Imperial Family, HENCEFORTH BECOMING
                                  POSSIBLE THANKS TO THE RECOGNITION OF THEIR SANCTITY BY THE COUNCIL
                                  OF BISHOPS OF THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE." When everybody knows
                                  perfectly well that the glorification became possible thanks to the
                                  Russian people who forced it upon the MP.

                                  So we are back to square one!
                                  What are we going to do now? I suggest that we go through all our
                                  respective mails, read them carefully and see for ourselves who is
                                  right, who is wrong.

                                  With love in Christ,
                                  Irina P

                                  --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "boulia_1" <eledkovsky@h...> wrote:
                                  > Dear Serge, lurkers,
                                  >
                                  > First of all, I spell my name with a Z (English), not an "S"
                                  (German).
                                  >
                                  > I am sorry, but I still do not understand how your 'camp'
                                  fervently
                                  > clings to the idea that a group of clergy, *directed* to meet with
                                  > more senior clergy -- HIERARCHS -- was correct to respond in the
                                  > manner which they did! By refusing to go to Munich, it seems they
                                  took
                                  > it upon themselves to close dialogue in this matter. What right
                                  did
                                  > they have to do this? If they so vehemently disagreed with the
                                  > 'verdict,' why not 'appeal'?
                                  >
                                  > And, by saying that April 24 is a fabricated date, you're publicly
                                  > accusing Father Alexander of lying? Did I understand that
                                  correctly?
                                  > That's a serious thing, a layman publicly charging a clergyman of
                                  > prevarication.
                                  >
                                  > It is clear: the French clergy had a chance to meet with senior
                                  > members of the Synod, if not the Synod in full, and the assigned
                                  > assistant to the First Hierarch, then secretary of the Synod and
                                  the
                                  > future First Hierarch. (Indeed, for those who dispute Met.
                                  Vitaly's
                                  > opinion of Met. Laurus, I think the fact that the former
                                  dispatched
                                  > the latter to handle such a delicate and important matter is
                                  telling
                                  > of both his recognisance that he was already too weak to travel
                                  and
                                  > deal with such matters, as well as his faith in his long-time
                                  Brother
                                  > Hierarch... but I digress...).
                                  >
                                  > I'm not knoweldedgeable enough (at ALL) about the
                                  > details, nor ecclesiastical "law" to assess the "legality" of what
                                  > happened, prior to that. But I trust the Metropolitans (including
                                  > Vitaly, who oversaw this at the time, no?) and Laurus, and such
                                  senior
                                  > clergy as ArchPriests George (Larin), Stefan and Alexander, all of
                                  > whom are far more educated in such matters than me or you, no?
                                  >
                                  > Bottom line; if those priests were *earnestly* seeking dialogue
                                  and to
                                  > be heard, it seems to me they would have taken *any* opportunity
                                  they
                                  > could. They didn't. If they had any seemly humility (as the
                                  > glorious blessing of Mary to become Mother of God showed us is a
                                  trait
                                  > most pleasing to God), they would have crawled on hands and knees
                                  to
                                  > Munich.
                                  >
                                  > They did not. They responded not only negatively, but rudely. I
                                  > still don't understand how that is defensible behavior of lower
                                  clergy
                                  > toward hierarchs... !!!
                                  >
                                  > Finally, I also don't see how using the phrase "soviet" in
                                  reference
                                  > to the hierarchs (or their defenders) is any way appropriate. It
                                  is
                                  > extremely offensive, for reasons that are obvious. For shame.
                                  >
                                  > I am genuinely sorry for you and your like-minded brothers and
                                  > sisters; it seems you are so wrapped up in anger and bitterness
                                  that
                                  > you cannot see straight. Unfortunately, this negativity spreads
                                  like a
                                  > cancer. May God bless you and help you, and all of us, find peace.
                                  >
                                  > In Christ's love,
                                  > Elizabeth
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "sergerust2002" <sergerust@h...> wrote:
                                  > > Dear Elisabeth,
                                  > >
                                  > > I refer to your post 6835.
                                  > >
                                  > > Fr Alexander's last post 6822 is the demonstration of what
                                  > > Vladimir has been saying since a long time: THE « Munich meeting
                                  > > » WAS NOT A TRIAL.
                                  > >
                                  > > You have now the proof in fr Alexander's own post : THE VERDICT
                                  > > HAD BEEN RELEASED BEFORE THE MUNICH MEETING!
                                  > >
                                  > > Here are the dates:
                                  > > The verdict = April 24 (a fabricated date – nobody received
                                  this
                                  > > verdict on that date)
                                  > > The Munich meeting = May 2.
                                  > >
                                  > > Do you call a Trial, a meeting where the accused are condemned
                                  in
                                  > > advance?
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Moreover, at the Munich meeting:
                                  > >
                                  > > - there was no appointed Ecclesiastical Court : the Synod is an
                                  > > executive, not an judicial body in the Church.
                                  > >
                                  > > - there was no "Synod meeting" : non-synod members were
                                  > > present and synod members were absent. In particular
                                  > > the First Hierarch was absent; his absence was not fortuitous.
                                  > >
                                  > > - the invitation was not "to a Synod" but to meet one
                                  > > particular member of the Synod. (The clergy proposed to attend a
                                  > > previous Synod meeting, but this was refused)
                                  > >
                                  > > - the invitation was not to a judicial hearing but "to debate
                                  > > about their future".
                                  > >
                                  > > - that particular synod member had previously taken one side and
                                  > even
                                  > > threaten the French clergy, which is incompatible with the role
                                  of o
                                  > > judge.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Is this what you call the "hard evidence" provided by fr
                                  > > Alexander?
                                  > >
                                  > > "Does it not touch your conscience or your intellect?"
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > CONCLUSION:
                                  > >
                                  > > The French clergy has indeed been sentenced without being heard.
                                  In
                                  > > no way can you consider this "having received the opportunity of
                                  > > a fair trial". Irrespective of the related responsibilities and
                                  of
                                  > > the outcome of a potential serious trial, this is obviously
                                  > > uncanonical and blatantly abusive.
                                  > >
                                  > > Denying this fact would be only an additional dishonesty and –
                                  > > as you term it – a "divisive" discourse, a promotion of
                                  > > soviet justice, rather than church justice.
                                  > >
                                  > > Why the MP [methods of a bygone time] apologetics?
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > In Christ,
                                  > > Serge Rust.
                                • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                                  This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can not understand. The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. This means that the lower clergy
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
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                                    This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can not
                                    understand.

                                    The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**.

                                    This means that the lower clergy are under obedience and subject to the
                                    discipline of their hierarchical superiors.

                                    If your superiors summon you to a meeting, be it in another city or no--you go.

                                    Period.

                                    If I were working as a manager at IBM in Los Angeles, and received a
                                    directive from the Chairman of IBM to appear at a meeting in Seattle in two
                                    days--I would have to be there.

                                    If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the
                                    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff to appear the next day in Washington
                                    for a meeting--I have no option to decline.

                                    As a priest of the Russian Church Abroad, if I receive a directive from my
                                    Ruling Bishop, or from the Synod of Bishops, to appear in such and such a
                                    place at such and such a time--I would be there,come what may.

                                    Again, this is so simple, it hardly needs to be explained.

                                    In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is one of the
                                    most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially for junior
                                    officers, since they are required to set a good example for their troops.

                                    Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military organization, since
                                    it goes against the entire concept of a hierarchical structure--the chain
                                    of command, which requires obedience to orders and strict discipline.

                                    The Church is no different.

                                    Priests are like officers in a military organization. Although our battle
                                    is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic powers, we are
                                    still all "warriors" in the army of God, as are the heavenly powers, who
                                    have a very clear hierarchical structure, with Archangel Michael--the
                                    Archistratig--Archstrategos--Taxiarch--Commander in Chief of the Heavenly
                                    Hosts.

                                    So, the willful disobedience of the European clergy to respond to a summons
                                    of the Holy Synod of the Church Abroad, to which they had given an oath of
                                    obedience and loyalty, is a gross violation of ecclesiastical discipline
                                    for which they must suffer the consequences.

                                    Next point.

                                    Serge calls the suspensions a "sentence," and complains about the injustice
                                    of these clergy being sentenced in absentia, without being heard or
                                    canonically tried.

                                    This is absolutely incorrect.

                                    A bishop, upon hearing of misbehavior by a clergyman, has the authority,
                                    and, in fact, the responsibility to suspend that clergyman--without a
                                    hearing or ecclesiastical trial.

                                    This is normal in most other fields.

                                    A policeman suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended by
                                    his superiors--prior to a hearing.

                                    A teacher suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended by his
                                    superiors--prior to a hearing.

                                    In the Church--it is the same.

                                    The clergyman (like the policeman or the teacher) has the right to demand a
                                    formal hearing on the matter, or one can be scheduled by his superiors.

                                    However, during the time of the suspension, prior to a hearing (or a
                                    trial)--the person in question is **suspended**--and forbidden to perform
                                    his normal duties. A policeman under suspension must turn in his badge and
                                    gun, for example, and is forbidden to perform police work.

                                    A clergyman under suspension must hang up his epitrachelion and may not
                                    perform any services as a clergyman--not even give a blessing.

                                    Those are the rules.

                                    And the rules also state that if a clergyman while under suspension dares
                                    to perform any services as a clergyman--then he is subject to immediate
                                    deposition from clerical orders--without any hearing or trial.

                                    All he has to do is perform a service or simply give a blessing--even
                                    once--and he is out.

                                    Period.

                                    So, the question is--did the European clergy who were disobedient to their
                                    hierarchical authorities and spurned a summons to a meeting with the Deputy
                                    First Hierarch and Secretary of the Synod, ignore the suspension placed on
                                    them, not just by their Ruling Bishop--who has the authority on his own to
                                    suspend any priest in his diocese--but by the entire Hierarchical Synod,
                                    and did they continue to serve?

                                    If the answer is yes, then they were rightfully and canonically deposed,
                                    even without a hearing or ecclesiastical trial.

                                    With love in Christ,
                                    Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                                    This is an addendum to my previous message. I just thought of another analogy. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues drivers licenses. It can suspend your
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
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                                      This is an addendum to my previous message.

                                      I just thought of another analogy.

                                      The Department of Motor Vehicles issues drivers' licenses.

                                      It can suspend your driving privilege--even without a hearing.

                                      A friend of mine recently got a notice from the DMV that his license would
                                      be suspended in thirty days because he had failed to pay a fine.

                                      And the notice warned him that if he drove with a suspended license, he
                                      would immediately have his license totally revoked and would be subject to
                                      a large fine and jail time.

                                      A clergyman who would ignore his suspension and serve while suspended would
                                      lose his priesthood as a consequence.

                                      No?

                                      With love in Christ,

                                      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                    • Reader John
                                      Fr. Alexander s military analogy does not hold up. He wrote: If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Nov 1, 2002
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                                        Fr. Alexander's military analogy does not hold up. He wrote:

                                        "If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from
                                        the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff (sic) to appear the next
                                        day in Washington for a meeting--I have no option to decline."

                                        The reality is that if the Chairman of the JCS ordered an officer to
                                        report to him in Washington the next day, transportation would be
                                        expeditiously provided to the aforementioned officer.

                                        I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just read
                                        the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
                                        (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
                                        thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither is
                                        Fr. Alexander). In fact, I live in Georgia, which according to Fr.
                                        Alexander's bizarre post (31183) on Paradosis qualifies me as

                                        "A … tatooed (sic) rock-music-loving red-neck cracker
                                        neo-Pharisees
                                        from Georgia…" This must be because I disagree with him.

                                        I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
                                        correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered to
                                        the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why does
                                        Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?

                                        Fr. Alexander:

                                        "In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is
                                        one of the most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially
                                        for junior officers, since they are required to set a good example
                                        for their troops."

                                        You are mistaken in writing this statement Father. I wonder have you
                                        ever served in the military? Judging by your age, you would have
                                        been subject to the draft during the Vietnam War.

                                        The most serious offenses in the military are murder, rape and
                                        robbery. Anyone who commits these offenses will certainly be tried
                                        by a general court martial (the highest level court to try
                                        offenses). On the other hand, the punishment for disobeying a
                                        superior officer can range from verbal reprimand, to non-judicial
                                        punishment (Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), to a
                                        lesser court martial.

                                        Fr. Alexander:

                                        "Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
                                        organization, since it goes against the entire concept of a
                                        hierarchical structure--the chain of command, which requires
                                        obedience to orders and strict discipline."

                                        Fr. Alexander implies that the French clergy are mutinous. Does he
                                        really think that their offense is so great that they should be
                                        executed? After all, a capital offense is one in which the death
                                        penalty may be imposed. Please explain your thoughts here Father.
                                        Or is this just another case of you overstating your position?

                                        In Christ,
                                        Rdr John

                                        --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@w...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > This matter is so simple that it boggles the mind that someone can
                                        not
                                        > understand.
                                        >
                                        > The Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**.
                                        >
                                        > This means that the lower clergy are under obedience and subject to
                                        the
                                        > discipline of their hierarchical superiors.
                                        >
                                        > If your superiors summon you to a meeting, be it in another city or
                                        no--you go.
                                        >
                                        > Period.
                                        >
                                        > If I were working as a manager at IBM in Los Angeles, and received
                                        a
                                        > directive from the Chairman of IBM to appear at a meeting in
                                        Seattle in two
                                        > days--I would have to be there.
                                        >
                                        > If I were an officer in the US Army, and received an order from the
                                        > Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff to appear the next day in
                                        Washington
                                        > for a meeting--I have no option to decline.
                                        >
                                        > As a priest of the Russian Church Abroad, if I receive a directive
                                        from my
                                        > Ruling Bishop, or from the Synod of Bishops, to appear in such and
                                        such a
                                        > place at such and such a time--I would be there,come what may.
                                        >
                                        > Again, this is so simple, it hardly needs to be explained.
                                        >
                                        > In the military, failure to obey orders of superior officers is one
                                        of the
                                        > most serious of crimes, for obvious reasons--especially for junior
                                        > officers, since they are required to set a good example for their
                                        troops.
                                        >
                                        > Mutiny is a capital offense in virtually every military
                                        organization, since
                                        > it goes against the entire concept of a hierarchical structure--the
                                        chain
                                        > of command, which requires obedience to orders and strict
                                        discipline.
                                        >
                                        > The Church is no different.
                                        >
                                        > Priests are like officers in a military organization. Although our
                                        battle
                                        > is not against flesh and blood, but against the demonic powers, we
                                        are
                                        > still all "warriors" in the army of God, as are the heavenly
                                        powers, who
                                        > have a very clear hierarchical structure, with Archangel Michael--
                                        the
                                        > Archistratig--Archstrategos--Taxiarch--Commander in Chief of the
                                        Heavenly
                                        > Hosts.
                                        >
                                        > So, the willful disobedience of the European clergy to respond to a
                                        summons
                                        > of the Holy Synod of the Church Abroad, to which they had given an
                                        oath of
                                        > obedience and loyalty, is a gross violation of ecclesiastical
                                        discipline
                                        > for which they must suffer the consequences.
                                        >
                                        > Next point.
                                        >
                                        > Serge calls the suspensions a "sentence," and complains about the
                                        injustice
                                        > of these clergy being sentenced in absentia, without being heard or
                                        > canonically tried.
                                        >
                                        > This is absolutely incorrect.
                                        >
                                        > A bishop, upon hearing of misbehavior by a clergyman, has the
                                        authority,
                                        > and, in fact, the responsibility to suspend that clergyman--without
                                        a
                                        > hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
                                        >
                                        > This is normal in most other fields.
                                        >
                                        > A policeman suspected of acting improperly can and would be
                                        suspended by
                                        > his superiors--prior to a hearing.
                                        >
                                        > A teacher suspected of acting improperly can and would be suspended
                                        by his
                                        > superiors--prior to a hearing.
                                        >
                                        > In the Church--it is the same.
                                        >
                                        > The clergyman (like the policeman or the teacher) has the right to
                                        demand a
                                        > formal hearing on the matter, or one can be scheduled by his
                                        superiors.
                                        >
                                        > However, during the time of the suspension, prior to a hearing (or
                                        a
                                        > trial)--the person in question is **suspended**--and forbidden to
                                        perform
                                        > his normal duties. A policeman under suspension must turn in his
                                        badge and
                                        > gun, for example, and is forbidden to perform police work.
                                        >
                                        > A clergyman under suspension must hang up his epitrachelion and may
                                        not
                                        > perform any services as a clergyman--not even give a blessing.
                                        >
                                        > Those are the rules.
                                        >
                                        > And the rules also state that if a clergyman while under suspension
                                        dares
                                        > to perform any services as a clergyman--then he is subject to
                                        immediate
                                        > deposition from clerical orders--without any hearing or trial.
                                        >
                                        > All he has to do is perform a service or simply give a blessing--
                                        even
                                        > once--and he is out.
                                        >
                                        > Period.
                                        >
                                        > So, the question is--did the European clergy who were disobedient
                                        to their
                                        > hierarchical authorities and spurned a summons to a meeting with
                                        the Deputy
                                        > First Hierarch and Secretary of the Synod, ignore the suspension
                                        placed on
                                        > them, not just by their Ruling Bishop--who has the authority on his
                                        own to
                                        > suspend any priest in his diocese--but by the entire Hierarchical
                                        Synod,
                                        > and did they continue to serve?
                                        >
                                        > If the answer is yes, then they were rightfully and canonically
                                        deposed,
                                        > even without a hearing or ecclesiastical trial.
                                        >
                                        > With love in Christ,
                                        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                      • boulia_1
                                        Dear John, To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a ... read ... to ... does ... If you did live in Europe, you should realize it s not
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Nov 5, 2002
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                                          Dear John,

                                          To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a
                                          European ROCOR diocese (in good standing) and do live in Europe... :

                                          --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:

                                          >
                                          > I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just
                                          read
                                          > the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
                                          > (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
                                          > thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither is
                                          > Fr. Alexander).



                                          > I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
                                          > correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered
                                          to
                                          > the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why
                                          does
                                          > Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?

                                          If you did live in Europe, you should realize it's not so important
                                          a detail. To get from Paris to Munich is like getting from Boston to
                                          NY, only easier, because Europe is WAY ahead of the U.S.
                                          (particularly, I'll submit, the southern U.S.) when it comes to
                                          transportation. You can fly round trip between to the two cities for
                                          under $100. Or take a train if you prefer to stay on the ground.
                                          Transportation is really not an issue Europe, so trying to make it
                                          one seems to be, with all due respect, really grasping at straws.

                                          In Christ's love,
                                          Elizabeth
                                          >
                                        • goossir
                                          Dear Elizabeth, Please let me correct you. I also live in Europe, Brussels and am very astonished about the information you give on travelling in Europe. How
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Nov 7, 2002
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                                            Dear Elizabeth,

                                            Please let me correct you.
                                            I also live in Europe, Brussels and am very astonished about the
                                            information you give on travelling in Europe.
                                            How is it possible that you do not know that flight fares between
                                            European big cities are very expensive. It is cheaper sometimes to
                                            go to New York by plane than to go to Vienna, Stockholm, etc. You
                                            certainly do not find return tickets between Paris and Munich at
                                            USD100, even with promotion prices. They cost at least 5 times more.
                                            Train travel between Paris and Munich is also expensive and very
                                            long. You have to change at least twice. I know this perfectly
                                            well, as I had to organise, last year, my daughter's travel from
                                            France to Munich by train. The one way ticket cost approximately USD
                                            200.
                                            I am sorry for the list that we must go into travelling details in
                                            Europe, but it is important to show that effectively, as John
                                            mentioned, not only the French Clergy's summoning to Paris was at
                                            very short notice but also quite costly.

                                            With sisterly love
                                            Irina Pahlen

                                            --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "boulia_1" <eledkovsky@h...> wrote:
                                            > Dear John,
                                            >
                                            > To respond to only one point you made, since I am a amember of a
                                            > European ROCOR diocese (in good standing) and do live in Europe... :
                                            >
                                            > --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > >
                                            > > I am not involved in the disputes with the French clergy, I just
                                            > read
                                            > > the list about these events in Europe. I do not live in Europe
                                            > > (though I did live there in the early 80's for four years) and
                                            > > thus am not a member of any European diocese (of course neither
                                            is
                                            > > Fr. Alexander).
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > > I make no judgment on the situation of the clergy in France, but,
                                            > > correct me if I am wrong, no transportation was given or offered
                                            > to
                                            > > the clergy who were summoned to the meeting with Vl. Lavr. Why
                                            > does
                                            > > Fr. Alexander avoid mentioning this important detail?
                                            >
                                            > If you did live in Europe, you should realize it's not so important
                                            > a detail. To get from Paris to Munich is like getting from Boston
                                            to
                                            > NY, only easier, because Europe is WAY ahead of the U.S.
                                            > (particularly, I'll submit, the southern U.S.) when it comes to
                                            > transportation. You can fly round trip between to the two cities
                                            for
                                            > under $100. Or take a train if you prefer to stay on the ground.
                                            > Transportation is really not an issue Europe, so trying to make it
                                            > one seems to be, with all due respect, really grasping at straws.
                                            >
                                            > In Christ's love,
                                            > Elizabeth
                                            > >
                                          • hoodpeters
                                            ... Did they need champagne and caviar in order to go to Munich? http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/euraide/t0261par.htm Besides, if your Bishops tell
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Nov 7, 2002
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                                              --- In orthodox-synod@y..., "goossir" <irene.goossens@c...> wrote:
                                              > I am sorry for the list that we must go into travelling details in
                                              > Europe, but it is important to show that effectively, as John
                                              > mentioned, not only the French Clergy's summoning to Paris was at
                                              > very short notice but also quite costly.


                                              Did they need champagne and caviar in order to go to Munich?
                                              http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/euraide/t0261par.htm
                                              Besides, if your Bishops tell you to go 500 miles for a meeting or be
                                              defrocked, you go. Your line of reasoning to justify Varnavism "by
                                              any means necessary" is ridiculous.
                                              In Christ,
                                              Dcn. John
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