Open Letter To Bp. Gabriel From Nun Maria


The following was sent to The Orthodox Christian Witness for publication as a voice of protest against the recent union of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the
Moscow Patriarchate.

Mother Maria (Nau) 9/10 – 20/3 2007 (Sept. 20/Oct.3)
Russian Orthodox Monastery
Mahopac, NY 1541 USA


Rev. Bishop Gavriil
75 East 93rd St.
New York, NY 10128-1390


Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow spends this week in France. His very first visit has been for the U.N. in Strasbourg, by so renewing with the tradition already set by Pope John Paul II who did appear before the U.N. General Assembly as soon as 1965 where, according to his own words, he stated that his moat ardent desire was 'to serve, you, the United Nations'.
Today, Sep. 20 according to the Julian calendar and Oct 3 according to the secular one, Alexey visits Paris with the intention, first of all, of paying his respects to the Roman See in the person of the Archbishop of Paris and of participating in the Roman Catholic Mass which will be celebrated in the evening, in the, cathedral of "Notre Dame de Paris. The degree of the participation was not specified by Radio France International, which simply put the stress on the secondary purpose of this visit to Western Europe, to wit, to meet with the faithful of our Holy Synod in order to confirm in their midst the union with the Patriarchate. Alexey wishes also to meet with the representatives of the other Sister Churches and very specially to go to rue George Bizet (Constantinople) in order to discuss over the heated controversy between the two Patriarchates concerning the attempt of the Phanar at positioning itself as an overlord over the other Sisters Churches, very specially over Moscow.
Of course Moscow deems the other very controversial aspects of the Phanar policy, most specifically in matter of ecumenism, 0Kay. The French Radio insisted also quite at length on the warming of the relations between Moscow and the Vatican, on the fact that Moscow approves of the reintroduction of the Latin language in the liturgical life and generally speaking, of the firm stand of Benedict the XVIth in matters of moral and ethics.
In actual fact Patriarch Alexey II is quite in step with the doings of his own Patriarchate in the past. Archbishop Nikodim of Leningrad, who had been identified by ranking Soviet defectors as a MAJOR GENERAL IN THE FORMER INFAMOUS K.G.B., had already been a frequent guest of Paul VI with whom he had entertained an exceptionally cordial relationship. Shortly after John Paul I's election Nikodim was again guest to the Vatican. During his audience with the new Pope the Justice of God overtook him and he suffered a massive heart attack was then given the last Rites by the Pope and died cradled in his arms. Since then intercommunion between Moscow and the Vatican has been a matter of occult, but none the less, very factual practice, simply officially denounced from time to time by Moscow. Both the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Phanar sent leading clergy representatives at the first Mass celebrated by Benedict the XVIth after his coronation. At that stage the participation of Moscow was only of prayer, which in itself is already quite sufficient to make one cross the border of excommunication. The Phanar went a step further with one of its deacons reading the Gospel in Greek after it had been read in Latin.
To state in details all of the malefactions in matters of Orthodox Faith committed by the Patriarchate of Moscow since the Soviet authorities did orientate the Patriarchate towards ecumenism would necessitate several in folios!
The controversy with the See of Rome is a very old controversy that covers more than 1000 years and one can already speak of first attempt at ecumenism with the False Union of Florence. But the WCC is really a Super Roman See, a far away dependency of the Reformation, those bastards of the popish policy of the days. Unfortunately today the Patriarchate of Moscow participates in the work of the WCC as a full member of the COUNCIL. The membership of the Council includes also representatives of the Phanar, of the Rumanian Patriarchate and of the Orthodox Church of America which is in part the dependency of the group of Russian exiles and intellectuals who during the first decades of the 20th century have been active participants in the founding of the ecumenical movement. It is probably useful to remind ourselves of the fact that the Constitution of the WCC considers membership not of individual representatives, but specifically of the entire Local Church in its fullness. Every local Church in the WCC is viewed as the totality of all her members, to wit in the matter at hand, as part of an heterodox association.
Was that a very unorthodox step and an act of downright apostasia? Most certainly per se it was so. And no doubt about the fact that each of our hierarchs in appositioning, his signature to this act of apostasia is sure to having contracted a rather heavy debt to be repaid in [the] way of taxes, in the best of cases and expectations, post mortem at the toll houses. Apostasia is apostasia and our hierarchs cannot, and could not, and will not be able to argue of the fact that they were not informed of what was, had been and continue to be enacted by the Patriarchate of Moscow in matter of ecumenism.
But were those sinful signatures a disaster without remedy when it comes to the future of Orthodoxy in the Holy Synod? It seems to me that one can assert the contrary. How [is] that? Well, those fateful signatures obtained [for] our hierarchs the fullness of recognition as legitimate ORTHODOX hierarchs by the very Patriarchate of Moscow who till then insisted that the Holy Synod was nothing more than a sect. With those signatures the whole of the controversy over the legitimacy of the Holy Synod as a Local Church in her own right for the time being was wiped out and our hierarchs were fully reestablished in the world as legitimate, canonical ORTHODOX bishops, not sectarians of sort but 'pares inter pares.' Now they have again the recognized right in the eye of the Orthodox community to speak de jure in the name of Orthodoxy, Canon Laws, Scriptural and oral Traditions. This is phenomenal. The point is also that in matters of Orthodox Faith and dogmas ALL BISHOPS, ARCHBISHOPS, METROPOLITANS AND PATRIARCHS ARE ON A LEVEL. The hierarchy at [the] episcopal level fulfills a function of a purely administrative nature for the commodity of the relations between local Churches. Ephesus was not ranked as the greatest of the sees in the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the 13th century, and yet the sole opposition of Mark to [the] Pope, his own Patriarch and the Emperor was enough to block and in the end emasculate the False Union of Florence. It is clear that nowadays a simple bishop, even a Vicar bishop, has at his disposal his full share of the Holy Spirit to oppose Benedict the XVIth, Patriarch Alexey II and any heterodox bishop and hierarch roaming loose among the Orthodox faithful. And the strong point in the matter at hand is that now the deadly weight of the past controversy in [the] matter of Orthodox legitimacy has been removed and that any truly Orthodox bishop can raise his voice among his peers and say with assurance "Your doings are unorthodox. You have stepped outside the boundaries of the Orthodox Faith. The Church in Heaven and on earth is ONE and Heaven and earth in the matter at hand cannot be divided, so and in order to remain one with Heaven, we now on earth, have now to separate ourselves from you and your wrong doings. The Art. XV of the Council First/Second provides for this eventuality and I (let us hope 'we'), Orthodox bishop in my own right, vested in the Grace of the Holy Spirit, take now refuge in that most sacred legal disposition."
To speak thus before the reconciliation at official level with Moscow in May would have proven an impossibility de facto. In actual fact it is still the big problem encountered by all the groups and groupusculs of Greek Old Calendarists. No matter how Orthodox are many of their stands, the very legitimacy of their existence as Local Churches is contested.
So providing that NOW we take immediately occasion of the recent wrong doings of the Patriarchate of Moscow in matter of e(@umenism, we play [it] safe.
I dare trust that by addressing this peaceful and Orthodox letter to your Highness I shall not meet at the hand of the hierarchy of the Holy Synod with the fate that did confront so many opponents among the Russian clergy of the M.P. in the past, whenever they dared to suggest that the policy of the Patriarchate has been extremely distorted ever since 1927. No need to say that since last winter I have stopped all communion of prayer and chalice here, waiting for an occasion to meet with an Orthodox hierarch over those vital issues.

Sinful most certainly, but resolutely Orthodox nun of the great habit living in seclusion,

+Mother Maria


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