Monday, August 15, 2016

Non-Russian-speaking Astoria member asks to understand what is going on


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Dan Everiss

Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 10:17 AM

From: dutikow
To: dutikow
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:04:40 -0400

From: snezana _____ []
Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2016 9:43 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:

To the: Respected Members of the Board of the Church of Holy Trinity,

Could you help me understand what is going on?

I came to this parish in 2001. A wise friend told me that by leaving the Synod [the 2007, unionist ROCOR/MP - R.D.]  we were creating a schism. But I firmly believed in staying in the original ROCA and away from the Moscow Patriarchate.

Now there is talk of creating a new church. I don’t understand what the reasons for this are. Nobody has ever explained to us, members of the parish, why this is necessary. What is wrong with the old church, father Wsewolod’s church? What is wrong with Metropolitan Agathangel? Even after going to parish meetings, people don’t know the answers to these questions.

We have learned from the internet that the Metropolitan has said insulting things about two members of the Board. I am very sorry about that. Nobody should be insulted, but do we have to go into schism because of it? Do we, members of this parish, have to risk our souls because of a personal conflict?

Does the Board, who are lay people chosen to do service for the Church, have the right to rule the Church and cause changes in the Church hierarchy? Choose another bishop? Bar the appointed priest from entering the altar and serving liturgy? Take the Metropolitan to court? Forbid him to enter the church?

And ultimately, are lay people allowed to make all these decisions about the Church? It happened in Soviet Russia, but it did not work out well for the Church. If the canons and the Church hierarchy are not respected, then we are only a company, a corporation, more like a grocery store than a spiritual entity.
Would you kindly respond in English, for there are a few people who do not speak Russian; I am one of them.

Snezana __________ ____________


  1. This is spot on. Snezana has a clear concept of the Church. Her "instincts" are the same as mine. I'm sure she is speaking for many other fellow-parishioners as well.

    How did Fr. Andrei Erastov get so confused? How is he even capable of seeing V. Agafangel as a Sergius Stradgogdsky? It is too strange. Maybe he never was the person I thought he was...

  2. Dear Snezana,
    Your observations and understanding of things are quite correct. Yes, there are no answers to these questions because the two bishops in question who wish to separate themselves from our church- wish to do so for reasons of a personal basis. As that is not realistically possible, (because, as we know- we must be obedient to the Church and to the decisions of the holy councils of bishops which are guided by the Holy Spirit, and not give in to our own desires, our own passions, our own will), they therefore make claims about Bishop Agafangel making some uncanonical actions/decisions, and even accuse him of heresy. However, they have no facts WHATSOEVER to support their so-called claims. (Whereas Metropolitan Agafangel can back up all of his and the councils' actions with proof.) It is suspected that there are certain people behind the scenes who influence and provoke them, solely to reach their goal of destroying our church, slyly, from within. Since the tactics (of the former communist regime) of destroying the church from without resulted in producing multitudes of holy martyrs and only increased the strength of the Church, the tactics used nowadays are much more subtle, and from within, through the use of people's weaknesses and passions, with the intent to sow discord between each other, and thus little by little destroying the unity of the church, and creating schism. Meanwhile, the schismatics sincerely think they are on the side of the truth, and may even produce wonderful sermons about the truth etc., yet there is nothing to back up their claims and reasons for separating from the Church. (Getting insulted and offended, or else not getting what you want, is not a legitimate canonical reason!) In fact, their intention to take the Metropolitan to court and their intent and means of choosing a new leader is wholly uncanonical and even has no logical basis, and the spirit in which it will be done can only produce bad fruits and worse.
    All involved, both those who caused and are involved in the temptation and all those who believe the slander against the Metropolitan, should be prayed for, in the hopes that,- God willing- they come to their senses. We are called to pray for one another, and to wish for each other's salvation, as the Lord shed His blood for each and every one of us, and because He desires that all come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. May He forgive us, have mercy on us and save us. Amen

    PS Be aware that there may be talk about "the truth not being in numbers" (i.e. that the number of bishops does not always mean that where the majority (of bishops) is, is where the truth is, and thus use St. Maximos the Confessor as an example).
    True, QUANTITY means nothing......whether 10 bishops, whether 20, whether 8, 1 or 3...... It is the QUALITY which matters. Meaning, their disposition of soul, the spirit behind their words and deeds....


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