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Why Is ROCOR-MP Being So Hostile To The Sister Churches?

Thank you, Daniel, for passing this on...

----- Original Message -----
From: Archbishop Chrysostomos
To: H.G., Bishop Auxentios of Photiki :
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:39 PM

To: Exarchate Clergy
From: Archbishop Chrysostomos

A question from one of our Clergy:

Question: Why are the ROCOR, or ROCA/MP people as you more correctly say, suddenly showing such overt hostility towards us and our sister Churches? This is really strange.

Reply: I will explain to you how I have come to understand this, having once shared your same perplexity when it was prophetically suggested to me, well over a year ago, that this would be the case.

I was speaking with Professor Nikolai Khokhlov, my late spiritual son, my mentor, and one of the first NKVD/KGB agents to defect from the Soviet Union to the United States, now more than fifty years ago. A Soviet hero before his defection (the 1947 Soviet movie, "Feat of a Scout" [podveg razvedcheka] was based on his exploits in WW II], he was the subject of the most vicious propaganda campaign after he came to the West.

Nikolai knew the KGB well, having been poisoned with thallium in West Germany, in 1957, and there being, as well, widespread suspicions that his young son, who died of kidney failure, was the victim of a second botched attempt to poison him. He knew and trained some of the agents in the Moscow Patriarchate who later became well-known and high-placed clergy. To the very end of his life, he also refused any dealings with clergy from the Moscow Patriarchate (and was, incidentally, buried by our clergy).

When I first told Nikolai that we had been informed by good sources that a union between the ROCA and Moscow was soon to take place, he advised me to have no contacts whatsoever with the ROCA from that point on. We also had the following exchange, which I cannot swear is word-for-word but which is as close to a transcript of our exchange as one can get:

Professor Khokhlov: You are going to find that your Exile Church [ROCA] friends, if they go through with this [union] will become our worst enemies. Be prepared for slander, false statements, false accusations, and worse. They will make your New Calendar and fanatic Greek and Vatican critics seem like your best friends. And I beg you to be careful. Remember your father and listen to me.

Archbishop Chrysostomos: I cannot understand why you would say this, Nikolai. I think that they are doing what they are doing out of naivete and Russian ethnic concerns. Even the converts who think of themselves a having become Russian have such fantasies.

PK: I am not talking about this kind of thing. This is immaturity. They will find that the Soviet Russians do not consider them Russians. They are using them for their own purposes. I am talking about the real reasons for removing the threat of actual Orthodox from pre-Soviet Russia, who have not died out as fast as the Soviet Church thought they would. The Exile Church has been infiltrated for years. You and our Bishops in Greece and Bessarabia [he meant Moldavian Romania] and Sofia stand in the way of this whole process. The Exile Church clergy will have no choice but to attack us. Vladyko, your naivete sometimes surprises me.

The Exile Church clergy will be forced to prove their loyalty and they will be forced to help the Moscow Patriarchate and Putin's agents to discredit you in any way possible. Psychologically, the people who have immaturely joined with Moscow simply to be Russian will also be motivated to find reasons for having turned against our Bishops. Their conscience and dissonance will motivate them. That you certainly understand from a psychological point of view.

* * *

Recently, someone sent to me an essay that appears on the Internet, written by a former OCA clergyman now in the ROCA. It concerns "schismatics." Its pretensions to psychological sophistication and its approach to victimization and schism constitute an interesting, if quite simpllstic essay. But its aim, that of justifying the union of the ROCA with Moscow, puts one's focus on concepts and superficial illustrations from Church history that would have appalled the Fathers.

This essay gives me a clear vision of what Nikolai meant in his warnings to me. It is quite clear that intelligent discourse, any disagreement with the ROCA's course, and any reflection on what that course may actually represent are off the table. The path, now, is one of historical revisionism (one of the ROCA Bishops, who knows us well, recently told a clergyman that he had never met or even heard of us), slander, personal insults, fabrications, and "disinformation."

All of this may be far from the older forms of attacks that Nikolai experienced. Our antagonists may be not be who he thought they were. However, it still remains that world(ly) Orthodoxy has the intention of removing all that compromises its integrity and all that speaks the truth in full. That, too, is a compelling explanation of why our former Sister Church, the ROCA, is even at times more harsh than the extremist Old Calendarists in condemning and attacking us.

One can only lament the plight of religion and of Orthodoxy in a world hostile to God and, even among believers, sympathetic to the ego, the easier life, and the lure of recognition, the mainstream, and fame. Principles, politeness, decency, truth, any respect for elders, and tradition have been lost to the ego, the cash register, and a "faith" which is easy, non-threatening, and without substance.

Secret Enemies

An excerpt from HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD, by St. John Maximovitch:

"Without doubt, besides these that have already been uncovered, there are also other secret enemies of the Church who until the proper time pretend to be her loyal sons in order then to bring disgrace upon her. "

The entire essay can be read online.

Rewriting History

Oslo, Norway Monday 12 May 2008

Belarus discourages the commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet Union, Forum 18 News Service has found. Today's KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from Grodno Cathedral. Russian Orthodox Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 that "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official
order to remove the icons - "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."

KGB officers also often monitor visitors to Kuropaty, where New Martyrs are probably among mass graves of Stalinist repression victims, a local Orthodox source told Forum 18. The act of going there - even to light candles - is "fraught with tension" with the current Belarusian regime, according to the source. An Orthodox chapel planned for the site has never been built.


By Geraldine Fagan, Forum 18 News Service

A generation after the Soviet Union's demise, Belarusian state representatives continue to discourage commemoration of Orthodox Christians killed for their faith by the Soviet regime, Forum 18 News Service has found. The KGB secret police have sought to have icons of the New Martyrs, as they are known by the Orthodox Church, removed from at least one cathedral. Belarusian Orthodox Church representatives appear to be nervous about publicly acknowledging New Martyrs believed to be among the many victims of the Stalin-era secret police at the mass killing grounds of Kuropaty (Kurapaty) on the northern edge of the capital Minsk.

The Moscow-based St Tikhon Orthodox University estimates that approximately 90,000 Orthodox were killed for their faith by the Soviet state. Over 1,000 New Martyrs were formally canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in August 2000.

In the western city of Grodno [Hrodna], however, the KGB have advised local Orthodox clergy to remove New Martyr icons depicting Red Army executioners with rifles from the city's cathedral, leading Russian Orthodox missionary Deacon Andrei Kurayev told Forum 18 on 5 May. Visiting Grodno in late 2006, Kurayev learnt that, "Some comrades from the local KGB asked local clergy why they were inciting the people in such a way." While there was no official order to remove
the icons from the Cathedral of the Protection of the Holy Veil - "it was on the level of a chat" - Kurayev also reported that Bishop Artemi (Kishchenko) of Grodno and Volkovysk refused to take them down. "He told the KGB that he couldn't rewrite history."

To read the entire article go to:

Blessed Philaret Cover-Up

The following is an informal account from a believer about the translation of the remains of Metropolitan Philaret:

"On the third of November, 1998 (O.S.), the coffin of Vladika Metropolitan Philaret was opened in the presence of some priests. I spoke with two of these priests.

They found Vladika's body all covered with a white substance. There was some white mold on the clothes. When they cleaned off this white mold they found the face and hands of Vladika to be completely intact. It was even noted that the body and the skin were in better shape and lighter in color than Vladika John's of Shanghai. The priest washed his hands and face with water and wine. He said that you could see the veins under the skin; and his beard was completely soft. His face was recognizable; even his mouth, which had a little paralysis on the left could be seen. They saw a part of the leg which was also completely intact and soft. They didn't look through the whole body because this is needed to be done by a commission appointed by a decision of the Synod.

What really surprised them was that the material in the coffin surrounding the body was still shining white. A funeral director remarked about this that usually after the third year this material turns black. The vestments of Vladika were shining and bright. The prayer rope in his hand, a green chotki, was like brand new. The piece of paper in the hand (Prayer of Absolution), had no mold and was very clean like fresh paper. On his mitre were paper icons that were bright and had no signs of fading or disintegration. The cloth that covered his face (which is put over the Holy Gifts on the Altar table), was also bright, like brand new.

One thing was affected by decay. The metal clasps on the Gospel were corroded and went to pieces when touched. This is important to note. It was being said by some that the reason for the incorruption of Vladika's body was due to the cold place, "like a refrigerator", in which his coffin had been laid . But the funeral director said that this is not the case at all. The metal parts which were corroded show the condition of the moisture in the coffin. The paper, the fabrics inside the coffin, and the body of Vladika were not affected.

Another point of note was the coffin of Vladika. It was painted black with a white cross. It was like brand new, as if it had been painted yesterday. There were no signs of rotting. The same was true of the mantia covering Vladika's body. It was clean and shining. One person who was there noted that a button on the mantia was corroded by the moisture.

I asked one of the priests what was the feeling when the coffin was opened. He said it was very peaceful, very calm, very solemn.

Then Vladika Laurus came and put a seal on the coffin. After that pannikhidas were served each day during that week, from Monday to Friday. I was there a couple of times. When people venerated his coffin they said they felt it was not an ordinary coffin; they felt some special grace there.

On Friday, the 8th of November (O.S.), the coffin was taken to the main church. It was a rainy day. There were lots of people in the church. A pannikhida was served. The coffin was put in the middle of the church at the beginning of the service, then it was put to the side, on the right, near where the confessions are usually heard. I noticed many people were coming with candles to the coffin and venerating it all during the service.

The next morning, Saturday, the Feast of the Archangel Michael and All Angels, there were about 300 people in church. There were about 30 clergy serving; there was Vladika Laurus, about eleven deacons, and the rest were priests.

At the Liturgy, Fr. Valery Lukianov gave the homily. He remarked on the last words found in Metropolitan Philaret's typewriter: "...hold that fast which thou hast...", (Rev. 3:11). Father Valery said that this is what we must do; to obey and be truthful to the Faith of the Church. He said that maybe Vladika wasn't so good an administrator, but he was a great man of prayer and a true faster. After Liturgies, they would gather to eat and Vladika wouldn't eat after all these services, just have some tea. A few times he would have a little something, but he would eat like a bird. This would surprise everybody because of all his praying and serving. Where did he get such strength?

He told how Vladika was a very merciful man. He helped many people. He helped many people with money and nobody knew about it; he did it in secret. Fr. Valery knew of one woman who came to Vladika; she was broke, with two children, whose husband had abandoned them. Vladika helped her. When Vladika was in his coffin, this same woman was there standing by his coffin, weeping with tears of gratitude for what he had done for her and her children.

Vladika was a very educated man, theologically, and knew the Fathers of the Church very well. Vladika's teaching against ecumenism was rooted in his knowledge of the teachings of the Fathers; it wasn't made up on his own. The greatest events took place while he was Metropolitan. He oversaw the glorification of many Saints: in 1981, the glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, including the Royal Martyrs, also St. Herman of Alaska, Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, and St. John of Kronstadt. These are truly significant events.

Vladika loved children and young people. At Synod he would have tea parties for boys and girls. He would invite them to talk and discuss things about Church life and the Bible. He truly loved the young generation and cared for their souls. There are many now (no longer young), who can remember how Vladika paid attention to them. He was very calm and very prayerful. He really was a great man of prayer. This and many more things did Father Valery say in his sermon.

After the Divine Liturgy, there was a Pannihkida. Vladika Laurus came out and spoke a few words then. What he said really surprised everybody. Many people who came were disappointed that the coffin was not opened. Some people came to Vladika Laurus to ask him about this. Vladika said that today, once more, we are saying "good-bye" to Vladika Philaret. He was a great man and he was sure that he will be glorified. He explained to the people, who were sorrowful that the coffin was not opened the reasons for this. There are some who felt that the coffin should be buried; let soil go back to soil. If he would open the coffin now it would already be like a veneration of relics and this shouldn't be done yet, as it is against canons. Some are ready to see his body as relics, but some are not ready to see his body as relics; so to prevent some wrong thoughts or feelings, the coffin wouldn't be opened. Vladika Philaret loved the canons, he obeyed them, so now we have to do everything according to the canons. Now a presentation will be made at the meeting of the Synod and we will wait for whatever the Synod will decide. We will just put the coffin in the hole, but not put soil over it. He repeated that people should not be sorrowful that the coffin was closed; Vladika is still with us. He was a holy man and he is with God, and now after seeing that his body was intact, it is an invitation for us to pray to Vladika. And if miracles occur, then it will be a sign, a confirmation to us for the glorification of Vladika Philaret, which he believes will soon take place. It will take place soon. Thirteen years Vladika has lain there and many times he received a request to move his coffin to a different place. Providentially, it did not happen. Now that we have opened the coffin and knowing the conditions where the coffin was, we can see how God showed glory in this man.

Some people said that they were not surprised that Vladika's remains were found incorrupt, because he was a holy man. The people who knew him well and were close to him knew him as a man of deep prayer, a wise spiritual struggler , a faster, and an immovable rock in upholding the integrity of the Faith."

-taken from Monastery Press website, which also has photos

May 17

I declare today a day of deep mourning.

Joanna's Poems


"...bad dog ROCOR
how dare you think you are a jurisdiction!
how dare you establish parishes on Russian soil!
how dare you proclaim an anathema!
how dare you canonize a saint!
how dare you exist!
repent! you! bad dog ROCOR! repent!
come home to mother with your tail between your legs
go back into non-existence where you belong..."

(to the tune of "We're In The Army Now":)

We're in the MP today
We'd rather do that than pray
Son of a gun
We'll sue everyone
We're in the MP today

We're in the MP it seems
Freedom is in our dreams
Forsake the pearl
And join the world
We're in the MP it seems

We're in the MP hooray
Approved by the OCA
United we stand
In SCOBA-land
We're in the MP hooray

We're in the MP at last
Lower the flag half mast
ROCOR is dead
Covered in red
We're in the MP at last

We're in the MP for sure
Vladyka and Monsignor
Afternoon tea
In purgatory
We're in the MP for sure

Dcn. Matthew Appointed MP-Haiti Administrator

From: "Fr. Gregory" Add Mobile Alert
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Date: Fri, 9 May 2008 08:23:01 -0500
Subject: [haitianorthodoxmission] Not so surprising development

Christ is risen! In an apparent move to sow as much confusion as possible, the Synod of Bishops of ROCA/MP has appointed my son, Dcn. Matthew Williams, as Administrator of what is now styled as the "Haitian Mission" of "The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad", under the supervision of Bishop Michael.

Some relevant facts: Fr. Matthew neither speaks nor reads/writes either French or Créole. Neither of the MP priests in Haiti speaks English usefully, nor is able to write competently (though both can read, more or less). It is a little difficult to imagine what kind of "administering" can take place under such circumstances. As an indicator, one might note that no change whatever has been made to the old, hijacked, Mission website since Dec 07, apart from the deletion of most of its material, the indication that Met. Laurus has reposed, that Abp. Hilarion is now Deputy First Hierarch, and that Fr. Matthew is now Administrator.


The above was sent by Fr. Gregory to the Haitian Mission Yahoo Group. The address for the hijacked site is:


It is so obvious Matthew is being used by the MP. But, worse, MP causes him to DISHONOR Thy Father and Mother. The very fact that he has to break a Commandment to fill this position should alert him that something is wrong here.

False shepherds lead sheep off a cliff! If MP were concerned with saving souls, Matthew would be the LAST person they would put in that position. Instead, he is their FIRST choice even tho' he is not qualified.

Again, Fr. Gregory has my deepest sympathy. -Joanna

After Metr. Laurus
May 2008

Ephraim Lopatin
Translated by Seraphim Larin

(As it appeared in “Our Country” - Nasha Strana – No.2840)

The death of Met. Laurus’ (Shkurla) at the Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville, occurred on the triumphant Sunday of Orthodoxy, a day when a special rite is performed in all our churches, declaring Anathema to all heretics that have fallen away from the Church – including ecumenists.  Having reposed at night on the eve of this Service, Met. Laurus did not hear this anathema.

He outlived his benefactor Met. Vitaly (Ustinov) by some 18 months, who died as the last First Hierarch of the traditional ROCA in September 2006, at the Holy-Transfiguration skete at Mansonville.

As a matter of fact, at the end of World War II, Met. Vitaly covertly spirited away the then adolescent Vassily Shkurla – future Laurus - from his native Slovakia, saving him from the advancing soviet forces.  Some nearly half a century will come to pass before Met. Laurus, having replaced Met. Vitaly (who was sent to retirement) as head of ROCA, will lead the Overseas Church under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate.

That’s why to some, he will remain a historical identity that had heeded president Putin’s call and brought about the unification of ROCA and the MP. Whereas to others, his name will always be linked with the betrayal of the ROCA, and his personal disloyalty to Met.Vitaly.

In describing the occurrence, some Russian journalists couldn’t refrain from drawing an analogy with Schiller: “Laurus had done his deed, Laurus can now go.”  Even a year hadn’t passed since the unia with the MP, when Met. Laurus went to another world.  It would appear that there is far more grieving within Russia over his passing than there is overseas.  The Moscow Patriarchate regards him as a hero.  At the end of February of this year, in the Martha-Mary Cloister in Moscow, (which in point of fact was recently part of ROCA until its seizure by the MP) Met. Laurus was awarded the medal of Andrew the First-called for his “Faith and Fidelity”.  The fortieth day of Met. Laurus’ demise will fall on the day when Judas’ betrayal of Christ is commemorated… complete mystification…

In New York, the Synod had resolved that during Church Services, the first name to be commemorated after patriarch Alexis’ was to be that of locum-tenens, Canadian-born archbp. Hilarion of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.

However, archbp. Hilarion did not head the requiem mass at Jordanville for the reposed Met. Laurus – it was the MP metropolitan Juvenalis from Moscow!  It’s not very long ago that one would be aghast at such a thought, because this Juvenalis is a covert KGB agent with a code-name “Adamant” – a typical soviet archbishop, a confirmed ecumenist and Sergianist – i.e., a servant of the godless authorities.

He was tonsured in 1959 by the celebrated archimandrite Nikodim (Rotov), the future metropolitan of Leningrad, who eventually died in the arms of the Roman Pope John-Paul I.

In 1960, this newly-tonsured monk was part of the MP delegation to the Ecumenical Assembly of European Youth, held in Lausanne.  In the same year, he also graduated in a course for student-theologians at an Ecumenical institute at Bosse, Switzerland.  In 1965, he was already a bishop and Deputy Chairman of the Department of Internal Church Relations.

Such a rapid career rise for a 30 year-old could only be achieved through faithful service to the authorities… and such an individual headed a church service at the Holy Trinity monastery, where at one time services were conducted by such legendary archbishops – renowned for their anti-MP stand – as the builder of the monastery Vitaly (Maksimenko) and its dean Averky (Taushev)!

The death of Met. Laurus will bring about big changes in the church life of ROCA (MP) in Canada.  The candidate for the post of First hierarch must be in accord with Moscow, as it will be affirmed by the patriarch.  Logically speaking, the most likely candidate would have to be archbp. Hilarion, while the vacancy created in the Australian Diocese can possibly be filled by the Australian bishop Gabriel, currently guiding the parishes in Eastern Canada.

It’s doubtful that the cathedral church of Holy Nicholas in Montreal will be left without a bishop.  While there are no “spare” bishops, they could materialize.  In any case, there is a candidate who comes from Montreal: hieromonk, and possibly already archimandrite, Nicholas Perekrestov.  While he hasn’t lived in Montreal for a long time, he is well remembered by the parishioners and for this, it’s doubtful that they would have a burning desire to see him in the role of dean of their cathedral.  As the saying goes: “He is a horse of a different colour”.  All this may beget significant disturbances within the Holy Nicholas parish, which currently remains as a “quiet backwater” in the troubled ROCA(MP).