Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Fundamental Question

Expand Messages
  • vkozyreff
    Dear Father Alexander, bless. You write: Why did the Church Abroad (under Metropolitan Philaret) issue a special encyclical to the faithful flock decrying the
    Message 1 of 117 , Jun 4, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Father Alexander, bless.

      You write: "Why did the Church Abroad (under Metropolitan Philaret)
      issue a special encyclical to the faithful flock decrying the edict
      of the Soviet government forbidding minors to attend church or
      receive Communion there--the Encyclical of the Church Abroad
      explicitly stating that this would deny children communion with the
      Life-giving Mysteries. Could they say that if they considered that
      the Mysteries given in MP churches were graceless and invalid?"

      I hope you will change your opinion about this.

      You often resort to a reasoning of the type: "if the ROCOR, or Met.
      Philaret would have condemned the MP, in circumstances X, she or he
      would have said A. But in fact, she or he said B. So she or he did
      not condemn the MP. On this forum, such argumentations were refuted a
      few times.

      If one were to follow you, one would reason as follows:

      · Since the ROCOR stated that the MP was wicked when
      destroying churches, denouncing priests and faithful, informing the
      authorities about who attended liturgy and about who was getting
      baptised,

      · and since those actions actually limited the MP's capacity to
      conduct its "pastoral work",

      so therefore, the accusation amounts to state that it was bad to
      restrict the MP's capacity to conduct its "pastoral work".

      So therefore, accusing the MP of destroying churches, denouncing
      priests and faithful, informing the authorities about who attended
      liturgy and about who was getting baptised is acknowledging that
      its "pastoral work" was valid,

      So therefore, the MP had grace. (Quod erat demonstrandum).

      Would you however not agree to put it simply, that destroying
      churches, denouncing priests and faithful, informing the authorities
      about who attended liturgy and about who was getting baptised is
      showing a lack of grace? Why not be simple?

      And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like
      little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew
      18:2-4)

      May I respectfully wonder whether the above type of reasoning is not
      an expression of a new path in the ROCOR? What did you write about
      that in 1994 in "A Deceitful Fruit. Origins and the Essence of the
      Moscow Patriarchy",

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff


      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
      <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
      > On the question of grace in the Moscow Patriarchate.
      >
      > I would like to hear an intelligent response to one simple
      question, but
      > first some background.
      >
      > during the 1930's, 1940's, 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980',s and
      1990's, the
      > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia issued a large number of
      official
      > Epistles, addressed to either its flock abroad, or to the faithful
      under
      > Soviet oppression, or both.
      >
      > Many of these official Epistles express and explain the position of
      the
      > Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia toward the Moscow
      Patriarchate,
      > so that the position of the Church Abroad would be perfectly clear
      to all
      > of the faithful, both in the homeland and abroad.
      >
      > Now the question.
      >
      > Please explain why, in all of these official Epistles, the Russian
      Orthodox
      > Church Outside of Russia **never once** declares that the Moscow
      > Patriarchate is heretical or graceless, or that the Mysteries
      performed in
      > its churches are invalid?
      >
      > Why, if the Anathema of Patriarch Tikhon of 1918 is binding and
      definitive,
      > do none of the Epistles of the Church Abroad, even the most lengthy
      one, of
      > 1933, which goes on for 23 pages describing in detail the view of
      the
      > Church Abroad regarding Metropolitan Sergius's capitulation to the
      Soviet
      > authorities--even mention this Anathema?
      >
      > Why were the bishops of the Church Abroad residing in the United
      States and
      > Canada, including Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who voted at the
      > Metropolitan Council in 1943 to commemorate Patriarch Sergius (and
      later,
      > in a separate resolution, to commemorate his Locum Tenens and
      successor,
      > Metropolitan, later Patriarch Alexei I), in all parishes of the
      Church
      > Abroad in North America never censured by the Sobor of the Church
      Abroad,
      > nor was St. John of Shanghai ever censured for himself
      commemorating and
      > requiring his clergy to commemorate the Moscow Patriarch in 1945?
      >
      > Why was Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) never censured for his
      Epistles and
      > Articles, in which he consistently and frequently explicitly calls
      the
      > Moscow Patriarchate "the Mother Church," and, in fact, his
      collected
      > writings were published in two editions by Jordanville?
      >
      > Would not the Church Abroad, if it truly believed that the Moscow
      > Patriarchate were a heretical and graceless organization, which had
      fallen
      > under the Anathema of Patriarch Tikhon, be required protect the
      flock both
      > in the homeland and abroad from this false Church and unequivocally
      state
      > that no one should attend services in churches of the MP?
      >
      > Instead, the Epistles of the Church Abroad constantly and
      continuously
      > **praise** the faithful under Soviet oppression who,
      notwithstanding danger
      > to themselves, continued to attend and receive the Mysteries in the
      temples
      > of the official Church that still remained open.
      >
      > Why is this?
      >
      > Why did the Church Abroad (under Metropolitan Philaret) issue a
      special
      > encyclical to the faithful flock decrying the edict of the Soviet
      > government forbidding minors to attend church or receive Communion
      > there--the Encyclical of the Church Abroad explicitly stating that
      this
      > would deny children communion with the Life-giving Mysteries.
      >
      > Could the say that if they considered that the Mysteries given in
      MP
      > churches were graceless and invalid?
      >
      > I await a rational explanation.
      >
      > With love in Christ,
      >
      > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
    • vkozyreff
      Dear Father Alexander, bless. You write: 4) Therefore, it is completely correct to call the clergy appointed by either name -- a Judicial Commission or an
      Message 117 of 117 , Jun 23, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Father Alexander, bless.

        You write:

        "4) Therefore, it is completely correct to call the clergy appointed
        by either name -- a "Judicial Commission" or an "Ecclesiastical
        Tribunal," since they were a **Judicial Commission, acting as an
        Ecclesiastical Tribunal**. "

        May I ask what the difference is between an "Ecclesial Tribunal" and
        a "Judicial Commission"? When is one used, and when is the second
        used? Why was a commission used in this case, and what precautions
        were taken in this case to ensure that the judges had no personal
        enmity towards the accused, or no political disagreement with them
        that might bias their judgement? A judge is always biased, even when
        he tries not to be.

        You write:

        "5) The clergy that comprised the Judicial Commission/Ecclesiastical
        Tribunal all completed a full theological education, including
        courses in Canon Law, and were well versed in both the Canons of the
        Church and the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church. The three
        clergymen had a combined one hundred years of service to the Church
        as clergymen,..."

        These remarks surprise me. The knowledge of the law is not what makes
        a judge fair. If the judge considers that it is fair to condemn a
        bishop for typos, the fact that the judge in question has a good
        knowledge of the law does not reassure me. How many "years of Church
        service" did the condemned French clergy have?

        The fact that the judges are versed in the canons and regulations
        does not guarantee that their decision was not influenced by grief
        and hostile personal or political feelings. When a judgement is
        challenged in appeal, the fact that the judges of the questioned
        judgement are knowledgeable is not an argument to convince about the
        equity of the judgement.

        How come the commission was appointed, the judgement was pronounced
        and confirmed by the Sobor in two week-end days, without the accused
        even being informed that they were being judged and without them
        later being personally notified of their own condemnation?

        Is this like any serene, compassionate and wise way of behaving for
        a "tribunal". Does that not recall the expedite justice of
        dictatorial regimes that condemn before they have judged? What is
        incomprehensible, is that apparently no precautions were taken to
        guarantee a likelihood of fairness of the judgement. A frequent
        character of justice is that it is perverted. What precautions were
        taken in this case to see to it that justice would not be perverted?

        " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or
        favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. (Leviticus
        19:14-16)

        Christian Justice, is the highest justice. It is the justice of the
        Christian heart. The basic wise and at the same time clear and
        understandable principle is expressed in the Gospel in these words:
        Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
        do ye even so to them: (Mathew 7:12).

        In God,

        Vladimir Kozyreff

        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff"
        <lebedeff@w...> wrote:
        > Serge Rust wrote:
        >
        > >Fr Alexander,
        > >
        > >- when you judged «fr Benjamin and other clergy», without
        > >hearing them, did you make the above implied assumptions?
        >
        > Those are **your** assumptions.
        >
        > Don't presume to make them mine.
        >
        >
        >
        > >- how could your judgement defrock «fr Benjamin and other
        > >clergy», since you claim that
        > >
        > >«**no** commission and **no** tribunal can "defrock" any
        > >clergyman»
        > >(your post dated Tue, 27 May 2003 15:40:11)?
        > >
        > >- was it a *tribunal* or a *commission*? (already repeatedly asked)
        > >
        > >Not doubt that this List will find it symptomatic that the members
        of
        > >this *thing* cannot answer whether this *thing* was a *tribunal*
        or a
        > >*commission...!
        >
        > Serge here again displays a remarkable lack of knowledge about
        judicial
        > procedures in the Orthodox Church, and, here, specifically, in the
        Russian
        > Church Abroad.
        >
        > In order not to be misunderstood again, I will try to patiently
        make things
        > clear.
        >
        > 1) In each Diocese, there exists a standing Ecclesiastical Tribunal
        > that typically hears cases that come up in the Diocese.
        >
        > 2) In addition, the Synod of Bishops can and does, when it
        determines it to
        > be necessary, appoint a special ad hoc Judicial Commission, which
        acts as
        > an Ecclesiastical Tribunal.
        >
        > 3) In the case of the "French Clergy," the Synod of Bishops
        appointed a
        > special Judicial Commission, which acted as an Ecclesiastical
        Tribunal.
        >
        > 4) Therefore, it is completely correct to call the clergy appointed
        by
        > either name -- a "Judicial Commission" or an "Ecclesiastical
        Tribunal,"
        > since they were a **Judicial Commission, acting as an
        Ecclesiastical
        > Tribunal**. (This is similar to the situation in many states that
        allow
        > appointed Commissioners to act as Judges--they are really
        Commissioners,
        > but their powers are exactly the same as judges--and when a
        Commisioner or
        > a Judge makes a ruling, it is equally binding, no matter what the
        person on
        > the bench is called).
        >
        > Therefore, the question of whether it was a "commission" or
        a "tribunal" is
        > completely irrelevant, since it was. in reality, both.
        >
        > 5) The clergy that comprised the Judicial Commission/Ecclesiastical
        > Tribunal all completed a full theological education, including
        courses in
        > Canon Law, and were well versed in both the Canons of the Church
        and the
        > Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church.
        >
        > The three clergymen had a combined one hundred years of service to
        the
        > Church as clergymen, and all three had many years experience as
        Secretaries
        > or Chancellors of their respective Dioceses. Each had the
        experience of
        > decades of service as members of Ecclesiastical Tribunals in their
        > respective Dioceses, as well.
        >
        > 6) It must be emphasized that an Ecclesiastical Tribunal (or a
        Judicial
        > Commission acting as an Ecclesiastical Tribunal), does **not** have
        the
        > canonical authority to actually "defrock" or depose from office any
        > clergyman--that authority belongs solely to the Synod (or Sobor) of
        Bishops.
        >
        > The Ecclesiastical Tribunal hears the case and determines whether,
        in its
        > opinion, the accused clergyman should be subject to deposition from
        office
        > or not, and prepares a formal Resolution expressing its judicial
        opinion.
        >
        > If the decision of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal is that the
        clergyman should
        > be deposed, this does not happen automatically. The decision of the
        > Ecclesiastical itself does not actually depose anyone, as I stated
        on the
        > list before.
        >
        > Such a decision is sent to up to the Council of Bishops, who can
        modify,
        > reject, send back for further deliberation, or confirm that
        decision of the
        > Ecclesiastical Tribunal.
        >
        > Only if the Synod of Bishops confirms the decision of the
        Ecclesiastical
        > Tribunal and passes its own Resolution stating that the individual
        > clergyman is deposed from office does the actual removal from holy
        orders
        > take place.
        >
        > To reiterate, it is only the Synod or Sobor of Bishops that can
        depose a
        > clergyman from ecclesiastical orders. The Ecclesiastical Tribunal
        is an
        > integral and required part of the process, but not the ultimate
        > decision-making body.
        >
        > I hope that this will clarify the matter for all who may have
        misunderstood
        > my previous posts, or if I had not been sufficiently clear before.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > With love in Christ,
        >
        > Prot. Alexander Lebedeff
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.