Met. Laurus dies

Daniel hands down a brief account of Met. Laurus' death:

"...He was 80 years old, not in the best of health for years now, and he just had returned from a very tiring GRAND-tour through Russia, at one after another of staged propaganda happenings ...awards/medals/banquets/speeches/endless & long church-services in many places, etc. So he was truly physically worn out by the time he recently returned to Jordanville, only about a week ago or so. The latest report said that he was not feeling well this past Saturday, and did not attend Sat. eve Vigil or their evening meal, and he told everyone that he would not serve Sunday liturgy either. But before he went to rest in his "dacha" (a large house of his own), he left instructions: "For the Sunday of Orthodoxy Service, do NOT do...the Anathemas against 'that is not the liturgical practice of the Mother Church'" (i.e. the MP!) He was checked upon twice, the first time he was....seemingly....alright, but the second time.....I the middle of the "night" (actually, EARLY Sunday-morning, March 16)....he was found his bed..."



Here are a few of my favorite comments from sbn-nathanael.livejournal on Met. Laurus' death:


(Anonymous) on March 23rd, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC)
Some heard, the electronic-bells @SF-Novi Sobor "rang"-
Yes, I too have been told that a few people, who live near Novi Sobor on Geary Blvd. in SF believe that they heard the (electronic) simulated-"bells" ring,(which are activated by a button on the wall near the candle-desk) at the very time that Met. Lavr was dying at Jordanville. Though we who were not there, cannot deny what those people think they heard, ...of what possible other-worldly meaning could that have, ...if it happened-? Could it have been, the death-bell tolling for ROCOR, which that man, has killed? Otherwise, it could have been an electric short-circuit. It has happened before.
Regardless, we now have to see and hear all sorts of fantastic, "proofs of his saintliness" from his starry and glassy-eyed
devotees, about a very flawed hierarch, one who RAN JORDANVILLE DOWN under his long administration of it....and then the entire ROCOR, even before he handed it over to the Kremlin. Laurus Shkurla, who has just accomplished the total Judas-like betrayal of his formerly free church, now submitted by him to it's enemies in Moscow. For that, yes, all bells should ring the funeral tolling. Vechnaya Pamyat! to ROCOR.


OK, at last someone with serious knowledge is taking up that painful topic of Metr Laurus' shabby dismissal of his predecessor by two's incorruption! It's not as though Met Laurus told a few people "hey I just couldn't stand the man" - that would be horribly in itself, regarding the sanctity of Met Philaret. But he did blaspheme. Not just in his comments, which by the way have been replaying like a tape recorder in my mind ever since Laurus' own burial. This is a very reliable story by the way, from my perspective. A Jordanville hieromonk (i have to check which one) heard it with his own ears, and a source I trust learned about it firsthand, I believe, from the monk. It's not a piece of gossip which originated somewhere indistinct and made the rounds, being added to each time, like many tales do everywhere in the world. It's TRUE! You are wise to make the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit assessment. The circulating version quoting him as having said "put him [the Revered Metropolitan] in a damper part of the earth so he will rot like the rest" is in my estimation, dubious. The Met's relics were taken out and examined owing to their transferral to a marble tomb; so why would that have more moisture than the cemetery Assumption chapel where he had been all those years?


Pravoslavnik, there is one important correction which I think sheds light on the nefarious inner world of Met Lavr: he snapped (not just made an offhand comment) "Put him back and let him rot like the rest of 'US'" - u see, right there, Lavr let his facade down for once, so upset was he that this man who he no doubt hated while he was alive for his manifest saintliness, had turned up incorrupt. This was incontrovertible evidence that the Saint had been found by God to be better than his sometimes silent, but nevertheless, seething internally, adversaries. THAT was how Lavr perceived it: as an affront, even a clear rebuke to himself. Hence the "us" at the end.


This is very helpful to read. I also recall reading in a hagiography that St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco venerated blessed Metropolitan Philaret (Vosnesensky) in an unusual manner when he took leave of him for the last time (prior to St. John being murdered by the MP/KGB in Seattle.)


Yes, all those long years of many many prayers/fasts/good deads/kissing holy icons/giving holy sermons/many personal kindnesses to many people, and all the rest!
Yet! the end period of his life, Mr. Lavr Shkurla.......sold out his church to our enemies, like Judas handed over Christ to Pilate. So, you tell me, WHAT GOOD DID ALL HIS PREVIOUS.....GOOD him, or us??? To some, his life is more an example of....maybe.....why NOT to be an Orthodox Christian! (because if the Orthodox
life and religion did not work for Lavr Shkurla, why should it WORK for....anybody?)
But then, that is what the KGB folks in the Kremlin want us to conclude, to be cynical of all religion, because ALL-Russian Orthodoxy is false and evil and enslaved to ANY Ceasars of this world, even the "post-Soviet" ones in Moscow. Who can we trust? -

To: ROCOR Refugees From: Daniel
Subject: FW: Metropolitan Laurus and the Bells of San Francisco
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 22:44:49 -0600
SHARING....just for your interest:

Email from SIR Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, Calif....about the...supposed...supernatural-ringing of the SF Novi-Sobor the time-frame that..Laurus Shkurla was dying in his room at Jordanville, etc.
Read the Archbishop's...kindly assessment (some might say, too-kindly), and then the original email which he is responding to. To me, to evaluate the bells some sort of...proof that that man is a "saint" and thus...the terrible-"union" which he helped to also..."holy", is beyond....pathetic. Because, we KNOW that that "union" is a massive betrayal and a terrible evil. No one, though, "knows" where that man's soul is, however, as that is of course in God's it will be for each of us. But this is just my personal take on these matters.

May God have mercy upon that man's soul!....and upon us! who must, somehow, survive the immense destruction which he has done to our church, our families, and to our very souls!...for whatever his reasons were..................which God alone knows for sure. - Reader Daniel in Oregon

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 2008 19:14:26 -0700
Subject: Re: Fwd: Metropolitan Laurus and the Bells of San Francisco

Dear xxx:

May God bless you.

With no disrespect whatsoever meant to Metropolitan Laurus, about whose repose I have already sent out a message to our clergy and faithful, stories such as these, when their intent is to honor good people whom we admire and appreciate, should be accepted in a pious spirit. If these bells were also heard by non-Orthodox, or by the many hundreds of individuals within hearing distance of the Cathedral, then this is certainly a striking event. But it well could be that there are other explanations for what was heard (bells from a distant place, sounds that appeared to be bells, etc.). Whatever the case, whether the ringing was a miracle or perfectly natural, if it leads us to pray for Metropolitan Laurus, any decent Christian should appreciate this.

However, we must keep in mind that not every sign or wonder (things which we are warned not to seek) signifies sanctity or holiness. Even the deaths of simple, good Christians, who have lived their lives in an exemplary way and who have inspired us, are often marked, in God's love for those who believe in Him, by supernatural events. This does not necessarily make them Saints. Nor does it mean that everything that they did in their lives was correct or holy.

In the case of Metropolitan Laurus, time will tell whether his endorsement of union with Moscow was of God or was an error. We must not think that his personal virtues made this endorsement somehow infallibly correct. At the same time, we must not, in following our consciences, think that we are somehow infallibly correct in opposing the union. In my mind, his actions were wrong, whatever his motivations, and our resistance is correct. Ultimately, however, God will make that judgment. The virtue and goodness of those on either side of this debate are actually neither here nor there. Virtuous people can make errors.

The personal attributes of Metropolitan Laurus and the reported miracle below should not be taken, therefore, as proof that the union of the ROCA with Moscow was correct, as some have argued. This would no more validate the union than claims, from those opposed to it, that the corrupt and inauspicious death of someone in favor of the union proves it evil and wrong. Time, God's Grace, and careful circumspection alone can tell one whether signs and wonders are true, whether they are a sign of Divine affirmation, a demonic ruse, or simply the product of natural events wrongly taken as supernatural occurrences. We should not be engaged in these kinds of arguments.

Taken as it is, this report prompts one to pious reflection and joy at the hope that Metropolitan Laurus rests in the bosom of Abraham. This hope we must have for all people. All of the animosity and theatrics with which some have approached this report, condemning those who reject it, in some cases, glorifying those who accept it, in others, and thus sowing the seeds of divisiveness and ill feelings between people who were not long ago brothers in the Faith, are a disservice to Metropolitan Laurus, are rather immature, and do little to quell dissent and nastiness, which should not exist among us as Christians who may, temporarily, disagree on Church matters.

Such is my humble opinion, for what it is worth.

Least Among Monks,

+ Archbishop Chrysostomos


From: xxx
Date: Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 9:33 AM
Subject: Metropolitan Laurus and the Bells of San Francisco
To: xxx
Metropolitan Laurus and the Bells of San Francisco
(The following was written by Mr. David Jepson,
Dean of High School St John's Academy.)
On Saturday night (March 15th) I got home from choir practice rather late, and stayed up much later than normal as I had a very late dinner. I had finished eating and was reading a book at about 11:30 p.m. when my roommate came in and asked if I knew why the Cathedral bells were ringing. He had been in his bedroom, which like mine faces the street and has a view of the Cathedral a block away. In the kitchen, a couple of rooms away, I couldn't hear the bells, but I agreed that it seemed strange for them to be ringing at that time of night. I went to bed about a half hour later and thought nothing more about it.
At church on Sunday, we were all shocked to hear that Metropolitan Laurus, the leader of the Russian Church Outside Russia, had reposed. Our priest got a telephone call from a former parishioner just before the service started at 9.00 a.m.
We heard about the chronology of events later on Sunday from the matushka of one of the Cathedral priests, whose son is at the Seminary in NY. Sometime on Sunday morning, when Metropolitan Laurus was noticed to be absent, someone went to his house and discovered that he had reposed in his sleep. The police were called etc., and people there began notifying the rest of the world. No one here in SF knew about it until 8.00 or so on Sunday morning (11.00 a.m. New York time). As the day went on, word about his death continued to spread. People here were discussing going to the funeral in NY on Friday.
As we talked about these events, the issue of the bells came up. Others living near the Cathedral had heard the bells ringing late on Saturday night. When they came to the early service at the Cathedral (it starts at 7.30 a.m.), they found the bells tied up in the normal way, which seemed puzzling. Someone had to have gotten into the locked place where the bells are untied them, rung them (very beautifully, my roommate said), and tied them back up, all in the darkness of near midnight. No one in the group I was talking to, which included the wives of both Cathedral priests, knew who could have done it.
But then as we were talking, we also learned that the NY police estimated that Metropolitan Laurus had died between 2.00 and 3.00 a.m. That's between 11.00 p.m. and 12.00 midnight here. And then everything seemed obvious.
I attest that I had just begun reading the pre-communion canons when I heard bells....Orthodox Bells...ringing with the melodies familiar to us at the Cathedral. I first thought it was my CD player...when I checked, I found that it was off. David was reading in the kitchen and I went and asked him if he was playing music. We weren't. Others in the vicinity heard the bells at the same time, roughly the time when Vladyka Metropolitan passed away. (Note the bells are behind two locked security gates and everyone who has access and who knows how to properly ring the bells have all sworn that they did not ring them).
Epistle of Vladyka Andronik, on the Death of Met. Laurus, English:

A Letter of Condolence from His Eminence Bishop Andronik on the passing of Metropolitan Lavr (ROCOR (MP))

The death of anyone is always an occurrence that evokes particular feelings and thoughts in all of us.† The death of the last ROCOR metropolitan, Metropolitan Lavr, a name which we commemorated in the holy altars not so long ago, causes us to feel doubly sad.

A year has not even passed since the Church Abroad, under his pastoral omofor, split into two parts.† God in His wisdom made the circumstances of the passing of His Eminence Met. Lavr especially noteworthy, in that it occurred on the day when Christians celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy.† This compels us to seriously consider once again the division in the Church Abroad and evaluate it from an Orthodox standpoint.† The spiritual life of every Christian and cleric of the Church of Christ should be ruled by the Holy Canons and by Truth.† This is what governed the actions of those ROCA faithful who remained within their Church, and we hope, also ruled the actions of those who decided to merge with Moscow.

What should we say in regard to the passing of the newly-reposed Metropolitan Lavr?† That he was a monk since childhood and unique in his capacity as a bishop?† What words are really important now to the soul of the reposed?† Certainly, they are the words of our prayers for the salvation of his soul.

We send our sincerest condolences to everyone who shares our sorrow and we hope that the ROCOR (MP) episcopate, its clergy and laypeople find in themselves the spiritual strength to overcome the spiritual inertia that has been created in their part of the Church Abroad and return to be one with us, their brothers and sisters within the original ROCA.

Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York


Joanna said...

The Sunday of Orthodoxy,
The First Sunday Of Great Lent
Sermon by Archbishop Averky
"This is the Apostolic faith, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the Orthodox faith ”
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, you will hear these solemn and significant words in the Rite of Orthodoxy which the Holy Church has established to be served on this day. The first week of Holy and Great Lent has ended a week of intensified prayer and ascetical repentance. Now the Holy Church, desiring to encourage and console us, has established for us in this first week of Great Lent, on its first Sunday, a spiritual celebration, one most dear and close to our hearts - The Triumph of Orthodoxy.
This celebration was first performed in 842 in Constantinople in the presence of the Blessed Empress Theodora by His Holiness Patriarch Methodius in memory of the overthrow of the last terrible heresy to shake Christ's Church, the heresy of iconoclasm. But in this celebration the Holy Church marks the triumph of the holy Orthodox faith in general, her victory over all impious heresies, false teachings and schisms.
Our Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour founded His Church on earth so that all belonging to her could be saved, could elude the nets of the devil and enter into the Heavenly Kingdom prepared for them.
The devil exerted all his strength to overthrow and destroy the Church of Christ and, through this, to hinder the salvation of men, At first he raised up terrible persecutions against the Church on the part of the Jews and pagans. For almost three centuries the blood of Christian martyrs flowed without ceasing. But the devil did not succeed in his task. The blood of the martyrs, according to the apt statement of the Christian apologist Tertullian, became the seeds of Christians. Christianity triumphed over its persecutors. The meek lambs of Christ's flock transformed the wolf-like rage of their persecutors into lamb-like meekness.
But the devil did not resist after the defeat he suffered at the hands of the martyrs .When the Church of Christ triumphed in the world he raised up a new, even more dangerous persecution against her: from within the Church, as the Holy Apostle Paul had foretold in his conversation with the Ephesian presbyters: "men arose speaking perverse things". Paul called such men grievous wolves. [Acts 20:29,30]. These were so-called heretics who tried to pervert the true teaching of Christ concerning faith and piety in order to make this teaching ineffective for men.
When this happened, the Holy Church, in the person of its best servants, took up arms against these heretics in order to defend its true, undistorted teaching. There began to be convoked first local and then ecumenical councils. Bishops came together from all the corners of the earth and through the Holy Spirit they gave voice to the pure and undistorted Truth, following the example of the First Apostolic Council of Jerusalem [Acts 15:6-29]. They also cut off heretics from the Church and anathematized them.
This was in according with the clear commandment of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who said, If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican. [Matthew 18:17]. And in accordance with the commandment of the Holy Apostle Paul, that great apostle to the nations who said, But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed [Galatians 1:8]. And in another place he states: If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema. Maranatha [I Cor. 16:22].
Thus our moving, majestic and solemn Rite of ORTHOD0XY takes its beginning from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and from his great Apostle, called by Him to be the apostle to the nations, i.e. of the whole pagan world.
From the ninth century on the Holy Church has established that this rite should be served on the first Sunday of Holy Great Lent and that it be named Orthodox Sunday. The rite, brothers and sisters, is particularly important and significant in the evil times we are experiencing, times in which the Orthodox : faith is wavering and shaking.
This wavering and shaking of the Orthodox faith is due to those very persons who ought to be strengthening and supporting it in the souls of the faithful. Those who should be pillars of Holy Orthodoxy high ranking hierarchs including the heads of certain Local Churches are departing from the Truth of H0LY ORTHODOXY. It is terrible to have to say that even the head of the Constantinopolitan Church, which is known as the Ecumenical Church, the man considered to be the first hierarch of all ORTHODOXY, has set out this path! On all of this there undoubtedly lies the print of the Apostasy about which the Holy Apostle Paul foretold [II Thess. 2:3] the apostasy of Christians from Christ.
We are now face to face with this Apostasy.The major threat to true Christian faith, the Orthodox faith, is the so called "Ecumenical Movement", headed by what is known as the "World Council of Churches", a body which denies the doctrine of the unity and infallibility of the True Church of Christ and attempts to create from all the presently existing and distorted the faith, a new false Church which, from our point of view, will without any doubt be the Church of Antichrist, that false church which the Antichrist, whose coming is now being rapidly prepared in the world, will head.
From the teaching of the Word of God and the Holy Fathers of the Church we know that the Antichrist will be both the religious and political leader of all humanity: he will stand at the head of a new universal false church which the Antichrist, whose coming is now being rapidly prepared in the world, will head. From the teaching of the Word of God and the Holy Fathers of the Church, we know that the Antichrist will be both the religious and political leader of all humanity: he will stand at the head of the new universal false Church; he will also be the director of one new world government and will attempt to submit all to his absolute power.
The Orthodox faith ” this is the faith of the Apostles, the faith of the Fathers, it is that faith which the Apostolic Fathers, the direct disciples of the Holy Apostles, and the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church and their lawful successors, established by the Holy Spirit, interpreted for us in their marvellous and inspired writings.
Brothers and sisters, we must hold this faith steadfastly if we desire eternal salvation!
Now we shall perform with you this deeply instructive, moving and highly solemn rite which consists of two parts: the first part is the prayer of the Holy Church for all those who have gone astray or fallen away from the true Orthodox faith; in the second part the Holy Church pronounces dread anathema against all false teachers, heretics and schismatics who have grown stubborn in their malice and who do not wish to reunite with the true Church of Christ but instead struggle against her.
Then we shall sing Eternal Memory for all departed defenders of Holy Orthodoxy and Many Years for those defenders of the Holy Orthodox faith and Church who are still among the living.

Joanna said...

Sunday Of Orthodoxy 1971

St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Dallas Texas
Deacon: This is the faith of the apostles! This is the faith of the fathers!
This is the Orthodox faith! This faith has established the universe!

Furthermore, we accept and confirm the councils of the holy fathers, and
their traditions and writings which are agreeable to divine revelation.

And though the enemies of Orthodoxy oppose this providence and the saving
revelation of the Lord, yet the Lord has considered the reproaches of His
servants, for He mocks those who blaspheme His Glory, and has challenged the
enemies of Orthodoxy and put them to flight!

As we therefore bless and praise those who have obeyed the divine revelation
and have fought for it; so we reject and anathematize those who oppose this
truth, if while waiting for their return and repentance, they refuse to turn
again to the Lord; and in this we follow the sacred tradition of the ancient
Church, holding fast to her traditions.

To those who deny the existence of God, and assert that the world is
self-existing, and that all things in it occur by chance, and not by the
providence of God, Anathema!

All: Anathema! (...and after each exclamation.)

Deacon: To those who say that God is not spirit, but flesh; or that He is
not just, merciful, wise and all-knowing, and utter similar blasphemies,

To those who dare to say that the Son of God and also the Holy Spirit are
not one in essence and of equal honor with the Father, and confess that the
Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not one God, Anathema!

To those who foolishly say that the coming of the Son of God into the world
in the flesh, and His voluntary passion, death, and resurrection were not
necessary for our salvation and the cleansing of sins, Anathema!

To those who reject the grace of redemption preached by the Gospel as the
only means of our justification before God, Anathema!

To those who dare to say that the all-pure Virgin Mary was not virgin before
giving birth, during birthgiving, and after her child-birth, Anathema!

To those who do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and
apostles, and by them taught us the true way to eternal salvation, and
confirmed this by miracles, and now dwells in the hearts of all true and
faithful Christians, and teaches them in all truth, Anathema!

To those who reject the immortality of the soul, the end of time, the future
judgment, and eternal reward for virtue and condemnation for sin, Anathema!

To those who reject all the holy mysteries held by the Church of Christ,

To those who reject the Councils of the holy fathers and their traditions,
which are agreeable to divine revelation and kept piously by the Orthodox
Catholic Church, Anathema!

To those who mock and profane the holy images and relics which the holy
Church receives as revelations of God's work and of those pleasing to Him,
to inspire their beholders with piety, and to arouse them to follow these
examples; and to those who say that they are idols, Anathema!

To those who dare to say and teach that our Lord Jesus Christ did not
descend to earth, but only seemed to; or that He did not descend to the
earth and become incarnate only once, but many times, and who likewise deny
that the true Wisdom of the Father is His only-begotten Son, Anathema!

To the followers of the occult, spiritualists, wizards, and all who do not
believe in the one God, but honor the demons; or who do not humbly give
their lives over to God, but strive to learn the future through sorcery,

{(and this below, which has been eliminated from ROCOR History books for Jordanville seminarians:)} -j

Those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!