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Re: [orthodox-synod] The Heresy of the Judaizers - part 2

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  • VladMoss@aol.com
    A.P. Dobroklonsky continuesthe story: “Under his [Zosima’s] protection the heretics in Moscow began to actmore boldly. Priest Dionysius supposedly even
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 27, 2003
      A.P. Dobroklonsky continuesthe story: “Under his [Zosima’s] protection
      the heretics in Moscow began to actmore boldly. Priest Dionysius supposedly
      even allowed himself to dance behindthe altar and mock the cross; a circle of
      the more active heretics gathered atthe house of Theodore Kurytsyn. Many
      heretics, on hearing that their comradeswere living peacefully in Moscow,
      fled there from Novgorod; Gennadius wassuspected of heterodoxy: the
      metropolitan demanded a confession of faith fromhim; the commoner Zakhar
      everywhere spread leaflets against him. In Novgoroditself the heretics,
      hoping for impunity, again began to blaspheme openly.Gennaidus considered it
      necessary to write epistles to Metropolitan Zosimas, toArchbishop Tikhon of
      Rostov, and to the bishops: Bassian of Tver, Niphon ofSuzdal, Prochorus of
      Sarsk and Philotheus of Perm. He tried to persuade them toreview the question
      of the heretics in council and take decisive measuresagainst them: to
      execute, burn, hang and curse them. In 1490 a council didindeed take place,
      but without the participation of Gennadius. At it severalheretics were
      accused of spreading Judaism and of trying to destroy OrthodoxChristianity,
      of celebrating Pascha in the Jewish style, of breaking the weeklyfasts, of
      celebrating the Liturgy after receiving food and drink, etc. Theywere cursed,
      defrocked and imprisoned. Some of them, on the orders of the GreatPrince,
      were sent to Gennadius in Novgorod. He ordered them to be met 40 verstsfrom
      the city, to be clothed in garments turned inside-out and to be seated
      onpack-horses with their faces turned to the tail. Pointed birch-bark
      helmetswere put on their heads with bast brushes and straw crowns with
      theinscription: ‘this is the army of Satan’. In such a form they were led
      into thecity; those who met them, on the orders of the bishop, spat on them
      and said:‘these are the enemies of God and Christian blasphemers’. Then the
      helmets ontheir heads were burned. All this was done with the aim of
      frightening theheretics and cautioning the Orthodox.

      “But the triumph ofOrthodoxy was short-lived and not complete. The
      cruder and more ignorant of theheretics were punished, those who allowed
      themselves openly to mock theOrthodox holy things; but the intelligentsia,
      which had power in the hereticalparty, was not touched: Zosima remained on
      the metropolitan see, TheodoreKuritsyn and Helena reigned in society and at
      the court, the brother ofKuritsyn Ivan the wolf, Klenov and others acted as
      before in Moscow. Thereforethe heretical movement was bound to appear again
      even after the Council of1490. One chance circumstance strengthened this
      movement. In the 15thcentury there was a widespread opinion in Russia and
      Greece that with the endof the seventh thousand of years (from the creation
      of the world) there wouldcome the end of the world and the Coming of Jesus
      Christ. The Paschalia we hadat the time ended at the year 7000, after which
      there was the addition: ‘Hereis fear, here is sorrow; this year has at last
      appeared and in it we expect Thyuniversal Coming’. This year fell in 1492
      (from the Birth of Christ). But then,contrary to the universal expectation,
      1492 passed without incident, and theend of the world did not follow. The
      heretics began to laugh at them and say:‘7000 years have passed, and your
      Paschalia has passed; why has Christ notappeared? That means the writings
      both of your Apostles and of your Fathers,which (supposedly) announced the
      glorious Coming of Christ after 7000 years arefalse’. A great ‘disturbance
      among the Christians’ appeared, as well as acritical attitude towards the
      patristic and sacred literature and ‘manydeparted from Orthodoxy’. Thus the
      heresy was again strengthened; theblasphemous scenes were repeated.
      Metropolitan Zosima himself supposedly mockedthe crosses and icons,
      blasphemed Jesus Christ, led a debauched life and evenopenly denied life
      after death. Those Orthodox who reproached him heexcommunicated from Holy
      Communion, defrocked, and even, by means of slander,obtained their detention
      in monasteries and prisons. Archbishop Gennadius,seeing that his practical
      activity in the former spirit was bearing littlefruit, started writing. He
      composed the paschalia for 70 years into the eighththousand, showing in a
      foreword that the former opinions concerning the end ofthe world and the
      method of calculating the paschalia were baseless. Then hedevoted his efforts
      to collecting the sacred books into one Bible, so as togive the Orthodox the
      necessary means of struggling with heresy and protectingthe Orthodox faith
      that had been lacking for many. Into the arena of activestruggle with the
      Judaizers there stepped St. Joseph of Volokolamsk. In hisepistle to Niphon of
      Suzdal, a very influential bishop of the time (1493), hetold him about the
      licentious behaviour and apostasy from the faith ofMetropolitan Zosima, about
      the bad religio-moral condition of Orthodox society,and asked him to
      overthrow Zosima and save the Russian Church. At about thistime he gave his
      final edition to his fist sermons against the Judaizers and,prefacing them
      with a history of the heresy to 1490, he published them in a specialbook for
      general use; in it he also did not spare Metropolitan Zosima, callinghim a
      Judas-traitor, a forerunner of the Antichrist, a first-born son of Satan,etc.
      Zosima was forced to abandon his see and depart into retirement (1494).His
      place was taken (1495) by Simon, abbot of the Trinity-St. Sergiusmonastery,
      an indecisive and compromising man, albeit disposed against theheretics.
      Under the protection of Theodore Kuritsyn and Helena the hereticswere able to
      act boldly. They wanted to organize a heretical community inNovgorod as well
      as in Moscow; on their insistence the tsar appointed Cassian,a supporter of
      the Judaizers, as archimandrite of the Novgorod Yurievmonastery. With his
      arrival the heretical movement was strengthened in Novgorod,and the Yuriev
      monastery became the centre and den of the heretics: here theyheld meetings,
      here they acted in an extremely blasphemous manner. Gennadiuscould do nothing
      with the heretics, who were supported in Moscow. Their triumphwas aided by
      the fact that after the open plot against the tsar’s grandsom,Demetrius
      Ivanovich, the son of Helena, he was declared the heir to the throneand
      married to a Great Princess. In this way Helena’s party, which protectedthe
      heretics, became still stronger. However, from 1499 a turnaround began totake
      place. Several supporters of Helena were executed; instead of Demetrius,the
      grandson, Basil, the son, was declared heir to the throne (1502); Helenaand
      Demetrius were imprisoned. The blow delivered to them was at the same timea
      heavy blow to the heretics. Now it was easier to persuade Ivan III to
      takedecisive measures against them. Joseph of Volokolamsk tried to do this.
      Afterthe Council of 1503 he several times talked with the tsar and directly
      said:‘Your majesty, move against the heretics’; but he did not succeed in
      persuadinghim. The tsar was fearful of committing a sin in executing the
      heretics,although he did promise to conduct a search through all the cities.
      In 1504Joseph wrote a letter to the tsar’s spiritual father,
      Metrophanes,archimandrite of the Andronikov monastery, asking him to exert
      influence on thetsar. He also wrote to Basil Ivanovich, exhorting him to take
      measures againstthe heretics. In December, 1504 a Council did convene in
      Moscow. Present wereIvan III, Basil Ivanovich, Metropolitan Simon, the
      bishops and many clergy.Joseph spoke out against the heretics. The guilty
      ones were sentenced tovarious punishments. Some were burned in cages in
      Moscow (Ivan the wolf andothers); others had their tongues cut out and were
      exiled to Novgorod wherethey were burned (together with Archimandrite
      Cassian); others, finally, weredispersed to various monastery prisons. The
      executions frightened the heretics.Many of them began to repent in order to
      receive reprieves. Prince-Monk BassianPatrikeev and the White Lake elders
      interceded for them, saying that it wasnecessary to receive repentant
      heretics into communion with the Church. Buttheir repentance seemed insincere
      to Joseph; he thought it was necessary tokeep the repentant heretics in
      prison and not allow them to receive Communionand communion with the Church;
      he expressed this view in his epistles and thelast sermons of The Enlightener
      . In his private letters to BasilIvanovich, who had taken the place of his
      father (1505), he demanded thatsearches for the heretics should contine and
      that they should be severelypunished. An impassioned literary struggle began
      between the Josephites and theWhite Lake elders, which was expressed in works
      composed on both sides,especially by Joseph and Bassian Patrikeev. Bassian
      was so embittered that hecalled Joseph a misanthrope, a teacher of
      lawlessness and a breaker of the lawof God, and those of the Judaizers who
      had been subjected to execution in spiteof their late repentance, he
      glorified as martyrs. However, Joseph’s viewsprevailed. Basil Ivanovich
      ‘ordered that all the heretics should be cast intoprison and kept there
      without coming out until the end of their lives’. On thedeath of Joseph
      (1515), the Judaizers for a time revived. Isaac the Jew seducedand drew away
      the Orthodox, so that in about 1520 a special Council wasconvened, Maximus
      the Greek wrote his ‘advice’ to the Fathers of this Councilthat they should
      move with zeal for Orthodox and give Isaac over to beexecuted. Joseph’s
      disciple Daniel and Maximus the Greek considered itnecessary to write works
      against the remnants of the heresy. When Danielascended the metropolitan’s
      throne and the bishop’s thrones were occupiedmainly by disciples and
      supporters of Joseph, the former defenders of theJudaizers were subjected to
      persecution. Thus at the Council of 1531 Bassianwas condemned for heresy and
      imprisoned. It seemed that the heresy had come toan end. But in actual fact
      it continued in secret, especially in the White Lakeand Vologda monasteries,
      and halfway through the 16th century itagain broke out in the persons of
      Bashkin and Kosogo…”<A HREF="file://C:\My%20Documents\ECCLESIO\%23_ftn1">[1]</A>

      It was not until thetwentieth century that Jewish power raised its head
      again in Russia, and theheresy of the Judaizers again triumphed at the
      highest level of the RussianChurch, in the speech of Patriarch Alexis II
      (Ridiger) to the Rabbis of NewYork in November, 1991.<A HREF="file://C:\My%20Documents\ECCLESIO\%23_ftn2">[2]</A>

      <A HREF="file://C:\My%20Documents\ECCLESIO\%23_ftnref1">[1]</A> Dobroklonsky,Rukovodstvopo istorii Russkoj Tserkvi, Moscow, 2001, pp.
      189-192 (in Russian).

      <A HREF="file://C:\My%20Documents\ECCLESIO\%23_ftnref2">[2]</A> See Shmakov, Rech’ PatriarkhaAlekseya II k rabbinam g. Nyu Yorka
      (S.Sh.A.) i Eres’ Zhidovstvuyushchikh, U.S.A.,1993 (MS, in Russian).

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