No 20 - 2005
The Editorial Board is glad to inform our Readers that this issue of “FIDELITY” has articles in English, Spanish and Russian Languages.
С удовлетворением сообщаем, что в этом номере журнала “ВЕРНОСТЬ” помещены статьи на английском, испанском, и русском языках.
Contents - Оглавление
1. "Русское зарубежье на распутье". Вл. Ильин
2. "The Now Silent Voice of the Russian Orthodox Church".
3. "Report". Privy Counselor T.
4. "Доклад". Благочинный Уральского округа РПЦЗ. Протоиерей В. Карелин
5. "La Ley de Dios". Metropolitan Philaret.
6. "Вече и князь". Архимандрит Константин (Зайцев)
7. "Православие". Протопр. М. Помазанский
Русское зарубежье на распутье.
Живя в захолустье, и, не имея возможности ознакомиться с различными точками зрения по важным вопросам, стоящим перед эмиграцией, мне хотелось бы вынести некоторые мысли на страницы "Верности” в порядке обсуждения, с тем, чтобы узнать мнения других по поводу событий, касающихся Росcии и эмиграции.
Я давно наблюдаю над процессом сближения Московской патриархии и Зарубежной церкви. Этот вопрос интересует меня не сам по себе, а в связи с другими явлениями, имеющими отношение к нынешнему всплеску интереса к русской эмиграции. Поток событий и мероприятий, связанных с «возвращением» прошлого только набирает силу. Российское гражданство вручается дочери генерала Деникина, Марине Грей, и А.Д. Шмеману, сыну белого офицера и заведующему кадетским музеем в Париже. Чем же связаны такие разные процессы как перезахоронение праха генерала Деникина и объединение церквей? Тем, что нынешняя власть отчаянно ищет легитимности.
Издалека, нам часто кажется, что власть в Российской Федерации крепка, и даже излишне. Пишут в американских газетах о движении в сторону авторитарности. Но, читая заявления представителей той же власти, создается впечатление как раз противоположное. Власти в смерть боятся «цветной революции», преподнося таковую как закабаление России международным капиталом. Между тем, в России уже сейчас захороняются радиоактивные отходы из других стран. Разве можно ниже пасть? Истинная причина страха перед "«цветной революцией» это простое шкурничество: боязнь бюрократов и политической элиты потерять власть и вместе с ней весьма денежные места.
С поиском легитимности связано беспрецедентно помпезное празднование «60-летия Великой Победы». Празднование победы во Второй мировой войне (правильно было сказано когда-то: Великой Отечественной войной может ее называть только тот, кто считает сталинский Советский Союз своим отечеством) это часть создаваемого мифа о «единой России» – советский плюс белой. В результате подаются образы Путина как последователя Ивана Ильина, и даже готовится перезахоронение того же Ильина, совместно с Деникиным, в Москве. Но при этом Ленин и Сталин остаются на месте!
Всюду подчеркивается и преемственность Советского союза по отношению к дореволюционной России. Так, история нынешних государственных учреждений и министерств протягивается прямым образом из далекого прошлого в наши дни. ФСБ, КГБ, ГПУ, ЧК и царская Охрана – это одно учреждение. То же и Министерство внутренних дел, где просвещенный Столыпин стоит в одном ряду с палачом Ежовым, причем проводится мысль, что и тот и другой подавляли противогосударственную крамолу насилием, следовательно, различия между ними нет.
Конечно, судя по опросам, у Путина достаточно высокая поддержка среди населения. Но эта поддержка едва ли является безоговорочной. Для многих Путин всего лишь гарант стабильности, лучше, чем пьяница Ельцин да мошенник Березовский. Более того, в 2008 г. он должен уйти, передав власть выигравшему на выборах. Тут-то и начинаются страхи у нынешнего руководства страной: что же станет с ними? В попытке консолидировать за собой народ и ведутся эти акции примирения и объединения. Как коммунистам всегда было выгодно строить единый фронт и монолитные общественные организации, долженствующие показать объединение всех и вся, так и нынешние власти желают создать впечатление, что Россия императорская, белая, советская и зарубежная – это одно целое. Поэтому и появляются новые байки, например, что Деникин в свое время (1944 г.) хотел было вступить в Красную армию. Как это вяжется с тем, что он в 1945-м году уехал в Америку, почему-то никто не хочет объяснять.
По последним данным, патриарх ожидает передачи иконы Курско-Коренной. Обогрела она души эмигрантов, но, мол, «Буде! – Пора ее вернуть». Так мы и останемся ни с чем. Но ведь если икону вернуть, создается прецедент: каким же образом тогда защищать любую церковную собственность, хоть на Святой Земле, хоть в Америке? Уже сейчас выходит так, что в РФ большинство «эмигрантов» – никогда не эмигрировавших из России, ибо родились уже за границей, но, несомненно, русских по культуре, духу и воспитанию – считают русскими только по мере того, что они разевают рот (и выворачивают карманы) перед родившимися в СССР. В свое время, после Второй мировой войны, когда начался приток совпатриотов в СССР из Европы, таких наивных людей, подверженных ностальгии по русским березам, называли «подберезовиками», и говорят, особенно тешились над ними в лагерях. Сейчас фирма слегка поменялась, и нас оттуда бывшие номенклатурщики – до мозгов костей советские люди – поучают такой «русской истории» и «русской культурой», где Демьян Бедный и Емельян Ярославский смешаны в одну кучу с Достоевским и Св. Сергием Радонежским. А мы все еще слушаем, разинув рты, со слезами на глазах, и вот-вот да скажем, «Да, неправы были наши отцы, пойдя против народа, ведь только Сталин спас Российскую Государственность!» Мне же кажется, что именно благодаря Сталину нынешнее падение России столь глубоко. А единственный ответ и выход из тупика – это отвержение всего советского и возвращение на устои Императорской России. Любая попытка перемешать все – а именно это и есть «русская идея» нынешних властей – загонит Россию глубже в тупик. Мешать добро и зло невозможно.
Мне лично противно слышать заявления о православии из уст вчерашних комсомольцев, а сегодняшних ханжей. Далеко не все Савлы способны стать Павлами: многие преобразуются в фарисеев. Не хочу огульно обвинять всех недавно крещеных: среди них большое количество порядочных людей и добросовестных христиан, но такие, как правило, как раз и не трубят и не обличают на каждом углу. С детства нас учили, что есть советская власть с одной стороны и стонущий под ее гнетом русский народ с другой. Но столкновение с этим народом показало, что за 70 с лишним лет, в какой-то значительной своей части, он действительно стал советским и гордиться этим, хотя когда выгодно, может и запеть о России.
The Now Silent Voice of the Russian Orthodox Church
"By the beginning of the Second World War… the greater part of those churches that remained did not recognize Metropolitan Sergius." Out of the more than 100 bishops known to be still alive in 1943, Sergius could find only 18 (and some of these were newly consecrated) to elect him "Patriarch" in that year."
From "Russia's Catacomb Saints" by I. M. Andreev and Fr. Seraphim Rose
HOW AND WHY DID THE BISHOPS OF THE MP-WHICH BEGAN WITH ONLY 18 BISHOPS-GROW INTO A CHURCH ORGANIZATION OF ABOUT 150 BISHOPS WHILE THE 82 BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CATACOMB CHURCH DIMINISHED TO A HANDFUL BY THE 1980-90'S?
THE PURPOSE OF THIS COLLECTION OF FACTS, WRITINGS AND EXAMPLES OF SAINTS IS TO ATTEMPT TO ANSWSWER THIS QUESTION.
A brief history of what happened in the 1927 schism of Metropolitan Sergius and his followers by Metropolitan Vitaly and Metropolitan Philaret:
Metropolitan Vitaly wrote:
very earliest years the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has had no
communion at all with the Moscow Patriarchate for very good reasons. Let us
recall how, in a document dated 25th December 1924, Patriarch Tikhon appointed
one of three Metropolitans - whichever of Metropolitans Kyrill, Agathangel or
Peter of Krutitsa could manage to be present in Moscow - to replace him after
his death until such time as a new Patriarch could be elected. Metropolitans
Kyrill and Agathangel were not allowed to travel to Moscow from their places of
exile by the Soviet government. The 58 bishops who assembled in Moscow for the
funeral of Patriarch Tikhon examined the document left by the late Patriarch,
and then recognized Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa as locum tenens of the
Patriarchal throne until the lawful election of a new Patriarch. He was loyal to
the Soviet government in the sense that he did not speak out against it
publicly, but he completely refused to make any untrue statements in support of
it or to meet any of its demands which were unacceptable to the Church. On 27th
November / 10th December 1925 he was arrested. At first he was imprisoned in the
Butyrka Prison, in a large cell together with common criminals, and then he was
exiled to a remote part of Asia. A few days before his arrest Metropolitan Peter
appointed Metropolitan Sergius, who was then in Moscow, as his deputy, and
indicated two other possible deputies - Metropolitan Michael, the Exarch of the
Ukraine, and Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd, who was then still Archbishop of
At first Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky did not sign the "Declaration" and was put in prison, but he was let out very soon after. This seemed highly suspicious to all the faithful. It turned out that now he had signed the Declaration. In other words, he had betrayed the Church to the Bolshevik government. He thereby deprived it of its own internal freedom in spiritual and administrative matters. When Metropolitan Peter learned that Metropolitan Sergius had signed this Declaration - in other words, that he had changed the whole course of the life of the Church - he wrote him two letters from prison, copies of which have been preserved. In these letters he said, very politely, "You, your eminence, had no right to change the course of the Church" i.e. to betray it to the Bolsheviks. He received no answer to these letters. And he was the real authority over Metropolitan Sergius. Clearly Sergius had concluded that by being arrested Metropolitan Peter had also been deposed from his position of authority in the Church, which is completely contrary to the Orthodox canons. Then Metropolitan Peter sent a letter by hand, thinking that it was the postal service that was at fault, and even then Metropolitan Sergius made no reply to his ecclesiastical superior, who was still his superior, even though confined to prison! For no Bolshevik government authority can deprive a single bishop or a single priest of his spiritual authority.
This is something which you should know. Despite this, Sergius decided that he need no longer reckon with him as someone in a senior position. When Metropolitan Peter returned from his exile, the Bolsheviks realized that Metropolitan Peter was senior to Metropolitan Sergius in the Church, and then they immediately arrested him and shot him. None of the ruling bishops (and there were about ten of them) submitted to Metropolitan Sergius as the successor to the Patriarch. So they were all arrested, sent into exile, and ultimately killed. The Bolsheviks did everything possible to smooth the way for Metropolitan Sergius. Thus Metropolitan Sergius set out on a path drenched in the blood of the martyred bishops of Russia. On one occasion Lenin said, "If you need a Church, we will give you one, we will even give you a Patriarch, but it is WE who will give you your Patriarch. And it is WE who will give you your Church."...At the moment when Metropolitan Sergius ceased to recognize Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa as his spiritual authority he deprived himself of the Apostolic Succession and became a usurper. Such was the path taken by Metropolitan Sergius, and after him by all the other patriarchs and metropolitans up to the present day, which is why we do not have any communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. It is a pseudo-patriarchate with a pseudo-patriarch at its head. This is the fundamental reason. So we do not point at it and say there, look what it's turned into, because the very heart of the matter is, that the Moscow Patriarchate has lost the Apostolic Succession, which is to say, that it has lost the Grace of Christ."
Metropolitan Philaret wrote:
"What then is the Soviet church? Archimandrite Constantine has often and insistently stated that the most horrible thing that the God-hating regime has done in Russia is the creation of the Soviet Church, which the Bolsheviks presented to the people as the true Church, having driven the genuine Orthodox Church into the catacombs or into the concentration camps. This pseudo-church has been twice anathematized. His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Sobor anathematized the Communists and all their collaborators. This dread anathema has not been lifted till this day and remains in force, since it can be lifted only by a similar All-Russian Church Sobor, as the canonical supreme ecclesiastical authority. And a terrifying thing happened in 1927, when the head of the Church, Metropolitan Sergius, by his infamous and apostate Declaration, subjected the Russian Church to the Bolsheviks and proclaimed collaboration with them. And thus in a most exact sense was fulfilled the _expression in the prayer at the beginning of Confession: having fallen under their own anathema! For in 1918 the Church anathematized all the confederates of Communism, while in 1927 she herself joined the camp of these collaborators and began to laud the red, God-hating regime to laud the red beast spoken of in the Apocalypse. As if that is not enough. When Metropolitan Sergius promulgated his criminal Declaration, then the faithful children of the Church immediately separated themselves from the Soviet church, and thus the Catacomb Church was formed. And she, in her turn, has anathematized the official church for its betrayal of Christ."
And now to examine the question at hand
"All those arrested for ecclesiastical matters (and such, according to official secret statistics, in 1928-29 on Solovki were as many as 20 per cent) at interrogations were invariably asked what their attitude was to "our" Metr. Sergius, who headed the "Soviet Church." At the same time the exultant GPU-interrogators with malignant joy and sarcasm would demonstrate the "strict canonicity" of Metr. Sergius and his Declaration, which "violated neither canons nor dogmas."
-Professor and Confessor Ivan Andreev-
"...the Soviet Church attained it's present ascendancy and 'canonicity' in the USSR through the government's arrest and murder of the leading anti-sergianists."
-Fr. Seraphim Rose-
1) WHAT IS SERGIANISM?
Perhaps the best answer can be found in the Josephite (a particular group of Catacomb Christians who belonged to the true Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church) anathema against it from the late 1920's:
“To those holding fast to the most-insane renovationist heresy of the sergianists: to those who teach that the earthly establishment of the Church of God is maintained by rejecting the truths of Christ; and to those who declare that the Church of Christ is saved by serving the theomachic authorities and carrying out their godless commands, even unto the trampling down of the sacred canons, the traditions of the Holy Fathers and the divine dogmas, and to the destruction of all Christianity; and to those who revere the antichrist and his servants, and his forerunners, and all his minions, as a legitmate authority and one established by God; and to all the leaders of that antichristian heresy, those who revile the Confessors and New Martyrs (to Sergei of Nizhegorod, to Nikolai of Kiev and to Aleksy of Khutyn), and to those who would repeat their doctrines, and to the renovationists, and to other heretics, — anathema”.
2) HOW DID THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH VIEW SERGIANISM?
Even before the 1927 declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, the Russian Orthodox Church declared that their could be no union between an Orthodox Christian and the communists. Patriarch Tikhon anathamatized the communists:
A) Patriarch Tikhon stated in 1918:
“I adjure all of you who are faithful children of the Orthodox Church of Christ not to commune with such outcasts of the human race in any matter whatsoever; ‘cast out the wicked from among you’ (I Corinthians 5.13).”
B) And the entire Council of the Russian Orthodox Church proclamined in 1918:
“The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia in his epistle to the beloved in the Lord archpastors, pastors and all faithful children of the Orthodox Church of Christ has drawn the spiritual sword against the outcasts of the human race – the Bolsheviks, and anathematised them. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church adjures all her faithful children not to enter into any communion with these outcasts. For their satanic deeds they are cursed in this life and in the life to come. Orthodox! His Holiness the Patriarch has been given the right to bind and to loose according to the word of the Saviour… Do not destroy your souls, cease communion with the servants of Satan – the Bolsheviks. Parents, if your children are Bolsheviks, demand authoritatively that they renounce their errors, that they bring forth repentance for their eternal sin, and if they do not obey you, renounce them. Wives, if your husbands are Bolsheviks and stubbornly continue to serve Satan, leave your husbands, save yourselves and your children from the soul-destroying infection. An Orthodox Christian cannot have communion with the servants of the devil… Repent, and with burning prayer call for help from the Lord of Hosts and thrust away from yourselves ‘the hand of strangers’ – the age-old enemies of the Christian faith, who have declared themselves in self-appointed fashion ‘the people’s power’… If you do not obey the Church, you will not be her sons, but participants in the cruel and satanic deeds wrought by the open and secret enemies of Christian truth… Dare! Do not delay! Do not destroy your soul and hand it over to the devil and his stooges.”
3) DID ST. TIKHON AND OTHER SAINTS MAKE COMPROMISES WITH THE COMMUNISTS IN THE 1920'S?
Yes...some Saints made compromises with the communists. However they did not surrender the spiritual freedom of the Church to the communists. They did not preach communism or heresy. They did not betray their fellow Christians to death. They were obedient to God and not to the antichristian authority which was in obedience to the devil. They did not praise God's enemies. They did not (with some exceptions-which were for less than 1 year in time and were done unwillingly) pray for the God hating authorities. They did not become agents of the communists. They did not persecute the Church. They did not inform on other Christians. All this was the role of the Sergianists.
4) WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE WHO DID NOT ACCEPT THE DECLARATION OF METROPOLITAN SERGIUS AND HIS AND HIS FOLLOWERS SUBSEQUENT ACTIVITIES?
Here are some examples:
A) Father Palladius related how the Soviet authorities had brought the priests to submit to Metropolitan Sergius. That was in 1927/28 in Kiev:
"They collected about two hundred of us clergy on the third floor of a building in Kiev, evidently occupied by the GPU. They declared to us that we were all obliged to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), to whom the Soviet authorities had entrusted the government of the Orthodox Church in the U.S.S.R. This was the so-called 'signature of loyalty'. Whoever signed the required obligation would be received into the clergy by the 'bishop' and appointed a place where he was to serve. But whoever refused to do this would be looked upon by the Soviet authorities as having, by this refusal, committed an act of counter-revolution. And with such people, as with 'enemies of the people', they said, we can deal severely... "And then they began to call us up according to a list... But they positioned us in such a way that we were well able to see both the table to which they called us up individually and the window, close by the table, and what was happening beyond the window, below, in the inner courtyard of this building. "When they began to call out the names, no one faltered and not one gave his signature. One after the other they went up to the table and replied with a refusal. And immediately they threw the man who had refused through the window onto the concrete square. Some of these courageous martyrs for Christ, on falling from the third floor, were immediately killed and did not move. When others hit the concrete, their eyes fell out, but they continued to move... And immediately they picked each of them up and hurled them into a lorry... Seventeen clergy were thrown in in this manner. The queue now came to me - I was the fourth after these seventeen. "I was in such joy, it is impossible to describe it," he continued. "Fervently I thanked the Lord: 'Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who hast counted me worthy to receive a martyr's death!...' But alas! at that moment, a chekist came in and gave the order to wait a little with the refusers... Apparently, they understood that with this method of punishment they would be able neither to shake nor to terrify any of the confessors of the Faith of Christ. And after seventeen had been thrown through the window, they stopped hurling down those who refused to submit to Metropolitan Sergius, and began to give them terms of imprisonment in camps from five to ten years. They gave me eight years' imprisonment in camps... At the end of this term, they gave me three years more in exile in Kirghizia..."
B) From the life of St. Valentine:
The priest who served in their church was called Fr. Valentine. His father and grandfather had been priests before him. In 1927 Metropolitan Sergius issued his "Declaration". Fr. Valentine signed it. When the chanters in the church heard about this, one of them - a bass, the cousin of Archippus Kuzmich - stood up and declared that the priest had renounced God. Soon the authorities again brought Fr. Valentine papers to sign. But he tore them up - both the new ones and the ones he had signed earlier. After this they took him away and no-one saw him alive again. In Fr. Valentine's place they sent a renovationist priest to the church and the church began to be considered red.
C) Ivan Andreev writes:
"Citizens of Soviet Russia who formerly used to go to church and then stopped going were sometimes summoned to the M.G.B. (former G.P.U.) and asked why they had given up going to church. They were forced to choose between going to the official church again or writing and publishing in a Soviet paper a complete repudiation of all religion as an "opiate of the people." Thus, going to a Soviet church was tantamount to renouncing Christ and to the total rejection of religion....All secret priests detected in the Soviet Zone of Germany have been shot. All priests who did not recognize Patriarch Alexis were also shot."
"My conversation with Archbp. Anthony lasted more than two hours. I related to him in detail of the historic Delegation of the Petrograd diocese in 1927, after which the church schism occurred. At the end of my account Archbp. Anthony asked me to tell him of the person and activity of Vladika Maxim. I replied very reservedly and briefly, and he noticed that I did not fully trust him. He asked me about this. I frankly replied that we of the catacombs feared not only the agents of the GPU, but also the "Sergianists," who many times had given us over to the GPU."
D) St. Johanna, Scema Abbess of Suzdal writes:
"My parents were persecuted and oppressed for being true to Holy Orthodoxy," reminisced Mother Joanna. The godless authorities made her father, Athanasius Sanin, choose between recognising Metropolitan Sergius' 'declaration of apostasy', or face punishment. Athanasius Sanin, a man of great Christian conscience and human dignity, chose to go to prison rather than betray his Church. He died in prison years later after suffering bestial tortures. Mother Joanna's mother, Anastasia, spent a quarter of a century in Soviet jails, but emerged unbroken.
E) From the life of St. Vladimir:
Archpriest Vladimir Zacharievich was the rector of the church in the town of Borovika (according to another account, Brovikhi) in the provinceof Kiev. In 1927 he was arrested and placed in solitary confinement in the Kornilov region; during interrogations they constantly demanded recognition of Metropolitan Sergius; when he categorically refused, his hands and feet were broken and he was thrown back into his prison cell overflowing with arrested people, where he died His Matushka Susanna was not given his body, and it was buried in the local cemetery in a common pit with all those who had been shot.
A large group of priests was rounded up by the chekists in Kiev, in a house by the Dnieper. And it was proposed to them that they recognise Metropolitan Sergius as the head of that "church" which recognised the God-fighting, antichristian State. A chekist gave a short speech, but his accent showed that he was not Russian: "Whoever does not do this and recognise Metropolitan Sergius and does not submit to him is an enemy of the people and of the Soviet State. For such as these our speech will be short. Everything has already been prepared!" When he had said this, he pointed with his hand to a platform planked on the sides and with a roof on top leading own to the waters of the Dnieper. After this he began to call out each priest in turn and put to him the question: "Do you recognise Metropolitan Sergius, who is recognised by the Soviet authorities, as head of the Russian Orthodox Church? Will you sign that you are obliged to obey the metropolitan?" Whoever replied with a refusal had his hands tied behind his back and was led away onto the covered footbridge. After some time a courageous martyr of Christ appeared on the open platform. "And we saw," recounted one of the priests, "how the chekists, going into the water behind him, pushed him down, and he did not appear above the water again." All those who were faithful to Christ God and refused to betray Him and sign were thrown into the water and drowned, leaving only the fainthearted, who signed. It was one of those who told the story. He wept, bowing his head low. Then he said goodbye and left.
G) From the lives of Sts. Nicholas and Valentina:
Protopriest Nicholas Dzhozovsky served as the rector of the church in the town of Datsk, in the province of Kiev. In 1933 the sergianists seized this parish. Fr. Nicholas moved to the suburbs of Kiev, where his wife, Matushka Valentina, lived. In 1934 he was arrested for not recognising Metropolitan Sergius, and taken on foot through the forest to Boyarka station, from where he was to go to Vasilkov. On the road, in the forest,he was tied to a tree, mocked and brutally tortured: the tormentors cut off his fingers, tore out his hair, stabbed, cut, and finally shot him Matushka Valentina died from hunger.
H) From the life of St. Sergius:
"For not recognizing 'our', as the chekist-interrogators called him, Metropolitan Sergius, Bishop Sergius of Buzuluk was arrested together with an igumen whose name has been forgotten. Stirred by the unshakeable firmness of the confessors, they sentenced them to the same cruel punishment: either they would give in or suffer a terrible slow death... They put them into a room full of rats. In this room there was a pool full of water instead of a floor and a large stump of wood capable of supporting several swimming people. And in the walls of the room there were holes in which sat hungry rats ready to fall on the people as on food offered them. No one endured a stay in that room. Everyone, at the sight of those innumerable beasts of prey falling on them incessantly, immediately agreed to take upon themselves any accusation, any demand asked of them by the 'investigators'. Only so long as they were delivered from the rats, from that terrible death. And the executioners, sitting the bishop and the igumen in that rat-room, were convinced that they would obtain their desired result... But the desired result was not obtained!.. The feeding-trough was opened, and through the metal window came the voice: "'Well, have you changed your minds?' asked the supervisor. "But no answer came. "'Well, we haven't got all day! It's late...' "But the confessors of Christ understood that here there awaited them inevitable death, and they turned to God with flaming, tearful prayer. About one thing only: that they might be strengthened to receive the longed-for death for Christ... While they stood the beasts of prey were not able to overpower them. But, tormented by hunger and thirst, they grew weaker and lay dawn. And then the whole mass of rats around the water hurled themselves upon them. The supervisor saw all this and waited for them to begin to entreat him to save them, but in vain. The holy martyrs preferred death, 'the sweet death for Christ', rather than betray Him and recognize Metropolitan Sergius' treachery to be 'a good deed'. They did not ask for mercy from the torturers, and, strengthened by the grace of God, they were eaten alive by the beasts of prey..."
I) From the life of St. Nectarius:
The future Archimandrite Nectarius was twice arrested and condemned to the concentration camps. At preliminary interrogations on both occasions, in 1931 and 1935, the crafty questions were put to him: "Do you agree with the world-view of the Soviet authorities?", "Do you agree with the measures undertaken by the Soviet authorities in relation to collectivization?" and a whole range of similar questions. And then there followed such questions as: "Do you recognize the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, and if not, why? Why do you not recognize the lawful-canonical ecclesiastical power of Metropolitan Sergius? That means that you do not need the Church, you need those who do politics (indicating the names of those hierarchs who did not submit to Metropolitan Sergius). You are a counter-revolutionary, an enemy of Soviet power," etc.
J) From the life of Hieroconfessor St. Basil, Bishop Of Kineshma
The hierarch refused to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergiusand recognize it as Orthodox. At that the enraged torturers set about beating him with the buckles of their soldier's belts. But they could not shake his resolute, pure and Orthodox confession of Christ, which could not be deflected by any worldly enticement.
K) Archbishop Lazarus writes:
And for merely not recognizing Patriarch Alexis, priests were given 25 years' imprisonment and laymen were given 10 years.
L) Gideon, Peter, Nicetas And Tiburtius ,Hieromartyrs And Those With Them
In 1931, Hieromonk Gideon and the priest Peter were the only two priests in their deanery who refused to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius. After the meeting, the Bolsheviks came to take him at the house of his mother. His mother remembered his parting words for the rest of her life: "Don't go anywhere, don't look for anyone! They've all signed! Fr. Peter and I were the only ones at the meeting of the clergy who did not put their signatures to the dishonourable document of apostasy. And now we await speedy arrest, imprisonment and execution by shooting!" And a few days later, on Thomas Sunday, Fr. Gideon was taken away and shot. Fr. Peter was taken a little later, but in the same year.
5) HAVE THEIR BEEN ANY REVELATIONS FROM GOD ABOUT THE SERGIANIST PATH?
Yes. Here are a few:
A) From the life of St. Hilarion, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Porech
On October 1,1929, under pressure from the sergianist bishops, he served in the cemetery church, commemorating the name of Metropolitan Sergius. What happened next was described by Hieromartyr Nectarius, Bishop of Yaransk, his fellow-prisoner on Solovki, who heard it from Vladyka Hilarion himself: "Shortly before this [service in the cemetery church], he had a very frightening dream. It was as if he trampled the Smolensk Hodigitria icon of the Mother of God under foot. And what then? After serving the liturgy with the sergianist bishops, instead of receiving spiritual consolation and joy, he began to feel terrible pangs of conscience and depression of spirit, 'and the sergianist apostasy,' he told me, 'became quite clear to me - I had turned out to be a participator in the sergianist crimes against the Orthodox Church.' And what then? At that very moment he declared to the sergianist bishops that he was leaving them and returning to his former ecclesiastical position with Bishops Victor, Nectarius, Demetrius and the others."
B) From the life of St. Sergius:
After the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius in 1927, many people were unsure: should they go into this "church" or not? Some would say: "Of course we must enter!" Others: "In no circumstances must we enter!" One Kievan abbess was at a loss what to do. And she prayed fervently to the Lord to enlighten her. And it was revealed to her where she would obtain correct guidance. For this she was shown in detail where she had to go and was given the name of the sick Sergius... The abbess entrusted two faithful nuns with the task of going to this servant of God. They set off on the journey of some hundreds of kilometres on foot, as had been indicated to them, and they arrived without encountering any special obstacle. Brother Sergius already knew that they were coming to him from a long way away, and was waiting for them. When they entered his house he was the first to begin speaking: "Tell Matushka Abbess: it is absolutely forbidden to go to this 'church'. Let her not to doubt or waver any more. There, in that 'church', is a terrible, horrific heresy. All the priests there have signed, have agreed and entered into complete obedience to the antichrist... Now we must live as in the last times. We can turn only to those priests who have not signed allegiance to the antagonist of Christ. But there are very few of them and they are persecuting and killing them. They will teach you what to do and how to act..."
C) The claivoyant Eldress St. Agatha of BelaRussia to whom the Mother of God appeared many times said:
"This is not a true church. It has signed a contract to serve antichrist. Do not go to it. Do not receive any Mysteries from its servants. Do not participate in prayer with them. There will come a time when churches will be opened in Russia, and the true Orthodox faith will triumph. Then people will become baptized, as at one time they were baptized under St. Vladimir. When the churches are opened for the first time, do not go to them because these will not be true churches; but when they are opened the second time, then go - these will be the true churches."
6) ARE THERE ANY OTHER INTERESTING STORIES ABOUT THIS ISSUE?
Yes...here are some:
A) From the life of St. Nicetas:
Once at Pascha Fr. Nicetas was serving in a narrow little store-room, half of which was curtained off. During the Paschal service the priest has to change his vestments, and Fr. Nicetas couldn't do this without an assistant. He remembered a service in a big Moscow church where the choir alone numbered 70 chanters, - all the circumstances of his long and much-suffering life appeared in a flash before his mental gaze, - and Batyushka fell onto the altar and wept - as an eye-witness remembers - like a child. But Batyushka was immediately consoled, for the Saviour appeared to him at that moment and strengthened him. He ordered that this incident should not be related to others until after his death.
B) A story from the 1980's:
In the early 1980s a small secret community of monastics was discovered in the high mountains about 60 kilometres from Sukhumi by the KGB. 18 monastics managed to take shelter in a cave. The pursuers in a helicopter threw a cask full of burning liquid into the entrance and set it on fire.All those hiding in the cave perished. Their names were: Irina, Maria, Eudocia, Ulyana, John, Gregory, Basil, Andrew, Stephen, and others.
C) From the life of St. Arsenius:
"By the way, the bishops who fell into schism usually played a terrible role of agent provocateur for the GPU. In the GPU prison, the renovationist Metropolitan Eudocimus (Meshchersky) tried to force Metropolitan Arsenius of Novgorod to join renovationism. Metropolitan Arsenius told him, his former colleague in the Moscow Academy: "'But you must know that renovationism is unlawful.' "'What can one do - they demand it,' replied Archbishop Eudocimus, motioning with his head to the chekist's door. "When Metropolitan Arsenius remained unbending, Archbishop Eudocimus angrily said to him: "'Well then rot in prison!..' "And with this he left the prisoner."
D) From the life of St. Hieromartyr Arcadius, Bishop Of Lubny
Once, when his strength was undermined from this constant loneliness, homelessness and fear of the next day, being secretly in Moscow, he was tempted to visit Metropolitan Sergius. In order to see the metropolitan, one had to go through great difficulties and dangers. And when he finally saw him and told him about his situation, the metropolitan, without listening to him, asked abruptly: "Have you registered with the GPU? Until you are registered there, I will not speak with you." As Vladyka Arcadius was leaving the metropolitan's office, he noted that both the metropolitan and all his clergy were well fed and wore clean clothing. And when he looked around at the miserable, destitute people who were waiting outside his office in the hope of seeing the metropolitan and receiving some help from him, he understood that his path was different, and that he had to return to his wandering...
E) Nicetas (Lekhan) Hieroconfessor Of Kharkov:
In this village there lived some True Orthodox nuns, who had come there from various closed monasteries. They told him about sergianism, the way in which the official Russian Church under Metropolitan Sergius had surrendered to the communists. But he was young then and did not listen to them particularly. But then, as he himself related, the Lord sent him a penance for his service in the "sergianist church": he was arrested. Throughout his years in prison he considered it a punishment, and not an exploit. He thought the sam with regard to those convinced sergianist bishops and priests who were arrested in spite of their agreement with the atheists.
7)HAVE ANY CHURCH COUNCILS EVER RULED ON THE ISSUE OF SERGIANISM OR THE SEGIANIST CHURCH?
Yes...to mention two of them:
The Catacomb Council of Ust-Kut (1935):
Providence convened a Council of the Catacomb Church in July, 1937, in the
depths of Siberia:- “In the last days of July, 1937, in the Siberian town of
Ust-Kut, on the River Lena (at its juncture with the River Kut), in the
re-grouping section of the house of arrest, there met by chance: two
Metropolitans, four Bishops, two Priests and six laymen of the secret Catacomb
Church, who were on a stage of their journey from Vitim to Irkutsk, being sent
from Irkutsk to the north.
“It was difficult to anticipate a similarly full and representative gathering of same-minded members of the Church in the near future. Therefore those who had gathered decided immediately to open a ‘Sacred Council’, in order to make canonical regulations concerning vital questions of the Catacomb Church. The time of the Council was, as it seemed, limited to four hours, after which the participants in the Council were sent in different directions.
“The president was Metropolitan John (in one version: “Bishop John”), and the Council chose the layman A.Z. to be secretary. The resolutions of the Council were not signed: A.Z. gave an oath to memorize the decisions of the Council and to pass on to whom it was necessary whatever he remembered exactly, but not to speak at all about what he confused or could not remember exactly. A.Z. in his time succeeded in passing on the memorised decisions of the Church. His words were written down and became Canons of the Church. Among these Canons were some which are especially necessary for the Church:
“1. The Sacred Council forbids the faithful to receive communion from the clergy legalized by the anti-Christian State.
“2. It has been revealed to the Sacred Council by the Spirit that the anathema-curse hurled by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon is valid, and all priests and Church-servers who have dared to consider it as an ecclesiastical mistake or political tactic are placed under its power and bound by it.“
3. To all those who discredit and separate themselves from the Sacred Council of 1917-18 – Anathema!“
4. All branches of the Church which are on the common trunk – the trunk is our pre-revolutionary Church – are living branches of the Church of Christ. We give our blessing to common prayer and the serving of the Divine Liturgy to all priests of these branches. The Sacred Council forbids all those who do not consider themselves to be branches, but independent from the tree of the Church, to serve the Divine Liturgy. The Sacred Council does not consider it necessary to have administrative unity of the branches of the Church, but unity of mind concerning the Church is binding on all.”
The ROCOR Council of 1971:
Resolution of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Concerning the Election of Pimen (Isvekov as Patriarch of Moscow)
The Council of
Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on September 1/14) 1971
considered the gathering which, calling itself an All-Russian Church Council,
met in Moscow from May 30 to June 2 of this year for the purpose of electing a
Patriarch of Moscow and all Russias. This gathering declared that Metropolitan
Pimen was elected to the Patriarchal Throne. After considering all aspects of
this election, the Council of Bishops, representing the free part of the Russian
Orthodox Church, came to the following conclusion:
I. For the election of the Primate of a Local Church it is essential that such an election take place according to the laws of the given Church and that it be free, representing a genuine _expression of her voice.
2. In 1917 the All-Russian Council adopted a resolution restoring the Patriarchate in Russia, and elected to the Patriarchal See His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. This council included all canonically consecrated bishops of the Russian Church, representatives of the monastic clergy and the Orthodox Theological Academies, invited by the Synod on the basis of the Regulation it had issued. All the representatives of the diocese were chosen freely at elections on three levels: parish elections, deanery elections and diocesan meetings. The actual election of the Patriarch took place in a fashion that guaranteed freedom in the nominating of candidates for election. The latter were established by a secret ballot, and at first a large number of candidates were named. From among them, by systematic balloting, the three who received the highest number of votes were picked, and of those one was finally elected by the drawing of lots. This system of election, guaranteeing complete freedom and confirmed by the All-Russian Church Council, was never abolished by a free council of equal authority. Therefore, and election of Patriarchs effected otherwise and not in a free manner, does not express the voice of the Russian Orthodox Church and is not lawful. Not only the election of the present Pimen, who claims to be Patriarch, but those of his two predecessors must also be regarded as unlawful. Their supporters can not defend these elections by saying that the external conditions caused by persecutions against the Faith prevented the realization of a lawful form of election, since, despite the obvious, they constantly insist on the supposed full religion's freedom in the Soviet Union. Similar decisions were made the now elected Patriarch Pimen. At all three patriarchal elections, no one attempted or had any possibility of nominating a candidate other than the one indicated beforehand by representatives of the secular authorities.
3. The lawful succession of higher Church authority in the Russian Church has been broken since 192 7, when the Acting Locum-Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Sergius of Nizhny-Novgorod, went against the order of the Metropolitan of Krutitsa whom he was replacing and signed an agreement with the atheistic secular authorities, to which neither Metropolitan Peter nor the other elder hierarchs agreed. The Soviet government began to throw all the hierarchs who did not agree with Metropolitan Sergius in prison, thus clearing the path for him to become head of the Russian Church.
He, for his part, taking no account of the elder bishops, formed a Synod by his own personal choice and, while Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, to whom by position the Moscow diocese belonged, was still alive, he unlawfully gave himself the title of "His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Moscow" with the right to wear two panagias. In 1943, by order of the atheist and the malicious persecutor of the Church, Stalin, he hurriedly (in four days) pulled together, in fulfillment of the latter's political plans, a Council consisting of bishops specially chosen and freed from prison for the purpose by Stalin, a Council which, counting Metropolitan Sergius, himself, consisted of only 19 bishops, and which elected him Patriarch. In 1945, after the death of Patriarch Sergius, Metropolitan Alexis of Leningrad gathered a Council, to which representatives of the other autocephalous Churches were also invited. This Council, besides recently consecrated bishops, consisted of representatives of the clergy and laity, picked without elections and prepared for the election of a Patriarch, and, submissively following the directions of the atheistic authorities, unanimously elected as Patriarch Metropolitan Alexis of Leningrad. After his death, in the same illegal manner the so-called All-Russian Council was convoked this year for the election as Patriarch of Metropolitan Pimen, known not so much for his devoutness or theological education, but rather for his diligence in carrying out the orders of the atheistic government, which are directed toward the destruction of the Church and toward fulfilling the political plans of the Soviet Regime.
4. All of the elections of Patriarchs in Moscow, beginning in 1943, are invalid on the basis of the 30th Canon of the Holy Apostles and the 3rd Canon of the 7th Ecumenical Council, according to which, "if any bishop, having made use of secular rulers, should receive through them Episcopal authority in the Church, let him be defrocked and excommunicated along with all those in communion with him". The significance that the Fathers of the 7th Council gave to such an offence is obvious from the very fact of a double punishment for it, that is, not only deposition but excommunication as well, something unusual for ecclesiastical law. The famous commentator on Canon Law, Bishop Nicodemus of Dalmatia, gives the following explanation of the 30th Canon of the Holy Apostles: "If the Church condemned unlawful influence by the secular authorities in the ordination of bishops at a time when the rulers were Christians, then it follows that She should condemn such action all the more when the latter are pagans and place even heavier penalties on the guilty parties, who were not ashamed of asking for help from pagan rulers and the authorities subordinated to them, in order to gain the episcopate. This (30th) Canon has such cases in view". If in defense of this position examples are given of the Patriarchs of Constantinople who were placed on the Throne at the caprice of the Turkish Sultans, one can reply that no anomaly can be regarded as a norm and that one breach of Canon Law cannot justify another.
Taking into consideration all the above mentioned reasons, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, as the representative of the free part of the Russian Church, determines:
The election of Pimen (Izvekov) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russias at the gathering calling itself an All-Russian Church Council in Moscow the 2nd of June of this year, on the authority of the 3rd Canon of the 7th Ecumenical Council and other reasons set forth in this decision, is to be regarded as unlawful and void, and all of his acts and directions as having no strength.
8) WHAT ARE THE OPINIONS OF VARIOUS RUSSIAN NEW MARTYRS CONCERNING SERGIANISM OR THE SERGIANIST CHURCH ORGANIZATION?
A) Abercius, Archbishop And Hieromartyr Of Zhitomir:
When Metropolitan Sergius' declaration appeared in 1927, Archbishop Abercius came out strongly against it. Together with his brother, Archbishop Pachomius, he wrote an epistle in which he said: "There can be no union between Church and State, when it has to do with our Orthodox Church and the Soviet Union, by reason of the fundamental difference in the basic views of the two sides. The only thing that is possible is a conditional agreement as to practical mutual relationships, solely on the foundation of the principle of the separation of Church and State. "In actual fact, can one even conceive of the Soviet State in union with the Church? A State religion in an anti-religious State! A government Church in an atheist government! This is an absurdity; it contradicts the nature of the Church and the Soviet State; this is unacceptable both for a sincerely religious person and for an honest atheist."
B) Hieroconfessor Agathangelus, Metropolitan Of Yaroslavl:
Towards the end of 1927 he wrote a letter to Bishop Paul of Starobela, calling Sergius "a usurper of ecclesiastical power". And he formed the so-called "Yaroslavl group", which declared its break of communion with Metropolitan Sergius on January 24 / February 6, 1928. Although in May of that year, probably under the influence of Tuchkov, who arrived in Yaroslavl at that time, he displayed some wavering in his attitude towards Sergius,his group remained as a de facto autocephaly until his death, reserving the right not to carry out any instructions that "offended our and the people's conscience and, as we believe, transgress the church canons". Moreover, there is evidence that Metropolitan Agathangelus broke communion with Sergius again that summer. In September, 1928 he wrote a sharp Epistle against Metropolitan Sergius. According to Schema-Bishop Peter, Metropolitan Agathangelus advised him that if Metropolitans Agathangelus, Cyril, Peter and Joseph should die, he should turn to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), president of the Russian Church Abroad, who was an opponent of Metropolitan Sergius. And when Metropolitan Sergius wrote to him requesting him not to break communion with him and join the ranks of the Catacomb Church, Metropolitan Agathangelus replied with a deafening silence. That Vladyka Agathangelus was never reconciled with Metropolitan Sergius is affirmed by his niece, A. V. Preobrazhenskaya.
C) New Martyr Schema-Igumen Zosimas of the Svir desert:
"In the course of the whole Christian era not one heresiarch has introduced such destructive opinions [as Metropolitan Sergius], which besmirch the great Christian exploit of martyrdom and confession. Not one has yet called on people and taught them to rejoice at the overthrow of everything that was achieved by the Apostolic preaching, by the sufferings of the holy martyrs and confessors What a pity that the majority of hierarchs, keeping quiet about the essence of the question, go round it, not seeing a canon directly relating to this subject, and in this way they calm their conscience. But if there is no direct canon, then there is the Holy Gospel - the foundation of all the canons."
D) Alexis, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Voronezh:
On January 9/22, 1928 Bishop Alexis wrote an epistle to the clergy and laity of the Voronezh diocese concerning his separation from Metropolitan Sergius, in which he said: "By his actions contrary to the spirit of Orthodoxy, Metropolitan Sergius has torn himself away from unity with the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and lost the right to lead the Russian Church... I elect his Eminence Joseph (Petrovykh) as my highest spiritual leader..."
E) Hieromartyr Andrew, Archbishop Of Ufa:
are all living through a fearful, terrible time, when lies and deceit rule and
celebrate their triumph on the earth. The breath of the Antichrist can be felt
in every corner of our life. Even Metropolitan Peter did not escape this breath
of the Antichrist. But later he repented and now he is in a distant exile. As
for the renovationists and Metropolitan Sergius, they have completely bowed down
to that beast of which the holy book of the Revelation of John the Theologian
speaks. Read the thirteenth chapter. Both the renovationists and Metropolitan
Sergius are carrying out only the will of the atheists. And they do not hide
this from anyone, but even write about it in their 'Declarations'. That is why
every true son of the Church must flee from these betrayers of Christ without
looking back; and all true children of the Church must give their parish
communities foundations that are free and independent of the hierarch betrayers
of Christ. There is no doubt that the hierarchs who have submitted to
Metropolitan Sergius have all renounced the people of the Church and are serving
the atheists and are only corrupting the believing people. That is why it is
necessary to carry out the command from the Revelation of John the Theologian:
'Come out from her, My people, so that you may not participate in her sins and
not be subjected
plagues' (Revelation 18.4). It is necessary that all parish priests should be
elected and not appointed. It is necessary that all priests should give their
signatures to the parish councils that they will do nothing without the
knowledge of the parish council. It is necessary that bishops, too, should be
elected by the people for their pious life, and not drunkards or betrayers of
Christ whom the renovationists have appointed."
When Metropolitan Sergius gave his notorious interview for TASS on February 15, 1930, in which he denied that there was persecution against religion in the USSR and equated the Church confessors with common criminals, Archbishop Andrew wrote: "Such is the opinion of the false head of the false patriarchal church Metropolitan Sergius. Who, after all this, can recognize him as their head? For whom will this false head remain as such, in spite of his betrayal of Christ? Imagine, readers - they recognize him, many recognize him!.. They curse him, but recognize him as their 'canonical' head. As if it were better to sit in hell with such a canonical head than without any head at all... But tell me, reader, is it possible to consider this company of hierarchs, these universal deceivers, as followers of Christ? - It goes without saying: no and no! All the followers of the lying Metropolitan Sergius are themselves filled to overflowing with lies and cunning and have fallen away from the truth of Christ - they have fallen away from the Church of Christ. The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is in some other place, but not with Metropolitan Sergius and not with his 'Synod'. Let the reader himself search where she is... It is not so difficult to find her. But one can firmly say that Metropolitan Sergius has convincingly demonstrated that the Synodal government of the Church did not give, and could not give her anything but harm. Sergius has dug a deep grave for this kind of Church government. The Holy Church will recall the sins of Sergius and his co-strugglers with horror, placing his name next to the names of the ecumenical false-patriarchs - Nestorius, Dioscurus and the other terrible traitors against Orthodoxy. When the hierarch Athanasius of Alexandria was expelled from his see by an heretical emperor, then, of course, hierarchs were found who readily carried out all the unlawful commands of the tsar. These hierarchs were called by St. Athanasius, not episkopoi [bishops], but kataskopoi (i.e. tsarist spies) deprived of all the gifts of grace. Such are our contemporary kataskopoi; they are destroyers of the churches of God and of Church life in general. Such is Metropolitan Sergius."
F) Hieromartyr Barlaam, Archbishop Of Perm:
Archbishop Barlaam was one of four bishops of the Yaroslavl diocese who sent an epistle to Metropolitan Sergius, breaking communion with him. Metropolitan Sergius reacted by issuing an ukaz on April 11, banning Archbishop Barlaam and those with him. Archbishop Barlaam, together with others, immediately issued another epistle, stating that they did not protest against Metropolitan Sergius' right of administration but against his Church policy. Among other things, they wrote: "The unwilling complicity of Orthodoxy with the socialist republic has become aggravated through the acceptance of the godless government by Metropolitan Sergius. The Church may not carry on external struggle, but the Church should devote herself to spiritual struggle with such a government."
G) Hieroconfessor Basil, Bishop Of Kineshma:
"I don't recognize Sergius as Orthodox," wrote Basil to him in reply. "And I ask you not to offer me any other sees, because I am old and too worn out by exiles."
H) Hieromartyr Basil, Bishop Of Priluky:
"The Church cannot help but sympathize with the attempt by Metropolitan Sergius and his holy Synod to obtain a peaceful attitude from the Bolshevik persecutors of the All-Russian Orthodox Church towards her, for Christians are commanded by God: 'If it is possible on your part, be at peace with everyone' (Romans 12.18). But Christ allows the Church to accept from Metropolitan Sergius and his holy Synod only such a reconciliation with her persecutors, the Bolsheviks and their Soviet power, as will truly be the peace of Christ, that is, a peace of such a content and quality as is demanded by Christ, Who said: 'Seek first of all the Kingdom of God and His righteousness', and not earthly prosperity and security. For any other peace is undoubtedly forbidden by the Church of Christ unto all ages and eternity (John 14.27). "Unfortunately, this attempt by Metropolitan Sergius and his holy Synod not only has not given us the peace of Christ with the Bolsheviks, but so far does not give us even the hope of such a peace, and that not only because of the Bolsheviks' stubborn enmity towards the Orthodox Church, but also because the attempt by Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod was begun is being further advanced by them by uncanonical means, and consequently, not according to the path of Church righteousness. There are other defects in it from the ecclesiastical point of view, about which we shall speak at another time, if God gives us the opportunity. It is necessary immediately to move this attempt by Metropolitan Sergius and his holy Synod into the canonical stream of Church righteousness, and above all to declare to the Bolsheviks that only an All-Russian Local Orthodox Council of bishops (alone, or broadened by the participation of clergy and laity in the form of a general All-Russian Church Council) has the right to speak about politics and carry out any political activity in the name of our Church. "Forgive our baseness, fathers and brothers, sisters and children in the Lord, and pray for my sins. May the mercy of the Lord give all of us joy without ceasing, beloved. The Lord God speaks to everyone who has ears to hear: 'Be faithful to Me unto death and I will give you a crown of life. But the fearful and those who are unfaithful to Me have their lot in the lake burning with fire and brimstone' (Revelation 2.10, 21,8)."
I) Hieromartyr Benjamin, Bishop Of Rybinsk:
"Metropolitan Sergius has begun an undertaking that is complex and difficult in its spiritual basis. Aiming to legitimize the civil situation of the Church in the contemporary State, the metropolitan has done something without precedent in the history of the Church - an experiment in joiningtwo mutually denying elements - the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of atheism, the Kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of antichrist. Metropolitan Sergiushas always been noted for his well-known suppleness of mind. Here he has taken this suppleness beyond its measure and become its victim. "The declaration has placed the Church in a position in relation to the contemporary State that she cannot accept while remaining the Church. Our State has openly, in front of the whole world, inscribed on its banner atheism and the struggle with religion, with Orthodoxy in particular. It is a struggle until final victory, until the complete death of religion. The Church can never say to such a government: 'I am with our government', and to the atheist people: 'I am with our people'. The Church can never say: 'the joys and successes of our civil homeland are our joys and successes, and its our failures - our failures.' Our Christian homeland under the leadershipof the God-fighting government is being systematically and swiftly reconstructed. It is already something new, its building in all branches of its life is atheist and antichristian, an atheist homeland is being formed. The joys and successes of its atheist construction cannot be the joys of the Church. The concept of the homeland is complex. It is composed of geographical, national, political, social, everyday and religious elements. Of these only one has so far remained untouched for us - the geographical. And not even that entirely. Atheism is defiling even the land. The atheist homeland is no longer a sacred homeland. For the Christian it has ceased to be the homeland. The Christian cannot call the atheistically constructed homeland his homeland, and still less can he rejoiced in its joys and successes. The joys and successes of the atheist homeland strengthen the atheism of the homeland and for that reason cannot be the joys of the Christian. "Metropolitan Sergius, by standing up next to atheism and the God-fighting government, by assuming to himself the joys and successes ofthe atheistically constructed, God-fighting homeland, has 'bowed' the Church of Christ under a foreign yoke with unbelievers. They say: it is possible to distinguish the civil element from the religious. That is either an erroror a sophism. Socialism understood in an abstract sense is a purely economic system. For that reason many think that it is possible to construct economic life without touching on religion at all. That is absurd. When the unbeliever constructs life, he will not be able to take only a part of life for his purely economic construction. He will unfailingly strive to take the whole of life for irreligious construction. The unbelieving builders are generous in their promises of complete religious freedom, that is, they are very loquacious, promising to present a certain part of life for any religion so that the whole of the rest of life may be filled with an exclusively irreligious content. But such promises are unacceptable, first, because of their very nature - their irreligiosity,.. and secondly, they will never be fulfilled by the unbelieving builders of life. "But let us imagine an atheist government that is ideally tolerant towards religion. That does little to change the situation. The Christian, like the believer of any other religion, can never be satisfied and reconciled with atheist government. "He knows that 'if the Lord builds not the house, they labour in vain that build it'. Therefore the irreligious tone of life, even if it is most tolerant of religion, is unacceptable as a matter of principle for the Christian and for a person of any other religion. "Our State is carrying out the first experiment in the world; a similar process, at a lower level, is taking place in other States - there where there is separation of the Church from the State. "The atheization of mankind is growing. Its limits are unknown. The ideological exodus for the Christian in the atheist State is a departure from the world, but there is nowhere to depart to. It is left to the Christianto sorrow and suffer, to submit to reality. He does not submits ideologically, but preserves his principles as holy objects"
J) Hieroconfessor Paul, Bishop Of Starobela:
"Metropolitan Sergiuss, not personally of himself, but in the name of the whole Orthodox Catholic Church, has worshipped the man-god, who speaks proudly and blasphemously Concerning the modernized church or concerning Sergian 'Orthodoxy', I, a sinner, believe that, as regards such church activists, we must call them not only heretics and schismatics, but as those who have departed from God. Metropolitan Sergius brings into the church service a heresy unheard of in the history of the Church, the heresy of modernized departure from God, - of which the natural consequence has been confusion and schism in the Church. Can one, after this, affirm that the declaration and activity of Metropolitan Sergius concerns only the external life of the Church, and do not touch in any way the essence of the Church's Orthodoxy? In no way can this be said. Metropolitan Sergius, by his self-wise and evil-worshipping declaration and the anti-Church work which followed it, has created a new renovationist schism or Sergian renovation, which while preserving for the 'little ones' a fiction of Orthodoxy and canonicity is even more criminal than the first two renovationisms of 1922 and 1925. And so Metropolitan Sergius has put under his feet not only the external, but the very inner essence of the Orthodoxy of the Church, since his 'hosanna' to Christ and Antichrist, which is now being performed in Christian churches, touches the very essence of Christian Faith and presents by itself clear apostasy, the falling away from the Faith, and the departure from God... Church activists who share the error of Metropolitan Sergius have already partly become aware that they are all sitting in the renovationist bog "In the given church-historical situation every 'legal' Church inevitably becomes the whore of Babylonian apostasy from God. I cannot help being shocked and pained at the sight of the crimsonly adulterous Church, because I myself, being adulterous and a great sinner, have great need ofthe Church that makes us chaste - the Virgin wearing the white clothes of chastity and the completely pure, immaculate Bride of Christ, who can save me, the great sinner Since the sergianist church has put on the crimson garments of the whore, through this she has become guilty and criminal in everything."
K) Damascene, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Glukhov:
"There is one important thing we need to know: does Metropolitan Sergius, and do those with him, all believe what they say and write? Could Metropolitan Sergius swear, before the Cross and the Gospel, that what he writes, including his giving thanks to Soviet power, is truly the voice of his conviction, the witness of his unconstrained and pure pastoral conscience? We are convinced and we affirm that Metropolitan Sergius and his co-pastors could not do this without oath-breaking. But can anyone, in the name of the Church, from the height of the ambon, proclaim something that he could not swear to be the complete truth? "What will those who have come to the Church say? What will they fell when, even from there, from the height of the last refuge of righteousness rejected by the world, from the height of the ambon, there sound words of hypocrisy, of man-pleasing and slander? Will it not seem that falsehood is achieving its final victory over the world, and that there, in the place where the image of Incarnate Truth flashed for them with the Unwaning Light, there now laughs in a disgusting grimace the mask of the father of lies? "It is one or the other: either the Church is truly the immaculate and pure Bride of Christ, the Kingdom of truth, in which case the Truth is the air without which we cannot breathe, or, like the whole world which lies in evil, it lives in lies and by lies, in which case everything is a lie, every word is a lie, every prayer, every sacrament. "It seems to us that Metropolitan Sergius and those with him are enslaved by a terrible fantasy, the fantasy that it is possible to build the Church on man-pleasing and untruth. But we affirm that a lie can give birth only to a lie, and that it cannot be the foundation of the Church. Before our eyes we have the shameful path of "the church of the evil-doers" - renovationism. And this shame of the gradual immersion in the engulfing mud of ever more terrible compromises and apostasy, this horror of complete degradation awaits the community of the Church if it goes along the path marked out for it. "It seems to us that Metropolitan Sergius has wavered in his faith in the omnipotence of the All-conquering Truth, in the omnipotence of God. And this wavering has been transmitted in the form of a terrible jolt to the whole body of the Church, making it shudder. There will be more than one heart that on hearing the words of untruth within the walls of the church will shake in its faith and perhaps be wounded in its most secret sanctuary; it will tear itself away from the Church that has deceived it and will remain outside her walls. The silence of thousands will utter a terrible word to the very heart of the people, wounding their much-suffering soul, and the rumour will spread to all the ends of the earth that the Kingdom of Christ has become the kingdom of the beast. "What a pitiful and unworthy existence. Truly it is better to die than to live in this way. A black cloud has come to threaten the Church. There in the heavenly dwellings the Russian hierarchs, the champions of the Church in past ages, together with the martyrs and confessors of the recent past, are weeping over our earth. There in the underworld the dark forces are preparing to celebrate a new and decisive victory. O Lord, my heart sinks at the fate of Your Church. And yet she is still Your Bride..."
L) Hieroconfessor Victor, Archbishop Of Vyatka:
"In the month of October I with filial love was bold enough to express to your Eminence my sorrow with regard to the ruinous destruction of the Orthodox Church that was beginning 'by administrative means'. "Such a destruction of the Church of God is a completely natural and inevitable consequence of the path on which your 'appeal of July 16' has placed you and which is completely unacceptable for us humble and God-fearing people and for all those who love Christ. "From beginning to end it is filled with terrible untruth. It is an insult to the Holy Orthodox Church, and to our confession for the truth of God, that disturbs the soul of the believer. Through betraying the Church of Christ to be mocked by 'outsiders' it is a most sorrowful renunciation of your own salvation or renunciation of the Lord Saviour Himself. "This sin, as the Word of God witnesses, is not less than any heresy or schism, but is rather incomparably greater, for it plunges a man immediately into the abyss of destruction, according to the unlying word: 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men...' (Matthew 10.33), etc. "Insofar as we have been able we have protected ourselves and our flock so as not to become partakers of this sin, and for this reason we have sent the appeal itself back. Acceptance of the appeal would be a witness before God that we are indifferent in relation to the Most Holy Church of God, the Bride of Christ. "In accordance with the fear of God I also cannot accept your order for my transfer: 'I fear,' as one hierarch writes to me, 'that the _expression of obedience on our part will be considered by "them" (the Synod) as an approval of what "they" have done. And for that reason, if I were given full freedom of movement, which I do not have as being in administrative exile, I would ask myself: will I not have to answer before God for this obedience, for it in essence unites me with people who have been alienated from God. But I have expressed my thoughts that the appeal is truly worthy of many tears, and that it alienates a man from God in the form of a letter to those close to me, which is here attached. "What of the future? In the future I would beseech God, and not only I, but the whole of the Orthodox Church, that he not harden your heart as He once hardened the heart of Pharaoh, but that He give you the grace to understand the sin you have committed and repent for the rest of your life. Then all the believers would thank God in joy and tears, and would again come to you as to a father and pastor - as to the first pastor, and the whole of the Russian Church as to her sacred head. The enemy has lured and deceived you for a second time with the idea of an organization of the Church. But if this organization is bought for the price of the Church of Christ Herself no longer remaining the house of Grace-giving salvation for men, and he who received the organization ceases to be what he was - for it is written, 'Let his habitation be made desolate, and his bishopric let another take' (Acts 1.20) - then it were better for us never to have any kind of organization. "What is the benefit if we, having become by God's Grace temples of the Holy Spirit, become ourselves suddenly worthless, while at the same time receiving an organization for ourselves? No. Let the whole visible material world perish; let there be more important in our eyes the certain perdition of the soul to which he who presents such external pretexts for sin will be subjected. "But if the hardening of your heart has gone so far, and there remains no hope of repentance, then in this case we have a word to enlighten us: 'Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and do not touch their impurity, and I will receive you, and I will be to you and a Father and you will be to as sons and daughters' (II Corinthians 6.17-18)."
M) Hierotheus, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Veliky Ustiug:
"To all my co-workers for the name of the Lord in the spiritual field, the clergy and laity of the Great Ustiug diocese. "Dear pastors and faithful children of the Orthodox Church! "You know that without unity there is no salvation. The organism of the Church is one: Christ is the Head of the Church; the eyes, ears, arms and legs are the pastors and teachers, while the body of the Church is all the believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. "The whole body moves with one spirit and lives with one heart. A part of the body that is not fed with blood from the heart falls away and perished. Thus the renovationists have fallen away before our eyes: they did not want to have communion with the first person in the Church, his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, and now they are gradually decomposing, like a useless arm or leg cut off and cast onto the earth. "After the renovationist 'livingchurchmen', the unity of the Church was rejected by the 'autocephalists', followers of Archbishop Gregory of Ekaterinburg (the Gregorians), who did not recognize the locum tenens Metropolitan Peter. Now the unity of the Church has been destroyed by Metropolitan Sergius, the deputy of Metropolitan Peter. As long as he was the faithful guardian of the patriarchal throne entrusted to him, the whole Church considered him her leader. But when he undertook arbitrary initiatives that were approved neither by the church people nor by the council of bishops, nor by the blessing of Metropolitan Peter - then nobody was obliged to go the way of his errors. "Thus during the period of livingchurch renovationism, all the faithful children of the Church separated from the renovationist council of 1923 and from their synod, and gradually united around his Holiness the Patriarch and the bishops who had church communion with him. In the same way now Metropolitans Peter and Cyril, Metropolitans Joseph of Leningrad, Arsenius of Novgorod, Agathangel of Yaroslavl, the vicar-bishop of Moscow and former bishop of Serpukhov Arsenius (who is in retirement), Archbishop Seraphim of Uglich, Archbishop Athanasius of Kiev, and the bishops Demetrius of Gdov, Victor of Vyatka, Seraphim the former bishop of Dmitrov (Zvezdinsky, who is in retirement), Irinarch of Veliky Ustiug, the bishops in exile and many others, as well as a group of clergy in the capital and delegations representing communities of believers, have in various forms declared to Metropolitan Sergius that they do not agree with him and have separated from him. "Some of them [the confessing bishops] declare that Sergius has stretched out his hands toward the Patriarchal Throne, striving to overturn it, inasmuch as in his Synod there are persons whom the Church does not trust. "Others say that Sergius has introduced a political tendency into Church life (see his declaration in Izvestia, August 19, 1927 [probably he had the declaration of July 16/29 in mind]). "Still others indicate that Metropolitan Sergius has chosen a crooked path of diplomatic doubletalk, agreements, and compromises - as if for the salvation of the Church - and has left the straight but sorrowful path of the Cross, i.e., of patience and firmness. "Finally, he has made use of deceit, calling his Synod Orthodox and Patriarchal, while in reality its organization is a trampling down of the Church's canons: Metropolitan Peter, the locum tenens, did not give his approval for such a thing, since it failed to obtain the blessing of his Holiness the Patriarch himself in 1924. What the Renovationists and the Gregorians could not succeed in doing - that Metropolitan Sergius very cunningly did: he bound the Church to the civil authority, expressing spiritual submission to it. "The Decree on the Separation of the Church from the Government does not exist for Metropolitan Sergius and his followers. Therefore, for the realization of his plans Metropolitan Sergius, violating the 9th Canon of the Council of Chalcedon, even makes use of the non-ecclesiastical power. "As for me, acknowledging my responsibility before God for the flock entrusted to me, I have declared on January 10/23 of this year to Bishop Sophronius, who has been assigned to the see of Great Ustiug by [Sergius'] Synod, that my flock and clergy of Nikolsk - except for the cathedral clergy, who have been rejected by the people - cannot accept him because we have separated from Sergius and from his Synod. "On the other hand I have informed Metropolitan Joseph (of Leningrad) that I canonically join to him the clergy and laity of the diocese of Great Ustiug, in accordance with the blessing of Vladyka Irinarchus, whose lawful deputy I am at the present time for the whole diocese of Great Ustiug. "I have had to suffer much in the way of every kind of slander and offense for my archpastoral labours for the good of the Church. If the Apostolic Canons say that clergy may do nothing without the will of their bishop, then my will expressed in the present epistle, is thereby all the more worthy of every acceptance. "Nevertheless, wishing to hear from you, dear children, that you are one in soul and one in thought with me, and likewise respecting your freedom of self-determination, I propose that my epistle be read and considered at assemblies of the faithful, so that all might know the way the matter stands and freely enter into unity with me, remaining faithful to the locum tenens of the Patriarchal See, Metropolitan Peter, and to the entire Russian Orthodox Church; concerning which I request you to send me a written statement. "Only the clergy of the Cathedral of the Meeting of the Lord in Nikolsk, the priest from the Renovationists Sergius Aranovich (in Kudrilo), and Archpriest John Golubev (in Shango) have openly come out against me, spreading every kind of evil report, slander, and absurdity. They have written unfounded complaints against me to the Synod, and Archpriest Michael Krasov (of Vokhma) personally took these to Moscow; for which they have been prohibited from serving and are in a state of excommunication from me until they shall show sincere repentance in the form established for renovationists, or until a complete council of bishops shall judge the case of Metropolitan Sergius and those who are with him (10th Canon of the Holy Apostles). "I place before you these hirelings, who see the wolf approach and flee; do not follow them, my brethren and children, but let us have before us a different example: the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Amen.
N) St. Eulampius Edemsky-Svoyezemtsev:
"I will not submit to the deputy of the patriarchal locum tenens until he dissolves his unlawful Synod. I will not submit also because I do not agree with his manner of ruling the Church, which he subjects to the demands of the secular authorities. I am deeply convinced that the less church people interfere in political affairs, and the less the State - into church affairs, the better it is for both sides... I think that the Church is being persecuted by Soviet power because a multitude of bishops and priests has been exiled, and several churches have been wiped off the face of the earth. All this sows terrible alarm into the hearts of true believers. I see only one escape from this situation: a genuine recognition of its errors by Soviet power in the form of a pan-national repentance (expressing myself in church language)... Soviet power is the enemy of religion, which greatly distresses me, but by no means excites me to an active struggle with the civil authorities... However, where the interests of the Church and Soviet power conflict, I will honourably declare that for me the interests of the Church are dearer."
O) Joasaph, Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Chistopol:
"Since Metropolitan Cyril is one of the most senior hierarchs, and was appointed by Patriarch Tikhon as his first deputy after his death, he has the right to demand that Metropolitan Sergius give him documentary proof of his authority to convene such a Synod, and in the absence of such proof to place the competency of this Synod in question. He has the right to demand that this quarrel be referred to Metropolitan Peter, who is still alive and retains the privileges of the locum tenancy. This right of appeal to the head of the Church is guaranteed by many church canons. Therefore the resolution of the conflict that has risen between them by Metropolitan Sergius alone, his refusal to refer the quarrel to Metropolitan Peter and his imposition upon Metropolitan Cyril of repressive measures in the form of sending him into retirement, is in my opinion uncanonical and should be annulled... Metropolitan Sergius' usurpation of rights that do not belong to him, or which are, in any case, dubious until their authoritative clarification, the fact that he had no difficulty in imposing repressive measures upon Metropolitan Cyril and others (I stress that in his reply Metropolitan Cyril sharply and decisively rejects the idea that his disagreements are politically motivated and gives reasons for keeping to a strictly ecclesiastical evaluation of this quarrel), his accusing all the clergy who are serving terms of punishment, including, that is, myself, of political crimes - all this has forced me to distance myself from Metropolitan Sergius without separating from him."
P) St. Iraneus of Kiev:
"I recognise the last laws of Patriarch Tikhon and his locum tenens, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa. But I do not recognise Metropolitan Sergius and his renovationist church. I am an old clergyman (40 years in the priesthood), and now a monk, and under no conditions will I be a traitor to the Orthodox faith and the True Orthodox Church, which I swore to serve in faith and righteousness until death"
Q) St. Sergius of Kiev:
"Don't go into the open churches. They're not ours. All the priests serving in them have signed to be obedient to the Soviet authorities in everything... You mustn't even step into the porch because you will hear the singing and reading and you will think: 'But it's all in the old style here!' And you will go in. And when you've gone in, that will be it. You'll stay there."
R) St. Nicholas Georgievich Zazarin:
"Venerable Fr. Protopriest Nicholas Arsenyevich!!! Having become acquainted with your latest address to the church council, I am answering you personally after conversing with, and at the request of, the church council. You consider that we are schismatics who have broken with church unity. I reply: no. With all our soul and body we belong to the Russian Orthodox Church headed by the Lord Saviour Himself and ruled by the patriarchal locum tenens Metropolitan Peter, who is in temporary exile. We only refrain from recognizing the church orientation formed as a result of the division introduced by Metropolitan Sergius and headed by him. We would like to ask you and Vladyka Neophytus, instead of sending us various threats and bans, to give clear and accurate replies to the following questions: "1. What does the canonical or legal succession of the deputyship of Metropolitan Sergius depend on? "2. Is Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod in correspondence with Metropolitan Peter? "I do not know what opinion Metropolitan Peter now has of Metropolitan Sergius, but I know that in 1930 he was against him. I have personally read his letter to Archbishop Demetrius, where Metropolitan Peter gives a negative appraisal of Metropolitan Sergius and his deeds, calling them crypto-renovationism, and he counselled his Orthodox children to refrain from recognizing Sergius. "In conclusion I shall say what I think personally: the whole sergianist orientation is based only on deception, woe to those leaders who keep the masses in deception and fear for the time being; in the end, you know, the believers, all the believers, will learn the truth when Metropolitan Peter returns from exile, and then what? "And here's something more. Tell me how to explain the doubling of Metropolitan Peter's term. Was this not with the cooperation of Metropolitan Sergius? "That, at least, was the opinion of all the rectors and hierarchs who were in exile in Arkhangelsk. "May the God of peace and love be with us. We await your reply. Nicholas Zazarin."
S) Maximus Bishop And Hieromartyr Of Serpukhov:
"Since we find it no longer possible for us to remain on the slippery, ambiguous path which you have placed the Orthodox Church on by your declaration and decrees, following the voice of our conscience and our duty before God and the believers, we the under-signed break canonical communion in prayer with you and the so-called Patriarchal Synod and refuse to recognize you as the Deputy of the Patriarchal Locum Tenens for the following reasons: "1. Your declarations of July 16 and October 20, and everything that is known about your government of the Church clearly speaks of the fact that you have placed the Church into a position of dependence on the civil power and deprived her of her inner freedom and independence, thereby breaking the church canons and going contrary to the decrees of the civil power. "2. Thus you are nothing other than the continuer of the so-called renovationist movement, only in a more refined and very dangerous form, for in declaring that Orthodox is unshakeable and that you have preserved canonicity, you have clouded the minds of the believers, consciously hiding from them that abyss to which you are inexorably dragging the Church by all your decrees. "3. The result of your politics is obvious to all of us. The believers of the city of Serpukhov are disturbed by your decrees and very anxious and perplexed with regard to the destiny of the Holy Orthodox Church. We, their pastors, have been placed by you in an ambiguous position which not only cannot introduce peace into their hearts and minds, but arouses suspicions in them that you have betrayed Orthodoxy and gone over to the camp of the renovationists. "All this forces us boldly to raise our voices and stop what has now become a criminal silence with regard to your mistakes and incorrect actions and, with the blessing of Bishop Demetrius of Gdov, we wall ourselves off from you and the people around you. In leaving you, we are not leaving the lawful Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Peter, and we submit ourselves to the judgement of a future council."
T) St. Nectarios of Optina:
"Even before the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, in the same summer of 1927, Professors Komarovich and Anichkov were visiting the elder. During the conversation the elder called Metropolitan Sergius a renovator. When they objected that Sergius had repented, the elder replied: "'Yes, he has repented, but the poison is in him still.'" And according to Archbishop Lazarus of Tambov, the elder said: "Sergianism is worse than renovationism... It is worse because the renovationists repented, but these will not repent, they will become hardened of heart."
U) Hieromartyr Nicholas, Archbishop Of Vladimir:
"He [Metropolitan Sergius] has sinned against the apostolicity of the Church by introducing earthly, worldly principles into the Church, against her holiness - by blaspheming against the exploit of confession, against catholicity - by his single administration of the Church."
V) Pachomius, Archbishop And Hieromartyr Of Chernigov:
In 1927, Archbishop Pachomius and his brother, Archbishop Abercius, wrote an epistle attacking Metropolitan Sergius' traitrous "declaration". They wrote: "There can be no union between Church and State, when it has to do with our Orthodox Church and the Soviet Union, by reason of the fundamental difference in the basic views of the two sides. The only thing that is possible is a conditional agreement as to practical mutual relationships, solely on the foundation of the principle of the separation of Church and State. "In actual fact, can one even conceive of the Soviet State in union with the Church? A State religion in an anti-religious State! A government Church in an atheist government! This is an absurdity; it contradicts the nature of the Church and the Soviet State; this is unacceptable both for a sincerely religious person and for an honest atheist."
W) Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa:
According to Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Metropolitan Peter wrote to Sergius, saying that if he did not have the strength to defend the Church he should hand over his duties to someone stronger. Similar information was provided by the Priests Elijah Pirozhenko and Peter Novosiltsev after they had visited Metropolitan Peter. In May, 1929, Bishop Damascene of Glukhov sent a messenger to Metropolitan Peter, and from his reply was able to write: "Granddad (i.e. Metropolitan Peter) spoke about the situation and the further consequences to be deduced from it almost in my own words". On September 17, 1929, the priest Gregory Seletsky wrote to Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd on behalf of Archbishop Demetrius (Lyubimov): "I am fulfilling the request of his Eminence Archbishop Demetrius and set out before you in written form that information which the exiled Bishop Damascene has communicated to me. He succeeded in making contact with Metropolitan Peter, and in sending him, via a trusted person, full information about everything that has been taking place in the Russian Church. Through this emissary Metropolitan Peter orally conveyed the following: "'1. You Bishops must yourselves remove Metropolitan Sergius. "'2. I do not bless you to commemorate Metropolitan Sergius during Divine services. "'3. The Kievan act of the so-called "small council of Ukrainian bishops" concerning the retirement of 16 bishops from the sees they occupy is to be considered invalid. "'4. The letter of Bishop Basil (the vicar of the Ryazan diocese) gives false information. [This refers to a forgery concocted by the sergianists which purported to show that Metropolitan Peter recognized Metropolitan Sergius.] "'5. I will reply to questions in writing.'" In December, 1929 Metropolitan Peter wrote to Sergius: "Your Eminence, forgive me magnanimously if by the present letter I disturb the peace of your Eminence's soul. People inform me about the difficult circumstances that have formed for the Church in connection with the exceeding of the limits of the ecclesiastical authority entrusted to you. I am very sorry that you have not taken the trouble to initiate me into your plans for the administration of the Church. You know that I have not renounced the locum tenancy, and consequently, I have retained for myself the Higher Church Administration and the general leadership of Church life. At the same time I make bold to declare that your remit as deputy was only for the management of everyday affairs; you are only to preserve the status quo. I am profoundly convinced that without prior contact with me you will not mke any responsible decision. I have not accorded you any constituent right as long as I retain the locum tenancy and as long as Metropolitan Cyril is alive and as long as Metropolitan Agathangelus was alive. Therefore I did not consider it necessary in my decree concerning the appointment of candidates for the deputyship to mention the limitation of their duties; I had no doubt that the deputy would not alter the established rights, but would only deputize, or represent, so to speak, the central organ through which the locum tenens could communicate with his flock. But the system of administration you have introduced not only excludes this: it also excludes the very need for the existence of the locum tenens. Such major steps cannot, of course, be approved by the consciousness of the Church. I did not admit any qualifications limiting the duties of the deputy, both from a feeling of deep reverence and trust for the appointed candidates, and first of all for you, having in mind at this point your wisdom. It is burdensome for me to number all the details of negative evaluations of your administration: the resounding protests and cries from believers, from hierarchs and laypeople. The picture of ecclesiastical division that has been painted is shocking. My duty and conscience do not allow me to remain indifferent to such a sorrowful phenomenon; they urge me to address your Eminence with a most insistent demand that you correct the mistake you have made, which has placed the Church in a humiliating position, and which has caused quarrels and divisions in her and a blackening of the reputation of her leaders. In the same way I ask you to suspend the other measures which have increased your prerogatives. Such a decision of yours will, I hope, create a good atmosphere in the Church and will calm the troubled souls of her children, while with regard to you it will preserve that disposition towards you which you deservedly enjoyed both as a Church figure and as a man. Place all your hope on the Lord, and His help will always be with you. On my part, I as the first-hierarch of the Church, call on all clergy and church activists to display, in everything that touches on the civil legislation and administration, complete loyalty. They are obliged to submit unfailingly to the governmental decrees as long as they do not violate the holy faith and in general are not contrary to Christian conscience; and they must not engage in any anti-governmental activity, and they are allowed to express neither approval nor disapproval of their actions in the churches or in private conversations, and in general they must not interfere in matters having nothing to do with the Church..." On February 13/26, 1930, after receiving news from a certain Deacon K. about the true state of affairs in the Church, Metropolitan Peter wrote to Metropolitan Sergius, saying: "Of all the distressing news I have had to receive, the most distressing was the news that many believers remain outside the walls of the churches in which your name is commemorated. I am filled with spiritual pain both about the disputes that have arisen with regard to your administration and about other sad phenomena. Perhaps this information is biassed, perhaps I am not sufficiently acquainted with the character and aims of the people writing to me. But the news of disturbances in the Church come to me from various quarters and mainly from clerics and laymen who have made a great impression on me. In my opinion, in view of the exceptional circumstances of Church life, when normal rules of administration have been subject to all kinds of distortion, it is necessary to put Church life on that path on which it stood during your first period as deputy. So be so good as to return to that course of action whcih was respected by everybody. I repeat that I am very sad that you have not written to me and have confided your plans to me. Since letters come from other people, yours would undoubtedly have reached me..." After this letter was published, the authorities again tried to force Metropolitan Peter to renounce the locum tenancy and to become an agent of the OGPU. But he refused. On August 17, 1930, he was arrested and imprisoned in the Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg prisons in solitary confinement with no right to receive parcels or visitors. On March 11, 1931, after describing the sufferings of his life in Khe (which included the enmity of three renovationist priests), he posed the following question in a letter to J.B. Polyansky: "Will not a change in locum tenens bring with it a change also in his deputy? Of course, it is possible that my successor, if he were to find himself incapable of carrying out his responsibilities directly, would leave the same person as his deputy - that is his right. But it is certain, in my opinion, that the carrying out of his duties by this deputy would have to come to an end at the same time as the departure of the person for whom he is deputizing, just as, according to the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, with his departure the synod created by him would cease to exist. All this and other questions require thorough and authoritative discussion and canonical underpinning... Be so kind as to bow to Metropolitan Sergius on my behalf, since I am unable to do this myself, and send him my fervent plea that he, together with Metropolitan Seraphim and Archbishop Philip, to whom I also bow, work together for my liberation. I beseech them to defend, an old man who can hardly walk. I was always filled with a feeling of deep veneration and gratitude to Metropolitan Sergius, and the thought of some kind of worsening of our relations would give me indescribable sorrow." On March 27, Metropolitan Peter wrote to B.P. Menzhinsky: "I was given a five-year exile which I served in the far north in the midst of the cruellest frosts, constant storms, extreme poverty and destitution in everything. (I was constantly on the edge of the grave.) But years passed, and there remained four months to the end of my exile when the same thing began all over again - I was again arrested and imprisoned by the Urals OGPU. After some time I was visited by comrade J.V. Polyansky, who suggested that I renounce the locum tenancy. But I could not accept such a suggestion for the following reasons which have a decisive significance for me. First of all I would be transgressing the established order according to which the locum tenens must remain at his post until the convening of a council. A council convened without the sanction of the locum tenens would be considered uncanonical and its decisions invalid. But in the case of my death the prerogatives of the locum tenens will pass to another person who will complete that which was not done by his predecessor. Moreover, my removal would bring in its wake the departure also of my deputy, Metropolitan Sergius, just as, according to his declaration, with his departure from the position of deputy the Synod created by him would cease to exist. I cannot be indifferent to such a circumstance. Our simultaneous departure does not guarantee church life from various possible frictions, and, of course, the guilt would be mine. Therefore in the given case it is necessary that we discuss this matter together, just as we discussed together the questions relating to my letter to Metropolitan Sergius dated December, 1929. Finally, my decree, coming from prison, would undoubtedly be interpreted as made under pressure, with various undesirable consequences." In the spring of 1931 Tuchkov suggested to Metropolitan Peter that he work as an informer for the GPU. On May 25, Metropolitan Peter wrote to Menzhinsky that "such an occupation is incompatible with my calling and is, besides, unsuited to my nature." And again he wrote to Menzhinsky: "In our weakness we fall more or less short of that ideal, that truth, which is enjoined upon Christians. But it is important not to be burdened only by earthly matters and therefore to refrain from violently murdering the truth and departing from its path. Otherwise it would be better to renounce God altogether... In this matter one would come up against two completely contradictory principles: Christian and revolutionary. The basis of the former principle is love for one's neighbour, forgiveness of all, brotherhood, humility; while the basis of the latter principle is: the end justifies the means, class warfare, pillage, etc. If you look at things from the point of view of this second principle, you enter upon the revolutionary path and hurl yourself into warfare, and thereby you renounce not only the true symbol of the Christian Faith and annihilate its foundations - the idea of love and the rest, but also the principles of the confession of the faith. There is no need to say how this dilemma - between love for one's neighbour and class warfare - is to be resolved by a seriously believing person who is, moreover, not a hireling, but a real pastor of the Church. He would hardly know any peace for the rest of his life if he subjected himself to temptation from the direction of the above-mentioned contradictions."
X) Seraphim, Archbishop And Hieromartyr Of Uglich:
"Previously we suffered and endured in silence, knowing we were suffering for the truth, and that the power of God was with us and could not be conquered by any sufferings. This power is what strengthened us and inspired us with hope that at a time known to God alone the truth of Orthodoxy would be triumphant, for to it alone is promised unfailingly that whenever needful the almighty help of God will given to it. "By your Declaration the church policy founded upon it, you are trying to lead us into a sphere where we will now be deprived of this hope, for you are leading us away from the service of truth; and God does not help lies... "Dear Vladyka: I can imagine how you must suffer! But why do you, experiencing these sufferings yourself, not desire to lighten them for those who at one time trusted you? With what joy I gave over to you my own rights as deputy of the Locum Tenens, believing that your wisdom and experience would cooperate with you in the administration of the Church. "But what happened? Can this fatal act really not be corrected? Will you really not find the courage to acknowledge your error, your fatal mistake, the issuance by you of the Declaration of July 16/29, 1927? You wrote to me and sincerely believed that the path you have chosen will bring peace to the Church. And what do you hear and see now? A frightful groan is carried up from all the ends of Russia. You promised to pull out two or three sufferers here and there and return them to the society of the faithful; but look how many new sufferers have appeared, whose sufferings are made yet deeper by the awareness that they are the result of your new church policy. Does this groan of the sufferers from the shores of the Oba and Yenisei rivers, from the far-off islands of the White Sea, from the deserts beyond the Caspian Sea, from the mountain ridges of Turkestan - does this groan not reach to your heart? "How could you, by your Declaration, place upon them and upon many the stigma of opponents of the present civil order, when they and we in our spiritual nature have always been foreign to politics, guarding strictly, with self-sacrifice, the purity of Orthodoxy? "Is it for me, who am younger, to write these lines to you? Is it for me to teach an experienced and learned Hierarch of the Russian Church? Still, the voice of my conscience compels me again and again to disturb your spacious and good heart. Show courage; acknowledge your fatal mistake, and if it is impossible for you to issue a new declaration, then for the good of the Church, give over the authority and the rights of the deputy of the Locum Tenens to someone else. "I have the right to write you these lines and make this offer, for many now reproach me, saying that I handed over these rights of the deputy to you hastily and without reservation..."
Y) Hieromartyr Theodore, Archbishop Of Volokolamsk:
The following document has been attributed both to Archbishop Hilarion and, with much greater probability, to Vladyka Theodore, who would in any case have supported the views expressed in it wholeheartedly. The author begins by quoting some of his notes of March 3/16, 1924: "Perhaps in a short while we shall find ourselves a tiny island in an ocean of profanity... The scenario of church relations can undergo a change like in a kaleidoscope. The renovationists may rise as the ruling 'Church Party' in Russia and face very limited opposition if the overt renovationists and covert traitors will find a modus vivendi with each other and jointly disguise themselves under the cover of canonicity." The next paragraph, he writes, is from his notes of January 14/27, 1925: "The difficulty of our time for an Orthodox is... that the contemporary life of the Church demands of him a high spiritual self-discipline in personal life. He cannot rely on guidance from the official pastors (bishops and presbyters). The church canons cannot be formally applied to problems arising in church life. Altogether, a juridical attitude is insufficient; it is necessary to have a spiritual intuition to show the way of Christ among the multitude of paths made by wolves in sheep's clothing. Life has posed questions that can be solved in a truly churchly manner only by bypassing mores, forms, regulations and being led by senses trained to recognize virtue from evil. Otherwise it is easy to defile the sacredness of one's soul and to allow one's conscience to disintegrate through a legalistically regulated reconciliation with fraud and profanity, brought into the Church by the bishops themselves. By means of laws it is possible to reconcile oneself even with the devil." This is followed by his comments of October 22 / November 4, 1927: "Aren't the latest events a confirmation of the above premonitions? Hasn't the horror that the soul sensed already two to three years ago come so close to us after Metropolitan Sergius' return to administer the Church? Hasn't Sergius' declaration, which has caused varied and fully justified negative reactions, thrown the church organization, headed by him, into the loathsome, adulterous embraces of the atheistic, blasphemous and Christomachistic power, and hasn't it introduced a frightening profanity into the bosom of our Church? Please note that this declaration appeared not from the hands of the schismatic renovationists... [it came] from a canonical, lawful, apparently Orthodox hierarch. The main assertions of the declaration are based on scriptural texts (although, occasionally, with the help of their misinterpretation...) and on the historical experience of the ancient Church, as if it were similar to the current one. On the other hand, the declaration hopes to quench the essential thirst of believers exhausted by persecutions, for it promises them peace and quiet. And hence multitudes, especially from the clerical ranks, are sympathetically responding to the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod. "This symphony between the theomachistic power and the regular Orthodox hierarchy has already produced some 'blessings': some bishops (although not the best ones and not the most 'guilty' ones) are returning from exile (not from a very distant one, however) and are being appointed to dioceses (not to the same ones from they had been deported, however);... Metropolitan Sergius has a Synod (which is more like the office of the Over-Procurator) which consists of regular hierarchs (alas, with questionable reputations owing to their longtime and solid cooperation with the GPU...); Metropolitan Sergius' name is being elevated as that of the captain of the Church, but, alas, this name is but a forgery, because the real master of the destiny of the Russian Church and her bishops, both those in positions as well as the persecuted ones... is the current 'Overprocurator' of the Russian Orthodox Church, Eugene A. Tuchkov. "Everybody with ears to hear and eyes to see knows that contrary to the decree on the separation of Church and state, the Orthodox Church has entered into a close alliance with the state. And what state?... a state whose government aims at the destruction of any religion on the face of the earth, and the Orthodox Church before all the others, because it justly sees in her a basic world foundation of religious faith and a first-class fortress in the struggle against materialism, atheism, theomachism and satanism (practised, according to hearsay, by some members of the contemporary powers that be)..." Quotations from Revelation (17.3,5,6; 12.6; 18.2) are cited and followed by a comparison of the current church situation with the apocalyptic scenario of the whore sitting on a red beast. The situation is particularly tragic, he says, because "it is not a lawless, schismatic woman who saddles a beast with profane names, but a faithful woman having an image of genuine piety. In this is the chief frightening aspect of that which has been occurring before our eyes, which affects the most profound spiritual interests of the church flock. The consequences are impossible to assess even approximately; but their significance is of a global character... for now the forces of Hades are attacking [the Church] with unprecedented power... How should we behave in these terrible moments of a new threat, advancing by Satan's counsel upon our mother, the holy Orthodox Church?" He quotes Revelation 18:1-2 and 4, on the coming of an angel, whereupon Babylon and the great whore fell down. But he warns the recipient of the letter that he is not mechanically asserting that the present reality is the fulfilment of these apocalyptic prophecies: "I only trace a dotted line between the apocalypse and the contemporary church developments, which involuntarily direct our thoughts toward these prophetic images. Even in the Old Testament one can see how in some cases prophecies at first were fulfilled on a small scale only to be later expressed in a loftier and final fulfilment... Neither scholarship of the broadest possible scope, nor the deepest natural intelligence, nor the finest powers of mysticism can satisfactorily grasp God's secrets. [In the present Russian church developments] we come into contact with the final secret of the terrestrial existence of the Church and of mankind... "... In the words of Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov,... whoever does not obtain the Kingdom of God within oneself will not recognize the Antichrist, and will inevitably... become his follower; he will not recognize the coming of the end of the world... Obscured by its terrestrial reasoning mankind will refuse to believe in the second coming of Christ altogether... "There is no doubt whatsoever that the 'dark power' dominating today thinks, argues and acts in the style of such blasphemers... But isn't it possible that the contemporary churchmen... having entered into a relationship with the blasphemers of this world,... will treat the thoughts of my soul as nothing but 'madness, worthy of contempt'? "Recently a bishop supporting Sergius' orientation threatened... that Sergius' opponents would become such a small minority as to be eventually reduced to one of a multitude of small sects. How pitiful is such an argument in defence of the newly born 'Soviet Orthodox Church'!... Has the bishop forgotten the multitude of apostolic prophecies on the reduction of faithand the dissemination of all sorts of false teachings in the latter days?... "Pluralism and majorities are necessary for parliaments and parties but not for God's Church, which is the pillar and foundation of faith, independently of the above categories and even in contradiction of them. "... Some two or three weeks ago... a blessed woman, when asked about Metropolitan Sergius and reminded that he was not a heretic, said: 'So what?... He is worse than a heretic. He has bowed to the Antichrist, and,if he does not repent, his destiny is in hell together with the satanists.' "All this... forces the living faithful souls to be on the alert andto watch the picture of the woman saddling the beast with great attention. These people sense a new and unprecedented danger for Christ's Church and, naturally, ring the alarm bell. Most of them are in no hurry to make a final break with the church 'adulterers' in the hope that their conscience has not entirely burned out... God grant that it be so, but in the depth of my soul I have deep doubts, and yet avoid dotting the i's. Let... the Lord do this.And let Him also protect us from superficial haste as well as from a criminally indifferent sluggishness in this terrifyingly responsible situation into which we have been placed by the will of God's Providence." In another document attributed to Vladyka Theodore, which was entitled "A Letter from a Bishop who has Departed [from Metropolitan Sergius] to a Bishop who has not Departed" and published abroad in 1933, the author writes: "The Russian Orthodox Church, by the Providence of God, has been placed, of necessity, to live in a realm of an entirely unusual sort (Rev. 2.13) which is initiating a new culture and civilization, is founding a new politicaland socio-economic order, a new way of life, a new understanding of family, anew and extraordinary personality on an atheistic and materialistic foundation... Enigmatic words of the Old and New Testaments which have hitherto been obscure have been rendered concrete before our eyes with marvellous clarity; and I, sinful as I am, make so bold as to maintain, on the bases of exegeses of the Holy Fathers which relate to passages from the Word of God, that on the territory of the Soviet Union the Orthodox Church has entered the eraof the 'falling away' - the apostasy (II Thess. 2.3), the sphere of influence of the harlot of the Apocalypse (Rev. 17) who is awakening to the universal activity at the end of the iron-clay period of the final human kingdom (Dan. 11.40-43). "The recent past confirms our conviction and indicates that even nowthe time draws nigh when, for the good of the Church, we will have to renounce the legalization even of ecclesiastical communal organizations and returnto the pre-Nicaean forms of Church life, when Christian societies were organized and united, not by administrative institutions, but by the Holy Spirit.... [In the iconoclast period] the Orthodox Church was found in deserts, caves, tombs (St. Methodius), prisons, exile and grievous labors. And such tribulations for the Orthodox continued not for ten years, as now, but for one hundred and twenty years, with brief intervals of respite for Orthodoxy. And side by side with the impoverished Orthodox Church, legality and prosperity were enjoyed by the harlot-church which, through lawless obedience to the legal authority, obtained for herself a tranquil and undisturbed life."
Z) St. Joseph of Petrograd:
"Those who defend Sergei say that the canons allow separation from a bishop only for heresy judged by a Sobor; it can be replied that the actions of metropolitan Sergei have led to just that state if one has in view such clear destruction of the freedom and dignity of the one Holy, Concilliar, and Apostolic Church... but beyond this thhere is much thhat the canons cannot foresee, and can one dispute the fact that it iis worse and more dangerous than any heresy when a knife is plunged into the very hheart of the Church--- her freedom and dignity? Which is worse---- heresy or murder?"
Z1) St. Cyril of Kazan:
‘With regard to your perplexities concerning Sergianism, I can say that the very same questions in almost the same form were addressed to me from Kazan ten years ago, and then I replied affirmatively to them, because I considered everything that Metropolitan Sergius had done as a mistake which he himself was conscious of and wished to correct. Moreover, among our ordinary flock there were many people who had not investigated what had happened, and it was impossible to demand from them a decisive and active condemnation of the events. Since then much water has flowed under the bridge. The expectations that Metropolitan Sergius would correct himself have not been justified, but there has been enough time for the formerly ignorant members of the Church, enough incitement and enough opportunity to investigate what has happened; and very many have both investigated and understood that Metropolitan Sergius is departing from that Orthodox Church which the Holy Patriarch Tikhon entrusted to us to guard, and consequently there can be no part or lot with him for the Orthodox. The recent events have finally made clear the renovationist nature of Sergianism. We cannot know whether those believers who remain in Sergianism will be saved, because the work of eternal Salvation is a work of the mercy and grace of God. But for those who see and feel the unrighteousness of Sergianism (those are your questions) it would be unforgivable craftiness to close one’s eyes to this unrighteousness and seek there for the satisfaction of one’s spiritual needs when one’s conscience doubts in the possibility of receiving such satisfaction. Everything which is not of faith is sin.... I am in fraternal communion with Metropolitan Joseph, and I gratefully esteem the fact that it was precisely with his blessing, that there was undertaken from the Petrograd diocese the first protest expressed against Metropolitan Sergius from the Petrograd diocese…,’”
9) WHAT ARE SOME OPINIONS OF ROCOR MEMBERS?
A) Metropolitan Anthony Krahpivisky:
"Now everywhere two epistles are
being published in the newspapers and are being read in many churches which
until recently were Orthodox – epistles of two, alas, former beloved pupils of
mine with whom I was once in agreement, Metropolitans Sergius and Eulogius, who
have now fallen away from the saving unity of the Church and have bound
themselves to the enemies of Christ and the Holy Church – the disgusting
blaspheming Bolsheviks, who have submitted themselves in everything to the
representatives of the Jewish false teaching which everywhere goes under the
name of communism or materialism… Let these new deceivers not justify themselves
by declaring that they are not the friends of the Bolsheviks and Jews who stand
at the head of the Bolshevik kingdom: in their souls they may not be their
friends, but they have submitted, albeit unwillingly, to these enemies of
Christ, and they are trying to increase their power not only over the hapless
inhabitants of Holy Russia, but also over all Russian people, even though they
have departed far from the Russian land."
the Moscow Synod has deprived itself of all authority, since it has entered into agreement with the atheists, and without offering any resistance it has tolerated the closing and destruction of the holy churches, and the other innumerable crimes of the Soviet government… That illegally formed organization which has entered into union with God’s enemies, which Metropolitan Sergius calls an Orthodox Synod – but which the best Russian hierarchs, clergy and laymen have refused to recognize - … must not be recognized by our Orthodox Churches, nor by our Synod of Bishops with its flock here abroad. Furthermore, the organization of the Moscow Synod must be recognized to be exactly the same sort of apostates from the Faith as the ancient libellatici, that is, Christians who although they refused to blaspheme openly against Christ and offer sacrifices to the idols, nevertheless still received from the priests of the idols false documents verifying that they were in complete accord with the adherents of pagan religion…"
B) Fr. Seraphim Rose:
"...the Soviet Church attained it's present ascendancy and 'canonicity' in the USSR through the government's arrest and murder of the leading anti-sergianists."
C) Archbishop Averky:
"These appeals go out:...from the God fighting soviet power...and from its obedient instrument, the Moscow Patriarchate, which has justly earned for itself the name of "Soviet church"...It must be understood that we...cannot submit to the church authority which has been established by the God fighters and which appears as an obedient instrument of the realization of their hellish plans in the world...We dare not forget the anathema proclaimed by His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon...against the God fighting Communist power...has in no way been removed, and up to this moment weighs upon it and upon all those who recongnize it as lawful and who in this or any other way cooperate with it or maintain communion with it."
D) Metropolitan Philaret:
"What then is the Soviet church? Archimandrite Constantine has often and insistently stated that the most horrible thing that the God-hating regime has done in Russia is the creation of the Soviet Church, which the Bolsheviks presented to the people as the true Church, having driven the genuine Orthodox Church into the catacombs or into the concentration camps. This pseudo-church has been twice anathematized. His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Sobor anathematized the Communists and all their collaborators. This dread anathema has not been lifted till this day and remains in force, since it can be lifted only by a similar All-Russian Church Sobor, as the canonical supreme ecclesiastical authority. And a terrifying thing happened in 1927, when the head of the Church, Metropolitan Sergius, by his infamous and apostate Declaration, subjected the Russian Church to the Bolsheviks and proclaimed collaboration with them. And thus in a most exact sense was fulfilled the _expression in the prayer at the beginning of Confession: having fallen under their own anathema! For in 1918 the Church anathematized all the confederates of Communism, while in 1927 she herself joined the camp of these collaborators and began to laud the red, God-having regime to laud the red beast spoken of in the Apocalypse. As if that is not enough. When Metropolitan Sergius promulgated his criminal Declaration, then the faithful children of the Church immediately separated themselves from the Soviet church, and thus the Catacomb Church was formed. And she, in her turn, has anathematized the official church for its betrayal of Christ."
E) Archbishop Anthony of Los Angelos:
"According to many canonical
rules, all of the so-called bishops, archbishops and metropolitans of the Moscow
Patriarchate, being KGB agents, are apostates from Christ. The 62nd Apostolic
Canon deprives them of these titles, and if they repent, it calls for them to be
accepted as laymen and not to be ordained. Similar orders are found in numerous
(24) canonical rules. >From this, we see that the Divine Canons do not admit the
Divine Gifts to apostates - KGB agents.
The holy Martyr St. Patriarch Tikhon testifies to the same in his epistle excommunicating the soviet power; Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) does likewise when he condemns the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stargorodsky), as does Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) in his last testament.
Hear Holy Patriarch Tikhon's words stated right after committing the God-fighting soviet power to anathema: "We exorcise you, faithful children of the Orthodox Church of Christ, in no way to associate with these fiends of humankind." Holy Patriarch Tikhon not only admonishes but exorcises. And exorcism is admonishment with the threat of punishment. His words turned out to be prophetic... How terribly believers were punished by the communism that so many of them had supported.In his letter to Metropolitan Sergius, Blessed Metropolitan Anthony called his (sergei's) declaration a betrayal. During those times (1927) Moscow bishops, archbishops and metropolitans had not yet become KGB agents. The main task of the KGB was the "eradication of religion". This makes the activities of the bishops, archbishops and metropolitans of the Moscow Patriarchate much worse than betrayal.In his last will and testament, Metropolitan Anastassy has said: "As for the Moscow Patriarchate and its bishops, archbishops and metropolitans, the Russian Church Abroad must not have any canonical, prayerful, or even simple everyday association, leaving them at the same time to the final judgment of the Council of the future free Russian Church."These words point out the first and repeated condemnation of the Moscow Patriarchate by the Russian Church Abroad. As the Apostle Paul teaches: A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject (Tit 3: 10)."
F) Metropolitan Vitaly:
"From the very earliest years the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has had no communion at all with the Moscow Patriarchate for very good reasons. Let us recall how, in a document dated 25th December 1924, Patriarch Tikhon appointed one of three Metropolitans - whichever of Metropolitans Kyrill, Agathangel or Peter of Krutitsa could manage to be present in Moscow - to replace him after his death until such time as a new Patriarch could be elected. Metropolitans Kyrill and Agathangel were not allowed to travel to Moscow from their places of exile by the Soviet government. The 58 bishops who assembled in Moscow for the funeral of Patriarch Tikhon examined the document left by the late Patriarch, and then recognized Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa as locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne until the lawful election of a new Patriarch. He was loyal to the Soviet government in the sense that he did not speak out against it publicly, but he completely refused to make any untrue statements in support of it or to meet any of its demands which were unacceptable to the Church. On 27th November / 10th December 1925 he was arrested. At first he was imprisoned in the Butyrka Prison, in a large cell together with common criminals, and then he was exiled to a remote part of Asia. A few days before his arrest Metropolitan Peter appointed Metropolitan Sergius, who was then in Moscow, as his deputy, and indicated two other possible deputies - Metropolitan Michael, the Exarch of the Ukraine, and Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd, who was then still Archbishop of Rostov.At first Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky did not sign the "Declaration" and was put in prison, but he was let out very soon after. This seemed highly suspicious to all the faithful. It turned out that now he had signed the Declaration. In other words, he had betrayed the Church to the Bolshevik government. He thereby deprived it of its own internal freedom in spiritual and administrative matters. When Metropolitan Peter learned that Metropolitan Sergius had signed this Declaration - in other words, that he had changed the whole course of the life of the Church - he wrote him two letters from prison, copies of which have been preserved. In these letters he said, very politely, "You, your eminence, had no right to change the course of the Church" i.e. to betray it to the Bolsheviks. He received no answer to these letters. And he was the real authority over Metropolitan Sergius. Clearly Sergius had concluded that by being arrested Metropolitan Peter had also been deposed from his position of authority in the Church, which is completely contrary to the Orthodox canons. Then Metropolitan Peter sent a letter by hand, thinking that it was the postal service that was at fault, and even then Metropolitan Sergius made no reply to his ecclesiastical superior, who was still his superior, even though confined to prison! For no Bolshevik government authority can deprive a single bishop or a single priest of his spiritual authority. This is something which you should know. Despite this, Sergius decided that he need no longer reckon with him as someone in a senior position. When Metropolitan Peter returned from his exile, the Bolsheviks realized that Metropolitan Peter was senior to Metropolitan Sergius in the Church, and then they immediately arrested him and shot him. None of the ruling bishops (and there were about ten of them) submitted to Metropolitan Sergius as the successor to the Patriarch. So they were all arrested, sent into exile, and ultimately killed. The Bolsheviks did everything possible to smooth the way for Metropolitan Sergius. Thus Metropolitan Sergius set out on a path drenched in the blood of the martyred bishops of Russia. On one occasion Lenin said, "If you need a Church, we will give you one, we will even give you a Patriarch, but it is WE who will give you your Patriarch. And it is WE who will give you your Church." Of course, Father, you do not know this, and so you have allowed yourself to write your composition. At the moment when Metropolitan Sergius ceased to recognize Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa as his spiritual authority he deprived himself of the Apostolic Succession and became a usurper. Such was the path taken by Metropolitan Sergius, and after him by all the other patriarchs and metropolitans up to the present day, which is why we do not have any communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. It is a pseudo-patriarchate with a pseudo-patriarch at its head. This is the fundamental reason. So we do not point at it and say there, look what it's turned into, because the very heart of the matter is, that the Moscow Patriarchate has lost the Apostolic Succession, which is to say, that it has lost the Grace of Christ."
Due to the 1927 declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and the subsequent activities of the Sergianists, the true Russian Orthodox Church was forced to enter into the catacombs. Metropolitan Sergius and his uncanonical "synod" went into schism in 1927. In 1943 Stalin made Metropolitan Sergius "Patriarch" and established the so called "Moscow Patriarchate" which continues to exist till this day. This group which calls themselves the Moscow Patriarchate never was reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church (the Catacomb Church and the ROCOR), thus they remain uncanonical and schismatic till this day. The reason this group (the so called MP) grew from having 18 bishops in 1943 to about 150 bishops today, and the true Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church shrunk from 82 bishops in 1943 to just a handful that still exist today is as follows: The true Church was almost totally annihilated by the communist government often with the help and participation of the Sergianist Church organization. But they (the sergianists) say they had to do it to "save the Church"-while in reality they were drawing people away from the true Catacomb Church and at the same time they were persecuting and destroying the true Church. Many of them were assisting in killing the martyrs and persecuting the true Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church, while at the same time proclaiming the lie that they (the uncanonical schismatic group that calls themselves the MP) are the true Church (the so called Mother Church). So not only did they persecute the true Church but they even drew people away from Her and into a schismatic Church organization, while forcing the true Church to descend into the catacombs, thus making Her almost impossible to find and nearly inaccessible to the common people who they then betrayed, corrupted, and brain washed by their lies. Such are the fruits of the Sergianist betrayal.
To the Right Honorable Chancellor Z,
Per the Inspector General’s request, I have submitted an additional report regarding events surrounding the Podriasnik. To date, no explanation for its sudden animation by unseen forces is forthcoming. While many learned laymen and esteemed personages – some of holy rank – have offered various theories, none have unveiled the perplexing mystery at its core. In keeping with my assigned duties as Privy Counselor for district P., I submit the following information in regard to recent events, many unexplained and equally perplexing as their original. We are prepared to submit additional reports as information becomes available.
Privy Counselor T.
On the evening of July 17, 2***, Fr. Akaky was attacked on his way to church. Witnesses in the vicinity report seeing Fr.Akaky thrown to the ground by an unseen force and beaten. Without warning, his podriasnik was torn from his body only to whisk away into the shadows. Thereafter, as indicated in our first report, the podriasnik continued to assail and intimidate people.
For a short time, nothing was heard or reported regarding the activities of the podriasnik. However, its appearance recently in the Kremlin archives has once again raised concerns that no one may be safe in its presence. According to Mr. E, a state clerk responsible for maintaining historical records, he was very nearly attacked on the evening of September 14, 2*** while shelving documents newly approved by the authorities. Having entered the People’s Room of Historical Memory, Mr. E. set about organizing files. A short time after entering the room, he heard a rustling sound to his left Peering around the shelf, he noticed a black figure standing in front of boxes and files devoted to the First Directorate’s activities after the Great Patriotic War.
Due to the restricted nature of the area in question, E. was puzzled by the presence of someone else in the room. According to E., he then quietly walked along the back of the shelf separating him and the podriasnik. There, standing no more than 4 feet in front of him, the podriasnik floated in mid air, its arms and inner body animated but some unseen force. Rustling frantically through documents from the First Directorate, the podriasnik was unaware of Mr. E. Horrified and fascinated at the same time, E. peered over the podriasnik’s shoulder only to freeze in terror: there, under the armless sleeve of the podriasnik, whole sentences and documents magically disappeared and reappeared: information, dates, and names overwritten with new information in a whirl of activity and speed. No longer able to contain his fear, Mr. E. screamed in horror. The podriasnik startled, dropped a box of documents. After recovering its senses, it seized a handful of papers, swooped up the aisle and quickly swished out the door. While no assault was reported involving the person of E., the nefarious activities of the podriasnik indicate the likelihood of subterfuge and dissimulation on its part.
At the precise moment Mr. E. encountered the podriasnik in the Kremlin archives, our office received a report from the District Counselor for St. Petersburg placing the podriasnik in the Central Library. According to the District Counselor, a young female university student conducting research on turn of the century religious life was alone in the rare documents room at the St. Petersburg National Library. This time, however, the podriasnik was seated comfortably at a table in a small room, shredding page after page of material. Horrified by the spectre of a bodiless podriasnik acting with impunity in such a shameful manner, the student immediately left the premises and called for help. When she returned only minutes later with security personnel, the podriasnik was gone. To the consternation of all, only a large pile of destroyed documents lay on the table. Unfortunately, the young woman was blamed for the act and is still incarcerated. Our office has spoken with local authorities and has sought her release but an investigation is required first.
What are we to make of two sightings in two different locations at the same time? At first our investigation attempted to determine if any clerical or reporting error could account for the apparent impossibility. However, after diligently interviewing and checking all submitted evidence, we are led to only one conclusion: the podriasnik has a double.
To date, we have been unable to confirm anything regarding the St. Petersburg podriasnik. If, as we believe, it is the double of the Moscow podriasnik, the mystery only deepens and we are no closer to solving this case as we were two months ago.
As facts become available, we will most assuredly submit them to you for your review.
Privy Counselor T.
Post Script: Unconfirmed reports have reached our office shortly after the Privy Counselor read and approved the above report. According to foreign sources, the podriasnik was also seen in New York, New York while the events described above were taking place in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Privy Counselor T. could not be reached for comment.
Senior Assistant Clerk M., Esq.
Согласно информации предоставленной о. Валерием редакции Верность сообщаем:
Когда произошло разделение РПЦЗ между Митрополитами Виталием и Лавром в 2000 г., то собравшиеся прихожане прихода решили остаться с Митрополитом Виталием. Двери храма оставались открытыми для всех духовных лиц и верующих, и не было необходимости проникать в храм другими путями кроме как через входные двери.
Давление началось со стороны сначала представителями духовенства на старосту прихода, затем на прихожан, а затем преследование началось с употреблением гражданских властей. Жители села высказались не переходить ни в МП, ни в другие религиозные организации и согласно закону РФ от 24-09-1997 г. верующие села Мыльниково принадлежат к зарегистрированной централизованной религиозной организации. Отец Валерий был рукоположен во священники, а не поставлен, как пишется в доносе, из Церкви не исключают, и указ Еп. Евтихия от 18-31 дек. был издан через 13 дней после того, как Митрополит Виталий принял приход под свое личное управление. Поэтому он не является «раскольничным» и обвинение в самосвятстве необоснованно.
По делам преследования в селе Мыльниково и других приходов Истинно Православной Церкви в Сибири в редакцию Верность присланы из РФ ряд документов, свидетельствующих о преследовании. Преследования всех несогласных со стороны МП, не является новостью для верующих, но начавшееся участие в этом постыдном деле духовенства РПЦЗ прискорбно.
Главе Администрации села Мыльниково
От протоиерея Владимира Ив. Карелина
Спасо-Преображенский собор г. Шадринска
Тел. 6-37-98; 5-52-40
Уважаемая Валентина Андреевна!
Обращаю Ваше внимание на продолжающееся неблагополучное положение, связанное с храмом Пророка Илии в с. Мыльниково. В своё время я был руководителем инициативной группы православных христиан, которым и было передано в пользование здание столовой для перестройки его под православную церковь. Я же руководил и всеми работами по перестройке здания. Всё делалось с той целью, что в селе будет действовать Православная церковь, т.к. население в с. Мыльниково в основном православное. Имеется в виду законно и канонически действующая Православная церковь, которая в своей полноте представлена у нас Московским патриархатом и зарубежной её частью.
В настоящее же время в здании, принадлежащем с/к «Путь Ильича» обосновался некий Солдатов В.В., проживающий в г. Шадринске.
В прошлом Солдатов, работавший слесарем на ШААЗе, войдя в доверие духовенству зарубежной церкви, был поставлен священником, но вскоре, за многочисленные преступления церковных законов, был лишён сана и исключён из Церкви. В последствии Солдатов связался с незаконно действующей группировкой не зарегистрированной в отд. Юстиции, самосвятов Лазаря Журбенко и Тихона Пасечника, и стал под их руководством действовать как «якобы православный священник».
Однако указанные лица, как и сам Солдатов, давно уже были исключены из Русской Православной Церкви и организовали свою самосвятскую псевдорелигиозную организацию, к тому же ни где в законном порядке не зарегистрированную, да и с церковной точки зрения не законную.
Общественная опасность и врем деятельности Солдатова заключается в том, что он якобы «священствует» в типовом православном храме, прикрываясь традиционной православной атрибутикой, и в то же время является отлучённым от Русской Православной Церкви.
Малосведующие православные люди по незнанию могут стать участниками в тех или иных «служениях» и обрядах псевдосвященника Солдатова, на самом же деле, с точки зрения православия, все они недействительны и незаконны, и даже вменяются участниками в осуждение от Церкви.
Так что всех «крещенных», «венчанных», отпеваемых Солдатовым православных христиан нужно будет снова крестить, венчать, отпевать, но уже в законно и канонически действующей Православной Церкви.
В данном случае совершается мошеннический обман населения, и это всё происходит совершенно открыто, в центре села, в типовом православном храме.
По настоящему же, православным людям, по законам церкви, нельзя даже и заходить в храм, пока там действует самосвят Солдатов, хотя храм как раз и строился для православных жителей села Мыльниково. В настоящее время из жителей села только двое поддерживают Солдатова, обманутые им, а остальные пять человек – это знакомые и родственники Солдатова из города. Вот это и все прихожане храма.
Предлагаю и рекомендую Вам для разрешения этого серьёзного вопроса связаться в начале с помощником губернатора области по религиозным вопросам Уфимцевым В.Д. и затем по его рекомендации обратиться к епископу Курганскому и Шадринскому – законному представителю Московского патриархата Русской Православной Церкви. Только в этом случае можно правильно решить вопрос, так, чтобы в храме действовал законно поставленный священник и храм мог стать открытым и доступным для всех православных жителей села Мыльниково.
Благочинный Уральского округа РПЦЗ
Протоиерей Владимир Карелин
Прилагаю информацию с официального интернетсайта о том, что Солдатов, находясь под руководством Тихона Пасечника из г. Омска, состоит в его самосвятской организации, ничего общего не имеющей с Русской Православной Церковью.
На присланной к нам копии этого документа печать с крестом и надписью: Ишимская и Сибирская Епархия Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей, Благочинный Уральского Округа. Подпись В. Карелин (Ред.)
La Ley de Dios
Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, 1903-1985)
Traducido por Diacono Juan Alvarado (Climaco)
La virtud es lo completamente opuesto al pecado. Sus rudimentos se encuentran en toda persona, como restos de aquella natural bondad que fue colocada en la naturaleza humana por su Creador. Solamente se encuentra en forma pura y completa en la verdadera Cristiandad, pues Cristo el Salvador dijo: "Sin Mi, nada podéis hacer."
La Cristiandad (o más propiamente el Cristianismo) nos enseña que la vida terrena del ser humano es un tiempo de lucha moral, un tiempo de preparación para la futura vida eterna. Por lo tanto, los trabajos de la vida terrena del hombre consisten en una correcta preparación para la eternidad futura. La vida terrena es breve y no se repite, pues el hombre no vive más que una sola vez sobre la tierra. Por consiguiente, en esta vida terrena, tenemos que trabajar con virtud, si no queremos destruir el alma, pues esto es precisamente lo que la verdad de Dios nos demanda en el umbral de la eternidad.
Cada Cristiano, con la ayuda de Dios, es el formador de su propia vida terrena en el sentido de su camino hacia la virtud. No obstante, para ser virtuoso, no solamente hemos de hacer bien a los demás, sino trabajar sobre uno mismo, luchando con las propias insuficiencias y vicios, desarrollando en uno mismo, un buen basamento de valor Cristiano. Este trabajo sobre uno mismo, este combate hacia la perfección moral de la vida terrena del hombre es indispensable a todo Cristiano. El Mismo Señor dijo: "El reino de los cielos sufre violencia y los violentos lo arrebatan por la fuerza" . NOTA 1: (Mateo 1l:l2).
El carácter moral y los rasgos de cada persona son efectuados en esta lucha vital. Naturalmente, un Cristiano tiene que ser, ante todo, un verdadero Cristiano, una persona con un carácter moral estable y sólido y tiene que pretender la edificación de tal carácter. En otras palabras, tiene que esforzarse en progresar en sí mismo, hacia la perfección moral.
Lógicamente, desde un punto de vista cristiano, la vida es una batalla moral, un sendero de constante esfuerzo hacia el Bien y la Perfección.
No puede haber altos en este sendero, de acuerdo con la ley de la vida espiritual. Un hombre que deja de trabajar sobre sí mismo, no seguirá siendo el mismo que era, pero inevitablemente se hará peor, como una piedra que es lanzada a las alturas y deja de subir; no quedará suspendido en el aire, sino que caerá hacia abajo.
Ya sabemos que nuestros pecados generalmente provienen de tres fuentes: del diablo, del mundo que nos rodea que reposa en el mal, y de nuestra propia carne pecadora. Y desde el momento que el pecado es el principal enemigo y obstáculo para la virtud, es evidente que un Cristiano que esté esforzándose hacia la virtud tiene que, con la misericordia y ayuda de Dios, luchar contra el pecado en todos sus aspectos. Especialmente, es necesario en este momento, recordar las palabras del Salvador a los Apóstoles, en el Jardín de Gethsemani: "Vigilad y orad, para que no caigáis en la tentación." Estas palabras no están solamente dirigidas a los Apóstoles, sino a todos nosotros, indicando que el combate con las tentaciones pecadoras solamente es posible para el que está vigilante y en la oración, permaneciendo en guardia para su supervivencia.
La Ley de Dios
La tarea de la vida terrena del hombre consiste en prepararse para la salvación y bienaventuranza eternas. Para alcanzar esto, el hombre tiene que vivir de una manera santa y pura, es decir, de acuerdo con la Voluntad de Dios.
¿Cómo podemos reconocer esta Voluntad de Dios? Naturalmente, ante todo, en la conciencia propia, que, por esta razón, se llama la Voz del Dios en el alma del hombre. Si la caída no hubiera oscurecido al alma humana, el hombre podría sin error y firmemente seguir el sendero de su vida de acuerdo con los dictados de su conciencia, en la cual está expresada la ley moral intima. No obstante, sabemos que, en un hombre pecador, no solamente están dañados la mente, el corazón y la voluntad, sino que también la conciencia está oscurecida y su juicio y voz han perdido sus firmes claridad y fuerza. No sin razón algunas personas son llamadas desrazonables o faltas de razón.
Por tanto, la conciencia sola - la voz íntima - resultaron insuficientes para que el hombre viviera y obrara de acuerdo con la Voluntad de Dios. Surgió, pues, la necesidad de una guía exterior, de una ley revelada por Dios. Esta ley fue dada por Dios al hombre en dos aspectos: primero, el preparatorio: el Viejo Testamento en la ley de Moisés; segundo, la ley completa y perfecta del Evangelio.
Hay dos partes perceptibles en la ley de Moisés: la religiosa-moral y la ceremonial-nacional que estaba estrechamente unida con la historia y el modo de vida de la nación Judía. Naturalmente, el aspecto segundo ha desaparecido en el pasado para los Cristianos, es decir, la ceremonial-nacional, tanto en sus reglas, como en sus leyes. Pero las leyes religiosas-morales conservan su fuerza en el Cristianismo. Por consiguiente los diez mandamientos todos en la ley de Moisés, son obligatorios para los Cristianos y el Cristianismo no los ha alterado. Antes al contrario, el Cristianismo ha enseñado a que el pueblo comprenda estos mandamientos, no exteriormente -literalmente, de una manera ciega, de obediencia de esclavo, y cumplimiento exterior - sino que ha revelado el sentido pleno y enseñado la comprensión perfecta y completa, así como su cumplimiento. Sin embargo, para los Cristianos, la ley de Moisés solamente tiene significado, porque sus mandamientos centrales (los diez que tratan sobre el amor de Dios y del prójimo) son aceptados y expuestos por el Cristianismo. Nosotros somos guiados en nuestras vidas, no solamente por esta ley preparatoria y temporal de Moisés, sino por la perfecta y eterna ley de Cristo. San Basilio el Grande dice: "Si parece extraño que alguien encienda una lámpara ante él en la plena luz del día, entonces cuánto más extraño será el que permanece en la sombra de la ley del Antiguo Testamento, cuando se está predicando el Evangelio." La distinción principal entre la ley del Nuevo Testamento y la del Antiguo consiste en que la Ley del Viejo Testamento consideraba el exterior de las acciones del hombre, mientras que el Nuevo Testamento considera el corazón del hombre, en sus motivos íntimos. Bajo la ley del Viejo Testamento, el hombre se sometía a Dios como un esclavo a su dueño, pero bajo el Nuevo Testamento, intenta someterse a El como un hijo se somete a su amado padre.
Existe una tendencia a considerar el Antiguo Testamento como una ley incorrecta: algunos no ven en ella algo bueno, sino solamente procuran hallar rasgos de grosería y crueldad. Esto es una visión equivocada. Es preciso tomar en consideración el bajo nivel del desarrollo espiritual en que se encontraba el hombre hace miles de años. Bajo los condicionamíentos de los tiempos, con moral tosca y verdaderamente cruel, esas reglas y normas de la ley de Moisés que ahora nos parecen crueles (como: ojo por ojo y diente por diente, etc.). en realidad no eran tales. Naturalmente, ellos no destruían la crueldad y venganza humanas (solamente el Evangelio podía hacer esto), pero las restringían y establecían limites firmes y estrictos sobre ello. Además, debemos recordar que esos mandamientos sobre el amor hacia Dios y prójimos nuestros, que el Señor indicó como lo más importante, están tomados directamente de la ley de Moisés (Marcos 12:29-31). El Santo Apóstol Pablo dice de esta ley: "De manera que la ley es santa y cada mandamiento es santo, justo y bueno" (Rom. 7:12).
Libertad de Voluntad
Nos damos perfecta cuenta que el hombre tiene la responsabilidad de sus acciones solamente cuando tiene libertad de hacerlas. Pero ¿tiene esa libertad espiritual, libertad de la voluntad que aquí se presupone? Recientemente se ha extendido una teoría o enseñanza que se llama determinismo. Los seguidores de esta enseñanza - deterministas - no reconocen libertad de voluntad en el hombre. Declaran que en cada acción separada, el hombre actúa solamente de acuerdo con meras causas externas. De acuerdo con esta enseñanza, el hombre actúa siempre solamente bajo la influencia de motivos e impulsos que no dependen de él, y generalmente se somete al más fuerte de estos motivos. Los discípulos dicen: Solamente nos parece a nosotros que actuamos libremente. Esto es auto-engaño.
El eminente filósofo del siglo 17, Spinoza, defiende esta opinión. Como ejemplo, hablaba de una piedra que era arrojada. Si esta piedra pudiera pensar y hablar, diría también que está volando hacia y cayendo sobre el lugar que ella desea. Pero en realidad, vuela solamente porque alguien la tiró y cae bajo la acción de la gravedad.
Más adelante volveremos a este ejemplo, pero mientras tanto, observemos lo siguiente. La teoría o enseñanza que es opuesta al determinismo, y que reconoce la libertad de voluntad del hombre se llama indeterminismo. Esta enseñanza es enseñada por los Cristianos. Pero es necesario recordar que hay indeterministas extremos, cuya enseñanza tiene un carácter unilateral y falso. Estos proclaman que la libertad humana es su plena autoridad de actuar sobre su propio deseo o fantasía, el Santo Apóstol Pedro habla acerca de tal libertad: Pedro 2:15-16; 2 Pedro 2:19. Naturalmente, esto no es libertad, sino un mal uso de la libertad, una distorsión de la libertad.
El hombre no tiene libertad absoluta, evidente; solamente Dios Todopoderoso posee tan altísima Libertad creativa.
En contraste con ese falso indeterminismo, el verdadero indeterminismo enseña correctamente. Su enseñanza reconoce que el ser humano se encuentra indudablemente bajo la influencia de motivos y de impulsos de las clases más variadas. Así, por ejemplo, el medio ambiente circunstancial, las condiciones de vida, la situación política, la educación recibida, el desarrollo cultural, etc., actúan sobre él. Todo esto se refleja en los rasgos de contenido moral. En este reconocimiento de la acción sobre el ser humano, y a veces muy fuertemente, de los varios motivos e influencias exteriores, los indeterministas están de acuerdo con los deterministas. Pero, aparte de esto, existe entre ellos una profunda separación. Mientras que los deterministas dicen que el hombre actúa de una u otra manera bajo las influencias del motivo más fuerte, pero no tiene libertad, los indeterministas reconocen que siempre es libre de escoger cualquiera de los motivos. Este motivo no necesita en absoluto ser el más fuerte. Aún más, un hombre puede incluso preferir un motivo que, para otras personas puede parecer como totalmente desaventajado y sin provecho alguno. El celo de los santos mártires sirve como ejemplo de esto. Ante sus perseguidores paganos, aparecían como locos autodestruyéndose conscientemente. Por consiguiente, en opinión de los indeterministas, la libertad del ser humano no es una libertad creativa evidente, sino una libertad de elección; la libertad de nuestra voluntad decide si uno actúa de una u otra manera. Precisamente el Cristianismo acepta tal comprensión de la libertad humana, de acuerdo con el indeterminismo. Aplicándola al reino de la Moral, a la cuestión de la lucha entre el bien y el mal, entre la virtud y el pecado, el Cristianismo declara que la libertad del ser humano es su libertad de elección entre el bien y el mal. De acuerdo con la definición teológica conocida, la libertad de la voluntad es nuestra capacidad independiente de todos y de todo, de definirnos a nosotros mismos con respecto al bien y al mal.
Ahora podemos ya rechazar el ejemplo de Spinoza de la piedra, que cae. Nos damos cuenta que el ser humano posee una voluntad libre en el sentido de elección de actuar de una u otra manera. Spinoza considera las acciones de la piedra en el espacio análogas a las acciones del hombre. Esta comparación pudiera haber sido establecida solamente, si la piedra tuviera la libertad de elección: de volar o no volar, de caer o no caer. Pero una piedra, naturalmente, no posee tal libertad y por tanto, el ejemplo que nos presenta es inconvincente, no puede convencernos en absoluto.
La insolvencia del determinismo, que niega la libertad de la voluntad, es evidente por lo que veremos a continuación. Primeramente, ningún determinista efectúa o lleva a cabo su enseñanza en la vida práctica. Y el por qué o la razón de ello es claro. Pues si hemos de considerar la vida, desde un punto de vista determinista, no hay necesidad de castigar a alguien: ni al ladrón por su robo, ni al criminal por su crimen, etc. desde el momento que ellos no actuaron libremente, sino que fueron esclavos, autores involuntarios de cualquier clase de motivos que les obligaron y que los influenciaron desde el exterior. Esto es una deducción absurda, pero completamente inevitable del determinismo. En segundo lugar, la prueba de la libertad de la voluntad viene dada por el hecho de la experiencia del alma que es llamada al arrepentimiento, experiencia personalmente conocida por todos. ¿Sobre qué está basado el sentimiento del arrepentimiento? Es evidente que está basado sobre el hecho de que el hombre que se arrepiente retorna o se vuelve en pensamiento, al momento de realizar su acción equivocada, y llora por su pecado, reconociendo claramente que pudo haber actuado u obrado de otra manera, que pudo haber hecho el bien y no el mal. Vemos claramente que tal arrepentimiento no podría haberse producido, si el hombre no poseyera libre voluntad de acción, sino que fue un esclavo involuntario a las influencias exteriores. En ese caso, él no hubiera respondido a su acción errada.
Nosotros, los Cristianos reconocemos que el hombre es moralmente libre y el guía de su propia voluntad personal y acciones, así como responsable de ellas ante la Verdad de Dios. Y tal libertad es el máximo don hecho por Dios al hombre, ya que Dios no busca una sumisión mecánica, sino una obediencia de amor filial, dada libremente. El mismo Señor afirmó esta libertad: "Si alguien desea ser mi discípulo, que se niegue a sí mismo y tome su cruz y Me siga" (Mateo 16:24). De nuevo, en el Antiguo Testamento, El dijo a través del profeta:
"¡Mira! Yo he puesto ante ti hoy la vida y el bien, la muerte y el mal. Si tú atiendes a los mandamientos del Señor tu Dios, que Yo te doy hoy, de amar al Señor tu Dios, de caminar en todos Sus caminos, y de guardar Sus ordenanzas y Sus juicios; entonces vivirás y... el Señor Dios te bendecirá... Pero si tu corazón cambia y no atiendes y te dejares extraviar ... ciertamente perecerás... os he puesto ante la vida y la muerte, la bendición y la maldición; escoge, pues, la vida, amando al Señor tu Dios" (Deuteronomio 30:15-19).
El yo Cristiano
Viviendo en este mundo, un Cristiano está en un constante trato, en una 'viviente' comunión con Dios, y con sus prójimos, (próximos). Además de esto, durante el curso de su vida entera, cuida de sí mismo, de su bienestar físico y de la salvación de su alma. Por consiguiente, sus obligaciones morales pueden dividirse en tres grupos: (1) con respecto a sí mismo, (2) concerniente a su prójimo, y (3) el supremo de todos: concerniente a Dios.
La primera y mas importante obligación que el ser humano tiene para consigo mismo, es el ocuparse 'dentro de si mismo' de carácter espiritual: de nuestro verdadero "YO" Cristiano.
El carácter espiritual de un Cristiano no es algo que le ha sido dado al principio. No; es algo buscado, adquirido y realizado por sus trabajos y esfuerzos personales. (Lucas, Capítulo 16). Ni el cuerpo de un Cristiano con sus capacidades, potencias y esfuerzos, ni su misma alma - como centro natural de sus experiencias conscientes y como principio vital - son su Personalidad, el "YO" espiritual. Este carácter espiritual en un Cristiano Ortodoxo es la que difiere totalmente entre él y cualquiera no Cristiano. En la Sagrada Escritura, no se llama un 'alma,' sino un espíritu. Este espíritu es precisamente el Centro, la concentración de la vida espiritual; tiende hacia Dios y hacia la Vida Inmortal, Bendita y Eterna.
Definimos la labor de la vida humana entera como la necesidad de usar la vida transitoria terrenal como preparación hacia la, Vida Espiritual Eterna. En el caso presente esto puede decirse con otras palabras: la finalidad de la vida humana terrena consiste en que, durante el curso de esta vida, el hombre pueda realizar su carácter espiritual, su verdadero, viviente y "YO REAL."
Uno puede preocuparse del propio "YO" de maneras diferentes. Hay personas que se llaman egoístas y que se preocupan muchísimo de su "YO." Sin embargo, un egoísta piensa solamente de sí mismo y de nadie más. En su egoísmo, él intenta obtener su felicidad personal por cualquier medio - aún a costa del sufrimiento y desgracia de su prójimo. En su ceguera, no se da cuenta de que, desde el verdadero punto de vista - en el sentido de la Cristiana comprensión de la vida - él sólo se daña a si mismo, a su "YO" inmortal.
Y aquí el Cristianismo Ortodoxo (es decir, la Santa Iglesia) está exhortando al hombre para que cree su carácter espiritual, dirigiéndonos en el curso de esta creatividad, para distinguir el bien del mal y lo verdaderamente beneficioso de lo supuesto beneficioso y dañino. La Santa Iglesia nos enseña que no podemos considerar las cosas que nos da Dios (habilidad, talentos, etc.). como nuestro "YO?,' sino que más bien debemos considerarlos dones o dádivas de Dios. Tenemos que emplear estos dones materiales (como los materiales en la construcción de un edificio) para la edificación de nuestro espíritu. Por esta razón, debemos hacer uso de todos estos 'talentos' dados por Dios, no egoístamente para nosotros, sino para los demás. Pues las leyes de la Verdad del Cielo están en contradicción con leyes del beneficio terrenal. De acuerdo con las opiniones mundanas el que reúne bienes para si mismo, adquiere; de acuerdo con la enseñanza de la Verdad Celestial de Dios, el que durante la vida terrena da y hace el bien, adquiere (para la eternidad). En la conocida parábola del mayordomo indolente, el pensamiento principal y la clave para su correcta comprensión es el principio de la distinción entre las opiniones del egoísmo terrenal y la verdad de Dios. En esta parábola, el Señor específicamente llamaba a la riqueza terrestre, reunida egoístamente, para uno, "riqueza injusta" y ordenó que no fuera empleada para uno mismo, sino para los demás, para que la recompensa se reciba en la vida eterna.
El ideal de la perfección Cristiana es inalcanzablemente elevado. "Sed perfectos como vuestro Padre Celestial es perfecto," dijo Cristo nuestro Salvador. Por lo tanto, no puede haber final para el trabajo de un hombre sobre si mismo, sobre este carácter espiritual. La vida terrena de un cristiano es una constante batalla de auto-perfección moral. Y naturalmente, la perfección Cristiana no se da al hombre de una vez, sino gradualmente. Para el cristiano que , debido a su inexperiencia, pensara que podría obtener la santidad de una vez , San Serafín de Sarov dijo: "Haz todo lentamente, no de repente; la virtud no es una pera no podéis comerla de una vez." Tampoco el apóstol Pablo, en toda su altura y poder espirituales, se consideraba a si mismo como habiendo alcanzado la perfección, sino que dijo que solamente se estaba esforzando hacia esa perfección, o que lo haya alcanzado ya, ni que ya sea perfecto; sino que prosigo, por ver si logro asir aquello para lo cual fui también asido por Cristo Jesús. Hermanos, yo mismo no pretendo haberla ya alcanzado (la perfección); pero una cosa hago: olvidando ciertamente aquellas cosas que quedan atrás, y dirigiéndome hacia las cosas que están delante, prosigo hacia la meta, al premio del supremo llamamiento de Dios en Cristo Jesús (Phil. 3:12-14).
De acuerdo con las enseñanzas de nuestros Santos y Theóforos Padres, los atletas y luminarias de la piedad Cristiana, la primera de todas las virtudes Cristianas es la HUMILDAD. Sin esta virtud, no puede adquirirse virtud alguna y es impensable la perfección espiritual de un Cristiano. Nuestro Salvador Cristo Jesús comienza los preceptos de las bienaventuranzas de Su Nuevo Testamento con el precepto de la Humildad: ¡Bienaventurados los pobres de espíritu, pues de ellos es el Reino de los Cielos!
En el sentido corriente de la palabra, consideramos pobre a una persona que nada tiene, teniendo que pedir ayuda de los demás. El Cristiano (materialmente rico o pobre) tiene que reconocer que es pobre espiritualmente, que en él nada hay bueno de si mismo. Todo lo bueno en nosotros es de Dios. Por nuestra propia existencia, solamente añadimos mal: amor a nosotros mismos, caprichos de sensualidad, y orgullo pecador. Cada uno de nosotros tenemos que recordar esto, pues no es en vano que dice la Sagrada Escritura: "Dios se opone al orgulloso y da gracia al humilde"
Como ya hemos dicho, sin humildad, ninguna otra virtud es posible, pues si el hombre no cumple la virtud con un espíritu de humildad, inevitablemente caerá en el orgullo opuesto a Dios, y perecerá fuera de la misericordia de Dios.
Juntamente con una verdadera humildad profunda, todo Cristiano tiene que tener un acercamiento espiritual como el que se habla en el segundo precepto de la Bienaventuranza. Sabemos que la humildad se rebaja y se juzga tal. Sin embargo, frecuentemente, éste no es una condición profunda y constante de la mente y de las experiencias del alma, sino un sentimiento superficial e insípido. Los Santos Padres indicaron una manera por la cual se puede comprobar la sinceridad y la profundidad de la humildad.
Comenzar reprochando a la persona, frente a frente, por aquéllos mismos y con las mismas expresiones en que 'humildemente' ella se juzga. Si su humildad es sincera, escuchará los reproches sin cólera, y a veces, dará las gracias por la humillante instrucción. Si no tiene verdadera humildad, no soportará los reproches, sino que se encolerizará, desde el momento que su orgullo se levantará en defensa por los reproches y acusaciones.
El Señor dice: "Bienaventurados los que lloran, pues ellos serán consolados." En otras palabras, bienaventurados son los que, no solamente están tristes por su propia imperfección e indignidad, sino que están tristes por más que eso. Por estar tristes o afligidos entendemos, ante todo, la aflicción espiritual: llorar por los pecados y la pérdida resultante del Reino de Dios. Es más, entre los ascetas del Cristianismo, había muchos que, llenos de amor y compasión, lloraban por el resto de los seres humanos: por sus pecados, caídas y sufrimientos. También está en considerar dentro del espíritu del Evangelio como afligidos a todos aquellos seres que se afligen y que son desgraciados que aceptan su pena de manera Cristiana: humildemente sometidos. Son verdaderamente bienaventurados, porque serán consolados por el mismo Dios, con amor infinito. Y por el contrario, aquéllos que solamente buscan cómo obtener placer y gozo durante la vida terrestre, no son en absoluto bienaventurados.
Aunque ellos se consideran afortunados y otros los consideren como tales, de acuerdo con el espíritu de la enseñanza del Evangelio, serán las personas más desafortunadas. Y es precisamente a ellos a quienes se dirige este aviso terrible: "¡Ay de vosotros, los ricos! porque ya habéis recibido vuestro consuelo. ¡Ay de vosotros los que estáis repletos! porque tendréis hambre. ¡Ay de vosotros, los que ahora reís! porque estaréis afligidos y lloraréis."
Cuando un hombre está lleno de humildad y angustia por sus pecados, no puede hacer las paces con ese mal del pecado, que tanto mancha a él y a otras personas. El intenta apartarse de su corrupción pecadora y de la falsedad de la vida que le rodea: retornar a la verdad de Dios, a la santidad y a la pureza. El busca esta verdad de Dios y su triunfo sobre las falsedades humanas y lo desea más ardientemente que el que estando hambriento desea comer, o el que está sediento desea beber.
El cuarto precepto, que está ligado a los dos primeros, nos dice acerca de ello: "Bienaventurados son los que tienen hambre y sed de justicia, pues ellos serán saciados." ¿Cuándo serán saciados? Parcialmente, aquí en la vida terrena, en lo que estos fieles seguidores de la verdad de Dios ya están viendo, a veces, los comienzos de su triunfo y victoria en las acciones de la Providencia de Dios y en las manifestaciones de la justicia de Dios y su omnipotencia. Pero su hambre y sed espirituales serán saciados y apagados plenamente allí, en la bendita eternidad, en el nuevo cielo y nueva tierra, donde la Justicia vive.
Conversión de Pecadores
Hemos hablado de los temas de la libre voluntad del hombre y examinado la primera de las virtudes: la humildad, la pesadumbre espiritual y el anhelo hacia la Verdad de Dios. Ahora, debemos hablar del proceso de la conversión de un pecador equivocado hacia el sendero de la justicia.
La parábola del Hijo Pródigo (Lucas 15:11-32) es el mejor ejemplo de este proceso. Esta parábola nos habla de un hijo joven que está cansado de la protección cuidadosa de su padre. El hijo insensatamente decidió traicionar a su padre, y fue a él rogándole que le diera la parte de su herencia. Habiéndola recibido, partió a un lejano país. Está claro y manifiesto que este hijo insensato representa a cada pecador. La traición a Dios del hombre se manifiesta por lo general de esta manera: el ser humano recibe todo lo que Dios le ha dado en la vida, y entonces deja de tener fe ferviente en El, deja de pensar en El y de amarle, y finalmente, olvidando Su ley. ¿No es esto como la vida de muchos intelectuales contemporáneos? Desdeñando lo que verdaderamente es esencial, viven totalmente alejados de Dios.
En aquel país lejano, tan halagadora vista desde lejos, el hijo alocado gastó y despilfarró cuanto poseía, viviendo de manera disoluta. De este modo es como el pecador alocado despilfarra su fuerza espiritual y física en la persecución de gozos sensuales malgastando su vida, alejándose, en corazón y en alma, cada vez más lejos de su Padre Celestial.
Una vez que el hijo pródigo gastó todo cuanto poseía, pasaba un hambre tan terrible que tomó un trabajo como guardián de cerdos (pastor de cerdos que de acuerdo con la ley de Moisés, son animales impuros). Hubiera sido feliz comiendo de las algarrobas de los cerdos, pero nadie le daba nada. ¿Acaso no ocurre lo mismo con el pecador, enredado finalmente en las redes del pecado, teniendo hambre espiritual, sufriendo y languideciendo? Intenta llenar su vacuidad espiritual con un remolino de vacíos placeres, regocijos y disipación. Pero todo esto es 'alimento de cerdos' que no puede saciar el tormento del hambre que su espíritu inmoral carece.
Ese desgraciado perecería si no fuera por la ayuda de Dios, Quien dijo que El "no desea la muerte del pecador, sino que se convierta y viva." El hijo pródigo oyó la llamada de la Gracia de Dios y no la dejo de lado, ni la rechazó, sino que la aceptó. La aceptó y se rehizo como se rehace uno que está enfermo después de una terrible pesadilla. Hubo un pensamiento salvador: "Cuántos obreros de mi padre tienen pan de sobra! pero yo, su hijo, estoy muriendo de hambre."
Entonces decide: "Me levantaré e iré a casa de mi padre y le diré, Padre, he pecado contra el cielo y ante ti, y no soy digno de llamarme hijo tuyo. Pero acéptame entre el número de tus obreros." Una intención firme y una resolución decisiva: se levantó, "y fue a su padre."
El fue, lleno de arrepentimiento, ardiendo con toda conciencia de su falta e indignidad y con la esperanza de la misericordia del padre. Su camino no fue fácil. Pero, cuando aún estaba lejos, su padre le vio (esto significa que el padre estaba esperando y quizá todos los días estaba mirando para ver si su hijo volvía). El lo vio y tuvo lástima lleno de piedad y corriendo salió, y, abrazándole le besó. El hijo estaba comenzando su confesión: "Padre, he pecado contra el cielo y ante ti, y no soy digno de llamarme hijo tuyo." Pero el padre no le dejó acabar la frase. Ya le había perdonado y olvidado todo, y aceptó al disoluto y hambriento porquero, como a un hijo amadísimo. El Señor ha dicho: "Hay más alegría en el Cielo por un pecador arrepentido que por noventa y nueve justos que no tienen necesidad de arrepentimiento" (Lucas 15:7).
Así gradualmente, el proceso del alejamiento y conversión a Dios ocurre en un momento. Uno es humillado y seguidamente elevado paso a paso. Al principio la traición a Dios, alejándose de El a un 'país distante." En esta enajenación de Dios, hay una completa servidumbre del pecado y las pasiones. Finalmente, aparece una 'quiebra espiritual,' hambre y oscuridad: la persona ha llegado al fondo de su caída. Sin embargo, aquí, de acuerdo con las palabras del Apóstol Pablo, donde el pecado ha proliferado y multiplicado, aparece una abundancia de Gracia para instruir al hombre. El pecador acepta la salvadora llamada de la Gracia (o la rechaza y perece, como desgraciadamente esto ocurre a veces). La acepta y se rehace, decidiendo firmemente, alejarse del pecado y marchar con arrepentimiento al Padre Celestial. Marcha a lo largo del camino del arrepentimiento, y el Padre sale a encontrarse con él, aceptándole, olvidando todo, y con tanto amor como siempre.
Gracia y salvación
Hablando acerca de lo verdaderamente bueno, la actividad Cristiana, nuestro Señor Cristo Jesús dijo: "Sin MI, nada podéis hacer." Por lo tanto, cuando consideramos el asunto de la salvación, el Cristiano Ortodoxo debe recordar que el principio de esa vida verdaderamente Cristiana que nos salva, viene solamente de Cristo el Salvador, y que nos es dada en el Misterio del Bautismo.
En Su conversación con Nicodemus acerca de cómo se entra en el Reino de Dios, nuestro Salvador replicó: "En verdad te digo que si no se nace de nuevo, no se entra en el Reino de Dios." Más adelante aclara esta frase: "A menos de nacer del agua y del Espíritu, nadie puede entrar en el Reino de Dios" (Juan 3:34). Por consiguiente, el Bautismo es esa puerta por la cual solamente podemos entrar en la Iglesia de los que se salvan. Pues solamente los que tengan fe y sean bautizados serán salvados. (Marcos 16:16).
El Bautismo borra la corrupción del 'pecado ancestral,' y borra la culpa de todos los pecados cometidos anteriormente por el que es bautizado. Sin embargo, las semillas de pecado - hábitos pecadores y los deseos hacia el pecado permanecen en nosotros y son vencidos por la lucha moral durante toda la vida (los esfuerzos del ser humano en cooperación con la Gracia de Dios). Pues, como ya sabemos, el Reino de Dios se conquista por el esfuerzo, y solamente aquéllos que se esfuerzan, lo consiguen. Otros Misterios (o Sacramentos) de la Iglesia: el arrepentimiento, la Santa Comunión, la Unción y varias oraciones y servicios divinos, son momentos y medios de la consagración de un Cristiano. Un Cristiano recibe la Divina Gracia en ellos, de acuerdo con la medida de su Fe, lo cual facilita su salvación. Sin esta Gracia, de acuerdo con la enseñanza apostólica, no solamente no podemos hacer el bien, sino incluso no podemos desear hacerlo (Filipenses 2:13).
No obstante, si la ayuda de la Gracia de Dios tiene tan inmenso significado en el asunto de nuestra salvación, entonces ¿qué significan nuestros esfuerzos personales? ¿Acaso todo el asunto de la salvación es hecho para nosotros por Dios y nosotros solamente hemos de sentarnos con los brazos cruzados, esperando la misericordia de Dios? En la historia de la Iglesia, esta cuestión fue establecida clara y decisivamente en el siglo quinto. Un monje recto e instruido, Pelagio, comenzó a enseñar que el hombre se salva por si mismo, por su propia fuerza, sin la Gracia de Dios. Desarrollando su idea, finalmente llegó a un punto en el cual, en esencia, comenzó a negar la necesidad misma de redención y salvación en Cristo. El eminente maestro Agustín (de Hipona) se presentó resueltamente contra esta enseñanza, y demostró la necesidad de la Gracia de Dios para la salvación. Sin embargo, al refutar a Pelagio, Agustín cayó en el extremo opuesto. De acuerdo con su enseñanza, todo en el asunto de la salvación es hecho por la Gracia de Dios para el hombre, y el hombre tiene solamente que aceptar esta salvación con gratitud.
Como de costumbre, la verdad se halla entre estos dos extremos. Fue expresada en el siglo quinto por el justo asceta San Juan Cassiano, cuya explicación se llama "sinergismo" (cooperación). De acuerdo con esta enseñanza, el hombre es salvado solamente en Cristo, y la Gracia de Dios es la fuerza agente principal en esta salvación. No obstante, junto a la acción de la Gracia de Dios para la salvación, los esfuerzos personales solos son insuficientes para su salvación, pero son necesarios, pues sin ellos la Gracia de Dios no comenzará a ejecutar el asunto de su salvación.
Así, pues, la salvación del hombre es ejecutada simultáneamente por la acción de la Gracia Salvadora de Dios, y por los esfuerzos personales del mismo hombre. De acuerdo con la profunda expresión de algunos Padres de la Iglesia, Dios creó al hombre sin la participación del hombre mismo, pero El no le salva, sin su consentimiento y deseo, pues le creó libre. El hombre es libre de escoger entre el bien y el mal, salvación o ruina y Dios no le obstruye su libertad, aunque constantemente le anima hacia la salvación.
Вече и князь.
Архимандрит Константин (Зайцев)
Два центра были в каждом государственном образовании: вече и князь. Первичным было вече, олицетворение «земля». Но земля не мыслила себя без князя, как лица первенствующего.
«Право земли и ее верховная власть над собою высказывается повсюду и до-татарское время. Земля должна была иметь князя; без этого ее существование как земли было немыслимо. Где земля, там и вече, а где вече, там непременно будет и князь; вече непременно изберет его. Земля была власть над собою; вече – выражение власти, а князь – ее орган. По словам начального летописного свода, в половине IX века северные народцы говорили призываемым варягам: «земля наша велика и обильна, а наряда (т.е. порядка) в ней нет, да пойдете княжити и володети нами» (по праву); то же фактически повторялось в каждой земле при каждом вступлении князя на княжение. Если призвание князей выдумано, то оно выдумано невольно, по естественному свойству человеческой природы переносить на отдаленные времена признаки современного быта; что делалось в XII веке, то переносилось воображением на IX-ый. На Руси сложилось такое понятие: без князя в земле нет порядка, ни охранения, ни суда, ни правды; без князя начнется беспорядок, сильнейшие будут обижать слабейших; роды и семьи передерутся между собою; не будет единодушия во взаимной защите; набегут чужие и разорят землю; ратная сила не будет повиноваться начальству, если этим начальником не будет князь. Князь призван володеть, т.е. держать власть, править, защищать»… (Костомаров).
Не следует одевать князя Киевской Руси ни в тогу республиканского «магистрата», ни в порфиру монарха. За исключением отдельных крупных центральных личностей, идущих впереди века, рядовые князья оставались на Руси обособленными от земли, случайными и временными ее гостями. Князья способны были порвать связь с ней, когда им вздумается, способны были, с другой стороны, втянуть свою землю в личные авантюры, привлекательные их удальству, роднящему их с конунгами скандинавскими или с ханами степными, но мало чем полезные земле. Лишь постепенно, в значительной мере под влиянием церкви, князь начинает проникаться самосознанием монархическим, чувствовать себя властью, от Бога поставленной. Это самосознание, привязывая князя к земле, однако, уже не вяжется с зависимостью его от веча, как высшего органа этой земли!
Вече (от «вещать», «говорить», одного корня с «советом» и с «парламентом») есть место, где «говорят», где раздаются советы, где обмениваются мнениями, где в процессе «разговоров» слагается общее решение – принципиально единогласное, всех примирившее, ибо беспрекословно принятое умолкнувшим меньшинством, - нечто имеющее черты и парламента и крестьянской мирской сходки. Никакой формальной организации подобные сборища не имели и потому могли принимать облик весьма разный – от демагогически распаленной, буйной, даже бунтарской, стихийной вспышки социальных низов до степенного решения текущих вопросов влиятельными стариками, сочувственно поддакиваемыми согласной толпой домохозяев, и от открытого многоголового народного сходбища до замкнутого собрания немногочисленных представителей верхушки данного города. Ведь нет в сущности, основания резко обособлять деятельность народного веча от деятельности княжеской думы, поскольку та заключала в своем составе не только дружинников, но и старцев градских, т.е. влиятельных местных горожан: когда летописец глухо говорит о совете князя с землею, с городом, с волостью, то не всегда имеется в виду площадь, объединявшая толпы народа, а иногда и палаты княжеские, куда собирались на думу верхи местного общества. Лишь постепенно могли бы дифференцироваться отдельные органы высшей власти, но соотношение их так и не успело принять стойкие формы: процесс укрепления власти княжеской был одновременно процессом отмирания власти веча, и в позднейшее время дело шло уже только о князе и его думе; вече долго сохраняется только в северных народоправствах.
Для понимания реальной силы князя надо помнить, что «вече не централизовало управления волости, не имея вне княжеской администрации и органов для какой-либо своей администрации» (Пресняков). Но и князь нуждался в земле, как в источнике средств материальных и людских. «Народ составляет главную силу князей» (Сергеевич).
В мирное время эта взаимозависимость могла не очень сказываться, но она обнаруживалась со всею наглядностью в момент объявления войны или заключения мира. «Для правильного понимания того, какую роль в этих вопросах играло вече, надо иметь в виду, что князь мог вести войну: 1) собственными средствами, при помощи дружинников и охотников, и 2) средствами волости при содействии населения ее. Для войны собственными средствами князь не нуждался в согласии веча» (Сергеевич). Надо иметь в виду еще и то, что, если народное вече не имело ни центральных, ни местных органов, то и князь не имел еще своих органов на местах. Там действовали дробные общины народные, которые могли тяготеть к народному вечу больше, чем к князю.
Политическое строение Киевской Руси дало материал для различных проблем и породило обширную литературу, качественно весьма ценную. Интересующиеся могут познакомиться с этими проблемами и найти нужные литературные указания в отмеченных уже раньше трудах Преснякова и Грекова. Из обзоров истории русского права можно особенно рекомендовать книгу М.А. Дьяконова «Очерки общественного и государственного строя древней Руси». Заслуживает быть отмеченной и книга Сторожева «Киевская Русь», содержащая прекрасную коллекцию очерков о Киевской Руси русских историков.
Протопресвитер М. Помазанский
Одна из первых забот Церкви, как первенствующей, так и всех веков – сохранение в чистом, неповрежденном виде христианской истины. «Держись образца здравого учения». «Старайся представить себя… делателем не укоризненным, верно преподающим (право правящим; греч.: прямо режущим) слово истины». «Стойте и держитесь предания, которым вы научены или словом или посланием нашим». «Если бы даже мы или ангел с неба стал благовествовать вам не то, что мы благовествовали вам, да будет анафема». Такие предостережения постоянно дает апостол Павел, и сам идет, после своих первых благовестнических трудов, к старейшим апостолам проверить проповедуемое им благовествование: «не напрасно ли я подвизаюсь или подвизался»?
То же и у других апостолов. «Для меня нет большей радости, как слышать, что дети мои ходят в истине». «Кто приходит к вам и не приносит сего учения, того не принимайте в дом и не приветствуйте его»: и любовно и строго наставляет Иоанн, апостол любви.
Строго ополчается против еретиков апостол Петр во втором послании, а также предостерегает против «невежд» в вере и «неутвержденных», которые «к собственной погибели» превращают Писания.
Такая же ревность о чистоте истины – и в послеапостольское время. В этот ранний период жизни Церкви уже существуют специальные термины, определяющие чистоту веры: «правило веры (или канон веры) и «православие». Выражение «правило (канон) предания» встречается в конце первого века у Климента Римского (в его послании к Коринфянам): «канон истины» – у Иренея Лионского (II-й век); «канон веры» – у Поликрата Ефесского (посл. к еписк. Виктору) и у Дионисия Коринфского (к Никомидийцам). Само слово «канон» находим в посланиях ап. Павла.
Термин «православие» столь же раннего происхождения. Прототип его имеется еще в ветхозаветных терминах, в таковых выражениях псалмов, как: «нога моя ста на правоте», «правым подобает похвала» и в часто встречаемом в псалмах выражении «правии сердцем», «правота сердца». Не будем упускать из виду, что Псалтырь неразлучна с Церковью христианской с первого момента ее бытия.
Слово «православие» окончательно утверждается в процессе защиты от ересей, и ко времени вселенских соборов оно становится уже общеупотребительным. Об его изначальности говорит то, что уже в первой четверти второго столетия есть термины, противополагаемые слову «православие», именно у св. Игнатия Богоносца – «инославие» и «инославные».
На первом вселенском соборе отцы собора говорят от имени «Православной Церкви»: «если останется упорным, изгони его из общества Православной Церкви», обращаются они в приветственной речи к императору Константину. В правилах того же первого вселенского собора говорится: «касательно обращающихся к Православной Церкви из ереси павлианской (Павла Самосатского) постановлено: непременно перекрещивать их»… Подобным образом выражается и второй вселенский собор: «Присоединяющихся к православию и к части спасаемых еретиков принимаем по следующему чиноположению и обычаю»…; послание его к Римской церкви посылается от имени «святого собора православных епископов, собравшихся в великом городе Константинополе». В творениях св. Григория Богослова, относящихся к этой эпохе, встречаем даже выражение «страждущее православие». Третий вселенский собор принимает от ряда лиц, отрекающихся от ереси новатиан заявления о присоединении их к православию в следующей форме: «я такой то, … покаявшись, приступаю к святой кафолической и православной Церкви Божией»…, или: … «мы приступили к святой, кафолической апостольской и православной Церкви»…
Около Церкви уже в первый период образуется инородная, хотя и христианская, среда, от которой Церкви приходится отталкиваться и отмежеваться. Существование этой чужой среды побуждает к точной формулировке православного учения в «догматах». Многократно в церковной истории бывает так, что враг, в виде ереси, вторгается в Церковь и производит страшные опустошения, нередко прибегая к силе еретиков-императоров и при их помощи закрывая уста православию, и православие на значительной территории империи уходит с поверхности жизни, истинная Церковь кажется изгнанной, истина представляется немотствующей; на деле же, под спудом, продолжается борьба за истину и ведется до ее торжества, а за ним – до восстановления на местах православного епископата и отрешение еретиков от Церкви. Так было между первым и вторым вселенскими соборами, то же – при монофизитской и, особенно, иконоборческой ересях. Много волнений, потрясений и жертв пережила Церковь ради защиты целости и неповрежденности православного христианского мировоззрения. Но этой священной стихии – сохранения и выявления до конца православно-христианской истины – не остановили ни угрозы власти, ни препятствия внутренние, ни опасения раскола церковного, ни сам по себе авторитет высоких иерархических лиц, ни даже авторитет собора, если глубокое церковное сознание видело его неправоту. И во все времена, во все девятнадцать веков земной церковной истории всегда границы Церкви на земле признавались совпадающими с исповеданием православия.
Относясь со всей строгостью к ересеучителям и к создателям церковных расколов, отсекая их, Церковь, однако, делала большие снисхождения в способах принятия лиц, готовых вернуться к православию. «Не ненавидеть должно неверующих, а сожалеть о них. Если ненавидишь заблуждающегося, то, как обратишь его? Как будешь молиться о неверующем? Как выздороветь больному, когда врач ненавидит больного и бежит от него, а больной чуждается врача?» наставляет св. Иоанн Златоуст.
Представители Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония.
Representatives of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society :
Switzerland: M-me Catharina Raevsky/ 6, Chemin du Champ d'Anier, 1209 Geneve
France: T.R. Protodiacre, G.Ivanoff-Trinadzaty, 152 rue Joliot-Curie, Tassin la Demi Lune, 69160
Australia: Mr. K.N. Souprounovich, 23 Farquharson St., Mount Waverley,Victoria 3149.
Argentina: Sr. Jorge Rakitin, Fray Justo Sarmiento 2173/ 1636 Olivos Pcia. Bs. As.
Chile: Sr. Oleg Minaeff, Felix de Amesti 731, Les Condes, Santiago
Canada: Mr. Boris S. Dimitrov, 720 Montpellier, Apt 708, v. St. Laurent, PG H4L 5B5
US Central States: Mr. Valentin W. Scheglovsky, 6 Saratoga Ln. Invanhoe Woods, Plymouth, MN 55441
The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony Society published in the past, and will do so again in the future, the reasons why we can not accept at the present time a "unia" with the MP. Other publications are doing the same, for example the Russian language newspaper "Nasha Strana"(N.L. Kasanzew, Ed.) and on the Internet "Sapadno-Evropeyskyy Viestnik" ( Rev.Protodeacon Herman-Ivanoff Trinadtzaty, Ed.). There is a considerably large group of supporters against a union with the MP; and even though our Society is new - only a few months old - it already has representatives in many countries around the world including the RF and the Ukraine with membership of several hundred members. We are grateful for the correspondence and donations from many people that arrive daily. With this support, we can continue to demand that the Church leadership follow the Holy Canons and Teachings of the Orthodox Church.
ВЕРНОСТЬ (FIDELITY) Церковно-общественное издание
“Общества Ревнителей Памяти Блаженнейшего Митрополита Антония (Храповицкого)”.
Председатель “Общества” и главный редактор: проф. Г.М. Солдатов.
President of The Blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) Memorial Society and Editor in-Chief: Prof. G.M. Soldatow
Acting secretary: Mr. Valentin Wladimirovich Scheglovsky
Please send your membership application to: Просьба посылать заявления о вступлении в Общество: Treasurer/ Казначей: Dr. Tatiana Alexeevna Rodzianko, 252 Rockland Lake Rd. Valley Cottage, NY 10989
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