Saturday, August 13, 2016

Letter supporting the rebellion from Fr. Gregory Kotlaroff

English and Russian versions: Letter "Of Support for the Holy Trinity Parish from the Parish of St. Sergius", from Fr. Gregory Kotlaroff Supporting the Astoria Parish Council Rebellion


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Dan Everiss

Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 10:18 PM

I just spoke with xxx, [loyal lifetime ROCA member - jh]  who found much to find fault with this.

For one problem, Fr. Gregory does not give one canonical reason or justification to not obey Met. Agafangel, except to claim that the priest the 'parish wants', is not the one the Met. assigned there, and implying that this is somehow a dictatorial & thus 'uncanonical' an abuse of the parish's choice, etc.
THAT does not violate any canons!  It is normal church life, all guided and directed by the lawful bishop.

WHICH it is the right and duty of the ruling bishop, to send to a parish a priest WHOM he chooses, anyway.

– and that was well-seasoned able parish priest, Fr. Vladimir Petrenko, [even long ago chosen by Fr. Vsevolod to succeed him], not new and untried and who cannot serve well, inexperienced Fr. Dimitry, and not the right of the lay parish council (who may request their favorite one), but the bishop decides and he alone APPOINTS.

After-all, the parish priest is an extension of the bishop's authority and his ministry... not merely an employee of the parish council.

A parish council cannot hire or fire the parish priest, only the ruling bishop.

Had Fr. Vladimir been installed there, all this nonsense could not have happened.
 Further, the historical quote from Met. Kyrill [Smirnov] of Kazan, has NOTHING to do with the situation in the Astoria church.

It is irrelevant  to Astoria.

And, while not one canon can be pointed to as to why the Met. has supposedly 'violated  canons', & therefore that he deserves to be removed, etc. while the rebels have openly and clearly violated many canons.

However, people not well versed in church law, or Orthodox piety, might read this and sympathize with it, in error.

So this letter is nothing but righteous-sounding but irrelevant nonsense, and a cover-up for this impious anti-Orthodox rebellion and schism.

Plus one needs to also remember that the current strife in the Astoria parish, seems to be the work of mainly the rebellious parish council, and not of the general parish membership, [as some recent letters posted on internetsobor, have proven]  which may indeed be the central reason that this dictatorial council, greatly fears a general parish meeting, -where they might well be outvoted.... and removed from their power posts.... which is what they deserve and alone which might save the parish.  Two leaders among them have already been excommunicated.

Really too, these schismatic rebels do not have ONE valid canonical crime that they can point to, in order to canonically remove the metropolitan or our other Synod bishops for. NOT ONE!

It is they who are guilty of breaking a number of canons and ordination and consecration oaths, plus.....i.e.  they do not have a leg to stand on!.

It is they who are on a dictatorial power trip.

They all: the two disobedient 'retired' bishops mentioned, and the rebellious priests and the rebellious parish council members and all in schism, need to REPENT.

They need to all go in front of Metropolitan  Agafangel and Archbishop George and make a full prostration, and ask forgiveness. THAT'S ALL!

Sick of those betraying our ROCA, in 2007, and now too.
Rd. Daniel

Both languages found on:

English version:

To our dear brothers in sisters in Christ in the Holy Trinity Parish in Astoria,

We witness with great sorrow and sadness the events that have taken place in your parish in the past months, and we wish to express to you our prayerful and moral support with this letter. Unfortunately, those who should be caring for our spiritual life are trying instead to destroy the parish, already weakened after the death of its rector, Fr. Vsevolod.

It is astonishing that Metropolitan Agafangel, who clearly knows the opinion of most people in our diocese (the numerous letters that have been sent to him and the Synod have remained unmentioned and unanswered), nevertheless tries to advance his autocratic decisions. One of them is forcing you to accept Fr. Vladimir Petrenko for your parish, even though the parish and the council asked for Fr. Dmitriy Dobronravov to be made the rector. The impression is created that Metropolitan Agafangel is battling his own church members, causing confusion among the flock and clergy and compelling more and more people to consider the need for change in the current church administration.

An excerpt from a letter by Metropolitan Kirill (Smirnov) of Kazan about the discord in the church caused by the Declaration of the Deputy Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Sergey (Stragorodskiy) and the Temporary Patriarchal Synod on July 16/29, 1927:

...I do not judge or condemn anyone, but I also cannot ask anyone to take part in the sins of someone else, just as I cannot condemn those bishops led by Metropolitan Joseph, who professed their unwillingness to participate in that which their conscience deemed sinful. This witness is considered by others as a breach in discipline, but church discipline is able to preserve its efficacy only as long as that discipline is a true reflection of the hierarchal conscience of the Conciliar Church; discipline can never replace that conscience. As soon as it shows that its demands are not emanating from the dictates of that conscience, but instead from motives foreign to the Church, insincere as when an individual hierarchal conscience inevitably stands apart from the conciliar and hierarchal principle of the life of the Church, which no matter what is not one and the same as outward unity. Then it becomes inevitable that church discipline becomes unstable, like the effects of sin. There can only be one way out from sin – repentance and its worthy benefits...”

We cannot remain indifferent and our consciences are troubled, just as are yours, by all the unfair decisions of the Synod that are not in keeping with the canons of the Holy, Conciliar and Apostolic Church and the spirit of the ROCA; especially the unwarranted punishment and forced retirement of two senior bishops of our Church, Bishops Andronik and Sophroniy. We do not accept the decisions of the Synod of Bishops. We have commemorated and will continue to commemorate during the services the name of the Right Reverend Andronik, our ruling bishop, and refuse to submit to the decrees of Metropolitan Agafangel and his Synod and join in the exhortations of Bishops Andronik and Sophroniy to convene an All-Diaspora Council.

We sincerely hope for the quick resolution of the current crisis situation in our church administration. We pray also that Bishops Andronik and Sophroniy stand firm in the truth, while heeding the call of their Christian consciences.

With love in Christ,
Mitered Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff and the parishioners of the St. Sergius Parish in Valley Cottage, NY

August 12/30, 2016


Russian version:
Дорогие наши братья и сестры во Христе прихода Святой Троицы в Астории
С большой скорбью и печалью мы наблюдаем за событиями, которые происходят в вашем приходе в последние месяцы и этим письмом мы хотим выказать Вам молитвенную и моральную поддержку. К сожалению, те, кто должны заботиться о нашей духовной жизни, наоборот стараются разрушить ослабленныйпосле смерти настоятеля о.Всеволода, приход
Удивительно, что митрополит Агафангел, прекрасно зная мнения большинства нашей епархии (многочисленные письма посланные ему и синоду остались без внимания и ответа), тем не менее старается продвигать свои самовластные решения. Одно из них насильное назначение в ваш приход о.Владимира Петренко, несмотря на то, что приход и совет просили, чтобы настоятелем был утвержден о.Димитрий Добронравов. Складывается впечатление, что м. Агафангел ведет борьбу со своим же церковным народом, приводит в смущение паству и клир, заставляя все больше людей задумываться о необходимости изменений в настоящем церковном управлении
Из письма митрополита Казанского Кирилла (Смирнова) по поводу церковных нестроений, вызванных Декларацией Заместителя Патриаршего Местоблюстителя митрополита Сергия (Страгородского) и Временного Патриаршего Священного Синода от 16(29) июля 1927 г
...Я никого не сужу и не осуждаю, но и призвать к участию в чужих грехах никого не могу, как не могу осуждать и тех иерархов во главе с митрополитом Иосифом, которые исповедали свое нежелание участвовать в том, что совесть их признала греховным. Это исповедание вменяется им в нарушение ими церковной дисциплины, но церковная дисциплина способна сохранять свою действенность лишь до тех пор, пока является действительным отражением иерархической совести Соборной Церкви; заменить же собою эту совесть дисциплина никогда не может. Лишь только она предъявит свои требования не в силу указания этой совести, а по побуждениям, чуждым Церкви, неискренним, как индивидуальная иерархическая совесть непременно станет на стороне соборно-иерархического принципа бытия Церкви, который вовсе не одно и то же с внешним 
единением во что бы то ни стало. Тогда расшатанность церковной дисциплины становится неизбежной, как следствие греха. Выход же из греха может быть только одинпокаяние и достойные его плоды..." 
Мы не можем оставаться равнодушными и, также как и вас, нашу совесть смущают все несправедливые и несогласные с канонами святой соборной и апостольской Церкви и духу РПЦЗ решения синода и, особенно, наложения беспричинных наказаний и почислении на покой двух старейших епископов нашей церкви вл. Андроника и вл.Софрония. Мы решения Архиерейского Синода не признаем, возносили и будем возносить за богослужением имя преосвященного Андроника, нашего правящего архиерея; отказываемся подчиняться указам митрополита Агафангела и его синода; присоединяемся к требованию вл.Андроника и вл.Софрония о созыве Всезарубежного собора
Искренне надеемся на скорейшее разрешение сложившейся кризисной ситуации в нашем церковном управлении. Молимся за то, чтобы владыка Андроник и владыка Софроний оставались стоять в истине, следуя зову своей христианской совести
С любовью Христе,
Митрофорный протоиерей Григорий Котляров и прихожане храма Св.Сергия Радонежского в Валлей Коттедж, Нью-Йорк 
12/30 Августа, 2016 г.

Апостолов от 70-ти Силы, Силуана, Крискента, Епенета, и Андроника 

1 comment:


    "...the parish priest is an extension of the bishop's authority and his ministry... not merely an employee of the parish council....