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COPY- EMAIL TO OHERS (LETTER TO ROCOR OFFICIALS)

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    TO THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITAN LAURUS AND TO THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE RUSSIA. We the undersigned respectfully wish to
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 13, 2003
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      TO THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITAN LAURUS AND TO THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
      OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE RUSSIA.

      We the undersigned respectfully wish to bring to the attention of the
      Synod of Bishops our concerns regarding the future of the Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and its relations with the
      Moscow Patriarchate (MP).

      We the undersigned are lifelong members of the Russian Orthodox Church
      outside Russia and we have always believed that our Church in
      emigration has always been a part of the invisible and indivisible
      Holy and Apostolic Orthodox Church of Russia.

      We have always believed that "Sergianism" constitutes a heresy since
      it denies what the Church has always taught us: Christ alone saves
      and protects His Church. We descend from Patriarch Tikhon while MP
      descends from Metropolitan Sergius. We venerate the martyrdom of the
      Russian clergy and faithful who emulating early Christians hid in
      catacombs, accepted martyrdom but did not compromise with Caesar in
      order "to save Christianity".

      The Bishops who came out of Russia with the White Emigration expected
      to return when communism fell , as did all White Russians who had
      fled from the Red Terror. But at that time the Bishops and all White
      Russians believed that communism would fall within a few years. No
      one imagined that it would last over seventy years and would so
      deeply transform Russia, the Russian people and the Russian Church
      while the same decades also produced great changes in the Russian
      emigration and the Russian Church abroad. As a result there is today
      on the one side a Soviet/post Soviet culture and on the other side an
      emigre/diaspora culture.

      Thus,. it is not possible to act today according to intentions
      expressed over seventy years ago. The fall of communism cannot be the
      only reason for ROCOR to return to the jurisdiction of MP. It matters
      also how and why communism fell and what followed it. It matters what
      became of the Church in Russia and what became of the Church abroad.
      It matters what became in the course of seventy years of Russians at
      home and of Russians abroad.

      We believe that ROCOR's dissent is not with the Church in Russia but
      with the Moscow Patriarchate . From this source regularly emanate not
      only brotherly messages but also inimical language calling us
      schismatics and accusing us of illegally retaining Russian Orthodox
      churches and monasteries abroad, the same churches and monasteries
      that in its time the Soviet State declared of no interest to it and
      refused to maintain. Despite its poverty in emigration, ROCOR managed
      to save, to protect and to maintain the religious property
      once despised by the Soviet State and which the MP now claims.

      Despite fears from some and hopes from others , the Church abroad is
      not dying out. On the contrary there has been and there continues to
      be a vast influx of new Russian immigrants. Our churches are filled
      as they have not been filled since the early years of exile.

      -2-

      The Russian diaspora today is estimated to number some ten million
      people. Russians abroad are generally citizens of their new homelands
      or desiring to become so. In these circumstances it has to be asked
      how independent is the MP? Will the Russian diaspora agree to come
      under the jurisdiction of a Patriarchate that may be subject to
      Russia's foreign policy, a foreign policy that may at times be
      opposed to the interests of their new homelands? We are
      concerned that the conditions governing the relations of the MP with
      the Russian State structures are on the whole unknown.

      To enter now into union or inter-communion will almost certainly bring
      about a major schism within ROCOR. Too many people in ROCOR are not
      prepared for such a step. For seventy years ROCOR has preached
      forcefully against union or inter-communion with MP . ROCOR 's
      position was last stated in the 17/30 October 2001 "Reply
      of the Council of Bishops to the Brotherly Epistle of the Bishops of
      the Moscow Patriarchate". What has changed since October 2001 that
      would justify union or inter-communion today with MP?

      It is as yet unknown where the present leadership is taking Russia
      Russia is still highly unstable, politically, economically, morally,
      intellectually and socially. It still wavers between its distant
      Russian past and its recent Soviet past.

      We are concerned by the voices emanating not from the emigration but
      from Russia itself asking if Orthodoxy is a religion or just a way to
      govern and a replacement for the bankrupt communist ideology? And
      again from Russia we are urged to "wait" and not to hurry towards
      union. Is it not a fact that the MP does not enjoy universal respect
      in Russia?

      In Russia the succession of Patriarch Alexei II is openly discussed.
      Would it not be wise for ROCOR to wait until the succession takes
      place? The next Patriarch will be the one to implement or not to
      implement the present Patriarch's views and intentions.

      The offer of autonomy may seem tempting but how long will an
      autonomous ROCOR continue to exist? In America, if ROCOR enters into
      communion with MP and therefore also with OCA what reason will there
      be for ROCOR to continue to exist if all differences are erased ?
      Furthermore, ROCOR already possesses autonomy. Thus the offer of
      autonomy is an empty offer but bringing with it submission
      to the jurisdiction of MP.

      In the next decade the situation in Russia and in the Russian Church
      will become more clearly defined and it will be easier to evaluate
      it. . The most dangerous step ROCOR could take now would be to accept
      union unconditionally while the future in Russia remains
      unpredictable.

      -3-


      Today most members of ROCOR recognize that eventually ROCOR will
      redefine itself and that at some time in the future a new
      relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia will come to
      life. But a new and lasting relationship can only be built on the
      basis of a truly shared faith and a true communion . The new
      relationship must be based on truth and trust. We are not
      convinced that these conditions exist today.

      In view of past history and present circumstances we believe that a
      union or inter-communion at this time between ROCOR and MP is
      premature due mainly to five obstacles: 1) Sergianism 2) Ecumenism 3)
      The relationship of MP with State structures. 4) A schism within
      ROCOR .5) . The development of two diverging Russian cultures: one in
      Russia and one abroad affecting both church and laity..

      The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has not only preserved
      Russian churches and monasteries abroad but it has preserved Russian
      Orthodoxy and the Apostolic descent un-sullied and un-compromised .
      The material poverty of our Church is merely the lining of its mantle
      of spiritual richness. It is a spiritual treasure that must one day
      be shared with but not appropriated by Russia. The Russian Orthodox
      Church outside Russia has always refused to compromise with the
      world . As such it is a beacon , often reviled but never
      extinguished.

      We pray, Your Eminences , Most Reverend Archbishops and Right Reverend
      Bishops, that the Holy Spirit and your own wisdom will guide you to
      guide us.

      Respectfully submitted,

      Irina Bagration , Ekaterina Bulgakova, Nikita Cheremeteff, Irina
      Dutikova, Irina Golovina, Juliania Kamenskaya, Andrei Kotchoubey,
      Marina Ledkovskaya, Mikhail Ledkovsky , Eugenia Markovsky, Galina
      Molchanova, Ekaterina Penchuk, Natalia Penchuk, Elisabeth Sverbeyev,
      Valeria Tenisheva,

      New York/ November 16, 2003

      Copies mailed to: Archbishop ALYPY, Archbishop MARK, Archbishop
      HILARION,
      Bishop KYRILL, Bishop AMBROISE, Bishop EVTIKHII, Bishop AGAFANGEL,
      Bishop ALEXANDER, Bishop DANIEL, Bishop GABRIEL, Bishop MICHAEL,
      Bishop AGAPIT, Bishop PETER, Archbishop SERAPHIM (Ret.)

      ..........................................
      Please circulate this among those who oppose this mad rush for
      union, I think it is important to be agressive in getting signatures
      for this. The all clergy meeting must include the voice of the
      laymen - if this letter has thousands of signatures it will say
      something.

      If anyone wants to add their names to this letter -

      Please email Irina Bagration [Iritem@...] and give full name
      (first, father's name and family name).

      May God give us strength!

      ADD MY NAME:
      Konstantin Hetschinof,
    • orthodoxchurch_sg
      ... Evlogeite! Church governance by petition. Does this mean the more signatures you collect, the stronger your case? Interesting. Hopefully, it won t catch
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 13, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, byakimov@c... wrote:
        > TO THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITAN LAURUS AND TO THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
        > OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE RUSSIA.

        Evlogeite!
        Church governance by petition. Does this mean the more signatures you
        collect, the stronger your case? Interesting. Hopefully, it won't
        catch on.
        Those of us outside ROCOR, but who consider ourselves 'friends',
        trust the Synod of Bishops to act with decorum, patience and prayer,
        and not to be swayed by the loudest voices.
        God bless / Fr Daniel
      • michael nikitin
        It is a sad moment in the history of the Russian Church Abroad when the faithful have to petition their bishops, who lack discernment, to keep them from
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 14, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          It is a sad moment in the history of the Russian Church
          Abroad when the faithful have to petition their bishops, who lack
          discernment, to keep them from committing a spiritual blunder.

          One doesn't have to be a Prophet to see the outcome.

          Weren't we warned of this in '86 and most recently with the
          hasty exiting of Metr.Vitaly and ROCOR(V)?

          Michael N.


          byakimov@... wrote:
          TO THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITAN LAURUS AND TO THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
          OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE RUSSIA.

          We the undersigned respectfully wish to bring to the attention of the
          Synod of Bishops our concerns regarding the future of the Russian
          Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and its relations with the
          Moscow Patriarchate (MP).

          We the undersigned are lifelong members of the Russian Orthodox Church
          outside Russia and we have always believed that our Church in
          emigration has always been a part of the invisible and indivisible
          Holy and Apostolic Orthodox Church of Russia.

          We have always believed that "Sergianism" constitutes a heresy since
          it denies what the Church has always taught us: Christ alone saves
          and protects His Church. We descend from Patriarch Tikhon while MP
          descends from Metropolitan Sergius. We venerate the martyrdom of the
          Russian clergy and faithful who emulating early Christians hid in
          catacombs, accepted martyrdom but did not compromise with Caesar in
          order "to save Christianity".

          The Bishops who came out of Russia with the White Emigration expected
          to return when communism fell , as did all White Russians who had
          fled from the Red Terror. But at that time the Bishops and all White
          Russians believed that communism would fall within a few years. No
          one imagined that it would last over seventy years and would so
          deeply transform Russia, the Russian people and the Russian Church
          while the same decades also produced great changes in the Russian
          emigration and the Russian Church abroad. As a result there is today
          on the one side a Soviet/post Soviet culture and on the other side an
          emigre/diaspora culture.

          Thus,. it is not possible to act today according to intentions
          expressed over seventy years ago. The fall of communism cannot be the
          only reason for ROCOR to return to the jurisdiction of MP. It matters
          also how and why communism fell and what followed it. It matters what
          became of the Church in Russia and what became of the Church abroad.
          It matters what became in the course of seventy years of Russians at
          home and of Russians abroad.

          We believe that ROCOR's dissent is not with the Church in Russia but
          with the Moscow Patriarchate . From this source regularly emanate not
          only brotherly messages but also inimical language calling us
          schismatics and accusing us of illegally retaining Russian Orthodox
          churches and monasteries abroad, the same churches and monasteries
          that in its time the Soviet State declared of no interest to it and
          refused to maintain. Despite its poverty in emigration, ROCOR managed
          to save, to protect and to maintain the religious property
          once despised by the Soviet State and which the MP now claims.

          Despite fears from some and hopes from others , the Church abroad is
          not dying out. On the contrary there has been and there continues to
          be a vast influx of new Russian immigrants. Our churches are filled
          as they have not been filled since the early years of exile.

          -2-

          The Russian diaspora today is estimated to number some ten million
          people. Russians abroad are generally citizens of their new homelands
          or desiring to become so. In these circumstances it has to be asked
          how independent is the MP? Will the Russian diaspora agree to come
          under the jurisdiction of a Patriarchate that may be subject to
          Russia's foreign policy, a foreign policy that may at times be
          opposed to the interests of their new homelands? We are
          concerned that the conditions governing the relations of the MP with
          the Russian State structures are on the whole unknown.

          To enter now into union or inter-communion will almost certainly bring
          about a major schism within ROCOR. Too many people in ROCOR are not
          prepared for such a step. For seventy years ROCOR has preached
          forcefully against union or inter-communion with MP . ROCOR 's
          position was last stated in the 17/30 October 2001 "Reply
          of the Council of Bishops to the Brotherly Epistle of the Bishops of
          the Moscow Patriarchate". What has changed since October 2001 that
          would justify union or inter-communion today with MP?

          It is as yet unknown where the present leadership is taking Russia
          Russia is still highly unstable, politically, economically, morally,
          intellectually and socially. It still wavers between its distant
          Russian past and its recent Soviet past.

          We are concerned by the voices emanating not from the emigration but
          from Russia itself asking if Orthodoxy is a religion or just a way to
          govern and a replacement for the bankrupt communist ideology? And
          again from Russia we are urged to "wait" and not to hurry towards
          union. Is it not a fact that the MP does not enjoy universal respect
          in Russia?

          In Russia the succession of Patriarch Alexei II is openly discussed.
          Would it not be wise for ROCOR to wait until the succession takes
          place? The next Patriarch will be the one to implement or not to
          implement the present Patriarch's views and intentions.

          The offer of autonomy may seem tempting but how long will an
          autonomous ROCOR continue to exist? In America, if ROCOR enters into
          communion with MP and therefore also with OCA what reason will there
          be for ROCOR to continue to exist if all differences are erased ?
          Furthermore, ROCOR already possesses autonomy. Thus the offer of
          autonomy is an empty offer but bringing with it submission
          to the jurisdiction of MP.

          In the next decade the situation in Russia and in the Russian Church
          will become more clearly defined and it will be easier to evaluate
          it. . The most dangerous step ROCOR could take now would be to accept
          union unconditionally while the future in Russia remains
          unpredictable.

          -3-


          Today most members of ROCOR recognize that eventually ROCOR will
          redefine itself and that at some time in the future a new
          relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia will come to
          life. But a new and lasting relationship can only be built on the
          basis of a truly shared faith and a true communion . The new
          relationship must be based on truth and trust. We are not
          convinced that these conditions exist today.

          In view of past history and present circumstances we believe that a
          union or inter-communion at this time between ROCOR and MP is
          premature due mainly to five obstacles: 1) Sergianism 2) Ecumenism 3)
          The relationship of MP with State structures. 4) A schism within
          ROCOR .5) . The development of two diverging Russian cultures: one in
          Russia and one abroad affecting both church and laity..

          The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has not only preserved
          Russian churches and monasteries abroad but it has preserved Russian
          Orthodoxy and the Apostolic descent un-sullied and un-compromised .
          The material poverty of our Church is merely the lining of its mantle
          of spiritual richness. It is a spiritual treasure that must one day
          be shared with but not appropriated by Russia. The Russian Orthodox
          Church outside Russia has always refused to compromise with the
          world . As such it is a beacon , often reviled but never
          extinguished.

          We pray, Your Eminences , Most Reverend Archbishops and Right Reverend
          Bishops, that the Holy Spirit and your own wisdom will guide you to
          guide us.

          Respectfully submitted,

          Irina Bagration , Ekaterina Bulgakova, Nikita Cheremeteff, Irina
          Dutikova, Irina Golovina, Juliania Kamenskaya, Andrei Kotchoubey,
          Marina Ledkovskaya, Mikhail Ledkovsky , Eugenia Markovsky, Galina
          Molchanova, Ekaterina Penchuk, Natalia Penchuk, Elisabeth Sverbeyev,
          Valeria Tenisheva,

          New York/ November 16, 2003

          Copies mailed to: Archbishop ALYPY, Archbishop MARK, Archbishop
          HILARION,
          Bishop KYRILL, Bishop AMBROISE, Bishop EVTIKHII, Bishop AGAFANGEL,
          Bishop ALEXANDER, Bishop DANIEL, Bishop GABRIEL, Bishop MICHAEL,
          Bishop AGAPIT, Bishop PETER, Archbishop SERAPHIM (Ret.)

          ..........................................
          Please circulate this among those who oppose this mad rush for
          union, I think it is important to be agressive in getting signatures
          for this. The all clergy meeting must include the voice of the
          laymen - if this letter has thousands of signatures it will say
          something.

          If anyone wants to add their names to this letter -

          Please email Irina Bagration [Iritem@...] and give full name
          (first, father's name and family name).

          May God give us strength!

          ADD MY NAME:
          Konstantin Hetschinof,



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