Wednesday, August 1, 2018

GOC Bishop Ambrose responds to an attack

Stupid HOCNA ATTACK:  GOC Bishop Ambrose responds to an attack on his Ossetian Flock and his synod and upon himself, by HOCNA -based at their Boston Holy Transfiguration Monastery -their ignorant and ill-willed attack-


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Dan Everiss

Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Partial reply to the 
“Pastoral Encyclical” of the “Holy Orthodox Church in North America,” 
by  HOCNA-the 'Name-worshipping' heretics in Boston: 
dated 26 Feb/11 March 2018.

Statement by Bishop Ambrose (Baird):
As one paragraph of the document mentioned above refers specifically to myself and to one area of my pastoral responsibility, that is South Ossetia, I feel obliged to reply to the misrepresentations therein contained.

I quote: “…..For these political reasons alone, in 2001 the Synod in Resistance tried to fill this vacuum by creating what they called the ‘Diocese of Alania,’ which automatically received almost all the clergy and faithful of this region into its jurisdiction.”

Anyone not knowing the situation would gather from this statement that in 2001 the Synod in Resistance, for reasons unknown or murky, suddenly created a diocese in the region, thus accepting unquestioningly all the clergy and faithful there, who until then were tended by the Moscow Patriarchate. This is completely untrue.

Let us set out the actual facts: from 1927 until 1990, not one single church was functioning on the territory of the south Ossetian Autonomous Oblast' of the Georgian Soviet Republic. In 1990, through the efforts of the then layman Alexander Pukhaete, a church was opened in Tskhinval; in 1991, he was ordained priest by Bishop Lazar (Zhurbenko) and the mission remained from the beginning under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, with Bishop Veniamin as the governing bishop. On the latter's departure into schism from the Synod in 1999, the local clergy (then Hieromonk George Pukhaete, Priest Aleksey Aristinov and deacon Iakov Hetaguroff) requested to be received by the Synod in Resistance; the request was accepted, with the agreement of Metropolitan Lavr [Metropolitan Laurus of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad].

In 1991 a diocese was created and registered for the better administration of the community, and shortly thereafter Hieromonk George was consecrated bishop. Due to ill health, at his insistent request, his application to retire was accepted in 2009, and my humility was appointed to administer the diocese.

The clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate have never served in the territory of South Ossetia (military chaplains serve in the Russian bases, which are reckoned as Russian territory), and, contrary to the statement in the Encyclical, none of the clergy of the Alanian Diocese has ever belonged to the Moscow or the Georgian Patriarchates. The same is true of the people of South Ossetia, of all nationalities: they have been baptised in, and attended the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and, subsequently, of our Synod. It is possible that some of them, when in Russia, visit churches of the Moscow Patriarchate; this not our policy, but it is impossible to police a flock consisting of tens of thousands!

We read again in the above-mentioned Encyclical: “Their candidates for the priesthood have been studying in the Moscow Patriarchate Seminaries.”  Again the reader would assume that flocks of eager students from South Ossetia are studying in Russian seminaries. In fact just one young man spent a year in a seminary there, against my advice, but returned in much disappointment, and now works for our church administration in Tskhinval.

As for the statement in the Encyclical that “these actions had nothing whatsoever to do with the rejection of the Ecumenism and Sergianism of the Patriarchates of Moscow and Georgia,”  it goes without saying that our local faithful, after 25 years of pastoral care by anti-ecumenist clergy, know very well about the questions of faith which separate us from the “official” Orthodox Churches. This was amply demonstrated in November 2017: I was summoned by the President, Anatoliy Ilyich Bibilete, who, in a long interview, at the instigation of Patriarch Kirill, attempted to persuade me that the time has come for ecclesiastical union, through the ROCOR-MP, of the Alanian Diocese with the Moscow Patriarchate.

I explained to him in detail why I could not accept his arguments, but invited him to come that same evening to speak to our clergy and people, assuring him that, if they accepted his point of view, I would quietly retire. He came, and spoke at length to an assembly of our clergy, our Diocesan Council, and around fifty more of our most faithful members. Not one of them was convinced by his arguments, and the President left in rage, promising never again to set foot in our churches, a promise he has kept.

Where else, I would ask the bishops of HOCNA, in the world is a local Church as a whole so attached to True Orthodoxy? Do they really consider that, instead of accepting, with much personal sacrifice, this Caucasian flock, it was our conscientious duty to reject them and leave them to die unbaptised and deprived of the Mysteries of the Church? That would have been the easy path, but would it have been that of Christian love? 
 +Ambrose, Bishop of Methoni, Administrator of the Alanian Diocese

1 comment:

  1. The only place I find the HOCNA attack letter is on facebook

    The subject of the HOCNA attack letter is:
    "Concerning the Spread of the Ecclesiological Errors of Metropolitan Cyprian"

    I don't get why HOCNA wants to pretend that the SIR did not renounce Cyprianism. Do they miss the 'good old days' or something? Only Etna has not renounced Cyprianism, and Etna hardly represents the present GOC synod or former SIR.


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