From: Archbishop Chrysostomos
May God bless you.
As many of you know from the Internet sewer, several hundred followers of a number of extremist "Old Calendarists" or "traditionalists" have for years been trying to destroy the unity between the Synod in Resistance and the coalition we have formed with our Sister Churches in Romania and Bulgaria and, of late, with the ROCA under Metropolitan Agafangel.
Our coalition was dealt a horrendous blow by the ROCA/MP's union with Moscow in 2007, many of the supporters of which also strongly opposed union with our Synod in Resistance and the Romanian and Bulgarian Old Calendarists in 1993 and 1994. My suspicion is that those who opposed union with us had a "different" union already in mind. We may have compromised them, in this regard, by our resistance to world Orthodoxy, which they wanted to embrace. This is especially so in the case of our Synod in Resistance, since our ecclesiology is not only Patristic, but follows the "Royal Path," making it difficult for world Orthodoxy to dismiss us as sectarians, as they can (and do) the extremist Old Calendarist resisters.
Now, the divisive sectarians whom I mentioned in my first paragraph, who accuse our Synod of "crypto-ecumenism" and call us "Cyprianites," are trying to spread extremism (while at the same time serving their opportunistic and sectarian ends) as a method of sowing discord among the faithful of our Sister Churches in Romania and Bulgaria. A few hundred of them hold forth on the Internet as large groups, doing all that they can to create a "presence" (much like the extremist Old Calendarists in Greece, who, though actually several tens of thousands in number, often claim a million faithful!) and attract followers. While I doubt that many of them are overt "agents" or are necessarily consciously among those who would like to see any intelligent, educated resistance collapse in Orthodoxy, they ARE the "witless agents" of all who would to divide the resistance by any means possible.
In Romania, these extremists are working assiduously to create discord in that huge and healthy Old Calendarist Church, spreading rumors, slander, and every form of disinformation. In the last few months, I have had many letters from Romania, all of the writers assuming that I am a cretin and trying to trap me into making statements or taking actions that might compromise our Synod of Bishops. I am thus sharing the following typical example of such attempts with you, so that, should you read such things on the Internet sewer, you will understand that they are part of the foul effluence that one would expect from sectarians and the hatred and division that they spread and from the agents who use such people to spread division. The best defense against such things is our own unity and our avoidance of sectarian contentions.
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Hello, my name is xxx and I"m from Romania, I bellong to the Romanian Orthodox Church Old Calendaristic (Mitropolia Slatioara).
I"m writhing to ask about a small problem we seem to have in Romania: our mitropolit Vlasie Mogârzan wants the legalisation of our church, this will lead to certain advantages from the Romanian State, we dont know for sure because there are a lot of rumours about what that "legalisation" will help us or not.
In some towns at the churches people were asked to sign the "petition for legalisation", not in all churches and now a lot of people say that this is sergenism and now they stay and pray at home, and others still go to church.
Our (i and behalf of my friends and brothers) question is: - going to church is a sinn or not ?
- is our situation the same as what was in Russia with comunist patriarh Sergey Stragorosdski ?
- what to do now ?
Need to mention that we are considered as "Traditionalist Christian Cult" and we are very legal to be. Just that we think this "legalisation" is a bad thing and we suspect the clergy wants money from the government.
Thank you very much for having the patience to read this, sorry for my bad english, and we await your answer when you have the time.
St. Anna and the Feast of the
Conception of the Theotokos
May God bless you.
I cannot answer your questions about the internal matters of our Sister Church in Romania, which are not my business.
a) There is no greater sin than than that of a son who, having been reared and nurtured through the sacrifices of his father and having received a paternal legacy which is a virtual treasure, criticizes, doubts, and denigrates his own father.
The Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania, now under the guidance of Metropolitan Vlasie, a spiritual son of the Confessor and Martyr St. Glicherie, has bequeathed to you, its son, a treasure which you did not earn and which has in fact been washed in the blood of Martyrs. How can you, failing to "honor your Father," dare question your Church's motives on the basis of gossip, speculation, and matters which are not only not MY business, but also not YOURS? Who appointed you representative of the Church?
b) There are a few foreign sectarians who, preaching a defiant, extreme, and dangerous line, have attempted to usurp the authority of the Old Calendar Church of Romania. These sectarians are motivated by opportunism and the need for glory; and they are inspired by spirits that are not of Christ and which have blinded them. If you are listening to them, my advice is like that of St. Mark of Ephesus: "Flee from them as you would from a serpent." Obey your Church and cleanse yourself from the defilement of sectarians and those who spread division and dissent in the name of Orthodoxy. These few hundred people are trying to destroy the unity of many hundreds of thousands of Romanian Old Calendarists. What evil!
c) How dare you or anyone, after the sacrifices of the Old Calendar Church of Romania, accuse the Church and its clergy of seeking money. Perhaps those who want money and recognition are those who have inspired you to have such doubts and raise such blasphemous, judgmental, and evil questions. On the cross of money you wish to crucify your Church leaders, accusing them of using, rather than serving, the Church? Shame on you. And shame on those who have inspired such ideas in you.
d) If I have wrongly judged you, and you truly wish simply to know my opinion, I would tell you to go to Slatioara, do a prostration before Metropolitan Vlasie, and ask his forgiveness for your terrible sin.
e) If you are agent of the Patriarchate, wishing to cause division among the Old Calendarists, then I would say to you: veritas vincet omnia. The truth will never fail before the tactics of those who serve compromise and chicanery in the name of Christ. (And I tasted of their perverse, filthy tactics and vile threats myself, when I was in Romania!) Collaborators and betrayers will find their own reward.
f) If you are, as I suspect, an agent of foreign extremist opportunists and provocateurs, who wish to "steal" the "reward" for work that they did not do, I would remind you that the Romanian Old Calendarists under Metropolitan Vlasie, whom (along with him) I know, love, and respect, sealed their witness to Christ with their blood and with years of persecution, imprisonment, and sacrifice. Those whom you follow, interlopers, opportunists, and thieves of what is not theirs, will fall on their own swords. Do not fall on your own sword by following them. And if you are a good Christian, chastise and shame them, with the hope that they will repent and awaken to the evil forces that they actually serve.
Forgive my harshness, but I hear too often, now, from those like you, who are trying to destroy our Sister Church in Romania, to separate our Sister Churches, and to spread dissent and division by whatever means possible. That you would even want to question your Church under Metropolitan Vlasie, the largest Old Calendar Church in resistance, tells me what forces are acting on you. They are forces that will, in the end, destroy you, your family, and all that you hold dear. Remember the Egyptians? What befell them, as unbelievers, when they sought to destroy those whom God chose to favor is nothing next to what befalls believers who harm the Church, and especially with sectarian extremism. But it is not God Who will punish you. You will be mocked and destroyed by the evil that you serve.
I will pray for your enlightenment. Please share my views with those in Romania who, along with you, write me often and who try to spread division where sacred and firm unity in fact still exists: among us who serve Christ.
Least Among Monks, + Archbishop Chrysostomos