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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Praying with heretics – so what?

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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 1 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 2 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
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        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 3 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
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          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 4 of 21 , Oct 30, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 21 , Oct 31, 2002
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              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 6 of 21 , Oct 31, 2002
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                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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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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