The Orthodox Episcopate of the Russian persecuted Church
- Dear List,
I think it may be interesting to quote a message from Father Q. de
Castelbajac below. (My translation).
"Considering the real fervour of the believers, certain priests or
monks of the MP, many of us wanted too soon believe that this "MP"
formed with the ROCA a single Russian Church and that it was
necessary to hasten this meeting, by having a dialogue with its
episcopate or by disregarding our theological or ethical differences.
It was underestimating the gravity of the evil that eats up the MP,
underestimating also the experience and the warning given by the
Church of Catacombs and by all those in Russia who, as the Father Lev
Lebediev, left the sergianist MP to join the ROCA.
It also was forgetting that the "MP" (even the name is a neologism of
the Soviet period, forged when Stalin, in 1943 appointed
as "patriarch" metropolitan Sergius) is in no way the Russian Mother
Church, no more than it is the legitimate heir of the ecclesial Body
that was chaired by the holy Patriarch Tikhon the Confessor and,
after his death, by the New-martyr Saint Peter of Kroutitsa.
It was with this true Church - and not with the sergianists - that
the ROCA always stayed in full religious community and union of
prayers, in spite of the dramatic difficulties of communication.
It is for Her that in every liturgy, in the slightest small church of
the Russian Diaspora, has been sung for more than seventy years the
litany for " the Orthodox Episcopate of the Russian persecuted
Church ", commemorated before even the Primacy and the Episcopate of
Http: // perso.wanadoo.fr/stranitchka/VO28/iniqu ite_de_PM.html
- Well, I think we all agree about the horrors of communist
persecution. (By the way, Mr Boitchencko, I think you are slightly
mistaken when you number the victims to only 20 millions.
Unfortunately, it was much more than that: A. Soljenytsine gives a
number of 60 millions and some other report up to 100 millions!---).
Father John said that the resistance of the Russian people was
poor. Some of us tried to prove the contrary. That was the main
There was also the question about the alternative for believers when
faced with these persecutions. Compromise or refusal of
compromise. Who saved the Faith, official open churches or the
secret catacomb one? You may of course include the little old
babushkas (but most of them went into the catacombs).
Thank you Vladimir for answering so well. Of course when I said
that we should always try to follow Christ footsteps, it was a
statement of universal conscience. I was just answering what was
the alternative and showed how this alternative was followed by many
Russians who won thus the martyr crown and veneration from Russian
people who finally forced the MP to glorify them. It was those
Saints and their example that are responsible for the rebirth of
Holy Russia not the ones (even if you found old babushkas in their
mist) who compromised, even with good intents.
I know, Dear Father John, even better than you do, how sinful I am.
Very often, writing on this list, I hesitate, asking myself whether
I am worthy of expressing any opinion.
What prompts me to write at last, is the search for the Truth, the
refusal to stay silent when I see our Church being menaced by
worldly agreements. I was always told that it is even a greater sin
to stay silent when you see, hear someone being slandered.
It was the uncompromising behaviour of our Church that made her so
unique and because of just this, evil forces try to tear her apart.
Being a sinner does not prevent me from desiring with all my heart
that the church stays pure, more so as I am not perfect.
With the Love in Christ,
In email@example.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...>
> Irina Pahlens wrote:nothing
> > One million attending the Moleben is that not an `en masse'
> > reaction?
> But, alas, that was only on one occasion. The Bolsheviks did
> about it for the moment, but did not relent. Within a few yearsSt.
> Basil's on Red Square, which is one of the best-known churches inworld
> Russia and probably the most-photographed church building in the
> (more than St. Peter's in Rome)--was closed for worship.statistics on
> > Just asking: is Alexis II drawing one million people to his
> > services?
> He does, often, draw huge throngs of people. I don't have
> the numbers.they
> > Many stories are told about the destruction of churches. If
> > took peasants from other villages to destroy the church ofanother
> > one, does this not prompt the question WHY? Taking them toanother
> > village was certainly a way to ease the job. It is alwayseasier
> > to destroy someone else's home than your own! We all know aboutthe
> > ferocious methods of the bolsheviks: Peasants were menaced tobe
> > killed if they did not comply. Relatives were taken ashostages
> > not everyone is a hero or a martyr. But there was some veryserious
> > resistance.in
> Indeed. But it was not enough to stop the Soviets, or to ease the
> pressure on the Church.
> > It is not a question of comparing, it is a question of following
> > Christ footsteps. Are we not called to imitate Him?Christ,
> It is much easier to call on others to follow in the steps of
> than to follow Christ oneself--n'est-ce pas?open
> > So, who maintained the faith in Russia? The Catacombs or the
> > churches?grandchildren
> The greatest stronghold of the Church was the Russian babushka.
> But because the devout babushki were able to take their
> to the few open churches and have them baptized, or expose them atthere is
> least a few times to the experience of Orthodox worship, today
> a great return to the Church in Russia.
> In Christ
> Fr. John R. Shaw