ВЕРНОСТЬ - FIDELITY № 50 - 2006
The Editorial Board is glad to inform our Readers that this issue of “FIDELITY” has articles in English, and Russian Languages.
С удовлетворением сообщаем, что в этом номере журнала “ВЕРНОСТЬ” помещены статьи на английском и русском языках.
CONTENTS - ОГЛАВЛЕНИЕ
1. "Petition addressed to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and to all Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) from members of ROCOR parishes in New England States, U.S.A. "
2. Петиция к Высокопреосвященнейшему Митрополиту Лавру и ко всем Архиереям Русской Православной Церкви Зарубежом (РПЦЗ) от членов РПЦЗ в приходах Новой Англии, штатов США
3. “A SUMMARY OF THE PRE-SOBOR DISCUSSION”. Bishop Agafangel
4. "МАЛЕНЬКИЙ ЧЕЛОВЕК ПРОДАЕТ СВЯТОЕ ДЕЛО!" ПРОТ. Анатолий Трепачко
5. "BISHOP TO KNIGHT GAMBIT". A.B. Barruel
6. "METROPOLITAN LAURUS IS GOING INTO SCHISM NOT WE!" P. Savaliev
7. "A STATEMENT BY ARCHPRIEST PIMEN SIMON". Vladimir Moss
ALL-DIASPORA SOBOR - SOME CONCERNS". Hieromonk German Ciuba
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addressed to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and to all Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) from members of ROCOR parishes in New England States, U.S.A.
Your Eminence, Most Reverend Metropolitan Laurus and Your Graces-
We, members of the ROCOR parishes in New England, USA, have decided on our own initiative to send this petition.
We, the undersigned, are opposed to unification with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), an organization artificially created in 1943, on direct orders from Stalin, for the purpose of serving godless communist state.
The MP was organized under the anti-church, anti-religion and pro-communist laws of the U.S.S.R. MP hierarchs and clergy were appointed by the KGB and carried out KGB assignments designed to support political goals of godless Soviet state and to promote communist propaganda abroad. One of KGB’s propaganda assignments involved the entry of MP into the World Church Council and active participation in ecumenism. In today’s Russia, most of the anti-church and anti-religion statutes remain in effect, the MP continues to obey these laws and MP hierarchs continue to follow the practice of sergianism, i.e. subservience to and close collaboration with the state, its secret police and intelligence agencies. Today, MP is still a member of the World Church Council and actively participates in their ecumenical work.
On the other hand, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) is an inseparable, self-governing part of the Orthodox Church of Russia, organized in accordance with the Decree #362, issued by Patriarch Tikhon and the Holy Synod of Orthodox Russian Church on 7/20 November, 1920. Thus, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is the successor of the thousand-year-old Russian Orthodox Church and, as it is established abroad, it sir recognized as a free and independent church, with special juridical status reserved for religious organizations. The mission of ROCOR is to preserve the wholeness of the Orthodox faith, to teach the Orthodox faith and to provide spiritual nourishment to the flock.
‘We, the undersigned, are opposed to unification because it will put ROCOR under the administrative control of the same political forces that govern the MP now and it will force us to embrace practices and values incompatible with those of American citizens. With unification, the spiritual life of ROCOR parishes and the flock will come under the control of an organization that operates under the laws of a foreign country. Consequently, we will face the fact that many of these Soviet/Russian laws and practices will be illegal under the laws of the United States.
Fleeing religious persecution by godless Soviet state, our parents came to the United States and immediately began to build churches, monasteries, church schools in order to preserve the Orthodox faith for posterity. In time, our Church began to attract converts from other faiths who joined ROCOR, began to learn the language and partake of our rich religious traditions. New churches continue to be built. Our church schools are flourishing, providing Orthodox education to our children, our successors. However, with unification, the 80-year-old heritage of RCOR, with its history of spiritual integrity and dedication to Orthodox faith, will be swept away and replaced by questionable legacy of the Stalinist MP and its practice of sergianism. Following unification, ROCOR will cease to exist as the free voice of Orthodoxy.
We, the undersigned, as members of ROCOR and as citizens and residents of the United States, are categorically opposed to unification with the MP because-
* We repudiate sergianism and we repudiate ecumenism which define past and current MP activities.
* We refuse to join the MP, an organization which was created on the basis of sergianism and continues to embrace and follow sergianism today.
* We refuse to join the MP, an organization which continues to participate in world ecumenism and support ecumenist activities
* We wish to remain in the Church that has preserved its spiritual integrity, has remained true to Orthodox faith and has renounced ecumenism
* We wish to remain in the Orthodox Church that is free of government interference and one that will not be controlled by Mr. Putin, his associates and Russian state agencies.
* We wish to remain in the Church that has not been tainted by collaboration with Stalin, KGB, FSB, etc.
* We wish to remain under the protection of the laws of the United States and we refuse to be controlled by a foreign organization, governed by laws of another country, laws which may offend or violate US laws.
Cc: The Most Reverend Archbishops Alypy, Mark, Hilarion, Kyrill, The Right Reverend Bishops Ambroise, Evtikhii, Agaphangel, Daniel, Gabriel, Michael, Agapit, Peter and ROCOR faithful. This represent a partial list of names as signatures are still being collected.
Lilly A. Dombrowski -- Tewksbury, MA
Tatyana Pishenina – Medford, MA
Dr. Elena A. Baranov -- Cambridge, MA
Angelina Sherbakova – Boston, MA
Prof. Nina M. Baranova – Arlington, MA
Kyriaki Lavoie – Nashua, NH
Dr. Maria Krivoshlikoff – Brookline, MA
David J.E. Lavoie – Nashua, NH
Ellen Pishenin – Medford, MA
Other names to follow.
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Высокопреосвященнейший Владыко Митрополит Лавр!
Ваши Преосвященства, Преосвященнейшие Владыки!
Мы прихожане Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей (РПЦЗ) в Новой Англии, США, по собственной инициативе, составили это прошение и посылаем Вам. Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, не согласны идти на объединение с Московской Патриархией (МП) – организацией искусственно созданной в 1943 году по прямому указу Сталина, для того чтобы служить безбожной коммунистической власти.
МП создавалась в условиях антицерковных и антирелигиозных законов Советского Союза. Иерархи и служители МП получали назначения от КГБ и выполняли задания КГБ для поддержки богоборческого советского правительства и для ведения коммунистической пропаганды заграницей. В плане этих пропагандных заданий было вступление МП в Мировой Совет Церквей и её активное участие в международном экуменизме. В настоящее время, большинство советских антицерковных и антирелигиозных законов остались в силе, их никто не отменил, и МП продолжает подчиняться этим законам, а её иерархи и духовенство продолжают свою практику сергианства, т.е. тесное сотрудничество с властью и секретными службами России. Кроме того, МП так-же продолжает свою деятельность в Мировом Совете Церквей и активно участвует в экуменической работе этой организации.
В отличие от МП, Русская Православная Церковь Заграницей есть неразрывная часть поместной Российской Православной Церкви, созданной и самоуправляющейся в соответствии с Постановлением Св. Патриарха Тихона, Св. Синода и Высшего Церковного Совета от 7 (20) ноября 1920 г. Таким образом, Русская Православная Церковь Заграницей есть наследница тысячелетней Русской Православной Церкви, и, находясь в зарубежье, РПЦЗ признана как свободная и самостоятельная Православная Церковь, имеющая соответствующий юридический статус религиозной организации. Основной задачей РПЦЗ является сохранение неповрежденности Св. Православной веры, заботы о воспитании и духовном окормлении паствы в рассеянии сущей и проповедь Православия.
Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, против объединения с МП, потому что РПЦЗ окажется под административным контролем тех-же политических сил, которые сейчас управляют Патриархией. В результате объединения, духовная жизнь РПЦЗ и её прихожан окажется под управлением организации, которая существует по нормам и законам другой страны, а эти советско-российские законы, прежде всего, нередко противоречат, или несопоставимы или даже нарушают существующие государственные законы США.
Когда наши родители бежали от гонений богоборческой советской власти и обосновались в Америке, то они немедленно стали строить храмы, создавать школы, монастыри что-бы сохранить веру и наши традиции для будущих поколений. Со временем, наша Церковь начала привлекать людей других вероисповеданий, они стали креститься, учить русский язык и приобщаться к нашей культуре. Сейчас строятся новые церкви, школы продолжают обучать детей православным ценностям, идет нормальная жизнь. Если-же объединение произойдет, то и 80-летняя история РПЦЗ и её верность Православию и бескомпромиссность будут стерты из истории и заменены сомнительным наследием сталинской МП и её сергианства. После объединения, РПЦЗ перестанет существовать как свободный голос Православия..
Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, как члены РПЦЗ и как граждане и жители США, категорически против объединения с МП по следующим причинам –
* Мы не принимаем ни сергианства, ни экуменизма, неотъемлемые от прошлой и настоящей деятельности МП.
* Мы отказываемся объединяться с МП, которая была создана и существует на основе сергианства.
* Мы отказываемся объединяться с МП, которая участвует в экуменизме и поддерживает экуменизм.
* Мы хотим остаться в Церкви сохранившей духовную целостность и верность Православию и отказавшуюся от союза с мировым экуменизмом.
* Мы хотим остаться в Православной Церкви свободной от государственного вмешательства и не подчиняющейся указаниям Путина и его сотрудников.
* Мы хотим остаться в Церкви, которая не скомпрометирована сотрудничеством со Сталиным, КГБ, ФСБ и др.
* Мы хотим остаться под защитой законов США и, мы НЕ ХОТИМ быть управляемы иностранной организацией, и подчиняться законам другой страны, законам которые не соответствуют или нарушают законодательство США.
Копии предоставлены: Их Высокопреосвященствам Архиепископам Алипию, Марку, Иллариону, Кириллу и их Преосвященствам Епископам Амвросию, Евтихию, Агафангелу, Даниилу, Гавриилу, Михаилу, Агапиту и Петру,
А так-же прихожанам РПЦЗ. Посылаем предварительный список подписей, т.к. сбор подписей продолжается.
Новая Англия, США, 2006
Подпись Город – Штат
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“A Summary of the Pre-Sobor Discussion”
A Summary of the Discussions before the 4th All-Abroad Sobor
The dialogue preceding the Sobor indicated that there are no new arguments in favor of the unification of ROCOR and MP compared to the ones from 15 years ago The only argument is the glorification of the New Martyrs. But the MP also glorified among them those who denied the MP’s canonicity without in any way answering the questions that these holy men had raised. The same thing is being proposed by some to be done at the 4th All-Abroad Sobor. Can we accept the very method of compromise in our church affairs? I am convinced that we may not. For compromise is not unanimity, but the very opposite of unanimity. Compromise is possible in politics, but it is impossible in the Church. If our Sobor were to adopt such compromised decisions, this would be apostasy from the essence of Christ’s Church.
The MP has not presented any arguments justifying calling itself the Mother Church, apart from its sheer numbers, position of wealth and protectionism from Stalinist to current R.F. authorities.
In order to move forward (this again is not my opinion), we must return to the very beginning of the dialogues, but first of all agree upon the adoption and confirmation of basic principles by all sides, on which the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church can be built.
These principles, which I personally consider to be paramount, and on which to date we have no unanimity, are the following:
1. The question of the separation of the Russian Church into parts after the overthrow of the monarchy, and the coup d’etat in Russia.
2. The question of the Mother Church vis a vis these parts.
3. The question of the Sobornost’ (catholicity – transl) of the Russian Orthodox Church.
4. The question of ecumenism and the need for review of this by a sobor.
5. The question of sergianism and the need for review of this by a sobor.
6. The question of either part’s apostasy from Catholicity and God’s Truth.
7. The question of Unity with other parts as well, even if they are small in number.
I am certain that while there is no unanimous opinion on these matters, there is no hope for moving forward in attempts to unite all parts of the Church.
The time has not yet come to adopt a decision other than the one adopted by the Hierarchical Council of 2003 and the Pastoral Conference which voted down the proposal to establish eucharistic communion prior to achieving unanimity in the fundamental issues. The course which we have embarked on now is the course of new schisms.
After unanimity is achieved on all these issues through a dialogue of all the people of the church, can there be a joint Pomestny (Local) Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church held, which can restore Church unity. That will be the very Sobor which has been awaited up until this day by the entire body of the Russian Orthodox Church since the death of St. Patriarch Tikhon, which will give an objective and clear assessment of the period of division within the Russian Orthodox Church up to the current time and the activities of certain of its hierarchs during that period. The very avoidance of such a Pomestny Sobor which would summarize the entire period in the life of the Church in the homeland and in the diaspora is a deviation from the hopes of the entire Russian Orthodox Church, all the New Martyrs and Confessors of that period.
The result of the Pomestny Sobor of all parts of the Church must me an “Act on the reunification of all separated parts of the Russian Church” and a sobor-ratified common church leadership, but not this compromised Act on the union with the so-called “Mother Church” which the commissions have proposed.
May God help us on the path to desired unity in the Russian Orthodox Church!
April 30th, 2006
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МАЛЕНЬКИЙ ЧЕЛОВЕК ПРОДАЕТ СВЯТОЕ ДЕЛО!
Призыв ко всечестным отцам, братиям и сестрам Русского Рассеяния
“И из вас самих востанут люди, которые будут говорить превратное, дабы увлечь за собою учеников (Деян. 20:30)”.
Так говорил Св. Апостол Павел к епископам и пресвитерам города Эфеса, идя в Иерусалим, чтобы принять страдания, а потом и смерть за слово Божие и за Святую Церковь.
Неустойчива человеческая душа! Даже просвещенных верою, святым крещением и благодатным рукоположением на степень священства, она подвергает искушениям предательства и нередко отпадает она от Христова стада, вне которого нет спасения, а вечная смерть.
Московская Патриархия лишила себя всякого законного авторитета, с тех пор как вошла в согласие с безбожниками, которые закрывали и разрушали храмы и вели открыто борьбу и гонение против православной и любой христианской религии. Московская Патриархия должна быть признаваема такой же отступницей от веры, как древние либеллисты, т. е. христиане, хотя отказавшиеся похулить Христа и принести жертву идолам, но принявшие от идольских жрецов ложное удостоверение, будто они находятся в полном согласии с последователями языческой религии. Эти удостоверения избавляли их от преследования правительства, но подвергали совершенному отлучению от Церкви, в которую кающиеся из них после отречения от идолопоклонства принимались только через 15 лет!
Митрополит Лавр заявил 25 июня 2004 г: “Не беспокойтесь, мы делаем все по воле Божьей, на пользу Церкви и русскаго народа”. А 8 декабря 2005 он же заявляет определенно и точно: “Формой нашего общения с Церковью в России станет таковой - одна чаша, т.е. совместное служение”! Чаша есть центр нашего православного домостроительства! Избави всех вас Господь Бог, мои дорогие собратья священнослужители и вас, православных мирян, уподобиться древним либеллатикам, на которых Святая Церковь взирала как на прямых отступников от Христовой веры!
Все переговоры, рукопожатия, раболепства, лобзании с патриархийцами суть ладан брошенный на идольский жертвенник!
Опомнитесь братье и сестры, смотрите куда вас ведут!
Мы видим страшный образ, которого мы понять не можем. Мы видим... образ предателя. Мы видим, как он крепко занят своим маленьким, личным делом: он любит сребреники, ему нужно увеличить запас денег. И вот ради этой цели продается Сын Божий. Как возможно продавать общее, безмерно великое дело за гроши личной выгоды?!
Пред нами открылась картина церковного предательства. Ничтожный маленький человек, в целях своекорыстной выгоды продает общее святое дело и представляет свои услуги безбожным нашим врагам: пусть погибнет общее дело, пусть все рушится, только бы доставить себе удовольствие, какой бы ни было ценной!
Теперь вы видите ужасающую картину: Церковь, выстраданную и омытую реками крови наших пастырей и архипастырей, наших дедов и отцов, сбереженную и обогащенную их подвигами и жертвенностью, сей маленький самозванец предает буквально на растерзание и смерть Её смертельным врагам. Не выгодно защищать родную Русскую Православную Зарубежную Церковь, выгоднее продать Её. И продадим, не жертвовать же нам своими интересами - таково рассуждение и настроение маленького человека, вскрывающего нам в себе тайны души своего первообраза - Иуды евангельскаго. “О, Иуда, беззаконый, Иуда - раб и льстец” - содрогаемся вместе с Церковью!
Страшная тайна предания Иудина делается в душе каждого, кто личную выгоду, личные расчеты ставит выше требований нравственной правды, требований совести; кто, предоставляя другим борение за правду, предпочитает всегда становиться на сторону сильнейшего. Пусть такой не смеет осуждать Иуду: пусть осудить прежде самого себя.
Страшная тайна предания Иудина деется в душе всякого, кто в настоящий момент, когда вся Зарубежная Церковь приносится в жертву, предпочитает жить интересами личного самолюбия или своекорыстного материального расчета.
Братья! Бог, некогда, “глаголавый отцем во пророцех”, ныне открывает всему Зарубежью свою правду “вечную” в грозных событиях нашей Церкви. Увы, если это не дойдет до нашего сердца, и мы не остановим этого предательства, тогда и на нас судом Божиим будет произнесен страшный приговор горького упрека: “Безаконный же Иуда не восхоте разумети”.
Наша Катакомбная Русская Истинно-Православная Церковь не богата материально, но духовно она стоит на уровне первохристианских общин, где каждый знает к чему он стремится, куда идет и что его ожидает.
Наши архипастыри, во главе с нашим первоиерархом, Высокопреосвященнейшим Тихоном, Архиепископом Омским и Сибирским, наши пастыри, наши миряне и аз многогрешный, каждого к нам приходящего будем принимать с христианской любовью и открытыми объятиями. Да поможет всем нам Господь!
А те, которые на нас ополчаются, скрежеща зубами, забыв законы христианской любви, да простит им Господь. У них своя нравственность, земная, неустойчивая, вечно изменяемая, сегодня осуждающая, завтра разрешающая. Как когда дикарь говорит: “Добро это если я украду у другого быка; зло, если украдут быка у меня”. Да не будет такого бесчиния в нашей Церкви! Пускай поносят нас, ругают, глумятся, клевещут, унижают.... Но не тот ли самый счастливый человек, который вместе с псалмопевцем может сказать: “Благо мне, что я пострадал, дабы научиться уставам Твоим?” Никогда солнышко не сияет столь ласково и приветливо, никогда блеск его лучей не кажется столь ярким и радостным, как после грозы и ненастья.
Пускай ироды и иродиады пляшут, это их последний пир - “пир сатаны”. Мы, на их мефистофельский, язвительный, злобно-насмешливый смех, на все их вызовы, ответим благородным молчанием. Своей ложью и скрытностью они желают увлечь нас в свой “пир” и отвлечь наши мысли, наше настроение, наши молитвы от Господа Бога и Спаса нашего Иисуса Христа и от Его Святой Церкви! Да не будет, братье! Их пустословие, приспособленчество и упорство будут им в погибель!
Будем же стремиться всей душой и сердцем войти в царство благодати. Свято и прекрасно это царство!
С любовью во Христе,
ПРОТ. АНАТОЛИЙ ТРЕПАЧКО
Настоятель Ставропигиального Синодального Подворья РИПЦ
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Bishop to Knight Gambit
In order to cleanse the Israelites from their association with paganism and the sinful life of the Egyptians, God led the Hebrews through the wilderness for 40 years. Leading them through the furnace of purification, their struggles and deprivations prepared them for a life lived in obedience and commitment to the one True God. If they had been immediately delivered over to the promise land, it is likely that their newfound ease and comfort, gained so quickly after centuries of suffering and oppression, would have led to an obsession with luxuries and easy living. Under these circumstances, the Israelites may have neglected God for the temporary and illusory benefits provided to them in this world.
Understood from a spiritual perspective, the wanderings of the Russian Diaspora after the violent upheavals of the Bolshevik putsch may very well have a similar significance for the history of the Church in the Last Times. As a people without a homeland, exiled Russians were in a unique position: belonging and beholden to no one government in the absolute sense, they assumed a confessor status by virtue of their plight. Not only had the last Orthodox King been murdered and Russia overrun by the forces of anti-Christ, but in Greece, Freemasons Venizelos and Meletius Metaxakis were busy pursuing political and religious agendas that would bring untold suffering to the Greek Orthodox world as well. As the century progressed and the last vestiges of the Ancien Regime disappeared, the Russian émigré community struggled to preserve an image of Christ and His Church that was being violently and systematically subverted in Orthodox nations held captive behind the Iron Curtain. Confronted with a rising tide of Communist / Jacobin ideology, as well as religious syncretism in the form of the ecumenical movement, ROCOR and its Synod would sound as a voice crying in the wilderness to those among the faithful who would listen.
Her great hierarchs would stand firmly against a spirit of modernization and liberalization that exploded in the 1960s and 1970s. Among Her Bishops, at least three saints would emerge, including St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco; Archbishop Seraphim; Bishop Jonah: and, while not officially canonized, Blessed Philaret, whose incorrupt relics would testify to his righteousness. Of course, the Synod would also show forth saintly bishops such as Archbishop Averky, Bishop Nektary of Seattle, Metropolitan Anastassy, and many, many others. Leading their tiny flock of the Russian faithful through the wilderness, the Synod would stand as a bulwark against the machinations of the Enemy in his attempt to remove Christ’s witness from the world.
In this sense, there is clearly an eschatological dimension pertaining to what Russia and the Synod have suffered and witnessed to. We cannot view the Church in a vacuum, separate from developments within the world of today. The prophecies, visions, and writings of Russia’s saints describing events in the Last Times should be considered alongside signs and warnings mentioned by earlier Saints writing on the Apocalypse in the first 1000 years of the Church’s history. Already we see an emerging political, economic, and cultural order that resonates with developments discussed by St. Hippolytus, St. Andrew, and others writing on the End Times. What, then, are we to make of current events and the direction of the Russian Church? Given the sin of regicide, what sort of repentance is needed? What is involved in national repentance? Are we only guilty of a few sins in this regard or is there something else that needs to be considered as well?
Before we can address these questions, however, we need to first ask ourselves what has been lost in our modern understanding of the world.
The Darkening of the Modern Mind
At the heart of Christianity is an anthropology that understands Man in light of the Orthodox doctrine of Ancestral Sin and the saving power of Christ’s accomplishment at Golgotha. Here, the central existential event of history is predicated on an ontology of Love and participation in God’s Divine Energies for the restoration of the Image and Likeness of God in fallen Man. Participation in the Church’s mysteries activate and energize the Grace of the Holy Spirit, made possible by Christ’s saving mission in the world. However, in order to grow in one’s life in Christ, one must cultivate humility, repentance, and a desire to avoid the attractions and vanities of this world.
But according to esoteric thinkers like John Dee and Francis Bacon, perhaps the two most influential figures in the development of modern freemasonry, Christianity not only stunts Man’s potential spiritual knowledge and growth, but uses superstition and coercion to deny Man his birthright – the use of his reason to create a better world. Beneath a veneer of Christian piety, Bacon’s The Great Instauration, as well as his The New Atlantis, promotes a scientistic ethos intended to revolutionize how Man understands himself and his relation to the world. Coupled with Bacon’s own esoteric predilections, most likely developed as a result of what many believe was his tutelage at the hands of Queen Elizabeth’s court astrologer and conjurer, occultist John Dee, Bacon played a major role in the development of the modern scientific “enlightened” worldview. Using reason and esoteric knowledge, Man could learn to manipulate his world, unlock the secrets of the physical realm, and restore what had been broken or lost as a result of the Fall.
In many ways, the spirit of Bacon’s ideas found expression in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Thinkers such as Hume, Diderot, Voltaire, Kant, Rousseau, La Metrie, and Condorcet advocated an economic and political order realized through principles of reason, free of any influence or determination by religion. Like Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost, Enlightenment Philosophes saw themselves as disenfranchised innovators whose ideas concerning science, reason, and politics were too threatening to be accepted by the established powers of Europe. Here, various secret societies took up the fight, engaging in revolutionary activity that often preached the very ideals of “Freedom, Equality, and Fraternity” that would eventually pave the way for the great political upheavals of the modern age.
Regardless of how pious the various European nations may or may not have been during this time, culturally and politically they remained Christian. Agrarian and monarchial, they did not ascribe to the luciferian principle that the essence of Man is his rational autonomy. Here, an important shift in emphasis takes place in the history of European thought. Prior to the rise of Rationalism and Classical Liberalism, the essential truth of Man was identified with his having been made in the Image and Likeness of God. With the rise of Enlightenment thinking and a rejection of Monarchy, Man’s essence is instead identified with his rational autonomy, his ability to act and think according to principles of reason.
Once this shift occurs, philosophers, revolutionaries, and popular thinkers alike begin to argue that in order for a government to be legitimate, it must be possible, in principle, for its citizens to freely consent to its form and authority. This is an important development for a number of reasons of which we will only consider a few. First, the locus of power is removed from the Christian Sovereign or King who rules by authority and mandate from God and is instead transferred to “the people.” Secondly, the King, answerable to God for his protection of the Faith, is no longer responsible for the direction or form of government. Thirdly, as a King, the Sovereign preserves the standard of Christ’s Truth as a measure against which to determine laws in relation to human activities and undertakings. However, Man understood as an autonomous rational agent, can now lay claim to freedom of conscience in determining his own conception of the good.
As a result, in the formation of democratic regimes constructed on the principle of free, autonomous consent, there can be no over-arching conception of what is good or bad except insofar as any activity that interferes with the exercise of another’s freedom must be prohibited. In short, a King can prohibit pornography and regulate popular culture, subjects of education, and other areas of cultural and civic life if they run afoul of Christian teaching. In the new revolutionary republics of the rationally autonomous man, however, sin and vice are allowed to flourish since everyone is free to determine for themselves what is good. After all, one man’s pornography is under man’s freedom of speech. In short, Christian Monarchy preserves limits that are in accord with God’s Law whereas democracies and republics must allow individuals, to varying degrees, to follow their own conscience in pursuing their private conception of the good.
The result of the triumph of Jacobinism is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the United States. Its “Declaration of Independence” begins with a blatantly false statement and proceeds to erect a “New Atlantis” on the basis of it: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” The central truth of Man is not that he is created equal – whatever that might mean – but that he is created in the Image and Likeness of God. As a result, there are certain metaphysical and ontological principles that are ignored in this statement. Perhaps first and foremost among these is the idea that Man’s sole purpose in life is the salvation of his soul. No where in the revolutionary philosophy or founding of democratic governments is this taken into account – never mind the atheism, masonic beliefs, or free thinking tendencies of men like Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine. The consequences of so-called Enlightenment thinking have been the de-Christianization of Europe and a preparation for its luciferic initiation that is currently taking place.
The Masonic End Game: The World Today
As of the writing of this article, the United States is threatening war with Iran. Government officials have repeatedly warned Americans that another terrorist attack is inevitable and that when it happens, Constitutional protections will most likely be suspended in order to wage war against the enemy. STRATCOM, under the direction of Vice-President Cheney, has developed war plans that involve using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran in the event of another attack – regardless of whether or not direct proof exists to establish Iran’s involvement in the attack. See the following:
If the United States bombs Iran the result would most likely be the beginning of the Third World War. Under these conditions, governments in the United States, Britain, and the Russian Federation could use the excuse of war to create a massive, police and security state in which all activity would be monitored, controlled, and regulated. Already in the US and Britain, police cameras have appeared in major cities and increasingly on every corner. Web enabled and omnipresent, these cameras portend the creation of the Illuminati / Masonic technocratic panopticon, wherein the all-seeing eye of the government monitors and controls everyone. This is clearly evident in the original logo design for the Department of Total Information Awareness that was to have been created as an intelligence coordinating and gathering agency after the events of September the 11th.
Recently, polish American political strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski indicated that Iran will be brought down – either through war or internal destabilization.
Perhaps it is more than coincidental, then, that Brzezinski chose to use the image of the masonic temple floor for his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, in which he lays out geo-political interests and strategies pertaining to Central Asia and Russia that, oddly enough, bear a striking resemblance to the decisions and events of today. Obsessed with partitioning Russia and creating a global government, men like Brzezinski have paved the way towards creating the Masonic – inspired Novus Ordo Seclorum for centuries. Having removed Christian monarchies throughout Europe, esoteric secret societies have worked hand in hand to abolish the Church and rebuild a satanic tower of Babel.
Believing that Man himself is a god denied his birth right by Christianity, the secret gnosis and kabbalistic-inspired teachings of Masonry are premised on the idea that Lucifer is Man’s liberator while the Christian God is his oppressor. Like Prometheus, the Masonic god supposedly desires Man’s freedom from false consciousness and servitude in worship to a deity only interested in keeping Man from fulfilling his true potential. Science, esoteric knowledge, and a re-evaluation of morality – a Nietzschean transvaluation “beyond good and evil” – will supposedly usher in a New Age of Enlightenment in service to this Masonic god. From the unholy melding of Christian thought and Kabbalah, Queen Elizabeth’s court astrologer and conjurer John Dee developed these occult ideas and a political mandate based on them that would shape the development and activity of Masonry from the 17th century to the present. As a result, men committed to the destruction of Monarchy and the Church hid behind a façade of science and progress while all the time serving the interests of various esoteric secret societies. Erecting an international financial system based on usury, removing Monarchs, and de-Christianizing Europe, the occult conspirators have always sought a transformation of Man and society in order to ready both for the appearance of their god. For Christians, this is nothing short of the appearance of anti-Christ.
Today, the masonic end game is accelerating. If the preceding two or three centuries were intended to clear the way for the final capstone atop the pyramid, the 21st century represents the beginning of the end. Researcher Michael A. Hoffman II convincingly describes this phase in his book, Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare. Hoffman notes that Hollywood and other forms of popular culture serve as a medium through which the masses of people are psychologically conditioned and processed in preparation for the appearance of anti-Christ. As part of esoteric practice, movies and publicly created crises are used to communicate messages and information that is intended to traumatize and paralyze the populace. Slowly revealing facts and dropping hints along the way, the “Cryptocracy” (Hoffman’s term for the occult conspirators) reveals information intended to seep into the subconscious. There, it simmers, creating psychological tension and cognitive dissonance due to what one knows to be the truth but cannot admit. Instead of admitting that one’s government is criminal, corrupt, and hostile to one’s interests, people develop a “double mind” whereby they reconcile and rationalize contradictory information in order to avoid the trauma of admitting what they suspect is true.
In the case of the Kennedy assassination, information began to slowly appear pointing in the direction of conspirators within the government. While millions watched Jack Ruby – a term jewelers used to use to refer to a fake – kill the alleged shooter, some where in the back of most peoples’ minds was the suspicion that this was all a set up. Over the next few years, through the efforts of various “conspiracy researchers” and mainstream news reports, more and more evidence would surface indicating a cover-up reaching to the highest levels of government.
While the country reeled from shock at the death of its young president, forces were gathering to unleash a whirlwind of drugs, free sex, rebellion, and New Age spirituality America had never experienced before. And, of course, involved in all of this was the hand of the government: through the war in Viet Nam, the drug culture exploded; New Age cults arose as testing grounds for psychological methods in mind control; and, various intelligence agencies violated the Constitution in carrying out domestic spying and wiretap investigations that the Church Committee would later uncover during its hearings in the late 1970s. Over the course of this turbulent decade, Americans would have to get used to the idea that a shadow government was now in control and nothing was as it appeared. Here, we find the mainstreaming of the avant-garde, experimentation in drugs, spirituality, and education. If the 1950s are characterized as a white picket fence world of “Father Knows Best,” the 1960s are a distorted psychedelic drug trip through a carnival funhouse.
The 21st Century Portal
Science Fiction – Entertainment as Initiation
But what are the societal effects of psychological manipulation and what is the goal? The effects of psychological manipulation are the freezing and unfreezing of attitudes in order to redefine and reconfigure concepts and ways of thinking. Expressed in the language of Masonic psychology, he who controls the passions of a man controls the man. Advertising, film, music, even political theater are all means for manipulating the subconscious world of people, creating their perception of themselves and the world to the point where they don’t even realize their conception of reality is essentially false. In this way, popular culture also serves as a vehicle to initiate the masses into the esoteric beliefs of the occult conspirators so when policies and ideas are given practical reality, they meet with little or no resistance.
According to Hoffman, the Cryptocracy has used movies and popular culture to both initiate the masses into their belief system while telegraphing their long-term goals in the process. A well known example is the 1968 release of Stanley Kubrick’s, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Based on the writings of Arthur C. Clarke, the movie serves to initiate the viewer into various esoteric doctrines without them even being aware of it. The film begins with what looks like ape-men at an extremely primitive stage in their development. Mysteriously, a black monolith appears which causes uproar among them. As a fight brakes out, one of the apes grabs a bone and uses it as a weapon. Here, the movie suggests mysterious higher beings – perhaps theosophy’s “Ascended Masters” – seeded humankind by interfering in and shaping our evolution. In the film, the monolith serves as a catalyst for our ongoing evolution. That this is the movie’s contention is indicated by the fact that after the ape-man throws the bone into the air, Kubrick follows it as it slowly rotates end over end until an image of a modern day space ship is superimposed over the bone, suggesting the completion of millions of years of evolution. What is important to note is the philosophical or esoteric view the movie popularizes: Man’s history is intricately linked to mysterious, transcendent beings who guide our cosmic evolution, intervening at critical stages when necessary.
Here, it’s interesting to note that Clarke is the author of another science fiction “classic,” Childhood’s End. In this novel, alien beings arrive on earth that bare a striking resemblance to demons. The novel plays with the idea that religious superstition creates stereotypes and prejudices that interfere with the ability of humans to react positively to this encounter. At this point, the novel suggests demons may be advanced intelligences that can help mankind but for the prejudices created against them by Christianity. In both 2001 and Childhood’s End, the suggestion is clear: the time has come for the next stage of “evolution” in Man’s spiritual development – he must be prepared for the appearance of his overlord or master. Man must “outgrow” his dependence on superstition and fear, created by Christianity, and prepare for the “New Age.” For Christians, this involves none other than the appearance of the anti-Christ. According to Hoffman, the beginning of this final process is clearly communicated in the 1968 release of “2001: A Space Odyssey” – the 21st century is intended to be the portal while the year 2001 is to be the beginning.
It is also worth mentioning that many other movies, mostly in the science fiction genre, promote a blatantly anti-Christian esoteric agenda. The “Star Wars” movies are replete with ideas – “the force” – taken from eastern religions and New Age thinking. Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.” popularizes the notion that there are other more intelligent beings in the world that have god-like powers far beyond our understanding. Not only can ET heal injured people, he has telepathic powers as well. The film’s poster trades on unmistakable religious symbolism: Michaelangelo’s painting of God creating Man. And, in “The Matrix,” viewers are presented what can only be described as a gnostic vision of reality, mixed in with all sorts of references to esoteric beliefs and systems. In this way, film is an important means for dislodging Christianity and popularizing esoteric ways of thinking that prepare people spiritually for the age of anti-Christ.
Setting the Stage
If we turn to popular culture and film in regard to recent events, we find all sorts of references to 911 in a number of Hollywood films that were released before September 11, 2001. This link provides only a partial list.
In what has to be the strangest 911 signature, the movie, “The Siege,” starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and Annette Bening. The plot of the movie itself speaks volumes. It concerns government intrigue between FBI agent Denzel Washington and CIA agent Annette Bening concerning a Muslim terrorist cell that is responsible for blowing up a bus in New York City. The CIA agent Annette Bening refuses to tell FBI agent Denzel Washington who is responsible for cultivating and training the Muslim terrorist cell. In the meantime, military commander Bruce Willis gains the President’s ear and convinces him to declare martial law to prevent further attacks. In a telling scene, FBI agent Denzel Washington confronts Willis deep in the recesses of a building where he is busy torturing suspected terrorists in a manner similar to what would later occur at Abu Ghraib. In the end, we learn that the government itself, through the CIA, is responsible for the bombings. What is especially peculiar, however, is the original release date of the film: November 6 – 116. When 116 is rotated 180 degrees it becomes 911. Of additional interest is the movie’s running time – not the DVD version, but the original movie’s running time: 116 minutes.
There were other 911 foreshadowings in the popular culture as well. Perhaps the most intriguing is the last episode of the popular “X-Files” spinoff, “The Loan Gunman” television show. Aired in March of 2001, the last episode involves a plan to crash jet airliners into the World Trade Center using electronic remote control guidance systems See the bottom of the article linked above regarding this strange episode.
9-11: Mystery Play in the Theater of Memory
There are a number of occult features to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. First, the pictures and images that were broadcast almost non-stop for two whole days bear a striking resemblance to the number 16 Tower tarot card in the Rider-Waite tarot card series.
According to Michael A. Hoffman, Freemason Arthur Edward Waite designed the card and was one of the founders of an esoteric group known as the Order of the Golden Dawn. The card shows two people, a man and a woman, falling out of a crumbling tower struck by lightning. It is said to be the only representation of a man-made event in the Rider-Waite series and is associated with a sudden cataclysmic event that changes one’s perceptions and sense of the world in an instance. A man and a woman are represented since the change in question affects everyone across the board.
The number of the card is 16, a reference to the golden ratio of 1.6. The golden ratio has special significance among esoteric groups for a number of reasons, which we will not discuss here. However, it should also be noted that in the attack on the Pentagon we also find the golden ratio. In the figure of a pentagon, the ratio of line segments in order of decreasing length is also 1.6. And, according to Michael Hoffman, the number 5 is traditionally associated with the feminine since the number of days in a menstrual cycle is five. Further, if the number 16 associated with the Tower card and the number 5 associated with the Pentagon are taken together they add up to 21 or 2(00)1 – the century and year of the final stage of preparation. Thus, in the attacks of September 11th, a public esoteric ritual was carried out, bringing together the phallic male principle of the twin towers and the feminine principle imbedded in the Pentagon. Something was being conceived in plain view.
Here, it might also be useful to mention the 911 signature itself. Both the number 9 and 11 have various esoteric meanings which need not concern us here; we are not, after all, interested in delving into the depths of esoteric systems or beliefs. However, we should be aware of certain signatures in order to recognize the hand of evil and the mystery of iniquity that works even now in the world. Consider the following: exactly one year after the attacks, the winning New York state lottery number was 911. And, a day before the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, the Standard and Poor’s 500 futures closed at 911.00. 911 days after the September 11th attacks, the Madrid train bombings occurred. Interestingly enough, the number of dead reported was 191. More recently, we learned on January 19, 2006 (1-19) of a tape recording supposedly issued by Bin Laden. Some will dismiss these occurrences of 9 and 11 as mere coincidence or noise to which a fevered imagination has attached a pattern. Viewed from another perspective, those who manipulate events and the media reports of them may be attempting to invoke something while leaving a signature for the initiated.
The events of September 11th and July 7th are connected in yet another strange way: September the 11th on the New Calendar is the Feast Day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist while July the 7th is the Feast Day of his Conception. Masonry has a blasphemous regard for St. John that we will not mention here. Suffice it to say they revere what happened to him instead of his holiness and favour in the sight of God.
It is not our contention, however, that a tarot card or any other abominable occult practice was responsible for predicting or bringing about these various attacks. Rather, in keeping with the cryptic manner in which esoteric groups encode their actions, the events of September 11 involve more than just government corruption or conspiracy. The events of September 11 are not unlike the monolith in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” – they are intended to have a spiritual significance. They are meant to create conditions necessary for the political, spiritual, and cultural transformation of society.
The Woman Travailing in the Wilderness
The Orthodox East
From what we have discussed above, we can see the active involvement of various forces in bringing about the conditions for the appearance of anti-Christ. We find Christian Monarchy gone from the earth and the Orthodox Church in disarray. What has been lost as a result is an understanding of Man and God that has been eclipsed by the rise of occult inspired Enlightenment Jacobin philosophy and the modern world it created.
What, if anything, can be done? The only way to stop the onslaught of evil is through repentance.
Repentance and Russia
America and the nations of the West are so thoroughly steeped in the heresies of modern political democracy and self-determination that little if any chance exists for their spiritual renewal. Ruled and run by latter day adherents of esoteric doctrines, these nations are now thoroughly de-Christianized. While good people still struggle against vice and evil in these countries, most have been successfully initiated and processed for the purposes of the New Age. Fully ensconced in a consumer society, the vast majority of Americans are awash in immoral television, music, and secular diversions that do not lead towards God. Europe would seem to be no different.
Russia, having been through the furnace of martyrdom at the hands of the servants of anti-Christ, is the only country that can repent. However, Her repentance must involve more than just an exorcism of the sins of the Soviet state. The people of Russia must reject the very ideology of modernism and revolutionary ideology that infected every European country during the Enlightenment. Of necessity, this means embracing Christian Orthodox Monarchy and rejecting the very assumptions of the revolution as not only wrong but sinful.
It is worth remembering that Tsar Nicholas was the anointed of God. Through the mystery of liturgy and the Grace of the Church, Tsar Nicholas was entrusted with a divine mandate that functioned both within and alongside the Church: to rule and protect the Russian kingdom, informed by God’s Law. As such, his power did not derive from a representative process involving the “will of the people;” instead, it manifested the will of God. Whatever Russia’s faults, She was founded on the Truth of Christ and not on the lie spoken by the serpent to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Ye shall be as gods.”
In this sense, the sin of regicide is only a component of a larger departure from the spirit of Orthodoxy since in the modernizing call for political liberalization we see, by necessity, the luciferian principle of self-determination outside the limits of the Church.
The present form of government in the Russian Federation itself rejects the idea that a mandate is needed from God by putting the presidency to a vote of the people. Like the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf in the desert, the RF now believes it can order its affairs in a way that does not need a God-ordained form of government to accomplish its ends. Will she grow rich? Will she curtail vice and government abuse? Can she serve mammon and God at the same time?
Here, Russia must re-discover what was lost or violently rejected during the revolutionary period. Her citizens must realize that the Revolution was a sin and a mistake that should never have happened. As Germans have internalized the wrong of the Nazi period and as Americans have internalized the wrong of slavery, Russians must internalize the wrong of the Revolution. And, in rejecting everything the Revolution stood and stands for, she must also reject the spirit of the West, for it is the product of luciferian pride as well. Obviously, Russia cannot and should not return to serfdom and a life without electricity – this would be absurd. However, if she begins with one believer at a time internalizing the Truth of Christ and what that means for how one should and should not live, a spiritual renewal will take place.
The Time is Short, the Day is Spent
We have tried to describe the apostasy of the modern age and the working of evil that is pushing the world towards the appearance of anti-Christ. With most of the Orthodox jurisdictions willing participants in ecumenism, it is now more important than ever for ROCOR to maintain its independence. Should Russia repent in the way described above, one would expect to see a call at all levels of government for a return to the measure of Christ as the standard for evaluating government, art, education, and culture. And, if the Hierarchs of the MP were interested in their own salvation and the good of the Church, they would remove themselves to a monastery where they could spend the rest of their days in prayer and repentance. And here is the central mystical truth of repentance for Russia: just as confession and personal transformation re-unite us with the Christ we hit and spit upon when we sin, confession and rejection of everything associated with revolutionary thinking can re-unite MP Bishops to the Tsar they mocked and spat upon in preaching the ideals of the Soviet state. If this repentance is internalized, they must confess the Tsar for whom and what he was which, by definition, involves a rejection of everything associated with the Revolution. In this regard, one should expect MP Hierarchs to be the first to volunteer their own removal.
If ROCOR succumbs and Russia fails to repent, the world ecumenical movement will continue to gain momentum in preparation for the anti-Christ religion of the future so powerfully portrayed by Soloviev in his Third Conversation. ROCOR can continue its role as a confessor Church, standing firm in Christ’s Truth while the Cryptocracy continues to try and subvert that Truth; or, it can fall prey to the spirit of anti-Christ and join forces with those who have a well-documented history of betraying the Church. The stakes are high; for in the Masonic End Game it is likely that only one Bishop will remain to defend his King.
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METROPOLITAN LAURUS IS GOING INTO SCHISM NOT WE!
By P. Savaliev
“Supporters of the unification with the Moscow Patriarchate are intimidating the faithful with the assertion that if they do not follow the hierarch-compromisers, then they will be ‘schismatics’. In actual fact the situation is the exact reverse. We are not going anywhere. We will remain in the place indicated to us by Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and Philaret. We will remain in the Church Abroad! It is the compromisers who are going over to Moscow, and they will be the schismatics!” (N.L. Kazantsev, “Our Country” 2739, Nov. 1, 2003).
These days we hear from the venerable clergy of ROCOR, that they are against union, but likely will do nothing when it finally happens for they are forbidden to “go into schism”. Alas, these deeply respected pastors evidently have been misled by the propagandists of the New York Synod.
Yes, indeed, canon 15 of the Constantinople Dual Council of 861 first forbids a priest to sever ties with his church leadership, but then immediately indicates the need to remove himself in the following case: “He who separates himself from his hierarch because of a heresy condemned by the holy councils or fathers, when he publicly preaches heresy and teaches it openly in the Church, if these separate themselves from the said bishop, prior to a council’s examination, not only are they not subject to the penance prescribed by the canons, but are even worthy of honor fit for the Orthodox. For they have condemned not the bishops, but false-bishops and false-teachers, and did not sever the unity of the Church with schism, but attempted to protect the Church from schisms and divisions”.
Therefore – it is Metropolitan Laurus who is going into schism, and not those who will not follow him! These latter ones, we repeat “are worthy of honor”. For the Church is where the “temple of the Living God” is, where the confessors who don’t accept iniquity are, and not where the thriving hierarch-apostates are.
It is not we who are renouncing our Church Abroad, but the episcopate of Metropolitan Laurus who have disdained their own oath to “unite only in Truth”.
The false-bishops are falling away, embarking on the heretical path of accepting sergianism and ecumenism. Those false-teachers are going into schism, who suddenly bowed before everything they had condemned at their own councils.
We refuse to capitulate, no matter how few in numbers we may be; we will continue in the Church Abroad to keep the traditions of our Church.
It is we who have the legitimite canonical basis, Resolution #362 of St. Patriarch Tikhon of the Most Holy Synod and Supreme Church Authority from November 7/20, 1920 which has never been annulled by anyone.
After false-Metropolitan Laurus and company finally depart into schism with the Soviet Patriarchate, it will be in our camp, in the loyal camp of the pious church people that a small, poor, but confessional and again independent Church Abroad will crystallize.
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I have been asked to comment publicly on the following statement by Fr. Pimen Simon on union with the MP. Looking at the date, over a month ago, it seems likely that this statement has already been discussed on "Paradosis" during Lent, when I was not receiving mail, in which case I ask forgiveness from those for whom this is all old news. However, for what they are worth, here are my comments, addressed as it were to Fr. Pimen.
A Statement by Archpriest Pimen Simon,
Rector of the Church of the Nativity
Thursday, March 17/30, 2006
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For the past several years, Vladika Daniel and I on numerous occasions have discussed the growing movement toward some sort of improvement of relations between ROCOR and the MP. On all occasions, Vladika has always indicated that he has never questioned the grace of the MP (he was baptized as a child in a parish that belonged to the MP) nor has he ever expressed opposition toward improved relations with the MP â€“ even the possibility of restoring communion between ROCOR and the MP. He has expressed a deep fear that a â€śunionâ€ś with the MP would mean the end of ROCOR, since in his mind, the MP only desires to â€śswallowâ€ ROCOR. After numerous discussions on this subject, we agreed to await the All Diaspora Conference, and the Bishops Sobor that follows, to see what, in fact, will come to pass. I have indicated to Vladika Daniel on numerous occasions that if he does decide to separate himself from ROCOR if a â€śunionâ€ takes place, our parish, which united itself to the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR directly under the omophorion of the Metropoltan, would be very hesitant to follow suit, since the canons of Second Constantinople permit separating from oneâ€™s bishop only under circumstances in which that bishop is preaching heresy. And in all of our conversations, and in all of my own search for the true facts in this â€śmovementâ€, I have not seen the direction of our bishops to appear to be heading toward heretical teaching and preaching.
VM: Since Vladyka Daniel is your bishop, Fr. Pimen, the question for you, surely, is: am I allowed to separate from him if he refuses to join the MP? And the answer to that, surely, is: no by your own criterion. For how can refusing to join the MP be counted as "preaching heresy"?
If refusing to join the MP is counted as "preaching heresy", it follows that not only Vladyka Daniel, but the whole of ROCOR, including you, Fr. Pimen, are NOW preaching heresy, because ROCOR has refused to join the MP for the last 80 years.
In any case, what heresy are we talking about? You should be more specific before you implicitly accuse your bishop of intention to preach heresy.
The heresies usually invoked in discussions of this question are, of course, ecumenism and sergianism. And those heresies, of course, are preached not by ROCOR (at least until recently), but by the MP.
So in fact, if you, Fr. Pimen, separate from your Vladyka Daniel and join the MP, all your parishioners will be obliged to separate from YOU because your act will be equivalent to a public preaching of the heresies of the MP.
PS: Therefore, I was surprised on Tuesday when I read the interview supposedly given by Vladika Daniel to a Mr. G. Soldatow.
VM: FYI, "a Mr. G. Soldatow" is President of the Memorial Society in memory of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky.
PS: And I would say that I was shocked when I learned on Wednesday that Vladika had given an interview to â€śSubdeacon Nathanaelâ€, which appeared on Nathanaelâ€™s web site, followed by disgracefully labeled photographs of Metropolitan Laurus and Archbishop Mark. I was further disturbed by the interview on Nathanaelâ€™s web site because it included pictures from our parishâ€™s web site (taken, by the way, without permission by Nathanael). These pictures, coupled with Vladikaâ€™s interview, may have led readers to the conclusion that Vladikaâ€™s interview and opinions represent the opinion of myself, the other parish clergy, the rest of our parishioners, and/or other Old Ritualists who attend our parish or consider themselves to be in communion with ROCOR. While I, and some of our parishioners, have certain questions about the proposed â€śrapprochementâ€, â€śreconciliationâ€, or â€śunionâ€, (whatever it turns out to be), we have no intention of leaving ROCOR unless there is clear evidence of heresy involved, rather than the loss of â€śindependenceâ€, which is clearly stated by Vladika Daniel to be his main objection.
VM: Vladyka Daniel is right to be worried about the loss of "independence" - ROCOR will lose it completely if it joins the MP, whatever promises to the contrary may have been given.
But you are right to insist that it is the issue of heresy that is important, rather than independence as such. It is important to be independent of the MP BECAUSE it is heretical.
PS: We love Vladika Daniel very dearly, and I have told him at every meeting we have had in regard to this delicate issue, that if he feels he must separate himself from ROCOR because of his personal inability to accept this loss of â€śde facto independenceâ€ as he calls it, we will continue to provide the house in which he lives and we will still offer the same financial and physical support for him for as long as he lives.
VM: I hope you keep to that
promise. And I hope you are able to keep that promise after you have joined the
MP, and that the MP will not in fact take over the house and expel Vladyka
Daniel if he refuses to join them. In other words: look carefully at the title
PS: Last night I went to Vladikaâ€™s house to explain to him that these interviews have now been posted on the Internet (a tool which he really doesnâ€™t understand, since he is a man of prayer, rather than a peruser of news and gossip).
VM: If he is a man of prayer, then why are you accusing him of the intention to preach heresy? You praise him on the one hand, and judge him on the other.
PS: He confirmed to me that he did give these interviews. I explained to him that I was sorry that he had, since he and I had often talked about foregoing the temptation to listen to every rumor,
VM: What rumours? The intention of ROCOR to join the MP is no rumour...
PS: and instead to wait until the All Diaspora Conference and the Bishopâ€™s Sobor to learn the real facts before prematurely reaching a decision that may be irrelevant or even moot.
VM: But it seems that YOU have already made the decision - both prematurely and wrongly - to follow ROCOR into union with the MP because, supposedly, not to join the MP would be to preach heresy!
PS: I explained to him that these interviews were now posted worldwide and that he had been quoted as saying he will leave ROCOR if â€śunionâ€ with the MP occurs.
VM: Good. It is the duty of a bishop to give leadership, and Vladyka Daniel has quite enough information already to give an informed leadership to his flock on this question.
PS: I reiterated my opinion to him that one of our purposes for uniting our Old Ritualist parish to ROCOR 23 years ago was to play a part in ending the division in the Russian Orthodox Church, and that I certainly do not want to play a part in creating another of the divisions that have plagued Orthodox Christianity over the last century. I advised Vladika that I would not feel comfortable uniting with the Greek Old Calendarists for a number of reasons which need not be spelled out here.
VM: Has Vladyka expressed the desire to join the Greek Old Calendarists? Somehow I doubt that he said that. I think this is just a scare tactic aimed at Grecophobes.
PS: I also told Vladika that to follow him â€śin exileâ€ was a dead end street and that the only other possibility was for him and another bishop(s) to form another â€śROCORâ€. I hoped that he would not consider such a move that would exacerbate the divisiveness in the Russian Orthodox Church. Vladika assured me that he would not be part of forming a new jurisdiction.
VM: And of course if he simply stayed where he was without following ROCOR into the MP, he would not be forming a new jurisdiction. You, on the other hand, by joining the MP, would be entering a new jurisdiction - and an extremely heretical one at that.
PS: At the end of the conversation, he looked straight into my eyes and told me that he believed that whatever happened, our parish (the Russian Orthodox Church of the Nativity of Christ â€“ Old Rite) should stay with Metropolitan Laurus and the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR. I told him that perhaps something could change my mind when I attend the All Diaspora Conference, but at the present time, that is my intention for me and the parish. I thanked him for understanding that IF he, in fact, separates himself from our Church, I did not believe we could follow him. Our meeting was cordial and loving, and I certainly hope and pray that once Vladika attends the Bishopâ€™s Sobor, he will find himself able to remain a member bishop of ROCOR. However, I felt it critical to clarify that Vladikaâ€™s statements published on group lists and on Internet web sites reflect his opinions alone and not the opinion of myself, our parishioners, or other Old Ritualists both in the diaspora and in Russia who have united themselves to ROCOR, or who are considering doing so.
VM: Do you really speak in the
name of ALL such Old Ritualists? I'm surprised and sceptical... However, it is
clear that you cannot speak in the name of your bishop. So perhaps it is you who
should keep quiet, and let the lawful leader of your diocese do the leading.
PS: Since I have taken the time to comment on this highly divisive issue, let me comment about another part of the debate. This entire debate in many ways is incredibly ironic to me. When we (the Old Ritualists of the Erie parish) struggled with our desire to reestablish priesthood and considered whether we should reunite with the â€śNiconiansâ€, one of the major problems we had was to convince our Old Ritualist parishioners, and other Old Ritualists with whom we were in â€ścommunionâ€, that much of the bitterness between the Old Ritualists and the members of the â€śState Churchâ€, was the result of vituperative language that led to excesses by both parties in justifying their positions. When we tried to convince Old Ritualists that the â€śNiconiansâ€ were not heretics, the reply was always made that our ancestors had certainly labeled them as heretics. To this day, most Old Ritualists can not bring themselves into restoring communion with the â€śheretical Niconiansâ€. And isnâ€™t this exactly the same condition that has led us to this bitter divisiveness today. The leaders of ROCOR and its members, feeling the need to justify their separation from the MP have issued similar accusations at the MP, so how is it possible to even think of uniting with them? I am not suggesting that many of these accusations were not justified at the time, but those who believed the accusations had their hearts so hardened that they have no ability to even hear that conditions may have changed. When we Old Ritualists saw a Russian Church that repented of its anathemas and persecutions of the Old Rite and Old Ritualists, we found ourselves having to decide if these scandalous â€śNiconiansâ€ really had changed or whether what they were seeking was capturing and annihilating us. Doesnâ€™t this sound incredibly similar to the present debate?
VM: Only if you ignore just about everything about the two debates, and certainly everything important, everything to do with dogmatic or canonical issues.
No, the two issues are completely different, Fr.Pimen. Don't turn people away from the truth by trying to confuse them.
And I also find it very interesting that there is the constant argument that the collaboration of MP with the atheistic Soviets (whom I find as deplorable as every other member of ROCOR does) is completely different than the often disgraceful collaboration that the Russian Church had with â€śsupposedlyâ€ Orthodox rulers. I teach Russian Culture at Mercyhurst College in Erie, and I admit to my students that the subservience of the Church to Peter the Greatâ€™s order forbidding the election of a patriarch or the conduct of such great â€śRussianâ€ rulers as Catherine II, are of a level of shameful collaboration with an often antagonistic ruler that certainly brings into question the concept of the supposed â€śHoly Russiaâ€ that existed before the Revolution.
VM: Once again, you are confusing the issue. There was much that was wrong with the Russian Church's relationship with the Orthodox tsars in the eighteenth century. But to compare it with Sergius' relationship with the communists is, frankly, shameful. ROCOR never made that comparison, nor did any of the holy new martyrs and confessors of Russia, so in making it yourself you are showing already a deviation from the traditional theology of ROCOR and the True Russian Church.
* * *
2006 All-Diaspora Sobor - Some Concerns
Hieromonk German Ciuba, Old Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
I have long believed that we should be in communion with all Orthodox Christians. I quietly held this position even in the days of the Boston ascendancy and during the chaotic and fear-filled administration of former Met. Vitaly. I found that personal contact with other Orthodox revealed them to be no less Orthodox than we. So, I certainly believe we should be in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate now, since, whatever their failings, they hold the Orthodox faith. At the same time, I share with others a concern for the continued existence of the Russian Church Abroad as a distinct entity with its own traditions and culture, which may differ from contemporary Russia by force of historical circumstances. I was reassured by statements that we would continue to be independent in every significant way.
At the Eastern American Diocesan Assembly last October, Father Alexander Lebedeff gave an excellent and convincing presentation of the work of reconciliation. Recently, however, it has been stated that the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate will have to approve the elections of our bishops and our metropolitan. I find that an undesirable incursion and abridgement of the freedom that we have been promised. As a parish priest, I must work under a bishop. I would not want bishops and clergy from Russia imposed upon us. They may be excellent people, but some lack an understanding of our way of life; even worse, they may be people who simply want to further their career by an assignment abroad, and are unwilling to challenge the real problems we face; Similarly, I do not think the patriarchate should have a veto over our Synods choice of bishops. I also think that any candidate for the episcopacy should have to spend a couple of years as pastor of a parish, to give him a real first-hand understanding of what the parish clergy must deal with.
Furthermore, I have heard that we will be expected, either immediately or in the near future, to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow at all services. I find this hard to accept. It goes against the grain of one who has served for many years under the Synod. For those souls who are angry or agonized and who have difficulty accepting our reconciliation with Moscow, nothing could be more offensive than to hear the name of the patriarch mentioned several times at every church service. It will be enough to drive some into schism, I suspect.
I would like to see our church as an autonomous church in communion with the Patriarchate of Moscow and, indeed, with all Orthodox churches. I suggest that we take an example from the Orthodox Church of Japan, an autonomous church under Moscow. According to the testimony of a priest who recently visited the Japanese Church, the Patriarch of Moscow is not commemorated in parish churches. Rather, each parish church commemorates its own diocesan hierarch, and only the metropolitan, when he serves, commemorates the patriarch of Moscow. I believe that it is a mistake to exalt a central authority figure, whether it is a pope, patriarch or metropolitan.
The Orthodox understanding of the Church is one of catholicity, collegiality, and sobornostď. To regard the patriarch as the centre of unity in the Church is to give in to the temptation of papalism, or even the temptation of the Grand Inquisitor. I submit that the whole problem of Sergianism lay in its concern to preserve the central church administration at all costs. Sadly, Met. Sergii succeeded in saving the central administration even while the Church was being systematically eradicated. Our own church has faced a similar temptation, to regard the primate as above the other bishops. Such temptations must be resisted. What is important is to be in communion with one another in Christ, not to magnify men with titles such as great lord and father.
Not being a delegate to the Sobor, I am sharing my opinions briefly. I must also say that I found the process of selecting the delegates to the Sobor to be unrepresentative. In the Eastern American Diocese, the nominees were not allowed to state their views before the vote was taken, and thus we were confronted with the task of voting for people who were no more than names to many of us. The voting was further subjected to an artificial process of weighting the votes so that each deanery would be represented. Thus, some who were finally chosen as delegates received fewer votes than others who were not chosen. If the administration had wanted the delegation to represent the deaneries, it could have conducted the voting on a deanery by deanery basis. In another diocese, there was no election at all; the diocesan delegates were simply appointed by the diocesan administration. Such flaws in choosing delegates will leave the Sobor open to further attacks and accusations of not truly representing the people of the Russian Church Abroad. Along with everyone else, I am hoping and praying that the Sobor makes decisions that will be pleasing to God, profitable to our souls and conducive to the work of building up the Body of Christ.
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Секретарь-казначей «Общества» В.В. Щегловский
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Советуем нашим читателям читать газету "Наша Страна" а также на узлах интернета: Западно Европейский Вестник - www.karlovtchanin.com, Церковные Ведомости РИПЦ - www.catacomb.org.ua и Вестника Запарожской Епархии РПЦЗ "Российское Православие" - http://rusorthodoxy.net
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