Bishop Kyrill Flip-Flop

The (1998 -jh) Opinion of Bishop Kyrill of Seattle in Connection with the "Statement" of Archbishop Mark of Berlin (ROCOR) and Archbishop Theophan (MP) Regarding Ecclesiastical Unity.
(originally posted on the official Synodal web site)
Please view
(2001 -jh) addition at bottom of page.

It was with great sadness that I read the "statement" of the participants in the ninth meeting between clergy of the ROCOR and the MP on the territory of Germany. This statement, I am deeply convinced, is an irresponsible collection of demagogic phrases, containing not even one healthy thought that could lead to the resolution of the myriad ecclesiastical problems of the Russian Orthodox Church at the end of the 20th century.

Recently, more than ever before, the question of the unification of the MP and the ROCOR is being trumpeted. Very sadly, these statements most often issue from the mouths of people for whom yearning for ecclesiastical truth is foreign, and who sow discord into the minds of their spiritual children. In order that my position might be understood correctly I would like the following points to be taken into consideration:

1. The tragic disunity of the Russian Church occurred in 1927 because of the signing of the sadly notorious Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky). It is well known that up to this day neither that act itself, nor any of its ardent supporters have been officially condemned within Russia by the administration of the MP - while, realistically, that would be the first step that could lead to the healing of the ecclesiastical situation in Russia.

2. The division between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has been deepened by the failure of the MP to recognize many of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. These have, in fact, been sacreligiously rejected by the MP, which has demanded that they first be politically rehabilitated by civil authorities, something that has never occurred in the history of the Orthodox Church. But having been freed from the control of the government, the MP could a long time ago have unequivocally glorified all the New Martyrs. In reality, the Patriarchate is looking and waiting to see in which direction the political winds will blow. And how shameful and hurtful it is to read in the Joint Declaration of Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Archbishop Theophan (MP), that the main issue that is dividing us, specifically the blood of millions of New Martyrs, they call "misunderstandings" and the result of some kind of "lack of knowledge," which is incomprehensible to me (see p. 1 of the "Declaration").

3. The current administration of the MP is constantly trampling on the Canons and the dogmas of the Holy Church by actively participating in the pan-heresy of the 20th century - ecumenism - and in the World Council of Churches. In recent times the process of secularization of the Church within Russia has increased and the conversion of its administration from a totalitarian structure into a commercial one has become the norm of life. (We know of many examples of dioceses opening commercial ventures, including selling tobacco and alcohol, involvement with money laundering and collaboration with the Mafia). Not stopping at this, the MP continues, just as it was in previous decades, to be the handmaiden of a government which is foreign to the national interests of Russia. It is also becoming an increasingly active force on the political arena.

4. The fact of the existence of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as the free part of the Russian Church is a great help to the Orthodox people of Russia, who are trying to defend the glory of Orthodoxy from attacks by all detractors. Our voice is the only one which for almost eighty years has been carrying the truth of God into Russia. We also hear the cries and sighs of the stalwart defenders of the purity of the faith in the motherland. These cries are especially loud at the present time. And if "unification" with the MP, which Archbishop Mark is trying to accomplish, has become so timely, then why are there so many pastors within Russia who are struggling to find a way out of the spiritual dead-end that the post-Soviet church administration is ardently trying to lead them into? (We know well that the price of searching for the truth is very high - sometimes it even costs lives - for example, take the threats that were received by the recently murdered Archpriest Alexander Zharkoff in St. Petersburg just before his transfer under the omophorion of the Russian Church Abroad). From the very beginning of its canonical existence the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has considered itself to be the temporarily self-administering free part of the Russian Church, whose calling is to serve God's truth and love. At the present time, however, we are faced with ever more frequent attempts by anti-church forces to accuse the ROCOR of lacking love in the matter of the unification of the two parts of the Russian Church.

Based on all the above I consider that the time for unification has not yet come. The MP and the ROCOR have never been so far apart from one another as at the present time.

We have always sympathized with the Church in Russia when it languished under the yoke of the atheist powers. Now that it has become "freed" from them, the MP has openly turned against us and against its Orthodox populace within Russia, (take, for example, the statements of Patriarch Alexis about the ROCOR, the Hebron affair, and the attempts to take away our churches in Europe and America).

But in this difficult time every hierarch must be responsible as never before for his episcopacy and for every one of his words, spoken or written. We must clearly realize that true unity of the two parts of the Russian Church is found not in the unification of the administration of the Church, but in unification in faith, in standing firmly in it, and in love.

The question of such unity can be resolved only at a forthcoming free All-Russian Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church similar to the free Great All-Russian Sobor of 1917-1918, if all of the conditions required for the convocation of such a council will be met. God willing, at this future Sobor, it will be possible in open and honest discussions to resolve all of the problems of our ecclesiastical being that have developed during the 20th century. Meanwhile, those who, on their own, circulate various Epistles in the spirit of "unity" and "love" in actuality confuse our flock all the more, and sow even more discord in the minds and souls of the faithful, denying them true love, because, according to the words of the Apostle, love "doth not behave itself unseemly" (I Corinthians 13,5).
+ Bishop Kyrill 16th February 1998

Three years later...

The following is an unedited exchange between the webmaster of this site and Bishop Kyrill of Seattle concerning the re-posting of the above letter.

Subject: Re: a letter from Bishop Kyrill
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 12:45:01 -0600

> Dear in Christ Father Andrew,
> Personally, I have no quarrel with you - despite your "friendly"
> phone message several months past. I have not changed my views. They
> have remained the same - as we have discussed in Mulino.

Dear Bishop Kyrill,

Forgive me but you have changed your views by your actions. I remember a Bishop who inspired me when he said that he would not "seek after shiny miters" and "let them take our churches we will serve in living rooms!" I remember a Bishop who would not serve with the Serbs and made a point about it... but now what do we see? The metropolitan told me many years ago "everyone will deny and condemn ecumenism, but when we look at their actions we see something else." I do not call you an ecumenist. I only see that you have bent yourself to the winds of Archbishop Mark. I still remember you telling me how he accompanied you on a walk around central park in New York trying to recruit you. I remember your expressed outrage, also your call to defend the Metropolitan. Now what do we see? Even Ludmilla asked you to give the gift of your loyalty to the metropolitan who we both know is being taken advantage of because of his "weakness" at this time. Forgive me Vladika you have changed and I grieve.

> I feel that
> my statement need not be posted at this time -

"At this time?" Why not? It shows to people that indeed the church IS talking different then it did just a few years ago. Besides it was on the "official site" It is a public document.

> why did you return it
> to the website after you were instructed to remove it?

Because it need to be re-posted. Besides I received requests for it.

> Please remove
> it immediately.

I cannot...

> I simply want you to know that no one in their right
> mind wishes to join with the Moscow Patriarchate - the leader of which
> just recently stated that ecumenism is necessary in that it is
> impossible to ignore other Christians (ed. hetrodox).

Then say so publicly! Then allow the Metropolitan's letter to be distributed.

Also then tell me very clearly and without "a politicians guile" why the synod is...

1. seeking an "autonomy"
2. seeking communion with the georgians
3. asking ecumenists "Patriarch Pavel" for help in the "much desired

Of course I understand that all this goes beyond the MP in its present form...

> Our beloved
> Church Abroad has not changed her position of 80 years past. If
> language, syntax lead people to feel otherwise, it is very
> unfortunate.

"very unfortunate!" Then why do the bishops show an unprecedented coldness and cruelty to those who asked questions? One of the most "milk toast" of our priests up here recently said to Bishop Michael... "Vladika all the bishops had to do is answer our questions at the first and all of this would have stopped immediately." Even father Christopher Birchall wrote this to Bishop Gabriel in January. But what do we see... we are assaulted and insulted by the likes of Lebedeff, Whitford, Shaw, Potopovs, etc. We see the French clergy brave in their stand for the truth of our church and the Mark machine trying to crush them to NO avail, we see every continent issuing statements. There has been NO peace in the church since your "errors of syntax" and NO attempts at calming the flock only threats and name calling. No Vladika please do not insult my intelligence with these low level attempts. You see I know too much of what is behind the scenes. I wish I didn't I would like to be back in those days of innocence. But I am not.

> May God keep us united in the spirit of the 80 years past

As disseminated by who Vladika? By that refuse called the western clergy statement?

> and the
> Mother of God cover us with her omophorion.

He and She will keep the true members and sons and Daughters of the confessing Church Abroad in full unity of this I am sure of. Metropolitan Philaret two weeks before his righteous end said that "after my death our beloved Church Abroad will break three ways... first the greeks will leave us as they where never a part of us... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church." I never forgot this and believed that it would happen. Now I do.

Priest Andrew Kencis

I am prepared to lose everything, if needs must, for Christ.. as are many others. This is the fruit of eight months of prayer and tears and trying to make sense of what we see.

> +Bishop Kyrill

P.S. I am using internet in Boise, where I am presently - I do not have inetrnet...

>Pity it IS a tool that can be used for good.



Joanna Higginbotham said...


Joanna Higginbotham said...
Whether Bp. Kyrill's flip-flop was genuine, or part of the KGB plan, I can't say. But two things stand out as suspicious.

1. Throughout Bp. Kyrill's 1998 letter is the assumption that there are two parts of the Russian Church, MP being one part and ROCOR being the other. This idea cunningly lays the foundation for the union. With the distraction of some long-held teachings being defended, reinforcement of this idea of "two parts"* sort of slips in unnoticed, unchallenged.

2. In the last paragraph of the 1998 letter Bp. Kyrill leaves the reader with the idea (plants the idea) that a "forthcoming free* All-Russian sobor" will have the final say on this matter. And sticking in the word "free" also feels like part of the set-up to get people to accept the decision of this future sobor, (which was already being rigged).

Then three years later Bp. Kyrill's letter is re-posted by the webmaster. And this dismays him. Why? He gives the answer:

"I feel that
>my statement need not be posted at this time."

Back in 1998 the letter was useful. It was part of the "luring" that was going on. Ideas had to be planted slowly. Too much at once, and he would loose the respect and attention of the people he needs to draw in with him. But by 2001 that stage of the luring was well past, and now the letter could only cause a backsliding.

*"two parts"
Planting words and phrases like that is a common tactic of master manipulators. Then they keep repeating the words to reinforce the idea.

Notice how ROCOR-MP today continues to use every opportunity to insert the propaganda phrases of the union. They can never say just "reunion" (which is lie enough by itself). They have to say, "the long-awaited-return-of-the-free-part-of-the-Church-to-the-Mother-Church-thus-normalizing-the-relationship reunion."

Joanna Higginbotham said...

Along these same lines, Abbess Juliana also noticed how words get inserted (slipped in) then reinforced by repetition. Here is her sad reply to pro-union article:

A Sad Reply to the Article "PATH OF THE ROCA CHURCH"
written by Archpriest Roman Lukianov 12/11/2001

As most children learn early, stubborn repetition of a lie does not make it truth. This is why the Statements of the apostates from our Holy Church Outside Russia are becoming less convincing and more and more monotonous! However, for the sake of the few who may still be confused by them, we will reply to the "PATH OF THE ROCA" By Archpriest Roman Lukianov, dated 12/11/ 2001, Boston.

The first section of this Statement is simply a repetition of the Sobors from the first of 1920 until 1937. With this latter "Resolution" we start seeing a distortion of the truth. It is here that we first encounter the holy name of "Mother" applied to the "Church Enslaved!" This enslaved "church" neither was, nor, is a mother of the refugees from the persecutions assisted by the church administration in Moscow, i.e. the MP. Let's face it, Brothers and Sisters! This enslaved church ACCEPTED its enslavement in preference to either martyrdom for Christ's Truth or exile for the duration of the atheistic government. (Later in this Statement it is claimed that this " Mother Church" made public repentance for the crime of regicide but the submission of the MP to the atheist government (the PRIMARY sin against Christ was not mentioned!) To continue : The Corporate Charter of April 30, 1952, stresses the "time limitation" on the existence and authority of the ROCA which is to continue "as long as Russia or any of her satellite lands remain under Communist rule." This "time limitation"is stressed again in 1964. Incidentally, during the 1960's our Metropolitan Philaret of Blessed memory and Met. Vitaly forbade ANY contact with the MP; while refusing to deny grace to the MP they also correctly said that certain specific deeds of the MP clergy, performed on orders of the godless authorities, were naturally without Grace.

In 1991, the Communist regime supposedly "fell!" However, this Statement itself admits that "the leftovers of the Soviet mentality and State Government remain!" And among these leftovers are many of the selfsame men who were so active in the bloody past! Even in the face of this , it is now asserted that "the people of Russia feel free and consider themselves free of any Communist influence" and, as a result, the existence and authority of the ROCA, has now come to an end! Finally, after 80 years of both secret and open efforts to crush ROCA, aided in recent years by our own misguided and disobedient hierarchs, the wolf has smoothly entered the sheepfold!

Do not be so sure! Let us take a second look at some more of the same old lies. First, the fallacies that THREE Russian Orthodox Churches have existed, do now exist or CAN exist. The Holy Church placed by the Lord Jesus Christ under the guardianship and guidance of the Most Holy Spirit, is, always was and always will be the ONE, HOLY, APOSTOLIC CHURCH whether it is in Russia, Israel, Germany, the U.S. or any other country. A living part of this Holy Church is the Orthodox Catacomb Church, still as always the guide and true guardian of Russian Orthodox Christians, forbidden by conscience from trying to worship in the beautiful but spiritually empty apostate churches. And the third and most glorious part of this ONE, HOLY, APOSTOLIC CHURCH is the Heavenly One, the Saints and Martyrs and Faithful of all these 2002 years!

This Statement, as similar ones seem nearly always to do, mentions the delight expressed by visitors, especially new converts to Orthodoxy (!) who join the crowds of Russians in magnificent temples, newly re-guilded just as prophesized and the dramatic Church Services as stirring as ever but from which the Holy Spirit of TRUTH had departed, just as also prophesized. But let us turn from the spectacle of triumphant rejoicing (over WHAT ?) to the tragedy concealed from those unable or unwilling to look Truth in the face.

Another lie to be refuted: "The Path of the ROCA began to change with the consecration of Bishop Varnava in 1984 or thereabouts." NO. It began to change away back in 1960's or even before, with the secret and forbidden contacts of some of our own misguided hierarchs with the MP. As the older and truly loyal hierarchs began to pass to their rest, the remaining bishops and clergy used their enlarged influence to assist the ever-growing ranks of those longing to destroy the one outstanding citadel of genuine Orthodoxy remaining, the ROCA. Nor is it true that the Catacomb Church resented the opening of parishes in Russia under the control of the ROCA; on the contrary. But it was the uproar created by those who DID resent them which frightened them off.

This Statement closes with the dire warning that a "Lawful (?) division must not be allowed to develop into schism which will leave the ROCA as a broken- off vine, and atrophy which cannot be saved." And right here, my dear ones in Christ, is the usual climax of gigantic lies such as we are studying.... a TOTAL REVERSAL OF TRUTH INTO COMPLETE FALSEHOOD!

Let us be perfectly clear about this situation: THERE IS A SCHISM ! Those who have hindered, deceived, disobeyed, reviled and even dragged their God- appointed Metropolitan from the Altar and otherwise harmed and humiliated him and finally uncanonically and rudely replaced him with another man and who by their uncivilized and unchristian behaviour forced the true spiritual Leader out of his own quarters in Synod and took over for themselves... now call themselves the "Church" and affect to be " THE CHURCH" who are in reality outside of the Church and in serious danger of eternal punishment, for their own incomprehensible behaviour and also for the countless immortal souls who are being cruelly led far from Christ and His TRUTH!

Yes, the father of lies, now so soon to take over, is preparing his path and, as always, it is the majority who are so eager to help him. Let us , dear lovers of Jesus Christ, pray for them and also guard ourselves most carefully, for their spiritual sickness is not only fatal but extremely contagious! The author's closing statement is that "the natural next step is restoration of Eucharistic and Canonical unity with the "Mother Church"! which, even with the "autonomous administration of the ROCA" is pitifully ridiculous and impossible. No! The ONLY" next step", which does not lead into the Pit itself, is simply for the apostates, from the top on down, to humbly openly repent and return to the Church they too hastily left. May the Merciful God grant it, for the time is growing very short and " GOD IS NOT MOCKED!"

Abbess Juliana
Chile 2002