Lenexa, just out of curiosity, are there any websites that you'd recommend to learn more about the priested Old Believers? Or any books written in English? I know a priest of my synod has a book which is a collection of writings from various Old Believers translated into English, but I lent the book out to someone and it's been awhile since I read it myself.
Also, do the Old Believers that you're familiar with ever have discussions or dialogue with any of the Catacomb synods in Russia or elsewhere today? I would think that the Old Believers would be closer to the Greek Old Calendarists and Catacomb Orthodox in regards to Ecumenism than they'd be with the World Orthodox. Even though the Old Believers separated from the other Orthodox Churches before the calendar change of the 1920s and the other Ecumenical events that have followed, have the Old Believers written or discussed about the calendar change and Ecumenism in general?
I recommend this website archeodox.wordpress.com
. Unfortunately the owner of that website has not updated it for over a year and never completed translating the "Varakin debate". I was in contact with him for a short time but, sadly, he, last I recall, returned to Russia and I've been unable to get in contact with him. I am slowly trying to learn enough Russian to finish the translation but as a busy father of two small boys progress is slow. Though I would not trade fatherhood or my wonderful sons for anything! Other than that there is really very little online in English. Auto-Translations of the Russian websites, and there are MANY, are of poor quality but can be useful in getting a feel for what's going on and give some knowledge if you can muddle through with a Russian-English dictionary where the meaning is not clear from the auto-translation.
Not sure if this helps but there are some videos of Feastday celebration, some showing Metropolitan Kornily, and various Belokrinitsky parish Churches, most of those I've watched are from Andronovo, which can be viewed on Youtube. Granted none of this is English but just watching and seeing what the Old Rite is like in practice is helpful.
A lot of my knowledge comes from personal correspondence with Old Believers. Their guidance has been the greatest help to me!
In terms of books in English directly about the Priested Old Believers I cannot say that I know of any ever written in English! Sad, I know!
A book that is still read and followed by Old Believers is the Domostroi
of which there is an English translation by Carolyn Johnston Pouncy. While it was translated for secular historical research purposes it is still a good translation.
There is a complete translation of the second redaction of the Life of St.Avvakum translated by Kenneth Brostrom and published by Michigan Slavic publication. http://www.amazon.com/Archpriest-Avvakum-written-Michigan-Translations/dp/0930042336/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333326703&sr=8-1
The annotations and commentary essays in this translation are of a highly secular nature (miracles are never real, etc.) but it is the only complete translation of this book I've come across. This was written by St.Avvakum as a kind of Autobiography but not in a modern sense. It really is very similar in nature to St.Augustine's book the Confessions
. The way this man suffered was so horrible that I found myself crying at points when reading it.
The Church of the Nativity in Erie, PA, Old-Rite ROCOR, has a bookstore with some excellent books. I particularly love that they translated "A Son of the Church" which is an excellent primer that I always carry around! Yet there are not any books specifically about the Priested Old Believers and the parish itself was originally part of a Pomortsy Priestless Old Believer community. If you want I can privately send you .pdf copies of the priestly editions (for priests with detailed rubrics and prayers only said by the clergy such as the Prothesis) of the Divine Liturgies translated and used by the Old Rite Church in Erie of Sts. John Chrysostom and Basil the Great and the Pre-Sanctified of St.Gregory the Dialogist. These are in both Church Slavonic and English like their prayerbook. To post them here would violate forum policy.
PLEASE tell me the name of the book you mentioned as I did not know such a compilation in English existed?
The Priested Old Believers I'm familiar with personally don't really pay much attention to the issues of Ecumenism and the Calendar change as it really has not affected them much. However recently there was a schism in which a group broke away from the Russian Belokrinitsky Metropolitanate over what the group sees as the Ecumenism of Met. Kornily and the monk Alimpiev. There was an event in the 19th Century in Russia in which an Encyclical was published, 1862, in which the Russian Belokrinitsky bishops clarified their stance on many issues and yet their clarification sparked a schism over the encyclical stating what some saw as heretical views particularly with regard to Ecclesiological issues. I view the current schism as similar to that event though I many be drawing a false parallel as really do not have enough information to make an informed judgment.
As far as any dialogue with Old Calendarists I posted this in another discussion
I was just wondering if there's any type of communion between any of the Old Calendarist jurisdictions and Russian Old Believers? I know there are some Old Believers that have priests and bishops so I was just wondering if any of them have a relationship to any Old Calendarists?
There are two groups of Popovsti that have bishops and neither has communion with any Old Calendarists who though they often sympathize with them they still see as being "Nikonians"
1)The Belokrinitskaya (began in 1846 with Metropolitan Amvrosii who converted Old Orthodoxy after being a bishop in the Patriarchate of Constantinople)
2)Novozybkovskaya (begun by Archbishop Nikola (Pozdnev) and Bishop Stephan (Rastorguev) in September 1929). Currently they are not in communion and until recently there was a lot of polemics against the Belokrinitskaya by the Novozybkov. In recent years the schisms from the Novozybkov such as the "Slavo-Iberian" Old Orthodox have been resolved and resulted in the founding the of the Old Orthodox Church of Georgia which follows the Georgian Rite before the 18th Century Georgian liturgical reforms. http://www.oldorthodox.ge/ It will take time for the Novozybkovskaya and Belokrinitskaya to restore communion and unify but I think that with the recent cessation of polemics against St.Metropolian Amvrosii by the Novozybkovskaya there is real hope for such an event in the near future.
Having said all that, I gotta be honest I'm suprised that no one has mentioned the "Kirykites" (Extremist-Matthewite Schism, in my opinion) formal talks with the Russian Old-Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate AKA the Novozybkov Hierarchy which is headed by Patriarch Alexander. I really have had a hard time understanding how there can be intercommunion between them since the Kirykites follow the contemporary Greek Rite which according to Old Orthodoxy is not a legitimate expression of Orthodoxy but in fact is heterodoxy. I will not argue this here but am simply explaining how what for many "Nikonians" is simply the normative way of making Sign of the Cross, making the "seal" with three fingers (thumb, index, middle) is blasphemy to Old Believers because they believe the "seal" should be made with the two fingers (index and middle) representing the one person of our Lord in two natures because we are sealed in the Blood of the Lamb, we confess and seal ourselves with Christ Crucified and as Old Believers understand it this is the primary and original purpose of the Sign of the Cross. To seal oneself with the Trinity is to place the Trinity on the Cross which is blasphemy to an Old Believer. This is just one difference but I think that it is key to understanding the divide between Old Believers and "Nikonians" or mainstream Orthodox. Old Believers do not believe there is such as thing as separation between Ritual and Doctrine. Yes they do agree that there were different Rites but they believe there are key aspects or practices that are of Apostolic Tradition which are identical in all Rites that maintain fidelity to Apostolic Tradition.
Now, why the talks between the Old-Orthodox Patriarchate and Kirykite Metropolitanate. Here is an entry I found on the Kirykite website http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/A_Time_Line_of_the_20th_and_21st_Centuries.htm
2008 AD — Council of Athens, convened and presided over by Metropolitan Kirykos of Mesogaias, and attended by hierarchs and clergy representing Greece, Africa, Russia, Cyprus and Romania, enters into theological dialogue with the Novozybkov Old Rite Synod of Russia under Patriarch Alexander of Moscow. Personally I think that Metropolitan Kirykos following the Matthewite belief that the Greek Church went immediately into schism and bereft of sacramental grace in 1924 with the implementation of the Calendar change is wanting to find out more about the Old Believer Popovsti (priested Old Believers) and their beliefs about the Russian Church going into heresy with the Nikonian reforms. But I really am at a loss as far as what the ultimate goal of these talks really is? I can only imagine that one group is hoping to convert the other?
Also I read about the repentence, 2007, of a certain Belokrinitsky Hieromonk, Simeon (Durasova), who had previously stated in 2005 that he believed that the Belokrinitsky, Novozybkovsky, ROCA, and Greek Old Calendarists (not sure who exactly he meant be this) all were the Church.