Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valuable Declarations from our ROCA

IMPORTANT: An Informational General Sharing With All: Valuable Declarations from our ROCA:


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Dan Everiss

Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 1:36 PM

PLEASE WIDELY SHARE WITH OTHERS! "The truth shall make you free!"

and these current misguided schismatics do not know nor do they speak the truth.

All should flee them! and return to lawful canonical Orthodox bishops, which are our Metropolitan Agafangel and our ROCA Holy Synod.

Two links to two of these entries from our ROCA Australian Diocese, whose Vicar Bishop is Vladyka John of Melbourne and All Australia:

Repeat of this declaration:
9/22 января 2017 года
Metropolitan Agafangel: Reflections on our situation
"I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"
(Matt 16.18)
To summarize that which pertains to the recent schism, it is impossible not to notice a certain pattern (a trend) in the latest events. It seems that they were inevitable, and it would not have been possible to stop them. Previously, the same thing happened in the Russian Federation, and now in the USA, Canada and Australia. The next phase can be expected in Argentina. In the Ukraine, Moldova and Brazil, all is quiet and peaceful - no disturbances. Perhaps it is because the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina have a lot of newcomers from the former Soviet Union, while the Ukraine and Moldova have sharply distanced themselves from the Russian Federation, whereas in Brazil there are no "Russian newcomers" at all? I personally think that yes - that the immigrants from the former Soviet Union are a multifarious and dangerous mix, which contains a lot of diversities and specially introduced components into the environment, including anti-church elements. Nowadays, it is exactly in this milieu, that it is very easy and convenient to operate for those who wish to destroy the Church independently from any external forces. I do not want to analyze the new emigration and break it up into groups at this point – they are all different; one can find many positive factors, but also many negative ones can be found as well. The newcomers have almost completely replaced the old immigrants themselves in the old parishes, and it is they - not the old immigrants - who now decide the fate of the parishes and the parish properties. In France, where there also are many new immigrants who have joined us, in Cannes the parish with the old church wound up in the Moscow Patriarchate, but in Lyon everything is hanging on Protodeacon Herman. (May God grant him the perseverance).

Moreover, I think that it is fully possible that within a short time, all the large parishes of the Russian churches from "alternative" Orthodoxy will begin to drift off onto different paths, but towards the same goal – to the Church-state structure of the MP. In other words, I think we will lose all large (even to our understanding) properties. More correctly, this process has already been underway for over ten years right before our eyes. The Russian Federation is a sample of what will take place everywhere in the near future, but only wherever this structure can prevail and influence events.
Regarding the splintered from us heretics - they  are presently very happy, they are left alone with their property (as expressed by Oleg Mironov – "колбасой – sausage.” This is a Russian saying which literally means “ selling out” for the sake of material goods or wealth.), and they foster the illusion that everything continues as before; services are served, more people join the parish: "Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren  to dwell together in unity?" (Psalm 132) - now they have an illusion of a joyful life. But not for long, because to live and be happy for a long while without any canonical patristic foundation, and being devoid of the saving grace of the Holy spirit, will not work. A house built on sand will soon begin to crumble. The scriptures testify to this.

In as much as all of our numerous attempts at reconciliation and all of our exhortations were ignored by the heretics, we do not see any other way to call them to repentance, other than by  completely disassociating ourselves from them as required by the church canons. We have no choice other than to fence ourselves  off from a destructive heresy which contradicts the dogmas of the Church; and in spite of the confirmations of the Holy fathers, they claim that a schism does not exist. Therefore, we must cease all communication with the heretics, as required by paragraph 9 of Patriarch Tikhon’s Decree No. 362: "to break ecclesiastical communion with the disobedient", and as required by the Holy Universal Church: "who merely prays with heretics, let him be excommunicated" (Apostolic Rule 45).

Since a group of names are missing from the list of those who took part in the gathering (the heretics were afraid to make it public) we list the following participants as we know them: archbp. Andronik, archbp. Sophrony, Fr.Gregory Kotlyarov, Ig. Andrei Erastov, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, Ig. Nestor Mihaylechko, Fr. Igor Dubrov, Fr. Oleg Mironov, Fr. Ignatius Krutkov, Fr. Dmitry Dobronravov, deacon Paul Lipin, deacon Victor Zavodov,  subdeacon Hilarion, subdeacon Victor, and the laity: Yuri Lukin, Nikolai Chertkov, Vladimir Solntsev, mark Kotlyarov, Dmitry Goncharov, Alexander Krivoshlykov, Vyacheslav Mazur, Budzilovich (son), Alexander Kovmir, Vladimir Pasichnyk, Vadim Yarmolinets, Vladimir Zemlyakov, Artemy (the warden of the Tolstoy farm) and four others (or else - only God really knows how many more) who are unidentified.

Since bishop Irenaeus and three Izhevsk priests were prohibited from serving earlier, the question regarding their bans  will be discussed at the next Bishops' Council.

According to the resolution of the Council of Bishops in 2016, all of the clergy listed above are forbidden to serve, and the laity listed above are banned from Holy Communion. According to the Canons (Apostolic rule 45), there can be no communion with these people in prayer, and equal punishment will be warranted by those who will pray together with them. Therefore, it is forbidden to visit the churches and parishes where those heretics and schismatics listed above serve.

What was said regarding heretics and schismatics has been established not by us, but by the Holy fathers and has been incorporated into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church since its inception.

We will further continue our path towards Christ with the fear of God, safeguarding the legacy of the fathers of the Russian Church Abroad, and guided by the words of Christ read from the Gospel today: "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17).
+ Metropolitan Agafangel
9/22 January 2017

Original Russian language article, posted on internetsobor: from ROCA "Brotherly Listok"  in Vladivostok:

РПЦЗ: Заметка редакции Братского листка из Владивостока по поводу раскола
Восстановление административного общения Дальневосточной епархии c Архиерейским Синодом Русской Православной Зарубежной Церкви, состоявшееся в день Праздника Успения Пресвятой Богородицы в минувшем году, принесло нам не только радость от воссоединения со множеством единоверных как на территории исторической России, так и за ее пределами, но и неизбежные тревоги.
Уже в тот период полным ходом разворачивалось противостояние между Синодом, возглавляемым митрополитом Агафангелом, и группой клириков и мирян, обвинивших Первоиерарха в узурпации власти и неканонических действиях, и требовавших созыва внеочередного Всезарубежного Собора.  27 августа (н.ст.) 2016 г. Епископы Андроник и Софроний с частью их паствы объявили о своем выходе из подчинения Синоду РПЦЗ и митрополиту Агафангелу. В ответ Первоиерарх выступил с обращением, в котором, впервые по отношению к участникам инициативной группы по созыву "Всезарубежного собора", прозвучал термин «парасинагога».
(* Парасинаго́га (греч. παρασυναγωγή – самочинное сборище) – форма отступления от Православия, отличная от раскола и ереси тем, что она совсем не касается вероисповедных вопросов, а есть результат нарушения церковной иерархической дисциплины – неповиновение Богоучрежденному священноначалию. «Древние… назвали самочинными сборищами – собрания, составляемые непокорными пресвитерами или епископами и ненаученным народом. Например, если кто, быв обличен во грехе, удален от священнослужения, не покорился правилам, а сам удержал за собою предстояние и священнослужение, и с ним отступили некоторые другие». (Свт. Василий Великий Первое Каноническое Послание к Амфилохию Иконийскому).)
Следует отметить, что ни Первоиерарх, ни члены Синода не имели принципиальных возражений против созыва Всезарубежного собора, но лишь законным образом настаивали на том, чтобы этот собор был проведен с соблюдением правил церковных, в соответствии с прописанной в "Положении о РПЦЗ" процедурой. Однако уже тогда было очень похоже, что целью инициаторов нестроений был не конструктивный, в духе Христовой любви диалог с целью разрешения имеющихся проблем, а эскалация конфликта.
В начале сентября 2016 г. на свет явилась «предсоборная комиссия», которая еще до всякого судебного разбирательства объявила, что «митрополит Агафангел и его Синод своими ошибочными решениями и злоупотреблением властью утратили авторитет и доверие». В октябре 2016г. участники самозванной комиссии направили владыке Агафангелу очередное обращение, в котором, в частности, предлагали Первоиерарху "сложить с себя полномочия председателя Архиерейского Собора и Синода, сохраняя митрополичий сан и управление Одесской епархией", а также "децентрализовать церковное управление", создав три автономных церковных округа, - Украинско-Молдавский, Российский и Дальнего Зарубежья, - управляющихся каждый своим Синодом. Было непонятно, что скрывалось за этой идеей – недомыслие или явное желание ослабить церковную структуру остатка былой РПЦЗ.
Впрочем, довольно скоро этот вопрос прояснился. И одновременно перед нашим взором открылась картина трансформации усугубляющегося раскола в нечто более опасное. 12 октября 2016 г. представители новых раскольников опубликовали на своем сайте утверждение о том, что "в наше... время то, что мы считаем соборной Церковью, имеет вид раздробленных «осколков», не имеющих общения между собой". Митрополит Агафангел немедленно возразил на это, заявив, что данное утверждение прямо подпадает под анафему, провозглашаемую в Зарубежной Церкви против экуменистов: "Нападающим на Церковь Христову и учащим, яко она разделися на ветви, и утверждающим, яко Церковь видимо не существует, но от ветвей и расколов, инославия и иноверия соединитися имать во едино тело… : Анафема!".
На Архиерейском Соборе РПЦЗ, проходившем в Одессе с 25 по 27 (н.ст.) октября 2016 г, эта тема получила развитие. Участники Собора заслушали докладную записку Митрополита Агафангела «О ереси схизмоэкуменизма» и пришли к выводу, что Архиерейский Собор не может признать православным учение о том, что будто бы Православная Российская Поместная Церковь разделилась на равноспасительные и благодатные осколки, не имеющие друг с другом молитвенного, административного общения и  общения в таинствах, и что будто бы эти осколки в своей совокупности составляют ПРЦ. Такое учение было признано разновидностью ереси экуменизма.
Между тем, решения Архиерейского Собора в отношении формальных лидеров нового раскола, на тот момент числящихся на покое архиепископов Андроника и Софрония, были максимально корректными, осторожными и терпеливыми. Одновременно с предупреждением о недопустимости неканоничного собрания и призывом распустить т.н. "предсоборную комиссию", этим Преосвященным, вместе с верующими их группы, предложили принять участие "в подготовке каноничного Всезарубежного Собора всей нашей Церкви в соответствии с Положением об РПЦЗ". К глубокому прискорбию предложение это осталось без ответа.
В особом "Воззвании" Архиерейский Собор еще раз предупредил инициаторов самочинного сборища, что таковое, в случае его собрания, "явится актом раскола и зримым свидетельством отпадения от Церкви". "В случае созыва этого сборища, все, пожелавшие на нем присутствовать, засвидетельствуют, что, будучи предупреждены, сознательно и по своей воле отделяются от Церкви, что будет подтверждено со стороны Архиерейского Собора изданием Указов о запрещении в священнослужении архиепископов Андроника и Софрония, принявших участие в сборище священнослужителей – запрещением в священнослужении со стороны их законных правящих архиереев, а всех принявших участие в сборище мирян – отлучением от Св. Причастия, для чего издано специальное Соборное Постановление".
Однако ни воззвания, ни обращения не могли остановить машину раскола,  которая на всех парах неслась к своей цели. Самочинное сборище, составившееся из людей, соединенных неправославным мудрованием, несоразмерными амбициями и ярко выраженной личной неприязнью к Первоиерарху, открылось 11 января (н.ст.) 2017 г. в штате Нью-Йорк. Последнее предупреждение Архиерейского Собора РПЦЗ вступило в силу, а драматическая история Зарубежной Церкви пополнилась еще одним расколом.
Митрополит Агафангел в комментарии к печальным событиям отметил, "бросается в глаза изначальная запрограммированность на раскол - ни одного конструктивного предложения для сохранение единства от парасинагоги не поступило - это факт. Наши предложения (на совместной с греками встрече) - отвергнуты. То есть, очевидно, что кроме раскола этой группе ничего не было нужно. В связи с этим хочу напомнить, что документально подтверждён факт, что все расколы в Русской Церкви были спровоцированы НКВД-КГБ-ФСБ (раскол 2007 года пока документально не подтверждён - не названы имена и звания настоящих "героев"). Я не подозреваю, - я, в силу своего положения в Церкви, чувствую и вижу действие среди нас внешней силы, заинтересованной в нашем уничтожении. Чтобы что-то развалить, надо приложить усилие - это аксиома. И мы сейчас имеем видимый результат этого усилия".
Безусловно, в этих словах Первоиерарха есть свой резон. При этом, вне зависимости от природы враждебных внешних сил, мучительно видеть своими глазами, как вчерашние отцы и братья, не выдержав искушений, подвергаются злокачественным душевредным мутациям и уходят "на страну далече", отрывая куски живой плоти от мистического Тела Христова. Однако, чем глубже горечь и боль очередной потери, тем ярче слова Господа Бога и Спасителя нашего Иисуса Христа: "Мужайтесь. Я победил мiр".
Редакция Братского Листка (Владивосток

 Human-English translation of the above Russian language excellent truthful summary of this schism, declaration:  done kindly by ROCA Vladyka John of Melbourne and All-Australia

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ROCA: Summary from Vladivostok about the latest Schism

Editorial from the “Brotherly Listok”

Communion between the Far East Diocese and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was restored on the day of the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the past year (2016). This brought us not only the joy of reunion with many of the same faith on the territory of historical Russia and abroad, but also inevitable anxieties.

Already then, the rift between the Synod headed by Metropolitan Agafangel and a group of clerics and laymen was perceptibly unfolding. The group were accusing the Primate of usurping power and non-canonical actions, while demanding the convention of an extraordinary All-Diaspora Council. On August 27, 2016 Bishops Sophrony and Andronik, along with part of their flocks, announced their non-submission to the ROCA Synod and Metropolitan Agafangel. In his response, the First Hierarch addressed the initiators of the convention of this “All-Diaspora Council”, for the first time using the term “parasynagogue”.


(* Parasynagogue (Greek παρασυναγωγή -. arbitrary gathering) - a form of departure from Orthodoxy, other than division based on a heresy in that it does not apply to dogmatic questions and is the result of a violation of church hierarchal discipline – disobedience to the hierarchy established by God. “The ancients … named such meetings as are drawn up by unruly presbyters or bishops and unwise people - arbitrary gatherings. For example, if someone, being rebuked for sin, is removed from the priesthood, thereafter does not submit to the rules, and himself retains the authority and standing of the priesthood, and if certain others separate with him”. (Saint Basil’s the Great: First Canonical Epistle to Amphilochius of Iconium).)

It should be noted that neither the First Hierarch nor the Synod members had any objection in principle to the convening of an All-Diaspora Council. However, they simply and legitimately insisted that the council be held in compliance with the rules of the Church, in accordance with procedure prescribed in the “Regulations on the ROCA”. However, even then it was visible that the goal of the initiators of strife was not a constructive dialogue in the spirit of Christ’s love with a view to resolving the existing problems, but rather – an escalation of the conflict.

In early September 2016, the “Pre-Council Commission” appeared, which even before any investigation or trial announced that “Metropolitan Agafangel and his Synod, by their erroneous decisions and abuse of power have lost credibility and trust.” In October 2016, the members of this self-appointed Commission sent Vladika Agafangel another appeal, which, in particular, offered the First Hierarch “to resign as Chairman of the Council of Bishops and Synod, keeping the rank of Metropolitan and management of the Odessa diocese” and to “decentralize the Church administration”, creating three autonomous church districts - Ukrainian-Moldovan, Russian, and Abroad, - each controlled by its own Synod. It was not clear what was behind this idea - thoughtlessness or a clear desire to weaken the church structure of the remnant of the former ROCOR.

Soon enough however the issue became clear. At the same time a picture was revealed before us, in which the deepening the split transformed into something more dangerous. On October 12, 2016 representatives of the new schismatic group published a statement on their website to the effect that “in our time … we believe that the universal Church has the form of splintered “fragments”, which have no communion with each other.”

Metropolitan Agafangel immediately objected to this, saying that this statement directly falls under the anathema, proclaimed by ROCOR against the ecumenists (1983) “To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that the Lord’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” of sects or denomination, and even religions, will be united into one body, …: Anathema.”

At the Council of Bishops, held in Odessa from 25 to 27 October 2016, this theme was developed further. Members of the Council heard a memorandum by Metropolitan Agafangel “On the Heresy of Schism-ecumenism” and concluded that the Bishops’ Council cannot accept this teaching as Orthodox, which claims that the Local Russian Orthodox Church is split into equally-salvific and grace-filled fragments that do not have communion with one another, neither in prayer or administratively, nor communion in the sacraments, and that these fragments together constitute the Local Russian Orthodox Church. This doctrine was considered a particular form of the heresy of Ecumenism.
Meanwhile, the decision of the Bishops’ Council in relation to the formal leaders of this new division, at the time officially retired archbishops Andronik and Sophrony, were most correct, careful and patient. While warning about the inadmissibility of non-canonical meetings and calling for the dissolution the so-called “Pre-Council Commission”, they also invited their Eminences [Andronik and Sophrony], together with the faithful of their group, to participate “in the preparation of a canonical All-Diaspora Council of our whole Church, in accordance with the Regulations of the ROCOR.” To our deep regret this proposal remained unanswered.

In a special “Appeal” the Council of Bishops once again warned the initiators of this unauthorized meeting that, in the event of it convening, “would be an act of schism and visible evidence of falling away from the Church. If this gathering is convened, all who wish to be present, testify that being warned, they have knowingly and willingly separated from the Church; which will be confirmed by the Council of Bishops by a decree prohibiting archbishops Andronik and Sofrony from serving, the prohibition from serving by their respective ruling bishop of all priests who take part in the unlawful gathering, and for all laity who participate - excommunication from Holy Communion; for which a special Conciliar Decree has been issued.

However, no Appeal, neither any open letter could stop the engine of division, which at full steam rushed to its goal. The arbitrary unlawful meeting, composed of people united by non-Orthodox sophistry, disproportionate ambition and pronounced personal dislike of the First Hierarch, was opened on January 11, 2017 in the state of New York. The final warning of the Council of Bishops of ROCA came into force, and another schism was added to the dramatic history of the Church Abroad.

Metropolitan Agafangel in his comments to the sad events noted “there was on obvious pre-programmed path towards a schism right from the beginning. It is a fact that not a single constructive suggestion for preserving unity was brought forward by the parasynagogue. Our suggestions at the joint meeting with the Greeks were rejected. In other words it is obvious that this group did not need anything else, except a split. In this connection I wish to remind you that it is a documented confirmed fact that all divisions in the Russian Church were provoked by the NKVD-KGB-FSB (the schism of 2007 is as yet not confirmed by documents - the names and titles of the real “heroes” are not yet proclaimed). I do not suspect – by virtue of my position and status in the Church, no, I feel and see the action of external forces in our midst, which are interested in our destruction. To break up something, it is necessary to make an effort - this is an axiom. We now have the visible result of this effort.”

Of course, in these words of the First Hierarch has his own reason [свой резон]. Nevertheless, regardless of the nature of these hostile external forces, it is painful to see with our own eyes how yesterday’s fathers and brothers, have been unable to withstand this temptation, and now they undergo malignant spiritually-harmful mutations and leave for “a country far away”, tearing off chunks of flesh from the Mystical Body of Christ. Yet, however deep the bitterness and pain of the current loss, the more clear are the words of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.
The editors of the “Brotherly Listok” (Vladivostok).


Dan Everiss
Today, 1:58 PM   (1Feb2017)

Message from bishop John regarding the ROCA schism


In connection with the recent illegal meeting in New York state in January 2017, the following decrees banning clergy associated with Australia (Archbishop Andronik and Hegumen Andrei) have been issued.

These decrees emphasise the extreme seriousness of the situation, and the dire consequences of disobedience, both for the clergy themselves, and for those lay people who attend the services of the banned clergy.

Unity in the Orthodox Church is based on our practice of love, which we show through obedience. This duty is given to all Church members, from the first to the last.
The surest and safest path for parishioners in this confusing matter is to show obedience to the Sobor of Bishops, and concentrate maximally on prayer and good works, for their own salvation, and for the salvation of us all.
In our modern time, with its modern, distorted understanding of ‘love’ it may be difficult for some to understand traditional Church practice. However, our Orthodox Church practice is not something that can ‘change with the times’. Neither is the Church truly a ‘democratic organisation’ in the modern understanding of that term.

The government of the Church is entrusted to the Bishops.

The Sobor of Bishops, consisting of 12 hierarchs, has discussed the matters troubling our ROCA presently, and has arrived at the decision to ban certain clergy, out of love for these persons, and the hope for their repentance, as well as for the love and safeguarding of all the people.

The surest and safest path for parishioners in this confusing matter is to show obedience to the Sobor of Bishops, and concentrate maximally on prayer and good works for their own salvation, and for the salvation of us all.

It is necessary for Orthodox Christians to exercise great patience and faith in our evil days. Do not allow the evil one to lead you astray, away from the Church of Christ, which He founded and governed through the Holy Apostles, leading Her to this day through their successors, the Bishops of the Church.

With love in Christ,
(Bishop of Melbourne)

Two Ukazes:

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