No Sympathy For Haiti

This article was spotted on the Jamestown Foundation blog by Melissa Bushunow, a member of the Haitian Mission Yahoo Group. It is very damaging to the MP, and their 'Pat. Kyrill', not only his unsympathetic words about the Haitians' suffering, but also the second part of this, exposing him (once again) as a petty political agent of the Kremlin, regarding Kazakistan. -R.D.

Subject: Pat Robertson in a Klobuk

On January 16, four days after the poor Caribbean nation was hit by a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake claiming between 100,000 and 200,000 lives and as the whole world was trying to help alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people, Russian Patriarch Kirill I said something unthinkable while on his three-day trip in Kazakhstan where he met with that country’s leadership as a political component of his visit. As reported by Russian media, he literally blamed the Haitians for incurring God’s wrath on themselves. “Haiti is a country of poverty and crime, famine, drugs and corruption, where people have lost their moral face,” Kirill was quoted as saying, “I've visited the island divided between two countries, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. One of them is developing, while the other is affected by crimes, economic recession and political unrest; that part of the island was shattered by the earthquake” (

According to The Moscow Times, the Russian patriarch compared Haiti with Kazakhstan, noting that “Kazakhstan has not experienced any earthquakes recently despite its seismological position”(, a Russian Internet publication, brought in another quote from Kirill II’s statement: “[Haiti] had not been capable of realizing itself and putting itself on the road to development, which could bring prosperity to [its] people” ( It is worth mentioning here that Kazakhstan has recently assumed the one-year-long chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Kirill I’s high-profile visit to that country could be complementary to the Russian political leadership’s desire to use Kazakhstan as a “conduit” for its European security proposals ( 

Commenting on the issue in his article “We Have Shocked Everyone,” Dmitry Shusharin, a famous Russian political analyst, called Patriarch Kirill’s derogatory words towards Haiti a statement by “a top-ranking political figure” and tried to interpret them as a manifestation of Russia’s growing marginalization and isolationism. “Any nation’s name can be put in a cliché” that was used toward the Haitians, Shusharin wrote ( In the same article, he also suggested that the Russian patriarch’s words could explain “why Russia provided very insignificant aid to Haiti compared to other countries.”


√ update on Haiti Mission site, letter from Nicholas

RTOC Is Not the Church

From: %2F&sl=ru&tl=en

Here are the Google and Babel Fish translations. In the comments are some documents supporting the assertions.  But the machine translations make them difficult to follow.

RTOC - not the Church, because it does not have its main features: 
[RIPTS] - not church, since it does not possess its main properties:

1. RTOC has canonical church administration (RTOC Synod - a bunch of self-styled) 
1. [RIPTS] does not have canonical church control (synod [RIPTS] - self-styled assemblage),
2.RIPTS has no canonical authority of the episcopate (bishops, it samosvyaty), 
2.[RIPTs] does not have [kanonichnogo] [episkopata] (its [episkopat]- of [samosvyaty]),
3.RIPTS not have the right mvrovareniya, therefore:
3.[RIPTs] does not possess the right of [m]v[rovareniya], consequently:  
Yes. RTOC not the Church,
 a. [RIPTS] not church, 
b.. RTOC itself can not even make the sacrament of baptism, 
b. [RIPTS] itself cannot accomplish even sacrament of baptism,
into. RTOC can not connect to the Church of penitents as expected, through mvropomazanie.
v. [RIPTS] cannot join to the church [kayushchikhsya] as assumed, through [m]v[ropomazanie]. 
4.RIPTS no canonical territory 
(For this reason RTOC rowing under him and everyone and everything - everywhere where you can and can not) 
4.[RIPTs] does not have the canonical territory (for this reason [RIPTS] for [grebet] under itself and all and entire - everywhere where is possible and cannot)
PS All you see above applies to the same extent to split ROAC and the self assemblage sabelnikovskoy autonomy IRPTSZ. 
PS all written above relates in the same measure to the division [RPATS] and the self-styled assemblage of [sabelnikovskoy] autonomy [IRPTSZ].
Remember-loving readers that splits and parasinagogi disastrous for the soul, graceless and the sacrament they have not committed: 
We resemble To the [bogolyubivym] readers that the divisions and [parasinagogi] are disastrous for the soul, [bezblagodatny] and sacrament in them they are not accomplished:
"Who should be a misleading division, he did not inherit the kingdom of God " 
"Who follows that leading division, that does not inherit [Tsarstviya] Of [bozhego]"

(Ignatius to the Philadelphians Bogonosets.Poslanie, 4).
(Ignatius [Bogonosets].[Poslanie] to [filadelfiytsam], 4).

False Rumor

To: Exarchate Clergy
From: Archbishop Chrysostomos
Evlogia Kyriou.

        This time I will not reproduce the note sent once more to one of our faithful, announcing the repose of Metropolitan Cyprian. Today's message was obscenely sick. Let me simply reiterate, since I have received several notes from concerned individuals, that Metropolitan Cyprian has not reposed and that there is no change whatsoever in his condition. Nor, if you should hear such inane accusations, is His Eminence's death being hidden.

        Let me further emphasize that those who spread rumors of this kind, which have been passed on over the last two years to the Protection Convent in Canada, to the St. Edward Brotherhood in England, and to our monastery here in Etna (including what was for me a surprising announcement of my own death), are of the same ilk as those who deal in lies and slander: their conviction apparently being that repeated enough times, someone will eventually believe such things.

        If there is any change in the Metropolitan's condition, we will be among the first to know. We will not, I can assure you, hesitate to inform you immediately. I am sorry that these things have caused several of you upset and concern. That is most unfortunate. However, morally and spiritually ill people will do what morally and spiritually ill people do. ...

Sure Fooled Me

Back in September 2008, Fr. Igor Chitikov, of the parish in St. Petersburg, Florida, suddenly made a move from RocorMP to ROCA.  We in ROCA all accepted him in good faith, that his conscience would not allow him to betray the Church by joining the MP.  We were grateful that he was in a legal position to protect his parish property from being taken by the MP in a law suit.  All he wanted from our Vl. Agafangel was to be able to keep his parish property as it was.  Vl. Agafangel, of course, agreed, and even ordained a deacon for his parish.

Two months later Bp. Gabriel {RocorMP] apparently wrote Fr. Igor a letter asking him to reconsider his decision. Fr. Igor responded publicly and distributed his response for publication on the internet. It is posted on the ROCOR Refugees blog.

The letter was good. I wrote this about it to a friend:

This is superb! I'm glad to see that Fr. Igor has it together better. (Certainly thanks to Vladyka Metropolitan Agafangel's prayers.)

I sure was fooled.

It turns out that Fr. Igor only moved to ROCA temporarily in order to gain "bargaining power" with Bp. Gabriel over his property which the MP does not want to let him keep in his name.  As soon as he extracted a promise from Bp. Gabriel that the property ownership remains as is, then Fr. Igor went back to the RocorMP.  So, what does that tell us about this letter Fr. Igor wrote to Bp. Gabriel?

And I was fooled despite the warning bells.  One of the warning bells was that Fr. Igor, too soon after joining ROCA, had questioned Vl. Agafangel in a very critical way.  Vl. Agafangel published Fr. Igor's "concerns" very generously proposing to address them at upcoming Sobor.

  But the rest of us were somewhat scandalized by Fr. Igor's attitude which was not consistent with an attitude of a true "newby."  This is why in my premature praise of Fr. Igor's letter, I said that Fr. Igor has it together "better."  Better than before, when he needed an attitude adjustment.  I ignored those warning bells.  I hope I'm learning not to ignore such inconsistencies anymore.  Too much strange behavior is dismissed as innocent.

Now, take a look at another little "speech" by another suspicious character, who supposedly does not support the MP, but animatedly supports a super-correct group [RTOC] whose hierarchy pits itself against ROCA.  In this speech a "Fr. D." tries to justify Fr. Sergei [Klestov], who had participated in an attempt to create a division in ROCA during it's tender beginning.  Here is the speech, which is in the form of a comment on Daily Courier, January 21, 2010.

(Anonymous) wrote:
Jan. 21st, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
Re: as an observer

... There is a saying that by the fruits of one's labors will one be known for what one is. Both Bishop Mitrophan Znosko and Rev. Sergei never did leave ROCOR, did they? Without of going into the current state of the ROCOR church and the many splinter groups that have occurred since the massive betrayal led ignominiously by the late Met. Laurus, to say that Father Sergei is for a union with the ecumenical and twice anathemized Moscow Patriarchate is like saying that Bishop Gabriel (Chemodakov) or Met. Hilarion (Kapral) are currently against the union with the MP. And as an addition, how many Father Alexander Lebedev of Los Angeles's can we recall (O. Pyotr Perekryostoff, Father. Viktor Potapov, O. Valery Lukianoff ... the list is endless) who in the 1990's wrote a scathing book about why one should never join the heretical organization that calls itself the Russian Church - The MP! And yet, they all led the charge along with Met. Laurus to embrace all the lies that ROCOR had called the MP out on since its inception!

The question any sane person would be asking themselves is why all this seeming flip-flopping occurred with these priests and bishops. In some cases, the flip-flopping is the right word, as Father George Larin said that his reasons for switching his position and becoming pro-MP was because his Metropolitan decided that way! However, there were some priests, like Father Sergei, who upon seeing that the canonization of the New Martyrs of Russia by the MP was a ploy and seeing how the MP never had any plans to leave the World Council of Churches (WCC), changed his position accordingly. I would hope that since this is still a free country, one might call or email or even travel and talk with these priests and bishops and have them tell them why their positions have changed. But, one could simply go by what some lady worker at the Synod has to say about Father Sergei's alleged agitating of the masses for the union with the MP or by Daily Courier's unsubstantiated slanderous accusation about the child corruption which if the Daily courier wishes to expound on, he knows that there is nothing in that accusation but hate for Father Sergei. The same way that there is hate by Ms. Shatilova for Bishop Mitrophan, as everyone knows the hatred that Bishop Gregory Grabbe had for Bishop Mitrophan.

There is really not much else to say except for the fact that by coming out with slanderous blogs such as these, the blogger Daily Courier opens up his face and shows himself for what he is. An agent of the FSB and the MP, working to undermine the characters of the likes of Bishop Mitrophan and his spiritual son, Father Sergei, who labored and will labor in God's field so that God's Truth can continue to grow in the hearts of all men !

For those who have ears, may you hear!
Fr. D.

To see this speech in context with additional ROCOR refugees' discussion about it,

Something characteristic about a phony is that they often reveal what they are trying to do by accusing their victim of doing exactly what they themselves are really doing.  The accusation sounds ridiculously absurd until it is mirrored back to them. coming out with slanderous blogs such as these, the blogger Daily Courier opens up his face and shows himself for what he is. An agent of the FSB and the MP, working to undermine the characters of the likes of Bishop Mitrophan and his spiritual son, Father Sergei...

Mirror this back to Fr. D. and we see who he is:

An agent trying to undermine ROCA.
And maintaining the separate existence of an R-split is the first order of this assignment.

Happy Birthday

ROCOR Refugees Blog!
2 years anniversary.

Earthquake Aid Trickle

 From Fr. Gregory:
To those of you who have already responded with funds as well as prayers in this crisis, our heartfelt thanks. And to all of you, a reminder that this is not a "today" crisis, but a disaster which will require years for anything resembling recovery. We have received already one indefinite $200/month pledge in response to the situation (in addition to a larger immediate donation from the same person). We need many more! Please bear in mind that the big NGOs will raise millions with our without your help. Little, perhaps none, of that will ever trickle down to be of any immediate assistance to your brothers and sisters there. Rest assured that whatever you can contribute will go directly to assist people who are your brothers and sisters. Haiti Orthodox Mission has essentially no administrative overhead, apart from my travel costs.

latest update Sunday 9:30pm EST

Whom Dr. Magerovsky Offended

Here is an excerpt from an email Reader Daniel sent me about a week after Servant Eugene reposed. -jh

... Of course, this is a thorny and somewhat complicated a subject: the whys? of those VARIOUS folks who have been offended by Dr. Magerovsky's writings, and in which specific CATEGORY of aggrieved-persons, does each individual among them fit? And too, do ANY of them have a right to have been offended/angry at Magerovsky? And too, was Dr. Eugene L. Magerovsky a PERFECT human being, always and in every one of his arguments or positions, etc.?  i.e. did he unnecessarily cause anger or instigate some uproar, etc.?

Here are the major categories of the offended:

1) those who were hell-bent to make the 'union', and didn't want or expect anyone to spill the beans or publicly contradict them

2) the exceedingly confused 'ROCOR-refugees, who upon the sinking of the Titanic, were at first merely mindless floating flotsam seeking ANY lifeboat into which they could climb to save themselves, and who thus, were not thinking clearly AND who did not know the FACTS about what had happened nor where to turn

3) fellow anti-MP folks, especially parish priests, who early still HOPED that many would rebel against the union and join our side, IF ONLY we spoke softly and kindly to them (& even about our enemies, the MP!). Those parish priests hoped that 'fence-sitters' might be swayed to our side

4) Magerovsky's unminced direct and steady internet assaults upon the traitors in ROCOR and in clearly spelling out the BLACK facts of the MP, etc. were considered, 'too harsh,' 'too confrontational,' 'unChristian,' 'disrespectful,' 'irreligious,'  - so much so, that: that crowd (still among our ROCA clergy & laity) actually blamed Magerovsky:
"For causing many who might have joined us, to instead ... flee from us," because they said: "if that nasty/crazy Magerovsky reflects Agafangel's church, then WE DON'T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT!" and those types have : 1) stayed with the 'union'  OR  2) chosen an alternative (rival) fragment church, to ours.
Thus, Magerovsky is seen by these folks (the ones, technically 'in our ROCA' still) as having done far more harm to our cause than good. He was the proverbial 'loose-cannon,' a 'big-mouth,' a 'difficult person,' an 'argumentative fellow,' etc.  In other words too, "Magerovsky has been a curse on us, not a blessing!" etc.

The most bizarre accusation thrown at Magerovsky: "He has caused many to GO with the union, who otherwise might have/would have (?) joined us!"
...ha! ha! ha! utterly absurd! (as if those goofy folks do not themselves! bear full responsibility for their own deeds and words!???) ....especially the beep crowd, as but one prime example.

Of course, Joanna, all of this is rubbish.  Magerovsky did his best, to sound the alarm bell, when almost no one else was.  And, sure, he MIGHT have been more polite sometimes, etc. But when one is trying to wake up zombies headed over the cliff, do you speak softly?  And too, though he started his battle as a lone-ranger, (originally inspired by beep, as he told me recently) he progressed over time into a team-player when it became more appropriate to our ROCA's cause.  He was flexible.  And again, he was NOT pefect in every aspect or crany of his being, but HE DID HID BEST! via his blog site on the internet, to fight massive betrayal and massive evil; while most others were either bowing to that evil or wanting to be piped to/ entertained on the street corners. Magerovsky hated lies and had NO respect for liars! And too, he knew Russian Church history and canons! And, he knew the communists!

So this is a further clarificatiion of what I have previously briefly mentioned to you: our ROCA has not had (nor even now has) perfect unity.  Magerovsky has been very disliked, by many in our own church, not only from outside us. That is apparently the reason why even now, at his passing from this world, we hear or see ALMOST no words of sympathy for him by most of our higher clergy: "if you can't say anything good about (the living or the dead), don't say anything at all!"  (and Russians generally adhere to that dictum, especially about the newly reposed). they are generally quiet.

This is about all I can say on this subject, for now.

To all the people who thought we lost members because of Dr. Magerovsky, I ask this:
Has any one of those lost people joined or returned now that Dr. Magerovsky is gone?

News From Fr. Ambroise!

Blessed Are Ye...

...When Men Shall Revile You...

A year ago, the day Servant Eugene died, his enemies, like frantic rabid animals, descended onto the R0C0R Refugees blog, which at that time allowed comments by anyone  Here is a collection of some of the absurd names the enemies have called Dr. Magerovsky, for a bit of humor...

By his enemies Dr. Magerovsky had been called:
A Jew!
A Jew-Mason!
A Polish Jew-Mason!
A Khazarian-Jew!
A CIA agent!
A KGB agent!
A CIA/KGB double agent!
A Gay!
A Russia-hater!
A Protestant!
A Nazi!
A Jew-Nazi!
"Doctor Dobrovo-Magerovsky"!
An Israeli Masad agent!
A Masad-CIA-KGB agent!
A Zionist!
Herr Magerovsky!
Dr. Magoo!
[various vulgarities are omitted from this list since there is no humor in them]





Earthquake Haiti Day #4

All past and future updates are now on the Haiti Mission website.
√ Breakthrough
√ First Casualty Report
√ Map
√ How to help
√ Sign on to Mission group emailing list

Earthquake Pray for Haiti

Fr. Gregory Williams (
Thu 1/14/10 5:50 PM
Joanna Higginbotham (
Blessings!  As you might suppose, I've been fully occupied with phone calls & e-mails (and in between trying endlessly & without success to reach anyone in Haiti)

Dear R0C0R Refugees,
Even under normal [normal for Haiti] circumstances it is not easy to make contact with Haiti.  For now all we can do is pray and wait.  The aftermath care that will be needed promises to be immeasurable.  In the meantime, I have copied for you the bimonthly update on the Haiti Mission which is contained in the latest issue of Living 0rthodoxy, so you can read what it was like BEF0RE the earthquake. -jh

Living 0rthodoxy #173

page 27 minus the photos:


Introducing our youngest parishioner - Barbara, with proud parents Fr. Ambroise & Matushka Nicole; our family in Haiti continues to grow!*  Happily, the socio-political conditions in Haiti have continued to improve, even if painfully slowly.  Streets [some of them] which were before decorated by piles of rotting garbage and trash are now clear, if not clean, enough not to be a horror to travel through.  A bus service has been instituted in Port-au-Prince, providing humane transport in at least some portions of the city, and as far to the west as Legoane [still a long way from Jacmel!].  Thousands of tap-taps, covered pickups jammed with travelers, however, continue to clog the roadways, but even their behavior has noticeably improved.

At LaPlaine, work is progressing on the cloture wall for the new land, which we pray will one day be the site of a beautiful church.  At about 1.25 acres, that's a lot of wall to build!  In the meanwhile, it serves as home for a church family and, to a limited extent, as garden land.  Unfortunately, not a great deal can be accomplished in the agricultural department until the wall is completed and high enough to restrain marauding livestock.  The deep well we were able to drill a few years ago continues to serve the growing community in the area, providing fresh drinkable water.  But getting it from the well to the homes is still quite a job -- that bucket is full of water, and the fence the barefoot little girl has to cross with it is pretty high.  Care to try it yourself?**

Life for the family of the Chapel of St. Dorothy of Kashin is hard -- almost no one has anything resembling good employment -- but nevertheless it is a happy family, with many happy children.

As I write, the 22 ton container of food relief for the schools is still tied up in Haitian customs [it's been there for over a week]; we're praying for its prompt release -- especially as after just a few more days we'll have to begin paying $35/day in drayage charges.  Still to come, of course, are the expenses of moving the food from the container to the three schools and preparation and serving.

At St. Augustine's the school is functioning well, with more than 250 students this year.  Although we've been able to move all classes out of the church, it is still, for want of space, necessary to use the back of the church for some activities.

The rubble-pile you see below is actually an apartment under construction above the school offices, to provide housing space for visiting clergy and others.  While the bare structure is done [in addition to what you see there are a small kitchen and bathroom and a balcony] and protected against weather destruction, it has a long way to go to be inhabitable!  Best estimate [quite unstable because of rapidly escalating materials costs] is that it will cost around $8000 to turn it into liveable space.

I continue to make mission visits about every 10 weeks on average, usually for 10-day stays.  Trips in September and November were both fruitful and enjoyable and, happily, free of any undue complications [apart from disrupted air travel both ways in September, but that's just part of the game!]  0n both trips I was able to be with Fr. Ambroise for mid-week services at St. Dorothy's [surprisingly well attended], and to serve on the Sundays at St. Augustine's.  Fr. Ambroise continues to serve there between my visits, so liturgy is served there about once a month.

Since he can't be in two places at once [any more than I can!], services for Nativity will be at St. Augustine's, with the faithful from St. Dorothy's traveling there and sleeping on the floors of the school.  Theophany services will be at St. Dorothy's, with the population migration the other way.  Help with transportation costs badly needed!  God-willing, I'll be back in January, this trip featuring a much-needed liturgical instruction seminar.  We beg your prayers and alms!

*This introduction is accompanied by a photo of Fr, Ambroise and his Matushka Nicole with Fr. Ambroise holding baby Barbara up for the camera.
**The photo is of a preteen girl with a laundry size tub on her head.  Next to her is the wall that is more than 2x her height.

Nativity Epistles

Nativity Epistles [click ]

Just An Opinion

by Joanna
There is an article in the Daily Courier, January 8, 2010, titled:

From what I can tell by the machine translation these are either three Russian newspapers or three names for the same Russian newspaper which for the past 4O years have sought to destroy ROCOR.  The names have changed, but the "essence remains unchanged."  Today they are maligning  Vl. Agafangel for his "new unification initiatives" and calling for the creation of one more "unlawful assembly under the name of the Church Abroad."  The article includes a report submitted by Protopresbyter George Grabbe [1973?] charging the editor of the Banner of Russia with waging a campaign against the Synod using 3 methods:
1. slander against bishops and clergy
2. unfounded defamation
3. "call for the formation of self-appointed gatherings" [which means schisms]
Further into the article, for example, we see that in 1973 this newspaper was calling for a new split by convening the "FIRST Catacomb Cathedral"

The point here is that for the enemy to create destructive schisms is not any new idea.  They are always waiting for any opportunity.

Our Vl. Joseph said he believes that the "fragments" [the R-splits of today] resulted from the planned and coordinated actions of hidden elements of ROCA's enemies [Oct. 26/13 Minutes].  This makes sense.

Some refugees seem to hold to the theory that all the R-splits are equal, that they all resulted from the union, just that some left earlier than others.  And they include ROCA-A in the category of the R-splits.  A closer look, negates, or at least casts doubt, on this theory.  The piece of information missing in this theory is that the earlier R-splits were engineered by infiltrators.  The goals include:
1. divide and conquer
2. get the opposition out of the way and into a place where they can be labeled "fanatic schismatics" so that nobody will take them seriously
3. cause confusion, distraction
4. have a basis from which to launch future attacks when the opportunity presents itself

Notice how rapidly ROCIE was divided after it was formed.  And notice how the common spirit of the R-splits is division and separation - bordering on isolation.  And notice one big difference between the R-splits and ROCA-A :

In the forming of all the R-splits, they left ROCOR and started their own jurisdiction.  Vl. Agafangel is the only one who did not leave, – rather he was left by the others, standing alone.  As Fr. Gregory said in his open letter published just prior to the union - he is not going anywhere, he will just be left standing there, abandoned.  The KGB could not have manipulated that sequence of events.  It was the MP's objective to take all the Bishops, not to leave one behind.  ROCA-A was a God-made beginning, unlike the R-splits which had man-made beginnings.

Anyone who takes the time to read the postings on this subject will be able to understand that we do not "attack" RTOC, it is just that we do not recognize it as canonical.  We recognize that many of the faithful are true members of Christ's flock, deceived into accepting an uncanonical situation, which we hope can be remedied for the flock, or at least for some individuals.

Related post:

Why RTOC Is Not Canonical

Dr. Magerovsky's letter to Bp. Photius in 2008 

Eugene L. Magerovsky, Ph.D.
Consultant, North-American District, Provisional Supreme Church Authority
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
5 Round Hill Road
Kinnelon, New Jersey 07405
Tel. [973] 492-3068 E-mail

30/17 April 2008

To His Grace Photius, Bishop of Marathon
Secretary of the Holy Synod of
True Orthodox Church of Greece
106 Kangios Str.
106 82 Athens, Greece

Christos Anesti!

Dear Right Reverend Bishop Photius!

I am addressing Your Grace in the capacity of the Consultant to the North-American District of ROCOR concerning a matter of grave importance.  It has been reported in the news that you recently met at the Lesna Monastery in France with "Archbishop" Tikhon, the head of the so-called "Russian True Orthodox Church" on the subject of the possible establishment of eucharistic communion.  I bring this to your attention, if you do not know this already, that this "church" is absolutely uncanonical.

In the year 2001, after our late Metropolitan Vitaly of Blessed Memory had retired and Archbishop Laurus was duly elected by the ROCOR Council as Metropolitan, a group of dissident bishops pursuing their own agenda prevailed upon the ailing Metropolitan-in-retirement to illegally return himself to power and create a schism known as the "Russian Orthodox Church in Exile" also known among people as ROCOR[V-italy].  This group numbered three Bishops of ROCOR:  Bishop Varnava [who did penance and returned to ROCOR in 2006] and two Bishops from Russia -Archbishop Lazar' and Bishop Veniamin.

To clear the matter somewhat, it must be said that earlier two ROCOR Bishops: Archbishop Lazar' [the architect of so-called True Orthodox Church of Russia Schism], together with Bishop Valentin now "Metropolitan" and head of the so-called Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church schism] - both ordained as Bishops by ROCOR solely to provide for the spiritual needs of ROCOR parishes in Russia, sought to create for themselves in the 1990's their own Russian synod independent from ROCOR, but at that time it was possible to heal this schism, as both hierarchs did penance, sought atonement and returned to ROCOR.

The difficulty to accommodate the desire of these Bishops was the fact that ROCOR could not do so because according to St. Patriarch Tikhon's Ukaz No. 362 of 1920, ROCOR is not allowed nor capable to create autocephalous bodies, independent of itself.  Although ROCOR has a perfectly legal and canonical independent status of its own, nevertheless it is a temporary one, and lasts only until a freely elected Local Council is called and convened where unification of the fullness of the Russian Church must take place.  ROCOR is not an autocephalous Church and cannot grant that status to other Churches or Synods.  Its limited authority will end when such a Local Council is called and convened,

For the creation of the Church in Exile schism 2001, both Archbishop Lazar' and Bishop Veniamin were suspended by ROCOR and a Spiritual Court was appointed to try them.  Metropolitan Vitaly was not suspended, since he was in retirement, and Bishop Varnava was suspended several months earlier for other transgressions.  Both Lazar' and Veniamin, not waiting for a trial, declared that the "true" ROCOR is the church of Metropolitan Vitaly - the Russian Church in Exile - and continued to serve, stating that any canonical actions against them by the real ROCOR Church [of Metropolitan Laurus] have no bearing.  As a result of all this, the said bishops had lost their episcopal status.

This now former Archbishop Lazar', did not lose his hope of obtaining a Russian Synod of his own.  He had brought unprecedented pressure on the ailing Metropolitan Vitaly to allow him to create his own Synod in Russia independent from the Russina Orthodox Church in Exile which led both Lazar' and Veniamin to cease commemoration of Metropolitan Vitaly as their Chief Hierarch.  A month later, in a private letter to Archbishop Lazar' [apparently unsuccessfully trying to avoid a schism within his own schism], Metropolitan Vitaly wrote that the last thing he could offer would be to allow them to create a Russian Synod of their church under control of Vitaly's Synod, thereby reserving the final decision to the Sobor [Council] of the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile.  However, not waiting for the Sobor of ROCiE and being in schism from them for a month already by not commemorating Metropolitan Vitaly, both Lazar' and Veniamin illegally consecrated several bishops, including one named Tikhon, and formed their own "Synod" and new church -- the "Russian True Orthodox Church" or RTOC.     

Metropolitan Vitaly immediately reacted to this by declaring that their formation of the synod was uncanonical, that Lazar' and Veniamin have put themselves outside the Church, that their consecration of additional bishops is not valid and absolutely not canonical since these actions were not considered nor approved by the sobor of ROCiE.  The measures undertaken by Metropolitan Vitaly were not successful and there appeared still another schismatic body in addition to ROCiE namely RTOC, whose "Synod" nor "episcopacy" is in any way canonical.

"Archbishop" Tikhon very loudly and rightly criticizes the Moscow Patriarchate for its ecumenism, sergianism, schimatic condition, and various other shortcomings, and his schismatic church sounds very believable and attractive to others, but his own "jurisdiction" itself does not possess neither a duly constituted Synod, nor a canonical and proper episcopacy.

It should be noted that while positioning itself as a successor to the Catacomb Church they apparently willfully deceive others, as they have no relationship whatsoever to the catacomb movement in Russia.  "Archbishop" Tikhon has come from the Moscow Patriarchate and the chief organizer or RTOC, the late Archbishop Lazar' has even received his priestly ordination there.

Entry of your Synod into eucharistic communion with such a non-canonical structure as RTOC can have disastrous effects on your Synod's canonical status.

More information on this matter may be obtained from Bishop Agafangel of 0dessa and Taurus at the ruling Bishop of the PSCA or ROCOR to whom Tikhon has also previously applied without success.

Asking for your blessing and prayers, I am
Sincerely yours,

[Dr.] Eugene L. Magerovsky

Letter of Bishop Gregory 1994


In this letter we see a difficult situation.  It was in 1983 that Archbishop Vitaly gave his speech,  "The Apocalypse of 0ur Day"  which I posted a few days ago.  Soon after that speech, Metropolitan Philaret reposed, 1985, and Archbishop Vitaly became our new metropolitan.  At his first Hierarchical Council we see trouble starting.  And the trouble-makers, Laurus and Hilarion, are right there in the thick of it.  Even before that, in the first paragraph of this letter, Bishop Gregory mentions "disorder" and "chaos" which is a sure clue that the evil one is present and at work.  Fr. Seraphim Rose had always been afraid the super-correct faction "might eventually form the Russian Church Abroad to its own brand of sectarian church politics."*  But it was something else that put the dagger to the heart.  R0C0R lost Bishop Gregory at a time when it desperately needed him as an antidote to the MP's agenda. -jh

Most Reverend Vladyko!
For a very long time now – in fact, since the first days of your leadership of our Church Abroad – I have with great anxiety and turmoil of heart been tracing how quickly she has begun to slide into the abyss of administrative disorder and canonical chaos.
All this time I have suppressed within myself the desire to express openly to you my anxiety for the destinies of our Church Abroad, mainly out of worry that every utterance of mine will be taken by you as an expression of personal offence.
Believe me, Vladyko, although I could not fail to have the feeling of a certain chagrin in relation to member of the Council and you personally, by the mercy of God I have nourished no unfriendly feelings towards anyone. As you yourself know, I have by all means tried, and I am still trying, in the first place to be ruled by the interests of our Church, both abroad and in Russia.
I very much beseech you patiently to listen to my observations concerning the years when I ceased to be secretary of the Synod. Although I no longer bear any formal responsibility for the later destinies of our Church, I cannot look with indifference at what is now happening before my eyes.
Our woes began with the first Hierarchical Council to take place after the death of Metropolitan Philaret….
In order to illustrate the relationship of the members of the Council of that time to myself, please recall the speech made at the banquet on the occasion of your election. Then Protopriest Ioann Legky, as he then was, in greeting you, said that he was glad that in my person you would have such an experienced and faithful assistant as had had your three predecessors.
To my extreme surprise, in looking through the protocols at the end of the Council, I saw that his speech had been received as ‘an insult to the whole Hierarchical Council’. This amazing resolution remained in the protocol as ‘an instruction to posterity’.
At this time you suggested that I keep the parishes in my jurisdiction and add to them some more from Pennsylvania. In accordance with your direction, I then composed a list of the parishes which should enter my diocese. But when I arrived at the session, you detained my report on this matter and sharply attacked me for my ‘bankruptcy’ as an administrator and in effect gave me an ultimatum: either I myself had to put in an application for retirement, or I would be judged by the Council, although it was not known what for. Seeing that both you and the majority of the members of the Council were seeking an opportunity to drive me out of your midst, I made a declaration about my retirement for the sake of ecclesiastical peace, although I felt absolutely no guilt that would have merited a trial or dismissal. It was said that the reason for the Council members’ dissatisfaction was my unskilful administration of affairs in Rome, although at that time I had completely supported the opinion of the person sent there as investigator, Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles.
Only the reposed Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago, in spite of being ill with the illness that led to his death, wrote you a decisive protest against my illegal dismissal from the see of Washington and Florida.
At the same Council there was an unexpected declaration that Archbishop Laurus had been appointed as Secretary of the Synod, and Bishop Hilarion – as his Deputy. This change in Secretary did not figure on the Council’s agenda. I myself had to point out to the Council that in appointing whoever it may be to a post, one must first make that post free from the other person occupying it. I immediately announced my retirement. However, I could not fail to be worried by the fact – which the members of the Council did not want to take into consideration – that the new Secretary of the Synod would be living 200 kilometres from the Chancellery, while his deputy was a man completely inexperienced in chancellery procedures.
This my very hasty removal from the post of Secretary of the Synod (although it was called different things at different times) after 55 years of service to the Church Abroad must have demonstrated to our enemies that a revolution had taken place among us, which would undoubtedly be badly reflected on the prestige of the Synod. I myself had to point this out to you in my concern for preserving the dignity of the Synod at the given time. Apparently you yourself felt a certain awkwardness at that time, and you expressed your gratitude to me in a laconical way. It is also worthy of note that I was treated like a guilty chamber-maid precisely in the year in which the Council resolved triumphantly to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Metropolitan Anthony [Khrapovitsky]. The Council completely ignored the fact that I was not only appointed to work in the Synod by the personal desire of the Metropolitan, but also that I was one of his closest and most trusted co-workers.
In view of this, my daughter [Matushka Anastasia Georgievna Shatilova] refused the responsibilities of Record-Keeper of the Chancellery. For the last four decades she had been my unofficial secretary and closest co-worker. She already had enormous experience of work in ecclesiastical administration. In unconditionally accepting her resignation, you thereby deprived the Synodal Chancellery of its main worker.
With my and her departure, the Department of External Relations of the Synod was immediately closed. This Department had been acquiring a greater and greater significance in the eyes of the other Orthodox Churches. Reprints from the “Newsheet” that it published had already begun to appear in the official organs of some local Churches. This was a fresh blow at the prestige of the Synod.
On the disorganisation of our Chancellery I can judge from a series of signs. Thus I was sent from Russia copies of your letters to Archbishop Lazarus and Bishop Valentine. First, I very soon managed to find out that these documents were unknown to both Secretaries of the Synod, to whom I handed over these copies. Moreover, the very subject of these letters, by the delicacy of their content, demanded their presentation by you for discussion in the Hierarchical Synod. But it turned out that the letters were not only dispatched without the knowledge of the Secretaries, but also had a whole series of other defects which quite clearly demonstrated the bankruptcy of your personal Chancellery. Although Russian notepaper was available, the letters to Russia were sent on English notepaper; they not only had no numbers, but even no dates. In the letter to Archbishop Lazarus there was no indication of whom it was being sent to, while Bishop Valentine’s title was incomplete. Finally, the very text of the letters was by no means brilliant grammatically and stylistically. Moreover, it also emerged (which is especially terrible) that at the bottom of both letters was not your signature in your own hand, but a facsimile!…
The Synodal House ceased to exist as the centre of our administration. The sessions of the Synods and Councils were usually arranged in any place, only not in the Synodal House. Besides, you are rarely in New York, Vladyka Hilarion is often away, and the Chancellery in his absence does not function – in our former centre there is often not a single responsible person capable of giving correct information, or of understanding what to do with information received from outside. Often the ‘responsible’ person turns out to be the telephonist on duty at the time.
There have been many complaints against your secretary on the part of clergy visiting the Synod, mainly because of her crudeness and unwelcomingness. I know of cases when she refused to connect you by telephone even with Bishops. I personally have more than once been in such a situation. However, in refusing to connect me with you, she was polite to me. But her often provocative behaviour has drawn censure also on you personally, for much is said and done by her in your name.
The Synodal cathedral, which was always famous for its well-ordered and very majestic cathedral services, has for a long time now not had even one permanent priest. Vladyka Hilarion tries to fulfil the role of such a priest as well as he can. But people who turn to the Synod for the carrying out of needs in his absence are often refused in a less than polite manner.
The constantly changing priests in the cathedral read Church Slavonic with evident difficulty, making mistakes even in often-repeated Saturday Gospels.
Things are no better in the Eastern American diocese. I have often had to hear the complaints of our priests about the fact that since the time you became the head of this diocese there has not been a single diocesan Congress, in spite of the fact that at pastoral congresses you have been asked insistently about this by the father rectors. Many priests feel that you have abandoned this diocese when they learn that there have been diocesan congresses in Canada.
Some have begun to be concerned at the danger of losing the guarantee of keeping their parish property. Thus the property of the Eastern American diocese and of the parish at Glen Cove attached to it has suddenly been declared to be the property of the Hierarchical Synod. For a long time now the Synod has been aiming to close down this parish, and to sell the diocese’s property for its own profit.
As regards our affairs in Russia, you yourself know how many reports I have made on this issue. Not once have I received any kind of reaction, neither from you personally, nor from the Synod Chancellery.
I was particularly distressed by the ban you imposed on me in March preventing me from personally presenting my report to the Synod and from taking part in the deliberations on its contents. This is a completely unprecedented case in the history of the Church Abroad. I do not know of a single case in which a Bishop was refused the right of publishing his report to the Synod.
The actuality of my report has been confirmed by the events that took place one after the other in Russia. A correctly ordered administration should anticipate events, and not simply react to them hastily, which is quite obviously what is happening now. As a result we have brought the matter of the possible regeneration of the Church in Russia to the most undesirable of ends.
Spurred on by envy and spite, certain of our Bishops have influenced the whole course of our Church politics in Russia. As a consequence of this, our Synod has not understood the meaning of the existence of our mission abroad.
As I warned the Synod in my last report, we have done absolutely everything possible to force the Russian Bishops to separate from us administratively.
They have had to proceed from Resolution No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon of November 7/20, 1920, so as to prevent the final destruction of the just-beginning regeneration of the Russian Church in our Fatherland. But our Synod, having nothing before its eyes except punitive tactics, has proceeded only from the positions of normalised ecclesiastical life. But the Patriarch’s Resolution had in mind the preservation of ecclesiastical construction in completely unprecedented historical and ecclesiastical circumstances.
The ukaz was composed for various cases, including the means of restoring the Church Administration in conditions when it had even ceased to be (cf. article 9) and “the extreme disorganisation of Church life”. This is the task placed before any surviving hierarch, provided only that he truly Orthodox.
The Russian Hierarchs felt themselves to be in this position when, for almost two years in a row, their enquiries and requests to receive support against the oppression of the Moscow Patriarchate were met with complete silence on the part of our Synod.
Seeing the canonical chaos caused in their dioceses by Bishop Barnabas, and the silent connivance towards him of the Synod, the Russian Hierarchs came to the conclusion that they had no other way of preventing the destruction of the whole enterprise than by being ruled by the patriarchal Resolution No. 362.
Our Synod unlawfully pushed Bishop Valentine into retirement for accepting the huge parish in Noginsk, which Bishop Barnabas hoped to receive for himself, but did not react in any way when the same Bishop Barnabas treacherously shamed the Synod by petitioning to be received into communion with a Ukrainian self-consecrator in the name of the Synod!
I do not know whether you have read the full text of the Resolution of November 7/20 at a session of the Synod. I myself earlier paid little attention to it, but now, on reading it through, I see that the Russian Bishops have every right to refer to it, and this fact will be revealed in the polemic that will now inevitably develop. I fear that the Synod has already opened the way to this undesirable polemic by its decisions, and it will betoken a schism not only in Russia, but also with us here…
There are things which cannot be stopped, and it is also impossible to walk away from an accomplished fact. If our Synod does not now correctly evaluate the passing historical moment, then its already infinitely undermined prestige (especially in Russia) will be finally and ingloriously destroyed.
For all the years of the existence of the Church Abroad we have enjoyed respect and glory for nothing else than for our uncompromising faithfulness to the canons. They hated us, but they did not dare not to respect us. But now we have shown the whole Orthodox world that the canons are for us just an empty sound and we have become a laughing-stock in the eyes of all those who have any kind of relationship to Church questions.
Look: you yourself, at the Council in Lesna, permitted yourself to say that for us, the participants in it, this was not now the time to examine canons, but we had to act quickly. You, holding the tiller of the ecclesiastical ship, triumphantly, in front of the whole Council, declared to us that now we had to hasten to sail without a rudder and without sails. At that time your words appalled me, but I, knowing of your irritation towards me because I insist that we have to live in accordance with the canons, still hoped that all was not lost and that our Bishops would somehow shake off the whole nightmare of these last years.
Think, Vladyko, of the tens of thousands of Orthodox people we have deceived both abroad and in Russia. Don’t calm yourself with the thought that if there is some guilt somewhere, then it lies equally on all our hierarchs. The main guilt will lie on you, as the leader of our Council. I have had to hear from some Bishops that sometimes the Synod decrees one thing, and then you, taking no account of previous resolutions, on your own initiative either change them or simply rescind them.
And look now, as has already become quite well known, after the stormy March session of the Synod, it dispersed without making a single resolution. During it the question was discussed of banning the Russian Hierarchs from serving. Nevertheless, you demanded that the Secretariat that it send of an ukaz banning bishops who were not even under investigation. Both from the point of view of the 34th Apostolic canon, and from an ecclesiastical-administrative point of view, this is unprecedented lawlessness.
Remember, Vladyko, your reproachful speech against Metropolitan Philaret, when in 1985 you for ten minutes non-stop fulminated against him for transgressing the 34th Apostolic canon. The crimes of Metropolitan Philaret seem to me to be miniscule by comparison with what is happening now. He only occasionally gave awards to clergy of other dioceses at the request of his cell-attendant, but never interfered in the affairs of the dioceses of his brothers. But that is what both you personally and certain of our Bishops have begun to do. Fr. Nikita was not able to get the reposed Metropolitan Philaret to commit those uncanonical acts in which the activity of Bishop Barnabas and certain other bishops abound – with the silent agreement of you as the First Hierarch, who must know all these circumstances well.
Forgive me, Vladyko, if my letter grieves you. My aim is not, and never has been, to wound or offend you. In going through the results of your rule in recent years in chronological order… my aim was by no means to complain about my own fate. You of course must know that I have not once expressed any offence or complaint of a personal character. I write this letter only in order to show you clearly how we have come off the canonical rails since 1985, we have more and more begun to depart from the basic ecclesiastical canons and rulers of our Local Church and now we have reduced all our affairs in Russia and abroad to the saddest condition.
I was a witness of, and participant in, the glorious period in the life of the Church Abroad, and now with pain I look on what I consider to be what is already its inglorious end.
The growth of our parishes abroad has ceased since the death of Metropolitan Philaret. We have no candidates to fill the hierarchical sees, which witnesses to the fact that we are gradually becoming smaller. And now at this portentous moment we are simply renouncing the link with Russia that was established with such labour.
Our Synod must understand that we by our actions have elicited the speedy administrative departure from us of the Russian Hierarchs. It had to happen one way or another on the basis of the Resolution of Patriarch Tikhon of November 7/20, 1920 and of our own “Statute concerning the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad”. If we do not now understand this, then we only demonstrate before the whole world our bankruptcy and our failure to understand the whole historic mission laid upon us by the Providence of God.
In their resolution of March 22 the Russian Hierarchs declared that they remained in communion of prayer with us and commemorated you in the Divine services, but we, instead of understanding the unprecedented state of ecclesiastical affairs in Russia, and not thinking about building up the Church or of the tens of thousands of people deceived by us – reply to everything only with canons which were meant to be used in normal conditions.
It is absolutely necessary for you sharply and decisively to turn the rudder of our administration in the direction of keeping the canons, before it is too late.
Vladyko, do not allow your name in the history of the Russian Church to be linked, not with the peaceful construction of Church life, but with its abrupt and shameful destruction both in Russia and abroad.
March 24 / April 6, 1994