Sunday, November 30, 2014

Glorification of Holy New Martyr Catherine

Many Photos!-in Greece, Glorification of Holy New Martyr Catherine (Rutten) by our ROCA's sister church of the GOC
Note: The rough machine-English text here, has been humanly smoothed out, for better clarity of meaning.

*She was an early Greek martyric  victim of the apostate 'New Calendarist' -Ecumenist betrayers
of the Holy Apostolic Orthodox Faith.


The canonization of Holy New Martyr Catherine (Rutten), in the Old Calendar Greek Church.

November 28, 2014  in Attica (Greece CPI), in the temple of the Most  Holy Cross, was celebrated in council, headed by Archbishop Kallinikos and other bishops, the Divine Liturgy, at which was performed the rite of the glorification of the new Greek saint - The Holy Martyr Catherine (Rutten) .

The change in the calendar of the state-Church of Greece took place March 10, 1924 (March 23, new style). The Christian faithful, obedient to the teachings of the Holy  Fathers and emulating the ancient Christians that in such situations broke communion with those who were innovating, totally severed  their entire  ecclesiastical communion with the new calendarist state-Church of Greece. They prayed in their homes or in the village chapels. From the beginning, the Lord provided  many signs and wonders, showing  that HE abides with the adherents of the Orthodox calendar. In this case, upon the Christians who did  not accept the new calendar, there began a crackdown, providing  them a favorable opportunity to suffer for Christ.

8 November 1927, on the Feast of the Archangels in Mandre Eleusis (at that time a small village 30 km from Athens), the police surrounded the church, in  which was being performed the festal  Vigil. When the priest began the Liturgy in the Church, according to the date of  the Sacred Calendar, the police tried to arrest him. There stood in their way, many of the pious faithful, becoming a wall around the priest, without their fearing of any of the threats to themselves.. A young woman named Catherine Rutten, a mother of two young children, was at Vespers with her family, then her husband, sensing danger, asked her to leave. Thus, she went to their  home, but  then her sister told her about the situation happening  at the church. Leaving her, she rushed to join the faithful who were in danger, and ran to get the crown of martyrdom. The police, in order to scare the people, [who formed  a stone wall around the priest,] did not hesitate to resort to violence. Shooting live bullets, they shot in the head one of the faithful, Angelica Kansarelli. Catherine, without flinching, denounced the brutality of the "guards" sent by the new calendarist "Archbishop" of Athens. When one of them raised his rifle butt to strike it upon the head of the priest, she rushed to protect him and received a fatal blow to the back of her head, and she fell down, flooding the ground with her blood. She was heard to whisper: "Holy Mother of God ...." She suffered another seven days in the hospital before she gave up her pure soul to God on November 15 on the Orthodox calendar date of, The Holy Fathers, the first day of Advent. The Christians carried her body as they would have carried a relic of a martyr: "Wonderful in the sight of the Lord, is the  death of His saints," and now her feast in honor of her  Martyrdom, is  held annually on the day of her Assumption [ her soui's departure from this world], on   15/28 November.

She is buried in Keratea at Holy Presentation Monastery, where there  now rests, [ for veneration]  her  Holy Head as a relic. 

50 beautiful P H O T O S

Feast of the Entry

History of the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos Into the Temple, and *Epistle+Gospel Readings-Thu Dec 4/Nov 21-Entry into the Temple of the Most-Holy Virgin Mary [Theotokos] **

Shared by Subdeacon Ilarion Marr in New York:

The Entry into the Temple of the Most-holy Virgin Mary. 
When the Virgin Mary reached the age of three years, Her pious parents prepared to fulfill their promise. They called together their relatives, invited friends the same age as their daughter, dressed Her in Her finest clothes, and accompanied by the people singing hymns, they brought Her to the Temple in Jerusalem to be consecrated to God. Her friends and Mary Herself walked with burning candles in their hands. Led by the chief priest, the priests, while singing hymns, came out of the Temple to meet them.
Joachim and Anna with reverent prayers set Mary on the first step of the flight of stairs leading to the Temple. This staircase had fifteen high steps, according to the number of the psalms which the priests chanted upon entering the Temple.

There, three-year-old Mary Herself climbed the high steps without any assistance. At the top, the chief priest met and blessed Her as he always did with all who came to be consecrated to God. Then, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he led Her into the Holy of Holies. This was the most sacred place in the Temple. No one had the right to enter there except him, and he did only once a year. The Holy Spirit enlightened the chief priest with the knowledge that Mary, the chosen young girl, was worthy to enter the most sacred place. She was destined by God to become the Mother of the Son of God, Who would open the way for all people into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Fulfilling their promise, Joachim and Anna returned home, and Mary remained to live at the Temple. There She with other girls studied the Law of God and handiwork. She prayed a great deal, read the Holy Scriptures, and strictly observed the fasts. Mary lived at the Temple of God about eleven years, grew deeply devout in everything, was submissive to God, and was extraordinarily meek and industrious.

The Most-holy Mary decided to consecrate Her entire life to the one God alone. For this, She vowed that She would never marry; that is She would remain a virgin forever. The Holy Spirit and holy angels protected the godly young girl.

The Entry into the Temple of the Most-holy Virgin Mary is celebrated in the Holy Orthodox Church on the 21st of November (December 4 NS). This day is considered a great holy day, which in the hymns of the Church is called the harbinger of God’s good-will toward man. Starting with this holy day, we begin to sing "Christ is born... " during Matins.

Troparion of the Feast.
Today is the prelude of God’s good-will and the heralding of the salvation of mankind. The Virgin is presented openly, and She proclaimed Christ unto all. Then, with a great voice let us cry aloud: Rejoice, O Thou fulfillment of the Creator’s dispensation.

The Holy Virgin Mary with Joseph.
When the Virgin Mary reached fourteen years of age, it was necessary by law for Her to leave the Temple. She either had to go back to Her parents or to marry. Joachim and Anna had already reposed by that time. The priests wanted to give her in marriage, but Mary explained to them Her vow to God — to remain forever virgin. Then, the priests, guided by God, betrothed Her to a distant relative, the 80-year-old Joseph, so that he would have taken care of Her and kept Her virginity.
Joseph lived in the city of Nazareth. He was also descended from the royal family of David. However, he was not a rich man but a carpenter.
The Holy Virgin Mary, in the home of Joseph, led a humble and solitary life as before in the Temple. In Her free time, She read the books of the Holy Scripture and prayed to God.

Consecration Bishop Anthimus

ROCA: Consecration of Archimandrite Anthimus, as 'Bishop of Chemishliyskogo, Vicar of the Diocese of Moldova'

РПЦЗ: Хиротония архимандрита Анфима во епископа Чемишлийского, викария Молдавской епархии (ФОТО)

Smoothed out, machine-English translation:

ROCA: The Consecration as a bishop,  of Archimandrite Anthimus, now 'Bishop of  Chemishliyskogo, Vicar of the Diocese of Moldova' (PHOTOS)

Author: Metropolitan Agafangel incl. November 30, 2014. Published in the ROCA (Views: 3)
141130-1Photo report of consecration in the Resurrection Monastery, Moldova, His Grace Anthimus, Cimislia Bishop, Vicar of the Diocese of Kishinev. By order of the Extraordinary Bishops' Council (25-27 November 2014) made the consecration of His Eminence Anthimus, by  Archbishop George, Bishop Nikon,  and Bishop Nicholas.

    Friday, November 28, 2014

    V. Agafangel Report to Council regarding ROCA schism

    IMPORTANT TO READ:- some facts! (in Russian and machine-English)- A General Sharing: An Overview of the current dissention and dividing troubles in our ROCA: From Metropolitan Agafangel: A very accurate and insightful analysis of the current situation-

    A very rough, machine-English translation: again, my apologies to English-only readers, but I simply do not have bi-lingual helper people who have the time or are willing to translate from Russian to English.

    Metropolitan Agafangel: His  report to the Council of Bishops

    Author: Metropolitan Agafangel incl. November 28, 2014. Published in the ROCA (Views: 133)
    Metropolitan Agafangel: Prayer for Peace in Ukraine
    An abridged version of a memorandum Metropolitan Agafangel Emergency Council of Bishops in 2014
    About the new upcoming split of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

    Russian Church Abroad was always free, independent religious organization. And precisely because of its independence and free voice in the modern world it was, on the one hand, a reliable support of Christian confessors, and on the other, are a nuisance "miroderzhatelyam of this world." Therefore, during the existence of the Church Abroad enemies of Christ tried to destroy it - split, denigrate its representatives, quarrel with each other, and so it lay, that is, do anything to weaken it and eventually get out of existence .

    Nowadays, seeing that it was not possible to completely destroy the Russian Church Abroad in 2007, because it is alive and growing, "counsel of the ungodly," apparently decided to continue the work on its destruction. Today we can say that makes another large-scale attempt to arrange a split in the Orthodox Church.

    We can not know the details of the plan of the current attempts to split the ROCOR, but we can see its external manifestations associated with the preparation of a new division - elements arbitrarily, violation of the canons, conspiracies, intrigues, defamation of unwanted members of the Church and, as a result, an open revolt against the ROCOR on their own initiative in meeting Naverezhe.

    Abbreviated analysis of the "Appeal of clergy and laity Russian ROCOR parishes":
    First Hierarch of ROCOR charged that put the church life "on the high road to the historical hatred of Russia."  Not to mention the fact that this statement is not true, and also to the church dogmas and rules of this allegation has no relation. Moreover, the authors of "treatment" can not, and do not even try to argue that the First Hierarch of neglected or violated the basic tenets of their actions and the canons of the Orthodox Church, podpadaya do so under the condemnation of heresy etnofelitizma (1).

    In the case of the Office №295 Kiev Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) for 1918, reads a record №2916 from October 9/22: CONTENTS paper: "The attitude of the Minister of Confessions of 21 SM Number 892/3172 asking razsledovat case of remembrance of the Russian State and Authority in the Church m [ISTA (city)] White Church you [Ilevskaya] y [riding] and Article [Antium] vorzel Kiev [tion] in [riding]. RESOLUTION bishop: of consistency [theory]. Prodpisat in both places that commemorated the prescribed Vseukr [Ain] Council form: Power of bogohranimoy our ukrainstey and missus Her hetman Paul , and moreover would give an explanation why remembered wrong? (2).

    Based on this fact, the drafters of the Metropolitan Anthony "treatment" could, if desired, to accuse and "Russophobia" and "Sergianism" and aiding Ukrainian nationalists. This is despite the fact that our Russian Church Abroad in Ukraine today do not remember the local authorities.

    In the "Address" argues that the Bishops and priests of the ROCOR engaged in political activity against Russia and thereby provide a tranquil and comfortable life. That is, it is a direct indication of the fact that our bishops and priests are the agents of foreign countries that are hostile to Russia, and for his work as an agent receiving this money, which "quietly and comfortably live." This is a real political denunciation similar denunciations of Soviet times. If this is indeed true, it must present the facts and pass them to the FSB, as it is a criminal offense against the state of the Russian Federation. If this is not true (that in fact), the signatories of the "Address" slandered their own brethren, for which he provided did not even canonical sanctions and criminal liability in accordance with Article 128_1Ugolovnogo Code (the maximum penalty - a fine of up to 5 million rubles or compulsory work up to 480 hours). (3)

    The signatories of the "Address" claim that Metropolitan Agafangel claims that have never heard of mission '' storage ROCA White holy ideas '', and this puts him in guilt. Please give quotes ROCOR Council , namely councils, rather than private opinions of certain representatives of the ROCA (except for the First All-Diaspora), which would be praised White idea, and I ask forgiveness for all those his words. International Church ministers to the White movement, while remaining "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." However, she also ministers to those Russian Orthodox, who, for example, fought the Vlasov army, and even those Orthodox Russian who fought in the ranks of the Wehrmacht and of the Russian, who were in the ranks of the soldiers of General Franco in Spain. And many others. Even General Pinochet and his family prayed for a prayer service before the Iberian myrrh-streaming icon when she visited Chile. Russian Orthodox Church Outside of ministers to all whose soul longed for its nourishment, but not exclusively white movement. Of course, when in 1943 there was a "Red Church" "Joy" which coincides with the joys of the godless government of the Russian Orthodox Church finally secured the naming of the White Church, but it was naming, but not the essence, not the fact that it is at least something differed from the Church founded by Christ. In our own country the Catacomb Church, which flesh was united with the Orthodox, and many of its priests and ministers to those who have been with the White Army, but the White Church at the same time it is not called. Is the Church were different? No - it was the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." Of course, many were talking about the idea of the White, and our church was where White was the idea, but, while remaining the Church of Christ.

    If someone wants to call ROCA White Church, it is certainly not wrong and, in fact, does not sin. But if anyone would be categorically insist that ROCA is a special White Church, and no other, and this is something different from the Orthodox Church, and will try to make others think so, and then it is not just a manifestation of secular authoritarianism - it is an attempt to abuse of the Church.

    The signatories indicate that we should not recognize Lenin established the Ukrainian border. That is, in fact, call for a redistribution of existing boundaries (ie, the war "behind the old borders"). But, the last time the border is not signed, Lenin, and VV Putin, and acts as a guarantor of their immunity.


    Thus, even with the most careful consideration of this document, it does not detect a no dogmatic or canonical provisions. However, the document contains a threat of a split if its vague and non-church demands are not met. That is, there is no doubt that this document is not a church.

    On the contrary, some of the requirements contained in the document, directly subject to the condemnation of church rules and canons. As a result, we can confidently say that the "Appeal of clergy and laity Russian ROCOR parishes" - a provocation aimed to ensure that split our Church. In this provocation, as in any provocation, there is conscious of its participants, which are clearly visible on the writer's activity on the Internet, but there are random people, trusting them. Need to pray that those who got here by accident, opened his eyes and they stopped at the edge of the abyss into which they are pushing the enemy of our Church.

    The political component of the "Address clergy and laity Russian ROCOR parishes"

    If the document is not a church, it follows that it is permissible to consider as political.

    It should be recognized that from a political point of view, this document is much more interesting. First of all, great importance is the political situation prevailing in and around the Russian Federation. Developments in Ukraine and seized the country from the sphere of influence of the Russian Federation destroyed practically geopolitical project of the "Russian World", because without Kiev this program can not be realized. Direct reaction to the Ukrainian "Maidan" - the annexation of the Crimea and the attempt of Russia joining the Donetsk region. Further plans failed. Now, instead of wide occurrence of "Russian world" of the Russian Federation have to leave in the dead of isolation, since international sanctions seriously threatened throughout its economy.

    Protective actions of the Russian Federation - forced reorientation of production and finance on internal capabilities. That is, the concentration of the economy and the banking system (at least its critical mass) in the territory of the Russian Federation to have stability control of the centers of key industries. At the same time, restrictions and prohibitions on contributions outside the Russian Federation, building on its territory enterprises (including agricultural) products which have to be purchased in other countries. Increased cooperation with communist China and Asian traditionally Muslim countries. In the context of increasing isolation from European countries and the US, which has strong Christian communities, under the circumstances, Christianity itself becomes an enemy of Russia, because it is quite numerous contacts and communication with representatives again become hostile, developed countries. In order to minimize the danger from this side, the Russian Federation, as well as during the Soviet era, should be to get a mass and a wholly owned religious organization that is ready to carry out any instructions from the government. And such an organization, as we know, in the Russian Federation is.

    Article Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin: Religious communities in the Russian Federation should not be controlled from the outside (4)

    Relative to other religious, including Christian denominations, directly and unambiguously expressed Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin article RIA Novosti on October 25, with the eloquent title: "Religious communities in the Russian Federation should not be controlled from the outside." After the title explains the idea: " Leaders of religious communities operating in Russia, should be carried out only centers in the country, rather than from abroad, as it is directly related to the conservation of the country's sovereignty, security and stability in the country. " "The state can not be neutral with respect to external influences and related religious and religious-social doctrines. "

    "Some people say," will not work "or say that some international religious structures will never go out to take our civilization installation - some (countries) can be obtained. In China, everything turned out, "- said the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    He expressed confidence that "we will and if we had enough will."

    It is safe to say that sounded Vsevolod Chaplin of the Moscow Patriarchate's position is fully consistent with current government installations, which, in an increasingly growing international isolation of the Russian Federation, and include full control of the "dissidents".


    It is clear that the article Vsevolod Chaplin not random improvisation, but the result of developments not lasted a short time. It is also clear that the so-called Diocesan Assembly in Naverezhe - it is not a spontaneous process, the event is being prepared for about two years, began with the declaration that the First Hierarch of the poor, that the center of the ROCA should be in the Russian Federation. So, what we see now - is not entirely successful completion of the process, once started is not entirely successful. God forbid that this is over, the more that the main figures, almost all marked and thus were, as it were, "out of the game." To continue the mission to destroy the ROCA should involve new forces, and it is not so easy to do and it takes a certain time, that our church should use for their internal strengthening and development.

    I personally have repeatedly offered to arrange different people ROCA center in the Russian Federation. Or, at least, to create in Russia a separate "stand-alone" "self-governing" District (if the split does not work immediately, then try to implement it in two stages).

    This, incidentally, has received unexpected confirmation in the recently published "Appeal Parish meeting to the Council of Bishops, the Synod and the First Hierarch of ROCOR Parish meeting Ascension parish in Barnaul" on 3/16 November 2014.

    It reads: "We are convinced that further staying of  [Metropolitan Agafangel] at the post of the First Hierarch, ROCOR in Russia is deprived of its future. The Council of Bishops ask if you can not amicably resolve the issue of the First Hierarch, to find a form of government the Church may not post collegiate Hierarch (...) In the case of failure of the Council on the requirements of Appeals, asking His Grace to form a temporary church administration for the Russian parishes independent of the Metropolitan Agafangel order distance themselves from the anti-Russian position of the First Hierarch.

    That is, members of the parish meeting Barnaul parish headed by its rector unanimously support, in fact, is what encourages Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin. The same can say about the representatives of Izhevsk and several other parishes.

    Some conclusions

    Many note that the Russian Federation is a kind of return to the era of the Soviet Union. Those who lived at that time, remember that in this country there was no free, uncontrolled organization (except the Catacomb Church). It was truly a slave society, which tried to control everything - even a person's thoughts. Now, with a new stage of technological development, control over a person becomes more easy and affordable. Return to this control at the state level, in post-Soviet dictatorship, once again becomes dangerous and a real threat to the true Orthodox Christians. How amazing it all coincided in time with us, and they have. Our parishes involuntarily should be even more cautious, ready to harassment and provocation. In a situation specified Vsevolod Chaplin, we should make every effort to abandon the centralization and centralized government, as in the current RF centralization means full control. But Christianity can not live without absolute freedom in Christ. Therefore, be careful, because once lost freedom, we no longer had never been true.

    "Keep what you have" - ​​commanded all of us to the third First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Filaret - "that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3.11) - continues to Scripture.
    First Hierarch of the ROCOR
    + Metropolitan Agafangel
    Odessa, 18 November 2014
    (1) Conviction ethnophyletism Council of Constantinople in 1872
    "We reject and condemn the tribal division, ie tribal differences, national quarrels and disagreements in the Church of Christ, as nasty evangelical doctrine and sacred laws blessed our fathers, to whom the Holy Church approved and which decorate the human society, leading to the divine piety. Which receive such a division by tribes and those who dare to base it on unknown hitherto tribal gatherings, we proclaim, according to the sacred canons, and destitute of the Unified Catholic and Apostolic Church and these schismatics. "
    Phyletism or filetism (Gr. Φυλετισμός - «racism, tribalism") or ethnophyletism (from the ancient Greek. Ἔθνος - «people» + φυλή - «clan, the tribe," tribe ") - a trend in the local Orthodox Churches to bring general church interests sacrifice national political pedigree. Condemned as heresy at the Local Council of Constantinople in 1872. One of the features (although not necessarily) phyletism is the use of the national language in church services while banning perform service in the language of the canonical Church, which was postponed from the schismatic group, illegally declared its autocephaly.
    (3) On 13.07.2012, the State Duma returned to the Criminal Code article on defamation, which is a criminal offense (Article 128_1). The maximum penalty currently provides for a fine of up to 5 million rubles (previously - up to 300 thousand. Rubles), or compulsory work up to 480 hours. Imprisonment as punishment for slander combined with an accusation of committing a grave or especially grave crime, is not provided (previously - up to three years' imprisonment).
    (4) Chaplin: religious communities in the Russian Federation should not be controlled from the outside (article in full)
    16:31 29/10/2014 253 3 5
    At a time when religious and social processes become critical in most countries, there are certainly a force willing to pay them to the detriment of its competitors, so ideally the center of decision-making and spiritual authority in religious communities must be within the country, said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.
    MOSCOW, October 29 - RIA Novosti. Manual religious communities operating in Russia, should be carried out only centers in the country, rather than from abroad, as it is directly related to the conservation of the country's sovereignty, security and stability in the country, the chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and Society, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.
    Chaplin spoke on Wednesday at the international scientific-practical conference "State, religion and society in modern Russia."
    "At a time when religious and social processes become critical in most countries, there are certainly a force willing to pay these processes to the detriment of its historical competitors . We have a lot of examples of this, ranging from pseudo-extremism activities and ending all sorts of new religious movements used for pragmatic purposes of our historical opponents, "- said Chaplin.
    In these circumstances, he said, "the state can not be neutral with respect to external influences and related religious and religious-social doctrines."
    "Ideally, the only center of decision-making and spiritual authority in religious communities should be centers located within the country. Any self-respecting country achieves this. We have a lot of examples of this, including from our own history, if we talk about the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union "- said the head of the Synodal Department.
    According to Chaplin, in cases where manual religious communities "only from within the country is impossible, seems a necessary dialogue to the unconditional acceptance of the strategic goals and values ​​of the Russian civilization, including its model of church, state and society."
    "Some people say," will not work "or say that some international religious structures will never go out to take our civilization installation - some (countries) can be obtained. In China, everything turned out," - said the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.
    He expressed confidence that "we will and if we had enough will." "If we say that this or that our opponents and partners must change themselves, to change the very foundations of their political and ideological constructs, if they want to dialogue with the movement we have a mutually beneficial and productive," - said the priest.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014

    ROCA Council Begins in Odessa

    A General Informational Sharing: ROCA: In Odessa, the Start of Extraordinary Council of Bishops


    Add star 

    Dan Everiss

    Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    *May we all PRAY for God's special guidance of our bishops, to make the right decisions, and for the rebellious to repent, and for Godly order and harmony to be installed amongst and between  all of our faithful, world-wide. AMEN!
    Rd. Daniel Everiss in Oregon, U.S.A.

    Russian original text, found on:<>

    ROCA: The Extraordinary Council of Bishops of Our Church, Begins Its Meeting in Odessa.( a humanly smoothed out machine-English translation):
    Author: Metropolitan Agafangel incl. November 25, 2014. Published in the ROCA (Views: 11)

    In the Synod offices in Odessa  has begun  its work- of the  Extraordinary Council of Bishops, which is being  attended by:

     The First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Agafangel, Archbishop Andronicus, Archbishop Sophronius, Archbishop John, Archbishop George, Bishop Athanasius, Bishop Gregory, Bishop Cyril, Bishop Nikon, and Bishop Nicholas.
    On the first day of the Council, among other decisions, the bishops  confirmed the legitimacy of the last Synod of Bishops, the former meeting which was held on  21 to 22 October in Odessa, and confirmed that all decisions taken there, have  come into [ full] force. Also considered, [ thus far] is the  "Petition  of the  Russian clergy and laity of ROCOR parishes." [in the Russian Federation].

    Monday, November 17, 2014

    Archpriest Sergei Begashov's defense of Vl. Agafangel

    This somewhat difficult and lengthy, Human-English translation, [ with
    some added English explanatory words, here and there,] mostly done
    kindly by Vladimir Djambov, [laboriously translated  not for pay],  a
    pious lay member of Vladyka Bishop Foti's Bulgarian Old Calendar
    Church, our Sister church to our ROCA: in Sofia, Bulgaria:THANK YOU

    FOR TRUTH'S SAKE:-A General Informational Sharing with All: In Russian and Human-English, Archpriest Sergei Begashov's defense of our Metropolitan and our ROCA, to our current critics:
      also found in Internet Sobor

     Dear in Christ Vladykas and [fellow] brethren!  

    The last week events
    reverberate in my heart with an inexpressible pain. At that,
    especially acute is my pain is felt not only in relation to that
    horror taking place in Ukraine's East, where my parents, my brother
    with his family, and other numerous relatives, are forced to either
    flee from the scene of the conflict – if such a possibility is made
    available, or [else] live under the shells constantly hurling in both
    directions, praying and hoping that today these would not fall on your
    own, or on your neighbor's house. 

    My heart has been stricken by
    another pain – the threat of a rupture of the Body of Christ. And the
    latter is incomparably worse than the war because its consequences
    extend to the scale of eternity.  In our non-Christian time (and [I
    wonder] has it ever been 'Christian'?) the enemy of mankind [man's
    kind] intends to destroy not only the lives of men who are brothers of
    each other, but he also encroaches on the priceless treasure, which
    has been redeemed with the precious Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ –
    [on] the human soul! And [even] today, one super-weapon in the line of
    the huge arsenal of the devil's instruments for destroying the human
    race [man kind], is propaganda. 

    It is more terrible that "Grad" and
    "Points U" [missiles], more terrible than mortars and machine guns,
    because lying in its base is an all-encompassing [comprehensive] and
    all-consuming lie; and one of its tasks is to cause [bring about]
    hatred between men. Both lies and hatred are a satanic invention, the
    opposite of the two main Christian virtues: truth and love. If anyone
    believes that this man-hater [? chelovekonenavistik] uses [operates]
    this weapon only [towards] one side of the conflict – then one is
    deeply mistaken. The devil remains a winner both in case of accepting
    one propaganda, and in case of [accepting] the other [propaganda]. 

    If you prefer, then both the mass-media of the Russian Federation and of
    Ukraine are the right and the left hands of the Antichrist, through
    which he offers that same poison – [namely] hatred. Ukropy's and
    quilted jackets [vatnikiki's], Bandera's and Colorado's, punishers and
    terrorists, zapadentsy's and lugandonists, Petliurists and
    separatists, pro-Americans and pro-Russians [russ-komirovist], etc.,
    etc. – all these are different kinds of tastes all of that same common
    hatred under the guise of an alternative.  I am convinced that any of
    the suggested positions would be profitable to the perpetrators of
    this horror, even if it seems to us we are making a choice which is
    opposite to him. After all, both (the former and the latter [second]
    offers that we identify [ourselves] and occupy our "sacred" place in
    the [army] line and shed our blood for the god of war; and via revenge
    for us we engage the people loving us in these lines [ranks], [thus]
    multiplying each [and every] death by ten. I hear its hellish rumble
    [malo-Russian word], rolling out on the ground a cannonade of
    explosions. But those laugh the loudest when these explosions are made
    with God's name on their lips! "They know that Thou Lord doth exist,
    but they are just the same man-murderers as I am!" – through the
    guffaw he calls with audacity up to the heaven, with the rising
    mushrooms of fire, smoke, human pieces and rubble of buildings.  

    In these moments, when the Church must set an example of unity and
    pacification, when the Lord Himself pins on it His divine hope, those
    who have renounced the world are turning back[wards]. Introduced in
    the Church is a division – which is alien to it – over certain "sacred
    ideas" and nationality [ethnicity] signs. The devil collects people of
    one and the same views, [who are] convinced they have been gathered by
    the Lord, and – handing them a sword – he "heroically" commands
    "Chop!"  What has happened with us, brothers? Has the deceivers failed
    to fool [deceive] us blatantly [surround us in dark clouds?] – by
    inciting us against each other? What kind of charges are pouring out
    of mouths preaching the power of God effected in men's weakness? Where
    do you see the outlines [caricatures?] of Russo-phobes and the aids of
    power [government]?  Even should someone indeed desire to turn oneself
    into a Russo-phobe, one could not possibly do it for one really simple
    reason – Russia does not exist! Or you, brethren, fail to discern the
    difference between Russia and that country you are now living in?

    Indeed we are brothers even in the fact that both you and we live not
    in Russia, but only in different fragments of that disintegrated
    werewolf called the USSR! Your speech of condemning leaves no room for
    us to simply remain Orthodox Christians in the broadest sense. Can it
    really be that we who do not share the Kremlin policies – but only for
    this one sign – for you we become enemies-'Petliurists'? And why do
    you think that we share the Kiev policy? Both with you and with us it
    is all the same. the princes of this world are in the reign: namely
    thieves, destroyers, liars and hypocrites, in whom the only thing
    remaining of Christ is what does not depend on them. You see, in this,
    too, we are brothers! You are embarrassed by the slogan "Glory to

    So are we, as ministers of Christ, raising glory to Him
    Alone with each and every cry of Glory, for «кому слава подобает,
    разве тебе, Господи!» [to whom is glory befitting but to Thee, oh Lord
    – from evening service prayers?]. You find repulsive the slogan
    "Ukraine above all!"? [rendered in Ukrainian]. So do we, as
    Christians, for whom Christ is over all things! And also as citizens,
    "if Ukraine is above all, then what is it without its people – the
    Ukrainians?". (rendered in both Ukrainian and in Russian translation)
    Because if this is so, then one could offer the small – [namely] the
    Ukrainian as a sacrifice to the bigger – Ukraine? (Which is exactly
    what is taking place now). It would probably be more correct that
    "Ukrainians be over all", but even then I – as a Christian – would
    treat this motto skeptically. Are we not united in this, as well? You
    reproach us, and you even accuse us of collusion for the fact that we
    fail to reprove Mikhail Denisenko, [ so-called-"Patriarch" of the
    Ukrainian Kievan Orthodox Church] and why [then] don't you reprove the
    chief mufti or rabbi of RF [the Russian Federation]? I cannot expose
    without love, I do not have the right to do so. 

    Why would I expose
    what I do not love? I expose though what my heart hurts about. It
    hurts about the Moscow Patriarchy, it hurts about Russia, there I am
    exposing.  Just look, how many things we have in common but the most
    important one –the  Orthodox Faith! Where is that difference between
    us, which can justify a schism [split]?  You accuse us that we are
    supporters of Ukraine's borders designated by Antichrist – Ulyanov
    [i.e. Lenin], but he did not designate them, more precisely the
    boundaries themselves were non-existent, since back then it was one
    [and the same] state. We, however, have no preferences [whatever],
    except for our civil accord and with our [government in] power, and
    with all the world, with these boundaries that were established in
    1991, when one part of the one-time existing Russia made a step
    towards [in the direction of] de-Sovietization, and that means a step
    towards its [own?] history. In addition to everything else, even the
    leadership of your country not only accepted the borders of the newly
    independent state but it also became the guarantor of its territorial
    integrity. Can it be that you – as Christians – allow yourselves to
    violate the civil law in this [respect]? 

    I am sure that [the answer]
    is no. And in this [too] we are brothers!  What do you expect – except
    the Sunday of the dead – is also the restoration of Monarchy, and no
    one dares expose you for this, but you, too, cannot expose those
    fellow brethren who simply do not believe that it can ever be
    restored, although they consider the time of the Monarchy as the best
    ever period for the earthly wandering [pilgrimage] of the Orthodox
    Christians of Russia. But even in these anticipations of yours, there
    is something askew – you, it seems, are glad with some artificial
    motion, [which is] the materialization of that expectation. You speak
    that the boundaries of the southeastern regions of Ukraine ought to be
    within the Russian Empire, but where is it, that Empire? It is not!
    And even [back] when it was, did the Russian king annex with violence
    the land to himself [his land, that is]? Don't you vituperate the
    glorious name of Russia! Peoples with their lands strove [tended]
    themselves to become part of the Great Russia. 

    Did the Russian
    soldiers [can you imagine] blackmail Bogdan Khmelnytsky in front of
    Pereyaslav Rada? Of course not! And even if somewhere they did
    [blackmail], then they would not have been Russian soldiers any
    longer. Just as those, Russian, they were not at all, but Soviet
    [people] who exchanged only the wrapping. Take a look, how the Russian
    soldiers and their rulers are described in the remarkable article by
    Protodeacon German Ivanov Trinadzaty "Bicentennial of the victory over
    Napoleon. Russians in Paris," which you posted on your site [Протодиакон Герман
    Иванов-Тринадцатый. Двухсотлетие победы над Наполеоном. Русские в
    Париже]. Can it be that we are witnessing something of the same kind
    in Donbas?  Now, in the hope of reconciliation, I will try – as best I
    can – to clarify the points of your claims against our First Hierarch,
    and therefore against  us [as well]:

    1. YOU WRITE: "We have read with great sadness the acts of the last
    Synod on 21-22 October 2014 as signed by Metr. Agafangel, Archbishop
    George, and Bishop Athanasius, which had no quorum and therefore was
    illegitimate. In this document we see numerous violations of canonical
    rules, outright lies against members of our Church who had spoken over
    the past few months against the deviation from the course of the
    Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. Here, for example, to quote: "In the
    very beginning of its historical existence, the Russian Orthodox
    Church Abroad yielded in to the desire for political revenge." A
    revenge would suggest squaring political accounts and class vengeance.
    The outstanding ideologue of ROCA I.A. Ilyin said: "Let's return to
    Russia without revenge and greed!". This was the general stand of
    ROCA. Re-writing history – which is what lately Metr. Agafangel has
    been strenuously engaged with – referring very loosely to historical
    facts and ecclesial decisions – is anti-canonical and immoral. It is
    clear that such a stand is beneficial to forces alien to our Church,
    under whose influence Metr. Agafangel has fallen. But such a stand is
    deeply repugnant to all those who are faithful to the salvific course
    of the Most Blessed Metr.. Anthony (Khrapovitsky), Metr. Anastasius,
    St. Metr. Filaret, [and] Metr. Vitaly. This is exactly why we call on
    all three: Metr. Agafangel, Archbishop George and Bishop Athanasius to
    reconsider their attitude towards the history of ROCA and offer
    repentance."Response: You have been embarrassed by the phrase of the
    Metropolitan: "In the very beginning of its historical existence, the
    Russian Church Abroad succumbed to the desire for political revenge."
    But what is there to raise disagreement here [in this]? Very true
    words. And they do not imply a desire in our fathers to avenge or
    regain in a wicked way what had been taken away from them. No. Just
    Imagine, destroyed in front of their eyes was everything that was dear
    to them. Destroyed treacherously, mercilessly, with frankly
    theomachist slogans. The Scripture itself promises that we will have
    to wander through all the towns – [while] running from persecutions,
    and the Deliverer shall come. Was it possible for our fathers to not
    have hope for the restoration of Russia then, once you [too] are
    hopeful for its [Russia's] restoration presently? And, of course, this
    hope is personified in the White movement. But time that heals has
    passed and our Church accepted its exile as permitted by God and it
    humbled itself before Him, pinning their hopes for the Motherland in
    their prayers [raised up] to Him. The Metropolitan is not re-writing
    any history. You need to ask forgiveness for this baseless
    [indiscriminate] charge, which – by the way – even were it
    eligible[true],  – does not refer to any of the canonical issues of
    the Church, and therefore it cannot be a cause for divisions

    2. YOU WRITE: "Metr. Agafangel blessed to consider the
    "Internet Sobor" [site] as the [a] "new website of ROCA"
    Church decreed in October 2012 to "promote the development of the
    all-church site 'Internet Sobor'", on which church money is set aside.
    However it is on this site exactly that major church documents, church
    life news interspersed with articles of anti-Russian nature and
    political propaganda texts began to be published.
     The vicious practice of turning the church site into an instrument of
    political struggle is to be stopped. All the more so since materials
    [texts] very often are posted without corresponding [appropriate]
    comments, authored by outright enemies of the Holy Orthodox Church:
    the so-called Kiev Patriarch Filaret Denisenko, the militant atheists
    A. Nevzorov and others. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
    needs no such allies." Response: I agree that our Church needs no such
    allies as Denisenko, Nevzorov etc. But what is the [essence of the]
    your charge? The Apostle James himself quoted the example of the faith
    of the demons in order to emphasize the obvious, can this make them
    his allies? The lack of comments and the elaboration of texts is
    associated with the complete absence of the work-hands [laborers,
    aids]. Who and when are those who have the time to do this? According
    to your ideas, on the one hand it is the Metropolitan who does
    everything, since he writes using all nicknames; [an unproven charge],
    on the other hand – everything he does is just not right. Well, you
    take this work up yourself and do it, and offer it and then just
    listen in to the claims of all [kinds of] "critics." And also, on the
    impossibility of the charge of Russo-phobia I wrote above. Item 2 also
    has no canonical plane [to it]. The charge of any third rate lesser
    consideration, may not give rise to a schism. 

    3. YOU WRITE: "One
    cannot agree when bishops and priests of the ROCOR involve themselves
    in political activities, taking part in the information of the war
    against Russia, unacceptably binding themselves [close] with
    Russo-phobic-politicians and with their activities, in essence pushing
    the Church on the path of becoming a political organization of the
    Sergianist type. Of course, such activities run contrary to the course
    of the great First Hierarch of ROCOR and threaten the freedom of our
    Church. The desire by means of such a compromise, to provide a relaxed
    and comfortable life of their parishes, reminds us of the Sergianists'
    vicious practice." Response: I agree that bishops and priests may not
    engage in political activities – both Russophobic and Russo-phile
    ones, especially so because of the absence of the reality of liking or
    disliking – Russia. Let anyone who has dared engage in political
    activities turn to the Church – as the salvific infirmary – with
    repentance. Forgive me fathers, but you are now turning yourselves in
    for condemnation – opting for a compromise with that same KGB, calling
    it, Russia. And further you discover a motive to be irreconcilable
    with us: " The desire by means of such a compromise to provide a
    relaxed and comfortable life of their parishes reminds us of the
    Sergianists' vicious practice." Indeed, as Saint Neil of Sinai spake:
    "If we had no shortcomings, then we would not have such pleasure in
    noticing them in others." 

    4. YOU WRITE: "We ask that Metr. Agafangel
    cease activities as a [in his quality of] manager and commentator
    (under pseudonyms included) of the "Internet Sobor" site, which for
    the time of its existence has become "notorious" ["glorified"] for its
    extremely Russo-phobian political bent. Such activities by the First
    Hierarch, as well as by other clerics, is immoral on its own and runs
    contrary to the  rules of the Holy Apostles, where it is said: 'A
    bishop or a presbyter or a deacon is not to assumes on himself [any]
    worldly cares. Otherwise, let him be deposed from the sacred rank.'"
    Response: In the form of an ultimatum you are asking the Primate to
    stop guiding the "Internet Sobor." But have you forgotten to nominate
    the new replacement leader? I think Vladyka would be very happy to
    free himself and his  time from such work, which also proves, for
    himself,  to be considered ungrateful for, by some. But I have a
    question, you wish that the Internet Sobor would [only] voice the
    stand of parts of the Northern Diocese, of Barnaul and of Izhevsk? And
    what is to be done with the stand of other regions? The boundaries of
    ROCA are not delineated by the mentioned towns, at least not in its
    canonical jurisdiction. As to your fantasies vis-à-vis the multitude
    of nicknames used by the First Hierarch [ which you claim he uses], –
    it is even shameful to speak [of them]. To forbid any free commenting
    – this can only be done by Lubyanka and by the Clean Alley, and even
    then, not to us, thank God! The canon law charge is farfetched. To
    express a stand and to engage in politics – these are completely
    different things. So, again, there is in this matter, no cause for our
    splitting [separation]. Your reproaches, even by ethical standards,
    can endure no criticism, and response to them can be nothing but to
    your shame. Brethren, how can this be [possible]? 

    5. YOU WRITE: "It is
    understandable when ROCOR clergy in Ukraine are rightly criticizing
    Patriarch Kiril. But many are embarrassed by the absence of any
    conviction by them of the so-called Patriarch Filaret of Kiev, a
    notorious ecumenist and heretic. We also hear no exposing of the
    falsehoods of Uniates and of other opponents of Holy Orthodoxy in
    Ukraine. Why do we, the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
    in Russia, speak of the apostasy of the Moscow Patriarchate, while
    ROCA clergy in Ukraine refrain from exposing UOC KP [Ukrainian
    Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate]? Moreover, many articles have
    appeared on the pages of the "Internet-Sobor" site that are
    sympathetic towards the nature of UOC KP. That double standards policy
    is unacceptable in church life. Let us remind all, that in 1994 – for
    the unauthorized endorsement of bonds with the Patriarch of Kiev
    Filaret – the ROCA Synod (of bishops) banned from ministering, bishop
    Barnabas (Prokofiev)."  Response: I've answered above. I do not
    undertake to criticize anathemas. It is simply an absurd accusation,
    that puts you in line with the MP and puts us in line with the KP.
    Stemming from this is [it follows] that you honor the KP more than we
    do. The KP in Ukraine is that same political orthodoxy as the MP is in
    the Russian Federation, the only [difference being that] there is
    something that binds us with the MP, and – not with the KP.  

    6. YOU
    WRITE: "It is unacceptable to question the decisions of the Synods of
    the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. We consider as possible various
    political assessments, views on historical events, discussions on
    various issues – for, as the Holy apostle says, "For there must be
    also heresies[A1]  among you, that they which are approved may be made
    manifest among you." (1 Cor. 11:19). But nobody has the right to
    reject the Tradition of our Church. We must piously remember that the
    ROCOR Synods [of bishops] passed [in a spirit] "assisting to the Holy
    Spirit" and were a free voice of the entire suffering Russian Orthodox
    Church not only abroad but also at home. We felt strange, in our
    reading of a statement of Metr. Agafangel of [dated on] October 7th.
    2014, that he had "never heard" of the "mission '' of "preserving the
    holy White idea''' of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, while at the
    same time its Synods and great first hierarchs have repeatedly talked
    about the importance of preserving the best traditions of the White
    movement. Thus, in the address of the First All-Diaspora Synod to the
    "Christ-loving soldiers of the Russian Army and the Valorous Leader"
    General  Wrangel, these words appear: "But also let all Russians who
    love their homeland and suffer with her pain, remember about you,
    [about] our dear [army] host, and let them not only with the word of
    truth, but also in deed, help you and convince others to also do this.
    May the Lord bring to reason other nations, too, to support you. May
    they understand that you have struggled not only for Russia but also
    for the entire world, for the Faith and for peaceful life." And we –
    being faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, obeying
    the conciliar [Synodal] decrees, do affirm the need to be faithful to
    the White cause, which His Beatitude Metr. Anthony (Khrapovitsky)
    called [used to call] the "Brotherhood of Russian Truth" and not
    engage in blessing neo-petlyurovism [neo-petlyurovschins]."
    Response:[My] Brethren, who and where has there been a blessing for
    neo-petlyurovism and in what address has such been recorded? Your
    quoted citation fails to support the preservation by ROCA of the holy
    white idea. There can be no such an idea in the Church, not in ROCA at
    least. [I'm] Glad that you allow for dissensions [disagreements – see
    'heresies'] on a topic of politics. So do we. This is a  non-canonical
    issue. There is, in these in matters,  no reason for schism, brethren!

    7. YOU WRITE: "It is outrageous that taking an active part in fueling
     Russo-phobia are clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad:
    [namely] prot. Oleg Mironov (Canada), Hieromonk Andrew Trachuk
    (Ukraine) and some others. The ritual desecration of the Russian flag
    they committed (the flag of the White Fight) and this insult to the
    Russian people has brought up no protest by the First Hierarch. To the
    contrary, he accuses their critics of intolerance to dissent [people
    of different thinking]. Of course, such a policy of mocking what has
    always been sacred to the members of the ROCOR, is slowly but surely
    destroying our Church."  Response: I have not seen the desecration of
    the Russian Federation flag by a priest. If this is so, then I think
    he must apologize. A priest is not to act like this with the flag of
    any country and in general, [a priest] should not defile anything. Is
    this the only reason for the schism, brethren? If he apologizes, the
    conflict will be settled [exhausted]? Or is this the consecutive
    reason to resent the mercy of the First Hierarch?  

    8. YOU WRITE: "I am
    deeply saddened by the unbrotherly attitude towards fellow
    archpastors, by an infallible and final tone, by the exceeding of
    one's powers, while at the same time the Archbishop of the Orthodox
    Church is obliged to remember the 34th Apostolic Rule, which reads:
    'It is meet that the bishops of every nation ought to know the first
    [head-man] of theirs and recognize him as the head; and do nothing
    that would exceed their authority without his arguments [knowledge].
    Each one should do only what concerns his own diocese and the places
    belonging to it. But the first [head-man] is to do nothing without the
    arguments [knowledge] of all. For thus there will be one-mindedness
    and God will be glorified.' "  Response: Can the tone of the First
    Hierarch give rise to a schism? Let him who has been offended by the
    tone, after remaining alone, discuss  this, and not shout for all the
    whole world to hear, from [somewhere in] the back. As from your
    epistle I see few bishops among the signatories. The bishop's tone
    being a canonical issue? I beg you [Dismiss this charge (and spare

    9. YOU WRITE: "The Church Excommunication" of Mikhail
    Viktorovich Nazarov, one of the most respected members of the ROCOR,
    was made in violation of canonical and moral norms. We cannot
    recognize it as legal since its consideration was attended neither by
    the accused nor by a representative of his; among the charges
    presented there were many materials of defamatory nature [kind];
    despite the fact that the Council [Synod] of Bishops has not made a
    decision on excommunicating M.V. Nazarov, nevertheless Metr. Agafangel
    – shortly after the end of the Council [Synod] – without [any]
    ecclesiastical court, unilaterally announced that M.V. Nazarov – it
    turns out – was excommunicated from the Church, and nobody has the
    right to communicate with him. Of course, we – – being guided by the
    rules of the holy fathers and by our Christian conscience – cannot
    recognize the canonicity of this act."  Response: About Nazarov – I
    can write nothing. I have not read him, I have not met him and even I
    would not have heard of him – were it not for your epistle. Knowing
    about all the respectable persons  in the ROCA – I am an exception. To
    be respected one needs to be known. The Metropolitan is known, I trust
    him more than Nazarov. What about you? 

    10. YOU WRITE:: "We are
    convinced that our people's liberation from the captivity of sin is
    impossible without overcoming the pernicious legacy of Soviet thinking
    [Sovetchina], one manifestation of which, mind you, is precisely
    Ukrainian nationalism. It is lamentable to see how some [people] are
    willing to defend the monuments to Lenin, while others – who crush
    these monuments down –and are ready to shed blood for the national
    borders which were outlined [drawn] by the demoniac Lenin, of the
    Soviet republics, which are separating a triune nation."  Response:
    I've answered above. The boundaries of states is no canonical issue
    and no issue of the Church, in general. Why are you raising it?  

    11. YOU WRITE: "We believe that the perpetrators of all the above abuses
    must admit their decisions [to have been] wrong and [must] do
    everything possible to heal the discords produced by them, in the
    spirit of Christ's love and faithfulness to the traditions of the
    Russian Orthodox Church Abroad."  Response: He who is to blame – let
    him offer an apology. You, brethren, are guilty and some [of you] have
    already – thank God – repented. May the Lord raise each one of you up
    to doing this!  

    12. YOU WRITE: "We see and have become convinced that
    the activities of Metr. Agafangel for the management of the Church –
    the further it proceeds the more it defies traditions and conciliar
    [Synodal] decisions of ROCA, which causes justified indignation among
    the clergy and wide circles of the laity. In view of this, we are
    aware that there may come a time when we may be forced to implement
    the decree [Ukaz] of St. Patriarch Tikhon [under] number 362 in our
    church activities (the objective conditions for the implementation of
    this decree have ripened). We are waiting for the final word, which is
    to be uttered on this occasion by the conciliar fullness of our
    Church."  Response: DO you see? Have you been convinced? Where from?
    Why is this seen only by the signees, and at that, even not by all,
    and the others do not see? If it were not for this item, I would have
    been more hopeful for the sincerity of your delusions, but your
    ultimatum is – in essence – blackmailing. This goes too far. Brethren,
    stop it [stop what you're doing]! Everything is not the way you
    imagine [it to be]! This is a schism!  

    13. YOU WRITE: "We wish to
    create no schism and we are not creating one, since we make no claims
    to ourselves receiving authority [receiving powers] that [do] not
    belong to us."  Response: [but] Above, you threaten to take to
    yourselves these powers [over].  

    14. YOU WRITE: "We introduce no
    innovations into the Church life, but we only wish that our Church
    would live according to the decisions of the Councils [Synods] of the
    ROCA and to the canon laws of the Orthodox Church."  Response: We do
    not introduce such things,  either, and we wish just the same as you
    do. Where are the differences [of opinion/dissensions], brethren?  

    15. YOU WRITE: "We cannot oblige[obey] with orders that trouble us and our
    flock's consciences and that – in our conviction – violate the canons
    of the Church and the decrees of the Councils [Synods] of the ROCOR."
    Response: WHAT decrees and which canons violate and what Councils
    [Synods] do they  [violate]? This one accusation is much too a serious
    charge to not quote – at least for decency sake –[ without you giving
    us] any examples. The impression is that you have no cause to make
    this charge, but – for protocol sake – you had to say that this charge
    is [so].  

    16. YOU WRITE: "We ask forgiveness from all those who –
    willingly or unwillingly – we have offended in word, deed, or in any
    other way. We believe that only in the spirit of Christian love and
    faithfulness to the great fathers and to the ROCOR Councils [Synods]
    we would be able to overcome all the temptations and calls
    [challenges] of our [much-]troubled times. We voice hope for mutual
    understanding of fellow archpastors [hierarchs], pastors, and laity,
    both in Russia and abroad and for their supporting our actions. We are
    going to take comfort in the apostolic appeal: "Not slothful in
    business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope;
    patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;" (Rom.
    12:11-12)."  Response: What you are calling us to,  is for us to
    support your actions even before a Council has assessed your
    gathering. In essence, you are calling for separation. Because you
    leave no room to assume that you are not right.  I've been for too
    short a time, in our Church, and probably – less than all others –do I
    have a right to utter any criticism. And up to the last [point]I have
    been pursuing  on with my response,[to this controversy] hoping that
    it would pass, without my humble participation. But I do see,
    brethren, that we are getting farther and farther apart from each
    other. And I see no significant enough reasons for this. I've tried to
    say what I see and if you at least a little bit, believe in my
    aptitude [adequacy] and sincerity – believe me. I'm closer to
    everything, I can see better. I do not watch the news, nor listen to
    the radio and therefore no one is in a position to deceive me. I speak
    what stands before my eyes. In my appeal to you, all the time I wrote
    "we." I wish to explain. On the feast of the Mother of God in honor of
    the "Kazan" icon there was a fathering[clergy meeting] of our diocese,
    which I was able to attend. I was hoping to meet there some of the
    priests – signatories to this appeal, because they are from my own
    diocese, but they proved not to be there. Perhaps there were reasons
    [for this]... And so, there, among other things, Vladyka Agafangel
    spoke about Ukraine, the West, America, and the various powers [of
    government]. What he said leaves no doubt – not even the least of any
    doubt – that he is a patriot of Russia, that he is not engaged with
    [under the control of] any power [of government], and he is not
    fascinated by some rosy hopes for a prosperous existence of
    Christians. I do not know, maybe Vladyka would not quite agree with
    lots of what I've written, but I do agree with his assessment of
    developments in full, 200%. And, indeed, believe me, the last thing
    one could accuse  Vladyka Agafangel of – is Petliurism, or of
    Russo-phobia and bonds[connections] with the powers [of government].

    Have the fear of God, brethren! You are deeply [cruelly] mistaken.
    Brethren, I pray to Christ God, that you do not create what you are
    intending to. All [people] fall, but the Orthodox rise up [after
    falling]and this is our [one] essential difference from others. Do not
    be shamed by false shame. Bring your repentance, for Vladyka
    Metropolitan Agafangel has measured for you time for [doing] this. We
    are all anticipating this!  

    Your brother in Christ, 
    prot. Sergius Begashov.