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Re: Fundamental Question

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  • vkozyreff
    If you are helpless to defend the Church, step aside; clear the space for someone stronger than you. St. Peter, Metropolitan of Krutitsk (d. 1936), (Locum
    Message 1 of 117 , Jun 5, 2003
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      "If you are helpless to defend the Church, step aside; clear the
      space for someone stronger than you." St. Peter, Metropolitan of
      Krutitsk (d. 1936), (Locum Tenens of the Patriarchate), Letter to
      Metropolitan Sergei, 1930

      Dear Father Anthony, bless.

      I think you raised a very interesting point. We are not claiming that
      the MP is graceless because of its sins or unworthiness in general,
      but because of the nature of the sins and unworthiness that we are
      talking about. Heresy, schism, and attack of the faith and of the
      Church, preclude grace of those who practice or accept them.

      "This pseudo-church has been twice anathematised. His Holiness
      Patriarch Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Sobor anathematised the
      Communists and all their collaborators. This dread anathema has not
      been lifted till this day and remains in force, since it can only be
      lifted by a similar All-Russian Church Sobor ...
      "When Metropolitan Sergius promulgated his criminal Declaration, then
      the faithful children of the Church immediately separated themselves
      from the Soviet church, and thus the Catacomb Church was formed. And
      she, in her turn, has anathematised the official church for its
      betrayal of Christ." Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) (d. 1985)

      Assuming even that the MP "has grace" in spite of certain sins (that
      would be the case of ROCOR as well), the MP is nevertheless anathema,
      schismatic and heretic, which is a good case for gracelessness. In
      addition, heretic bishops are pseudo-bishops, which does not simplify
      the matter of reunion with them.

      Anathema, schism and heresy need not have been proclaimed by ROCOR to
      be real or to be acknowledged by her. As long as we are not
      schismatic, and still part of the Russian Orthodox Church, and did
      not rescind anathema proclaimed by other parts of the Russian
      Orthodox Church, we acknowledge the decisions of the Orthodox Church
      taken before or after ROCOR was created.

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff



      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. Anthony Nelson"
      <fr.anthony@o...> wrote:
      > "Fr. George Primak" <primaks@t...> wrote:
      >
      > >Dear Fr. Alexander,
      > >Please explain to me how a KGB officer who was made bishop not to
      serve God
      > >but the satanic regime can have grace and all those who served
      with him?
      >
      > I don't presume to answer for Fr. Alexander, but I can answer as an
      > Orthodox Priest: the worthiness and/or sinfulness of the one
      ordained does
      > not determine the Grace of the Mysteries served by that clergyman.
      To
      > believe otherwise is heresy condemned by the Church. For myself, I
      shudder
      > to think that the Priestly ministrations I perform should be Grace-
      filled
      > or empty, depending on my worthiness or sinfulness.
      >
      > Fr. Anthony
      >
      >
      > * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
      *
      > Fr. Anthony Nelson * Emergency Cell Phone Email:
      > St. Benedict Russian Orthodox Church * Up to 160 characters maximum
      > Oklahoma City, OK USA 405-672-1441 * total allowed including
      return
      > mailto:fr.anthony@o... * address and Subject headers.
      > http://www.orthodox.org/stbenedict/ * mailto:fra-mobile@o...
    • 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
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        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
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