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"Sergians" continue in the same spirit

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    In issue 14-15 (243-244) of the newspaper Moscow Church Bulletin was published The resulting document of the seminar Relationship between Russian
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2002
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      "In issue 14-15 (243-244) of the newspaper "Moscow Church Bulletin" was
      published "The resulting document of the seminar "Relationship between
      Russian Orthodox Church and the Authorities in the 20-ies ?30-ies". The
      seminar took place in May 2002, the chairman was Metropolitan of Minsk and
      Slutsk Philaret, who is the head of the "Synodal Theological Commission" of
      Moscow Partiarchate; and on July the 18th of the same year "the Holy Synod"
      ratified "the document". The reason why the aforementioned seminar was
      called and the "resulting document" came up was, as it is explained to us,
      "a continued painful dialog of the Russian Orthodox Church and the ROCOR"."
      (...)
      For more info see http://www.portal-credo.ru/site/?act=english&id=12
      (in English)


      "Protopriest Michael Ardov. "Sergians" continue in the same spirit
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      In issue 14-15 (243-244) of the newspaper "Moscow Church Bulletin" was
      published "The resulting document of the seminar "Relationship between
      Russian Orthodox Church and the Authorities in the 20-ies ?30-ies". The
      seminar took place in May 2002, the chairman was Metropolitan of Minsk and
      Slutsk Philaret, who is the head of the "Synodal Theological Commission" of
      Moscow Partiarchate; and on July the 18th of the same year "the Holy Synod"
      ratified "the document". The reason why the aforementioned seminar was
      called and the "resulting document" came up was, as it is explained to us,
      "a continued painful dialog of the Russian Orthodox Church and the ROCOR".

      The publication takes a whole newspaper page; the text has an introduction,
      16 paragraphs, and a conclusion. If I had set a problem for myself to give
      a detailed analysis of all the reserves and false assertions (and that is
      exactly what makes up this "document"), then I would've needed to compose a
      voluminous treatise, so I decided to limit myself only to the most
      essential remarks.
      The main purpose of the authors of the "resulting document" is the defense
      and the justification of all deeds of Metropolitan Sergij (Stargorodsky),
      including the most outrageous ones. For instance, it is not mentioned that
      he usurped power in Church, that he went beyond his commission, and that
      Patriarchal locum tenens himself, Metropolitan Peter (whose deputy was
      Sergij) by no means approved of the policy of conciliation with atheistic
      power.

      Paragraph 3 of the "document" reads as follows: "The aim to normalize the
      relationship with the authorities can not be interpreted as a betrayal of
      Church interests. It was adopted by the St. Patriarch Tikhon, and it also
      was expressed in the so-called "Epistle of Solovki Bishops" written in
      1926, that is one year before the publication of "The Epistle of the deputy
      Patriarchal locum tenens and temporary Patriarchal Synod". The essence of
      the changes in the position of the Hierarchy was in the fact that, not
      having recognized the legitimacy of the new power established after the
      October Revolution in 1917, and with the power becoming stronger
      afterwards, Church had to recognize it as State power and establish
      bilateral relationships with it. This position is not blameworthy;
      historically, Church more than once found Herself in a situation when it
      had to co-operate with non-orthodox rulers (for instance, in the period of
      Golden Horde or the Moslem Osman Empire)."

      Let's try to analyze this passage. Yes, the St. Tikhon and the "Solovki
      Bishops" wanted to enter into a certain concordat with the authorities,
      which would have guaranteed a legal existence to Church. But the Bolsheviks
      had a different purpose. They aimed at enslaving Orthodox Church, at making
      it an obedient weapon in their bloody clutches. This is proved by many
      documents, now removed from secret list and published. Particularly,
      "Report of the Head of the 6th Department of U.S.P.A. (United State
      Political Agency) about the results of the work on clergymen and sectarians
      in the last year of 1923" by the notorious Eugene Tuchkov addressed to
      "Deputy Chairman of U.S.P.A. comrade Menzhinsky". (I am quoting the
      collection "Religion and Democracy" (Moscow, 1993, p.193).) This "top
      secret" document tells that members of the E.C. (Extraordinary Commission)
      aimed at "establishing a network of intelligencers <?> and governing the
      whole Church through it." And further: "? to give Church the direction we
      need."

      And one more document ? "The report of the assistant of the authorized
      secret department of the E.C.R. (Extraordinary Commission of Russia) on the
      secret and intelligence service among the clergy in the year of 1921"
      ("Izveslija" No 18, 23 January 1992). The following paragraph attracts
      special attention here: "It is necessary to give interested motives to a
      certain intelligencer among the clergy. Moreover, grants in money or in
      kind will undoubtedly closer connect them with us in another respect, and
      namely, in the respect that he will be eternal slave of the E.C., scared of
      revealing his secret activity."

      I would like to add important evidence here. In 1980 I happened to meet an
      outstanding person ? Mikhail Nikolayevich Yaroslavsky, early in life he had
      been the Senior Subdeacon to Archbihsop of Uglich Serafim (Samoilovich). In
      1983 I recorded what Mikhail Nikolayevich remembered about this remarkable
      hierarch and New Martyr. Among other things, M.N. Yaroslavskij told me the
      following:
      "For one hundred days Vladyka Serafim had to govern the whole Russian
      Orthodox Church. It was in 1926. Metropolitan Sergij was in jail, everyone
      was in jail? And so he governed. Vladyka said that the authorities offered
      him the synod in his capacity of the Head of Church, and even pointed out
      whom to appoint members of the Synod. He refused and at once was sentenced
      to three years' imprisonment in concentration camp in Solovki. And he
      didn't pass Church to anyone, but wrote or said that he proclaimed each
      eparchy autonomous, because the Head of Church is one more candidate for
      detention. And after that he was set free at once. And Metropolitan Sergij
      was released soon, and he made a synod of all the members that had been
      proposed to Vladyka Serafim by the authorities."

      Thus it was for nothing that the "Sergian" Synod was called "patriarchal",
      in fact it was "S.P.A.'s" (S.P.A. ? State Political Agency) and, as one can
      guess, consisted of "eternal slaves of the E.C.". The degree of initial
      subordination of Metropolitan Sergij and his accomplices to their masters
      from Lubyanka (1 Bolshaya Lubyanka street ? the address of the former KGB
      headquarters) can be shown by the following significant example. It is the
      evidence of the famous church writer, Father Mikhail Polsky, from his book
      "The Status of Church in the Soviet Russia" (Saint-Petersburg, 1995, p.58).
      (The matter concerns the event of 1929.)

      "Metropolitan Sergij, of course, was the first who had to reap the fruits
      of his union with the authorities. Before one of his masses he received a
      wire from Petrograd about the death of Archbishop Ilarion (Troitsky ? M.A.)
      in prison. Metropolitan began to cry. But when after the mass he was asked
      to serve a requiem for the dead, Metropolitan replied, "There has been no
      direction yet".
      Paragraph 4 of the "resulting document" goes: "One of the main points of
      criticism of the actions of Metropolitan Sergij as the deputy locum tenens
      is the displacement of bishops and placing bans on hierarchs. A
      displacement of the ruling Bishop can be considered to be a forced step,
      made according to economy and for the sake of Church, in the case when his
      stay in a cathedral town has been forbidden by the authorities. Such
      practice was normal in the pre-revolutionary Synodal period. Bans put by
      Metropolitan Sergij were not of the character of spiritual court sentences,
      but were pre-trial decisions, acting in accordance with canons before the
      legal procedure, which was proved by the subsequent canonization of some of
      those subjected bans (including some of the so-called "non-commemoraters").

      Each and every word is a lie. With the help of Sergij and his accomplices
      ("S.P.A.Synod") members of the E.C. not only "displaced the bishops", but
      also put illegal bans on them. Whereas according to canons a bishop can't
      be imposed any penalty without a trial with a strict observance of numerous
      formalities.

      (A reference to the practice of the "synodal period" is not correct,
      because this very Synod, established under Peter I, was absolutely
      anti-canonical.)

      The statement that, allegedly, "bans", put by Metropolitan Sergij were not
      of the character of spiritual court sentences" is also false. Here is the
      quotation from "Acts of the deputy Patriarchal locum tenens and temporary
      Patriarchal Synod attached to him" of March the 16th 1928 (I quote the book
      "Acts of the St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, posterior
      documents and correspondence on the canonical succession of the supreme
      church power", Moscow, 1994):

      "Bishops Victor (Ostrovidov), Dmitry (Ljubimov), Sergij (Druzhinin), Alexij
      (Buj), and others were suspended by the council of bishops ? temporary
      patriarchal synod.

      <?>

      The named bishops, included Metropolitans Agafangel (Preobrazhensky) and
      Iosif (Petrovyh) <?> according to church custom are to be deprived of all
      the clerical honor, and are subject not only to suspension, but also to
      deposition as apostates, who have created the schism."

      So these are the "decisions" that the members of the patriarchal seminar
      call "pre-trial"!

      In their "resulting document" they don't even try to answer the main
      question: Who was right ? the Bolsheviks' servant Metropolitan Sergij or
      those whom he "suspended" and "deposed" by the order of the E.C., calling
      them "apostates, who have created the schism"?

      The circumstance that at the patriarchal "council" of 2002 "the suspended
      apostates" were canonized without any court examination, once again shows
      the unscrupulousness of the "sergians" and their absolute disdain towards
      the canonical law existing in Orthodoxy.

      At that very "council" the direct heirs of Metropolitan Sergij sang the
      praises of those who preferred persecutions and death of a martyr to
      relations with them and to the dictates of the atheists? And this makes one
      think of the wrathful words of the Saviour:

      "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the
      tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And
      say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been
      partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Therefore ye be witnesses
      unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the
      prophets." (Matthew 23, 29?31)

      Paragraph 7: "Break of relationships between Moscow Patriarchate and the
      part of Russian Church situated abroad happened in the period of political
      contradictions between the bolshevism regime in Russia and other states,
      the territory of which became asylum for millions of Russian Orthodox
      people. There was also political flavor in the decisions of church councils
      abroad in 1920-ies. In all the misfortunes which fell on the lot of Russian
      Church in the last century, there is a political factor, which should be
      taken into account in the analysis of church history."

      Well, let's try to proceed to such an analysis.

      It is generally known that Militant Church, i.e. existing in this world,
      after all can't but gets involved in politics. Bishops who found themselves
      abroad understood, like all sensible people, that a political gang had
      usurped the power in Russia, and that Bolsheviks were destroying physically
      and were crippling spiritually their subjects. As early as in 1921 the
      council in Sremskije Karlovtsy addressed the participants of the Conference
      in Genoa with a message, saying in particular:

      "Nations of Europe! Nations of the world! Have pity on our good, open,
      noble-hearted Russian nation that fell into the hands of world villains!
      Don't support them; don't set them against your children and grandchildren!
      You better help honest Russian citizens. Give them weapons, give them your
      volunteers, and help them to drive Bolshevism ? this cult of murder,
      plunder, and blasphemy ? out of Russia and out of the whole world."
      (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, N.Y., 1968, vol. I, p.32)

      And until recently the ROCOR was hard-edged towards atheistic and immoral
      Bolshevist regime, blaming aloud the falsity and cruelty of the "Soviet
      power".

      But Metropolitan Sergij, his accomplices and successors, by the order from
      Lubyanka justified godless butchers and corruptors of the Russian nations
      in every way possible, concealed and denied Bolsheviks' crimes, and
      moreover, spread their cynical theory that allegedly cannibal ideology of
      communism was akin to Christian learning.

      In 1949 the bloodiest tyrant in the whole history of mankind ? Iosif Stalin
      - turned seventy. In the twelfth issue of "The Magazine of Russian
      Patriarchy" of that year they published a flattering letter, in which all
      the "sergian" bishops of that time sent birthday greetings to Stalin ? the
      main executioner of Church and Motherland. This letter was, perhaps, the
      most disgraceful document in the whole history of Russian Orthodoxy. For
      example, let's quote the very beginning and the end of the letter:

      "Dear Iosif Vissarionivich,

      On the day of your seventieth birthday, when the national feeling of love
      and gratefulness to You ? The Leader, Teacher, and Friend of working people
      ? reached particular power and enthusiasm, we, the people of Church, feel a
      moral need to add our voice to the powerful chorus of greetings and express
      to You those thoughts and wishes that make a particularly precious part of
      our spiritual property.

      Being the citizens of the Great Soviet country and faithful children of our
      nation, we above all honor the feat of Your fruitful life, entirely devoted
      to struggle for freedom and happiness of people, and in this feat we
      perceive exceptional strength and selflessness of Your spirit. What we
      appreciate most is that in Your deeds, directed towards accomplishment of
      common welfare and justice, the entire world sees the triumph of moral
      principles over evil, cruelty, and oppression which dominate the
      obsolescent system of social relations.

      <...>

      And now, feeling on every step of our church and secular life the happy
      results of Your wise governmental leadership, we can't conceal our feelings
      and on behalf of Russian Orthodox Church we express to You, dear Iosif
      Vissarionovich, on the day of your seventieth birthday, our deep gratitude;
      and, warmly greeting you on this field day for all of us loving You, we
      pray for strengthening of Your powers and send you our prayerful wish to
      live for many years for joy and happiness of our Great Motherland, blessing
      Your feat of serving it and being ourselves inspired by this feat of
      Yours."

      Honestly, if I had been in the position of one of the participants of the
      patriarchal seminar, I wouldn't have included paragraph 7 in the "resulting
      document". In this respect there is a good English saying which goes:
      "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"."

      (to be ended)
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