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Re: [orthodoxjurisdictions] Metropolitan Anastassy re: Head of Russian Church

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    ... simply ... Partiarch of ... censure. ... JRS: What I have long opined (and this was an impression that I formed during my years with Archbishop Nikon of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2003
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      Fr. Alexander Lebedeff wrote:

      > Actually, times **have** changed.
      >
      > Metropolitan Laurus and the Bishops of the Church Abroad, unlike
      > Metropolitan Anastassy, do **not** refer to the Moscow Patriarchate
      simply
      > as "the Russian Church"--and do **not** refer to the current
      Partiarch of
      > Moscow simply as "the head of the Russian Church."
      >
      > In fact, any bishop who would so state would probably be subject to
      censure.
      >
      > Something to ponder.

      JRS: What I have long opined (and this was an impression that I formed
      during my years with Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory, the disciple
      and biographer of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky) -- is that until
      recent times, the term "Moscow Patriarchate" was used by our bishops
      when they had in mind the *central Church administration* -- the few
      bishops who issued official public statements, and who gave interviews
      supporting the Soviet state, and who claimed that the Church was not
      persecuted in Russia.

      They did not seem to be thinking of the parishes, the local clergy, or
      of those bishops who, while belonging to the official Church, did all
      they could to resist official atheism and persecution.

      But the situation was complicated when the Soviets began allowing
      *certain clergy* to travel abroad, and when the "Moscow Patriarchate"
      became one of 3 rival jurisdictions found in the same countries, or
      even the same towns (such as NYC, which had 3 Russian Orthodox
      cathedrals, and, until 1970, 3 rival Russian Orthodox metropolitans,
      all with basically the same title).

      During the years when the Patriarchate was found only [or almost only]
      in areas under communist control, and the Church Abroad only in non-
      communist areas, there was no sense of "jurisdictional rivalry".

      Therefore, when our bishops spoke of the MP, in those days they had in
      mind only "church spokesmen", or a "captive public relations team".

      What they said against those whose voices were heard in the West
      as "that of the Russian Church", did not apply to the village priest
      who was battling to keep his church from being closed -- or to those
      who risked their lives to have their wedding solemnized, or their
      children baptized, by a priest of the official Russian Orthodox Church.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
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