JUST MY PRIVATE VIEWS:... intended to only clarify some points...... not for argument.
I share this, 'Second Dialogue', which are the astute and valuable views of this Petya and himself, from SiR Archbishop Chrysostomos (Gonzales), of Etna (California).
I do not disagree with 99% of what is expressed here, by an honored and highly respected archbishop of our beloved sister church, the Greek Synod in Resistance, or of what this Petya says either.
But, I have had to help to clarify some people's names, and points he or this Petya makes, with my use of [ ] brackets, plus myself make a few explanatory/corrective notes.
The learned Archbishop, (who is much more knowledgeable about Greek church history and matters, than of all the Russian, post Bolshevik revolutionary chaos and of the Russian Diaspora's & often convoluted complicated history sometimes, he seems to forget our current ROCA's official stance about ourselves, i.e., that our Russian Church Abroad, today, under our present Holy Synod, headed by our Metropolitan Agafangel (Pashkovsky) is THE rightful and only fully truly canonical continuation. of the old free pre-union, ROCOR.
Our heroic Metropolitan Agafangel, who himself was a full canonical hierarch in that old pre-union pre-2007 ROCOR Synod of Bishops, ALONE, in the pre-union ROCOR, resisted and refused that union with the MP, and he now heads our Continued-ROCA.
That part of the old free ROCOR that in 2007 submitted to Moscow, is not! any longer canonical, nor is it part of The Universal Orthodox Church, but it is a total subservient, graceless, tool of the KGB run MP.
It has cut itself off from the living real Church, it is a walking corpse, a fraud.
It is utterly uncanonical, graceless, and is in schism and more and more, in heresies.
It is a bogus theatrical tool of the godless KGB, which also runs it's 'Mother Church', the Stalin in 1943, founded MP.
The MP is the KGB's 'religious front', a pretend Russian Church.... created after the passing of Holy New Confessor Tikhon (Belavin), and in no way connected to him or to the real pre-revolutionary true Russian Church!
Vladyka Chrysostomos's ..or Petya's (?) comment about the past 90 years, something about the old ROCOR's attitude about the MP, 'the ROC' ...is very debateable & and is an outsider's semi-uninformed observation about the past official stances of our anti-communist Russian Diaspora's ROCOR hierarchs or our flock regarding, precisely, HOW we in the old ROCOR, historically regarded the MP, when and how we might 're-unite' with 'it'.. (or with some others in Russia?..or with a totally new true 'local Russian Land Sobor Church' there?), etc.
Just read all of years of the official ROCOR condemnations against the MP!...if that doesn't tell the history enough.
Further, regarding any 'anathema' pronounced, today, by our ROCA, yes we are indeed hotly currently debating within our church, of making that official condemnation against apostate Sergianism & Ecumenism, which is personified by the MP organization.
We feel that it is not only our canonical right so to do, but that it may help to save souls... which is the sole purpose of all anathemas, anyway., ...and indeed of all the canons.
It is our canonical and Orthodox DUTY to pronounce this anathema.
Apparently, on that point, we and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, a bishop of our sister church, apparently, are not in full agreement.
Our two separate churches, though in fraternal intercommunion, have much in common, but we also have different stances and positions, different histories, different LOCAL PASTORAL APPROACHES & local church DISCIPLINE, on some specific issues and problems.
We have differences.
Such is life!...does that surprise anyone?
It shouldn't, as that is the centuries of church history, of the entire Orthodox Church history, world-wide.
Just my unofficial perspectives, for anyone who wishes to waste their time to read them-
But, yes indeed, what the Archbishop and this Petya here states, IS of much value, and very worth reading
May God bless them both!. MANY YEARS! MNOGAYA LETA! to them.
Rd. Daniel Everiss in Oregon ..a no-body, but loyal to our ROCA under our Metropolitan Agafangel and our
Subject: A second dialogue between the Archbishop and Petya
Begin forwarded message:
From: Archbishop Chrysostomos
Subject: Re: Things are moving ahead!
Date: 24 January 2013 18:36:07 GMT
Exarchate Clergy and Faithful: a long but perhaps useful exchange.
Blagoslovite Vladika Chrysostomos
Dear Vladika Chrysostomos
I just don't know where to begin. Thank you for setting the record straight in your response to a father Alexis. It truly saddens me to read such articles only because of the deceptive manner in which the union of the Church of Christ is being handled. When the MP- metropolitan Hilarion [Alferov] visited the Vatican in Sept 2011 there was no mention in the report of his visit that the MP and Rome would work for a strategic alliance (http://fondgb.ru/index.php?ss=31&s=49&id=34364).
It is very interesting that, for all of its liberal posturing, the ecumenical movement is anything but transparent and open. Indeed, it was not until our Mother Monastery in Phyle began distributing video presentations of the antics that so long marked the WCC's international meetings (with ritual presentations even from clearly pagan sources) that many Orthodox (and especially in Eastern Europe) had ever heard of these travesties.
The vile actions against Metropolitan Cyprian and our Synod of Bishops and against Patriarch Diodoros I of Jerusalem, after he visited our monastery in Greece on its Feast Day and publicly praised our work in Greece and openly endorsed the courageous stand of Metropolitan Cyprian (before a multitude of feast day visitors), can be traced directly to the anger of the Orthodox ecumenists at these exposes of outrageous ecumenical excess heretofore largely hidden.
This was so fierce that the Oecumenical Patriarchate convened a pan-Orthodox conference of Orthodox ecumenists to censure the Patriarch of Jerusalem in an absolutely unprecedented display of un-Orthodox action against one of the oldest Patriarchates in Christianity!
When ROCOR joined the MP it was only until way after the union, that Archbishop Mark of Berlin publicly stated that he'd been in talks with the MP way prior to the "rapprochement".
We, a Sister Church, learned of them, as you know, only by way of the Internet. And when Metropolitan Cyprian rightly and justly began to ask for clarification from the ROCA, there began a sure and at times rather disrespectful attempt, among pro-union advocates, to portray us as fanatics, despite our moderate Patristic ecclesiology.
In due time, one of the more circumspect Bishops (most of whom privately admitted to us that they had been caught up in a process that they could not stop) admitted that Moscow dictated an end to communion with us and our Sister Churches. (You read the document, in fact.) Thus, Moscow exacted final revenge for our exposure of its very intense and irresponsible involvement in the ecumenical movement and a betrayal of the confession of Faith that is implicit in all that MP-Metropolitan Hilarion [Alferov] of Volokolamsk, heir apparent to the Patriarchal throne ("our man in Moscow," as one Uniate theologian insightfully calls him), preaches in his ecumenical mission to unite Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Running behind him with his own "union" card, sadly enough, is the ecumenical Oecumenical Patriarch
In both cases, as the Met Hilaron [Alferov] states below there were "doctrinal differences" but, they are put aside to be worked on in the future.
This seems to be the rule applied to everyone except us conservative anti-ecumenists who, strictly abiding by the Canons, are immediately declared heretics and outside the Church without trial and without any opportunity to defend themselves. This is how the Orthodox meaning of ecumenism and memerbership in the Church have been distorted in contemporary Orthodoxy.
As an aside, one of the great ironies is that the extremist resisters against ecumenism, in unilaterally condemning the ecumenists in the same way, oddly enough adopt the same tactics as those whom they resist. This even applies to some of the extremists in the [pre-union] ROCA, who immoderately misinterpreted its censure of ecumenism, when it was still in resistance, and thus made this error.
Thus, to add irony to irony, many of those who groused about the restoration, in 1994, by the ROCA of communion with our Synod alone, from among all of the Greek old Calendarist factions, owing to moderate ecclesiology, nonetheless accepted union with one of most active ecumenical jurisdictions, aside from Constantinople: i.e., Moscow! [the MP]
Moving from irony into insanity, we were then condemned by the... "extremists" [i.e. those anti-MP super-correct jurisdictions who declare only themselves as the only True Orthodox, and endlessly condemn all whom they consider, inferior or defective, etc...i.e. what some label, 'The Mathewites"] for leading the ROCOR into its union with world Orthodoxy and the abandonment of its former position as a bastion of Orthodox traditionalism. Never mind the fact that we did not join world Orthodoxy and are universally reviled by it!
In every case, it was a lack of transparency, a lack of truthful communication with the faithful, a distortion of the Patristic ecclesiology of the Church, and the downright nefarious ways of ecumenical politics that led to the sad situation in world Orthodoxy that we see today, when it is assumed that there is a de facto union of what we Orthodox consider wrong beliefs (papism, among them) with sacred Truth for the sake of "alliances" and social cooperation.
In both, the cultural and social aspects are/were being played as a uniting.force and in both cases the reality is that unity of one Church of Jesus Christ is ignored.
Ignore and, more frighteningly, defined locally, in Orthodoxy, along ethic lines or, worldwide, as having as its foundation, not in a common confessiom, but in social action and political and cultural solidarity defined as "the defense of the West." This is simply the flip-side of Islamic imperialism and the desire for a universal caliphate. Again, betrayal always creates irony and contradiction.
In all instances it is as if they are ashamed to broach the fact that there are differences that should be rectified in the name of Jesus Christ. They are afraid to speak about the true things that block True union but only talk about earthly things that human beings have in common - society and morality (which the Soviet system did perform poorly on both and were the bulwark of the atheistic system). This whole process reminds me of when I was working in the bureaucracy.
You are absolutely on the mark! In fact, such a spirit has always been considered the spirit of Antichrist in the Orthodox world.
These are, indeed, things that belong to politics and governmental bureaucracy, not to the Church and its ends!
Whenever changes were to be made that could potentially result in problems, we would be fed theoretical utopian scenarios to distract us from the realty in efforts to win us over.
Precisely what you are seeing in the Church today.
"I would like to stress, once more, that there are well-known doctrinal differences between the Orthodox and Catholic faiths, but there are also common positions in regard to morality and social issues which, today, are not shared by many of the representatives of liberal Protestantism," MP Hilarion [Alferov] concluded. "Therefore, cooperation is first and foremost necessary between the Orthodox and Catholic Christians - and that is what I call a strategic alliance."
Given the incredible scandals that have blackened the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church, this is an astonishing statement about Protestantism. Of course, the issue is that Roman Catholicism has a unified power and presence in the world that, quiet frankly, Protestantism does not. It is a bigger, better, and more useful corporate sister than divided Protestantism!
So, in order to avert the obvious dogmatic differences and heaven forbid, humbling oneself and asking for forgiveness in true brotherly love, the MP Met. Hilarion [Alferov] strikes out with a strategic alliance!!
Which seems to rule out certain liberal Protestants, who have been the champions of ecumenism. Once more, how ironic!
Now, what in he world would you want a strategic alliance for, when you are speaking about the Church of Christ? So I found out the definition of strategic alliance. It is "a relationship between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals or to meet a critical business need while remaining independent organizations." The advantages of strategic alliance include:
1. Allowing each partner to concentrate on activities that best match their capabilities.
2. Learning from partners & developing competences that may be more widely exploited elsewhere.
3. Adequate suitability of the resources & competencies of an organization for it to survive.
You turned to the right reference points: business and politics.
This now makes sense! it is a business model that the Harvard school of Business, the London School of Economics and HEC at the Sorbonne all would be proud of! Imagine, reap all the benefits of being a Church through subsidaries - the St. Gregory Theological Foundation (http://fondgb.ru/) and the Urbi et Orbi Foundation (http://home.catholicweb.com/McCarthyAssembly/index.cfm/NewsItem?ID=346898&From=home&sharedarticle=1
without the accountability and with no inherent cost as all the dogmatic issues are set aside!
There you have it in a nutshell. That is why ecumenical love and unity, as we hear them preached in Godless compromise, are unacceptable to the Church.
It has nothing do with the Church of Christ and it all has to do with as you say, Vladika, "The Papacy, an invention of the Middle Ages, is an absolutist theocracy and [neo-soviet] Russia is an oppressive oligarchy. Yet numbers, money, and influence make them compatible bed-fellows. A curious thing, unless one strips all of the religious rhetoric from this arrangement. All one then has left is this: power, worldly prestige, and fancy talk about a utopian Christianity that never existed and, if it ever does, will be the antithesis of Christianity."
This all fits perfectly into a Strategic Alliance. It is just fitting for our generation, the Pepsi generation, that in reality what the MP Met. Hilarion [Alferov] is saying and parleying is that "I'm ok, your ok" and let's get on with the business at hand and that business has nothing to do with the Church but with power and influence i.e. government.
On the mark, Petya!
It now also makes sense why the [pre-official union] ROCOR Preparatory committee agreed on maintaining independent administrative and organizations between ROCOR and the MP. It was not to acquiesce to the faithful in the diaspora or to do good by ROCOR who had said for 90 years that the ROC [the MP], and ROCOR ..."are one" [debateable point], and when the situation in Russia changes, they are to be REUNITED. No, separate organizations are necessary for this business model. In effect, the MP and ROCOR [via that 2007 union], created their own strategic alliance! No need to deal with the sensitive issues, no need for True forgiveness, just join for the sake of culture, the Fatherland and the advancement of what the MP always refers to - Orthodox Culture.
I have to agree with you, as one looking from the outside in. (As our Bishops were told, we, not being Russians, had nothing relevant to say in this matter. When I insisted that Orthodoxy defines our Faith, not ethnicity, I was dismissed as a liberal and innovator and told to mind to "Greek affairs"!)
This whole thing is sad as it has nothing to do with brotherly love, honesty, Truth or the Church. Rather, as Christ said Himself - Mammon!
Forgive me, Vladika Chrysostomos, for venting but after five years of trying to figure what was going on, the truth is being revealed. The goals of this Strategic Alliance has nothing to do with the Church but for the MP strengthening and abetting with Putin's self serving goals.
This is why I maintain that we must not condemn, revile, and anathematize those who entered into union with the MP. We must feel great sorrow for them, love them as brothers, and pray for their return to their former witness. If those who were reared in the Church could not understand what happened (but by God's Grace knew - like you - enough not to accept it), think of the many others who, hearing good and logical rationalizations and denied access to us more moderate and level-headed opponents of world Orthodoxy, simply accepted the union out of a misguided sense of obedience or ethnic nostalgia.
The fact that our family and friends were guided to the Greek Orthodox Church in Resistance and you, Your Eminence is not only reassuring but is truly a Godsend!
We must never forget that it was the old ROCA that provided the Greek Old Calendarists with Bishops. It was also to it, when our Synod alone restored union after opportunism, extremism, and factionalization marred the image Greek Old Calendarists and led to alienation from the ROCA, that we turned as a first move to uniting the separated Old Calendarists. Sadly, the old ROCA went in a different direction [the part that bowed to the MP in 2007], within a decade of our restoring union. That tragedy not withstanding, we owe much to the ROCA and are simply paying back one small part of a great debt.
As for me, I am a largely inactive clergyman now; my work is behind me; and I really did nothing in the past but support our Metropolitan Cyprian, a truly inspired holy man who has been reviled on both the right and the left, but who in the end helped maintain what was given to us by the ROCA and which we all today enjoy together.
The fact the the Grace from ROCOR was transferred to the Greek Synod and back to Vladika Agafangel is also a Godsend and is a True example of His works! May Christ have mercy on us all and protect us by His Grace.
That Grace also unites us to all Orthodox, so that our unity as the Small Flock must also serve to reinforce us to keep the faith, fight the good fight, and in every way protect those traditions to which even world Orthodoxy, in its deviations from the Faith, must return, if it is to be healed. The Church is a hospital for those ailing in the Faith, as the Fathers teach, and we must do all that we can to maintain its therapy of love and to make our refuge a refuge for others.
It is in this spirit, as you know, that our Synod has agreed to give episcopal oversight to those former clergy and faithful of the Free Serbian Orthodox Church who have approached us. I mention this because His Grace, Bishop Auxentios left yesterday for Australia, where he will help to install His Grace, Bishop Ambrose as the Bishop for the communities there (with the eventual hope, of course, that we will find suitable candidates to assign Bishops of Serbian descent in due time.)
So please pray for both Bishops, since, as you know, we have been the beneficiaries of abhorrent insults and nastiness - including racial attacks - from the Serbian Patriarchate and world Orthodoxy for acting, in this instance, just as the ROCA acted to in the 1960s in providing the Greek Old Calendarists with Bishops, when the blessed Metropollitan Chrysostomos died.
Goodnight, Vladika, it is getting late.
Your spiritual son in Jesus Christ.
With paternal and filial affection in Christ, + AC