- Dear List,
Many are lapidating Vl Varnava, with the blessing of their priest and
bishop. I have shown that the canons given as basis for his
condemnation by the synod are irrelevant (not only typos about
deaconesses, baptising the dead, involuntary murder etc., but also
those that do not really look like typos who can be sure?-).
Even to those who lapidate Vl Varnava might find it interesting to
know whom they are hitting. I have summarised below some events of
his Episcopal biography.
We are told on this forum (by respected priests) that bishops are
entitled to have their personal opinion, even when the latter
contradicts the position of the Church. (Please note that this is
against Vl Gregory Grabbe's concept: "Private opinions are
permissible only to the extent that they do not contradict the
doctrine of the Church").
Thus, we heard no official objection at Vl Ambrose's claim that the
only obstacles that separate us from the MP are psychological. Vl
Mark, without official objection, may suggest in a publicized
interview that we should request "autonomy" from the MP.
Why can one not accept that Vl Varnava, along with a sizeable part of
the Church and in line with the tradition of our Church, disagree
with the accelerated process of union with the MP, before it
renounces sergianism and ecumenism? Even if, as we hear a lot, there
is no such acceleration, can one punish those who think there is one,
and can document it?
Fr. Dmity wrote (post 7163): "... and just WHY do you keep hanging
around here?" Why do we hang around? Dear Father Dmitry, I hang
around because I long for unity. I say this without shame, and I
claim that any of us should long for unity, including you, if you are
Archbishop Hilarion, (who had rejected the declaration of
Metropolitan Sergius) said: "The principal truth of Christianity, its
great mystery - the Incarnation of the Son of God - is acknowledged
by all Christian creeds, yet this alone cannot fuse them into one
For, according to the Apostle James (2.19), the devils also believe;
as attested by the Gospel, they confessed their faith like the
Apostle Peter did (Matthew 16.16; 8.26; Mark 1.24; Luke 8.28). But do
they belong to one Church of Christ? On the other hand, the Church
community undoubtedly embraces people who do not know the dogmas of
the Council of Chalcedon and who are unable to say much about their
"Not only heretics but schismatics, too, separate themselves from the
Church. The essence of the separation remains the same." (Remember
the definition of schism. Those that have been excluded against their
will are not schismatic).
Do we have the right, under the eyes of Christ to enjoy a "unity"
that is the result of banning those members of the Church that did
not want to compromise about the Truth? (even if, as many believe,
they are mistaken.)I read that some medieval lord used to exterminate
the poor on his lands to fight poverty.
Some landmarks of Vl Varnava's episcopal service.
1982: In Russia, in the underground, under conditions of persecution,
Vl Varnava consecrated, Catacombs bishop Lazar on order of the Synod.
Who in those days of the communist persecutions against the Church
would have accepted such a dangerous task? Any of those who shout
now "Crucify him"?
1992/1993: By decision of the Synod, Vl is given the task of
organizing the ecclesial life in the country, with regard to parishes
that had joined our Church in Russia. One of the difficult issues was
the registration of our first diocese in Moscow, according to laws
still poorly defined in the country. How could this be done in such
conditions, without errors? Nobody, probably, would have been able to
give a satisfactory answer in that time.
1996/1997: Vl is appointed as representative of the Synod in the Holy
land. This is the time of armed conflicts, marked by the seizure of
our possessions in Hebron by the MP (in May, 1997). Vl did not
receive any help from the Synod in the fight against the expansion of
the MP. Moreover, the Synod decided to welcome Patriarch Alexis II
with full honours in our Jerusalem monasteries. The Synod then
punished all those who had opposed this visit. It moved Vl Varnava
and his main co-workers from the most important positions in our
Church. At that time was not Vl Varnava already a victim of the
process of rapprochement between the Synod and the MP?
2000: During the Council of October, Vl Varnava entered into a
fundamental disagreement with most of the bishops, who had switched
to the higher gear in the rapprochement with the MP. Vladyka refused
to sign a symbolic act, the Message of the Council sent to the
believers, in which he felt that the position of our Church with
regards to the confession of the orthodox faith in the modern world
was expressed in a double language.
We think that Vl Varnava has served well our Church and the Russian