Unfortunate Results of the Pro-union Camp
UNFORTUNATE RESULTS OF THE PRO-UNIFICATION CAMP
The pernicious influence of the Moscow Patriarchate progressively increases the danger of the breakup of ROCOR into “jurisdictions” and groups. Simultaneously, the supporters of unification with the MP, one way or another, continue to contribute to the destruction of the Church.
In parishes of ROCOR(L) [Laurus] clergy and laity continue to voice questions, however, they do not receive any articulate answers. All the questions receive a wishy-washy response: that everything will be clarified at the “All-Diaspora Sobor”!
From all directions one can hear declarations that the faithful do not wish to become members of the MP, they do not wish to submit to the Patriarchate and the Metropolitburo. The faithful point out the inevitable woeful, destructive results for Russia Abroad. The church authorities of ROCOR(L), however, clearly pay no heed.
These protests in no way mean that the Russian faithful of Abroad denounce their Russian Church. For them, first of all, it is clear, that the MP is not their Mother Church. For them it is also apparent that the path of the MP is opposite to the precepts of our venerable First Hierarchs of the Church: Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy, Filaret and Vitaly. Secondly, the faithful of Russia Abroad have consciously and specifically rejected ecumenism as a heresy of heresies, as well as the heresy of Sergianism. Thirdly, the faithful uphold the Orthodox teaching of “sobornost”, which has been totally lost by the Moscow Patriarchate. As is known, the rank and file clergy and faithful of the MP do not participate in its “sobors”; their "sobors" have become the exclusive domain of “Bishops”. A similar destruction of “sobornost” is already underway in ROCOR(L) where many have begun to consider as important only the number of Bishops voting “for” and those voting “against” the unification with the MP.
During the past few years, it is not unusual to hear complaints that when someone of the clergy or faithful at a meeting asks a question regarding the future of the Church, the attending members of the “commission” on the dialog with the MP and those Bishops standing for the unification with the MP, announce that there is no time to discuss it, that “we need to hurry, and that the unification with the MP is already late and should have taken place 15 years ago” or “Oh, drop this talk of Sergianism – we’re so sick of it” and so forth and so on. Consciously or not, these supporters of unification are propped up by those who announce that they “dream of unification with the MP” or that they “want everything to turn out according to Laurus”. Metropolitan Laurus, as is well known, supports unification with the MP. And not only are admonishments taking place, but also threats and promises (the old carrot and stick method).
In light of this disorder, ROCOR, up until now free, is self-destructing, something the Soviet government and the MP have only dreamed of!
The faithful, not seeing any alternative path to salvation, are trying to flee from the possibility of being subjugated, even if only for one day, to the MP, by founding new parishes, or joining already formed new “jurisdictions”, whose future is uncertain. The faithful turn to wherever it is certain there is an irreconcilable stand against “neocommunism”, Sergianism and ecumenism.
In the past few months the Society of the Blessed Metropolitan Anthony has received an ever increasing number of notes from both clergy and laity that they intend to leave ROCOR(L) to be under the spiritual guidance of one or another Bishop, who is not under the jurisdiction of MP.
Up until now it was widely known that in Russia Abroad, besides the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Laurus, there were also clergy and faithful under Metropolitans Vitaly and Valentin. However, we just recently found out that by an Ukase of 16/29 of December 2005, Archbishop Tikhon, presiding over the Synod of the Russian True Orthodox Church (known also as the Catacomb Church) ordered the opening of a Synodal Representation in the city of Stafford, Virginia. The Rector of this parish is one of the oldest priests in ROCOR, Archpriest Anatoly Trepachko. The clerics of the Holy Dormition church include his sons, Deacon John Trepachko and reader Nikolai Trepachko. We have been told that other clerics with their parishes are planning to join them.
For decades the Soviet representatives and the “clergy” of the MP called the faithful of ROCOR “raskolniki”, schismatics, and other things. Now this name is used not only by the bureaucrats of the MP but by the clergy of ROCOR(L) to refer to those who refuse to join in the sin of betraying the Church, and, seeing no other way out, are joining those Bishops, who have openly taken a stand against a rapprochement with the Moscow Patriarchate.
Many times these faithful, puzzled and with deeply aching hearts, have asked how could it be possible that the Bishops of ROCOR and that part of the clergy in support of unification with the MP, could be more concerned with their unification agenda than with preserving unity within ROCOR itself, with continuing its missionary work in Russia Abroad and with the salvation of the thousands and thousands of souls entrusted to it?
Those true Orthodox faithful of Russia Abroad, opposing union with MP, have argued that those wanting to abandon the precepts of the First Hierarchs, pollute the meaning of "sobornost" and accept Sergianism and ecumenism simply join already established MP parishes/dioceses. Then at least the remaining faithful will be able to preserve the true faith, continue the missionary work and continue the salvation of souls. And when those of the MP repent of their errors, a true Church will still exist, waiting for their humble return.
We strongly suggest those wanting to unite with the MP take this road and leave free ROCOR alone!
Nasha Strana No. 2789, Feb 4, 2006
Translated by Mrs. M. Nekludoff