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Author Topic: Ecumenism from 11th century Rus, the letter from Saint John II of Kiev to Pope  (Read 8633 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gunnarr
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« on: July 05, 2013, 12:19:07 AM »

Hello! I have here, a letter written by Saint John II, Metropolitan of Kiev. 1077-1089 AD

It was addressed to the "Archbishop of Rome". Most scholars now agree that it was to the anti-pope Clement III who was in Rome that this letter was sent to. I only have the english translation of it, and the source will be given at the end. I hope some Roman Catholics comment how wrong he is Wink

(if you want to read it in pages, go to the first or second source linked on the bottom of the page, I find it easier to read)


"I have loved thy glory, O lord and blessed father, most worthy of the apostolic seat and vocation, who from afar hast looked down upon our humility and poverty, and cherishest us with the wings of love, and salutest us as thine own in thy charity, and inquirest specially concerning our true and orthodox faith, and when thou heardest admired, for so the bishop related to us of your blessedness. And since thou art such and so great a priest, I therefore in my poverty salute thee, honouring thy head and kissing thy hands and arms. Mayst thou be joyful and protected by the supreme hand of God, and may God Almighty grand good order to thee, thy spirituals, and us. I know not whence heresies have arisen respecting the true way of salvation and redemption ; and I cannot sufficiently wonder what devil was so malignant and envious, so hostile to the truth, and such an adversary to our mutual good-will, as to alienate our brotherly love from the whole Christian congregation, by saying that we are not Christians; we for our parts have from the beginning acknowledged that by the grace of God ye are Christians, although ye do not keep the faith of Christ in all things, and are in many things divided,— a fact which I will show you from the seven great synods by which the orthodox Christian faith has been established and definitely confirmed, in which also the wisdom of God has built herself a house as it were upon seven pillars. Moreover, all the popes who sat in these seven synods were held worthy of the chair of St. Peter, because they agreed with us. In the first synod was Pope Sylvester; in the second, Damasus; in the third, Celestinus; in the fourth, the most blessed Pope Leo; in the fifth, Vigil; in the sixth, Oaphanius, a venerable man, and learned in the Holy Scriptures; in the seventh, the holy Pope Adrian, who first sent Peter as bishop and abbot of the monastery of St. Savas, whence have subsequently arisen dissensions between us and you, which have principally prevailed in ancient Rana. Truly, there are many evil things done by you contrary to the divine laws and statues, of which we will briefly write to thy charity. First, concerning the unlawful observance of fasting on the Sabbath; secondly, concerning the great fast from which ye cut off a week, and eat meats, and allure men to you by the gluttony of feasting. You reject also those priests who lawfully marry wives. Ye also anoint a second time those who have been anointed in baptism by the presbyters, and say that baptisms may not be performed by simple priests but by bishops only. So likewise with respect to unwholesome unleavened bred, which manifestly indicates Jewish service or worship. And, which is the chief of all evils, ye have begun to alter and pervert those things which were ratified by the holy synods, and say of the Holy Ghost, that he not only proceeds from the Father but also from the Son, with many more things, concerning which your Blessedness ought to refer to your spiritual brother, the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to use all diligence that such errors should be at some time removed, and that we should be united in spiritual harmony, as St. Paul says in his instructive words, 'I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye think and speak the same thing, and that there be no division among you, and that ye be joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.'
We have written to you as much as we could of these six excesses; we will hereafter write to thy charity of other things also. For if it be true as we have heard, thou thyself wilt acknowledge with me that the canons of the holy apostles are transgressed by you, as well as the institutes of the seven great councils, at which all your first patriarchs were present, and united in pronouncing your doctrine to be in vain. And that you are manifestly wrong, I will now plainly prove. In the first place, with reference to fasting on the Sabbath, you see what the holy apostles, whose doctrine ye hold, taught respecting it, as well as the most blessed Pope Clement, the first after the Apostle St. Peter, who thus writes concerning the Sabbath, from the statutes of the apostles, as it is given in the sixty-forth canon :—If an ecclesiastic be found to fast on the Lord's day or the Sabbath, except the great Sabbath, let him be degraded; but if a layman do so, let him be excommunicated and separated from the Church. Secondly, with reference to general fasting, which ye corrupt. It is a heresy of the Jacobites and Armenians, who use sheep's milk even on the great holy fast, for what true Christian dares so to do or to think? Read the canons of the sixth great synod, in which your Pope Oaphanius forbids these things. We indeed, when we learned that in Armenia and some other places they ate cheese made from the sheep's milk at the great fast, ordered our people who were there to abstain from such food and from every sacrifice to the devils; from which, if a man abstain not, he should be separated from the Church; and if he be a priest, he should be suspended from performing the sacred offices. Moreover, the third error and sin is very great, concerning the marriage of priests, for ye forbid those who have wives to receive the Lord's body; whereas the holy council, which had held at Gangra, writes in the fourth canon, 'He who despises a priest who has a wife according to law, and says that it is not lawful to receive the sacrament at his hand, let him be accursed.' The council also says, 'Every deacon or priest putting away his own wife shall be deprived of his priesthood'. The fourth sin is the anointment of confirmation. It is not everywhere said in the councils, 'I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins'. If, therefore, there is one baptism, there will be also one anointing, and the virtue of the bishop will be the same as that of the priest. The fifth error is with reference to unleavened bread, which error indeed is the beginning and root of all heresy, as I will prove; and although it might be necessary to bring to proof many Scriptures, yet I will do otherwise, and for the present will merely say: That the Jews make unleavened bread in memory of their deliverance and flight from Egypt; but we are once for all Christians—we never were in Egyptian bondage—and we have been commanded to omit this kind of Jewish observances with respect to the Sabbath, unleavened bread, and circumcision. And as St. Paul says, whosoever follows one of them is bound to keep the whole law; for the same apostle says, 'Brethren, I have received from the Lord, that which also I have delivered unto you, how that the Lord on the night on which he was betrayed, took bread, blessed, and sanctified it, broke it and gave it to the holy disciples, saying, Take and eat, etc.' Consider what I say: he did not say, 'The Lord taking unleavened bread', but bread. That on that occasion, no unleavened bread was used,—and that it was not the Passover,—and that the Lord was not then eating the Passover with his disciples, is probably from the fact, that the Jews' Passover was eaten standing, which was not the case at Christ's supper, as the Scripture says, 'While they were lying down with the twelve'; also, 'And the disciple lay upon his bosom at supper'. For when he himself says, 'With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you', he does not understand the Jews' Passover, which he had often before eaten with them. Nor when he says, 'This do in remembrance of me', did he impose the necessity of doing as at the Jews' Passover. Nor does he give them unleavened bread, but bread, when he says 'Behold the bread which I give you''; and likewise to Judas, 'To whomsoever I shall give the bread when I have dipped it in the salt, he shall betray me'. But if ye argue, 'we use unleavened bread in the sacrament, because in divine things there is no admixture of the earthly', why then have ye forgotten divinity, and follow the rites of the Jews, walking in the heresy of Julian himself, of Mahomet, of Apollinarius, and Paul the Syrian, of Samosata, and Eutychius, and Dioscorus, and others, who were pronounced at the sixth Council to be most depraved heretics, and filled with the spirit of the devil? For why do ye say, 'I believe in God the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost, who proceeds from the Father and the Son'? Truly it is marvelous and horrible to speak of, that ye thus dare pervert the faith, while from the beginning it has been constantly sung in all the Churches throughout the whole world, 'I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who, together with the Father and the Son, is worshiped and glorified'. Why then do ye not say as all other Christians do, instead of making additions, and introducing a new doctrine, while on the other hand the Apostle declares, 'If any man preach to you more than those things which we have declared to you, let him be anathema.' I hope ye may not fall under that curse, for it is a dangerous and a fearful thing to alter and pervert the Scripture of God, composed by the saints. Do ye not know how very great is your error? For ye introduce two virtues, two wills, and two principles, with reference to the Holy Spirit, taking away and making of small account his honour, and ye conform to the Macedonian heresy, from which God preserve us. I bow myself at thy sacred feet, and beseech thee to cease from errors of this kind which are amongst you, and above all abstain from unleavened bread. I wished also to write something concerning strangled and unclean animals, and of monks eating meat, but if it please God, I will write of these hereafter. Excuse me of thy extreme charity that I have written to thee of these things. Examine the Scriptures and thou will find whether the things which are done by you ought to be done. I pray thee, my Lord, write to my Lord the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to the holy metropolitans who have in themselves the word of life, and shine as lights in the world. For it may be, that by their means God may inquire concerning errors of this sort, and correct and settle them. Afterwards, if it shall seem good to thee, write to me who am least among all others. I, Metropolitan of Russia, salute thee and all thy subjects, both clergy and laity. The holy bishops, monks, kings, and great men, salute thee also. The love of the Holy Spirit be with thee and all thine. Amen."

Source for the text:
http://international.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mtfxtx&fileName=txg/g340002190a//mtfxtxg340002190a.db&recNum=232&itemLink=r?intldl/mtfront:%40field%28NUMBER%2B%40od1%28mtfxtx%2Bg340002190a%29%29&linkText=0
http://books.google.com/books?id=XP46AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA59&lpg=PA59&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false

I hope you do not shorten it, I painstakingly typed the entire thing out...

(oh, and this is all basically pubilc domain Wink
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 12:21:27 AM by Gunnarr » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 12:40:46 AM »

Thank you for taking the time to type this out, I enjoy reading things like this!
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 12:42:18 AM »

Secondly, with reference to general fasting, which ye corrupt. It is a heresy of the Jacobites and Armenians, who use sheep's milk even on the great holy fast, for what true Christian dares so to do or to think? Read the canons of the sixth great synod, in which your Pope Oaphanius forbids these things. We indeed, when we learned that in Armenia and some other places they ate cheese made from the sheep's milk at the great fast, ordered our people who were there to abstain from such food and from every sacrifice to the devils; from which, if a man abstain not, he should be separated from the Church; and if he be a priest, he should be suspended from performing the sacred offices.

...

The fifth error is with reference to unleavened bread, which error indeed is the beginning and root of all heresy, as I will prove...But if ye argue, 'we use unleavened bread in the sacrament, because in divine things there is no admixture of the earthly', why then have ye forgotten divinity, and follow the rites of the Jews, walking in the heresy of Julian himself, of Mahomet, of Apollinarius, and Paul the Syrian, of Samosata, and Eutychius, and Dioscorus, and others, who were pronounced at the sixth Council to be most depraved heretics, and filled with the spirit of the devil?

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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2013, 05:09:06 PM »

I was looking for this a couple of weeks ago.  The Vatican/UGCC keep saying that Kiev wasn't given the option until Brest.  It was, and it chose rightly.

Btw, next time, go to the button in the upper right corner, with the gear icon, pull down the menu, and chose "Plain Text."
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 05:10:51 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2013, 06:09:02 PM »

Btw, if you want the Greek and Russian text, it is here:
Критическіе опыты по исторіи древнѣйшей греко-русской полемики против латинян by Алексѣй Степанович Павлов
http://books.google.com/books?id=yX1JAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA169&dq=%22%D0%9F%D0%BE+%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%83+%D1%81%D0%B2%D1%8F%D1%89%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BC%D1%83+%D0%B8+%D1%81%D0%B2%D1%8F+%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BC%D1%83+%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%83+%D0%B8+%D1%81%D1%8A+%D1%81%D0%BB%D1%83%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%B1%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D1%83%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=f5fYUY_SBIWrqAGPq4H4Cg&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22%D0%9F%D0%BE%20%D0%B2%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BC%D1%83%20%D1%81%D0%B2%D1%8F%D1%89%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%BC%D1%83%20%D0%B8%20%D1%81%D0%B2%D1%8F%20%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%BC%D1%83%20%D0%B1%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%83%20%D0%B8%20%D1%81%D1%8A%20%D1%81%D0%BB%D1%83%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%B1%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%BA%D1%83%22&f=false
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2013, 11:16:23 PM »

Very interesting. I'm bookmarking this. Do we have letters from other bishops to the Bishop of Rome adjuring him to return to Orthodoxy?

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