Thursday, June 14, 2007

Possible schism in Moscow Partiarchate

(Vertograd, Moscow)

Bishop Diomid of Chukotka Diocese of Moscow Partiarchate, 12 priests of this Diocese and also some monks and nuns have issued the second letter to Patriarch Alexey, asking him to condemn ecumenism and to fix a number of serious problems in Moscow Patriarchate. This letter released on June 7 is much firmer then the previous letter of Bishop Diomied issued six months ago.

The new letter is actually an ultimatum, and it leaved no way back to Bishop Diomid and his flock.

Another hierarch of MP, Bishop Hippolitus of Husta at the Ukraine supports Bishop Diomid. Besides a big number of simple priests and faithful support them all over Russia.

Possible schism in ROCOR(V)

(Vertograd, Vladivostok)

Bishop Anastasy of Vladivostok and Far East issued a letter on June 10. Bishop Anastasy reminds that the opening of the Sobor of ROCOR(V) was planned shortly after the Nativity. But now almost the year has passed after the repose of Met Vitaly, but there was no Sobor and the new First-Hierarch has not been elected yet. Bishop Anastasy explains that the possibility of Sobor was blocked by Father Benjamin Joukoff. He also explains the anti-canonical behavior of Bishop Anthony of Moldova of the same church, who was actually trying to seize the power.

Bishop Anastasy urged the faithful of ROCOR(V) to gather the Sobor and to establish the authorities of the church.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Letters of True Orthodox Bishops and Bishop Chrysostomos of the Cyprianites

(Vertograd, Omsk-Moscow)

Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC) issued a letter to Bishop Agafangel of Odessa and Bishop Daniel of Erie, two bishops of ROCOR(L) who did not recognize the union with Moscow Patriarchate. The letter dated May 7/20 was signed by the Head of the Synod Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia, his Deputy Archbishop Benjamin of the Black Sea and Kuban, and the Secretary of the Synod Bishop Dionysy of Novgorod and Tver.

Archbishop Tikhon and his fellow-bishops suggest to Bishops Agafangel and Daniel to start the negotiations about the possible union. They write that the future aim is “the Sobor that will unite all the healthy forces of the former ROCOR that did not take neither the road of sergianism nor the road of sectarianism”. They also specify two things in the Diocese of Archbishop Agathangelos that they find wrong: (1) the presence of the political party of Dmitry Korchinsky in the church and (2) the commemoration of the civil powers of the Ukraine during the service.

Almost the same day, May 9/22, Bishop Daniel of Erie issued his official letter where he treats the RTOC even worse then the MP (see the document below).

The group of Metropolitan Cyprian (Old Calendarist) also issued a letter suggesting to form the union together with Bishops Agafangel, Bishop Daniel and RTOC (see the document below). However the position of the Cyprianites is counted crypto-ecumenistic, because the conception of Metropolitan Cyprian assumes, that at certain conditions the heretical communities must preserve the grace of Church Mysteries.

Declaration of The Right Reverend Daniel, Bishop of Erie, on forming of a Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority of the Church Abroad

In connection with the canonical crisis which occured in ROCA, which was caused by the joining of the First Hierarch, the Synod and virtually all Diaspora bishops, safe for Agafangel, bishop of Tavria and Odessa and me, bishop Daniel of Erie, to the Moscow Patriarchy, and the loss by the First Hierarch of the right of being a Primate (prava Predstoyatel' stva),

Taking into account that since Metropolitan made a schism, enough time has passed, but open declarations by the other bishops of ROCA, against the Act of abolishing the canonical order of ROCA, did not appear,

I, bishop Daniel, following Ukase 362 p.3 of His Holiness Patriarch, the Holy Synod and the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council of the Orthodox Church of Russia from 7/20 of November 1920 and fulfilling the duties delegated to me by the Ukase, I declare that today, 9/22 of May 2007 I, on the rights of the oldest bishop by ordination, formed a Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority (PSEA) of ROCA composed of the bishops remaining in the Church Abroad - I, bishop Daniel of Erie, and Agafangel, bishop of Tavria and Odessa.

In connection with the poor state of my health, I will not be able to actively take part in the restoration of the canonical order of ROCA, the management of the PSEA, the convocation and carrying, with the rights of President of the Fifth All-Diaspora Council.

I voluntarily delegate my rights for this constructive endeavour to the Right Reverend Agafangel, who will be obliged to keep me posted on activities, but foremost, he must listen to the voice of the Church - the voice of the clergy and laypeople. In connection with that, for participation in the administration of the Church, I commission to reinstate, at the Fifth All-Diaspora Council, the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council of ROCA made of clergy and laypersons.

If God allows, I would joyously participate, together with bishop Agafangel, in the Hirotoniyas of new bishops for the Church Abroad, but I would like to draw for this important endeavour, our brethren - the Greek Metropolitan Cyprian, the Romanian [Metropolitan] Vlasie and the Bulgarian [Bishop] Photii.

For that cause it is necessary to restore immediately full Eucharistic Communion with the Old Calendar Synods, and to conduct joint meetings with them in the future.

I do not rule out the possibility of reinforcement of the episcopate of ROCA with [bishops] from the Russian groups which have left ROCA recently, and even from the MP.

It seems to me, that the admission of bishops in their present order is possible for all of the aforementioned structures, except for RTOC (Russkaya Istinno-Pravoslavna ya Cerkov', Russian True Orthodox Church - the "Tikhonites" ). Regarding the breadth of economy, in each particular case it is difficult to say, but in general, we should admit from the MP the way it was accepted for them before, and from the Autonomous Russian Church and Mansonville - through supplementing of hierarchical ordinations.

I entrust the Right Reverend Agafangel with sending out as a Circular letter from my name the given Declaration to all the Dioceses of ROCA for the administration in the necessary cases.

Bishop Daniel of Erie
9/22 of May 2007.
Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas

A letter from Archbishop Chrysostomos, Exarch in America of the Synod of Met Cyprian

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I humbly ask for your prayers, assure you of my own, and send on to you my poor blessing.

May God reward you for your love of unity in the Church, which is a goal that we must all make our priority, and especially those of us who wish to preserve and uphold, in moderate and God-pleasing resistance, the Holy Traditions of the Church. Our strength is found in our unity and in our ability to forgive and sincerely place the Church before all opportunism and personal ambition.

Our spiritual Father, Metropolitan Cyprian, has given his life to the preservation of the conscience of the Greek Church, yet rising, in that task, above the nationalism, phyletism, and personal prerogatives by which the catholicity of Orthodoxy is so easily lost. He has also transcended the slander and false accusations that extremists of sectarian mentality in the Greek Old Calendar movement have hurled against him and which have so sullied the name and goals of that movement in Greece. I urge you to imitate his actions, which have brought our Sister Churches in Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria into spiritual unity.

May God enlighten Archbishop Tikhon and Bishop Agafangel to bring all of the Russian spiritual flock that derive from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (as do we Greek Old Calendarists) into union, that with them we and our Sister Churches may build a coalition of resisters who can change the face of an ailing Orthodox witness, assailed by ecumenism and innovation, and restore and preserve the spiritual legacy of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

I trust that someone among you will able to read my English, sadly ignorant as I am of the Russian tongue.

Least Among Monks,
+ Archbishop Chrysostomos
Exarch in America and unworthy servant to Metropolitan Cyprian