Monday, October 31, 2016

A response to Victoria Sherba

And Just An Informational Sharing: A human-English translation: "A response letter to Victoria Sherba's letter posted recently on http://www.rocana.org from Sergei Savchenko"

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Dan Everiss

<oregdan@hotmail.com>
Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 3:17 PM

 *An answer, point by point,  to Victoria Sherba's letter which she posted worldwide.
<australiaorthodoxroca.org/?x=entry:entry161028-174812>

 *Sergei Savchenko's [a ROCA parish starosta and a lawyer himself, in Ukraine],  his point by point response, originally in Russian, on: <http://internetsobor.org  to a letter from Victoria Sherba, posted on http://www.rocana.org in both English and Russian.

Friday, October 28, 2016

ROCA will not divide into two or more pieces. ROCA will remain ROCA; and a Parasinagogue will remain a Parasinagogue.

o_savchenko.jpgA response letter to Victoria Sherba , herself a parish choir director and a lawyer in combination, from Sergei Savchenko, himself a  parish warden and a lawyer ,  responding to  her letter:  “Some thoughts of a parish choir director and a lawyer “, distributed on the internet.

“This know also, that perilous times shall come in the last days. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, more lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying its power. From such turn away ” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it…from that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with him” John 6:60 -66
 
Dear Victoria,

ROCA will not divide into two or more parts. ROCA is one, and will remain one. From Her may leave 2 bishops, 10 priests, and 200 lay people; but ROCA will remain one.

Whilst the departed leaders of this schism will answer before Christ: what weighty blessed reasons they had for this step. Similarly those involved in their sin will answer before God for their immortal soul.

Now let us consider the “severity of punishment.” (I am going on the content of your letter).

Obviously the condemned bishops expressed unchristian non-humility, from the loss of 4 dioceses (by one, three at once, by the other, only one). Even so no one banned bishops Andronik and Sofrony from serving, nor expelled them from their rank, and so on. They were left with the right to serve only in their own parish and monastery respectively. Neither of them came to the Synod nor to the ecclesiastical court, which is in itself a call from  ones’ brother colleagues.
Furthermore, the opinion of Metropolitan Agafangel in this situation: the  punishment of.... leaving them in their ministry. The opinion of the members of the Synod is stricter: to ban, and to expel.

Mercy was victorious, it triumphs over judgment, and the Synod decided to leave them in their ministry, with a view to allow the peaceful resolution of further misunderstandings. However it seems the leaders of the schism specifically exacerbate the conflict.

I shall explain to you why I and many others in ROCA, since the mid 90’s, supported, support, and will support Metropolitan Agafangel, the Synod, and the Bishop’s Council. The34rd apostolic canon defines:
“For bishops of every nation it is befitting to know the senior among them, and recognize him as the head, and do nothing exceeding their authority without his consideration: for each to do just what concerns his own diocese and to places belonging to it. However let the senior bishop not do anything without the consideration of all the bishops. In this way there will be unity of thought, and God will be glorified in the Lord in the Holy Spirit, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “
In this case, Metropolitan Agafangel is accused of.... intervening in “another’s” diocese of Archbishops Andronik and Sofrony. What about the insolent intervention of archbishops Andronik and Sofrony in the Diocese of New York and  Eastern-America? Has Archbishop Andronik so little to do in the dioceses of Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and North America, Australia and New Zealand? Or bishop Sofrony, being in the USA, having flown across the ocean, is deciding questions of the St. Petersburg and North-Russian diocese?

Archbishops Sofrony and Andronik sin against the 34th apostolic canon, because they do not recognize the authority of the senior bishop, who they themselves have elected.

Will the apostles really show favoritism at the Last Judgment, and approve the actions of the leaders of the schism of Andronik and Sofrony, contrary to their rules, those established by the Holy Spirit? Then the holy apostles lied to the entire Orthodox Church for two thousand years, if their rules mean nothing for everlasting life. I think that the conscious violators of the holy God-inspired Canons, hope in vain for this.

If the church rejects the apostolic canons, it is then not the Church of the Apostles.
Victoria, if you sing the symbol of faith at each liturgy, then you know, that by their actions, archbishops Andronik and Sofrony reject the church dogma: “I believe … in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.” Pay attention to the doctrine of the unity of the Church. With whom are Christ and the apostles? With those who deliberately, persistently, cynically violate the canons; or with those who observe the canons, meekly bear their obedience, suffer slander, contempt, ridicule? I think neither you, nor I, have in the past year undergone so much blasphemy as our Metropolitan.

Victoria, you write that at least two of our bishops may have possibly not been properly ordained and do not have apostolic succession. But did you know that since 2008 the apostolic succession of bishops Athanasius and John is from bishops Andronik and Sofrony, who read all the required prayers at the consecration of bishops at the cheirothesia of these individuals? Or do you question the sacraments performed by bishops Andronik and Sofrony in 2008!

Victoria, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to  Andronik and Sofrony. Do not participate in their sin.

It may seem strange to you, but I am one of the few, who believe that there is grace in the Moscow Patriarchate as well! Since August 1995 however, I have never taken communion in the patriarchate, though I live in Ukraine next to their churches, I was forced to independently purchase premises, and arrange regular services. Happily the Lord has granted our true pastors to serve 58 Divine Liturgies, in the 16 years of existence of our house church.

Why did I come from the MP to the ROCA? Due to violations by Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky, and automatically without exception by all his successors, of the 30th apostolic canon (If any bishop, or by a secular head, having utilized  them, and through them, will receive episcopal authority in the Church, let him be deposed and excommunicated, and all those in communication with him, including lay people). This prohibition applies to all members of the Moscow Patriarchate, from the Patriarch to the layman. That is what is said there: “all communicating”. All these people are under judgment. All of them will be judged by Christ and the apostles: why did they not follow the new martyrs to the catacomb churches and to the cross, that which they took at the beginning of their ministry as Christians, clergy and archpastors?

At present, they are in canonical sin, and subject to judgment. Judgment is inevitable. Their judgment will occur after their death, or if it be pleasing to God - at the upcoming Council of the Russian Church, at which Sergianism must be condemned as a pre-antichristian phenomenon of apostasy, which is detestable to God. The grace of the Holy Spirit will be to their condemnation. As the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.

So by your logic, your future schism is a direct road to the Moscow Patriarchate, where most likely they are already awaiting you.

The postulate of grace is in solidarity with the postulate of truth.

Victoria, consider the words of Christ, said by Him to the Samaritan woman:
“You do not know what we worship and we know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ” (John 4:22-24)
 
When you will worship God in the churches of the schismatics Andronik and Sofrony, will it truly be in Truth, or only in Spirit?

Or are there two Truths in Christ? Perhaps nevertheless someone is wrong?
Do not be fooled. You know that Metropolitan Agafangel and the ROCOR Synod is in the right. I think the next Council of Bishops will confirm this as well: whilst a bunch of detached people from the Church, who have organized a parasinagogue, are in the wrong. You write that not one of them preaches heresy or non-traditional teaching. Is not sin against the dogma of the unity of the Church not heresy for you? Or is violation of Apostolic Canons a tradition that was established in the church immediately after the Apostolic Council in the year of 51?
By definition, this group will not be canonical.

Is this ministry according to God’s will, being contrary to the canons of the apostles?

Victoria, tell me the rules of canon law, which allows a few dioceses of the Church to dissociate themselves from Church fellowship with the other dioceses of the Church.

Victoria, tell me the norm of canon law, according to which the role of the first bishop is reduced to the role of chairman at the councils?
I think that it will be better for Catholics and Sergianists at the Day of Judgment, than for these people, who do not accept, rather banish their archbishop, do not listen to his words, but listen to false voices of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The ROCA is higher than the parasinagogue of bishops Andronik and Sofrony, like heaven is above hell.

In a spiritual sense, the bishops, clergy and laity of the Moscow Patriarchate will be higher than all of you who will follow the leaders Andronik and Sofrony into schism. Because the blind patriarchal sergianists follow their leaders, who have not yet been condemned by the future Council of the Russian Church (the probability of which was believed by the pillars of ROCOR); whilst you are following those who have been condemned already! The Moscow Patriarchate leaders are under judgment by the Canons and dogma of the Church; but this judgment is not presently expressed individually to each sergianist, as almost none of them were judged as bishops Andronik and Sofrony. Your sin is even greater, by the fact that you have freedom of choice.

Victoria, who is ridiculing who? On yourself and your brothers and sisters - can you wear all the mud and humiliation, which is spewed out of your group of activists? Who is ridiculing who? The victim here is the Church! She is being mocked by bishops Andronik, Sofrony and associates. Do you know that it all started by Metropolitan Agafangel interceding for the widow Irene  Dutikova, to whom was pointed the door? I personally corresponded on this subject with V.Yarmolinets. He acknowledged that the Astoria church council decided that 1 year after the death of Archpriest Vsevolod, Irene Dutikova his widow, was to vacate the rectory apartment (which will subsequently be rented out) and go to live with her children. They do not see any other way to improve the financial problems of the parish. It seems they have decided to sell the rectory apartment. Since they do not hide on 'facebook'  that the profitability of this action would be counted in the hundreds of thousands of dollars ( pieces of silver). The spiritual atmosphere that has arisen in the church parish in Astoria, after the death of Father Vsevolod, can be clearly illustrated to you by the facebook page of the church council member Vadim Yarmolynts. I will tell you the basic principle of this page – not a word about God (except perhaps in swearing). Therefore I consider his ecclesiastical prohibition [ his excommunication] a logical consequence of his lack of proper spiritual Christian life.

Is not the development of the image of the enemy (Satan) and the accompanying hate - a method of the Soviets ? Have you not read in the Gospel, that in the days of Christ many people left Him? Perhaps Christ should have adjusted His doctrine, so that no one would leave Him?

Victoria, with whom are you?

At the beginning of creation, God separated light from darkness (Gen. 1.4). In Hebrew it sounds literally as follows: “And God divided the sons of light and sons of darkness”. God acted like a tyrant? That there are children of darkness - who is guilty in your opinion? Perhaps it is not God, but rather the free will of those who choose against Him?
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. Then Jesus said unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? “. John 6.64-66.
“So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, send us into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told everything, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts”. Matthew 8. 31-34
Also the rich young man who loved Christ, parted from Christ, etc. etc.
There are numerous examples of disciples departing from the apostles.
How can Christ and the apostles be blamed?

However you dare to blame the Metropolitan - that he acted strictly, in relation to other members of the Church.

Do all those who have departed from the Church to their own place, have the gift of the Holy Spirit in the fear of God?

Victoria, for the sake of the salvation of your own soul, do not participate in the sin of the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church.

You write that you have tried all options in avoiding a schism.

It is surprising - do you yourself believe in what you write? From the side it looks quite the opposite.

It is not BA/BS, [Bishop Andronik/Bishop Sofrony] as you call them, that travel to the Metropolitan for a resolution of the conflict, but on the contrary, the Metropolitan travels to the USA, personally recalls all his signatures from the prohibitions against  Archbishop Andronik, but that one, [Bishop Andronik] …changes his mind! Bishop Sofrony says to the Metropolitan that he needs to consult with someone to remain in the One Church. Consult with whom? We can only guess who those advisers (from the word soviet) are, and what cash money and certificates are in their pockets. Money, in denominations enough for the Archbishop of Northern Russia to leave the diocese in the Russian Federation, and live for months in the Americas. In addition, Archbishop Sofrony denounces himself, in confessing that he does not have his own opinion, and is subject to the opinions of other unknown persons. So this is your candidate for the future false-metropolitan!

BA/BS, they  preach heresy, because they teach that the Church can divide. This is a heresy – one type of ecumenism. It is simple. Will the church services of those who have been banned and stripped of their rank, retain the sacrament of grace of the Holy Spirit? The answer is obvious - no, of course.

The Lord said, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt.18: 18).You have equated the services of the catacomb new-martyrs with the services of justly punished proud people. It is a comical situation, when residing in the USA amid western standard of living, you equate yourself with people of the catacomb Church, who
“suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment: They were stoned, asunder, were tempted, died by the sword: they wandered about in the mantle and goat skins , destitute, afflicted, tormented; those of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth “(Hebrews 11. 36 -38).
This is obviously similar to the spiritual state of delusion. The state of delusion, first of all, gives its victim insolence. And from insolence comes blasphemy and slander.
Examine the book of St. Ignatius Brianchaninov “Ascetic Experiences” in two volumes and “Otechnik”. They disclosed the spiritual state of BA / BS and those with them.
Peace to you.
Sergey Savchenko
English translation from the source

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