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Author Topic: Which EO churches ("flavors") are NOT involved with Ecumenism.  (Read 8283 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 25, 2010, 09:24:15 PM »

I'm sure Ecumenism has been debated here before on these forums, I'm not here to do that.

I'm just one who would rather not be affiliated with it.  To each their own and I mean no disrespect towards any group.

So I'm kindly requesting to know which Eastern Orthodox Church jurisdictions are not affiliated with the National Council of Churches (NCC) or the World Council of Churches (WCC).


So far the churches I "think" are part of ecumenism: (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

1) Russian Orthodox Church (Don't know about ROCOR)
2) Coptic Orthodox Church
3) Antiochian Orthodox Church (I may be wrong)
4) Greek Orthodox Church (I may be wrong)

I know there are numerous others involved & not involved.   Many autocephalous branches exist who do & do not practice ecumenism.

If somebody could give me a good list to work with.  EO churches are kind of rare here in Texas.   I'm really going to have to work hard to find something within an hour drive.  I'm fine with using search engines to find the church, but first I would like a branch that isn't part of ecumenism.

Thanks so much & God Bless.
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 10:26:57 PM »

All EO churches are involved in ecumenism, whether directly or indirectly by being in communion with those involved directly in it. As far as I know, the only jurisdictions that have taken a real stand against it are ROCOR and the Georgian church (which has almost no representation in the US). Maybe Jerusalem too but all their parishes in the US are now in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. ROCOR of course is under the Moscow Patriarchate, even if they have a degree of independence. While I agree that we shouldn't be involved in bodies like NCC or WCC, I don't think the problem is so serious (at least not yet) that it would entail looking for another jurisdiction. While I find ecumenism problematic, I don't believe it renders the Orthodox churches graceless and heretical. The only thing to do in that case is find an Old Calendarist group- swapping jurisdictions within the same communion won't help.

Keep going to whichever church is closest to you. Don't get worked up about articles you read on the internet or anywhere else about the "panheresy" of ecumenism. Oftentimes their arguments seem very reasonable and irrefutable, but if you step back for a while and get a more balanced picture, you'll see that they have a distorted point of view.

I should also point out that the Coptic church is not Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 10:42:43 PM »

Fr. Anastasios' Church is not into ecumenism.  I don't know if they have any churches in Texas, though.  They do seem to have something in Oklahoma:

http://www.hotca.org/index.php?Itemid=96&id=74&option=com_content&view=article


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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 10:58:59 PM »

All EO churches are involved in ecumenism, whether directly or indirectly by being in communion with those involved directly in it. As far as I know, the only jurisdictions that have taken a real stand against it are ROCOR and the Georgian church (which has almost no representation in the US). Maybe Jerusalem too but all their parishes in the US are now in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. ROCOR of course is under the Moscow Patriarchate, even if they have a degree of independence. While I agree that we shouldn't be involved in bodies like NCC or WCC, I don't think the problem is so serious (at least not yet) that it would entail looking for another jurisdiction. While I find ecumenism problematic, I don't believe it renders the Orthodox churches graceless and heretical. The only thing to do in that case is find an Old Calendarist group- swapping jurisdictions within the same communion won't help.

Keep going to whichever church is closest to you. Don't get worked up about articles you read on the internet or anywhere else about the "panheresy" of ecumenism. Oftentimes their arguments seem very reasonable and irrefutable, but if you step back for a while and get a more balanced picture, you'll see that they have a distorted point of view.

I should also point out that the Coptic church is not Eastern Orthodox.

Jerusalem is certainly involved in the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC).
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 11:32:32 PM »

So I'm kindly requesting to know which Eastern Orthodox Church jurisdictions are not affiliated with the National Council of Churches (NCC) or the World Council of Churches (WCC).


So far the churches I "think" are part of ecumenism: (Please correct me if I'm wrong)

2) Coptic Orthodox Church

The COC is not "Eastern Orthodox".
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2010, 12:15:39 AM »

Those not involved in ecumenism in any way will generally fall into the traditionalist category (this list is not exhaustive)...

Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America
Holy Orthodox Church of North America
Orthodox Church of Greece: Holy Synod in Resistance
Synod of Milan in America

Regarding ecumenism, the following two works on the subject might be of interest to you...

Anti-Patristic: The Stance of the Zealot Old Calendarists
Why the True Orthodox are Truly Orthodox

EDIT--Just a PS... it's not a good idea to call them "flavors," and definitely not "branches," around these parts Wink  "Groups" will work, or "local Churches" in some instances
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2010, 12:57:59 AM »

Define ecumenism.
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2010, 01:50:54 AM »

Is it true that the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church does not accept the Sacraments of the mainline Orthodox Churches? So you don't really have any Sacraments according to them?
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2010, 02:27:13 AM »

Is it true that the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church does not accept the Sacraments of the mainline Orthodox Churches? So you don't really have any Sacraments according to them?

I’m not positive. I think their official position is that there is no grace in the sacraments of the Church of Greece. Whether they officially consider the rest of “world Orthodoxy” as lacking in sacramental grace I don’t know. However, fwiw, here is what Met. Pavlos of the GOC in America said in an Encyclical:

Quote
In the face of this great danger, as your Bishop and Shepherd of the Orthodox Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America, who am charged by God to protect His flock from the heretics and schismatics who have placed themselves outside the Church, I call upon the faithful children of our Church not to enter the churches of schismatics and heretics to take communion. You should communicate only in temples that belong to our Church, which here in America are only the Sacred Temples of the Holy Metropolis (GOC) of America. You should have the permission of your spiritual father, who himself should be a clergyman of our Holy Metropolis, and should have confessed and fasted correctly prior to Communion. Those who do not have an Orthodox faith and confession, that is heretics, ecumenists, false old calendarists, etc., will not be permitted to be imparted the Holy Mysteries in our Holy Temples, even as the Holy Synod of our Church has directed. - Source
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 02:35:36 AM »

Define ecumenism.

Cozying up to hairytics?

I think the answer depends on what perspective you're approaching ecumenism from. Just like people argue over whether Orthodox (or atheism for that matter) is by definition a religion, so to with ecumenism. However, if I was a traditionalist, I would answer along these lines*:


I don’t think you can define ecumenism precisely, but I think, based on it’s fruits (cf Matt. 7:16-20), we can come up with a description of it. With that in mind, I would describe ecumenism as a sort of religious pluralism, with the effects on Orthodoxy having been that she was driven towards the cliffs of compromise and equivocation, and indeed in some instances over the cliff into heresy and schism.

In what sense is ecumenism a pan-heresy? It is a pan-heresy because it seeks to unite a multitude of heresies in communion, and then blasphemously call the result the body of Christ. Ecumenism is a pan-heresy because it rejects the Truth, the Theanthropos Jesus Christ, and in His place offers heresy and schism in the guise of love and unity.


* Note that I am not saying that this is what I believe, it is merely what I would probably say if I were a traditionalist.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 03:05:35 AM »


Those not involved in ecumenism in any way will generally fall into the traditionalist category (this list is not exhaustive)...

Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America
Holy Orthodox Church of North America
Orthodox Church of Greece: Holy Synod in Resistance
Synod of Milan in America



We must remember that these are ecclesial groups which are not in communion with any of the ancient Patriarchates and, in the main, they see us as the UnChurch and deny our Baptism and Eucharist, etc.  They have either left the Church or were simply never members. 

At the Pan-Orthodox Summit at Thessaloniki in May 1998 the Churches took the opportunity to make an official statement on schismatic Old Calendarist and True Orthodox groups

"The delegates unanimously denounced those groups of schismatics,
as well as certain extremist groups within the local Orthodox Churches
themselves, that are using the theme of ecumenism in order to criticize
the Church’s leadership and to undermine its authority, thus attempting
to create divisions and schisms within the Church. They also use
non-factual material and misinformation in order to support their unjust criticism."

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/thessaloniki_roc.aspx


Oddly enough one of the Churches you mention, the Milan Synod, has issued an Encyclical which is about as extreme in its ecumenism and promulgation of the Branch Theory as anything you could meet.  The Encyclical is attached to the first post in this thread

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30502.msg481821/topicseen.html#msg481821
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 03:11:00 AM »

Define ecumenism.

An article by  Fr. John Reeves, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America
Presented September 24, 2004 at the Conference:
"Ecumenism: Origins, Expectations, Disenchantment"
The School of Pastoral Theology
The Aristotelian University
Thessaloniki, Greece

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles4/ReevesEcumenicism.php
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 03:14:11 AM »

Oddly enough one of the Churches you mention, the Milan Synod, has issued an Encyclical which is about as extreme in its ecumenism and promulgation of the Branch Theory as anything you could meet.  The Encyclical is attached to the first post in this thread

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,30502.msg481821/topicseen.html#msg481821

Doh, talk about misremembering! Embarrassed
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 03:16:38 AM »

/\  /\ Here is the longer original version...

"The Price of Ecumenism
How Ecumenism Has Hurt the Orthodox Church"

by Fr. John Reeves

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/tca_priceofecumenism.aspx
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 04:06:11 AM »

Is it true that the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church does not accept the Sacraments of the mainline Orthodox Churches? So you don't really have any Sacraments according to them?
Stanley,

You've already asked this question or its variants a few times here on Faith Issues, enough to draw a formal request that you not do so. (see http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,6966.msg475681.html#msg475681) Please don't ask this question again here. If you really must receive an answer to this recurring question of yours, please start a thread on the Orthodox-Catholic board to ask it. Thank you.

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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2010, 04:15:04 AM »

Interestingly enough the Milan Synod formally petioned to be received into the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate (non-Chalcedonian).
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2010, 05:22:44 AM »

Interestingly enough the Milan Synod formally petioned to be received into the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate (non-Chalcedonian).

Do you happen to know why it wasn't received?

Milan Synod seems to have rather interesting history. I've understanded that it has petitioned to be received to just about every EO patriarchate but none has accepted it.
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2010, 07:55:52 AM »

I think that it rather fell apart as a result of the petition.

Some of their clergy approached the local OO communities directly, others joined even more 'traditional' groups.
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2010, 12:05:29 PM »

Milan Synod seems to have rather interesting history. I've understanded that it has petitioned to be received to just about every EO patriarchate but none has accepted it.

Her Primate was received to the Polish Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2010, 12:32:17 PM »

Define ecumenism.

It's complex.

Here is a video series on it done by Greek Monks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEC6e8N0Wfk

Follow the links on the right for other parts.

So many church elders are against it.
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« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2010, 12:41:02 PM »

Milan Synod seems to have rather interesting history. I've understanded that it has petitioned to be received to just about every EO patriarchate but none has accepted it.

Her Primate was received to the Polish Orthodox Church.

Indeed individual members of the Milan Synod has been received to other churhces. However I've understanded that they've seeked to be received collectively  which hasn't obviously happened since Milan Synod still exists. Which I think is rather unfortunate since I find it's approach to WRO rather sympathetic.
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« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2010, 12:43:10 PM »

I don't know the story in detail but I colligate that their all Diocese of Spain and Portugal was received into the Polish Church.
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« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2010, 12:59:34 PM »

I don't know the story in detail but I colligate that their all Diocese of Spain and Portugal was received into the Polish Church.

Oh. Well that's a whole another thing then. I'm glad that at least part of the Milan Synod has found home in more mainstream Orthodoxy. Do you happen to know if there was any WR parishes in that received diocese?
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« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2010, 01:05:59 PM »

Is it true that the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church does not accept the Sacraments of the mainline Orthodox Churches? So you don't really have any Sacraments according to them?
Non of the Traditionalist True Orthodox synods, with the exception of the Synod in Resistance under Met. Cyprian (Cyprianites) believe that there is any Mysteriological/Sacramental Grace in any of the world-Orthodox churches.
However HOTCA in the U.S. is led by two bishops, Met.Pavlos, who was for a time a Cyprianite bishop, and Christodoulos, who promotes the work of Fr.Romanides as if it is proven and official doctrine failing to mention that Fr.Romanides was an Ecumenist himself and distorted the history of Western Europe, Western Orthodoxy and even showed his ignorance of what Orthodoxy teaches about the relics of Saints when he accused St.Gregory of Tours of ignorance.
Quote
Gregory reports that in the treasury of Saint Martin's Church, he found the relics of the Agaune Martyrs, members of the Theban Legion sent to Gaul in 287 to crush a revolt. Gregory writes that "the relics themselves were in a terrible state of putrefaction."[ 8 ] It is clear that Gregory did not know how to recognize holy relics. Corpses in even a slight, let alone terrible, state of putrefaction are not holy relics.
If men die for their faith and are acknowledged by the Church as Martyrs their remains are relics regardless of incorruption! Can God only work miracles through incorrupt relics? The combination of these two bishops does not argue well for the Orthodoxy of HOTCA in my opinion though I am impressed with other members of HOTCA in the U.S. and especially outside of the U.S. Vladimir Moss being the most notable who has wrote extensively in English, Russian and Serbian.
The Milan Synod is now regarded by many True Orthodox as being in-line with True Orthodoxy. However when you read the sordid history it has traits that argue againt it being a legitimate True Orthodox synod such as having had many bishops leave for 'world-Orthodoxy' over the past three decades, such as bishop Lazar Puhalo who was accepted into the OCA as a retired bishop, and has also been involved in Ecumenism with the Non-Chalcedonians. The private opinion of several True Orthodox is that the Milan Synod has often been close to or that they are in fact a 'vagante' group.
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2010, 01:13:51 PM »

I don't know the story in detail but I colligate that their all Diocese of Spain and Portugal was received into the Polish Church.

Oh. Well that's a whole another thing then. I'm glad that at least part of the Milan Synod has found home in more mainstream Orthodoxy. Do you happen to know if there was any WR parishes in that received diocese?

AFAIK no.
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2010, 04:28:02 PM »

Define ecumenism.

It's a good question. It really describes several different things, so I don't think talking about "the panheresy of ecumenism" is useful.

There is the heretical idea of "pluralism" that Asteriktos mentions, that has a relativistic stance toward other Christian confessions or even non-Christian religions, but this seems very rare to me, except perhaps as an unconscious attitude.

The "Traditionalist" attitude seems to be that a bishop makes a heretical statement at one time and, BAM, it's time to break communion. If you look back over the Church's history, she has survived all kinds of craziness without the Orthodox having to form a half dozen splinter groups.

A lot of the problematic statements that are brought up as evidence of heresy seem to me more like gaffes and brain-farts coming from sloppy thinking or a lax attitude, not some conscious attempt to renovate or contradict the Orthodox faith. Part of the problem is hierarchs acting like politicians and feeling pressure to talk BS.

The other kind of ecumenism is just the basic idea that, as part of our missionary witness, we should meet with representatives of other faiths and engage in discussions, occasionally producing joint statements that demonstrate our common ground. This, in my opinion, is not in itself heretical. I think, however, that it's bad strategy. The chances of converting the representatives is very slim, and their followers on the ground aren't going to get our message undistorted, if they get it at all. More likely they'll just say, "look, we agreed on something again, we're all part of the same thing!" So I think this is counter-productive.
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2010, 04:55:24 PM »

Define ecumenism.

A lot of the problematic statements that are brought up as evidence of heresy seem to me more like gaffes and brain-farts coming from sloppy thinking or a lax attitude, not some conscious attempt to renovate or contradict the Orthodox faith. Part of the problem is hierarchs acting like politicians and feeling pressure to talk BS.

The other kind of ecumenism is just the basic idea that, as part of our missionary witness, we should meet with representatives of other faiths and engage in discussions, occasionally producing joint statements that demonstrate our common ground. This, in my opinion, is not in itself heretical. I think, however, that it's bad strategy. The chances of converting the representatives is very slim, and their followers on the ground aren't going to get our message undistorted, if they get it at all. More likely they'll just say, "look, we agreed on something again, we're all part of the same thing!" So I think this is counter-productive.

I very much agree, on both points.
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« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 09:20:37 PM »

Define ecumenism.

It's a good question. It really describes several different things, so I don't think talking about "the panheresy of ecumenism" is useful.

There is the heretical idea of "pluralism" that Asteriktos mentions, that has a relativistic stance toward other Christian confessions or even non-Christian religions, but this seems very rare to me, except perhaps as an unconscious attitude.

The "Traditionalist" attitude seems to be that a bishop makes a heretical statement at one time and, BAM, it's time to break communion. If you look back over the Church's history, she has survived all kinds of craziness without the Orthodox having to form a half dozen splinter groups.

A lot of the problematic statements that are brought up as evidence of heresy seem to me more like gaffes and brain-farts coming from sloppy thinking or a lax attitude, not some conscious attempt to renovate or contradict the Orthodox faith. Part of the problem is hierarchs acting like politicians and feeling pressure to talk BS.

The other kind of ecumenism is just the basic idea that, as part of our missionary witness, we should meet with representatives of other faiths and engage in discussions, occasionally producing joint statements that demonstrate our common ground. This, in my opinion, is not in itself heretical. I think, however, that it's bad strategy. The chances of converting the representatives is very slim, and their followers on the ground aren't going to get our message undistorted, if they get it at all. More likely they'll just say, "look, we agreed on something again, we're all part of the same thing!" So I think this is counter-productive.

Well to me anything WCC is heresy.   Services held together & prayer together is against canon law.   Putting idols & pagan artifacts on Orthodox Altars is heresy.   Bishops & priests openly giving communion to non-orthodox is wrong & happens.   I posted a link in an above message that shows these things in video format done by some Greek Orthodox monks.
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« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2010, 10:25:41 PM »

Define ecumenism.

It's a good question. It really describes several different things, so I don't think talking about "the panheresy of ecumenism" is useful.

There is the heretical idea of "pluralism" that Asteriktos mentions, that has a relativistic stance toward other Christian confessions or even non-Christian religions, but this seems very rare to me, except perhaps as an unconscious attitude.

The "Traditionalist" attitude seems to be that a bishop makes a heretical statement at one time and, BAM, it's time to break communion. If you look back over the Church's history, she has survived all kinds of craziness without the Orthodox having to form a half dozen splinter groups.

A lot of the problematic statements that are brought up as evidence of heresy seem to me more like gaffes and brain-farts coming from sloppy thinking or a lax attitude, not some conscious attempt to renovate or contradict the Orthodox faith. Part of the problem is hierarchs acting like politicians and feeling pressure to talk BS.

The other kind of ecumenism is just the basic idea that, as part of our missionary witness, we should meet with representatives of other faiths and engage in discussions, occasionally producing joint statements that demonstrate our common ground. This, in my opinion, is not in itself heretical. I think, however, that it's bad strategy. The chances of converting the representatives is very slim, and their followers on the ground aren't going to get our message undistorted, if they get it at all. More likely they'll just say, "look, we agreed on something again, we're all part of the same thing!" So I think this is counter-productive.

Well to me anything WCC is heresy.   Services held together & prayer together is against canon law.

I'm impressed. A few days ago you were unsure of the Orthodox veneration of icons, the eucharist, and other things, and now you can toss Orthodox canon law around with the best of 'em.

Look, there has never been a time in the Church where some hierarch wasn't messing with canon law, or some priest wasn't communing someone he shouldn't, or some weird teaching wasn't being disseminated somewhere with the approval of some clergy. If someone started a new "true Orthodox" church every time this happened, we would be like baptists of the East with all of our splitting. Somehow, the Church survived and the faith was preserved. Sometimes this brought about bitter strife culminating in councils to condemn the errors, but most of the time less drastic measures were called for. If you want to talk about some problematic "ecumenism" with Roman Catholics, it goes back centuries. The rigid and perfectionist attitude of the Old Calendarists is modern, not traditional. The history is a lot messier than some "supercorrect" Orthodox would like to think.

Quote
I posted a link in an above message that shows these things in video format done by some Greek Orthodox monks.

Do you really want to take a video from the 90's as your justification for hopping jurisdictions? Is this really something vital to your salvation? Is this really something, as someone just rediscovering Orthodoxy, that you should be obsessing about right now?
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2010, 03:18:29 PM »

Quote
Look, there has never been a time in the Church where some hierarch wasn't messing with canon law, or some priest wasn't communing someone he shouldn't, or some weird teaching wasn't being disseminated somewhere with the approval of some clergy. If someone started a new "true Orthodox" church every time this happened, we would be like baptists of the East with all of our splitting. Somehow, the Church survived and the faith was preserved. Sometimes this brought about bitter strife culminating in councils to condemn the errors, but most of the time less drastic measures were called for. If you want to talk about some problematic "ecumenism" with Roman Catholics, it goes back centuries. The rigid and perfectionist attitude of the Old Calendarists is modern, not traditional. The history is a lot messier than some "supercorrect" Orthodox would like to think.
Many Saints did just what you are condemning! Maximus the Confessor being a great example. The two period of iconoclasm are examples in which the breaking of communion also happened and the iconoclasts were regarded as being heretics without the Grace of the Mysteries. This is how the faith survived and was preserved. By having nothing to do with heresy!
Ecumenism involves breaking down and destroying the very foundation of the Orthodox Faith as the unique and saving Faith and One, True, Visible Church that can be known and is whole. We are not waiting for a future age of the Holy Spirit to renew the Church or create some new ecumenical Church. Our Ecclesiology is not "un-finished" as some Ecumenist theologians have argued.
The history of Ecumenism, Modernism and Sergianism/"Communist Orthodoxy" are linked together and so well documented that I don't know how you can simply write it off as so much meaningless brain farts. The complicity of the Sergianists in the outright murder of Orthodox Christians who refused to bow down before the servants of the Antichrist is a very serious heresy because to this day the actions of these clergymen is not condemned and the late Patriarch Alexy II even venerated Patriarch Sergius as some kind of martyr when he was one of the most actively involved in corrupting and destroying the Russian Church! Patriarch Athenagoras inserted Paul VI name into the diptychs and "lifted the Anathemas" as if he, one man, had the ability to declare such a thing! How can you write this off? Nobody is forcing the world-Orthodox bishops to be involved in Ecumenism! I will give a general definition of the heresy as a movement motivated by the goal for and belief in the necessity of ALL Non-Orthodox that the Ecumenist considers to be "Christians" or even just "children of God", whether this take the form of a branch theory limited to recognizing the hierarchy of Roman Catholics & Anglicans outside the Church or goes so far as to the recognition of the holiness of the Dalai Lama, to be essentially part of the One Church, or "faithful children of the One God", and that we should be united. In any case it involves denying the unique, One, True, Visible, Orthodox Church as being the Ark of Salvation.
The recent visit of the Pope to Cyprus is a good example of how far formerly Orthodox nations have fallen into either open heresy or indifferentism.
Quote
The "Traditionalist" attitude seems to be that a bishop makes a heretical statement at one time and, BAM, it's time to break communion.
What "Traditionalists" are you talking about? I know of no such time in the history of the True Orthodox when this took place? The Old Calendarists in Greece, excepting Bishop Matthew of Bresthena, were reluctant to declare the New Calendarists heretics bereft of the Mysteries for many years even when being persecuted by them!
Iconodule, I know that you are better than this! From reading your posts I can tell you love the Orthodox Faith and are intelligent as well as knowledgable.
Why do you deny the Traditionalists who chose to break communion for committment to the Truth in spite of the condemnation and persecution it brought, even the basic dignity deserving of Christians?

http://www.trueorthodoxy.info/cat_no_communion_with_heretics.shtml
Testimonies from the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Fathers on the Necessity of Having No Communion With Heretics and Schismatics, the Enemies of Christ
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2010, 04:10:29 PM »

Many Saints did just what you are condemning! Maximus the Confessor being a great example. The two period of iconoclasm are examples in which the breaking of communion also happened and the iconoclasts were regarded as being heretics without the Grace of the Mysteries. This is how the faith survived and was preserved. By having nothing to do with heresy!

First of all, I'm not condemning the actions of St. Maximus, St. Theodore the Studite, etc. I believe, as all Orthodox do, that their actions were righteous and holy. But they must also be taken into context and not used to excuse the kind of drop-of-the-hat anathemas and schisms that characterize Old Calendarism today. If you really have no idea what I'm talking about, look at the polemical site connected to the very website you referred me to- "Archbishop" Gregory's "True Orthodox Polemics," where he offers his excuses for not being in communion with a half dozen other Old Calendarist groups, and essentially argues that his synod (consisting of 2 bishops) heads the only real Orthodox Church left in the world.

Unfortunately, the Orthodox web is littered articles by people with this mindset, which quote Fathers and canons left and right but with an utterly imbalanced mindset.

I urge you to read the following article:
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/anti-patristic-stance-old-calendarist-zealots.aspx
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« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2010, 06:13:11 PM »

But still, Iconodule, the disagreements Archbishop Gregory has with so many others is not really drop-of-the-hat and he is thoughtful enough to list why he believes what he does. Whether we agree with him on all points is separate from the question of whether any of his actions were really so quick and frivolous as you imply.
The most basic point I was trying to make to you was that disagreeing with the True Orthodox and even not liking the attitude you find in certain individuals in these jurisdictions does not warrant writing-their actions off as drop-of-the-hat fanaticism!
When I read this abused word "super-correct" I often smirk because Fr.Seraphim was not in communion with world-Orthodoxy at any time in his life nor did he apply this to his fellow bishops such as Archbishop Averky (Taushev), whom he greatly admired, who actively supported the Greek Old Calendarists under Bishop Petros of Astoria.
Not all True Orthodox are what you think they are and with the exception of a few, such as the Kirykite faction, most True Orthodox are patient and intelligent individuals.
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« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2010, 06:44:07 PM »


I often smirk because Fr.Seraphim was not in communion with world-Orthodoxy at any time in his life


Dear Lenexa,

Fr Seraphim was received, by Chrismation, into the Orthodox Church in 1962 and at that time the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad communed and concelebrated with all the Orthodox Churches.  It was in 1969 that cracks began to appear in its relationships with other Churches.  In that year the Greek Archdiocese of America quietly ceased concelebration with ROCA clergy.  One by one over the years that followed concelebration among the clergy ceased.  Communion itself never actually ceased, especially for laity but also for clergy, and members of ROCA could be found communing in Greek churches and vice versa.

During his 20 years as Orthodox, Fr Seraphim was in full communion with "world Orthodoxy" for the first half and in limited communion for the second half.
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« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2010, 07:36:10 PM »


I often smirk because Fr.Seraphim was not in communion with world-Orthodoxy at any time in his life


The link is a photocopy of the 1968 Year Book of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.  

It shows that in 1968 the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad -under the holy Metropolitan Philaret - was part of "world Orthodoxy."


http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/1386/greekyearbook1968.jpg

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« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2010, 09:59:06 PM »

But still, Iconodule, the disagreements Archbishop Gregory has with so many others is not really drop-of-the-hat and he is thoughtful enough to list why he believes what he does. Whether we agree with him on all points is separate from the question of whether any of his actions were really so quick and frivolous as you imply.

I have to ask you, Lenexa- do you believe that the Orthodox Churches, which these schismatics call "world Orthodoxy," are graceless and heretical? If not, then why are you defending those who claim we are? This is not something where you can say, "I respect their opinion, but..." To declare Christ's true Church as graceless is nothing short of blasphemy and pride, and that is what I see exuding from people like "Archbishop" Gregory. His justifications for schism may seem thoughtful or deliberate, but they are just excuses cooked up to further his agenda to hold dominion over "true Orthodoxy". Breaking communion over the occasional perceived canonical breach, when there's no heresy, is frivolous.

(Ask some of the "Kiousites" (such as Fr. Anastasios here) what they think of Gregory's distorted history of their synod.)

Finally, I have to redirect you to the OP here- here is someone who is taking his first steps back toward Orthodoxy. He is, unfortunately, considering joining some schismatic group because of articles and videos he has seen on the internet. Even if you think my characterization of the "True Orthodox" is unjust, do you really think it's a good idea to defend them on this thread, unless you're one of their partisans (I'm assuming you're not)?
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« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2010, 11:19:06 PM »


Finally, I have to redirect you to the OP here- here is someone who is taking his first steps back toward Orthodoxy. He is, unfortunately, considering joining some schismatic group because of articles and videos he has seen on the internet. Even if you think my characterization of the "True Orthodox" is unjust, do you really think it's a good idea to defend them on this thread, unless you're one of their partisans (I'm assuming you're not)?

From my standpoint, I would say that it is fair to defend them if one believes that they have Grace (as I do).  I thank God for the ROCOR and the Greek Synod in Resistance.  Had I not found them in my early days of converting to Orthodoxy, I would likely have returned to the Lutheran Church.  As unlikely as it may seem, I found both (particularly the ROCOR) far more tolerant and loving toward the "World Orthodox" than I did the other way around.  Even though I now attend a "World Orthodox" parish (as does my wife and family), I still would recommend one of the "True Orthodox" Churches (I won't say "Old Calendar" since the "World Orthodox" Church that I attend is Old Calendar) to someone under certain conditions, just like I recommended a local Antiochian parish to certain people when I was a member of the ROCOR.  I believe that Salvation can be found in both.  For a person that cannot accept the World Council of Churches, Freemasonry, and other more "liberal" aspects of many "World Orthodox", it may be better for them to join the resisting groups.  It is very difficult to put yourself under the guidance of a Bishop and Priests that you do not trust.  On the other hand, for those (like my family) that find the more social aspects religion to be important, and who are not drawn to the more severe forms of Orthodoxy, they will be better served in the more modernist Churches.  All one has to do is browse some of the threads on this forum to see that some will never adapt to foreign languages, long services, fasts, frequent confession, and other aspects of the "Traditionalist" jurisdictions.  I have come to thank God that we have both in this country. 
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« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2010, 12:20:57 AM »


I still would recommend one of the "True Orthodox" Churches

.....  it may be better for them to join the resisting groups.


Words of truth and wisdom from Fr Michael Protopopov of
the Russian Church Abroad, once my beloved dean

For the full article please see
“The Russian True Orthodox Church”

http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/RTOC.htm

Those who have joined the "Suzdalites," the "Lazarites," the
Mansonvillians, and now the "Russian True Orthodox Church" of
the "Tikhonites" have all fallen away from the canonical Russian
Church. They have done so because they have scorned their oaths of
obedience and fidelity given at their consecrations or ordinations
and have thus rendered the Robe of Christ. Their sin is all the more
great because they have led some of Christ's flock into schism also.
The truly sad thing is that many lay people are innocent souls who
have placed their trust in unworthy men and may find themselves
outside the salvific Grace of the Holy Church.

The devil sows dissent and controversy in the Church to snare as many
souls as possible. In such times clear minds and stout hearts are
needed to ensure the unity of the Church. The simple measure of what
is right and what is wrong can be found in whether one is drawn into
leaving the jurisdiction of the bishop and looking for new, often
exotic, spurious alternatives.

If one's actions take a person outside the Church then that person is
outside the Church. There is no alternative. There is no shopping
list of churches. There is only One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
Church.



Very Rev Dr Michael Protopopov
9 March 2007
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« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2010, 12:35:57 AM »


Finally, I have to redirect you to the OP here- here is someone who is taking his first steps back toward Orthodoxy. He is, unfortunately, considering joining some schismatic group because of articles and videos he has seen on the internet. Even if you think my characterization of the "True Orthodox" is unjust, do you really think it's a good idea to defend them on this thread, unless you're one of their partisans (I'm assuming you're not)?

From my standpoint, I would say that it is fair to defend them if one believes that they have Grace (as I do).  I thank God for the ROCOR and the Greek Synod in Resistance.  Had I not found them in my early days of converting to Orthodoxy, I would likely have returned to the Lutheran Church.  As unlikely as it may seem, I found both (particularly the ROCOR) far more tolerant and loving toward the "World Orthodox" than I did the other way around.

I think Fr. Ambrose's statements about the ROCOR show in part why ROCOR is fundamentally different from the schismatic "True Orthodox" groups. The SiR are also different, in their way, in that they still consider the "World Orthodox" to have grace. Now, if you wanted to argue that the SiR and their friends (e.g. ROCA- Agafangel) are somehow part of the church, as opposed to, say, "Archbishop" Gregory's little group that says everyone else is graceless, I think that's a reasonable opinion. I tend to agree with their "True Orthodox" critics, though, in that their "ecclesiology of resistance" doesn't make much sense.

Quote
Even though I now attend a "World Orthodox" parish (as does my wife and family), I still would recommend one of the "True Orthodox" Churches (I won't say "Old Calendar" since the "World Orthodox" Church that I attend is Old Calendar) to someone under certain conditions, just like I recommended a local Antiochian parish to certain people when I was a member of the ROCOR.  I believe that Salvation can be found in both.  For a person that cannot accept the World Council of Churches, Freemasonry, and other more "liberal" aspects of many "World Orthodox", it may be better for them to join the resisting groups.

I am shocked to read this from you. What you are essentially saying is that "True Orthodoxy" and "World Orthodoxy" are both valid flavors of Orthodoxy to choose from depending on your inclinations. If someone is more interested in the "social aspects of religion" (whatever that means) then he can join the "World Orthodox" branch. If he's allergic to Freemasonry or WCC involvement (or organs, or pews, or abbreviated antiphons, or...) then he can join a "True Orthodox" branch. How can salvation be found in both, if at least one of the groups claims that the other is graceless and heretical?
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« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2010, 10:41:27 AM »


Finally, I have to redirect you to the OP here- here is someone who is taking his first steps back toward Orthodoxy. He is, unfortunately, considering joining some schismatic group because of articles and videos he has seen on the internet. Even if you think my characterization of the "True Orthodox" is unjust, do you really think it's a good idea to defend them on this thread, unless you're one of their partisans (I'm assuming you're not)?

From my standpoint, I would say that it is fair to defend them if one believes that they have Grace (as I do).  I thank God for the ROCOR and the Greek Synod in Resistance.  Had I not found them in my early days of converting to Orthodoxy, I would likely have returned to the Lutheran Church.  As unlikely as it may seem, I found both (particularly the ROCOR) far more tolerant and loving toward the "World Orthodox" than I did the other way around.

I think Fr. Ambrose's statements about the ROCOR show in part why ROCOR is fundamentally different from the schismatic "True Orthodox" groups. The SiR are also different, in their way, in that they still consider the "World Orthodox" to have grace. Now, if you wanted to argue that the SiR and their friends (e.g. ROCA- Agafangel) are somehow part of the church, as opposed to, say, "Archbishop" Gregory's little group that says everyone else is graceless, I think that's a reasonable opinion. I tend to agree with their "True Orthodox" critics, though, in that their "ecclesiology of resistance" doesn't make much sense.

Quote
Even though I now attend a "World Orthodox" parish (as does my wife and family), I still would recommend one of the "True Orthodox" Churches (I won't say "Old Calendar" since the "World Orthodox" Church that I attend is Old Calendar) to someone under certain conditions, just like I recommended a local Antiochian parish to certain people when I was a member of the ROCOR.  I believe that Salvation can be found in both.  For a person that cannot accept the World Council of Churches, Freemasonry, and other more "liberal" aspects of many "World Orthodox", it may be better for them to join the resisting groups.

I am shocked to read this from you. What you are essentially saying is that "True Orthodoxy" and "World Orthodoxy" are both valid flavors of Orthodoxy to choose from depending on your inclinations. If someone is more interested in the "social aspects of religion" (whatever that means) then he can join the "World Orthodox" branch. If he's allergic to Freemasonry or WCC involvement (or organs, or pews, or abbreviated antiphons, or...) then he can join a "True Orthodox" branch. How can salvation be found in both, if at least one of the groups claims that the other is graceless and heretical?

You accurately portrayed my understanding of the ROCOR and SiR.  I took care to use the quotes around “True Orthodox” and “World Orthodox” because I am not sure that I completely understand, much less totally agree with the way that these terms are often used.  Your shock at my writing would be well founded IF I were a person who believed that so-and-so is without Grace because some other so-and-so said so.  There are those that say that the ROCOR and SiR were (and in the case of the SiR, still are) without Grace.  Did that make it so?  For “graceless” Churches, they sure have contributed much to Orthodoxy.  Others say that the GOCA and the OCA are without Grace.  Are they?  I never have believed that.  In fact, I am not one that says that the other “True Orthodox” Churches are without Grace.  God will give His Grace to whom He wills, not who we think needs to have it.  As to people like Bishop Gregory, I don’t know if he has Grace.  God has not chosen to appear to me in a dream and reveal that to me.  I think that he is nuts and avoid him, and would suggest others to do so, too.  But that is my opinion.  I have purchased his icons and books published by those close to him and have found them very valuable.  As to his condemnation by other Churches based on the Canons, these same Churches could be condemned using the Canons.  It just depends on which ones you want to follow.  And no, I DO NOT believe that one has to be in communion with the Phanar to be Orthodox.  Many Holy Saints were not in Communion with Constantinople during parts of history.  And besides, Constantinople no longer exists, and I am one that believes that Moscow is the Third Rome.

So, given the above beliefs, I do believe that a person can find Salvation in any of the “Orthodox” Churches.  And I have already stated my respect and partiality to the Copts and other OO Churches as well.  I view the Church as a Hospital, and the various Bishops as doctors.  If I am suffering of diabetes, I am not going to go to a gynecologist for treatment.  Does that make the gynecologist any less of a doctor?  I, personally, do not have a lot of use for the jurisdictions that are commonly called “World Orthodoxy”.  I do not believe that they are Graceless.  I have just not found them very able to cure my disease.  I am not so arrogant as to believe that everyone has to have the same treatment that I have.  People have different diseases, and different tolerance of the medications.  Why would this not also be so regarding the spiritual matters?

As to “social aspects of religion”, I mean the fellowship between people.  Some (maybe most) find this very valuable.  I don’t.  I am a loner and large groups of people make me very nervous.  In fact, so do small groups.  I like individuals and like the “fellowship” of one on one interaction.  My wife, on the other hand, finds friendship and “belonging” and the like to be very important.  Perhaps instead of using the term “social” I should have used “gregarious”.  Some congregations are more gregarious than others.  Some people would be turned off by a congregation that was reserved.  I happen to like it.  I certainly do not view a socially outgoing and gregarious congregation as something bad, just not for me.
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« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2010, 10:47:37 AM »

It's a perfect definition of bad ecumenism.
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« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2010, 11:09:21 AM »

The truly sad thing is that many lay people are innocent souls who
have placed their trust in unworthy men and may find themselves
outside the salvific Grace of the Holy Church.

The devil sows dissent and controversy in the Church to snare as many
souls as possible. In such times clear minds and stout hearts are
needed to ensure the unity of the Church. The simple measure of what
is right and what is wrong can be found in whether one is drawn into
leaving the jurisdiction of the bishop and looking for new, often
exotic, spurious alternatives.

 

The truly sad thing is that many lay people have placed their trust in unworthy men instead of God, making them less than innocent.  I fully believe that if one is seeking God, he will find Him.  In a world where many stand at the street corner and say “we speak the Truth”, one has to learn to discern the Truth.  Keep in mind, Father, that I am not a cradle Orthodox.  I am a convert, and not one that took God lightly before my conversion.  I have been lied to before.  I am a bit more careful this time.  Many will call themselves “The Church”, but there is only One.  Yes, I believe in One, visible Church, and I believe that Church is the Orthodox Church.  The Scriptures tell us that we will know them by their fruits.  Looking at the condition of Orthodoxy in the world today, can you blame one for being cautious?  Perhaps where I have gone astray is that I do not believe that that Church will be perfect.  It will have flaws because it is filled with humans.  Perhaps one of the flaws is that not all parts of that “One Body” will recognize that some of the other parts belong to the same body.  Perhaps that also leads to my flaw of being more attached to the rituals of the Church than some.  If a creature that looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck comes up to me and says “I’m a duck,” I am not inclined to doubt it.  However, if a creature that looks like a swan, swims like a swan and honks like a swan comes up to me and says “that is not a duck, I am a duck”, I tend to be somewhat doubtful.  However, I will not pass final judgment until I can find my bird book and investigate the situation further. It is possible that someone misinformed me of what a duck actually looks like.

As to the second highlighted statement, I am sure that someone told Maximos the same thing, as they were tearing his tongue out.
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« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2010, 05:49:03 PM »


I often smirk because Fr.Seraphim was not in communion with world-Orthodoxy at any time in his life


Dear Lenexa,

Fr Seraphim was received, by Chrismation, into the Orthodox Church in 1962 and at that time the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad communed and concelebrated with all the Orthodox Churches.  It was in 1969 that cracks began to appear in its relationships with other Churches.  In that year the Greek Archdiocese of America quietly ceased concelebration with ROCA clergy.  One by one over the years that followed concelebration among the clergy ceased.  Communion itself never actually ceased, especially for laity but also for clergy, and members of ROCA could be found communing in Greek churches and vice versa.

During his 20 years as Orthodox, Fr Seraphim was in full communion with "world Orthodoxy" for the first half and in limited communion for the second half.
Fr.Seraphim became Orthodox on February 12, 1962 and died August 20, 1982 at forty eight years old. You write about the quietly broken communion by the GOA in 1969 as roughly the time when we can say before which Fr.Seraphim was in full communion with the world-Orthodox. Right? However between 1966 and 1969 Fr.Seraphim, then Eugene, published articles detailing how the EP had gone astray into the heresy of Ecumenism. Before that Fr.Seraphim wrote about the growth in Antichristianity, Sergianism, Nihilism and the great apostasy he saw around happening. I don't think it is fair to characterize him as having been in full communion with world-Orthodoxy for the first half of his life. If anything it was toward the end of his life that he views on world-Orthodoxy softened.
I concede that yes ROCOR was in an unusual situation for much of its existence in America as it had formally broken communion with the MP, and condemned the Soviet Church but had not issued any official statements against and were in communion with New Calendarists. However Fr.Seraphim's mentor and pastor Archbishop John (Maximovitch) as well as Bishop Nektary who mentored them later in monasticism and also Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Jordanville and I.M.Andreyev whom they greatly admired condemned the heresies of Ecumenism and Sergianism with I.M. Andreyev even writing his famous book Is Grace of God present in the Soviet Church?
ROCOR was never a part of SCOBA and the Ecumenist actions of GOA Archbishop Iakovos, such as formally praying with heretics in an Ecumenist liturgical service, were condemned before 1969, such as his praying as part of the funeral service for Cardinal Spellman in 1967.
Whether Fr.Seraphim viewed the issue of whether grace was present in world-Orthodoxy in the way Cyprianites do is debated though from what I've read of what he wrote I'm inclined to think that this was his view. However he actively opposed the heresies of Ecumenism and Sergianism during his life. I wish that St.Herman's would re-publish that great large volume Russia's Catacomb Saints which only by luck do I have a copy of.
While I concede that officially Fr.Seraphim was part of ROCOR for seven years when the GOA still stated they were in full-communion he was also in ROCOR for the thirteen more years after they ybroke communion. This is one more reason why I don't think to characterize him as having been in full communion with world-Orthodoxy for the first half of his life.
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« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2010, 06:20:29 PM »


I often smirk because Fr.Seraphim was not in communion with world-Orthodoxy at any time in his life


Dear Lenexa,

Fr Seraphim was received, by Chrismation, into the Orthodox Church in 1962 and at that time the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad communed and concelebrated with all the Orthodox Churches.  It was in 1969 that cracks began to appear in its relationships with other Churches.  In that year the Greek Archdiocese of America quietly ceased concelebration with ROCA clergy.  One by one over the years that followed concelebration among the clergy ceased.  Communion itself never actually ceased, especially for laity but also for clergy, and members of ROCA could be found communing in Greek churches and vice versa.

During his 20 years as Orthodox, Fr Seraphim was in full communion with "world Orthodoxy" for the first half and in limited communion for the second half.
Fr.Seraphim became Orthodox on February 12, 1962 and died August 20, 1982 at forty eight years old. You write about the quietly broken communion by the GOA in 1969 as roughly the time when we can say before which Fr.Seraphim was in full communion with the world-Orthodox. Right? However between 1966 and 1969 Fr.Seraphim, then Eugene, published articles detailing how the EP had gone astray into the heresy of Ecumenism. Before that Fr.Seraphim wrote about the growth in Antichristianity, Sergianism, Nihilism and the great apostasy he saw around happening. I don't think it is fair to characterize him as having been in full communion with world-Orthodoxy for the first half of his life.

 

You must understand how the Church functions.  It makes not the slightest bit of difference what Fr Seraphim thought about whether or not he was in communion with "world Orthodoxy"  His Synod of bishops were in communion and that is all that counts.   I can rant that I do not see myself as in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, but no matter how much I write and explain and protest,  I AM in communion with Moscow simply because my bishops are.   I can write how dreadful the EP is, but because my bishops are in communion with the EP so am I.  The only way I can break communion with "world Orthodoxy" is by leaving my bishops and going to another bishop not in communion with them.   I shall not do this and neither did Fr Seraphim.  Believe me, he was most certainly, and voluntarily, in full communion with "world Orthodoxy."
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« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2010, 06:25:54 PM »

A small aside:  I am told that many GOCs and TOCs do not regard Fr Seraphim as an Orthodox Christian let alone a priest.  It is because he was not baptized.  His "baptism" was in the heresy of Methodism when he was 14.   He would have not been allowed to serve Liturgy or receive Communion in the monasteries of Mount Athos.  I do not know which Church you yourself belong to but is this how they view it?
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« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2010, 07:05:03 PM »

But still, Iconodule, the disagreements Archbishop Gregory has with so many others is not really drop-of-the-hat and he is thoughtful enough to list why he believes what he does. Whether we agree with him on all points is separate from the question of whether any of his actions were really so quick and frivolous as you imply.

I have to ask you, Lenexa- do you believe that the Orthodox Churches, which these schismatics call "world Orthodoxy," are graceless and heretical? If not, then why are you defending those who claim we are? This is not something where you can say, "I respect their opinion, but..." To declare Christ's true Church as graceless is nothing short of blasphemy and pride, and that is what I see exuding from people like "Archbishop" Gregory. His justifications for schism may seem thoughtful or deliberate, but they are just excuses cooked up to further his agenda to hold dominion over "true Orthodoxy". Breaking communion over the occasional perceived canonical breach, when there's no heresy, is frivolous.

(Ask some of the "Kiousites" (such as Fr. Anastasios here) what they think of Gregory's distorted history of their synod.)

Finally, I have to redirect you to the OP here- here is someone who is taking his first steps back toward Orthodoxy. He is, unfortunately, considering joining some schismatic group because of articles and videos he has seen on the internet. Even if you think my characterization of the "True Orthodox" is unjust, do you really think it's a good idea to defend them on this thread, unless you're one of their partisans (I'm assuming you're not)?
Though this may offend you I am no longer a part of world-Orthodoxy and cannot but believe that world-Orthodoxy is bereft of the Mysteriological Grace from God. However I don't know why you can't respect this opinion? We respect Roman Catholics and we tell them that they don't have the Grace of the Mysteries!? I did not come to believe what I do overnight! Since I became interested in becoming Orthodox seven years ago I quickly came to find out about the heresy of Ecumenism and the history of the Church in the Twentieth Century. But also quickly made friends with people at the mission I attended then and the elderly priest who mentored me and became like a second grandfather for me. In my conversations with him he cautioned me to be patient but did affirm that Ecumenism is a heresy but it will take time for it to be formally condemned as so by the Patriarchates. I tend to be a very social person who always hugs and kisses on both cheeks with his friends. It is difficult for me and even painful to disagree and argue with my friends and family. I was persuaded that things were actually getting better since the fall of Communism and I tend read about and see signs of this. For a brief time Patrick Barnes, the webmaster of Orthodoxinfo.com, attended the mission I attended after leaving the Synod in Resistance which has a Church roughly a hour drive north of the mission I attended. I was then made comfortable with world-Orthodoxy, was baptised and while still defending the stance of the Cyprianites and ROCOR at the time, which was prior to the MP-ROCOR union when many still regarded them as graceless schismatics, I regarded the True Orthodox as schismatics worthy of derision.
However I was what is sometimes called "Conservative New Calendarism". I liked reading the works of Fr.Seraphim intensely and was in total agreement with him. I venerated Elder Cleopa and Elder Paisius of Romania. I also venerated Elder Paisios the New (Athonite) and acquired and began reading the four volumes of the Philokalia translated in part by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware. There really was little reason for a long time for me to take anymore interest in the True Orthodox or the question of grace. Then I was given a copy of the biography of Fr.Seraphim by Hieromonk Damascene, Fr.Seraphim Rose His Life and Works . I came to the time of ROCOR in the 1970's and the issue of communion with Greek Old Calendarists and became intrigued. I remembered reading about this briefly but was under the impression that this was a short time period in which ROCOR was simply trying help a persecuted group that then betrayed them. I looked more into it and discovered the writings of Vladimir Moss, this was roughly four-and-a-half years ago. I read and learned a lot about what has happened during the twentieth century but skimmed much of it and just couldn't accept that anything, no matter how evil, ever really constituted heresy. I always agreed that praying with heretics was a clear violation of the canons but that doesn't necessarily mean that bishop has lapsed into heresy and the faith itself, I convinced myself, has not been changed from the personal heretical views of certain bishops nor by the detestable actions of certain Soviet and Serbian hierarchs submitting to Atheist Communism. Basically I tried to focus on the positive and simply ignore the real question of what has to happen and what constitutes heresy and loss of grace. Again I always agreed with the Cyprianites in all things except breaking communion because I really couldn't understand why you would break communion with those you believe are still the Church nor could I agree that only an Ecumenical Council can condemn a heresy or heretics and declare them outside the Church. I would say, we couldn't still have the amazing grace filled men you see in NE Romania, Athos, and in a few places in Greece, Russia and Serbia if they were outside the Church. Roughly a year ago I began anew my reading and study of the True Orthodox and the history of Orthodoxy in the Twentieh Century. At this time I also decided to study intently another area of Orthodox history that I never felt comfortable with nor had I come to a satisfactory understanding of, the so-called Old Believer Schism and Niconian Reforms. I don't know if I can pin point was inspired this renewed vigor to really study and introspect on my faith and the issues of heresy and apostasy but I think part of it was the shock at the election of Patriarch Irinej and one of his initial statements being about a desire to enter into formal talks and relations with the Vatican mentioning that adoption of the Gregorian Calendar was not off the table! Eventually my studying came to a head. Yes it was very recent but after seven years I cannot be a part of world-Orthodoxy anymore. I do believe that the events of the Twentieth Century, particularly the acceptance of the New Calendar and Sergianism and Ecumenism did cause the over-whelming majority of the Orthodox Church to fall into heresy and away from the Church. However I am still studying the issue of the Niconian Reforms and leaning toward the Belokrinitsky Old Believers as being the faithful Remnant; the True Church. However to discuss this would involve events preceding the twentieth century and the advent of Ecumenism and Sergianism so I will not get into it here.
Though most of you think I am wrong please at least respect me enough to recognise that this was not a case of "super-correct" drop of the hat fanaticism. This is really the last thing I could ever have wanted. I liked my friends and family in my former parishes. I miss them dearly and would like it if we could go Church together again but I simply cannot ignore and deny what I believe in my heart to be the case.
But to clarify a few other points or questions.
No, I don't agree with Archbishop Gregory of Dormition skete but merely attached a link to his website which, though I don't agree with him on everything, has a lot of interesting, useful articles and photos.
Quote
Ask some of the "Kiousites" (such as Fr. Anastasios here)
Though I diagree with the promotion of Fr. Romanides heterodoxy I do have a lot of respect for HOTCA and the True Orthodox Church of Greece under Archbishop Kallinikos, previously under Archbishop Chrysostom II of blessed memory.
I also have read an essay written by Fr.Anastasios Hudson while attending SVS title Metropolitan Petros of Astoria: Microcosm of the Old Calendar Movement in America . I found it very interesting and well written. Before reading this essay I knew very little about Metropolitan Petros life.



Clergy names prepended with appropriate titles to make post compliant with forum policy... Even though you may not recognize their ordinations as canonical, most of the members of this forum do, so we still expect that they be respected for the priestly office they hold within our church by having their names accompanied by their titles. If you have any questions about this policy, please PM them to me.  -PtA
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