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Re: False Conceptions About Canons and Ecclesiastical Authority

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Jan 2, 2003
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      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 2 of 25 , Jan 3, 2003
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        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 3 of 25 , Jan 3, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 25 , Jan 3, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 25 , Jan 3, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 25 , Jan 3, 2003
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                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 7 of 25 , Jan 6, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 25 , Jan 6, 2003
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                    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 9 of 25 , Jan 6, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 25 , Jan 8, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 of 25 , Jan 9, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                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 15 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                  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 16 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                    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 17 of 25 , Jan 10, 2003
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                                      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 18 of 25 , Jan 11, 2003
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                                        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 19 of 25 , Jan 11, 2003
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                                          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 20 of 25 , Jan 12, 2003
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                                            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 21 of 25 , Jan 14, 2003
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                                              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 22 of 25 , Jan 17, 2003
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                                                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 23 of 25 , Jan 17, 2003
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  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 24 of 25 , Jan 18, 2003
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    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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