July 2007 – December 2008

.http://sinod.ruschurchabroad.org/eng2008.htm
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Provisional Supreme Church Authority
___________________________________________

.· 21\12\08 - During Divine Liturgy in the Church of Archangel Michael in Odessa, Metropolitan Agafangel ordained a reader form Voronezh, Aleksey Merzlinin, as sub-deacon and then deacon. Clergy from the Odessa church served with Vladyka Agafangel, along with Archpriest Oleg Mironov, the rector of the parish where the newly-named deacon will serve.
· 17\12\08 - The first clergy conference of the Bolgrad diocese took place in the Church of St. Ignatiy (in the city of Chadyr-lunga, Moldova) on the feast day of Great Martyr Barbara. Divine liturgy was celebrated by Bishop Georgiy with Archpriest Vasiliy Izikli, and Hieromonks Aleksey (Kaloyev), Nikolay (Zavyalov), and Duly (Patosk). The Vth All-Diaspora Council was discussed at the clergy conference, along with matters concerning the clergy and the running of the diocese.
· An article by the Most Reverend Klemes, Bishop of Gardikion, about the Vth All-Diaspora Council.  Bishop Klemes, of the Old Calendar Church of Greece, was a distinguished guest at the Council.
· The diocesan website of the Bolgrad diocese has debuted at http://slovestnik.ru.gg/
· A gallery of photos of the Vth All-Diaspora Council can be viewed on the website of the St. Petersburg diocese:http://www.vishegorod.ru/v-sobor-photos.html
· The Vth All-Diaspora Council took place November 18-22, 2008, in New York, USA. The notable results were: the election of a Hierarch and members of the Synod of Bishops; the declaration that the "Act of Eucharistic Communion" is an unlawful and non-conciliar document; the approval of a Determination regarding sergianism; and the Glorification among the saints of the Third First Hierarch of the ROCA, Metropolitan Philaret.
· 13/11/08 - Mitered Archpriest Vladimir Savitsky, the rector of the Church of Great Martyr Duchess Elizabeth in St. Petersburg, has reposed. Eternal Memory!
· 03/11/08 - The minutes of the general meeting of the Administrative Council of the ROCA North American Administrative District.
· 31\10\08 - Bishop Georgiy - Memorandum on the acceptance into the body of the ROCA of the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church (sekachevtsevs). (Including a correction from 01\11\08).
· 25\10\08 - Fr. Aleksey Morgunov, who left the MP, has been admitted to the Siberian deanery of the Central Russian Administrative District. Fr. Aleksey will serve at the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in the city of Ishim, where the rector is Hieromonk Nikon.
· On October 14 - 18, 2008, the Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa, participated in the celebration of the patronal feast of the monastery of the Holy Martyrs Cyprian and Justinian in Athens, Greece. The services were led by the Most Reverend Bishop Cyprian (for the ailing Metropolitan Cyprian, hierarch of the Old Calendar Church of Greece). In attendance also were the Most Reverend Metropolitan Vlasie, hierarch of the Old Calendar Church of Romania, and the Most Reverend Metropolitan Photii, hierarch of the Old Calendar Church of Bulgaria. There were also 16 other bishops who celebrated the liturgy.

· On the occasion of the patronal feast of the Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in the city of Gongaz, Moldova, the rector, the Most Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad, celebrated the liturgy with Archpriest Vasiliy Ikizli and Hieromonk Aleksey (Kaloev) along with about 300 attendees. During the Holy Liturgy, 136 people took communion, including about 47 children. The sermon for that day spoke about the meaning of the feast day and the importance of a church in our lives as a place where heaven and earth meet during our prayers. The liturgy was followed by a trapeza.
Before that, Most Reverend Bishop Georgiy visited the parish of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov in Chadyr, Moldova, where he served the liturgy with Hieromonk Aleksey (Kaloev).
· On Sunday, October 12, 2008, the patronal feast of the Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos in the city of Niteroi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was celebrated. Its rector Archpriest Constantino Bussyguin served the Vigil the night before, and on Sunday, served the liturgy with Deacon Cesari Mortari and Sub-deacon John from Sao Paulo. The liturgy was followed by a moleben and a procession of the cross. The parish sisterhood provided a sumptuous lunch.
· 03/10/08 - Three parishes of the Free Serbian Orthodox Church have joined the Australian diocese of the ROCA: the Church of St. Stefan of Decani in Victoria, the Church of St. George in Brisbane, and the Church of St. Nicholas in Canberra. They will be attended to by Hegumen John (Shmelts).
· 23\09\08 - Bishop Agafangel has blessed the formation of a parish in the city of Ishim, in the Russian Federation, dedicated to the Kazan Mother of God icon and named Hieromonk Ermogen (Petrov) as its rector.
· 21/09/08 - A parish meeting was held at the Church of the Holy Great Martyr St. Andrew Stratelates in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, at which the parishioners along with the rector, Archpriest Igor Chitikov, decided to join the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad under the omofor of Bishop Agafangel, to "remain in the traditional ROCA, which never merged with the MP."
· 18/09/08 - A diocesan meeting of the Odessa diocese was held at the St. Michael rectory, with 40 delegates attending. Vigil was served the night before and Holy Liturgy the next day, officiated by Bishops Agafangel and Georgiy. During the Smaller Entrance, Archpriest Vladimir Fastovich was awarded the right to wear a jeweled cross. Archpriest Aleksey Skulsky from the Zhitomir oblast, who was with the MP previously, was accepted into the clergy ranks of the diocese. The diocesan meeting elected two priests and two laymen as delegates for the Vth All-Diaspora Sobor.
· 07/09/08 - Holy Liturgy was held in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa, attended by the Most Reverend Bishops Agafangel, Sofroniy, John, Afanasiy, and Georgiy, along with the Reverends Vyacheslav Zaburyan, Vitaliy Morozov, and Aleksandr, and Deacon Vitaliy Taranenko, who was awarded, during the liturgy, the right to wear a double orarion.
After the liturgy, and in accordance with the decision by the PSEA to resume the regular convening of the Council of Russian Eminences, a meeting of the Council was held to discuss common liturgical practises with the new bishops. Several minor divergences were noted and it was agreed to pursue their resolution to achieve full agreement. It was also decided that the next meeting of the Council would take place in the last week of Great Lent, (before the the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem).
That evening, the bishops visited the Convent of St. John.
· A regular meeting of the PSEA took place from September 2-4, 2008, in Odessa. Among other decisons made at the meeting, it was decided to accept two catacomb bishops and their flocks into the ROCA - B. John (Zaitsev) of Buinsk and Volzhsk and B. Afanasiy (Savitsky) of Vologodsk and Velikoustyuzhsk.
· The Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa, completed a pastoral visit to Argentina and Brazil in South America on August 21-31, 2008.
· 17/08/08 - Fr. Sergey Kriulin was accepted by Bishop Agafangel into the Odessa diocese through the laying on off hands in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa. Fr. Sergey was earlier a member of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church (RusOC) jurisdiction of Met. Anthony. Fr. Sergey joined our Church along with his parish, the Church of the Holy Ascension in the city of Koryachiy Klyuch in the Kuban oblast.
· August 8-11, 2008 - "Vityas," an Orthodox\patriotic organization in Russia, held their summer camp on the grounds of the historic park "Borodino," near the village of Borodino on the Koloch river. The children enjoyed various camp activities, while learning more about the famous battle between Napoleon and the Russian army at Borodino in 1812.
· On August 4-10, 2008, a conference on church music was held at the Convent of St. John in the town of Egorovka in the Odessa diocese. It was attended by 9 representatives from various parishes in the diocese.
· 08/08/08 - Due to the efforts of the Most Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad, the official website of the Sts. Cyrill & Methodius seminary can be accessed at:http://seminaria.ru.gg/. The website will offer course materials for study by correspondence. The website will also include a Live Journal page for the seminary at: http://seminaria.livejournal.com/.
· 06/08/08 - On this day, the rector of the Blessed Saint Xenia of Petersburg parish in Kanata, Canada, Mitred Archpriest George Skrinnikov, passed away in the main hospital in Ottawa. Eternal Memory!
· 01.08.08. A general meeting of the District Administrative Council under the chairmanship of the Most Reverend Andronik, Bishop of Ottawa and North America, was held on 01 AUG 08 at the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Valley Cottage, NY.
· Ameeting of the representatives of the Central Russian Administrative District was held on August 1-3, 2008, in the city of Voronezh under the chairmanship of the Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa.
·A choir conference will take place in Odessa on August 4 - 9, 2008.
·At the request of of the ROCA PSEA Chairman, the Most Reverend Agafangel, the Most Reverend Ambrose, Bishop of Methone (Greek Old Calendar Church), travelled to Haiti and on Friday, May 16, 2008, along with Fr. Gregory Williams, elevated Deacon Ambrose to the priesthood at the Church of St. Dorothy in the village of Les Plaines near Port au Prince. Fr. Ambrose will serve our mission in Haiti. http://www.haitiorthodoxe.org/

·A summer camp for children will be organized in the village of Kurilov on the border between the Moscow and Kaluzh oblasts and be held from August 3 to 13, 2008. The spiritual father of the camp this year will be Fr. Valeriy Leonichev. Details are available (with photos) at http://www.rusidea.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1217. We invite all members of our Church to sign up their children at this camp.
·02/07/08 - The Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, officiated at the Holy Liturgy on the occasion of the patronal feast of the Convent of St. John in the village of Egorovka (Odessa diocese).
·On June 22, 2008, during the Holy Liturgy, and pursuant to the decision made at the last meeting of the PSEA, the Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, awarded the privilege of wearing a gold cross to Fr. Aleksandr Sukhov, the rector of the Church of the Protection of the Holy Mother in Dudochkino. On June 29, 2008, Bishop Sofroniy awarded the privilege of wearing a mitre to Archpriest Vladimir Savitsky, the rector of the Church of the New Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth in St. Petersburg.
·27/06/08 - Fr.Igor Dubrov will be staying in Bern, Switzerland, July 5 - 13, 2008. During this time, he will be conducting services and Holy Liturgy at a private residence. For further information, contact Andrew, a faithful member of the church, who lives in Switzerland and can be reached at 41787259837.
·20/06/08 - Under the authority of Bishop Andronik, a meeting of the North American District took place in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Astoria, NY. At the meeting, it was decided: to add Fr. Andrew Kencis and D.B. Gontscharow to the editorial staff of the District's official website http://www.rocor.us; to organize symposiums and debates on topics of Orthodoxy; to designate the Church of Blessed Xenia as the Cathedral Church of the ROCA North American District; and to organize a plate collection at all the parishes for the convening of the All-Diaspora Sobor. The next District meeting is scheduled on 19/07/08 at the Tolstoy Foundation.
·14/06/08 -Our website now includes information on the ROCA Assistance Fund. We ask everyone for whom the fate of our Church is important, to help as much as possible in its work and respond to requests for donations for the needs of the Church.
·07/06/08 - At the evening service in the Church of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov in the city of Chadyr-Lung (Republic of Moldavia), Bishop Georgiy of Bolgrad elevated ryaza-hieromonk Joseph (Kaloyev) to wearing the mantiya and with the name of Aleksey, in honor of Royal Marty Aleksey Nikolayevich.
·08/06/08 - The Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in the city of Voskresenka in the Moscow oblast, along with its pastor Hieromonk Ignatiy (Krutkov), has left the RTOC and joined our Church. Fr. Ignatiy, who was ordained a priest in 2000 by ROCOR(MP) Bishop Mikhail, gave adequate notice to his RTOC bishop of his departure from the uncanonical jurisdiction.

To the Most Reverend Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia, from Hieromonk Ignatiy (Krutkov):
Notice

I learned today that on Apr. 27\May 10, 1982, B. Lazarus (Zhurbenko) of blessed memory in his Confession and his promise as a Bishop gave his word before the Holy Gospel to remain true to the ROCOR and sealed it with his signature ("...and in all things to serve always the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia..."). I also learned, along with other facts that bespeak of Archbishop Lazarus belonging to the ROROR hierarchy, that he was considered the ROCOR representative in Russia (Protocol No. 1 of the ROCOR Sobor of Bishops on Apr.25\May8 1990). On this basis, I came to the realization that without the approval of the ROCOR Sobor of Bishops, the creation of the RTOC Synod in July, 2003, was uncanonical and a willful action. Metropolitan Vitaliy (Ustinov) spoke of this in one of his last opinions, when he said that the matter was too important and required a determination at a Sobor. To this day, within the RTOC, I heard only that B. Lazarus was ordained as a bishop of the Catacomb Church and had the right to rule independently on that basis. In actuality, he was ordained to serve the catacomb parishes, though as a member of the ROCOR hierarchy, much as B. Daniel of Erie serves the Old Calendar parishes, while a member of the ROCOR hierarchy. Therefore I notify you that as of this day, I am leaving the ranks of clergy who are subordinate to the unlawlful Synod headed by you. I am extremely hopeful that the RTOC bishops will participate in the Vth All-Diaspora Sobor to work on a Sobor determination of this matter.

Hieromonk Ignatiy (Krutkov)
May 16/29, 2008
 
·08/06/08 - In response to a request from a parish meeting and with the approval of Archpriest Valeriy Kravts, the Administrator of the Northern Russia Administrative District, Fr. Valeriy Leonichev has been assigned as the pastor of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in the town of Salaryev in the Moscow oblast.
·05/06/08 - In the house church of Blessed Xenia of Petersburg in the city of Bolgrad, in the Odessa oblast, the Most Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad, elevated Hierodeacon Dula (Patoska) to the office of priest.
·An account of a visit to the USA by the Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa.
· 13-15/05/08 -A scheduled meeting of the ROCA PSEA took place in the rectory in Richmond Hill (New York, USA).
· Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia
·Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa and ROCA PSEA Chairman.
·Paschal Epistle of His Eminence Andronik, Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York.
·18/04/08 -Archpastoral Epistle of Bishop Andronik of Richmond Hill and New York.
· 17/04/08 - A clergy conference took place in the St. Petersburg diocese, under the chairmanship of the ruling bishop, Bishop Sofroniy. A number of diocesan issues were decided, including the naming of the diocesan Father Confessor. The conference took place in the new building, which will also be used regularly for church services.
· 15-16/04/08 - The pastoral retreat of the clergy of the Central Russia Administrative District took place in Voronezh.
· 15/04/08 - The ROCA Fund for Assistance has been established and information on its mission and goals will be forthcoming soon. In the meanwhile, Bishop Agafangel has issued the following Ukase:
   In accordance with the tradition of the Church Abroad to conduct a collection on Palm Sunday for the needs of the greater church, this Ukase directs all parishes under the control of the ROCA PSEA to continue this deed which benefits us all.
   Checks should be made out to the ROCA Assistance Fund and should indicate if they are for a special cause or for the general distribution by the Fund directors. They should be sent to: ROCA Assistance Fund. PO Box 7119, Falls Church, VA 22040 USA.
· 03/04/08 - While riding a moped, Hieromonk Methodius crashed into a KAMAZ truck. He has a shattered kneecap, various gashes, severe bruising, and was operated on. We ask for your prayers.
· 27/03/08 - A Letter of Condolence from His Eminence Bishop Andronik on the passing of Metropolitan Lavr (ROCOR (MP)).
· 25-26/03/08 - The Odessa diocese clergy gathered in Odessa for fasting and communion and conducted a diocesan meeting.
· 25/03/08 - An account of a visit of Bishop Andronik and Protodeacon Job to the monastery of the Greek Old Calendar Church in the city of Etna (California, USA) [North American Administrative District]
· 07/03/08 - The Church of Holy Prince Vladimir in Canada has joined the North American Adminsitrative Ditrict, along with the pastor Fr. Andrew Kencis.
· 04/03/08 - Fr. Victor Dobroff -On the Orthodox Nature of the Teachings of Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili on the Church and the Wrongfulness of the Anathema by the ROAC Sobor
· 20/02/08 - The following is the contact information for the Most Reverend Andronik, Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York:
The Right Rev. Bishop Andronik - 119-02 94th Avenue, Richmond Hill, NY, USA, 11418.
Tel.: (347) 960 - 7110 Email: northamericandiocese@nyc.rr.com
[North American Administrative District]
· 17/02/08 - An appeal for donations for the renovation of the Administrative Center in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, USA.[North American Administrative District]
· 15/02/08 - Fr. Victor Dobroff - On the Upcoming Elections of the Hierarch and the Supreme Adminsitration of the ROCA
· 15/02/08 - Minutes of the Meeting of the ROCA North American Administrative District.
· The Winter session of the St. Cyrill & Methodius correspondence theological seminary took place in the rectory of the St. Michael Cathedral in Odessa from January 28 to February 13, 2008. [Odessa Diocese]
· 11/02/08 - Fr. Victor Dobroff - The Canonical Status of the PSEA and the Completed Bishop Ordinations.
· 08/02/08 - Open Letter to Kn. Bagration[North American Administrative District]
· 07/02/08 - A new website, "Beam of Light," can be accessed athttp://lightsbeam.narod.ru. It has sections for: News, History, Laws, and Articles, along with a forum and a guestbook. [Odessa Diocese]
· 03/02/08 - The editing of the Typikon for 2008 has been completed. Please send any corrections, requests, or suggestions to the contact listed on the St. Petersburg diocese website. The Typikon can be accessed in the Downloads section of the website. [St. Petersburg Diocese]
· 03/02/08 - In the Church of St. Michael in Odessa, Bishop Agafangel made Georgiy Vladimirovich Storozhetskiy a Reader during Holy Liturgy, then elevated him to Subdeacon and ordained him Deacon. Fr. Georgiy will serve in the Church of St. John of Shanghai in Dneprodzerzhinsk (the rector is Fr. Aleksandr Martinenko).[Odessa Diocese]
· January 26-27, 2008: the Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, visited the Derzhavnaya (Reigning) Mother of God Icon parish in the village of Zhabor in the Porkhovskiy region, Pskov oblast. At the Sunday liturgy, Reader Aleksey Badanov was made a sub-deacon, then ordained a deacon.[St. Petersburg Diocese]
· By the grace of God, on January 21, 2008, the Bogoyavlensky monastery in Vyshegorod received legal right to the main building (650 square meters in total) of the monastery. Through the efforts of the brothers, and with donations from others, the main building now contains a chapel, where regular services are held. They greatly need your help financially. See the Russian page for bank account and contact information.
· The Church of St. John of Shanghai in Brooklyn, NY, USA, now has an Internet website:http://rusvera.com.  The website includes many photographs showing various events at the parish.
· 05/01/08-23/12/07 - The Church of the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles, Enlighteners of the Slavs, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, in St. Petersburg, joined our Church on the eve of the feast day of the Nativity of Christ. On January 5, 2008, the Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, elevated sub-deacon Aleksandr Smirnov to deacon. On the eve of the feast day of the Nativity of Christ, January 6, 2008, deacon Aleksandr Smirnov was ordained a priest during the Holy Liturgy. At that same Liturgy, sub-deacon John Danilov was elevated to deacon. Both clerics are assigned to the Church of the Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles, Enlighteners of the Slavs, Sts. Cyril and Methodius, in St. Petersburg.[St. Petersburg Diocese]
· The official website of the North American Administrative District can now be accessed athttp://russianorthodoxchurchoutsiderussia.org/
Articles Orthodox Congregations in North America
· Nativity Epistle of the Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia
· Nativity Epistle of the Most Reverend Andronik, Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York.
· The Nativity Epistle of The Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa and ROCA PSEA Chairman.
· 02/01/08 - Protodeacon Vasiliy Yakimov from Australia has asked the PSEA to join the ROCA.
· 30/12/07 - Bishop Silvano of Luni, the Exarch of Italy for the Holy Synod of Resistance, concelebrated the Holy Liturgy with B. Agafangel in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa. Bishop Silvano visited Odessa accompanied by Protopresbyter Vitaliy, Archpriest Stefan, and Archdeacon Seraphim. After the liturgy, Bishop Silvano presented as a gift holy relics from Martyr Alexander, from the church in Pistoia, Italy.


News from the St. Petersburg diocese:· 3/16/12/2007 - The Bogoyavlenskiy monastery in Naverezh: His Eminence Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, elevated subdeacon Zosima to deacon during the Holy Liturgy.
6/19/12/2007 - The Bogoyavlenskiy monastery in Naverezh: His Eminence Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia, elevated hierodeacon Savvatiy to hieromonk during the Holy Liturgy.
· 10/23/12/2007 - Bishop Sofroniy, with the blessing of the PSEA, visited the parish of the Church of All Saints in Voronezh, Russia. Bishop Sofroniy elevated pastor Roman Kravts to archpriest during the Holy Liturgy.· 17/20/12/2007 - The parish of the Protection of the Mother of God (150 people), located in Dudachkino (Volkhovskiy region, Leningrad oblast), was accepted to ROCA on behalf of the PSEA by His Eminence Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia. The parish priest is Fr. Aleksandr Sukhov.· 19/12/2007 - 01/01/2008 - Naverezh: Monk Cyprian (Medvedev) was accepted to the monastery with the blessing of His Eminence Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia.
 
· 31/12/07 - The parish of Archangel Michael in the city of Voronezh, Russia, under the pastorship of Archpriest Oleg Mironov, has joined our church.[Central Russian Administrative District]
· 30/12/07 - The parish of St. John of Russia in Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA, under the pastorship of Archpriest Spiridon Snyder, along with Fr. Christopher Johnson, Deacon John Somers, and their parishioners, has joined our church.[North American Administrative District]
· 23/12/07 - The parish of the Nativity of the Mother of God, under the pastorship of Archpriest Nikolay Kovtach, located in the village of Krasilovka in the Novograd-Volynskiy region of the Zhitomir oblast in Ukraine has joined the Odessa diocese. [Odessa Diocese]
· The Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Washington, D.C., USA has moved to a new location, with more room for the faithful, as well as for the parish school, and which will allow for a fuller parish life. The new address and directions can be found on the parish website: http://holyascension.info/
· 18/12/07 - Hegumen Georgiy (Kravchenko), the pastor of the Church of Blessed St. Xenia of Petersburg in the city of Bolgrad, in the Odessa region of Ukraine, has created a website for his parish:http://igym-n.livejournal.com/[Odessa Diocese]
· 16/12/07 - Bishop Agafangel served Holy Liturgy in the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God in the city of Malin, in the Zhitomir region of Ukraine [Odessa Diocese]

Bishop Agafangel, pastor Fr. Vasiliy Demchenko, and the Protection of the Mother of God church choir.
· 09.12.07 - Holy Liturgy was held in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa, officiated by 5 bishops: Bishop Agafangel of Taurida and Odessa, Bishop George of Alania, Bishop Ambrose of Methone, Bishop Andronik of Richmond and New York, and Bishop Sofroniy of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia. Hieromonk John (Shmelts) was elevated to Hegumen by Bishop Agafangel during the Liturgy.
· A regularly scheduled meeting of the ROCA PSEA was held in the rectory of the Church of St. Michael in Odessa from December 6 through 8, 2007
· 08.12.07 - Hegumen Sofroniy was ordained Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia by Bishop Agafangel of Taurida and Odessa, Bishop George of Alania, Bishop Ambrose of Methone, and Bishop Andronik in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa.
· 07.12.07 - Archimandrite Andronik was ordained Bishop of Richmond and New York by Bishop Agafangel of Taurida and Odessa, Bishop George of Alania, and Bishop Ambrose of Methone in the Church of St. Michael in Odessa.
· Bishop Agafangel was in Greece from November 28 to December 3, 2007, staying at the Old Calendarist monastery of Holy Martyr Cyprian and Martyr Justinian. Bishop Agafangel participated in the work of the Synod at which the "Act of Essential Principles of the Joint Activity of the Greek and Russian Anti-Ecumenists" was signed. Bishop Agafangel also visited other monasteries in Greece. A communal service was held at the cathedral on Sunday, December 2, 2007, presided over by Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi, along with Bishop Agafangel and four other Greek bishops.
· 21/11/07 - The website of the Holy Ascension parish in Washington, D.C., USA, now includes a page of photo albums.http://www.holyascension.info/Photo_Albums.html[North American Administrative District]
· 10/11/07 - Bishop Agafangel has given his blessing for the formation of a new parish named in honor of the Holy Trinity in North Andover, Massachusetts. Fr. Aleksey Mikrikov has been assigned the pastor. [North American Administrative District]
· 05/11/07 - Bishop Agafangel has given his blessing for the formation of two new parishes: one named in honor of the "Pokrovskaya" Mother of God icon in Kherson, Russia (Fr. Valentin Bondar - parish priest); and the other named in honor of the "Semistrelnaya" Mother of God icon in Sudak, Russia, in the Crimea (Fr. Victor Radovsky - parish priest). [Odessa Diocese]
· 03/11/07 -Bishop Agafangel blessed the St. Dmitriy of Thessaloniki Church in Odessa and served the first Holy Liturgy in the church.(Odessa Diocese)
· 26/10/07 -A Meeting of the North American Administrative District took place.
· 27/10/07 - A Letter from Bishop Cyprian of Oreon (of the Holy Synod in Resistance in Greece) to Bishop Agafangel.
· 26/10/07 - Bishop Agafangel's comments on "Metropolitan Lavr's Response to Questions from the Editors of the "Vestnik" of the Odessa Theological Seminary".
· 14/10/07 - A parish conference was held in Moscow in the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia under the chairmanship of the Administrator of the Central Russian District, Archpriest Valeriy Kravitz. At the conference, Reader Aleksandr Khitrov was elected Chairman of the Parish Council, Y.V. Kuznetsov was elected Parish Warden, and Reader Mikhail Malama was elected Parish Treasurer. [Central Russian Administrative District]
· 14/10/07 - Fr. Valeriy Leonichev (of the Moscow oblast) has joined our church from the RusOC.[Central Russian Administrative District]
· 08/10/07 -The official Internet site of the St. Petersburg Diocese is now active.(ROCA Diocese of St. Petersburg & Northern Russia)
· The second meeting of the ROCA PSCA will take place on December 6 and 7, 2007, in Odessa.
· Fr. Sergey Turchik, the rector of our parish in Italy, is currently in the hospital in serious condition. We ask that you pray for his recovery.
·08/09/07.An Internet Journal for the ROCA PSCA debuted, moderated by Bishop Agafangel.
·04/09/07. Hegumen Pakhomiy (Popazov), who currently serves two parishes in the RF, has joined our community. Hegumen Pakhomiy was the spiritual father of Fr. Dimitriy Kaplun, but stopped when Fr. Dimitriy left ROCA and joined the MP.
·31/08/07Bishop Agafangel A Reply to the Chairman of the RTOC Synod Archbishop Tikhon.
·30/08/07A Letter to Bishop Agafangel from the Chairman of the RTOC SynodArchbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia
· 30/08/07The Home Page of the Holy Ascension parish in Washington, D.C., USA is now active [North American Administrative District]
·29/08/07 Bishop Agafangel.  A Reply to Archpriest Tarasiy Kravchenko, on his article, “Yet Another Thought About True Unity in the Church”
·Bishop Agafangel. Epistle to all faithful members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
·The Visit of the Administrator of the North American Administrative District, Archimandrite Andronik, to Jordanville [North American Administrative District]
· 08/19/07 - Fr. Vasiliy Zaburyanniy has joined the ranks of the clergy of the[ODESSA DIOCESE]
· 18/08/07 A Letterto the Administration of the Society of Revniteli of Met. Anthony (Khrapovistky) of Blessed Memory
· 17/08/07 - ROCA PSCA bank accounts opened
· 08/08/07 – Fr. Vyacheslav Zaburyanniy has joined the ranks of the clergy of the [ODESSA DIOCESE]
· A Letter from the Holy Synod of Chrysostomos II to Bishop Agafangel and the ROCOR faithful and Bishop Agafangel’s response
· An account of Bishop Agafangel’s visit to the USA
· 07/11/07 – The first meeting of the ROCOR PSCA took place in the Holy Trinity church in Astoria, NY, USA
· 07/10/07 – A conference of the ROCOR parish representatives took place in the Holy Trinity church in Astoria, NY, USA

Orthodox Facing the 1980's

"Orthodox Christians Facing the 1980s"
Excerpts from a lecture given by Fr. Seraphim Rose
at the St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, Platina, CA, August 9, 1979.


Looking at Orthodoxy, at its present state and its prospects in the period before us, we may see two opposed aspects. First of all, there is the spirit of worldliness which is so present in the Orthodox Churches today, leading to a watering-down of Orthodoxy, a loss of the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy. This worldliness has produced the Ecumenical movement, which is leading to the approaching Unia with Rome and the Western confessions—something that may well occur in the 1980s. In itself, this will probably not be a spectacular event: most Orthodox people have become so unaware of their faith, and so indifferent to it, that they will only welcome the opportunity to receive communion in a Roman or Anglican church. This spirit of worldliness is what is in the air and seems natural today; it is the religious equivalent of the atheist-agnostic atmosphere that prevails in the world.

What should be our response to this worldly ecumenical movement? Fortunately, our bishops of the Russian Church Outside of Russia have given us a sound policy to follow: we do not participate in the Ecumenical Movement, and our Metropolitan [Philaret] has warned other Orthodox Christians of the disastrous results of their ecumenical course if they continue; but at the same time our bishops have refused to cut off all contact and communion with Orthodox Churches involved in the Ecumenical Movement, recognizing that it is still a tendency that has not yet come to its conclusion (the Unia with Rome) and that (at least in the case of the Moscow Patriarchate and other churches behind the Iron Curtain) it is a political policy forced upon the Church by secular authorities. But because of this policy, our Church suffers attacks both from the left side (from ecumenists who accuse us of being uncharitable, behind the times,and the like) and from the right side (by groups in Greece that demand that we break communion with all Orthodox Churches and declare them to be without grace).

Indeed, if one looks at the state of the Orthodox Church in Greece, we can see that the Ecumenical Movement has produced a reaction that has often become excessive, and sometimes is almost as bad as the disease it seeks to cure. The more moderate of the Old Calendarist groups in Greece has a position similar to that of our Russian Church Abroad; but schism after schism has occurred among the Old Calendarists over the question of strictness. A few years ago one of these groups cut off communion with our Russian Church Abroad because our bishops refused to declare that all other Orthodox Churches are without grace; this group now declares that it alone has grace, only it is Orthodox. Recently this group has attracted some converts from our Russian Church Abroad, and we should be aware that this attitude is a danger to some of our American and European converts: with our calculating, rationalistic minds it is very easy to think we are being zealous and strict, when actually we are chiefly indulging our passion for self-righteousness.

One Old Calendarist bishop in Greece has written to us that incalculable harm has been done to the Orthodox Church in Greece by what he calls the correctness disease, when people quote canons, Fathers, the typicon in order to prove they are correct and everyone else is wrong. Correctness can truly become a disease when it is administered without love and tolerance and awareness of ones own imperfect understanding. Such a correctness only produces continual schisms, and in the end only helps the Ecumenical Movement by reducing the witness of sound Orthodoxy.

Conspicuous among Orthodox today—certain to be with us into the 1980s—is the worldly spirit by which Orthodoxy is losing its savor, expressed in the Ecumenical Movement, together with the reaction against it, which is often excessive precisely because the same worldly spirit is present in it.

There will undoubtedly be an increasing number of Orthodox converts in America and Europe in the coming decade, and we must strive that our missionary witness to them will help to produce, not cold, calculating, correct experts in the letter of the law, but warm, loving, simple Christians—at least as far as our haughty Western temperament will allow.

Once Fr. Dimitri [Dudko] was asked about how much better off religion was in the free world than in Russia, and he answered: Yes, they have freedom and many churches, but theirs is a spirituality with comfort. We in Russia have a different path, a path of suffering that can produce real fruit.

We should remember this phrase when we look at our own feeble Orthodoxy in the free world: are we content to have beautiful churches and chanting; do we perhaps boast that we keep the fasts and the church calendar, have good icons and congregational singing, that we give to the poor and perhaps tithe to the Church? Do we delight in exalted patristic teachings and theological conferences without having the simplicity of Christ in our hearts? Then ours is a spirituality with comfort, and we will not have the spiritual fruits that will be exhibited by those without all these comforts, who deeply suffer and struggle for Christ. In this sense we should take our tone from the suffering Church in Russia and place the externals of the Churchs worship in their proper place.

Our most important task, perhaps, is the Christian enlightenment of ourselves and others. We must go deeper into our faith—not by studying the canons of Ecumenical Councils or the typicon (although they also have their place), but by knowing how God acts in our lives; by reading the lives of God-pleasers in the Old and New Testaments (we read the Old Testament far too little; it is very instructive); by reading the lives of Saints and the writings of the Holy Fathers on practical spiritual life; by reading about the suffering of Christians today and in recent years. In all of this learning our eyes must be on heaven above, the goal we strive for, not on the problems and disasters of earth below.

Our Christian life and learning must be such that it will enable us to know the true Christ and to recognize the false Christ (Antichrist) when he comes. It is not theoretical knowledge or correctness that will give this knowledge to us. Vladimir Soloviev in his parable of Antichrist has a valuable insight when he notes that Antichrist will build a museum of all possible Byzantine antiquities for the Orthodox, if only they accept him. So, too, mere correctness in Orthodoxy without a loving Christian heart will not be able to resist Antichrist; one will recognize him and be firm to stand against him chiefly by the heart and not the head. We must develop in ourselves the right Christian feelings and instincts, and put off all fascination with the spiritual comforts of the Orthodox way of life, or else we will be—as one discerning observer of present-day converts has observed—Orthodox but not Christian.

related post:
Example of the super-correct disease in action:
http://cyprianites.blogspot.com/2009/01/joanna-gets-tangled-up-with-fruitless.html

Where Is The True Church?

NOT in World Orthodoxy...

...When "Orthodox" scholars pick up the teaching of these pseudo-patristic scholars or make their own researches in the same rationalistic spirit, the outcome can be tragic; for such scholars are taken by many to be "spokesmen for Orthodoxy," and their rationalistic pronouncements to be part of an "authentically patristic" outlook, thus deceiving many Orthodox Christians. Father Alexander Schmemann, for example, while pretending to set himself free from the "Western captivity" which, in his ignorance of the true Patristic tradition of recent centuries (which is to be found more in the monasteries than in the academies), he fancies to have completely dominated Orthodox theology in modern times, has himself become the captive of Protestant rationalistic ideas concerning liturgical theology, as has been well pointed out by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, a genuine Patristic theologian of today...

Above quote taken from: Holy Fathers Part 1 by Fr. Seraphim Rose †

Mother Maria Taken By Police

Update news of Mother Maria's eviction:

... Someone from ROCOR-MP sent the police to take Mother Maria away by force. The police refused to show her a warrant for her arrest and took her away not even giving her time to put on shoes or warm clothes. The police took her to the Putnam County Hospital for "evaluation". The hospital's evaluation is that Mother Maria is not crazy, nor violent and she does not require any medical treatment.
... There is no reason to keep her in the hospital and they will be discharging her next Monday. Father Vladimir Aleandro (OCA) Father Basil Grisel (ROCOR-MP) both in Connecticut , Mother Agapia (Stephanopoulos) and Irina Bagration have all been looking for a place for her not too distantly away . So far they have found nothing.
She insists on an eremetical life for herself... She lives strictly according to the Ustav, she eats very little and she only needs a quiet, isolated life. ... She is a hardy, self sufficient person. She speaks perfect English, and French. She is very well educated.

If anyone can offer even a temporary cell, or help in other ways, please contact Cn. Irina Bagration
Iritem@aol.com

Related post: Request For Help scroll back to December 14.

Related post: http://rocorrefugees.blogspot.com/2007/10/open-letter-to-bp-gabriel-from-nun.html

Dr. Moss Criticizes SIR - Abp. Chrysostomos Responds

Recently the SIR website published a few brief comments on the progress in their dialogues with the GOC. Apparently Dr. Vladimir Moss had a rather strong reaction to it and published a public criticism. For our sakes, Archbishop Chrysostomos has written a response. The end result is edifying and helpful for us.

To read the criticism and the response click here.

The Spiritual Condition Of Russians Abroad

.http://sobor2006.livejournal.com/293181.html

The Spiritual Condition of Russians in the Diaspora

Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco




A consequence of the downfall of the Russian Empire was the rise of Russians Abroad. More than a million Russians had to leave their homeland and were scattered across the face of the globe. Living in new conditions, among other peoples, many of the Russians in the course of these years have managed to almost forget their homeland, their language and their customs and to merge with the peoples, in whose midst they reside. The overwhelming majority however, not only preserved their nationality, but even live with the hope of returning to the fatherland on the fall of the present government. At the present time Russians live in all corners of the world. There is not one corner on earth where there are no Russians in greater or smaller quantity. The important question is "What is the spiritual outlook of the Russians abroad?"


Significant portions of the Russians, who have gone abroad, belong to the intelligentsia which in the last days before the revolution, lived according to the ideals of the West. Although they were children of the Orthodox Church, confessing themselves to be Orthodox, the people of that class had in their world outlook strayed far from Orthodoxy. The main sin of these people was that their beliefs and way of life were not founded on the teachings of the Orthodox faith. They try to reconcile the rules and teachings of the Church with their western habits and desires. For this reason, on one hand they had very little interest in the essence of Orthodox teaching, often even considering the Church's dogmatic teachings completely inessential, but on the other hand, they fulfilled the requirements and duties of the Orthodox Church only in so far as this did not interfere with their more European than Russian way of life. This gave rise to their disdain for the feasts, to their going church for only a short time and then only to satisfy a more aesthetic than religious feeling and to a thorough misunderstanding of religion as the main foundation of man's spiritual life. Many, of course, were inwardly otherwise disposed, but they lacked the strength of spirit and the ability to display this in their way of life.


In the social sphere, this class also lived by the ideas of the West, without giving any room to the Church's influence. They strove to rebuild the Russian way of life according to western models, especially in the field of government. This is why in the last days, a particularly bitter struggle was waged with the government administration with the result that liberal reforms and democratic structuring of Russia became a new faith. Not to confess this new idea meant that you were backward. Seized with a thirst for power and utilizing the struggle with the monarchy, due to widespread slander against the Royal Family, the intelligentsia brought imperial Russia to its downfall, making way for a communist government. Then, unable to reconcile to the thought of losing the power that they had waited for so long, they declared war on the communists. In the beginning, it was mainly out of their resistance to ceding power. The struggle against the Soviets involved large sections of the populace; especially drawing in the youth in a fervent uprising to reconstruct a "united indivisible Russia" which was the goal of their lives. There were many feats of valor displayed by the Christ-loved Russian army, but the Russian nation proved itself unprepared for liberation, and the communists turned out to be the victors.


The intelligentsia was partly annihilated and partly fled abroad to save itself. Meanwhile, once the communists showed their true colors, besides the intelligentsia, other large sections of the population left Russia, partly to save their lives and partly because ideologically they did not want to serve the communists. Finding themselves abroad, the Russian people experienced great spiritual shocks. A significant crisis occurred in the souls of the majority that was marked by a mass return of the intelligentsia to the Church. They filled many churches abroad.The intelligentsia took an interest in questions of spiritual life and began to take an active part in church affairs. A multitude of circles and societies were formed. Having religious enlightenment as their self-imposed task, their members studied the Holy Scriptures, the works of the Holy Fathers, general spiritual life and theological questions and many of them became clergy.


However, all these gratifying manifestations also had a negative aspect. Far from all of those who returned to the faith adopted Orthodox teaching in its entirety. The proud mind could not be reconciled to the fact that, until then, it had stood on a false path. Many began to attempt to reconcile Christian teaching with their previous views and ideas. This resulted in the appearance of a series of new religious philosophical trends, some completely alien to Church teaching. Among them Sophianism was especially wide spread. It was based on the recognition of man's worth and expressed the psychology of the intelligentsia.


Sophianism, as a teaching, is known to a comparatively small group of people and very few openly espoused it. None the less, a significant part of the immigrant intelligentsia was spiritually related to it because the psychology of Sophianism is based on reverence for man, not as the humble servant of God, but rather as a little god himself, without the need for being blindly obedient to the Lord God. The feeling of keen pride connected with faith in the possibility of man living by his own wisdom was quite characteristic of many people cultured by today's standards, who place their own deductions higher than everything.


These people do not wish to be obedient to the church's teaching on all things, since their attitude is one of condescension. Because of this, the Church Abroad was rocked by a series of schisms that have harmed it 'till now and even attracted a part of the Hierarchy. This consciousness of a feeling of a personal worthiness is manifested also in social affairs where each person who has advanced a little among the ranks, or thinks he has, puts his own opinion higher than everyone's and tries to be a leader. As a result Russian society is split into innumerable parties and groups irreconcilably at odds with each other, trying to put their own program forward, which is sometimes a completely worked out system and sometimes simply an appeal to follow after this or that personality.


With the hope of saving and resurrecting Russia by the realization of their programs, these social activists almost always lose sight of the fact that besides the acts of man in historical events, there moves the hand of God. The Russian people as a whole have committed great sins which are the reasons for the present misfortunes, namely oath breaking (disloyalty to the government) and regicide (allowing the Czar to be murdered). Social and military leaders renounced their obedience and loyalty to the czar, who did not want internal bloodshed, even before his abdication forced it from them. The people openly and noisily greeted this deed, without any loud protest anywhere. This renunciation of obedience was a breach of the oath taken to the Emperor and his lawful heirs. On the heads of those who committed this crime fell the curses of our forefathers, of the Zemsky Sobor of 1613, who imposed a curse on those who disobeyed their resolutions. The ones guilty of the sin of regicide are not only those who physically performed the deed, but the whole people who rejoiced when the Czar was overthrown and allowed his degradation, arrest and exile, leaving him defenseless in the hands of criminals, which itself foreordained the end.


Thus, the calamity that befell Russia is the direct result of terrible sins and her rebirth is possible only when she has been cleansed from them. However, until now there has been no real repentance, the crimes that were committed have clearly not been condemned, but many active participants in the revolution continue to assert that at one time, it was impossible to act otherwise.


By not expressing a direct condemnation of the February revolution, of the uprising against the Anointed One of God, the Russian people continue to participate in the sin, especially when they defend the fruits of the revolution. For in the words of the Apostle Paul, they are especially sinful, who know, that they who commit such things are worthy of death and not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them (Romans 1:32). While punishing the Russian people, the Lord, at the same time, is pointing the way to salvation by making them teachers of Orthodoxy throughout the world. The Russian Diaspora has acquainted the four corners of the earth with Orthodoxy, for a significant part of the Russian immigration unconsciously preaches Orthodoxy. Everywhere, wherever Russians live, they build little refugee churches or even majestic cathedrals or simply serve in premises adopted for this purpose.


The majority of Russian refugees are not aware of the religious tendencies of their intelligentsia and they are nourished on those spiritual reserves that they accumulated in the homeland. Large masses of refugees attend divine services; some of them actively participate in them, helping with the singing and reading on kliros and serving in the altar. Besides churches, church organizations have been established which take upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining the churches, also performing charitable work.


If you look at the faithful who pack the churches on feast days, you can think that in fact the Russian people have turned to the Church and are repenting their deeds. However, if you compare the numbers who go to church, with the number of Russians who live in a given place, then it turns out that about one tenth of the Russian population regularly goes to church. Approximately the same number attends divine services on great feasts, and the rest very rarely go to church. Others pray at home from time to time or have completely left the Church. The latter sometimes is a conscious choice under the influence of sectarian or other anti-religious influences, but in the majority of cases it is simply because people do not live in a spiritual manner; they grow hard, their souls become rough and sometimes they become real nihilists.


The great majority of Russians have a hard life full of heavy spiritual feelings and material deprivations. Despite the hospitable attitude towards us in some countries, especially in our fraternal Yugoslavia whose government and people do everything possible to show their love for Russia and to ease the grief of the Russian exiles, still Russians everywhere feel the bitterness of being deprived of their homeland . Their whole environment reminds them that they are strangers and must adapt to customs that are often foreign to them, feeding on the crumbs that fall from the table of their hosts. Even in those countries where there is a benevolent attitude towards us, it is natural that preference should first be given to the country's citizens. In the current difficult circumstances of most countries, often Russians cannot find work. Those who are comparatively well provided for, nevertheless are constantly made to feel their lack of rights in the absence of organizations, which could protect them from injustices. Although a comparatively insignificant number have been completely absorbed into local society, those who are, consequently, become totally alienated from their own people and country.


In such a difficult situation in all respects, the Russian people abroad have shown a remarkably high degree of patience endurance and self-sacrifice. It is as if they have forgotten about their formerly wonderful (for many) conditions of life, their service to their homeland and the countries allied to them during the Great War, their education and everything else that might make them aim for a comfortable life. In their exile, they have taken up every kind of work and occupation to guarantee for them some existence abroad. Former nobles and generals have become simple workers, artisans and petty merchants, not disdaining any type of work and remembering that no work is degrading, provided it is not associated with immorality. In this respect, the Russian intelligentsia has manifested an ability, to preserve their life's energy, overcome everything in the way of its realization and development as well as, possessing lofty spiritual qualities, with capabilities to be humbled and patient. The school of refugee life has morally regenerated and elevated many people. One has to give honor and credit to those who bear their refugee cross doing unaccustomed work which is difficult, living in conditions which they had not known or imagined, but remaining firm in soul they preserve nobility of spirit and ardent love for their homeland. Without a murmur they repent over their former sins and endure their lesson. Truly, many of them, men as well as women are now more glorious in their dishonor than when they had glory. The spiritual wealth which they have now obtained is better than the material wealth which they left in the homeland, and their souls, like gold which has been purified by fire, have been cleansed in the fire of suffering and burn like glowing lamps.


However, with sorrow I have to note, that suffering did not have the same affect on everyone. Many proved to be neither gold nor precious metal, but reed and straw that have perished in the fire. Many were not cleansed and whitened by suffering, did not endure the test, and became worse than they had been before. Many were embittered and do not understand that, being punished by God, we must be consoled, remembering that there are no children that have not undergone punishment. God in punishing us, is looking at us as sons and daughters who must be corrected by punishment. Forgetting about their previous sins, such people compound their sins instead of repenting, asserting that there is no use being righteous, that God does not even look at man's affairs since He has turned His face away from them or even that "there is no God . " Considering in their imaginary righteousness that they are suffering innocently, these people have more pride of heart than the boastful Pharisee, but often in their sins surpass the publican. In their bitterness against God, they are in no way inferior to the persecutors of the faith in our homeland and by their way of thinking have become closely connected with them.


For this reason, some of their fervent opponents have become, here in exile, their friends. They have become their open and secret slaves and try to lure their other brothers into the net. Others, in general, see no ultimate purpose of existence and consciously give themselves up to vices, or, finding no joy in anything, end their lives by suicide. Then, there are others who have not lost faith in God or awareness of their sinfulness; but their will is completely broken and they have become like reeds shaken in the wind. Externally they resemble the former group we just spoke about, though internally they are different in that they recognize the foulness of their behavior. They cannot find the strength to fight their weaknesses and sink further and further, incapable of doing anything, becoming the slaves of intoxicating drink or giving themselves up to drugs. It is truly pitiful to see how formerly worthy and respectable people have sunk to the level of beasts. Now, they direct the whole meaning of their existence towards satisfying their weaknesses, their only occupation being to search for the means of fulfilling this goal. Once incapable of earning a living, they look greedily for a hand out, and having received something they immediately set off to indulge their passions. The faith that seems to be hidden in their souls, if combined with self-condemnation, gives us the hope that not all of them are lost for eternity.


Although there are others who appear better outwardly, but are far from being better inwardly. They keep the outward rules of pious behavior, but their consciences are dull. Sometimes they occupy a well-paid position at work and enjoy good standing in the society where they have relocated. With the loss of their homeland, they have lost the law of inner moral life. Penetrated through and through with self-love they will do the worst things to anyone who opposes their success. They are deaf to the suffering of their compatriots and act as if they have no connection with them. They are not ashamed to slander or scheme against others (especially defenseless exiles) in order to lead them astray.


There are some that strive to deny that they have a homeland in order to gain favor in the eyes of the local community. As a rule, these spiritually wasted people have no inner law that controls them and are, therefore, capable of any crime, as long as it is to their advantage and they are assured of not being caught. We are ashamed to say that in almost all the countries of the Diaspora people with Russian names commit many crimes. This is why people have less trust in us and our name is ruined among the nations. The breakdown of morality is especially noticeable among families. At one time, no one would have believed what is going on now.


Marriage as something sacred has ceased to exist and has turned into an everyday transaction. Many notable couples happily and inseparably married for many years have dissolved their marriage and entered into a new one. Some have done this because of passions, others for gain. Every imaginable reason is found to dissolve a marriage, some even lying under oath to gain their end.


There is no permanency in marriage among the young or old. It has become quite common to hear of a divorce only a few months after a marriage. The slightest argument or disagreement is the basis for a divorce. This occurs because the consciousness that marriage is holy has been lost. Church authorities have fallen into wide compromises in relation to the present generation and thus have made it easier to obtain a divorce. The extent of this unbridled leniency knows no limits, even avoiding the present rules. After a marriage is dissolved, another is quickly formed and sometimes a third.


Not able to satisfy all the demands of their lust by marriage in the Church, some ignore all Church and moral laws and do not bother to trouble themselves by asking the Church for a blessing. In countries where the civil law does not demand a church wedding, we very often see people living together without the blessing of the Church, or obtaining a divorce without the consent of the Church, even if the marriage was performed in the Church. One easily forgets that there is no less a sin because an official, 'proper' name is given to something sinful and that a bond, not sanctified by the Church, is nonetheless, fornication or adultery. Many openly live together without the slightest concern about hiding their open dissipation. Some are joined together out of passion, others for the advantage gained from the marriage and without the slightest shame appear everywhere in society together with their "live in" and dare to introduce them as their spouse. It is especially pathetic that people have begun to look at such occurrences with indifference, not expressing any negative opinions about them. Thus, the number of such cases increases, since there is nothing holding them back. According to Church rules people who fall into this category should be refused Communion for seven years or more; according to civil laws they should be restricted in their civil rights. Not long ago, this behavior was despised by society, now has become commonplace among people who attend church regularly. They also desire to take part in Church functions, but in such cases, it is forbidden by Church rules. What can we say of those who are even less influenced by the Church! How low has the morality fallen among our countrymen? On one hand, coming to church out of habit and the other hand, turning into the dwelling place of lower passions. They have given in to a life-style worse than the animals. They disgrace the name of Russian and bring down the wrath of God on the present generation.


The future generation of children and young people will grow up learning immoral ways from their elders. Besides this, the present generation sins before the future one, by paying so little attention to the upbringing of their children. Earlier, in Russia, raising children played a great role in life family, with parental influence an important part of life. Now, without this influence, children can be raised well only if they are given special attention by their parents, who are frequently too preoccupied with their jobs. The entire community abroad is in the same state.Although, Russian schools have been founded, they do not always live up to their purpose and the majority of Russian children study without any Orthodox training or learning the Russian language. They grow up as strangers to Russia, never knowing her true wealth. In some places, Sunday schools or other types of Russian school have sprouted up in order to give the children the knowledge which they cannot receive in native schools. We must admit sorrowfully that the parents show little interest in sending their children to these schools. Rich as well as poor parents are guilty of this.


In past years, despite the difficult conditions for Russians, many have been able to acquire a comfortable existence. There are also some among us who were able to bring considerable sums out of Russia or had foreign capital and maintain it to this day. Although there are many among them who generously help their compatriots and generally support Russian affairs, most of them are only occupied with their personal business. They relate coldly to the plight of their compatriots and look upon them with disdain. They are occupied amusing themselves with their wealth and free time. Frequently, they amaze the native population by their carefree attitude. They find it hard to believe that among them, there are Russians people in need. The rich are annoyed when other Russians turn to them for help. Truly, if there was a greater national self-awareness and understanding of the debt to one's homeland, then great things might be accomplished abroad. For now, we only have a small part of what we could be possible. In fact many of our benevolent and educational institutions are maintained more through the gifts of local people, rather than Russians. Because of this, the majority of our institutions are not cared for, even though there are enough who could Russians to help. The people are satisfied in using similar native institutions pouring their money into them. It is a disgrace that the majority of wealthy Russians frequently raise their children in native schools. These schools can do nothing for the children's' Orthodox outlook and appreciation of their homeland, even in the best of circumstances. The wealthy put no money aside for Russian schools, which could make up for the lack of national consciousness.


As many parents are completely indifferent towards the future views of their children, whether poor or affluent, they send their children to educational institutions, which have a spirit completely antagonistic to Orthodoxy. Various colleges which have some sort of religious education as part of their program, though not Orthodox, education are filled with Russian children, sent by rich parents who are interested only in the external side of education, or by poor parents who are gratified by the idea of ​​free education. Therefore, their children's upbringing is at the whims of the institution.


It is difficult to say which children are more unfortunate, the above or the outcast children of the Diaspora. The outcasts, having never known their father, cast away by their mothers, wander about the big cities begging for food and finally resort to theft. In the end, they become professional criminals and fall ever lower morally. Many of them end up in prison or are executed. These will not have to answer to God in the manner, as those who have been educated in splendid colleges and became the worst enemies of Orthodox Russia. One can foresee how the future Diaspora workers against Orthodox Russia will come and will strive either to turn her Roman Catholic or to spread sectarianism within her boundaries. These are the people who remain outside of Orthodoxy and Russia, and will secretly work against her. A significant part of those who are educated in native schools will apostatize and betray Orthodox Russia, though certainly not all. Not only will they be guilty, but their parents even more so, as they did not guard them from such a path and did not instill in their souls a firm devotion to Orthodoxy.


Striving to free their children from the cares of this life and therefore choosing schools which seem to them will give the children more security in the future, the parents pay no attention to the souls of their children and thus are guilty for their future falling away from Orthodoxy and the betrayal of their homeland. Such parents are greater criminals before Russia than their children are. The children are won over to a new religion often at an unconscious age and then educated in a spirit hostile to Orthodoxy. Similar criminal types are those who leave the Orthodox Faith for another in order to assure themselves of a more comfortable lifestyle and a more lucrative job. Their sin is like the sin of Judas, their betrayal of the Faith for a better job or position is counted as the "thirty pieces of silver." Let not some of them affirm that their betrayal of Orthodoxy was due to the fact that they discovered Orthodoxy not to be the true faith and that they are serving Russia by confessing their new faith. Russia was founded and glorified by Orthodoxy and only Orthodoxy will save Russia. Those who betray Russia should be treated like the traitors during the hard times in 1612. They should not be permitted to reconstruct Russia or allowed back into her borders ... Has not the Diaspora become the source of a new infection, which will return to the homeland?


Along with the facts presented, the moral state of the people in the Diaspora would be hopeless if we did not observe, a great spirit and sacrifice. Despite the difficult conditions in which the exiles live, they find the means to build and embellish churches, support priests [though poorly], and partially support the needy. Though their hearts are hardened and they offer nothing towards the general good, they manage to set aside a considerable amount for the upkeep of these projects. There are still those among us who joyfully make offerings to the church out of their hard earned labors, others out of their scarcity, what they can; this is counted as the "widows mite." Offerings are not only in terms of money but also in the tireless labors for the good of the Church and one's neighbor. Many bear such labors for various church and philanthropic organizations with zeal and dedication, or work independently. Burdened by labors connected with making a living, they give up their free time, rest, energy and strength for these good deeds. Men bring to these labors their common sense and women their innate love.


The concerns of Russians abroad embrace not only Russian needs in the Diaspora but there are courageous fighters for the homeland preparing for its liberation. Some of these fighters even risk reentering Russia's frontiers, braving certain death. Love for the homeland has led many through severe trials which history will record as heroism.


Much zeal and fortitude has been shown in the struggle for Church rights. It is heartening to see how some of the youth are dedicated to the Church and the homeland that they have never seen, but love wholeheartedly.


Such examples, together with the insuppressible voice of the conscience, give us the hope that those ten righteous men for whose sake the Lord was willing to spare Sodom and Gomorra, still exist and will show the righteous way to the Russian Diaspora.


Russians abroad have been given the light of Orthodoxy to shine throughout the world so that other nations, seeing their good works, might glorify our Father in heaven and seek salvation. By not fulfilling this task and even degrading Orthodoxy by our lives, the Diaspora has two options: turn to the path of repentance, beseech God's forgiveness, renew ourselves spiritually, make ourselves capable of giving rebirth to our suffering homeland. Or finally be cut off by God, remain in exile, persecuted by everyone, until we disappear from the face of the earth.