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Re: The Orthodox Episcopate of the Russian persecuted Church

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  • goossir
    --Dear Father John, Bless! Thank you for answering so clearly. Let us hope that we are not anymore in this dialogue between deaf. The real deaf are those who
    Message 1 of 51 , Nov 29, 2002
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      --Dear Father John, Bless!

      Thank you for answering so clearly. Let us hope that we are not
      anymore in this dialogue between deaf. The real deaf are those who
      do not want to hear.
      So I understand that you consider that some effort/compromise (with
      God haters) is understandable to keep a few churches open.

      WELL, there are numerous examples to the contrary. Just take the
      persecutions at the beginning of Christianity: Do you think the
      first Holy Martyrs made any compromise with Rome? Did Christ
      reached a "modus vivendi" with Pilate?
      How can light compromise with darkness?
      Lenin, seeing that he could not erase the Faith by persecutions,
      said: "they want a church? We will give them one, but it will be
      ours".

      Please see this excerpt from "is the Grace of God present in the
      Soviet church" from Professor Ivan M. ANDREYEV:
      "Until 1927, the Orthodox Church qualitatively only grew from
      persecutions (as it always has and will do, for the "blood of
      martyrs" is the seed of Christianity"). The soviet government
      therefore changed their tactic of struggle which only proved the
      invincibility of the Orthodox Faith to persecution and oppression.
      The "patriarchs" Sergius and Alexei help the soviet authorities in
      its fight against the Church. During the War, if there would not
      have been compromises by Sergius and Alexei, the Soviet government
      would have been forced to make great concessions to the non-
      compromising church of martyrs and confessors.
      ……On this occasion: "As a result of the compromise with the
      authority by Metropolitan Sergius and the total enslavement of
      Patriarch Alexei, the authority sold their compromises of the church
      for a very high price, the penetration into the very structure of
      the Church's management."
      ….. If all bishops in 1927, would have followed Metropolitan
      Sergius, the Orthodox Faith would have been at present in great
      decline. Only thanks to the confessors and the martyrdom,
      principally of the episcopate which did not follow Metropolitan
      Sergius, there exists to this day in the USSR, the invincible and
      indestructible Catacomb Church, which spiritually feeds the truly
      Orthodox people…."

      That some who followed Sergius were finally also persecuted, just
      shows the unscrupulous cruelty of bolshevism – Stalin did kill his
      closest collaborators in 1937. It shows that we can only have a
      great pity for them, not only they lost their soul by trying to save
      their lives, but even in this they failed. God have mercy for them!

      We should not be afraid that churches (buildings) could be closed
      and destroyed, the real Church is "when you are assembled in the
      Name of our Lord Jesus ..., and the power of our Lord Jesus is
      present" (1 corinthians 5: 3-5).
      Dear Father John, should it not be our worst fear: to lose Christ?

      And, back to Alexis II's apologies, I quote again A.
      Andreyev: "Christian morality gives us a different example – an
      image, which should be a pattern for our behaviour after the sin of
      renouncing Christ – this is the image of "bitterly weeping" in the
      repentance of Apostle Peter".

      Yours in Christ
      Irina Pahlen

      - In orthodox-synod@y..., "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
      > Irina P. wrote:
      >
      > > Dear fDear Father John, Bless !
      > >
      > > You wrote : "Actually, most of these disputes simply repeat the
      > > same postings over and again."
      > > Yes I agree regarding the repeating posts. In French, this is
      > > called a "Dialogue de Sourds" (a dialogue between deafs).
      >
      > Eh bien, nous sommes d'accord...
      >
      > > You write: "Incidentally, I do not see any contradiction
      between
      > > the two quotations from the Patriarch. »
      > > Alexis II first declares that he is sorry for the wrongs that
      > > Sergianism entailed, but on the other hand says it was clever –
      > > these wrongs were clever!
      > > Father John, do we have such a different understanding of
      > > Christianity, of the Holy Teachings of Jesus Christ, that you do
      not
      > > see the contradiction in this, the evil spirit in such
      declarations?
      >
      > The way I understand these statements is as follows:
      >
      > 1) The Patriarch asks forgiveness for the wrongs done under Soviet
      rule.
      >
      > This seems to speak for itself--it shows that he admits to
      wrongdoing
      > (which is something many in "non-Sergianist" jurisdictions have
      more
      > trouble doing!), and asks pardon for all that has gone before.
      >
      > 2) The Patriarch says it was "clever" (this is someone's English
      > translation of what he said in Russian, and I do not have the
      Russian
      > original in front of me; but I think "clever" is far from the only
      way
      > it could be translated).
      >
      > What Vl. Nikon said to me, about 30 years ago, was: "I understand
      > Metropolitan Sergius' thinking. He was saying, 'Just let me
      arrange
      > (ustroit') the Church'--and the Grace of God will take care of the
      > rest, and will overcome Bolshevism.
      >
      > At any rate, there was no real choice in Russia at the time. It is
      > false to depict those who tried to reach a "modus vivendi" with
      the
      > Soviet regime as having somehow avoided persecution or dying for
      their
      > faith: most of those, in fact, whom the Bolsheviks arrested and
      shot,
      > were loyal to Metropolitan Sergius. The churches they closed (and
      out
      > of 50,000 churches and 20,000 chapels in Russia, virtually all
      were
      > closed or destroyed, as only a few hundred at most were still open
      on
      > the eve of the German invasion) -- these were the churches of the
      > Moscow Patriarchate. The clergy, even if they signed oaths of
      loyalty
      > to the Soviet state, were denied citizenship in their own country.
      >
      > I do not know of any religious group in Russia or elsewhere under
      > communist rule that carried on out-and-out war against the state.
      It
      > may be easy for those who live in Western democracies, with
      legally
      > guaranteed freedom of religion, to "reject all compromises" --
      > compromises no one even asks them to make! But it was obvious in
      Russia
      > that some sort of effort had to be made to keep some churches
      open.
      >
      > In Christ
      > Fr. John R. Shaw
    • goossir <irene.goossens@cec.eu.int>
      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
      Message 51 of 51 , Dec 8, 2002
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        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
        topic.
        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,
        Irina P

        In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrevjrs@e...>
        wrote:
        > Irina Pahlens wrote:
        >
        > > One million attending the Moleben – is that not an `en masse'
        > > reaction?
        >
        > But, alas, that was only on one occasion. The Bolsheviks did
        nothing
        > about it for the moment, but did not relent. Within a few years
        St.
        > Basil's on Red Square, which is one of the best-known churches in
        > Russia and probably the most-photographed church building in the
        world
        > (more than St. Peter's in Rome)--was closed for worship.
        >
        > > Just asking: is Alexis II drawing one million people to his
        > > services?
        >
        > He does, often, draw huge throngs of people. I don't have
        statistics on
        > the numbers.
        >
        > > Many stories are told about the destruction of churches. If
        they
        > > took peasants from other villages to destroy the church of
        another
        > > one, does this not prompt the question WHY? Taking them to
        another
        > > village was certainly a way to ease the job. It is always
        easier
        > > to destroy someone else's home than your own! We all know about
        the
        > > ferocious methods of the bolsheviks: Peasants were menaced to
        be
        > > killed if they did not comply. Relatives were taken as
        hostages –
        > > not everyone is a hero or a martyr. But there was some very
        serious
        > > resistance.
        >
        > 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
        in
        > > Christ footsteps. Are we not called to imitate Him?
        >
        > It is much easier to call on others to follow in the steps of
        Christ,
        > than to follow Christ oneself--n'est-ce pas?
        >
        > > So, who maintained the faith in Russia? The Catacombs or the
        open
        > > churches?
        >
        > The greatest stronghold of the Church was the Russian babushka.
        >
        > But because the devout babushki were able to take their
        grandchildren
        > to the few open churches and have them baptized, or expose them at
        > least a few times to the experience of Orthodox worship, today
        there is
        > a great return to the Church in Russia.
        >
        > In Christ
        > Fr. John R. Shaw
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