ADDRESS

Of the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal Diocese

of the Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox Church

to all Orthodox Christians in the Fatherland and in the Diaspora

 

We, participants in the 8th Congress of the clergy, monastics and laity of the Suzdal Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, being zealous for the glory of God and the preservation of the patristic Orthodox teaching, address all those to whom Orthodoxy is dear. And first of all we address those clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), both in Russia and abroad, whose Christian conscience cannot be reconciled with the treacherous course of action chosen by the hierarchy of the Church Abroad.

 

In spite of difficulties and obstacles raised up on the path of our salvation, the Suzdal Diocese and the whole Russian [Rossijskaya] Orthodox Church strives to go by that path which was trodden by the Russian Orthodox Church headed by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. By the mercy of God and the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, our parishes have increased the numbers of their members and continue, as far as they are able, the work of regenerating Orthodoxy in Russia.

 

For us a huge significance attaches to the blessing and instruction of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) that was given by him before his blessed end to the parishes of the Suzdal Diocese that were in the process of regeneration.

 

10 years ago, the parish of the Emperor Constantine left the Moscow Patriarchate. This became an important event in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, since in Russia for the first time there appeared a legal Orthodox community not entering into the structure of the sergianist hierarchy.

 

Much has changed in the past years. But the saddest thing for us has been the clear apostasy of the Church Abroad for its own confessing path. That which has been taking place there in the last years witnesses to the fact that power in the Hierarchical Synod belongs now, not to the zealots of Orthodoxy, but to people who are not ashamed crudely to violate the canons and wills of the Blessed First Hierarchs Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy and Philaret. An eloquent witness to this apostasy from true Orthodoxy has the acceptance by the Church Abroad in 1994 of the heretical ecclesiology of Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili.

 

The results of the last Hierarchical Council of the ROCA vividly witness to the fact that the hierarchs of the Church Abroad are intending to unite with the Moscow Patriarchate, and this elicited the perplexity of many representatives of the clergy, monastics and laity.

 

The situation that has developed is fraught with schism, which threatens to become the last event in the life of the ROCA: a part of her will be swallowed up by the Moscow patriarchate, while another part will disperse amongst various jurisdictions.

 

Many have been deceived by the council of the MP which took place in August, 2000, at which the following documents were approved:

 

1)     The Basic Principles of the Relationship of the ROC to heterodoxy;

2)     An Act glorifying the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia;

3)     The Bases of the Social Conception of the ROC.

 

An analysis of these documents shows that no substantial change in the sergianist-ecumenist course of the Moscow patriarchate can be foreseen. Ecumenism has not been condemned as a heresy, and the Moscow patriarchate remains a member of the World Council of Churches and other ecumenist organisations.

 

The glorification of some of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia was not done without omissions and cunning, that is, it was not done in an ecclesiastical manner. In particular, the Moscow patriarchate did not repent of its own many years of slander against the Holy New Martyrs, who condemned sergianism.

 

In the social doctrine of the MP many have seen a renunciation of the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and his course of action. But not only is there not a word about repenting of the heresy of sergianism in this document: the name of Metropolitan Sergius is not mentioned at all. The document, like many previous sergianist declarations, is unsubstantiated.

 

The Moscow patriarchate for many decades faithfully served Soviet power, and now it serves the New World Order. And it is with this church that the hierarchy of the Church Abroad wishes to unite.

 

All heretics in all ages have, under the guise of serving Christ, served Antichrist and prepared his coming. But most of them, on falling away from the Church, have departed from Orthodox tradition. Sergianism is particularly dangerous because it strives to preserve unchanged the external forms, using them as nets in which to catch, if it were possible, even the elect.

 

Beloved in Christ Jesus, brothers and sisters!

 

Many today are faced with the question: is it possible to preserve ones faithfulness to True Orthodoxy while remaining in the Church Abroad, which is consciously hurling itself into the embraces of the ecumenist World Orthodoxy. We all very well understand that a significant part of the ROCA will not follow its clerical leadership along the false path.

 

The Congress of the Russian Orthodox Church calls on all these zealots of Orthodoxy to come over under the omophorion of the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

We wish to emphasise that we are far from a striving to lord it over whomever it may be. We only want to help those who need help in acquiring a canonical ground for their ecclesiastical existence.

 

The Russian Orthodox Church is not striving to close in on itself. On the contrary, we desire communion with the True Orthodox Christians of all countries and peoples. We intend to take practical steps to establish full canonical communion with sister True Orthodox Local Churches.

 

November 12/25, 2000.

 

Archbishop Valentine, President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Members of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church: Bishop Theodore, Bishop Seraphim, Bishop Victor, Bishop Anthony, Bishop Timothy.

Protopriest Andrew Osetrov, Secretary of the Hierarchical Synod.

And the signatures of many other participants in the Congress.



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