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.

1 comment:

Joanna Higginbotham said...

See this letter (http://bulgarian-orthodox-church.org/official/rocorsynod_photii2007-06-29en.htm) ROCOR-MP wrote a year ago.

Последна промяна:
13.09.2007 22:36

of the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (Moscow Patriarchate) to His Eminence Bishop Photii of Triaditza

16/29 June 2007
St. Tychon, Bishop of Amathus in Cyprus

To His Eminence
The Most Reverend Bishop Photii of Triaditza

Your Eminence, beloved in Christ Vladyka!

We appeal to Your Grace again with a fraternal epistle on account of the events in the life of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

As you are informed, on 4/17 May this year, in the day of the Lord's Ascension in the church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow took place the solemn signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to this Act, the Russian Church Abroad remains independent “in the pastoral, educational, administrative, economic, property and civil matters”.

We acquainted ourselves with some of your pronouncements regarding the process of restoration of the unity in the Russian Church. We are sincerely regretful of the fact that, under circumstances not cleared up yet, you did not receive from the Chancellery of our Synod of Bishops our last letter, in which we enunciated our high appraisal of our steadfast stand for the preservation of the Orthodox Church Calendar and other primordial traditions, and expressed our intent to preserve with you good fraternal relations.

We asked you to treat the process of reconciliation with the Church in Russia with understanding and the awareness that this is an internal act of the Russian Church. It is our sincere conviction that the revival process of the Church in our much-suffered Motherland after the fall of the atheist authorities is, by God's Grace, so radical and all-encompassing, that we cannot remain aloof and not join it.

We have no intention in whatever way to retreat from our witness of the True Orthodoxy before the entire world, and shall continue to condemn both the pernicious ecumenism and modernism.

We cannot but agree with the following of your words which were published recently:

“Here we ought to admit honestly and frankly that very unfortunately with respect to the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad did not always hold to a theologically and spiritually consistent position, because all the overly stark criticism and the qualifications of the Moscow Patriarchate such as 'graceless assemblage', 'Soviet' and 'the red church' etc., are journalistically expressed extreme opinions rather than per ipso theological assessment with regard to the extremely heterogeneous and intricate organism which the Moscow Patriarchate is.”

“In this regard we cannot apply, in a way both fanatical and schematic, the maxima: if their ruling Bishops are such then all of them are such and therefore they lack Grace”.

“Too many errors were allowed in relation with the rash establishment of parishes in Russia and especially with the rash and unconsidered consecration of Bishops there. And there errors, regrettably, very quickly and in rather short terms destroyed the high authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.” (From the talk of Bishop Photii of Triaditza with the congregations in Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Blagoevgrad, which took places on 16 and 27 November 2006).

Precisely in relation with these pronouncements of yours, we consider it to be the duty of our conscience to forewarn you in a brotherly manner that the leaders of the “opposition” of the reconciliation process are namely those people of fanatical frame of mind, who do not comprehend our balanced and moderate position and deny the presence of Grace in the Moscow Patriarchate.

And the head of this opposition, the suspended Bishop Agathangel is precisely one of the Bishops you condemn who were rashly and inconsiderately consecrated [for Russia].

Another leader of this opposition, the suspended priest Victor Dobrov, is an extremely fanaticised denouncer of the Moscow Patriarchate and our Hierarchical Synod, who indulges in the usage of such expressions in the regard of our Bishops and Priests which none could use and yet consider themselves to be still Orthodox.

The third oppositional leader, Dr. Evgenii Magerovsky, on the whole preaches the necessity that a new form be established of ecclesiastical administration, according to which the clergymen and the laypeople not only would be entitled to participate in the higher governing of the Church but also have the veto to [all] decisions made by the Bishops at the Councils or the Synods.

We earnestly ask you, Vladyka, not to become involved with such “oppositionists”, who only bring discredit to the witness of Orthodoxy and attempt to establish a schismatic structure passing off as “preserving” the genuine Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

We are very much alarmed that some of your Old Calendarist brethren have expressed their readiness even to take part in the consecrations of Bishops for the groups in opposition, which would only bring about the further fragmentation of the flock of Christ.

We trust in God's mercy in this difficult time and ask your holy prayers.

With brotherly love in Christ,

+ Metropolitan Laurus

+ Archbishop Mark

+ Archbishop Kyrill

+ Bishop Michael

+ Bishop Gabriel