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An important principle follows from this. To the extent that we remain in ignorance, to that degree we can hope for forgiveness from God, if we repent. Conversely, to the extent that we know that we are sinning, but still continue in that sin, to that degree we remain unforgiven, for forgiveness is given only to those who seek it through repentance.

Even the greatest sins can be forgiven if the sinner is truly, involuntarily ignorant. However, there is such a phenomenon as voluntary, conscious ignorance. Moreover, if someone says that he knows, when in fact he is ignorant, this is counted to him as conscious ignorance. Voluntary ignorance is very close to conscious resistance to the truth, which, according to the word of God, will receive the greater condemnation.

And if it seems improbable that God should send someone the working of deception, let us recall that God allowed a lying spirit to enter into the lips of the prophets of King Ahab, because they prophesied to him only that which he wanted to hear III Kings Here is an example of an unforgivable sin. The Lord first spoke about an unforgiven blasphemy in Mark 3. As you see, there was no direct blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but there was an opposition to evident truth. It is not that God does not want to forgive all, even the most terrible sins; he wishes that all should come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved I Tim.

And so he cannot receive forgiveness from the Truth. And so this impenitence is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Voluntary ignorance can be of various degrees. There is the voluntary ignorance which refuses to believe even when the truth is staring at one in the face. This is the most serious form of ignorance, which was practiced by the Pharisees and heresiarchs. But the voluntarily ignorant can also be he who does not take the steps that are necessary to find the truth.

This is less serious, but still worthy of punishment and is a characteristic of many of those who followed the Pharisees and heresiarchs. But he that knew not, and committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. Because of his laziness, he was the cause of his own ignorance, and he deserves punishment for this very reason, that of his own will he did not learn. The reason is, because he would not know it, although it was in his power to learn. And to whom does this distinction between different degrees of ignorance apply?

According to St. Cyril, to false teachers and parents, on the one hand, and those who follow them, on the other. In other words, the blind leaders are subjected to a greater punishment than the blind who are led by them, but both the leaders and followers fall into a pit Matt. In the light of this teaching, the greatest and least forgivable sinners in the present-day ecumenical movement are the Orthodox hierarchs. Those who follow these false hierarchs are also guilty, albeit to a lesser degree, because although, in many cases, they may not know the truth as clearly and fully as their leaders, they can easily take steps to learn the truth, by more attentively studying the Holy Scriptures and Divine Services of the Church.

As for the Western heretics who partake in the ecumenical movement, some may know as much as their Orthodox colleagues and are therefore as guilty as they. But generally speaking, the western heretics must be considered to be less guilty than the Orthodox ecumenists. For while they have the Holy Scriptures, they do not have the God-inspired interpretation of the Scriptures that is to be found in the Holy Fathers and Divine services of the Orthodox Church.

Moreover, their striving for union with the Orthodox is natural insofar as they feel themselves spiritually unfulfilled in their own churches and seek to satisfy that hunger in union with Orthodoxy. The tragedy — and it is a great tragedy for all concerned — is that when they seek the truth from the Orthodox, the Orthodox usually push them back to their own spiritual desert, saying that they are already in the truth.

They seek bread, but are given a stone…. And so when we seek the causes of the present-day ecumenical catastrophe, let us not accuse the western heretics first of all. Paradoxical as it may seem, the further away a person is from the truth, the more forgivable and his blind wanderings in the sphere of theology. They build the tombs of the prophets, the holy elders and hierarchs of Orthodoxy, and adorn the monuments of the righteous, the shrines of the new martyrs and confessors, and say that they would not have taken part in the shedding of their blood.

And yet by their betrayal of Holy Orthodoxy they witness against themselves that they are the sons of those who killed the martyrs Matt. Holy Monk-Martyr Nectan of Hartland. I will not assemble their assemblies of blood,. Nor will I make remembrance of their names through my lips. Psalm But she forbids the public commemoration of those who have died outside the faith, and even anathematizes certain of them — the heretics and heresiarchs. In this way she has a selective memory, a memory that reflects the memory of God Himself, who gives everlasting life to those who love Him but blots out those who betray Him from the book of life.

And she glorifies her own leaders, who have led her on the path to destruction. As for her own evil deeds and betrayals, these, too, are edited out…. Much of the past fifteen years in the history of the Russian Church has been a struggle between true memory and false memory. But then, in June, , the first major attempt to turn the clock back and the people back to the amnesiac state of Sovietism took place.

And so after this gaffe he quickly recovered his balance, his sense of which way the wind was blowing; and there was no further overt support of the communists. Then, in May, , he publicly disagreed with a member of the hardline Soiuz bloc, who had said that the resources of the army and the clergy should be drawn on extensively to save the people and the homeland.

The patriarch recalled his words of the previous autumn: the Church and the Faith should not be used as a truncheon. Still more striking was his apparent rejection of Sergianism. Now we have the moral right to say that the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius has disappeared into the past and no longer guides us… The metropolitan cooperated with criminal usurpers. This was his tragedy…. But this relationship — and in the Declaration it is clearly defined as being the submission of the Church to the interests of governmental politics — is exactly that which is incorrect from the point of view of the Church… Of the people, then, to whom these compromises, silence, forced passivity or expressions of loyalty that were permitted by the Church leadership in those days, have caused pain — of these people, not only before God, but also before them, I ask forgiveness, understanding and prayers.

And yet the Church was being persecuted. Declarations of political loyalty were being made. The fullness of Christian life, charity, almsgiving, the Reigning icon of the Mother of God were also renounced. Compromises were made. The patriarch showed that the poison of sergianism was in him still during the attempted coup of August, When he eventually did issue a declaration — on the evening of the 20 th , and again in the early hours of the 21 st — the impression made was, in Fr.

It was rather the priests in the White House — the Russian Parliament building — itself, such as the veteran campaigner for religious freedom, Fr. Gleb Yakunin, as well as the Christians among those manning the barricades outside, who helped to overthrow the Communist Party, the KGB and the Soviet system. During the attack on parliament he showed a similar indecisiveness. It was not until Wednesday morning that the patriarch sent his representative, Deacon Andrew Kurayev, to the Russian parliament building, by which time several dissident priests were already established there. And it was two priests of the Russian Church Abroad, Fr.

Nicholas Artemov from Munich and Fr. Victor Usachev from Moscow, who celebrated the first supplicatory service to the New Martyrs of Russia on the balcony of the White House. Not to be outdone, the patriarchate immediately responded with its own prayer service, and at some time during the same day the patriarch anathematized all those who had taken part in organizing the coup. This lack of principle should have surprised nobody; for the essence of sergianism, the root heresy of the Moscow Patriarchate, is adaptation to the world, and to whatever the world believes and praises.

But while he was now a democrat, the patriarch still remained a sergianist — only in a more subtle way, appearing to distance himself from the sin of sergianism while still insisting that it had to be done. The hierarchy of the church has taken the sin on their souls: the sin of silence and of lying for the good of the people in order that they not be completely removed from real life.

In the government of the diocese and as head of the negotiations for the patriarchate of Moscow, I also had to cede one point in order to defend another. This is closer to self-justification than repentance. It is similar to the statement of Metropolitan Nicholas Corneanu of Banat of the Romanian Patriarchate, who confessed that he had collaborated with the Securitate and had defrocked the priest Fr.

But all this I had to do for the good of the Church! KGB Agents in Cassocks. This news was not, of course, unexpected. Again, in a former KGB agent, A. He said that most of the people working there were in fact KGB agents. But it was the revelations unearthed by the parliamentary commission that were the most shocking.

The parliamentary commission was almost immediately closed down by the President of the Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbalutov, at the insistence, according to Ponomarev, of Patriarch Alexis himself and the head of the KGB, E. Father Gleb remained defiant. He wrote to the Patriarch in No other Church hierarch has followed his example, however.

It is obvious that none of these or the less exalted agents is preparing to repent. On the contrary, they deliver themselves of pastoral maxims on the allegedly neutral character of informing on the Church, and articles have appeared in the Church press justifying the role of the informer as essential for the survival of the Church in an anti-religious state.

Keston News Service reviewed all the available documentary evidence from the various activities of the KGB and concluded that long-standing allegations that the Patriarch and other senior bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church collaborated with the KGB were based on fact. This suggests that each of these bishops was carefully screened and vetted by both the ideological apparatus of the Communist Party and by the KGB. The Synod was unanimously against such a bishop, but we had to take upon us such a sin. And then what a rise he had! Memory Loss. This commission has so far 12 years later produced absolutely nothing!

As the memory loss in church and society became greater and greater in the later s, Patriarch Alexis felt ready to return to the theme of sergianism. She remained together with the people and drank to the dregs the cup of sufferings that fell to its lot. It is well known that the Soviet hierarchs lived a life of considerable luxury, while lifting not a finger for the Catacomb Christians and dissidents sent to torments and death in KGB prisons!

In declaring that the members of the Church want to see themselves as part of the motherland and want to share her joys and sorrows, he tried to show to those who were persecuting the church and who were destroying it that we, the children of the church, want to be loyal citizens so that the affiliation of people with the church would not place them outside the law. But it is not enough to justify betrayal: the traitor himself has to be canonized. However, such an act needs a lengthy preparation.

The opponents — those whose memory is not completely gone — have to be neutralised. Among the confessors of Christ we can in full measure name… his Holiness Patriarch Sergius. It is as if he was contemplating a trade-off: if we recognize your martyrs, he is saying to the opponents of Sergius, then you must recognize ours — including Sergius himself. This suggested that a canonisation of the two leaders — the leader of the True Church, and the leader of the false - was in the offing, but depended on the success of the negotiations between the MP and the ROCOR.

53057239 Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting Derek Prince

And the manner in which they were launched is extremely significant. The time of the service of this archpastor coincided with the most terrible years of the struggle against God, when it was necessary to preserve the Russian Church. In those terrible years of repression and persecutions there were more sorrows.

In both those who shared the position of Metropolitan Sergius and those who did not agree with him suffered for the faith of Christ, for belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. And there can similarly be no doubt that Metropolitan Lavr, in listening to this speech in respectful silence and without interjecting the slightest objection, is a sergianist, too. The phenomenon of the loss of memory in the Moscow Patriarchate is inseparable from the loss of historical memory in Russia as a whole.

Russia does not have a national museum dedicated to the history of repression. Nor does Russia have a national place of mourning, a monument which officially recognizes the suffering of victims and their families. Throughout the s, competitions were held to design such a monument, but they came to nothing. Memorial succeeded only in dragging a stone from the Solovetsky islands — where the Gulag began — and placing it in the centre of Dzerzhinsky Square, across from the Lubyanka.

Sometimes, it seems as if the enormous emotions and passions raised by the wide-ranging discussions of the Gorbachev era simply vanished, along with the Soviet Union itself. The bitter debate about justice for the victims disappeared just as abruptly. Although there was much talk about it at the end of the s, the Russian government never did examine or try the perpetrators of torture or mass murder, even those who were identifiable.

In the early s, one of the men who carried out the Katyn massacres of Polish officers was still alive. Before he died, the KGB conducted an interview with him, asking him to explain — from a technical point of view — how the murders were carried out. No one suggested at any time that the man be put on trial, in Moscow, Warsaw, or anywhere else.

In the years after the Second World War, West Germany brought 85, Nazis to trial, but obtained fewer than 7, convictions. The tribunals were notoriously corrupt, and easily swayed by personal jealousies and disputes. There are truth commissions, for example, of the sort implemented in South Africa, which allow victims to tell their stories in an official, public place, and make the crimes of the past a part of the public debate.

There are government inquiries, government commission, public apologies — yet the Russian government has never considered any of these options. By the end of , about 4. Those victims — hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions more — who were never sentenced will of course be exempt from the process. Rather, the goal has been to end discussion of the past, to pacify the victims by throwing them a few extra roubles and free bus tickets, and to avoid any deeper examination of the causes of Stalinism and its legacy.

Most Russians really do spend all of their time coping with the complete transformation of their economy and society. The Stalinist era was a long time ago, and a great deal has happened since it ended. In the twenty-first century, the events of the middle of the twentieth century seem like ancient history to much of the population. Because that generation of political leaders is now seen to have failed — their rule is remembered for corruption and chaos — all talk of the Gulag is somehow tainted by association.

There are plenty of memorials to the wartime dead, some Russians seem to feel: Will that not suffice? Many Russians experienced the collapse of the Soviet Union as a profound blow to their personal pride. Perhaps the old system was bad, they now feel — but at least we were powerful. And now that we are not powerful, we do not want to hear that it was bad. It is too painful, like speaking ill of the dead. In , the Russian American journalist Masha Gessen described what it felt like to discover that one of her grandmothers, a nice old Jewish lady, had been a censor, responsible for altering the reports of foreign correspondents based in Moscow.

She also discovered that her other grandmother, another nice old Jewish lady, had once applied for a job with the secret police. Both had made their choices out of desperation, not conviction. Although many willingly participated, otherwise decent people were also forced to do terrible things.

They, their children, and their grandchildren do not always want to remember that now. In December , on the tenth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, thirteen of the fifteen former Soviet republics were run by former communists, as were many of the former satellite states, including Poland, the country which supplied so many hundreds of thousands of prisoners for Soviet camps and exile villages. Even the Communist Party, former communists and their children or fellow travellers also continued to figure largely in the intellectual, media and business elites.

In Hungary, the ex-Communist Party, renamed the Socialist Party, fought bitterly against opening the museum to the victims of terror. When the ex-Communist Party, renamed the Social Democrats, was elected to power in Poland in , it immediately cut the budget of the Polish Institute of National Memory, set up by its centre-right predecessors. This quotation is long because every point it makes about the loss of memory and the corruption of memory in Russia as a whole can be paralleled in that microcosm of Russia today that is the Moscow Patriarchate. If the Russian state and people want to keep silent about the past, then so does the MP — and for very similar reasons.

If Putin the Chekist places a plaque to the memory of Yuri Andropov at the Lubyanka, then Alexis the Chekist goes one better by building a church inside the Lubyanka for the spiritual needs of the KGB agents who work in it. If a true and adequate monument to the victims of the Gulag will not be built until the older generation is dead, then the same is probably true about the holy martyrs and confessors of the Catacomb Church: not until the present rulers of the Church and State in Russia are dead or removed will they be given a fitting memorial A man is to a large extent constituted by his memory.

If he forgets his past, he has to a large extent lost himself. The same applies to a nation. And to a Church. For the sin of forgetfulness - both of the great deeds of God and His saints, and of the great iniquities of the devil and his followers - is indeed the sin unto death. And the path to life for those sitting by the waters of the Babylon of this world is the path of constant vigilance and memory: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem….

Hieromartyr Benjamin, Metropolitan of Petrograd, and those with him. The Heretical Encyclical of In January, , Metropolitan Dorotheus, locum tenens of the patriarchal throne, and his Synod issued what was in effect a charter for Ecumenism. There is no mention here of the only possible justification of Ecumenism from an Orthodox point of view — the opportunity it provides of conducting missionary work among the heretics.

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On the contrary, as we have seen, one of the first aims of the ecumenical movement was and is to prevent proselytism among the member-Churches. The Uncanonical Election of Meletius Metaxakis. Two years later, Theocletus was vindicated. But the damage was done. But by December, he was Patriarch of Constantinople! How did this transformation of a defrocked monk into Patriarch of Constantinople take place?

Of the seventeen votes cast, sixteen were in my favour. Then one of my lay friends offered me 10, lira if I would forfeit my election in favour of Meletius Metaxakis. Naturally I refused his offer, displeased and disgusted. Therefore, international interests demanded that Meletius Metaxakis be elected Patriarch. Such was also the will of Eleutherius Venizelos. I thought over this proposal all night. Economic chaos reigned at the Patriarchate. The government in Athens had stopped sending subsidies, and there were no other sources of income. Regular salaries had not been paid for nine months.

The charitable organizations of the Patriarchate were in a critical economic state. The majority of the members voted to accept this proposal. At the same time, on the very day of the election, the bishops who had voted to postpone the election were replaced by other bishops. This move allowed the election of Meletius as Patriarch. Consequently, the majority of bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople who had been circumvented met in Thessalonica. Two members of the Synod then went to Athens to report to the council of ministers.

On December 12, they declared the election null and void. One of the prominent hierarchs who refused to accept this election was Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavourides of Florina, the future leader of the True Orthodox Church, who also tried to warn the then Prime Minister Gounaris about the dangers posed by the election of Meletius. The Sublime Porte also refused to recognize the election, first because Meletius was not an Ottoman citizen and therefore was not eligible for the patriarchate according to the Ottoman charter of , and secondly because Meletius declared that he did not consider any such charters as binding insofar as they had been imposed by the Muslim conquerors.

On December 29, , the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece deposed Metaxakis for a series of canonical transgressions and for creating a schism, declared both Metaxakis and Rodostolos Alexandros to be schismatics and threatened to declare all those who followed them as similarly schismatic. In spite of this second condemnation, Meletius was enthroned as patriarch on January 22, ; and as a result of intense political pressure his deposition was uncanonically lifted on September 24, !

Meletius and his successor, Gregory VII, undertook what can only be described as a wholesale annexation of vast territories belonging to the jurisdiction of the Serbian and Russian Patriarchates. Western Europe. In the late s the Ecumenical Patriarch received into his jurisdiction the Russian Metropolitan Eulogius of Paris, who had created a schism in the Russian Church Abroad, and who sheltered a number of influential heretics, such as Nicholas Berdyaev and Fr. Sergius Bulgakov, in the theological institute of St.

Sergius in Paris. On June 9, , Meletius uncanonically received this autonomous Finnish Church into his jurisdiction. Thus under pressure from the Lutheran government, and in spite of the protests of Patriarch Tikhon, Patriarch Gregory allowed the Finnish Church to adopt the western paschalion.

Then began the persecution of the confessors of the Old Calendar in the monastery of Valaam. The Ecumenical Patriarch consecrated a vicar bishop for Finland, the priest Aava, who was not only not tonsured, but not even a rasophore. Moreover, this was done not only without the agreement of the Archbishop of Finland, but in spite of his protest. Based on precisely this same canon, the predecessors of Gregory vainly attempted to realize his pretensions and legalize their claims to control. There he instigated the Lutheran government to persecute the canonical Archbishop of Finland, Seraphim, who was respected by the people.

The Finnish government previously had requested the Ecumenical Patriarch to confirm the most illegal of laws, namely that the secular government of Finland would have the right to retire the Archbishop. The government in fact followed through with the retirement, falsely claiming that Archbishop Seraphim had not learned enough Finnish in the allotted time. Heaven and earth were horrified at this illegal, tyrannical act of a non-Orthodox government. Even more horrifying was that an Orthodox patriarch had consented to such chicanery. To the scandal of the Orthodox and the evil delight of the heterodox, the highly dubious Bishop Germanus the former Fr.

Aava strolled the streets of Finland in secular clothes, clean-shaven and hair cut short, while the most worthy of bishops, Seraphim, crudely betrayed by his false brother, languished in exile for the remainder of his life in a tiny hut of a monastery on a stormy isle on Lake Ladoga. In February, Patriarch Tikhon granted a broad measure of autonomy to the parts of the former Pskov and Revel dioceses that entered into the boundaries of the newly formed Estonian state.

On August 28, , Meletius uncanonically received this Estonian diocese of the Russian Church into his jurisdiction, under Metropolitan Alexander. The recent renewal of this unlawful decision by the present Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, nearly led to a schism between the Ecumenical and Russian patriarchates. In June, Patriarch Tikhon granted the Latvian Church a large measure of autonomy under its Latvian archpastor, Archbishop John of Riga, who was burned to death by the communists in In Patriarch Tikhon appointed Archbishop Seraphim Chichagov to the see of Warsaw, but the Poles, whose armies had defeated the Red Army the year before, did not grant him entry into the country.

But at the next council of bishops, which gathered in Warsaw in June, , the majority voted for autocephaly, with only Bishops Eleutherius and Vladimir voting against. Two other Russian bishops, Panteleimon Rozhnovsky and Sergius Korolev , were also deprived of their sees. The three dissident bishops were expelled from Poland.

Patriarch Tikhon rejected this act as uncanonical [56] , but was unable to do anything about it. Hungary and Czechoslovakia. According to the old Hungarian law of , and confirmed by the government of the new Czechoslovak republic in and , all Orthodox Christians living in the territory of the former Hungarian kingdom came within the jurisdiction of the Serbian Patriarchate, and were served directly by Bishops Gorazd of Moravia and Dositheus of Carpatho-Russia.

However, on September 3, , the Orthodox parish in Prague elected Archimandrite Sabbatius to be their bishop, and then informed Bishop Dositheus, their canonical bishop about this. Then, on April 15, , the Ecumenical Patriarch established a metropolia of Hungary and All Central Europe with its see in Budapest - although there was already a Serbian bishop there. Bishop Sabbatius insisted on his rights in Carpatho-Russia, enthusiastically recruiting sympathizers from the Carpatho-Russian clergy and ordaining candidates indiscriminately.

His followers requested that the authorities take administrative measures against priests not agreeing to submit to him. Bishop Dositheus placed a rebellious monk under ban — Bishop Sabbatius elevated him to igumen; Bishop Dositheus gathered the clergy in Husta and organized an Ecclesiastical Consistory — Bishop Sabbatius enticed priests to Bushtin and formed an Episcopal Council. Chaos reigned in church affairs. The Uniate press was gleeful, while bitterness settled in the Orthodox people against their clergy, who were not able to maintain that high standard of Orthodoxy which had been initiated by inspired simple folk.

Such a point of view is not only clearly expressed in the Tomos of November 13, , in connection with the separation of the Polish Church, but is also quite thoroughly promoted by the Patriarchs. Thus, the Vicar of Metropolitan Eulogius in Paris, who was consecrated with the permission of the Ecumenical Patriarch, has assumed the title of Chersonese; that is to say, Chersonese, which is now in the territory of Russia, is subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The next logical step for the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be to declare the whole of Russia as being under the jurisdiction of Constantinople…. He promptly entered into communion with the schismatics. Receiving no compliance from them, Patriarch Gregory organized an investigation and suspended the two bishops from serving. Gregory then decided to send a special mission to Russia to investigate the church situation there. Definite instructions are also given to the Commission regarding which tendencies [factions] they should rely on in their work. The Holy Councils This will be to the advantage only of our schismatics — the renovationists, whose leaders now stand at the head of the so-called self-called Holy Synod, like the former archbishop of Nizhegorod Eudocimus and others, who have been defrocked by me and have been declared outside the communion of the Orthodox Church for causing disturbance, schism and unlawful seizure of ecclesiastical power.

I doubt it because You have not once turned to me for documentary explanations of who is the true and real cause of disturbance and schism. This would not pacify the Church, but cause a new disturbance and bring new sorrows to our faithful Archpastors and pastors who have suffered much even without this. It is not love of honour or power which has forced me to take up the cross of the patriarchy again, but the consciousness of my duty, submission to the will of God and the voice of the episcopate which is faithful to Orthodoxy and the Church.

The latter, on receiving permission to assemble, in July last year, synodically condemned the renovationists as schismatics and asked me again to become head and rudder of the Russian Church until it pleases the Lord God to give peace to the Church by the voice of an All-Russian Local Council. Relations between Constantinople and the Russian Church continued to be very frosty. At the beginning of , a Commission was set up on the initiative of the Greek government to see whether the Autocephalous Church of Greece could accept the new calendar — the first step towards union with the West in prayer.

Consequently none of them can separate itself from the others and accept the new calendar without becoming schismatic in relation to them. Five out of the thirty-two hierarchs — the metropolitans of Syros, Patras, Demetrias, Khalkis and Thera — voted against this proposal. Moreover, it was decided that the Greek Church would approve of any decision regarding the celebration of Pascha made by the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council, provided it was in accordance with the Canons… [65]. If the Congress had restricted itself only to the issue of the calendar, perhaps it would not have encountered the kind of reaction that it did.

Acting in this way, he opened wide the gates to every innovation, abolishing the distinctive characteristic of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is its preservation, perfectly and without innovation, of everything that was handed down by the Lord, the Apostles, the Fathers, and the Local and Ecumenical Councils. That the adoption of the new calendar was an abomination in the sight of God was clearly indicated by the great miracle of the sign of the cross in the sky over the Old Calendarist monastery of St.

John the Theologian in Athens in September, In fact the new calendar had been anathematised by the Eastern Patriarchs in three Councils, in , and , and synodically condemned again in , , , and By adopting it, the EP, as the Commission of the Greek Church had rightly declared, became schismatic in relation to the Churches keeping the Church calendar.

It had participated in several ecumenical conferences with the Protestants since its official espousing of Ecumenism in and up to the founding congress of the WCC in Amsterdam in At the next conference on Faith and Order [in Lausanne] in , victory again went to the extreme left Protestants. No Orthodox can hope that a reunion based on disputed formulae can be strong and positive… The Orthodox Church considers that any union must be based exclusively on the teaching of the faith and confession of the ancient undivided Church, on the seven Ecumenical Councils and other decisions of the first eight centuries.

This tendency was consistently pursued by the Protestants at the conferences in in Oxford and Edinburgh. The World Council of Churches differed from them in principle. This will normally mean that the church is a member of the national council of churches or similar body and of the regional ecumenical organisation. Further, according to Section II of the WCC Rules, entitled Responsibilities of Membership , "Membership in the World Council of Churches signifies faithfulness to the Basis of the Council, fellowship in the Council, participation in the life and work of the Council and commitment to the ecumenical movement as integral to the mission of the church.

In accepting these terms the Orthodox churches that entered the WCC clearly accepted a Protestant ecclesiology. The Apostasy of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.

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  8. Patriarch Maximus was forced into retirement on grounds of mental illness and the 33 rd degree Mason Athenagoras took his place. Three hundred million men have chosen Mohammedanism as the way to God and further hundreds of millions are Protestants, Catholics and Buddhists. The aim of every religion is to make man better. In other words, the Orthodox henceforth were to abandon the struggle against Atheism, Freemasonry and other false religions, and were to engage in dialogue towards union with all the Christian heretics — while at the same time persecuting the True Orthodox and using ecumenical forums to further the ends of Soviet foreign policy in its struggle with the Capitalist West!

    It is not recorded that the EP objected to this programme…. And, having delivered it, the Orthodox delegates seemed to lose all restraint.


    Such a claim would be both unbiblical and untheological… Christ did not specify the date nor the place that the Church would suddenly take full possession of the truth. From this time on, the two Masons went steadily ahead making ever more flagrantly anti-Orthodox statements. As we shall see, there was some opposition from more conservative elements in the autocephalous Churches; but the opposition was never large or determined enough to stop them…. These marks of the Church can no longer be simply applied to our divided churches, therefore.

    Although this memorandum was not accepted in the end Fr. Indeed, it could be argued that the Orthodox participants had already abandoned this dogma. In practice, this meant that the Catholics should abandon their eastern-rite missions in Orthodox territories. It considerably furthered the ecumenical movement, with the Orthodox, as the new general secretary Carson Blake joyfully pointed out, taking full part in all the sections and committees and not, as often in the past, issuing separate statements disagreeing with the majority Protestant view.

    It would have been interesting to look at that moment at the faces of the Orthodox hierarchs who had declared for all to hear that they, too, did not know the Truth. Every batyushka of ours in the remotest little village knows the Truth by experience, as he stands before the throne of God and prays to God in spirit and in truth. Of course, everyone very well understood that in the given case the text of the prayer was speaking without the slightest ambiguity about the Truth.

    Perhaps the Orthodox hierarchs have resorted, in the conference, to the old Jesuit practice of reservatio mentalis , but in that case if all these delegates do not repent of the sin of communion in prayer with heretics, then we must consider them to be on the completely false path of apostasy from the Truth of Orthodoxy… Ecumenism is the heresy of heresies because until now each heresy in the history of the Church has striven to take the place of the true Church, but the ecumenical movement, in uniting all the heresies, invites all of them together to consider themselves the one true Church.

    This was a clear transgression of the canons concerning relations with heretics Apostolic canon The announcement was made simultaneously in Rome and Constantinople. They regret the offensive words, the reproaches without foundation, and the reprehensible gestures which, on both sides, have marked or accompanied the sad events of this period [viz. In the 11 th century]. They likewise regret and remove both from memory and from the midst of the Church the sentences of excommunication which followed these events, the memory of which has influenced actions up to our day and has hindered closer relations in charity; and they commit these excommunications to oblivion.

    Secondly, while relations with excommunicated individuals or Churches can be restored if those individuals or Churches repent, anathemas against heresies cannot be removed insofar as a heresy remains a heresy forever. In the journal Ekklesia Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens denied that the Patriarch had the authority to act independently of the other Orthodox Churches.

    For centuries all the Orthodox Churches believed with good reasons that it has violated no doctrine of the Holy Ecumenical Councils; whereas the Church of Rome has introduced a number of innovations in its dogmatic teaching. The more such innovations were introduced, the deeper was to become the separation between the East and the West. The doctrinal deviations of Rome in the eleventh century did not yet contain the errors that were added later. Therefore the cancellation of the mutual excommunication of could have been of meaning at that time, but now it is only evidence of indifference in regard to the most important errors, namely new doctrines foreign to the ancient Church, of which some, having been exposed by St.

    Mark of Ephesus, were the reason why the Church rejected the Union of Florence… No union of the Roman Church with us is possible until it renounces its new doctrines, and no communion in prayer can be restored with it without a decision of all the Churches, which, however, can hardly be possible before the liberation of the Church of Russia which at present has to live in the catacombs… A true dialogue implies an exchange of views with a possibility of persuading the participants to attain an agreement. As one can perceive from the Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam , Pope Paul VI understands the dialogue as a plan for our union with Rome with the help of some formula which would, however, leave unaltered its doctrines, and particularly its dogmatic doctrine about the position of the Pope in the Church.

    However, any compromise with error is foreign to the history of the Orthodox Church and to the essence of the Church. It could not bring a harmony in the confessions of the Faith, but only an illusory outward unity similar to the conciliation of dissident Protestant communities in the ecumenical movement. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Patriarchate of Romania and the Church of Cyprus half a century ago declared officially that the Anglican Church has valid Orders by dispensation and that means that Anglican Bishops, Priests and Deacons can perform valid sacraments as can those of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Again, in , the Ecumenical Press Service declared that the WCC was working on plans to unify all Christian denominations into a single new religion. Then, in , an inter-denominational eucharistic service was composed at a conference in Lima, Peru, in which the Protestant and Orthodox representatives to the WCC agreed that the baptism, eucharist and ordinations of all denominations were valid and acceptable.

    This was attended by representatives of every existing religion and began with a pagan rite performed by local Indians. The implication of this anathema was clear: since the EP was a fully participating member of the WCC, it was under anathema and deprived of the grace of sacraments.

    In this way the WCC witnesses that it does not recognize itself to be simply a council of churches, but the one church. And all those who are members of the WCC are members of this one false church, this synagogue of satan. This is already completely unacceptable from an Orthodox point of view, and represents a heretical, Monophysite formulation. However, as Perepiolkina again correctly points out, according to the teaching of St.

    This teaching was affirmed at the Sixth Ecumenical Council. With regard to the four later Councils of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox affirm that, for them, points one through seven are also the teaching of these four later Councils, whereas the oriental Orthodox consider this affirmation of the Orthodox like their own interpretation.

    In this sense the oriental Orthodox respond positively to this affirmation. It is that common faith and that continual loyalty to the apostolic tradition which must be the basis of our unity and communion. This is in flat contradiction to years of Orthodox Tradition.

    But the modern ecumenists claim that all the six hundred and thirty holy Fathers of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, as well as all the Fathers of all the succeeding Council that condemned Monophytism, were wrong, and the whole controversy was simply based on some linguistic misunderstandings! The two families accept that the lifting of the anathemas and the condemnations will be based on the fact that the Councils and the father previously anathematised or condemned were not heretics.

    This is a clear and explicit rejection of the Faith of the Seven Ecumenical Councils! Of course, the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches with the exception of Jerusalem have already implicitly rejected the Councils and the Fathers by their communion in prayer and the sacraments with all sorts of heretics, and even pagans, the WCC General Assembly in Canberra in being perhaps the most extreme example.

    Nevertheless, it is a further and important stage to say explicitly that the Ecumenical Councils were wrong , that the Monophysites should not have been condemned, that they were Orthodox all these centuries although the Holy Fathers and all the saints of the Orthodox Church considered them to be heretics. This is not simply a failure to come up to the standards of the Ecumenical Councils: it is a renunciation of the standards themselves. There is every indication that the Moscow Patriarchate wants to go along the same path. In March, , the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches met in Constantinople and official renounced proselytism among Western Christians.

    Union with the Monophysites proceeded in parallel with moves for union with the Catholics. There were protests in Greece and Mount Athos, but Patriarch Bartholomew forced the protestors to back down. To him and to those with him the Church proclaims: Anathema! Dear C. But let me say this much before turning to the more basic issues. The calendar question is not about astronomical accuracy: it is about unity of worship.

    Unity of worship between the Heavenly and the Earthly Church, and between all parts of the Earthly Church, has always been of great importance to the Orthodox. That is why it occupied the heads of the Churches in the second century Rome and the East , at the First Ecumenical Council where the basic rules of our calendar were established , the Synod of Whitby in unity between the Celts and Saxons , many Synods in East and West in the 16 th th centuries England waited years before adopting the Gregorian calendar, and even then there were riots in the streets , and in modern times.

    If unity of worship is unimportant to you, then the calendar question will be unimportant to you. But it is important to us, and has been important to most of the Christian world for most of Christian history. This passage indicates the great importance of the Divinely founded institution of the Church — that institution which St. The Lord says that we must obey the Church; St. Paul - that we cannot be in the truth without being in the Church. Now we cannot obey the Church unless we know where it is. So what are the marks of the Church? True faith and true worship. Using more technically theological language, the Creed says they are Unity or Singleness , Holiness, Catholicity and Apostolicity.

    When quarrels arose over what was the true faith and worship of the Church, the bishops got together in Councils to thrash the matter out. When the Councils had reached a decision, all the bishops were required to sign a confession of faith expressing that decision. These define both the dogmatic faith and the canonical discipline of the Orthodox Church to this day. Unfortunately, however, in the West since the rise of the Papacy, and especially since the Reformation, the Ecumenical Councils have been increasingly ignored, even despised. The result is that the West has not only lost unity of faith and worship within itself: it has also lost it with the Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils — that is, the Church of the first millenium of Christian history.

    Answer: not much. The Persecution Argument. This is the way to the Inquisition, to Auschwitz, etc. In any case, as I have already indicated, the Orthodox Church believes that peaceful persuasion, not physical persecution, is the right method for bringing people to a knowledge of the truth. That has been the method employed by all Orthodox missionaries and preachers in all ages. The teaching that heretics should be killed was first officially proclaimed, not by any Orthodox saint or council, but by Thomas Aquinas and the Fourth Lateran Council of , whence it entered the bloodstream of the Early Protestants and Anglicans.

    The Inquisition was a Catholic institution, and I know of no similar institution established by any Church authority in any Orthodox land. Some physical persecution has been undertaken by secular authorities, it is true. For example, St. Constantine the Great exiled Arius and his followers after the First Ecumenical Council, and his example was followed by some other Orthodox emperors and kings. However, before condemning such an act, it would be worth asking why it was done. Two possible answers suggest themselves. First, that, having failed with peaceful persuasion, the Emperor may have thought that a little physical and psychological suffering would humble the heretics and therefore dispose them to receive the truth, which always requires humility.

    More likely, the Emperor recognised that the Arians were beyond persuading, and that he exiled the heretics in order to protect those who were still Orthodox, but weak or immature in their thinking, from the corrupting influence of their teaching. That is why the apostles were so severe in relation to it. The Linguistic Argument. But words can point to a truth — or a falsehood. Paul Romans 6. Obviously he was talking about some teaching expressed in words. What is he talking about if not about some verbally expressed teaching of the faith?

    So our words matter: with them we confess the truth or heresy, unto salvation or damnation. If words are vitally important to scientists and writers and lawyers, why should they be any the less important to theologians? Not now! The answer to this question brings me to:. For nearly nineteen centuries, Christians and heretics argued about truth and heresy, but they had this in common: they agreed that there was a difference, and that the difference was vitally important. I once read a review in Church Times of a book on the wars between Anglicans and Catholics in sixteenth-century England.

    But this is simply the abandonment of reason and objectivity in favour of complete subjectivism.


    And if the difference between truth and heresy is unimportant, then Christianity and religion in general are unimportant. But if anything goes, if anything is accepted as the truth, then where is the possibility of sanctification? Or of salvation? Until our inglorious twentieth century, all those who called themselves Christians, heretics as well as true believers, accepted that in Christ alone is salvation, and that the way to salvation is through true, correct faith in Him — faith that is then expressed and confirmed by good works.

    Faith without works is dead, and works without true faith, as the Venerable Bede says, is also dead. It does not lead to salvation. Heretics are not saved themselves, and lead others to perdition. Let us hear some apostolic testimonies on this subject. Do we need any more testimonies to the undeniable fact that heretics destroy themselves and those who listen to them, and that, as St.

    For they are blind leaders of the blind, as the Lord said — and both leaders and followers fall into a pit. They are dry branches who will be cut off from the True Vine and thrown into the fire, as the Lord again said. But all this is too terrifying for some tender St. God will not condemn heretics, goes the argument, for the simple reason that He is merciful.

    He is too compassionate to send His creature to hell. The very idea is so uncivilized! Yes, God is merciful — to the merciful. But He is also just, and rewards every man according to his works. Yes, He gives the Truth — Himself — to those who love the truth. But the corollary is also true: those who do not love the truth He gives over to the father of lies, Satan. Sometimes this happens even in this life. Thus about one sinner St. Any careful reader of the Gospel will agree that it is both the most comforting, and the most terrifying book ever written. Yes, God is merciful, because He gives us every opportunity to be saved, and warns us in every way against the path that leads to damnation.

    But we are unutterably foolish, because we want to rewrite the rules, as if we were the Judge and not the man standing in the dock. What a shock death will be for the vast majority of mankind! And all because we do not want to believe what Christ has written with such clarity in His Gospel. We want dispensations for our lusts and passions, for our criminal indifference to the truth.

    We want to rewrite the Gospel, make it the Gospel according to Luther, or John-Paul II, or George Carey, which absolves all manner of heretics, all manner of evil perversions, all manner of betrayals of the One Saviour of mankind. But St. Paul consigns all those who preach a different Gospel to the terrible sentence of anathema.

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    4. 10 Reasons the Crucifixion Story Makes No Sense;
    5. With love,. Edward the Martyr, King of England. By contemplating these mysteries, our faith is strengthened and deepened, we draw closer to God and His saints and further away from the abyss of unbelief and heresy. However, there is a trend in contemporary heretical thought that seeks to use the concept of "mystery" to overturn faith in the mysteries and replace it by a false religious mysticism and a pseudo-intellectual mystification.

      This current of thought does not openly deny any of the mysteries of the faith - with the exception of the mystery of the Church, upon whose denial the whole of Protestantism is based. Rather, it loves to talk about "the eternal Christ" of St. John's Gospel their favourite because it is so "mystical" , about "parousia" and "eternal life", about "transfiguration" and "deification" and "resurrection" - but in senses that are so alien to the Orthodox understanding that we have to use these terms in quotation marks.

      Characteristic of this current of thought is its blurring of the boundaries between psychology and religion, between experiences of the soul and dogmas of the faith. Characteristic, too, is its syncretism, its willingness, indeed determination, to identify Christian concepts with pagan especially Buddhist ones, and the Christian world-view with the scientific world-view - even those elements of the scientific world-view, such as evolutionism, which are most contrary to traditional, Orthodox Christianity.

      When one asks the "mystifiers", as I shall call them, whether they believe, for example, that Jesus Christ is God, the Creator of the universe, one rarely gets a straight answer. Thus they may admit that Christ is "divine" - but not that He is "God", that "God is uniquely expressed in Christ" - but not that He created the universe. And then if one shows some dissatisfaction by this lack of clarity, one is told that one must not try to "analyze the mystery", that "words cannot express the mystery", with more than a hint that one is not "deep" or "mystical" or "apophatic" enough.

      And if one counters that the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, who invented the term "apophatic" and knew a great deal more about mysticism than any of us, were nevertheless quite prepared to make the clear and categorical statements of faith which the mystifiers are not prepared to make, one is gently chided for being too "dogmatic" and "rationalist". The unspoken assumption behind the mystifiers' "argument" is that they, as educated people of the twentieth century, do not need the Apostles or Fathers to guide them any more; like the gnostics of all ages, they know better , they have a special insight into religious truth which does not need words and definitions, because "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must keep silent" The leaders in this heretical trend are the Anglicans.

      Beginning from the s and the infamous book Honest to God , the Anglican Church has undergone a most astonishing doctrinal degeneration. All the basic truths of the faith have been denied, with astounding arrogance, from the highest pulpits in the land, and with minimal resistance from the so-called believers. The only issue which has produced any real rebellion has been the ordination of women as priests - and this drew from the archbishop of Canterbury the amazing reaction that those who believed in an exclusively male priesthood that is, It is in this "Church" of rampant liberalism, if not outright atheism, that the mystifiers have flourished and prospered.

      But the roots of Anglican mystification go much deeper; we see it already in that issue which was at the heart of the Anglican Reformation - the Eucharist. The early Anglican Reformers, being true Protestants, denied that the sacrament of the Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and truly His Body and Blood - and they were prepared to be burned at the stake for this denial.

      10 Reasons the Crucifixion Story Makes No Sense | Bob Seidensticker

      We are raised before God. How joyful it is to enjoy His words. We spurn the enslavement of corrupt flesh, of fate and prospects—how happy it is to be liberated. From God, we receive the truth and the life. The kingdom of Christ is our wonderful home! Almighty God, it is You who loves me. Out of the filthy world You have chosen me! So I have come before You, yes, I have come before You, living a life of the church, enjoying Your words every day.

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