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The Apostolic Succession of the Matthewites Derives From A Freemason and Ecumenist “Patriarch” In his book “Elenchos Kai Anatrope” Mr. Gkoutzidis writes about the various ecclesiological books that were printed by the Zealot Athonite fathers: “At the very same time important documents of an ecclesiological nature are circulated by the Zealot Hieromonks who had departed Mt. Athos, the foremost of which was the then Hieromonk and later Bishop and Archbishop of the G.O.C., Matthew Karpathakis. From among these documents we mention the most important, namely, ‘Apostasias Elenchos,’ ‘Distomos Romphaia’ published in 1934 and ‘Phos tois en Skotei’ published in 1936, which widely shocked the innovative process of Chrysostom Papadopoulos…” From the last of these Athonite books, ‘Phos tois en Skotei’ of 1936, we provide the following quote: “…Therefore, the Official Church of Chrysostom Papadopoulos, recognized by the State, is naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God, because it betrayed the Faith of our Christ by its tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐Masonry!!!...” Below is a photocopy of the actual page from which the quote is taken: We agree wholeheartedly with the above quote, that if a bishop enslaves himself to antichristian and satanic Judeo‐Masonry, his mysteries are invalid and his hierarchical status is “naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God.” But unfortunately, “Archbishop” Chrysostom of Athens was not the first, nor was he the last, of these Mason “hierarchs.” Among the masons of high rank also happened to be the Ecumenical Patriarch Joachim III, the first Masonic “Patriarch” of Constantinople. This information is derived firstly from the official website of the “Grand Lodge of Greece,” as well as from several books published by the Zealot Fathers themselves, many of which refer to Joachim III as “the first Mason Ecumenical Patriarch.” On the Greek version of Wikipedia, in the article regarding Joachim III, we read: “According to the official website of the Grand Lodge of Greece, he was a member of the Masonic Lodge called ‘Progress.’ (Πρόοδος).” And he wasn’t only a Mason, but also an Ecumenist. In the Patriarchal Encyclical of 1904 he asked of the Primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches to discuss the following: “a) the meeting and strengthening by concordance and love, of the Holy Orthodox Churches of God, b) the possibility of relation and Christian love and rapprochement of our Churches with the two great branches of Christianity, namely, Catholicism and Protestantism, c) how it is possible for the Orthodox Church to approach the so‐called Old Catholics, who desire a union with us, and d) whether it is possible or not for us to formulate and better adjust our current Calendar.” He also wrote: “It is beloved of God and Evangelical for me to ask of the leadership of the Holy Autocephalous Churches regarding our present and future relations with the two great branches of Christianity, the Western Church and the Protestant Churches. And it is known that every genuine Christian must pray and petition, as is found in the texts of our Church, for the Evangelical Unity, a teaching constituting a pious and heartfelt desire in the Orthodox Faith, for the unity of them and all who believe in Christ…” Further down he writes: “Not without worth is our attention towards the issue of a common calendar, so that we can adequate document things said and written, using the same proposed systems of reform of our Julian Calendar, which has been kept by the Orthodox Church for a long time. [This reform shall take place] either by adopting the Gregorian Calendar, since [the Julian Calendar] is scientifically lacking, whereas this one is more accurate. We must consequently also consider the transformation of our ecclesiastical Paschalion. Regarding this topic, the opinions are divided, as we can see from the resulted specific opinions of our Orthodox people…” Thus, ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’ Joachim III was not only a Mason (member of the Lodge called ‘Progress’), but he was also a branch theory Ecumenist (he called Catholicism and Protestantism ‘branches of Christianity’ and he expressed a desire for unity with them). Additionally he was also in favour of the reform of the ecclesiastical calendar, either by the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar or the creation of a new calendar. In any case his purpose is spelled out quite clearly as “common calendar,” meaning a single calendar for Westerns and Orthodox, to better promote their unity. In other words, ‘Patrarch’ Joachim III was the forerunner of ‘Archbishop’ Chrysostom Papadopoulos! He was the ‘Metaxakis’ before Meletius Metaxakis!!! But this very Mason, Ecumenist and very‐well‐would‐have‐been New Calendarist ‘Patriarch’ is the very bishop who consecrated Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavouridis of Florina in 1909, who in turn consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935! In other words, the Apostolic Succession of the Matthewites derives from a Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’!!! So by what means does Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis and Mr. Eleutherius Gkoutzidis preach to us that supposedly Bishop Matthew offered a “pure” line of Apostolic Succession, whereas all other lines (Russian Church Abroad, etc) are looked upon as “unclean”? What could be more unclean than a consecration derived from a Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’ such as Joachim III??? Such a line of Apostolic Succession is by far as “unclean” as one can possibly get! Yet Bp. Kirykos presents it as some kind of “spotless bastion” of Apostolic Succession! The fact that Joachim III was a Mason is enough to disqualify the validity of this line, without even mentioning the fact he was also a ‘branch‐theory’ believing Ecumenist heretic, and was also in favour of the reformation of the ecclesiastical calendar! But the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. This Mason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’ Joachim III did not only pass on the Apostolic Succession to the Matthewites. He was also the very ‘Patriarch’ who blessed the Holy Chrism in 1903 and again in 1912, the very Holy Chrism that the Matthewites were using until as late as 1958! Thus the Matthewites were rechrismating converts from New Calendarism by anointing them with the Holy Chrism blessed by a Freemason, Ecumenist and Modernist ‘Patriarch’!!! Behold a photograph of ‘Patriarch’ Joachim III and the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate shortly after the blessing of the Holy Chrism on Holy Thursday, 1912: The consecration of Holy Chrism by Patriarch Joachim III in 1912 Now let us again read the quote from “Phos tois en Skotei” published in 1936: “…Therefore, the Official Church of Chrysostom Papadopoulos, recognized by the State, is naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God, because it betrayed the Faith of our Christ by its tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐ Masonry!!!...” What does this mean? This means that according to their own ecclesiology, the Matthewites THEMSELVES are “naked and deprived of the grace and gift of God” because they derive not only their Apostolic Succession but even their Holy Chrism from a ‘Patriarch’ who “betrayed the Faith of our Christ by his tolerance and collaboration with atheistic Judeo‐Masonry!!!...” Alas! But let the Matthewites rethink as to whether they truly do have “pure” Apostolic Succession and “valid mysteries” before they dare to judge or doubt the Apostolic Succession and Valid Mysteries of the historic Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and the Acacian hierarchy it founded in Greece.
HERESIES, SCHISMS AND UNCANONICAL ACTS REQUIRE A LIVING SYNODICAL JUDGMENT An Introduction to Councils and Canon Law The Orthodox Church, since the time of the Holy Apostles, has resolved quarrels or problems by convening Councils. Thus, when the issue arose regarding circumcision and the Laws of Moses, the Holy Apostles met in Jerusalem, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 15). The Holy Fathers thus imitated the Apostles by convening Councils, whether general, regional, provincial or diocesan, in order to resolve issues of practice. These Councils discussed and resolved matters of Faith, affirming Orthodoxy (correct doctrine) while condemning heresies (false teachings). The Councils also formulated ecclesiastical laws called Canons, which either define good conduct or prescribe the level of punishment for bad conduct. Some canons apply only to bishops, others to priests and deacons, and others to lower clergy and laymen. Many canons apply to all ranks of the clergy collectively. Several canons apply to the clergy and the laity alike. The level of authority that a Canon holds is discerned by the authority of the Council that affirmed the Canon. Some Canons are universal and binding on the entire Church, while others are only binding on a local scale. Also, a Canon is only an article of the law, and is not the execution of the law. For a Canon to be executed, the proper authority must put the Canon in force. The authority differs depending on the rank of the person accused. According to the Canons themselves, a bishop requires twelve bishops to be put on trial and for the canons to be applied towards his condemnation. A presbyter requires six bishops to be put on trial and condemned, and a deacon requires three bishops. The lower clergy and the laymen require at least one bishop to place them on ecclesiastical trial or to punish them by applying the canons to them. But in the case of laymen, a single presbyter may execute the Canon if he has been granted the rank of pneumatikos, and therefore has the bishop’s authority to remit sins and apply penances. However, until this competent ecclesiastical authority has convened and officially applied the Canons to the individual of whatever rank, that individual is only “liable” to punishment, but has not yet been punished. For the Canons do not execute themselves, but they must be executed by the entity with authority to apply the Canons. The Canons themselves offer three forms of punishment, namely, deposition, excommunication and anathematization. Deposition is applied to clergy. Excommunication is applied to laity. Anathematization can be applied to either clergy or laity. Deposition does not remove the priestly rank, but is simply a prohibition from the clergyman to perform priestly functions. If the deposition is later revoked, the clergyman does not require reordination. In the same way, excommunication does not remove a layman’s baptism. It only prohibits the layman to commune. If the excommunication is later lifted, the layman does not require rebaptism. Anathematization causes the clergyman or layman to be cut off from the Church and assigned to the devil. But even anathematizations can be revoked if the clergyman or layman repents. There Is a Hierarchy of Authority in Canon Law The authority of one Canon over another is determined by the power of the Council the Canons were ratified by. For example, a canon ratified by an Ecumenical Council overruled any canon ratified by a local Council. The hierarchy of authority, from most binding Canons to least, is as follows: Apostolic Canons (Universal) refer to those compiled by the Holy Apostles and their immediate successors. These Canons were approved and confirmed by the First Ecumenical Council and again by the Quinisext Council. Not even an Ecumenical Council can overrule or overthrow an Apostolic Canon. There are only very few cases where Ecumenical Councils have amended the command of an Apostolic Canon by either strengthening or weakening it. But by no means were any Apostolic Canons overruled or abolished. For instance, the 1st Apostolic Canon which states that a bishop must be ordained by two or three other bishops. Several Canons of the Ecumenical Councils declare that even two bishops do not suffice, but that a bishop must be ordained by the consent of all the bishops in the province, and the ordination itself must take place by no less than three bishops. This does not abolish nor does it overrule the 1st Apostolic Canon, but rather it confirms and reinforces the “spirit of the law” behind that original Canon. Another example is the 5th Apostolic Canon which states that Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons are not permitted to put away their wives by force, on the pretext of reverence. Meanwhile, the 12th Canon of Quinisext advises a bishop (or presbyters who has been elected as a bishop) to first receive his wife’s consent to separate and for both of them to become celibate. This does not oppose the Apostolic Canon because it is not a separation by force but by consent. The 13th Canon of Quinisext confirms the 5th Apostolic Canon by prohibiting a presbyters or deacons to separate from his wife. Thus the 5th Apostolic Canon is not abolished, but amended by an Ecumenical Council for the good of the Church. After all, the laws exist to serve the Church and not to enslave the Church. In the same way, Christ declared: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath (Mark 2:27).” Ecumenical Canons (Universal) are those pronounced by Imperial or Ecumenical Councils. These Councils received this name because they were convened by Roman Emperors who were regarded to rule the Ecumene (i.e., “the known world”). Ecumenical Councils all took place in or around Constantinople, also known as New Rome, the Reigning City, or the Universal City. The president was always the hierarch in attendance that happened to be the first‐among‐equals. Ecumenical Councils cannot abolish Apostolic Canons, nor can they abolish the Canons of previous Ecumenical Councils. But they can overrule Regional and Patristic Canons. Regional Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Regional Councils that were later confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. This approval gave these Regional Canons a universal authority, almost equal to Ecumenical Canons. These Canons are not only valid within the Regional Church in which the Council took place, but are valid for all Orthodox Christians. For this reason the Canons of these approved Regional Councils cannot be abolished, but must be treated as those of Ecumenical Councils. Patristic Canons (Universal) refer to the Canons of individual Holy Fathers that were confirmed by an Ecumenical Council. Their authority is only lesser than the Apostolic Canons, Ecumenical Canons and Universal Regional Canons. But because they were approved by an Ecumenical Council, these Patristic Canons binding on all Orthodox Christians. Pan‐Orthodox Canons (Universal) refer to those ratified by Pan‐ Orthodox Councils. Since Constantinople had fallen to the Ottomans in 1453, there could no longer be Imperial or Ecumenical Councils, since there was no longer a ruling Emperor of the Ecumene (the Roman or Byzantine Empire). But the Ottoman Sultan appointed the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as both the political and religious leader of the enslaved Roman Nation (all Orthodox Christians within the Roman Empire, regardless of language or ethnic origin). In this capacity, having replaced the Roman Emperor as leader of the Roman Orthodox Christians, the Ecumenical Patriarch took the responsibility of convening General Councils which were not called Ecumenical Councils (since there was no longer an Ecumene), but instead were called Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Since the Ecumenical Patriarch was also the first‐among‐equals of Orthodox hierarchs, he would also preside over these Councils. Thus he became both the convener and the president. The Primates of the other Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches were also invited, along with their Synods of Bishops. If the Ecumenical Patriarch was absent or the one accused, the Patriarch of Alexandria would preside over the Synod. If he too could not attend in person, then the Patriarchs of Antioch or Jerusalem would preside. If no Patriarchs could attend, but only send their representatives, these representatives would not preside over the Council. Instead, whichever bishop present who held the highest see would preside. In several chronologies, the Pan‐Orthodox Councils are referred to as Ecumenical. In any case, the Canons pertaining to these Councils are regarded to be universally binding for all Orthodox Christians. National Canons (Local) are those valid only within a particular National Church. The Canons of these National Councils are only accepted if they are in agreement with the Canons ratified by the above Apostolic, Ecumenical, Regional, Patristic and Pan‐Orthodox Councils. Provincial Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a Metropolitan and his suffragan bishops. They are only binding within that Metropolis. Prefectural Canons are those ratified by Councils called by a single bishop and his subordinate clergy. They are only valid within that Diocese. Parochial Canons are the by‐laws of a local Parish or Mission, which are chartered and endorsed by the Rector or Founder of a Parish and the Parish Council. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Parish. Monastic Canons are the rules of a local Monastery or Monastic Order, which are chartered by the Abbot or Founder of the Skete or Monastery. These by‐laws are only applicable within that Monastery. Sometimes Canons are only recommendations explaining how clergy and laity are to conduct themselves. Other times they are actually penalties to be executed upon laity and clergy for their misdeeds. But the penalties contained within Canons are simply recommendations and not the actual executions of the penalties themselves. The recommendation of the law is one thing and the execution of the law is another. Canon Law Can Only Be Executed By Those With Authority For the execution of the law to take place it requires a competent authority to execute the law. A competent authority is reckoned by the principle of “the greater judges the lesser.” Thus, there are Canons that explain who has the authority to judge individuals according to the Canons. A layman can only be judged, excommunicated or anathematized by his own bishop, or by his own priest, provided the priest has the permission of his own bishop (i.e., a priest who is a pneumatikos). This law is ratified by the 6th Canon of Carthage, which has been made universal by the authority of the Sixth Ecumenical Council. The Canon states: “The application of chrism and the consecration of virgin girls shall not be done by Presbyters; nor shall it be permissible for a Presbyter to reconcile anyone at a public liturgy. This is the decision of all of us.” St. Nicodemus’ interprets the Canon as follows: “The present Canon prohibits a priest from doing three things… and remission of the penalty for a sin to a penitent, and thereafter through communion of the Mysteries the reconciliation of him with God, to whom he had become an enemy through sin, making him stand with the faithful, and celebrating the Liturgy openly… For these three functions have to be exercised by a bishop…. By permission of the bishop even a presbyter can reconcile penitents, though. And read Ap. c. XXXIX, and c. XIX of the First EC. C.” Thus the only authority competent to judge a layman is a bishop or a presbyter who has the permission of his bishop to do so. However, those who are among the low rank of clergy (readers, subdeacons, etc) require their own local bishop to try them, because a presbyter cannot depose them. A deacon can only be judged by his own local bishop together with three other bishops, and a presbyter can only be judged by his own local bishop together with six other bishops. The 28th Canon of Carthage thus states: “If Presbyters or Deacons be accused, the legal number of Bishops selected from the nearby locality, whom the accused demand, shall be empaneled — that is, in the case of a Presbyter six, of a Deacon three, together with the Bishop of the accused — to investigate their causes; the same form being observed in respect of days, and of postponements, and of examinations, and of persons, as between accusers and accused. As for the rest of the Clerics, the local Bishop alone shall hear and conclude their causes.” Thus, one bishop is insufficient to submit a priest or deacon to trial or deposition. This can only be done by a Synod of Bishops with enough bishops present to validly apply the canons. The amount of bishops necessary to judge and depose a priest are seven (one local plus six others), and for a deacon the minimum amount of bishops is four (one local plus three others). A bishop must be judged by his own metropolitan together with at least twelve other bishops. If the province does not have twelve bishops, they must invite bishops from other provinces to take part in the trial and deposition. Thus the 12th Canon of Carthage states: “If any Bishop fall liable to any charges, which is to be deprecated, and an emergency arises due to the fact that not many can convene, lest he be left exposed to such charges, these may be heard by twelve Bishops, or in the case of a Presbyter, by six Bishops besides his own; or in the case of a Deacon, by three.” Notice that the amount of twelve bishops is the minimum requirement and not the maximum. The maximum is for all the bishops, even if they are over one hundred in number, to convene for the sake of deposing a bishop. But if this cannot take place, twelve bishops assisting
CONCISE SUMMARY of the Soteriological Heresies of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis Bp. Kirykos tells his followers that those who have reacted against his policy regarding the issue of Holy Communion, supposedly teach that believers should eat meat and dairy products in preparation for Communion. But this slander is most ludicrous. He spreads this slander solely in order to cover up his two heretical letters to Fr. Pedro. The aforesaid letters were sent during Great Lent, during which not only is there no consumption of meat, but even oil and wine are not partaken save for Saturdays and Sundays only. Therefore, since the scandal occurred on the Sunday of Orthodoxy and continued further on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross (both of which fall in Great Lent), and since Fr. Pedro denounced Bp. Kirykos prior to the commencement of Holy Week, how can Bp. Kirykos’ slander be believed, regarding meat‐eating? In reality, it is Bp. Kirykos himself who blasphemes and preaches heresies without the slightest sign of repentance. Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that Christians should not commune on Sundays, but only on Saturdays. He destroys the Christian Soteriological meaning of Sunday as the day of Salvation and of Eternal Life, and he replaces it with the Saturday of the Jews! (Heresy = Sabbatianism) Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that fasting without oil makes a Christian “worthy” of Communion without any reference to the Mystery of Confession and the teaching of the Church that only God makes man worthy, because without God, no one is worthy. (Heresy = Pelagianism). Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that continuous Holy Communion was permitted to the early Christians supposedly because they were all ascetics and fasters, and that it was this fasting that made them “worthy to commune,” when in reality the early Christians lived among the world, and even the bishops were married, and they only knew of the fasts of Great Lent and of every Wednesday and Friday, whereas today’s Orthodox Christians have several more fasts (Dormition, Nativity, Apostles, etc). The Holy Apostles in their Canons forbid us to fast on Saturdays. The Synod of Gangra anathematizes those who call meat or marriage unclean or a reason of unworthiness to commune, as is written in the 1st and 2nd canons of that Synod. (Heresy of Bp. Kirykos = Manichaeanism). Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that if “by economy” he permits someone “lucky” to commune on a Sunday during Great Lent, that such a person must fast strictly on the Saturday prior, without oil, whereas the 64th Apostolic Canon forbids this, and the 55th Canon of the Quinisext Council admonishes the Church of Old Rome, in order for this cacodoxy and cacopraxy to cease. Additionally, St. Photius the Great in his “Encyclical to the Eastern Patriarchs” calls the act of fasting strictly on the Saturdays of Great Lent “the first heresy of the Westerners” (Heresy of Bp. Kirykos = Frankism). Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that laymen are unworthy due to the fact they are laymen, and that outside of the fasting periods they must prepare for Communion by fasting for 7 days without meat, 5 days without dairy, 3 days without oil or wine, 1 day without olives and sesame products. He demands this fast upon all laymen, whether married or virgins, whether old or young, and without allowing the spiritual father to judge those who confess to him with either a stricter or easier fast, according to one’s sins. In other words, their only sin causing the necessity for this long fast is the fact that they are laymen! Paradoxically, Bp. Kirykos himself eats eggs, cheese, milk, etc, as late as midnight on a Saturday night and then he serves the Liturgy and Communes on Sunday without feeling “unworthy.” He justifies his hypocrisy by saying “I am permitted to eat whatever I want because I am a Bishop!” Phew! In other words, he believes that his Episcopal dignity makes him “worthy” of communion without having the need to fast even for one day, whereas laymen need to fast for an entire week simply because they are laymen! This system was kept by the Pharisees, and they were condemned by the Lord because they placed heavy burdens on the shoulders of men, while they would not lift the weight of even a single finger. (Heresy = Pharisaism). Heretical is the theory of Bp. Kirykos that the Holy Canons do not apply in our times but that they are only for the Apostolic era. He preaches that back then the Church was “worthy” to commune but that now we are all fallen and because of this the Holy Canons must be interpreted differently, and not in the same context as they were interpreted by the Holy Fathers. In other words, Bp. Kirykos preaches that of one kind was the Apostolic Church, and of another kind are we today, and that “we must return.” In so saying, he forgets that the Lord’s promise that “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against the Church, and he blasphemes the verse in the Symbol of the Faith in which we confess that also we today, by God’s mercy, belong to the “One, Holy, Catholic and APOSTOLIC Church,” and that there is no such thing as another Church of the Apostolic times and a different Church today, but that there exists ONLY THE ONE CHURCH OF CHRIST, both then and now, with the same requirement to abide by the Holy Canons and to interpret them exactly how the Holy Fathers interpreted them. The only ones who believe in a first “Apostolic Church” and a later fall, and that “we must return,” are the Chiliasts and Ecumenists, these very heretics that Bp. Kirykos supposedly battles, yet he preaches their cacodoxies (Heresies = Chiliasm and Ecumenism).
In reference to the fast of Saturday. You wrote that in order to receive Communion on Sunday, entirely by exception and only by economy, strictly fasting on Saturday is an imperative rule, otherwise Your Holiness does not allow participation in Holy Communion, even referring to Bishop Matthew of Bresthena. The reference, however, to the above bishop shows to be inaccurate and very deceptive, because this bishop never left behind such a tradition, but on the contrary, as an Athonite ascetic he unswervingly implemented the Orthodox Tradition concerning Saturday and Sunday and the refrainment of fasting on these days. In order to reinforce Your assertion, You gave me, through Fr. Panteleimon of Croatia, a book entitled Concerning Holy Communion, by Archbishop Andrew of the G.O.C. of Athens and all Greece (Athens 1992), which is inaccurate and presents an arbitrary throng of excerpts of official texts of the Church, where it is quoted that “he who wishes to receive Communion on Sunday, is obliged to fast on Saturday identically as on Friday,” (footnote p. 40). The above, however, are absolutely contrary to the Holy Tradition of the Church, namely the 64th Apostolic Canon and the 55th Canon of the First‐Second Council, which states that “If any Clergyman is found fasting on Sunday, or on Saturday with the exception of one only, let him be deposed from office. If, however, he is a layman, let him be excommunicated.” According to Your Eminence’s view, are the faithful able to receive Communion on Feasts of the Lord or the Mother of God or in remembrance of Saints if these fall on a Monday or Tuesday? Should they then fast also on Sunday? Does Your ordered fast on Saturday only concern laymen? 2.
ARE THE HOLY CANONS ONLY VALID FOR THE APOSTOLIC PERIOD AND NOT FOR OUR TIMES? In his first letter to Fr. Pedro, Bp. Kirykos writes: “After this, I request of you the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue, and to recommend to those who confess to you, that in order to approach Holy Communion, they must prepare by fasting, and to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday. Regarding the Canon, which some people refer to in order to commune without fasting beforehand, it is correct, but it must be interpreted correctly and applied to everybody. Namely, we must return to those early apostolic times, during which all of the Christians were ascetics and temperate and fasters, and only they remained until the end of the Divine Liturgy and communed. They fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune. The rest did not remain until the end and withdrew together with the catechumens. As for those who were in repentance, they remained outside the gates of the church. If we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church and only two or three worthy people would remain inside until the end to commune. And if the Christians of today only knew how unworthy they are, who would remain inside the church?” From the above explanation by Bp. Kirykos, one is given the impression that he believes and commands: a) that Fr. Pedro is to forbid laymen to commune on Sundays during Great Lent in order to ensure “the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue,” despite the fact that the canons declare that it is those who do not commune on Sundays that are causers of disorder, as the 9th Canon of the Holy Apostles declares: “All the faithful who come to Church and hear the Scriptures, but do not stay for the prayers and the Holy Communion, are to be excommunicated as causing disorder in the Church;” b) that Fr. Pedro is to advise his flock “to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday,” thereby commanding his flock to become Sabbatians; c) that the Canon which advises people to receive Holy Communion every day even outside of fasting periods is “correct” but must be “interpreted correctly and applied to everybody,” which, in the solution that Bp. Kirykos offers, amounts to a complete annulment of the Canon in regards to laymen, while enforcing the Canon liberally upon the clergy; d) that “we must return to those early apostolic times,” as if the Orthodox Church today is not still the unchanged and unadulterated Apostolic Church as confessed in the Symbol of the Faith, “In One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” with the same Head, the same Body, and the e) f) g) h) same requirement to abide by the Canons, but that we are supposedly some kind of fallen Church in need of “return” to a former status; that supposedly in apostolic times “all of the Christians were ascetics and temperate and fasters, and only they remained until the end of the Divine Liturgy and communed,” meaning that Communion is annulled for later generations supposedly due to a lack of celibacy and vegetarianism; that supposedly only the celibate and vegetarians communed in the early Church, and that “the rest did not remain until the end and withdrew together with the catechumens,” as if marriage and eating meat amounted to a renunciation of one’s baptism and a reversion to the status of catechumen, which is actually the teaching and practice of the Manicheans, Paulicians and Bogomils and not of the Apostolic Church, and the 9th Apostolic Canon declares that if any layman departs with the catechumens and does not remain until the end of Liturgy and does not commune, such a layman is to be excommunicated, yet Bp. Kirykos promotes this practice as something pious, patristic and acceptable; that Christians who have confessed their sins and prepared themselves and their spiritual father has deemed them able to receive Holy Communion, are supposedly still in the rank of the penitents either due to being married or due to being meat‐eaters, as can be seen from Bp. Kirykos’ words: “If we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church and only two or three worthy people would remain inside until the end to commune. And if the Christians of today only knew how unworthy they are, who would remain inside the church?” that we are not to interpret and implement the Holy Canons the way they are written and the way the Holy Orthodox Church has always historically interpreted and implemented them, but that these Canons supposedly need to be reinterpreted in Bp. Kirykos’s own way, or as he says, “interpreted correctly and applied to everybody,” and that “if we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church.” All of the above notions held by Bp. Kirykos can be summed up by the statement that he believes the Canons only apply for the apostolic era or the time of the early Christians, but that these Canons are now to be reinterpreted or nullified because today’s Christians are not worthy to be treated according to the Holy Canons. He also believes that to follow the advice of the Holy Canons is a cause of “disorder and scandal,” despite the fact that the very purpose of the Holy Canons is to prevent disorder and scandal. These notions held by Bp. Kirykos are entirely erroneous, and they are another variant of the same blasphemies preached by the Modernists and Ecumenists who desire to set the Holy Canons aside by claiming that they are not suitable for our times. Bp. Kirykos’ incorrect notions regarding the supposed inapplicability of the Holy Canons in our times are notions that the Rudder itself condemns. For in the Holy Rudder (published in the 17th century), St. Nicodemus of Athos included an excellent introductory note regarding the importance of the Holy Canons, and that they are applicable for all times, and must be adhered to faithfully by all Orthodox Christians. This introductory note by St. Nicodemus, as contained in the Holy Rudder, is provided below. PROLEGOMENA IN GENERAL TO THE SACRED CANONS What Is a Canon? A canon, according to Zonaras (in his interpretation of the 39th letter of Athansius the Great), properly speaking and in the main sense of the word, is a piece of wood, commonly called a rule, which artisans use to get the wood and stone they are working on straight. For, when they place this rule (or straightedge) against their work, if this be crooked, inwards or outwards, they make it straight and right. From this, by metaphorical extension, votes and decisions are also called canons, whether they be of the Apostles or of the ecumenical and regional Councils or those of the individual Fathers, which are contained in the present Handbook: for they too, like so many straight and right rules, rid men in holy orders, clergymen and laymen, of every disorder and obliquity of manners, and cause them to have every normality and equality of ecclesiastical and Christian condition and virtue. That the divine Canons must be kept rigidly by all; for those who fail to keep them are made liable to horrible penances “These instructions regarding Canons have been enjoined upon you by us, O Bishops. If you adhere to them, you shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you disobey them, you shall be sorely punished, and shall have perpetual war with one another, thus paying the penalty deserved for heedlessness.” (The Apostles in their epilogue to the Canons) “We have decided that it is right and just that the canons promulgated by the holy Fathers at each council hitherto should remain in force.” (1st Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council) “It has seemed best to this holy Council that the 85 Canons accepted and validated by the holy and blissful Fathers before us, and handed down to us, moreover, in the name of the holy and glorious Apostles, should remain henceforth certified and secured for the correction of souls and cure of diseases… [of the four ecumenical councils according to name, of the regional councils by name, and of the individual Fathers by name]… And that no one should be allowed to counterfeit or tamper with the aforementioned Canons or to set them aside.” (2nd Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council) “If anyone be caught innovating or undertaking to subvert any of the said Canons, he shall be responsible with respect to such Canon and undergo the penance therein specified in order to be corrected thereby of that very thing in which he is at fault.” (2nd Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council) “Rejoicing in them like one who has found a lot of spoils, we gladly embosom the divine Canons, and we uphold their entire tenor and strengthen them all the more, so far as concerns those promulgated by the trumpets of the Spirit of the renowned Apostles, of the holy ecumenical councils, and of those convened regionally… And of our holy Fathers… And as for those whom they consign to anathema, we anathematize them, too; as for those whom they consign to deposition or degradation, we too depose or degrade them; as for those whom they consign to excommunication, we too excommunicate them; and as for those whom they condemn to a penance, we too subject them thereto likewise.” (1st Canon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council) “We therefore decree that the ecclesiastical Canons which have been promulgated or confirmed by the four holy councils, namely, that held in Nicaea, and that held in Constantinople, and the first one held in Ephesus, and that held in Chalcedon, shall take the rank of laws.” (Novel 131 of Emperor Justinian) “We therefore decree that the ecclesiastical Canons which have been promulgated or confirmed by the seven holy councils shall take the rank of laws.” (Ed. note—The word “confirmed” alludes to the canons of the regional councils and of the individual Fathers which had been confirmed by the ecumenical councils, according to Balsamon.) “For we accept the dogmas of the aforesaid holy councils precisely as we do the divine Scriptures, and we keep their Canons as laws.” (Basilica, Book 5, Title 3, Chapter 2) “The third provision of Title 2 of the Novels commands the Canons of the seven councils and their dogmas to remain in force, in the same way as the divine Scriptures.” (In Photius, Title 1, Chapter 2) “I accept the seven councils and their dogmas to remain in force, in the same way as the divine Scriptures.” (Emperor Leo the Wise in Basilica, Book 5, Title 3, Chapter 1) “It has been prescribed by the holy Fathers that even after death those men must be anathematized who have sinned against the faith or against the Canons.” (Fifth Ecumenical Council in the epistle of Justinian, page 392 of Volume 2 of the Conciliars) “Anathema on those who hold in scorn the sacred and divine Canons of our sacred Fathers, who prop up the holy Church and adorn all the Christian polity, and guide men to divine reverence.” (Council held in Constantinople after Constantine Porphyrogenitus, page 977 of Volume 2 of the Conciliars) That the divine Canons override the imperial laws “It pleased the most divine Despot of the inhabited earth (i.e. Emperor Marcian) not to proceed in accordance with the divine letters or pragmatic forms of the most devout bishops, but in accordance with the Canons laid down as laws by the holy Fathers. The council said: As against the Canons, no pragmatic sanction is effective. Let the Canons of the Fathers remain in force. And again: We pray that the pragmatic sanctions enacted for some in every province to the detriment of the Canons may be held in abeyance incontrovertibly; and that the Canons may come into force through all… all of us say the same things. All the pragmatic sanctions shall be held in abeyance. Let the Canons come into force… In accordance with the vote of the holy council, let the injunctions of Canons come into force also in all the other provinces.” (In Act 5 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council) “It has seemed best to all the holy ecumenical council that if anyone offers any form conflicting with those now prescribed, let that form be void.” (8th Canon of the Third Ecumenical Council) “Pragmatic forms opposed to the Canons are void.” (Book 1, Title 2, Ordinances 12, Photius, Title 1, Chapter 2) “For those Canons which have been promulgated, and supported, that is to say, by emperors and holy Fathers, are accepted like the divine Scriptures. But the laws have been accepted or composed only by the emperors; and for this reason they do not prevail over and against the divine Scriptures nor the Canons.” (Balsamon, comment on the above chapter 2 of Photius) “Do not talk to me of external laws. For even the publican fulfills the outer law, yet nevertheless he is sorely punished.” (Chrysostom, Sermon 57 on the Gospel of Matthew)
Your Eminence, according with Your writings, the faithful are permitted to receive Holy Communion on Sunday only if they fast on Saturday, thus violating the ancient Apostolic Tradition. 4.
This was due to the benevolence of The Apostolic Church of Ghana.
Metropolitan Kirykos (as the layman, “Mr. Menas Kontogiannis”) Was the First to Misinterpret the Cheirothesia to be a Real Consecration, by Calling it “Uncanonical” and “Blasphemous,” and by Believing it to Have Tampered With the Apostolic Succession Translation from the Greek: In Athens on 9th October, 1977 (old calendar) REPORT – COMPLAINT 1.
The Position of Bp. Kirykos’ Romanian Counterparts Regarding Re‐Baptism is Extremely Hypocritical The Romanians who are in communion with Bp. Kirykos require all New Calendarists, Florinites, Glicherians, ROCOR faithful, etc, to be re‐ baptized, even if their baptism was performed in the canonical manner, by triple immersion and invocation of the Holy Trinity. They have even begun re‐baptizing people who had already been received into the Matthewite Church by chrismation. Thus, in Cyprus, several laymen who had been received even decades ago by chrismation, are now being rebaptized by the Romanian bishop Parthenios! So then, one might ask, all of these years were they communing or not? If they were communing as members of the Church, then how is it that they are now being regarded as foreign to the Church and in need of baptism? This isn’t Orthodox ecclesiology, it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a crime that the Lord has declared to be unforgivable. But this very act of rebaptizing by the Romanians is extremely hypocritical considering their own origins. The truth is that according to their own principles, they themselves are very much in need of being rebaptized. This is because the Romanian bishops derive their Apostolic Succession from Bishop Victor Leu, who was consecrated in 1949 by three bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The main consecrating hierarch who actually passed the Apostolic Succession (for the other two were mere witnesses, as is the case), was Metropolitan Seraphim (Lyade) of Berlin. Metropolitan Seraphim was actually born into a Protestant family and was “baptized” by sprinkling in the Lutheran Church. When he was received into the Russian Orthodox Church, he was received by mere chrismation, despite not having the correct form of baptism. He was then elevated to the deaconate and priesthood within the Russian Orthodox Church. However, on 1st of September, 1923, he was “consecrated” as a “bishop” by Renovationist hierarchs who had been anathematized a year earlier by Patriarch St. Tikhon. In 1929, the Renovationist “bishop” Seraphim Lade was received into communion by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, but he was not reordained nor was a cheirothesia read on him, but he was received by mere repentance. Thus, according to the strict point of view, Metropolitan Seraphim Lyade was both un‐baptized and un‐consecrated! Yet this Metropolitan Seraphim is the very source of priesthood of the Romanian hierarchs. Thus, if they have their origins from a bishop who was un‐baptized and un‐consecrated, how is their baptism and priesthood valid? If the Romanian hierarchs are so strict that they reject economia, should they not be the first to re‐enter the baptismal font before they dare to re‐baptize others?
In contrast, however, the Church’s own Apostolic Constitutions actually cite another man as the first Christian leader.
ARE CHRISTIANS MEANT TO COMMUNE ONLY ON A SATURDAY AND NEVER ON A SUNDAY? In the second paragraph of his first letter to Fr. Pedro, Bp. Kirykos writes: “Also, all Christians, when they are going to commune, know that they must approach Holy Communion on Saturday (since it is preceded by the fast of Friday) and on Sunday only by economia, so that they are not compelled to break the fast of Saturday and violate the relevant Holy Canon [sic: here he accidentally speaks of breaking the fast of Saturday, but he most likely means observing a fast on Saturday, because that is what violates the canons].” The first striking remark is “All Christians.” Does Bp. Kirykos consider himself to be a Christian? If so, why does he commune every Sunday without exception, seeing as though “all Christians” are supposed to “know” that they are only allowed to commune on a Saturday, and never on Sunday, except by “economia.” Or perhaps Bp. Kirykos does not consider himself a Christian, and for this reason he is exempt of this rule for “all Christians.” It makes perfect sense that he excludes himself from those called Christians because his very ideas and practices are not Christian at all. Is communion on Saturdays alone, and never on Sundays, really a Christian practice? Is this what Christians have always believed? Was Saturday the day that the early Christians ʺbroke breadʺ (i.e., communed)? Let us look at what the Holy Scriptures have to say. St. Luke the Evangelist (+18 October, 86), in the Acts of the Holy Apostles, writes: “And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, Paul discoursed with them, being to depart on the morrow (Acts 20:7).” Thus the Holy Apostle Paul would meet with the faithful on the first day of the week, to wit, Sunday, and on this day he would break bread, that is, he would serve Holy Communion. St. Paul the Apostle (+29 June, 67) also advises in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “On the first day of the week, let every one of you put apart with himself, laying up what it shall well please him: that when I come, the collections be not then to be made (1 Corinthians 16:2).” Thus St. Paul indicates that the Christians would meet with one another on the first day of the week, that is, Sunday, not only for Liturgy, but also for collection of goods for the poor. The reason why the Christians would meet for prayer and breaking of bread on Sunday is because our Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead on one day after the Sabbath, on the first day of the week, that is, the Lordʹs Day or Sunday (Matt. 28:1‐7; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1). Another reason for the Christians meeting together on Sundays is because the Holy Spirit was delivered to the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, which was a Sunday, and this event signified the beginning of the Christian community. That Pentecost took place on a Sunday is clear from Godʹs command in the Old Testament Scriptures: “You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord (Leviticus 23:16).” The reference to “fifty days” and “seventh Sabbath” refers to counting fifty days from the first Sabbath, or seven weeks plus one day; while “the day after the seventh Sabbath” clearly refers to a Sunday, since the day after the Sabbath day (Saturday) is always the Lord’s Day (Sunday). It was on the Sunday of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles. Thus we read: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance (Acts 2:1‐4).” A final reason for Sunday being the day that the Christians met for prayer and breaking of bread was in order to remember the promised Second Coming or rather Second Appearance (Δευτέρα Παρουσία) of the Lord. The reference to Sunday is found in the Book of Revelation, in which Christ appeared and delivered the prophecy to St. John the Theologian on “Kyriake” (Κυριακή), which means “the main day,” or “the first day,” but more correctly means “the Lordʹs Day.” (Revelation 1:10). For the above three reasons (that Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the Pentecost and the Second Appearance) the Apostles themselves, and the early Christians immediately made Sunday the new Sabbath, the new day of rest, and the new day for Godʹs people to gather together for prayer (i.e., Liturgy) and breaking of bread (i.e., Holy Communion) Thus we read in the Didache of the Holy Apostles: “On the Lordʹs Day (i.e., Kyriake) come together and break bread. And give thanks (i.e., offer the Eucharist), after confessing your sins that your sacrifice may be pure (Didache 14).” Thus the Christians met together on the Lord’s Day, that is, Sunday, for the breaking of bread and giving of thanks, to wit, the Divine Liturgy and Holy Eucharist. St. Barnabas the Apostle (+11 June, 61), First Bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, in the Epistle of Barnabas, writes: “Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead (Barnabas 15).” The eighth day is a reference to Sunday, which is known as the first as well as the eighth day of the week. How more appropriate to keep the eighth day with joyfulness other than by communing of the joyous Gifts? St. Ignatius the God‐bearer (+20 December, 108), Bishop of Antioch, in his Epistle to the Magnesians, insists that the Jews who became Christian should be “no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our Life rose again (Magnesians 9).” What could commemorate the Lord’s Day as the day Life rose again, other than by receiving Life incarnate, to wit, that precious Body and Blood of Christ? For he who partakes of it shall never die but live forever! St. Clemes, also known as St. Clement (+24 November, 101), Bishop of Rome, in the Apostolic Constitutions, also declares that Divine Liturgy is especially for Sundays more than any other day. Thus we read: “On the day of the resurrection of the Lord, that is, the Lord’s day, assemble yourselves together, without fail, giving thanks to God, and praising Him for those mercies God has bestowed upon you through Christ, and has delivered you from ignorance, error, and bondage, that your sacrifice may be unspotted, and acceptable to God, who has said concerning His universal Church: In every place shall incense and a pure sacrifice be offered unto me; for I am a great King, saith the Lord Almighty, and my name is wonderful among the nations (Apostolic Constitutions, ch. 30).” The reference to “pure sacrifice” is the oblation of Christ’s Body and Blood; “giving thanks to God” is the celebration of the Eucharist (εὐχαριστία = giving thanks). The Apostolic Constitutions also state clearly that Sunday is not only the most important day for Divine Liturgy, but that it is also the ideal day for receiving Holy Communion. It is written: “And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead. Otherwise what apology will he make to God who does not assemble on that day to hear the saving word concerning the resurrection, on which we pray thrice standing in memory of Him who arose in three days, in which is performed the reading of the prophets, the preaching of the Gospel, the oblation of the sacrifice, the gift of the holy food? (Apostolic Constitutions, ch. 59).” The “gift of the holy food” refers to Holy Communion. The Holy Canons of the Orthodox Church also distinguish Sunday as the day of Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion. The 19th Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council mentions the importance of Sunday as a day for gathering and preaching the Gospel sermon: “We declare that the deans of churches, on every day, but more especially on Sundays, must teach all the clergy and the laity words of truth out of the Holy Bible…” The 80th Canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council states that all clergy and laity are forbidden to be absent from Divine Liturgy for three consecutive Sundays: “In case any bishop or presbyter or deacon or anyone else on the list of the clergy, or any layman, without any grave necessity or any particular difficulty compelling him to absent himself from his own church for a very long time, fails to attend church on Sundays for three consecutive weeks, while living in the city, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed from office; but if he be a layman, let him be removed from communion.” Take note that if one attends Divine Liturgy for three consecutive Saturdays, but not on the Sundays, he still falls under the penalty of this canon because it does not reprimand someone who simply doesn’t attend Divine Liturgy for three weeks, but rather one who “fails to attend church on Sundays.” The reference to “church” must refer to a parish where Holy Communion is offered every Sunday, for an individual who does not attend for three consecutive Sundays cannot be punished by being “removed from communion” if this is not even offered to begin with. Also, the fact that this is the penalty must mean that the norm is for the faithful to commune every Sunday, or at least every third Sunday. The 9th Canon of the Holy Apostles declares that: “All those faithful who enter and listen to the Scriptures, but do not stay for prayer and Holy Communion must be excommunicated, on the ground that they are causing the Church a breach of order.” The 2nd Canon of the Council of Antioch states: “As for all those persons who enter the church and listen to the sacred Scriptures, but who fail to commune in prayer together and at the same time with the laity, or who shun the participation of the Eucharist, in accordance with some irregularity, we decree that these persons be outcasts from the Church until, after going to confession and exhibiting fruits of repentance and begging forgiveness, they succeed in obtaining a pardon…” Both of these canons prove quite clearly that all faithful who attend Divine Liturgy and are not under any kind of penance or excommunication, must partake of Holy Communion. Thus, if clergy and laity are equally expected to attend Divine Liturgy every Sunday, or at least every third Sunday, they are equally expected to Commune every Sunday, or at least every third Sunday. Should they fail, they are to be excommunicated. St. Timothy of Alexandria (+20 July, 384), in his Questions and Answers, and specifically in the 3rd Canon, writes: “Question: If anyone who is a believer is possessed of a demon, ought he to partake of the Holy Mysteries, or not? Answer: If he does not repudiate the Mystery, nor otherwise in any way blaspheme, let him have communion, not, however, every day in the week, for it is sufficient for him on the Lord’s Day only.” So then, if even those who are possessed with demons are permitted to commune on every Sunday, how is it that Bp. Kirykos advises that all Christians are only permitted to commune on a Saturday, and never on a Sunday except by extreme economia? Are today’s healthy, faithful and practicing Orthodox Christians, who do not have a canon of penance or any excommunication, and who desire communion every Sunday, forbidden this, despite the fact that of old even those possessed of demons were permitted it? The above Holy Canons of the Orthodox Church are the Law of God that the Church abides to in order to prevent scandal or discord. Let us now compare this Law of God to the “traditions of men,” namely, the Sabbatian, Pharisaic statement found in Bp. Kirykos’s first letter to Fr. Pedro: “… I request of you the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue, and to recommend to those who confess to you, that in order to approach Holy Communion, they must prepare by fasting, and to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday.“ Clearly, Bp. Kirykos has turned the whole world upside down, and has made the Holy Canons and the Law of the Church of God as a matter of “discord and scandal,” and instead insists upon his own self‐invented “tradition” which is nowhere to be found in the writings of the Holy Fathers, in the Holy Canons, or in the Holy Tradition of Orthodoxy. The truth is that Bp. Kirykos himself is the one who introduced “disorder and scandal” when he trampled all over the Holy Canons and insisted that his priest, Fr. Pedro, and other laymen do likewise! The truth is that Fr. Pedro and the laymen supporting him are not at all causing “disorder and scandal” in the Church, but they are the ones preventing disorder and scandal by objecting to the unorthodox demands of Bp. Kirykos. Throughout the history of the Orthodox Church, Sunday has always been the day of Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion. This was declared so by the Holy Apostles themselves, was also maintained in the post‐apostolic era, and continues even until our day. Nowhere in the doctrines, practices or history of Orthodox Christianity is there ever a teaching that laymen are supposedly only to commune on a Saturday and never on a Sunday. The only day of the week throughout the year upon which Liturgy is guaranteed to be celebrated is on a Sunday. The Liturgy is only performed on a few Saturdays per year in most parishes, and mostly only during the Great Fast or on the Saturday of Souls. Liturgy is more seldom on weekdays as the Liturgies of Wednesday and Friday nights have been made Pre‐sanctified and limited to only within the Great Fast. Liturgy is now only performed on weekdays if it is a feastday of a major saint. But Liturgy is always performed on a Sunday without fail, in every city, village and countryside, because it is the Lord’s Day. The purpose of Liturgy is to receive Holy Communion, and the reason for it being celebrated on the Lord’s Day without fail is because this is the day of salvation, and therefore the most important day of the week, especially for receiving Holy Communion. For, “This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).” What greater way to rejoice on the Lord’s Day than to commune of the very Lord Himself? The theory of diminishing Sunday as the day of salvation and communion, and instead opting for Saturday, is actually a heresy known as
Because we have many things to give as evidence against the man’s MORALITY, but these don’t concern us, only the issues about the Faith...»!!! The following is a translation from the original Greek: Dear brother in Christ Nicholas! First of all, I am neither His All‐Sacredness, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Thebes, nor any clergyman. The website is private. Regarding the former archimandrite and now defrocked Fr. Kirykos monk we have written in a respective article, but also some things in our article “That They May Be One” of October, 2008. Because we have many things to give as evidence against the man’s MORALITY, but these don’t concern us, only the issues about the Faith. Fr. Kirykos has separated from the Genuine Orthodox Church of Christ since 1995 on the grounds of his iconographic cacodoxies that the symbolic holy icons of the Holy Trinity and the holy icon of the Resurrection of our Christ from the tomb but also generally all icons of classical (Renaissance) Russian techniques apparently are heretic according to the Sacred Tradition of the Our Holy Church but also the teaching of our Holy Fathers. More especially he was “consecrated” uncanonically as a pseudo‐bishop without the knowledge of the majority of the hierarchs of the Holy Synod and for this he was demoted to the rank of monk. In 2005 he separated from the schismatic Andrewite faction without reasons of Faith, but pretending several general themes of [canonical] order, but also old events which he knew about but he didn’t occupy himself with them until he had worn a mitre [trans. note: he remained silent until he managed to get consecrated as a bishop and only then did he pretend to care]. Unfortunately they have presented in one sterile comparison against the Church of the G.O.C. of Greece and our holy hierarchs and don’t mean to repent for the cacodoxies (which they increased with ecclesiological cacodoxies about “the Eternal Church” for which he was also defrocked from his “Synod.” Lately he also created, according the Florinite pattern, a new pseudo Synod parasynagogue with the participation of Romanian Old Calendarist “Bishops” of unknown origin and “Apostolic Succession” (which) from what we have been informed, is affected (προσβεβλημένη) for many reasons and also with the participation of Cypriots who abandoned the Schismatic Andrewite faction in Cyprus for moral reasons, due to the new pseudo‐ bishops whom the former Metropolitan Nicholas of Piraeus consecrated, and again not for reasons of faith. And he continues approaching unrepentant schismatics (similarly like these) like the unrepentant schismatic Russian Old Believers for four centuries. From what you understand much rhetoric “About the Faith and the Apostolic Succession” but in the action the unfortunate doesn’t hesitate to examine unexamined things with every schismatic in order to obtain followers and to come out from the obscurity. The Church prays with love for Fr. Kirykos but also for each schismatic‐ heretic to return to the body of the Holy Church of Christ and suffers the slanders with patience. If you are a G.O.C. pay good attention not to fall in Satan’s trap that is in their schism – heresy and remain in the Genuine Orthodox Church of Christ, of the holy martyrs, holy fathers, of holy father Matthew and of all our saints. Your adherence to Orthodoxy and to the Church of Christ against the multitude of heresies and the schisms of the New Calendarist and Old Calendarist Ecumenism, and especially far from the fatherland, it will be considered from Our Lord as martyrdom. These few words. We don’t want to say much because we also have the shepherds of Our Holy Church and we are useless. For anything you want, whether you are a Genuine Orthodox Christian or not, address to His Excellence Metropolitan Ignatios of Fthiotis and Locum Tenens bishop of Australia. There are telephones and addresses in our websites. We thank you for your time. We wish you good continuation with the Holy Lent! With love of Christ, G.O.C. P.S.: We thank you for your condolences! [trans. note: for the repose of Bishop Gregory of Messenia]. May you have his blessing! He was a holy man, indeed…
THE PAN‐HERESY OF ECUMENISM EXISTED AMONG THE ORTHODOX PRIOR TO 1924 In 1666‐1667 the Pan‐Orthodox Synod of Moscow decided to receive Papists by simple confession of Faith, without rebaptism or rechrismation! At the beginning of the 18th century at Arta, Greece, the Holy Mysteries would be administered by Orthodox Priests to Westerners, despite this scandalizing the Orthodox faithful. In 1863 an Anglican clergyman was permitted to commune in Serbia, by the official decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the 1800s, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow wrote that the schisms within Christianity “do not reach the heavens.” In other words, he believed that heresy doesn’t divide Christians from the Kingdom of God! In 1869, at the funeral of Metropolitan Chrysanthus of Smyrna, an Archbishop of the Armenian Monophysites and a Priest of the Anglicans actively participated in the service! In 1875, the Orthodox Archbishop of Patras, Greece, concelebrated with an Anglican priest in the Mystery of Baptism! In 1878 the first Masonic Ecumenical Patriarch, Joachim III, was enthroned. He was Patriarch for two periods (1878‐1884 and 1901‐1912). This Masonic Patriarch Joachim III is the one who performed the Episcopal consecration of Bp. Chrysostom Kavouridis, who in turn was the bishop who consecrated Bp. Matthew of Bresthena. Thus the Matthewites trace their Apostolic Succession in part from this Masonic “Patriarch.” In 1903 and 1912, Patriarch Joachim III blessed the Holy Chrism, which was used by the Matthewites until they blessed their own chrism in 1958! Thus until 1958 they were using the Chrism blessed by a Masonic Patriarch! In 1879 the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople decided that in times of great necessity, it is permitted to have sacramental communion with the Armenians. In other words, an Orthodox priest can perform the mysteries for Armenian laymen, and an Armenian priest for Orthodox laymen! In 1895 the Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus VII declared his desire for al Christians to calculate days according to the new calendar! In 1898, Patriarch Gerasimus of Jerusalem permitted the Greeks and Syrians living in Melbourne to receive communion in Anglican parishes! In 1902 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refers to the heresies of the west as “Churches” and “Branches of Christianity”! Thus it was an official Orthodox declaration that espouses the branch theory heresy! In 1904 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refers to the heretics as “those who believe in the All‐Holy Trinity, and who honour the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and hope in the salvation of God’s grace”! In 1907 at Portsmouth, England, there was a joint doxology of Russian and Anglican clergy! Prior to 1910 the Russian Bishop Innokenty of Alaska, made a pact with the Anglican Bishop Row of America, that the priests belonging to each Church would be permitted to offer the mysteries to the laymen of one another. In other words, for Orthodox priests to commune Anglican laymen, and for Anglican priests to commune Orthodox laymen! In 1910 the Syrian/Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) permitted the Orthodox faithful, in his Encyclical, to accept the mysteries of Baptism, Communion, Confession, Marriage, etc, from Anglicna priests! The same bishop took part in an Anglican Vespers, wearing his mandya and seated on the throne! In 1917 the Greek Orthodox Exarch of America Alexander of Rodostolus took part in an Anglican Vespers. The same hierarch also took part in the ordination of an Anglican bishop in Pensylvania. In 1918, Archbishop Anthimus of Cyprus and Metropolitan Meletius mataxakis of Athens, took part in Anglican services at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London! In 1919, the leaders of the Orthdoxo Churches in America took part in Anglican services at the “General Assembly of Anglican Churches in America”! In 1920 the Patriarchal Encyclical of the Ecumenical patriarchate refers to the heresies as “Churches of God” and advises the adoption of the new calendar! In 1920, Metropolitan Philaret of Didymotichus, while in London, serving as the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Conference of Lambeth, took part in joint services in an Anglican church! In 1920, Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem (he who was receiving the Holy Light), took part in an Anglican liturgy at the Anglican Church of Jerusalem, where he read the Gospel in Greek, wearing his full Hierarchical vestments! In 1921, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury took part in the funeral of Metropolitan Dorotheus of Prussa in London, at which he read the Gospel! In 1022, Archbishop Germanus of Theathyra, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in London, took part in a Vespers service at Westminster Abbey, wearing his Mandya and holding his pastoral staff! In 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized the mysteries of the “Living Church” which had been anathematized by Patriarch Tikhon of Russia! In 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the Church of Cyprus recognized Anglican mysteries as valid! In 1923, the “Pan‐Orthodox Congress” under Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis proposed the adoption of the new “Revised Julian Calendar.” In December 1923, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece officially approved the adoption of the New Calendar to take place in March 1924. Among the bishops who signed the decision to adopt the new calendar was Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, one of the bishops who later consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935. Thus the Matthewites trace their Apostolic Succession from a bishop who was personally responsible (by his signature) for the adoption of the New Calendar in Greece.
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A The Sacred Synod of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece ENCYCLICAL Protocol No. 3280/28‐11‐2007 Published in ATHENS FEBRUARY, 2008 To the Sacred Clergy, the Monastic Orders and the Pious Laity Children, beloved in the Lord! “The right hand of the Lord hath wrought power……” In these latter days of the world, where there is apostasy and rebellion of the many against the principles of Faith and Orthodox Confession, there are, according to the prophetic words of the Apostle Paul “terrible times.” “For men will be,“ he writes, “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high‐minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” And concluding, he counsels all of us saying, “From such, turn away.” (II Timothy 3:1‐5) Living in our times, we are all witnesses of the emboldening of the devil against the righteous God. On a daily basis, we observe, because of our own sins and the permission of God, the continually spreading authority of the enemy over the nobility of human nature and over all our natural environment. All around us, we see shamelessly manifested and praised: alienation, corruption, degeneration, and the imposition of that which is unnatural as if it were natural. Beginning with the opening of the way by desensitization, there follows the total overturning of every principle and every moral order and justice. And all this in the name of progress and human freedom. But our Lord God doth live unto the ages! And His Church, which is “the pillar and foundation of truth,” as the Apostle of the nations declares, lives unto the ages founded upon the Lord’s words: “and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” She walks humbly and piously upon her martyric path in the world from the time of the holy Apostles even until today, while her children, in the words of Holy Scripture, are “…destitute, afflicted, tormented,” but being witnessed to by faith, they “…subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness and obtained promises….” From the very day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples of Christ, leading them unto “all the Truth,” the Church has never ceased facing the attacks and assaults of the devil, the enemy of Truth, who as the “prince of this world,” desperately attempts to take revenge upon our God in Trinity, the Former and Creator of all, by abusing all of the Divine creation, but especially man, who was formed in the image of God. Schisms, heresies, and rebellions have throughout the ages troubled, and even now trouble, the Church and are all the works of the “prince of this world,” having as their source his continual maniacal warring against the Creator God. Children beloved in the Lord! The “first schism” in the New Testament, the rebellion and betrayal of Judas, is the pattern and example of every schism or apostasy that followed throughout the ages. Similar movements and behaviors are manifested and realized from then even until today. The Seven Ecumenical Synods; Pan Orthodox Synods held in various places; and the Local Synods; faced, with the Grace of the holy Spirit, the imitators of Judas throughout the ages, that is, the leaders of heresies, and showed them to be in error, and their heretical teachings to be kakodoxies. Gnostics, Cathars, Nikolaites, Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Patropaschites, Monothelites and others, (in our days, the Ecumenists and whatever other deniers of the Orthodox Faith and Confession), are all examples of those who troubled the people of the Church, tearing asunder the unsewn Robe of Christ as imitators of Judas. But the Church of Christ lives unto the ages! However, it is natural and understandable that every heresy, every ecclesiastical schism or separation that sprouted forth, brought difficult times to the peace, like‐mindedness, and unity of the members of the Church. The harmony, concerning God, of those who are sincere in their relationship to God, that is, the Orthodox Confession of the members of the Church, is threatened by the disagreement and the battling evoked by those who do not have an Orthodox Confession, that is, by those members of the Church who act insincerely toward God, in opposition to the Orthodox Confession which they held up to now. And, as we are informed by St. Gregory the Theologian: “Nothing is mightier for the harmony of those who are sincere toward God as their agreement in Godly matters. And nothing creates antagonism like disagreement in this matter.” (Sermon VI Eirenical I). But while the Church receives attacks and wounds from those who deny the Truth, and even while many of her children distance themselves and fall from the Truth, she, herself, as the Body of Christ, remains unto the ages. According to St. John Chrysostomos, “… being warred against, she is victorious; plotted against, she prevails; being cursed, she is made even more brilliant; she receives wounds, but does not succumb to the ulcers; she is battered by waves but does not sink; she is tempest tossed, but suffers not shipwreck; she wrestles, but is not beaten; stricken by fists, but is not crushed….” (Second Homily To Eutropios) Yet, all the while, she struggles and uses every means, and tries in every way to return to her all who have been beguiled into error from the Truth and Tradition of Orthodoxy. All of this is true, because the work of the Church in the world is the revelation of the will of God unto mankind and its participation in the eternal life and the Kingdom. In addition, she works for the gathering of those who are scattered and the return of those who have strayed from the path of Truth. As we read in the prayer of the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great: “… gather up those who are scattered, restore those who have strayed and unite them to the Holy and Apostolic Church …” The Holy Church experienced a tempest in our times when, in 1924, the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the local Church of Greece; and, in consequence, other Patriarchates and local Orthodox Churches, accepted the introduction of the New Papal Calendar and its imposition upon the Ecclesiastical Festal Calendar as the first step to the pan‐heresy of Ecumenism. Having come to this difficult situation, the Orthodox Church in Greece remained, as is known, until 1935, without Orthodox Bishops, even while many of her clergy, along with many monastics, mainly from Holy Mountain, labored to fortify the people in the struggle for piety and the defense of the Tradition of the Fathers. Thus, In 1935, the Orthodox Church in Greece (having found her canonical, Orthodox, ecclesiastical leadership by means of the return of three Bishops from the New Calendarist Innovation and their rejection of the Innovation) struggled to accomplish her purpose: the healing of the New Calendarist schism and the returning to her (due to the rejection, by the three Bishops, of New Calendarist Ecumenism) of those who had been led astray. In 1937, however, a new schism troubled the Church when Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, rejected his original Orthodox Confession and put forward his kakodox teaching of the “potential but not actual” schismatic nature of the New Calendarist schism, which made, by this means, the New Calendarist “Church” simply “subject to trial,” but not in actual schism from the beginning (as she had been considered by all the faithful members of the Church) with all the consequences of this condition, In 1948, by condescension, the ever‐memorable Bishop of Vresthena and afterwards Archbishop of Athens, Matthew I, after many fruitless attempts to re‐unite all the Bishops who followed the traditional Ecclesiastical Festal Calendar in the Orthodox Confession of Faith, consecrated Bishops alone, thus passing along Apostolic Succession to those Bishops he consecrated and thus preserving unchanged and pure the traditional Orthodox Faith and Ecclesiastical teaching. The unjust attacks and the theologically unfounded assaults by those who strayed from and who were torn from the Body of the Church (the clerical and lay followers of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina) under the pretext of the “consecrations by one bishop” (consecrations of Bishops by Matthew of Vresthena) once again threatened the struggling Church with a tempest. Under the Episcopal leadership of the successors of Archbishop Matthew, the Church continues her work. In addition, she continues to struggle for the healing of the New Calendarist schism along with the return of those who were, and are today, torn away: Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, who refused, and now his followers, citing uncanonical status because of the consecration of Bishops by one Bishop. In this continuous attempt of the Church, that is, the return to her of those who had strayed according to St. Basil, there occurred by the permission of God inapt deeds and actions on the part of the Ecclesiastical Leadership, and human errors, among which were the cheirothesias of the year 1971. When, in that year, a Synodical representation of Bishops traveled to America, and coming into contact with the Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, and placing before their Synod the request that they examine and judge the matter of the Episcopal consecrations by one bishop of 1948, so that the excuses relating to this matter by the followers of Metropolitan Chrysostomos, formerly of Florina, might cease, accepted the relevant Decision of the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad. Wherefore, because of the lack, to date, of a consistent, single, stable, and correct (from an Orthodox standpoint) position concerning the cheirothesias of 1971, and because of this lack, many and various questions concerning this matter which are expressed via a variety of opinions which of late became the cause of things concerning the cheirothesias of 1971 (being said by persons who war against the Church in various ways) the Sacred Synod of the Bishops of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece, moved by pastoral concerns and responsibility, needed to act accordingly. And so it was that the Holy and Sacred Synod, the time having come and the circumstances insuring (and the impediments for the ecclesiastical confrontation in its fullness having disappeared) in the fear of God and with full understanding and sure knowledge of our Episcopal responsibility, met and considered together this matter (of the cheirothesias) during the Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Hierarchy of the Church of the T.O.C. of Greece, which took place on the 27th of December, 2007, under the presidency of His Beatitude Archbishop Nikolaos of Athens and All Greece,, and with the participation of all the Members of the Holy Synod: that is, the Metropolitan of Argolis k.k. Pachomios, the Metropolitan of Peristerion k.k. Galaction, the Metropolitan of Verroia and Naousa k.k. Tarasios, the Metropolitan of Thevae and Levadeia k.k. Andreas, the Bishop of Phillipi k.k. Chrysostomos, who was represented by the Very Rev. Abbot Archimandrite Stephanos Tsakiroglou, and the Chief Secretary, the Very Rev. Protopresbyter Demetrios Tsarkatzoglou. It is concerning this work (matter), and of the unanimous Decision taken in this regard, that we, as canonical Shepherds and leaders of the rational Flock of the Church of Christ, now humbly inform you by these presents. The ambition and the greedy disposition of burdensome men, and the general spirit of our times, inspired by Western philosophy and shaped on the
PRESIDENT OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA 75 EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028 Telephone: LEhigh 4‐1601 A SECOND SORROWFUL EPISTLE TO THEIR HOLINESSES AND THEIR BEATITUDES, THE PRIMATES OF THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCHES, THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITANS, ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS. The People of the Lord residing in his Diocese are entrusted to the Bishop, and he will be required to give account of their souls according to the 39th Apostolic Canon. The 34th Apostolic Canon orders that a Bishop may do ʺthose things only which concern his own Diocese and the territories belonging to it.ʺ There are, however, occasions when events are of such a nature that their influence extends beyond the limits of one Diocese, or indeed those of one or more of the local Churches. Events of such a general, global nature can not be ignored by any Orthodox Bishop, who, as a successor of the Apostles, is charged with the protection of his flock from various temptations. The lightening‐like speed with which ideas may be spread in our times make such care all the more imperative now. In particular, our flock, belonging to the free part of the Church of Russia, is spread out all over the world. What has just been stated, therefore, is most pertinent to it. As a result of this, our Bishops, when meeting in their Councils, cannot confine their discussions to the narrow limits of pastoral and administrative problems arising in their respective Dioceses, but must in addition turn their attention to matters of a general importance to the whole Orthodox World, since the affliction of one Church is as ʺan affliction unto them all, eliciting the compassion of them allʺ (Phil. 4:14‐16; Heb. 10:30). And if the Apostle St. Paul was weak with those who were weak and burning with those who were offended, how then can we Bishops of God remain indifferent to the growth of errors which threaten the salvation of the souls of many of our brothers in Christ? It is in the spirit of such a feeling that we have already once addressed all the Bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church with a Sorrowful Epistle. We rejoiced to learn that, in harmony with our appeal, several Metropolitans of the Church of Greece have recently made reports to their Synod calling to its attention the necessity of considering ecumenism a heresy and the advisability of reconsidering the matter of participation in the World Council of Churches. Such healthy reactions against the spreading of ecumenism allow us to hope that the Church of Christ will be spared this new storm which threatens her. Yet, two years have passed since our Sorrowful Epistle was issued, and, alas! although in the Church of Greece we have seen the new statements regarding ecumenism as un‐Orthodox, no Orthodox Church has announced its withdrawal from the World Council of Churches. In the Sorrowful Epistle, we depicted in vivid colors to what extent the organic membership of the Orthodox Church in that Council, based as it is upon purely Protestant principles, is contrary to the very basis of Orthodoxy. In this Epistle, having been authorized by our Council of Bishops, we would further develop and extend our warning, showing that the participants in the ecumenical movement are involved in a profound heresy against the very foundation of the Church. The essence of that movement has been given a clear definition by the statement of the Roman Catholic theologian Ives M. J. Congar. He writes that ʺthis is a movement which prompts the Christian Churches to wish the restoration of the lost unity, and to that end to have a deep understanding of itself and understanding of each other.ʺ He continues, ʺIt is composed of all the feelings, ideas, actions or institutions, meetings or conferences, ceremonies, manifestations and publications which are directed to prepare the reunion in new unity not only of (separate) Christians, but also of the actually existing Churches.ʺ Actually, he continues, ʺthe word ecumenism, which is of Protestant origin, means now a concrete reality: the totality of all the aforementioned upon the basis of a certain attitude and a certain amount of very definite conviction (although not always very clear and certain). It is not a desire or an attempt to unite those who are regarded as separated into one Church which would be regarded as the only true one. It begins at just that point where it is recognized that, at the present state, none of the Christian confessions possesses the fullness of Christianity, but even if one of them is authentic, still, as a confession, it does not contain the whole truth. There are Christian values outside of it belonging not only to Christians who are separated from it in creed, but also to other Churches and other confessions as suchʺ (Chretiens Desunis, Ed. Unam Sanctam, Paris, 1937, pp. XI‐XII). This definition of the ecumenical movement made by a Roman Catholic theologian 35 years ago continues to be quite as exact even now, with the difference that during the intervening years this movement has continued to develop further with a newer and more dangerous scope. In our first Sorrowful Epistle, we wrote in detail on how incompatible with our Ecclesiology was the participation of Orthodox in the World Council of Churches, and presented precisely the nature of the violation against Orthodoxy committed in the participation of our Churches in that council. We demonstrated that the basic principles of that council are incompatible with the Orthodox doctrine of the Church. We, therefore, protested against the acceptance of that resolution at the Geneva Pan‐Orthodox Conference whereby the Orthodox Church was proclaimed an organic member of the World Council of Churches. Alas! These last few years are richly laden with evidence that, in their dialogues with the heterodox, some Orthodox representatives have adopted a purely Protestant ecclesiology which brings in its wake a Protestant approach to questions of the life of the Church, and from which springs forth the now‐ popular modernism. Modernism consists in that bringing‐down, that re‐aligning of the life of the Church according to the principles of current life and human weaknesses. We saw it in the Renovation Movement and in the Living Church in Russia in the twenties. At the first meeting of the founders of the Living Church on May 29, 1922, its aims were determined as a ʺrevision and change of all facets of Church life which are required by the demands of current lifeʺ (The New Church, Prof. B. V. Titlinov, Petrograd‐Moscow, 1923, p. 11). The Living Church was an attempt at a reformation adjusted to the requirements of the conditions of a communist state. Modernism places that compliance with the weaknesses of human nature above the moral and even doctrinal requirements of the Church. In that measure that the world is abandoning Christian principles, modernism debases the level of religious life more and more. Within the Western confessions we see that there has come about an abolition of fasting, a radical shortening and vulgarization of religious services, and, finally, full spiritual devastation, even to the point of exhibiting an indulgent and permissive attitude toward unnatural vices of which St. Paul said it was shameful even to speak. It was just modernism which was the basis of the Pan‐Orthodox Conference of sad memory in Constantinople in 1923, evidently not without some influence of the renovation experiment in Russia. Subsequent to that conference, some Churches, while not adopting all the reforms which were there introduced, adopted the Western calendar, and even, in some cases, the Western Paschalia. This, then, was the first step onto the path of modernism of the Orthodox Church, whereby Her way of life was changed in order to bring it closer to the way of life of heretical communities. In this respect, therefore, the adoption of the Western Calendar was a violation of a principle consistent in the Holy Canons, whereby there is a tendency to spiritually isolate the Faithful from those who teach contrary to the Orthodox Church, and not to encourage closeness with such in our prayer‐life (Titus 3:10; 10th, 45th, and 65th Apostolic Canons; 32nd, 33rd, and 37th Canons of Laodicea, etc.). The unhappy fruit of that reform was the violation of the unity of the life in prayer of Orthodox Christians in various countries. While some of them were celebrating Christmas together with heretics, others still fasted. Sometimes such a division occurred in the same local Church, and sometimes Easter [Pascha] was celebrated according to the Western Paschal reckoning. For the sake, therefore, of being nearer to the heretics, that principle, set forth by the First Ecumenical Council that all Orthodox Christians should simultaneously, with one mouth and one heart, rejoice and glorify the Resurrection of Christ all over the world, is violated. This tendency to introduce reforms, regardless of previous general decisions and practice of the whole Church in violation of the Second Canon of the VI Ecumenical Council, creates only confusion. His Holiness, the Patriarch of Serbia, Gabriel, of blessed memory, expressed this feeling eloquently at the Church Conference held in Moscow in 1948. ʺIn the last decades,ʺ he said, ʺvarious tendencies have appeared in the Orthodox Church which evoke reasonable apprehension for the purity of Her doctrines and for Her dogmatical and canonical Unity. ʺThe convening by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Pan‐Orthodox Conference and the Conference at Vatopedi, which had as their principal aim the preparing of the Prosynod, violated the unity and cooperation of the Orthodox Churches. On the one hand, the absence of the Church of Russia at these meetings, and, on the other, the hasty and unilateral actions of some of the local Churches and the hasty actions of their representatives have introduced chaos and anomalies into the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ʺThe unilateral introduction of the Gregorian Calendar by some of the local Churches while the Old Calendar was kept yet by others, shook the unity of the Church and incited serious dissension within those of them who so lightly introduced the New Calendarʺ (Acts of the Conferences of the Heads and Representatives of the Autocephalic Orthodox Churches, Moscow, 1949, Vol. II, pp. 447‐448). Recently, Prof. Theodorou, one of the representatives of the Church of Greece at the Conference in Chambesy in 1968, noted that the calendar reform in Greece was hasty and noted further that the Church there suffers even now from the schism it caused (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1969, No. 1, p. 51). It could not escape the sensitive consciences of many sons of the Church that within the calendar reform, the foundation is already laid for a revision of the entire order of Orthodox Church life which has been blessed by the Tradition of many centuries and confirmed by the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils. Already at that Pan‐Orthodox Conference of 1923 at Constantinople, the questions of the second marriage of clergy as well as other matters were raised. And recently, the Greek Archbishop of North and South America, Iakovos, made a statement in favor of a married episcopate (The Hellenic Chronicle, December 23, 1971). The strength of Orthodoxy has always lain in Her maintaining the principles of Church Tradition. Despite this, there are those who are attempting to include in the agenda of a future Great Council not a discussion of the best ways to safeguard those principles, but, on the contrary, ways to bring about a radical revision of the entire way of life in the Church, beginning with the abolition of fasts, second marriages of the clergy, etc., so that Her way of life would be closer to that of the heretical communities. In our first Sorrowful Epistle we have shown in detail the extent to which the principles of the World Council of Churches are contrary to the doctrines of the Orthodox Church, and we protested against the decision taken in Geneva at the Pan‐Orthodox Conference declaring the Orthodox Church to be an organic member of that council. Then we reminded all that, ʺthe poison of heresy is not too dangerous when it is preached outside the Church. Many times more perilous is that poison which is gradually introduced into the organism in larger and larger doses by those who, in virtue of their position, should not be poisoners but spiritual physicians.ʺ Alas! Of late we see the symptoms of such a great development of ecumenism with the participation of the Orthodox, that it has become a serious threat, leading to the utter annihilation of the Orthodox Church by dissolving Her in an ocean of heretical communities.
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Orthodox Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny Accepted the Mysteries of the Anglicans In 1910 and Then Changed His Mind in 1912. He Was Not Judged By Any Council For This Mistake. Did He and His Flock Lose Grace During Those Two Years? His Grace, the Right Reverend [Saint] Raphael Hawaweeny, late Bishop of Brooklyn and head of the Syrian Greek Orthodox Catholic Mission of the Russian Church in North America, was a far‐sighted leader. Called from Russia to New York in 1895, to assume charge of the growing Syrian parishes under the Russian jurisdiction over American Orthodoxy, he was elevated to the episcopate by order of the Holy Synod of Russia and was consecrated Bishop of Brooklyn and head of the Syrian Mission by Archbishop Tikhon and Bishop Innocent of Alaska on March 12, 1904. This was the first consecration of an Orthodox Catholic Bishop in the New World and Bishop Raphael was the first Orthodox prelate to spend his entire episcopate, from consecration to burial, in America. [Ed. note—In August 1988 the remains of Bishop Raphael along with those of Bishops Emmanuel and Sophronios and Fathers Moses Abouhider, Agapios Golam and Makarios Moore were transferred to the Antiochian Village in southwestern Pennsylvania for re‐burial. Bishop Raphaelʹs remains were found to be essentially incorrupt. As a result a commission under the direction of Bishop Basil (Essey) of the Antiochian Archdiocese was appointed to gather materials concerning the possible glorification of Bishop Raphael.] With his broad culture and international training and experience Bishop Raphael naturally had a keen interest in the universal Orthodox aspiration for Christian unity. His work in America, where his Syrian communities were widely scattered and sometimes very small and without the services of the Orthodox Church, gave him a special interest in any movement which promised to provide a way by which acceptable and valid sacramental ministrations might be brought within the reach of isolated Orthodox people. It was, therefore, with real pleasure and gratitude that Bishop Raphael received the habitual approaches of ʺHigh Churchʺ prelates and clergy of the Episcopal Church. Assured by ʺcatholic‐mindedʺ Protestants, seeking the recognition of real Catholic Bishops, that the Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church were really Catholic and almost the same as Orthodox, Bishop Raphael was filled with great happiness. A group of these ʺHigh Episcopalianʺ Protestants had formed the American branch of ʺThe Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Unionʺ (since revised and now existing as ʺThe Anglican and Eastern Churches Association,ʺ chiefly active in England, where it publishes a quarterly organ called The Christian East). This organization, being well pleased with the impression its members had made upon Bishop Raphael, elected him Vice‐President of the Union. Bishop Raphael accepted, believing that he was associating himself with truly Catholic but unfortunately separated [from the Church] fellow priests and bishops in a movement that would promote Orthodoxy and true catholic unity at the same time. As is their usual custom with all prelates and clergy of other bodies, the Episcopal bishop urged Bishop Raphael to recognize their Orders and accept for his people the sacramental ministrations of their Protestant clergy on a basis of equality with the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church administered by Orthodox priests. It was pointed out that the isolated and widely‐scattered Orthodox who had no access to Orthodox priests or Sacraments could be easily reached by clergy of the Episcopal Church, who, they persuaded Bishop Raphael to believe, were priests and Orthodox in their doctrine and belief though separated in organization. In this pleasant delusion, but under carefully specified restrictions, Bishop Raphael issued in 1910 permission for his faithful, in emergencies and under necessity when an Orthodox priest and Sacraments were inaccessible, to ask the ministrations of Episcopal clergy and make comforting use of what these clergy could provide in the absence of Orthodox priests and Sacraments. Being Vice‐President of the Eastern Orthodox side of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches Union and having issued on Episcopal solicitation such a permission to his people, Bishop Raphael set himself to observe closely the reaction following his permissory letter and to study more carefully the Episcopal Church and Anglican teaching in the hope that the Anglicans might really be capable of becoming actually Orthodox. But, the more closely he observed the general practice and the more deeply he studied the teaching and faith of the Episcopal Church, the more painfully shocked, disappointed, and disillusioned Bishop Raphael became. Furthermore, the very fact of his own position in the Anglican and Orthodox Union made the confusion and deception of Orthodox people the more certain and serious. The existence and cultivation of even friendship and mutual courtesy was pointed out as supporting the Episcopal claim to Orthodox sacramental recognition and intercommunion. Bishop Raphael found that his association with Episcopalians became the basis for a most insidious, injurious, and unwarranted propaganda in favor of the Episcopal Church among his parishes and faithful. Finally, after more than a year of constant and careful study and observation, Bishop Raphael felt that it was his duty to resign from the association of which he was Vice‐President. In doing this he hoped that the end of his connection with the Union would end also the Episcopal interferences and uncalled‐for intrusions in the affairs and religious harmony of his people. His letter of resignation from the Anglican and Orthodox Churches Union, published in the Russian Orthodox Messenger, February 18, 1912, stated his convictions in the following way: I have a personal opinion about the usefulness of the Union. Study has taught me that there is a vast difference between the doctrine, discipline, and even worship of the Holy Orthodox Church and those of the Anglican Communion; while, on the other hand, experience has forced upon me the conviction that to promote courtesy and friendship, which seems to be the only aim of the Union at present, not only amounts to killing precious time, at best, but also is somewhat hurtful to the religious and ecclesiastical welfare of the Holy Orthodox Church in these United States. Very many of the bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church at the present time—and especially myself have observed that the Anglican Communion is associated with numerous Protestant bodies, many of whose doctrines and teachings, as well as practices, are condemned by the Holy Orthodox Church. I view union as only a pleasing dream. Indeed, it is impossible for the Holy Orthodox Church to receive—as She has a thousand times proclaimed, and as even the Papal See of Rome has declaimed to the Holy Orthodox Churchʹs credit—anyone into Her Fold or into union with Her who does not accept Her Faith in full without any qualifications—the Faith which She claims is most surely Apostolic. I cannot see how She can unite, or the latter expect in the near future to unite with Her while the Anglican Communion holds so many Protestant tenets and doctrines, and also is so closely associated with the non‐ Catholic religions about her. Finally, I am in perfect accord with the views expressed by His Grace, Archbishop Platon, in his address delivered this year before the Philadelphia Episcopalian Brotherhood, as to the impossibility of union under present circumstances. One would suppose that the publication of such a letter in the official organ of the Russian Archdiocese would have ended the misleading and subversive propaganda of the Episcopalians among the Orthodox faithful. But the Episcopal members simply addressed a reply to Bishop Raphael in which they attempted to make him believe that the Episcopal Church was not Protestant and had adopted none of the errors held by Protestant bodies. For nearly another year Bishop Raphael watched and studied while the subversive Episcopal propaganda went on among his people on the basis of the letter of permission he had issued under a misapprehension of the nature and teaching of the Episcopal Church and its clergy. Seeing that there was no other means of protecting Orthodox faithful from being misled and deceived, Bishop Raphael finally issued, late in 1912, the following pastoral letter which has remained in force among the Orthodox of this jurisdiction in America ever since and has been confirmed and reinforced by the pronouncement of his successor, the present Archbishop Aftimios. Pastoral Letter of Bishop Raphael To My Beloved Clergy and Laity of the Syrian Greek‐Orthodox Catholic Church in North America: Greetings in Christ Jesus, Our Incarnate Lord and God. My Beloved Brethren: Two years ago, while I was Vice‐President and member of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union, being moved with compassion for my children in the Holy Orthodox Faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3), scattered throughout the whole of North America and deprived of the ministrations of the Church; and especially in places far removed from Orthodox centers; and being equally moved with a feeling that the Episcopalian (Anglican) Church possessed largely the Orthodox Faith, as many of the prominent clergy professed the same to me before I studied deeply their doctrinal authorities and their liturgy—the Book of Common Prayer—I wrote a letter as Bishop and Head of the Syrian‐Orthodox Mission in North America, giving permission, in which I said that in extreme cases, where no Orthodox priest could be called upon at short notice, the ministrations of the Episcopal (Anglican) clergy might be kindly requested. However, I was most explicit in defining when and how the ministrations should be accepted, and also what exceptions should be made. In writing that letter I hoped, on the one hand, to help my people spiritually, and, on the other hand, to open the way toward bringing the Anglicans into the communion of the Holy Orthodox Faith. On hearing and in reading that my letter, perhaps unintentionally, was misconstrued by some of the Episcopalian (Anglican) clergy, I wrote a second letter in which I pointed out that my instructions and exceptions had been either overlooked or ignored by many, to wit: a) They (the Episcopalians) informed the Orthodox people that I recognized the Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church) as being united with the Holy Orthodox Church and their ministry, that is holy orders, as valid. b) The Episcopal (Anglican) clergy offered their ministrations even when my Orthodox clergy were residing in the same towns and parishes, as pastors. c) Episcopal clergy said that there was no need of the Orthodox people seeking the ministrations of their own Orthodox priests, for their (the Anglican) ministrations were all that were necessary. I, therefore, felt bound by all the circumstances to make a thorough study of the Anglican Churchʹs faith and orders, as well as of her discipline and ritual. After serious consideration I realized that it was my honest duty, as a member of the College of the Holy Orthodox Greek Apostolic Church, and head of the Syrian Mission in North America, to resign from the vice‐presidency of and membership in the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union. At the same time, I set forth, in my letter of resignation, my reason for so doing. I am convinced that the doctrinal teaching and practices, as well as the discipline, of the whole Anglican Church are unacceptable to the Holy Orthodox Church. I make this apology for the Anglicans whom as Christian gentlemen I greatly revere, that the loose teaching of a great many of the prominent Anglican theologians are so hazy in their definitions of truths, and so inclined toward pet heresies that it is hard to tell what they believe. The Anglican Church as a whole has not spoken authoritatively on her doctrine. Her Catholic‐minded members can call out her doctrines from many views, but so nebulous is her pathway in the doctrinal world that those who would extend a hand of both Christian and ecclesiastical fellowship dare not, without distrust, grasp the hand of her theologians, for while many are orthodox on some points, they are quite heterodox on others. I speak, of course, from the Holy Orthodox Eastern Catholic point of view. The Holy Orthodox Church has never perceptibly changed from Apostolic times, and, therefore, no one can go astray in finding out what She teaches. Like Her Lord and Master, though at times surrounded with human malaria—which He in His mercy pardons— She is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb. 13:8) the mother and safe deposit of the truth as it is in Jesus (cf. Eph. 4:21). The Orthodox Church differs absolutely with the Anglican Communion in reference to the number of Sacraments and in reference to the doctrinal explanation of the same. The Anglicans say in their Catechism concerning the Sacraments that there are ʺtwo only as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.ʺ I am well aware that, in their two books of homilies (which are not of a binding authority, for the books were prepared only in the reign of Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth for priests who were not permitted to preach their own sermons in England during times both politically and ecclesiastically perilous), it says that there are ʺfive others commonly called Sacramentsʺ (see homily in each book on the Sacraments), but long since they have repudiated in different portions of their Communion this very teaching and absolutely disavow such definitions in their ʺArticles of
‘We have pleasure inform Your Grace that Holy Synod of our Patriarchate after studying in several meetings question Anglican Orders from Orthodox point view resolved their validity.’ Today, explaining this telegram, we inform Your Grace that the Holy Synod, having as a motive the resolution passed some time ago by the Church of Constantinople, which is the church having the First Throne between the Orthodox Churches, resolved that the consecrations of bishops and ordinations of priests and deacons of the Anglican Episcopal Church are considered by the Orthodox Church as having the same validity which the Orders of the Roman Church have, because there exist all the elements which are considered necessary from an Orthodox point of view for the recognition of the grace of the Holy Orders from Apostolic Succession.
It being understood that the Apostolic Succession in the Anglican Church by the Sacrament of Order was not broken at the Consecration of the first Archbishop of this Church, Matthew Parker, and the visible signs being present in Orders among the Anglicans by which the grace of the Holy Spirit is supplied, which enables the ordinand for the functions of his particular order, there is no obstacle to the recognition by the Orthodox Church of the validity of Anglican Ordinations in the same way that the validity of the ordinations of the Roman, Old Catholic, and Armenian Church are recognized by her.
Translation from the Greek: [Letterhead symbol of double‐headed eagle] GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE HOLY METROPOLIS OF MESOGAEA AND LAUREOTICA EPISCOPAL HOUSE OF ST. CATHERINE, KOROPI, ATTICA 19400 P.O. 54 KOROPI, ATTICA, TEL: 2106020176, TEL+FAX: 2106021467 Protocol No. 535. Sunday of Cross‐veneration [22 Feb/7 Mar], 2010. To the Most Reverend Priest Fr. Pedro Rector of the Holy Church of Saint Spyridon Karea [Athens, Greece] By my present Hierarchical letter, I notify you also in writing, that according to the tradition of our Fathers (and that of Bishop Matthew of Bresthena), all Christians, who approach to receive Holy Communion, must be suitably prepared, in order to worthily receive the body and blood of the Lord. This preparation indispensably includes fasting according to one’s strength. Also, all Christians, when they are going to commune, know that they must approach Holy Communion on Saturday (since it is preceded by the fast of Friday) and on Sunday only by economy, so that they are not compelled to break the fast of Saturday and violate the relevant Holy Canon [sic: here he accidentally speaks of breaking the fast of Saturday, but he most likely means fasting on Saturday, because that is what violates the canons]. After this, I request of you the avoidance of disorder and scandal regarding this issue, and to recommend to those who confess to you, that in order to approach Holy Communion, they must prepare by fasting, and to prefer approaching on Saturday and not Sunday. Regarding the Canon, which some people refer to in order to commune without fasting beforehand, it is correct, but it must be interpreted correctly and applied to everybody. Namely, we must return to those early apostolic times, during which all of the Christians were ascetics and temperate and fasters, and only they remained [Page 2] until the end of the Divine Liturgy and communed. They fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune. The rest did not remain until the end and withdrew together with the catechumens. As for those who were in repentance, they remained outside the gates of the church. If we implemented this Canon today, everyone would have to go out of the church and only two or three worthy people would remain inside until the end to commune. And if the Christians of today only knew how unworthy they are, who would remain inside the church? In short I write these things to you to advise you beforehand and I will come back to it, after you translate the present letter and come to discuss with me any problems you may happen to have. With prayers The Metropolitan of Mesogaea and Laureotica + KIRYKOS [Signature]