Re: "Thoughts of Priest

Re: "Thoughts of Priest from ROCA" ~ Kn. Irina Sergeyevna Bagration Moukhranskaya

This refers to Archpriest Theodore Shevzov's "Thoughts of a Priest of the Russian Church Abroad about Liturgical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate" . 

Fr Theodore has given much thought to a union between The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate , just as we all have.  I cannot speak, of course,  for all who consider such a union  premature, but I believe that very few are motivated, as he surmises, by fear of the new, or by haughtiness, or hatred or enmity. Nor can I believe that many today are guided by the past.  I think most of us are concerned about union with the Moscow Patriarchate of today and with Russia today.  
In America, a country that welcomed us and that we have adopted, there is growing concern about Russia being ruled by the KGB and about a Patriarchate that is  closely associated with it. There is concern throughout the West about the gradual return to Soviet methods and practices.  We are appalled by the growing nostalgia for Stalin and by the fact that it is not discouraged.  There is increasing xenophobia and there is a marked rise in anti-American rhetoric within the Russian government.  Last week, in a Victory Day speech,  President Putin's reference to the Third Reich was widely recognized as directed against the United States.
Russians today do not want sermons, lessons or advice from "emigres" living abroad. To them we are foreigners.  ROCOR  clergy  will not find it easy to be heard. For many people in Russia and abroad, taking Communion from the same Eucharistic Cup is not an issue.  ROCOR expatriates living and working in Russia commonly take Communion in MP churches.  Russian tourists traveling abroad take Communion in ROCOR churches. Many claim that they are not interested in "church politics".  
All that is of spiritual value to us is being sent to Russia.  Russia already has so many relics, so many venerable miraculous icons, so many valuable archives, so many historically famous dead.  If all our sacred memorials are transferred to Russia, what will be left to us and to our descendants?
But past history, new arguments and politics are not the main issues.  The issue that concerns us most  is today's claim that sergianism and ecumenism have become irrelevant.  We believe that they are relevant and that they will remain relevant until the end of the world, because they preach accommodation with the world.
Fr. Theodore reminds us of the painful Evlogian schism, but there was another schism that cannot be ignored.  The schism of the New Martyr bishops and priests who refused to commemorate Metropolitan Sergius.
Irina Sergeyevna, kn. Bagration Moukhranskaya
New York

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