Our New Bishop Gregory's Speech
Here is the English translation:
On Saturday [7/26] evening, at the Church of the Holy Trinity, after the services of Vespers and Matins for the following day, there took place the ceremony of the Great Edict. Bishop Gregory of São Paolo, Brazil, and South America. During this time, the Bishop-elect tearfully read an address, which profoundly moved the large crowd of those in attendance, and which we append below:
Most Reverend Hierarchs:
When, in 1986, my family and I visited the Monastery in Jordanville, the ailing Elder, Father Gury, said to my Matushka, while pointing at me: “Know that he will become a Bishop!” We considered his words to be simply those of a person in ill health. But when the Lord called my beloved Matushka to His Heavenly Abode and the proposals and pressures, so to speak, on the part of both the clergy and the faithful began, I then understood that those words had been prophetic.
And now, when, by the Will of the Most High, the time has come for this prophecy to be fulfilled, a feeling of fear, trembling, and reverence has filled my entire being. Approaching the Mystery of Consecration to the Episcopacy, I call to mind the venerable Hierarchs about whom I have heard or read or whom I personally knew, the majority of whom have already passed into eternity, while others are still alive. All of them were adorned with education, wisdom, piety, and an outstanding ecclesiastical formation.
And now that I am to be elevated to the Episcopacy in their succession and to receive the Apostolic mantle, fear fills my spirit—fear lest, by my own entrance into this sacred company, I will degrade the Hierarchical vocation. I know that this twofold Grace cannot be contained in an unclean vessel, and, aside from my physical weaknesses, I am replete with many sins, the dreadful accumulations of my own will. I would like to find a hole in the ground, so that I could hide therein from the All-Seeing Eye of God, but “Whither shall I flee from Thy presence, O Lord?” Through you, Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Lord calls me, the unworthy one, to serve His Holy Church in the Apostolic office. But what conditions the Holy Church lives in today! If the Fathers of old were already lamenting with dread the apostasy of the world from the Faith and the Church, then we can affirm with certainty that we are living in apocalyptic times, when apostasy has reached its apogee. False teachers and false Christs have won over almost the entire world. On account of the loss of “him that restraineth,” the anointed of God, all spiritual values have changed and there do not exist today righteous people who see as evil that which the Holy Orthodox Church sees as evil. So-called “world Orthodoxy” has long since entered the arena of globalization, which has as its goal the preparation of mankind to welcome the world leader and god on earth, the Antichrist.
The cunning of the Evil One has succeeded in rending asunder and dismantling her who stood firm in the past, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which for eighty whole years was the stronghold of Orthodoxy and the beacon of pristine and incorruptible Truth. An unbelievable temptation exploded like a bomb in the midst of our own ROCA and scattered the faithful in every conceivable direction. It is manifestly our primary concern to gather them together. The spirit of globalization is striving to gain ground in reinforcement of such disintegration. Borders between nations are disappearing, national values have been lost, and nations have been transformed into an amorphous mass. But here is the paradox: in the world, when it was divided into nations and states at war with each other, there was much greater love than there is today, when so many evil elements have been amalgamated in an external unity. You see what difficulties the Hierarchy of what is left of the ROCA is experiencing. And it is on this path of the Episcopate, the way of the Cross, that I am entering—I, the sinner. I am in need of much help, but first and foremost of the special blessing of God, the blessing of wisdom and discretion, which will aid me in the just rendering of what is God’s to God and of what is Caesar’s to Caesar, and to condescend to human infirmities, but also to stand firm in the Truth even unto martyrdom.
Pray for me, Most Reverend Hierarchs, the least Hieromonk and the most sinful of all, and you, the Orthodox people, likewise, that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who is glorified in Trinity, by the intercessions of His All-Immaculate Mother, Our Lady and Ever-Virgin Mary, may fill me with the spiritual wealth of the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
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Full Report: http://www.synodinresistance.org/pdfs/2009/08/18/20090818VisitToBrazil%20Folder/20090818VisitToBrazil.pdf