I just thought that it might be best if I clear up a lot of misgivings and much misinformaion regarding two topics in this thread. In advance please forgive me.
It seems that there is some information that is being shared here that in many key areas is not correct and thus leading people ot the wrong conclusions. i wish to respond to two posts in particular.
If a bishop or a group has a problem with their own diocese, you should solve it in a conciliar and brotherly manner. You don't break off and form your own church -- the "only true Orthodox church" ( and we hear this so much in Orthodoxy, it's very annoying) -- and declare everyone else schismatic or heretical.
The ROAC has never claimed in any official documents or Ukases that it is the only Orthodox Church, nor has it ever in the same manner considered itself the only Church with grace an all the others graceless.
Bishop Gregory is the ONLY person who has said this and he was reprimanded by the Metropolitan for doing so. As we see nothing seems to have come from that and he is still sharing this PERSONAL OPINION as if it were fact.
You might all recall the website of Saint Seraphim Church in California a few months back had this stated upon it. This statement was put on the website at the direction of Bishop Gregory and because at the time he, Father John Claypool was under obedience to him, Bishop Gregory, as his bishop he complied. However, at the word of the Synod through the Metropolitan the first week that the Metropolitan was here Father John was told to remove the document from his site which he did within 24 hours of being told to do so.
As previously stated there is no document stating that there are only "X" ammount of churches that have grace and that all others do not.
All of the priests who are now directly under the authority of the Synod of the ROAC as Bishop Gregory has been retired and does not have the approval of the Synod to perform the Mysteries, know this and have been told by the Metropolitan himself that this is the case with grace.
My second point is with the following quote:
It may not be too late. If he were to become Orthodox again, he would be accepted back as a layman and could in theory get married and later ordained a deacon, as his current ordination is defective. Of course, if he wished to become Orthodox once again and still serve as a celibate deacon, he could petition a canonical Orthodox bishop to receive him and correct his defective ordination through economia. Either way, I pray that he finds his way back to the Orthodox Church.
I find this sad, epsecially in light of the above statements. How is it that one can have the audacity (I am generalizing here not attacking) to assume that the Mysteries of one Synd are valid and that another does not? Does this not mean that if they make this assumption and accusation that they know the thoughts and Will of God? This is sad. I believe that as I stated earlier that it is unfair for ROAC to be attacked as a whole because one bishop has errant views and he refuses to act in accordance with the Synod and its decisions.
Granted yes, in the past those who were under Bp. Gregory were of one mind with him, however, at least for me, it is because this is the same man we were asking spiritual guidance from and so these are the answers that we were given and in good faith we asumed that he was f one mind with the Synod. We were wrong. I on behalf of myself ask forgiveness for these misgivings and pray that in time forgiveness might be granted to me, if not by man than by God for not seeking the truth of the matter with those connected to the Synod.
I, even if I were not in ROAC would still see Nikolai's ordination as valid just as I see anyone else's ordination as valid because I do not have the right to judge the soul of another man or his vocation unless he or the man that ordained him is in error or schism.
As for the reason for the name of Father Deacon Nikoli and the reason for the change, this was totally on the part of Nikolai and was not mandatory. He was ordained in a Slavonic Church. His name in Slavonic is Nikolai and thus he chose to retain the name that was pronounced as his name at his ordination. For those who are wondering he will still answer to the name of Nicholas, but wit hthe repect and honor due the rank he has received.
I will, if allowed to do so, continue to respond to this thread as necassary and also as new information comes ot light I will share it with you.
I do not harbor hatred or anyone. My intent here is to correct som e information, however, if i am found in error please let me know. I will find any way I can to get the answers that you seek regarding this situation and will keep you up to date on its forthcoming events and statements.
I appologize if I have offended anyone. I end my post the way I began it, Please forgive me.