Athos declaration on Metropolitan Vitaly
Translated by John Rigas, Boston, USA
The following translated article was published on Mt. Athos in "Saint Agathangelos the Esphigmenite" issue of Nov- Dec. 2004.
THE RUSSIANS OF THE DIASPORA WHO IN 1917 RENOUNCED GODLESS COMMUNISM, TODAY FALL IN THE BOSOM OF GODLESS ECUMENISM
The Russians of the Diaspora are that portion of the Russian Church which in 1917 did not compromise itself with the godless Communist government, but followed the most holy Patriarch of Moscow Tikhon. They came out of Russia and dispersed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and America. Patriarch Tikhon remained near his flock suffering cruelties. With pain of heart, Patriarch Tikhon lived those frightful and inhumane days of martyrdom and slaughter of the Tsar's family, of the clergy and of the faithful by the Jewish communist.
With the blessing of Patriarch Tikhon, the Russians of the Diaspora, as they were called, developed Ecclesiastical Communities headed by Bishops, clergy etc... in the places where they settled. They instituted a Synod of Bishops, which was recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and was in communion with all the Orthodox Churches, except the Moscow Patriarchate. The following were the 1st Hierarchs: Metropolitan Anthony (+1936), Metropolitan Anastasios (1965+), Metropolitan Philaret (+1985), Metropolitan Vitaly (until 2001), and today Metropolitan Laurus (Oct. 2001, current). They followed the Patristic Feastday Calendar. There always existed in this Synod the austere maintenance of the Sacred Traditions. But there also existed some bishops who did not approve of the zealot tenets of the majority, but remained obedient to it. This Synod of Russian Bishops of the Diaspora, ordained bishops for the Church in Greece for those who follow the Patristic Feastday Calendar, after the falling asleep in the LORD of Archbishop Chrysostom Kavourides, formerly Metropolitan of Florina.
When the ever memorable Metropolitan Philaret became 1st Hierarch, succeeding Anastasios in 1965, he did not remain indifferent to the ecumenist betrayal of Patriarch Athenagoras and Archbishop Iakovos Coucouzis of America. He began by sending Epistles of Sorrow to the above, for their return to Orthodoxy. When he understood that their cacodoxies were boundless, he rebuked them austerely. His epistles and articles were published in the "Orthodoxos Typos,”in our periodical and elsewhere. Excerpts from these most Orthodox Epistles and articles of Metropolitan Philaret have been included in our book "Kisses of Judas.”
The Sacred Synod of the Patristic Feastday Calendar, followed the Orthodox stance in the Faith, of the 1st Hierarch Metropolitan Philaret with admiration, because he had severed relations with all of them and had come and united with us, to strengthen our mutual Churches, involved in the sacred struggle on behalf of Orthodoxy. Metropolitan Philaret, upon being informed of the relentless persecutions of the Orthodox who follow the Patristic Calendar, by those following the new calendar (in Greece), and their keeping of the Faith, accepted to be united with them.
He examined the ordinations which had taken place by bishops of the Russian Diaspora. He found them to be Canonical, and in 1969 he sent a letter to the Synod headed then, by Archbishop Auxentios, a Synodical Letter, recognizing the authority of their Bishop Ordinations, and accepts the Synod as a sister Church and declared full communion with it.
We are placing on the opposite page (translator's note, letter is placed below) the decision of the Sacred Synod of the Russian Church of the Diaspora, of 18/31 December 1969, which recognizes the ordinations of the bishops of the Patristic Feastday Calendar, ordinations which were done by bishops who were members of the above Sacred Synod.
Upon coming to Greece, the then Secretary of the Synod, Bishop Lauros (today's 1st Hierarch) co-liturgized with the Hierarchs of the Orthodox of the Feastday Calendar, Archbishop Auxentios, Akakios (the younger), Gerontios etc...
Also, the Synod of Philaret regularized, synodically in 1971 the bishop ordinations of the ever memorable Bishop Vresthenis, Matthew Karpathakis, after they petitioned and recognized the authority of their ordinations and did heirothesia to them.
Metropolitan Philaret Synodically acted against the panheresy of Ecumenism. In order though protect his flock from this heresy he proceeded with a Synodical condemnation and anathematized it.
Metropolitan Vitaly who rescinded his retirement as Metropolitan of the Russian Diaspora, said the following in an article regarding the ANATHEMA against Ecumenism: In this way, by the declaring the ANATHEMA we protected our flock from this apocalyptic temptation and we knowingly concurrently placed, a serious question in the conscious of all the local Churches, to which they are obligated to, sooner or later, whether they want to or not, give and answer. Their spiritual future in the world wide Orthodox Church will depend upon their answer to this question.
According to the Ecclesiastical Rule, the Anathema which was announced by us is purely local in character that is for the Russian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora but de facto, it is of enormous historical importance, world wide, historically, and ecclesiastically exactly because ecumenism, itself, is a heresy of world wide dimensions.
This here position of the Orthodox Church in the Diaspora is very clear in the conscience of all the Orthodox. For us it is a very big Cross to bear, which the Lord has placed upon us. But we could no longer keep silent, because silence would be equivalent to betrayal of the Truth, from which betrayal may the Lord protect all of us.” ("Orthodox Life” 1984 No 4. "Orthodox Witness” September 1984).
THE FIRST HIERARCHY OF METROPOLITAN VITALY
After the falling asleep of the worthy and Orthodox leader of the Sacred Synod of Bishops of the Diaspora, the ever memorable and saint Philaret, there was elected as Metropolitan the worthy successor hailing from Canada, Metropolitan Vitaly.
He maintained the course of his predecessor. After the fall of the communist regime in the Soviet Union, he accepted the shepherding of his fellow nationals who were within Russia, who had severed communion with the Russian Patriarchate of Moscow because of the pan-heresy of ecumenism which it follows. In vain did the Patriarch of Moscow through petitions to the Synod in the Diaspora called upon them not to establish ecclesiastical communities within Russian, on Russian soil.
The petitions of the Patriarchate were not being accepted, because it was not a case of pursuing followers, but it was to save them from the danger of eternal damnation of their eternal souls from the panheresy of syncretism which unfortunately is followed by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
THE BETRAYAL OF THE FAITH
A portion of the luke warm bishops of the Russian Diaspora imitated the traitor Judas. Who knows what promises they received for this betrayal.
The first Hierarch of the Synod, Metropolitan Vitaly was of advance age. The traitors persuaded him to resign, so another, younger one, could take over and "continue" the Orthodox struggle. Metropolitan Vitaly was convinced, even though he had suspicion that something evil was in the making. In the Synod, during his resignation, he told the Synodical bishops, not to give in to the heresy of Ecumenism and not to give in to the propaganda and petitions of the Patriarchate of Moscow for union. And the imitators of Judas promised him (falsely of course) that they would not unite unless the Patriarchate follows Orthodoxy.
With the election and enthronement of the current metropolitan Lauros the intentions of the rejecters of the Faith became manifest. They began the deliberate dealings and love dance towards union with it.
Metropolitan Vitaly knowing that the Moscow Patriarchate, not only communes with the contemporary Ecumenists, but it is also first to compete with Bartholomew in the betrayal of the Faith. It communes at the first opportunity with heretics and all religions.
Following the Sacred Apostolic Canon "he who communes with the incommunicable becomes incommunicable" he rescinded his resignation and is the canonical and lawful 1st Hierarch of the Russian Diaspora. [We, in R0C0R, do not grant that Metropolitan Vitaly could be restored as the canonical and lawful 1st Hierarch by rescinding his resignation. As unfortunate as it was, Laurus Skurla, of sorry memory, appears to be the canonical successor. -jh 2010]
Today, Metropolitan Vitaly is found with very few clergy, Bishops, priests, and also ecclesiastical communities; continues the line of the ever memorable Metropolitan Philaret. Accordingly, regarding the small flock of Metropolitan Vitaly, the answer comes from Saint Nikiforos, the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople who says: "If only very few remain in Orthodoxy and piety, they are the CHURCH and the authority and protection of the Ecclesiastical Traditions are with them.”
The Ecumenist, tools of the Zionists, traveling in full apostasy have to have with them all of the local Orthodox Churches for the way to be open for the coming of the final antichrist. As we are told by the Apostle Paul “...let no one deceive you...for that day will not come until apostasy comes first, then the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (2nd Thessal. 2:3). This is the reason they desire the snuffing out of every Orthodox hearth. They have already captivated all the Patriarchates and Orthodox Churches. Lastly, also the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
For this reason they turned their attention towards the subjugation of the Sacred Synod of the Russians in the Diaspora which had ANATHEMATIZED Godless Ecumenism. The dark powers for the success of their lawless objective, used the political leadership of Russia, its President Mr. Vladimir Putin. The periodical "St. Cyprian" writes in its Sept.-Oct. 2004 issue, some of the most important steps on the way to union:
1) The September 2003 meeting in New York, USA of the Hierarchical representatives of the Diaspora with the President of Russian Mr. Vladimir Putin.
2) The November 2003 meeting in Moscow of Hierarchical representatives with Patriarch Alexios and members of the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate.
3) The May 2004 visit to Moscow of his Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, during which, in an atmosphere of prayer communion, there took place a dialogue of union and there was decided to form Dialogue Committees and the topics to be discussed.
4) The June 2004 beginning of work by the Committees in Moscow and the first announcements of common agreements, which were also made known to both Hierarchs for evaluation.
Keeping in mind that the whole Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate convenes at the beginning of this coming October and that the Russian Diaspora Synod will meet in the beginning of 2005, it can be concluded that the relative decisions will be swift and dramatic. From both sides, from Moscow and from the Diaspora, it is verified from official sources the union has de facto been decided, its implementation is now a matter of time, because the things uniting, as they are characteristically called, are stronger than those which divide, in which things, is included the subject of Ecumenism, which appears to be of secondary importance. (Periodical "St. Cyprian" Sept-Oct 2004). From all indications, the betrayal is almost certain.
Let us hope that there remains a remnant of the Orthodox Diaspora under the Synod of Metropolitan Vitaly, and with the help of our All Powerful God, remains firm in its Orthodox Confession. We have been told, that ecclesiastical communities which were under Mr. Laurus inside Russia have rejected him and are now commemorating Metropolitan Vitaly as the Canonical and Orthodox Bishop. The same command for "dialogue" has been received by the Ecumenist Archbishop of Athens Christodoulos, to attempt to convince the Orthodox of the Patristic Calendar to abandon their struggle for the Faith. For this reason he is seeking"dialogue" in order psychologically, find out how to best over come them. That which is an obstacle to their plans (as they are prepared to offer them anything and everything in order to have them abandon their struggle) is the fact that there is more than one Synod. Therefore, if one Synod is overcome, God forbid, the people and most of the clergy will not follow but will join one of the other Synods.
The Ecumenists do not retreat and unfortunately, do not repent because they have been deceived. The “dialogue” will be the same as has been taking place so many years with the heretics. If they return to the state the Church was at the end of the 19th century, then the problem is automatically solved. The betrayal is sad for those who reject Orthodoxy and place themselves with the pan heresy of Ecumenism. The Church prays for the return and repentance.
The Orthodox do not falter because of the betrayals of some, conversely, they are made stronger in the Faith and this makes them approach, our Lord Jesus Christ even more, and ask for His help to remain faithful and immovable in our sweet Orthodoxy.
Let us hope that our Lord strengthens us in His Orthodox Faith, while we continue, in humility and repentance, doing His Most Holy Will, so that we can be deemed worthy of His divine Mercy. Amen.
This is a FIRST DRAFT translation done by John Rigas, Boston Ma. I ask for your forgiveness for any misspellings, misinterpretations and other errata. I am sending it to those who have asked and hope that in some way it helps you understand what the Greek text is all about. If you have any questions on a particular sentence or paragraph and you feel you want a more precise, scholarly translation, please email me, but be patient, as I have a ton of other things to do. Good luck and from me, all the best to you all. My email is: email@example.com