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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: TELLING THE TRUTH IS DANGEROUS...

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  • VladMoss@aol.com
    In a message dated 01/01/03 15:20:29 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@execpc.com ... A new path in ecclesiology does not immediately become apparent to all, and it
    Message 1 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
      In a message dated 01/01/03 15:20:29 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@...
      writes:


      > JRS: This endless, but vague, talk of a "new path in the ROCOR" may
      > seem very convenient to justify doing what one pleases. But when,
      > exactly, did the "new path" take effect? Vladimir Moss began making
      > this accusation over two decades ago; he particularly singled out the
      > late Archbishop Anthony of Geneva as a culprit, but Archbishop Anthony
      > of Geneva was responsible for the [initially secret] consecrations of
      > Varnava and Lazarus. It seems to me the very fact that these
      > accusations, brought forth by various "interested parties" at various
      > times since at least 1980 or 1981, if not earlier, belie that there has
      > been any change.
      >

      A new path in ecclesiology does not immediately become apparent to all, and
      it takes time to gather speed.

      It began with Archbishop Anthony, who, contrary to the public promises of the
      ROCOR Synod to the Old Calendarist Greeks, entered into communion with the
      Greek new calendarists. When I protested, Metropolitan Philaret told me to my
      face that I was right, but that he had no power to stop Anthony. However, the
      1983 anathema against ecumenism put at least a partial stop to the process of
      concelebrating with ecumenists.

      But it started again in 1986, with the partial disavowal of the 1983 anathema
      and Archbishop Anthony's instructing his clergy to serve with the new
      calendarists when in Greece, which led to the departure of the ROCOR's Paris
      mission to the OCs. Further activities of this sort also led to HOCNA's
      departure - although I do not deny that in that case there were also personal
      motives involved.

      In the 1990s the "new path" gathered momentum with ambiguous statements about
      the MP and more or less continuous and official communion with the Serbs,
      which greatly troubled especially the new members (and bishops) of the ROCOR
      inside Russia. This process reached its climax with the ROCOR Sobor's
      official letter to the Serbian Patriarch (only a few months after that
      patriarch called the ROCOR "schismatical") asking him to help in restoring
      communion with the Soviet church.

      So the path is not that new, but its adoption by the whole of the ROCOR Synod
      (excluding Metropolitan Vitaly and Archbishop Barnabas, of course) is new.

      Vladimir Moss


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • VladMoss@aol.com
      In a message dated 01/01/03 15:20:29 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@execpc.com ... Does not every priest in the Orthodox Church swear to abide by the canons? Even
      Message 2 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
        In a message dated 01/01/03 15:20:29 GMT Standard Time, vrevjrs@...
        writes:


        > And the disciplinary Canons (as opposed to those that define dogma) can
        > only be used by the hierarchy. To call on the individual to use them,
        > is like giving computer files to someone who lives in a land without
        > telephone lines, cables, or electricity...
        >

        Does not every priest in the Orthodox Church swear to abide by the canons?
        Even a layman like myself was asked formally to accept their authority when I
        joined the MP from Anglicanism in 1974.

        Certainly, no decree of any secular authority, even if he is an Orthodox
        Emperor like Peter the Great, can stand if it is opposed to the Holy Canons.

        Vladimir Moss


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • boulia_1 <eledkovsky@hotmail.com>
        I should like to respectfully point out to those brothers and sisters in Christ for whom English is a second, or (probably) a third (or maybe even fourth or
        Message 3 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
          I should like to respectfully point out to those brothers and sisters
          in Christ for whom English is a second, or (probably) a third (or
          maybe even fourth or fifth) language, an error that is repeatedly made
          on this list.

          That error is the increasingly frequent use of a made-up (i.e.
          non-existent in the English language) word as an adverb or adjective
          (see just a few recent examples below).

          It appears that this word has become, for certain posters, a
          catch-all, to be used to describe any activity by any person or
          ogranization of which he or she disapproves. In a sincere attempt to
          help these people convey their opinions more accurately, I offer some
          examples of descriptive words that actually excist in the English
          language, that might be used as a substitute for "sergianism" in
          future commentaries:

          distasteful, incorrect, improper, annoying, immoral, dangerous,
          aggravating, evil, frustrating, foolish, inappropriate, illegal,
          heartbreaking, irritating, problematic, questionable, bad, wrong ...

          I might also point out that Microsoft Word provides a decent English
          language thesaurus, if my short list proves insufficient, inadequate,
          woeful...

          Please, dear readers, do not be offended by this comment. As a writer
          and editor by profession, I only mean to point out that over-use of
          ANY word tends to dilute its impact. That is even more true for a
          made-up word like "sergianism," which really has no succinct and
          logical definition. The fact that it is bandied about by some people
          as frequently as the word "and" renders its meaning vaguer than ever.
          If you want people to believe this "word" means something, then stick
          to using it in the context of Patriarch Sergius' legacy within the MP
          (that IS what 'sergianism' is supposed to be about, isn't it?)

          In Christ,
          Elizabeth

          (preparing for the onslaught on angry replies from members of one camp
          and the silent cheers from everyone else).

          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff
          <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:


          > 2. Do you forget that L Rosnyanskaya was sent to Vl Vitaly by the NY
          > Synod with the mission to take control over him and to try to take
          > him back to NY under the control of the NY Synod. Is this not
          > frightful, to sin in the name of the truth? Is this not sergianism?
          >
          >

          > You attempt here to show that using fallacies can lead to the truth.
          > This is a kind of intellectual sergianism.
          >
          > We all agree that the situation in which we live is very abnormal.
          > Who would have predicted that respected priests in the ROCOR would
          > promote ecumenism and sergianism?
          >
          >
        • Paul O. BARTLETT
          On Wed, 1 Jan 2003, vkozyreff wrote: ... Could someone be kind enough to define intellectual sergianism ? Thanks. Just from a
          Message 4 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
            On Wed, 1 Jan 2003, vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@...> wrote:
            (excerpt):

            > You attempt here to show that using fallacies can lead to the truth.
            > This is a kind of intellectual sergianism.

            Could someone be kind enough to define "intellectual sergianism"?
            Thanks.

            Just from a brief membership in these two mailing lists ("synod"
            and "rocor") I am beginning to wonder if there is so much contention
            that if God does guide me back to Orthodox Christianity then I wonder
            where I will hang my hat. I was orginally baptized at Holy
            Transfiguration Monastery, which then under the ROCOR but is now under
            some other jurisdiction. All this wrangling in American Orthodoxy is
            becoming very discouraging. Maybe I should just stay where I now am
            (which is outside Christianity entirely).

            --
            Paul Bartlett
            bartlett at smart.net
          • Margaret Lark
            Glory to God for all things! From: Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 2:48 PM ... What the heck, my name is mud on this list anyway:
            Message 5 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
              Glory to God for all things!

              From: <eledkovsky@...>
              Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 2:48 PM


              | In Christ,
              | Elizabeth
              |
              | (preparing for the onslaught on angry replies from members of one camp
              | and the silent cheers from everyone else).

              What the heck, my name is mud on this list anyway:

              THREE CHEERS FOR ELIZABETH! I've grown so accustomed to the use of the term
              "sergianism" that I hadn't even picked up on your excellent point, that it
              is actually a made-up word. And a very overworked one, at that.

              Frankly, there are posts I just go ahead and delete without reading them, at
              this point. It's getting too close to Nativity for me to want to inflame my
              passions any more than they are already (like I really needed *more* items
              for my confession list....)

              Write to me offlist, when you get a chance, and tell me how you're doing.

              With love in Christ,
              Margaret Lark, sinner
            • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
              Dear Elizabeth, You write: I offer some examples of descriptive words that actually exist in the English language, that might be used as a substitute for
              Message 6 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
                Dear Elizabeth,

                You write: " I offer some examples of descriptive words that
                actually exist in the English language, that might be used as a
                substitute for "sergianism" in future commentaries: distasteful,
                incorrect, improper, annoying, immoral, dangerous, aggravating,
                evil, frustrating, foolish, inappropriate, illegal, heartbreaking,
                irritating, problematic, questionable, bad, wrong ..."

                Let me kindly comment that, except evil, distasteful, heartbreaking
                and wrong, which are English and which everybody knows, all other
                adjectives of your list are French.

                I disagree with your suggestion to use them instead of sergianism,
                because they are adjectives, and because they express psychological,
                affective reactions. They cannot be substitutes for an abstract noun
                which expresses a theological concept. In speaking about the Church,
                would you suggest, in order to keep the impact strong enough, to
                replace that term by such adjectives as: tasteful, correct, proper,
                moral, safe, alleviating, beneficial, satisfactory, intelligent,
                appropriate, legal, consoling, quietening, clear, unquestionable,
                good, right…?

                Regarding your idea that "If you want people to believe this "word"
                means something, then stick to using it in the context of Patriarch
                Sergius' legacy within the MP (that IS what 'sergianism' is supposed
                to be about, isn't it?)", let me say the following:

                The human mind works by identifying common patterns among apparently
                separate objects. Showing the efficiency of this in research and
                intelligence was one of the most important contributions of
                structuralism in philosophy. This is the way the natural sciences and
                medicine progress too.

                When Father Shaw suggest that I am "protestant", he makes the kind of
                generalisation which is the basic function of intelligence. He
                analysed the essence of Protestantism and did not restrict himself to
                call Protestants the formal or nominal adepts of Luther's and
                associates' legacy. He just decided to call "Protestantism" the
                attitude by which a man makes his personal religion, which is the
                essence of Protestantism, by contrast to orthodoxy, in which the
                faith is one and common. In this, he is correct. One can thus say "In
                every man's soul, a protestant is sleeping".

                In the same way, one might say "In every man's soul, a sergianist is
                sleeping".

                I attempt to analyse the essence of sergianism. I think it is the
                belief that, in particularly critical situations, instead of
                recommending one's soul to God with even more fervour, one must and
                can defend the divine truth by lying.

                In other words, you can and must make a deal with the Liar to save
                the Church of Christ in particular circumstances. It is thus the
                apology of lie as a supreme and last resort when God has abandoned
                His people. It is related to the principle that the goal justifies
                the means. That is why I speak about intellectual sergianism when one
                claim to defend the truth by fallacies. The affective reactions that
                this evokes in your mind are interesting, but are altogether a
                different theme.

                I try to find out how perverse sergianism is and how it can
                infiltrate our thinking as a cancer can invade an organism. Remember
                that Met Sergius was also an ecumenist before the letter (see post
                7041). I think there is a link between the two heresies. It can be
                observed in concrete cases (the defenders of the first defend the
                second and vice versa, as seen on this list). If one analyses the
                essence of the two heresies, I suspect that one might find out that
                they have a lot in common.

                Christ was crucified because the Jews could not accept that the
                Kingdom is not of this world. They felt betrayed by the claim that
                the Messiah would not liberate them from the Romans, but from the
                sin. The main enemy of man, Satan, constantly tries to convince us
                that the Kingdom is of this world, on the contrary. Met Sergius could
                not accept that the fight does not go about material things, even
                when the Faith is persecuted. Even Orthodox find it sometimes hard to
                accept, in spite of their confessing the creed.

                Let us thus call a cat a cat and sergianism sergianism. In saying
                that we should not use the term because it is not defined is joining
                the MP in its attempt to escape repentance. In addition, in doing so,
                you are teaching a lesson to our predecessors in our dear Church and
                to the millions of martyrs that considered sergianism to be
                sufficiently well defined to die for refusing it. Please see again
                Father Alexander Lebedeff first manner below.

                Fighting sergianism is one of the main reasons for our Church to
                exist. When it disappears with ecumenism and when the MP repents, we
                will automatically cease to exist as ROCOR and become the orthodox
                Church of Russia. So, this is not a boring theme for a believer.

                In God,

                Vladimir Kozyreff

                Sergianism is not the recognition by the Church of the existence of a
                State dedicated to the eradication of the Church.

                It is not the recognition by the Church of the authority of a State
                dedicated to the eradication of the Church.

                It is not the cooperation of the Church with a State dedicated to the
                eradication of the Church.

                Sergianism, in its essence, is the concept that in order for the
                Church to preserve some semblance of its existence in the face of a
                State dedicated to the eradication of the Church, it is permissible
                for the Church (as represented by its ecclesiastical authorities—its
                hierarchs and senior clergy) to lie—to lie openly and bare-headedly,
                both to one's flock, and to the entire world.

                To lie openly about the extent of the persecution of the Church by
                the State.

                To lie openly about the very existence of persecution of the Church
                by the State.

                To lie openly by denying the Martyrs and Confessors of the Church.

                Sergianism is the very denial of Christ, Who said "I am the Way, the
                Truth, and the Life."

                Sergianism is the very denial of the path of Christ, the path of the
                Cross, the path of Confessors and Martyrs.

                Sergianism is the embodiment of the concept that the "end justifies
                the means," that any means, including those expressly forbidden by
                God's commandments (specifically, "Thou shalt not bear false
                witness"), are permissible, as long as the goal is to "save the
                Church."

                Sergianism is the affirmation of the concept that it is we who
                must "save the Church," even at the cost of lying openly and
                bareheadedly (thus following the path of Satan, the "Father of
                Lies"), rather than it is us who must be saved by the Church, by our
                standing fast in the Truth, even in the face of persecution, torture,
                and martyrdom.

                As such, Sergianism is contrary to our very calling, as Christians,
                and must be totally rejected by Orthodox Christians, and it must
                never be justified.

                Those who attempt to justify it are, unfortunately, just compounding
                the sins of their predecessors.

                The sooner this sad page in contemporary Orthodox history is put
                behind us, the sooner we can all move forward in proclaiming God's
                eternal truth.

                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "boulia_1 <eledkovsky@h...>"
                <eledkovsky@h...> wrote:
                > I should like to respectfully point out to those brothers and
                sisters
                > in Christ for whom English is a second, or (probably) a third (or
                > maybe even fourth or fifth) language, an error that is repeatedly
                made
                > on this list.
                >
                > That error is the increasingly frequent use of a made-up (i.e.
                > non-existent in the English language) word as an adverb or
                adjective
                > (see just a few recent examples below).
                >
                > It appears that this word has become, for certain posters, a
                > catch-all, to be used to describe any activity by any person or
                > ogranization of which he or she disapproves. In a sincere attempt
                to
                > help these people convey their opinions more accurately, I offer
                some
                > examples of descriptive words that actually excist in the English
                > language, that might be used as a substitute for "sergianism" in
                > future commentaries:
                >
                > distasteful, incorrect, improper, annoying, immoral, dangerous,
                > aggravating, evil, frustrating, foolish, inappropriate, illegal,
                > heartbreaking, irritating, problematic, questionable, bad, wrong ...
                >
                > I might also point out that Microsoft Word provides a decent
                English
                > language thesaurus, if my short list proves insufficient,
                inadequate,
                > woeful...
                >
                > Please, dear readers, do not be offended by this comment. As a
                writer
                > and editor by profession, I only mean to point out that over-use of
                > ANY word tends to dilute its impact. That is even more true for a
                > made-up word like "sergianism," which really has no succinct and
                > logical definition. The fact that it is bandied about by some
                people
                > as frequently as the word "and" renders its meaning vaguer than
                ever.
                > If you want people to believe this "word" means something, then
                stick
                > to using it in the context of Patriarch Sergius' legacy within the
                MP
                > (that IS what 'sergianism' is supposed to be about, isn't it?)
                >
                > In Christ,
                > Elizabeth
                >
                > (preparing for the onslaught on angry replies from members of one
                camp
                > and the silent cheers from everyone else).
                >
                > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff
                > <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > > 2. Do you forget that L Rosnyanskaya was sent to Vl Vitaly by the
                NY
                > > Synod with the mission to take control over him and to try to
                take
                > > him back to NY under the control of the NY Synod. Is this not
                > > frightful, to sin in the name of the truth? Is this not
                sergianism?
                > >
                > >
                >
                > > You attempt here to show that using fallacies can lead to the
                truth.
                > > This is a kind of intellectual sergianism.
                > >
                > > We all agree that the situation in which we live is very
                abnormal.
                > > Who would have predicted that respected priests in the ROCOR
                would
                > > promote ecumenism and sergianism?
                > >
                > >
              • stefanvpavlenko <StefanVPavlenko@netscap
                ... Do you remember why that happened? Police had been called to the Synod of Bishops in NY. They had been told that Met. Vitaly was either unconscious on the
                Message 7 of 21 , Jan 1, 2003
                  --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff
                  <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                  > Dear father Stefan, bless.
                  >
                  > You write:
                  >
                  > "Metropolitan Vitaly retired and a new Metropolitan was duly elected
                  > and enthroned. At the present time even his own loyal clergy admit
                  > that he (Metropolitan Vitaly)is under the control of Ludmilla
                  > Rasnianskaya, who had during his actual reign as head of the Church
                  > controlled access to him and controlled correspondence with him. She
                  > also attempted to hide, cover up and diminish the extent of his
                  > dementia".
                  >
                  > 1. Do you remember that Vl Vitaly was forcefully taken by police (a
                  > woman police officer) that went to the altar to take him by force for
                  > a psychiatric examination and that the medical conclusion was that Vl
                  > Vitaly was sane and able to perform his duties of first hierarch?


                  Do you remember why that happened?
                  Police had been called to the Synod of Bishops in NY. They had been
                  told that Met. Vitaly was either unconscious on the floor or in grave
                  physical danger. The police supported the Met. when he chose to go to
                  Mansonville with Mrs. Rasnyanskaya. When the police were shown
                  medications for various diseases including dementia which were
                  prescribed by different doctors and dispensed by different pharmacies
                  they feared they could be responsible for the Metropolitans future
                  well being. The US Border police and Canadian police arrived at
                  Mansonville. Here, not like at the Synod they were not allowed
                  immediate access to the Metropolitan. The church doors were locked
                  (?!) and they were delayed. This brought there response level up a
                  number of degrees and they no longer remained cordial. The medical
                  doctors in the hospital found Metropolitan Vitaly sane, and not a
                  threat to himself or any one else, sanity and dementia are different.
                  The letter from ROCiE clerics shows that they now agree that the
                  Metropolitan is in some state of mental deterioration.
                  >
                  > 2. Do you forget that L Rosnyanskaya was sent to Vl Vitaly by the NY
                  > Synod with the mission to take control over him and to try to take
                  > him back to NY under the control of the NY Synod. Is this not
                  > frightful, to sin in the name of the truth? Is this not sergianism?
                  >
                  It seems that it was hoped that the Metropolitan could reside at the
                  Convent Novo Diveevo near NY. It was a concession to the Metropolitans
                  insistence to allow Mrs. Rasnyanskaya to continue being his care
                  taker, declawed and neutralized. As it turned out she took advantage
                  of all parties concerned and having reunited with the Metropolitan she
                  reasserted her previous devious position.


                  > You write:
                  >
                  > "Bishop Varnava was censured, then he was deposed by the Synod of
                  > Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Metropolitan
                  > Vitaly had no individual power or privileged to reinstate Varnava".
                  >
                  > The deposition of Vl Varnava cannot be taken seriously by any
                  > informed orthodox, knowing that he was judged and condemned without
                  > hearing, on the basis of irrelevant canons in a way that would
                  > horrify any person who knows anything about canons, and knowing that
                  > he was condemned a second time for sins that had already been judged
                  > and pardoned.

                  The Synod of Bishops, including Metropolitan Vitaly censured Bishop
                  Varnava for his activities and the Synod of Bishops deposed him for
                  his support of the schismatic priests and establishment of his own
                  Church Authority in Europe which infringed on other bishop's diocese.
                  He chose not to attend a Synod gathering that was ready to examine his
                  case and there by forfeited his appeals. When a person repents of a
                  sin it is understood that he rejects it forever, if he returns to that
                  sin or he has reservations at the time of repentance, he most
                  certainly may be judged guilty again.



                  >
                  > It is obvious that the real reason for which he was "deposed" was to
                  > prevent him from resisting the new path order in the ROCOR.

                  There is no NEW PATH, other that the one ROCiE has invented.

                  In
                  > conclusion, an orthodox who perceives things as explained above
                  > cannot accept the deposition as valid and cannot be convinced by mere
                  > statements to the contrary. Christians are taught to beware of false
                  > prophets and false teachings and to exert their capacity to identify
                  > them.
                  >

                  > You attempt here to show that using fallacies can lead to the truth.
                  > This is a kind of intellectual sergianism.


                  Varnava was deposed. A Fact.
                  Metropolitan Vitaly retired. A Fact.
                  Metropolitan didn't celebrate the Liturgy. A Fact.
                  Archimandrite Sergious was not properly consecrated. A Fact
                  Vladimir was among those who caused trouble at Holy Trinity Monastery.
                  A Fact.
                  Vladimir's consecration is not valid. A Fact.

                  Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
                • Fr. John R. Shaw
                  ... Let me point out that the impression one gets from these e-mail lists is very much skewed. All this wrangling is the work of a very small handful of
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jan 2, 2003
                    Paul Bartlett wrote:

                    > Just from a brief membership in these two mailing lists ("synod"
                    > and "rocor") I am beginning to wonder if there is so much contention
                    > that if God does guide me back to Orthodox Christianity then I wonder
                    > where I will hang my hat. I was orginally baptized at Holy
                    > Transfiguration Monastery, which then under the ROCOR but is now under
                    > some other jurisdiction. All this wrangling in American Orthodoxy is
                    > becoming very discouraging. Maybe I should just stay where I now am
                    > (which is outside Christianity entirely).

                    Let me point out that the impression one gets from these e-mail lists
                    is very much skewed. "All this wrangling" is the work of a very small
                    handful of people; they are heard from here, but not too much anywhere
                    else (though HTM would be the exception, as it has been wrangling since
                    1986).

                    However, the sad truth is that "all this" has driven many people away
                    from Orthodoxy and the Church over the years, who had been thinking of
                    joining or returning.

                    My recommendation is to visit an actual parish, rather than going only
                    by what you read here...

                    In Christ
                    Fr. John R. Shaw
                  • Margaret Lark
                    Glory to God for all things! From: Paul O. BARTLETT Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 3:49 PM THIS, MESSRS. KOZYREFF, MOSS, AND RUST,
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jan 2, 2003
                      Glory to God for all things!

                      From: "Paul O. BARTLETT" <bartlett@...>
                      Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 3:49 PM

                      THIS, MESSRS. KOZYREFF, MOSS, AND RUST, AND MS. PAHLEN, IS EXACTLY WHY WE
                      NEED TO BE CAREFUL OF WHAT WE THROW AROUND. If this gentleman does remain
                      outside the Faith, it is you and your sympathizers who will have to answer
                      before God. (And probably, unfortunately, me too, for responding in this
                      manner, but I have found this thread increasingly scandalous myself and now
                      feel I must speak, when its fruits become so apparent.)

                      | Just from a brief membership in these two mailing lists ("synod"
                      | and "rocor") I am beginning to wonder if there is so much contention
                      | that if God does guide me back to Orthodox Christianity then I wonder
                      | where I will hang my hat. I was orginally baptized at Holy
                      | Transfiguration Monastery, which then under the ROCOR but is now under
                      | some other jurisdiction. All this wrangling in American Orthodoxy is
                      | becoming very discouraging. Maybe I should just stay where I now am
                      | (which is outside Christianity entirely).

                      Dear Mr. Bartlett, don't go. Don't judge Orthodox Christianity by what you
                      read on the internet. I will be happy to speak with you offlist, if you
                      would like, but would urge you to join another list -- "orthodox-convert,"
                      perhaps, which has over 600 members who, thanks to occasional gentle
                      reminders from the moderator, keep the level of discourse at a remarkably
                      civilized level. The wrangling *is* very discouraging, but I would remind
                      you that the Evil One rejoices to see it, and will never cease attacking
                      Christ's Church.

                      For what it's worth, I have recently affiliated with ROCOR from the GOA. I
                      knew about this controversy, saw it develop from its very beginnings, have
                      studied the claims of the various contenders, and am comfortable with my
                      decision -- for one thing, it brings me great peace, and for another, it is
                      ROCOR that encourages me to struggle with my own sins, iinstead of flinging
                      mud at priests and hierarchs. God alone judges their worthiness to lead His
                      flock; I am nothing more than a simple sheep, and sometimes pretty black, at
                      that.

                      But as a sheep (and incidentally, as someone who knows rather more about
                      real sheep than most people), I also know that all I have to rely on in this
                      life is my Shepherd, and His under-shepherds. It was His guidance I asked
                      when faced with my decision, and the way events have arranged themselves in
                      my life, I have no doubt as to which is His true flock.

                      I hope to hear from you soon.

                      In Christ,
                      Margaret Lark, sinner
                    • janie pyle
                      Thank you, Margaret, for saying what so many are thinking. Mr. Bartlett, please just use the delete key when you see certain names. Don t let them dissuade
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jan 2, 2003
                        Thank you, Margaret, for saying what so many are
                        thinking. Mr. Bartlett, please just use the delete
                        key when you see certain names. Don't let them
                        dissuade you from returning to Orthodoxy. I hope you
                        find a parish (I am in Rocor, also) where you may be
                        nurtured as you travel the "royal path". I had hopes
                        that some of these characters would make a resolution
                        not to put their vitriol in print for the civil New
                        Year but according to recent posts that doesn't appear
                        to be happening. Let us remember to pray for these
                        poor souls who are tares among the wheat. Delete and
                        pray.... Magdalena

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                      • Peter Okopny
                        I am too, dismayed with such badgering going on before Christmas and overall. I thought this line was for FRIENDS of ROCOR ONLY, I believe that these people
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jan 2, 2003
                          I am too, dismayed with such badgering going on before Christmas and overall. I thought this line was for FRIENDS of ROCOR ONLY, I believe that these people should be removed from the list since they have proved that they are not!

                          I pray that GOD may help them!

                          One very sinful and annoyed Cossack,

                          Peter Okopny
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Fr. John R. Shaw
                          To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com ; orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 7:32 AM
                          Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: TELLING THE TRUTH IS DANGEROUS...


                          Paul Bartlett wrote:

                          > Just from a brief membership in these two mailing lists ("synod"
                          > and "rocor") I am beginning to wonder if there is so much contention
                          > that if God does guide me back to Orthodox Christianity then I wonder
                          > where I will hang my hat. I was orginally baptized at Holy
                          > Transfiguration Monastery, which then under the ROCOR but is now under
                          > some other jurisdiction. All this wrangling in American Orthodoxy is
                          > becoming very discouraging. Maybe I should just stay where I now am
                          > (which is outside Christianity entirely).

                          Let me point out that the impression one gets from these e-mail lists
                          is very much skewed. "All this wrangling" is the work of a very small
                          handful of people; they are heard from here, but not too much anywhere
                          else (though HTM would be the exception, as it has been wrangling since
                          1986).

                          However, the sad truth is that "all this" has driven many people away
                          from Orthodoxy and the Church over the years, who had been thinking of
                          joining or returning.

                          My recommendation is to visit an actual parish, rather than going only
                          by what you read here...

                          In Christ
                          Fr. John R. Shaw


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                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Margaret Lark
                          Glory to God for all things! From: Peter Okopny Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 5:55 PM ... And if there s *one* thing you
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jan 4, 2003
                            Glory to God for all things!

                            From: "Peter Okopny" <peter.okopny@...>
                            Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 5:55 PM

                            | One very sinful and annoyed Cossack,

                            And if there's *one* thing you *don't* want to do, it's tick off a Cossack.
                            ;-)

                            In Christ,
                            Margaret Lark, sinner
                          • Hristofor
                            ... The so-called new path (a red herring of I ever saw one) can be compared to other hysterical claims of pending doom. Here is a sampling, spanning the
                            Message 13 of 21 , Jan 11, 2003
                              At 10:19 AM 1/1/2003, you wrote:
                              >JRS: This endless, but vague, talk of a "new path in the ROCOR" may
                              >seem very convenient to justify doing what one pleases. But when,
                              >exactly, did the "new path" take effect? Vladimir Moss began making
                              >this accusation over two decades ago; he particularly singled out the
                              >late Archbishop Anthony of Geneva as a culprit, but Archbishop Anthony
                              >of Geneva was responsible for the [initially secret] consecrations of
                              >Varnava and Lazarus. It seems to me the very fact that these
                              >accusations, brought forth by various "interested parties" at various
                              >times since at least 1980 or 1981, if not earlier, belie that there has
                              >been any change.

                              The so-called "new path" (a red herring of I ever saw one) can be compared
                              to other hysterical claims of pending doom. Here is a sampling, spanning
                              the centuries:

                              Old-believers thought the world was ending with the nikonian reforms and
                              some even went as far as committing suicide.

                              In the US, there have been untold numbers of sects which have foretold the
                              pending "End of the World". The only thing that has ended was they: either
                              by committing suicide or becoming a laughing stock when the World Did Not End.

                              In the 90's, many Orthodox (myself among them), were concerned by the
                              pope's desire for at least "pascal union" if not liturgical union between
                              Rome and the Protestants by 2000. "See," said the far right-wingers, "first
                              they will force RC Pascha on us and then full union will not be far behind!
                              You wait and see." Well, here we are, waiting to ring in '03 in a few days,
                              and I rarely hear mention about a common Pascha anywhere. In fact, the only
                              talk that I have heard is among the Protestants, for a fixed date for their
                              Easter. That probably would be anathema to Rome, and should be anathema to
                              all Orthodox bishops.

                              Hristofor
                            • goossir <irene.goossens@cec.eu.int>
                              Dear Hristofor, You write: « The so-called new path (a red herring if I ever saw one) can be compared to other hysterical claims of pending doom …..».
                              Message 14 of 21 , Jan 13, 2003
                                Dear Hristofor,

                                You write: « The so-called "new path" (a red herring if I ever saw
                                one) can be compared to other hysterical claims of pending doom …..».

                                The recent dialogue below between Fr Seraphim Holland and Fr John
                                Shaw is hardly a product of our imagination.

                                "--- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, " Fr. Seraphim Holland wrote:
                                I have not had experienced much hatred or innuendo for a while, so I
                                want to say plainly: I would completely accept union with the MP if
                                my synod of bishops so desires it. A more likely scenario is
                                liturgical communion, which I would also accept with great joy.
                                Father John Shaw replied (post 7395): It seems to me that the two
                                sides are getting closer and closer to each other all the time.
                                In Christ
                                Fr. John R. Shaw"

                                The rapprochement with the MP is taking place, despite so numerous
                                postings on this list, (and not the least, the last interview of
                                Alexis II, posted by V. Kozyreff), demonstrating the lies and deceits
                                of the MP, which is in no way amending itself but wishes to shush any
                                allusion to sergianism and ecumenism.
                                We see now our priest acknowledging it in the face of the world that
                                they accept with joy communion with the heretical MP.
                                Father Seraphim writes that he is ready to a complete union with the
                                sergianist-ecumenist MP if the synod desires it, in spite of the
                                anathemas of 1983 and 1918. Fr John is confirming the probability of
                                the rapprochement which is already seen in the October 2000 letter
                                from the Synod to the Patriarch of Serbia: "... the desired
                                rapprochement will advance, ...")
                                And in:
                                "We acknowledge that various views on the course of the Church of
                                Russia exist among us, and it happens that these views do not always
                                coincide". (Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox
                                Church Outside of Russia To the Divinely Saved Flock in the
                                Homeland). In http://www.holyvirginmaryrocor.org/epistle10-31-01-
                                eng.html

                                Well, dear Hristofor, this is what we call the new path/views in the
                                ROCOR.

                                In Christ,

                                Irina Pahlen

                                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Hristofor <hristofor@m...>
                                wrote:
                                > At 10:19 AM 1/1/2003, you wrote:
                                > >JRS: This endless, but vague, talk of a "new path in the ROCOR" may
                                > >seem very convenient to justify doing what one pleases. But when,
                                > >exactly, did the "new path" take effect? Vladimir Moss began
                                making
                                > >this accusation over two decades ago; he particularly singled out
                                the
                                > >late Archbishop Anthony of Geneva as a culprit, but Archbishop
                                Anthony
                                > >of Geneva was responsible for the [initially secret] consecrations
                                of
                                > >Varnava and Lazarus. It seems to me the very fact that these
                                > >accusations, brought forth by various "interested parties" at
                                various
                                > >times since at least 1980 or 1981, if not earlier, belie that
                                there has
                                > >been any change.
                                >
                                > The so-called "new path" (a red herring of I ever saw one) can be
                                compared
                                > to other hysterical claims of pending doom. Here is a sampling,
                                spanning
                                > the centuries:
                                >
                                > Old-believers thought the world was ending with the nikonian
                                reforms and
                                > some even went as far as committing suicide.
                                >
                                > In the US, there have been untold numbers of sects which have
                                foretold the
                                > pending "End of the World". The only thing that has ended was they:
                                either
                                > by committing suicide or becoming a laughing stock when the World
                                Did Not End.
                                >
                                > In the 90's, many Orthodox (myself among them), were concerned by
                                the
                                > pope's desire for at least "pascal union" if not liturgical union
                                between
                                > Rome and the Protestants by 2000. "See," said the far right-
                                wingers, "first
                                > they will force RC Pascha on us and then full union will not be far
                                behind!
                                > You wait and see." Well, here we are, waiting to ring in '03 in a
                                few days,
                                > and I rarely hear mention about a common Pascha anywhere. In fact,
                                the only
                                > talk that I have heard is among the Protestants, for a fixed date
                                for their
                                > Easter. That probably would be anathema to Rome, and should be
                                anathema to
                                > all Orthodox bishops.
                                >
                                > Hristofor
                              • Hristofor
                                ... No offense to Frs Seraphim and John, but they are expressing their own opinions and views of the current situation. With the exception of the musings of
                                Message 15 of 21 , Jan 14, 2003
                                  At 10:40 AM 1/13/2003, you wrote:
                                  >Dear Hristofor,
                                  >The recent dialogue below between Fr Seraphim Holland and Fr John Shaw is
                                  >hardly a product of our imagination.

                                  No offense to Frs Seraphim and John, but they are expressing their own
                                  opinions and views of the current situation. With the exception of the
                                  musings of Vl. Amvrosi and the German newspaper interview with Vl Mark, and
                                  etc, all of which have been thoroughly discussed on this list, I have yet
                                  to hear any other ROCA bishop express similar pro union views, either in
                                  the year that I have been on this list or elsewhere. Not one other bishop.
                                  Do one or two bishops set the course and direction of the whole Church? The
                                  more so since Vl Amvrosy is not a member of the Synod and thus doesn't even
                                  attend the more frequent synodal meetings. As a matter of fact, 2 bishops
                                  in separate private conversations have expressed to me a
                                  less-then-optimistic picture about the speed for union or communion.

                                  >The rapprochement with the MP is taking place,
                                  Isn't that what all we Russian emigrees have hoped and prayed for the last
                                  80 years? A lady in our parish now has relatives spread through 5
                                  _different_ Russian Orthodox jurisdictions, each one claiming to be The
                                  Russian Orthodox Church. I myself have them in 3. If someone happens to
                                  have some Ukrainian relatives as well, that could theoretically bring the
                                  total up to 8 or 9 jurisdictions. Is this normal? Surely you have heard the
                                  adage "Concur and divide?" Looks like that is what is happening. I have
                                  already mentioned how many Orthodox souls in the US have fallen or drifted
                                  away due to marriage etc. How many more need to be lost, because through
                                  the tragedy of the Revolution and the Diaspora, the Russian Orthodox no
                                  longer speak with one mind and voice? Who will answer for these people who
                                  have drifted away?

                                  >We see now our priest acknowledging it in the face of the world that
                                  >they accept with joy communion with the heretical MP.
                                  >Father Seraphim writes that he is ready to a complete union with the
                                  >sergianist-ecumenist MP if the synod desires it, in spite of the
                                  >anathemas of 1983 and 1918. Fr John is confirming the probability of
                                  >the rapprochement which is already seen in the October 2000 letter
                                  >from the Synod to the Patriarch of Serbia: "... the desired
                                  >rapprochement will advance, ...")

                                  BTW, Metropolitan Vitaly signed the letter to the Serbian Patriarch, did he
                                  not? Or did he "realise this mistake and remove his signature from that
                                  letter as well." There have been so many ukases followed by retractions
                                  from Mansonville with his purported signature, that it is hard to keep
                                  track...

                                  Mr Kozyrev's arguments aside for correcting a mistake, I wonder how many
                                  ukazes ROCA has issued in it's 80 year history that have later had
                                  signatures retracted from them? Certainly, there have been ukazes changing,
                                  abolishing or amending previous ones, as a situation may warrant, but those
                                  were always done with a majority of the bishops and not unilaterally. Since
                                  Mr Kozyreff has dismissed Fr Alexander's 3 reasons for signature
                                  retraction, what then could possibly have changed Vl. Varnava's mind? I
                                  presume all the bishops were privy to all the same information: they are
                                  all learned and knowledgeable about the current state of World Orthodoxy
                                  when the issue of the letter to Patr. Pavle arose. On the other hand, I
                                  don't know of any major scandal or crisis which erupted in the Serbian
                                  Church directly after our October sobor which would have changed Vl.
                                  Varnava's mind so abruptly.

                                  >We see now our priest acknowledging it in the face of the world that they
                                  >accept with joy communion with the heretical MP.

                                  Well, only you and a few others operate under the premise that the MP is
                                  heretical.

                                  One of the oddest parts to phantom about the schism (assuming that the
                                  reason for it is union/communion with Moscow, which I sincerely doubt) is
                                  that most of the issues and concerns troubling the French have been
                                  occurring in one form or another for years, without much ado. And
                                  then--boom!--in an instant, the French are in schism. For instance, just
                                  before the split, right there on rue Claude Lorrain, the Moscow
                                  myhrr-bearing icon of Tsar-Martyr Nikolai II is brought from Russia and is
                                  in our Parisian parish to be venerated. Fast-forward two years later and
                                  now some of the same people who venerated the icon are saying that the MP
                                  is heretical!!

                                  >And in:
                                  >"We acknowledge that various views on the course of the Church of
                                  >Russia exist among us, and it happens that these views do not always
                                  >coincide". (Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox
                                  >Church Outside of Russia To the Divinely Saved Flock in the
                                  >Homeland). In http://www.holyvirginmaryrocor.org/epistle10-31-01-
                                  >eng.html
                                  >
                                  >Well, dear Hristofor, this is what we call the new path/views in the
                                  >ROCOR.

                                  During the years of Soviet power, I never imagined how the USSR would meet
                                  its demise and I certainly didn't think that it would happen the way it
                                  would. As much as I would have loved for the USSR to disappear and the
                                  clock turn back to 1917, it just didn't happen that way. Hatred of the USSR
                                  and all the bad things which happened to Russia in the past century should
                                  not turn in to an illogical stumbling block which paralyzes all present and
                                  future activity.

                                  Labelling everything from the current activities of the MP to banning
                                  Christmas in an American school "sergianism" really belittles the true
                                  meaning of the word and does a disservice to all those who spoke out
                                  against Metropolitan Sergius and were subsequently martyred.

                                  Hristofor
                                • wn4732 <wn4732@yahoo.com>
                                  ... the last ... The ... happens to ... bring the ... heard the ... have ... drifted ... through ... Orthodox no ... people who ... Finally a person with his
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Jan 15, 2003
                                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com,

                                    Hristofor <hristofor@m...> wrote:

                                    > >The rapprochement with the MP is taking place,
                                    > Isn't that what all we Russian emigrees have hoped and prayed for
                                    the last
                                    > 80 years? A lady in our parish now has relatives spread through 5
                                    > _different_ Russian Orthodox jurisdictions, each one claiming to be
                                    The
                                    > Russian Orthodox Church. I myself have them in 3. If someone
                                    happens to
                                    > have some Ukrainian relatives as well, that could theoretically
                                    bring the
                                    > total up to 8 or 9 jurisdictions. Is this normal? Surely you have
                                    heard the
                                    > adage "Concur and divide?" Looks like that is what is happening. I
                                    have
                                    > already mentioned how many Orthodox souls in the US have fallen or
                                    drifted
                                    > away due to marriage etc. How many more need to be lost, because
                                    through
                                    > the tragedy of the Revolution and the Diaspora, the Russian
                                    Orthodox no
                                    > longer speak with one mind and voice? Who will answer for these
                                    people who
                                    > have drifted away?

                                    Finally a person with his head on straight! God Bless you Sir and may
                                    your words penetrate the stubborn hearts among the Orthodox Diaspora.

                                    Peter
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