Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set.

Proverbs 22.28.


Come out from her, My people, lest you share in her sins,

And lest you receive of her plagues.

Revelation 18.4.


A New ROCOR Metropolitan


     On May 14/27, 1964, Metropolitan Anastasy retired (he died in 1965). His period as first hierarch represents a “holding operation”, a preservation of the status quo in a very difficult period interrupted by the chaos of the Second World War. It left certain important questions unanswered – questions which would have to be answered unambiguously sooner or later. But it at any rate kept the voice of opposition to the MP alive in the West.


     There was such animosity between the supporters of the two candidates for the vacant post, Archbishops Nicon and John Maximovich, that to avoid a schism Archbishop John withdrew his own candidature and put forward in his place the youngest bishop, Philaret (Voznesensky) of Brisbane. The suggestion was then universally accepted, and Bishop Philaret was enthroned by Metropolitan Anastasy himself in a service that used the ancient text for the enthroning of a metropolitan of Moscow for the first time in centuries.


     The new metropolitan’ endurance of torture for Christ at the hands of the Japanese pagans in Manchuria has already been described. During the Soviet occupation he continued to show great courage, refusing to accept a Soviet passport or commemorate the authorities, although he unwillingly found himself in the Moscow Patriarchate. Later, the Chinese even unsuccessfully tried to blow up the confessor in the house in which he was living.

     Archimandrite Philaret left China in 1961, only after almost the whole of his flock had left Harbin. “While striving to guard my flock from Soviet falsehood and lies,” he recounted, “I myself sometimes felt inexpressibly oppressed – to the point that I several times came close to the decision to leave altogether – to cease serving. And I was stopped only by the thought of my flock: how could I leave these little ones? If I went and stopped serving, that would mean that they would have to enter into service to the Soviets and hear prayers for the forerunners of the Antichrist – ‘Lord, preserve them for many years,’ etc. This stopped me and forced me to carry out my duty to the end.


     “And when, finally, with the help of God I managed to extract myself from red China, the first thing I did was turn to the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anastasy, with a request that he consider me again to be in the jurisdiction of the Russian Church Abroad. Vladyka Metropolitan replied with mercy and love, and immediately blessed me to serve in Hong Kong already as a priest of the Synodal jurisdiction, and pointed out that every church server passing into this jurisdiction from the jurisdiction of Moscow must give a special penitential declaration to the effect that he is sorry about his (albeit involuntary) stay in the Moscow jurisdiction. I did this immediately.”


     Soon Fr. Philaret flew to Australia and arrived in Sydney. The ruling Archbishop of Australia accepted him with joy and love, and already in the first weeks of Fr. Philaret’s stay in Australia began to speak about the possibility of ordaining him as a Bishop. In 1963 he was ordained Bishop of Brisbane, a vicariate of the Australian diocese. In his sermon at his nomination as Bishop Archimandrite Philaret said to the Archpastors who were present:


     “Holy Hierarchs of God! I have thought and felt much in these last days, I have reviewed and examined the whole of my life – and… I see, on the one hand, a chain of innumerable benefactions from God, and on the other – the countless number of my sins… And so raise your hierarchical prayers for my wretchedness in this truly terrible hour of my ordination, that the Lord, the First of Pastors, Who through your holiness is calling me to the height of this service, may not deprive me, the sinful and wretched one, of a place and lot among His chosen ones…


     “One hierarch-elder, on placing the hierarchical staff in the hands of a newly appointed bishop, said to him: ‘Do not be like a milestone on the way, that points out for others the road ahead, but itself remains in its place…’  Pray also for this, Fathers and Archpastors, that in preaching to others, I myself may not turn out to be an idle slave.”


     The new metropolitan faced a daunting task. For he had, on the one hand, to lead his Church in decisively denouncing the apostasy of World Orthodoxy, communion with which could no longer be tolerated. And on the other, he had to preserve unity among the members of his own Synod, some of whom were in spirit closer to “World Orthodoxy” than True Orthodoxy…


     The first Official Epistle of a Hierarchical Council of ROCOR under her new metropolitan was dated June 4/17, 1964, and appeared to continue the line adopted by Metropolitan Anastasy in relation to the MP: "They [the God-opposing Communists] have contrived a new, truly diabolical plan in their war against the faithful: it is now forbidden by the godless government of the USSR for children and young men and women from the ages of 3 to 18 to be allowed into God's churches and to be communed with the Body and Blood of Christ. And in order to mock the Church even more, this directive by the authorities has to be enforced by the clergymen themselves – they are the ones who must prohibit youth from approaching the Chalice of Christ
and demand the removal of children and youth from the churches"….

     "But the true situation is this: not many clergymen are left in the USSR, not many open churches are left, the faithful rarely can attend services And now even at these rare services, which Christians, if they are not extremely old men and women, attend at the risk of being tagged by the active Soviet "watchers" and thus lose their jobs--parents cannot bring their young children, who, in their tender childhood and youth, so need graceful communion to the Fountain of life--to Christ the Savior, just as young little saplings need the light and the warmth of the sun."


     This Epistle appeared to accept the MP as a grace-bearing institution – nearly thirty years after the leading hierarchs of the Catacomb Church had rejected that position.


     In July, 1964, Metropolitan Philaret and four other bishops, including Archbishops John (Maximovich) and Averky (Taushev), consecrated Archimandrite Cyril (Ionchev) for the newcalendarists Bulgarian parishes abroad that did not want to submit to the unfree Bulgarian patriarchate. However, in 1976 Bishop Cyril joined the American Metropolitan with his parishes.[1] Again, on September 19, 1965, at the request of Archbishop John (Maximovich), the Dutchman Archimandrite Jacob was consecrated Bishop of the Hague and Brussels with permission from the Synod to serve according to the new calendar.[2] However, this new bishop joined the MP after Archbishop John’s death.


     These first acts of the new metropolitan appeared to continue the “liberal” line in relation to the MP and World Orthodoxy of his predecessor, Metropolitan Anastasy. However, in his 1965 Epistle “to Orthodox Bishops and all who hold dear the Fate of the Russian Church”, Metropolitan Philaret gave the first signs that he was going to adopt a more uncompromising approach. This Epistle is also significant for the much more prominent position attributed to the Catacomb Church than during the time of his predecessor:


     “In recent days the Soviet Government in Moscow and various parts of the world celebrated a new anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917 which brought it to power.

     “We, on the other hand, call to mind in these days the beginning of the way of the cross for the Russian Orthodox Church, upon which from that time, as it were, all the powers of hell have fallen.

     “Meeting resistance on the part of Archpastors, pastors, and laymen strong in spirit, the Communist power, in its fight with religion, began from the very first days the attempt to weaken the Church not only by killing those of her leaders who were strongest in spirit, but also by means of the artificial creation of schisms.

     Thus arose the so-called ''Living Church" and the renovationist movement, which had the character of a Church tied to a Protestant-Communist reformation. Notwithstanding the support of the Government, this schism was crushed by the inner power of the Church. It was too clear to believers that the ‘Renovated Church’ was uncanonical and altered Orthodoxy. For this reason people did not follow it.

     “The second attempt, after the death of Patriarch Tikhon and the rest of the locum tenentes of the patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Peter, had greater success. The Soviet power succeeded in 1927 in sundering in part the inner unity of the Church. By confinement in prison, torture, and special methods it broke the will of the vicar of the patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Sergius, and secured from him the proclamation of a declaration of the complete loyalty of the Church to the Soviet power, even to the point where the joys and successes of the Soviet Union were declared by the Metropolitan to the joys and successes of the Church, and its failures to be her
failures. What can be more blasphemous than such an idea, which was justly appraised by many at that time as an attempt to unite light with darkness, and Christ with Belial. Both Patriarch Tikhon and Metropolitan Peter, as well as others who served as locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne, had earlier refused to sign a similar declaration, for which they were subjected to arrest, imprisonment, and banishment.

     “Protesting against this declaration—which was proclaimed by Metropolitan Sergius by himself alone, without the agreement of the suppressed majority of the episcopate of the Russian Church, violating thus the 34th Apostolic Canon—many bishops who were then in the death camp at Solovki wrote to the Metropolitan: ‘Any government can sometimes make decisions that are foolish, unjust, cruel, to which the Church is forced to submit, but which she cannot rejoice over or approve. One of the aims of the Soviet Government is the extirpation of religion, but the Church cannot acknowledge its successes in this direction as her own successes’ (Open Letter from Solovki, September 27, 1927).

     “The courageous majority of the sons of the Russian Church did not accept the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, considering that a union of the Church with the godless Soviet State, which had set itself the goal of annihilating Christianity in general, could not exist on principle.

     “But a schism nonetheless occurred. The minority, accepting the declaration, formed a central administration, the so-called ‘Moscow Patriarchate,’ which, while being supposedly officially recognized by the authorities, in actual fact received no legal rights whatever from them; for they continued, now without hindrance, a most cruel persecution of the Church. In the words of Joseph, Metropolitan of Petrograd, Metropolitan Sergius, having proclaimed the declaration, entered upon the path of ‘monstrous arbitrariness, flattery, and betrayal of the Church to the interests of atheism and the destruction of the Church.’

     “The majority, renouncing the declaration, began an illegal ecclesiastical existence. Almost all the bishops were tortured and killed in death camps, among them the locum tenentes Metropolitan Peter and Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, who was respected by all, and Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd, who was shot to death at the end of 1938, as well as many other bishops and thousands of priests, monks, nuns, and courageous laymen. Those bishops and clergy who miraculously remained alive began to live illegally and to serve Divine services secretly, hiding themselves from the authorities and originating in this fashion the Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union.

     “Little news of this Church has come to the free world. The Soviet press long kept silent about her, wishing to give the impression that all believers in the USSR stood behind the Moscow Patriarchate. They even attempted to deny entirely the existence of the Catacomb Church.

     “But then, after the death of Stalin and the exposure of his activity, and especially after the fall of Khrushchev, the Soviet press has begun to write more and more often on the secret Church in the USSR, calling it the ‘sect’ of True-Orthodox Christians. It was apparently impossible to keep silence about it any longer; its numbers are too great and it causes the authorities too much alarm.

     “Unexpectedly in the Atheist Dictionary (Moscow, 1964), on pages 123 and 124 the Catacomb Church is openly discussed. '’True-Orthodox Christians,’ we read in the Dictionary, ‘an Orthodox sect, originating in the years 1922-24. It was organized in 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius proclaimed the principle of loyalty to the Soviet power.’ ‘Monarchist’ (we would say ecclesiastical) ‘elements, having united around Metropolitan Joseph (Petrovykh) of Leningrad' (Petrograd) — the Josephites,’ or, as the same Dictionary says, the Tikhonites, formed in 1928 a guiding centre, the True-Orthodox Church, and united all groups and elements which came out against the Soviet order’ (we may add from ourselves, ‘atheist’ order). ‘The True-Orthodox Church directed unto the villages a multitude of monks and nuns,’ for the most part of course priests, we add again from ourselves, who celebrated Divine services and rites secretly and ‘conducted propaganda against the leadership of the Orthodox Church,’ i.e, against the Moscow Patriarchate which had given in to the Soviet power, ‘appealing to people not to submit to Soviet laws,’ which are directed, quite apparently, against the Church of Christ and faith. By the testimony of the Atheist Dictionary, the True-Orthodox Christians organized and continue to organize house, 'i.e., secret, catacomb churches and monasteries... preserving in full the doctrine and rites of Orthodoxy.’ They ‘do not acknowledge the authority of the Orthodox Patriarch,’ i.e., the successor of Metropolitan Sergius, Patriarch Alexis.

     “’Striving to fence off’ the True-Orthodox Christians ‘from the influence of Soviet reality,’ chiefly of course from atheist propaganda, ‘their leaders...  make use of the myth of Antichrist, who has supposedly been ruling in the world since 1917.’ The anti-Christian nature of the Soviet power is undoubted for any sound-thinking person, and all the more for a Christian.

     “True Orthodox Christians ‘usually refuse to participate in elections,’ which in the Soviet Union, a country deprived of freedom, are simply a comedy, ‘and other public functions; they do not accept pensions, do not allow their children to go to school beyond the fourth class...’ Here is an unexpected Soviet testimony of the truth, to which nothing need be added.

     “Honour and praise to the True-Orthodox Christians, heroes of the spirit and confessors, who have not bowed before the terrible power, which can stand only by terror and force and has become accustomed to the abject  flattery of its subjects. The Soviet rulers fall into a rage over the fact that there exist people who fear God more than men. They are powerless before the millions of True-Orthodox Christians.


     “However, besides the True Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union and the Moscow Patriarchate, which have communion neither of prayer nor of any other kind with each other, there exists yet a part of the Russian Church—free from oppression and persecution by the atheists the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. She has never broken the spiritual and prayerful bonds with the Catacomb Church in the home land. After the last war many members of this Church appeared abroad and entered into the Russian Church Outside Russia, and thus the bond between these two Churches was strengthened yet more—a bond which has been sustained illegally up to the present time. As time goes on, it becomes all the stronger and better established.

     “The part of the Russian Church that is abroad and free is called upon to speak in the free world in the name of the persecuted Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union; she reveals to all the truly tragic condition of believers in the USSR, which the atheist power so carefully hushes up, with the aid of the Moscow Patriarchate, she calls on those who have not lost shame and conscience to help the persecuted.

     “This is why it is our sacred duty to watch over the existence of the Russian Church Outside of Russia. The Lord, the searcher of hearts, having permitted His Church to be subjected to oppression, persecution, and deprivation of all rights in the godless Soviet State, has given us, Russian exiles, in the free world the talent of freedom, and He expects from us the increase of this talent and a skilful use of it. And we have not the right to hide it in the earth. Let no one dare to say to us that we should do this, let no
one push us to a mortal sin. For the fate of our Russian Church we, Russian bishops, are responsible before God, and no one in the world can free us from
this sacred obligation. No one can understand better than we what is happening in our homeland, of which no one can have any doubt. Many
times foreigners, even Orthodox people and those vested with high ecclesiastical rank, have made gross errors in connection with the
Russian Church and false conclusions concerning her present condition. May God forgive them this, since they do not know what they are doing.

     “We shall not cease to accuse the godless persecutors of faith and those who evilly cooperate with them under the exterior of supposed representatives of the Church. In this the Russian Church Outside of Russia has always seen one of her important tasks. Knowing this, the Soviet power through its agents wages with her a stubborn battle, not hesitating to use any means: lies, bribes, gifts, and intimidation. We, however, shall not suspend our accusation.

     “Declaring this before the face of the whole world, I appeal to all our brothers in Christ—Orthodox bishops—and to all people who hold dear the fate of the persecuted Russian Church as a part of the Universal Church of Christ, for understanding, support, and their holy prayers. As for our spiritual children, we call on them to hold firmly to the truth of Orthodoxy, witnessing of her both by one's word and especially by a prayerful, devout Christian life.”


The Lifting of the Anathemas


     We have seen that since the founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948, the leader of the ecumenical movement on the Orthodox side had been the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.


     The new ecumenist course was sealed on January 5 and 6, 1964, when Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople met in Jerusalem and prayed together.  This was a clear transgression of the canons concerning relations with heretics (Apostolic canon 45). Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens was reported as saying that “while the Pope is going to the Holy Land to kneel before the Saviour’s sepulchre, you (Athenagoras) are going to kneel before the Pope and bury Orthodoxy.”[3]


     On January 23 / February 5, 1964 a large number of Athonite monks, including the abbots of four monasteries, protested against this ecumenical activity: “the undersigned Fathers of the Holy Mountain, abbots, priest-monks and monks, learning of the recent machinations and plots against our blameless Orthodox Faith by the Papal insurrection and of the pro-uniate actions and statements of the Ecumenical Patriarch and his co-workers, do proclaim with a stentorian voice that we denounce these uniate tendencies and leanings, and remains steadfast and unshaken in our Orthodox Faith…”[4]


     Unfortunately, however, this “stentorian voice” became more and more muted, until only the Monastery of Esphigmenou remained out of communion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate…


     The calendar question again reared its head during this period. Thus during the Second Pan-Orthodox Conference, the Church of Greece had threatened to boycott the meeting if the calendar question were raised. “But the representatives of the Jerusalem Patriarchate,” writes Bishop Ephraim, “insisted that the calendar be placed upon the agenda for discussion, and with good reason. The Jerusalem Patriarchate is especially interested in settling the calendar issue because of its position as a place of pilgrimage. When Athenagoras met Pope Paul in Jerusalem, he went afterwards to Bethlehem to attend the service for Christmas (which, of course, is celebrated there according to the Old Calendar). In the meantime, the new calendarists were celebrating Epiphany in Constantinople. By the time Athenagoras returned to Istanbul, Epiphany had already been celebrated. In other words, Athenagoras himself, because of this calendar confusion, celebrated two Christmases but did not celebrate Epiphany that year. Also, many pious pilgrims came from Greece to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem, not knowing that the Jerusalem Patriarchate follows the Old Calendar… They arrive in Bethlehem and discover that it is only St. Spyridon’s day and that Christmas is two weeks away. They have only arranged to stay for a few days, and few are those who have made the provisions or have the money to wait for two weeks. In their dismay, they beg the priests there to chant a few Christmas troparia and, of course, the priests refuse, because not only is it not Christmas according to their reckoning, but they are also in the midst of the fast. The pilgrims return to Greece confused and disheartened since they did not get to celebrate Christmas, even in Bethlehem, and Christmas has already been celebrated in Greece. Therefore, that year they do not celebrate Christmas anywhere. This happens annually there – hence Jerusalem’s concern.”[5]


     “Immediately after the Holy Land meeting,” writes Fr. George Macris, “a proclamation of the whole monastic community of Mount Athos to ‘the pious Orthodox Greek people and the whole of the Orthodox Church’ denounced the ‘pro-uniate actions and statements’ of the Patriarch and his co-workers.”[6]


     In 1964 several parishes in the USA, Canada andAustralia under Archbishop Photius, formerly of Paphos (Cyprus), left the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Their basic reasons were the dependence of the patriarchate on the Turks, the rapprochement with the Catholics, and the dictatorial behaviour of Archbishop James. On August 26, 1964, on the occasion of the Vatican’s return of the head of the Apostle Andrew to the Greek Church, Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens addressed his hierarchy with a special epistle in which he called on them to refrain from taking part in festivities before the departure of the Roman embassy.[7]


     In this year the Turks increased their harassment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. Much property was confiscated, and 15,000 Greeks were deported. This led some to speculate that the Patriarch’s rapprochement with the Pope was elicited by his need to find powerful friends to support him in the West – just as in 1274 and 1439. Thus in April, 1965, Archbishop James pleaded with the Pope to help the Patriarch. The Pope promised his support, whereupon the two hierarchs prayed together.[8]


     Further intense activity led, on December 7, 1965, to the “lifting of the anathemas” of 1054 between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The announcement was made simultaneously in Rome and Constantinople. It included the following words: “Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I with his synod, in common agreement, declare that: a) 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 11th century]. b) 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.”[9]


     It should be pointed out, first, that in saying that the schism of 1054 was based on “reproaches without foundation”, the Patriarch was in effect saying that the Papacy was not, or never had been, heretical – although the Papacy had renounced none of its heresies, and Pope Paul VI had reasserted papal infallibility as recently as Vatican II. 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. And yet in December of 1968 Athenagoras announced that he had inserted Pope Paul VI’s name into the Diptychs, thereby signifying that the Pope was not a heretic and was in communion with the Orthodox Church.


     Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens denied that the Patriarch had the authority to act independently of the other Orthodox Churches. And he said: “I am convinced that no other Orthodox Church will copy the Ecumenical Patriarch’s action.”[10] Unfortunately, he was wrong: in March, 1966 the Synod of the new calendarist Church of Cyprus approved the lifting of anathemas.[11]


     Many Athonite monasteries ceased to commemorate the patriarch at this point…


The Sorrowful Epistles


     ROCOR had three observers at the Vatican Council who witnessed the ceremony of the “lifting of the anathemas”. One of them, Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin), after describing the ceremony with evident sympathy, wrote: “The Russian Church Abroad did not recognize the actions of Patriarch Athenagoras, considering that the patriarch was obliged to do this only with the agreement of all the Orthodox Churches, because the matter of the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches concerned all the Orthodox Churches – it was not only the personal relations between the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople. We, observers from the Russian Church Abroad, received by telephone the order from our ecclesiastical authorities not to be present at the ceremony of the mutual lifting of the anathemas between the Constantinopolitan and Roman Churches. But we, having taken counsel amongst ourselves, thought that such a demonstration would have been harmful for our Church, which we represented with dignity. However, our demonstration would have remained unnoticed: what would the absence of three people in a mass of tens of thousands of people signify?!”[12]


     At this critical moment, on December 15, 1965, Metropolitan Philaret issued the first of a series of “Sorrowful Epistles” designed to warn the Orthodox against ecumenism. He wrote to Patriarch Athenagoras protesting against his action: “The organic belonging of the Orthodox to the union of the contemporary heretics does not sanctify the latter, while it tears away the Orthodox entering into it from Catholic Orthodox Unity… Your gesture puts a sign of equality between error and truth. 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 1054 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.”[13]


     Tatiana (now Nun Cassia) Senina writes: “Metropolitan Philaret sent a similar address to another leader of the ecumenical movement – the American Archbishop James. However, the apostate hierarchs paid no attention to his exhortations. The ecumenical movement continued to gather speed. The holy Hierarch Philaret looked with sorrow on the falling away from the faith of the once Orthodox Churches. And he called the epistles which he sent to all the hierarchs of the Orthodox Church just that – ‘Sorrowful Epistles’. In his first Epistle, written in 1969, St. Philaret says that he has decided to turn to all the hierarchs, ‘some of whom occupy the oldest and most glorious sees’, because, in the words of St. Gregory the Theologian, ‘the truth is betrayed by silence’, and it is impossible to keep silent when you see a deviation from the purity of Orthodoxy – after all, every bishop at his ordination gives a promise to keep the Faith and the canons of the holy fathers and defend Orthodoxy from heresies. Vladyka quotes various ecumenist declarations of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and clearly shows, on the basis of the patristic teaching and the canons, that the position of the WCC has nothing in common with Orthodoxy, and consequently the Orthodox Churches must not participate in the work of this council. The holy Hierarch Philaret also emphasises that the voice of the MP is not the voice of the True Russian Church, which in the homeland is persecuted and hides in the catacombs. Vladyka calls on all the Orthodox hierarchs to stand up in defence of the purity of Orthodoxy.


     “Vladyka Philaret wrote his second ‘Sorrowful Epistle’ on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 1972. In it he noted that although in the last two years hierarchs had made declarations about the heterodoxy of the ecumenical movement, not one Orthodox Church had declared that it was leaving the WCC. Vladyka placed as the aim of his Second Epistle ‘to show that abyss of heresy against the very concept of the Church into which all the participants in the ecumenical movement are being drawn’. He recalled the threatening prophecy of the Apostle Paul that to those who will not receive ‘the love of the truth for salvation’ the Lord will send ‘strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (II Thessalonians 2.10-12). St. Philaret’s third Epistle was devoted to the so-called ‘Thyateira Confession’ of Metropolitan Athenagoras [of Thyateira and Great Britain], the exarch of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate in Europe – a document written in a completely heretical spirit, but which did not elicit any reaction from the leaders of the ‘official churches’. Evidently Vladyka Philaret hoped at the beginning that at any rate one of the bishops of ‘World Orthodoxy’ might listen to his words, which is why he addressed them in his epistles as true Archpastors of the Church. Besides, attempts at exhortation corresponded to the apostolic command: ‘A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself’ (Titus 3. 10-11). It was fitting, before accepting an anathema against the apostates, to try and convert them from their error.


     “Alas, no conversion took place, and the ecumenical impiety continued to pour out. Vladyka addressed his word not only to bishops, but also to their flock, untiringly explaining the danger of the new heresy. While telling about the zeal of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who slapped the face of Arius when he blasphemed against the Son of God, Vladyka said: ‘O how often we do not have enough of such zeal when it is really necessary to speak for the insulted and trodden-on truth! I want to tell you about one incident that took place not long ago and which it would have been difficult even to imagine several years ago – and now we are going further and further downhill all the time. One man came from Paris and said that the following incident had taken place at a so-called “ecumenical meeting’. Of course, you know what ecumenism is; it is the heresy of heresies. It wants to completely wipe out the concept of the Orthodox Church as the guardian of the Truth, and to create some kind of new, strange church. And so there took place this ‘ecumenical meeting’. Present were a so-called Orthodox protopriest from the Paris Theological (more exactly, heretical) Institute, a Jewish rabbi, a pastor and a Catholic priest. At first they sort of prayed, and then began the speeches. And then (forgive me for saying such things from the holy ambon, but I want to show you what we have come to) the Jewish rabbi said that the Lord Jesus Christ was the illegitimate son of a dissolute woman…


     “’But that’s not the main horror. The Jewish people has opposed God for a long time… - so there’s nothing surprising in this. But the horror was that when he said this everyone was silent. Later, a man who had heard this terrible blasphemy asked the ‘Orthodox’ protopriest: ‘How could you keep silent?’ He replied: ‘I didn’t want to offend this Jew.’ It’s wrong to offend a Jew, but to insult the All-Pure Virgin Mary is permitted! Look at the state we have come to! How often does it happen to us all now that we do not have the zeal to stand up, when necessary, in defence of our holy things! The Orthodox cleric must zealously stand up against blasphemy, just as the holy Hierarch Nicholas stopped the mouth of the heretic… But now, unfortunately, we have become, as the saying goes, ‘shamefully indifferent to both the evil and the good’. And it is precisely in the soil of this indifference, of a kind of feeling of self-preservation, that the heresy of ecumenism has established itself – as also apostasy, that falling away which is becoming more and more evident… Let us remember, brethren, that Christian love embraces all in itself, is compassionate to all, wishes that all be saved and is sorry for, and merciful to, and love every creature of God; but where it sees a conscious assault on the truth it turns into fiery zeal which cannot bear any such blasphemy… And so must it always be, because every Orthodox Christian must always be zealous for God.”[14]


     “Patriarch” Athenagoras expressed, perhaps better than any contemporary church leader, what ecumenism really means for its adherents. As Basil (now Hieromonk Gregory) Lourié writes: “Athenagoras … did not consider [the Latins] to be heretics. But his denial of their hereticalness was not the manifestation of a special love for them: Athenagoras did not recognise the existence of heresy in general! On hearing of a certain man who saw heresy everywhere, Athenagoras said: ‘I don’t see them anywhere! I see only truths, partial truths, reduced truths, truths that are sometimes out of place…’


     “The teaching of the Church, of the Holy Fathers, is based on the rock of the confession of the fullness of the Truth incarnate in Christ, which is organically incapable of being mixed with lies. The ecumenists consciously choose the sand of ‘partial truths’ cemented by the lie of the denial of Christ as the true Son and Word of God.


     “Why can Athenagoras and people like him, who are characterised by their own kind of deep faith, asceticism and even capacity for sacrifice, completely consciously go against, not simply individual Fathers, but even all of them taken together? Why have they come to the decision that certain decrees of the Fathers in relation to the Church and the dogmas may supposedly have lost their force in our time? There can only be one answer: their Orthodox faith was been mixed with certain tares, which have grown up and suffocated the shoots of Truth. The tares are faith in something about which the Lord did not announce to the Church. This is what we read in this connection in Athenagoras himself: ‘Palestine has again become the centre of the world… We must pray and struggle that Jerusalem may again become a place of dialogue and peace. So that we may together prepare the way for the return of Jesus, the Mahdi of Islam, the Messiah of Israel, our Lord.’ ‘In Jerusalem Abraham met Melchizedek, a priest of the Most High God, a mystical foreshadowing of the Word which is present in all peoples and in all religions.’ (This is how Athenagoras explains why he and the Roman Pope Paul VI decided to meet in Jerusalem.) The union with the Latins was seen by Athenagoras in connection with this coming advent of the person he called Jesus: ‘Unity may be attained unexpectedly, as is the case with everything great. As can happen with the return of Christ, Who, as He said, will come as a thief. Catholicism is now in a vortex. Everything is possible.’ Neither Athenagoras nor the other ecumenists refer to any other positions based on Church Tradition. And not surprisingly. The teaching of the Church foresees the union of all peoples, not around Christ, but around him whom the Jews call the Messiah, and the Muslims Mahdi [the Antichrist]. ‘When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18.8).


     “But this Tradition of the Church has ceased to be of interest to them because they have accepted another: faith that some special age has dawned precisely now. If all the people of this age understand its content, they will turn out to be much more closely united with each other than with their co-religionists of previous ages. The people of this age are united by certain ‘pan-human’, as they put it, values of their own, values which are much more important to them than the heritage of the past, which disunites them. This is that age of which the bearers of the so-called ‘Russian religious philosopy’ (particularly Soloviev, Berdyaev, Florensky and Bulgakov) became the heralds throughout the world. These people expressed in a pseudo-Christian language the idea of the coming of a ‘new age’ – the age of some new, post-New Testament ‘revelation of the Holy Spirit’, which would be given in the last times, and which they borrowed from occult teachings. (See, for example, the letter on the Holy Spirit in Florensky’s The Pillar and Ground of the Truth.) For these people there exists some kind of special ‘age of the Fathers’, which is already completely past. With it have also gone into the past the canons of the Fathers. In our time, instead of the Fathers there are those who have received the new revelation of the new age. And so for the Orthodox Church today ecumenism is not a particular problem which might pass some countries by. But at the same time it is only a particular case of a more widespread phenomenon – the placing of the whole of contemporary civilisation on a new principle of unity. It is on this principle that the universal religion which Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of blessed memory (+1982) called ‘the religion of the future’, the religion of the Antichrist, is being created at the present time.


     “This principle is much more clearly formulated in various movements of the ‘New Age’ and Masonry type, while ecumenism is called to carry out only one particular task: force the entry into this new unity of such people as would wish to preserve their unity with traditional forms of religion. The Antichrist will have to satisfy everyone…”[15]


     Hieromonk Seraphim wrote with regard to an article written by Archbishop James entitled “A New Epoch?”: “I suddenly felt that I had found an insight into the ‘essence of Iakovism’. Is not, indeed, the basic heresy chiliasm? What else, indeed, could justify such immense changes and monstrous perversions in Orthodoxy except the concept that we are entering entirely new historical circumstances, an entirely new kind of time, in which the concepts of the past are no longer relevant, but we must be guided by the voices of the new time? Does not Fr. Patrinacos, in past issues of the Orthodox Observer, justify Patriarch Athenagoras – not as a theologian, not as a traditionalist, but precisely as a prophet, as one whose heresies cannot be condemned because he already lives in the ‘new time’, ahead of his own times? Patriarch Athenagoras himself has been quoted as speaking of the coming of the ‘Third Age of the Holy Spirit’ – a clearly chiliastic idea which has its chief recent champion in N. Berdyaev, and can be traced back directly to Joachim of Fiore, and indirectly to the Montanists. The whole idea of a ‘new age’, of course, penetrates every fiber of the last two centuries with their preoccupation with ‘progress’, and is the key idea of the very concept of Revolution (from French to Bolshevik), is the central idea of modern occultism (visible on the populate level in today’s talk of the ‘age of Aquarius’, the astrological post-Christian age), and has owed its spread probably chiefly to Freemasonry (there’s a Scottish Rite publication in America called ‘New Age’). (I regret to say that the whole philosophy is also present in the American dollar bill with its masonic heritage, with its novus ordo saeculorum and its unfinished pyramid, awaiting the thirteenth stone on top!) In Christian terms, it is the philosophy of Antichrist, the one who will turn the world upside down and ‘change the times and seasons.’… And the whole concept of ecumenism is, of course, permeated with this heresy and the ‘refounding of the Church’.”[16]


The Fall of the Serbian and Bulgarian Churches


     Improved relations with the Catholics did not preclude the ecumenists’ having improved relations with other heretics, too. In September, 1966, two inter-Orthodox Commissions were established in Belgrade to negotiate with the Anglicans and the Old Catholics. This sealed the entry of the last of the major autocephalous Churches, the Serbian, into the ecumenical movement. The “conversion” of the Serbian Church to Ecumenism had been made possible by the “election” of a puppet patriarch, Germanus, on the death of the weak Patriarch Vincent in July, 1958.


     “All of his opponents were eliminated beforehand. Bishop Basil, at that time Bishop of Banja Luka, was arrested in Belgrade and threatened by the UDBA (the Yugoslav Secret Police) to be returned to Banja Luka and be tried by the ‘People’s Court’ for his alleged ‘counter-revolutionary activities’, if he did not endorse Bishop Germanus’ candidacy for patriarch. Once he endorsed Germanus’ candidacy he was released, through Bishop Germanus’ ‘gracious’ intervention.


     “Father Macarius, abbot of the famed Dechani Monastery, was given 200,000 dinars ($650) as payment for his coerced vote for Germanus. He came back to his monastery after the election and threw the money at his monks, telling them that he ‘felt like Judas’.


     “Many delegates to the Electorate were given a special pen and paper on which they were to cast their ballots, in order to show whether they had kept their promise to the agents of the Secret Police. (Two sworn statements by witnesses).”[17]


     According to witnesses who were in the patriarch’s house, he had a party card. And when he was once accused of embezzling a very large sum of money and was threatened with a court trial, the Serbian equivalent of the KGB saved him and paid the money themselves. Thereafter he was, of course, completely “their man”.[18]


     In 1960 Archimandrite Justin Popovich, who has been called “the conscience of the Serbian Church”, wrote: “… The atheist dictatorship has so far elected two patriarchs… And in this way it has cynically trampled on the holy rights of the Church, and thereby also on the holy dogmas.”[19]


     Having secured their own man as patriarch, the ecucommunists proceeded to use him against their most dangerous opponent outside Serbia – Bishop Dionysius of the American-Canadian diocese. In 1963 Germanus and his Synod decided to divide Bishop Dionysius diocese into three. Seeing a communist plot, Dionysius refused to accept this decision, announced that he was making his diocese autonomous and broke communion with the patriarch and his synod. On March 27, 1964 the Serbian Synod defrocked Dionysius. Then three pro-Belgrade priests were consecrated bishops -in his place. Dionysius and his supporters refused to recognize these acts, for which the patriarchate condemned them as graceless schismatics.[20]


     Cast out in this way, three dioceses and about forty parishes of the Free Serbs, as they now called themselves, applied to join ROCOR. Two archbishops – Averky of Jordanville and John (Maximovich) of San Francisco - supported them. However, other bishops, including Archbishop Vitaly of Canada, were opposed, and the Free Serbs’ petition was rejected. The quarrel was so heated that two Russians were excommunicated.[21]


     Archbishop Averky returned to the question of the Serbian Church later. On September 14/27, 1967, he wrote to Metropolitan Philaret: “With regard to the question of the Serbian Church, whose Patriarch German is a stooge of the communist Tito, as the Serbs themselves are convinced, calling him ‘the red patriarch’. We have heard this from many clergy and laity who have fled from Serbia. How can we recognize, and have communion in prayer with, ‘the red patriarch’, who maintains the closest friendly relations with red Moscow? Cannot our Hierarchical Council make erroneous decisions? Do we in the Orthodox Church have a doctrine about the infallibility of every Council of Bishops?”


     However, Archbishop Averky’s attitude to the Serbs was not commonly accepted in ROCOR. Many hierarchs and priests of ROCOR had been brought up in Serbia, and out of gratitude felt that they should not be condemned or excommunicated. To what extent this attitude was truly motivated by gratitude, and to what extent simply by fear of ROCOR’s losing its last friends in “World Orthodoxy”, is a moot point. In any case, it was contrary to the canons of the Church, which require the breaking of communion with all those in communion with heresy, as well as to the spirit of true Christian love. For true love for the Serbs dictated that it should be pointed out into what an abyss their ecumenism was leading them, an exhortation which would have acquired greater weight by a full break in communion…


     After being rejected by ROCOR, the Free Serbs then briefly came into communion first with two Ukrainian bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church and then with the Patriarchate of Alexandria. Fleeing the Ecumenism of the latter, they briefly found refuge with the “Florinite” Greek Old Calendarists led by Archbishop Auxentius, on September 11/24, 1981.[22]


     The communists were now in complete control of the Serbian Patriarchate. The result was predictable: “an alarming tendency on the part of the hierarchy of the ‘Mother Church’ to abandon true Orthodoxy and embrace heresy. For soon after the Belgrade bishops severed communion with Bishop Dionysius and us, the true Serbian Orthodox Christians in the Free World who remained loyal to him, they plunged with both feet into the murky waters of the worst heresy that has ever assaulted the Orthodox Church – the heresy of ‘ecumenism’.”[23]


     Archimandrite Justin Popovich wrote on the catastrophic situation of East European Orthodoxy at this time: “The Church is being gradually destroyed from within and without, ideologically and organisationally. All means are being used: known and unknown, open and secret, the most subtle and the most crude… And all this is skilfully dissolved, but in fact it is the most deadly of poisons with a sugar coating… The most elementary and rudimentary logic demonstrates and proves: cooperation with open atheists, the cursed enemies of Christ and the Orthodox Church of Christ, is illogical and anti-logical. We ask those who seek such cooperation, or already cooperate, or – terrible thought! – compel others to cooperate, with the words of Christ: ’What communion can there be between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what is there in common between light and darkness? What agreement can there be between Christ and Belial?’ (II Corinthians 6.14-15). Do you not hear the Christ-bearing Apostle, who thunders: ‘If we, or an angel from heaven begins to preach to you that which we have not preached to you, let him be anathema!’ (Galatians 1.8). Or have you, in the frenzy of the atheist dictatorship, gone completely deaf to the Divine truth and commandment of Christ: ‘You cannot serve God and Mammon’ (Matthew 6.24)?”[24]


     Patriarch Germanus led his Church into the WCC in 1965, and become one of its presidents in 1968. And in 1967 he said to the Roman Catholic bishop of Mostar: “The times are such that our sister Churches have to lean on each other, to turn away from that which divided us and to concentrate on all that we have in common.”[25] The next year he recognized Catholic marriages. In 1985, at a nuns’ conference, he welcomed two Catholic bishops “with special honour” into the sanctuary, and then all the conference members (Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants) recited the Creed together in the Liturgy.[26] In 1971 he signed the following WCC statement in Geneva: “The powerful Breath of renewal will blow into the mighty arena of the Church, as well as into each of her communities; for these are not simple administrative units, but they all constitute a part of the one great Christian Church.”


     Bishop Artemius of Raska and Prizren, a disciple of Fr. Justin Popovich, in a memorandum to the Serbian Synod entitled “The Serbian Orthodox Church and the World Council of Churches” (November, 1994), said that ecumenism was an ecclesiological heresy, and that the Serbs should withdraw from the WCC.[27] More recently, he has written: “The result of this participation [of the Serbs in the WCC] was reflected in certain material aid which the Serbian Orthodox Church periodically received from the WCC in the form of medicine, medical care and rehabilitation of some individuals in Switzerland, student scholarships, and financial donations for certain concrete purposes and needs of the SOC, such as the construction of a new building by the Theological School. We paid for these crumbs of material assistance by losing, on the spiritual plane, the purity of our faith, canonical consistency and faithfulness to the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.


     “The presence of our representatives (and Orthodox representatives in general) at various and sundry ecumenical gatherings has no canonical justification. We did not go there in order to boldly, openly and unwaveringly confess the eternal and unchangeable Truth of the Orthodox Faith and Church, but in order to make compromises and to agree more or less to all those decisions and formulations offered to us by the non-Orthodox. That is how we ultimately arrived at Balamand, Chambésy and Assisi, which taken as a whole represent infidelity and betrayal of the Holy Orthodox Faith.”[28]


     Germanus liked to justify himself by quoting the Serbian proverb: Drvo se na drvo naslanja; a covek na coveka – “Tree leans on tree and man on man.” But the Free Serbs had an answer to this. “We can also quote the proverbs of our people: S’kim si, onaki si. – ‘You are like those with whom you associate.’ If you find your fellowship with heretics, you begin to share their erroneous thinking and eventually become a heretic. As an American proverb goes: ‘Birds of a feather flock together.’”[29]


     Commenting on the decision of the Orthodox Churches to become “organic members” of the WCC, Fr. Justin wrote: “Every true Orthodox Christian, who is instructed under the guidance of the Holy Fathers, is overcome with shame when he reads that the Orthodox members of the Fifth Pan-Orthodox Conference in Geneva [in June, 1968]… on the question of the participation of the Orthodox in the work of the World Council of Churches, considered it necessary ‘to declare that the Orthodox Church considers itself to be an organic part of the World Council of Churches.’


     “This assertion is apocalyptically horrifying in its un-orthodoxy and anti-orthodoxy. Was it necessary for the Orthodox Church, that most holy Body of the God-Man Christ, to become so debased to such a pitiful degree that its theological representatives – some of whom were Serbian bishops – have begun to beg for ‘organic’ participation and membership in the World Council of Churches, which will supposedly become a new ‘Body’ and a new ‘Church’, which will stand above all other churches, in which the Orthodox Churches and the non-orthodox churches will appear only as parts. God forbid! Never before has there been such a betrayal and abandonment of our holy Faith!


     “We are renouncing the Orthodox Faith of the God-Man Christ, and organic ties with the God-Man and His Most Holy Body: we are repudiating the Orthodox Church of the holy apostles, the Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils – and we wish to become ‘organic members’ of a heretical, humanistic, humanized and man-worshipping club, which consists of 263 heresies – every one of which is a spiritual death.


     “As Orthodox Christians we are ‘members of Christ.’ ‘Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?’ (I Corinthians 6.15). We are doing this by our organic union with the World Council of Churches, which is nothing other than the rebirth of atheistic man, of pagan idolatry.


     “The time has finally come for the patristic Orthodox Church of Saint Sabbas, the Church of the holy apostles and Fathers, of the holy confessors, martyrs and new-martyrs, to stop mingling ecclesiastically and hierarchically with the so-called ‘World Council of Churches’, and to cast off forever any participation in joint prayer or services, and to renounce general participation in any ecclesiastical dealings whatsoever, which are not self-contained and do not express the unique and unchangeable character of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – the Orthodox Church – the only true Church that has ever existed.”[30]


     In 1971, Archimandrite Justin broke communion with the Serbian patriarch, while retaining contacts with the other bishops.[31]


     In 1968 the Bulgarian Church adopted the new calendar. The change was imposed, according to one account, at the insistence of the WCC, which in 1965-66 had sent letters on the subject to the churches; but according to another account – on orders from the Moscow Patriarchate, which wished to see how the people reacted to the change in Bulgaria before proceeding with the same innovation in Russia.[32] In the event, only the Russian Women’s Monastery of the Protecting Veil in Sophia refused to accept the change.


     Bishop Photius of Triaditza writes: “For some months before the introduction of the reform, Tserkoven Vestnik informed the astonished believing people that the reform was being carried out ‘in accordance with the ecumenist striving of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church…’ The Bulgarian clergy and even episcopate were completely unprepared to resist the calendar innovation, while the people, suspecting something amiss, began to grumble. The calendar reform was introduced skilfully and with lightning suddenness by Patriarch Cyril – an ardent modernist and ‘heartfelt’ friend of the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras! Everyone knew that the patriarch was on good terms with the communist authorities (for his ‘services’ to it he received the title of ‘academic’ – member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences!) Everyone also knew of his despotic temperament: he did all he could to persecute and annihilate his ideological opponents.”[33]


     In fact, the Bulgarian Church’s change to the new calendar had been dictated by the Russian communists, who wanted to introduce the innovation into the Russian Church, too, but wanted to “test the waters” by trying it out on the Bulgarians first.[34] As the HOCNA Archimandrite (now Bishop) Sergios writes: “In 1971 Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad visited Alaska in order to venerate the relics of St. Herman. In an effort to distance itself from the MP, the then-new OCA had not invited the MP hierarchs to participate in the August, 1970 canonization of that Saint. Metropolitan Nikodim (and his OCA guide, Father Kyril Fotiev) spent 5 days in Sitka en route to Kodiak and I was the local host. During several long conversations, Metropolitan Nikodim mentioned that he was intent on adopting the civil calendar for the MP, and as a test case, had brought about Bulgaria’s switch from the patristic to the civil calendar.”[35] But when the only Orthodox in Bulgaria who rejected the innovation turned out to be the Russian women’s monastery at Knyazhevo, Sophia, the Russians decided to hold back from introducing it in Russia


     However, while deciding not to adopt the new calendar for the whole Church, the MP already, in 1967, had made the following resolution: “Bearing in mind the practice of the Ancient Church, when East and West (Rome and the Asian bishops) celebrated Pascha at different times, while preserving complete communion in prayer between themselves[36], and taking into account the experience of the Orthodox Church of Finland and our parishes in Holland, as also the exceptional position of the parishioners of the church of the Resurrection of Christ amidst the heterodox world, [it has been resolved] to allow Orthodox parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate living in Switzerland to celebrate the immovable feast and the feasts of the Paschal cycle according to the new style.”[37]


“The Heresy of Heresies”


     In the second half of the 1960s opposition to Ecumenism the Local Orthodox Churches was gradually suppressed. Some conservative hierarchs died, such as Patriarch Christopher of Alexandria (in 1967); others were more forcibly removed or replaced, such as Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens and the leaders of some of the Athonite monasteries. Others were effectively silenced by bribery, such as the Orthodox Church of America. The Greek State Church was worn down by a mixture of bribes and political arm-twisting. The bribes came from the Vatican in the form of the return of the relics of Saints Andrew, Titus and Isidore to the Greek Church (and of St. Sabbas to the Jerusalem Patriarchate). It was difficult for Archbishop Chrysostom on the one hand to give thanks for the return of these relics, and on the other hand to put up a firm resistance to the lifting of the anathemas against Rome.


     Another clever move on the part of the Vatican was to allow 3000 Catholics in Corfu and on the Ionian islands to celebrate Pascha in 1967 on 30 April, the Orthodox date. As the journal Ekklesia pointed out: “The decision evokes natural suspicion that fundamentally this is a propaganda move and an attempt to proselytize the Orthodox population of Corfu.”[38] As full union beckoned, it became less important to the papists on which day they and the Orthodox celebrated the feasts as long as it was the same day.


     There is other evidence that the Pope was attempting to force the pace in this year. Thus in May the Catholic Ecumenical Directory was published, which allowed Catholics to take communion in Orthodox churches if they were isolated or could not receive Catholic sacraments for a long period. And yet in March Patriarch Athenagoras had said that Orthodox could not (yet) receive “sacramental grace from a priest who is not himself Orthodox”. Then in July the Pope travelled to Constantinople, where he prayed together with the Patriarch. This visit was returned in October, when Athenagoras visited Rome, and the two prelates sat on equal and identical thrones – “an event which must be unprecedented in the annals of papal Rome, and for which there was certainly no parallel at the Council of Florence in 1438-9.”[39]


     This exchange of visits was made easier by the fact that on April 21 a military coup had taken place in Greece. On May 10 the newly established government promulgated a “compulsory law” which dismissed the Synod, replaced it by a Synod chosen by the government, retired Archbishop Chrysostom as being too old, and replaced him with Archimandrite Jerome, who had been a member of the central committee of the World Council of Churches since 1954. This act was very reminiscent of the way in which the revolutionary government chose Chrysostom Papadopoulos in 1922 and must be presumed to have had the same aim – the replacement of the existing incumbent by one more closely identified with the West and Ecumenism.


     The new archbishop quickly showed his credentials by coming to “full agreement” with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and issuing the following statement in his enthronement address: “Our relations with non-Orthodox confessions must be marked by Christian love and by mutual respect, so as to foster friendship; but at the same time we must preserve our dignity and our firm adherence to the Orthodox faith and teaching. As a pre-condition for any closer relations, we must insist on the condemnation of proselytism.”[40]


     The only problem about this seemingly conservative statement was that “firm adherence to the Orthodox faith” and “the condemnation of proselytism” are incompatible, in that if we believe that the Orthodox Faith is the True Faith we are bound to hope and work for the conversion of people of other faiths. We condemn proselytism among the Orthodox, not because it is “unfair” and goes against some kind of ecclesiastical non-aggression pact, but because it takes people away from the saving ark of the One True Church. By the same token we support Orthodox missionary work among the heterodox because it brings the heterodox to salvation, in fulfilment of the Saviour’s words: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19).[41]


     There were other, more political reasons for the coup in the Church. Athenagoras was favoured by the Americans as being the man best able, on the one hand, to effect a rapprochement between Turkey and Greece, and, on the other, to resist the influence of the Soviet-dominated Moscow Patriarchate. So his opponents in the Greek Church had to be removed.[42]


     But the majority of the monks on Mount Athos were still fiercely opposed to the lifting of the anathemas. Therefore in November, 1967, an exarchate consisting of three bishops of the newly constituted Greek Church was sent to Athos to try and reconcile the monks and bring those monasteries that had broken communion with the ecumenists back into obedience to the patriarchate. In this mission, however, they failed – for the time being.


     In 1968 the Fourth General Assembly of the WCC took place in Uppsala. Patriarch German of Serbia was one of the six presidents, and remained in that post for the next ten years. Uppsala considerably furthered the ecumenical movement. The Orthodox, as the new general secretary Carson Blake joyfully pointed out, were now 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.


     Now only ROCOR, the Russian Catacomb Church and the Greek and Romanian Old Calendarists stood in the way of the complete triumph of Ecumenism. It was time for this last remnant of the True Church of Christ to renounce all hesitations, all false hopes, all temptations to compromise in the face of the completely unambiguous apostasy of the official churches of “World Orthodoxy”. It was time to declare that Ecumenism was not simply uncanonical, but heresy, and not simply heresy, but “the heresy of heresies”.


     This definition came in a report that Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinov) of Canada gave to the Synod of ROCOR on the Uppsala Assembly of the WCC: “At the opening of the Assembly an ecumenical prayer was read in the name of all those assembles: ‘O God our Father, You can create everything anew. We entrust ourselves to You, help us to live for others, for Your love extends over all people, and to search for the Truth, which we have not known…’ How could the Orthodox listen to these last words? 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. Even The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is completely subject to the censorship of the communist party, in citing the words of the prayer in its account of this conference, did not dare to translate the English ‘truth’ by the word ‘istina’, but translated it as ‘pravda’ [‘righteousness’]. 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.”[43]


     On December 16, 1969, on the initiative of Metropolitan Nicodemus, the MP Synod resolved to allow Catholics and Old Ritualists to receive communion from Orthodox priests if they ask for it.[44]


     The MP’s Archbishop Basil of Brussels recalled: “It fell to me to defend the good name and Orthodoxy of the Russian Church at the Pan-Orthodox conferences (those like the Pan-Orthodox commission for dialogue with the Anglicans) with the following argumentation: ‘This resolution of the Synod was elicited by a completely special situation of believers, and in particular of Catholics in the Soviet Union. Where there is not one Catholic church of priest for thousands of kilometres. Such a resolution was made by the Synod of Constantinople and Patriarch Joachim II in 1878 in relation to the Armenians. Theologically, it is difficult for me to justify such oekonomia, but I cannot judge the Russian hierarchs who live in contemporary Russia in difficult conditions. They know better than we what they are doing.’ This argumentation satisfied everyone, even on Athos, but everything was destroyed by Metropolitan Nicodemus giving communion [to Catholic students] in Rome. ‘What ‘pastoral oikonomia” forced him to commune Catholics where there are so many Catholic churches?’ they asked me. The only reply that I could give was: ‘Your hierarchs even worse when they give to communion to everyone indiscriminately.’ ‘Our hierarchs, like Archbishop James of America or Athenagoras of London, are traitors to Orthodoxy, we have known that for a long time (replied to me Abbot George of the monastery of Grigorious on Athos). But that the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church, which we respect for her firmness in Orthodoxy, should act in this way in the person of Metropolitan Nicodemus, shocks us and deeply saddens us.’ I recounted this reaction to Metropolitan Nicodemus. He even became angry: ‘It’s not important what they say on Athos. Athos is not an Autocephalous Church.’”[45]


     Neither side in this argument seemed to understand that the giving of communion to a heretic in any circumstances is harmful for that heretic so long as he remains in his heresy. More Orthodox, therefore, was the robust response of the ROCOR Synod, which on March 31, 1970 condemned the MP resolution as follows: “The decision of the Moscow Patriarchate to give access to Roman Catholics to all the sacraments of the Orthodox Church… both violates the sacred canons and is contrary to the dogmatic teaching of Orthodoxy. By entering into communion with the heterodox, the Moscow Patriarchate alienates itself from unity with the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church. By this action it does not sanctify the heretics to whom it give sacraments, but itself becomes a partaker of their heresy.”


     Archbishop Averky of Jordanville commented: “Now, even if some entertained some sort of doubts about how we should regard the contemporary Moscow Patriarchate, and whether we can consider it Orthodox after its intimate union with the enemies of God, the persecutors of the Faith and Christ’s Church, these doubts must now be completely dismissed: by the very fact that it has entered into liturgical communion with the Papists, it has fallen away from Orthodoxy [emphasis in the original] and can no longer be considered Orthodox.”[46]


Moscow and the Metropolia


     On the very same day that ROCOR condemned the MP as “partaking in heresy”, Metropolitan Irenaeus of All America and Canada and Metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov) of Leningrad signed an Agreement giving autocephaly to the American Metropolia – a deal which was accepted by no other Autocephalous Orthodox Church. On April 2, a delegation of the Japanese Orthodox Church set off for Moscow, where on April 10 it received from Patriarch Alexis a Tomos of Autonomy. On the same day Archbishop Nicholas (Kasatkin) of Japan was canonised.[47] In this way, as part of the deal with the Metropolia, the Japanese Church, which formerly had been under the Metropolia, came under Moscow’s jurisdiction. However, the MP’s parishes in North America, which were supposed to come under the Metropolia – or the Orthodox Church of America, as it was now called – did not do so.


     On June 24 Patriarch Athenagoras in a letter to Patriarch Alexis touched on two important questions: the authority competent to grant autocephaly, and the factors and conditions necessary for a correct proclamation of autocephaly. With regard to the first question he declared that ‘the granting of it is within the competence of the whole Church.’ But to a Local Church ‘is proper only the right to receive the first petitions for independence from those concerned and to express whether the bases suggested for it are worthy of justification’. With regard to the second question, Patriarch Athenagoras expressed the opinion that in order to announce an ecclesiastical autocephaly that aims to satisfy purely ecclesiastical needs, the opinion of the clergy and laity, the judgement of the Mother Church and the expressed will of the whole Church is required. Considering that these conditions had not been fulfilled in the giving of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America, the patriarch called on the Russian Church to apply ‘efforts to annul the canonical confusion that has been created. Otherwise, he threatened to regard the action ‘as if it had never taken place’.[48]


     Of course, the patriarch had a point. But since his own patriarchate, by creating a whole series of unlawful autocephalies since the 1920s, was the first sinner in this respect, it is not surprising that his voice was not heeded…


     Hieromonk Seraphim Rose wrote of the union of the Metropolia with Moscow: “The American Metropolia doubtless fell into this trap out of naiveté, and already its hierarchs are demonstrating that its so-called ‘independence’ conceals a subtle form of psychological dependence.” Newspaper articles showing that Metropolitan clergy and bishops had begun to apologize, not only for the Soviet domination of the church organization, but even for the Soviet system itself. One priest “admits some Soviet bishops are Soviet agents, that the whole autocephaly follows political trends set forth by the Soviet government; Bishop ____ is quoted as saying that he found the Soviet people to be happy and well dressed, and if some complain about the Government, well, so do Americans.” Elsewhere Fr. Seraphim quoted the same bishop as saying, “As Americans we have to reassess our ideas of life in the Soviet Union.” Such statements, Fr. Seraphim wrote, “reveal the ‘autocephaly’ as an important tool for Moscow in politically ‘neutralizing’ public opinion in the West.”


     Asserting that it was far worse to capitulate to a nihilist state in freedom than under compulsion, Fr. Seraphim wrote to a priest of the Metropolia: “You will find in our midst great sympathy and pity for all but the leading hierarchs of Moscow – and even for some of them you will find fellow-feeling owing to the inhuman circumstances under which they have been forced to betray Orthodoxy… But this fellow-feeling cannot allow us who are free to… place ourselves in the same trap she [the Moscow Patriarchate] was forced into! And this the Metropolia has done… With every fiber of our being and every feeling of our soul we are repulsed by this free act of betrayal… Do you not grasp the immensity of your spiritual bondage?”


     “Is ‘stepping out onto the world Orthodox scene’ really so important to the Metropolia that it must do it at the expense of the suffering Russian Orthodox faithful? To give one small example: Metropolitan Nicodemus is the Metropolia’s great ‘benefactor’, and no one can doubt that his success with the Metropolia has strengthened his position with the Moscow Patriarchate. On the other hand, the layman Boris Talantov in the USSR has openly called Metropolitan Nicodemus a betrayer of the Church, a liar, and an agent of world anti-Christianity, for which statements (among others) he was imprisoned by the Soviets; Metropolitan Nicodemus tells the West that he was in prison for ‘anti-governmental activities’. On January 4 of this year Boris Talantov died in prison, undoubtedly the victim of Metropolitan Nicodemus (among others). Can the Metropolia feel itself to be on the side of this confessor? I don’t see how it can.”[49]


     In March, 1969, the Great Council of the Metropolia made a last Orthodox statement on Ecumenism before succumbing to it:- “The basic goal of the ecumenical movement… is the unity of all Christians in one single body of grace. And here the Orthodox Church firmly confesses that such a genuine unity is founded, above all, on the unity of faith, on the unanimous acceptance by all of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Traditions as they are wholly and integrally preserved by the Church. Real love for brothers separated from us [sic – a misleading description of heretics, who are not our brothers in Christ] consists therefore not in silencing all that divides us, but in a courageous witness to the Truth, which alone can unite us all, and also in a common search for the ways to make that Truth evident to all. Only in this way did the Orthodox Church always understand her participation in the ecumenical movement…


     “However, within the ecumenical movement there has always existed another understanding of unity. This other understanding seems to become more popular today. It recognizes virtually no importance at all in agreement in faith and doctrine, and is based on relativism, i.e., on the affirmation that the doctrinal or canonical teachings of the Church, being ‘relative’, are not obligatory for all. Unity is viewed as already existing, and nothing remains to be done except to express it and strengthen it through ecumenical manifestations or services. Such an approach is totally incompatible with the Orthodox concept of the ecumenical movement.


     “The differences between these two approaches is best illustrated by the attitudes towards concelebration and intercommunion among divided Christians. According to the Orthodox doctrine, the prayers and the sacraments of the Church, especially the Divine Eucharist, are expressions of full unity – in faith, in life, in service of God and man – as given by God. This unity with other Christians we seek, but we have not reached it yet. Therefore in the Orthodox understanding, no form of concelebration, i.e., no joint participation in liturgical prayer or the sacraments, with those who do not belong to the Orthodox Church can be permitted, for it would imply a unity which in reality does not exist. It would imply deceiving ourselves, deceiving others, and creating the impression that the Orthodox Church acknowledges that which in fact she does not acknowledge.”[50]


The Moscow and ROCOR Councils of 1971


     In May-June, 1971 there was a council of the MP attended by 75 hierarchs, 85 clergy and 78 laymen, representatives of many other Orthodox Churches and the general secretary of the WCC. It confirmed all the previous decisions made by the MP since 1945. Only one candidate for the patriarchate (Patriarch Alexis had died in April) was put forward: the weak Metropolitan Pimen, who was elected unanimously in an open ballot (a secret ballot was not allowed by the all-powerful Metropolitan Nicodemus). The 1961 statute taking control of the parishes away from the bishops and clergy was confirmed[51], as was (unanimously) Nicodemus’ report on the decision to give communion to Catholics, in which he said that the measure was justified “insofar as we have a common of faith with them in relation to the sacraments”.[52]


     The MP council also resolved: “to entrust to the higher ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church to continue efforts to reunite with the Mother Church the so-called Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (the Karlovtsy schism), the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Abroad and other scattered children of hers… In view of the fact that the activity of supporters of the so-called Russian Orthodox Church Abroad… against the Mother Russian Orthodox Church and against the Holy Orthodox Church as a whole is harming Holy Orthodoxy, the higher ecclesiastical authority of the Moscow Patriarchate is entrusted with realizing in the nearest future the necessary canonical sanctions in relation to the apostate assembly.., the Karlotsy schism and its unrepentant followers.”[53]


     ROCOR’s Hierarchical Council reacted to the MP council by passing two resolutions. The first, dated September 1/14, 1971 declared: “The free part of the Russian Church, which is beyond the frontiers of the USSR, is heart and soul with the confessors of the faith who… are called ‘the True Orthodox Christians’, and who often go by the name of ‘the Catacomb Church’… The Council of Bishops recognizes its spiritual unity with them…”


     The second, of the same date, is called "Resolution of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Concerning the Election of Pimen (Izvekov) as Patriarch of Moscow": "All of the elections of Patriarchs in Moscow, beginning in 1943, are invalid on the basis of the 30th Canon of the Holy Apostles and the 3rd Canon of the 7th Ecumenical Council, according to which, ‘if any bishop, having made use of secular rulers, should receive through them Episcopal authority in the Church, let him be defrocked and excommunicated along with all those in communion with him’. The significance that the Fathers of the 7th Council gave to such an offence is obvious from the very fact of a double punishment for it, that is, not only deposition but excommunication as well, something unusual for ecclesiastical law. The famous commentator on Canon Law, Bishop Nicodemus of Dalmatia, gives the following explanation of the 30th Canon of the Holy Apostles: ‘If the Church condemned unlawful influence by the secular authorities in the ordination of bishops at a time when the rulers were Christians, then it follows that She should condemn such action all the more when the latter are pagans and place even heavier penalties on the guilty parties, who were not ashamed of asking for help from pagan rulers and the authorities subordinated to them, in order to gain the episcopate. This (30th) Canon has such cases in view’. If in defence of this position examples are given of the Patriarchs of Constantinople who were placed on the Throne at the caprice of the Turkish Sultans, one can reply that no anomaly can be regarded as a norm and that one breach of Canon Law cannot justify another.


     "The election of Pimen (Izvekov) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia at the gathering calling itself an All-Russian Church Council in Moscow the 2nd of June of this year, on the authority of the 3rd Canon of the 7th Ecumenical Council and other reasons set forth in this decision, is to be regarded as unlawful and void, and all of his acts and directions as having no strength."


     However, in 1974 ROCOR did confirm one measure adopted by the MP’s 1971 Council: the removal of the curses on the old rites and those who observed them.[54] This did not by itself make the Old Ritualists Orthodox; but it removed the main obstacle to their rejoining the Orthodox Church, taking to its logical conclusion Tsar Paul’s introduction of the edinoverie in 1801, which allowed Old Ritualists who joined the Orthodox Church to retain their use of the Old Rites.


     On September 28, 1971, ROCOR’s Hierarchical Council decreed: “The lack of accord of the decree of the Moscow Patriarchate, concerning the granting of communion to Roman Catholics, with Orthodox dogmatic teaching and the Church canons is completely clear to any person even slightly informed in theology. It was justly condemned by a decree of the Synod of the Church of Greece. The holy canons do permit the communication of a great sinner who is under penance (epitimia) when he is about to die (I Ecumenical 13, Carthage 6, Gregory of Nyssa 2 and 5), but there is not a single canon which would extend this to include persons foreign to the Orthodox Church, as long as they have not renounced their false doctrines. No matter what explanation Metropolitan Nicodemus and the other Moscow hierarchs might try to give of this act, it is completely clear that by this decision, even though with certain limitations, communion has been established between the Moscow Patriarchate and Roman Catholics. Furthermore, the latter have already made the decision to permit members of the Orthodox Church to receive communion from them. All this was particularly clearly demonstrated in the service held on December 14, 1970, in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, when Metropolitan Nicodemus gave communion to Catholic clerics. It is perfectly clear that this act could not be justified by any need. By this act the Moscow Patriarchate has betrayed Orthodoxy. If the 45th Canon of the Holy Apostles excommunicates from the Church an Orthodox bishop or cleric who has ‘only prayed together with heretics’, and the 10th Apostolic Canon forbids even prayer together with those who are excommunicated, what can we say about a bishop who dares to offer the Holy Mysteries to them? If catechumens must leave the church before the sanctification of the Gifts and are not permitted even at point of death to receive communion until they are united to the Church, how can one justify the communicating of persons who, being members of heretical communities, are much farther away from the Church than a catechumen, who is preparing to unite with her? The act of the Moscow Synod, which was confirmed by the recent Council of the Moscow Patriarchate in Moscow, extends the responsibility for this un-Orthodox decision to all participants of the Moscow Council and to their entire Church organization. The decision to admit Catholics to communion is an act that is not only anticanonical, but heretical as well, as inflicting harm on the Orthodox doctrine of the Church, since only true members of the Church are called to communicate of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. The Moscow decree, logically considered, recognizes as her members those who, through their doctrinal errors, in both heart and mind are far from her.”


     On the same day the Council issued an important statement on the reception of heretics, considerably “tightening up” its practice: “The Holy Church has from antiquity believed that there can be only one true baptism, namely that which is accomplished in her bosom: ‘One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism’ (Ephesians 4.5). In the Symbol of Faith “one baptism” is also confessed, while the 46th canon of the Holy Apostles indicates: ‘We order that a bishop or priest who has accepted (that is, recognized) the baptism or sacrifice of heretics should be deposed.’


     “However, when the zeal of any heretics in their struggle against the Church weakened, and when there was a question of their mass conversion to Orthodoxy, the Church, to ease their union, accepted them into her bosom by another rite. [There follows a discussion of St. Basil the Great’s first canonical epistle.]


     “And so St. Basil the Great, and through his words the Ecumenical Council, in establishing the principle that outside the Holy Orthodox Church there is no true baptism, allowed out of pastoral condescension, so-called oikonomia, the acceptance of certain heretics and schismatics without a new baptism. And in accordance with this principle, the Ecumenical Councils allowed the reception of heretics by various rites, taking account of the weakening of their fierceness against the Orthodox Church.


     “[There follows a discussion of Timothy of Alexandria’s explanation of this in The Rudder.]


     “In relation to the Roman Catholics and Protestants who claim to preserve baptism as a sacrament (for example, the Lutherans), the practice was introduced from the time of Peter the First of receiving them without baptism, through the renunciation of heresy and chrismation of Protestants and unconfirmed Catholics. Before Peter Catholics were baptised in Russia. In Greece the practice also changed, but for almost three hundred years, after a certain break, the practice of baptising those who came from Catholicism and Protestantism was again introduced. Those who are received by another rite are not recognized as Orthodox in Greece. In many cases also such children of our Russian Church were not even allowed to receive Holy Communion.


     “Bearing in mind this circumstance, and the present growth of the ecumenical heresy, which tries completely to wipe out the difference between Orthodoxy and every heresy, so that the Moscow Patriarchate, in spite of the sacred canons, has issued a resolution allowing Roman Catholics to be communed in certain cases, the Hierarchical Council has recognized the introduction of a stricter practice to be necessary, that is, that all heretics coming to the Church should be baptized, and that only insofar as it is necessary and with the permission of the bishop, from considerations of oikonomia, should another practice be allowed in relation to certain people, that is, the reception into the Church of Roman Catholics and Protestants who have been baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity through renunciation of heresy and chrismation.”[55]


The ROCOR – Greek Old Calendarist Union of 1971


     This last decision was also undoubtedly influenced by the happy fact that at the same time ROCOR had achieved union with the second Greek Old Calendarist Synod, that of the Matthewites. For the practice of both Greek Old Calendarist Synods, the Florinites and Matthewites, was stricter in relation to the reception of heretics was stricter than ROCOR’s.  Unfortunately, however, most of the ROCOR hierarchs paid scant attention to this decision…


     On December 18/31, 1969, Metropolitan Philaret and his Synod officially recognized the Florinite hierarchy led by Archbishop Auxentius[56], and wrote to him: “The many trials which the Orthodox Church has endured from the beginning of its history are especially great in our evil times, and consequently, this especially requires unity among those who are truly devoted to the Faith of the Fathers. With these sentiments we wish to inform you that the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad recognizes the validity of the episcopal consecrations of your predecessor of blessed memory, the reposed Archbishop Acacius, and the consequent ordinations of your Holy Church. Hence, taking into account also various other circumstances, our hierarchical Synod esteems your hierarchy as brothers in Christ in full communion with us.”[57]


     The members of the Florinite Synod now were: Archbishop Auxentius and Metropolitans Gerontius of Piraeus, Acacius of Diauleia and Chrysostom (Naslimis) of Magnesia. In July, 1971 Auxentius and Gerontius consecrated Metropolitans Paisius (Euthymiadis) of Euripus and Euboea, Chrysostom (Kiousis) of Thessalonica, Callinicus (Khaniotis) of Thaumakou and Acacius (Douskos) of Canada. And in 1973 Metropolitans Anthony (Thanasis) of Megara and Gabriel (Kalamisakis) of the Cyclades were consecrated.


     The Matthewites continued to denounce the Florinites as schismatics, but for the rest of the Orthodox world this act by the ROCOR Synod dispelled any lingering doubts about their canonicity. So on September 1/14, 1971, the Matthewites sent an exarchate, consisting of Metropolitans Callistus of Corinth and Epiphanius of Kition (Cyprus) and the Chancellor, Protopriest Eugene Tombros, to the Synod of ROCOR in New York.[58] They went, as the Matthewites wrote to the Russians some years later, “in order to come into contact with your Synod and regularize spiritual communion with you for the strengthening of the Holy Struggle of Orthodoxy”.[59] Or, as Metropolitan Epiphanius put it in a letter to Metropolitan Philaret, “I went to carry out with you a common duty 48 years late. I went with the conviction that, through human weakness, we carried out in 1971 what we should have done in 1924… I believed that in entering into sacramental communion with you I became with you the same Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.”[60]


     But the Matthewites, according to their own account, did not immediately seek communion in prayer with the Russians. First they asked what the Russians’ attitude to the new calendarists was. The Russians replied that the introduction of the new calendar was a mistake, and promised, in the person of Archbishop Philotheus of Hamburg, that they would not henceforth concelebrate with the new calendarists. However, they did not say whether they regarded the new calendarists as having valid sacraments. Apparently satisfied with this reply, the Matthewites asked for the Russians to pass judgement on their own canonical situation.


     Having examined the Matthewite case, on September 15/28, the Russians presented, in writing, a dogmatic-canonical examination of the case of consecrations by one bishop only. The Matthewites claimed that this report vindicated Matthew’s actions, but this is a misrepresentation of the text. In fact, although the language they used was conciliatory, the Russians concluded that the Matthewites had sinned, “not against the dogmas of Orthodoxy, but since, in their zeal to preserve it they transgressed against the hierarchical order when Bishop Matthew consecrated a bishop on his own. A simple recognition of their consecrations could become a cause of scandal as being in disregard of fixed canons: the First of the Apostles, the Fourth of the First Ecumenical Council, and the Third of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. At the same time it is clear from other canons and examples that economy can be applied on the basis of the Eighth of the First Ecumenical Council and the Sixty-Sixth of the Council of Carthage…” So it was resolved: (i) to acknowledge the possibility of fulfilling the petition of Metropolitans Callistus and Epiphanius. To that end, two bishops must perform the laying-on of hands over them. They, in turn, must subsequently perform the same over their brethren, and all bishops [must perform the same rite] over the priests; (ii) to oblige Metropolitans Callistus and Epiphanius, as well as their brethren, to take all possible steps to unite their hierarchy, clergy, and people with those who are headed by his Beatitude, Archbishop Auxentius; (iii) to inform his Beatitude, Archbishop Auxentius, concerning the aforesaid [decision]; (iv) to delegate the Most Reverend Archbishop Philotheus and Bishop Constantine to fulfil the provision of paragraph one of this Resolution at Transfiguration Monastery in Boston.”[61]


     The laying on of hands duly took place. On the same day (October 1) Metropolitan Philaret wrote to Archbishop Auxentius: “They [Metropolitans Callistus and Epiphanius] laid before us the question of their hierarchy, and declared that they relied completely on the decision of our Council, which they were obliged to accept whatever it might be.


     “We rejoiced at the humility and firm Orthodox faith with which they came to us. Therefore we treated them with brotherly love and the hope that their good feelings would serve the affair of a general union. We based our decision also on the fact that the indicated hierarchs agreed to do all they could to unite with your Church. That is, what seemed to you and us unrealizable, with the help of the grace of God turned out to be possible. We hope that your Beatitude, being led by the Holy Spirit, will treat them with brotherly love and that through your and our joint efforts all will be united by you…”


     However, almost immediately there was much controversy over the precise meaning of what the Russian bishops had done to the Matthewite bishops. Some claimed that these were real ordinations (kheirotoniai), adducing the following facts: (a) that the Russians in their text of September 15/28 explicitly stated that they were not simply going to recognize the Matthewite orders, (b) that the Russians in the same text explained that in the history of the Church the clergy of certain graceless schismatics, such as the Catharoi, were received into the clergy of the Orthodox by kheirothesia, simple laying-on of hands, and not by reordination, which was an exercise of economy but by no means a recognition of the schismatics’ ordinations, and (c) that, as Bishop Laurus, the secretary of the Russian Synod pointed out on a trip to Greece, the kheirothesias on Metropolitans Callistos and Epiphanius were carried out, not on the same, but on successive days, which clearly implied that they were equivalent to consecrations.[62]


     Against this view, however, are the following facts: (a) the words of the Act, in which the word kheirothesia and its Russian equivalent and not kheirotonia and its Russian equivalent are used,[63] (b) the English text of a letter sent by Metropolitan Philaret to Metropolitan Epiphanius, in which the sacrament was described as no more than “a prayer of absolution”[64] – presumably the removal of the stain attaching to the Matthewite orders because of their derivation from one bishop only, (c) the text of an Encyclical of the Florinites, which said that the Florinites had been informed that “the Synod of the all-sacred Philaret has decided to recognize as canonical the pseudo-bishops of the reposed Mr. Matthew”[65], and (d) the text of a letter by Metropolitan Philaret, and signed also by Bishop Laurus, to Archbishop Andreas: “We make it known to all that, after the laying-on of hands, which has been fulfilled as a blessing to your Beatitude’s Sacred Hierarchy, our Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia enters into full ecclesiastical and sacramental communion with the Orthodox Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece, of which your Beatitude is a bishop.”[66] Also in favour of this interpretation (e) is the statement of George Lardas: “This was a simple cheirothesia and not the full rite of consecration”[67], and (f) a letter of Protopriest George Grabbe, secretary of the ROCOR Synod: “Bishops Callistus and Epiphanius were not ordained by our Synod. They were accepted into communion as bishops with only the laying of hands on them, already in bishops’ vestments, according to the 8th canon of the First Ecumenical Council. That was to rectify the irregularity caused by the founding of their hierarchy through the consecration originally performed by one bishop”.[68]


     “Unfortunately,” writes Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, “the conditions laid down by the Russian Church Abroad and agreed to by the Matthewites representatives were only partially implemented in Greece. The Matthewite Synod agreed to the first condition (that the rite of kheirothesia be performed over their bishops), but refused to comply with the second (that the same rite by performed over their priests and deacons), though a number of their clergy persistently requested it. In a privately published memorandum, dated March 17, 1977, Metropolitan Epiphanius of Cyprus – and also Metropolitan Callistus of Corinth, in private memoranda and open letters which he wrote – rebuked their fellow Matthewite bishops and clergy for showing bad faith and for bearing the burden of guilt in the breakdown of their negotiations with the Florinites and the souring of their relations with the Church Abroad.”[69]


     For a very short period the two Greek Synods called each other “brothers in Christ”, and in the opinion of the present writer this is what they in fact were (and are). For it makes no ecclesiological sense to claim that two Churches which derive their orders or correction of their orders from the same source, are in communion with each through that source, and have the same confession of faith, can be of a different status ecclesiologically.


     Soon, however, the two sides were again hurling insults at each other, and it must be concluded that there was little will for unity between the two Greek Synods. Moreover, in 1976 the Matthewites broke communion with the Russians. They claimed that the Russians had broken their promise to give them a written confession that the new calendarists were without grace, and were continuing, in the person of Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, to have communion with the new calendarists.[70]


     This was true; and Archbishop Anthony’s ecumenical actions caused several priests and parishes to leave him for the Matthewites.


     Metropolitan Philaret expressed disapproval of these acts, but he was not in sufficient control of his Synod to obtain Archbishop Anthony’s repentance.[71] He was also hampered by the fact that the official position of the ROCOR Synod towards the new calendarists remained relatively weak and did not satisfy the Matthewites: “Concerning the question of the presence or absence of grace among the new calendarists the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad does not consider herself or any other Local Church to have the right to make a conclusive decision, since a categorical evaluation in this question can be undertaken only by a properly convened, competent Ecumenical Council, with the obligatory participation of the free Church of Russia.”[72]


     Although this was the official ROCOR line, there is evidence that Metropolitan Philaret’s personal views were stricter and closer to those of the Greeks. Thus on September 20, 1975, he wrote to Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kition, the leader of the Old Calendarist Church of Cyprus, with whom he continued to have friendly relations even after the Matthewite Synod to which Epiphanios belonged had broken communion with ROCOR: “From the beginning our Russian Church has known that the calendar innovation was unacceptable, and has not dared to move this boundary set by patristic tradition, for the Ecclesiastical Calendar is a support of the life of the Church and as such is fortified by decrees of Holy Tradition.


     “However, it is obvious to all that the calendar innovation caused a schism in the Greek Church in 1924, and the responsibility for the schism weighs exclusively on the innovators. This is the conclusion that will be reached by anyone studying the Patriarchal Tomoi (as that of 1583) and taking into account the wretched and self-evident fact of the schism and the frightful punishments, persecutions and blasphemies which those who have cleaved to the patristic piety of Holy Tradition have undergone.


      “Thinking in this way, our Holy Synod has decreed that we ‘flee’ concelebrations with the new calendarist modernists. We do not concelebrate with them, nor do we give permission or a blessing to our clergy for such a concelebration. In order to assure you of the truth of what we say, we inform you that whenever a community in the diaspora is received into our Church, they are required to follow the patristic Calendar of the Orthodox Church…”


     Meanwhile, on June 5, 1974, in an encyclical to its clergy, the Auxentiite Synod reaffirmed that the new calendarists were schismatics with no grace of sacraments and should be received into the True Church by chrismation: “The ministration of the Holy Gifts to the new calendarists has been forbidden since the beginning of the schism of the official Church; and you must observe this line of conduct unswervingly in a spirit of discipline towards our ecclesiastical traditions. If someone joins our ranks from the new calendar, an indispensable condition of his acceptance is the confession of faith and the condemnation of every heresy and innovation, including the new calendar, by the acceptance of which the Greek Church became schismatic from 1924, as the reformer Archbishop Chrysostom Papadopoulos himself averred, and in consequence of which its sacraments are deprived of sanctifying grace. If people who have been baptised in that Church convert to the Faith, they must again be chrismated with holy chrism of canonical origin, in accordance with the First Canon of St. Basil the Great.”[73]


     This confession of the faith was to be welcomed in that it removed the main obstacle to union with the Matthewites – the suspicion the latter had that the Auxentiites really recognised the new calendarists. However, it had no effect on the Matthewites, who went even further to the right by rejecting the 1971 kheirothesia, declaring: “1. We accepted spiritual communion with the Russian Synod after an oral declaration-assurance with regard to agreement and unity in the faith, i.e. the confession-ecclesiology of the True Orthodox Church. 2. We accepted the kheirothesia as an external act – and wholly formal, in order to efface the pretext of anticanonicity which the followers of the former [Bishop] of Florina, i.e. the Acacians, had put forward in opposition to unity, and not as something that affected the Hierarchy, which was dogmatically complete and perfect. 3. We accept that there were canonical breaches (irregularities), but what moved us was the fact that the Russians, in accordance with the declarations of the Exarchate, had confessed the True Confession. However, when the opposite started to reveal itself, after desperate attempts which lasted for approximately four years, we were compelled to break off spiritual communion, being indifferent to the issue of the kheirothesia, because neither had anything been added to us, nor subtracted from us. … 4. Yes, as has been revealed, the act of 1971 was a robber act, which had been previously constructed by the enemies of the Church.”[74]


Greek Zealots and Ecumenists


     “By 1973, the Auxentian Synod had ten bishops, 123 churches in Greece, thirty-nine monasteries and convents, several charitable organizations, numerous periodicals, and most of the traditional Orthodox faithful in Greece.”[75]


     In 1975, according to a new calendarist estimate, “of the two Old Calendarist groups, the followers of the later Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina have about 120 parishes, perhaps 70-80 monks and more than 600 nuns; the followers of the late Archbishop Matthew of Keratea have about 50 parishes, 150 monks and 500 nuns. But these figures may well be too low.”[76] Other sources indicate that in the later 1970s there were about 50,000 Old Calendarists, with about a third of the 1200 monks on the Holy Mountain being zealots who refused to commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch.[77]


     By comparison, the Romanian Old Calendarists were much more numerous at this time: about one million faithful led by three bishops, Glicherie (87 years old), Evlogie (65 years old) and Silivestre (54 years old). There were 10 hieromonks in the large monastery and two in the convents. There were about 45 married priests (a few parishes had two) and 5 deacons (4 in the monastery and one married). There were also two monasteries, Slatioara, with 80 monks, and another with 25. There were two convents with 100 and 50 nuns each, and a skete, Dobru with 35 nuns, besides some 100 or so nuns living in the parish churches.”[78]


     Meanwhile, the new calendarist Greeks were going still further than the Soviet Russians by extending their “eucharistic hospitality” even to the Protestants. Thus in 1971 Patriarch Athenagoras told a group of thirty American and five Greek priests: “And what is taking place today? A great spirit of love is spreading abroad over the Christians of the East and the West. Already we love one another… already in America you give communion to many from the holy chalice, and you do well! And I also here, when Catholics and Protestants come and ask to receive communion, I offer them the holy cup! And in Rome the same thing is happening, and in England, and in France. Already it is coming by itself!”[79]


     Now the lifting of the anathemas in 1965 had caused the majority of monasteries, sketes and dependencies of Mount Athos to cease commemorating the patriarch. However, on November 13, 1971 a special session of the Holy Assembly, the governing body of Mount Athos, resolved that “on the issue of resuming the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, each Holy Monastery, as a self-governing entity, is to remain free to choose a course of action in accordance with its conscience”.[80] However, although Esphigmenou, along with other monasteries,  remained faithful to this resolution, the abbots of St. Paul’s and Xenophontos monastery were removed and replaced by hand-picked appointees.


     In 1972 Esphigmenou raised the flag “Orthodoxy or Death” over the monastery in protest against the joint prayer service held by Patriarch Athenagoras and the Pope, and ceased participating in joint prayer services with representatives of the other monasteries. However, in July Athenagoras died, and hopes were raised that his successor, Demetrius, would abandon his predecessor’s uniatism and return to Orthodoxy. But these hopes were dashed when, at his enthronement speech on July 5/18, the new patriarch affirmed his commitment to Ecumenism and the WCC, and spoke about “the pressing need to initiate dialogues first of all with Islam, and then with the other great monotheistic religions.”[81] And later that year Demetrius addressed the Mohammedans on one of their feasts: “The great God whose children we all are, all of us who believe in and worship him, wishes us to be saved and to be brothers. He wishes this to be so even though we belong to different religions. In these religions, however, we have learned both to recognize the holy God as the beginning and end of all, to love each other and to think only good things – which things let us practise towards each other.”[82]


      This did not prevent the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain from issuing an encyclical to the monasteries on July 8/21, instructing them to resume the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch. “A new climate has been established between the Holy Mountain and the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” the encyclical stated. “With the death of Patriarch Athenagoras, the reasons which led certain holy monasteries to break off the commemoration of their bishop’s name now exist no longer.”


     Nevertheless, even after this statement and the visit to the Holy Mountain of an exarchate from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in September, seven monasteries still refused to commemorate the patriarch. And one of them, Esphigmenou, began to commemorate the Old Calendarist Archbishop Auxentius instead.[83] In September, 1973, another exarchate arrived on the Holy Mountain. It condemned Esphigmenou’s rebellion.


     “On 11 March 1974 the Ecumenical Patriarch wrote to the Holy Community, announcing his decision. Penalties were imposed on thirteen monks. These included Archimandrite Athanasius, Abbot of Esphigmenou, the two epitropoi and the secretary of the monastery, who were to be expelled immediately from the Mountain... Archimandrite Eudocimus, Abbot of Xenophontos, was to be deposed and expelled from his monastery, but permitted to live in some other Athonite House. The abbots of the two other communities – Archimandrites Dionysius of Grigoriou and Andrew of St. Paul’s – were to be deposed unless within two months they resumed the commemoration of the Patriarch’s name…


     “On the arrival of the Patriarch’s letter, the police cut the telephone line to Esphigmenou and installed a guard outside the monastery. Meanwhile the monks kept the gates closed and hung from the walls a large black banner inscribed ‘Orthodoxy or Death’. They warned the civil governor that they would resist any attempt to effect a forcible entry. In a declaration smuggled to the outside world, they stated that they continued to regard themselves as canonically subject to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but did not recognize the present occupant of the Patriarchal throne, since ‘he is an enemy of Orthodoxy’.”[84]


     The monks of Esphigmenou were encouraged in their stand by a great miracle worked by the Holy Martyr Agathangelus, a monk of Esphigmenou. At the most critical moment in the struggle, the monks on entering the sanctuary were met with a great fragrant cloud. On examination, they found that the cloud was coming from the relics of St. Agathangelus; and they took this to mean that the saint was approving of their struggle against the greatest heresy of the age…


     In May, 1975 the WCC published an agreed statement of the Faith and Order Commission entitled One Baptism, One Eucharist and a Mutually Recognised Ministry, proclaiming a thoroughly Protestant doctrine of ecclesial and sacramental unity. As the title suggests, this document was aimed at the mutual recognition by the churches of each other’s sacraments. For example: “Our baptismal unity in Jesus Christ constitutes a call to the churches to overcome their divisions and achieve full visible union” (p. 10). And “the full recognition by churches of each other’s baptisms as the one baptism into Christ should be possible for all when Jesus Christ has been confessed as Lord by the candidate… and when baptism has been performed with water ‘in the name of the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit’” (p. 16). It should be remembered that the WCC included sects which deny the Divinity of Christ, and that none of the member-churches except the Orthodox (and not even all of them) baptised in the apostolic manner with full threefold immersion.


     The document also included a theologically incoherent doctrine of the transformation of the bread and the wine in the Eucharist, and the extraordinary statement that “the churches should test their liturgies in the light of the eucharistic agreement recently obtained” (p. 27) – as if the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom needed revision in the light of Protestant theology!


     The Orthodox could hardly claim not to be committed to this document’s doctrines, for one of its chief architects was the Russian Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy, and none of the Churches disowned him. Moreover, it was a revision of previous statements “in the light of responses received from the churches” – including, presumably, from the Orthodox churches.


     In the same year of 1975, Archbishop Athenagoras of Thyateira and Great Britain published, with the explicit blessing and authorisation of Patriarch Demetrius, his Thyateira Confession, which expressed the novel idea that the Church is a house without walls which anyone can enter freely. And he wrote: “Orthodox Christians believe that the following Churches have valid and true Priesthood or Orders. The Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Ethiopian, the Copto-Armenian and the Anglican. 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.”[85] The Thyateira Confession also asserted that “the idea that Masonry is a religion is mistaken”…


     Again, at the WCC’s General Assembly at Nairobi in 1975, the Orthodox delegates, having signed an agreement to recognize the sacraments of the non-Orthodox delegates, had declared that “the Orthodox do not expect the other Christians to be converted to Orthodoxy in its historic and cultural reality of the past and the present and to become members of the Orthodox Church” – which gave the lie to their excuse that they were participating in the ecumenical movement “to witness to the non-Orthodox”.[86]


     Some residual opposition to ecumenism remained in some of the Local Churches – especially in Greece, where the opposition of Esphigmenou kept the issue high on the agenda. Thus, as Archimandrite (later Bishop) Callistus (Ware) reported, “during May, 1978, after visiting the Ecumenical Patriarch, Dr. Potter and Archbishop Scott, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the WCC, went to Athens for discussions there with the Synodical Commission on Inter-Orthodox and Inter-Christian Relations. It seems that the explanations offered from the side of the WCC totally failed to meet the Greek Orthodox objections. In an interview with the New York Times, Archbishop Seraphim of Athens stated that the Church of Greece was now considering withdrawal from membership in the WCC…


     “Orthodox elsewhere are thinking along the same lines as Archbishop Seraphim. Speaking to the Clergy Conference of the Greek Archdiocese on 7 November, 1978, Archbishop Athenagoras of Thyateira and Great Britain likewise argued that Orthodoxy should withdraw from full membership of the WCC. In his view the Orthodox Church ought to have the same relation with the WCC as the Roman Catholic Church has: the Orthodox, that is to say, should send observers to WCC meetings and participate in discussions, but without voting and without being organic members of the Word Council.”[87]


     Again, in April, 1980 another warning about the dangers of ecumenism was delivered in an epistle by the Fathers of Mount Athos, who since the return of Vatopedi in 1975 were now all solidly Old Calendar, though most remained in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch. And yet high-level negotiations between Orthodox and Catholics went ahead on the islands of Patmos and Rhodes in May and June of 1980. During these talks, news came – hastily denied by the Vatican – that Pope John-Paul II had pronounced papal infallibility to be “not negotiable”. And on June 5, the day after the ending of the talks in Rhodes, the Pope declared that papal infallibility was “the key itself for certainty in professing and proclaiming the faith… From the point of view of Christian unity, the church cannot in any way renounce the truths that it professes…”[88]


The Third All-Emigration Council


     In 1974 the Third All-Emigration Council of ROCOR took place in the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Jordanville, New York. Just as the First Council, held at Karlovtsy in 1921, had defined the relationship of ROCOR to the Bolshevik regime and the Romanov dynasty; and the Second Council, held in Belgrade in 1938, defined her relationship to the Church inside Russia; so the Third Council tried to define her relationship to the ecumenical and dissident movements. As Metropolitan Philaret, president of the Council, said in his keynote address: “First of all, the Council must declare not only for the Russian flock, but for the entire Church, its concept of the Church; to reveal the dogma of the Church… The Council must determine the place our Church Abroad holds within contemporary Orthodoxy, among the other ‘so-called’ churches. We say ‘so-called’ for though now they often speak of many ‘churches’, the Church of Christ is single and One.”[89]


     There was much to discuss. In the last decade the apostatic influence of the ecumenical movement had broadened and deepened, and Metropolitan Philaret, had assumed a leading role in the struggle against it through his “Sorrowful Epistles”. Under the influence of this leadership, many non-Russians, such as the Greek American Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Boston, had sought refuge in ROCOR, and this movement had been strengthened by the application of the two Greek Old Calendarist Synods to enter into communion with her. ROCOR was no longer an exclusively Russian jurisdiction in the make-up of her members, and she could no longer be seen as simply an outpost of Russian Orthodox anti-communism. She was a multi-ethnic, missionary Church fighting the main heresies of the age on a number of fronts throughout the world.


     However, such a vision of ROCOR was not shared by all her hierarchs. Some saw the isolation of ROCOR from other local Churches as necessitated, not so much by the struggle against ecumenism, as by the need to preserve Russianness among the Russian émigrés. It was not that the preservation of Russianness as such was not an undoubted good: the problem arose when it hindered the missionary witness of the Church to non-Russian believers. Such phyletistic tendencies inevitably led to a loss of Church consciousness in relation to ecumenism, and to a feeling that ROCOR was closer to Russians of the MP, ecumenist though they might be, than to True Orthodox Christians of Greek or French or American origin.[90]


     Another cause of division was the stricter attitude that ROCOR was now being forced to adopt towards “World Orthodoxy”, the Local Orthodox Churches that participated in the ecumenical movement. Most of the hierarchs had passively acquiesced in Metropolitan Philaret’s “Sorrowful Epistles”, and in the union with the Greek Old Calendarists. But they began to stir when the consequences of this were spelled out by the “zealots” in ROCOR: no further communion with the new calendarists, the Serbs and Jerusalem. The unofficial leader of this group of bishops turned out to be Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, who was supported by Bishop Laurus of Manhattan, Archbishop Philotheus of Germany and Bishop Paul of Stuttgart.[91] His main opponents were Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishops Anthony of Los Angeles and Averky of Syracuse and, especially, the Greek-American Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Boston.


     In his address to the Council, entitled “Our Church in the Modern World”, Anthony of Geneva declared: “By the example of our First Hierarchs [Anthony and Anastasy] we must carefully preserve those fine threads which bind us with the Orthodox world. Under no circumstances must we isolate ourselves, seeing around us, often imagined, heretics and schismatics. Through gradual self-isolation we will fall into the extremism which our metropolitans wisely avoided, we will reject that middle, royal path which until now our Church has travelled… By isolating ourselves, we will embark upon the path of sectarianism, fearing everyone and everything, we will become possessed with paranois.”


     This somewhat hysterical appeal not to separate from the World Orthodox at just the point when they were embarking upon “super-ecumenism” was criticised by Protopresbyter George Grabbe: “The report does not mention to the degree necessary, maybe, that life goes on, and the sickness of ecumenism deepens and widens more and more. Condescension, oikonomia, must under different circumstances be applied differently, and to different degrees. In does too great it can betray the Truth.” Then Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles recalled that “we have many Greek [Old Calendarist] parishes. Our concelebration with the new calendarists was very bitter for them.”[92]


     Also discussed at the Council was the phenomenon known as “the dissident movement”. This arose in the second half of the 1960s, as détente developed between the Communist and Capitalist superpowers. It affected both the political sphere (the works of such figures as Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn) and the religious sphere (Solzhenitsyn again, Bishop Hermogen of Kaluga, the priests Eshliman, Yakunin and Dudko, the layman Boris Talantov).


     Unknown at the time was the adoption of a new long-range global strategy by the Soviet leadership, in which the dissident movement was planned to play an important role. Thus in a memo to the CIA dated 1978 Anatoliy Golitsyn wrote: “At the time of the adoption of the long-range strategy in the period 1958 to 1960, there was strong internal opposition to the Soviet régime from dissatisfied workers, collective farmers, intellectuals, clergy, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Jewish nationalists, etc. These oppositionists did not call themselves ‘dissidents’ and nor did the KGB call them ‘dissidents’.


     “On the contrary, the KGB and the Party referred to them as ‘enemies of the régime’… The KGB was instructed to adopt new methods to deal with this opposition, based on the experience of the GPU (the Soviet political police) under Dzerzhinsky in the 1920s…


     “This entailed the creation of a false opposition in the USSR and other countries… The current ‘dissident movement’ is just such a false opposition designed and created by the KGB…


     “The main objectives which the Soviet rulers are trying to achieve through the ‘dissident movement’ are as follows:


     “(a) To confuse, neutralise and dissolve the true internal political opposition in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics;


     “(b) To prevent the West from reaching the genuine internal opposition in the USSR by introducing to the West a false KGB-controlled opposition. This explains the easy access of the Western media to the alleged ‘dissidents’;


     “(c) To influence the foreign policy of the United States through the ‘dissidents’ in the interests of the Communist long-term strategy and exploit this issue in the strategy’s final phase.”[93]


     Golitsyn was talking mainly about political dissidents. Nevertheless, it may be that some of the church dissidents, too, were, if not signed-up agents, at any rate naïve and unwitting tools in the hands of the enemies of the faith, who permitted all their contacts with the ROCOR because they foresaw the corrosive effect such contacts would have.


     Two main streams were discernible in the movement, which may be called, recalling the debates of the nineteenth-century intelligentsia, the Westernisers and the Slavophiles.[94] The Westernisers were mainly concerned to correct abuses within the Church, to re-establish freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. They sought and received much support in the West, and were in turn much influenced by modern western modes of thought, especially – and in this they departed from traditionally Orthodox modes of thought – Ecumenism. The Slavophiles were less well received and understood in the West. Their main emphasis was on the restoration of traditional Russianness – Russian religion, Russian art and architecture, Russian culture in all its forms, which Soviet culture had so damaged and distorted.


     The two streams were not always sharply differentiated and could fuse together in the thought and activity of a single man. Thus Alexander Solzhenitsyn, though usually considered to be a Slavophile, nevertheless shared many of the characteristics of the westernizing dissidents, not only in his human rights activity, but also in his Ecumenism. And, purified of their heterodox elements, both streams could be said to tend (unconsciously as yet) towards the True Orthodox Church, which remained more radical and still more courageous in Her confession than the dissidents and more truly representative of the best of Old Russia than the Slavophiles.


     The dissident movement within the Church began, among the clergy, with the 1965 open letter of the Priests Nicholas Yeshliman and Gleb Yakunin to President Podgorny, in which they protested against the subservience of the Church to the State, particularly in not resisting the Khrushchev persecution, in giving control of the parishes to the State-controlled dvadsatsky, in the handing over of lists of those baptized to the local authorities, in not letting children and adolescents under 18 participate in church life, and in ordaining only those candidates to the episcopate and priesthood who were pleasing to the Council for Religious Affairs. This letter was ignored by the patriarchate, and in 1966 both priests were forbidden from serving.


     Among the laity, the most significant dissident, as we have seen, was the philosopher Boris Talantov, who was imprisoned for exposing the activities of the Kirov Bishop John in the closing of churches and suppression of believers. He was slandered publicly on the BBC by Metropolitan Nicodemus of Leningrad, and was eventually sent to prison in Kirov, where he died in 1971. In an article entitled “Sergianism, or adaptation to atheism”, which had the subtitle “The Leaven of Herod”, Talantov denounced Metropolitan Sergius’ 1927 declaration as a betrayal of the Church, and the MP as “a secret agent of worldwide antichristianity”. Sergianism had not only not “saved” the Church, but, on the contrary, had assisted the loss of true ecclesiastical freedom and turned the Church administration into the obedient tool of the atheist authorities. “Metropolitan Sergius,” he wrote, “by his adaptation and lies saved nobody and nothing except himself.” And in another samizdat article entitled “The Secret Participation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the struggle of the CPSS against the Orthodox Christian Church” he wrote: “The Moscow Patriarchate and the majority of bishops participate in organized activities of the atheist authorities directed to the closing of churches, the limitation of the spreading of the faith and its undermining in our country… In truth the atheist leaders of the Russian people and the princes of the Church have gathered together against the Lord and His Christ”.[95]


     In 1972, Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote an open “Lenten Letter” to Patriarch Pimen, describing the patriarchate as being “ruled dictatorially by atheists – a sight never before seen in two millenia!” “The Russian Church,” he wrote, “expresses its concern about any evil in distant Africa, while it never has anything at all to say about things which are wrong here at home.” And he went on: “By what reasoning is it possible to convince oneself that the planned destruction of the spirit and body of the church under the guidance of atheists is the best way of preserving it? Preserving it for whom? Certainly not for Christ. Preserving it by what means? By falsehood? But after the falsehood by whose hands are the holy sacraments to be celebrated?”[96]


     Solzhenitsyn’s appeal “not to live by the lie” was seen by some to lead logically to the adoption of a catacomb existence for the Church. Thus Fr. Sergius Zheludkov replied: “What are we to do in such a situation? Should we say: all or nothing? Should we try to go underground, which in the present system is unthinkable? Or should we try somehow to accept the system and for the present use those opportunities that are permitted?”[97]


     However, Solzhenitsyn himself neither belonged to the Catacomb Church nor even believed in Her existence. And this position eminently suited those hierarchs of ROCOR, such as Anthony of Geneva, whose attitude to events in Russia was dictated as much by political as by spiritual or ecclesiological considerations (many West European members of ROCOR belonged to the NTS, a secret anti-communist political party which was infiltrated by both the KGB and the CIA). They were sincere anti-communists and despised the kowtowing of the MP hierarchs to communism, but would not have dreamed of denying that the MP was a true Church. The position of these hierarchs was threatened by the anti-ecumenist zeal of Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishop Averky and the Boston monastery. But the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn to the West in 1974 presented them with an opportunity. Archbishop Anthony promptly brought Solzhenitsyn to the Council in Jordanville, where he created a sensation by his rejection of the zealot view.


     Then Anthony himself read a report calling on ROCOR to support the dissidents, in spite of the fact that they were ecumenists and in the MP. He was countered by Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles, who, while respecting the courage of the dissidents, objected to a recognition of them that would devalue the witness of the true catacomb confessors by giving the impression that it is possible to be a true confessor from within a heretical church organization. Also, Metropolitan Philaret moved for an official statement that the MP was graceless. According to the witness of a seminarian present at the Council, the majority of bishops and delegates would have supported such a motion. However, at the last minute the metropolitan was persuaded not to proceed with the motion on the grounds that it would have caused a schism.[98]


     Another important dissident was the Moscow priest Fr. Demetrius Dudko, who conducted open meetings in his church that attracted many and influenced many more. Unlike Solzhenitsyn, he knew of the Catacomb Church, and wrote of it in relatively flattering terms: “We all recognize Patriarch Tikhon and we look on Patriarch Sergius’ [acts] as a betrayal of the Church’s interests to please the authorities. The following (Patriarchs) – Alexis and the present Pimen – only go on the road already opened. We have no other hierarchy. The Catacomb Church would be good – but where is it? The True Orthodox Church – these are good people, morally steadfast; but they have almost no priesthood, and you simply can’t find them, while there are many who are thirsting. And one has to be ministered to by the hierarchy we do have. Immediately the question arises: are they ministering to us? Basically, they are the puppets of the atheists. And another question: at least, are they believers? Who will answer this question? I fear to answer…”[99]  


     Such sentiments were close to the truth, and naturally elicited sympathy from members of ROCOR. Less well known – because edited out of his books as published in the West[100] - was Fr. Demetrius’ ecumenism. The right attitude to him would have been to applaud his courage and the correct opinions he expressed, while gently seeking to correct his liberalism and ecumenism. In no way was it right to treat him as if he were a true priest in the True Church, and an example to be followed that was no less praiseworthy than those of the true confessors in the catacombs.


     But that is precisely what many in ROCOR now began to do. And even the 1974 Council was tempted, declaring: “The boundary between preservation of the Church and seductive self-preservation was drawn by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, his lawful locum tenens Metropolitan Peter, Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd and the Solovki confessors headed by Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky).


     “In recent years, this boundary has again been clearly drawn by Archbishop Hermogenes [of the MP], several priests, among them Nicholas Gainov and Demetrius Dudko, the laypeople of Vyatka led by Boris Talantov, the defenders of the Pochaev Lavra such as Theodosia Kuzminichna Varavva, and many others. This boundary has also been drawn by Solzhenitsyn in his appeal ‘Do not live by the lie!’ Not to live by the lie and to honour the memory of the holy martyrs and confessors of our Church – this is the boundary separating the true Tikhonites from ‘the sergianist leaven of Herod’, as wrote Boris Talantov, the rebukers of the present leaders of the patriarchate who died in prison.


     “In our unceasing prayers for each other, in our love for the Lord Jesus, in our faithfulness to the ideal of the past and future Orthodox Russia, the faithful archpastors, pastors, monks and laymen on both sides of the iron curtain are united. Together they constitute the Holy Church of Russia, which is indivisible just as the seamless robe of Christ is indivisible.”[101]


     This was a serious distortion: to place the confessors of the Catacomb Church on the same level as “dissident” sergianists. A case could be made for considering that Boris Talantov was a true martyr, since he denounced the MP in terms identical to those employed by the Catacomb Church and may well have died out of communion with the MP. But Dudko and Solzhenitsyn did not share the faith of the True Church, and did not join it even after the fall of communism. In fact, before his death in 2004 Dudko became an open advocate of Stalinism and Putin’s neo-Stalinism: “I hope so much for Vladimir Putin now. It seems to me that he is like Joseph Stalin. I treat Stalin with respect, and I think that he was a very wise leader. It is Stalin who established such a powerful country. Russia has never been that powerful since, and there was no tsar in Russia who was able to accomplish the things that Stalin did. He managed to overcome and sacrifice so much for the sake of the country’s greatness. I hope that Putin will follow in Stalin’s path…”[102]


     Voices were heard at the 1974 Council arguing for union not only between ROCOR and the MP dissidents, but also between ROCOR and the schismatic Paris and American Metropolia jurisdictions. Love, they said, should unite us, and we should not emphasize our differences. But Metropolitan Philaret, pointed out that love which does not wish to disturb our neighbour by pointing out his errors is not love but hatred![103]


     The divisions that were beginning to emerge between Metropolitan Philaret and the majority of other hierarchs was expressed by him in a letter to one of his few allies, Protopresbyter George Grabbe, the Secretary of the Synod. Describing a meeting with the hierarchs, he wrote: “I saw how truly alone I am among our hierarchs with my views on matters of principle (although on a personal level I am on good terms with everyone). And I am in earnest when I say that I am considering retiring. Of course, I won’t leave all of a sudden, unexpectedly. But at the next Sobor I intend to point out that too many things that are taking place in our church life do not sit well with me. And if the majority of the episcopacy agree with me than I will not raise the matter of retiring. But if I see that I am alone or see myself in the minority then I will announce that I am retiring. For I cannot head, nor, therefore bear the responsibility for that with which I am not in agreement in principle. In particular, I do not agree with our practice of halfway relations with the American and Parisian schismatics. The Holy Fathers insistently state that long and obdurately continuing schism is close to being heresy, and that it is necessary to relate to stubborn schismatices as to heretics, not allowing any communion with them whatsoever (how Vladyka Anthony’s hair would stand on end at such a pronouncement! But I remain unyielding)… There are very many other matters, too, in particular about Solzhenitsyn, concerning whom I continue to remain more than just cautious…”[104]


The Fall of Dissent


     In 1976 the ROCOR Synod issued an Epistle to the Russian people which, after declaring unity with the Catacomb Church, went on to say to dissident members of the MP: “We also kiss the cross that you have taken upon yourselves, O pastors who have found in yourselves the courage and strength of spirit to be open reproachers of the weakness of spirit of your hierarchs, who have surrendered before the atheists… We know of your exploit, we pray for you and ask your prayers for our flock that is in the diaspora. Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!”[105]


     “Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!” are words that Orthodox priests exchange in the altar after the consecration of the Holy Gifts. Their use here implies the recognition of the dissidents as co-celebrants with ROCOR, members of the same Church. Clearly the influence of the dissidents was having a corrosive effect on the ecclesiology of ROCOR.


     The liberals were emboldened to go further, and Archbishop Anthony of Geneva more than once concelebrated with heretics (new calendarists and Serbs) in his West European diocese, which led, in February, 1976, to the Matthewite Synod breaking communion with ROCOR.


     A few months later, Archbishop Anthony again concelebrated with several heretics (a senior MP priest was singing in the choir!) at the funeral of Archbishop Nicodemus of Great Britain. This elicited protests and a rebuke from the Synod, but no change of course from Archbishop Anthony, who was clearly now “untouchable” in his West European fiefdom. Some English converts to Orthodoxy who refused to be reconciled with his new course were anathematised by the senior priest in Britain and forced to join the Greek Old Calendarists.[106]


     In the same critical year of 1976 the well-known Brotherhood of St. Herman of Alaska in Platina, California began to turn away from its previously zealot course to a markedly softer line in relation to the MP and World Orthodoxy.[107] They were influenced in this direction partly by the “dissident fever” that was now raging through most of the Russian part of ROCOR, and partly by the “moderate” ecclesiology of the Greek Old Calendarist Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili. However, a still more important influence may have been a series of controversies – on evolution, on the soul after death, on Blessed Augustine of Hippo – conducted exclusively in the “convert” part of ROCOR between the Platina Brotherhood and the Greek-American monastery in Boston. In all these controversies, in the present writer’s opinion, Platina was right as against Boston. But the negative impression that the Platina monks formed of Boston as a result led them to error in the one area of controversy in which the Boston monastery was right – the canonical status of World Orthodoxy and the MP. Arguing that the Boston monastery’s “supercorrectness” was leading them to abandon the “Royal Way” as regards the status of the World Orthodox, Platina came out strongly on the side of the liberal wing of ROCOR led by Archbishop Anthony and his idolisation of Fr. Demetrius and the other dissidents.


     Another important issue was relations with the Serbian Church. The Serbs, as we have seen, had joined the WCC in 1965 and were as fully under the thumb of the communists as the MP. In spite of this, Archbishop Anthony, like many other hierarchs of ROCOR, continued to serve with the Serbs, citing the pre-war hospitality of the Serbs to ROCOR in his justification. In this connection Metropolitan Philaret wrote to him: “I consider it my duty to point out to you, Vladyka, that your assertion that we must thank the Serbian Church for her treatment of us, I fully accept, but only as regards her past – the glorious past of the Serbian Church. Yes, of course, we must holy the names of their Holinesses Patriarchs Demetrius and Barnabas in grateful memory for their precious support of the Church Abroad at that time when she had no place to lay her head.


     “There is no denying that a certain honour is due the Serbian Church for her refusing to condemn our Church Abroad at the parasynagogue in Moscow in 1971, and also on later occasions when Moscow again raised the matter. But then, on the other hand, she did participate in the aforementioned parasynagogue, when it elected Pimen, and the Serbian hierarchs did not protest against this absolutely anti-canonical election, when he who had already been chosen and appointed by the God-hating regime was elected. Our Sobor of 1971 did not, and could not, recognize Pimen, whereas the Serbian Patriarchate recognized and does recognize him, addressing him as Patriarch, and is in full communion with him. And thus she opposes us directly, for we attempt at all times to explain to the “Free World” that the Soviet Patriarchate is not the genuine representative and head of the much-suffering Russian Church. But the Serbian Church recognizes her as such, and by so doing commits a grave sin against the Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people.


     “How can there be any talk here of a special gratitude to her? Oh, if the Serbian Church would, while recognizing our righteousness, likewise directly and openly, boldly recognize the unrighteousness of the Soviets! Well – then there would truly be something for us to thank her for! But now, as it is, while extending one hand to us, she extends her other hand to our opponents and the enemies of God and the Church. If it pleases you, having shut your eyes to this sad reality, to thank the Serbs for such “podvigs” of theirs, then that is your affair, but I am not a participant in this expression of gratitude.


     “How dangerous are compromises in matters of principle! They render people powerless in defence of the Truth. Why is it that the Serbian Patriarchate cannot resolve to sever communion with the Soviet hierarchy? Because she herself is travelling along the same dark and dangerous path of compromise with the God-hating communists. True, she has not progressed along that path to the extent that the Soviet hierarchy has, and she attempts to preach and defend the faith, but if the shades and nuances here are quite different, yet, in principle, the matter stands on one and the same level”.[108]


     In 1979, in response to a series of protests by Fr. Demetrius against what he saw as excessive strictness on the part of ROCOR towards the MP, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, breaking the rule imposed by Metropolitan Anastasy (and reasserted by Metropolitan Philaret) that ROCOR members should have no contact, “even of an everyday nature”, with Soviet church clergy, wrote to Dudko: “I hasten to console you that the part of the Russian Church which lives in freedom beyond the bounds of the homeland, has never officially considered the Moscow Patriarchate, which is recognised in the USSR, as graceless…. We have never dared to deny the grace-filled nature of the official church, for we believe that the sacraments carried out by her clergy are sacraments. Therefore out bishops received your clergy into the Church Abroad in their existing rank… On the other hand, the representatives of the Catacomb Church in Russia accuse us of not wanting to recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as graceless.”[109]


     However, in 1980, Fr. Demetrius was arrested, which was closely followed by the arrest of his disciples Victor Kapitanchuk and Lev Regelson. Then Dudko issued a recantation on Soviet television in which he confessed that his “so-called struggle with godlessness” was in fact “a struggle with Soviet power”. Regelson confessed to having “criminal ties” with foreign correspondents and of mixing religious activity with politics, while Kapitanchuk also confessed to links with Western correspondents, saying that he had “inflicted damage on the Soviet state for which I am very sorry”. Both men implicated others in their “crimes”.


     Metropolitan Philaret had been proved right – although many continued to justify Dudko and denounced the zealots for “judging” him. But it was not a question of “judging”, and nobody rejoiced in the fall of the dissident. It was a question of the correct discerning of the boundaries of the Church and the correct attitude to those struggling outside it.


     The metropolitan wrote that the tragedy had overtaken Dudko because his activity had taken place from within the Moscow Patriarchate – that is, “outside the True Church”. And he continued: “What is the ‘Soviet church’? Fr. Archimandrite Constantine has said often and insistently that the most terrible thing that the God-fighting authorities have done to Russia is the appearance of the ‘Soviet church’, which the Bolsheviks offered up to the people as the True Church, having driven the real Orthodox Church into the catacombs or the concentration camps. This false church has been twice anathematised. His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Council anathematised the communists and all their co-workers. This terrible anathema has not been lifted to this day and preserves its power, since it can be lifted only by an All-Russian Church Council, as being the canonically higher Church authority. And a terrible thing happened in 1927, when the leader of the Church, Metropolitan Sergius, by his shameful apostate declaration submitted the Russian Church to the Bolsheviks and declared that he was cooperating with them. In the most exact sense the expression of the prayer before confession was fulfilled: ‘fallen under his own anathema’! For in 1918 the Church anathematised all the co-workers of communism, and in 1927 she herself entered into the company of these co-workers and began to praise the red God-fighting authorities – to praise the red beast of which the Apocalypse speaks. And this is not all. When Metropolitan Sergius published his criminal declaration, the faithful children of the Church immediately separated from the Soviet church, and the Catacomb Church was created. And she in her turn anathematised the official church for her betrayal of Christ… We receive clergymen from Moscow not as ones possessing grace, but as ones receiving it by the very act of union. But to recognize the church of the evil-doers as the bearer and repository of grace – that we, of course, cannot do. For outside of Orthodoxy there is no grace; and the Soviet church has deprived itself of grace.”[110]


     Looking at this tragedy from a psychological point of view, we can see that Dudko’s vulnerability may have consisted, not so much in the fear of physical torture, as in the KGB’s ability (perhaps with the aid of certain State Church bishops) to induce in him a feeling of false guilt, guilt that he had objectively harmed the Soviet State, which, supposedly, he was bound to support and pray for. This tragedy exposed an inescapable dilemma facing all the dissidents: that action aimed to restore the freedom and dignity of the Church was necessarily antisoviet, insofar as the Soviet State and the Orthodox Church represented incompatible aims and ideologies. Therefore every committed campaigner for the freedom of the Church sooner or later had to confess to himself (whatever he confessed to the KGB) that he was working against Soviet power – if not by physical, at any rate by spiritual, means, and that he had to work outside the institutions of Soviet power, whether political or ecclesiastical. So the failure of the dissidents was the natural consequence of the refusal to obey the Apostle’s command: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6.14). They refused to obey Patriarch Tikhon’s adjuration to the faithful to have no communion at all with the communists, “the outcasts of humanity”. They tried to do good from within an accursed evil - the pact between Metropolitan Sergius and the Communists which, in the words of a samizdat document dating from the early 1970s, “tied the Church hand and foot by imposing on her a loyalty not only to the State, but mainly to the communist ideology.”[111]


The Georgian Church


     The Georgian Church, though technically autocephalous, was no less completely under the control of the KGB than the MP.[112] It, too, suffered from the anti-religious policies of Khrushchev in 1959-64. The patriarch at that time, Ephraim II, though not a proven KGB agent, may have been nominated by the KGB in 1960, and bowed to their pressure.


     As Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the future president of independent Georgia, wrote: “From 1965 I became much more active in church affairs… Between 1965 and 1969 I and my friends drew many young people towards an interest in religion. We gave them spiritual literature, explained the basic doctrines of religion, argued with atheists until gradually we attracted a significant number of Georgian young people to the Church. This was especially noticeable at Eastertide when all the churches overflowed. The income of the Church greatly increased, its bank balance grew, and so did the number of those applying to enter the seminary.


     “All this aroused a great deal of concern in government circles. As is well known, the Soviet government tries by all means to deflect young people from religion. This happened in Georgia too.


     “The authorities began by blackmailing and pressurizing Ephraim II. Georgia was filled with damaging rumours about him. I shall not repeat any of them, but will only report what I know definitely and what I am personally convinced is the truth.


     “The pressure from the authorities alarmed Ephraim II. He was not like those strong and high principled Patriarchs, Ambrosy Kalaya or Kalistrat Lintsadze. All this slowly affected the style and content of his preaching and his relationship with us, the young flock of the Georgian Church. If before Ephraim had spoken boldly, expressing covert opposition to the Soviet regime (the newspapers even used to criticize his sermons), in his later years his preaching became empty, his appeals merely patriotic, so that it was hard to believe that it was a Christian pastor who spoke. The only bold appeal he made was to believing women to have large families. ‘Be fruitful and multiply!’ was the chief theme of his preaching at that time. Naturally all this had a bad effect on the young laity, who expected much from a Patriarch. (In addition, a number of priests unworthy of the name caused abuses in the Church which repelled and disillusioned young people …)


     “Ephraim made no secret of the fact that it was the KGB who forbade him to lend books to the young believers. Once he even joked about it: ‘You know that when Moscow calls the tune, we must dance to it, or it will go ill with us.’”[113]


     One of the senior bishops in the Georgian Church at this time was Metropolitan Ilia (Shiolashvili) of Sukhumi, who from 1963 to 1972 was Rector of the Georgian Orthodox Theological Seminary. In 1962 he had been recruited by the Georgian KGB Unit V with the codename “Iverieli”.[114] And when the future Georgian president Edward Shevardnadze became Georgian party First Secretary in 1972, there began a long, “symphonic” relationship between the two men which lasted until Shevardnadze’s fall from power in 2003. Ilia proved his worth to his employers when, as Metropolitan of Sukhumi in the 1970s, he betrayed the Catacomb Bishop Gennadius (Sekach) to the authorities.[115] And he was an ardent ecumenist, travelling to many ecumenist forums in many countries as the representative of the patriarchate of Georgia. Ilia set his face firmly against the dissident movement among Georgian Orthodox Christians, which combined concern for human rights with a campaign against Church servility and corruption with a strong emphasis on Georgian nationalism. In 1975-77, the leaders of this movement – Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Valentina Pailodze and Merab Kostava – were all arrested and given sentences in the camps. Gamsakhurdia, however, recanted on Soviet central television; and the reduction in his sentence to two years’ exile suggested that he had made a “deal” with the authorities.

      On November 9, 1979, “Catholicos-Patriarch David V of Georgia died. Religion in Communist Lands reports that, upon the death of Patriarch David V, Metropolitan Ilia was appointed Patriarchal locum tenens of the Georgian Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod. Leading the delegation dispatched by Patriarch Pimen of Moscow to the funeral of Patriarch David was Metropolitan Alexis (Ridiger) of Tallinn and Estonia, the present Patriarch of Russia, and Pimen's direct successor. The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate notes that ‘during his stay in Tbilisi, the head of the delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Alexis, paid a visit to T. D. Onoprishvili, representative of the Council for Religious Affairs of the USSR Council of Ministers in the Georgian SSR’ (JMP, No. 3, 1978, p. 43)…

     “…the most likely candidate for the patriarchal throne seemed to be Metropolitan Gaioz (Kepatishvili) of Tsilkani, on whose side were the majority of the bishops and clergy. Another contender was Metropolitan Ilia of Sukhumi and Abkhazia, who also had a sizable following. Metropolitan Gaioz and his supporters forcibly occupied the Patriarchal headquarters, having ejected the watchman and lone nun, supporters of Ilia, who had been guarding it. Thereupon telegrams were sent to all the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches, announcing that Metropolitan Gaioz had been ‘elected’ Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal throne. Oddly enough, these telegrams got no further than the local post office. It seems that the appropriate ‘competent organs’ of state had by this time already reached a decision. (More on this below.) Then the militia burst into the headquarters of the Patriarchate, in turn forcibly expelled the followers of Metropolitan Gaioz, and ushered in those of Metropolitan Ilia, who was then declared locum tenens. And, of course, this time his telegrams reached their destination. The new locum tenens hastily consecrated several bishops from among his supporters in the clergy, thus ‘packing the court’.

     “Metropolitan Gaioz was forced, for appearance sake, to participate in the election and enthronement of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II. He was made to place the Patriarchal panagias and cross around the neck of the new Primate -- a bitter pill to swallow indeed! Soon thereafter Metropolitan Gaioz was arrested and charged with various crimes, including theft of church property, speculation in foreign currency, and moral depravity. The public prosecutor asked for the maximum sentence permitted by the law code then in force, which was fifteen years imprisonment. However, the plaintiff on behalf of the Church, Archimandrite Nicholas Makharadze, demanded the death penalty! Metropolitan Gaioz was eventually sentenced to fifteen years in prison and

      “… In 1979 Patriarch Ilia II was… elected one of the six presidents of the World Council of Churches… He then inserted the new title into the text of his official commemoration during the church services: ‘For our Great Lord and Father, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, President of the World Council of Churches, Ilia II’! He likewise used the title when issuing his annual Paschal and Christmas encyclicals, and in all published accounts of his ecumenical activities abroad (e.g.: Grapevine Cross, No. 2, 1981, p. 3). One would have thought that such a venerable and glorious title as Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia should have been sufficient for anyone. ‘For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ (John 12:43)…”[116]




     From the 1970s we see the ascendancy in the MP of a school of thought devoted both to the interests of the Soviet State and of the ecumenical movement which has been called “Nikodimovschina” from its first leader and originator, Metropolitan Nicodemus, KGB Agent “Sviatoslav”.


     The fruits of Nicodemus’ activity was soon evident. “The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia recorded that by 1972 the WCC had been converted from a ‘pro-Western’ to a ‘progressive’ orientation in its policies on peace, disarmament and related matters. Assiduous advocacy by the Christian Peace Conference and othrs of the view that Christianity and communism were natural allies in support of the national liberation movement induced the WCC to provide funds for African guerilla movements, including the Rhodesian Patriotic Front, believed to be responsible for a massacre of British missionaries in 1978.”[117]


     Ever since writing his master’s thesis on Pope John XXIII, the man who led the Catholic Church onto the ecumenical scene, Metropolitan Nicodemus had been trying to do the same for the Moscow Patriarchate. Hierodeacon (now Hieromonk) Theophanes (Areskin) writes: “Metropolitan Nicodemus begins his exposition of his ecumenist faith with an Orthodox thesis on the unity of the whole human race in Adam: ‘Mankind, the whole Adam (in the expression of St. Macarius the Great) is united by means of the Incarnation, Cross and Resurrection of the last Adam (I Corinthians 14.45), the second Man, the Lord Who “for us men” came down from the heavens (I Corinthians 15.47), and, having tasted “death for us all by the grace of God” (Hebrews 2.9), “is the Saviour of all men” (I Timothy 4.10)… We all, in accordance with the ineffable wisdom of God, have been bound from the beginning with the bonds of unity and brotherhood’. But further on Metropolitan Nicodemus reveals his understanding of this unity: ‘Christ died for all men, and, as the new Adam, he laid the beginning for a new humanity… The fullness of the grace-filled gifts is communicated to people by the Holy Spirit in the Church of Christ. However, it would be a dangerous error to consider that Christ, the Redeemer of the whole world, does not extend His saving influence on the whole of humanity.’ This saving influence consists, according to Metropolitan Nicodemus, ‘in faith in Christ Jesus, acting through love in each separate person, as in the whole of humanity, with which we are united by our common human nature. God redeemed us into an undivided, indivisible, unchanging and unconfused union with this nature through the incarnation of the Only-Begotten Son.’ ‘By taking on and deifying our nature in the Divine Incarnation the Chief and Accomplisher of our faith (Hebrews 12.2) and of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5.9), our Lord Jesus Christ reconciled, united and related the whole of humanity with God, and all people with each other’. ‘The Church as the Kingdom of God is likened to leaven which penetrates into all the parts of the whole that is humanity, into the whole world, and acts with that measure of power which corresponds to the moral level of the bearers of Christ’s truth. And although far from all people actively and consciously abide in the Church, the Church abides in all through the love of Christ, for this love is not limited by any part of humanity, but is distributed to all people.’ Hence ‘the activity of the Spirit of God is not limited by confessional limits. His manifestation is completely and, above all, unconditionally revealed in the Church, but the traces of His presence are evident everywhere where there are the fruits of spiritual life: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness…’ Therefore all people, the whole Body of humanity (Adam), are invisibly united with God and is a certain ‘invisible Church’. The organization of the Church is understood by Nicodemus as ‘the visible Church’, in which ‘baptism defines the visible belonging to Christ’. Metropolitan Nicodemus consciously confesses the ‘baptism’ of Protestants to be true, turning to his ‘brothers in Christ’, the Protestants, the members of the WCC: ‘Through the mystery of holy Baptism we are engrafted onto the saving Divine Vine…’ But the visible Church ‘is called to realize the fruits of the Incarnation and Redemption in the life of her immediate members.’


    “And so, according to Metropolitan Nicodemus, all people are ‘Christians’, it is true that the Church of Christ, the Body of Christ, the New Adam, is one, but it is not yet united into one ecclesiastical organization under one leader. The aim of the ecumenists is to create this mediation, that is, one single visible ecclesiastical organization for all. In this way the ecumenical Church and the world become indistinguishable from each other. It is not difficult to find the primary source of this faith. It is sergianism – a heretical teaching that the Church, the Body of Christ, is a simple ecclesiastical organization, just like ordinary secular organizations, political parties, communities, commercial structures, etc.”[118]


     The death of Nicodemus in 1978 in Rome at the feet of Pope John-Paul I, from whom he received the Catholic last rites[119], was a graphic symbol of the true direction of inter-Christian ecumenism – aided and abetted, on the Orthodox side, by the KGB. His place both as chief ideologist of the MP, Metropolitan of Leningrad and leader of the “Nikodimovshina” school of theology, was taken by his pupil, the future “Patriarch” Alexis II (Ridiger). And when Pope John-Paul died a few days after Nicodemus, Alexis celebrated a festive service for the repose of his soul in the Moscow Cathedral of the Epiphany, while and another of Nicodemus’ disciples, the present Metropolian Cyril (Gundyaev), celebrated a similar service in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in Leningrad.[120]


     Alexis, an Estonian by birth (he was bishop in Tallin before his transfer to Leningrad), had been a KGB agent with codename “Drozdov” since 1958 and an active ecumenist for almost as long as his mentor. He was a delegate to the Third General Assembly of the WCC in New Delhi in 1961, (with Metropolitans Nicodemus and Anthony (Bloom)), a member of the Central Committee of the WCC from 1961 to 1968, president of the World Conference, “The Church and Society” in Geneva in 1966, and a member of the Commission “Faith and Order” of the WCC from 1961 to 1968.


     In the 1974 Furov report to the Central Committee of the USSR Alexis (together with his predecessor Patriarch Pimen) was placed in the category of those bishops who “affirm both in words and deeds not only loyalty but also patriotism towards the socialist society; strictly observe the laws on cults, and educate the parish clergy and believers in the same spirit; realistically understand that our state is not interested in proclaiming the role of religion and the church in society; and, realizing this, do not display any particular activeness in extending the influence of Orthodoxy among the population.”[121]


     According to a KGB document of 1988, “An order was drafted by the USSR KGB chairman to award an honorary citation to agent DROZDOV” [i.e. Alexis] for unspecified services to state security.[122]


     “Already in 1966,” writes Hierodeacon Theophanes, “in his speech before the delegation of the German Evangelical church at a conference in Moscow, the future head of the MP in the name of Christ Himself declared that ‘Jesus Christ considers His own, that is, as Christians, all those who believe in Him and obey Him, and this is more than the Orthodox Church.’ If we remember that, according to Orthodox teaching, Christ adopted people to Himself only in His Hypostasis, that is, in His Body which is the Orthodox Church, then it is obvious that the metropolitan is here confessing a christological heresy, considering as Christians those who are outside the Church – calling them ‘God’s’, that is, the Church’s.


     “Alexis still more clearly confesses that all the non-Orthodox Christians are the Church of Christ in his report to the 8th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches, published in the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate in 1980 (¹¹ 1-3). Here, blasphemously mixing up and identifying the concepts of the presence of God in the world and His energies and presence in the Church, the metropolitan very distinctly reveals his heretical teaching on the “all-embracing and unconditional” Incarnation of Christ, which automatically turns the whole of humanity, all Christians, Muslims, pagans, and in general all ‘men of good will’ into members of the Body of Christ, that is, the Church! Metropolitan Alexis openly teaches that the same grace of the Holy Spirit acts in the non-Orthodox churches – the participants in the WCC – as in the Orthodox Church: ‘We (the CEC) have learned to pray together, to understand the spirit and depth of prayer for each other, to feel the breath of the grace of the Holy Spirit in joint prayer to the Lord … we must thank God for the joy of our communion in Christ, for the joy of the ever-increasing experience of brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ in our work.’ Thus it was precisely in joint prayers with heretics that the archpastor felt the breath of ‘the grace of the Holy Spirit’! We should note that ‘ecumenical prayer’ is a very important moment in the ecumenical dialogue, it not only witnesses to the presence among the ecumenists of some common ‘god’ to whom this prayer is raised, but it is also a practical recognition of the action of the Holy Spirit in heterodoxy, thereby aiding the aggiornamento of the churches. This is what the future head of the MP says on this subject: ‘The aggiornamento of the churches is attained in the first place by prayer and brotherly love; joint prayers create a special atmosphere, a spiritual mood; (he goes on to cite A.S. Khomiakov) prayer is the life of the Church and the voice of her love, the eternal breathing of the Spirit of God. We believe that through joint prayers the breathing of the Spirit of God jointly enriches us all.’


     “According to Orthodox teaching, it is precisely the Holy Spirit that makes a man a member of the Church of Christ, a Christian. But Metropolitan Alexis recognises that the Holy Spirit works in heretics just as in the Orthodox Church, and therefore heretics, like Orthodox Christians, are the Church of Christ: ‘We believe that the Holy Spirit – visibly or invisibly – continues until now His saving activity in the world. You and I, dear brothers and sisters, representing various Churches and the human race, live by the same real and grace-filled power of Pentecost’. From this there follows an open admittance on the part of the metropolitan that the heretical communities are the Church and the Body of Christ: ‘We, the Orthodox, are lovingly disposed to our non-Orthodox brothers, for we have all been baptized in one Spirit, and we have all been made to drink into one Spirit (I Corinthians12.13).’ Here the Apostle Paul’s eucharistic (even liturgical) terminology has not been used in vain, so as once more to emphasise: Orthodox and heretics are not simply a divided Church, but the Body of Christ, organically one in the Holy Spirit.


     “The source of this teaching of Metropolitan Alexis on the Holy Spirit is a heretical Christology, whose essence consists in the assertion that ‘we all have been received into the nature of Jesus Christ the God-man as an integral nature. And this truth forces us to believe that every person striving towards goodness and righteousness does the work of Christ on earth, even if he intellectually has not known Christ or has even rejected Him. From the Godmanhood of Christ it follows that the path into the Kingdom of God has been opened to all men. Consequently, with the Incarnation of the Son of God the whole of humanity becomes His potential Church, and in this sense the boundaries of the Christian Ecumene (or the pan-human family) are far wider than the boundaries of the Christian world.’ Hence Metropolitan Alexis’ teaching becomes understandable: insofar as Christ has received into His Hypostasis the common nature of man, all people, that is, all human hypostases of all generations are saved and remain in Christ, that is, in the Church. In other words, Christ has saved the whole nature of man, and consequently, according to the thought of Metropolitan Alexis, all people.


     “However, according to the Orthodox teaching, ‘God the Word, on becoming incarnate, did not take on the nature viewed as an abstraction in pure thought,… nor the nature contemplated in species (that is, viewed in all the hypostases of the human race – H. Th.), for He did not take on all the hypostases, but He took on that which received its existence in His Hypostasis’. That is, it is impossible to say that since God the Word became Man, all people are saved by virtue of being men. But Metropolitan Alexis affirms that in the humanity of Christ is contained all men’s hypostases. Such a teaching was confessed in the 11th century by the Monk Nilus of Calabria, who taught that all human hypostases are present or are contained in the humanity taken on by the Lord and are ‘co-deified’ together with Him. The Orthodox Church anathematized Nilus and his heresy: ‘If anyone dogmatises that all human hypostases are in the flesh taken on by the Lord and are co-deified with it, let him be anathema, for this is empty chatter, or, rather, manifest impiety.’ And although the metropolitan makes the qualification that humanity for him is only ‘the potential church’, nevertheless he later on unambiguously speaks of the whole of humanity as of the Church – the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Holy Spirit: ‘Christ redeemed, cleansed and recreated a common human nature for all, while the Holy Spirit morally transfigures each human personality, gives the Christian the fullness of grace, makes him a temple of God and dwells in him, raises the growth of spirituality in the mind and the heart, leads him to every truth and gives him spiritual gifts to his benefit: to one – the word of wisdom, to another – the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit… and other gifts (I Corinthians 12.7-11), so that human talents should be revealed more fully.’ In this way, insofar as God the Word has been incarnate in a common human nature, His Body is the divided Christian Church in the combination of all its separate parts. However, the saving action of the Holy Spirit is poured out even beyond the bounds of the Body of Christ, penetrating into and deifying the body of the whole of humanity: ‘The all-embracing and most powerful force of the Holy Spirit is spread out onto the whole life of our world, transforming it in the course of the historical process of the struggle between good and evil.’


     “And so, thanks to a clever substitution of concepts, the real difference between the grace of the Holy Spirit, by which God providentially preserves the world in existence and leads people to the Church, and the deifying mystical presence of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, the Church, is destroyed, which completely abolishes the difference between the Church and the world: now ‘the cultural efflorescence of European and world Christianity’ is declared to be an action of the Holy Spirit, and even the Salt-2 treaty between Brezhnev and Carter concerning the limiting of strategic offensive weapons is also ‘a manifestation of the invisible power of the Holy Spirit acting in the world for the good of the whole of humanity.’


     “The consequences of this ‘pan-human Pentecost’ are expressed by the metropolitan mainly in the terms of humanism and peace-making: ‘Christian concern for questions of social justice’, ‘the elements of the movement for peace’, Christians’ service to people and their ‘involvement in all the complexity of the real life of the world’. In this way the life of grace in the Body of Christ is substituted by a humanistic ‘serving the affairs of the world’.


     “It is understandable that this ‘theology of peace’ should be very convenient for the dialogue not only with any heretical Christian communities, but also with any religions, even with utopian teachings like communism.


     “But how is such a faith compatible with the Orthodox teaching on the uniqueness and singleness of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Yes, admits Metropolitan Alexis, ‘the oneness and unity of the Church is an ecclesiological axiom’, but in actual fact ‘an invisible unity as the unity of Christ and the Holy Spirit lives in the visible multitude of Churches, each of which has its particular face’, affirms the metropolitan, citing his brother in ecumenism, Professor Archbishop Vladimir (Sabodan). Before us here is the classical ecumenist ecclesiology – ‘the branch theory’, which was invented by Archbishop Stylianos of Australia (Constantinopolitan patriarchate), or, using the language of Soviet theological thought, the ecclesiology of ‘the traumatized Body of Christ’, a fruit of the refined minds of the ‘ecumenist theologians’ of the MP – the main teacher and implanter of the ecumenist heresy in the MP was Metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov).”[123]


Archbishop Mark of Berlin


     The influence of the KGB on Church life extended well beyond the borders of the Soviet Union and beyond the ranks of the East European Churches. In 1979 a layman of ROCOR, Mark Arndt, was arrested at Leningrad airport for importing anti-Soviet material and then released. In view of the later importance of Mark as ROCOR’s Archbishop of Berlin, the following words written about him in 2004 by a former KGB operative, Constantine Preobrazhensky, acquire considerable importance:-


     “In 1979 the future Archbishop Mark [of Berlin] was arrested at the Soviet border for importing anti-Soviet literature. Nobody knows on what date. Nor does anybody know how long Mark was detained by the KGB, whether for one day or several…


     “At that time Mark Arndt was an activist of NTS, the People’s Labour Union, which had once been a warlike anti-Soviet organisation but was then properly crammed with KGB agents.


     “Some Russian émigrés today say: ‘What if the KGB simply frightened Mark and then let him go with God’s blessing?’


     “I assure you as a retired lieutenant-colonel of the KGB: this could not have happened. Because the import of anti-Soviet literature came under article 70 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, “Anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda”. It was considered an especially dangerous state crime and promised a considerable jail sentence.


     “And how then, after arresting Mark, would the chekists have given an account of their work? Explained that they had let him go? And where would the concrete result so valued by the KGB be? Or, as they say there, ‘the dry remains’?


     “But nobody would have allowed him to be released!


     “After all, every foreigner who fell for righteousness’ or unrighteousness’ sake into the hands of the KGB was considered to be a fat, tasty chicken. He could have been exchanged for a Soviet spy who had fallen into captivity, or used for communist propaganda.


     “All this would have been considered to be a great success and promised rewards for the chekists. But if they released him, there would have been no bonus. After all, the KGB is a military system. Every step there has to be agreed with tens of bosses.


     “The chekists could have released him only in exchange for a still greater bonus. And they give that for the recruitment of a foreigner. It is considered the greatest achievement in the work of a chekist. His career would have been on the up.


     “They teach how to recruit foreigners who are arrested by them in the Minsk KGB school…


     “They worked on Mark. He would even have had to spend the night in the KGB…


     “Sergius Grigoryants [the founder of Glasnost] told me the following: ‘… The fact that the KGB let Mark go in such a “humane” fashion shows that a love match may have been set up between them.’…


     “There are agents of influence, who act on the politics of their country in a spirit that is useful for Russia. But as a rule they do not break its laws.


     “If Archbishop Mark is truly an agent of the KGB, then he belongs to this category. Does his activity correspond to the external political aims of the Putin administration? Undoubtedly yes. It helps submit the Church Abroad to Moscow, so as to take the Russian emigration under the control of the FSB [the new name for the KGB]…”[124]


     Archbishop Mark immediately responded to Preobrazhensky’s accusations: “I have never and nowhere been arrested, and I will not comment on every absurdity”. However, while it cannot be considered proven that Archbishop Mark is a KGB agent, it is impossible to ignore the very strong possibility that those hours with the KGB influenced his position as the prime mover behind ROCOR’s proposed unification with the MP…




     The origins of Pentecostalism, as of ecumenism, go back many decades, but came to fruition in the later part of the twentieth century. At precisely seven p.m. on New Year’s Eve of the year 1900 “the age of the Spirit” and “the new Pentecost” is supposed to have dawned…


     “For some time before that moment,” wrote Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, “a Methodist minister in Topeka, Kansas, Charles Parham, as an answer to the confessed feebleness of his Christian ministry, had been concentratedly studying the New Testament with a group of his students with the aim of discovering the secret of the power of Apostolic Christianity. The students finally deduced that this secret lay in the ‘speaking in tongues’ which, they thought, always accompanied the reception of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles. With increasing excitement and tension, Parham and his students resolved to pray until they themselves receive the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ together with speaking in tongues. On December 31, 1900, they prayed from morning to night with no success, until one young girl suggested that one ingredient was missing in this experiment: ‘laying on of hands’. Parham put his hands on the girl’s head, and immediately she began to speak in an ‘unknown tongue’. Within three days there were many such ‘Baptisms’, including that of Parham himself and twelve other ministers of various denominations, and all of them were accompanied by speaking in tongues. Soon the revival spread to Texas, and then it had spectacular success at a small Negro church in Los Angeles.[125] Since then it has spread throughout the world and claims ten million members [in 1983].


     “For half a century the Pentecostal Movement remained sectarian and everywhere it was received with hostility by the established denominations. Then, however, speaking in tongues began gradually to appear in the denominations themselves, although at first it was kept rather quiet, until in 1960 an Episcopalian priest near Los Angeles gave wide publicity to this fact by publicly declaring that he had received the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ and spoke in tongues. After some initial hostility, the ‘charismatic renewal’ gained the official or unofficial approval of all the major denominations and has spread rapidly both in America and abroad. Even the once rigid and exclusivist Roman Catholic Church, once it took up the ‘charismatic renewal’ in earnest in the later 1960s, has been enthusiastically swept up in this movement. In America, the Roman Catholic bishops gave their approval to the movement in 1969, and the few thousand Catholics involved in it then have since increased to untold hundreds of thousands, who gather periodically in local and nationwide ‘charismatic’ conferences whose participants are sometimes numbered in the tens of thousands. The Roman Catholic countries of Europe have also become enthusiastically ‘charismatic’, as witnessed by the ‘charismatic’ conference in Summer, 1978, in Ireland, attended by thousands of Irish priests. Not long before his death Pope Paul VI met with a delegation of ‘charismatics’ and proclaimed that he too is a Pentecostal.”[126]


     Although Pentecostalism was slower to penetrate Orthodoxy, we have already seen its influence in the words of Metropolitan Alexis (Ridiger), when speaking about a “pan-human Pentecost”.


     Pentecostalism gave a tremendous boost to Ecumenism; it became the “heart”, as the ecumenical movement was the “mind” of the new religion of the future. No close attention was given to the question whether the spirit behind the tongues was the Holy Spirit or not. To those who endeavoured to obey the command: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God” (I John 4.1), it seemed clear that it was not, and that the Apostles’ words to the Corinthians applied also to the Pentecostalists: “If ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received [i.e. a different spirit from the Holy Spirit],… ye might well bear with him” (II Corinthians 11.4).


     Although Pentecostalists assert that their gift of tongues is the same as that which was given to the early Church, they forget that even in the early Church this gift had its counterfeits. Thus Archbishop Averky of Syracuse, commenting on the twelfth chapter of St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, writes: “among the Corinthians many began to look on these grace-filled manifestations of the Holy Spirit as a reason for vainglory and arrogance. While striving to acquire one of the more striking gifts, they even fell into self-deception, and without acquiring any gift at all, they were in a frenzy, pronouncing disjointed and incomprehensible words, and sometimes, in the darkness of their minds and hearts, they shouted out blasphemous thoughts, pronouncing, for example, anathema on Jesus. Here was evident the influence of pagan prophetesses like Pytheas or the Sibyl. In an artificially induced false inspiration, foaming at the mouth and with loosened hair, they shouted out either incomprehensible or ambiguous utterances and produced a powerful impression on people who insistently demanded answers from them. The contemporary sectarians – the khlysty, the Pentecostalists – are like them. The Apostle warns the Christians against a pagan approach and attitude to spiritual gifts.”[127]


Super-Ecumenism (1)


     “Inspired” by Pentecostalism, the ecumenists now plunged into the much broader sphere of inter-religious relations – that is, into “Super-Ecumenism”. For the so-called “age of the Spirit”, ignoring the voice of the Spirit: “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers, for… what concord hath Christ with Belial?” (II Corinthians 6.14-15), invited to reunion not only Christians of all denominations but also members of all the other religions. Thus in 1970 the Pentecostal Pope Paul VI spoke of “the Hebrew and Islamic peoples, and Christians… these three expressions of an identical [my italics – V.M.] monotheism”, and confessed that “we are all sons of the same Father, and,… therefore, all brothers”.[128] Evidently he did not know the words of the Apostle John: “Whosoever denieth the Son [and both Jews and Mohammedans deny the Son], the same hath not the Father” (I John 2.23). Nor those of the Lord Himself: “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14.6).


     Catholic Super-Ecumenism was set in motion by the Second Vatican Council’s decree, Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non Christian Religions, October 28, 1965): "Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ, neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion." And yet the Jewish religion to this day justifies the killing of Christ, saying that He was a magician and His Mother a prostitute!


     The Orthodox were not far behind the Catholics, especially in relation to the Mohammedans. Thus in 1970, “the WCC sponsored a conference in Ajaltoun, Lebanon, between Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Moslems, and a follow-up conference of 23 WCC ‘theologians’ in Zurich in June declared the need for ‘dialogue’ with the non-Christian religions. At the meeting of the Central Committee of the WCC at Addis Ababa in January of this year, Metropolitan Georges Khodre of Beirut (Orthodox Church of Antioch) shocked even many Protestant delegates when he not merely called for ‘dialogue’ with these religions, but left the Church of Christ far behind and trampled on 19 centuries of Christian tradition when he called on Christians to ‘investigate the authentically spiritual life of the unbaptized’ and enrich their own experience with the ‘riches of a universal religious community’ (Religious New Service), for ‘it is Christ alone who is received as light when grace visits a Brahmin, a Buddhist, or a Moslem reading his own scriptures’ (Christian Century, February 10, 1971).”[129] Evidently the Metropolitan had forgotten that “all the gods of the heathen are demons” (Psalm 95.5).


     As the 1970s and 1980s progressed talk of unity was succeeded by action, and communal services not only between Christians of different denominations, but also between Christians and non-Christians, became common. Thus on June 29, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, the Greek Archbishop James of New York served an “unprecedented” ecumenical service with various Catholics, Protestants and even Jews... Even clergy of Serbian Patriarchate were conducting ecumenical services with the participation of heterodox clerics and even rabbis and women.


     On January 22, 1981, the Ecumenical Press Service reported that the WCC was working on plans to unify all the Christian denominations into a single new religion which, the ecumenists hoped, would be generally accepted. To this end, a “preliminary plateau” was to be formed which would consolidate existing agreements between the churches. This would then lead to the formation of a universal council which would become a single body with sufficient authority to formulate a new confession of the apostolic faith![130]


     Also clear by this time was the politicisation of the WCC along the lines of the Moscow-inspired “movement for peace”, as we can see from a cursory reading of the titles of the public statements of the 33rd and 34th sessions of the Central Committee of the WCC in 1981 and 1982: “The Churches and the Refugee Crisis”, “Statement on Namibia”, “Increased Threats to Peace and the Task of the Churches”, “Statement on South African Government Raids on Squatter Camps”, “On Northern Ireland”, “Statement on the Second Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Disarmament”, “Statement on Lebanon”, “Statement on Extrajudicial Executions”.[131]


     In 1982 the MP convened a conference entitled “Religious workers for saving the sacred gift of life from nuclear catastrophe” in Moscow. It disclaimed any attempt “to produce some common syncretistic religion”. Nevertheless, the message implicit in its gathering of representatives of all the world’s religions under the chairmanship of the MP was that material prosperity is more important than truth.[132]


     Again, Fr. Lev Gillet highlighted the so-called “ecumenism of the concentration camps”. “For it was in such places as Buchenwald, Dachau and Auschwitz (not to mention the camps of the Stalinist world)”, writes Fr. Sergius Hackel, “That ‘Christians belonging to different Churches discovered through their common sufferings and their burning charity a deep unity at the foot of the cross’. Furthermore, ‘this ecumenism had its witnesses, its martyrs’. And Fr. Lev mentions three to represent them all: the Protestant pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45), the Catholic priest Josef Metzger (1887-1944), and the Orthodox nun Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945). ‘All three were killed for Christ, all three were witnesses for the ecumenical fellowship of blood which is expressed in this sentence from the [1943] testament of Metzger: ‘I feel myself as closely united to my believing and conscientious Protestant brothers in Christ Jesus through Baptism and our common experience in the same Lord, as to the brethren with whom I share the fellowship of the Holy Sacrament’. The symbolic lighting of candles in the chapel of the twentieth-century martyrs in Canterbury Cathedral at the outset of Pope John Paul’s visit to Great Britain (in 1982) was, among other things, a reminder of what such ecumenism can mean.”[133]


     But if Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants who suffered at the hands of the Nazis were all martyrs, what about the victims of the Jewish holocaust? Soon the industry of the holocaust would be compelling Christian leaders to pay homage also to these “martyrs”, whose religion of the Talmud breathes the most extreme hatred of Christ and Christians! In fact, the concept of martyrdom exposes ecumenism for the lie that it is. For if all religions are holy and equal, then so are their martyrs. But this is impossible. For then Jews who are killed by Muslims are as “holy” as Muslim suicide bombers. And Jews who suffer at the hands of Christians are as holy as Christians who suffer at the hands of Jews (for example, Archimandrite Philumenos of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, who was murdered by Jews at Jacob’s Well in 1979[134]). And Catholics who suffer at the hands of Nazis and Stalinists are as holy as Orthodox who suffer at the hands of Catholics (for example, the hundreds of thousands of Serbs who were killed for refusing to accept Catholicism in 1941). And Orthodox who die for Sovietism and the Soviet church (i.e. in the Moscow Patriarchate) are as holy as Orthodox who die against Sovietism and against the Soviet church (i.e. in the Catacomb Church)…


The Anathema against Ecumenism


     Two ecumenical events combined to elicit a powerful response from the True Orthodox Church. The first took place in 1982, when 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.[135] The second came in 1983, at the Vancouver General Assembly of the WCC, which began with a pagan rite performed by local Indians and contained prayer services in which Orthodox hierarchs as well as representatives of many non-Christian religions took part.


     First, the Greek Old Calendarist Metropolitan Gabriel of the Cyclades attempted to address the Vancouver Assembly. He was not allowed to speak by the ecumenists. The New York Times, however, published his report, which included the following words: “Modern ecumenism is the reflection of the latest radical, atheistic and anti-Christian anthropomorphism which has as its principle that God is as necessary to man as man is to God. This radical anthropomorphism continues to struggle through the WCC to make the salvific message of Christ simply a servile element of the socio-political and earthly needs of man Thus it struggles for the actualisation of the unity of the Christian world without Christ, who is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life’ of the Church and the faithful. Dogmatic and ethical minimalism, spiritual nihilism, humanistic pacifism and horizontal social activism lead to a union of the Christian world without Christ. So these attempts of the WCC constitute the modern blasphemy of the Holy Spirit par excellence and declare a deep crisis of faith in the Western Christian world…”[136]


     The Synod of ROCOR, also meeting in Canada, condemned this latest and most extreme manifestation of ecumenism as follows: “In its decision of 28 July / 10 August, our Council explained that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia does not participate in the World Council of Churches insofar as the latter attempts to represent those assembled in it, representatives of religions differing in their opinions, as though they had some sort of unity in faith. In reality, though, this very position is a lie, inasmuch as they, members of various confessions and sects, have not given up their points of disagreement with each other, much less with the Orthodox Church, in dogmas and in fundamental attitudes. In the name of unifying formulas, these differences of opinion are not destroyed, but are just set aside. Instead of the unshakable truths of the faith, they try to see only opinions, not obligatory for anyone. In reply to the confession of the one Orthodox Faith, they say together with Pilate: ‘What is truth?’ And the nominally Orthodox members of the Ecumenical Movement more and more deserve the reproach of the Angel of the Church of Laodicea: ‘I know your works: you are neither hot nor cold: O if only you were hot or cold’ (Revelation 3.15). A clear manifestation of such false union was the serving of the so-called Lima Liturgy…”    


     Then the Synod anathematised ecumenism, declaring: “To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ’s Church is divided into so-called ‘branches’ which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all ‘branches’ or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united in one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or advocate, disseminate , or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema.”[137]


     The Anathema against Ecumenism was seized upon with delight by the True Orthodox not only in ROCOR, but also in Greece and on Mount Athos, and may be considered the single most important ecclesiastical act of the True Orthodox Church in the second half of the twentieth century. For many who had been worried that ROCOR was not being firm and clear enough in her dealings with the ecumenists, it put an end to their doubts and reaffirming their faith in her at a time when the Greek Old Calendarist Church was going through a very difficult period. However, the anathema did not spell out precisely which bodies fell under it and were therefore outside the True Church; and this weakness was exploited by those who, for one reason or another, did not want to see a clear and unambiguous frontier marked out between the Church of Christ and the Church of the Antichrist.[138]


     Nevertheless, the implication of this anathema was clear: all Orthodox Churches that were fully participating members of the WCC fell under it. As I.M. writes: “There is no heresy without heretics and their practical activity. The WCC in its declarations says: The Church confesses, the Church teaches, the Church does this, the Church does that. 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 who are members of the WCC are members of this one false church, this synagogue of satan. And by this participation in the WCC all the local Orthodox churches fall under the ROCOR anathema of 1983 and fall away from the True Church. In their number is the Moscow Patriarchate…”[139]


     The attack on the validity of the anathema against ecumenism has continued in recent decades. Thus the ROCOR priest Alexander Lebedev called the idea that the anathema strikes down all ecumenists “the heresy of universal jurisdiction”. The present writer replied to Fr. Alexander: “Thinking about your "heresy of universal jurisdiction", it seems to me that you confuse two things: the Church as an external organisation, and the Church as a mystical organism, to use the terminology of Hieromartyr Catacomb Bishop Mark (Novoselov) (+1938). It seems to me that you are right as regards the Church as an external organisation, but wrong as regards the Church as a mystical organism. Let me explain.


     “An anathema excludes the person anathematised from the holy mysteries, from membership of the Holy Church. In the first place, of course, that applies to the local Church of which that person is a member. It applies to other Churches only to the extent that the leaders of those other Churches agree with the original anathema and "sign up to it", as it were. Thus the heretic Arius was originally anathematized by the Bishop of Alexandria, which meant that he was excluded from receiving the sacraments throughout the Church of Alexandria. However, not all the bishops of neighbouring Churches agreed with this anathema, so Arius was able to receive communion in other Local Churches. To this extent the anathema was only of local significance. It required the convening of the First Ecumenical Council before Arius was anathematized "universally" - and even then, the anathema was not universally received, as the history of the Church in the next fifty years demonstrates.


     “It is a different matter when we consider an anathema sub specie aeternitatis, in its mystical, super-terrestrial significance. From that point of view, the anathematization of a heretic begins in the heavens. Thus even before Arius had been "locally" anathematized by St. Alexander of Alexandria, the Lord appeared to his predecessor, St. Peter, with a torn cloak, and in answer to St. Peter's question: "O Creator, who has torn Thy tunic?", replied: "The mindless Arius; he has separated from Me people whom I had obtained with My Blood" (St. Demetrius of Rostov, Lives of the Saints, November 25). So not only Arius, but all those who followed him, had been separated from the Church by the anathema of Her First Bishop, the Lord Jesus Christ, years (or rather, aeons) before even the first "local" anathema had been uttered. All heresies and heretics are anathematized "from all eternity" by the eternal Lord, for just as every truth is approved by the Truth Himself from all eternity, so is every lie condemned by Him from all eternity, being condemned with "the father of lies" to the gehenna of fire (Revelation 22.15).


    “The task of hierarchs on earth is to discern the decisions of the heavenly Church, and then apply these heavenly decisions on earth, in space and time. As St. Bede the Venerable (+735) writes: "The keys of the Kingdom designate the actual knowledge and power of discerning who are worthy to be received into the Kingdom, and who should be excluded from it as being unworthy" (Sermon on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, P.L. 94, col. 219).[140] From this point of view, it matters not a jot whether a heretic is anathematized locally or universally, since he has already been anathematized by the heavenly Church. Or rather, it matters in this sense: that if the heretic has been anathematized locally, but this anathema is not accepted by the rest of the Church, then the rest of the Church is under the grave danger of falling under this same anathema. For the local anathema, if it is just, is the reflection of a heavenly anathema; and the anathema of the heavenly Church is universal….


     “This explains why, when local Churches anathematized a heresy, they never qualified the anathema (as you, Fr. Alexander, would like to qualify ROCOR's anathema against ecumenism) by saying: "but of course, this applies only to the heretics in our local Church". On the contrary: history shows that local Churches freely anathematized heretics, not only in their own Churches, but also in others. Thus Nestorius, a heretic of the Church of Constantinople, was first condemned by a local Synod of the Church of Rome under St. Celestine; the Monothelite heretics were first condemned by a local Synod, again, of the Church of Rome; and the Papist heretics were first condemned by a local Synod of the Church of Constantinople.


     “Consider what St. Maximus said of the Monothelites: "In addition to having excommunicated themselves from the Church, they have been deposed and deprived of the priesthood at the local council which took place recently in Rome. What Mysteries, then, can they perform? Or what spirit will descend upon those who are ordained by them?" Note that the saint says that the heretics have excommunicated themselves; for as the Apostle Paul writes, "he that is such is subverted, and sins, being condemned of himself" (Titus 3.11). But the heretics' self-condemnation and self-exclusion from the Church as a mystical organism must be followed by their exclusion from the Church as an external organization, lest others be infected with their heresy. Hence the need for councils of bishops to anathematize them, following the rule: "A heretic after the first and second admonition reject" (Titus 3.10), and: "If he refuses to listen to the Church, let him be unto you as a heathen and a publican" (Matthew 18.17). And clearly St. Maximus considered that the anathema of the local Church of Rome had validity throughout the Ecumenical Church.


     “Administrative matters and moral falls are the business of local Churches and councils. However, heresies of their very nature are of universal significance, having the potential to infect the whole Church. That is why the appearance of a heresy in one local Church is not the business only of that local Church, but of all the local Churches - and every local Church can and must anathematize it.


     “Even the anathema of single bishopric has universal power and validity if it is uttered in the Holy Spirit, in accordance with the eternal Truth. Thus in 1069 the bishops of the metropolitanate of York, in the north of England, solemnly anathematized both the Pope of Rome and his stooge, William the conqueror, the first papist king of England. All the evidence is that they did not know that the Church of Constantinople had already anathematized Rome in 1054. So they were not simply confirming the word of a higher authority. They did not need a higher authority. They were successors of the apostles, with the power to bind and to loose. And they used that power, not for personal gain (on the contrary: they paid for their boldness with their lives), even against the most senior bishop in Christendom…


     “In the same way, in 1983 the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, using the power to bind and to loose given them by the Bishop of bishops, the Lord Jesus Christ, translated onto earth, into space and time, the completely binding and universally applicable decision already arrived at from all eternity by the Council of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Ecumenism is, was and always will be a heresy, indeed "the heresy of heresies", and the ecumenist heretics are, were and always will be outside the Church, the mystical Body of Christ. The decision of the ROCOR Sobor in 1983, confirmed with no change to its universal wording in 1998, expelled these already self-condemned and Divinely condemned heretics also from the external organization of the Church - and woe to any man, of whatever Church, who despises that decision, for he will then surely fall under the same anathema…”[141]


Archbishop Anthony of Geneva


     One ROCOR hierarch, unfortunately, appeared to despise the decision – Archbishop Anthony of Geneva. We have already met him as the leader of the faction opposing any hardening of ROCOR’s attitude towards “World Orthodoxy” at the Third All-Diaspora Council in 1974. Now he ordered the Paris Mission of ROCOR, led by Archimandrite Ambroise Frontier, to concelebrate with new calendarists, and not with Old Calendarists, when in Greece – which caused the whole mission to leave ROCOR and join the Greek Old Calendarists. Again, Matushka Susanna Maklakov writes: “Although the majority of bishops in the Russian Synod in the 80s were not in favor of ecumenism and ecumenistic policies (such as giving communion to RCs), Vladyka Anthony of Geneva persisted in this practice and practically ordered his priests to do so also. Fr. Andrew Maklakov was one of them. He of course got on the phone with Metropolitan Philaret and Bishop Gregory Grabbe, who assured him that this position was not correct and that he did not have to obey Archbishop Anthony. So Fr. Andrew defied AB Anthony of Geneva and refused to communicate RCs who asked for Holy Communion in the parishes that Fr. Andrew served in (which were Rome, Baden-Baden, Munich and Copenhagen). We were in Europe from April 1984 until June 1986. During that time, Fr. Andrew never communicated RCs and I am proud of him for his traditionalist Orthodox stance on that issue. Vladyka Anthony of Geneva is an ecumenist. Period. During that time, he was known to concelebrate with certain uniate groups in Rome, allowing seminarians and monastics on the kliros and into the altar freely. I know this firsthand and no one can convince me otherwise…”[142]


     After the Paris mission left him, Archbishop Anthony began to distribute epistles and “explanations” written by him with the aim of justifying the concelebrations with clergy of the “official churches” that were taking place in his diocese. Thus on April 10, 1987 he wrote: “The Hierarchical Synod [of ROCOR] is obliged with sorrow to warn its flock and those pastors who make themselves out to be the only True Orthodox Christians that the path of arbitrary self-rule that they have embarked upon will lead them out of the Church and into a sect.


      “…. Alas, critics have also appeared in our diocese… They have demanded from us a reply to the question: do the clergy of the ‘Synodal’ Church concelebrate… with new calendarists and ecumenists? The aim of this question is to accuse us of the ‘sin’ of concelebration.


      “…They were given the clear and definite reply that our Church has always had relations with, and continues to have relations with, the canonical Churches that have accepted the new calendar in the practice of the Divine services.


     “Already in 1925, soon after the acceptance of the new calendar into ecclesiastical practice by five Orthodox Churches at the congress of 1925, the Romanian Church (one of the five) invited Metropolitan Anthony, the founder of our Church Abroad, to take part in the festivities of the enthronement of the Romanian Patriarch Miron.


      “…. On September 27, 1961 our Hierarchical Synod addressed the Greek Old Calendarists in a letter... 'Our Church keeps to the old calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to have been a great mistake. Nevertheless, her tactic was always to preserve spiritual communion with the Orthodox Churches who accepted the new calendar, insofar as they celebrate Pascha in agreement with the decision of the First Ecumenical Council.… We have never broken spiritual communion with the canonical Churches in which the new calendar was introduced.’…


     “Our Hierarchical Councils and individual hierarchs have often repeated: the new calendar is not a heresy, but a great and crude mistake. On this basis, Metropolitan Philaret, on his frequent visits to France, has served Sunday Liturgies in the Romanian Church in Paris, praying with his new calendarist flock.


     “Metropolitan Vitaly, faithful to his predecessors, writes in this year’s Christmas epistle [1986/87]: ‘At the given time the majority of local Churches have been shaken… by a double blow: the new calendar and ecumenism. However, even in their present wretched state, we do not dare, and God forbid that we should do this, to say that they have lost the Grace of God.


     We permit to serve with us clerics of the Orthodox Serbian Church. Our metropolitans and bishops have done the same since they knew for certain that the Serbian Church, in the difficult conditions of the communist regime, has been able to preserve its inner freedom and, while being included officially in the ecumenical movement, has remained in essence outside it.


     “… Archimandrite Justin [Popovich] often said with great firmness and wrote against ecumenism without separating from his patriarch [this is not true - Fr. Justin broke with the Serbian patriarch because of his ecumenism]. He had a huge influence on his flock, creating a whole movement of young monks who, in continuing his work, bring up young people in the spirit of Orthodoxy. It has been our lot to concelebrate with clergy of the Serbian Church very rarely, but each time we have done this with the joyful consciousness of our All-Orthodox unity…”


The Disintegration of the Florinite Synod


     In the early 1970s the Florinite Synod under Archbishop Auxentius, appeared to be in a strong position as a result of its union with ROCOR. At this point, however, Auxentius began ordaining unworthy men and receiving priests from the new calendarists whose reputation was already besmirched.[143] As a result, in 1974, following the commandment: “Be not partakers of other men’s sins” (I Timothy 5.2)), Metropolitans Acacius of Diauleia, Gabriel of the Cyclades and Chrysostom (Kiousis) of Thessalonica stopped attending meetings of the Synod. Chrysostom left because Auxentius wanted to consecrate a bishop for Germany, Marcian, who had been caught red-handed without a rasa in the “red light” district of Athens.[144] These three bishops were joined by Bishop Peter of Astoria.[145]


     Sadly, the process of disintegration did not stop there. In June, 1977, Metropolitan Callistus of Corinth, being unhappy with the Matthewites’ break with the Russians and the Matthewites’ rejection of the kheirothesia of 1971 (he was one of the two bishops who had secured the union with the Russians in 1971), broke communion with the Matthewites and joined the Holy Synod.[146] However, he was soon to rue his association with Auxentius. In 1978, a Portuguese priest of ROCOR, Joao Rocha, unhappy with Archbishop Anthony of Geneva’s refusal to create a diocese in Portugal, applied to join the True Orthodox Church of Greece. To the fury of ROCOR, Archbishop Auxentius baptised and reordained him on the grounds that he was a convert who had never had Orthodox baptism[147] before consecrating him as Bishop Gabriel of Lisbon together with Metropolitan Callistus, who later claimed that he had been deceived.


     Profoundly disillusioned with Auxentius, from February 20 to 23, 1979, Metropolitan Callistus, together with Metropolitan Anthony of Megara, consecrated eight archimandrites to the episcopate, who were, in order of consecration: Cyprian (Koutsoubas) of Fili and Orope, Maximus (Tsitsibakos) of Magnesia, Callinicus (Sarantopoulos) of Achaia, Matthew (Langis) of Oinoe, Germanus (Athanasiou) of Aiolia, Calliopius (Giannakoulopoulos) of Pentapolis, Mercurius (Kaloskamis) of Knossos and Callinicus (Karaphyllakis) of the Twelve Islands.[148] During the services, the name of Archbishop Auxentius was mentioned; but they had not informed him. It was only on February 27 that they called Auxentius and asked for his approval. The “Callistites” claimed that this was only a “temporary and curable deviation from the canonical order” whose aim was the cleansing of the Church from moral vices, especially sodomy, since “men have been raised to the priesthood who are both unworthy and incapable.”[149]


     However, on March 21, 1980 the Callistite Synod consecrated Holy Chrism. This was hardly the act of a Synod that considered itself a “temporary and curable deviation from the canonical order”. In April it entered into official communion with the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Romania under the presidency of Metropolitan Glycerius.[150]


     At 6 p.m. on February 27[151], the same day on which he was informed of the Callistite consecrations, Archbishop Auxentius met with Metropolitans Gerontius and Callinicus “in order to formulate a position on the sedition brought about by its members, Callistus of Corinth and Anthony of Megara, who illegally severed themselves from the body [of the Holy Synod] and high-handedly undertook to consecrate bishops. Upon discussing this matter at length, on the basis of the holy canons of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ, [the Holy Synod] unanimously decreed and imposed upon the two seditious Metropolitans the punishment of deposition, as the holy canons themselves enjoin. [The Holy Synod decrees] that this decision be released and published straightway in the Athenian press. Since there was no time to convoke the assembly of the clergy, upon deliberation, because of the gravity of the event, it decided this very day to consecrate new bishops for [the Holy Synod’s] restoration and replenishment. Various points of view were exchanged and proposed by all the holy hierarchs…” Then, according to the minutes of the meeting, no less than ten new bishops were elected and consecrated in the following order: Euthymius (Orphanos) of Stavropolis (later Thessalonica), Paisius (Loulourgas) of Gardikion (later of America), Theophilus (Tsirbas) of Christianoupolis (later Patras), Athanasius (Postalas) of Platamon (later Larissa), Maximus (Vallianatos) of the Seven Islands, Stephen (Tsikouras) of Kardamila (later Chios), Paisius (Phinikaliotis) of Aegina, Gerasimus (Vrakas) of Talantion (later Thebes), Athanasius (Haralambidis) of Grevena (later Acharnae) and Justin (Kouloutouros) of Marathon (later Euripus).


     Some days later, the newly augmented Auxentiite Synod met in order to confirm the invalidity of the Callistite consecrations and the deposition of the Callistites as “conspirators, factionalists, establishers of unlawful assemblies and schismatics”. Strangely, according to the minutes, while 13 bishops were present, only 8 signed the conciliar encyclical.[152] The bishops who were present but apparently did not sign were Gerontius, Callinicus, Stephen, Paisius of Gardikion and Paisius of Aegina.[153]


     But the strangest aspect of this Auxentiite “counter-coup” was the extraordinary speed with which it was accomplished. According to the Auxentiites’ own statements, their three senior bishops on one and the same day (February 14 or 27 – the Auxentiite sources differ here): (1) heard of the Callistite consecrations, (2) met in order to condemn them and depose the Callistites, (3) drew up a list of 10 candidates for the episcopate, (4) assembled the 10 candidates (were they all waiting in the next room?), (5) obtained the permission of the two other members of the Synod, Paisius of Euripus and Acacius of Canada (this is not mentioned in the minutes, but Bishop Macarius assures us it happened), and (6) consecrated them. Another source says that two of the new bishops (Athanasius of Larissa and Stephen of Chios) were consecrated on one and the same day in different churches by different bishops.[154] Even the extremely pro-Auxentiite Bishop Macarius admits, with almost British under-statement, “that Archbishop Auxentius did act in a rather hurried manner…”[155]


     Thus the size (8 bishops), unexpectedness and uncanonicity of the Callistite coup was exceeded, if that were possible, by the still greater size (10 bishops), unexpectedness, uncanonicity – and extraordinary speed - of the Auxentiite counter-coup! The only explanation Bishop Macarius can give for this extraordinary speed - “things were in such a wild and unexpected state” – is weak, to say the least.  A much more likely explanation is that the Auxentiite coup was not a wild reaction to a totally unexpected event, but a carefully planned reaction to an already foreseen event: the Auxentiites knew of the Callistite coup well in advance, and were therefore able to plan their own counter-coup well in advance, and put it into effect immediately they heard about the Callistite consecrations. In fact, there are some indications that Auxentius was not totally opposed to the Callistite coup, in that it “freed his hands”[156] to consecrate those whom he wanted as bishops – and of whom he knew that several of his bishops, the future Callistites, would not approve.


     On the other hand, one of those newly consecrated by Callistus, Callinicus of the Twelve Islands, claimed that the whole venture was planned by one of the newly-consecrated bishops and his own spiritual father, Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili, without Auxentius’ knowledge. Metropolitan Callinicus writes: “I was urgently summoned to Athens, knowing nothing about what was going on, and to my great surprise heard my Elder Cyprian tell me to prepare to be consecrated to the episcopate during the vigil service that would begin in a short time. To the appropriate question of the writer why he himself (Fr. Cyprian) or this or that hieromonk (I mentioned a few names) should not be consecrated, I learned that Fr. Cyprian as well as the other hieromonks I mentioned had already been consecrated, and that Archbishop Auxentius was aware of the consecrations!”[157]


     However, when all the bishops were in the sanctuary taking off their vestments, Cyprian said to one of them, "Now, how are we going to explain all this to Archbishop Auxentios?" Callinicus overheard this and realised that his spiritual father had lied to him. He believed that the whole venture was planned by Cyprian, and that he had deceived Callistus and Anthony into believing that Auxentius had given his permission.[158]


     However, the Cyprianite Bishop Ambrose of Methone disagrees: “Having followed personally all the events in question, I can assure you that Metropolitan Cyprian had absolutely nothing to do with the planning of the consecrations; indeed, though he had very friendly relations with Metropolitan Callistus, he had up to that time never met Metropolitan Anthony. He consulted the brotherhood, and his confessor, Archimandrite Ambroise Frontier, before accepting the proposition of the two metropolitans. He was in fact opposed to some of the candidates proposed, but was not in a position to veto them.”[159]


     While it seems very unlikely that Auxentius gave his permission (here we agree with Bishop Macarius), it is equally unlikely, for the reasons given above, that Auxentius did not know what was going to happen. Probably both sides knew already, before their split, that the candidates to the episcopate of the one side would not be acceptable to the other; so both sides prepared coups.


     From a tactical point of view, Callistus and Anthony made a serious mistake when they “jumped the gun” and carried out their consecrations first. For their admittedly uncanonical act, however good the motivation (the cleansing of the Church from the tares sown by Auxentius), was made to appear as black as night, and the storm it raised covered the still more daring and uncanonical counter-coup of the Auxentiites…


     The Callistite Synod also tried to approach ROCOR, but was rebuffed. The ROCOR resolution of May 11, 1980 declared: “Metropolitan Callistus, accompanied by Bishops Cyprian, Matthew and Calliopius, arrived to personally attend the session of the Synod of Bishops. They greeted the First Hierarch and the members of the Synod and reported on the grievous internal state of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians which is the result, they say, of improper measures taken by Archbishop Auxentius in directing the life of the Church which have led to a rift in relations with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. They cited as examples irregular consecrations, regarding which Metropolitan Callistus asked for forgiveness for having taken part in the consecration of John Rosha as bishop of Portugal, explaining that he had done so on the bais of incorrect information imparted to him by Archbishop Auxentius. Archbishop Auxentius, in Metropolitan Callistus’ words, has not only caused a break in relations with the Russian Church, but has also spread disorder in his own Church by supporting the abbess who has written a book against the holy hierarch Nectarius of Pentapolis. Later he performed many unnecessary consecrations without examining the candidates sufficiently. In making his decisions, Archbishop Auxentius has ignored all of his bishops with the exception of Metropolitan Gerontius. Performing the consecration of John Rosha, Archbishop Auxentius misled (the concelebrating hierarchs), saying that Archbishop Anthony of Geneva had not only given John a canonical release, but was even going to take part in his consecration. After discovering the true state of affairs, several members of their Synod proposed writing a letter of explanation to the Russian Synod of Bishops, but Archbishop Auxentius would not consent to this.


     “Archbishop Callistus finds preservation of relations with the Russian Orthodox Outside of Russia absolutely essential. In view of this, he and Bishop Anthony of Megara decided to separate themselves from Archbishop Auxentius and ordained eight bishops for the administration of the Church, dividing the Church into dioceses. They are petitioning for the restoration of communion.


     “Archbishop Auxentius, on his part, has addressed the Synod of Bishops in a letter dated April 12, accusing Archbishop Callistus and Bishop Anthony of Megara of perpetrating a schism.


     RESOLVED. Lovingly honouring the podvig of our brethren who have suffered considerably in Greece for their defence of the True Orthodox Faith, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is deeply saddened that division reigns among them. The simultaneous appel of both Archbishop Auxentius and Archbishop Callistus to his Eminence Metropolitan Philaret bears witness to the depth of the divergence between them. The Russian bishops have no authority to investigate local problems in Greece in detail, much less mutual accusations. And so the Synod of Bishops, as early as 1976, resolved to remain aloof from any decisions and interference in the internal affairs of the Church in Greece. Moreover, for a comprehensive decision in favour of one or the other party, a detailed study of each accusation and the circumstances attendant thereon would be necessary, which seems impractical for the Synod of Bishops. Even less are the Russian bishops able to investigate the regularity of the many consecrations of bishops now performed.


     “However, there is no doubt that several consecrations which have been performed by Archbishop Auxentius, especially in the recent past, and which have caused a change in our mutual relations, have entailed serious violations of the canons of the Church and could serve as a basis of an ecclesiastical trial against those who performed them. The consecration of bishops performed by him without need and without such bishops having diocesan territory especially give rise to doubts and suspicions.


     “The Synod of Bishops understands the anxiety of Metropolitan Callistus and values his concern for the preservation of communion with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, as well as his desire to establish genuine ecclesiastical peace and canonical order in Greece. Without doubt, however, such order will never be established until all bishops consecrated under dubious circumstances are removed. It would be best then for all bishops who are above suspicion to assemble in order to divide the dioceses among themselves according to territory; and the remaining bishops should be content to go into retirement.


     “Only after the removal of all bishops suspected of canonical crimes can a beginning be made for a correct canonical organization of the True Orthodox Church in Greece which would attract to itself and unite all those clergy and laity who are seeking a normal ecclesiastical order.


     “Be that as it may, having no authority for the Council to resolve problems which arise in Church life in Greece, the Synod of Bishops will watch all that goes on there attentively, offering up prayers that the Lord will help our Greek brethren to set aright the correct canonical order of life which would make possible the restoration of normal relations with them…”


     Metropolitans Acacius and Chrysostom disapproved of both the coup and the counter-coup, but were especially scathing about Auxentius’ new consecrations. As they wrote: “The ‘three hierarchs’ (the archbishop and the metropolitans of Piraeus and Phthiotis) blatantly and scandalously nourished for years the ground for the creation of suitable conditions for the consecration… of people who do not have good external or internal image… You removed Synodal hierarchs for no other reason than that they sought moral and legal order in the Church administration and the cleansing of the clergy… You displayed unbelievable vengefulness against those hierarchs who rebuked your iniquities… You consecrated without any examination the uneducated, the elderly and paralysed and other who were weighed down by accusation concerning moral and other crimes of which they had been officially charge in the Holy Synod… We judge your act to be worse than the uncanonical act of Bishops Anthony and Callistus…” These words were probably aimed especially at Bishop Euthymius, as we shall see later…


     Notwithstanding this fierce rebuke, the Auxentiite Synod made several approaches to Metropolitans Acacius and Chrysostom. But the latter resisted these blandishments, believing that their concerns for the cleansing of the Church had not been addressed.


     However, on January 28, 1980, the two metropolitans addressed a letter to Auxentius entitled “The Correct Road that will lead out of the Dead-End”, in which they suggested that ROCOR be asked to act as mediators between the “Callistites” and “Auxentiites”. And they put forward a second suggestion in case this first one was rejected: “that all the bishops should abdicate. We shall all live private lives from now on… Three hieromonks known for their morality, decency and faith, preferably from Mount Athos, should be consecrated as bishops to feed and administer the Church by those bishops who took no part in the coups. In this way all the divisions, personality struggles and counter-accusations will cease, and the troubled people of the True Orthodox Christians will be united… We personally, for the sake of the Church and the spiritual unity of the flock, will be the first to give our places over to the new spiritual leaders and live private lives. We pray that all the others will follow us…”[160]


     It is a pity that neither of these suggestions was acted upon. Instead, on September 16, the Auxentiite Synod removed Metropolitan Chrysostom from his see in Thessalonica and on October 23 raised Bishop Euthymius to the rank of metropolitan to take his place. However, the majority of the flock in Northern Greece continued to remain faithful to Metropolitan Chrysostom; and on November 23 tens of priests from Katerini to Messoropi to Sidirokastron left the Auxentiites and joined Metropolitan Chrysostom.[161]


     In 1981 the Auxentiite Synod decided to remove the penalties it had imposed on Metropolitans Acacius and Chrysostom. Then, in the next year, it reimposed them. Then the Synod itself split, with one part remaining with Auxentius and the other following the leadership of Metropolitan Gerontius of Piraeus. Bishop Macarius, who likes to dwell in detail on all the other divisions, passed this one over very hastily: “In the meantime a division broke out, the Lord alone knows for what reason He allowed it, in the canonical [according to Macarius: Auxentiite] Holy Synod. I don’t think it is necessary to spend any more time on this short division…”[162]


     However, this “short division” related to an issue that was to become increasingly important – that of the legal corporations. Now the issue of corporations was important because Churches as such are not registered in Greece with the single exception of the new calendarist State Church. So the only way any religious community can acquire legal status and some kind of legal protection (apart from the general protection provided by freedom of worship) is through registering as an association, corporation or foundation.[163]


     Bishop Photius writes: “In the beginning, there existed the corporation ‘The General Fund of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece’, which had control of about 25 churches. It was under the control of the Auxentiite-Gerontians, who in the period 1971-1976 had removed from the board the four hierarchs – Acacius, Auxentius, Peter and Gabriel – who disagreed with them. In 1979, with the coup, the Auxentiite-Gerontians removed from the ‘General Fund’ all those who had taken part in the coup. Thus Callistus of Corinth, Anthony of Megara, Cyprian of Orope, Maximus of Magnesia, Callinicus of Achaia, Matthew of Oinoe, Germanus of Aiolia, Calliopius of Pentapolis, Mercurius of Knossus and Callinicus of the Twelve Islands were removed from the board of the ‘General Fund’ and founded the corporation ‘the Greek Church of the True Orthodox Christians’. More accurately: they were inscribed into an already existing corporation having the same name, which had been founded by Calliopius many years before.[164]


     “In June, 1983, the hierarchs Maximus of Magnesia (from now on ‘of Demetrias’) and Callinicus of the Twelve Islands left the Antonio-Callistites and joined the Auxentiites. They were received through cheirothesia (whose content must have been a simple prayer of forgiveness).[165] The same happened later with Germanus of Aiolia. These three were removed from the corporation ‘The Greek Church of the True Orthodox Christians’. The Auxentiite-Gerontians did not inscribe them into the ‘General Fund’.


     “In the same year a struggle broke out between the Auxentiites and Gerontius for the control of the ‘General Fund’. Gerontius emerged as the winner from the struggle…”[166]


     The Callistites also began to split up, dividing over the old ecclesiological question whether the new calendarists had valid sacraments or not. As we have seen, in 1983 three metropolitans – Maximus, Germanus and Callinicus of the Twelve Islands – joined Auxentius. In 1984 four other metropolitans – Anthony, Callinicus of Achaia, Matthew and Calliopius – joined the Gerontians. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Cyprian was giving communion to new calendarists on the grounds that the new calendarist church was “not yet condemned”[167] and therefore still the “Mother Church” of the Old Calendarists. This disillusioned Metropolitan Callistus, who had always maintained the official view of the True Orthodox Church of Greece since 1935 that the new calendarists had no sacraments. So he retired to his monastery, where he died in isolation in 1986…[168]


The Italian and Portuguese Churches


     In June, 1984, Auxentius consecrated a second Portuguese bishop, James, without the knowledge of part of his Synod. “Auxentius had promised his clergy that he would call them and listen to their opinions before any episcopal consecration. Therefore, in order to bring about this consecration, he summoned a few of them (those whom he wanted) and decided, in spite of the reasonable objections of two or three clerics, that Hieromonk James should be elected as assistant bishop to Bishop Gabriel of Lisbon.”[169]


     Not content with this uncanonicity, Auxentius proceeded to another. “Both Auxentius and Gabriel had promised before God, the hierarchs and the priests present at that time that James would remain as Gabriel’s assistant, so that he would not be able to take part in the consecration of another bishop with Gabriel. However, in October, 1984, we were informed to our astonishment that the two Portuguese ‘bishops’ had consecrated yet another Portuguese bishop and two Italians, with the blessings and prayers of Auxentius,”[170] and the participation of Metropolitans Gerasimus, Maximus, Germanus and Athanasius of Larissa. One of the new bishops, the Italian Gabriel of Aquileia, turned out to be a fervent supporter, if not worshipper, of the fascist dictator Mussolini![171]


     Moreover, Auxentius – acting completely on his own this time, now gave this new group a “Tome of Autonomy”![172]


     In 1987 this newly “autonomous” Church split up, with the Metropolitan Eulogius of Milan being received into the Polish Orthodox Church.[173]


     In 1990 Metropolitan Gabriel followed, claiming that he had not known that Auxentius confessed that the new calendarists had no grace, which, he said, was a “heretical opinion”. He took with him two bishops, 60 parishes and about 80,000 laity. Soon this Portuguese church was practising a particularly strange form of ecumenism.[174]


     After Gabriel’s death, Bishop Joao was elected metropolitan and confirmed by the Polish Synod. Subsequently, the Polish Church, alarmed by the eccentric practices of the Portuguese diocese, excised it from their communion.[175]


     In 1993 the “Synod of Milan” joined the “Patriarchate of Kiev” led by the KGB agent Philaret Denisenko, and was given yet another “Tome of Autonomy” by them…[176]


 The Union of 1985 and the Tsakos Affair


     By this time the Church was disintegrating so fast, and with such evidently terrible consequences for all the faithful, that the Auxentiite and Gerontian Synods (which now included most of the defunct Callistite Synod) decided to cast aside their differences and unite. And so on January 4/17, 1985, they came together and agreed: (1) to recognise the consecrations of 1979 on both sides, (2) to remove the penalties they had placed on each other, and (3) remove the accusations they had cast against each other.


     The reunited Synod of 17 bishops comprised: Archbishop Auxentius and Metropolitans Gerontius of Piraeus, Callinicus of Phthiotis, Anthony of Megara, Maximus of Demetrias, Callinicus of Corinth, Matthew of Oinoe, Germanus of Aitolia, Calliopius of Pentapolis, Callinicus of the Dodecanese, Euthymius of Thessalonica, Athanasius of Larissa, Stephen of Chios, Maximus of Cephalonia, Athanasius of Acharnae, Gerasimus of Thebes and Justin of Euripus.[177]


     It should be noted that the original “rebels” against the Auxentiite Synod, Metropolitans Acacius, Chrysostom, Gabriel and Peter, still refrained from joining this union, fearing that it simply covered up crimes, and would soon disintegrate. They were soon to be proved right…


     More surprising, even Bishop Macarius criticises the union, saying: “Immeasurable grief takes hold of my heart”. Why? Because the recognition of the consecrations on both sides meant that the small group of formerly Callistite bishops whom he blames for subsequent events – especially Callinicus of Achaia and Calliopius of Pentapolis – and who had not, unlike the other penitent Callistite bishops, received cheirothesia from Auxentius, were not forced to repent of having been schismatics and receive cheirothesia.


     But Bishop Macarius fails to see that if, as he believes, Auxentius was essentially blameless and all those who broke communion from him thereby became schismatics, then the group of Gerontian bishops to which he belonged (and belongs) – Callinicus of Phthiotis and Euthymius of Thessalonica – also became schismatics when they broke away from Auxentius in 1983, and should also have received cheirothesia. In fact, it could be argued that insofar as the Gerontians broke away from Auxentius over the question of who controlled certain church buildings – in other words, over “filthy lucre” (I Peter 5.2), their motivation was worse than that of the Callistites, and they deserved a more severe penalty. So, as the English proverb goes: “Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones…”


     In the opinion of the present writer, however, all sides - Callistites, Auxentiites and Gerontians – were guilty in different ways and to different degrees, and so union between them was possible without hypocrisy only on the basis of mutual forgiveness of sins, recognition of orders and removal of all bans. Or if, as Bishop Macarius asserts, this was impossible on canonical grounds, then the only solution was for all 17 bishops to retire…


     In any case, the union collapsed when it emerged that Auxentius had secretly consecrated Dorotheus Tsakos, a former new calendarist priest who had been defrocked by the new calendarists in 1968 for homosexuality. Tsakos had then twice been consecrated “metropolitan” by Old Calendarist episcopi vagantes. In July, 1985 he began to show priests an ordination certificate purporting to prove that he had been consecrated “Metropolitan of Sparta and all the Peloponnese”. The priests were troubled to see that the signatures of Archbishop Auxentius and Metropolitan Gerasimus of Thebes were on this document. Tsakos claimed that he had been consecrated by Metropolitans Gerasimus of Thebes and Maximus of Cephalonia on the orders of Archbishop Auxentius; but he refused to reveal (by covering the relevant part of the ordination certificate with his hand) on what date the consecration had taken place.


     On July 6/19, 1985, the Holy Synod met to discuss the matter. The three metropolitans involved denied that the consecration had taken place. Auxentius admitted that his signature might be genuine because he did sometimes sign blank ordination certificates to be filled in later (a revealing confession in itself!). But he denied – and always continued to deny – that he knew anything at all about the consecration of Tsakos. However, immediately after this meeting of the Synod, Gerasimus of Thebes confessed that the consecration had taken place as Tsakos had stated, and signed a written affidavit to that effect in the presence of eight other bishops. 


     Fr. Basil of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, has tried to minimise the significance of this confession by pointing out that Gerasimus twice confessed that he had participated in the consecration and twice denied it. (In his last deposition before a Greek court of justice, in January, 1986, he confirmed under oath that the consecration had taken place on July 5, 1985.) Moreover, Gerasimus and the other witnesses were inconsistent in the date they ascribe to the event. Therefore, writes Fr. Basil, “what is the value of such depositions, made by false witnesses who contradict and refute themselves?… Which one of all these written depositions says the truth? When did the consecration take place? In 1983? In 1984? In 1985? We admit that we see no possibility of finding any clue. In any case, it seems that the investigative committee ‘probably’ had the same difficulty.”[178]


     Holy Transfiguration Monastery asks: “What is the validity of such depositions, made by witnesses who contradict and refute themselves?”[179] But is it not usual for a criminal caught red-handed in a criminal act to lie and then to change his testimony when his lie is exposed? In any case, why should Gerasimus have admitted to the crime even once if he was innocent? Moreover, there were other eyewitness testimonies confirming Gerasimus’ guilt. One of these was the Reader Pericles Tsakiris, whom the translator of Fr. Basil’s letter rather furtively and obliquely seeks to blacken in a footnote.


     As a result of their inquiries the committee came to the following conclusions, which any unprejudiced observer must agree with: (a) the consecration of Dorotheus Tsakos did take place, at the hands of Metropolitans Maximus and Gerasimus, and on the orders of Archbishop Auxentius; (b) the date was probably after Pascha, 1985 (which conclusion was confirmed by Gerasimus’ last written deposition); and (c) the participants in the event, having been sworn to secrecy by Auxentius, lied to the Holy Synod and for fairly obvious reasons tried to obscure the date of the event.


     Fr. Basil goes on to claim that before the investigative committee could complete its work, the seventeen bishops who eventually defrocked Auxentius had created a schism. Therefore, he says, even if the consecration did take place, it is not Auxentius but his accusers who are the guilty ones!


     This is the exact opposite of the truth! The fact of the matter is that in September, while the investigating committee was still carrying out its work and interrogating witnesses (as far as they could, for Auxentius and Maximus refused to cooperate in any way), a group of Auxentiite bishops decided to declare the affair of Dorotheus Tsakos “closed”, regarding “every attempt to revive it as anticanonical and an attack on the Church”. They also declared that the invitation to the metropolitans to give evidence to the investigating committee the next day was “anticanonical”, “parasynagogical” and “counter to the will of the Holy Synod” - although the Holy Synod had appointed the investigating committee only two months before!


     It is interesting to note which bishops signed this astonishing attempt to silence the work of the investigating committee: the oath-breaking and Mussolini-loving Portuguese and Italians Gabriel, James, Eulogius, Theodore and Gregory, who were not even members of the Holy Synod; Auxentius, Athanasius, Maximus and Germanus, who had participated in the uncanonical consecrations of the Portuguese and Italians and (in the case of Auxentius and Maximus) Tsakos; and the Americans Paisius and Vincent, who had been closely associated with Auxentius in the early 1980s (for example, in the Auxentiite union with the Free Serbs in 1982) and later joined the new calendarists.


     In other words, these bishops who were now trying to stop the work of the investigating committee were in essence the same group of bishops who had been associates of Auxentius before the union of January, 1985, and had caused such damage to the Church before that date.


     In spite of this provocation, the investigating bishops patiently continued their work. They invited Auxentius to appear before the Synod three times, but he refused. Then Auxentius, anticipating the announcement of his deposition, formed an “anti-Synod” and called on the president of the Synodical Court, Metropolitan Gerontius, to appear before a five-member pseudo-Synod to answer a false charge of having married two persons of the same sex in 1981! Gerontius convincingly refuted this charge (which has never, to our knowledge, been brought up again). Finally, on October 22, Auxentius, Maximus, Gerasimus, Athanasius and Germanus were deposed for “consecrating” Tsakos, for lying to the Synod and for creating a schism.[180]


     Even Bishop Macarius admits that Auxentius’s actions in this period were indefensible, but characteristically chooses not to go into detail on a matter that clearly embarrasses him, writing that Auxentius and the bishops that still remained loyal to him “undertook a series of hurried and uncanonical defrockings of many of our hierarchs.”[181]


     The reason he is so reticent is that one of the hierarchs defrocked by Auxentius was Macarius’ fellow-worker, Metropolitan Euthymius of Thessalonica, whom Auxentius accused of initiating his trial and deposition in order to avoid investigation of moral charges against himself: “while an order was given that a judicial examination should be put into operation in order to elucidate the accusations against the moral situation of Metropolitan Euthymius Orphanos, they turned round and incompetently initiated an examination against us to see whether we had indeed proceeded to nominate and consecrate Archimandrite Dorotheus Tsakos as Metropolitan of Patras…” Auxentius defrocked Euthymius on October 31, 1985 (¹ 2137/18) for “factionalism, conspiracy and rebellion”. Also defrocked was his elder, Iakovos Papadelis, “on the basis of accusations of moral falls against him by Athonites”.[182]


     And yet in spite of this Bishop Macarius vehemently rejects the validity of Auxentius’ defrocking by – among others – his own party of Gerontius, Callinicus and Euthymius!


     And some years later, in 1997, his Synod (headed at that time by Callinicus of Phthiotis and now, in 2005, by Macarius himself) declared that “the altercations during the year 1985 between the blessedly reposed hierarchs Auxentius and Gerontius arose from the plots of third parties and… the verdicts of both are uncanonical and invalid… It is understood that we recognize and also bless all the priestly services and other sacred ecclesiastical actions of the aforementioned Archbishop and Metropolitans, except the ordinations which they performed after 1985 to the present, which we reserve the right to examine upon the petition of the ordinands.”[183]


     However, this makes no sense. If, as Bishop Macarius asserts time and time again, Auxentius was the last true archbishop of the True Orthodox Christians (before himself), and he remained true throughout the stormy period 1979-1985, and his defrocking in 1985 was uncanonical, then he (Macarius) condemns himself and his own party on at least three counts: (1) for breaking with Auxentius over the issue of the legal corporation in 1983, (2) for unjustly defrocking Auxentius for the consecration of Tsakos, and (3) for remaining in communion with Euthymius after Auxentius defrocked him and his elder. But Macarius wishes to exonerate both Auxentius (although he admits that his actions in 1985 were wrong) and himself and his party – while laying all the blame on mysterious “plots of third parties”.


     Returning now to Fr. Basil’s defence of Auxentius, he seeks to demonstrate, from the writings of the Holy Fathers and the history of the Church, that Orthodox Christians are not allowed to break communion with their lawful ecclesiastical authority unless that authority has proclaimed heresy, and even if that authority has committed flagrant crimes. This is true – so long as the possibility of bringing the sinning archbishop to trial exists. But Fr. Basil appears to reject the possibility that metropolitans can bring their archbishop to trial for any other charge than heresy. In this opinion he is mistaken. There have been many occasions in Church history when archbishops have been defrocked by their fellow bishops in accordance with the Holy Canons for transgressions other than heresy. If such were not the case, then as long as the archbishop did not proclaim heresy he could commit murder and adultery and remain first-hierarch of the Church – which is halfway to Papism…


A New Florinite Archbishop


     In November, 1985, Metropolitan Gerontius approached Metropolitan Chrysostom and invited him to the join the Synod that had been purged of Auxentius and his supporters. Chrysostom replied in a conciliatory manner, thanked Gerontius “for your recognition of the righteousness of our (four bishops’) break of relations with the Synod”, but insisted on the fulfilment of two conditions before he could join: “the removal of Bishop Euthymius from my diocese” and the seeking of the written opinion of theologians on the degree to which “economy” (condescension) could be employed with regard to the earlier canonical questions that had not yet been resolved. This was necessary “in view of the extremely detailed deadlock in which our Holy Struggle has come…”


     The opinions of six theologians (three priests and three laymen) were sought. They said that the four bishops – Acacius, Chrysostom, Gabriel and Peter – could join the Synod led by Gerontius only if certain conditions were fulfilled. One these was that the new president of the Synod should not be any bishop who had been involved in the Callistite coup or Auxentiite counter-coup of 1979. This was an eminently reasonable condition, since all of the participants in the coup and counter-coup of 1979, not to mention the Gerontian schism of 1983, had besmirched their reputations, and would not have had the authority to unite the Church for long. The new archbishop could only come from one of the four bishops – Acacius, Chrysostom, Gabriel and Peter - who had taken no part in these events, but who had pointed out the need for a cleansing of the Church from the tares sown by Auxentius. This need was now, belatedly, recognised by all.


     Of these four bishops, Metropolitan Peter, as living in America and as having rejected the encyclical of 1974, was clearly not a candidate. And he joined the Synod first. Thereby, it must be admitted, he created another problem for the new archbishop, whoever he might be, in that he would have to see that Metropolitan Peter conformed to the 1974 encyclical…[184]


     Finally, in January, 1986, Metropolitan Chrysostom joined, and was elected archbishop by ten votes to six. It will be remembered that Chrysostom had been elected as second candidate for the episcopate (after Acacius Pappas) as far back as the pan-clerical congress in April, 1957.[185] So there was a certain historical justice in his being elected archbishop now, some thirty years later.


     However, Bishop Macarius writes: “My conscience forces me to condemn the election of Chrysostom as archbishop as totally uncanonical because, first and foremost, it was made as a result of the uncanonical defrocking of the canonical Archbishop Auxentius, whose throne Chrysostom seized while the archbishop still alive, making him an adulterous free-rider…”


     Macarius here fails to mention the rather important fact that Chrysostom took no part in the defrocking of Auxentius. That was done by Gerontius and his faction – that is, Bishop Macarius’ own faction! As for “seizing” the throne, what kind of “seizure” are we talking about when Chrysostom in no way imposed himself, but was first invited by Gerontius to join the Synod, and was then elected in a perfectly canonical election?! So if Chrysostom was an “adulterous free-rider”, the Gerontian bishops were those who prepared the bedchamber and even invited the lovers into it!


     “Secondly,” continues Bishop Macarius, “during the proceedings of the election, there were present two Metropolitans of Thessalonica, Chrysostom and Euthymius, and both of them voted as such, something that is totally contrary to the Holy Canons.”[186]


     This is a more just accusation. Nevertheless, it may well be asked: whose fault was it that there were two metropolitans of Thessalonica? Chrysostom had been made metropolitan of the city much earlier than Euthymius, and the Gerontians, as Chrysostom noted, had recognised the justice of his struggle against corruption in the Church. Clearly, therefore, if one of the two metropolitans was an adulterer bishop, it was Euthymius!


     The issue was the more serious in that the flock in Thessalonica was divided, with one part refusing to accept Euthymius because of his reputation – throughout Greece - as a homosexual. It was agreed that the dissident parishes in Thessalonica should be allowed to commemorate Chrysostom for one year while they got used to the idea that they were now in communion with Euthymius. However, when the year was over, they had still not got used to it, and refused to commemorate Euthymius.


     Clearly, the only solution to the problem was a canonical ecclesiastical trial of Euthymius.…


     Almost immediately the problem of the legal corporations raised its head again. 8 hierarchs – Gerontius of Piraeus, Callinicus of Phthiotis, Euthymius of Thessalonica, Stephen of Chios, Athanasius of Acharnae, Justin of Euripus, Paisius of America and Vincent of Aulona (the last two joined a little later) – belonged to the board of the corporation “General Fund of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece”. 4 hierarchs – Anthony of Megara, Callinicus of Achaia, Matthew of Oinoe and Calliopius of Pentapolis – belonged to the board of the corporation “Greek Church of the True Orthodox Christians”. The remaining 4 hierarchs – Archbishop Chrysostom, Peter of Astoria, Maximus of Magnesia and Callinicus of the Twelve Islands – belonged to the board of no corporation.


     Overtures towards a union of the two corporations were made by the board of the “Greek Church of the True Orthodox Christians” to the board of the “General Fund” – but these overtures were rejected.[187]


     The outlines of the schism of 1995 can already be discerned in these figures. Clearly, the faction headed by Metropolitan Gerontius, and including the notorious Euthymius, could control the Synod if it wanted, for it had half the votes in the Synod and control of many more churches than the others through the “General Fund”.


     Much would depend on how Metropolitan Gerontius used his power. And much would depend on how the other members of his faction would act when he died and they ceased to have the majority in the Synod. Metropolitan Gerontius died in 1994, on the eve of the schism…


The Ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian


     As we have seen, in 1984 Metropolitan Cyprian, the last heir of the Callistite coup d’état, and the only one who did not in one way or another repent of it, formed a new “Synod of Resistors” with Metropolitan Giovanni of Sardinia, who had been consecrated by the Callistites in 1982.[188]


     Cyprian’s position was based on a new ecclesiology which is worth examining. “The Orthodox Church as a whole is unerring and invincible,” he writes. “It is possible, however, for Christians and for local Churches to fall in faith; that is to say, it is possible for them to suffer spiritually and for one to see a certain ‘siege of illness within the body of the Church’, as St. John Chrysostom says. It is possible for Christians to separate and for ‘divisions’ to appear within the Church, as the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians. It is possible for local Churches into fall into heresy, as occurred in the ancient Orthodox Church of the West, which fell into the heresies of Papism and Protestantism and finally into the panheresy of ecumenism.


     “Spiritual maladies within the Church are cured either by repentance or by judgement. Until the judgement or expulsion of a heretic, schismatic, or sinner – either by the Church or, in a more direct manner, by the Lord -, the opinion of a believer cannot be a substitute for the sentence of the Church and of her Lord, Jesus Christ, even if the resolution of a situation be prolonged until the Second Coming. As is well known, in the Scriptures, the Church is likened to a field replete with ‘wheat’ and ‘tares’, in accordance with Divine and ecclesiastical economy. Sinners and those who err in correctly understanding the Faith, yet who have not been sentenced by ecclesiastical action, are simply considered ailing members of the Church. The Mysteries [sacraments] of these unsentenced members are valid as such, according to the Seventh Ecumenical Council, as, for example, the President of the Synod, St. Tarasios, remarks: ‘[their] Ordination’ ‘is from God’. By contrast, should expositors of heresy punish the Orthodox opposed to them, these punishments are ecclesiastically invalid and groundless ‘from the time their preaching began’ (i.e., from the moment they began preaching heresy), as St. Celestine of Rome wrote and as the Third Ecumenical Synod agreed.”[189]


     When a bishop preaches heresy “publicly” “and bareheaded in the Church”, continues the metropolitan, the Orthodox Christians should immediately separate themselves from him, in accordance with the 31st Apostolic Canon and the 15th Canon of the First-and-Second Synod of Constantinople. Such action by the Orthodox does not introduce schism, but rather serves to protect the Church from schisms and divisions. “He who preaches heresy or he who brings innovation into the Church divides her and abrogates her oneness or unity. He who opposes the preaching of heresy, or who separates himself from it, is eager to save the oneness or unity of the Church. The aim of opposition and separation is the combatting of heresy, the defense of the Orthodox Faith, and the preservation of the unity of the Orthodox Church, indeed of Orthodoxy itself.”[190]


     So far so good. However, at this point, as he turns to apply these principles to the heresy of ecumenism and its forerunner, the innovation of the new calendar, the metropolitan makes some distinctly controversial statements. “With regard to the innovation in the festal calendar, Orthodox are divided into two parts: into those who are ailing in Faith and those who are healthy, into innovators and opposers – into followers of innovation, whether in knowledge or in ignorance, and those opposed, who have separated themselves from heresy, in favor of Orthodoxy. The latter are strugglers for oneness among the ‘divided’, as the Seventh Ecumenical Synod calls those who so separated for the Orthodox unity of the Church. The followers of the festal calendar innovation have not yet been specifically judged in a Pan-Orthodox fashion, as provided for by the Orthodox Church. As St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain writes, the violator of established precepts is considered sentenced, insofar as he is judged by ‘the second entity (which is the council or synod).’ Since 1924, the innovators have been awaiting judgement and shall be judged on the basis of the decisions of the holy Synods, both Oecumenical and local, and, to be sure, on the basis of the ecclesiastical pronouncements of the sixteenth century against what were then Papal proposals for changes in the festal calendar. In this respect, those who have walled themselves off from the innovators have actually broken communion ‘before [a] conciliar or synodal verdict,’ as is allowed in the Fifteenth Canon of the First-and-Second Synod. That is to say, the innovators are still unsentenced. Consequently, their Mysteries are valid…”[191]


     “Every innovationist member of the divided Greek Church is capable of changing over to opposition against the Ecumenist innovation. This can be accomplished through repentance… A return to Orthodoxy can also take place through a formal renunciation of heresy… Therefore, the Orthodox Tradition of the Holy Oecumenical Synods and of the Holy Fathers of the Orthodox Church prescribes that that part of the divided Greek Church that is ailing in Faith be received by one of the foregoing means of repentance and returned to the ranks of Orthodoxy. For they are not condemned schismatic or heretical Christians, but members of the Church who have not yet been brought to trial.”[192]


     That the innovators “are still unsentenced”, as Metropolitan Cyprian supposes, is a historical mistake. In May, 1935, all the truly Orthodox (i.e. Old Calendar) Metropolitans of the Church of Greece came together and synodically condemned the new calendarists as schismatics without the grace of sacraments: “Those who now administer the Church of Greece have divided the unity of Orthodoxy through the calendar innovation, and have split the Greek Orthodox People into two opposing calendar parts. They have not only violated an Ecclesiastical Tradition which was consecrated by the Seven Ecumenical Councils and sanctioned by the age-old practice of the Eastern Orthodox Church, but have also touched the Dogma of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Therefore those who now administer the Greek Church have, by their unilateral, anticanonical and unthinking introduction of the Gregorian calendar, cut themselves off completely from the trunk of Orthodoxy, and have declared themselves to be in essence Schismatics in relation to the Orthodox Churches which stand on the foundation of the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Orthodox laws and Traditions.”[193]


     Concerning the implications of this declaration with regard to the question of grace, the metropolitans made themselves crystal clear in an encyclical issued on June 8/21, 1935: “We recommend to all those who follow the Orthodox Calendar that they have no spiritual communion with the schismatic church of the schismatic ministers, from whom the grace of the All-Holy Spirit has fled, because they have violated the decisions of the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the Pan-Orthodox Councils which condemned the Gregorian calendar. That the schismatic Church does not have Grace and the Holy Spirit is affirmed by St. Basil the Great, who says the following: ‘Even if the schismatics have erred about things which are not Dogmas, since the head of the Church is Christ, according to the divine Apostle, from Whom all the members live and receive spiritual increase, they have torn themselves away from the harmony of the members of the Body and no longer are members [of that Body] or have the grace of the Holy Spirit. Therefore he who does not have it cannot transfer it to others.’”[194]


     Now some have argued that this conciliar decision was later rejected by the leader of the Greek Old Calendarists, Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina, and that it therefore represents only an “extremist”, “Matthewite” position. However, the doctrine that schismatics have no grace is not a specifically “Matthewite” position, but is based on many canons and patristic sayings, notably the First Canonical Epistle of St. Basil the Great. In fact, as Bishop Ephraim of Boston points out, the new calendarists and the Moscow Patriarchate have adopted a distinctly “Matthewite” position in relation to the True Orthodox, declaring that they have no grace of sacraments – while at the same time declaring that the Western heretics do have grace![195] In any case, it is not true that Metropolitan Chrysostom renounced the Council of 1935. From 1937 to 1950 he appeared to doubt it, introducing the notion (unknown in patristic literature, as Bishop Ephraim again correctly points out), of “potential schism”. But in 1950 he repented of these doubts and openly and unambiguously returned to the confession of 1935. Some have said that in private correspondence he claimed to have been pushed into making this confession by “extremists”, that he made it for the sake of unity and that it did not represent his true thinking. I do not believe that such a great confessor could have dissembled in his confession of faith. But in any case, even if he had private doubts, it is his public confession that we must judge him by – and that, from 1950 to the end of his life, was thoroughly Orthodox.


     Now Metropolitan Cyprian does not mention the Council of 1935. Nor does he mention Metropolitan Chrysostomos’ encyclical of 1950, nor the Old Calendarist Council under the presidency of Archbishop Auxentius in 1974 (when Metropolitan Cyprian himself was under his omophorion), which explicitly declared that the new calendarist ecumenists had no grace of sacraments. The reason for these omissions cannot be that he does not know of their existence. The reason can only be – although he does not write this explicitly – that he rejects their validity, or at any rate the validity of their decisions in relation to the ecumenists. To understand why he does this, let us now turn to his theory of the Councils and their relationship to heretics.


     Of central importance in Metropolitan Cyprian’s argument is his concept of the “Unifying Synod”, that is, a Synod that unites the heretics to Orthodoxy, such as the Seventh Ecumenical Council. By implication – although, again, he does not state this explicitly here – a Synod that simply condemns the heretics without uniting them to Orthodoxy (such as the decisions of the Greek Old Calendarist Councils of 1935 and 1974 against the new calendarists, or the 1983 anathema of the Russian Church Abroad against Ecumenism) is of less significance and is not in fact competent to expel heretics from the Church.


     Indeed, it is difficult to see, according to Metropolitan Cyprian’s theory, how or when any heretic has been expelled from the Church. For if, before the convening of a Unifying Synod, the heretics are not outside the Church but simply an ailing faction within the Church, and if a Unifying Synod does not expel heretics from the Church but simply unites the ailing and the healthy parts of the same Church in a closer union, there seems to be no mechanism for the expulsion of heretics from the Church altogether – in other words, there are no Separating or Expelling Synods. It would not be inconsistent with his theory to suppose that those heretics who refuse to be unified by the Unifying Synod are thereby expelled from the Church altogether; but this is not stated explicitly (at any rate, in the position paper under review), so heavy is the emphasis on the supposed fact that these Synods unified rather than expelled the heretics.


     Metropolitan Cyprian develops his concept of a “Unifying Council” as follows: “During the reign of the iconoclastic innovation, for example, it was impossible for an Orthodox Synod of the entire Church to be convened. For this reason, such a Synod was convened when the iconoclastic heresy was no longer in power, that is, in 787, as the Seventh Oecumenical Synod of union. The same Seventh Oecumenical Synod writes through its Fathers that the Synod took place ‘so that we might change the discord of controversy into concord, that the dividing wall of enmity might be removed and that the original rulings of the Catholic [Orthodox] Church might be validated.’ That is, it was convened so that the differing factions of the Church, divided up to the time of the Synod – the Iconoclasts disagreeing with the Orthodox belief and the Orthodox opposed to the iconoclastic heresy -, might be united by means of an agreement within Orthodoxy.”


     This is inaccurate both as regards the Ecumenical Councils in general and as regards the Seventh Council in particular. First, there were some Ecumenical Councils that took place without the participation of heretics – the Second and the Fifth. According to the reasoning of Metropolitan Cyprian, these must be considered not to be “Unifying” and therefore lacking in full validity! And yet there is no “more valid” Council in Orthodox history than the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Moreover, after several of the Ecumenical Councils many of the heretics were not only not “united”, but remained in bitter enmity to the Orthodox Church. Thus there were many Arians after the First Council, many Nestorians after the Third and many Monophysites after the Fourth – in fact, all three heresies are very numerous to the present day. Even the Seventh Council was only temporarily “unifying”, since the iconoclastic heresy broke out again some years later. Thus according to the reasoning of Metropolitan Cyprian, we must eliminate the First, Third and Fourth Ecumenical Councils from the category of “Unifying Council”.


     Secondly, even those Councils which took place with the participation of heretics did not receive them until they had renounced their heresies. They made it quite clear that the heretics were outside the Church until such a renunciation. However, if, as Metropolitan Cyprian asserts, heretics cannot be considered to be outside the Church until they have been condemned at a “Unifying Council” in which they themselves participated, then not only were the Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites and others still “members of the Church weak in faith” until the Unifying Councils that condemned them, but, as Hieromonk Nectarius (Yashunsky) points out, “we shall have to recognize the Roman Catholics and Protestants as ‘as yet uncondemned members of the Church’, because since the time of their separation there has not been (and until ‘their union in Orthodoxy’ there cannot be) a Council of the united (undivided Universal Church) in common with them!”[196]


      “As far as the Seventh Council is concerned,” continues Hieromonk Nectarius, “not only did it not consider the iconoclasts to be a part of the Church, but they themselves did not pretend to be such.” In support of this statement, Fr. Nectarius quotes from the Acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. “These are the words of the uniting iconoclasts. Thus Basil, bishop of Ancyra, said: ‘As far as I was able, I investigated the question of the icons and converted to the Holy Catholic Church with complete conviction.’ Theodore, bishop of Myra, said: ‘... I beseech God and your holiness to unite me, the sinful one, to the Holy Catholic Church.’ (pp. 41, 43 in the edition of the Kazan Theological Academy). ”


     And here are the witnesses of the holy Fathers of the Council: “His Holiness Patriarch Tarasius said: 'What is now to be our relationship to this heresy that has again arisen in our time?' John, the most beloved of God, locum tenens of the apostolic throne in the east, said: 'Heresy divides every man from the Church.' The Holy Council said: 'That is evident.' The Holy Council said: 'Let the bishops who are standing before us read their renunciations, insofar as they are now converting to the Catholic Church.’“ (p. 48).


     Thirdly, the exceptional importance of Ecumenical or “Unifying” Councils should not lead us to cast doubt on local Councils’ authority to expel heretics from the Church. Many of the heretics of the early centuries were first cast out of the Church by local Councils. For example, Arius was cast out by a local Council presided over by St. Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, in 321 and again in 323 (the First Ecumenical Council did not take place until 325). Again, local Councils convened at Rome condemned the Nestorians (under Pope St. Celestine), the Monothelites (under Pope St. Martin) and the Iconoclasts (under Pope Gregory III) – in each case before the convening of the Third, Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, which never disputed the validity of these local Councils, but rather confirmed their decisions.


     Thus when the heretical bishop Theodosius in conversation with St. Maximus the Confessor disputed the validity of the local Council under St. Martin that condemned the Monothelites on the grounds that it was not convened by an emperor, St. Maximus replied that the validity of a Council depended on its recognising “the true and immutable dogmas”, not on who convened it or how general it was. Again, when the same saint was asked in the Emperor’s palace why he was not in communion with the Throne of Constantinople, he replied: “… They have been deposed and deprived of the priesthood at the local council which took place recently in Rome. What Mysteries, then, can they perform? Or what spirit will descend upon those who are ordained by them?”[197]


     Again, Bishop Theophanes the Recluse points out that before the start of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, its president-to-be, St. Tarasius, bewailed the fact that “we (the iconoclastic Church of Constantinople) are being anathematised by them (the other Local Churches in Local Councils) every day”.[198]


     If local Councils did not have the authority to expel heretics from the Church, we should have to condemn many local Councils for exceeding their competency and assuming an authority that did not belong to them. These would include many of the Councils of the Early Church, which expelled such heretics as Marcion and Sabellius; the local Councils of the Great Church of Constantinople between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries that expelled the Roman Catholics; and the Councils of the Russian Church presided over by Patriarch Tikhon that anathematized the communists and their co-workers in 1918 and the renovationist heretics in 1923. However, the Church, which has the mind of Christ, has accepted all of these acts as lawful and valid. To think otherwise is to suppose that for the last several hundred years the Church has – God forbid! - lost her God-given power to bind and to loose since the convening of the last Ecumenical or Pan-Orthodox Council! [199]


     In February, 1986, Archbishop Chrysostom’s Synod proceeded to defrock Metropolitan Cyprian and his Synod for creating a schism, for giving communion to new calendarists (“because he without discernment gives the Holy Mysteries of our Church to modernizing, schismatic and ecumenist new calendarists”) and for preaching that the new calendarists have grace of sacraments (“because he has fallen from the Orthodox faith… and embraced ecumenist false beliefs, namely, that the schismatic new-calendarists make up the unaltered One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church., which is the treasury of saving grace”).[200]


     The judgement points out that in September, 1984, after Cyprian had prayed with the ecumenist Patriarch Nicholas he had been summoned to give an account of himself, but had not appeared. Then, on September 19, he had been banned from serving for 40 days, but had continued to serve. Finally, on April 5, 1985 Cyprian and Giovanni of Sardinia had formed their own Synod and separated from the GOC Synod.


     However, Bishop Ambrose of Methone writes: “The accusation of ‘praying with the ecumenist Patriarch Nicholas’ is delightfully absurd. As I was present, I can witness what happened: One Sunday, when the Liturgy had already begun, the door of the altar opened and in tottered, totally unexpected, Patriarch Nicholas of Alexandria. He sat there until the end (he was by then almost blind) and in the sermon the Metropolitan mentioned his presence and expressed a prayer that God would enlighten him to condemn the ecumenist heresy – otherwise no-one outside would have known he was there. Afterwards he tottered off again. Should we have thrown the old man down the steps? When one reaches such a level of silliness, how can one take anything seriously? As to the 40 days’ suspension, we knew nothing of such a decision until afterwards, when I was given a copy of the document in Kenya, of all places, by a priest of Paisios, the rev. David Palchikoff, who had been given it be Bishop Vikentios during his visit to Africa a few weeks before.”[201]


     The Cyprianites contested the decision on procedural grounds, in that they had not been given notification of the trial[202], and could not be judged by the Chrysostomites anyway since they had never formed part of their Synod.


     More serious was the criticism that if Cyprian was defrocked for giving communion to new calendarists, why not Peter of Astoria also, since he also gave communion to new calendarists, considering them to be Orthodox? The problem became especially acute when, in May, 1994, Archimandrite Paul Stratigeas, chancellor of the diocese of Astoria, admitted in an interview to the New York National Herald: “I provide the Mysteries to the followers of the new calendar.” However, Archimandrite Paul sincerely repented, and later, as Metropolitan of Astoria in succession to Peter, decreed that new calendarists who came to church seeking communion must first have confession, and then, during confession, be instructed that they must repent of the heresies of the new calendarists and receive Chrismation.


     In 1997 Archpriest Lev Lebedev had a dispute with the Cyprianites on the question of grace. “This debate,” he wrote, “concerned a very important matter. The Synod of the Resisters of Metropolitan Cyprian has officially declared the the ecumenist churches are also grace-filled and the sacraments there valid. I understood (in the debate) better and deeper what they wanted to say. And they to a large extent took in my criticism. Vladyka Cyprian referred in particular to the opinion to the opinion of our Hieromartyr Cyril of Kazan, and affirmed that the sacraments are valid, but are to the condemnation of the conscious ecumenists, but are saving for the simple, ignorant people. But I said that insofar as, in this way, the grace of God works differently in the ecumenist churches from in the Orthodox who reject heresy, the Synod of Resisters must not and cannot make official declarations, neither about the presence of grace nor about the lack of grace in these churches. It is sufficient that he on principle has not Eucharistic communion with them and reproaches ecumenism as a heresy. Otherwise, the result is a great temptation for the Orthodox (especially in Russia) and a whole series of theoretical theological misunderstandings. The debate is not over. But I am prepared to ascribe the mistake of the Synod of Cyprian to the realm of ‘personal theological opinions’, which does not destroy my unity with them, since on the whole Cyprian himself and all his bishops and monks are undoubtedly people who think and live in a very Orthodox way!”[203]


     The Cyprianites continued to go their own way supported only by the Romanian Old Calendarists under Metropolitan Blaise, the Bulgarian Bishop Photius of Triaditsa[204] and (from 1994 until the early 2000s) ROCOR.  By 1992 the Romanians had two million believers, four bishops, eighty parishes, nine large monasteries and many smaller ones, making them by far the largest True Orthodox jurisdiction in the world. Moreover, in their leader, Metropolitan Glykerius, who died on June 15/28, 1985, they have one of the most saintly figures in twentieth-century Church history. In 1997, in response to numerous visions, his relics were uncovered and found “to be dissolved to bones, but full of fragrance”.[205] However, the Romanians had a stricter ecclesiology than the Cyprianites, chrismating new calendarists. So the question arises: why did they remain in communion with Cyprian and not with the other Greek Old Calendarists, to whom they were closer in terms of ecclesiology? The answer appeared to be that when the Callistite hierarchs made contact with the Romanians in the late 1970s, it was Cyprian who gave them help at a time of communist oppression. And for this they continued to be grateful. [206]


Boston Separates


     Metropolitans Acacius of Diauleia and Gabriel of the Cyclades had refrained from joining the Synod under Archbishop Chrysostom, and in a publication entitled An End to Silence (1986) they fiercely criticised their former colleague’s agreement to become archbishop.


     In retrospect, and in view of the collapse of the Synod again in 1995, it must be admitted that there was some justice in their criticism. The problems in the dioceses of Thessalonica and Astoria had not been resolved, and would not be resolved in the period 1985-1995. On the other hand, it could be argued that someone had to lead the remnants of the former Auxentiite Synod, and such a leader had to come from one of Metropolitans Acacius, Gabriel and Chrysostom, who alone had not participated in the sins of that Synod. And it was now the turn of Metropolitans Acacius and Gabriel to make a mistake, when, early in 1987, they received under their omophorion 40 mainly Greek-American parishes led by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston.


     When Metropolitan Philaret died on November 21, 1985, the Boston monastery immediately expressed its support for his successor, Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov), Thus on February 10, Archimandrite Panteleimon wrote: "The Synodal Church is a real standard of Orthodoxy.... Therefore, discerning where the Truth is found, we remain in unity under our bishops in the midst of many trials and temptations...because grace abides in the Synod.... We uphold our Synod primarily and foremostly as a standard of Orthodoxy.  All others have betrayed the Truth.  This was demonstrated of late by the election of our new Metropolitan.”[207]


     However, the same council which elected Metropolitan Vitaly also, writes Fr. Alexey Young, “appointed a special commission of two bishops to visit the Boston monastery and begin a private investigation into charges of sexual perversion. The commission presented its report at a meeting of the Synod on May 29, 1986, receiving testimony in person from four monks who had left the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. Fr. Panteleimon was present and denied the charges, but asked to be relieved of his position as abbot. The bishops granted his request, placing the monastery temporarily under Archbishop Anthony (Sinkevich) of Los Angeles and Southern California. The monks at the monastery in Boston, however, ignored this and elected one of their own – another monk who had also been charged with immorality – as abbot.


     “For the next several months, information and testimony continued to be gathered, with no predetermination of Panteleimon’s guilt or innocence. Looking back, the bishops may well feel that they should have hastened the investigation, for, during this period of time, an unprecedented explosion of protest erupted from the supporters of Fr. Panteleimon. The bishops were bombarded by hundreds of letters, petitions, phone calls, and personal visits – all of them protesting their ‘Elder’s’ innocence and the unfair, even ‘un-American’ way in which they believed his case was being handled.


     “Simultaneously, Fr. Panteleimon began to make public his own list of grievances, announcing that the bishops were, practically speaking, abandoning the Anathema against Ecumenism and beginning to compromise the Faith. Secret plans and negotiations, he charged, were being worked out with the Moscow Patriarchate so that the Church Abroad could unite with the Mother Church by 1988 (the millennium of the Baptism of Russia). According to Panteleimon, this meant that the hierarchs had become, or were in the process of becoming, heresiarchs, and that the faithful had better look to their souls! This was a complete reversal of his published views of only months before.


     “On November 25, 1986, Metropolitan Vitaly was asked by the Synod of Bishops to suspend Fr. Panteleimon and the abbot [Isaac] who had been uncanonically elected to succeed him, pending a canonical trial.[208] This was done on December 3; nine days later, Vitaly received a letter announcing that the monastery in Boston had left the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and was taking refuge under an unnamed Greek Old Calendar bishop.[209] Synod headquarters immediately declared this action to be ‘… a flagrant violation of the holy canons of the Church and… an attempt to avoid the consequences of any final decision a spiritual court might have made concerning the accusations [of immorality]… [This is an attempt] to flee from the spiritual authority of the Church’s hierarchy…’”[210] 


     In their defence, the Bostonites declared that they were fleeing the ecumenism of ROCOR, its relapse into its former lax ways in relation to the “World Orthodox” only a year after the anathema against ecumenism. In order to examine this defence, let us go back to the time of the anathema.


     The anathema was signed by all the ROCOR bishops and was entered into the Synodicon to be read on the Sunday of Orthodoxy each year. This was the achievement, within the Synod, especially of Metropolitan Philaret, the righteousness of his stand against ecumenism and the MP was revealed on November 8/21, 1998, when his body was found to be incorrupt.[211] However, he found very little support among his fellow-bishops, and was only rarely able to impose his will, especially on the West European diocese under Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, from which several priests and parishes fled in the 1970s. Even with the more conservative hierarchs he sometimes had problems. Thus he once ordered the sprinkling with holy water of the church in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, Jordanville, after Archbishop Averky had permitted Copts to serve there.[212]


     After Metropolitan Philaret’s death, a certain weakening in the confession of ROCOR is discernible, even if the contrast between the period before and after the metropolitan’s death is not as sharp as the Bostonites make it out to be. Thus early in 1986 Archbishop Anthony of Geneva blessed the French Mission of ROCOR under Archimandrite Ambroise (Frontier) to concelebrate with the new calendarists when they were in Greece, but not with the Old Calendarists. They considered this to be contrary to the 1983 anathema and wrote to him: “In sending your clergy to concelebrate with the ecumenists or new calendarists, you place them under this anathema, which is a grave error… When you say that your clergy who desire to concelebrate with the ecumenists or new calendarists must, beforehand, ask for your blessing, you remind (us) of a father of a family, who would permit his children who would wish to throw themselves into the fire, to do so.”[213]


     Again, in October, 1986, at a clergy conference of the Midwest Diocese, Bishop Alypius of Cleveland, standing next to the icon of the Mother of God of Kursk, declared that “in spite of all the difficulties occurring throughout world-wide Orthodoxy, our Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad does not judge any other jurisdiction as being without grace or in heresy.”[214]


     Still more seriously, at Christmas, 1986/87, Metropolitan Vitaly issued a dovish Nativity Epistle, declaring that the 1983 anathema was not of universal significance, but applied only to members of ROCOR who expressed ecumenist opinions. Of course, the anathema was issued by a Local Council, not an Ecumenical one. But, as we have seen, this by no means meant that, as Metropolitan Vitaly and the opponents of the anathema were trying to say, the anathema in fact had no power over anyone outside ROCOR – which was equivalent, in effect, to annulling it. The Bostonites seized on this as evidence of the fall of ROCOR.[215] But since the epistle was issued only after departure, it was not direct justification of that departure…


     In the opinion of the present writer, on the one hand the Bostonites did have a prima facie case for leaving ROCOR on the grounds of betrayal of the anathema against ecumenism. Moreover, it is clear that this was the decisive issue for many of the rank-and-file clergy and laity who followed them. On the other hand, the timing of the departure, the haste with which they left, and the abundant evidence of moral transgressions, makes it likely that the issue of ecumenism was not the real reason for the leaders’ flight, but rather a fig-leaf to cover their fear of conviction at their forthcoming trial.


     This is confirmed by Fr. Anthony Gavalas: “My position when we left the Synod was that we should commemorate no one until we saw our way clearly in the confusion. I was told that while this would be possible for the monastery, it would be destructive to the Parishes. Then, within a few hours, we were told that we must all go under Archbishop Acacius immediately so that the monastery would be covered in the face of suspensions and depositions of Frs. Panteleimon and Isaac, and I, of course, cooperated.”[216]


     Among the hierarchs, only Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) supported the Boston monks. The Synod, he believed had acted hastily in relation both to them and to the defrocking of his son, Archimandrite Anthony.[217] He was promptly sacked from his post of Secretary of the ROCOR Synod after over fifty years work at the centre of the Church administration.[218]


     Patrick Barrett considers that the schism could have been avoided if Bishop Gregory had still been at the helm: “Both Father Panteleimon and Father Isaac were prepared to step aside. True panic only hit the monastery and the parishes allied to it when the Synod refused to allow Father Justin to be named acting abbot. That’s when people began to believe that the synod’s true purpose was to seize the monastery. Then people began to think, well, they’ve eliminated Bishop Gregory and now they’re going after Father Panteleimon, so they’re obviously trying to take out everybody who opposes union with the MP. Bishop Gregory could have handled this situation easily. In fact, many of the people who ended up leaving ROCOR in 1986 were calling Bishop Gregory hoping for help or reassurance, but who was Bishop Gregory? By then, he was nobody to the Synod. Bishop Gregory had moral authority with the monastery and those parishes, with his help, the synod could even have removed Fathers Panteleimon and Isaac and still not lost the monastery and parishes.”[219]


     Be that as it may, the Bostonites fled to Metropolitans Acacius and Gabriel. However, in the summer of 1987, with the exception of Fr. Anthony Gavalas of Astoria, New York, all of the 40 parishes left the two metropolitans giving no canonical reason and came under the omophorion of Auxentius. Now it may be asked: why did the Bostonites not join Auxentius in the first place? The answer is clear: the crimes of Auxentius were known to Panteleimon, and more than one person who knew him well has testified that for several years before he joined Auxentius he considered him to be a traitor to Orthodoxy. It was because of this strongly expressed rejection of Auxentius that the Bostonites did not join him at the beginning, but instead joined the two independent metropolitans, who were not tainted with Auxentius' crimes.


     So far, an argument can be adduced in defence of the Bostonites’ actions. But then why, only six months later, did they leave the two metropolitans and join Auxentius? Again the answer is clear: because Metropolitan Gabriel, disturbed by the accusations against Panteleimon, had separated from Metropolitan Acacius. This meant that the Bostonites now had no possibility of achieving one of their principal aims – a bishop or bishops of their own for America. Auxentius’ Synod, on the other hand, was notoriously willing to consecrate new bishops. So it became expedient to keep silent about Auxentius’ crimes (which, according to witnesses, Fr. Panteleimon had been more than willing to condemn in previous years), and to seek refuge in this most unsafe haven.


     That the Bostonites were seeking of their bishop of their own is evident from a letter of Fr. Niketas Palassis to Fr. Anthony Gavalas: “Frankly, we were stunned and sorrowed by Metropolitan Gabriel’s departure. Actually, it appeared we had been detoured and led into a dead-end street. Without a second bishop to give us support and credibility, we face the prospect of being one of the hundreds of vaganti groups which flood our nation. Without at least a second bishop we can have no hope that the clergymen who are watching us so carefully will ever join with us. Conversations with several of them have confirmed that fact. They are not attracted to us with a single bishop…”[220] Further proof is provided by the letter of their secretary, dated July 2/15, 1987 to Metropolitan Acacius, in which he writes: “It is evident to all that without a hierarch who knows both English and Greek and who has sufficient theological training, the flock in America, which is constituted of both English and Greek-speaking faithful, cannot be properly served.”


     However, it was obvious that their bishop’s not knowing English was not a canonical reason for leaving him, so the Panteleimonites invented another reason. They claimed that in the last six months they had “formed a more precise picture of ecclesiastical matters [in Greece] which – to an especially greater extent in recent times – have become obscured under the prism of subjective judgements, or unverified information, and this because of the difficulties of communication between the New World and Greece. Thus, they have arrived at the conclusion and conviction that, today, the reasons for your position of protest and voluntary absence from the meetings of the Synod of Archbishop Auxentios have ceased.”[221]


     These statements are extremely vague – we are given no idea of what new facts emerged that could so radically change their opinion of Auxentius and prove his innocence. In truth, there were no such facts. The Bostonites were thoroughly acquainted with the Church situation in Greece; it was not new knowledge that had changed the situation but the departure of Metropolitan Gabriel from their Church.


     They had a further, even weaker argument. Pointing to Metropolitan Acacius’ recent statement that “if you are able to find hierarchs who have Apostolic succession, you should turn to them”, and his earlier statement that “the judgement, the choice and the formulation of your future course depends on you”[222], they interpreted this to mean that he had blessed them to join Auxentius.


     But Metropolitan Acacius’ extremely negative attitude towards Auxentius was well known to all. It was obvious that by a “hierarch who has Apostolic succession” he did not mean Auxentius. This was evident from the letter he wrote to his spiritual children when he heard that they were going to invite Auxentius to their conference in Worcester, Massachusetts in July, 1987:-


     “While we were preserving vividly and indelibly the wonderful image of all that we had seen and heard during our recent visit to your Orthodox parishes, suddenly the information came, like a lightning bolt out of a clear sky, that a few of your spiritual leaders are thinking of going under the irrevocably fallen former Archbishop Auxentius.


     “We hope that it is only some malicious rumour designed to defame your Orthodox ecclesiastical communities before all Orthodox everywhere and to render futile the struggle you have waged on behalf of the strictness of Orthodoxy. That is what we believe, for only the utmost madness and morbid recklessness would otherwise explain the subjugation of a Movement on behalf of piety and the preservation of the traditional genuineness of our Holy Orthodoxy under a leader who so tragically failed and brought the Church of the True Orthodox in Greece into contempt and disrepute.


     “A multitude of uncanonical actions and illegal ordinations done with supreme disdain for the authority of our Holy Church, the ungodfearing trampling down of the Sacred Canons, and the devious manner of the’consecration to the episcopate’ of the piteous and miserable Dorotheus Tsakos render Auxentius guilty before Divine and human justice, as well as before the impartial and unbribable judgement of history itself.


     “Can it be that you seek refuge in such a wreckage of a house? Shudder, O sun, and groan, O earth! If that be the case, you will with your own hands destroy your own work and raze your spiritual edifices to the ground. Moreover, you offer to your enemies unexpected arguments against yourselves. These are much more powerful than the arguments with which they presently seek to sully the reputation of the pious and virtuous clergymen who, at the present moment, stand at the head of your struggle!


     “And, above all, such a thoughtless and frivolous action will sever the unity of your ecclesiastical communities because those among you whose souls have a more acute sense of smell will not be able to tolerate the stench of that devious failure Auxentius’ condemned and illegal actions.


     “It is out of a pained heart that we write the above so that the beacon of Orthodoxy will not be so ignominiously extinguished, the beacon which is lit by the strictness of your Orthodoxy and your blameless ecclesiastical ethos.


     “And besides, as long as you came freely and unconstrained by anyone and committed the episcopal supervision of your parishes to me, I condemn any discussions with Auxentius as divisive acts and I advise you to cut them off completely.


     “Do not forget that ‘he who acts in secret from his bishops serves the devil’, according to St. Ignatius the Godbearer…”[223]


     However, the Bostonites concealed the letter of their archpastor from his flock and, to the great distress of many clergy and laity, removed almost all their parishes from the jurisdiction of a true bishop to that of a condemned schismatic, giving no canonical justification whatsoever for their act.


     In December, the former French mission of the Russian Church Abroad in Paris, led by Archimandrite Ambroise Frontier, left the Chrysostomites because of dissatisfaction with a priest in the south of France and followed the Bostonites under Auxentius’ omophorion.[224]


     Before his death in 1994, Auxentius consecrated several bishops for this group, who now call themselves “The Holy Orthodox Church in North America” (HOCNA). And so Auxentius’ Church, which had almost died out in Greece, received a new lease of life. He proceeded to acquit the Bostonite leaders of homosexuality[225], and consecrate several bishops for them…


Super-Ecumenism (2)


     In the second half of the 1980s Pope John Paul II began to raise the tempo of super-ecumenism. While remaining conservative in his moral teaching (on abortion, contraception, women priests, homosexuality, etc.), he showed himself to be the most extreme radical in his dogmatic teaching. Thus in 1985 he blessed the publication, by the Vatican’s Pontifical “Commission for Union with Non-Christians”, of a twelve-page document containing new directives “for a correct presentation of Jews and Judaism in sermons and in the catechism of the Catholic Church”. The twelfth paragraph of this document declared: “Heeding the same God, Who has spoken on the foundation of the same word (that the Jews have), we must bear witness according to the same remembrance and with a common hope in Him Who is the Lord of history. Therefore it is necessary for us to take upon ourselves the obligation to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah, working together for social justice, for the respect of the rights of the human personality, and of the nation, and of international social reconstruction. The law of love for one’s neighbour, the common hope of the Kingdom of God, and the great heritage of the prophets motivate us, both Christians and Jews, to do this. Such a conception, taught sufficiently early through the catechism, would educate young Christians for a cooperation and collaboration with the Jews which would exceed the limits of simple dialogue.”[226] It would indeed, for it would involve Catholics becoming Jews, awaiting the same “Messiah” that the Jews are waiting for – that is, the Antichrist!…


     Then, in 1986 the Pope invited the leaders of all the world’s religions to pray for “peace in our time”. “On the joint prayers in Assisi (Italy) we have documentary films. How useful it would be to show them to the zealots of ‘Orthodoxy Soviet-style’! Behind the tribune there followed, one after the other, Catholics, Protestants, African idolaters in war-paint, Red Indians in feathers, an invoker of snakes, the Dalai Lama, who confesses himself to be a god, Metropolitan Philaret [Denisenko] of the Moscow Patriarchate, and many, many others, raising up prayers behind the tribune – each in his own style: the Red Indian smoked the pipe of peace, the invoker of snakes brought his cobra. And over all this there ruled, as the chief pagan priest, the Pope of Rome, whom the whole of this multi-coloured crowd in feathers, tattoos, loin-cloths and metropolitan mitres came up to greet in a luxurious, colourful and unending queue – over which there hovered, unseen, the ‘positive relationship’ and blessing of Patriarch Pimen…”[227]


     An Italian Catholic newspaper, Si Si No No wrote: “Never has our Lord been so outraged, never have His holy places been so profaned, His Vicar so humiliated, His people so scandalized by His own ministers, as at Assisi. The superstitions of the several false religions practised at Assisi pale by comparison with the betrayal of our Lord by these ministers. In St. Peter’s the bonzes adored the Dalai Lama (for them, a reincarnation of Buddha). In that church a statue of the Buddha was placed atop the Tabernacle on the main altar. In St. Gregory’s the Red Indians prepared their pipe of peace on the altar; in Santa Maria Maggiore’s, Hindus, sitting around the altar, invoked the whole range of Hindu gods; in Santa Maria degli Angeli’s, John-Paul II sat in a semi-circle of wholly identical seats amidst the heads of other religions so that there should be neither first nor last.”[228]


     Even as ecumenism reached its zenith, difficulties were encountered. The Pope, in particular, in spite of the “comprehensiveness” of his Assisi “prayers for peace”, was having difficulties in his relations with the Jews, with the Anglicans and with the Orthodox, not to mention the liberal wing of his own confession.[229] Thus in May, 1987, during his visit to Germany, the Pope planned to canonize Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who became a Carmelite nun and was tortured to death by the Nazis in Auschwitz. In memory of this new saint the Polish Carmelite Order decided to construct a small monastery on the site of the former concentration camp. But this aroused great fury among the Jews, who claimed that Auschwitz was “a Jewish monument” and that the canonization of a Jewish convert to Catholicism was “not particularly tactful”, since it implied that for the Pope only those Jews who converted to Catholicism were good. Eventually, the Jews dropped their objections to the canonization; but the nine Catholic nuns were forced to leave Auschwitz and abandon their plans of building a monastery there.[230]


     Again, difficulties arose in relations with the Anglicans because of the decision of the Anglican Synod, in March, 1987, to allow women to serve as priests by a 317 to 145 vote. This decision was made in spite of the fact that it had been made quite clear to the Anglicans that their ordination of women priests would endanger ecumenical relations with the Orthodox and the Catholics. It demonstrated that the real inner dynamic of ecumenism is not the desire for union, but the desire for the new – that is, modernism and secularism in all its forms, including feminism.


     Although Rome remained committed to a male celibate priesthood, it, was affected by these modernist winds, as Malachi Martin wrote: “A peculiar piece of desecration of Christ’s Church is being committed by the anti-church in its fomenting of the feminist movement among female religious. Jesus, in his sufferings, had at least the consolation of knowing that the women among his followers did not scatter like scared rabbits, nor did they betray him. They stayed with him to the bitter end of Calvary. Today, the women’s movement in the Church, certainly allowed and in some cases encouraged by the anti-Church, is bent on desecrating the Body of the Church in the Sacrament, in the sacred vows of religion, in the precious function of priest, pastor and teacher. All this can be traced to the Judas complex, part of the mystery of iniquity that is now operating in high gear throughout the Roman Catholic institutional organization.”[231]


     A third difficulty was the increasing tension in Catholic-Orthodox relations. These relations had reached a new high in November, 1987, when Patriarch Demetrius went to Rome and concelebrated with the Pope (up to but not including communion from a common chalice[232]); at which point it seemed as if nothing could prevent the full union of the Orthodox Churches with Rome. But while the Pope’s ecumenism was welcome, his anti-communism was not – at least in the eyes of the KGB agents in cassocks who constituted the leaders of East European Orthodoxy. Thus in 1986 Patriarch Pimen publicly criticised the Pope for criticising socialism and dialectical materialism. “We speak out,” he said, “for the cooperation of Christians, Marxists and all people of good will… which only increases our perplexity at those sections of the recent Encyclical of Pope John-Paul II, Dominum et vivificantam which are devoted to materialism and Marxist doctrine…. [The encyclical] contains elements directed towards the division and opposition of Christians and Marxists… In the encyclical an attempt is made to analyse the system of materialism… as an ideology… It is quite obvious that such a combined application of materialist doctrine to life can be found first of all in the socialist states and countries, which have chosen the socialist path of development… It is precisely in these countries that the creation of a new life by the efforts of believers and unbelievers working together is being realised… This reality, as we understand it, contradicts those positions of the encyclical in which it is affirmed that materialism as a system of thought has as its culmination – death… Insofar as ‘signs of death’ are indicated in relation ‘to the dark shadow of materialist civilisation’, the impression is created, in the context of a critique of Marxist doctrine, that in all this the states and people who follow the socialist path of development are guilty… It remains to express our profound sadness at such a position.”[233]


     Even in an age distinguished by unheard-of betrayals of Orthodoxy, this amazes one by its audacity: the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church officially defending the doctrine of materialism!!!


     A critical point was reached in the millennial year of the Baptism of Rus’ in 1988. Since the Baptism of Rus’ in 988 had taken place when the Eastern and Western Churches were in full communion, this festivity might have been expected to have ecumenical potential. However, the nationalist revival had begun in the Baltic States, and the Russian secular and ecclesiastical authorities feared that if the Pope were invited to the country, his presence might provide a focus for separatist sentiment in the Baltic and Ukraine as it had in Poland earlier in the decade. So they offered him an invitation on condition he did not visit those areas; which offer was refused…


     Encouraged by the radicalism of their “elder brother”, the Pope, Orthodox leaders plunged to new depths of apostasy. Thus in 1989 Patriarch Parthenius of Alexandria declared: The prophet Mohammed is an apostle. He is a man of God, who worked for the Kingdom of God and created Islam, a religion to which belong one billion people… Our God is the Father of all men, even of the Muslims and Buddhists. I believe that God loves the Muslims and the Buddhists… When I speak against Islam or Buddhism, then I am not found in agreement with God… My God is the God of other men also. He is not only the God of the Orthodox. This is my position."


     A Greek newspaper fittingly commented on these words: “So ‘Mohammed is an apostle’ and the new-martyrs, then, are ‘not found in agreement with God!’”[234] Another newspaper said: “He denies Christ and likens himself to Mohammed!”[235] Which amounted, according to the theologian A.D. Delimbasis, to “the mortal sin of denial of one’s faith. Even were Patriarch Parthenius to repent of this, he can be accepted in the Orthodox Church only as a layman. ‘Should he repent, let him be received as a layman,’ says the Canon [Apostolic Canon 62].”[236]


     The newspapers and theologians might criticise the patriarch’s blasphemy, but not one of the Local Orthodox Churches did. On the contrary: they seemed by their actions to express their approval of the Alexandrian patriarch’s conversion to Islam, and strove to imitate it. Thus Metropolitan Pitirim of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP’s publishing department, instead of using the new-found freedom of his Church to publish desperately needed Bibles and patristic literature, blessed the publication of – the Koran!


     Extreme though Catholic ecumenism might be, it did not go so far as to include communism and dialectical materialism in its embrace. In fact, as is well-known, Pope John-Paul II played a part in the downfall of communism in his native Poland, and hence in the rest of Eastern Europe. The “honour” for taking ecumenism to the extreme even of embracing materialism belongs, unfortunately, not to the Catholics, but to the pseudo-Orthodox.


     The only exception to this trend of Orthodox super-ecumenism was Patriarch Diodorus of Jerusalem, who left the ecumenical movement on May 22, 1989, declaring with his Synod: “The Orthodox Church firmly believes that She possesses the full, complete truth and that She is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the repository of Divine Grace and Truth. She alone is the ark of security within which the unsullied teachings and sacred Tradition of the Faith are to be found and the fullness of their salvific character and expression. Further participation by the Orthodox in the dialogues is now becoming harmful, damaging and, indeed, dangerous. The non-Orthodox are taking advantage of these theological dialogues and are using these contacts against the Orthodox Church. Here in the Holy Land especially they are now saying, ‘Together with the Orthodox we are trying to find the truth.’ Thus, day after day they are increasingly successful in their proselytising and draw Orthodox believers into their ranks. The non-Orthodox are also showing photographs and video films to our people in which our representatives appear embracing the non-Orthodox and they tell our faithful: ‘the union of the churches has come; come to our churches for joint prayers.’ To such acts must also be added their tempting offers of houses (and housing is a pressing problem for the majority of the Arab population), offers of jobs and of financial assistance if the Orthodox will only join their religion. This draining away or, rather, bleeding of our Orthodox flock, but above all our primary desire and obligation to preserve the purity of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition from the dangerous activities of non-Orthodox has compelled us to put an end to the dialogues, not only with the Anglicans who for some time now have been ordaining women, but also with the Roman Catholics, the Lutherans, as well as with those Protestant denominations with whom the Church of Jerusalem has only more recently had theological dialogues.”[237]


     Patriarch Diodorus showed that he was serious by refusing to sign the agreement of Chambésy with the Monophysites in 1990; and in 1992, at the meeting of the heads of the Orthodox Churches in Constantinople in 1992, he argued forcefully for breaking all dialogue with the Vatican (see next chapter). However, these objections were exceptions to the general rule, which was: the rapid spread, even beyond the increasingly porous iron curtain, of both inter-Christian and inter-faith Ecumenism…


The Holy New Martyrs and the Fall of Communism


     The crushing of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s had a temporarily sobering effect on ROCOR, and led to a very important ecclesiastical act: the canonization of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia, headed by Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, in New York in November, 1981. News of this event seeped into the Soviet Union, and ROCOR’s icon and service to the new martyrs became more and more widely used even among members of the MP. It was these prayers to the holy new martyrs, more than the support of the Pope for anti-communists in Poland, that was the real catalyst for glasnost’ and perestroika, and hence the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as a whole.


    The weakening of communism raised hopes of a mass movement of believers out of the MP into the True Church. But this raised the question: which Church – the Catacomb Church inside Russia, or the ROCOR? In either case, the question of the relationship between the ROCOR and the Catacomb Church needed to be clarified.


     For some years, the ROCOR Synod had continued to have contacts with Catacomb Christians. In some cases, Catacomb clergy began to commemorate Metropolitan Philaret and were actually received under his omophorion. Thus in 1977, after the death of their Catacomb archpastor, Archbishop Anthony Galynsky-Mikhailovsky, fourteen clergy - Igumens Barsanuphius, Nicholas and Anthony, Hieromonks Michael, Michael, Raphael, Nicholas, Nicholas, Nathaniel, Epiphanius, Basil, Prochorus and Sergius, and Priests Alexis and Michael - were received “at a distance” into ROCOR.[238]


     In 1981 ROCOR decided to create a hierarchy of its own on Russian soil. Metropolitan Philaret and five other hierarchs suggested consecrating the very experienced Josephite, Fr. Michael Rozhdestvensky. However, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva insisted on his own candidate, Fr. Lazarus (Zhurbenko)[239], who had received his “priesthood”, not from any Catacomb archpastor (in fact three had rejected his petition, including Archbishop Anthony (Galynsky-Mikhailovsky)), but through the MP Bishop Benjamin (Novitsky) of Irkutsk, and had then been raised to the rank of archimandrite in absentia by Archbishop Anthony in his cathedral in Geneva on January 11, 1981. The Synod agreed with Anthony’s proposal; so, late in 1981 or early in 1982, Anthony secretly consecrated one of his clergy, Hieromonk Barnabas (Prokofiev), to the episcopate, before sending him secretly to Moscow, where he consecrated Fr. Lazarus to the episcopate in his flat on May 10.[240]


     Later, on May 18, 1990, the ROCOR Synod decided to annul its previous decision of December, 1977 recognising Archbishop Anthony Galynsky-Mikhailovsky and his clergy. “It cannot be recognised as correct because, in connection with newly revealed circumstances, the Episcopal consecration of Anthony (Galynsky-Mikhailovsky) is very dubious, the more so in that there are no written date confirming the canonicity of the consecration.” The source of this new information was Bishop Lazarus…


     The news of the consecration of Lazarus was very badly received by the Catacomb Church in Russia. For even before his treachery in receiving ordination in the MP, he had been considered an adventurer of very doubtful character. Moreover, on returning to the True Church, according to catacomb sources, he had been instrumental in betraying Catacomb Christians to the KGB and in sowing such distrust towards Bishop Theodosius (Bakhmetev) (+1986) that almost the whole of his flock deserted him.[241]


     Be that as it may, there is no doubt that most of the Catacomb Church distrusted Lazarus and refused to have anything to do with him. This was true both of the “moderates”, such as the “Seraphimo-Gennadiites” led by Metropolitan Epiphanius (Kaminsky), and of the “Matthewites” led by Schema-Monk Epiphanius (Chernov)[242], and of the “passportless” led by Archimandrite Gurias (Pavlov), who, when about to be consecrated to the episcopate by ROCOR in New York in 1990, categorically refused when he heard that Lazarus was to be one of the co-consecrators.


     It was true also of the Josephites led by Fr. Michael Rozhdestvensky. He was, according to Matushka Anastasia Shatilova, “the initiator of the complete rejection of the then priest Lazarus Zhurbenko because of the latter’s departing to the MP for his ordination. At a meeting of catacomb clergy in the city of Tambov in 1978, in the presence of the still-living Abbot P., Fr. Vissarion and others, Fr. Michael confirmed this position. This decision was supported in those years by all without exception of the catacomb clergy. But later, when Vladyka Barnabas was searching for a worthy candidate for consecration to the rank of Bishop of the Catacomb Church, Fr. Lazarus (then already a hieromonk) craftily suggested the widowed Fr. Michael and himself was called to invite him to be consecrated to the episcopate. On receiving the invitation with the signature of Hieromonk Lazarus (Zhurbenko), Fr. Michael Rozhdestvensky, naturally, did not go. Vladyka Barnabas was left with neither a choice nor time, and he was forced to consecrate Hieromonk Lazarus to the episcopate. Fr. Michael’s position in relation to Vladyka Lazarus remained unchanging to the very end of his life [in 1988].”[243]


     Meanwhile, in 1985, the Soviets’ perception that they had to catch up with the United States in the economic and military fields propelled to the fore a leader, Gorbachev, who was prepared to begin a partial democratisation of the country. By the Providence of God, his reforming efforts, though designed to modernize and strengthen the communist Soviet State, led to its downfall and the resurgence of religion…


     At first, the communists showed no sign of the religious liberalization that was to come. In November, 1986, Gorbachev told party officials in Tashkent that religious faith and party membership were incompatible (this was probably aimed at Muslim communists): “There must be no let-up in the war against religion because as long as religion exists Communism cannot prevail. We must intensify the obliteration of all religions wherever they are being practised or taught.”[244]


     Again, in November, 1987 Gorbachev said to the Politburo: “Perestroika is no retreat from communism but rather a step toward the final realization of Marxist-Leninist utopia: a continuation of Lenin’s ideas. Those who expect us to give up communism will be disappointed. In October, 1917 we parted from the Old World, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, the world of communism. We shall never turn off that road. Perestroika is a continuation of the October revolution…


     “Comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about glasnost’ and democracy. These are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no serious internal change in the USSR other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm America and let them fall asleep. We want to accomplish three things: (1) the Americans to withdraw conventional forces from Europe, (2) the Americans to withdraw nuclear forces from Europe, and (3) the Americans to stop proceeding with SDI.”[245]


     Again, in 1987 Gorbachev’s chief ideologist, Alexander Yakovlev, said concerning the millenium of the Baptism of Rus’ in 1988: “To God what is God’s, to the Church what is the Church’s, but to us, the Marxists, belongs the fullness of truth. And on the basis of these positions any attempts to represent Christianity as the ‘mother’ of Russian culture must be decisively rejected. And if the Russian middle ages merit the attention of historians, such cannot be said of the 1000-year date of Orthodoxy.”[246]


     However, Gorbachev’s need to pass from what Sir Geoffrey Hosking called “Mark 1” to “Mark 2” perestroika, dictated a change in policy towards the Church, too.[247] For the success of perestroika required sincere believers in the new order from members of the Church, not just party hacks. But in March, 1988 Constantine Kharchev, the head of the Council for Religious Affairs, told representatives of the higher party school in Moscow: "We attained our greatest success in controlling religion and suppressing its initiative amidst the priests and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. At first this gave us joy, but now it threatens to bring unforeseen consequences in its train… It is easier for the party to make a sincere believer [in God] into a believer in communism, too… The task that presents itself before us is to educate a new type of priest; the selection and placing of a priest is the party’s business.”[248]


     The critical point came in April, 1988, when Gorbachev met the patriarch and the senior metropolitans of the MP and staked out a new Church-State concordat reminiscent of the one between Stalin and Sergius in 1943. This concordat, combined with the underlying growth in religious feeling that had now been going on for several years, and the recovery of courage made easier by glasnost’ and the release of most of the religious and political prisoners, made the millenial celebrations in June a truly pivotal event. Moreover, the very wide publicity given to the celebrations in the media gave a powerful further impulse to the movement of religious regeneration.


     The fruits were soon evident for all to see. Most religious and political prisoners were freed; permission was given for the reopening of many hundreds of churches (1,830 in the first nine months of 1990); and religious societies and cooperatives of almost all denominations sprang up all over the country. Programmes on Orthodox art and architecture, and sermons by bearded clergy in cassocks, became commonplace on television; and commentators from right across the political spectrum began to praise the contribution of the Orthodox Church to Russian history and culture. There was openness, too, on the terrible cost to Russia of Leninism and Stalinism – one estimate, by the scientist D.I. Mendeleev, calculated that there were 125 million innocent victims of the communist yoke.[249] How many of those can be called martyrs for the Orthodox Christian Faith is impossible to tell, but they certainly numbered in the millions…


     There were negative aspects to this process. The True Orthodox Church remained outlawed; resistance to the opening of churches by local officials continued in the provinces; and religious activists objected to the adulterous mixing of religion and nationalism, and religion and humanist culture.[250] Moreover, the suspicion continued to exist that the party’s new-found respect for religion was simply a tactical ploy, a case of reculer pour mieux sauter.


     Such scepticism had some basis in reality. After all, no leading communist announced his conversion to Christianity (Sheverdnadze was later baptised with the name George). Moreover, in April, 1988, the month in which Gorbachev met the patriarch, an unsigned article in Kommunist hinted that the real aim of Gorbachev’s rapprochement with the Church was to communize the Church rather than christianize the party. And yet, if that was the party’s aim, it backfired. For unlike the concordat of 1943, which did indeed have the effect of communising the Church, the concordat of 1988 seems to have helped to free Orthodox Christians from bondage to Communist ideology and coercion. For if the Church hierarchs continued to pay lip-service to “Leninist norms”, this was emphatically not the case with many priests and laity, of whom Fr. Gleb Yakunin (liberated in 1987) was probably the most influential and best known.                  


     This was most strikingly evident in March, 1990, when the elections returned 300 clerics of various faiths as deputies at various levels, including 190 Russian Orthodox, while the Communist Party candidates in the major cities were routed. In April, the Christian Democratic Movement, led by RSFSR deputies Fr. Gleb Yakunin, Fr. Vyacheslav Polosin and philosopher Victor Aksyuchits, held its founding congress. Then, on May 19, the birthday of Tsar Nicholas II, the Orthodox Monarchist Order met in Moscow, with its spokesman, Sergius Englehardt-Yurkov, calling for the restoration of the senior member of the Romanov family, Grand-Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, to the throne of all the Russias. Grand-Duke Vladimir was a member of ROCOR, so his recognition by the monarchists inside Russia would have meant an enormous increase in prestige for ROCOR at the expense of the patriarchate. However, the Grand-Duke spared the patriarchate this embarrassment by apostasizing to it and then dying in November, 1991.[251]


     As communism began to collapse, rebellions broke out in the outlying republics. The most important of these was in the Western Ukraine, where the MP recruited so many of its clergy. The MP’s spiritual impotence was illustrated above all by its almost complete surrender of its western borderlands to the movement for Ukrainian ecclesiastical autocephaly. This movement began at the council of Lvov in 1946, when Stalin integrated the Uniates or Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), who are Catholic by faith, but Orthodox in ritual, into the MP, and forced those Uniates who did not want to become Orthodox to go underground. When Gorbachev came to power, the Uniates began agitating for the legalization of their Church.


     They were supported, surprisingly, by the chairman of the Council for Religious Affairs, Constantine Kharchev, who insisted that local authorities keep the law in their dealings with believers and suggested the legalization of the Uniates, speaking in favour of the free election of bishops by the people. This roused the MP and members of the Ideology department of the Central Committee to complain about Kharchev to the Supreme Soviet. Kharchev was removed in June, 1989; but he made a telling comment about those who had removed him: “I suspect that some members of the Synod, from force of habit, have counted more on the support of the authorities than on their own authority in the Church”.[252]


     The UGCC finally achieved legalization in January, 1990, just after Gorbachev met the Pope in Rome. This represented the second major diplomatic triumph of the Vatican in the communist bloc (after the legalization of Solidarnost in Poland). And it marked the beginning of the re-establishment of Catholic power in Russia since all relations with the Soviets had been broken off in 1929.


     However, even before they had recovered their freedom in law, the Uniates started taking over churches in Western Ukraine which they considered to be theirs by right. By December, 1991, 2167 nominally Orthodox parishes had joined the Uniates. Deprived of the help of the local authorities, who showed every sign of being on the side of the uniates, and discredited by its associations with communism, on the one hand, and Russian nationalism, on the other, the MP seemed helpless to stop the rot.[253]


     In October, 1989, a retired patriarchal bishop, Ioann Bondarchuk, announced the creation of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). He was immediately placed under ban by the patriarchate. However, the patriarchate decided to make some concessions to Ukrainian nationalist feeling by creating, in January, 1990, a supposedly autonomous but pro-Moscow Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP), led by Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko) of Kiev. Later, Philaret was defrocked and anathematised by the MP, so he formed a third independent Orthodox Church in the Ukraine – the so-called “Kievan Patriarchate” (UOAC-KP).


     Meanwhile, relations between the Orthodox and Catholics continued to deteriorate; and in March the Uniates withdrew from quadripartite discussions between Roman Catholics, Uniates, Russian Orthodox and the UOC-MP. Then, in June, the UOAC convened its first All-Ukrainian Council in Kiev, at which Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), who had been the leader of the Ukrainian autocephalists in the USA, was enthroned as the first patriarch in Ukrainian history. The UOAC received a further significant boost after the Ukraine achieved independence at the end of 1991.


     In general the Russian Orthodox were opposed to the separation of Russia from Ukraine, regarding the Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians as essentially three parts of one Slavic race who should keep together on the basis of their closely related religion, culture and history. However, this was not the view of most Ukrainian believers – or, at any rate, of those living in the western regions. “The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church,” said Anatolius Krasikov, “is the expression of the resolute will of the Ukrainian people to finally liberate itself from the imperial [Russian] Orthodox Church which is an instrument of spiritual oppression against the Ukrainian people, aiming at its complete russification and enslavement.”[254]


     We might have expected the MP to distance itself from its old idols as perestroika spread, and Catholicism enjoyed a revival in the borderlands. Not so: the MP remained devoted to the ideology of the failing regime to the very last minute. And yet even the patriarchate began to show signs of change under the influence of glasnost’. The first sign was at the church council in June, 1988, when the 1961 statute making priests subordinate to their parish councils was repealed. Then came the canonisation of Patriarch Tikhon in October, 1989. And then, on April 3, 1990 the Synod issued a declaration in which it (i) declared its neutrality with regard to different political systems and ideologies, (ii) admitted the existence of persecutions and pressures on the Church in the past, and (iii) tacitly admitted the justice of some of the criticism directed against it by the dissidents.[255] Again, in May, Metropolitan Vladimir of Rostov, the head of a commission formed to gather material on priests and believers who had been persecuted, said that “up to now, the details of the repression of the Russian Orthodox Church have been ignored or falsified by official, state and even numerous Church figures in order to meet the accepted ideological stereotypes.”[256]


     The climax to this process was reached in June, when the polls revealed that the Church had now passed the Party, the Army and the KGB in popularity.[257] Could this be the beginning of the end of sergianism? Was this the moment when the MP, freed at last from the yoke of communism, and under no obligation to pursue the communist-imposed policy of ecumenism, would finally repent of its past and return to the True Church?…



[1] Monk Benjamin, “Letopis’ Tserkovnykh Sobytij” (Chronicle of Church Events), http://www.zlatoust.ws/letopis5.htm, part 5, p. 17 ®.

[2] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 21.

[3] Ulrich Duckrow, Conflict over the Ecumenical Movement, Geneva: The World Council of Churches, 1981, p. 53.

[4] Proclamation of the Holy Mountain, in Alexander Kalomiros, Against False Union, Seattle: St. Nectarios Press, 2000, p. 101.

[5] Monk Ephraim, Letter on the Calendar Issue, op. cit.

[6] Monk Ephraim, op. cit., p. 57.

[7] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 17.

[8] Monk Ephraim, op. cit., pp. 72-73.

[9] Full text in Eastern Churches Review, vol. I, ¹ 1, Spring, 1966, pp. 49-50.

[10] Ekklesia, quoted in Eastern Churches Review, vol. I, ¹ 1, Spring, 1966, p. 50.

[11] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 29.

[12] Pogodin, “O Chine Priniatia v Pravoslavnuiu Tserkov’” (On the Rite of Reception into the Orthodox Church); Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, pp. 24-25.

[13] Full text in Ivan Ostroumoff, The History of the Council of Florence, pp. 193-199.

[14] Senina, “And his lot is among the saints…”, Vertograd-Inform,  ¹ 15, January, 2000, pp. 15-17.

[15] Lourié, “The Ecclesiology of a Retreating Army”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 3, January, 1999, pp. 24-25 (English edition).

[16] Fr. Seraphim Rose, in Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen), Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Press, 2003, p. 397.

[17] The Diocesan Council of the Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. and Canada, A Time to Choose, Third Lake, Ill.: Monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God, 1981, p. 11.

[18] M. Atavina, personal communication.

[19] Popovich, "The Truth about the Serbian Orthodox Church in communist Yugoslavia", translated into Russian in Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi za Granitsei (Herald of the German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), ¹¹. 2 and 3, 1992 ®.

[20] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 14. However, there are differing opinions about Dionysius. Joachim Wertz (private e-mail communication, 04/02/01) writes: “You ask me about my attitude toward the "Free Serbs", by which I understand what has become the New Gracanica Metropolia. The schism has been overcome, but the healing continues. Therefore I am reluctant to speak on this matter (and also because I do not have first hand experience of that tragic time). Nevertheless it is something that needs to be discussed, especially for the benefit of non-Serbian Orthodox. I have read on the matter, but much of what I know comes from others who were either involved in the issue or who were witnesses. Most of these people were very close to Vladika Nikolai [Velimirovich]. And I personally trust them. Complaints were made against Bishop Dionisije to the mother Church in Belgrade long before the events of 1963. He was accused of conduct unbecoming of a Bishop. People are willing to suggest financial misconduct, but certainly moral misconduct is implied (one of these areas where Serbs are not too open). Dionisije had successfully established for himself his own domain in North America "from the Atlantic to the Pacific" that was untouchable. Perhaps much like Archbishop Iakovos did. No one doubts the sincerity of his anti-fascism or his anti-communism. During WWII he did much to publicize the plight of the Serbs. But he had his "own little thing going" and no one could intrude. Problems began happening after the war when the Serbian émigrés, including Bishop Nikolai, started to arrive. Many of these émigrés, several of whom I know or knew personally, had various levels of theological education. Their services were not welcomed by Dionisije. Neither was Vladika Nikolai. He was treated rudely and often ignored. Dionisije perceived him as a threat, though Nikolai always deferred to him as the ruling Bishop. Eventually Vladika Nikolai accepted the offer of the rectorship of St. Tikhon's Seminary and virtually "retired" from American Serbian Church life. In short, Dionisije was threatened by the potential for spiritual and ecclesiastical "revival" that came with the émigrés. (Please bear in mind that Vladika Nikolai, while in exile, was still the ruling bishop of the diocese of Zhicha. He remained such until his repose. He could not have been a canonical threat to the bishop of another diocese). In a remarkable example of bad timing, the complaints to the Patriarchate against Bishop Dionisije reached a crescendo at the very time Dionisije was most vocally anti-communist. Pressure on the Patriarchate to remove him came from two sources: his own flock and the Tito regime. Several bishops were sent to investigate him and they were treated not in a dignified manner. Dionisije refused to cooperate. There was no choice but to remove him. (Note this happened in 1963, Bishop Nikolai having died in 1956). Dionisije wrapped himself in anti-communism to conceal other matters. This is my understanding and opinion. Left on his own, at one point he even applied to be accepted by the Moscow Patriarchate! He was refused, as he was by the Synod Abroad. To create a hierarchy, he resorted to uncanonical Ukrainian bishops. Fortunately his successor, Bishop Irinej (Kovachevich), later Metropolitan of the New Gračanica Metropolia, was a much more Church centered man. Later when the diocese became "the Free Serbian Church" and he had contacts with the Greek Old Calendarists (at that time it was with Paisios of Astoria and whatever Synod he was part of), and also with the anti-ecumenist Patriarch of Alexandria Nicholas VI (under whose jurisdiction he was for a brief time), he and some of the clergy became more traditionalist (although I can't say how well this trickled down). It does seem that Metropolitan Irinej did leave a traditionalist legacy. As I said above, the schism is over, but is still healing. All of the antagonism now revolves around property claims and money. I should point out that I believe it is true that Fr. Justin Popovich truly believed that Bishop Dionisije was being persecuted because of his anti-communism. I feel he only knew, or was willing to believe, only one aspect of the story.”

[21] Joseph Legrande, “Re: [paradosis] July 2001 Sobor”, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, September 16, 2002.

[22] “The arrangements were made by Bp. Paisius of Astoria acting as Auxentius’ representative… The decision is signed by Abp. Auxentius, Metr. Paisius of North and South America and Metr. Euthymius of Thessalonica” (George Lardas, “The Old Calendar Movement in the Greek Church”, Holy Trinity Monastery, Jurdanville, 1983 (unpublished thesis), p. 22).

[23] A Time to Choose, op. cit., p. 43.

[24] Popovich, in Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii Russkoj Tserkvi za Granitsei (Herald of the German Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad), ¹ 3, 1992, pp. 15, 16 ®.

[25] Joachim Wertz has provided another possible motive for the Serbian Church’s entry into the WCC. He considers that “the main ‘practical’ reason why the Serbian Orthodox Church joined the WCC was that that body would provide the Serbian Church with visibility in the West and thus forestall any liquidation of the Church by Tito. Also the WCC would contribute to the rebuilding of many of the churches destroyed by the Croatian Ustasha in WWII. The rebuilding of these Churches was very high on the agenda of the Serbian Church. The Croatians wanted to erase the presence of Orthodoxy. The Serbian Church felt it imperative to bring back that presence and VISIBILITY. Similarly the WCC, and individual Western protestant Churches contributed to the building of the new Theological Faculty in the Karaburma section of Belgrade. This can be viewed as a posthumous slap in the face of Tito, who forbade the construction of any church in that neighborhood. He wanted it to be an ideal progressive, socialist community of ugly high rise apartments with no trace of the Church.” (“Re: [orthodox-synod] Strange letter”, orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, 26 February, 2003).

[26] John Chaplain, “[paradosis] Re: Serbian Church – another item”, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, 26 May, 2004.

[27] Orthodox Tradition, vol. XIII, ¹ 2, 1996, p. 3.

[28] Bishop Artemije, Statement to the Thessalonica Theological Conference, September, 2004; in The Shepherd, June, 2005, p. 11.

[29] A Time to Choose, op. cit., p. 47.

[30] A Time to Choose, op. cit., p. 53.

[31] Orthodoxos Typos (Orthodox Press), ¹ 144, June 15, 1971, page 4 (G); Hieromonk Sabbas of Dečani, personal communication. When Fr. Justin died on March 25, 1979, the patriarch did not attend his funeral…

[32] Eastern Churches Review, vol. II, ¹ 3, Spring, 1969, p. 335.

[33] Pravoslavnaia Rus' (Orthodox Russia), ¹ 21 (1522), November 1/14, 1994, pp. 8, 9 ®.

[34] Archimandrite Porphyrius of Sofia, personal communication, February, 1981.

[35] Archimandrite (now Bishop) Sergius, personal communication, February 15, 2004.

[36] This is not true. The calendar question caused considerable problems between Rome and the Asian Churches in the second century, and again between the Roman and the Celtic Churches in the British Isles in the seventh century. (V.M.)

[37] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1967, ¹ 8, p. 1; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 36.

[38] Eastern Churches Review, vol. I, ¹ 3, Spring, 1967, p. 291.

[39] Eastern Churches Review, vol. I, ¹ 4, Winter, 1967-68, p. 419.

[40] Eastern Churches Review, vol. I, ¹ 4, Winter, 1967-68, p. 425.

[41] Archimandrite John Lewis of Holy Theotokos Monastery, North Fort Myers, Florida related to the present author how he had once visited Patriarch Athenagoras in August, 1967, when he was a subdeacon in the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church but was seeking to convert to Holy Orthodoxy. Athenagoras discouraged him, saying that he must stay in the Uniate church and act as a "bridge" between Catholics and Orthodox!

[42] Fr. George Macris, The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement, Seattle: St. Nectarios Press, 1986, pp. 101-105.

[43] Vitaly, "Ekumenizm" (Ecumenism), Pravoslavnij Vestnik (Orthodox Herald), June, 1969, pp. 14-30; Moskva (Moscow), 1991, ¹ 9, p. 149 ®.

[44] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1970, ¹ 1, p. 5 ®.

[45] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 40.

[46] Averky, Contemporary Life in the Light of the Word of God: Sermons and Speeches (1969-1973), volume III, Jordanville, p. 216.

[47] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 43.

[48] K.E. Skurat; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 44.

[49] Fr. Seraphim, in Hieromonk Damascene op. cit., pp. 400-401.

[50] The Orthodox Church, May, 1969; Eastern Churches Review, Autumn, 1969, pp. 425-26.

[51] In his Memoirs Archbishop Basil of Brussels recalls asking the formerly Catacomb Archbishop Benjamin (Novitsky) of Irkutsk why he had not spoken against this measure. Benjamin replied: “You know, I did 12 years forced labour in Kolyma. I don’t have the strength at my age to start that again. Forgive me!” (Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 47).

[52] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1971, ¹ 7, p. 31, ¹ 8, pp. 23-24; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, pp. 47-49.

[53] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, p. 49.

[54] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, pp. 49-50.

[55] Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ (Church Life), July-December, 1971, pp. 52-54; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 5, pp. 52-53.

[56] In 1964, after the death of Archbishop Acacius (the elder), Bishops Gerontius and Acacius (the younger) elected Auxentius as archbishop – but without the agreement of Bishop Chrysostom (Naslimes), whose fears about the fitness of Auxentius were soon to prove tragically justified… Bishop Acacius the Younger also came bitterly to regret his putting forward the name of the relatively unknown Auxentius (Bishop Photius of Marathon, personal communication, July 11/24, 2005).

[57] Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, The Struggle against Ecumenism, 1998, pp. 82-83.

[58] Metropolitans Callistus and Epiphanius had already visited the ROCOR in America in 1969, as guests of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston.

[59] Letter of February 20, 1976 from the Matthewite Synod to the Russian Synod, Kyrix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), February, 1976, pp. 5-12 (G).

[60] Letter of Pascha, 1979 from Metropolitan Epiphanius to Metropolitan Philaret (F).

[61] The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 95, 97.

[62] Irenée Doens, "Les Palaioimérologites: Alerte pour leurs Monastères" (The Old Calendarists: Alarm for their Monasteries), Irénikon, 1973, p. 48 (F).

[63] "Anegnoristhi i kanonikotis ton kheirotonion tis paratakseos imon" (The Canonicity of the Consecrations of our Faction has been Recognised), Kyrix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), ¹ 17, November, 1971, pp. 3-14 (G). The Russian text of the official Act reproduced in the same Matthewite organ declares that the Russians "read prayers with the laying on of hands [Russian: prochitali molitvy s vozlozhenie ruk]" on the two hierarchs.

[64] Protocol ¹ 146, Holy Diocese of Kition, G.O.C. (F).

[65] Encyclical ¹ 534, dated 18 September, 1971. See Eleutherios Goutzides, in Kirix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), 42, ¹ 237, October, 1997, pp. 262-263 (G).

[66] Metropolitan Philaret, letter to Archbishop Andreas, October 21, 1972.

[67] Lardas, op. cit., p. 20, referring to an “unpublished Act, 18 September, 1971 (OS), Holy Transfiguration Monastery”.

[68] Grabbe, letter to Mr. Shallcross, October 25, 1973.

[69] The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 97-98.

[70] Letter of February 20, 1976 from the Matthewite Synod to the Russian Synod, Kyrix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), February, 1976, pp. 5-12 (G).

[71] As he told the present writer in January, 1977, he had a gun at his head - and to demonstrate his meaning, he placed his right hand in the form of a revolver against his temple. However, he was able to remove Britain, where Archbishop Anthony’s ecumenism had elicited protests from the English Orthodox Parish of St. Michael, Guildford, to his own jurisdiction later that year. Unfortunately, the administrator he placed in charge of the British diocese turned out to be a supporter of Archbishop Anthony…

[72] This was dated September 25, 1974, and was quoted by Metropolitan Philaret in his letter to Archbishop Andreas dated October 5, 1974 (ref. no. 3/50/760).

[73] Full text in The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 99-100. In a footnote to the encyclical it was declared: “The present encyclical was ready to be issued on April 4, 1973. It has been postponed until now awaiting his Eminence, Bishop Peter of Astoria, who, though invited repeatedly to endorse the encyclical, refused to do so. On this account, in its meeting of June 5, 1974, the Holy Synod struck him from its membership and removed him from the exarchate of the True Orthodox Christians of America.” (The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., p. 100). According to Lardas (op. cit., p. 21), Bishop Peter refused to sign the encyclical “on advice from the Synod of the ROCA”.

[74] Kirix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), March, 1984, pp. 102-103, Epistle ¹ 1897 of March 1; Holy Transfiguration Monastery, The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 87-100.

[75] Lardas, op. cit., p. 30.

[76] Eastern Churches Review, vol. VII, “Concerning the question of the presence or absence of grace among the new calendarists the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad does not consider herself or any other Local Church to have the right to make a conclusive decision, since a categorical evaluation in this question can be undertaken only by a properly convened, competent Ecumenical Council, with the obligatory participation of the free Church of Russia.”( ¹ 1, Spring, 1975, p. 85.)

[77] Greece: A Portrait, Research and Publicity Center, KEDE ltd., Athens, 1979, p. 159; Bishop Callistus of Diokleia, “Wolves and monks: life on the Holy Mountain today”, Sobornost, vol. 5, ¹ 2, 1983, p. 62.

[78] “The Present State of the Church of the Old Calendar in Romania”, Orthodox Christian Witness, September 25 / October 8, 1978; Bishop Ambrose of Methone, personal communication, November 10, 2005.

[79] Orthodoxos Typos, 13 July, 1979 (G).

[80] “A Rejoinder to a Challenge of the Legitimacy of the Orthodox Monastic Brotherhood of the Holy Monastery of Esphigmenou”, orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, January 29, 2003.

[81] Episkepsis, ¹ 59, July 25, 1972, p. 6 (G); Eastern Churches Review, vol. IV, ¹ 2, Autumn, 1972, p. 175.

[82] The Zealot Monks of Mount Athos, Phoni ex Agiou Orous (Voice from the Holy Mountain), 1988, p. 73; Ekklesiastiki Alitheia (Ecclesiastical Truth), ¹ 70, 1972 (G).

[83] Eastern Churches Review, vol. IV, ¹ 1, Spring, 1973, pp. 72-73.

[84] Eastern Churches Review, vol. IV, ¹ 1, Spring, 1974, pp. 109-110.

[85] Athenagoras (Kokkinakis), The Thyateira Confession, London, 1975, p. 61. In another work directed against ROCOR, Ecclesiological Problems: “Church Beyond Boundaries” (1976), Archbishop Athenagoras declared: “Of course the door of the Church is Holy Baptism which the Orthodox Church has recognised as being validly administered by Roman Catholics, the Copts, the Armenians, the Old Catholics and Anglicans, the Lutherans, the Methodists and some other Christian groups.” Ecclesiological Problems was rebutted in a book-length work by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, A Reply to Archbishop Athenagoras. See also Metropolitan Philaret of New York, “An Epistle to the Primates of the Holy Churches of God and the Most Reverend Orthodox Bishops on the ‘Thyateira Confession’”, Orthodox Christian Witness, May 17/30, 1976; “The Thyateira Confession”, Orthodox Christian Witness, February 23 / March 7, 1976.

[86] “Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement”, Orthodox Christian Witness, October 27 / November 9, 1997, p. 2.

[87] Ware, “Orthodoxy and the World Council of Churches”, Sobornost, vol. 1, ¹ 1, 1979, pp. 78-80.

[88] Newsletter, Department of Public and Foreign Relations of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, January-March, 1981, pp. 2-4.

[89] Third All-Diaspora Council, 1974, Protocol 1, August 26 / September 8, Synodal Archives, p. 2; quoted in Nun Vassa (Larin) “’Glory be to God, Who did not Abandon His Church’, The Self-Awareness of ROCOR at the Third All-Diaspora Council of 1974”, http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstructure/pagesen/articles/svassasobor.htm, p. 2.

[90] See Eugene Pavlenko, “The Heresy of Phyletism: History and the Present”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 13, November, 1999.

[91] Nun Vassa, op. cit.

[92] Protocol ¹ 4 of the All-Diaspora Council, August 29 / September 11, 1974; Synodal Archives, p. 4; Nun Vassa, op. cit.

[93] Golitsyn, The Perestroika Deception, London and New York: Edward Harle, 1995, p. 175.

[94] See Roman Redlikh, "Rossia, Evropa i Real'nij Sotsializm" (Russia, Europe and Real Socialism), Grani (Edges), 1986, pp. 265-289 ®; Alexander Yanov, The Russian Challenge, Oxford: Blackwells, 1987, chs. 2-4; Victor Aksiuchits, "Zapadniki i Pochvenniki Segodnia" (Westernisers and Traditionalists Today), Vestnik Khristianskogo Informatsionnogo Tsentra (Herald of the Christian Information Centre), ¹ 30, September 22, 1989 ®.

[95] Talantov, in “Tserkov’ Katakombnaia na zemle Rossijskoj (III)” (The Catacomb Church in the Russian Land (III), Pravoslavnaia Zhizn’ (Orthodox Life), ¹ 12 (635), December, 2002, pp. 10-11 ®.

[96] Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church, London: Allen Croom, 1986, p. 304.

[97] Ellis, op. cit., p. 305.

[98] Protodeacon Basil Yakimov, “Re: Fundamental Question”, orthodox-synod@yahoo.groups.com, 4 June, 2003.

[99] Posev, July, 1979 ®; translated in The Orthodox Word, September-October, 1979.

[100] Personal communication from Monks of Monastery Press, Montreal, January, 1977.

[101] Poslanie Tret’ego Vsezarubezhnogo Sobora Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi Zagranitsei Pravoslavnomy russkomu narodu na rodine (Epistle of the Third All-Emigration Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Russian People in the Homeland), September 8/21, 1974 ®.

[102] http://english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/11/13/39433; quoted by Nicholas Candela, “[paradosis] the wisdom of an MP priest”, orthodox-tradition@yahoo.com, January 22, 2004.

[103] See his letter to Fr. Victor Potapov published in Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 11 (44), November, 1998, pp. 28-32 ®. He might have quoted St. Maximus the Confessor in this connection: “I want and pray you to be wholly harsh and implacable with the heretics only in regard to cooperating with them or in any way whatever supporting their deranged belief. For I reckon it misanthropy and a departure from Divine love to lend support to error, that those previously seized by it might be even more greatly corrupted.” (P.G. 91: 465C).

[104] Metropolitan Philaret to Fr. George Grabbe, July 12/25, 1975, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 11 (68), November, 2000, pp. 52-53 ®.

[105] Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia), 1976, ¹ 20 ®.

[106] In January, 1977, the present writer complained about Archbishop Anthony’s activities to Metropolitan Philaret in Boston. The metropolitan agreed that they were wrong, but said he could do nothing about it. And to illustrate the pressure he was under, he put two fingers to his temple in the form of a revolver…

[107] See especially Fr. Seraphim Rose’s article, “The Royal Path” (The Orthodox Word, ¹ 70, 1976), in which he wrote: “The Russian Church Outside of Russia has been placed, by God’s Providence, in a very favourable position for preserving the ‘royal path’ amidst the confusion of so much of 20th-century Orthodoxy. Living in exile and poverty in a world that has not understood the suffering of her people, she has focused her attention on preserving unchanged the faith which unites her people, she has focused her attention on preserving unchanged the faith which unites her people, and so quite naturally she finds herself a stranger to the whole ecumenical mentality, which is based on religious indifference and self-satisfaction, material affluence, and soulless internationalism. On the other hand, she has been preserved from falling into extremism on the ’right side’ (such as might be a declaration that the Mysteries of the Moscow Patriarchate are without grace)…  If there seems to be a ‘logical contradiction’ here… it is a problem only for rationalists; those who approach church questions with the heart as well as the head have no trouble accepting this position…”

[108] Letter of Metropolitan Philaret to Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, November 16/29, 1977.

[109] Vestnik Zapadno-Evropejskoj Eparkhii (Herald of the Western European Diocese), 1979, ¹ 14; Posev (Sowing), 1979, ¹ 12 ®.

[110] “A Letter from Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) to a Priest of the Church Abroad concerning Father Dimitry Dudko and the Moscow Patriarchate”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 4, February, 1999, pp. 16-20. A few years earlier, on August 14/27, 1977, Metropolitan Philaret told the present writer: “I advise you always to remain faithful to the anathema of the Catacomb Church against the Moscow Patriarchate.” And the following is an extract from Protocol ¹ 3 of the ROCOR Sobor, dated October 8/21, 1974: “Bishop Gregory says that to the question of the existence (of grace) it is not always possible to give a final reply immediately. The loss of grace is the consequence of spiritual death, which sometimes does not come immediately. Thus plants sometimes die gradually. In relation to the loss of grace in the Moscow Patriarchate, it would be interesting to make the comparison with the position of the iconoclasts, although the sin of the Patriarchate is deeper. The President [Metropolitan Philaret] says that we cannot now issue a resolution on grace in the Moscow Patriarchate, but we can be certain that grace lives only in the true Church, but the Moscow hierarchs have gone directly against Christ and His work. How can there be grace among them? The metropolitan personally considers that the Moscow Patriarchate is graceless.” (Tserkovnie Novosti (Church News), ¹ 4 (95), June-July, 2001, p. 9).

[111] Archives 12/92, ¹ 892á March 29, 1972, translated in Orthodox Life, September-October, 1974.

[112] The following account relies heavily on Steven Jones' article, "Soviet Religious Policy and the Georgian Orthodox Apostolic Church: from Khrushchev to Gorbachev", Religion in Communist Lands, vol. 17, ¹ 4, Winter, 1989, pp. 292-312. Declassified documents from the KGB archives contain the following assessment for 1982: "through the work of our agents the Russian Orthodox, Georgian and Armenian churches maintain staunchly loyal positions" (Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi za Granitsei (Herald of the German Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad), ¹ 1, 1992, p. 20 ®).

[113] “Dr. Gamsakhurdia writes to RCL”, Religion in Communist Lands, vol. 4, ¹ 4, Winter, 1976, pp. 48, 49.

[114] Orthodox Tradition, vol. XV, ¹ 1, p. 34.

[115] Nun E., a disciple of Gennadius, personal communication, 1990.

[116] “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee”, Orthodox Christian Witness, August 3/16, 1998 and August 17/30, 1998; http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Thebes/1865/ili.htm?200522.

[117] Dr. Olga Ackerly, “High Treason in ROCOR: The Rapprochement with Moscow”, http://stnicholascandles.com/High_Treason.htm, p. 32.

[118] Hierodeacon Theophanes, “The Head of the Moscow Patriarchate”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 20, October, 2000, pp. 18-19.

[119] The Boston Globe, September 6, 1978, p. 65; "On the Death of a Soviet Bishop", Orthodox Christian Witness, October 23 / November 5, 1978; Piers Compton, The Broken Cross: The Hidden Hand in the Vatican, Sudbury: Neville Spearman, 1983, pp. 158-159.

[120] L. Perepiolkina, Ecumenism – A Path to Perdition, St. Petersburg, 1999, p. 129.

[121] Christopher Andrew and Vasily Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin File, London: Allen Lane the Penguin Press, 1999, pp. 639-640.

[122] Andrew and Mitrokhin, op. cit., p. 650.

[123] Hierodeacon Theophanes, op. cit., pp. 15-18.

[124] Preobrazhensky, “Dve Tajny Arkhiepiskopa Marka” (Two Mysteries of Archbishop Mark), Portal-credo, 12 May, 2004, http://cherksoft.narod.ru/mut59.htm (in Russian).

[125] This was on April 9, 1906. “The leader of the group,” writes Karen Armstrong, “was William Joseph Seymour (1870-1915), the son of slaves who had been freed after the Civil War, who had long been searching for a more immediate and uninhibited type of religion than was possible in the more formal white Protestant denominations. By 1900, he had been converted to Holiness spirituality, which believed that, as the prophet Joel had foretold, the gifts of healing, ecstasy, tongue, and prophecy enjoyed by the Primitive Church would be restored to the people of God immediately before the Last Days. When Seymour and his friends experienced the Spirit, the news spread like wildfire. Crowds of African Americans and disadvantaged whites poured into his next service in such huge numbers that they had to move to an old warehouse in Azusa street” (The Battle for God, New York: Ballantine, 1001, p. 179).

[126] Rose, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, 1983, pp. 148-149.

[127] Averky, Rukovodstvo k izucheniu Sviaschennago Pisania Novago Zaveta (Guide to the Study of the Sacred Scriptures of the New Testament), Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1987, p. 225 (in Russian). In illustration of this point, we may cite the anecdote told in the 1970s by the MP’s Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh. He was once invited to a Protestant prayer meeting. During the prayer, one of the participants stood up and started speaking in a foreign tongue with great ardour. Metropolitan Anthony was impressed… However, at this point someone who was passing outside the room stopped at the door, listened for a while and then said: “Stop him! I happen to know the language he is speaking in. It is Basque. And he is worshipping Satan!”

[128] La Croix, August 11, 1970 (F).

[129] Rose, op. cit., pp. 15-16.

[130] Newsletter, op. cit., pp. 2, 6-7.

[131] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1981, ¹ 12; 1982, ¹ 10 ®.

[132] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1982, ¹ 11 ®.

[133] Hackel, Editorial, Sobornost, vol. 5, ¹ 1, 1983, p. 5.

[134] “The Slaying of Archimandrite Philoumenos”, Orthodox Life, vol. 30, ¹ 5, November-December, 1980.

[135] See Archbishop Vitaly, "The 1983 Sobor of Bishops", Orthodox Christian Witness, August 20 / September 2, 1984, p. 4.

[136] “Orthodox Reactions to the Aims of the World Council of Churches”, The New York Times, August 16, 1983. Minor changes have been made in the wording of the article, which was obviously translated from the Greek by a non-native English speaker.

[137] See "A Contemporary Patristic Document", Orthodox Christian Witness, November 14/27, 1983, p. 3; "Encyclical Letter of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia", Orthodox Life, vol. 33, ¹ 6, November-December, 1983, p. 13; Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan, "Answers to Questions Posed by the Faithful of the Orthodox Parish in Somerville, South Carolina", Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, 1992.

[138] See “Epi Enos Anathematos” (On An Anathema), Kirix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), February, 1984, pp. 47-56 (G).

[139] “Iskazhenie dogmata 'O edinstve Tserkvi' v ispovedaniakh very Sinodom i Soborom Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi Zagranitsej “ (Distortion of the Dogma ‘On the Unity of the Church’ in the Confessions of Faith of the Synod and Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) (MS) ®.

[140] Again, St. Dionysius the Areopagite writes: “The hierarchs have the power of excommunication as expressors of the divine statutes. This is not to say that the All-Wise Godhead slavishly follows their irrational whims, but that they are guided by the Spirit regarding those worthy of excommunication” (On Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, chapter 7).

[141] V. Moss, “Re: [paradosis} The Heresy of Universal Jurisdiction”, orthodox-tradition@egroups.com, October 12, 2000.

[142] Matushka Susanna Maklakov, personal communication to Fr. Daniel, November 9, 2005.

[143] Lardas, op. cit., p. 20.

[144] Bishop Photius of Marathon, personal communication, June 28, 2003. After failing to receive consecration from Auxentius, Marcian left him and joined the Synod of Maximus Valianatos.

[145] This act was contested by Fr. Simon of Simonopetra monastery, Mount Athos, in view of Peter’s refusal to sign the encyclical of 1974, after which, according to some sources, he was not only removed as exarch of America, but also as a member of the Synod. However, Metropolitans Chrysostom and Gabriel replied in I Phoni tis Orthodoxias (The Voice of Orthodoxy) that “our Hierarchy, meeting in the totality of its members, decided by a majority vote that the exarchate be taken from Bishop Peter of Astoria, without any decision being made that would forbid us serving with him.”

[146] According to Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, he acted thus “in protest over what he considered the Matthewite Synod’s lack of good faith in the effort at reconciliation with the Holy Synod of Archbishop Auxentius” (The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., p. 103).

[147] Although, according to Lardas (op. cit., p. 20), he had received chrismation in the ROCOR.

[148] According to Bishop Macarius of Petra (1973-2003: Thirty Years of Ecclesiastical Developments: Trials-Captivity-Deliverance, an unpublished report given to a clergy conference on May 8, 200 (G), Metropolitan Anthony first travelled to Cyprus to ask the Matthewite Metropolitan Epiphanius to participate in the consecrations. He refused.

[149] For two antithetical accounts of this Synod, see Phylakes Orthodoxias (Guardians of Orthodoxy), vol. 1, March, 1979, pp. 1-2 and Agios Kyprianos (St. Cyprian), ¹ 122, February, 1979, p. 240 (G), on the one hand, and "Latest developments in the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece", special supplement to Orthodox Christian Witness, November, 1984, vol. XVIII, ¹ 12 (St. Nectarios Educational Series ¹ 93), Priest-Monk Haralampus (Book Review in The True Vine, ¹ 21, vol. 6, ¹ 1, 1994, pp. 56-63), and Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, The Struggle against Ecumenism, pp. 102-112, on the other.     

[150] "Panigyrikon Sulleitourgon Ellinon kai Roumanon G.O.X." (Festive Concelebration of Greek and Romanians of the True Orthodox Christians), Phylakes Orthodoxias (Guardians of Orthodoxy), ¹ 9, November, 1979, pp. 72-74 (G).

[151] There is some confusion about the exact dates here. In The Struggle against Ecumenism, it is said that this meeting took place on February 14, and that the Callistites informed Auxentius of the consecrations in a letter also dated February 14 (but received on March 3. However, according to other sources, the Callistite consecrations took place between February 20 and 23, and that Auxentius was informed on February 27.

[152] I Phoni tis Orthodoxias (The Voice of Orthodoxy), ¹ 759, March 2, 1979.

[153] Another curious feature of the minutes of this meeting is that some of bishops had changed their titles from the list of those present to the list of those who signed the encyclical (The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 105-109).

[154] Bishop Photios of Marathon, Chronicle of the Schism of 1995 (Woking, 2005, unpublished MS) (G).

[155] Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[156] Bishop Photius, op. cit.

[157] Metropolitan Callinicus of the Twelve Islands, in Bishop Macarius, op. cit. The Cyprianites continue to maintain that Archbishop Auxentius knew of and blessed the consecrations.

[158] Bishop Gregory of Denver, Re: Re[2]: [paradosis] Kallistos Metropolitan of Korinthos, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, 31/07/02. 

[159] Bishop Ambrose, personal communication, November 10, 2005.

[160] Metropolitans Acacius and Chrysostom, in Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[161] Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[162] Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[163] Bishop Photius, personal communication, October 20, 2005.

[164] In 1961, according to Bishop Macarius, op. cit. (V.M.)

[165] This I heard from the two hierarchs Maximus and Callinicus themselves (Bishop Photius).

[166] Bishop Photius, op. cit.

[167] The evidence is in The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 111-112. In recent years, the practice of the Cyprianites appears to have become somewhat stricter.

[168] However, the Cyprianite Bishop Ambrose of Methone writes: “The retirement of Metropolitan Callistus had nothing to do with our position on the admission of new calendarists to the Mysteries (in much less liberal than that of many others, e.g. Metropolitan Anthony). It was in fact occasioned by (a) the behaviour of Metropolitan Callinicus of Achaia, who refused to leave the convent in Athikia and go to his own diocese, despite repeated promises, and finally more or less expelled Metropolitan Callistus from the Convent he had himself founded, and (b) the unanimous outrage of all the members of the Synod over a pamphlet expressing the most extreme ‘Matthaist’ positions, which Callistus published and distributed without their knowledge. Having been expelled from his own home, he was taken in by his brother, Archimandrite Nicodemus, and live the rest of his days as a guest at the convent of Agia Marini, Sofikon” (personal communication, November 10, 2005).

[169] Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon (Orthodox Christian Struggle), ¹ 3, November, 1985, p. 4 (G).

[170] Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon (Orthodox Christian Struggle), ¹ 3, November, 1985, p. 4 (G).

[171] “A few months ago, moreover, a Greek student from Rome sent us a letter… containing eight pages from the distinguished Italian periodical Oggi of January 9, 1985, which refers to one of the two Italian bishops, Gregory [Baccolini] of Aquileia, who was consecrated by the oath-breaking ‘Bishop’ Gabriel of Lisbon. It is worthy of note that Auxentius did not forget to weave an encomium for the Portuguese and Italian bishops so as to pacify his devoted clerics, who had themselves been troubled by the startling ‘consecrations’ of the European ‘bishops’ of the True Orthodox Christians.

     “In the interview which Gregory gave to the Italian periodical he says that at the age of 14 he left Catholicism so as to become a member of the Methodist Church in Bologna.

     “He became a Protestant after having converted his parents, and then a little later he returned to the Papists.

     “In 1933 he joined the monastic order of Galucco and then became a Benedictine monk in Valombrosa in Florence. In 1940 he became a ‘priest’ of the Papists and in 1944 joined the Fascists. He met Mussolini and became one of his closest co-workers. A terrible impression was created by Gregory’s confession that he worships Mussolini as God and that Mussolini is now his spiritual leader!!

     “After the death of Mussolini Gregory joined the Russian Church and on September 22, 1984, was ‘consecrated’ ‘Bishop’ of Aquileia by Gabriel.”(Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon, No. 3, November, 1985, p. 4 (G)).

     The Cyprianite Bishop Ambrose of Methone (personal communication) has defended Bishop Gregory, saying that he never “worshipped Mussolini as God”, but was devoted to the memory of the Duce.

[172] Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon (Orthodox Christian Struggle), ¹ 3, November, 1985, p. 3; February, 1987, p. 8 (G). It appears that the “Tome of autonomy” was signed by Auxentius alone, who wrote: “I, Auxentius, by God’s grace Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, acting within the boundaries of our territory of Western Europe (which I created on June 7, 1978) have decided to give permission to the Metropolis of Portugal, Spain and Western Europe to govern itself, having as their principal headquarters the God-protected metropolitan city of Lisbon… This metropolis will be under the direction of the GOC of Greece… P.S. The above Metropolitan with his vicar bishops is obliged to present himself to the Hierarchical Synod each October.”

[173] Eulogius is considered to be a Freemason by Stavros Markou ([paradosis] Milan Freemasons”, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, 05/09/01; http://www.geocities.com/Paris/8919/html/ortho/parasyn.htm.) However, Bishop Ambrose of Methone writes that he always denied this (personal communication, November 10, 2005).

[174] Ivan Moody (“Scandal for Orthodoxy in Portugal”, ORTHODOX@LISTSERV.INDIANA.EDU (Orthodox Christianity) (01.02.2000)) tells us to what depths this new Portuguese Church has fallen: “Tomorrow, Wednesday 2nd January 2000, there will be inaugurated a new basilica in Torres Novas, north of Lisbon.  In attendance will be, according the information we have received, bishops from the Churches of Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and from OCA…. The true leader of this sect is a lady known as "A Santa da Ladeira", who was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church many years ago and subjected in the early 1970s to psychological examination which found her to be profoundly schizophrenic.  Charges of fraud were also to be brought against her but this did not happen with the chaos of the 1974 Revolution. She was subsequently adopted by Joao Gabriel and later elevated to be an "abbess", though she is married, with results that may be seen in a series of photographs I have in my possession and which have been forwarded to various competent authorities.  They show: 1. This lady seated on a special throne in the church; 2. An "Orthodox" bishop holding up a RC host in a monstrance, this being adored by the "Santa" and the other clergy; 3. The "Santa", in the regalia of an abbess, with her husband and an "Orthodox" bishop in the church; 4. An earlier photograph showing her as the "reincarnation" of the Mother of God; 5. The "Santa" kissing a RC host, behind which appears a strange stain on the photograph, apparently not present on the film, which is claimed to be the bread of the Orthodox Eucharist and therefore to represent the union of the Roman and Orthodox Churches, of which the new basilica is symbolic; 6. Earlier photographs of her with stigmata - this was the time at which she was held for fraud and psychological examination.  On the front of the basilica is an engraved colour picture of the "Santa" and her husband.  There can be no doubt as to the link between these "Orthodox" and this offensive phenomenon.  All this will be widely covered in the newspapers and on the television.  Whatever political or other factors have prevented the hierarchies of the various churches from realizing the gravity of this situation, it seems to us, the Greek Orthodox here, that we have been abandoned. My priest, having spent the whole of yesterday telephoning to the Embassies of the various countries, is exhausted and depressed.  Is this, he is asking, the Orthodoxy I have spent my life here trying to protect and promote?”

[175] Bishop Ambrose of Methone (personal communication, November 10, 2005).

[176] See Kirix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox), 42, ¹ 236, September, 1997, p. 228 (G).

[177] “Enkyklios” (Encyclical), Ekklesiastiki Paradosis (Ecclesiastical Tradition), January-February, 1985, ¹ 20, pp. 262-263 (G).

[178] “Excerpts from a Response by Fr. Basil of Holy Transfiguration Monastery to a Bishop of the Kiousis group, Kallinikos of the Dodecanese, concerning the ‘consecration’ of Dorotheos Tsakos” (MS), pp. 1, 2.

[179] The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., p. 121, footnote.

[180] Ekklesiastiki Paradosis (Ecclesiastical Tradition), 20, January-February, 1985, pp. 261-263; "Eis tas Epalxeis!" (To the Ramparts!), I Phoni tis Orthodoxias (The Voice of Orthodoxy), ¹¹ 802-803, November-December, 1985, pp. 1-33; Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon (Orthodox Christian Struggle), November, 1985, p. 3, February, 1987, p. 8 (G).

[181] Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[182] I Phoni tis Orthodoxias (The Voice of Orthodoxy), ¹ 921, March-April, 2003, p. 15 (G).

[183] Protocol ¹ 73, decision of April 1/14, 1997, in Orthodoxon Paterikon Salpisma (Orthodox Patristic Trumpet Call), March-April, 1997 (G)).

[184] In the spring of 1985, in his monastery in Paiania, Metropolitan Acacius told the present writer that he was deeply unhappy that Metropolitan Peter gave communion to new calendarists in his Astoria diocese.

[185] Khristianiki Poreia (The Christian Way), March, 1992, p. 8 (G).

[186] Bishop Macarius, op. cit.

[187] Bishop Photius, op. cit.

[188] It is sometimes asserted that the Italian parishes under Giovanni voluntarily left the Moscow Patriarchate and joined the Nestorians before returning to the Old Calendarists. In 1975 the present writer heard a different story from the Italians’ bishop when they were in the MP, Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh, who said that he had been forced to expel the Italians following a phone call from Metropolitan Juvenal of Tula. Juvenal said that the MP was having negotiations with the Vatican over the uniate question in the Ukraine, and the Pope had laid it down as a condition for the success of the negotiations that there should be no MP parishes in Italy. So the Italians were expelled.

[189] Metropolitan Cyprian, “Ai Ekklesiologikai Theseis Mas” (Our Ecclesiological Theses), Agios Kyprianos (St. Cyprian), November, 1984, 191 (G). Quotations from the translation in Patrick G. Barker, A Study of the Ecclesiology of Resistance, Etna, Ca.: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1994, pp. 57-58.

[190] Barker, op. cit., p. 59.

[191] Barker, op. cit., pp. 60-61.

[192] Barker, op. cit., pp. 61, 62.

[193] Metropolitan Calliopius (Giannakoulopoulos) of Pentapolis, Ta Patria, volume 7, Piraeus, 1987, p. 43 (in Greek).

[194] Calliopius, op. cit., pp. 277-278.

[195] Letter of Reader Polychronios, April 29 / May 12, 1987.

[196] Hieromonk Nectarius Yashunsky, Ekklesiologicheskie Antitezisy (Ecclesiological Antitheses) (MS) (in Russian).

[197] Fr. Christopher Birchall, The Life of our Holy Father Maximus the Confessor, Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1982, p. 38.

[198] Bishop Theophan, “Chto takoe ‘anafema’?” (What is ‘anathema’?) quoted by Vladislav Dmitriev, Neopravdannoe Edinstvo (Unjustified Unity) (MS, 1996, p. 19) ®.

[199] For the Cyprianite position, see Patrick Barker, op. cit. For criticism of the Cyprianite ecclesiology, see Holy Transfiguration Monastery, The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 112-120; V. Moss, “Can Heretics have the Grace of Sacraments?”, Tserkovnost’ (Churchness), ¹ 1, 2000 ®; I.I. Voloshin, “Vozmozhen li ‘Istinno-Pravoslavnij Ekumenizm’?” (Is ‘True Orthodox Ecumenism’ Possible?), Vertograd-Inform, ¹¹ 7-8 (64-65), July-August, 2000, pp. 45-59 ®.

[200] I Phoni tis Orthodoxias (The Voice of Orthodoxy), ¹ 811, January-February, 1987, pp. 22-32. See also Orthodoxos Khristianikos Agon (Orthodox Christian Struggle), ¹ 8, February, 1987, p. 7 (G).

[201] Bishop Ambrose, personal communication, November 10, 2005.

[202] Bishop Ambrose writes: “You also mention the fact that Archbishop Chrysostomos' Synod apparently deposed our Metropolitan in 1986. As now, almost twenty years later, no such document has ever been communicated to us, we are still in the dark. All we have seen is a text printed in their periodical, but the four then members of their Synod whom we asked (Petros of Astoria, Gerontios of Piraeus, Antonios of Attika, and Euthymios of Thessaloniki) all said that no such text had ever been shown to them, nor had they signed it; they regarded the whole affair as an invention on the personal animosity of Kalliopios.” (personal communication, August 12, 2005)

[203] Lebedev, letter of June 16, 1997, in Protodeacon German Ivanov-Trinadtsaty, “Svetloj pamiati Otsa Protoierea L’va Lebedeva” (To the Radiant Memory of Protopriest Lev Lebedev), http:// catacomb.org.ua/modules.php?name=Pages&go=print_page&pid=189, p. 8 ®.

[204] Agios Kyprianos (St. Cyprian), ¹ 274, March-April, 1992 (G).

[205] See Orthodox Tradition, vol. XV, ¹ 1, 1998, p. 45. The True Orthodox Church of Romania officially glorified him in 1999.

[206] Archimandrite Cyprian, Secretary of the Romanian Synod, personal communication, August, 1994.

[207]  Fr. Alexey Young, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, San Bernardino, CA: the Borgo Press, 1993, pp. 75-76. 

[208] The suspensions were in accordance with rule 159 of Peter the Great’s Regulations of the Spiritual Consistories: “A clergyman who has been accused of a crime is to be suspended from serving… The order for this to be done is entrusted to the local Bishop, who is obligated to take care that those who are accused of grave violation of good conduct according to God’s laws not approach to serve before the Altar of the Lord.” Also, a commission was appointed to investigate the charges of immorality against Fr. Isaac, and Hieromonk Justin was appointed as temporary administrator of the monastery. (V.M.)

[209] The letter was dated November 25 / December 7. (V.M.)

[210] Young, op. cit., pp. 77-78.

[211] “Incorrupt Relics Recovered”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 4, February, 1999, p. 8.

[212] “Metropolitan Philaret’s Two Letters to Archbishop Averky”, Vertograd-Inform, ¹ 4, February, 1999, pp. 11-15.

[213] Archimandrite Ambroise, Priest Patric and Hieromonk Joseph, letter to Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, May 14/27, 1986 (F).

[214] Fr. Alexey Young, “A Tireless Pilgrim”, Orthodox America, vol. 7, ¹ 4, October, 1986.

[215] See “Reflections on Metropolitan Vitaly's Nativity Epistle", Orthodox Christian Witness, February 16 / March 1, 1987; "An Annulment of the Anathema of 1983", Orthodox Christian Witness, May 4/17, 1987.

[216] Gavalas, letter of June 20 / July 3, 1987 to Fr. Neketas Palassis.

[217] The reason, according to Bishop Gregory, was his opposition to Vitaly’s plans to sell the Synod building in New York (Letter to Abbess Magdalina, May 11/24, 1986; Church News, June, 2003, vol. 14, ¹ 65 (#119), pp. 10-11). Bishop Gregory’s daughter and Archimandrite Anthony’s sister, Mrs. Anastasia Shatilova, writes: “The necessity to dismiss by any means possible the Head of the Jerusalem Ecclesiastical Mission [Archimandrite Anthony] of 17 years – is explained rather simply. Archimandrite Anthony, shortly before the repose of Metropolitan Philaret won a court case against the state of Israel over property belonging to the Mission, confiscated by the former in 1948, and Israel was to pay back 7 million dollars. This sum is laughably small, considering the true value of the confiscated property, but the Mission’s lawyer believed that the material, about to be filed against the USSR, using the precedent of the case against Israel, had all the chances of winning. The case against the USSR, over the seized Gorny Convent and Holy Trinity Church with numerous buildings, also belonged to the Mission – was to start within a couple of weeks. This is the main reason why intrigues were absolutely necessary to remove this Chief of the Mission” (Church News, July, 2003, vol. 14, ¹ 66 (#120), pp. 10-11).

[218] See his letter of April 27 / May 10, 1986 to Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago, in Church News, July, 2003, vol. 14, #6 (120), p. 11, and to Metropolitan Vitaly of May 17/30, 1994 (Church News, July, 2003, vol. 13, #6 (107), pp. 3-4. Both of the deputy-presidents of the Synod, Archbishops Anthony of Geneva and Seraphim of Chicago, disagreed with the decision.

[219] Barrett, “[paradosis] ROCOR’s biggest error”, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, 21 July, 2004.

[220] Palassis, letter of June 15/28, 1987.

[221] Letter of Fr. Christos Constantinou, July 2/15, 1987.

[222] Letter of Metropolitan Acacius to Protopresbyter Panagiotes Carras and the most venerable presbyters and hieromonks with him, February 17, 1987, Protocol ¹ 282.

[223] Metropolitan Acacius, letter of July 1, 1987, Protocol ¹ 287. For other criticism of the Bostonite position, see Letter of Reader Polychronius to Monk Pachomius, October 12/25, 1989; “Pis’mo Arkhiep. Antonia Los-Anzhelosskogo V. Redechkinu” (A Letter of Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles to V. Redechkin), Russkoe Pravoslavie (Russian Orthodoxy), ¹ 4 (8), 1997, pp. 26-28 ®. For the Bostonites’ account of these events, see The Struggle against Ecumenism, op. cit., pp. 125-160.

[224] The present writer’s parish in England was being served by one of the French priests at this time. When he protested to Fr. Ambroise that he felt he had no good canonical reason for following Ambroise out of the Chrysostomite Synod, Fr. Ambroise said to him: “Yes, you have no good reason; you should stay.”

[225] But Fr. Anthony Gavalas wrote: “Given Archbishop Auxentius’ toleration, at least, of homosexuals in his own jurisdiction, of what use will be a exoneration signed by him? Will it not allow our enemies to say that the monastery is guilty and so placed itself in a jurisdiction tolerant of such violations?” (quoted by Archpriest Alexander Lebedev, “Re: [paradosis] Re: Re 1986-1987”, orthodox-tradition@yahoogroups.com, January 12, 2002.

[226] Bishop Gregory (Grabbe), “Partnership – the Pope and an Atheist”, Orthodox Life, vol. 42, ¹ 3, May-June, 1992, p. 16.

[227] Obnovlentsy i Moskovskaia Patriarkhia: preemstvo ili evoliutsia? (The Renovationists and the Moscow Patriarchate: succession or evolution?), Suzdal, 1997, p. 15 ®. In September, 1998 the Pope said: “Through the practice of what is good in their own religious traditions, and following the dictates of their consciences, members of other religions positively respond to God’s invitation, even though they may not recognize Him as their Saviour” (Vertograd (English edition), December, 1998, p. 11)

[228] See also Leslie Childe in The Daily Telegraph, October 28, 1986, p. 7.

[229] “The Pope and his Critics”, The Economist, December 9, 1989.

[230] “Vatikan i Evrei” (The Vatican and the Jews), Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia), ¹ 8 (1340), April 15/28, 1987, p. 9 ®.

[231] Martin, The Keys of This Blood, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 676.

[232] “O ‘Patriarkhis’ Dimitrios symprosevkhetai kai sylleitourgei me tous airetikous” (Patriarch Demetrios prays together and liturgises with heretics), Agios Agathangelos Esphigmenitis (St. Agathangelos of Esphigmenou), ¹ 104, November-December, 1988, pp. 10-44 (G).

[233] Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii (The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), ¹ 10, 1986 ®.

[234] Epignosis (Knowledge), December, 1989, 20 (G). See “Vremia Dejstvovat'" (It is Time to Act), Moskovskij Tserkovnij Vestnik (Moscow Ecclesiastical Herald), ¹ 17, December, 1989, p. 3 ®; Orthodoxos Typos (Orthodox Press) (Athens), ¹ 854, October 6, 1989 (G); La Lumière Du Thabor (The Light of Tabor)  (Paris), ¹ 24, 1990, pp. 121-23 (F).

[235] Neoi Anthropoi (New Men), February 24, 1989 (G).

[236] Delimbasis, Rebuttal of an Anticanonical “Verdict”, Athens, 1993, p. 12.

[237] Agiotafitis (Holy Sepulchre), translated in The Canadian Orthodox Missionary Journal, year 16, issue 5, ¹ 134, September-October, 1989, p. 2.

[238] The text of the resolution of the ROCOR Synod was as follows: “There were discussions on the question of the fourteen clerics accepted into communion of prayer from the Catacomb Church who submitted their petitions to the Hierarchical Synod through Archimandrite Misael of the monastery of St. Panteleimon on the Holy Mountain, which were received on November 26 / December 7, 1977. At that time the Hierarchical Synod of the ROCOR in its session of November 26 / December 7, 1977 accepted the following resolution:

     “’Trusting the witness of the fourteen priests that their reposed leader, Archbishop Anthony (Galynsky) was correctly consecrated to the episcopate, and carried out his service secretly from the civil authorities, it has been decided to accept them into communion of prayer, having informed them that they can carry out all those sacred actions which priests can carry out according to the Church canons, and also giving the monastic clerics the right to carry out monastic tonsures. They are to be informed of this in the same way as their address was received.’”

[239] See Kto est’ kto v Rossijskikh katakombakh (Who’s Who in the Russian Catacombs), St. Petersburg, 1999, ®.

[240] For a Lazarite account of these events, see “Godovschina vosstanovlenia apostol’skoj preemstvennosti v Russkoj Katakombnoj Istinno-Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi” (The Anniversary of the Restoration of Apostolic Succession in the Russian Catacomb True Orthodox Church), http://catacomb.org.ua/modules.php?name=Pages&go=print_page&pid=677 ®. The official ROCOR account was published on August 1/14, 1990: “In 1982 his Eminence Anthony, Archbishop of Geneva and Western Europe, together with his Eminence Mark, Bishop of Berlin and Germany, on the orders of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, secretly performed an Episcopal consecration on Hieromonk Barnabas (Prokofiev), so that through the cooperation of these archpastors the Church life of the Catacomb Orthodox Church in Russia might be regulated. Since external circumstances no longer compel either his Eminence Bishop Lazarus in Russia, or his Eminence Bishop Barnabas in France to remain as secret Hierarchs of our Russian Church Abroad, the Hierarchical Synod is now officially declaring this fact.” (“Zaiavlenie Arkhierejskago Sinoda Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi Zagranitsej” (Declaration of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia), ¹ 18 (1423), September 15/28, 1990, p. 16 ®. While the consecration of Bishop Barnabas was carried out by Archbishop Anthony of Geneva and Bishop Mark of Berlin, the ordination papers were signed by Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishop Vitaly, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva and Bishop Gregory Grabbe (letter to the present writer from Matushka Anastasia Shatilova, the daughter of Bishop Gregory, October 3, 2000).

[241] See Kto est’ kto v rossijskikh katakombakh, op. cit., pp. 66-69, and E.A. Petrova, “Perestroika Vavilonskoj Bashni – poslednij shans vselukavogo antikhrista” (The Reconstruction of the Tower of Babel – a Last Chance for the All-Cunning Antichrist), Moscow, 1991, pp. 5-6 (MS) ®.

[242] V.K., Kratkij ocherk ekkleziologicheskikh i iurisdiktsionnykh sporov v grecheskoj starostil’noj tserkvi (A Short Sketch of the Ecclesiological and Jurisdictional Quarrels in the Greek Old Calendar Church), St. Petersburg: “Russkoe Pravoslavie”, 1998, pp. 30-31 ®.

[243] “Kritika zhurnal ‘Vozvraschenie’” (A Criticism of the Journal ‘Return’), Tserkovnie Novosti (Church News), ¹ 11 (67), November-December, 1997, p. 1 ®.

[244] Golitsyn, op. cit., p. 116, who gives the date: 15 December, 1987.

[245] Gorbachev, in Dr. Olga Ackerly, “High Treason in ROCOR: The Rapprochment with Moscow”, http://stnicholascandles.com/High_Treason.htm, pp. 13, 14. Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov write: “By the beginning of the 1980s, the Soviet leadership had finally woken up to the fact that their system had entered a period of profound structural crisis. On the one hand, their economic model, unproductive and wasteful by definition, like all socialist models, had brought them to the brink of bankruptcy. On the other, their very ‘success’ in exporting that model to other countries was becoming an unbearable burden to carry on their shoulders. With their troops bogged down in Afghanistan, and with the Polish crisis looming large on their doorstep, the ‘cost of Empire’ had become virtually unsustainable. Simply put, they had suddenly realised that their economic base was too small for their global ambitions. Added to that a new round of the arms race forced on them by Ronald Reagan, falling oil prices and a growing discontent at home, and one could understand their sudden urge for reforms. A final blow came with Reagan’s obsession with the ‘Star Wars’ project. The Americans might have been bluffing, but the Soviets had to follow suit regardless, trying to compete in the very sphere where they were most behind the West – high-tech” (EUSSR: The Soviet Roots of European Integration, Worcester Park: Sovereignty Publications, 2004, p. 4).

[246] Yakovlev, Vestnik Akademii Nauk SSSR (Herald of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR), 1987, ¹ 6, p. 6 ®.

[247] Hosking, The Awakening of the Soviet Union, London: Mandarin Paperbacks, 1991, p. 120.

[248] Quoted in Bishop Valentine of Suzdal, “Put’ nechestivykh pogibnet” (The Way of the Impious Will Perish), Suzdal’skij Palomnik (Suzdal Pilgrim), ¹¹ 18-20, 1994, pp. 96-97 ®.

[249] Mendeleev, in I.F. Okhotin, “Velichie i blagodenstvie Rossii v Tsarstvovanie Imperatora Nikolaia II podtverzhdennoe v tsifrakh i faktakh” (The Greatness and Prosperity of Russia in the Reign of Emperor Nicholas II Confirmed in Figures and Facts), Imperskij Vestnik (Imperial Herald), October, 1989, ¹ 8, p. 12 ®.

[250] Cf. Gleb Anishchenko, "Vrata ada" (The Gates of Hell), Posev (Sowing), ¹ 3 (1395), May-June, 1990, p. 135 ®.

[251] Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles, "Velikij Knyaz' Vladimir Kirillovich i ego poseshchenie SSSR" (Great Prince Vladimir Kirillovich and his Visit to the USSR), Pravoslavnij Vestnik (Orthodox Herald), ¹¹ 60-61, January-February, 1993 ®.

[252] Ogonek (Little Fire), ¹ 44, October, 1989 ®. Cf. Keston News Service, ¹ 339, 30 November, 1989, pp. 16-18; ¹ 341, 11 January, 1990, pp. 13-14.

[253] One reason for this was that for many years the MP had been teaching its seminarian, a large proportion of whom came from the Western Ukraine, that the Orthodox and the Catholics were “sister churches”. 60% of those who joined the uniates were graduates of the Leningrad theological schools.

[254] "The Exarch vs. the Patriarch", Novoe Vremia (New Times), ¹ 26, July, 1992, p. 13 ®; quoted in Karen Dawisha and Bruce Parrott, Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 96.

[255] Moskovskij Tserkovnij Vestnik (Moscow Ecclesiastical Herald), ¹ 9 (27), April, 1990, pp. 1, 3 ®.

[256] Oxana Antic, "The Russian Orthodox Church moves towards coming to terms with its past", Report on the USSR, March 8, 1991.

[257] Moscow News, June 3-10, 10-17, 1990.