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False Conceptions About Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Recent postings, primarily by Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust, demonstrate a deep lack of knowledge about the way in which the Holy Orthodox Church views the
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 2 8:56 AM
      Recent postings, primarily by Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust, demonstrate
      a deep lack of knowledge about the way in which the Holy Orthodox Church
      views the Holy Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority.

      First of all, the Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. Its structure, here
      on earth, is one of subjugation, at each level, to higher ecclesiastical
      authority, with the Council of Bishops being the Supreme Ecclesiastical
      Authority. Actually, a dogma of the Church is that the heavenly powers are
      also organized into a hierarchical structure, with the Archangel Michael
      being the High General (Archstrategos) of the heavenly powers.

      A hierarchical structure means that subordinate levels are subject to the
      authority **and discipline** of the higher levels. Laymen are subject to
      the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their priests, priests are
      subject to the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their Ruling
      Bishops, and Bishops are subject to the authority (and spiritual
      discipline) of Council of Bishops.

      The Apostle clearly admonishes all of us to obey our spiritual authorities
      and to subject ourselves to them. This is a basic and fundamental teaching
      of the Church. All of the Holy Canons and other spiritual regulations are
      based on this fundamental teaching. If one wishes to be a member of
      Christ's Holy Church, one must submit to this teaching and must voluntarily
      submit oneself to one's spiritual authorities. If one wishes to be a
      clergyman of the Church, then one must agree to be subject to the authority
      and discipline of the Ruling Bishop and the Highest Ecclesiastical
      Authority--the Council of Bishops. Not only is this implicit in the whole
      concept of serving the Church, but every candidate for ordination to the
      diaconate and the priesthood must make a solemn oath, before the Gospel and
      the Cross, and confirmed in writing, that he will be in all things obedient
      to his Ruling Bishop and to his Synod of Bishops, and he is subject to
      their authority and discipline. This is confirmed also in the Certificate
      of Ordination and Exhortation given to each ordinand. A candidate for
      bishop, prior to his consecration, must make a lengthy and detailed public
      confession of faith, including a solemn oath to be in full concord with his
      fellow bishops in all things, and to be obedient to his First Hierarch and
      his Synod of Bishops.

      In accordance with the ancient legal principle that the entity that has the
      authority to establish, has equal authority to disestablish, the absolute
      power of a Council of Bishops to select and consecrate a candidate to the
      episcopacy contains within it the absolute power to suspend and to depose a
      bishop, should he commit any misdeeds. Every candidate for bishop is fully
      aware of this, and consents to this at the time of his consecration. In
      like manner, every candidate for the diaconate or priesthood implicitly
      acknowledges the absolute authority of his Ruling Bishop to suspend him
      from duties if the clergyman commits any misdeeds.

      The Council of Bishops is the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority. It
      comprises the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial authority of the
      Church in one body. The Council of Bishops has the absolute authority to
      apply the Holy Canons to any particular situation. It has the absolute
      authority to increase or decrease canonical penalties. It has the absolute
      authority to decide even to supersede or ignore applicable Canons. And, the
      Council of Bishops has the absolute power to suspend or to depose a bishop
      or any other clergyman as it sees fit for the welfare of the Holy Church.

      It is these God-established rights of the Council of Bishops as the Sypreme
      Ecclesiastical Authority that are being flaunted and repudiated by former
      Bishop Varnava and his followers.

      For this reason, they are rightfully and justly deposed.

      Now, let us turn to the specific issues of the defense of the actions of
      former Bishop Varnava, brought up by Vladimir Kozyreff, Serge Rust, and others.

      Truly, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They post lengthy analyses
      of the minutiae of the Canons referenced in former Bishop Varnava's
      Conciliar Act of Deposition, basically straining gnats, while not noticing
      the "elephant" of his actions in creating a schism--tearing asunder the
      seamless robe of Christ, and not understanding that the sin of schism is so
      heinous, that it is not even washed away by the blood of martyrdom,
      according to St. John Chrysostom.

      Nothing is more destructive to the Church than the actions of one of its
      own bishops--a man invested by the Church with awesome
      responsibilities--against his own Supreme Ecclesisatical Authority. What
      kind of an example is this shepherd (not even a full Ruling Bishop, but
      only a Vicar Bishop, who must be completely subordinate to his Ruling
      Bishop and may do nothing without that Ruling Bishop's direction) showing
      his flock, when he spurns his Ruling Bishop and his Supreme Ecclesiastical
      Authority, ignores the suspensions placed on him by this Supreme
      Ecclesiastical Authority, and leads some of his clergy and his faithful
      into schism, creating a new and unlawful ecclesiastical structure, called
      by the Holy Canons a parasynagogue?

      Why does one need to painstakingly scrutinize Canons, when the fact of
      former Bishop Varnava's insubordination is so clearly evident?

      Even if among the 19 (!) Canons referenced in the Act of Deposition there
      were some erroneously cited--does this ameliorate the fundamental
      ecclesiastical crime of a bishop spurning his Supreme Ecclesiastical
      Authority and going into schism and leading others into it? Even if 18 of
      the 19 Canons were erroneously cited, former Bishop Varnava would be
      subject to deposition just on the basis of that one remaining Canon alone.

      A few more points regarding the application of Canons.

      Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust have tried to show that some of the Canons
      cited by the Council of Bishops were not applicable.

      Let us take just one example to prove that their approach is fundamentally
      flawed.

      The Act of the Council of Bishops numbered Canon 8 of St. Basil the Great
      as one of those referenced as applying to the case of Bishop Varnava. This
      Canon, on its face, refers to murderers and the penalties for murder.
      "Foul!," cry Messers. Kozyreff and Rust--this clearly cannot apply to
      Bishop Varnava's case--he was not accused or convicted of any murder!

      But it turns out that they are completely wrong.

      The Holy Church has a very different way of understanding what Canons mean
      and how they are to be applied than our esteemed self-appointed (and
      self-taught) "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava.

      Here is the concluding part of the exegesis of Canon 8 of St. Basil the
      Great, by the renowned Canonist, Bishop Nikodim (Milash):

      "[It must be determined] if the crime was committed with evil intent
      (dolos), or through negligence or carelessness (ameleia), or by accident
      (tykhy).The first is a voluntary, conscious (intended) violation of an
      existing law, through which (violation) someone wishes to accomplish that
      which is forbidden by the law. Here the most important thing is a
      will-opposed-to-the-law, [a will] that commits the criminal act. This
      will-opposed-to-the-law is subject to punishment, not only when an evil
      deed is committed, but even when the deed is not committed, even though,
      therefore, there was no injured party. A person who is carelessness or
      negligent is considered guilty in that situation, where as a result of the
      carelessness, without intent, he commits some criminal act, about which he
      did not even think, but which, however, with constant care and vigilance,
      could have been avoided. This juridical principle, which existed in Roman
      law from time immemorial, was accepted also by the Church, especially since
      the goal of its legislation was not only that all of its members would
      fulfill the requirements of the law, for the preservation of good order,
      but that everyone would observe that nothing would occur that might be
      harmful both for society, as well as for individuals, so that, therefore,
      social life might develop correctly. In accordance with this, every thing
      that causes harm to society or any individual person as a result of such
      negligence, although it is judged less harshly than a willful crime, still
      is punished, and especially if the consequences of such negligence were
      more serious and the negligence were greater. In the last case negligence
      is very close to "dolos"--evil intent, as a result of which a crime
      committed because of such gross negligence is punished often the same as a
      willful one, one with evil intent. A crime committed accidentally is not
      punishable. However, if a given situation that arose out of any action
      which in itself is not punishable, becomes the cause of a punishable
      action, then the court will consider this to be the fault of the individual
      involved and he is subject to the appropriate, even be it the least,
      punishment." (Bishop Nikodim, Canons of the Orthodox Church, St.
      Petersburg, 1912, Vol. 2, p. 386-387).

      Notice, please, that the word "murder" is not even mentioned in this
      explanation. Instead of being concerned solely with the issue of murder,
      this Canon, as understood and applied by the Church, concerns any activity
      that anyone performs that turns out to be detrimental to the Church or to
      society, even if there were no evil intent, just carelessness or
      negligence--and shows that such actions are punishable, sometimes just as
      harshly as if there were malicious intent.

      This Canon, therefore, directly applies to former Bishop Varnava and his
      followers, who, even if they had no evil intent to cause harm to the
      Church, are still punishable, if a schism ensued as a result of their actions.

      Other Canons have similar interpretations, which go far beyond their
      explicitly expressed content.

      Now, a word about "double jeopardy."

      Vladimir Kozyreff has several times posited that former Bishop Varnava was
      being unjustly punished twice for the same crime--that he had already been
      censured and punished for his misdeeds in Russia, and that these should not
      be brought up again, as he had already repented and served his punishment.
      Vladimir cites Apostolic Canon 25 in support of his position, claiming that
      it forbids punishing a second time for the same misdeed.

      Here, again, he is totally wrong, as the Canon has nothing to do with
      "double jeopardy," but rather with **double punishment**. As Bishop Nikodim
      clearly states in his exegesis of this Canon, various Canons impose a
      penalty for a particular crime--usually deposition from holy office for a
      clergyman, or excommunication for a layman.

      In this Canon certain crimes are listed, which the Holy Fathers stated are
      worthy of the penalty of deposition if a clergyman should commit them.
      However, the Holy Fathers felt that for these crimes, deposition from holy
      orders was a sufficient penalty, and that a clergyman who commits these
      crimes should be deposed, but not excommunicated totally from the assembly
      of the Church, i.e. that he should not be doubly punished.

      This has **nothing** to do with the concept of "double jeopardy," by which
      no one can be tried twice for the same crime.

      Also, Bishop Nikodim notes that this Canon's prohibition against a double
      penalty is not absolute, but specific to the crimes enumerated in ths
      Canon, since immediately proximate Apostolic Canons (29 and 30) clearly
      specify that for other crimes, for example, simony, the clergyman is to be
      **both** deposed and excommunicated.

      And, regarding the ethics of bringing up again a matter that had been
      repented of and forgiven, one must recall that neither the Church Law, nor
      common law, forbids bringing up the past record of an individual at a
      trial, since it establishes a pattern of behavior.

      Prior misdeeds, even those which are repented of and forgiven, still have
      consequences, as is clear from a multitude of Holy Canons.

      If a young man, let's say, gets drunk at his prom party and ends up
      sleeping with a girl, then repents, serves a penance, and is given
      absolution--he is still forbidden by the Holy Canons from becoming a
      clergyman.This does not mean that he is not forgiven--just that he must
      bear, forever, the consequences of his actions.

      A criminal who is convicted and serves his time has paid his debt to
      society. However, he still has a criminal record, which can be used against
      him if he commits further criminal acts. Here in California we have a
      "three-strikes" law, which sends a criminal to prison for a minimum of 25
      years if he commits a third felony, even if it is not a violent one.

      So--the consequences of one's previous actions are borne into the future.

      The same with former Bishop Varnava.

      Next is the issue of being judged "without being heard."

      The basic ancient legal principle here is the Latin maxim: "Nemo intauditus
      condemnari debet si non sit contumax" -- "No one can be condemned without
      being heard unless he be contumacious."

      "Contumacy" can be of two types: Active--where the accused disobeys a
      directive of his superiors; and Passive--where the accused simply fails to
      appear.

      Former Bishop Varnava is clearly guilty of both forms of contumacy: he
      disobeyed directives of his superior ecclesiastical authority and he also
      did not appear before the Council of Bishops when summoned.

      Therefore, completely legally and justly he **can be** condemned without
      being heard. The same applies, of course, to the "French clergy."

      Let's move on to the next issue: was it unjust for the Concil of Bishops to
      refuse to hear the original "Appeal" of the "French clergy"?

      The basic question has already been answered: the Council of Bishop is the
      Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority and the Supreme Judicial Authority--it has
      the absolute right to decide which matters it will hear and which matters
      it will not hear.

      This is a basic judicial concept. In the United States, for example, we
      have the Supreme Court, which is the supreme judicial authority in the
      nation. Every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases and appeals are
      submitted to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Only a small percentage of
      these cases are accepted by the Court for hearing. The overwhelming
      majority of cases the Supreme Court simply declines to hear, without
      explanation.

      Is this unjust?

      No one considers it to be.

      It is simply that it is within the authority of the Supreme Court of the
      land to decide which cases it will hear and which cases it will not.

      The Council of Bishops has the same authority.

      In the given case, it is even more clear. The French clergy did not just
      submit their case against Bishop Ambrose to the Council of Bishops for
      hearing. According to Vladimir Kozyreff's repeated statements, the French
      clergy submitted the case accompanied by a threat--that they would
      commemorate Bishop Ambrose as their Ruling Bishop **only if** their case
      against him would be heard.

      Now, this is tantamount to extortion: if you do not do this, we will do this.

      Has any case ever been brough before any civil court with a similar threat?

      Has anyone appealed to the US Supreme Court, saying, we will continue to
      obey the laws only if you hear our case?

      The whole situation is ludicrous.

      Again, it is clear that the "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava, who, as I
      said, cannot see the forest for the trees, who are nit-picking the Canons
      (incorrectly, at that) while ignoring his enormous crime of creating a
      schism, ignore the fact that he, Bishop Varnava, never appealed the
      decision of the Council of Bishops that suspended and then deposed him from
      episcopal office.

      If he had appealed this decision, perhaps he could have cited that certain
      Canons were erroneously or incorrectly used against him.

      But he never appealed the decision. And neither did the French clergy. They
      simply left and created their own parasynagogue.

      So they have no leg to stand on.

      And the attempts of Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust to cobble up a defense
      for him are futile.

      Here are some basic canonical principles that they ignore.

      1) The Coucnil of Bishops has the absolute right to suspend a bishop if
      there is good reason to believe that he has done an act punishable by
      suspension or deposition.

      2) A Bishop suspended by the Council of Bishops **must** without question
      obey that decision and refrain from liturgizing until the matter is
      resolved completely by the Council of Bishops.

      3) If a suspended Bishop spurns the decision of a Council of Bishops to
      suspend him and continues to serve, he is, by established Canon Law,
      subject to immediate deposition from orders--without a trial or decision on
      the original accusation.

      These concepts are basic to common law, as well.

      A police department, if an accusation is made against a police officer, has
      the absolute right to suspend that officer pending investigation. The
      accused officer **must** obey that suspension and give up the visible marks
      of his authority as a peace officer--his badge and gun. If he would presume
      to act as a police officer while under suspension, he is summarily
      dismissed from the force.

      So it should be no surprise to anyone that the same situation applies in
      the Church, and that the penalties for ignoring a suspension by one'
      superior authority would be the same--summary dismissal.

      This is the penalty under which former Bishop Varnava and the French clergy
      have fallen.

      Finally, let us remember what the Holy Canons say about what happens when
      the faithful in a city or province refuse to accept a Ruling Bishop
      assigned to them by the Council of Bishops--the supreme ecclesiastical
      authority.

      According to Apostolic Canon 36, in such a case, --the **clergy** of that
      city or province are excommunicated, for having so poorly taught such
      insobordinate people.

      Regarding the actions of the French clergy, let us, once again, recall
      Canon 13 of the First-and-Second Council, where we read:

      "If any priest or deacon, having impugned his bishop with some accusations,
      prior to a conciliar investigation, deliberation and final judgement of him
      [the bishop], should dare to depart from communion with him, and will not
      commemorate his name during holy prayers at the Liturgies in accordance
      with the Church tradition: let such a cleric be subject to being cast out
      and let him be deprived of any clerical honor. For a person who is placed
      in the rank of a priest, and who arrogates unto himself judgement which is
      appointed to Metropolitans, and prior to a trial, solely by himself should
      strive to judge his Father and Bishop, is not worthy of the honor, or even
      the name of a presbyter. Those who would follow such a one, if they are
      among the clergy, let them also be deprived of their honor: if they be
      nonks or laymen, let them be completely excommunicated from the Church,
      until they reject their communion with schismatics, and do not turn back to
      their Bishop."

      Nothing could be clearer.



      With love in Christ,

      Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
      Dear Father Alexander, bless. Thank you for such a painstaking analysis, of which we all will certainly benefit. Would you please be so kind as to comment on
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 2 9:22 AM
        Dear Father Alexander, bless.

        Thank you for such a painstaking analysis, of which we all will
        certainly benefit.

        Would you please be so kind as to comment on post 6113?

        in God,

        Vladimir Kozyreff
      • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
        Dear Father Alexander, bless. To complement your enlightened review on authority in the Church, I am sure you will agree that the text below (translated from
        Message 3 of 25 , Jan 3 6:18 AM
          Dear Father Alexander, bless.

          To complement your enlightened review on authority in the Church, I
          am sure you will agree that the text below (translated from the Greek
          by Mr. George Gabriel and reprinted with the kind permission of John
          Kalomiros) is of some interest for the List.

          Your comments would be most welcome.

          In Christ,

          V. Kozyreff


          All things in the Church are governed by love. Any distinctions are
          charismatic distinctions. They are not distinctions of a legal nature
          but of a spiritual authority. And among the laymen there are charisms
          and charisms.

          The unity of the Church, therefore, is not a matter of obedience to a
          higher authority. It is not a matter of submission of subordinates to
          superiors. External relations do not make unity, neither do the
          common decisions of councils, even of Ecumenical Councils. The unity
          of the Church is given by the communion in the Body and Blood of
          Christ, the communion with the Holy Trinity. It is a liturgical
          unity, a mystical unity.

          The common decisions of an Ecumenical Council are not the foundation
          but the result of unity. Besides, the decisions of either an
          ecumenical or local council are valid only when they are accepted by
          the consciousness of the Church and are in accord with the Tradition.

          The Papacy is the distortion par excellence of Church unity. It made
          that bond of love and freedom a bond of constraint and tyranny. The
          Papacy is unbelief in the power of God and confidence in the power of
          human systems.

          But let no one think that the Papacy is something which exists only
          in the West. In recent times it has started to appear among the
          Orthodox too.

          It is imperative that Christians realize that the Church has
          sacramental and not administrative foundations; then they will not
          suffer that which has happened to the Westerners who followed the
          Pope in his errors because they thought that if they did not follow
          him, they would automatically be outside the Church.

          Today the various patriarchates and archdioceses undergo great
          pressures from political powers which seek to direct the Orthodox
          according to their own interests. It is known that the Patriarchate
          of Moscow accepts the influence of Soviet politics. But the
          Patriarchate of Constantinople also accepts the influence of American
          politics.

          It was under this influence that the contact of the Ecumenical
          Patriarchate with the similarly American-influenced, Protestant,
          World Council of Churches was brought about, and its servile
          disposition toward the Pope started to take on dangerous dimensions
          and even to exert over-bearing pressure upon the other Orthodox
          churches.

          (What about the ROCOR ? note of VK)


          The Orthodox people must become conscious of the fact that they owe
          no obedience to a bishop, no matter how high a title he holds, when
          that bishop ceases being Orthodox and openly follows heretics with
          pretenses of union "on equal terms." On the contrary, they are
          obliged to depart from him and confess their Faith, because a bishop,
          even if he be patriarch or pope, ceases from being a bishop the
          moment he ceases being Orthodox.

          The bishop is a consecrated person, and even if he is openly sinful,
          respect and honor is due him until synodically censured. But if he
          becomes openly heretical or is in communion with heretics, then the
          Christians should not await any synodical decision, but should draw
          away from him immediately.

          All the faithful will have to understand that the Church is not there
          where it appears to be. Liturgies will continue to be performed and
          the churches will be filled with people, but the Church will have no
          relation with those churches or those clergy and those faithful. The
          Church is where the truth is.

          The faithful are those who continue Orthodoxy, that work of the Holy
          Spirit. The real priests are those who think, live, and teach as the
          Fathers and the Saints of the Church did, or at least do not reject
          them in their teaching. Where that continuity of thought and life
          does not exist, it is a deception to speak of the Church, even if all
          the outward marks speak of it.

          http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/kalomiros.htm


          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
          <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
          > Recent postings, primarily by Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust,
          demonstrate
          > a deep lack of knowledge about the way in which the Holy Orthodox
          Church
          > views the Holy Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority.
          >
          > First of all, the Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. Its
          structure, here
          > on earth, is one of subjugation, at each level, to higher
          ecclesiastical
          > authority, with the Council of Bishops being the Supreme
          Ecclesiastical
          > Authority. Actually, a dogma of the Church is that the heavenly
          powers are
          > also organized into a hierarchical structure, with the Archangel
          Michael
          > being the High General (Archstrategos) of the heavenly powers.
          >
          > A hierarchical structure means that subordinate levels are subject
          to the
          > authority **and discipline** of the higher levels. Laymen are
          subject to
          > the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their priests, priests
          are
          > subject to the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their Ruling
          > Bishops, and Bishops are subject to the authority (and spiritual
          > discipline) of Council of Bishops.
          >
          > The Apostle clearly admonishes all of us to obey our spiritual
          authorities
          > and to subject ourselves to them. This is a basic and fundamental
          teaching
          > of the Church. All of the Holy Canons and other spiritual
          regulations are
          > based on this fundamental teaching. If one wishes to be a member of
          > Christ's Holy Church, one must submit to this teaching and must
          voluntarily
          > submit oneself to one's spiritual authorities. If one wishes to be
          a
          > clergyman of the Church, then one must agree to be subject to the
          authority
          > and discipline of the Ruling Bishop and the Highest Ecclesiastical
          > Authority--the Council of Bishops. Not only is this implicit in the
          whole
          > concept of serving the Church, but every candidate for ordination
          to the
          > diaconate and the priesthood must make a solemn oath, before the
          Gospel and
          > the Cross, and confirmed in writing, that he will be in all things
          obedient
          > to his Ruling Bishop and to his Synod of Bishops, and he is subject
          to
          > their authority and discipline. This is confirmed also in the
          Certificate
          > of Ordination and Exhortation given to each ordinand. A candidate
          for
          > bishop, prior to his consecration, must make a lengthy and detailed
          public
          > confession of faith, including a solemn oath to be in full concord
          with his
          > fellow bishops in all things, and to be obedient to his First
          Hierarch and
          > his Synod of Bishops.
          >
          > In accordance with the ancient legal principle that the entity that
          has the
          > authority to establish, has equal authority to disestablish, the
          absolute
          > power of a Council of Bishops to select and consecrate a candidate
          to the
          > episcopacy contains within it the absolute power to suspend and to
          depose a
          > bishop, should he commit any misdeeds. Every candidate for bishop
          is fully
          > aware of this, and consents to this at the time of his
          consecration. In
          > like manner, every candidate for the diaconate or priesthood
          implicitly
          > acknowledges the absolute authority of his Ruling Bishop to suspend
          him
          > from duties if the clergyman commits any misdeeds.
          >
          > The Council of Bishops is the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority. It
          > comprises the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial
          authority of the
          > Church in one body. The Council of Bishops has the absolute
          authority to
          > apply the Holy Canons to any particular situation. It has the
          absolute
          > authority to increase or decrease canonical penalties. It has the
          absolute
          > authority to decide even to supersede or ignore applicable Canons.
          And, the
          > Council of Bishops has the absolute power to suspend or to depose a
          bishop
          > or any other clergyman as it sees fit for the welfare of the Holy
          Church.
          >
          > It is these God-established rights of the Council of Bishops as the
          Sypreme
          > Ecclesiastical Authority that are being flaunted and repudiated by
          former
          > Bishop Varnava and his followers.
          >
          > For this reason, they are rightfully and justly deposed.
          >
          > Now, let us turn to the specific issues of the defense of the
          actions of
          > former Bishop Varnava, brought up by Vladimir Kozyreff, Serge Rust,
          and others.
          >
          > Truly, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They post lengthy
          analyses
          > of the minutiae of the Canons referenced in former Bishop Varnava's
          > Conciliar Act of Deposition, basically straining gnats, while not
          noticing
          > the "elephant" of his actions in creating a schism--tearing asunder
          the
          > seamless robe of Christ, and not understanding that the sin of
          schism is so
          > heinous, that it is not even washed away by the blood of martyrdom,
          > according to St. John Chrysostom.
          >
          > Nothing is more destructive to the Church than the actions of one
          of its
          > own bishops--a man invested by the Church with awesome
          > responsibilities--against his own Supreme Ecclesisatical Authority.
          What
          > kind of an example is this shepherd (not even a full Ruling Bishop,
          but
          > only a Vicar Bishop, who must be completely subordinate to his
          Ruling
          > Bishop and may do nothing without that Ruling Bishop's direction)
          showing
          > his flock, when he spurns his Ruling Bishop and his Supreme
          Ecclesiastical
          > Authority, ignores the suspensions placed on him by this Supreme
          > Ecclesiastical Authority, and leads some of his clergy and his
          faithful
          > into schism, creating a new and unlawful ecclesiastical structure,
          called
          > by the Holy Canons a parasynagogue?
          >
          > Why does one need to painstakingly scrutinize Canons, when the fact
          of
          > former Bishop Varnava's insubordination is so clearly evident?
          >
          > Even if among the 19 (!) Canons referenced in the Act of Deposition
          there
          > were some erroneously cited--does this ameliorate the fundamental
          > ecclesiastical crime of a bishop spurning his Supreme
          Ecclesiastical
          > Authority and going into schism and leading others into it? Even if
          18 of
          > the 19 Canons were erroneously cited, former Bishop Varnava would
          be
          > subject to deposition just on the basis of that one remaining Canon
          alone.
          >
          > A few more points regarding the application of Canons.
          >
          > Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust have tried to show that some of
          the Canons
          > cited by the Council of Bishops were not applicable.
          >
          > Let us take just one example to prove that their approach is
          fundamentally
          > flawed.
          >
          > The Act of the Council of Bishops numbered Canon 8 of St. Basil the
          Great
          > as one of those referenced as applying to the case of Bishop
          Varnava. This
          > Canon, on its face, refers to murderers and the penalties for
          murder.
          > "Foul!," cry Messers. Kozyreff and Rust--this clearly cannot apply
          to
          > Bishop Varnava's case--he was not accused or convicted of any
          murder!
          >
          > But it turns out that they are completely wrong.
          >
          > The Holy Church has a very different way of understanding what
          Canons mean
          > and how they are to be applied than our esteemed self-appointed
          (and
          > self-taught) "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava.
          >
          > Here is the concluding part of the exegesis of Canon 8 of St. Basil
          the
          > Great, by the renowned Canonist, Bishop Nikodim (Milash):
          >
          > "[It must be determined] if the crime was committed with evil
          intent
          > (dolos), or through negligence or carelessness (ameleia), or by
          accident
          > (tykhy).The first is a voluntary, conscious (intended) violation of
          an
          > existing law, through which (violation) someone wishes to
          accomplish that
          > which is forbidden by the law. Here the most important thing is a
          > will-opposed-to-the-law, [a will] that commits the criminal act.
          This
          > will-opposed-to-the-law is subject to punishment, not only when an
          evil
          > deed is committed, but even when the deed is not committed, even
          though,
          > therefore, there was no injured party. A person who is carelessness
          or
          > negligent is considered guilty in that situation, where as a result
          of the
          > carelessness, without intent, he commits some criminal act, about
          which he
          > did not even think, but which, however, with constant care and
          vigilance,
          > could have been avoided. This juridical principle, which existed in
          Roman
          > law from time immemorial, was accepted also by the Church,
          especially since
          > the goal of its legislation was not only that all of its members
          would
          > fulfill the requirements of the law, for the preservation of good
          order,
          > but that everyone would observe that nothing would occur that might
          be
          > harmful both for society, as well as for individuals, so that,
          therefore,
          > social life might develop correctly. In accordance with this, every
          thing
          > that causes harm to society or any individual person as a result of
          such
          > negligence, although it is judged less harshly than a willful
          crime, still
          > is punished, and especially if the consequences of such negligence
          were
          > more serious and the negligence were greater. In the last case
          negligence
          > is very close to "dolos"--evil intent, as a result of which a crime
          > committed because of such gross negligence is punished often the
          same as a
          > willful one, one with evil intent. A crime committed accidentally
          is not
          > punishable. However, if a given situation that arose out of any
          action
          > which in itself is not punishable, becomes the cause of a
          punishable
          > action, then the court will consider this to be the fault of the
          individual
          > involved and he is subject to the appropriate, even be it the
          least,
          > punishment." (Bishop Nikodim, Canons of the Orthodox Church, St.
          > Petersburg, 1912, Vol. 2, p. 386-387).
          >
          > Notice, please, that the word "murder" is not even mentioned in
          this
          > explanation. Instead of being concerned solely with the issue of
          murder,
          > this Canon, as understood and applied by the Church, concerns any
          activity
          > that anyone performs that turns out to be detrimental to the Church
          or to
          > society, even if there were no evil intent, just carelessness or
          > negligence--and shows that such actions are punishable, sometimes
          just as
          > harshly as if there were malicious intent.
          >
          > This Canon, therefore, directly applies to former Bishop Varnava
          and his
          > followers, who, even if they had no evil intent to cause harm to
          the
          > Church, are still punishable, if a schism ensued as a result of
          their actions.
          >
          > Other Canons have similar interpretations, which go far beyond
          their
          > explicitly expressed content.
          >
          > Now, a word about "double jeopardy."
          >
          > Vladimir Kozyreff has several times posited that former Bishop
          Varnava was
          > being unjustly punished twice for the same crime--that he had
          already been
          > censured and punished for his misdeeds in Russia, and that these
          should not
          > be brought up again, as he had already repented and served his
          punishment.
          > Vladimir cites Apostolic Canon 25 in support of his position,
          claiming that
          > it forbids punishing a second time for the same misdeed.
          >
          > Here, again, he is totally wrong, as the Canon has nothing to do
          with
          > "double jeopardy," but rather with **double punishment**. As Bishop
          Nikodim
          > clearly states in his exegesis of this Canon, various Canons impose
          a
          > penalty for a particular crime--usually deposition from holy office
          for a
          > clergyman, or excommunication for a layman.
          >
          > In this Canon certain crimes are listed, which the Holy Fathers
          stated are
          > worthy of the penalty of deposition if a clergyman should commit
          them.
          > However, the Holy Fathers felt that for these crimes, deposition
          from holy
          > orders was a sufficient penalty, and that a clergyman who commits
          these
          > crimes should be deposed, but not excommunicated totally from the
          assembly
          > of the Church, i.e. that he should not be doubly punished.
          >
          > This has **nothing** to do with the concept of "double jeopardy,"
          by which
          > no one can be tried twice for the same crime.
          >
          > Also, Bishop Nikodim notes that this Canon's prohibition against a
          double
          > penalty is not absolute, but specific to the crimes enumerated in
          ths
          > Canon, since immediately proximate Apostolic Canons (29 and 30)
          clearly
          > specify that for other crimes, for example, simony, the clergyman
          is to be
          > **both** deposed and excommunicated.
          >
          > And, regarding the ethics of bringing up again a matter that had
          been
          > repented of and forgiven, one must recall that neither the Church
          Law, nor
          > common law, forbids bringing up the past record of an individual at
          a
          > trial, since it establishes a pattern of behavior.
          >
          > Prior misdeeds, even those which are repented of and forgiven,
          still have
          > consequences, as is clear from a multitude of Holy Canons.
          >
          > If a young man, let's say, gets drunk at his prom party and ends up
          > sleeping with a girl, then repents, serves a penance, and is given
          > absolution--he is still forbidden by the Holy Canons from becoming
          a
          > clergyman.This does not mean that he is not forgiven--just that he
          must
          > bear, forever, the consequences of his actions.
          >
          > A criminal who is convicted and serves his time has paid his debt
          to
          > society. However, he still has a criminal record, which can be used
          against
          > him if he commits further criminal acts. Here in California we have
          a
          > "three-strikes" law, which sends a criminal to prison for a minimum
          of 25
          > years if he commits a third felony, even if it is not a violent one.
          >
          > So--the consequences of one's previous actions are borne into the
          future.
          >
          > The same with former Bishop Varnava.
          >
          > Next is the issue of being judged "without being heard."
          >
          > The basic ancient legal principle here is the Latin maxim: "Nemo
          intauditus
          > condemnari debet si non sit contumax" -- "No one can be condemned
          without
          > being heard unless he be contumacious."
          >
          > "Contumacy" can be of two types: Active--where the accused disobeys
          a
          > directive of his superiors; and Passive--where the accused simply
          fails to
          > appear.
          >
          > Former Bishop Varnava is clearly guilty of both forms of contumacy:
          he
          > disobeyed directives of his superior ecclesiastical authority and
          he also
          > did not appear before the Council of Bishops when summoned.
          >
          > Therefore, completely legally and justly he **can be** condemned
          without
          > being heard. The same applies, of course, to the "French clergy."
          >
          > Let's move on to the next issue: was it unjust for the Concil of
          Bishops to
          > refuse to hear the original "Appeal" of the "French clergy"?
          >
          > The basic question has already been answered: the Council of Bishop
          is the
          > Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority and the Supreme Judicial Authority-
          -it has
          > the absolute right to decide which matters it will hear and which
          matters
          > it will not hear.
          >
          > This is a basic judicial concept. In the United States, for
          example, we
          > have the Supreme Court, which is the supreme judicial authority in
          the
          > nation. Every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases and
          appeals are
          > submitted to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Only a small
          percentage of
          > these cases are accepted by the Court for hearing. The overwhelming
          > majority of cases the Supreme Court simply declines to hear,
          without
          > explanation.
          >
          > Is this unjust?
          >
          > No one considers it to be.
          >
          > It is simply that it is within the authority of the Supreme Court
          of the
          > land to decide which cases it will hear and which cases it will not.
          >
          > The Council of Bishops has the same authority.
          >
          > In the given case, it is even more clear. The French clergy did not
          just
          > submit their case against Bishop Ambrose to the Council of Bishops
          for
          > hearing. According to Vladimir Kozyreff's repeated statements, the
          French
          > clergy submitted the case accompanied by a threat--that they would
          > commemorate Bishop Ambrose as their Ruling Bishop **only if** their
          case
          > against him would be heard.
          >
          > Now, this is tantamount to extortion: if you do not do this, we
          will do this.
          >
          > Has any case ever been brough before any civil court with a similar
          threat?
          >
          > Has anyone appealed to the US Supreme Court, saying, we will
          continue to
          > obey the laws only if you hear our case?
          >
          > The whole situation is ludicrous.
          >
          > Again, it is clear that the "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava,
          who, as I
          > said, cannot see the forest for the trees, who are nit-picking the
          Canons
          > (incorrectly, at that) while ignoring his enormous crime of
          creating a
          > schism, ignore the fact that he, Bishop Varnava, never appealed the
          > decision of the Council of Bishops that suspended and then deposed
          him from
          > episcopal office.
          >
          > If he had appealed this decision, perhaps he could have cited that
          certain
          > Canons were erroneously or incorrectly used against him.
          >
          > But he never appealed the decision. And neither did the French
          clergy. They
          > simply left and created their own parasynagogue.
          >
          > So they have no leg to stand on.
          >
          > And the attempts of Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust to cobble up a
          defense
          > for him are futile.
          >
          > Here are some basic canonical principles that they ignore.
          >
          > 1) The Coucnil of Bishops has the absolute right to suspend a
          bishop if
          > there is good reason to believe that he has done an act punishable
          by
          > suspension or deposition.
          >
          > 2) A Bishop suspended by the Council of Bishops **must** without
          question
          > obey that decision and refrain from liturgizing until the matter is
          > resolved completely by the Council of Bishops.
          >
          > 3) If a suspended Bishop spurns the decision of a Council of
          Bishops to
          > suspend him and continues to serve, he is, by established Canon
          Law,
          > subject to immediate deposition from orders--without a trial or
          decision on
          > the original accusation.
          >
          > These concepts are basic to common law, as well.
          >
          > A police department, if an accusation is made against a police
          officer, has
          > the absolute right to suspend that officer pending investigation.
          The
          > accused officer **must** obey that suspension and give up the
          visible marks
          > of his authority as a peace officer--his badge and gun. If he would
          presume
          > to act as a police officer while under suspension, he is summarily
          > dismissed from the force.
          >
          > So it should be no surprise to anyone that the same situation
          applies in
          > the Church, and that the penalties for ignoring a suspension by
          one'
          > superior authority would be the same--summary dismissal.
          >
          > This is the penalty under which former Bishop Varnava and the
          French clergy
          > have fallen.
          >
          > Finally, let us remember what the Holy Canons say about what
          happens when
          > the faithful in a city or province refuse to accept a Ruling Bishop
          > assigned to them by the Council of Bishops--the supreme
          ecclesiastical
          > authority.
          >
          > According to Apostolic Canon 36, in such a case, --the **clergy**
          of that
          > city or province are excommunicated, for having so poorly taught
          such
          > insobordinate people.
          >
          > Regarding the actions of the French clergy, let us, once again,
          recall
          > Canon 13 of the First-and-Second Council, where we read:
          >
          > "If any priest or deacon, having impugned his bishop with some
          accusations,
          > prior to a conciliar investigation, deliberation and final
          judgement of him
          > [the bishop], should dare to depart from communion with him, and
          will not
          > commemorate his name during holy prayers at the Liturgies in
          accordance
          > with the Church tradition: let such a cleric be subject to being
          cast out
          > and let him be deprived of any clerical honor. For a person who is
          placed
          > in the rank of a priest, and who arrogates unto himself judgement
          which is
          > appointed to Metropolitans, and prior to a trial, solely by himself
          should
          > strive to judge his Father and Bishop, is not worthy of the honor,
          or even
          > the name of a presbyter. Those who would follow such a one, if they
          are
          > among the clergy, let them also be deprived of their honor: if they
          be
          > nonks or laymen, let them be completely excommunicated from the
          Church,
          > until they reject their communion with schismatics, and do not turn
          back to
          > their Bishop."
          >
          > Nothing could be clearer.
          >
          >
          >
          > With love in Christ,
          >
          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
        • lmickle@concentric.net
          In a reply to a post by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, Vladimir Kozyreff provided us with a ... higher authority... The unity of the Church is given by the communion
          Message 4 of 25 , Jan 3 9:37 AM
            In a reply to a post by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, Vladimir Kozyreff provided
            us with a
            quotation from J. Kalomiros (which I have truncated a bit):

            >>"The unity of the Church, therefore, is not a matter of obedience to a
            higher authority... The unity of the Church is given by the communion
            in the Body and Blood of Christ, the communion with the Holy Trinity...

            >>...the decisions of either an ecumenical or local council are valid
            only when they are accepted by the consciousness of the Church and are
            in accord with the Tradition.

            >>The Papacy is the distortion par excellence of Church unity...

            >>But let no one think that the Papacy is something which exists only
            in the West. In recent times it has started to appear among the
            Orthodox too.

            >>It is imperative that Christians realize that the Church has
            sacramental and not administrative foundations; then they will not
            suffer that which has happened to the Westerners who followed the
            Pope in his errors because they thought that if they did not follow
            him, they would automatically be outside the Church.

            >>Today the various patriarchates and archdioceses undergo great
            pressures from political powers which seek to direct the Orthodox
            according to their own interests. It is known that the Patriarchate
            of Moscow accepts the influence of Soviet politics. But the
            Patriarchate of Constantinople also accepts the influence of American
            politics.

            >>It was under this influence that the contact of the Ecumenical
            Patriarchate with the similarly American-influenced, Protestant,
            World Council of Churches was brought about, and its servile
            disposition toward the Pope started to take on dangerous dimensions
            and even to exert over-bearing pressure upon the other Orthodox
            churches.

            >>(What about the ROCOR ? note of VK)

            >>The Orthodox people must become conscious of the fact that they owe
            no obedience to a bishop, no matter how high a title he holds, when
            that bishop ceases being Orthodox and openly follows heretics with
            pretenses of union "on equal terms." On the contrary, they are
            obliged to depart from him and confess their Faith, because a bishop,
            even if he be patriarch or pope, ceases from being a bishop the
            moment he ceases being Orthodox.

            >>The bishop is a consecrated person, and even if he is openly sinful,
            respect and honor is due him until synodically censured. But if he
            becomes openly heretical or is in communion with heretics, then the
            Christians should not await any synodical decision, but should draw
            away from him immediately."


            My unsolicited comments/questions:

            I am sure that Mr. Kozyreff would not have quoted such a passage and
            inserted his
            "What about the ROCOR?" note unless he were certain that one or more of our
            ROCOR
            bishops have in fact gone into heresy and has "cease[d] from being a
            bishop."- whether
            by a "servile disposition toward the Pope" or by some "contact [with] the
            World Council
            of Churches." Thus, I would like to pose to Mr. Kozyreff a series of
            questions, with
            a plea that he respond with specific answers to the questions, and neither
            essays nor
            rhetorical questions. I promise that the questions can, in fact be answered
            with
            brief, specific information.

            1) Is the Very Most Reverend Laurus of Eastern America and New York the
            First-hierarch of ROCOR?
            (yes or no)

            2) If the answer to #1 is no, who is First Hierarch of ROCOR?
            (e.g.: Metropolitan ______ )

            3) Please identify the ROCOR bishop or bishops who you assert has/have
            ceased to be bishops and who has/have ceased to be
            Orthodox.
            (just a list, please, without talking points or rhetorical questions)

            4) If you consider someone other than Metropolitan Laurus to be
            First-hierarch of ROCOR, please
            provide a list of the bishops under him whose authority is to be recognized
            by members of ROCOR.
            (again, just a list)

            My purpose in making these requests is two-fold: I want to make sure I have
            a clear picture of an increasingly
            muddled series of pronouncements on this list and on the Russia Talk and
            Listok sites, and I would like to afford Mr. Kozyreff and others who have
            been so prolific in posting to the synod list an opportunity to make clear,
            unambiguous, and direct statements as to the Church to which they belong,
            statements for which they would be willing to be held responsible at the
            Dread Dudgment. This mailing list ostensibly is for "members and friends of
            ROCA/ROCOR," and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern either
            ROCOR membership or friendship among some of our more prodigious posters.
            Perhaps Mr. Kozyreff's clear and concise responses to my simple questions
            will clear the air.

            I must thank Mssrs. Kozyreff, Rust, Nikitin, Ms. Goosens and now Mr. Moss,
            for the blessing they have been bestowing upon me (and perhaps upon other
            members of this list). Several months of almost daily diatribes against the
            hierarchs under whom I serve, endlessly repeated accusations and rhetorical
            questions by "members and friends" of ROCOR have given me endless
            opportunities to reflect upon how to deal with the temptation to condemn
            others. Now, let's all give it a rest, and focus on the coming celebration
            of the Nativity of Christ.

            Deacon Leonid Mickle
          • Hristofor
            ... But certainly VERY welcome! Thanks Father!!! ... Amen. Hristofor
            Message 5 of 25 , Jan 3 9:54 AM
              At 12:37 PM 1/3/2003, you wrote:
              >My unsolicited comments/questions:

              But certainly VERY welcome! Thanks Father!!!

              >Now, let's all give it a rest, and focus on the coming celebration of the
              >Nativity of Christ.

              Amen.

              Hristofor
            • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
              ... Actually, it is a bit of a nuisance for me to have to look up posts to this list by number. I receive the posts through e-mail, and the e-mail messages do
              Message 6 of 25 , Jan 3 10:38 AM
                Regarding:

                >Dear Father Alexander, bless.
                >
                >Thank you for such a painstaking analysis, of which we all will
                >certainly benefit.
                >
                >Would you please be so kind as to comment on post 6113?
                >
                >in God,
                >
                >Vladimir Kozyreff
                >

                Actually, it is a bit of a nuisance for me to have to look up posts to this
                list by number. I receive the posts through e-mail, and the e-mail messages
                do not include the post number.

                I did cross check the post you mentioned and am including its text here,
                since many members probably do not recall what was written on the list in
                August of 2002:

                >Dear List,
                >
                >Below are elements of information regarding the Synodal authority,
                >the origin of this authority, the necessity that the Synod be in
                >harmony with all of the Church and the principle of "Wholeness" in
                >Orthodoxy.
                >
                >The Synod is in no way meant to impose its decisions to the Church,
                >as a commanding officers would give orders to his inferiors in an
                >army, or as the board of directors would behave in a company. The
                >synod is an emanation of the whole Church, not a Papal - like
                >institution.
                >
                >The role of the people was reflected in the Encyclical Letter of the
                >Eastern Patriarchs to the Roman Pope in 1848, in which it is said
                >that "neither the hierarchy nor councils could ever introduce
                >novelty, since with us the guardian of piety and faith is the very
                >Body of the Church, i.e., the people themselves." (Art. 17 )
                >
                >The ecclesiastical authority even on the highest level (the Synod of
                >Bishops) is only the legal organ for the proclamation of the mind of
                >the Church, the expression of the truth of the Church.
                >
                >Every conciliar decision becomes absolute authority only by its
                >reception in the universal Church. The principle of truth is the Holy
                >Spirit living in the Church Who Himself points out the way to
                >unanimity.
                >
                >In Christ,
                >
                >Vladimir Kozyreff


                Several comments.

                Vladimir seems to miss the point, both here (in the except from the
                Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs from 1848), and in the cited passage
                from Dr. Kalomiros--that there is a distinction between the function of the
                Council of Bishops as the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority in day-to-day
                administration, i.e. management of the affairs of the Church, --and the
                function of the Synod as the protector of the immutable faith--the dogma
                and the holy tradition of the Church.

                The first is a purely administrative function. The Council of Bishops opens
                and closes dioceses, defines their boundaries, establishes monasteries,
                seminaries, appoints, transfers, and removes bishops, establishes a Synodal
                office and appoints its functionaries, and acts as the highest
                Ecclesiastical Tribunal--the court of appeals in cases not concerning
                bishops, and the trial court in cases concerning bishops.

                None of these functions require the participation and approval of the
                entire flock. It would be ludicrous to imagine that the consensus of the
                faithful were to be required for all administrative acts of the Council of
                Bishops.

                If, however, the Council of Bishops begins to innovate in dogmatic
                questions, begins to teach heresy--then, of course, it is the duty of the
                people of the Church to stand up for the faith--since they also share the
                responsibility for preserving the faith pure and unadulterated.

                So when the Eastern Patriarchs wrote: "neither the hierarchy nor councils
                could ever introduce novelty, since with us the guardian of piety and faith
                is the very Body of the Church, i.e., the people themselves." (Art. 17
                )"--they are clearly speaking exclusively of matters of faith and
                piety--not administrative matters, which are in the purvue of the Council
                of Bishops and its appointed administrative organs.

                If one considered it to be otherwise, then any decision of the Council of
                Bishops to create a new diocese, for example, would be thought of as
                "introducing a novelty,"--which is ridiculous.

                Ninety percent of the Holy Canons concern administrative and judicial
                matters--not dogmatic ones. And in all of the Canons that define crimes and
                establish punishments for them, it is assumed that these Canons will be
                applied by a living Council of Bishops as part of their administrative
                authority--without any requirement that these verdicts will be subject to
                some sort of ratification by the entire people of the Church.

                Therefore, the positions stated by Vladimir in his brief essay, quoted
                above--simply are incorrect.

                The Council of Bishops, in its administrative function, acts exactly the
                same as does the Board of a Corporation--it makes decisions, hires and
                fires, opens new divisions and closes them, reassigns management and
                resources. And its decisions--just as the decisions of a Board of
                Directors--must be obeyed, or those who disobey the decisions must bear the
                consequences for their insubordination.

                If it were as Vladimir proposes--that the Synod not be able to impose its
                decisions on the Church, and would be, simply an "emanation" of the whole
                Church--we would have disorder and anarchy, with everyone doing what he
                wishes, with no accountability to higher authority.

                This may be true of the ROCiE/ROCOR(V)--but it is not true of the Orthodox
                Church as a whole, in which, according to the Apostle, everything must be
                done in good order.

                I wonder if in the heavenly hierarchy, when the Supreme Commander of the
                Heavenly Hosts, the Archangel Michael, issues an order to his subordinates,
                this order may not be obeyed unless it is ratified by a consensus of the
                angelic powers. . .

                Or if, as Vladimir would think, when the Archstrategos Michael issues
                orders to his subordinate hosts and expects them to be obeyed, he is acting
                Papal. . .


                With love in Christ,

                Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
              • Olga <anov@skylinc.net>
                Things I have been curious about as well. Thank you Deacon Leonid for phrasing this so concisely... In Christ, Olga ... more of our ... [with] the ... of ...
                Message 7 of 25 , Jan 3 2:20 PM
                  Things I have been curious about as well. Thank you Deacon Leonid
                  for phrasing this so concisely...

                  In Christ,
                  Olga

                  > My unsolicited comments/questions:
                  >
                  > I am sure that Mr. Kozyreff would not have quoted such a passage and
                  > inserted his
                  > "What about the ROCOR?" note unless he were certain that one or
                  more of our
                  > ROCOR
                  > bishops have in fact gone into heresy and has "cease[d] from being a
                  > bishop."- whether
                  > by a "servile disposition toward the Pope" or by some "contact
                  [with] the
                  > World Council
                  > of Churches." Thus, I would like to pose to Mr. Kozyreff a series
                  of
                  > questions, with
                  > a plea that he respond with specific answers to the questions, and
                  neither
                  > essays nor
                  > rhetorical questions. I promise that the questions can, in fact be
                  answered
                  > with
                  > brief, specific information.
                  >
                  > 1) Is the Very Most Reverend Laurus of Eastern America and New York
                  the
                  > First-hierarch of ROCOR?
                  > (yes or no)
                  >
                  > 2) If the answer to #1 is no, who is First Hierarch of ROCOR?
                  > (e.g.: Metropolitan ______ )
                  >
                  > 3) Please identify the ROCOR bishop or bishops who you assert
                  has/have
                  > ceased to be bishops and who has/have ceased to be
                  > Orthodox.
                  > (just a list, please, without talking points or rhetorical
                  questions)
                  >
                  > 4) If you consider someone other than Metropolitan Laurus to be
                  > First-hierarch of ROCOR, please
                  > provide a list of the bishops under him whose authority is to be
                  recognized
                  > by members of ROCOR.
                  > (again, just a list)
                  >
                  > My purpose in making these requests is two-fold: I want to make
                  sure I have
                  > a clear picture of an increasingly
                  > muddled series of pronouncements on this list and on the Russia
                  Talk and
                  > Listok sites, and I would like to afford Mr. Kozyreff and others
                  who have
                  > been so prolific in posting to the synod list an opportunity to
                  make clear,
                  > unambiguous, and direct statements as to the Church to which they
                  belong,
                  > statements for which they would be willing to be held responsible
                  at the
                  > Dread Dudgment. This mailing list ostensibly is for "members and
                  friends of
                  > ROCA/ROCOR," and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern
                  either
                  > ROCOR membership or friendship among some of our more prodigious
                  posters.
                  > Perhaps Mr. Kozyreff's clear and concise responses to my simple
                  questions
                  > will clear the air.
                  >
                  > I must thank Mssrs. Kozyreff, Rust, Nikitin, Ms. Goosens and now
                  Mr. Moss,
                  > for the blessing they have been bestowing upon me (and perhaps upon
                  other
                  > members of this list). Several months of almost daily diatribes
                  against the
                  > hierarchs under whom I serve, endlessly repeated accusations and
                  rhetorical
                  > questions by "members and friends" of ROCOR have given me endless
                  > opportunities to reflect upon how to deal with the temptation to
                  condemn
                  > others. Now, let's all give it a rest, and focus on the coming
                  celebration
                  > of the Nativity of Christ.
                  >
                  > Deacon Leonid Mickle
                • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                  Dear Father Leonid, God bless you. You write: I am sure that Mr. Kozyreff would not have quoted such a passage and inserted his What about the ROCOR? note
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jan 6 4:34 AM
                    Dear Father Leonid, God bless you.

                    You write: "I am sure that Mr. Kozyreff would not have quoted such a
                    passage and inserted his "What about the ROCOR?" note unless he were
                    certain that one or more of our ROCOR bishops have in fact gone into
                    heresy and has "cease[d] from being a bishop."

                    Please note that I ask a question. Asking a question is expressing
                    uncertainty. A. Kalomiros's text mentioned a series of churches that
                    are under various hostile influences. Would the ROCOR be the only
                    Church that would have no enemy willing to influence her, to destroy
                    and to dismember her? Would her suffering a schism or abandoning the
                    pure faith and tradition of orthodoxy not rejoice many? Orthodoxy is
                    a resistance faith. Those whom we resist have pledged to destroy us.

                    My suggestion is that we wonder whether what is perceived as the "new
                    path" in our Church is not also the work of external influences. The
                    latter may be coming from the WCC, the Eulogians, the MP, the
                    Patriarchate of Constantinople, etc., which are all in their turn
                    under known and unknown influences. Our Church challenges them
                    because she stands for the Truth.

                    Concerning the first hierarch of the ROCOR, I think there has been
                    indeed a certain canonical and procedural confusion. The result is
                    that two persons claim to be the first hierarch of the ROCOR. The
                    first hierarch of the ROCOR defends the truth and is totally
                    intolerant to sergianism, the latter being "contrary to our very
                    calling, as Christians, and must be totally rejected by Orthodox
                    Christians, and it must never be justified" (Father A. Lebedeff). In
                    the same way, the first hierarch of the ROCOR is totally intolerant
                    to ecumenism and does not allow communion with Churches that are
                    members of the WCC.

                    You ask me to accuse, but this is contrary to the rule of this forum.
                    We know, however, that Bishops read what is being published on this
                    forum. They know for instance, that Father Alexander Lebedeff * and
                    Father John Shaw ** have justified sergianism on this very site, The
                    bishops seem to tolerate this. I wonder how this can be reconciled
                    with orthodoxy.

                    *(What is the "good" that has come out of the Moscow Patriarchate?
                    One hundred million or more faithful Christians who confess the
                    Orthodox faith, unchanged and unadulterated, Post. 6565)

                    **("What alternative would you have suggested?" Post 6976)

                    Regarding Father Alexander Lebedeff, whose attitude towards
                    sergianism has changed so dramatically and who has become so tolerant
                    to it, I wonder why he was sent by bishops to represent our Church at
                    the meeting with the MP in the Danilovsky monastery, two months ago.

                    Accusing is claiming that a given person is the author of a given
                    fact presented as an offence before this relationship has been
                    established and in order to establish this relationship. Mentioning a
                    known fact whose author is known and claims his authorship is not
                    accusing anybody. If we both see Peter defending position X, and I
                    tell you "Peter is defending position X", this is not an accusation,
                    even if I regard position X as wrong.

                    I thus do not accuse Vl Ambrose of having said that sergianism was
                    not an obstacle to our reunion with the MP. Everybody knows that he
                    has said this, he knows that everybody knows, and he has never
                    disclaimed saying it. I wonder how not considering sergianism to be
                    an obstacle to our union with the MP can be considered orthodox.

                    I do not accuse Vl Mark of suggesting that our Church should request
                    autonomy from the heretic and schismatic MP. We all know that he did.
                    I wonder how this can be considered as orthodox.

                    I do not accuse the Synod of the ROCOR of tolerating this. I just see
                    that Vl Mark's interview of is posted on the official site of the
                    ROCOR. I wonder whether it is acceptable for bishops to have or
                    publish personal opinions that are contrary to the doctrine of the
                    Church.

                    I do not know all bishops of the ROCOR, but I think all of them
                    should be recognised unless they have taken openly unorthodox
                    positions.

                    You write: "to make clear, unambiguous, and direct statements...".

                    I make mine A. Kalomiros's statement: "…The Church is where the truth
                    is".

                    You write: "This mailing list ostensibly is for "members and friends
                    of ROCA/ROCOR," and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern
                    either ROCOR membership or friendship among some of our more
                    prodigious posters. Perhaps Mr. Kozyreff's clear and concise
                    responses to my simple questions will clear the air.

                    If I did not love the ROCOR, I would be indifferent to its fate. The
                    ROCOR is not a group of hierarchs that is external to me. «The unity
                    of the Church, therefore, is not a matter of obedience to a higher
                    authority. It is not a matter of submission of subordinates to
                    superiors. External relations do not make unity, neither do the
                    common decisions of councils, even of Ecumenical Councils. The unity
                    of the Church is given by the communion in the Body and Blood of
                    Christ, the communion with the Holy Trinity. It is a liturgical
                    unity, a mystical unity.»

                    Let us compare the Church to a ship, with passengers and crew. To be
                    concerned about the ship going off course and expressing that concern
                    is expected from the Christian people if they do have that concern.
                    Fr Alexander Lebedeff wrote (post 7313): "If, however, the Council
                    of Bishops begins to innovate in dogmatic questions, begins to teach
                    heresy--then, of course, it is the duty of the people of the Church
                    to stand up for the faith--since they also share the responsibility
                    for preserving the faith pure and unadulterated. "

                    You write: "…have given me endless opportunities to reflect upon how
                    to deal with the temptation to condemn".

                    If you suggest that I have been accusing or condemning, let me say
                    that seem to you mix up three concepts: 1. Observing that the Synod
                    becomes more and more tolerant to ecumenism and sergianism 2.
                    Accusing it of becoming so 3. Condemning it for doing so.

                    I am just observing. The facts that I have mentioned above are known
                    by everybody. I just draw the attention on apparent disturbing
                    contradictions that cannot be ignored. I observe that the synod has
                    judged, condemned and proceeded to a mass exclusion that is a
                    mutilation of our dear Church. I think that it might have been
                    avoided and that it comes from the fact that the question has been
                    managed as a purely disciplinary one.

                    I would like to militate for the restoration of unity. ("Behold what
                    is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell together in unity!"
                    Psalm 132 (LXX)

                    I wish to all a very saint feast of the Nativity of Christ. Let us
                    all unite in Him.

                    In God,

                    Vladimir Kozyreff


                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, <lmickle@c...> wrote:
                    > In a reply to a post by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, Vladimir Kozyreff
                    provided
                    > us with a
                    > quotation from J. Kalomiros (which I have truncated a bit):
                    >
                    > >>"The unity of the Church, therefore, is not a matter of obedience
                    to a
                    > higher authority... The unity of the Church is given by the
                    communion
                    > in the Body and Blood of Christ, the communion with the Holy
                    Trinity...
                    >
                    > >>...the decisions of either an ecumenical or local council are
                    valid
                    > only when they are accepted by the consciousness of the Church and
                    are
                    > in accord with the Tradition.
                    >
                    > >>The Papacy is the distortion par excellence of Church unity...
                    >
                    > >>But let no one think that the Papacy is something which exists
                    only
                    > in the West. In recent times it has started to appear among the
                    > Orthodox too.
                    >
                    > >>It is imperative that Christians realize that the Church has
                    > sacramental and not administrative foundations; then they will not
                    > suffer that which has happened to the Westerners who followed the
                    > Pope in his errors because they thought that if they did not follow
                    > him, they would automatically be outside the Church.
                    >
                    > >>Today the various patriarchates and archdioceses undergo great
                    > pressures from political powers which seek to direct the Orthodox
                    > according to their own interests. It is known that the Patriarchate
                    > of Moscow accepts the influence of Soviet politics. But the
                    > Patriarchate of Constantinople also accepts the influence of
                    American
                    > politics.
                    >
                    > >>It was under this influence that the contact of the Ecumenical
                    > Patriarchate with the similarly American-influenced, Protestant,
                    > World Council of Churches was brought about, and its servile
                    > disposition toward the Pope started to take on dangerous dimensions
                    > and even to exert over-bearing pressure upon the other Orthodox
                    > churches.
                    >
                    > >>(What about the ROCOR ? note of VK)
                    >
                    > >>The Orthodox people must become conscious of the fact that they
                    owe
                    > no obedience to a bishop, no matter how high a title he holds, when
                    > that bishop ceases being Orthodox and openly follows heretics with
                    > pretenses of union "on equal terms." On the contrary, they are
                    > obliged to depart from him and confess their Faith, because a
                    bishop,
                    > even if he be patriarch or pope, ceases from being a bishop the
                    > moment he ceases being Orthodox.
                    >
                    > >>The bishop is a consecrated person, and even if he is openly
                    sinful,
                    > respect and honor is due him until synodically censured. But if he
                    > becomes openly heretical or is in communion with heretics, then the
                    > Christians should not await any synodical decision, but should draw
                    > away from him immediately."
                    >
                    >
                    > My unsolicited comments/questions:
                    >
                    > I am sure that Mr. Kozyreff would not have quoted such a passage and
                    > inserted his
                    > "What about the ROCOR?" note unless he were certain that one or
                    more of our
                    > ROCOR
                    > bishops have in fact gone into heresy and has "cease[d] from being a
                    > bishop."- whether
                    > by a "servile disposition toward the Pope" or by some "contact
                    [with] the
                    > World Council
                    > of Churches." Thus, I would like to pose to Mr. Kozyreff a series
                    of
                    > questions, with
                    > a plea that he respond with specific answers to the questions, and
                    neither
                    > essays nor
                    > rhetorical questions. I promise that the questions can, in fact be
                    answered
                    > with
                    > brief, specific information.
                    >
                    > 1) Is the Very Most Reverend Laurus of Eastern America and New York
                    the
                    > First-hierarch of ROCOR?
                    > (yes or no)
                    >
                    > 2) If the answer to #1 is no, who is First Hierarch of ROCOR?
                    > (e.g.: Metropolitan ______ )
                    >
                    > 3) Please identify the ROCOR bishop or bishops who you assert
                    has/have
                    > ceased to be bishops and who has/have ceased to be
                    > Orthodox.
                    > (just a list, please, without talking points or rhetorical
                    questions)
                    >
                    > 4) If you consider someone other than Metropolitan Laurus to be
                    > First-hierarch of ROCOR, please
                    > provide a list of the bishops under him whose authority is to be
                    recognized
                    > by members of ROCOR.
                    > (again, just a list)
                    >
                    > My purpose in making these requests is two-fold: I want to make
                    sure I have
                    > a clear picture of an increasingly
                    > muddled series of pronouncements on this list and on the Russia
                    Talk and
                    > Listok sites, and I would like to afford Mr. Kozyreff and others
                    who have
                    > been so prolific in posting to the synod list an opportunity to
                    make clear,
                    > unambiguous, and direct statements as to the Church to which they
                    belong,
                    > statements for which they would be willing to be held responsible
                    at the
                    > Dread Dudgment. This mailing list ostensibly is for "members and
                    friends of
                    > ROCA/ROCOR," and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern
                    either
                    > ROCOR membership or friendship among some of our more prodigious
                    posters.
                    > Perhaps Mr. Kozyreff's clear and concise responses to my simple
                    questions
                    > will clear the air.
                    >
                    > I must thank Mssrs. Kozyreff, Rust, Nikitin, Ms. Goosens and now
                    Mr. Moss,
                    > for the blessing they have been bestowing upon me (and perhaps upon
                    other
                    > members of this list). Several months of almost daily diatribes
                    against the
                    > hierarchs under whom I serve, endlessly repeated accusations and
                    rhetorical
                    > questions by "members and friends" of ROCOR have given me endless
                    > opportunities to reflect upon how to deal with the temptation to
                    condemn
                    > others. Now, let's all give it a rest, and focus on the coming
                    celebration
                    > of the Nativity of Christ.
                    >
                    > Deacon Leonid Mickle
                  • Margaret Lark
                    Glory to God for all things! For the love of Mike, Vladimir, it s the Nativity of our Lord! Can t you set this aside for even one day, let alone the two
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jan 6 8:25 AM
                      Glory to God for all things! For the love of Mike, Vladimir, it's the
                      Nativity of our Lord! Can't you set this aside for even one day, let alone
                      the two weeks we have to celebrate this wonderful event?!

                      "Today the Virgin comes to the case to give birth ineffably to the
                      pre-eternal Word"! She's asking, "O sweetest Child, how shall I feed Thee
                      Who givest food to all? How shall I hold Thee Who holdest all things in Thy
                      power? How shall I wrap Thee in swaddling clothes, Who dost wrap the whole
                      earth in clouds?" She's wondering if He Who is the Food of all life will
                      eat His vegetables! She's wondering how her human womb can contain the
                      Uncontainable! And -- being fully human -- she's probably wondering what
                      labor will be like, and how she's gonna get through this in a city teeming
                      with total strangers.

                      And why? Why is this taking place? From St. Jerome: "The Christmas
                      present that God wants us to give Him is our sins. He cane to take them.
                      Let's give Him our sins, and He will give us God's kingdom. What a blessed
                      exchange!"

                      Can we please, just for a week or two, focus on this?

                      In Christ,
                      Margaret Lark, sinner
                    • Catherine
                      I m with you Margaret. Sometimes the stuff on here seems more argumentative than uplifting. I would like to hear more of the positive about our church and
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jan 6 4:36 PM
                        I'm with you Margaret. Sometimes the stuff on here
                        seems more argumentative than uplifting. I would like
                        to hear more of the positive about our church and
                        faith, and less about who's doing the wrong things
                        when and where. A good point made. have a blessed
                        Nativity Feast.

                        =====
                        Catherine

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                      • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                        Dear List, We have seen some signs of impatience at some postings related to the schism in our Church, intended to show that the deposition of Vl Varnava was
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jan 8 2:51 AM
                          Dear List,

                          We have seen some signs of impatience at some postings related to the
                          schism in our Church, intended to show that the deposition of Vl
                          Varnava was not so obviously valid. I understand this impatience, but
                          I think it is not right.

                          A schism is the most horrible thing that can happen to a Church.
                          Martyrdom cannot redeem it. It is respectable, honourable and
                          commendable to do everything possible to solve the schism. No
                          personal piety concern must take the priority to resolving the schism
                          and to resolving injustices related to it, no matter when and where,
                          be it at Christmas or Easter. No piety duty is more urgent than
                          stopping an injustice, especially if it is committed in the Church
                          and in the name of God.

                          Father Alexander writes: "Why does one need to painstakingly
                          scrutinise Canons, when the fact of former Bishop Varnava's
                          insubordination is so clearly evident?"

                          I think I must advise the List that Father Alexander Lebedeff is
                          mistaken when he claims that if a bishop is accused of violating many
                          canons, it is enough that only one out of nineteen canons allegedly
                          trespassed be relevant.

                          A certain holy canon says on the contrary that, if a bishop is
                          accused, and if only one accusation out of many cannot be supported,
                          the tribunal will accept none.

                          Moreover, the accusers of a bishop must sign a written statement in
                          which they accept in advance, in case their accusation would not be
                          received by the tribunal, to be punished as the bishop would have
                          been for the offences wrongly claimed by them to have been committed
                          by the said bishop.

                          In addition, priests are priests for eternity, so nobody is supposed
                          to address a priest by saying Mr. X, even if he has been deposed.

                          "In your anger do not sin"[ 4:26 Psalm 4:4] : Do not let the sun go
                          down while you are still angry, (Ephesians 4:25-27)

                          "Behold what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell
                          together in unity!" Psalm 132 (LXX)

                          In Christ,

                          Vladimir Kozyreff

                          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
                          <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
                          > Recent postings, primarily by Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust,
                          demonstrate
                          > a deep lack of knowledge about the way in which the Holy Orthodox
                          Church
                          > views the Holy Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority.
                          >
                          > First of all, the Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. Its
                          structure, here
                          > on earth, is one of subjugation, at each level, to higher
                          ecclesiastical
                          > authority, with the Council of Bishops being the Supreme
                          Ecclesiastical
                          > Authority. Actually, a dogma of the Church is that the heavenly
                          powers are
                          > also organized into a hierarchical structure, with the Archangel
                          Michael
                          > being the High General (Archstrategos) of the heavenly powers.
                          >
                          > A hierarchical structure means that subordinate levels are subject
                          to the
                          > authority **and discipline** of the higher levels. Laymen are
                          subject to
                          > the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their priests, priests
                          are
                          > subject to the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their Ruling
                          > Bishops, and Bishops are subject to the authority (and spiritual
                          > discipline) of Council of Bishops.
                          >
                          > The Apostle clearly admonishes all of us to obey our spiritual
                          authorities
                          > and to subject ourselves to them. This is a basic and fundamental
                          teaching
                          > of the Church. All of the Holy Canons and other spiritual
                          regulations are
                          > based on this fundamental teaching. If one wishes to be a member of
                          > Christ's Holy Church, one must submit to this teaching and must
                          voluntarily
                          > submit oneself to one's spiritual authorities. If one wishes to be
                          a
                          > clergyman of the Church, then one must agree to be subject to the
                          authority
                          > and discipline of the Ruling Bishop and the Highest Ecclesiastical
                          > Authority--the Council of Bishops. Not only is this implicit in the
                          whole
                          > concept of serving the Church, but every candidate for ordination
                          to the
                          > diaconate and the priesthood must make a solemn oath, before the
                          Gospel and
                          > the Cross, and confirmed in writing, that he will be in all things
                          obedient
                          > to his Ruling Bishop and to his Synod of Bishops, and he is subject
                          to
                          > their authority and discipline. This is confirmed also in the
                          Certificate
                          > of Ordination and Exhortation given to each ordinand. A candidate
                          for
                          > bishop, prior to his consecration, must make a lengthy and detailed
                          public
                          > confession of faith, including a solemn oath to be in full concord
                          with his
                          > fellow bishops in all things, and to be obedient to his First
                          Hierarch and
                          > his Synod of Bishops.
                          >
                          > In accordance with the ancient legal principle that the entity that
                          has the
                          > authority to establish, has equal authority to disestablish, the
                          absolute
                          > power of a Council of Bishops to select and consecrate a candidate
                          to the
                          > episcopacy contains within it the absolute power to suspend and to
                          depose a
                          > bishop, should he commit any misdeeds. Every candidate for bishop
                          is fully
                          > aware of this, and consents to this at the time of his
                          consecration. In
                          > like manner, every candidate for the diaconate or priesthood
                          implicitly
                          > acknowledges the absolute authority of his Ruling Bishop to suspend
                          him
                          > from duties if the clergyman commits any misdeeds.
                          >
                          > The Council of Bishops is the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority. It
                          > comprises the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial
                          authority of the
                          > Church in one body. The Council of Bishops has the absolute
                          authority to
                          > apply the Holy Canons to any particular situation. It has the
                          absolute
                          > authority to increase or decrease canonical penalties. It has the
                          absolute
                          > authority to decide even to supersede or ignore applicable Canons.
                          And, the
                          > Council of Bishops has the absolute power to suspend or to depose a
                          bishop
                          > or any other clergyman as it sees fit for the welfare of the Holy
                          Church.
                          >
                          > It is these God-established rights of the Council of Bishops as the
                          Sypreme
                          > Ecclesiastical Authority that are being flaunted and repudiated by
                          former
                          > Bishop Varnava and his followers.
                          >
                          > For this reason, they are rightfully and justly deposed.
                          >
                          > Now, let us turn to the specific issues of the defense of the
                          actions of
                          > former Bishop Varnava, brought up by Vladimir Kozyreff, Serge Rust,
                          and others.
                          >
                          > Truly, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They post lengthy
                          analyses
                          > of the minutiae of the Canons referenced in former Bishop Varnava's
                          > Conciliar Act of Deposition, basically straining gnats, while not
                          noticing
                          > the "elephant" of his actions in creating a schism--tearing asunder
                          the
                          > seamless robe of Christ, and not understanding that the sin of
                          schism is so
                          > heinous, that it is not even washed away by the blood of martyrdom,
                          > according to St. John Chrysostom.
                          >
                          > Nothing is more destructive to the Church than the actions of one
                          of its
                          > own bishops--a man invested by the Church with awesome
                          > responsibilities--against his own Supreme Ecclesisatical Authority.
                          What
                          > kind of an example is this shepherd (not even a full Ruling Bishop,
                          but
                          > only a Vicar Bishop, who must be completely subordinate to his
                          Ruling
                          > Bishop and may do nothing without that Ruling Bishop's direction)
                          showing
                          > his flock, when he spurns his Ruling Bishop and his Supreme
                          Ecclesiastical
                          > Authority, ignores the suspensions placed on him by this Supreme
                          > Ecclesiastical Authority, and leads some of his clergy and his
                          faithful
                          > into schism, creating a new and unlawful ecclesiastical structure,
                          called
                          > by the Holy Canons a parasynagogue?
                          >
                          > Why does one need to painstakingly scrutinize Canons, when the fact
                          of
                          > former Bishop Varnava's insubordination is so clearly evident?
                          >
                          > Even if among the 19 (!) Canons referenced in the Act of Deposition
                          there
                          > were some erroneously cited--does this ameliorate the fundamental
                          > ecclesiastical crime of a bishop spurning his Supreme
                          Ecclesiastical
                          > Authority and going into schism and leading others into it? Even if
                          18 of
                          > the 19 Canons were erroneously cited, former Bishop Varnava would
                          be
                          > subject to deposition just on the basis of that one remaining Canon
                          alone.
                          >
                          > A few more points regarding the application of Canons.
                          >
                          > Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust have tried to show that some of
                          the Canons
                          > cited by the Council of Bishops were not applicable.
                          >
                          > Let us take just one example to prove that their approach is
                          fundamentally
                          > flawed.
                          >
                          > The Act of the Council of Bishops numbered Canon 8 of St. Basil the
                          Great
                          > as one of those referenced as applying to the case of Bishop
                          Varnava. This
                          > Canon, on its face, refers to murderers and the penalties for
                          murder.
                          > "Foul!," cry Messers. Kozyreff and Rust--this clearly cannot apply
                          to
                          > Bishop Varnava's case--he was not accused or convicted of any
                          murder!
                          >
                          > But it turns out that they are completely wrong.
                          >
                          > The Holy Church has a very different way of understanding what
                          Canons mean
                          > and how they are to be applied than our esteemed self-appointed
                          (and
                          > self-taught) "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava.
                          >
                          > Here is the concluding part of the exegesis of Canon 8 of St. Basil
                          the
                          > Great, by the renowned Canonist, Bishop Nikodim (Milash):
                          >
                          > "[It must be determined] if the crime was committed with evil
                          intent
                          > (dolos), or through negligence or carelessness (ameleia), or by
                          accident
                          > (tykhy).The first is a voluntary, conscious (intended) violation of
                          an
                          > existing law, through which (violation) someone wishes to
                          accomplish that
                          > which is forbidden by the law. Here the most important thing is a
                          > will-opposed-to-the-law, [a will] that commits the criminal act.
                          This
                          > will-opposed-to-the-law is subject to punishment, not only when an
                          evil
                          > deed is committed, but even when the deed is not committed, even
                          though,
                          > therefore, there was no injured party. A person who is carelessness
                          or
                          > negligent is considered guilty in that situation, where as a result
                          of the
                          > carelessness, without intent, he commits some criminal act, about
                          which he
                          > did not even think, but which, however, with constant care and
                          vigilance,
                          > could have been avoided. This juridical principle, which existed in
                          Roman
                          > law from time immemorial, was accepted also by the Church,
                          especially since
                          > the goal of its legislation was not only that all of its members
                          would
                          > fulfill the requirements of the law, for the preservation of good
                          order,
                          > but that everyone would observe that nothing would occur that might
                          be
                          > harmful both for society, as well as for individuals, so that,
                          therefore,
                          > social life might develop correctly. In accordance with this, every
                          thing
                          > that causes harm to society or any individual person as a result of
                          such
                          > negligence, although it is judged less harshly than a willful
                          crime, still
                          > is punished, and especially if the consequences of such negligence
                          were
                          > more serious and the negligence were greater. In the last case
                          negligence
                          > is very close to "dolos"--evil intent, as a result of which a crime
                          > committed because of such gross negligence is punished often the
                          same as a
                          > willful one, one with evil intent. A crime committed accidentally
                          is not
                          > punishable. However, if a given situation that arose out of any
                          action
                          > which in itself is not punishable, becomes the cause of a
                          punishable
                          > action, then the court will consider this to be the fault of the
                          individual
                          > involved and he is subject to the appropriate, even be it the
                          least,
                          > punishment." (Bishop Nikodim, Canons of the Orthodox Church, St.
                          > Petersburg, 1912, Vol. 2, p. 386-387).
                          >
                          > Notice, please, that the word "murder" is not even mentioned in
                          this
                          > explanation. Instead of being concerned solely with the issue of
                          murder,
                          > this Canon, as understood and applied by the Church, concerns any
                          activity
                          > that anyone performs that turns out to be detrimental to the Church
                          or to
                          > society, even if there were no evil intent, just carelessness or
                          > negligence--and shows that such actions are punishable, sometimes
                          just as
                          > harshly as if there were malicious intent.
                          >
                          > This Canon, therefore, directly applies to former Bishop Varnava
                          and his
                          > followers, who, even if they had no evil intent to cause harm to
                          the
                          > Church, are still punishable, if a schism ensued as a result of
                          their actions.
                          >
                          > Other Canons have similar interpretations, which go far beyond
                          their
                          > explicitly expressed content.
                          >
                          > Now, a word about "double jeopardy."
                          >
                          > Vladimir Kozyreff has several times posited that former Bishop
                          Varnava was
                          > being unjustly punished twice for the same crime--that he had
                          already been
                          > censured and punished for his misdeeds in Russia, and that these
                          should not
                          > be brought up again, as he had already repented and served his
                          punishment.
                          > Vladimir cites Apostolic Canon 25 in support of his position,
                          claiming that
                          > it forbids punishing a second time for the same misdeed.
                          >
                          > Here, again, he is totally wrong, as the Canon has nothing to do
                          with
                          > "double jeopardy," but rather with **double punishment**. As Bishop
                          Nikodim
                          > clearly states in his exegesis of this Canon, various Canons impose
                          a
                          > penalty for a particular crime--usually deposition from holy office
                          for a
                          > clergyman, or excommunication for a layman.
                          >
                          > In this Canon certain crimes are listed, which the Holy Fathers
                          stated are
                          > worthy of the penalty of deposition if a clergyman should commit
                          them.
                          > However, the Holy Fathers felt that for these crimes, deposition
                          from holy
                          > orders was a sufficient penalty, and that a clergyman who commits
                          these
                          > crimes should be deposed, but not excommunicated totally from the
                          assembly
                          > of the Church, i.e. that he should not be doubly punished.
                          >
                          > This has **nothing** to do with the concept of "double jeopardy,"
                          by which
                          > no one can be tried twice for the same crime.
                          >
                          > Also, Bishop Nikodim notes that this Canon's prohibition against a
                          double
                          > penalty is not absolute, but specific to the crimes enumerated in
                          ths
                          > Canon, since immediately proximate Apostolic Canons (29 and 30)
                          clearly
                          > specify that for other crimes, for example, simony, the clergyman
                          is to be
                          > **both** deposed and excommunicated.
                          >
                          > And, regarding the ethics of bringing up again a matter that had
                          been
                          > repented of and forgiven, one must recall that neither the Church
                          Law, nor
                          > common law, forbids bringing up the past record of an individual at
                          a
                          > trial, since it establishes a pattern of behavior.
                          >
                          > Prior misdeeds, even those which are repented of and forgiven,
                          still have
                          > consequences, as is clear from a multitude of Holy Canons.
                          >
                          > If a young man, let's say, gets drunk at his prom party and ends up
                          > sleeping with a girl, then repents, serves a penance, and is given
                          > absolution--he is still forbidden by the Holy Canons from becoming
                          a
                          > clergyman.This does not mean that he is not forgiven--just that he
                          must
                          > bear, forever, the consequences of his actions.
                          >
                          > A criminal who is convicted and serves his time has paid his debt
                          to
                          > society. However, he still has a criminal record, which can be used
                          against
                          > him if he commits further criminal acts. Here in California we have
                          a
                          > "three-strikes" law, which sends a criminal to prison for a minimum
                          of 25
                          > years if he commits a third felony, even if it is not a violent one.
                          >
                          > So--the consequences of one's previous actions are borne into the
                          future.
                          >
                          > The same with former Bishop Varnava.
                          >
                          > Next is the issue of being judged "without being heard."
                          >
                          > The basic ancient legal principle here is the Latin maxim: "Nemo
                          intauditus
                          > condemnari debet si non sit contumax" -- "No one can be condemned
                          without
                          > being heard unless he be contumacious."
                          >
                          > "Contumacy" can be of two types: Active--where the accused disobeys
                          a
                          > directive of his superiors; and Passive--where the accused simply
                          fails to
                          > appear.
                          >
                          > Former Bishop Varnava is clearly guilty of both forms of contumacy:
                          he
                          > disobeyed directives of his superior ecclesiastical authority and
                          he also
                          > did not appear before the Council of Bishops when summoned.
                          >
                          > Therefore, completely legally and justly he **can be** condemned
                          without
                          > being heard. The same applies, of course, to the "French clergy."
                          >
                          > Let's move on to the next issue: was it unjust for the Concil of
                          Bishops to
                          > refuse to hear the original "Appeal" of the "French clergy"?
                          >
                          > The basic question has already been answered: the Council of Bishop
                          is the
                          > Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority and the Supreme Judicial Authority-
                          -it has
                          > the absolute right to decide which matters it will hear and which
                          matters
                          > it will not hear.
                          >
                          > This is a basic judicial concept. In the United States, for
                          example, we
                          > have the Supreme Court, which is the supreme judicial authority in
                          the
                          > nation. Every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases and
                          appeals are
                          > submitted to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Only a small
                          percentage of
                          > these cases are accepted by the Court for hearing. The overwhelming
                          > majority of cases the Supreme Court simply declines to hear,
                          without
                          > explanation.
                          >
                          > Is this unjust?
                          >
                          > No one considers it to be.
                          >
                          > It is simply that it is within the authority of the Supreme Court
                          of the
                          > land to decide which cases it will hear and which cases it will not.
                          >
                          > The Council of Bishops has the same authority.
                          >
                          > In the given case, it is even more clear. The French clergy did not
                          just
                          > submit their case against Bishop Ambrose to the Council of Bishops
                          for
                          > hearing. According to Vladimir Kozyreff's repeated statements, the
                          French
                          > clergy submitted the case accompanied by a threat--that they would
                          > commemorate Bishop Ambrose as their Ruling Bishop **only if** their
                          case
                          > against him would be heard.
                          >
                          > Now, this is tantamount to extortion: if you do not do this, we
                          will do this.
                          >
                          > Has any case ever been brough before any civil court with a similar
                          threat?
                          >
                          > Has anyone appealed to the US Supreme Court, saying, we will
                          continue to
                          > obey the laws only if you hear our case?
                          >
                          > The whole situation is ludicrous.
                          >
                          > Again, it is clear that the "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava,
                          who, as I
                          > said, cannot see the forest for the trees, who are nit-picking the
                          Canons
                          > (incorrectly, at that) while ignoring his enormous crime of
                          creating a
                          > schism, ignore the fact that he, Bishop Varnava, never appealed the
                          > decision of the Council of Bishops that suspended and then deposed
                          him from
                          > episcopal office.
                          >
                          > If he had appealed this decision, perhaps he could have cited that
                          certain
                          > Canons were erroneously or incorrectly used against him.
                          >
                          > But he never appealed the decision. And neither did the French
                          clergy. They
                          > simply left and created their own parasynagogue.
                          >
                          > So they have no leg to stand on.
                          >
                          > And the attempts of Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust to cobble up a
                          defense
                          > for him are futile.
                          >
                          > Here are some basic canonical principles that they ignore.
                          >
                          > 1) The Coucnil of Bishops has the absolute right to suspend a
                          bishop if
                          > there is good reason to believe that he has done an act punishable
                          by
                          > suspension or deposition.
                          >
                          > 2) A Bishop suspended by the Council of Bishops **must** without
                          question
                          > obey that decision and refrain from liturgizing until the matter is
                          > resolved completely by the Council of Bishops.
                          >
                          > 3) If a suspended Bishop spurns the decision of a Council of
                          Bishops to
                          > suspend him and continues to serve, he is, by established Canon
                          Law,
                          > subject to immediate deposition from orders--without a trial or
                          decision on
                          > the original accusation.
                          >
                          > These concepts are basic to common law, as well.
                          >
                          > A police department, if an accusation is made against a police
                          officer, has
                          > the absolute right to suspend that officer pending investigation.
                          The
                          > accused officer **must** obey that suspension and give up the
                          visible marks
                          > of his authority as a peace officer--his badge and gun. If he would
                          presume
                          > to act as a police officer while under suspension, he is summarily
                          > dismissed from the force.
                          >
                          > So it should be no surprise to anyone that the same situation
                          applies in
                          > the Church, and that the penalties for ignoring a suspension by
                          one'
                          > superior authority would be the same--summary dismissal.
                          >
                          > This is the penalty under which former Bishop Varnava and the
                          French clergy
                          > have fallen.
                          >
                          > Finally, let us remember what the Holy Canons say about what
                          happens when
                          > the faithful in a city or province refuse to accept a Ruling Bishop
                          > assigned to them by the Council of Bishops--the supreme
                          ecclesiastical
                          > authority.
                          >
                          > According to Apostolic Canon 36, in such a case, --the **clergy**
                          of that
                          > city or province are excommunicated, for having so poorly taught
                          such
                          > insobordinate people.
                          >
                          > Regarding the actions of the French clergy, let us, once again,
                          recall
                          > Canon 13 of the First-and-Second Council, where we read:
                          >
                          > "If any priest or deacon, having impugned his bishop with some
                          accusations,
                          > prior to a conciliar investigation, deliberation and final
                          judgement of him
                          > [the bishop], should dare to depart from communion with him, and
                          will not
                          > commemorate his name during holy prayers at the Liturgies in
                          accordance
                          > with the Church tradition: let such a cleric be subject to being
                          cast out
                          > and let him be deprived of any clerical honor. For a person who is
                          placed
                          > in the rank of a priest, and who arrogates unto himself judgement
                          which is
                          > appointed to Metropolitans, and prior to a trial, solely by himself
                          should
                          > strive to judge his Father and Bishop, is not worthy of the honor,
                          or even
                          > the name of a presbyter. Those who would follow such a one, if they
                          are
                          > among the clergy, let them also be deprived of their honor: if they
                          be
                          > nonks or laymen, let them be completely excommunicated from the
                          Church,
                          > until they reject their communion with schismatics, and do not turn
                          back to
                          > their Bishop."
                          >
                          > Nothing could be clearer.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > With love in Christ,
                          >
                          > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                        • lmickle@concentric.net
                          I rarely post to the various mailing lists, and almost always regret having gotten into the fray. However, even in the midst of the joyous season, I have had
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jan 9 10:11 AM
                            I rarely post to the various mailing lists, and almost always regret having
                            gotten into the fray. However, even in the midst of the joyous season, I
                            have had parishioners ask me about doubts/rumors/jurisdictional questions
                            stemming from the multitude of posts by Mr. Kozyreff and the other "members
                            and friends of ROCOR" on this list. So, one last attempt...

                            I did not really expect Mr. Kozyreff to give simple responses to simple
                            questions, but I thought it important to at least give him the opportunity
                            to allow his yea to be yea, his nay to be nay. It saddens me that he seems
                            unable to do so. In his response, he continues to repeat talking points, and
                            continues to pose rhetorical questions premised on acceptance as fact wholly
                            unsupported allegations that have nothing to do with answers to the
                            questions I asked.

                            Mr. Kozyreff states, "You ask me to accuse, but this is contrary to the rule
                            of this forum." Interesting. After all of the innuendo in a stream of
                            posts, I asked simply what bishop/bishops has/have gone into heresy and
                            has/have ceased to be bishops. That would not require any accusation.
                            Possible answers could have been a) "none," b)"Bishop X, Y, Z" c) none that
                            I know of, d)"I do not know; I do not have the authority to say."

                            What Mr. Kozyreff instead presented follows a different pattern, e.g. "I
                            thus do not accuse Vl. Ambrose of ****. Everybody knows that he has ****. I
                            wonder how *** can be considered as orthodox." "I do not accuse Vl Mark of
                            suggesting **** We all know that he did. I wonder how this can be
                            considered as orthodox."

                            Suppose I were to say to Mr. Koyzyreff, "I do not accuse Vladimir Kozyreff
                            of maligning and falsely accusing our bishops; everyone knows he is." Could
                            I, at the Dread Judgment, with a clear conscience say "They asked me to
                            accuse, but I am only an observer..."? I could not. Let your yea be yea,
                            and your nay be nay.

                            I asked Mr. Kozyreff who was First Hierarch of ROCOR. He responded with the
                            statement that two persons claim that title. As we say in America, Well,
                            Duh!! Let me rephrase my question: I wanted Mr. Kozyreff to say who he, his
                            parish, his diocese recognizes as First Hierarch. At the Vigil or Divine
                            Liturgy, who is commemorated in the Litanies and during the Great Entrance?
                            That should not be a difficult question to answer. Flowing from that answer
                            should be the answers to the other questions I posed.

                            As an aside: In the non-answer to my request that he identify his First
                            Hierarch, Mr. Kozyreff stated inter alia that "the first hierarch of the
                            ROCOR is totally intolerant of ecumenism and does not allow communion with
                            Churches that are members of the WCC." Well, I suppose that would preclude
                            Metropolitan Laurus (whom I and the Church to which I belong recognize as
                            First Hierarch) from the list of possible First-hierarchs; I know of
                            instances in which under Vl. Laurus' watch, clergy of the Serbian
                            Patriarchate have served in ROCOR churches. However, I also clearly
                            remember how on the occasion of the Glorification of St. John Maximovitch,
                            and in the Altar of the Cathedral in San Francisco, Metropolitan Vitaly gave
                            his blessing to a priest of the Serbian Patriarchate to concelebrate with
                            him. There may have been other occasions, but that was the only one at
                            which I was standing next to Vl. Metropolitan, and personally saw and heard
                            him give that blessing and welcome. It would seem that by the stated
                            definition, Vl. Vitaly could not be First Hierarch. So, I repeat the
                            simple question I had earlier posed: Who is First Hierarch of ROCOR?

                            If that is too difficult a question, I can rephrase it. Let us assume I
                            were to visit Mr. Kozyreff's parish:

                            Q: Please a)identify the parish, and b) state the name of the priest whom I
                            would approach to receive a blessing to serve.
                            A: a)The parish of St. _____. b) Priest ______.

                            Q: As someone who commemorates Vl. Laurus as First Hierarch, would I be
                            permitted to serve?
                            A: Yes__ No__.

                            Q: In the Great Litany and the Augmented Litany, whose names would I need
                            to insert in the following places:
                            "and our Lord the Very Most-Reverend _______, Metropolitan of Eastern
                            America and New York, First-hierarch of the Russuian Church Abroad, and our
                            Lord, the Most-Reverend ________ (Arch)Bishop of ________."

                            The questions are straight-forward, and do not need talking points or
                            rhetorical questions. All one needs to do is fill in the blanks.

                            After I began this latest post, I read Mr. Kozyreff's subsequent post, in
                            which he provided his translation of a text from the "questions et reponses"
                            section of the following web page.

                            http://perso.club-internet.fr/orthodoxie/bul/80.htm

                            I note that this is a web page of one of the "True Orthodox Christian"
                            groups - this one under Andreas of Athens. What if any connection is there
                            between that group and any of those who consider themselves part of ROCOR?
                            Possible answers might be: a)none, b)Eucharistic Inter-Communion, c)I am
                            just an observer; draw no conclusions from my posting, d) I am just an
                            observer; I want you to draw conclusions, but I am not willing to take
                            responsibility for them.

                            Were I a betting man, I would guess that Mr. Kozyreff would choose "d," with
                            several pages of talking points. I hope he proves me wrong, and that he
                            presents a frank responsem, if not to me, to himself, and before God.

                            Wishing that all of the members of this list experience the Joy and
                            blessings of the Feasts of the Nativity and Theophany, hoping that each of
                            us might be able to make a good defense at the Dread Judgement for our words
                            and actions, and asking your prayers,

                            The ever-curmudgeonly Deacon Leonid
                          • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                            Dear Deacon Leonid, Thank you for writing to me. God bless you. Have a nice year 2003. You can say My country, right or wrong , if you want. Even if your
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jan 10 3:06 AM
                              Dear Deacon Leonid,

                              Thank you for writing to me. God bless you. Have a nice year 2003.

                              You can say "My country, right or wrong", if you want. Even if your
                              country is wrong, you may choose to be faithful to it and it will
                              still be your country. You cannot say however "my Church, right or
                              wrong", because if she is wrong, she is not your Church any more.

                              You hold the following reasoning: Since the people who are in charge
                              of the ROCOR are right, so therefore, those who do not agree with
                              them are wrong and unfriendly to the ROCOR and should not be allowed
                              to post. Do not expect me to help you in demonstrating this with you.

                              This is a petition of principle and an authority fallacy. The
                              statement that the people who are in charge of the ROCOR are right is
                              an assumption. A man of authority is right because he is right, not
                              because he is an authority. Hierarchs are legitimately in charge of
                              the ROCOR if they have an orthodox position. It is wrong to state
                              that since they head the ROCOR, so therefore they are orthodox. I do
                              not compare me with St Mark of Ephesus, but would you have said, in
                              those days: since he disagrees with the quasi totality of the Church,
                              so therefore he is an enemy of the Church?

                              The enemies of the Church are not those who want her to be orthodox.
                              The friends of the Church are not those that support unorthodox
                              positions of hierarchs (if applicable). Do you think it is being
                              friendly to the Church to accuse Vl Varnava of having misbehaved with
                              deaconesses, or to claim that one right accusation out of nineteen is
                              sufficient to condemn him, in spite of the Holy Canons?

                              You want to show that I am a foe of the ROCOR by showing that I am
                              accusing her bishops. I do not agree with your criteria.

                              "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond
                              this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:36-38) »

                              You accuse me of having my yes not being yes and my no not being no.
                              I mentioned inconsistencies in the ROCOR and claimed that I am part
                              of her. The precept "let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'"
                              applies to those who are inconsistent in their faith, not to those
                              who identify inconsistencies in the Church.

                              You write: I asked simply what bishop/bishops has/have gone into
                              heresy and has/have ceased to be bishops. That would not require any
                              accusation. Please let me dispute this. Stating that a bishop has
                              gone into heresy before an ecclesial court has concluded so, is an
                              accusation.

                              « Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to
                              catch him in his words. (Mark 12:12-14 ). »

                              You write : Suppose I were to say to Mr. Kozyreff, "I do not accuse
                              Vladimir Kozyreff of maligning and falsely accusing our bishops;
                              everyone knows he is."

                              This refers to my statement that everybody knows that Vl Ambrose has
                              said that only psychological obstacles remain between the MP and us.
                              As I tried to explain to you, this (and other similar declarations
                              and deeds) is the origin of the refusal of the clergy of France to
                              commemorate Vl Ambrose. This is also the reason why the Fathers de
                              Castelbajac are still allowed not to, while having been received back
                              by the NY Synod.

                              When the emissaries of the Synod, Fathers Lebedeff and Larin came to
                              France to persuade the clergy to submission, there was no question as
                              to whether or not Vl Ambrose had or not said this. Vl Ambrose
                              statements were the reason for the mission to be. What was at stake
                              was the necessity or not to submit, being understood that Vl Ambrose
                              did make that statement (and others). In addition, the disagreement
                              between the clergy and Vl Ambrose was not about the reality of the
                              declaration on psychological obstacle, but about the declaration (and
                              similar declarations and deeds) being right or wrong.

                              I said that I did not understand how suggesting that our Church could
                              request autonomy from the MP which is heretic and schismatic is
                              orthodox. Do you understand this? Do you believe that understanding
                              this is being a friend to the ROCOR and not understanding this is
                              being an enemy of the ROCOR? If so, then you must understand it,
                              according to your logic, and I am eager to hear your explanations.

                              You write: "I know of instances in which under Vl. Laurus' watch,
                              clergy of the Serbian Patriarchate have served in ROCOR churches".
                              Do you believe that the Patriarchate of Serbia is part of the WCC? Do
                              you think this Serbian clergy serving in the ROCOR churches puts the
                              ROCOR in communion with the Patriarchate of Serbia? If yes, can you
                              explain to me how it can be orthodox to have communion with a
                              heretical Church?

                              You write: "After I began this latest post, I read Mr. Kozyreff's
                              subsequent post, in which he provided his translation of a text from
                              the "questions et responses" section of the following web page.

                              http://perso.club-internet.fr/orthodoxie/bul/80.htm

                              … What if any connection is there between that group and any of
                              those who consider themselves part of ROCOR? Possible answers might
                              be: a) none, b) Eucharistic Inter-Communion, c) I am just an
                              observer; draw no conclusions from my posting, d) I am just an
                              observer; I want you to draw conclusions, but I am not willing to
                              take responsibility for them".

                              Do you think there is anything wrong in the text that I translated
                              for the List? Is it compatible with orthodoxy? Is it informative?
                              Please forget that when you ask questions, your interlocutor must
                              chose exclusively between a limited number of possibilities that you
                              determine. If I asked you: "Have you stopped attacking orthodoxy?
                              Please tick one of 2 responses; a. yes; b. no". What would you reply?

                              "They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of
                              integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to
                              who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the
                              truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? (Mark 12:13-15). "
                              They too wanted Christ to reply yes or no.

                              My response is none of those that you propose. When Father Mark
                              Gilstrap posts an article of the Times on line about monks being
                              expelled in Mount Athos, does it mean that he has connections with
                              the redaction of the Times online? Why do you not ask him to respond
                              about his connections by choosing between: a) none, b) full
                              communion, c) I am just an observer; draw no conclusions from my
                              posting, d) I am just an observer?

                              You ask our prayers. I will certainly pray for you and I hope you
                              will pray for me as well. Please excuse me for all unintended
                              offences if there have been any. None if any was intentional.

                              In God,

                              Vladimir Kozyreff


                              -- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, <lmickle@c...> wrote:
                              >
                              > I rarely post to the various mailing lists, and almost always
                              regret having
                              > gotten into the fray. However, even in the midst of the joyous
                              season, I
                              > have had parishioners ask me about doubts/rumors/jurisdictional
                              questions
                              > stemming from the multitude of posts by Mr. Kozyreff and the
                              other "members
                              > and friends of ROCOR" on this list. So, one last attempt...
                              >
                              > I did not really expect Mr. Kozyreff to give simple responses to
                              simple
                              > questions, but I thought it important to at least give him the
                              opportunity
                              > to allow his yea to be yea, his nay to be nay. It saddens me that
                              he seems
                              > unable to do so. In his response, he continues to repeat talking
                              points, and
                              > continues to pose rhetorical questions premised on acceptance as
                              fact wholly
                              > unsupported allegations that have nothing to do with answers to the
                              > questions I asked.
                              >
                              > Mr. Kozyreff states, "You ask me to accuse, but this is contrary to
                              the rule
                              > of this forum." Interesting. After all of the innuendo in a stream
                              of
                              > posts, I asked simply what bishop/bishops has/have gone into heresy
                              and
                              > has/have ceased to be bishops. That would not require any
                              accusation.
                              > Possible answers could have been a) "none," b)"Bishop X, Y, Z" c)
                              none that
                              > I know of, d)"I do not know; I do not have the authority to say."
                              >
                              > What Mr. Kozyreff instead presented follows a different pattern,
                              e.g. "I
                              > thus do not accuse Vl. Ambrose of ****. Everybody knows that he has
                              ****. I
                              > wonder how *** can be considered as orthodox." "I do not accuse Vl
                              Mark of
                              > suggesting **** We all know that he did. I wonder how this can be
                              > considered as orthodox."
                              >
                              > Suppose I were to say to Mr. Koyzyreff, "I do not accuse Vladimir
                              Kozyreff
                              > of maligning and falsely accusing our bishops; everyone knows he
                              is." Could
                              > I, at the Dread Judgment, with a clear conscience say "They asked
                              me to
                              > accuse, but I am only an observer..."? I could not. Let your yea
                              be yea,
                              > and your nay be nay.
                              >
                              > I asked Mr. Kozyreff who was First Hierarch of ROCOR. He responded
                              with the
                              > statement that two persons claim that title. As we say in America,
                              Well,
                              > Duh!! Let me rephrase my question: I wanted Mr. Kozyreff to say
                              who he, his
                              > parish, his diocese recognizes as First Hierarch. At the Vigil or
                              Divine
                              > Liturgy, who is commemorated in the Litanies and during the Great
                              Entrance?
                              > That should not be a difficult question to answer. Flowing from
                              that answer
                              > should be the answers to the other questions I posed.
                              >
                              > As an aside: In the non-answer to my request that he identify his
                              First
                              > Hierarch, Mr. Kozyreff stated inter alia that "the first hierarch
                              of the
                              > ROCOR is totally intolerant of ecumenism and does not allow
                              communion with
                              > Churches that are members of the WCC." Well, I suppose that would
                              preclude
                              > Metropolitan Laurus (whom I and the Church to which I belong
                              recognize as
                              > First Hierarch) from the list of possible First-hierarchs; I know of
                              > instances in which under Vl. Laurus' watch, clergy of the Serbian
                              > Patriarchate have served in ROCOR churches. However, I also clearly
                              > remember how on the occasion of the Glorification of St. John
                              Maximovitch,
                              > and in the Altar of the Cathedral in San Francisco, Metropolitan
                              Vitaly gave
                              > his blessing to a priest of the Serbian Patriarchate to
                              concelebrate with
                              > him. There may have been other occasions, but that was the only
                              one at
                              > which I was standing next to Vl. Metropolitan, and personally saw
                              and heard
                              > him give that blessing and welcome. It would seem that by the
                              stated
                              > definition, Vl. Vitaly could not be First Hierarch. So, I repeat
                              the
                              > simple question I had earlier posed: Who is First Hierarch of
                              ROCOR?
                              >
                              > If that is too difficult a question, I can rephrase it. Let us
                              assume I
                              > were to visit Mr. Kozyreff's parish:
                              >
                              > Q: Please a)identify the parish, and b) state the name of the
                              priest whom I
                              > would approach to receive a blessing to serve.
                              > A: a)The parish of St. _____. b) Priest ______.
                              >
                              > Q: As someone who commemorates Vl. Laurus as First Hierarch, would
                              I be
                              > permitted to serve?
                              > A: Yes__ No__.
                              >
                              > Q: In the Great Litany and the Augmented Litany, whose names would
                              I need
                              > to insert in the following places:
                              > "and our Lord the Very Most-Reverend _______, Metropolitan of
                              Eastern
                              > America and New York, First-hierarch of the Russuian Church Abroad,
                              and our
                              > Lord, the Most-Reverend ________ (Arch)Bishop of ________."
                              >
                              > The questions are straight-forward, and do not need talking points
                              or
                              > rhetorical questions. All one needs to do is fill in the blanks.
                              >
                              > After I began this latest post, I read Mr. Kozyreff's subsequent
                              post, in
                              > which he provided his translation of a text from the "questions et
                              reponses"
                              > section of the following web page.
                              >
                              > http://perso.club-internet.fr/orthodoxie/bul/80.htm
                              >
                              > I note that this is a web page of one of the "True Orthodox
                              Christian"
                              > groups - this one under Andreas of Athens. What if any connection
                              is there
                              > between that group and any of those who consider themselves part of
                              ROCOR?
                              > Possible answers might be: a)none, b)Eucharistic Inter-Communion, c)
                              I am
                              > just an observer; draw no conclusions from my posting, d) I am just
                              an
                              > observer; I want you to draw conclusions, but I am not willing to
                              take
                              > responsibility for them.
                              >
                              > Were I a betting man, I would guess that Mr. Kozyreff would
                              choose "d," with
                              > several pages of talking points. I hope he proves me wrong, and
                              that he
                              > presents a frank responsem, if not to me, to himself, and before
                              God.
                              >
                              > Wishing that all of the members of this list experience the Joy and
                              > blessings of the Feasts of the Nativity and Theophany, hoping that
                              each of
                              > us might be able to make a good defense at the Dread Judgement for
                              our words
                              > and actions, and asking your prayers,
                              >
                              > The ever-curmudgeonly Deacon Leonid
                            • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                              Erratum: the emissaries of the Synod were Fathers Pavlenko and Larin, not Lebedeff. Please excuse me for this typo . In God, Vladimir Kozyreff ... charge ...
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jan 10 6:56 AM
                                Erratum: the emissaries of the Synod were Fathers Pavlenko and Larin,
                                not Lebedeff.

                                Please excuse me for this "typo".

                                In God,

                                Vladimir Kozyreff

                                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff
                                <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                                > Dear Deacon Leonid,
                                >
                                > Thank you for writing to me. God bless you. Have a nice year 2003.
                                >
                                > You can say "My country, right or wrong", if you want. Even if your
                                > country is wrong, you may choose to be faithful to it and it will
                                > still be your country. You cannot say however "my Church, right or
                                > wrong", because if she is wrong, she is not your Church any more.
                                >
                                > You hold the following reasoning: Since the people who are in
                                charge
                                > of the ROCOR are right, so therefore, those who do not agree with
                                > them are wrong and unfriendly to the ROCOR and should not be
                                allowed
                                > to post. Do not expect me to help you in demonstrating this with
                                you.
                                >
                                > This is a petition of principle and an authority fallacy. The
                                > statement that the people who are in charge of the ROCOR are right
                                is
                                > an assumption. A man of authority is right because he is right, not
                                > because he is an authority. Hierarchs are legitimately in charge of
                                > the ROCOR if they have an orthodox position. It is wrong to state
                                > that since they head the ROCOR, so therefore they are orthodox. I
                                do
                                > not compare me with St Mark of Ephesus, but would you have said, in
                                > those days: since he disagrees with the quasi totality of the
                                Church,
                                > so therefore he is an enemy of the Church?
                                >
                                > The enemies of the Church are not those who want her to be
                                orthodox.
                                > The friends of the Church are not those that support unorthodox
                                > positions of hierarchs (if applicable). Do you think it is being
                                > friendly to the Church to accuse Vl Varnava of having misbehaved
                                with
                                > deaconesses, or to claim that one right accusation out of nineteen
                                is
                                > sufficient to condemn him, in spite of the Holy Canons?
                                >
                                > You want to show that I am a foe of the ROCOR by showing that I am
                                > accusing her bishops. I do not agree with your criteria.
                                >
                                > "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything
                                beyond
                                > this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:36-38) »
                                >
                                > You accuse me of having my yes not being yes and my no not being
                                no.
                                > I mentioned inconsistencies in the ROCOR and claimed that I am part
                                > of her. The precept "let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'"
                                > applies to those who are inconsistent in their faith, not to those
                                > who identify inconsistencies in the Church.
                                >
                                > You write: I asked simply what bishop/bishops has/have gone into
                                > heresy and has/have ceased to be bishops. That would not require
                                any
                                > accusation. Please let me dispute this. Stating that a bishop has
                                > gone into heresy before an ecclesial court has concluded so, is an
                                > accusation.
                                >
                                > « Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to
                                > catch him in his words. (Mark 12:12-14 ). »
                                >
                                > You write : Suppose I were to say to Mr. Kozyreff, "I do not accuse
                                > Vladimir Kozyreff of maligning and falsely accusing our bishops;
                                > everyone knows he is."
                                >
                                > This refers to my statement that everybody knows that Vl Ambrose
                                has
                                > said that only psychological obstacles remain between the MP and
                                us.
                                > As I tried to explain to you, this (and other similar declarations
                                > and deeds) is the origin of the refusal of the clergy of France to
                                > commemorate Vl Ambrose. This is also the reason why the Fathers de
                                > Castelbajac are still allowed not to, while having been received
                                back
                                > by the NY Synod.
                                >
                                > When the emissaries of the Synod, Fathers Lebedeff and Larin came
                                to
                                > France to persuade the clergy to submission, there was no question
                                as
                                > to whether or not Vl Ambrose had or not said this. Vl Ambrose
                                > statements were the reason for the mission to be. What was at stake
                                > was the necessity or not to submit, being understood that Vl
                                Ambrose
                                > did make that statement (and others). In addition, the disagreement
                                > between the clergy and Vl Ambrose was not about the reality of the
                                > declaration on psychological obstacle, but about the declaration
                                (and
                                > similar declarations and deeds) being right or wrong.
                                >
                                > I said that I did not understand how suggesting that our Church
                                could
                                > request autonomy from the MP which is heretic and schismatic is
                                > orthodox. Do you understand this? Do you believe that understanding
                                > this is being a friend to the ROCOR and not understanding this is
                                > being an enemy of the ROCOR? If so, then you must understand it,
                                > according to your logic, and I am eager to hear your explanations.
                                >
                                > You write: "I know of instances in which under Vl. Laurus' watch,
                                > clergy of the Serbian Patriarchate have served in ROCOR churches".
                                > Do you believe that the Patriarchate of Serbia is part of the WCC?
                                Do
                                > you think this Serbian clergy serving in the ROCOR churches puts
                                the
                                > ROCOR in communion with the Patriarchate of Serbia? If yes, can you
                                > explain to me how it can be orthodox to have communion with a
                                > heretical Church?
                                >
                                > You write: "After I began this latest post, I read Mr. Kozyreff's
                                > subsequent post, in which he provided his translation of a text
                                from
                                > the "questions et responses" section of the following web page.
                                >
                                > http://perso.club-internet.fr/orthodoxie/bul/80.htm
                                >
                                > … What if any connection is there between that group and any of
                                > those who consider themselves part of ROCOR? Possible answers
                                might
                                > be: a) none, b) Eucharistic Inter-Communion, c) I am just an
                                > observer; draw no conclusions from my posting, d) I am just an
                                > observer; I want you to draw conclusions, but I am not willing to
                                > take responsibility for them".
                                >
                                > Do you think there is anything wrong in the text that I translated
                                > for the List? Is it compatible with orthodoxy? Is it informative?
                                > Please forget that when you ask questions, your interlocutor must
                                > chose exclusively between a limited number of possibilities that
                                you
                                > determine. If I asked you: "Have you stopped attacking orthodoxy?
                                > Please tick one of 2 responses; a. yes; b. no". What would you
                                reply?
                                >
                                > "They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of
                                > integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention
                                to
                                > who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the
                                > truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? (Mark 12:13-
                                15). "
                                > They too wanted Christ to reply yes or no.
                                >
                                > My response is none of those that you propose. When Father Mark
                                > Gilstrap posts an article of the Times on line about monks being
                                > expelled in Mount Athos, does it mean that he has connections with
                                > the redaction of the Times online? Why do you not ask him to
                                respond
                                > about his connections by choosing between: a) none, b) full
                                > communion, c) I am just an observer; draw no conclusions from my
                                > posting, d) I am just an observer?
                                >
                                > You ask our prayers. I will certainly pray for you and I hope you
                                > will pray for me as well. Please excuse me for all unintended
                                > offences if there have been any. None if any was intentional.
                                >
                                > In God,
                                >
                                > Vladimir Kozyreff
                                >
                                >
                                > -- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, <lmickle@c...> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > I rarely post to the various mailing lists, and almost always
                                > regret having
                                > > gotten into the fray. However, even in the midst of the joyous
                                > season, I
                                > > have had parishioners ask me about doubts/rumors/jurisdictional
                                > questions
                                > > stemming from the multitude of posts by Mr. Kozyreff and the
                                > other "members
                                > > and friends of ROCOR" on this list. So, one last attempt...
                                > >
                                > > I did not really expect Mr. Kozyreff to give simple responses to
                                > simple
                                > > questions, but I thought it important to at least give him the
                                > opportunity
                                > > to allow his yea to be yea, his nay to be nay. It saddens me
                                that
                                > he seems
                                > > unable to do so. In his response, he continues to repeat talking
                                > points, and
                                > > continues to pose rhetorical questions premised on acceptance as
                                > fact wholly
                                > > unsupported allegations that have nothing to do with answers to
                                the
                                > > questions I asked.
                                > >
                                > > Mr. Kozyreff states, "You ask me to accuse, but this is contrary
                                to
                                > the rule
                                > > of this forum." Interesting. After all of the innuendo in a
                                stream
                                > of
                                > > posts, I asked simply what bishop/bishops has/have gone into
                                heresy
                                > and
                                > > has/have ceased to be bishops. That would not require any
                                > accusation.
                                > > Possible answers could have been a) "none," b)"Bishop X, Y, Z" c)
                                > none that
                                > > I know of, d)"I do not know; I do not have the authority to say."
                                > >
                                > > What Mr. Kozyreff instead presented follows a different pattern,
                                > e.g. "I
                                > > thus do not accuse Vl. Ambrose of ****. Everybody knows that he
                                has
                                > ****. I
                                > > wonder how *** can be considered as orthodox." "I do not accuse
                                Vl
                                > Mark of
                                > > suggesting **** We all know that he did. I wonder how this can be
                                > > considered as orthodox."
                                > >
                                > > Suppose I were to say to Mr. Koyzyreff, "I do not accuse Vladimir
                                > Kozyreff
                                > > of maligning and falsely accusing our bishops; everyone knows he
                                > is." Could
                                > > I, at the Dread Judgment, with a clear conscience say "They asked
                                > me to
                                > > accuse, but I am only an observer..."? I could not. Let your
                                yea
                                > be yea,
                                > > and your nay be nay.
                                > >
                                > > I asked Mr. Kozyreff who was First Hierarch of ROCOR. He
                                responded
                                > with the
                                > > statement that two persons claim that title. As we say in
                                America,
                                > Well,
                                > > Duh!! Let me rephrase my question: I wanted Mr. Kozyreff to say
                                > who he, his
                                > > parish, his diocese recognizes as First Hierarch. At the Vigil
                                or
                                > Divine
                                > > Liturgy, who is commemorated in the Litanies and during the Great
                                > Entrance?
                                > > That should not be a difficult question to answer. Flowing from
                                > that answer
                                > > should be the answers to the other questions I posed.
                                > >
                                > > As an aside: In the non-answer to my request that he identify
                                his
                                > First
                                > > Hierarch, Mr. Kozyreff stated inter alia that "the first hierarch
                                > of the
                                > > ROCOR is totally intolerant of ecumenism and does not allow
                                > communion with
                                > > Churches that are members of the WCC." Well, I suppose that
                                would
                                > preclude
                                > > Metropolitan Laurus (whom I and the Church to which I belong
                                > recognize as
                                > > First Hierarch) from the list of possible First-hierarchs; I know
                                of
                                > > instances in which under Vl. Laurus' watch, clergy of the Serbian
                                > > Patriarchate have served in ROCOR churches. However, I also
                                clearly
                                > > remember how on the occasion of the Glorification of St. John
                                > Maximovitch,
                                > > and in the Altar of the Cathedral in San Francisco, Metropolitan
                                > Vitaly gave
                                > > his blessing to a priest of the Serbian Patriarchate to
                                > concelebrate with
                                > > him. There may have been other occasions, but that was the only
                                > one at
                                > > which I was standing next to Vl. Metropolitan, and personally saw
                                > and heard
                                > > him give that blessing and welcome. It would seem that by the
                                > stated
                                > > definition, Vl. Vitaly could not be First Hierarch. So, I
                                repeat
                                > the
                                > > simple question I had earlier posed: Who is First Hierarch of
                                > ROCOR?
                                > >
                                > > If that is too difficult a question, I can rephrase it. Let us
                                > assume I
                                > > were to visit Mr. Kozyreff's parish:
                                > >
                                > > Q: Please a)identify the parish, and b) state the name of the
                                > priest whom I
                                > > would approach to receive a blessing to serve.
                                > > A: a)The parish of St. _____. b) Priest ______.
                                > >
                                > > Q: As someone who commemorates Vl. Laurus as First Hierarch,
                                would
                                > I be
                                > > permitted to serve?
                                > > A: Yes__ No__.
                                > >
                                > > Q: In the Great Litany and the Augmented Litany, whose names
                                would
                                > I need
                                > > to insert in the following places:
                                > > "and our Lord the Very Most-Reverend _______, Metropolitan of
                                > Eastern
                                > > America and New York, First-hierarch of the Russuian Church
                                Abroad,
                                > and our
                                > > Lord, the Most-Reverend ________ (Arch)Bishop of ________."
                                > >
                                > > The questions are straight-forward, and do not need talking
                                points
                                > or
                                > > rhetorical questions. All one needs to do is fill in the blanks.
                                > >
                                > > After I began this latest post, I read Mr. Kozyreff's subsequent
                                > post, in
                                > > which he provided his translation of a text from the "questions
                                et
                                > reponses"
                                > > section of the following web page.
                                > >
                                > > http://perso.club-internet.fr/orthodoxie/bul/80.htm
                                > >
                                > > I note that this is a web page of one of the "True Orthodox
                                > Christian"
                                > > groups - this one under Andreas of Athens. What if any
                                connection
                                > is there
                                > > between that group and any of those who consider themselves part
                                of
                                > ROCOR?
                                > > Possible answers might be: a)none, b)Eucharistic Inter-Communion,
                                c)
                                > I am
                                > > just an observer; draw no conclusions from my posting, d) I am
                                just
                                > an
                                > > observer; I want you to draw conclusions, but I am not willing to
                                > take
                                > > responsibility for them.
                                > >
                                > > Were I a betting man, I would guess that Mr. Kozyreff would
                                > choose "d," with
                                > > several pages of talking points. I hope he proves me wrong, and
                                > that he
                                > > presents a frank responsem, if not to me, to himself, and before
                                > God.
                                > >
                                > > Wishing that all of the members of this list experience the Joy
                                and
                                > > blessings of the Feasts of the Nativity and Theophany, hoping
                                that
                                > each of
                                > > us might be able to make a good defense at the Dread Judgement
                                for
                                > our words
                                > > and actions, and asking your prayers,
                                > >
                                > > The ever-curmudgeonly Deacon Leonid
                              • lmickle@concentric.net
                                My apologies to the orthodox-synod list for yet another chapter in the soap opera. For the record, I asked, and for the record, Vladimir does not wish to
                                Message 15 of 25 , Jan 10 8:28 AM
                                  My apologies to the orthodox-synod list for yet another chapter in the soap
                                  opera. For the record, I asked, and for the record, Vladimir does not wish
                                  to answer. Tak i byt'. I guess I will never know whether I could serve in
                                  his [unnamed] parish, or who is commemorated as First-hierarch in the
                                  litanies chanted at that [unnamed]parish. Sigh.

                                  BTW, today I cruised some ROCiE pages, and ran across something strange on
                                  the page belonging to ROCiE's Dean of Eastern America.
                                  http://dormitionchurch.homestead.com/files/dormitionchurch_rocie_web_page_ht
                                  ml3.htm He lists himself as being "under the omophorion of Metropolitan
                                  Vitaly and the Very Most Reverend Varnava, Abp. of Cannes and Western
                                  Europe, Deputy (Zamestitel') First Hierarch." So Vl. Vitaly is no longer to
                                  be accorded the honorific "Very Most Reverend?" The Eastern America Dean is
                                  under a West European hierarch? And who is the First-hierarch? Perhaps
                                  we will learn next time, when we again tune in to the "members and friends
                                  of ROCOR" forum. I now leave the floor to Vladimir Kozyreff, Vladimir Moss,
                                  Serge Rust, Irina Pahlen, and the other "members and friends of ROCOR."

                                  Deacon Leonid


                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@...>
                                  [mailto:vladimir.kozyreff@...]
                                  Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 6:07 AM
                                  To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: False Conceptions About Canons and
                                  Ecclesiastical Authority


                                  >>>Dear Deacon Leonid,

                                  >>>Thank you for writing to me. God bless you. Have a nice year 2003.

                                  >>>You can say "My country, right or wrong", if you want....

                                  >>>You hold the following reasoning: Since the people who are in charge
                                  of the ROCOR are right, so therefore, those who do not agree with
                                  them are wrong and unfriendly to the ROCOR and should not be allowed
                                  to post. Do not expect me to help you in demonstrating this with you.
                                • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                                  Dear Deacon Leonid, My parish is the St Job parish in Brussels (Khram Pamyatnik). The priest that commemorates Vl Laurus there is Father Yevgheny Sapronov and
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Jan 10 8:55 AM
                                    Dear Deacon Leonid,

                                    My parish is the St Job parish in Brussels (Khram Pamyatnik). The
                                    priest that commemorates Vl Laurus there is Father Yevgheny Sapronov
                                    and the priest that commemorates Vl Vitaly is Father Nicholas
                                    Semionoff.

                                    I think that more people pray with the latter, but I have made no
                                    statistics. I am like a child whose parents have divorced and who is
                                    told to choose. As many children in such a situation, I do not accept
                                    the divorce in the first place. Please see post 6419.

                                    In God,

                                    Vladimir Kozyreff


                                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, <lmickle@c...> wrote:
                                    > My apologies to the orthodox-synod list for yet another chapter in
                                    the soap
                                    > opera. For the record, I asked, and for the record, Vladimir does
                                    not wish
                                    > to answer. Tak i byt'. I guess I will never know whether I could
                                    serve in
                                    > his [unnamed] parish, or who is commemorated as First-hierarch in
                                    the
                                    > litanies chanted at that [unnamed]parish. Sigh.
                                    >
                                    > BTW, today I cruised some ROCiE pages, and ran across something
                                    strange on
                                    > the page belonging to ROCiE's Dean of Eastern America.
                                    >
                                    http://dormitionchurch.homestead.com/files/dormitionchurch_rocie_web_p
                                    age_ht
                                    > ml3.htm He lists himself as being "under the omophorion of
                                    Metropolitan
                                    > Vitaly and the Very Most Reverend Varnava, Abp. of Cannes and
                                    Western
                                    > Europe, Deputy (Zamestitel') First Hierarch." So Vl. Vitaly is no
                                    longer to
                                    > be accorded the honorific "Very Most Reverend?" The Eastern
                                    America Dean is
                                    > under a West European hierarch? And who is the First-hierarch?
                                    Perhaps
                                    > we will learn next time, when we again tune in to the "members and
                                    friends
                                    > of ROCOR" forum. I now leave the floor to Vladimir Kozyreff,
                                    Vladimir Moss,
                                    > Serge Rust, Irina Pahlen, and the other "members and friends of
                                    ROCOR."
                                    >
                                    > Deacon Leonid
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>
                                    > [mailto:vladimir.kozyreff@s...]
                                    > Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 6:07 AM
                                    > To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: False Conceptions About Canons and
                                    > Ecclesiastical Authority
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > >>>Dear Deacon Leonid,
                                    >
                                    > >>>Thank you for writing to me. God bless you. Have a nice year
                                    2003.
                                    >
                                    > >>>You can say "My country, right or wrong", if you want....
                                    >
                                    > >>>You hold the following reasoning: Since the people who are in
                                    charge
                                    > of the ROCOR are right, so therefore, those who do not agree with
                                    > them are wrong and unfriendly to the ROCOR and should not be allowed
                                    > to post. Do not expect me to help you in demonstrating this with
                                    you.
                                  • stefanvpavlenko <StefanVPavlenko@netscap
                                    But for Bishop Ambrose, Mr. Kozareff and the rest of the schism makers ... defence of the monk Varnava. If they had properly abided by them at the start, none
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Jan 10 11:29 AM
                                      But for Bishop Ambrose, Mr. Kozareff and the rest of the schism makers
                                      >>>ignore the strict canons<<<, which they themselves now use in
                                      defence of the monk Varnava. If they had properly abided by them at
                                      the start, none of this would, or even COULD, HAVE transpired!




                                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "vkozyreff
                                      <vladimir.kozyreff@s...>" <vladimir.kozyreff@s...> wrote:
                                      > Dear List,
                                      >
                                      > We have seen some signs of impatience at some postings related to the
                                      > schism in our Church, intended to show that the deposition of Vl
                                      > Varnava was not so obviously valid. I understand this impatience, but
                                      > I think it is not right.
                                      >
                                      > A schism is the most horrible thing that can happen to a Church.
                                      > Martyrdom cannot redeem it. It is respectable, honourable and
                                      > commendable to do everything possible to solve the schism. No
                                      > personal piety concern must take the priority to resolving the schism
                                      > and to resolving injustices related to it, no matter when and where,
                                      > be it at Christmas or Easter. No piety duty is more urgent than
                                      > stopping an injustice, especially if it is committed in the Church
                                      > and in the name of God.
                                      >
                                      > Father Alexander writes: "Why does one need to painstakingly
                                      > scrutinise Canons, when the fact of former Bishop Varnava's
                                      > insubordination is so clearly evident?"
                                      >
                                      > I think I must advise the List that Father Alexander Lebedeff is
                                      > mistaken when he claims that if a bishop is accused of violating many
                                      > canons, it is enough that only one out of nineteen canons allegedly
                                      > trespassed be relevant.
                                      >
                                      > A certain holy canon says on the contrary that, if a bishop is
                                      > accused, and if only one accusation out of many cannot be supported,
                                      > the tribunal will accept none.
                                      >
                                      > Moreover, the accusers of a bishop must sign a written statement in
                                      > which they accept in advance, in case their accusation would not be
                                      > received by the tribunal, to be punished as the bishop would have
                                      > been for the offences wrongly claimed by them to have been committed
                                      > by the said bishop.
                                      >
                                      > In addition, priests are priests for eternity, so nobody is supposed
                                      > to address a priest by saying Mr. X, even if he has been deposed.
                                      >
                                      > "In your anger do not sin"[ 4:26 Psalm 4:4] : Do not let the sun go
                                      > down while you are still angry, (Ephesians 4:25-27)
                                      >
                                      > "Behold what is so good or so joyous as for brethren to dwell
                                      > together in unity!" Psalm 132 (LXX)
                                      >
                                      > In Christ,
                                      >
                                      > Vladimir Kozyreff
                                      >
                                      > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
                                      > <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
                                      > > Recent postings, primarily by Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust,
                                      > demonstrate
                                      > > a deep lack of knowledge about the way in which the Holy Orthodox
                                      > Church
                                      > > views the Holy Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority.
                                      > >
                                      > > First of all, the Orthodox Church is **hierarchical**. Its
                                      > structure, here
                                      > > on earth, is one of subjugation, at each level, to higher
                                      > ecclesiastical
                                      > > authority, with the Council of Bishops being the Supreme
                                      > Ecclesiastical
                                      > > Authority. Actually, a dogma of the Church is that the heavenly
                                      > powers are
                                      > > also organized into a hierarchical structure, with the Archangel
                                      > Michael
                                      > > being the High General (Archstrategos) of the heavenly powers.
                                      > >
                                      > > A hierarchical structure means that subordinate levels are subject
                                      > to the
                                      > > authority **and discipline** of the higher levels. Laymen are
                                      > subject to
                                      > > the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their priests, priests
                                      > are
                                      > > subject to the authority (and spiritual discipline) of their Ruling
                                      > > Bishops, and Bishops are subject to the authority (and spiritual
                                      > > discipline) of Council of Bishops.
                                      > >
                                      > > The Apostle clearly admonishes all of us to obey our spiritual
                                      > authorities
                                      > > and to subject ourselves to them. This is a basic and fundamental
                                      > teaching
                                      > > of the Church. All of the Holy Canons and other spiritual
                                      > regulations are
                                      > > based on this fundamental teaching. If one wishes to be a member of
                                      > > Christ's Holy Church, one must submit to this teaching and must
                                      > voluntarily
                                      > > submit oneself to one's spiritual authorities. If one wishes to be
                                      > a
                                      > > clergyman of the Church, then one must agree to be subject to the
                                      > authority
                                      > > and discipline of the Ruling Bishop and the Highest Ecclesiastical
                                      > > Authority--the Council of Bishops. Not only is this implicit in the
                                      > whole
                                      > > concept of serving the Church, but every candidate for ordination
                                      > to the
                                      > > diaconate and the priesthood must make a solemn oath, before the
                                      > Gospel and
                                      > > the Cross, and confirmed in writing, that he will be in all things
                                      > obedient
                                      > > to his Ruling Bishop and to his Synod of Bishops, and he is subject
                                      > to
                                      > > their authority and discipline. This is confirmed also in the
                                      > Certificate
                                      > > of Ordination and Exhortation given to each ordinand. A candidate
                                      > for
                                      > > bishop, prior to his consecration, must make a lengthy and detailed
                                      > public
                                      > > confession of faith, including a solemn oath to be in full concord
                                      > with his
                                      > > fellow bishops in all things, and to be obedient to his First
                                      > Hierarch and
                                      > > his Synod of Bishops.
                                      > >
                                      > > In accordance with the ancient legal principle that the entity that
                                      > has the
                                      > > authority to establish, has equal authority to disestablish, the
                                      > absolute
                                      > > power of a Council of Bishops to select and consecrate a candidate
                                      > to the
                                      > > episcopacy contains within it the absolute power to suspend and to
                                      > depose a
                                      > > bishop, should he commit any misdeeds. Every candidate for bishop
                                      > is fully
                                      > > aware of this, and consents to this at the time of his
                                      > consecration. In
                                      > > like manner, every candidate for the diaconate or priesthood
                                      > implicitly
                                      > > acknowledges the absolute authority of his Ruling Bishop to suspend
                                      > him
                                      > > from duties if the clergyman commits any misdeeds.
                                      > >
                                      > > The Council of Bishops is the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority. It
                                      > > comprises the supreme executive, legislative, and judicial
                                      > authority of the
                                      > > Church in one body. The Council of Bishops has the absolute
                                      > authority to
                                      > > apply the Holy Canons to any particular situation. It has the
                                      > absolute
                                      > > authority to increase or decrease canonical penalties. It has the
                                      > absolute
                                      > > authority to decide even to supersede or ignore applicable Canons.
                                      > And, the
                                      > > Council of Bishops has the absolute power to suspend or to depose a
                                      > bishop
                                      > > or any other clergyman as it sees fit for the welfare of the Holy
                                      > Church.
                                      > >
                                      > > It is these God-established rights of the Council of Bishops as the
                                      > Sypreme
                                      > > Ecclesiastical Authority that are being flaunted and repudiated by
                                      > former
                                      > > Bishop Varnava and his followers.
                                      > >
                                      > > For this reason, they are rightfully and justly deposed.
                                      > >
                                      > > Now, let us turn to the specific issues of the defense of the
                                      > actions of
                                      > > former Bishop Varnava, brought up by Vladimir Kozyreff, Serge Rust,
                                      > and others.
                                      > >
                                      > > Truly, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They post lengthy
                                      > analyses
                                      > > of the minutiae of the Canons referenced in former Bishop Varnava's
                                      > > Conciliar Act of Deposition, basically straining gnats, while not
                                      > noticing
                                      > > the "elephant" of his actions in creating a schism--tearing asunder
                                      > the
                                      > > seamless robe of Christ, and not understanding that the sin of
                                      > schism is so
                                      > > heinous, that it is not even washed away by the blood of martyrdom,
                                      > > according to St. John Chrysostom.
                                      > >
                                      > > Nothing is more destructive to the Church than the actions of one
                                      > of its
                                      > > own bishops--a man invested by the Church with awesome
                                      > > responsibilities--against his own Supreme Ecclesisatical Authority.
                                      > What
                                      > > kind of an example is this shepherd (not even a full Ruling Bishop,
                                      > but
                                      > > only a Vicar Bishop, who must be completely subordinate to his
                                      > Ruling
                                      > > Bishop and may do nothing without that Ruling Bishop's direction)
                                      > showing
                                      > > his flock, when he spurns his Ruling Bishop and his Supreme
                                      > Ecclesiastical
                                      > > Authority, ignores the suspensions placed on him by this Supreme
                                      > > Ecclesiastical Authority, and leads some of his clergy and his
                                      > faithful
                                      > > into schism, creating a new and unlawful ecclesiastical structure,
                                      > called
                                      > > by the Holy Canons a parasynagogue?
                                      > >
                                      > > Why does one need to painstakingly scrutinize Canons, when the fact
                                      > of
                                      > > former Bishop Varnava's insubordination is so clearly evident?
                                      > >
                                      > > Even if among the 19 (!) Canons referenced in the Act of Deposition
                                      > there
                                      > > were some erroneously cited--does this ameliorate the fundamental
                                      > > ecclesiastical crime of a bishop spurning his Supreme
                                      > Ecclesiastical
                                      > > Authority and going into schism and leading others into it? Even if
                                      > 18 of
                                      > > the 19 Canons were erroneously cited, former Bishop Varnava would
                                      > be
                                      > > subject to deposition just on the basis of that one remaining Canon
                                      > alone.
                                      > >
                                      > > A few more points regarding the application of Canons.
                                      > >
                                      > > Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust have tried to show that some of
                                      > the Canons
                                      > > cited by the Council of Bishops were not applicable.
                                      > >
                                      > > Let us take just one example to prove that their approach is
                                      > fundamentally
                                      > > flawed.
                                      > >
                                      > > The Act of the Council of Bishops numbered Canon 8 of St. Basil the
                                      > Great
                                      > > as one of those referenced as applying to the case of Bishop
                                      > Varnava. This
                                      > > Canon, on its face, refers to murderers and the penalties for
                                      > murder.
                                      > > "Foul!," cry Messers. Kozyreff and Rust--this clearly cannot apply
                                      > to
                                      > > Bishop Varnava's case--he was not accused or convicted of any
                                      > murder!
                                      > >
                                      > > But it turns out that they are completely wrong.
                                      > >
                                      > > The Holy Church has a very different way of understanding what
                                      > Canons mean
                                      > > and how they are to be applied than our esteemed self-appointed
                                      > (and
                                      > > self-taught) "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava.
                                      > >
                                      > > Here is the concluding part of the exegesis of Canon 8 of St. Basil
                                      > the
                                      > > Great, by the renowned Canonist, Bishop Nikodim (Milash):
                                      > >
                                      > > "[It must be determined] if the crime was committed with evil
                                      > intent
                                      > > (dolos), or through negligence or carelessness (ameleia), or by
                                      > accident
                                      > > (tykhy).The first is a voluntary, conscious (intended) violation of
                                      > an
                                      > > existing law, through which (violation) someone wishes to
                                      > accomplish that
                                      > > which is forbidden by the law. Here the most important thing is a
                                      > > will-opposed-to-the-law, [a will] that commits the criminal act.
                                      > This
                                      > > will-opposed-to-the-law is subject to punishment, not only when an
                                      > evil
                                      > > deed is committed, but even when the deed is not committed, even
                                      > though,
                                      > > therefore, there was no injured party. A person who is carelessness
                                      > or
                                      > > negligent is considered guilty in that situation, where as a result
                                      > of the
                                      > > carelessness, without intent, he commits some criminal act, about
                                      > which he
                                      > > did not even think, but which, however, with constant care and
                                      > vigilance,
                                      > > could have been avoided. This juridical principle, which existed in
                                      > Roman
                                      > > law from time immemorial, was accepted also by the Church,
                                      > especially since
                                      > > the goal of its legislation was not only that all of its members
                                      > would
                                      > > fulfill the requirements of the law, for the preservation of good
                                      > order,
                                      > > but that everyone would observe that nothing would occur that might
                                      > be
                                      > > harmful both for society, as well as for individuals, so that,
                                      > therefore,
                                      > > social life might develop correctly. In accordance with this, every
                                      > thing
                                      > > that causes harm to society or any individual person as a result of
                                      > such
                                      > > negligence, although it is judged less harshly than a willful
                                      > crime, still
                                      > > is punished, and especially if the consequences of such negligence
                                      > were
                                      > > more serious and the negligence were greater. In the last case
                                      > negligence
                                      > > is very close to "dolos"--evil intent, as a result of which a crime
                                      > > committed because of such gross negligence is punished often the
                                      > same as a
                                      > > willful one, one with evil intent. A crime committed accidentally
                                      > is not
                                      > > punishable. However, if a given situation that arose out of any
                                      > action
                                      > > which in itself is not punishable, becomes the cause of a
                                      > punishable
                                      > > action, then the court will consider this to be the fault of the
                                      > individual
                                      > > involved and he is subject to the appropriate, even be it the
                                      > least,
                                      > > punishment." (Bishop Nikodim, Canons of the Orthodox Church, St.
                                      > > Petersburg, 1912, Vol. 2, p. 386-387).
                                      > >
                                      > > Notice, please, that the word "murder" is not even mentioned in
                                      > this
                                      > > explanation. Instead of being concerned solely with the issue of
                                      > murder,
                                      > > this Canon, as understood and applied by the Church, concerns any
                                      > activity
                                      > > that anyone performs that turns out to be detrimental to the Church
                                      > or to
                                      > > society, even if there were no evil intent, just carelessness or
                                      > > negligence--and shows that such actions are punishable, sometimes
                                      > just as
                                      > > harshly as if there were malicious intent.
                                      > >
                                      > > This Canon, therefore, directly applies to former Bishop Varnava
                                      > and his
                                      > > followers, who, even if they had no evil intent to cause harm to
                                      > the
                                      > > Church, are still punishable, if a schism ensued as a result of
                                      > their actions.
                                      > >
                                      > > Other Canons have similar interpretations, which go far beyond
                                      > their
                                      > > explicitly expressed content.
                                      > >
                                      > > Now, a word about "double jeopardy."
                                      > >
                                      > > Vladimir Kozyreff has several times posited that former Bishop
                                      > Varnava was
                                      > > being unjustly punished twice for the same crime--that he had
                                      > already been
                                      > > censured and punished for his misdeeds in Russia, and that these
                                      > should not
                                      > > be brought up again, as he had already repented and served his
                                      > punishment.
                                      > > Vladimir cites Apostolic Canon 25 in support of his position,
                                      > claiming that
                                      > > it forbids punishing a second time for the same misdeed.
                                      > >
                                      > > Here, again, he is totally wrong, as the Canon has nothing to do
                                      > with
                                      > > "double jeopardy," but rather with **double punishment**. As Bishop
                                      > Nikodim
                                      > > clearly states in his exegesis of this Canon, various Canons impose
                                      > a
                                      > > penalty for a particular crime--usually deposition from holy office
                                      > for a
                                      > > clergyman, or excommunication for a layman.
                                      > >
                                      > > In this Canon certain crimes are listed, which the Holy Fathers
                                      > stated are
                                      > > worthy of the penalty of deposition if a clergyman should commit
                                      > them.
                                      > > However, the Holy Fathers felt that for these crimes, deposition
                                      > from holy
                                      > > orders was a sufficient penalty, and that a clergyman who commits
                                      > these
                                      > > crimes should be deposed, but not excommunicated totally from the
                                      > assembly
                                      > > of the Church, i.e. that he should not be doubly punished.
                                      > >
                                      > > This has **nothing** to do with the concept of "double jeopardy,"
                                      > by which
                                      > > no one can be tried twice for the same crime.
                                      > >
                                      > > Also, Bishop Nikodim notes that this Canon's prohibition against a
                                      > double
                                      > > penalty is not absolute, but specific to the crimes enumerated in
                                      > ths
                                      > > Canon, since immediately proximate Apostolic Canons (29 and 30)
                                      > clearly
                                      > > specify that for other crimes, for example, simony, the clergyman
                                      > is to be
                                      > > **both** deposed and excommunicated.
                                      > >
                                      > > And, regarding the ethics of bringing up again a matter that had
                                      > been
                                      > > repented of and forgiven, one must recall that neither the Church
                                      > Law, nor
                                      > > common law, forbids bringing up the past record of an individual at
                                      > a
                                      > > trial, since it establishes a pattern of behavior.
                                      > >
                                      > > Prior misdeeds, even those which are repented of and forgiven,
                                      > still have
                                      > > consequences, as is clear from a multitude of Holy Canons.
                                      > >
                                      > > If a young man, let's say, gets drunk at his prom party and ends up
                                      > > sleeping with a girl, then repents, serves a penance, and is given
                                      > > absolution--he is still forbidden by the Holy Canons from becoming
                                      > a
                                      > > clergyman.This does not mean that he is not forgiven--just that he
                                      > must
                                      > > bear, forever, the consequences of his actions.
                                      > >
                                      > > A criminal who is convicted and serves his time has paid his debt
                                      > to
                                      > > society. However, he still has a criminal record, which can be used
                                      > against
                                      > > him if he commits further criminal acts. Here in California we have
                                      > a
                                      > > "three-strikes" law, which sends a criminal to prison for a minimum
                                      > of 25
                                      > > years if he commits a third felony, even if it is not a violent one.
                                      > >
                                      > > So--the consequences of one's previous actions are borne into the
                                      > future.
                                      > >
                                      > > The same with former Bishop Varnava.
                                      > >
                                      > > Next is the issue of being judged "without being heard."
                                      > >
                                      > > The basic ancient legal principle here is the Latin maxim: "Nemo
                                      > intauditus
                                      > > condemnari debet si non sit contumax" -- "No one can be condemned
                                      > without
                                      > > being heard unless he be contumacious."
                                      > >
                                      > > "Contumacy" can be of two types: Active--where the accused disobeys
                                      > a
                                      > > directive of his superiors; and Passive--where the accused simply
                                      > fails to
                                      > > appear.
                                      > >
                                      > > Former Bishop Varnava is clearly guilty of both forms of contumacy:
                                      > he
                                      > > disobeyed directives of his superior ecclesiastical authority and
                                      > he also
                                      > > did not appear before the Council of Bishops when summoned.
                                      > >
                                      > > Therefore, completely legally and justly he **can be** condemned
                                      > without
                                      > > being heard. The same applies, of course, to the "French clergy."
                                      > >
                                      > > Let's move on to the next issue: was it unjust for the Concil of
                                      > Bishops to
                                      > > refuse to hear the original "Appeal" of the "French clergy"?
                                      > >
                                      > > The basic question has already been answered: the Council of Bishop
                                      > is the
                                      > > Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority and the Supreme Judicial Authority-
                                      > -it has
                                      > > the absolute right to decide which matters it will hear and which
                                      > matters
                                      > > it will not hear.
                                      > >
                                      > > This is a basic judicial concept. In the United States, for
                                      > example, we
                                      > > have the Supreme Court, which is the supreme judicial authority in
                                      > the
                                      > > nation. Every year, hundreds, if not thousands, of cases and
                                      > appeals are
                                      > > submitted to the Supreme Court for adjudication. Only a small
                                      > percentage of
                                      > > these cases are accepted by the Court for hearing. The overwhelming
                                      > > majority of cases the Supreme Court simply declines to hear,
                                      > without
                                      > > explanation.
                                      > >
                                      > > Is this unjust?
                                      > >
                                      > > No one considers it to be.
                                      > >
                                      > > It is simply that it is within the authority of the Supreme Court
                                      > of the
                                      > > land to decide which cases it will hear and which cases it will not.
                                      > >
                                      > > The Council of Bishops has the same authority.
                                      > >
                                      > > In the given case, it is even more clear. The French clergy did not
                                      > just
                                      > > submit their case against Bishop Ambrose to the Council of Bishops
                                      > for
                                      > > hearing. According to Vladimir Kozyreff's repeated statements, the
                                      > French
                                      > > clergy submitted the case accompanied by a threat--that they would
                                      > > commemorate Bishop Ambrose as their Ruling Bishop **only if** their
                                      > case
                                      > > against him would be heard.
                                      > >
                                      > > Now, this is tantamount to extortion: if you do not do this, we
                                      > will do this.
                                      > >
                                      > > Has any case ever been brough before any civil court with a similar
                                      > threat?
                                      > >
                                      > > Has anyone appealed to the US Supreme Court, saying, we will
                                      > continue to
                                      > > obey the laws only if you hear our case?
                                      > >
                                      > > The whole situation is ludicrous.
                                      > >
                                      > > Again, it is clear that the "advocates" of former Bishop Varnava,
                                      > who, as I
                                      > > said, cannot see the forest for the trees, who are nit-picking the
                                      > Canons
                                      > > (incorrectly, at that) while ignoring his enormous crime of
                                      > creating a
                                      > > schism, ignore the fact that he, Bishop Varnava, never appealed the
                                      > > decision of the Council of Bishops that suspended and then deposed
                                      > him from
                                      > > episcopal office.
                                      > >
                                      > > If he had appealed this decision, perhaps he could have cited that
                                      > certain
                                      > > Canons were erroneously or incorrectly used against him.
                                      > >
                                      > > But he never appealed the decision. And neither did the French
                                      > clergy. They
                                      > > simply left and created their own parasynagogue.
                                      > >
                                      > > So they have no leg to stand on.
                                      > >
                                      > > And the attempts of Vladimir Kozyreff and Serge Rust to cobble up a
                                      > defense
                                      > > for him are futile.
                                      > >
                                      > > Here are some basic canonical principles that they ignore.
                                      > >
                                      > > 1) The Coucnil of Bishops has the absolute right to suspend a
                                      > bishop if
                                      > > there is good reason to believe that he has done an act punishable
                                      > by
                                      > > suspension or deposition.
                                      > >
                                      > > 2) A Bishop suspended by the Council of Bishops **must** without
                                      > question
                                      > > obey that decision and refrain from liturgizing until the matter is
                                      > > resolved completely by the Council of Bishops.
                                      > >
                                      > > 3) If a suspended Bishop spurns the decision of a Council of
                                      > Bishops to
                                      > > suspend him and continues to serve, he is, by established Canon
                                      > Law,
                                      > > subject to immediate deposition from orders--without a trial or
                                      > decision on
                                      > > the original accusation.
                                      > >
                                      > > These concepts are basic to common law, as well.
                                      > >
                                      > > A police department, if an accusation is made against a police
                                      > officer, has
                                      > > the absolute right to suspend that officer pending investigation.
                                      > The
                                      > > accused officer **must** obey that suspension and give up the
                                      > visible marks
                                      > > of his authority as a peace officer--his badge and gun. If he would
                                      > presume
                                      > > to act as a police officer while under suspension, he is summarily
                                      > > dismissed from the force.
                                      > >
                                      > > So it should be no surprise to anyone that the same situation
                                      > applies in
                                      > > the Church, and that the penalties for ignoring a suspension by
                                      > one'
                                      > > superior authority would be the same--summary dismissal.
                                      > >
                                      > > This is the penalty under which former Bishop Varnava and the
                                      > French clergy
                                      > > have fallen.
                                      > >
                                      > > Finally, let us remember what the Holy Canons say about what
                                      > happens when
                                      > > the faithful in a city or province refuse to accept a Ruling Bishop
                                      > > assigned to them by the Council of Bishops--the supreme
                                      > ecclesiastical
                                      > > authority.
                                      > >
                                      > > According to Apostolic Canon 36, in such a case, --the **clergy**
                                      > of that
                                      > > city or province are excommunicated, for having so poorly taught
                                      > such
                                      > > insobordinate people.
                                      > >
                                      > > Regarding the actions of the French clergy, let us, once again,
                                      > recall
                                      > > Canon 13 of the First-and-Second Council, where we read:
                                      > >
                                      > > "If any priest or deacon, having impugned his bishop with some
                                      > accusations,
                                      > > prior to a conciliar investigation, deliberation and final
                                      > judgement of him
                                      > > [the bishop], should dare to depart from communion with him, and
                                      > will not
                                      > > commemorate his name during holy prayers at the Liturgies in
                                      > accordance
                                      > > with the Church tradition: let such a cleric be subject to being
                                      > cast out
                                      > > and let him be deprived of any clerical honor. For a person who is
                                      > placed
                                      > > in the rank of a priest, and who arrogates unto himself judgement
                                      > which is
                                      > > appointed to Metropolitans, and prior to a trial, solely by himself
                                      > should
                                      > > strive to judge his Father and Bishop, is not worthy of the honor,
                                      > or even
                                      > > the name of a presbyter. Those who would follow such a one, if they
                                      > are
                                      > > among the clergy, let them also be deprived of their honor: if they
                                      > be
                                      > > nonks or laymen, let them be completely excommunicated from the
                                      > Church,
                                      > > until they reject their communion with schismatics, and do not turn
                                      > back to
                                      > > their Bishop."
                                      > >
                                      > > Nothing could be clearer.
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > With love in Christ,
                                      > >
                                      > > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                    • Michael Nikitin
                                      Why didn t the Synod show love and understanding when some of the clergy of Europe could not come to the meeting at that particular date? Those that work and
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Jan 10 6:11 PM
                                        Why didn't the Synod show love and understanding when some of the clergy of
                                        Europe could not come to the meeting at that particular date?

                                        Those that work and have families cannot leave at a drop of a hat. Why not
                                        give them more time? It was very inconsiderate of the Bishops to not be
                                        understanding of that situation.

                                        It is sad that Fr.Stefan who has family isn't more understanding of that
                                        fact.

                                        Michael N.



                                        From: "stefanvpavlenko <StefanVPavlenko@...>"
                                        <StefanVPavlenko@...>
                                        Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                                        To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: False Conceptions About Canons and
                                        Ecclesiastical Authority
                                        Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 19:29:05 -0000

                                        But for Bishop Ambrose, Mr. Kozareff and the rest of the schism makers
                                        >>>ignore the strict canons<<<, which they themselves now use in
                                        defence of the monk Varnava. If they had properly abided by them at
                                        the start, none of this would, or even COULD, HAVE transpired!

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                                      • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                                        ... This is a complete misapplication of the Holy Canons. The Canons referred to above apply exclusively to situations in which there are actual **accusers**
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Jan 11 7:28 AM
                                          Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

                                          >Dear List,
                                          >
                                          >We have seen some signs of impatience at some postings related to the
                                          >schism in our Church, intended to show that the deposition of Vl
                                          >Varnava was not so obviously valid. I understand this impatience, but
                                          >I think it is not right.
                                          >
                                          >A schism is the most horrible thing that can happen to a Church.
                                          >Martyrdom cannot redeem it. It is respectable, honourable and
                                          >commendable to do everything possible to solve the schism. No
                                          >personal piety concern must take the priority to resolving the schism
                                          >and to resolving injustices related to it, no matter when and where,
                                          >be it at Christmas or Easter. No piety duty is more urgent than
                                          >stopping an injustice, especially if it is committed in the Church
                                          >and in the name of God.
                                          >
                                          >Father Alexander writes: "Why does one need to painstakingly
                                          >scrutinise Canons, when the fact of former Bishop Varnava's
                                          >insubordination is so clearly evident?"


                                          >I think I must advise the List that Father Alexander Lebedeff is
                                          >mistaken when he claims that if a bishop is accused of violating many
                                          >canons, it is enough that only one out of nineteen canons allegedly
                                          >trespassed be relevant.



                                          >A certain holy canon says on the contrary that, if a bishop is
                                          >accused, and if only one accusation out of many cannot be supported,
                                          >the tribunal will accept none.
                                          >
                                          >Moreover, the accusers of a bishop must sign a written statement in
                                          >which they accept in advance, in case their accusation would not be
                                          >received by the tribunal, to be punished as the bishop would have
                                          >been for the offences wrongly claimed by them to have been committed
                                          >by the said bishop.


                                          This is a complete misapplication of the Holy Canons.

                                          The Canons referred to above apply exclusively to situations in which there
                                          are actual **accusers** against a bishop--not the the present case of
                                          Bishop Varnava (and his associated clergy) who have condemned
                                          **themselves** by their actions and words.

                                          Read carefully the following words:

                                          Bishop Varnava's Letter to Metropolitan Vitaly and the Bishops of the
                                          ROCOR, dated February 15/28, 2001:

                                          ""I wall off myself, my clergy, and my flock from the afore-mentioned
                                          bishops. . ." [the other bishops of the Church Abroad].


                                          From the "Appeal from the Clergy of the Western European Eparchy," posted
                                          without a date on the Internet on May 7, 2001, signed by Bishop Varnava and
                                          eight priests, concerning what they call "the so-called ecclesiastical
                                          regime"--meaning the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR:

                                          "... we separate ourselves off from it [this "regime], and recognize
                                          neither its decisions nor its prohibitions as being valid."

                                          From the Statement of the Clergy of the Western-European Hierarchy, dated
                                          May 6/19, 2001:

                                          "...not a single act of theirs [the bishops of the ROCOR] has any genuinely
                                          ecclesiastical significance anymore. . ."


                                          Therefore, what possible need is there of any "accusers," when Bishop
                                          Varnava and his associated clergy themselves, openly and clearly, have
                                          stated that they reject their Supreme Eccelsiastical Authority and spurn
                                          all of its decisions?

                                          Out of their own mouths have they condemned themselves.

                                          However, the Canons quoted by Vladimir Kozyreff **do** have a valid
                                          application to another aspect of this situation.

                                          The "Western-European Clergy" **did** bring an accusation against a bishop
                                          before the Council of Bishops--against Bishop Ambrose.

                                          In it, he was accused of heresy, among other crimes.

                                          The charge of heresy clearly could not be supported, so that, according to
                                          the Canons, as described by Mr. Kozyreff "if a bishop is accused, and if
                                          only one accusation out of many cannot be supported, the tribunal will
                                          accept none."

                                          And, as Mr. Kozyreff wrote: "Moreover, the accusers of a bishop must sign a
                                          written statement in which they accept in advance, in case their accusation
                                          would not be received by the tribunal, to be punished as the bishop would
                                          have been for the offences wrongly claimed by them to have been committed
                                          by the said bishop."

                                          Two questions:

                                          1) Did the French Clergy--the accusers of Bishop Ambrose--sign the written
                                          statement as required above? If not--why not?

                                          2) Since their accusation was "not received by the tribunal"--should they
                                          not be punished "as the bishop would have been for the offences wrongly
                                          claimed by them to have been committed by the said bishop"?



                                          >In addition, priests are priests for eternity, so nobody is supposed
                                          >to address a priest by saying Mr. X, even if he has been deposed.

                                          This is absolute nonsense. Virtually the entire Book of Holy Canons
                                          concerns offenses for which the penalty is deposition from holy orders in
                                          the case of clergy, and excommunication from the Church in the case of laymen.

                                          A priest who is deposed, according to the Canons, -- can no longer function
                                          as a priest. He is stripped of his right to wear vestments or other
                                          ecclesiastical garb and is stripped of his right to be addressed as a
                                          clergyman.



                                          With love in Christ,

                                          Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                        • Hristofor
                                          C mon, fess up Vladimir! You must be a lawyer, right? Only a good-ole NY loiyah could have spun such a convoluted answer to simple multiple-choice and
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Jan 11 7:54 PM
                                            C'mon, 'fess up Vladimir! You must be a lawyer, right? Only a good-ole NY
                                            "loiyah" could have spun such a convoluted answer to simple multiple-choice
                                            and yes-or-no questions.

                                            Your, honour, I protest. Mr Kozyreff is misleading and confusing the
                                            Orthodox faithful with his talking points and grandstanding.

                                            This type of word bending and spinning is reminiscent of the disgraced
                                            former US president who wanted to redefine the meaning of the word "is" and
                                            came up with the infamous "we were alone but we thought we weren't", among
                                            others.

                                            Hristofor



                                            At 11:55 AM 1/10/2003, you wrote:
                                            >Dear Deacon Leonid,
                                            >
                                            >My parish is the St Job parish in Brussels (Khram Pamyatnik). The
                                            >priest that commemorates Vl Laurus there is Father Yevgheny Sapronov
                                            >and the priest that commemorates Vl Vitaly is Father Nicholas
                                            >Semionoff.
                                          • Margaret Lark
                                            Christ is born! From: Hristofor Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 10:54 PM ... multiple-choice ... You mean it ISN T pronounced loiyah ??
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Jan 12 3:45 AM
                                              Christ is born!

                                              From: "Hristofor" <hristofor@...>
                                              Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 10:54 PM


                                              | C'mon, 'fess up Vladimir! You must be a lawyer, right? Only a good-ole NY
                                              | "loiyah" could have spun such a convoluted answer to simple
                                              multiple-choice
                                              | and yes-or-no questions.

                                              You mean it ISN'T pronounced "loiyah"?? How does the rest of the country
                                              pronounce it, then? (I'm serious about this!)

                                              In Christ,
                                              Margaret, the sinful former New Yorker transplanted to New Hampshire
                                            • sergerust2002 <sergerust@hotmail.com>
                                              For the sake of Clarity in posting , some inaccuracies in post 7386 (Jan 11, 2003) should be corrected: WALLING OFF Fr Alexander s quotation, I wall off
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Jan 14 2:51 AM
                                                For the sake of "Clarity in posting", some inaccuracies in post 7386
                                                (Jan 11, 2003) should be corrected:


                                                WALLING OFF

                                                Fr Alexander's quotation,

                                                "I wall off myself, my clergy, and my flock from the afore-mentioned
                                                bishops. . ." [the other bishops of the Church Abroad],

                                                as presented, might be misleading.

                                                First the brackets should rather read: [as other bishops of the
                                                Church Abroad]. Indeed, in the preceding sentence, vl Varnava's
                                                speaks about the 3 other bishops (soon a total of 5), including the
                                                Metropolitan, who basically took the same decision.

                                                Second, the points of suspension, that is the skipped part of the
                                                sentence, provides in fact the canonical basis of the said
                                                «walling-off». Here is the whole sentence of vl. Varnava's,
                                                without
                                                fr Alexander's interference:

                                                "Wherefore, I wall off myself, my clergy, and my flock, from the
                                                above-mentioned bishops, **until "a conciliatory review" of this new
                                                course is completed" (emphasis mine, see complete text on
                                                http://www.monasterypress.com/wall.html ).

                                                Therefore vl. Varnava specifically asks for a «conciliatory
                                                review». This can hardly be called «contumacy» (as in post
                                                7294)!

                                                And how has he been responded? By a radical and immediate suspension.
                                                Without hearing. Followed by a deposition on the basis of murder,
                                                deaconesses, baptizing of the dead, orphanages and so forth! In
                                                short, by "a basic judicial concept" (op.cit.)


                                                VARIABLE GEOMETRY

                                                When pro-MP individuals are to be justified, we read:

                                                « Anathemas are not self-activating,
                                                they are simply laws--not sentences » (post 6335)

                                                But when the anti-MP clergy of France has to be humiliated, we read:

                                                « Out of their own mouths [without the need of a trial]
                                                have they condemned themselves » (post 7386)


                                                DEFORMED CHRONOLOGY

                                                Post 7386 quotes letters of the clergy of France sent by them AFTER
                                                their abusive suspension, as if they were written BEFORE the abusive
                                                suspension.

                                                This is a fallacy, since a protest against a suffered abuse is not
                                                the same as a contempt made before the abuse is performed.


                                                RECIPROCITY CLAUSE

                                                Post 7386 rhetorically asks: « Did the French Clergy--the accusers
                                                of Bishop Ambrose--sign the written statement as required above
                                                [accepting in advance to be punished as the bishop would have been
                                                for the offences wrongly claimed]? If not--why not? »

                                                It is thus suggested that the clergy of France did not take their
                                                responsibility. In fact they did. And in writing. Some excerpts were
                                                already given in 7351. Here are some more:

                                                "We perfectly understand that if our complaint is not founded,
                                                obeying to the decision of the Sobor of bishops is mandatory".

                                                "We filed an accusation document declaring in advance that we were
                                                ready to present the proof during the hearing in front of the
                                                Assembly of bishops (in accordance with canon 6 of 2nd Ecumenical)..."

                                                "We fully understand the gravity of our procedure, that is why we are
                                                prepared most seriously..."

                                                "Our refusal of bishop Ambrose is qualified [by the Synod]
                                                of "revolt" ... we cannot accept this qualification ... it has not
                                                been our intent to express any preference, but to express a real
                                                conscious issue ... Maybe we should have been [in previous
                                                complaints] more explicit in our motivation, but we could not think,
                                                at that time, that we would end in flaunting the faulty behavior of a
                                                bishop of our Church. But today we ask ourselves: why such persistent
                                                refusal to hear the pain of our souls, and the voice of our
                                                consciousness? Why brake the consciousness and therefore the moral
                                                force necessary to the priests in their pastoral work – the care
                                                of the souls to them entrusted by our beloved archbishop Anthony?
                                                Until now, the only answer given to us was that we had to
                                                unconditionally submit... In these conditions, the nomination of
                                                bishop Ambrose appears as an incomprehensible provocation towards the
                                                majority of the diocese..."

                                                "We note that this affair takes an amplitude that should never
                                                occurred and we deeply regret it. Maybe it is still time to stop the
                                                initiated process. We beg you to believe that we care as much as the
                                                Bishops of the necessary unity of our Church, of the mutual love of
                                                its members, and that we are aware of the nocivity of the schismatic
                                                tendencies..."

                                                "Moreover we are conscious of the risk that we entail..."

                                                "Is it just, vladyka, that you speak in your letter of "first warning
                                                before sanction"... when our complaint has not been examined yet, and
                                                when – according to your own words – it is subject to
                                                canonical
                                                judgement, before which any notice of instruction is premature"

                                                "We do not seek to condemn vl Ambrose at any cost, but, given the
                                                incoherence of his acts..."

                                                "We beg you to kindly examine with patience and love all the elements
                                                of this painful affair..."
                                                (from the 12 clergy's letter to Synod, dated Dec 29, 2000)


                                                Does anybody see, in the above words, any "bad temper" and "crass
                                                intentions"?


                                                NO TRIAL

                                                Fr Alexander supports his reasoning on the following statement:

                                                « The charge of heresy clearly could not be supported ...
                                                the accusation [of the clergy of France] was "not received by the
                                                tribunal" »

                                                How does fr Alexander know this, since the Trial did not take place
                                                yet? (We see again that fr Alexander's whole demonstration is not
                                                based on facts, but on assumptions: we are back to the inescapable
                                                petition of principle).

                                                Fr Alexander presents his own personal opinion as the conclusion of
                                                an Ecclesiastical Court (which never assembled). The only person who
                                                wrote that "the charges are not receivable" was ... vl Ambrose.


                                                Moreover, the Canon 6 of the 2nd Ecumenical does not say
                                                "in case their accusation would not be received by the tribunal"
                                                (therefore suggesting that a Christian Court could simply "decline
                                                every year thousands of appeals, without explanation" – a normal
                                                procedure according to Fr Alexander, see post 7294). What it says
                                                is: "if, in the course of the *examination*,
                                                they shall be proved to have slandered the accused bishop ..."

                                                Therefore, in the mind of the Holy Fathers, an examination is
                                                requested; it is a prerequisite for the reciprocal indictment to
                                                apply; it is also the commandment of the good faith.

                                                Such prerequisite does not exist in the theology of "subjugation"
                                                (post 7294).

                                                This reminds the well-known difference between the roman and the
                                                soviet law: the first starts from a rule, finds an offender, then
                                                inflicts a punishment; the second starts from a punishment [e.g.
                                                suspension], applies it to an innocent [e.g. the clergy who want to
                                                maintain ROCA's stand unadulterated], and then cobbles up some
                                                legal basis [e.g. deaconesses, murderers, orphanages...]


                                                In Christ,
                                                Serge Rust
                                              • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                                                Although I have no time at this moment to go into a detailed analysis of Serge Rust s post, I would like to comment on his concluding paragraph: ...
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Jan 17 7:52 AM
                                                  Although I have no time at this moment to go into a detailed analysis of
                                                  Serge Rust's post, I would like to comment on his concluding paragraph:


                                                  Serge Rust wrote:

                                                  >This reminds the well-known difference between the roman and the
                                                  >soviet law: the first starts from a rule, finds an offender, then
                                                  >inflicts a punishment; the second starts from a punishment [e.g.
                                                  >suspension], applies it to an innocent [e.g. the clergy who want to
                                                  >maintain ROCA's stand unadulterated], and then cobbles up some
                                                  >legal basis [e.g. deaconesses, murderers, orphanages...]


                                                  Unfortunately, Serge here shows, once again, his abysmal lack of knowledge
                                                  about Canon Law and how it is applied, by statute, by the Russian Orthodox
                                                  Church.

                                                  The Holy Canons establish the fundamental principles that guide the Bishops
                                                  of the Church in their administrative responsibilities. However, the way in
                                                  which these Holy Canons are interpreted and applied is within the realm of
                                                  the authority of the particular Council of Bishops of the particular local
                                                  Orthodox Church in question.

                                                  Here, we are speaking of the local Church of Russia, which has, over its
                                                  thousand years of existense, developed and codified a specific Codex of
                                                  Laws under which it lives. This compendium of Canon Law as applied by the
                                                  Russian Orthodox Church is codified in the book entitled "Statutes of the
                                                  Spiritual Consistory." These statutes applied to the pre-revolutionary
                                                  Church of Russia, and they apply to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                                                  Russia, as well. Former Bishop Varnava and the "French clergy" were bound
                                                  to obey these directives.

                                                  Statute 159 of the Statutes of the Spiritual Consistory states that "an
                                                  ecclesiastic under investigation is henceforth prohibited from serving
                                                  until such a time as he is completely exonerated."

                                                  No distinction is made between bishops, priests, or deacons--this statute
                                                  applies equally to all exxlesiastics, meaning all clergy.

                                                  So--in the Russian Orthodox Church, it is the **law** that a bishop, like
                                                  any other ecclesiastic, is to be suspended **prior** to trial--and he is
                                                  therefore "prohibited from serving until such time as he is completely
                                                  exonerated."

                                                  That's the law.

                                                  You may not like it, but if you are in the Russian Orthodox Church you have
                                                  no choice but to accept it.

                                                  So--this is not "Soviet Law," as Serge would have it--but the established
                                                  Law of the Russian Orthodox Church.

                                                  The process is, once there is good reason to believe that a clergyman has
                                                  breached ecclesiastical order:

                                                  1) suspension
                                                  2) investigation
                                                  3) trial

                                                  Suspension during an investigation is not "punishment." It is a protective
                                                  measure to guard the flock from further detrimental action by a clergyman.

                                                  It is no different from a suspension of a teacher whom there is reason to
                                                  believe is guilty of sexual molestation of a student.

                                                  Do you believe, in such a case, that the teacher should be allowed to
                                                  continue to teach while an investigation is taking place, and later a
                                                  trial, until a final conviction and punishment are handed out?

                                                  Do you believe that suspensions prior to investigation and trial are
                                                  inherently unfair and never justified?

                                                  A final point.

                                                  Bishops actually explicitly **waive** their right to answer or speak if
                                                  they trespass the promises they give at their consecration, which include
                                                  total fealty and obedience to their First Hierarch and Council of Bishops
                                                  and that they will do **nothing** against the concensus of their fellow
                                                  bishops.

                                                  The solemn oath given at their consecration include the words:



                                                  >If I trespass anything from what I have promised. . . then let me
                                                  >**immediately** be deprived of my rank and power, without whatsoever
                                                  >answer or word and let me be alien to the heavenly gift I was given
                                                  >through the Consecration by the Holy Spirit.


                                                  Now, that oath was given by former bishop Varnava.

                                                  So, in reality, he has no leg to stand on, once he departs from obedience
                                                  to his Council of Bishops.

                                                  And that's the way it is.






                                                  With love in Christ,

                                                  Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                                • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                                                  Dear List, I think this will be of interest to the List. It would be nice to know how these rules have been applied to Vl Ambrose and Vl Varnava. In God,
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Jan 17 12:09 PM
                                                    Dear List,

                                                    I think this will be of interest to the List. It would be nice to
                                                    know how these rules have been applied to Vl Ambrose and Vl Varnava.

                                                    In God,

                                                    Vladimir Kozyreff


                                                    From: Tserkovnaya Zhizn (Church Life) 1936, #12, pp. 188-193.
                                                    The Temporary Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                                                    Russia (confirmed by the General Council of Bishops -- 9/22 & 11/24,
                                                    Sept. 1936)

                                                    X. ECCLESIASTICAL COURT

                                                    A. The Trial of Bishops:

                                                    1.) The court of the first instance with regard to bishops is the
                                                    District Council, while for bishops who are not members of the
                                                    District and for Metropolitans of Districts -- it is the Synod of
                                                    Bishops.

                                                    NOTE: In the event of difficulty in convening a Council for the trial
                                                    of a bishop of his District, the Metropolitan may transfer the case
                                                    to the Synod of Bishops for a decision at first instance.

                                                    2.) The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                                                    Russia is subject to trial by the General Council of Bishops.

                                                    3.) The quorum for a judicial session of the District Council is five
                                                    bishops headed by the Metropolitan, while for the Synod it is its
                                                    entire membership. In the event of the impossibility for any
                                                    particular member of the Synod to participate in the trial, bishops
                                                    of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia who are not members
                                                    of the Synod may be invited by the President to participate in it, in
                                                    the number necessary to form a quorum. Likewise, a Metropolitan of a
                                                    District, in order to satisfy a quorum, may invite bishops of the
                                                    Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from other regions.

                                                    4.) In the General Council a quorum for the trial of bishops is seven
                                                    bishops.

                                                    5.) A complaint against a decision of a court of first instance
                                                    should be made to the General Council of Bishops in written form no
                                                    later than two months following the announcement of its decision.

                                                    6.) The decisions of the General Council of Bishops are final and
                                                    come into legal effect immediately, not being subject to appeal until
                                                    the reestablishment of the free All-Russian Church Authority and
                                                    normal relations with it can be resumed.


                                                    C. Challenge of Judges:

                                                    11.) The accused bishop or cleric has, at all judicial levels, the
                                                    right of challenge of judges, of which he must inform the President
                                                    no later than two weeks after receiving the summons to court.

                                                    D. The Order of Legal Proceedings:

                                                    12.) Until the formulation of special rules for legal procedures, the
                                                    latter shall be regulated by Sacred Scripture, the Holy Canons, the
                                                    Regulations of the Spiritual Consistory, other statutes and decrees
                                                    of the All- Russian Church Authority, as well as by the resolutions
                                                    of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
                                                    Russia.

                                                    13.) In matters relevant to the anullment of marriages and the
                                                    declaration of the invalidity of marriages, the spiritual court shall
                                                    be guided by the decions of the All-Russian Church Authority, and
                                                    also by the interpretations and supplements of the Council of Bishops
                                                    and Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.



                                                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
                                                    <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
                                                    > Although I have no time at this moment to go into a detailed
                                                    analysis of
                                                    > Serge Rust's post, I would like to comment on his concluding
                                                    paragraph:
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Serge Rust wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > >This reminds the well-known difference between the roman and the
                                                    > >soviet law: the first starts from a rule, finds an offender, then
                                                    > >inflicts a punishment; the second starts from a punishment [e.g.
                                                    > >suspension], applies it to an innocent [e.g. the clergy who want to
                                                    > >maintain ROCA's stand unadulterated], and then cobbles up some
                                                    > >legal basis [e.g. deaconesses, murderers, orphanages...]
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Unfortunately, Serge here shows, once again, his abysmal lack of
                                                    knowledge
                                                    > about Canon Law and how it is applied, by statute, by the Russian
                                                    Orthodox
                                                    > Church.
                                                    >
                                                    > The Holy Canons establish the fundamental principles that guide the
                                                    Bishops
                                                    > of the Church in their administrative responsibilities. However,
                                                    the way in
                                                    > which these Holy Canons are interpreted and applied is within the
                                                    realm of
                                                    > the authority of the particular Council of Bishops of the
                                                    particular local
                                                    > Orthodox Church in question.
                                                    >
                                                    > Here, we are speaking of the local Church of Russia, which has,
                                                    over its
                                                    > thousand years of existense, developed and codified a specific
                                                    Codex of
                                                    > Laws under which it lives. This compendium of Canon Law as applied
                                                    by the
                                                    > Russian Orthodox Church is codified in the book entitled "Statutes
                                                    of the
                                                    > Spiritual Consistory." These statutes applied to the pre-
                                                    revolutionary
                                                    > Church of Russia, and they apply to the Russian Orthodox Church
                                                    Outside of
                                                    > Russia, as well. Former Bishop Varnava and the "French clergy" were
                                                    bound
                                                    > to obey these directives.
                                                    >
                                                    > Statute 159 of the Statutes of the Spiritual Consistory states
                                                    that "an
                                                    > ecclesiastic under investigation is henceforth prohibited from
                                                    serving
                                                    > until such a time as he is completely exonerated."
                                                    >
                                                    > No distinction is made between bishops, priests, or deacons--this
                                                    statute
                                                    > applies equally to all exxlesiastics, meaning all clergy.
                                                    >
                                                    > So--in the Russian Orthodox Church, it is the **law** that a
                                                    bishop, like
                                                    > any other ecclesiastic, is to be suspended **prior** to trial--and
                                                    he is
                                                    > therefore "prohibited from serving until such time as he is
                                                    completely
                                                    > exonerated."
                                                    >
                                                    > That's the law.
                                                    >
                                                    > You may not like it, but if you are in the Russian Orthodox Church
                                                    you have
                                                    > no choice but to accept it.
                                                    >
                                                    > So--this is not "Soviet Law," as Serge would have it--but the
                                                    established
                                                    > Law of the Russian Orthodox Church.
                                                    >
                                                    > The process is, once there is good reason to believe that a
                                                    clergyman has
                                                    > breached ecclesiastical order:
                                                    >
                                                    > 1) suspension
                                                    > 2) investigation
                                                    > 3) trial
                                                    >
                                                    > Suspension during an investigation is not "punishment." It is a
                                                    protective
                                                    > measure to guard the flock from further detrimental action by a
                                                    clergyman.
                                                    >
                                                    > It is no different from a suspension of a teacher whom there is
                                                    reason to
                                                    > believe is guilty of sexual molestation of a student.
                                                    >
                                                    > Do you believe, in such a case, that the teacher should be allowed
                                                    to
                                                    > continue to teach while an investigation is taking place, and later
                                                    a
                                                    > trial, until a final conviction and punishment are handed out?
                                                    >
                                                    > Do you believe that suspensions prior to investigation and trial
                                                    are
                                                    > inherently unfair and never justified?
                                                    >
                                                    > A final point.
                                                    >
                                                    > Bishops actually explicitly **waive** their right to answer or
                                                    speak if
                                                    > they trespass the promises they give at their consecration, which
                                                    include
                                                    > total fealty and obedience to their First Hierarch and Council of
                                                    Bishops
                                                    > and that they will do **nothing** against the concensus of their
                                                    fellow
                                                    > bishops.
                                                    >
                                                    > The solemn oath given at their consecration include the words:
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > >If I trespass anything from what I have promised. . . then let me
                                                    > >**immediately** be deprived of my rank and power, without
                                                    whatsoever
                                                    > >answer or word and let me be alien to the heavenly gift I was
                                                    given
                                                    > >through the Consecration by the Holy Spirit.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Now, that oath was given by former bishop Varnava.
                                                    >
                                                    > So, in reality, he has no leg to stand on, once he departs from
                                                    obedience
                                                    > to his Council of Bishops.
                                                    >
                                                    > And that's the way it is.
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > With love in Christ,
                                                    >
                                                    > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
                                                  • vkozyreff <vladimir.kozyreff@skynet.be>
                                                    Dear Father Alexander, bless. Thank you for your explanation. Indeed, our understanding of what happened is very incomplete. Your explanation however does not
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Jan 18 12:54 AM
                                                      Dear Father Alexander, bless.

                                                      Thank you for your explanation. Indeed, our understanding of what
                                                      happened is very incomplete. Your explanation however does not
                                                      clarify everything.

                                                      You write:

                                                      The process is, once there is good reason to believe that a clergyman
                                                      has breached ecclesiastical order:

                                                      1) suspension
                                                      2) investigation
                                                      3) trial

                                                      Who decides how good the reason are to believe that the clergy of
                                                      France had breached ecclesiastical order? Why not decide that they
                                                      had not followed them on the contrary when accusing canonically Vl
                                                      Ambrose?

                                                      The clergy considered that they were obedient to canonical order and
                                                      synodal tradition (Canon 15 of the First-Second Holy Synod in
                                                      Constantinople). How could this be disproved in the absence of a
                                                      trial?

                                                      Vl Ambrose did not consider this accusation to be illegitimate (he
                                                      even asked himself to be judged). He just challenged its substance.
                                                      He claimed he would welcome a trial and would be glad to justify
                                                      himself.

                                                      In your above sequence, you put "3) trial". Why is it that no trial
                                                      took place? Why was Vl Ambrose not suspended? Why did the French
                                                      clergy never get even an acknowledgement of receipt of their
                                                      canonical accusation?

                                                      In the rules below, the accused have the right to challenge the
                                                      Judges. The clergy of France would certainly have challenged you,
                                                      considering your views about sergianism and ecumenism.

                                                      In God,

                                                      Vladimir Kozyreff

                                                      The Trial of Clerics: (from: Tserkovnaya Zhizn (Church Life) 1936,
                                                      #12, pp. 188-193).

                                                      7.) The court of first instance for clerics is constituted directly
                                                      by the bishop in accordance with paragraph 155 of the Regulations of
                                                      the Spiritual Consistory and by the Diocesan Council; and where such
                                                      does not exist, by a special judicial office appointed by the
                                                      Diocesan Bishop, consisting of no fewer than three clerics, in
                                                      accordance with the relative sections of the Regulations of the
                                                      Spiritual Consistory and other Russian legislation with regard to
                                                      spiritual courts convened by the Consistory.

                                                      8.) In a court of first instance in respect of clerics, the quorum is
                                                      no fewer than three clerics in the rank of priest. If in the Diocesan
                                                      Council there are fewer than three clerics or if any member of the
                                                      Council is unable to participate in the trial, the quorum is
                                                      satisfied by priests appointed by the Diocesan Bishop.

                                                      9.) An appeal from the decision of a diocesan court lies through the
                                                      Diocesan Bishop in a District to the Council of the District; those
                                                      outside the Districts lie to the Synod of Bishops, whose decisions
                                                      may be appealed to the General Council of Bishops.


                                                      10.) The presence of no fewer than four bishops is required in a
                                                      District Council sitting as an appeal court in respect to clerics;
                                                      while in the Synod of Bishops its usual quorum shall be required.

                                                      C. Challenge of Judges:

                                                      11.) The accused bishop or cleric has, at all judicial levels, the
                                                      right of challenge of judges, of which he must inform the President
                                                      no later than two weeks after receiving the summons to court.


                                                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
                                                      <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
                                                      > Although I have no time at this moment to go into a detailed
                                                      analysis of
                                                      > Serge Rust's post, I would like to comment on his concluding
                                                      paragraph:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Serge Rust wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > >This reminds the well-known difference between the roman and the
                                                      > >soviet law: the first starts from a rule, finds an offender, then
                                                      > >inflicts a punishment; the second starts from a punishment [e.g.
                                                      > >suspension], applies it to an innocent [e.g. the clergy who want to
                                                      > >maintain ROCA's stand unadulterated], and then cobbles up some
                                                      > >legal basis [e.g. deaconesses, murderers, orphanages...]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Unfortunately, Serge here shows, once again, his abysmal lack of
                                                      knowledge
                                                      > about Canon Law and how it is applied, by statute, by the Russian
                                                      Orthodox
                                                      > Church.
                                                      >
                                                      > The Holy Canons establish the fundamental principles that guide the
                                                      Bishops
                                                      > of the Church in their administrative responsibilities. However,
                                                      the way in
                                                      > which these Holy Canons are interpreted and applied is within the
                                                      realm of
                                                      > the authority of the particular Council of Bishops of the
                                                      particular local
                                                      > Orthodox Church in question.
                                                      >
                                                      > Here, we are speaking of the local Church of Russia, which has,
                                                      over its
                                                      > thousand years of existense, developed and codified a specific
                                                      Codex of
                                                      > Laws under which it lives. This compendium of Canon Law as applied
                                                      by the
                                                      > Russian Orthodox Church is codified in the book entitled "Statutes
                                                      of the
                                                      > Spiritual Consistory." These statutes applied to the pre-
                                                      revolutionary
                                                      > Church of Russia, and they apply to the Russian Orthodox Church
                                                      Outside of
                                                      > Russia, as well. Former Bishop Varnava and the "French clergy" were
                                                      bound
                                                      > to obey these directives.
                                                      >
                                                      > Statute 159 of the Statutes of the Spiritual Consistory states
                                                      that "an
                                                      > ecclesiastic under investigation is henceforth prohibited from
                                                      serving
                                                      > until such a time as he is completely exonerated."
                                                      >
                                                      > No distinction is made between bishops, priests, or deacons--this
                                                      statute
                                                      > applies equally to all exxlesiastics, meaning all clergy.
                                                      >
                                                      > So--in the Russian Orthodox Church, it is the **law** that a
                                                      bishop, like
                                                      > any other ecclesiastic, is to be suspended **prior** to trial--and
                                                      he is
                                                      > therefore "prohibited from serving until such time as he is
                                                      completely
                                                      > exonerated."
                                                      >
                                                      > That's the law.
                                                      >
                                                      > You may not like it, but if you are in the Russian Orthodox Church
                                                      you have
                                                      > no choice but to accept it.
                                                      >
                                                      > So--this is not "Soviet Law," as Serge would have it--but the
                                                      established
                                                      > Law of the Russian Orthodox Church.
                                                      >
                                                      > The process is, once there is good reason to believe that a
                                                      clergyman has
                                                      > breached ecclesiastical order:
                                                      >
                                                      > 1) suspension
                                                      > 2) investigation
                                                      > 3) trial
                                                      >
                                                      > Suspension during an investigation is not "punishment." It is a
                                                      protective
                                                      > measure to guard the flock from further detrimental action by a
                                                      clergyman.
                                                      >
                                                      > It is no different from a suspension of a teacher whom there is
                                                      reason to
                                                      > believe is guilty of sexual molestation of a student.
                                                      >
                                                      > Do you believe, in such a case, that the teacher should be allowed
                                                      to
                                                      > continue to teach while an investigation is taking place, and later
                                                      a
                                                      > trial, until a final conviction and punishment are handed out?
                                                      >
                                                      > Do you believe that suspensions prior to investigation and trial
                                                      are
                                                      > inherently unfair and never justified?
                                                      >
                                                      > A final point.
                                                      >
                                                      > Bishops actually explicitly **waive** their right to answer or
                                                      speak if
                                                      > they trespass the promises they give at their consecration, which
                                                      include
                                                      > total fealty and obedience to their First Hierarch and Council of
                                                      Bishops
                                                      > and that they will do **nothing** against the concensus of their
                                                      fellow
                                                      > bishops.
                                                      >
                                                      > The solemn oath given at their consecration include the words:
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > >If I trespass anything from what I have promised. . . then let me
                                                      > >**immediately** be deprived of my rank and power, without
                                                      whatsoever
                                                      > >answer or word and let me be alien to the heavenly gift I was
                                                      given
                                                      > >through the Consecration by the Holy Spirit.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > Now, that oath was given by former bishop Varnava.
                                                      >
                                                      > So, in reality, he has no leg to stand on, once he departs from
                                                      obedience
                                                      > to his Council of Bishops.
                                                      >
                                                      > And that's the way it is.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > With love in Christ,
                                                      >
                                                      > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
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