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The Division of the G.O.C. Into Factions The first division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1936, when three of the seven bishops returned to the New Calendarist State Church of Greece. The fallen hierarchs were Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetriou of Zacynthus, Bishop Christopher Hatziz of Megara and Bishop Polycarp Liosis of Diaulia. The remaining hierarchs of the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece were Metropolitan Germanus Mavromatis of Demetrias, Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavouridis of Florina, Bishop Germanus Varykopoulos of the Cyclades and Bishop Matthew Karpathakis of Bresthena. The second division among the Old Calendarists also occurred in 1936, when the government‐recognized entity of the “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” (a group of laymen theoloigians without any bishops or priests) severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus, and also severed communion with all the remaining hierarchs of the Synod, and went off alone, forming a parasynagogue. The third division among the Old Calendarists occurred in September 1937, when Bishop Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus, and instead formed his own party, and took over the leadership of the schismatic “Religious Community of the Genuine Orthodox Christians” which had severed communion from the Church a year earlier. Bishop Matthew left for ecclesiological reasons. The fourth division occurred in October 1937, when Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades severed communion with the President of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, and instead joined Bishop Matthew. The fifth division occurred in 1942, when Bishops Germanus of the Cyclades and Matthew of Bresthena severed communion with one another due to dogmatic reasons. Bishop Germanus of Cyclades condemned Bishop Matthew for his writings and publications, which included a statement that if it were not for the birth of St. John Chrysostom, there would have needed to be a “second incarnation of Christ,” and another statement that Christ’s teeth were supposedly broken, etc. Bishop Matthew retaliated against this by stating that Bishop Germanus was guilty of blaspheming against King Abgar’s letter to Christ, and the response from Christ to Abgar, and for mocking the “symbols of the Theotokos” that Bishop Matthew had published in his book “Garden of Graces.” The sixth division among the Old Calendarists occurred in 1943, when Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina severed communion with the Synodal President, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, due to political reasons. In other words, by 1943, there were four Old Calendarist bishops, and four factions! Each of the four bishops was the “president” of his own faction. Unfortunately, these hierarchs managed to preserve themselves from new calendarism, but they fell into the passion of factionalism, a passion that still runs wild among the Old Calendarist hierarchs even today. This is what occurs when bishops are led by their passions, make hasty decisions to condemn their brothers, and make themselves leaders of their own parties. In 1946, this factionalism began to come to an end when Bishops Christopher and Polycarp returned to the Old Calendar and joined the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. Soon after this, Bishop Germanus of the Cyclades also began meeting with the above three bishops for the sake of reuniting all the factions of the Old Calendarists of Greece. However, he was placed in prison from 1947 to 1949, and it was not until he was released that he joined formally with the Synod of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina. The only bishop who remained separated was Bishop Matthew of Bresthena, mainly for ecclesiological reasons, but he was much more open to unity than were those immediately surrounding him. The below photograph is of Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina and Bishops Germanus of Cyclades, Christopher of Megaris and Polycarp of Diaulia in 1946, when the factionalism began to end and a united Synod began to form again (with the exclusion of Bishop Matthew who did not meet in person with any of the remaining hierarchs). Germanus of Cyclades, Chrysostom of Florina, Christopher of Megaris, Polycarp of Diaulia
The First Synod and the Consecrations of 1935 In 1935, two hierarchs of the Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Germanus Mavromatis of Demetrias and Metropolitan Chrysostom Demetriou of Zacynthus) and one retired hierarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavourides of Florina) joined the Sacred Struggle and assumed the leadership of the Old Calendarists of Greece. Germanus of Demetrias became the President of the Holy Synod and the Locum Tenens of the Metropolis of Athens. This act was most canonical because the innovative “Archbishop” Chrysostom Papadopoulos of Athens had illegally usurped the Archdiocesan throne in 1923, whereas the lawful Archbishop was Theocletus Menopoulos (+1931). Assisted by the Metropolitans Chrysostom of Florina and Chrysostom of Zacynthus, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, as the canonical and lawful President of the Synod, performed, in Keratea of Attica, the consecrations of four new bishops. Those consecrated were Bishop Germanus Varykopoulos of the Cyclades, Bishop Christopher Chatzis of Megaris, Bishop Polycarp Liosis of Diaulia, and Bishop Matthew Karpathakis of Bresthena. The first three Metropolitans and the abovementioned newly‐ordained four Bishops constituted the first re‐establishment of the canonical Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece since the time of Archbishop Theocletus Menopoulos of Athens, who had been dismissed in 1923 and reposed in 1931.
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The Bishop Who Consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena Was An “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, who consecrated Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1935, did not have the Gkoutzidis‐style ecclesiology. On the contrary, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that all of the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that continued to retain the Patristic Calendar were still canonical and Orthodox, even if they had not severed communion with the New Calendarists. Accordingly to this quite moderate ecclesiology, Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias published a Pastoral Encyclical in 1935, in which he writes that the very PURPOSE of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece was to CO‐OPERATE with the Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches that kept the Old Calendar! In the said Encyclical we read: “…Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting…” The original text in Greek reads: «...Ἐμμένοντες πιστοὶ εἰς τὰς παραδόσεις τῶν ἑπτὰ Οἰκουμενικῶν Συνόδων, τῶν ὁποῖων τὰς διατάξεις σέβεται καὶ διακρατεῖ ἀπαρασαλεύτως ἡ ἡμετέρα Ἐκκλησία [τῶν Γ.Ο.Χ. Ἑλλάδος], θὰ ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΖΟΜΕΘΑ μετὰ τῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν Ἱεροσολύμων, Ἀντιοχείας, Ὄρους Σινᾶ, Ἁγ. Ὅρους, Ρωσσίας, Πολωνίας, Σερβίας καὶ λοιπῶν ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ Ἐκκλησιῶν, αἴτηνες κρατοῦσι τὸ πάτριον παλαιὸν ἑορτολόγιον, μὴ στέργοντες νὰ διατελῶμεν ὑπὸ τὰς ἀρὰς καὶ τὰ ἀναθέματα τῶν Ἁγίων Πατέρων καὶ τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων Πατριαρχῶν, οἴτινες ἐν Οἰκουμενικαῖς καὶ Τοπικαῖς Συνόδοις ὡρισαν τὰ συμφέροντα...» Since Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias believed that the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch, Russia, Serbia, etc, were valid Orthodox Churches, and that the role of the G.O.C. was to collaborate with them, does this not make him an “Old Calendarist Ecumenist” according to the extremist Gkoutzidian ecclesiology? If so, then that would make Germanus a graceless heretic even at this time that he was consecrating Bishop Matthew. So then, with which grace did he perform the consecration? Behold the original document in Greek, as it was found in the archive of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis, and criminally hidden for all of these years:
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.
ENCYCLICAL OF METROPOLITAN GERMANUS OF DEMETRIAS, PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED IN MAY 1935 The following flyer was published and distributed throughout the Metropolis of Demetrias in May, 1935, after Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias and two other hierarchs had officially returned to the old calendar. The section has been emphasized in bold print where Metropolitan Germanus describes that he and his fellow hierarchs have the purpose of collaborating with the Old Calendarist Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches. This proves that although the three hierarchs did denounce the State Church of Greece as schismatic, they did not regard the Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia, etc, to be schismatic, but on the contrary, they viewed them as “collaborators.” Bishop Matthew accepted consecration at their hands despite this, and he was also fully aware of the fulfilment of this obligation when the Holy GOC Synod (to which Bishop Matthew belonged) decided to send Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina to Jerusalem and Antioch for this very purpose in 1936. Is this not “Old Calendarist Ecumenism” as described in the mind of Bp. Kirykos Kontogiannis? The below document was taken from Bp. Kirykos’ own archive at Koropi. This document has been hidden in this archive for several decades. It cannot be said that Bp. Kirykos is unaware of it, because together with the original document there was also a photocopy of the same document, upon which the controversial statement is underlined with a pen. Whose pen might that be? For it to be underlined it means it was not only read but attention was also drawn towards it. So the question remains: Why has Bp. Kirykos failed to publish such an important document? What could be his excuse other than the fact that he hides such documents on purpose in order to get away with falsifying GOC history to suite his fanatic one‐sided positions? A true Orthodox bishop does not hide the truth from his flock by choosing to reveal only the documents that suit him. A true Orthodox bishop reveals the truth, be it in his favour or not. Thus, Bp. Kirykos proves to be a false bishop. His own archive betrays him. The original document in Greek is available as a scanned image, while the below is an English translation: HELLENIC REPUBLIC METROPOLITAN OF DEMETRIAS Pious priests, honourable wardens of the Churches, and remaining blessed Christians of our most holy Metropolis. A qualification sine qua non for every pastor is to have love towards our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. “Do you love me?” our Saviour asked Peter, “Tend my sheep.” Love and faith towards the Saviour and towards the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that He founded, is what we bishops confess officially before God and men when we take up the hierarchical dignity, certifying that we desire, by divine succour and confidence, to unwaveringly retain the faith of Christ and the holy traditions completely spotless. Upon reaching a thirty‐year period of shepherding the God‐saved eparchy of Demetrias, we retained, with fear of God, the holy traditions, protecting the flock of Christ from every opposing attack, becoming a faithful witness of the divine and holy canons and traditions of our Church. Unfortunately, men speaking perversely received the succession of the Holy Church of Greece, and, perverting the truth, they substituted it with falsehood and deceit, disregarded the Holy Canons and the Holy Traditions, causing obvious spiritual damage. Our objections were in vain. Our protests were to no avail. Not considering even one of all of these [objections and protests], they disregarded the Festal Calendar [Greek: Heortologion] of our Church, which is inextricably linked to the Paschal Rule [Paschalios Canon], the Sunday Cycle [Kyriakodromion], the fast of the Holy Apostles, and the worship in general, introducing instead of the Orthodox Festal Calendar (Julian), the Gregorian (Frankish) calendar. We, due to love for the Church, for twelve entire years did not cease to advise and admonish the innovators, pointing out the downhill direction the Church had taken leading to the future severing of the unity of the One Holy Church of Christ, and the arising discords, attitudes and riots, but unfortunately we were not listened to. With great sorrow and contrition of heart we were compelled, together with other hierarchs, to overthrow and expel the Gregorian calendar, keeping it only for the daily life and political necessities of the Christians, while embracing the Festal Calendar of our Church, based on the Julian Calendar which was adopted for use by our Church at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea. Remaining faithful to the tradition of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the ordinances of which our Church respects and unwaveringly retains, we shall collaborate [Greek: synergazometha] with the Orthodox Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Russia, Poland, Serbia and the remaining Orthodox Churches that keep the Patristic Old Festal Calendar, not acquiescing to remain under the curses and anathemas of the Holy Fathers and the Orthodox Patriarchs, who in Ecumenical and Regional Councils, appointed what is befitting. We are convinced that you shall follow us to the fields of evangelical grace, just as the shepherd treads before the sheep and the sheep follow him, and do not follow, but rather flee, from anything alien. For about 150 years, emperors, hierarchs and mighty men upon the earth were expelling the holy icons from the churches, but the Faith of the Christians proved to be victorious, triumphantly restoring [the icons] to the churches, because “this is the victory that has conquered the world, namely, our Faith.” Whenever the people felt their faith being disgraced, they supported and retained [their faith] unscathed and unfalsified throughout the centuries. Therefore stand fast and hold the Orthodox Traditions, keep the Patristic Festal Calendar, namely, the Julian. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may deprive you of your crown, namely, Orthodoxy. In Athens, May, 1935. Your fervent supplicant to Christ, + Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias
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?
24, 2016 North Metropolitan TAFE, 25 Aberdeen St, Northbridge, WA Following the last four years of hugely successful events, GET INTO RESOURCES is celebrating its 5th birthday with this year’s event taking place at the North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of June 2016.
Project Canterbury The Episcopal and Greek Churches Report of an Unofficial Conference on Unity Between Members of the Episcopal Church in America and His Grace, Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Athens, And His Advisers. October 26, 1918. New York: Department of Missions, 1920 PREFACE THE desire for closer communion between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the various branches of the Anglican Church is by no means confined to the Anglican Communion. Many interesting efforts have been made during the past two centuries, a resume of which may be found in the recent publication of the Department of Missions of the Episcopal Church entitled Historical Contact Between the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The most significant approaches of recent times have been those between the Anglican and the Russian and the Greek Churches; and of late the Syrian Church of India which claims foundation by the Apostle Saint Thomas. Evdokim, the last Archbishop sent to America by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia in the year 1915, brought with him instructions that he should work for a closer understanding with the Episcopal Church in America. As a result, a series of conferences were held in the Spring of 1916. At these conferences the question of Anglican Orders, the Apostolical Canons and the Seventh Oecumenical Council were discussed. The Russians were willing to accept the conclusions of Professor Sokoloff, as set forth in his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Divinity, approved by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia. In this thesis he proved the historical continuity of Anglican Orders, and the intention to conform to the practice of the ancient Church. He expressed some suspicion concerning the belief of part of the Anglican Church in the nature of the sacraments, but maintained that this could not be of sufficient magnitude to prevent the free operation of the Holy Spirit. The Russian members of the conference, while accepting this conclusion, pointed out that further steps toward inter‐communion could only be made by an oecumenical council. The following is quoted from the above‐mentioned publication: The Apostolical Canons were considered one by one. With explanations on both sides, the two Churches were found to be in substantial agreement. In connection with canon forty‐six, the Archbishop stated that the Russian Church would accept any Anglican Baptism or any other Catholic Baptism. Difficulties concerning the frequent so‐called ʺperiods of fastingʺ were removed by rendering the word ʺfastingʺ as ʺabstinence.ʺ Both Anglicans and Russians agreed that only two fast‐days were enjoined on their members‐‐ Ash‐Wednesday and Good Friday. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was fully discussed. Satisfactory explanations were given by both sides, but no final decision was reached. Before the conference could be reconvened, the Archbishop was summoned to a General Conference of the Orthodox Church at Moscow. During the past year the Syrian Church and the Anglican Church in India have been giving very full and careful consideration to the question of Reunion and it is hoped that some working basis may be speedily established. As a preliminary to this present conference, the writer addressed, with the approval of the members of the conference representing the Episcopal Church, a letter to the Metropolitan which became the basis of discussion. This letter has been published as one of the pamphlets of this series under the title, An Anglican Programme for Reunion. These conferences were followed by a series of other conferences in England which took up the thoughts contained in the American programme, as is shown in the following quotation from the preface to the above‐mentioned letter: At the first conference the American position was reviewed and it was mutually agreed that the present aim of such conference was not for union in the sense of ʺcorporate solidarityʺ based on the restoration of intercommunion, but through clear understanding of each otherʹs position. The general understanding was that there was no real bar to communion between the two Churches and it was desirable that it should be permitted, but that such permission could only be given through the action of a General Council. The third of these series of conferences was held at Oxford. About forty representatives of the Anglican Church attended. The questions of Baptism and Confirmation were considered by this conference. It was shown that, until the eighteenth century, re‐baptism of non‐Orthodox was never practiced. It was then introduced as a protest against the custom in the Latin Church of baptizing, not only living Orthodox, but in many cases, even the dead. Under order of Patriarch Joachim III, it has become the Greek custom not to re‐baptize Anglicans who have been baptized by English priests. In the matter of Confirmation it was shown that in the cases of the Orthodox, the custom of anointing with oil, called Holy Chrism, differs to some extent from our Confirmation. It is regarded as a seal of orthodoxy and should not be viewed as repetition of Confirmation. Even in the Orthodox Church lapsed communicants must receive Chrism again before restoration. The fourth conference was held in the Jerusalem Chapel of Westminster Abbey, under the presidency of the Bishop of Winchester. This discussion was confined to the consideration of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. It is not felt by the Greeks that the number of differences on this point touch doctrinal or even disciplinary principles. The Metropolitan stated that there was no difficulty tin the subject. From what he had seen of Anglican Churches, he was assured as to our practice. He further stated that he was strongly opposed to the practice of ascribing certain virtues and power to particular icons, and that he himself had written strongly against this practice, and that the Holy Synod of Greece had issued directions against it.ʺ Those brought in contact with the Metropolitan of Athens, and those who followed the work of the Commission on Faith and Order can testify to the evident desire of the authorities of the East for closer union with the Anglican Church as soon as conditions permit. This report is submitted because there is much loose thinking and careless utterance on every side concerning the position of the Orthodox Church and the relation of the Episcopal Church to her sister Churches of the East. It seems not merely wise, but necessary, to place before Church people a document showing how the minds of leading thinkers of both Episcopal and Orthodox Churches are approaching this most momentous problem of Intercommunion and Church Unity. THE CONFERENCE BY common agreement, representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church and delegates from the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation of the Episcopal Church, met in the Bible Room of the Library of the General Theological Seminary, Saturday, October 26, 1918, at ten oʹclock. There were present as representing the Greek Orthodox Church: His Grace, the Most Reverend Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Greece; the Very Reverend Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, D.D., Professor of the University of Athens and Director of the Theological Seminary ʺRizariosʺ; Hamilcar Alivisatos, D.D., Director of the Ecclesiastical Department of the Ministry of Religion and Education, Athens, and Mr. Tsolainos, who acted as interpreter. The Episcopal Church was represented by the Right Reverend Frederick Courtney; the Right Reverend Frederick J. Kinsman, Bishop of Delaware; the Right Reverend James H. Darlington, D.D., Bishop of Harrisburg; the Very Reverend Hughell Fosbroke, Dean of the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Francis J. Hall, D.D., Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Rockland T. Homans, the Reverend William Chauncey Emhardt, Secretary of the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation; Robert H. Gardiner, Esquire, Secretary of the Commission for a World Conference on Faith and Order; and Seraphim G. Canoutas, Esquire. The Right Reverend Edward M. Parker, D.D., Bishop of New Hampshire, telegraphed his inability to be present. His Grace the Metropolitan presided over the Greek delegation and Dr. Alivisatos acted as secretary. The Right Reverend Frederick Courtney presided over the American delegation and the Reverend W. C. Emhardt acted as secretary. Bishop Courtney opened the conference with prayer and made the following remarks: ʺOur brethren of the Greek Church, as well as the Anglican, have received copies of the letter to His Grace which our secretary has drawn up; and which lies before us this morning. It is clear to all those who have taken active part in efforts to draw together, that it is of no use any longer to congratulate each other upon points on which we agree, so long as we hold back those things on which we differ. The points on which we agree are not those which have caused the separation, but the things concerning which we differ. So long as we assume that the conditions which separate us now are the same as those which have held us apart, we are in line for removing those things which separate us. We are making the valleys to be filled and the mountains to be brought low and making possible a revival of the spirit of unity. It is in the hope of effecting this that we are gathered together. Doctrinal differences underlie the things that differentiate us from each other. The proper way to begin this conference would be to ask the Greeks what they think of some of the propositions laid down in the letter, beginning first with the question of the Validity of Anglican Orders, and then proceeding to the ʺFilioque Clauseʺ in the Creed and other topics suggested. ʺWill His Grace kindly state what is his view concerning the Validity of Anglican Orders?ʺ The Metropolitan: ʺI am greatly moved indeed, and it is with feelings of great emotion that I come to this conference around the table with such learned theologians of the Episcopal Church. Because it is the first time I have been given the opportunity to express, not only my personal desire, but the desire of my Church, that we may all be one. I understand that this conference is unofficial. Neither our Episcopal brethren, nor the Orthodox, officially represent their Churches. The fact, however, that we have come together in the spirit of prayer and love to discuss these questions, is a clear and eloquent proof that we are on the desired road to unity. I would wish, that in discussing these questions of ecclesiastical importance in the presence of such theological experts, that I were as well equipped for the undertaking as you are. Unfortunately, however, from the day that I graduated from the Theological Seminary at Jerusalem, I have been absorbed in the great question of the day, which has been the salvation of Christians from the sword of the invader of the Orient. ʺUnfortunately, because we have been confronted in the Near East with this problem of paramount importance, we leaders have not had the opportunity to think of these equally important questions. The occupants of three of the ancient thrones of Christendom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, have been constantly confronted with the question of how to save their own fold from extermination. These patriarchates represent a great number of Orthodox and their influence would be of prime importance in any deliberation. But they have not had time to send their bishops to a round‐table conference to deliberate on the questions of doctrine. A general synod, such as is so profitably held in your Church when you come together every three years, would have the same result, if we could hold the same sort of synod in the Near East. A conference similar to the one held by your Church was planned by the Patriarch of Constantinople in September, 1911, but he did not take place, owing to command of the Sultan that the bishops who attended would be subject to penalty of death. ʺIn 1906, when the Olympic games took place in Athens, the Metropolitan of Drama, now of Smyrna, passed through Athens. That was sufficient to cause an imperative demand of the Patriarch of Constantinople that the Metropolitan be punished, and in consequence he was transferred from Drama to Smyrna. From these facts you can see under what conditions the evolution of the Greek Church has been taking place. ʺAs I have stated in former conversations with my brethren of the Episcopal Church, we hope that, by the Grace of God, freedom and liberty will come to our race, and our bishops will be free to attend such conferences as we desire. I assure you that a great spirit of revival will be inaugurated and give proof of the revival of Grecian life of former times. ʺThe question of the freedom of the territory to be occupied in the Near East is not merely a question of the liberty of the people and the individual, but also
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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
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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.
ClaraHarbour.com Date of Birth Education 03/16/1992 High School Degree-Jefferson County Open School 2010 BA Theatre- Metropolitan State University of Denver 2015 FRE Minor- Metropolitan State University of Denver 2015 Clara Harbour believes in the power of creation, and considers theatre to be the epoch of that power.
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Translation from the Greek: [Letterhead symbol of double‐headed eagle] [Seal of the Metropolis of Mesogaea] 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. 518. In Koropi on 19 September 2009 (O.C.) APPOINTMENT OF PRIEST FR. PEDRO AS RECTOR OF THE HOLY CHURCH OF ST. SPYRIDON IN KAREA [ATHENS] We, the Metropolitan of Mesogaea and Laureotica, Kirykos (of the unadulterated Genuine Orthodox Church), taking into account: 1) the event that the Holy Church of St. Spyridon from the year 1974 has been served by the Protopresbyter Fr. Thomas Kontogiannis, and after the schism of the Nicholaitans, due to the petition of the Rector and the Parishioners, is ecclesiastically and administrationally subject to the Holy Metropolis of Mesogaea and Laureotica; 2) the event that the Holy Metropolis of Mesogaea and Laureotica is the only Holy Metropolis of the unadulterated Genuine Orthodox Church, which “unadulteratedly and unchangingly,” according to the phrase of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the good Confession of Faith, both in the Ecclesiology and other dogmatics, and also in the Apostolic Succession which we received from the Holy Father Matthew, in whose name, together with St. Spyridon and St. Mark Eugenicus, the Church is in honor, from the dedication [of the Church] on 12 October, 2006; 3) the event that the Holy Church of St. Spyridon at Karea is the only Church of the Metropolis of Athens which remained in the Genuine Orthodox Church after the “barbaric invasion” of the Nicholaitans and the abandoning of the Spiritual Centre at Peristeri, and the Shelter for Hospitality of the Clergy, and the remaining Churches, which they placed into the service of Old Calendarist Ecumenism; 4) the event that the new ecclesiastical circumstances which have become apparent after the convening of the Pan‐Orthodox Holy Synod in 2008, require, in the Metropolis of Athens, the existence of a “MISSIONARY ECCLESIASTICAL CENTRE OF THE WORLDWIDE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH” for the better managing of the Missionary work on a Pan‐Orthodox scal; 5) the event that we have already appointed the Priest Fr. Pedro, of Brazilian origin, as the assistant Rector of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Demetrius in Acharnae; DECIDE That we appoint the Priest, Fr. Pedro, as the second Rector of the Holy Church of St. Spyridon, since he is well educated and intelligent, and we give him the position of responsibility for the organization of the “MISSIONARY ECCLESIASTICAL CENTRE OF THE WORLDWIDE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH “HOLY FATHERS OF THE SEVEN ECUMENICAL COUNCILS,” to be located near the existing Church. We also declare, by the current [certificate] that Fr. Pedro will serve, depending on our command, at the two above Holy Churches according to the program and depending on the needs, or anywhere else the needs of the Missionary work require. METROPOLITAN OF THE GENUINE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE [Seal and Signature] + KIRYKOS OF MESOGAEA AND LAUREOTICA
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…
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A Life of Metropolitan Philaret of New York Written by Vladimir Moss Early Years Metropolitan Philaret, in the world George Nikolayevich Voznesensky, was born in the city of Kursk on March 22 / April 4, 1903, into the family of Protopriest Nicholas. In 1909 the family moved to Blagoveschensk‐on‐Amur in the Far East, where the future hierarch finished high school. In a sermon at his nomination as Bishop of Brisbane, the future metropolitan said: “There is hardly anything specially worthy of note in my life, in its childhood and young years, except, perhaps, a recollection from my early childhood years, when I as a small child of six or seven years in a childishly naïve way loved to ‘play service’ – I made myself a likeness of a Church vestment and ‘served’. And when my parents began to forbid me to do this, Vladyka Evgeny, the Bishop of Blagoveschensk, after watching this ‘service’ of mine at home, to their amazement firmly stopped them: ‘Leave him, let the boy “serve” in his own way. It is good that he loves the service of God.’” In this way was the saint’s future service in the Church foretold in a hidden way already in his childhood. In 1920 the family was forced to flee from the revolution into Manchuria, to the city of Harbin. There, in 1921, George’s mother, Lydia Vasilievna, died, after which his father, Fr. Nicholas, took the monastic tonsure with the name Demetrius and became Archbishop of Hailar. Vladyka Demetrius was a learned theologian, the author of a series of books on the history of the Church and other subjects. In 1927 George graduated from the Russo‐Chinese Polytechnical institute and received a specialist qualification as an engineer‐electrical mechanic. Later, when he was already First Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), he did not forget his friends at the institute. All those who had known him, both at school and in the institute, remembered him as a kind, affectionate comrade. He was distinguished by his great abilities and was always ready to help. After the institute he got a job as a teacher; he was a good instructor, and his pupils loved and valued him. But his instructions for the young people went beyond the bounds of the school programme and penetrated every aspect of human life. Many of his former pupils and colleagues after meeting him retained a high estimate of him for the rest of their lives. Living in the family of a priest, the future metropolitan naturally became accustomed, from his early years, to the church and the Divine services. But, as he himself said later, at the beginning there was in this “almost nothing deep, inwardly apprehended and consciously accepted”. “But the Lord knows how to touch the human soul!” he recalled. “And I undoubtedly see this caring touch of the Father’s right hand in the way in which, during my student years in Harbin, I was struck as if with a thunderclap by the words of the Hierarch Ignatius Brianchaninov which I read in his works: ‘My grave! Why do I forget you? You are waiting for me, waiting, and I will certainly be your inhabitant; why then do I forget you and behave as if the grave were the lot only of other men, and not of myself?’ Only he who has lived through this ‘spiritual blow’, if I can express myself thus, will understand me now! There began to shine before the young student as it were a blinding light, the light of a true, real Christian understanding of life and death, of the meaning of life and the significance of death – and new inner life began… Everything secular, everything ‘worldly’ lost its interest in my eyes, it disappeared somewhere and was replaced by a different content of life. And the final result of this inner change was my acceptance of monasticism…” In 1931 George completed his studies in Pastoral Theology in what was later renamed the theological faculty of the Holy Prince Vladimir Institute. In this faculty he became a teacher of the New Testament, pastoral theology and homiletics. In 1936 his book, Outline of the Law of God, was published in Harbin. In 1930 he was ordained to the diaconate, and in 1931 – to the priesthood, serving as the priest George. In the same year he was tonsured into monasticism with the name Philaret in honour of Righteous Philaret the Merciful. In 1933 he was raised to the rank of igumen, and in 1937 ‐ to the rank of archimandrite. “Man thinks much, he dreams about much and he strives for much,” he said in one of his sermons, “and nearly always he achieves nothing in his life. But nobody will escape the Terrible Judgement of Christ. Not in vain did the Wise man once say: ‘Remember your last days, and you will not sin to the ages!’ If we remember how our earthly life will end and what will be demanded of it after that, we shall always live as a Christian should live. A pupil who is faced with a difficult and critical examination will not forget about it but will remember it all the time and will try to prepare him‐ or herself for it. But this examination will be terrible because it will be an examination of our whole life, both inner and outer. Moreover, after this examination there will be no re‐examination. This is that terrible reply by which the lot of man will be determined for immeasurable eternity… Although the Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful, He is also just. Of course, the Spirit of Christ overflows with love, which came down to earth and gave itself completely for the salvation of man. But it will be terrible at the Terrible Judgement for those who will see that they have not made use of the Great Sacrifice of Love incarnate, but have rejected it. Remember your end, man, and you will not sin to the ages.” In his early years as a priest, Fr. Philaret was greatly helped by the advice of the then First‐Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Anthony (+1936), with whom he corresponded for several years. He also studied the writings of the holy fathers, and learned by heart all four Gospels. One of his favourite passages of Scripture was the passage from the Apocalypse reproaching the lukewarmness of men, their indifference to the truth. Thus in a sermon on the Sunday of All Saints he said: “The Orthodox Church is now glorifying all those who have pleased God, all the saints…, who accepted the holy word of Christ not as something written somewhere to someone for somebody, but as written to himself; they accepted it, took it as the guide for the whole of their life and fulfilled the commandments of Christ. “… Of course, their life and exploit is for us edification, they are an example for us, but you yourselves know with what examples life is now filled! Do we now see many good examples of the Christian life?!…. When you see what is happening in the world,… you involuntarily think that a man with a real Orthodox Christian intention is as it were in a desert in the midst of the earth’s teeming millions. They all live differently… Do you they think about what awaits them? Do they think that Christ has given us commandments, not in order that we should ignore them, but in order that we should try to live as the Church teaches. “…. We have brought forward here one passage from the Apocalypse, in which the Lord says to one of the servers of the Church: ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Oh if only you were cold or hot!” We must not only be hot, but must at least follow the promptings of the soul and fulfil the law of God. “But there are those who go against it… But if a man is not sleeping spiritually, is not dozing, but is experiencing something spiritual somehow, and if he does not believe in what people are now doing in life, and is sorrowful about this, but is in any case not dozing, not sleeping – there is hope that he will come to the Church. Do we not see quite a few examples of enemies and deniers of God turning to the way of truth? Beginning with the Apostle Paul… “In the Apocalypse the Lord says: ‘Oh if only thou wast cold or hot, but since thou art neither cold nor hot (but lukewarm), I will spew thee out of My mouth’… This is what the Lord says about those who are indifferent to His holy work. Now, in actual fact, they do not even think about this. What are people now not interested in, what do they not stuff into their heads – but they have forgotten the law of God. Sometimes they say beautiful words. But what can words do when they are from a person of abominable falsehood?!… It is necessary to beseech the Lord God that the Lord teach us His holy law, as it behoves us, and teach us to imitate the example of those people have accepted this law, have fulfilled it and have, here on earth, glorified Almighty God.” Fr. Philaret was very active in ecclesiastical and pastoral‐preaching work. Already in the first years of his priesthood he attracted many people seeking the spiritual path. The Divine services which he performed with burning faith, and his inspired sermons brought together worshippers and filled the churches. Multitudes pressed to the church in which Fr. Philaret was serving. All sections of the population of Harbin loved him; his name was also known far beyond the boundaries of the Harbin diocese. He was kind and accessible to all those who turned to him. Queues of people thirsting to talk with him stood at the doors of his humble cell; on going to him, people knew that they would receive correct advice, consolation and help. Fr. Philaret immediately understood the condition of a man’s soul, and, in giving advice, consoled the suffering, strengthened the despondent and cheered up the despairing with an innocent joke. He loved to say: “Do not be despondent, Christian soul! There is no place for despondency in a believer! Look ahead – there is the mercy of God!” People went away from him pacified and strengthened by his strong faith. In imitation of his name‐saint, Fr. Philaret was generous not only in spiritual, but also in material alms, and secretly gave help to the needy. Many
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