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St. John's View of the Russian Church in the XX Century.

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  • Peter Joshua Hatala
    Taken from the ROCOR webpage and edited for clarity. Delivered by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov. St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco and His
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 1, 2004
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      Taken from the ROCOR webpage and edited for clarity.
      Delivered by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov.



      St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco
      and
      His View of the Russian Church in the 20th Century
      A paper presented at the All-Diaspora Pastoral
      Conference
      Holy Virgin Protection Parish, Nyack, New York,
      December 8-12, 2003.

      If one was to ask any member of our Russian Church
      Abroad, or any Orthodox person for that matter, who is
      the most outstanding representative of our Church, the
      reply would most likely be Saint John (Maximovitch).
      In him we see a faithful archpastor of our Church, an
      ascetic, a theologian and a man of prayer.

      When we discuss St. John�s thoughts on questions
      concerning the Church, we must take into consideration
      the fact that his thoughts and views are not simply
      those of a hierarch with a theological education, of
      an expert in church history and the canons. These are
      the views of a Saint who acquired the Holy Spirit. St.
      John�s thoughts and views were not only formed
      intellectually; they were cultivated in his heart by
      prayer, pastoral experience, carrying on of the spirit
      handed down to him by his mentors and through the
      daily celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

      What were the main threads that run through all the
      thoughts expressed by St. John concerning the Church
      in general and the Russian Church in the 20th century
      specifically?

      1. The Church is universal. �Christianity reveals the
      meaning of life for all peoples and for all times; for
      this reason it is only in Christianity that one can
      find answers to all of the situations and questions
      that arise in life� [1] said St. John in his talk at
      the establishment of the Orthodox Action Society. St.
      John inherited a living concept of the universality of
      the Church not only from reading the Holy Fathers and
      from the divine services, but also from his mentor,
      the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).
      In his article �What is the Key to the Spiritual Power
      of the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony?� St. John
      wrote the following: �He (the Most Blessed
      Metropolitan of Kiev Anthony) was truly a universal
      hierarch, who was keenly interested in all questions
      of the life of the Church in the entire world, who
      bore all her pains within himself, who literally
      carried the entire weight of them on his shoulders.�
      With profound faith in the ultimate victory of Truth,
      at the same time he had deep sorrow over all the
      afflictions in the Church. [2]

      In one word of instruction given when presenting the
      staff to a new bishop (I suspect the bishop was Bishop
      Anthony Bartoshevich), St. John instructs the newly
      consecrated hierarch with the following words: �Apart
      from caring for your own flock, you must also spread
      Christ�s faith among those who do not yet know Truth.
      The preaching of Christ�s teaching and faith in Christ
      and the Life-creating Trinity is the fulfillment of a
      duty laid down by Christ on the apostles and the
      required duty of archpastor and pastors. You must
      bring the Light of Christ to all who do not believe in
      Christ, shining with the light of your own example and
      proclaiming the words of eternal life.

      Following Saints Basil the Great and John Chrysostom,
      offering prayers at the Divine Liturgy for the entire
      Church, for the entire universe, a bishop must know
      not only his own territory, but must take to heart all
      that is transpiring in the entire universal Church.
      Without interfering in affairs of others and without
      any pretenses on the authority of other bishops,
      strive to offer help wherever you can, giving
      brotherly counsel where necessary, but above all by
      the example of your own stand for the Truth and
      defense of it.� [3]

      2. The second thread that runs through all the
      thoughts expressed by St. John concerning the Church
      in general and the Russian Church in the 20th century
      in particular is the following: The gates of hell will
      not overcome the Church, in spite of all heresies and
      schisms, in spite of the unworthiness and apostasy of
      many ministers of the Church, even of those in high
      positions.

      �There were times when it seemed that all the powers
      of hell were bending every effort to destroy the
      Church. Tens of thousands of martyrs were put to death
      at the same time; churches were razed to their
      foundations; holy things were desecrated; the Church
      was persecuted by heathen rulers, was trampled down by
      heretics, was torn apart by internal dissentions. But
      the Church remained invincible and overcame falsehood�
      [4] (The Church New Year, 1946).

      In his article �The Church is the Body of Christ� the
      Saint writes: �The consequences of sin have not yet
      been completely expelled from the human race. They act
      not only on individual persons, but through these
      persons they manifest themselves also in the worldly
      activity of entire parts of the Church. Heresies,
      schisms, and disruptions that tear away a part of the
      faithful are constantly appearing. Misunderstandings
      between the local churches or parts of them have
      disturbed the Church from the most ancient times.
      Prayers are constantly heard in the divine services
      for putting an end to them.� [5]

      3. The third thread that runs through the thoughts
      expressed by St. John about the Russian Church in the
      20th century in particular reflects his attitude
      towards Russia.
      St. John loved Russia, her history, her Saints and her
      holy treasures. He was in deep agony over the
      enslavement of Russia by the atheists and was
      absolutely irreconcilable to the atheist regime. Yet
      he believed that if there would be repentance in
      Russia, then she would rise anew: �Does Holy Russia
      really no longer exist and will it never exist again?�
      the Saint wrote in 1938.�Not only in heaven, but here
      on this sinful earth Holy Russia continues to exist.
      The Godless regime has simply put her in bondage; it
      has not destroyed her. The council of the ungodly that
      has gained control over the Russian people is alien to
      the people, because it has nothing in common with the
      essence of Russia. Shake off the sleep of despair and
      sloth, sons of Russia! Look upon the glory of her
      sufferings and be purified; wash yourselves of your
      sins!� [6]

      In his sermon before a memorial service for the
      Tsar-Martyr the Saint said: �Before us, before the
      Russian people, the path to a rebirth is the
      acknowledgement of one�s sin and repentance! For the
      rebirth of Russia all political agendas and projected
      alliances are in vain; what Russia needs is the moral
      renewal of her people.� [7]

      As for the Soviet regime, St. John expressed himself
      especially forcefully in the Prayer of Repentance he
      composed to be read on the day of the murder of the
      Royal Family: �Lord God of our fathers, Thou hast
      handed us over to the hands of lawless, filthy
      apostates, to men of iniquity more wicked than all the
      earth.� [8]

      Let us then sum up the three threads that bind
      together St. John�s thoughts concerning the Church in
      general and the Russian Church in particular:

      1) The Church is universal and one of her primary
      tasks is to spread Christ�s faith among those who do
      not yet know the Truth.

      2) The gates of hell shall not overcome the Church, in
      spite of all heresies and schisms, in spite of the
      unworthiness and apostasy of many ministers of the
      Church, even of those in high positions.

      3) The council of the ungodly has gained control over
      Russia, but through repentance and renewal Russia will
      rise.

      Now let us turn to more specific remarks by St. John
      concerning the Russian Church in the 20th century. We
      will try to provide answers in St. John�s own words to
      a series of questions that are of major concern, I
      believe, to the participants of our All-Diaspora
      Pastoral Conference. Did St. John consider the
      official Church in Russia (i.e. the Moscow
      Patriarchate) to have completely lapsed How did St.
      John�s regard Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) and
      his Declaration? Are the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarch ate �parts�
      that originate from a single �Mother Church�? Would it
      be possible, if only in principle, for St. John to
      recognize the official Church in Russia and did he
      ever in fact actually recognize it?

      St. John believed that after the establishment of the
      atheist regime in Russia, the Church was divided into
      the persecuted Church and the Church in exile; these
      were like two branches of a single tree. In 1946 he
      wrote:

      �In our days a vicious wave of warfare against the
      Church has swept over our Fatherland. Many hierarchs
      and a numberless multitude of clergy have been put to
      death in various ways. Others remembered the words of
      the Lord �when they persecute you in this city, flee
      to another� (Matthew 10: 23) and followed the example
      of many holy Fathers of antiquity. They left their
      Homeland and joined together under the spiritual
      leadership of Russian people who had found a refuge in
      other lands.�[9]

      �What comprised the part of the Russian Church outside
      Russia? Beyond the boundaries of Russia, Russia Abroad
      was founded, spiritually nourished by the authority of
      the Russian Church Abroad. All across the face of the
      earth Orthodox churches began to be built, uniting the
      Orthodox people around them, primarily Russians, but
      along with them other nationalities. In place of the
      holy treasures destroyed in the Homeland, new ones
      appeared outside her boundaries.

      The Church Abroad strove to preserve those spiritual
      treasures, and as far as was possible the material
      ones as well, which comprise the wealth of the Russian
      Church of which she is a branch and with whom she
      continues to be united.� [10]

      St. John bowed down in reverence before the feats of
      martyrdom and confession of the hierarchs who remained
      in Russia during the years of the most brutal
      persecutions. In a sermon on the Feast of All Saints
      of Russia during the 1960�s, St. John exclaims: �Those
      who please God are shining forth in our times. How
      many of them are to be found in our wretched and
      tormented Homeland! So many Hieromartyrs! So many
      Martyrs! It is not possible to count them all. So many
      of our hierarchs were exiled to distant places and
      died there, leading a life like the Saints who were
      persecuted by the iconoclasts and other heretics.
      Peter of Krutitsa and Cyril of Kazan and many others,
      whose relics, perhaps, will never be found, yet they
      shine like a brilliant light in the Russian heaven
      before our eyes. All of them, the Saints who pleased
      God, those glorified and those not glorified, are
      praying for us and provide an example for us.� [11] In
      the writings and letters of St. John I have never come
      across the actual word �Sergianism�, but he did
      mention in brief the actions of Metropolitan Sergius.
      He did not write about the Catacomb Church as such.
      How did St. John regard Metropolitan Sergius�
      (Stragorodsky) declaration and his usurpation of
      authority in the Church and in general the political
      stance of the Church in the Soviet Union?

      It was not in St. John�s character to make harsh
      judgments regarding the clergy under the crushing
      burden of godless atheists. St. John hardly mentions
      Metropolitan Sergius, apart from his well-known
      brochure entitled: �The Russian Church Abroad�.

      St. John held that the last letter in which
      Metropolitan Sergius freely wrote what he internally
      believed to be true was his letter of September 12,
      1926 to the bishops abroad. In this letter
      Metropolitan Sergius wrote: �My beloved hierarchs. You
      ask me to be judge in a matter of which I have no
      knowledge (the topic is the dissension between the
      hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad and
      Metropolitan Eulogius--Protopriest P.P.) Can the
      Patriarch of Moscow really be the guide for the church
      life of Orthodox emigres? It is not likely that we
      will ever see each other again in this present life,
      but I hope, that by the mercy of God, we will meet in
      the life to come.� [12] (our abbreviations �Fr. P.P.).

      Further on, in this same brochure, St. John, without
      justifying Metropolitan Sergius, writes about him with
      pity: �Imprisonment, threats not only to him
      (Metropolitan Sergius--Protopriest P.P.) but also to
      the entire Russian Church, along with false promises
      by the Soviet regime, broke him. This letter, so full
      of love for the hierarchs abroad, serves as his last
      testament, as it were, before his loss of internal
      freedom. A few months later Metropolitan Sergius
      published the Declaration in which he recognized the
      Soviet regime as a truly legitimate Russian regime
      that provided for the welfare of the people, �whose
      joys are our joys and whose sorrows are our sorrows�
      (Declaration of July 16/29, 1927). At the same time,
      keeping his promise to the Soviet regime, Metropolitan
      Sergius required the clergy abroad to sign pledges of
      allegiance to the Soviet regime.� [13] St. John felt
      that for those who were inside Russia and who were
      enduring such severe sufferings there could be
      circumstances that mitigated their moral surrender to
      the brutal regime. But for those living in freedom and
      relative safety, there could be no mitigating
      circumstances or justification for signing pledges of
      allegiance. Quite the opposite � this was
      contradictory to common sense.

      With regard to Metropolitans� Peter of Krutitsa,
      Agafangel of Yaroslav, Cyril of Kazan and Joseph of
      Petrograd refusal to accept Metropolitan Sergius�s
      Declaration, St. John felt that Metropolitan Sergius
      had been in agreement with these hierarchs not long
      before signing the Declaration. This once again
      underscores the lack of freedom of Metropolitan
      Sergius�s actions. St. John did not pass over the fact
      that certain of these hierarchs broke communion in
      prayer with Metropolitan Sergius as one who had lapsed
      and had entered into alliance with the atheists [14],
      but St. John himself has no harsh words for
      Metropolitan Sergius. In his article he points out:

      �Both the hierarchs and flock inside Russia who did
      not accept Metropolitan Sergius� Declaration and those
      in the Diaspora did not cease to be parts of the
      Russian Church� [15], i.e., they were by no means
      schismatic and continued to comprise parts of the
      Russian Church.

      St. John, in his brochure on the Church Abroad, draws
      the conclusion that: �The Declaration of Metropolitan
      Sergius brought no benefit to the Church. The
      persecutions not only did not cease; they were
      intensified. To the other accusations the Soviet
      regime made against the clergy and lay people was
      added yet another: refusal to accept the Declaration.
      At the same time a wave of closing churches swept over
      all of Russia.� [16]. �By the beginning of World War
      II, The Russian Church inside Russia was in a state of
      extreme devastation. At the same time, Metropolitan
      Sergius, bound by his promise to the Soviet regime,
      continued to affirm that there was no persecution of
      the Church in Russia.� [17]

      St. John gave an evaluation to the Declaration, a very
      simple, moral evaluation. Metropolitan Sergius had
      been broken, and his actions, because the enemies of
      the Church dictated them, were harmful.

      After the Declaration, did the Church in the Soviet
      Union become �devoid of grace� in the eyes of St.
      John?

      Among the Saint�s papers we found a carbon copy of a
      text in which St. John sets out his thoughts regarding
      the expression �Soviet Church�. It�s possible that
      this is the first draft of a letter. It is dated 1963.
      Saint John writes: �If someone began to talk about
      �improper actions of the Church� in the presence of
      Metropolitan Anthony, he would stop him by pointing
      out that the actions of the hierarchy cannot be
      attributed to the Church, that the hierarchy is not
      the entire church, even though it speaks in her name.
      The Patriarchate of Constantinople was occupied by
      Paul the Confessor, Macedonius, Gregory the
      Theologian, John Chrysostom, Nestorius, Proclus,
      Flavian, Germanus. Some of them shone with sanctity
      and Orthodoxy, while others were heresiarchs. But the
      Church remained Orthodox. During the days of
      Iconoclasm, after the deposition of Severinus,
      Nicephorus and others, not only their cathedra but
      also the majority of the episcopal sees were occupied
      by Arians. Other Churches did not have any communion
      with her, because they did not want to have communion
      with the Iconoclasts, according to St. Paul who left
      the heresy and his cathedra. But still the Church of
      Constantinopleremained Orthodox, even though a portion
      of the people, especially the military and
      bureaucracy, were drawn into Iconoclasm.

      And so now, one can understand why people who have a
      poor knowledge of the language of the Church use the
      expression �Soviet Church�. However, this is not
      suitable for serious theological discussions. When the
      entire hierarchy of South-Western Russia went over to
      the Unia, the Church continued to exist in the person
      of the faithful Orthodox people, who after long
      sufferings restored their hierarchy.

      For this reason it is more correct to speak not about
      the �Soviet Church�--which is something the �Church�
      cannot be in the proper sense of the word--but about
      the hierarchy that plays the role of serving the
      Soviet regime. One�s attitude to this hierarchy can be
      the same as to the other representatives of this
      regime.� [18]

      St. John clearly explained and set forth the primary
      reason that makes communion between the Church Abroad
      and the Patriarchate of Moscow impossible: the Church
      in the Soviet Union is not free; she is enslaved; she
      cannot express her own true will. St. John could not
      believe that she was in such a condition primarily of
      her own free will and not due to force and coercion.

      St. John was of the opinion that there were no
      deviations in matters of Faith sufficiently serious to
      make the official Church in Russia illegitimate. A
      clear witness to this is his Explanatory Address to
      the Flock of Shanghai dated August 2, 1946.

      I don�t have time to give a detailed account of the
      course of events in the Church in Shanghai in
      1945-1946. Suffice it to say that due to war
      conditions, communications from the Far East with the
      Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad had been
      broken since 1941. The situation in Shanghai was
      chaotic. The Russian emigres were stateless. The
      Soviets were conducting intense propaganda summoning
      all Russians to return to their �renewed homeland�,
      where a Patriarch had now been elected, churches were
      being opened and all Russians would be granted an
      amnesty. There was a kind of euphoria after the allied
      victory. [19] In Shanghai some 10,000 Russians
      received Soviet passports. In July of 1945 the
      Bishop�s Council in Harbin decided to submit to the
      jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow. It was amid
      these circumstances that St. John followed this
      decision and on August 24, 1945 published his Ukaz 650
      concerning the commemoration of the name of Patriarch
      Alexis (Simansky) at the divine services.
      About a month later St. John received a telegram from
      Geneva from the First Hierarch of the Russian Church
      Abroad with the message that the Synod is functioning.
      Then St. John restored the commemoration of his
      legitimate church authority in the person of
      Metropolitan Anastassy. I think he did this not
      without the support of many of his closest associates.
      At the same time, it seems to us, he realized that he
      had made a hasty decision in submitting to Patriarch
      Alexis. In his Explanatory Address to the Flock of
      Shanghai, Archbishop John clearly explains his reason
      for first commemorating the name of Patriarch Alexis
      at the divine services and then for restoring
      commemoration of his own hierarchy: �After the defeat
      of Germany there was no information about the Synod
      Abroad. Various rumors were spread about. At the end
      of July last year we received news that the hierarchs
      in Harbin had decided to ask His Holiness Patriarch
      Alexis to receive them under his jurisdiction. We
      immediately wrote to Archbishop Victor that, since we
      do not have any information about the fate of the
      Synod Abroad and since we don�t have the right to
      remain outside submission to a higher church
      authority, we also must enter into contact with His
      Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and should there be
      no impediments [pri otsutstvii prepyatsviy] submit to
      him. After the Exaltation of the Cross we received a
      radiogram from Geneva from Metropolitan Anastassy with
      news that the Synod is functioning. Aware of the
      necessity of submitting to a higher church authority,
      we renewed our previous relations with the Synod
      Abroad. We received separate instructions and
      directives from the Synod}, which we put into effect.
      We can go over to the jurisdiction of another church
      authority only if we have a directive to do so from
      the church authority to which we currently submit, for
      otherwise we would be acting in violation of the
      Church�s canons� [20].

      Shanghai�s Chinese Orthodox clergy did not trust or
      approve of either the Soviet regime or the Moscow
      hierarchy. Some of the representatives of the Russian
      clergy and parishioners felt that St. John was paying
      too much attention to his Chinese clergy and that, in
      general, he was supporting missionary work among the
      Chinese at the expense of the Russian cause. In reply
      to this, in his Explanatory Address, St. John once
      again underscores the universality of his
      understanding of the Church and her mission in the
      contemporary world:

      �The doors of the churches in Shanghai have always
      been wide open for all Orthodox Christians. Because it
      primarily unites Russian people, our Church�s life has
      always reflected with particular emphasis all that is
      connected with our Homeland and expressed the feelings
      and hopes of all of our Homeland�s children. At the
      same time, every other nationality that holds to
      Orthodoxy could consider our churches its own. Every
      individual, regardless of nationality, had and has one
      and the same opportunity to satisfy his spiritual
      needs in the Church and to participate in the Church�s
      life while submitting to the established canons. In
      the Church of Christ �there is neither Greek nor Jew,
      barbarian or Scythian.� All alike are children of the
      Church, if the teaching of Christ and the laws of the
      Church are above all teachings and laws.� [21]

      In the latter part of this Explanatory Address, St.
      John sets out his view on the Church in Russia and on
      the Church in Diaspora: �By striving for the same
      common goal, the Church inside Russia and [that] in
      the Diaspora can more successfully accomplish both
      their common as well as their individual tasks by
      acting separately according to the conditions in which
      each finds itself, until the time when their complete
      union become possible.

      At the present time the Church inside Russia must
      treat the wounds afflicted upon her by militant
      atheism and free herself from the bonds that impede
      the fullness of her internal and external activity.

      The task of the Church Abroad is to preserve the
      children of the Orthodox Russian Church from being
      dispersed, to maintain the spiritual values they
      brought from the Homeland, and likewise to spread
      Orthodoxy in the lands where they live.� [22]

      Saint John consistently emphasized that the Church in
      Russia is not free and that it is this deprivation of
      freedom that prevents communion between the parts of
      the Russian Church.

      �Being a part of the Russian Church, we cannot have
      communion with a church authority that is in
      submission and enslavement to a regime hostile to the
      Church. The church authority in Russia is in such a
      condition that we cannot distinguish and discern what
      it does freely and what it is forced to do.

      The church authority in Russia is an image of
      captivity and spiritual impotence. There is no free
      will or any possibility for taking any initiative
      [svobodnago proyavlenia].
      There is no one for us to commune with: there is no
      free church authority!� [23]

      The primary reason for the existence of the part of
      the Russian Church outside Russia is her freedom: �In
      the name of the freedom of the Church, the part of the
      Russian Church that is outside Russia began its
      independent existence and will continue to do so as
      long as the reasons for this continue to apply.� [24]
      St. John mentions reasons in the plural, but does not
      elaborate.

      Let us then summarize St. John�s views on the Russian
      Church during the years of persecution in Russia:

      1) The Church in Russia (the Moscow Patriarchate) and
      the Russian Church Abroad constitute two parts of the
      Russian Church, which have a common goal, but act
      separately because of different conditions.

      2) Metropolitan Sergius was broken and his actions
      brought no benefit to the Church.

      3) St. John consistently states, that the main reason
      which prevents the two parts of the Russian Church
      uniting is the lack of freedom of the Church in
      Russia.

      In all the sermons, articles, letters and written
      documents of St. John that I have come across, I have
      never seen the words �deprived of grace� or �heretic�
      applied to any Local Church. St. John did not use
      these words. St. John had was merciful even towards
      those who had fallen away or who had gone astray. In
      his instruction to a newly consecrated bishop quoted
      above, St. John said: �In particular you must suffer
      with those afflicted with sins, with those who are in
      ignorance and who have gone astray, and with
      compassion and love draw them out of the pit of
      perdition and lead them up the path of salvation.�
      [25[

      The Saint was irreconcilable in regards to modernism,
      innovations and deviations in the Local Churches. In
      1939, in his report �The Status of the Orthodox Church
      after the War�, St. John considered that: �We (the
      faithful of the Russian Church Abroad � Protopriest
      P.P.) must stand firmly on the foundation of the
      Church�s canons and not with those who are straying
      from them. In former times for the exposure of
      canonical irregularities in a Local Church canonical
      communion was broken with her. The Russian Church
      Abroad cannot act in this way, in so far as her status
      has not been clearly defined. For this reason she must
      not break communion with the other Churches, if they
      do not take this step first. But, while maintaining
      communion, [the Church Abroad] must not remain silent
      over violations against the righteousness of the
      Church� [26]

      The issue of violating the righteousness of the Church
      disquieted St. John. In the above quote the Saint, on
      the one hand, says that we cannot be together with
      those who are straying from the canons of the Church.
      On the other hand communion with the other Churches
      should not be broken.

      Not long before his death St. John was very concerned
      with the new winds that had started blowing in the
      Orthodox world. To his very last breath he was
      uncompromising in his stance regarding innovations,
      deviations and modernism. At the same time he did not
      show any trace of narrow-mindedness or fanaticism.

      In December of 1965, St. John replied as follows to an
      inquiry sent to all the bishops of the Church Abroad
      concerning the desirability of a Third All-Diaspora
      Council:
      �Concerning a Council with the participation of the
      clergy and laity I feel that such a Council is
      desirable and very necessary. [At this Council] the
      voice of the Diaspora must sound forth strongly
      against the persecutions of the faith. Compassion and
      spiritual solidarity must be shown to our brothers and
      sisters suffering for the faith. Likewise [our]
      position must be clarified regarding the new trends
      initiated by the Vatican and the ecumenical movement.
      The Church Abroad must remain firm in Orthodoxy and
      patristic Tradition. Both before and after this
      {Council} attempts should be made to restore the unity
      of the Russian Church in the diaspora, or in any case,
      preparatory steps should be taken to improve relations
      with the parts that have cut themselves off from Her
      (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia �
      Protopriest P.P.).� [27]

      Did this great ascetic of the 20th century wish and
      believe that the union of the two parts of the Russian
      Church must come about? Yes, he was waiting for this
      and believed that it would come about, but he did not
      specify when.

      �The Russian Church Abroad is not spiritually
      separated from her suffering Mother. She offers
      prayers for her, preserves her spiritual and material
      wealth and in time she will be united with Her, when
      the reasons separating them disappear.� [28]

      One must bear in mind that in all his views and
      actions, St. John acted in a conciliar manner
      (soborno) and in obedience to the higher church
      authority, even when he was not in total agreement
      with one of its decisions or actions. In his words of
      instruction on entrusting the episcopal staff to
      Bishop Jean (Kovalevsky) of St. Denis, St. John
      pointed out to him: �In this (episcopal � Protopriest
      P.P.) ministry do not rely too much on your own
      strength and knowledge, but make use of the advice of
      older hierarchs made wise by experience. Remember the
      promises you have just made and remain in obedience to
      the church authority that stands over you.� [29]

      When St. John wrote about the hour of return (in 1946
      he spoke specifically about a return and not reunion
      or unification) of the hierarchs of the Russian Church
      Abroad to the homeland, then �The hierarchs of the
      Diaspora must not act each in his own way. The entire
      Church Abroad together must present to the All-Russian
      Council her actions during the period of forced
      separation.� [30] St. John assumed that the issue of
      the separated parts of the Russian Church can only be
      resolved at an All-Russian Council.
      And thus, according to Saint John four conditions must
      be considered when dealing with the issue of the
      possible unity of the two parts of the Russian Church:

      1) The part of the Russian Church outside of Russia
      must preserve that which brought about it�s formation
      � it�s freedom, and not forget about the task of
      spreading Orthodoxy in the lands it finds itself

      2) The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia must
      combine compassion and love with a firm stand in the
      Truth.

      3) Any decision concerning the destiny of the Russian
      Church must be made together, not individually, with
      one mind.

      4) The issue of church unity has to de dealt with at
      an All-Russia Church Council.
      St. John, his prayers and his views on the Russian
      Church in the 20th century can serve as the key and
      compass that will lead to an ecclesiastical, canonical
      and God-pleasing resolution of the question that pains
      all the true children of the Russian Church. In spite
      of all the tribulations and difficulties in the
      Church, as both Metropolitan Anthony and St. John
      believed, the Truth will prevail.

      FOOTNOTES:

      [1] Archbishop John, �Opening Remarks on the Occasion
      of the Opening of the Orthodox Action Society�,
      Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Dela 11, Geneva, 1959, p. 4.
      [2] Saint John, ?What is the Key to the Spiritual
      Power of the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony??
      Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 272.
      [3] Archbishop John, A Word of Instruction Given When
      Presenting the Staff to a New Bishop N, manuscript,
      Western American Diocese archives.
      [4] Archbishop John, �The Church New Year�, Shanghai
      Newsletter 1726, Shanghai, 1946, p. 1.
      [5] Saint John, �The Church is the Body of Christ�,
      Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 137.
      [6] Saint John, �The 950th Anniversary of the Baptism
      of Russia�, Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 211-213.
      [7] Saint John, �A Sermon Before the Panikhida for the
      Czar-Martyr� Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 234.
      [8] Supplemental Trebnik, Prayer of Repentance to be
      read on the Day of the Murder of the Royal Family,
      Jordanville, 1961, p. 579.
      [9] Archbishop John, �The Church New Year�, p. 2.
      [10] Ibid.
      [11] Saint John, �Sermon of the Feast of All Saints of
      Russia�, Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 187-188.
      [12] Archbishop John, The Russian Church Abroad, 2nd
      Edition, Montreal, 1979, p. 7.
      [13] Ibid. p. 8
      [14] Ibid.
      [15] Ibid.
      [16] Ibid. p. 9.
      [17] Ibid. p. 13.
      [18] Archbishop John, manuscript, Russkiy Pastyr
      Archive.
      [19] Saint John the Wonderworker in Russia, Moscow,
      2002, p. 14. The memoirs of a man raised in Shanghai,
      Oleg Daniilovitch Abaturov, speak of the reasons why
      many Russians from Shanghaireturned to the Soviet
      Union: �There was Soviet propaganda in China. The
      Soviet magazine Ogonyok was readily available and
      there were Soviet films shown. They showed how the
      Soviet government takes into account the needs of the
      people, how old people are taken care of, each ones
      receives a pension (in China this did not exist), how
      friendly and kind Soviet people are, how hospitable
      people there are and their tables full of food. Before
      our departure for the Soviet Union we threw out our
      old clothes, so we wouldn�t look embarrassed there. At
      first the Soviets would bring the children to the
      Soviet Union, set them up well and then agitate the
      children to write their parents how good life is in
      the Soviet Union��
      [20] Archbishop John, May the Grace and Peace of the
      Holy Lifegiving Trinity be Upon the Orthodox Flock of
      Shanghai (pamphlet), Shanghai, August 2, 1946.
      [21] Ibid. p. 6.
      [22] Ibid. p. 4-5.
      [23] Archbishop John (Maximovitch), �A Word by
      Archbishop John�, Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Dela 14,
      Geneva, 1960, p. 5.
      [24] Saint John, �Opening Remarks on the Occasion of
      the Diocesan of the Diocese of Western Europe (1960
      )�, Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 251.
      [25] A Word of Instruction Given When Presenting the
      Staff to a New Bishop N.
      [26] Bishop John of Shanghai, �The State of the
      Orthodox Church After the War�, Acts of the Second
      All-Diaspora Council, Belgrade, 1939, p. 400.
      [27] Archbishop John, A response to the Synod of
      Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,
      December 1/14, 1965, Western American Diocese Archive.
      [28] The Russian Church Abroad, p. 18.
      [29] Archbishop John, �Words of Instruction on
      Entrusting the Episcopal Staff to Bishop Jean of St.
      Denis�, Russkiy Pastyr 137-38, San Francisco, 2000, p
      8-9.
      [30] May the Grace and Peace of the Holy Lifegiving
      Trinity be Upon the Orthodox Flock of Shanghai, p. 8.

      __________________________________
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    • vkozyreff
      Dear List, If the message is meant to be evidence that St John of Shanghai was in favour of the ROCOR communing with the MP, the message is wrong. This is
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 6, 2004
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        Dear List,

        If the message is meant to be evidence that St John of Shanghai was
        in favour of the ROCOR communing with the MP, the message is wrong.
        This is shown by the MP publication below.

        In God,

        Vladimir Kozyreff


        "One Church", vol. 12, #9-10 - September October 1958, published in
        the USA by the Patriarchal Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Catholic
        Church in America

        p. 288
        "...by Ukase of Patriarch Alexis of Moscow, dated 27 December 1945,
        the Mission in China was re-united to the Russian Mother Church and
        the break caused by the schismatic activities of the Karlovitz Synod
        was healed. But the perspectives for the church work were somewhat
        clouded by the schism in 1946 of the vicar bishop of Shanghai, John
        Maximovich, who took the lead in an opposition movement against the
        Patriarch and his ruling bishop in Peking...

        p.289
        ...a letter written by two Jesuits of the "Russian Mission" working
        in Shanghai:

        The Orthodox Church is in a bad way, and is rushing toward a split.
        Archbishop Victor of Peking is definitely for the Soviets, while John
        Of Shanghai has elected to stay independent. For a time he wavered,
        but it seems he has made up his mind..."


        --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Peter Joshua Hatala
        <Josh_providence@y...> wrote:
        > Taken from the ROCOR webpage and edited for clarity.
        > Delivered by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov.
        >
        >
        >
        > St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco
        > and
        > His View of the Russian Church in the 20th Century
        > A paper presented at the All-Diaspora Pastoral
        > Conference
        > Holy Virgin Protection Parish, Nyack, New York,
        > December 8-12, 2003.
        >
        > If one was to ask any member of our Russian Church
        > Abroad, or any Orthodox person for that matter, who is
        > the most outstanding representative of our Church, the
        > reply would most likely be Saint John (Maximovitch).
        > In him we see a faithful archpastor of our Church, an
        > ascetic, a theologian and a man of prayer.
        >
        > When we discuss St. John's thoughts on questions
        > concerning the Church, we must take into consideration
        > the fact that his thoughts and views are not simply
        > those of a hierarch with a theological education, of
        > an expert in church history and the canons. These are
        > the views of a Saint who acquired the Holy Spirit. St.
        > John's thoughts and views were not only formed
        > intellectually; they were cultivated in his heart by
        > prayer, pastoral experience, carrying on of the spirit
        > handed down to him by his mentors and through the
        > daily celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
        >
        > What were the main threads that run through all the
        > thoughts expressed by St. John concerning the Church
        > in general and the Russian Church in the 20th century
        > specifically?
        >
        > 1. The Church is universal. "Christianity reveals the
        > meaning of life for all peoples and for all times; for
        > this reason it is only in Christianity that one can
        > find answers to all of the situations and questions
        > that arise in life" [1] said St. John in his talk at
        > the establishment of the Orthodox Action Society. St.
        > John inherited a living concept of the universality of
        > the Church not only from reading the Holy Fathers and
        > from the divine services, but also from his mentor,
        > the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).
        > In his article "What is the Key to the Spiritual Power
        > of the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony?" St. John
        > wrote the following: "He (the Most Blessed
        > Metropolitan of Kiev Anthony) was truly a universal
        > hierarch, who was keenly interested in all questions
        > of the life of the Church in the entire world, who
        > bore all her pains within himself, who literally
        > carried the entire weight of them on his shoulders."
        > With profound faith in the ultimate victory of Truth,
        > at the same time he had deep sorrow over all the
        > afflictions in the Church. [2]
        >
        > In one word of instruction given when presenting the
        > staff to a new bishop (I suspect the bishop was Bishop
        > Anthony Bartoshevich), St. John instructs the newly
        > consecrated hierarch with the following words: "Apart
        > from caring for your own flock, you must also spread
        > Christ's faith among those who do not yet know Truth.
        > The preaching of Christ's teaching and faith in Christ
        > and the Life-creating Trinity is the fulfillment of a
        > duty laid down by Christ on the apostles and the
        > required duty of archpastor and pastors. You must
        > bring the Light of Christ to all who do not believe in
        > Christ, shining with the light of your own example and
        > proclaiming the words of eternal life.
        >
        > Following Saints Basil the Great and John Chrysostom,
        > offering prayers at the Divine Liturgy for the entire
        > Church, for the entire universe, a bishop must know
        > not only his own territory, but must take to heart all
        > that is transpiring in the entire universal Church.
        > Without interfering in affairs of others and without
        > any pretenses on the authority of other bishops,
        > strive to offer help wherever you can, giving
        > brotherly counsel where necessary, but above all by
        > the example of your own stand for the Truth and
        > defense of it." [3]
        >
        > 2. The second thread that runs through all the
        > thoughts expressed by St. John concerning the Church
        > in general and the Russian Church in the 20th century
        > in particular is the following: The gates of hell will
        > not overcome the Church, in spite of all heresies and
        > schisms, in spite of the unworthiness and apostasy of
        > many ministers of the Church, even of those in high
        > positions.
        >
        > "There were times when it seemed that all the powers
        > of hell were bending every effort to destroy the
        > Church. Tens of thousands of martyrs were put to death
        > at the same time; churches were razed to their
        > foundations; holy things were desecrated; the Church
        > was persecuted by heathen rulers, was trampled down by
        > heretics, was torn apart by internal dissentions. But
        > the Church remained invincible and overcame falsehood"
        > [4] (The Church New Year, 1946).
        >
        > In his article "The Church is the Body of Christ" the
        > Saint writes: "The consequences of sin have not yet
        > been completely expelled from the human race. They act
        > not only on individual persons, but through these
        > persons they manifest themselves also in the worldly
        > activity of entire parts of the Church. Heresies,
        > schisms, and disruptions that tear away a part of the
        > faithful are constantly appearing. Misunderstandings
        > between the local churches or parts of them have
        > disturbed the Church from the most ancient times.
        > Prayers are constantly heard in the divine services
        > for putting an end to them." [5]
        >
        > 3. The third thread that runs through the thoughts
        > expressed by St. John about the Russian Church in the
        > 20th century in particular reflects his attitude
        > towards Russia.
        > St. John loved Russia, her history, her Saints and her
        > holy treasures. He was in deep agony over the
        > enslavement of Russia by the atheists and was
        > absolutely irreconcilable to the atheist regime. Yet
        > he believed that if there would be repentance in
        > Russia, then she would rise anew: "Does Holy Russia
        > really no longer exist and will it never exist again?"
        > the Saint wrote in 1938."Not only in heaven, but here
        > on this sinful earth Holy Russia continues to exist.
        > The Godless regime has simply put her in bondage; it
        > has not destroyed her. The council of the ungodly that
        > has gained control over the Russian people is alien to
        > the people, because it has nothing in common with the
        > essence of Russia. Shake off the sleep of despair and
        > sloth, sons of Russia! Look upon the glory of her
        > sufferings and be purified; wash yourselves of your
        > sins!" [6]
        >
        > In his sermon before a memorial service for the
        > Tsar-Martyr the Saint said: "Before us, before the
        > Russian people, the path to a rebirth is the
        > acknowledgement of one's sin and repentance! For the
        > rebirth of Russia all political agendas and projected
        > alliances are in vain; what Russia needs is the moral
        > renewal of her people." [7]
        >
        > As for the Soviet regime, St. John expressed himself
        > especially forcefully in the Prayer of Repentance he
        > composed to be read on the day of the murder of the
        > Royal Family: "Lord God of our fathers, Thou hast
        > handed us over to the hands of lawless, filthy
        > apostates, to men of iniquity more wicked than all the
        > earth." [8]
        >
        > Let us then sum up the three threads that bind
        > together St. John's thoughts concerning the Church in
        > general and the Russian Church in particular:
        >
        > 1) The Church is universal and one of her primary
        > tasks is to spread Christ's faith among those who do
        > not yet know the Truth.
        >
        > 2) The gates of hell shall not overcome the Church, in
        > spite of all heresies and schisms, in spite of the
        > unworthiness and apostasy of many ministers of the
        > Church, even of those in high positions.
        >
        > 3) The council of the ungodly has gained control over
        > Russia, but through repentance and renewal Russia will
        > rise.
        >
        > Now let us turn to more specific remarks by St. John
        > concerning the Russian Church in the 20th century. We
        > will try to provide answers in St. John's own words to
        > a series of questions that are of major concern, I
        > believe, to the participants of our All-Diaspora
        > Pastoral Conference. Did St. John consider the
        > official Church in Russia (i.e. the Moscow
        > Patriarchate) to have completely lapsed How did St.
        > John's regard Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) and
        > his Declaration? Are the Russian Orthodox Church
        > Outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarch ate "parts"
        > that originate from a single "Mother Church"? Would it
        > be possible, if only in principle, for St. John to
        > recognize the official Church in Russia and did he
        > ever in fact actually recognize it?
        >
        > St. John believed that after the establishment of the
        > atheist regime in Russia, the Church was divided into
        > the persecuted Church and the Church in exile; these
        > were like two branches of a single tree. In 1946 he
        > wrote:
        >
        > "In our days a vicious wave of warfare against the
        > Church has swept over our Fatherland. Many hierarchs
        > and a numberless multitude of clergy have been put to
        > death in various ways. Others remembered the words of
        > the Lord `when they persecute you in this city, flee
        > to another' (Matthew 10: 23) and followed the example
        > of many holy Fathers of antiquity. They left their
        > Homeland and joined together under the spiritual
        > leadership of Russian people who had found a refuge in
        > other lands."[9]
        >
        > "What comprised the part of the Russian Church outside
        > Russia? Beyond the boundaries of Russia, Russia Abroad
        > was founded, spiritually nourished by the authority of
        > the Russian Church Abroad. All across the face of the
        > earth Orthodox churches began to be built, uniting the
        > Orthodox people around them, primarily Russians, but
        > along with them other nationalities. In place of the
        > holy treasures destroyed in the Homeland, new ones
        > appeared outside her boundaries.
        >
        > The Church Abroad strove to preserve those spiritual
        > treasures, and as far as was possible the material
        > ones as well, which comprise the wealth of the Russian
        > Church of which she is a branch and with whom she
        > continues to be united." [10]
        >
        > St. John bowed down in reverence before the feats of
        > martyrdom and confession of the hierarchs who remained
        > in Russia during the years of the most brutal
        > persecutions. In a sermon on the Feast of All Saints
        > of Russia during the 1960's, St. John exclaims: "Those
        > who please God are shining forth in our times. How
        > many of them are to be found in our wretched and
        > tormented Homeland! So many Hieromartyrs! So many
        > Martyrs! It is not possible to count them all. So many
        > of our hierarchs were exiled to distant places and
        > died there, leading a life like the Saints who were
        > persecuted by the iconoclasts and other heretics.
        > Peter of Krutitsa and Cyril of Kazan and many others,
        > whose relics, perhaps, will never be found, yet they
        > shine like a brilliant light in the Russian heaven
        > before our eyes. All of them, the Saints who pleased
        > God, those glorified and those not glorified, are
        > praying for us and provide an example for us." [11] In
        > the writings and letters of St. John I have never come
        > across the actual word "Sergianism", but he did
        > mention in brief the actions of Metropolitan Sergius.
        > He did not write about the Catacomb Church as such.
        > How did St. John regard Metropolitan Sergius'
        > (Stragorodsky) declaration and his usurpation of
        > authority in the Church and in general the political
        > stance of the Church in the Soviet Union?
        >
        > It was not in St. John's character to make harsh
        > judgments regarding the clergy under the crushing
        > burden of godless atheists. St. John hardly mentions
        > Metropolitan Sergius, apart from his well-known
        > brochure entitled: "The Russian Church Abroad".
        >
        > St. John held that the last letter in which
        > Metropolitan Sergius freely wrote what he internally
        > believed to be true was his letter of September 12,
        > 1926 to the bishops abroad. In this letter
        > Metropolitan Sergius wrote: "My beloved hierarchs. You
        > ask me to be judge in a matter of which I have no
        > knowledge (the topic is the dissension between the
        > hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad and
        > Metropolitan Eulogius--Protopriest P.P.) Can the
        > Patriarch of Moscow really be the guide for the church
        > life of Orthodox emigres? It is not likely that we
        > will ever see each other again in this present life,
        > but I hope, that by the mercy of God, we will meet in
        > the life to come." [12] (our abbreviations –Fr. P.P.).
        >
        > Further on, in this same brochure, St. John, without
        > justifying Metropolitan Sergius, writes about him with
        > pity: "Imprisonment, threats not only to him
        > (Metropolitan Sergius--Protopriest P.P.) but also to
        > the entire Russian Church, along with false promises
        > by the Soviet regime, broke him. This letter, so full
        > of love for the hierarchs abroad, serves as his last
        > testament, as it were, before his loss of internal
        > freedom. A few months later Metropolitan Sergius
        > published the Declaration in which he recognized the
        > Soviet regime as a truly legitimate Russian regime
        > that provided for the welfare of the people, `whose
        > joys are our joys and whose sorrows are our sorrows'
        > (Declaration of July 16/29, 1927). At the same time,
        > keeping his promise to the Soviet regime, Metropolitan
        > Sergius required the clergy abroad to sign pledges of
        > allegiance to the Soviet regime." [13] St. John felt
        > that for those who were inside Russia and who were
        > enduring such severe sufferings there could be
        > circumstances that mitigated their moral surrender to
        > the brutal regime. But for those living in freedom and
        > relative safety, there could be no mitigating
        > circumstances or justification for signing pledges of
        > allegiance. Quite the opposite – this was
        > contradictory to common sense.
        >
        > With regard to Metropolitans' Peter of Krutitsa,
        > Agafangel of Yaroslav, Cyril of Kazan and Joseph of
        > Petrograd refusal to accept Metropolitan Sergius's
        > Declaration, St. John felt that Metropolitan Sergius
        > had been in agreement with these hierarchs not long
        > before signing the Declaration. This once again
        > underscores the lack of freedom of Metropolitan
        > Sergius's actions. St. John did not pass over the fact
        > that certain of these hierarchs broke communion in
        > prayer with Metropolitan Sergius as one who had lapsed
        > and had entered into alliance with the atheists [14],
        > but St. John himself has no harsh words for
        > Metropolitan Sergius. In his article he points out:
        >
        > "Both the hierarchs and flock inside Russia who did
        > not accept Metropolitan Sergius' Declaration and those
        > in the Diaspora did not cease to be parts of the
        > Russian Church" [15], i.e., they were by no means
        > schismatic and continued to comprise parts of the
        > Russian Church.
        >
        > St. John, in his brochure on the Church Abroad, draws
        > the conclusion that: "The Declaration of Metropolitan
        > Sergius brought no benefit to the Church. The
        > persecutions not only did not cease; they were
        > intensified. To the other accusations the Soviet
        > regime made against the clergy and lay people was
        > added yet another: refusal to accept the Declaration.
        > At the same time a wave of closing churches swept over
        > all of Russia." [16]. "By the beginning of World War
        > II, The Russian Church inside Russia was in a state of
        > extreme devastation. At the same time, Metropolitan
        > Sergius, bound by his promise to the Soviet regime,
        > continued to affirm that there was no persecution of
        > the Church in Russia." [17]
        >
        > St. John gave an evaluation to the Declaration, a very
        > simple, moral evaluation. Metropolitan Sergius had
        > been broken, and his actions, because the enemies of
        > the Church dictated them, were harmful.
        >
        > After the Declaration, did the Church in the Soviet
        > Union become "devoid of grace" in the eyes of St.
        > John?
        >
        > Among the Saint's papers we found a carbon copy of a
        > text in which St. John sets out his thoughts regarding
        > the expression "Soviet Church". It's possible that
        > this is the first draft of a letter. It is dated 1963.
        > Saint John writes: "If someone began to talk about
        > `improper actions of the Church' in the presence of
        > Metropolitan Anthony, he would stop him by pointing
        > out that the actions of the hierarchy cannot be
        > attributed to the Church, that the hierarchy is not
        > the entire church, even though it speaks in her name.
        > The Patriarchate of Constantinople was occupied by
        > Paul the Confessor, Macedonius, Gregory the
        > Theologian, John Chrysostom, Nestorius, Proclus,
        > Flavian, Germanus. Some of them shone with sanctity
        > and Orthodoxy, while others were heresiarchs. But the
        > Church remained Orthodox. During the days of
        > Iconoclasm, after the deposition of Severinus,
        > Nicephorus and others, not only their cathedra but
        > also the majority of the episcopal sees were occupied
        > by Arians. Other Churches did not have any communion
        > with her, because they did not want to have communion
        > with the Iconoclasts, according to St. Paul who left
        > the heresy and his cathedra. But still the Church of
        > Constantinopleremained Orthodox, even though a portion
        > of the people, especially the military and
        > bureaucracy, were drawn into Iconoclasm.
        >
        > And so now, one can understand why people who have a
        > poor knowledge of the language of the Church use the
        > expression `Soviet Church'. However, this is not
        > suitable for serious theological discussions. When the
        > entire hierarchy of South-Western Russia went over to
        > the Unia, the Church continued to exist in the person
        > of the faithful Orthodox people, who after long
        > sufferings restored their hierarchy.
        >
        > For this reason it is more correct to speak not about
        > the `Soviet Church'--which is something the `Church'
        > cannot be in the proper sense of the word--but about
        > the hierarchy that plays the role of serving the
        > Soviet regime. One's attitude to this hierarchy can be
        > the same as to the other representatives of this
        > regime." [18]
        >
        > St. John clearly explained and set forth the primary
        > reason that makes communion between the Church Abroad
        > and the Patriarchate of Moscow impossible: the Church
        > in the Soviet Union is not free; she is enslaved; she
        > cannot express her own true will. St. John could not
        > believe that she was in such a condition primarily of
        > her own free will and not due to force and coercion.
        >
        > St. John was of the opinion that there were no
        > deviations in matters of Faith sufficiently serious to
        > make the official Church in Russia illegitimate. A
        > clear witness to this is his Explanatory Address to
        > the Flock of Shanghai dated August 2, 1946.
        >
        > I don't have time to give a detailed account of the
        > course of events in the Church in Shanghai in
        > 1945-1946. Suffice it to say that due to war
        > conditions, communications from the Far East with the
        > Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad had been
        > broken since 1941. The situation in Shanghai was
        > chaotic. The Russian emigres were stateless. The
        > Soviets were conducting intense propaganda summoning
        > all Russians to return to their "renewed homeland",
        > where a Patriarch had now been elected, churches were
        > being opened and all Russians would be granted an
        > amnesty. There was a kind of euphoria after the allied
        > victory. [19] In Shanghai some 10,000 Russians
        > received Soviet passports. In July of 1945 the
        > Bishop's Council in Harbin decided to submit to the
        > jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow. It was amid
        > these circumstances that St. John followed this
        > decision and on August 24, 1945 published his Ukaz 650
        > concerning the commemoration of the name of Patriarch
        > Alexis (Simansky) at the divine services.
        > About a month later St. John received a telegram from
        > Geneva from the First Hierarch of the Russian Church
        > Abroad with the message that the Synod is functioning.
        > Then St. John restored the commemoration of his
        > legitimate church authority in the person of
        > Metropolitan Anastassy. I think he did this not
        > without the support of many of his closest associates.
        > At the same time, it seems to us, he realized that he
        > had made a hasty decision in submitting to Patriarch
        > Alexis. In his Explanatory Address to the Flock of
        > Shanghai, Archbishop John clearly explains his reason
        > for first commemorating the name of Patriarch Alexis
        > at the divine services and then for restoring
        > commemoration of his own hierarchy: "After the defeat
        > of Germany there was no information about the Synod
        > Abroad. Various rumors were spread about. At the end
        > of July last year we received news that the hierarchs
        > in Harbin had decided to ask His Holiness Patriarch
        > Alexis to receive them under his jurisdiction. We
        > immediately wrote to Archbishop Victor that, since we
        > do not have any information about the fate of the
        > Synod Abroad and since we don't have the right to
        > remain outside submission to a higher church
        > authority, we also must enter into contact with His
        > Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and should there be
        > no impediments [pri otsutstvii prepyatsviy] submit to
        > him. After the Exaltation of the Cross we received a
        > radiogram from Geneva from Metropolitan Anastassy with
        > news that the Synod is functioning. Aware of the
        > necessity of submitting to a higher church authority,
        > we renewed our previous relations with the Synod
        > Abroad. We received separate instructions and
        > directives from the Synod}, which we put into effect.
        > We can go over to the jurisdiction of another church
        > authority only if we have a directive to do so from
        > the church authority to which we currently submit, for
        > otherwise we would be acting in violation of the
        > Church's canons" [20].
        >
        > Shanghai's Chinese Orthodox clergy did not trust or
        > approve of either the Soviet regime or the Moscow
        > hierarchy. Some of the representatives of the Russian
        > clergy and parishioners felt that St. John was paying
        > too much attention to his Chinese clergy and that, in
        > general, he was supporting missionary work among the
        > Chinese at the expense of the Russian cause. In reply
        > to this, in his Explanatory Address, St. John once
        > again underscores the universality of his
        > understanding of the Church and her mission in the
        > contemporary world:
        >
        > "The doors of the churches in Shanghai have always
        > been wide open for all Orthodox Christians. Because it
        > primarily unites Russian people, our Church's life has
        > always reflected with particular emphasis all that is
        > connected with our Homeland and expressed the feelings
        > and hopes of all of our Homeland's children. At the
        > same time, every other nationality that holds to
        > Orthodoxy could consider our churches its own. Every
        > individual, regardless of nationality, had and has one
        > and the same opportunity to satisfy his spiritual
        > needs in the Church and to participate in the Church's
        > life while submitting to the established canons. In
        > the Church of Christ `there is neither Greek nor Jew,
        > barbarian or Scythian.' All alike are children of the
        > Church, if the teaching of Christ and the laws of the
        > Church are above all teachings and laws." [21]
        >
        > In the latter part of this Explanatory Address, St.
        > John sets out his view on the Church in Russia and on
        > the Church in Diaspora: "By striving for the same
        > common goal, the Church inside Russia and [that] in
        > the Diaspora can more successfully accomplish both
        > their common as well as their individual tasks by
        > acting separately according to the conditions in which
        > each finds itself, until the time when their complete
        > union become possible.
        >
        > At the present time the Church inside Russia must
        > treat the wounds afflicted upon her by militant
        > atheism and free herself from the bonds that impede
        > the fullness of her internal and external activity.
        >
        > The task of the Church Abroad is to preserve the
        > children of the Orthodox Russian Church from being
        > dispersed, to maintain the spiritual values they
        > brought from the Homeland, and likewise to spread
        > Orthodoxy in the lands where they live." [22]
        >
        > Saint John consistently emphasized that the Church in
        > Russia is not free and that it is this deprivation of
        > freedom that prevents communion between the parts of
        > the Russian Church.
        >
        > "Being a part of the Russian Church, we cannot have
        > communion with a church authority that is in
        > submission and enslavement to a regime hostile to the
        > Church. The church authority in Russia is in such a
        > condition that we cannot distinguish and discern what
        > it does freely and what it is forced to do.
        >
        > The church authority in Russia is an image of
        > captivity and spiritual impotence. There is no free
        > will or any possibility for taking any initiative
        > [svobodnago proyavlenia].
        > There is no one for us to commune with: there is no
        > free church authority!" [23]
        >
        > The primary reason for the existence of the part of
        > the Russian Church outside Russia is her freedom: "In
        > the name of the freedom of the Church, the part of the
        > Russian Church that is outside Russia began its
        > independent existence and will continue to do so as
        > long as the reasons for this continue to apply." [24]
        > St. John mentions reasons in the plural, but does not
        > elaborate.
        >
        > Let us then summarize St. John's views on the Russian
        > Church during the years of persecution in Russia:
        >
        > 1) The Church in Russia (the Moscow Patriarchate) and
        > the Russian Church Abroad constitute two parts of the
        > Russian Church, which have a common goal, but act
        > separately because of different conditions.
        >
        > 2) Metropolitan Sergius was broken and his actions
        > brought no benefit to the Church.
        >
        > 3) St. John consistently states, that the main reason
        > which prevents the two parts of the Russian Church
        > uniting is the lack of freedom of the Church in
        > Russia.
        >
        > In all the sermons, articles, letters and written
        > documents of St. John that I have come across, I have
        > never seen the words "deprived of grace" or "heretic"
        > applied to any Local Church. St. John did not use
        > these words. St. John had was merciful even towards
        > those who had fallen away or who had gone astray. In
        > his instruction to a newly consecrated bishop quoted
        > above, St. John said: "In particular you must suffer
        > with those afflicted with sins, with those who are in
        > ignorance and who have gone astray, and with
        > compassion and love draw them out of the pit of
        > perdition and lead them up the path of salvation."
        > [25[
        >
        > The Saint was irreconcilable in regards to modernism,
        > innovations and deviations in the Local Churches. In
        > 1939, in his report "The Status of the Orthodox Church
        > after the War", St. John considered that: "We (the
        > faithful of the Russian Church Abroad – Protopriest
        > P.P.) must stand firmly on the foundation of the
        > Church's canons and not with those who are straying
        > from them. In former times for the exposure of
        > canonical irregularities in a Local Church canonical
        > communion was broken with her. The Russian Church
        > Abroad cannot act in this way, in so far as her status
        > has not been clearly defined. For this reason she must
        > not break communion with the other Churches, if they
        > do not take this step first. But, while maintaining
        > communion, [the Church Abroad] must not remain silent
        > over violations against the righteousness of the
        > Church" [26]
        >
        > The issue of violating the righteousness of the Church
        > disquieted St. John. In the above quote the Saint, on
        > the one hand, says that we cannot be together with
        > those who are straying from the canons of the Church.
        > On the other hand communion with the other Churches
        > should not be broken.
        >
        > Not long before his death St. John was very concerned
        > with the new winds that had started blowing in the
        > Orthodox world. To his very last breath he was
        > uncompromising in his stance regarding innovations,
        > deviations and modernism. At the same time he did not
        > show any trace of narrow-mindedness or fanaticism.
        >
        > In December of 1965, St. John replied as follows to an
        > inquiry sent to all the bishops of the Church Abroad
        > concerning the desirability of a Third All-Diaspora
        > Council:
        > "Concerning a Council with the participation of the
        > clergy and laity I feel that such a Council is
        > desirable and very necessary. [At this Council] the
        > voice of the Diaspora must sound forth strongly
        > against the persecutions of the faith. Compassion and
        > spiritual solidarity must be shown to our brothers and
        > sisters suffering for the faith. Likewise [our]
        > position must be clarified regarding the new trends
        > initiated by the Vatican and the ecumenical movement.
        > The Church Abroad must remain firm in Orthodoxy and
        > patristic Tradition. Both before and after this
        > {Council} attempts should be made to restore the unity
        > of the Russian Church in the diaspora, or in any case,
        > preparatory steps should be taken to improve relations
        > with the parts that have cut themselves off from Her
        > (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia –
        > Protopriest P.P.)." [27]
        >
        > Did this great ascetic of the 20th century wish and
        > believe that the union of the two parts of the Russian
        > Church must come about? Yes, he was waiting for this
        > and believed that it would come about, but he did not
        > specify when.
        >
        > "The Russian Church Abroad is not spiritually
        > separated from her suffering Mother. She offers
        > prayers for her, preserves her spiritual and material
        > wealth and in time she will be united with Her, when
        > the reasons separating them disappear." [28]
        >
        > One must bear in mind that in all his views and
        > actions, St. John acted in a conciliar manner
        > (soborno) and in obedience to the higher church
        > authority, even when he was not in total agreement
        > with one of its decisions or actions. In his words of
        > instruction on entrusting the episcopal staff to
        > Bishop Jean (Kovalevsky) of St. Denis, St. John
        > pointed out to him: "In this (episcopal – Protopriest
        > P.P.) ministry do not rely too much on your own
        > strength and knowledge, but make use of the advice of
        > older hierarchs made wise by experience. Remember the
        > promises you have just made and remain in obedience to
        > the church authority that stands over you." [29]
        >
        > When St. John wrote about the hour of return (in 1946
        > he spoke specifically about a return and not reunion
        > or unification) of the hierarchs of the Russian Church
        > Abroad to the homeland, then "The hierarchs of the
        > Diaspora must not act each in his own way. The entire
        > Church Abroad together must present to the All-Russian
        > Council her actions during the period of forced
        > separation." [30] St. John assumed that the issue of
        > the separated parts of the Russian Church can only be
        > resolved at an All-Russian Council.
        > And thus, according to Saint John four conditions must
        > be considered when dealing with the issue of the
        > possible unity of the two parts of the Russian Church:
        >
        > 1) The part of the Russian Church outside of Russia
        > must preserve that which brought about it's formation
        > – it's freedom, and not forget about the task of
        > spreading Orthodoxy in the lands it finds itself
        >
        > 2) The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia must
        > combine compassion and love with a firm stand in the
        > Truth.
        >
        > 3) Any decision concerning the destiny of the Russian
        > Church must be made together, not individually, with
        > one mind.
        >
        > 4) The issue of church unity has to de dealt with at
        > an All-Russia Church Council.
        > St. John, his prayers and his views on the Russian
        > Church in the 20th century can serve as the key and
        > compass that will lead to an ecclesiastical, canonical
        > and God-pleasing resolution of the question that pains
        > all the true children of the Russian Church. In spite
        > of all the tribulations and difficulties in the
        > Church, as both Metropolitan Anthony and St. John
        > believed, the Truth will prevail.
        >
        > FOOTNOTES:
        >
        > [1] Archbishop John, "Opening Remarks on the Occasion
        > of the Opening of the Orthodox Action Society",
        > Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Dela 11, Geneva, 1959, p. 4.
        > [2] Saint John, ?What is the Key to the Spiritual
        > Power of the Most Blessed Metropolitan Anthony??
        > Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 272.
        > [3] Archbishop John, A Word of Instruction Given When
        > Presenting the Staff to a New Bishop N, manuscript,
        > Western American Diocese archives.
        > [4] Archbishop John, "The Church New Year", Shanghai
        > Newsletter 1726, Shanghai, 1946, p. 1.
        > [5] Saint John, "The Church is the Body of Christ",
        > Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 137.
        > [6] Saint John, "The 950th Anniversary of the Baptism
        > of Russia", Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 211-213.
        > [7] Saint John, "A Sermon Before the Panikhida for the
        > Czar-Martyr" Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 234.
        > [8] Supplemental Trebnik, Prayer of Repentance to be
        > read on the Day of the Murder of the Royal Family,
        > Jordanville, 1961, p. 579.
        > [9] Archbishop John, "The Church New Year", p. 2.
        > [10] Ibid.
        > [11] Saint John, "Sermon of the Feast of All Saints of
        > Russia", Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 187-188.
        > [12] Archbishop John, The Russian Church Abroad, 2nd
        > Edition, Montreal, 1979, p. 7.
        > [13] Ibid. p. 8
        > [14] Ibid.
        > [15] Ibid.
        > [16] Ibid. p. 9.
        > [17] Ibid. p. 13.
        > [18] Archbishop John, manuscript, Russkiy Pastyr
        > Archive.
        > [19] Saint John the Wonderworker in Russia, Moscow,
        > 2002, p. 14. The memoirs of a man raised in Shanghai,
        > Oleg Daniilovitch Abaturov, speak of the reasons why
        > many Russians from Shanghaireturned to the Soviet
        > Union: "There was Soviet propaganda in China. The
        > Soviet magazine Ogonyok was readily available and
        > there were Soviet films shown. They showed how the
        > Soviet government takes into account the needs of the
        > people, how old people are taken care of, each ones
        > receives a pension (in China this did not exist), how
        > friendly and kind Soviet people are, how hospitable
        > people there are and their tables full of food. Before
        > our departure for the Soviet Union we threw out our
        > old clothes, so we wouldn't look embarrassed there. At
        > first the Soviets would bring the children to the
        > Soviet Union, set them up well and then agitate the
        > children to write their parents how good life is in
        > the Soviet Union…"
        > [20] Archbishop John, May the Grace and Peace of the
        > Holy Lifegiving Trinity be Upon the Orthodox Flock of
        > Shanghai (pamphlet), Shanghai, August 2, 1946.
        > [21] Ibid. p. 6.
        > [22] Ibid. p. 4-5.
        > [23] Archbishop John (Maximovitch), "A Word by
        > Archbishop John", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Dela 14,
        > Geneva, 1960, p. 5.
        > [24] Saint John, "Opening Remarks on the Occasion of
        > the Diocesan of the Diocese of Western Europe (1960
        > )", Slova, San Francisco, 1994, p. 251.
        > [25] A Word of Instruction Given When Presenting the
        > Staff to a New Bishop N.
        > [26] Bishop John of Shanghai, "The State of the
        > Orthodox Church After the War", Acts of the Second
        > All-Diaspora Council, Belgrade, 1939, p. 400.
        > [27] Archbishop John, A response to the Synod of
        > Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,
        > December 1/14, 1965, Western American Diocese Archive.
        > [28] The Russian Church Abroad, p. 18.
        > [29] Archbishop John, "Words of Instruction on
        > Entrusting the Episcopal Staff to Bishop Jean of St.
        > Denis", Russkiy Pastyr 137-38, San Francisco, 2000, p
        > 8-9.
        > [30] May the Grace and Peace of the Holy Lifegiving
        > Trinity be Upon the Orthodox Flock of Shanghai, p. 8.
        >
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