Thursday, June 22, 2017

: What goes on in worldly-Orthodoxy,

& Sharing: What goes on in worldly-Orthodoxy, here in the New Calendar State-Church of Greece: "The Mystery of Baptism and Bugs Bunny"-another example of the world-wide departure from genuine Orthodox spirituality


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Dan Everiss

Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 3:38 PM

Note: This St. Gregory of Palamas Monastery is in the far-northern Californian mountain-valley small town of Etna, and it is in the GOC-Archbishop Kallinikos Old Calendar Church, with which our ROCA under our Vladyka Metropolitan Agafangel and our ROCA Synod, is in full fraternal co-communion.

From: Saint Edward Brotherhood <>
Sent: Thursday, June 22, 2017 5:45 AM
Subject: The Mystery of Baptism and Bugs Bunny

From: Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery
Subject: The Mystery of Baptism and Bugs Bunny
Date: 21 June 2017 20:08:41 GMT+01:00

St. Theodore the Commander
The Translation of His Relics

Dear Clergy, Faithful, and Friends of our Diocese,

With the blessing of His Eminence, Bishop Auxentios, I am sending out a photograph of a Church in Greece. It is a parish in the State (New Calendar) Orthodox Church of Greece. It was shown to me by Metropolitan Chrysostomos, who sent it to one of our clergy today. If he was dismayed but not surprised, I was shocked beyond words at seeing this. I asked to use it as a springboard for several comments about what is happening in Orthodoxy today.

While of course we traditionalist Old Calendarists are concerned about ecumenism, we often forget that its main danger is that of a force that erodes the correct practices and the ethos of the Church. A wise clergyman once made a statement about the sin of adultery, pointing out that the worst thing about it is that it eats away at the traditional structure and function of the family. In the family, commitment and love bind each member with the others. Adultery breaks that bond. He compared the effects of adultery on the family to those of ecumenism on the Church. The oneness, sanctity, and bond of love lost in adultery afflict the Church in exactly the same way: oneness, sanctity, and unifying love are lost to the faithful.

If adultery occurs, how does the Church correct it? It calls for a restoration of the love that bonds all of the family members together: a recommitment to the oneness of the family and its values and ethos. It is overcome where love, forgiveness, and a restoration of family traditions and the exclusivity of intimate interrelationships are recovered and reinforced. The traditional family is made whole again by a return to basic and essential traditions that define the Christian family.

So it is with the Church. If we wish to be traditionalists and preserve the Church and unite the errant to it, we must look at those things that have made the Church what its is. We must examine its essential traditions. We must return the Orthodox Church to its image: that of a sacred place, free from the things of the world, a place where we achieve intimate communion with God in the exclusiveness of those who share one Baptism, one Faith, and one Confession.

A simple way to overcome the effects of ecumenism is to restore our traditions from the basics up. Call our Priests to dress and groom themselves as clergy. Require the clergy to wear the cassock and maintain uncut hair and beards. Remove pews and chairs from our Churches, where we are required to pray standing, and replace them with traditional stasidia, where one can stand up with support when needed or, in the case of infirm faithful, sit on the small shelf provided on the stasidia. Maintain the externals of worship from the moment we enter the Church (men on the right, women on the left) and throughout the services, and we will see a restoration of true Orthodoxy.

If there are those who argue that externals have no meaning, then let us look carefully at the New Calendarist Churches and how their abandonment of so many externals of the Church have made them and us blind to the loss that they have suffered. The sacred space of their Churches is just a matter of the decoration of a religious theatre, where people worship while seated and inattentive, praying with their mind and words only, and not with their bodies as well. And little by little the Mysteries and the Church are defiled.

And now the proof. Here is the Church, decorated by the family as allowed by the Priest, in which the primacy of the event to take place lies not in the mosaic Icons that adorn the Church, but in the theme of the Mystery of Baptism for these poor souls: Bugs Bunny!

The ancient custom, a pious and holy one, of the parents not attending the Baptismal service, but standing on the porch or in the balcony, so as to affirm that their children are becoming members of the Church community, dedicated to Christ, is both unknown today and abhorrent to those for whom Baptism has become a social, family, and cultural event. Orthodox even sometimes clap, at many Baptisms, as though present at a theatrical event or concert, and not a Divine Mystery. A true understanding of Baptism having become rare, the next step follows logically: make Bugs Bunny the main point of attention. Could anything be more clear in what this photograph tells us? Baptism is a baby's introduction to something akin to a child’s party!

We should, as traditionalist Orthodox Christians, think long and hard about how one ends up with the New Calendar and how one comes to believe that Orthodoxy is “just another religion.” As I said, it begins with a loss of tradition. So the next time that you are sitting in a chair or pew as Heaven descends down to earth during the services; and the next time that a shaved clergyman with short hair named “Bill” or “Curtis” appears as your “leader,” rather than a representative of the people clothed in the garb of the Prophets at the door to the Holy of Holies; and the next time that you see the services done in the style of a theatre performance instead of as a path to mystical communion with God that will determine the fate of your eternal soul, seriously ask yourself this: “Is Bugs Bunny next?” And if you are asking this in a context that you call traditional, think: I this tradition or something else?

Least Among Monks,

† Archimandrite Gregory
Secretary to Bishop Auxentios

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