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First Witness of Stavros (Letter to Joseph Suaiden) Dear Joseph Suaiden, Thank you for your inquiry. I will give you a brief explanation about the Matthewite archives themselves, about my trip in Greece in 2009, and about my current understanding of the ʺsystematizedʺ ecclesiology observed by Matthewites post‐1976, and my current opinion regarding the Kirykite faction. The Matthewite archive is the richest archive for GOC research because it is in fact the original archive since 1924, and documents had continuously been added to it since then. The archive was owned by Fr. Eugene Tombros, secretary of the Matthewite Synod, until as late as 1974, when he was forced to retire. It was at this time that the two laymen theologians, Mr. Eleutherios Gkoutzidis and Mr. Menas Kontogiannis were appointed secretaries and spokesmen for the Synod, and they were given complete access to this archive. They then began writing historical treatises and ecclesiological treatises, in order to boost the position of the Matthewite Synod. It was also they who prompted the Synod to sign a document (written by them) in which they sever communion with the ROCOR Synod. The document was composed and signed in 1975, but the hierarchs demanded that this document not be published until all agree for its publication. But then the two laymen theologians opened up the new official Matthewite periodical with the name ʺHerald of the Genuine Orthodoxʺ in 1976, and published the severing of communion in the second issue, namely, the February issue. This prompted Bishops Kallistos, Epiphanios, and several others to protest against the publication of the document, since it was done contrary to the decision of the hierarchy to wait until they all agree with it before publishing. From 1976 onwards, the Matthewite Synod’s polemics and apologetics were largely controlled by Mr. Gkoutzidis and Mr. Kontogiannis. They re‐ constructed the history of the GOC in their own way, deliberately leaving out several documents that didn’t suit their mindset. They also ʺsystematizedʺ the Matthewite ecclesiology, to apply a word that Gkoutzidis and Kontogiannis use in their new periodical, ʺOrthodox Breathʺ (Quote: ʺὁ κ. Γκουτζίδης... ΕΣΥΣΤΗΜΑΤΟΠΟΙΗΣΕΝ τὴν ὁμολογίανʺ). The latter of these theologians, Mr. Menas Kontogiannis, was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1981, and eventually became a bishop in 1995. From 1983 until 2001 he served as the official chief‐secretary and arch‐chancellor of the Matthewite Synod. But when Archbishop Andrew and his fellow bishops unanimously voted to dismiss Met. Kirykos from his duties in 2001, Met. Kirykos took the vast majority of archives with him to his Monastery at Koropi. This was confirmed to me when I asked if documents were available at the Matthewite Synodal Headquarters at Peristeri, but was informed that none of the archives had remained, since Met. Kirykos had taken them all when he was dismissed. During the four months I was in Greece (from the last week of August until the last week of December, 2009), fires had swept throughout the entire Attica region, and I was informed that a few days before my arrival a fire had raged just outside the Koropi Monastery itself. The adjacent hill was blackened from the fire, and the atmosphere was smoky, making it difficult to breathe. I was also bitten by a mosquito that had been infected by an animal burned in the fires, which caused my whole body to become almost paralyzed. I thank God daily that Fr. Pedro was able to take me to the hospital, where I was given cortisone and antibiotics to get rid of the numbness my whole body had suffered, but it took weeks for the swelling in my legs to disappear. I am perfectly fine now, but I must say that my first week in the Koropi Monastery was possibly the most frightening week of my life. But I did not care so much for my own health, for any suffering I receive is a punishment for my sins. The destruction of my health was the least of my worries, for seeing the fires in close proximity to the Koropi Monastery prompted me to fear another kind of destruction. I was horrified by the idea that perhaps one day a fire will burn Met. Kirykos’ office and destroy all of these important Synodal documents from 1924 onwards, which are nowhere else to be found in their entirety. This would cause an immensely important spiritual treasure to be lost forever. I then requested the blessing from Met. Kirykos to scan documents from the archive at Koropi for the purpose of apologetics, and so as to create an electronic database of documents, which could be saved on flash drives or computers at different locations, thereby ensuring that nothing hazardous (such as a fire, theft, etc) could cause the loss of these documents to future generations. Met. Kirykos gave me this blessing, thinking that I would become lazy and only scan a few documents here and there. Little did he know that I am a diligent worker, and that I hardly slept, night or day, but spent most of the time in my cell, photographing documents, to make sure I complete the task in its entirety before the time I would have to fly back home. While in Greece for four months, I spent the majority of time residing at Koropi Monastery, except for various trips to other parts of Greece. I took a three‐week road trip to Northern Greece to venerate relics and visit Metropolitan Tarasios. I also took a one‐week trip to Crete to serve as chanter for an important feast day and to visit the village of Panethymo where Bishop Matthew of Bresthena was born, as well as Mt. Kophinas, where the miraculous appearance of the cross had occurred in the sky above the chapel of the Holy Cross in 1937. I also spent a week on the island of Andros, where I have relatives, and spent most of the time at St. Nicholas of Vounena Monastery, where I was able to venerate several holy relics, including those of many of the Kollyvades Fathers who I have always had a great reverence towards. So if all of this time I was on road‐trips is taken into account, it adds up to five weeks of absence, meaning that I was only in Koropi Monastery for eleven weeks, which is one week short of three months. I also spent three weeks traveling to Athens every morning so as to photograph books and documents at the National Library, as there is much information there concerning ecclesiastical history and biographies of hierarchs and clergy from the 1920s, which would help give us a clue as to how the schism of 1924 was allowed to happen in the first place. Thus, if these three weeks are also taken into account, it means that I only spent eight weeks (two months) of working around the clock, day and night, to complete the task of photographing every document in the archive that pertained to GOC history and ecclesiology. There were several folders that I didn’t bother scanning as they were entirely of a local nature to the Monastery and Diocese itself, which were of little interest to me, or anyone seeking the true history of the GOC. Although residing at Koropi, I was seldom seen by anyone, except for Fr. Pedro, Matushka Lucia, and their little baby daughter. Theoharis was also residing in the monastery, but he was never there because he was fulfilling his army duty that whole time. So I spent most of the time practically alone, because I wanted to get this work done as soon as possible. I had to reschedule my flight twice, because the task had not been completed, and then I even had to allow my return flight to expire. When I completed scanning all the documents, I booked and paid for a new return flight. During my time in the Monastery I had become sick from the food in the first week, so I stopped eating and began to purchase my own food, which I would also share with others. I would also assist Fr. Pedro and Matushka Lucia with their shopping, and with various of their chores wherever I was able. For the most part I was under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Pedro, because Met. Kirykos was never present at Koropi Monastery (supposedly his ʺresidenceʺ and ʺdiocesan houseʺ). Fr. Pedro was an exceptional spiritual father, and I still consider him to be a spiritual father even today, although since the beginning of Great Lent of 2010 I have been confessing to a priest of the Russian True Orthodox Church, and receiving communion in that parish. My decision to depart the omophorion of Met. Kirykos is based on several reasons. But the most important reason is the fact that when I returned home, I began reading through all of the documents I had collected in the archive, and I began to realize that the ʺstoryʺ Met. Kirykos has been giving us was quite different from what the fullness of the documents portrayed. It seems as though from 1976 onwards, that the two laymen theologians, Mr. Gkoutzidis and Mr. Kontogiannis (the latter of whom is now known as Met. Kirykos) did not just ʺsystematizeʺ the Matthewite ecclesiology, but they slightly changed the ecclesiology, taking it towards the ultra‐right extreme. The documents also prove that today’s Matthewite super‐correctness and their refusal to allow any union with the Florinites, their fanatic mentality that led to their current factionalism into four rival groups, and their gradual disappearance into the realm of obscurity, is a product of the Gkoutzidian‐Kontogiannian dictatorship over the Matthewite Synod from 1976 until they were thrown out of the Synodal headquarters in 2001, in which period the two laymen theologians through their publications brainwashed the Matthewites into a certain mindset which is based only on the documents they chose to reveal, deliberately hiding the plethora of documents that prove otherwise, and conditioned the Matthewites to an ecclesiology that at first glance appears completely sound and logical, and yet in light of all the missing documents, proves itself to be self‐refuting, utterly illogical, and certainly not the ecclesiology of the original GOC, and not even the ecclesiology of St. Matthew himself, whose hundreds of writings I have now compiled. What all of the documents in this archive prove is that although Mr. Gkoutzidis and Mr. Kontogiannis (Met. Kirykos) thought of themselves as ʺsaving the Matthewites,ʺ they proved to be the very ones who destroyed the Matthewites from within. The unfortunate truth is that each of the four current groups in which the Matthewites exist are victims of this brainwashing for over 30 years now, and their current positions reflect the Goutzidian‐Kontogiannian influence on their understanding. Surprisingly, even the Nicholaitan Synod, which appears to be antagonistic towards Met. Kirykos and Mr. Gkoutzidis more than any other, is in fact tainted by this same Gkoutzidian‐Kontigiannian ecclesiological unsoundness, which can be clearly expressed by their 2007 ʺencyclicalʺ in which they ʺcondemnʺ the ʺcheirothesia.ʺ The truth is that this is all simply a product of the 30‐year long brainwashing process, beginning with the premature departure from the ROCOR in 1976, and resulting in the ensuing schisms of 1995, 2003, 2005, and the departure of clergy and laity in 2009. The first people to bring up the charges of ʺiconoclasmʺ in the official Matthewite periodical were Mr. Gkoutzidis and Mr. Kontogiannis themselves, as they were using it as a means to slander the clairvoyant Metropolitan Kallistos for his refusal to accept the uncanonical method in which the Synod was being run by two lay theologians, namely Gkoutzides and Kontogiannis, and that these two had opened the new periodical ʺHerald of the Genuine Orthodoxʺ and had published the severing of communion with ROCOR in its second issue (February, 1976) despite the fact the Synod had agreed not to publish it until all were in agreement with it. It was also Gkoutzidis and Kontogiannis that sent the copy to the ROCOR headquarters, again without complete Synodal approval. The version they sent contains the typed form of the signatures, without possessing the signatures of all the bishops themselves, since four of the hierarchs were not in agreement with it. Of those four hierarchs, two of them (Demetrios and Kallistos) were among the very bishops that St. Matthew himself had ordained. Meanwhile the third hierarch (Epiphanios) was also the first‐hierarch of his own Local Church (Cyprus), while the fourth hierarch was Bishop Pachomios of Corinth (still living today and serving as the vice‐president of the Nicholaitan faction). Yet Gkoutzidis and Kontogiannis published their printed version of the document and sent it off to the ROCOR, as well as in the new official Matthewite periodical they were in charge of, with the names of all the bishops included as having signed, yet without signatures, but rather with their typed names. When Kallistos, Epiphanios and Pachomios protested against this, while Demetrios could not as he reposed within months of that time, their protests were ignored. After Kallistos departed the Matthewite Synod, the two lay theologians were responsible for ʺdepositionʺ of Kallistos, in which the first and most important charge and reason for deposition is given as ʺiconoclasm against the [western] icon of the Holy Trinity.ʺ Thus it is from this pact that we see for the first time the use of so‐called ʺneo‐iconoclasmʺ to judge hierarchs as ʺheretics.ʺ Together with this was coupled the charge of ʺcheirothesia,ʺ as if the cheirothesia received by Kallistos was a consecration, when in reality all of the documents in the archive, both from ROCOR as well as Matthewite and Florinite sources, prove that the cheirothesia was not real at all. This was just a rumor spread among the Florinites themselves, and also falsely spread by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, in order to convince Greek parishes in ROCOR not to follow the Matthewites into breaking communion with the ROCOR in 1976. Recently the HOCNA made similar comments, but that was at request of the Nicholaitan faction, with whom they sympathized at the time. The schism among the Matthewites in 1995 over so‐called ʺiconoclasmʺ and so‐called ʺcheirothesiaʺ is also a direct product of the Gkoutzidian‐ Kontogiannian brainwashing from 1976 onwards. After all it was Gkoutzidis and Kontogiannis who were first to accuse Met. Kallistos of ʺiconoclasmʺ and even published an article in their official periodical ʺHerald of the Genuine Orthodoxʺ at this time, regarding this same issue. If my memory serves me correctly, the article has the title of ʺWhy do they war against the icon of the Holy Trinity?ʺ The author of the article is Mr. Eleutherios Gkoutzidis. In 1983, 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1992 the Matthewite Synod also published official
There’s also a secret stairway – home to a nest of (1d6) giant spiders – hidden behind the foliage that leads to the basement of the Monastery.
Little French Monastery — This monastery functions very much like the monasteries in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands:
Athlon was in attendance at Malachi’s monastery, above which the crystal clear image of the four Trees of Fate remained a symbol of strength and hope for all who saw it.
The First Witness of Theoharis (Letter to Fr. Mark Smith) The following is an email from Theoharis (who was living in Kirykos’ monastery) to Fr. Mark Smith of Canada (who is far away and has no idea of what is really going on). The letter itself is quite self‐explanatory… -------- Original Message -------Subject:Re:
He was a Monpa by ethnicity and was born at Urgelling Monastery, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Tawang Town, India and not far from the large Tawang Monastery in the northwestern part of present-day Arunachal Pradesh.
He was a Monpa by ethnicity and was born at Urgelling Monastery, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Tawang Town, India and not far from the large Tawang Monastery in the northwestern part of present-day Arunachal Pradesh.
Archimandrite Euthymius K. Epiphaniou Faidrou 1‐3‐8 Pakgrati, Athens 1135 GREECE In Athens on October 11, 1991 ENCYCLICAL – EPISTLE of he who relies on the Lordʹs mercy, Euthymius K. Epiphaniou the Cypriot, To the Reverend Clergy of all the parishes, the Monks and Nuns of the Holy Monasteries and Hermitages of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and elsewhere. Brethren, Fathers and Sisters, bless! ʺWhen sin becomes chief, it draws everyone to perditionʺ and ʺWe are guilty for these things, but suffer for other things.ʺ By diverting from these reasonings, God granted and arranged a great winter [suffering] in the realms of our Church for 20 years and more, accelerating recently, with innumerable consequences. This is because, beloved brethren, we displaced the order of the Church, we departed from the line of navigation and tradition of the Holy Father kyr Matthew Karpathakis and we accepted a cheirothesia from the Russians of the Diaspora, the apostasy of eight clergy from the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians occurred, and the falling away of the reposed Monk Callistus (former [Bishop] of Corinth Callistus), who were all deposed and moreover Callistus with the accusation of rejection and destruction of the icon of the Holy Trinity and for fighting against saints (See K.G.O. October, 1977, page 9). [Here Fr. Euthymius refers to the very tampering and additions he made to the original acts prior to their publication in the official periodical.] This is because, in 1979, the ʺgroup of new theologiansʺ surrounding our Archbishop Andrew, put together a speech and by the mouth of the Archbishop the following blasphemy was voiced: ʺThe presence of the struggle of the Church of Genuine Orthodox Christians, as we are well aware is of the highest importance, equates with the incarnation of the Lord, his Good News, his Crucifixion and His Holy Resurrection, to wit, it is the Church of Christ,ʺ and through the periodical ʺChurch of the Genuine Orthodoxʺ (See the issue for June, 1979) it was circulated ʺurbi et orbiʺ and although many of us protested that this blasphemy be removed, it never happened. [Here Fr. Euthymius refers to his own tampering of the original text and quotes it as ʺThe presence of the struggle of the Church, despite the official clarification that the real text is ʺThe presence of the Struggling Church.ʺ Thus he ignores the three subsequent corrections and explanations given in the official periodical in the following issues: October, 1979, p. 21; April, 1980, p. 31; and February, 1983, p. 57. After a decade since this issue was settled, Fr. Euthymius brought it up again in his present ʺencyclicalʺ simply in order to satisfy his demands that the Genuine Orthodox Church not be identified with the Church of Christ.] This is because the new theologians (according to the opinion and support of our Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians), since they were lacking a means of financial support, they decided to enterprise [the Church] as a bankrupt company, and they renamed [the Church] ʺUninnovatedʺ [Akainotometos], and unfortunately the Hierarchs placed their seal [on this] because the new theologians, instead of correcting themselves and repenting for the damage that they provoked in the Church, they placed a schedule of income for their group and they invented unorthodox ways for various clergy to receive ʺDegreesʺ in theology, they also puffed out the minds of various assisting garb‐bearers [rasophoroi] who have declared a war once more against Orthodoxy. They abysmally war against and reject the tradition of the Church, refusing to venerate the icon of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the icon of the Resurrection of the Lord, replacing it with the Descent into Hades, the icon of the Pentecost if our Lady the Theotokos is present in it, and they accept the icon of the Nativity of Christ (with the bathtub and the midwives). And by these means having become iconomachs‐iconoclasts, and deniers of their faith, regardless of whether they are girdled in priesthood. Wearing the skin of sheep, they work towards the destruction of the flock, by writing and circulating pamphlets against the abovementioned holy icons. They impose their heretical opinions upon those that are submitted to them. They create civil splintering and division in the Monasteries. They question various Fathers of the Church, particularly St. Nicodemus of Mt. Athos, and the new pillar of Orthodoxy kyr Archbishop Matthew Karpathakis. They provoke quarrels and disputes like what happened last Pascha at Lebadia [Diaulia] and Bolus [Demetrias] on the day of the Resurrection, and the worst is that they work together for the purpose of placing canons [of penance] on Nuns of the Convent [of the Entry of the Mother of God at Keratea] and Monks, by various Spiritual Fathers, under the accusation that the Nuns and Monks praiseworthily insist upon keeping what the Catholic Church upholds and preserves. They who behave as neo‐iconoclasts are: the Hieromonks Cassian Braun, Amphilochius Tambouras, Neophytus Tsakiroglou, Tarasius Karagounis, and the foreign [incomer] Archpastor of the Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration [at Kouvara] Hegumen Stephan Tsakiroglou, who declares that he is a rationalist. My beloved, by giving in to one evil, ten thousand others follow, and the words are fulfilled to the maximum: we are at fault and for this we suffer, not as persons, but as a Church, and, explicitly, because: 1. we are stained by the iniquity of the cheirothesia of 1971 2. the voiced blasphemy of 1979 remains Let us not be entertained by the evil that has befallen the realms of our Church. It is necessary for us to pray, to censure the paranoia of the newfound iconoclasts, to request from our honorable Hierarchy, as soon as possible, the cleansing [catharsis] from the realms of our Church, these nonsensical iconoclasts and those who are likeminded unto them, [to request] their condemnation, regardless of how high their position is, because these [people] are led astray from the truth, and we must declare in a stentorian manner, that whether alone or with many others, we will champion the saving truth, faithful to what we have been taught, what we have learned and what we have received, adding nothing and subtracting nothing, whatever the Catholic Church contains and upholds undiminished and uninnovated. Do not fall, brethren. A winter [suffering] has befallen our Church. The Lord our God lives, so that he is among us and he is for us. May the prayers of the Confessors of our Faith, the older and the newer, as well as of the newfound pillar of Orthodoxy, ever‐memorable Archbishop Matthew the Cretan, enlighten us, bring us to our senses, and guide all of us towards the path of salvation, which requires truth, faith and invincible struggle. To those who do not correctly receive the divine voices of the Holy Teachers of the Church of God, and what has been fittingly and manifestly explained in [the Church] by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and attempts to misinterpret them and rotate them, they are the curse, and the wrath is upon their shoulders. Farewell in the Lord, my beloved brethren, The least among all ‐ brother and concelebrant, Archimandrite Euthymius K. Epiphaniou
The local Indigo Priest monastery would dispatch a task force to arrest the gangsters when their escape pods landed, making the galaxy a little bit safer.
Our first stop the cultural center has many interesting sites, including the Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery, noted for its fine teak carvings, Monks in traditional dress are a common sight and the Kuthodaw Pagoda with 729 marble slabs inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon.
ANATHEMA AGAINST ECUMENISM ʺTo those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christʹs Church is divided into so‐called ʺbranchesʺ which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all branches or sects, or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy, commonly called ecumenism, under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!ʺ The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia President: + PHILARET, Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America Members: + SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Chicago and Detroit + ATHANASIUS, Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Argentina‐Paraguay + VITALY, Archbishop of Montreal and Canada + ANTHONY, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Texas + ANTHONY, Archbishop of Geneva and Western Europe + ANTHONY, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America + SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Caracas and Venezuela + PAUL, Archbishop of Sydney and Australia‐New Zealand + LAURUS, Archbishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery + CONSTANTINE, Bishop of Richmond and Britain + GREGORY, Bishop of Washington and Florida + MARK, Bishop of Berlin and Germany + ALYPY, Bishop of Cleveland and Ohio
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
He was sentenced to three years in Solovki, a former monastery that had been confiscated from the Church and converted into a concentration camp.
Discovering the land of Armenia while studying in a Mekhitarist monastery on the Venetian island of San Lazzaro, Lord Byron wrote, “If the Scriptures are rightly understood, it was in Armenia that Paradise was placed….
F = foil 1 Kozilek's Return F 10 1 Engel der Wiederherstellung F 3,5 1 Kessig Wolf Run (20) F 1,2 1 Lightning Bolt (MM2 signed) F 10 1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar (precon) F 4 2 Negate F 0,8 4 Geist of Saint Traft (precon) F 18 1 Venser, Shaper Savant (20) F 4 1 Batterskull (GP) F 13 3 Mana Leak (MM2) F 1,8 3 Dispel F 3 2 Gitaxian Probe (FNM) F 6 1 Remand F 6 1 Kolaghan's Command F 20 1 Serum Visions F (FNM) 2 1 Go For The Throat (FNM) 2,5 105,8 3 Terminate 1,2 1 Grand Arbiter Augustin IV 4 1 Kitchen Finks 7 3 Dismember 3 2 Thoughtseize 32 2 Tasigur, the Golden Fang 3 4 Manamorphose 16 2 Kolaghan's Command 22 6 Lightning Helix 10 2 Wear / Tear 1 1 Ashiok der Albtraumweber 4,5 4 Electrolyze 1,2 104,9 1 Mystic Tutor 2 4 Sleight of Hand 4 1 Gitaxian Probe 0,5 1 Hurkyl's Recall 3 4 Remand 12 4 Gifts Ungiven 20 2 Cryptic Command 44 5 Delver of Secrets 5 2 Thing in the Ice 6 1 Shu Yun, the Silent Storm 0 1 Jace, Architect of Thought 2 2 Patriarch's Bidding 6 1 Vereinte Grausamkeit 10 1 Griselbrand 8 1 Pocken 1 6 Serum Visions 3 2 Spell Snare 7 133.5 3 Grim Lavamancer 7,5 4 Aufstieg des Feuerkundlers 5 3 Past in Flames 6 1 Daretti, Scrap Savant 1 1 Pia and Kiran Nalaar 1 5 Anger of the Gods 12 6 Young Pyromancer 3 4 Lightning Bolt 4 4 Splinter Twin 12 2 Eternal Witness 4 3 Lightning Bolt (signed) 6 2 Shatterstorm 1 2 Primal Command 1 8 Monastery Swiftspear 8 1 Chord of Calling 8 1 Seedborn Muse 7 1 Thragtusk 1 2 Durchquerung des Ulvenwalds 5 92,5 1 Sun Titan 2 12 Urza Länder 20 (Towers) + 8 (Powerplants) + 8 (Mines) 3 Dispatch 0,5 1 Seachrome Coast 4 1 Desolate Lighthouse 0 1 Drachenschädel-Pass 1 1 Wandering Fumarole 2,5 1 Darkslick Shores 7 1 Windbrisk Heights 0 1 Mentor des Klosters 8 1 Iona, Shield of Emeria 5 1 Soulfire Grand Master 2 2 Stony Silence 8 1 Rest in Peace 6 2 Path to Exile 8 1 Restoration Angel 3 3 Lingering Souls 0,5 1 Wrath of God 2 95,5 3 Foreboding Ruins 1 3 Sulfur Falls 12 3 Yavimaya Coast 1,5 2 Caves of Koilos 1 2 Llanowar Wastes 1 2 Graven Cairns 4 1 Clifftop Retreat 3 1 Shivan Reef 1 1 Smoldering Marsh 1 1 Blood Crypt 6 1 Watery Grave 9 1 Hallowed Fountain 6 3 Glimmervoid 36 3 Flooded Strand 36 4 Polluted Delta 48 2 Steam Vents 14 2 Bloodstained Mire 24 3 Celestial Colonnade 57 261,5 5 Etched Champion 11 2 Mox Opal 90 4 Arcbound Ravager 60 4 Relic of Progenitus 4 1 Caged Sun 1 1 Isochron Scepter 1 1 Engineered Explosives 35 1 Grafdigger's Cage 4 2 Spellskite 20 1 Perilous Vault 1 7 Blinkmoth Nexus 21 3 Master of Etherium 6 4 Steel Overseer 28 1 Tangle Wire 1 1 Winter Orb 2 1 Smokestack 2 1 Eldrazi Monument 2 289 GESAMTSUMME:
Open Areas Forested Areas 4 Roads Cow Stable Marked Trails Unmarked Trails Elevation Contours (10m) Streams 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) Castello Villa Fattoria Casa Dami Casa del Fantino Pool Montecchino Palazze Torre Palazze Logge Casetta al Padule Capannone Casetta al Leccio Giardino Segreto Ponte Della Pia (Medieval Bridge) Santa Lucia Monastery Cow Pasture 3/4 hour walk to Castiglion che Dio Sol Sa and medieval mills Presentation Materials The next two pages are examples of collaborative efforts to create presentation materials.
Fr. Eugene Tombros “Regarding Frequent Communion” in 1966 In 1966, Fr. Eugene Tombros, the arch‐chancellor of the Matthewite Synod, published a Prayer Book in Greek. On the last page, he provides a quote from the book “Regarding Continuous Communion” by St. Macarius Notaras of Corinth. This means that Fr. Eugene Tombros, the most influential person in the Matthewite Synod between 1940 and 1974, knew about this book and respected its contents enough to desire to quote from it. The quote is as follows: A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK “REGARDING CONTINUOUS COMMUNION” If you like the kindle in your heart divine love and to acquire love towards Christ and with this to also acquire all the rest of the virtues, regularly attend Holy Communion and you will enjoy that which you desire. Because it is absolutely impossible for somebody not to love Christ, when he conscientiously and continually communes of His Holy Body and drinks His Precious Blood.” - St. Macarius Notaras It is clear, therefore, that Fr. Eugene Tombros was aware of the Kollyvades movement and in favour of it. The quote below advocates frequent communion. This falls perfectly in place with an earlier work by St. Matthew of Bresthena, published in 1933, which also was written in the spirit of the Kollyvades Fathers. This makes one ask the question: If the most important Matthewite leaders, namely, Bishop Matthew of Bresthena in 1933 and Fr. Eugene Tombros in 1966, published works regarding Frequent Holy Communion that clearly reflected the beliefs of the Kollyvades Fathers such as St. Macarius Notaras, St. Nicodemus of Athos, St. Athanasius of Paros, St. Pachomius of Chios, St. Nectarius of Aegina, etc, how did this all change in the Matthewite Synod? Why did their practices become so anti‐Kollyvadic from the 1970s onwards? The answer is that in 1979 during a week‐long “clergy synaxis” at Kouvara Monastery, all of the bishops and priests were trained to demand laymen to adhere to a strict fast for a week, and the last three days without oil, while making this exempt from clergy. The people who led this course at Kouvara were the laymen theologians, Mr. Gkoutzidis and Mr. Kontogiannis, the latter of whom lated became Bp. Kirykos. Just as usual, the same people who “systematized” (changed) the ecclesiology, the same people who re‐wrote Matthewite history “their own way,” are the same people who removed the spirit of the Kollyvades Fathers from the Matthewites. After over three decades of this, the majority of Matthewites now think their practices are normal, and if they read the book of St. Macarius Notaras or of St. Nicodemus of Athos regarding Frequent Holy Communion they would shudder. But it is time for the brainwashing to end and for truth to shine. May the prayers of the Holy Kollyvades Fathers enlighten us all. Amen.
The Church of Serbia Permitted Anglicans to Commune in 1865 (The below article is taken from an Anglican source) ORTHODOX PRECEDENT Orthodox precedent for the admission of non‐Orthodox in destitution exists as far back as the twelfth century, and was justified by the Orthodox canonist Balsamon, but no precedent exists, so far as is known, for the public admission for non‐Orthodox not in destitution. Neither the Patriarch nor the Serbian Church is committed to any repetition of the action, nor is the Orthodox Church as a whole, nor is the Anglican Church committed in any way. But it has nevertheless no small importance. Evidently some of the Orthodox in Belgrade were not very happy about it, fearing it might be premature. The Politika said: ʺAlthough the manifestation of the relationship made so beautifully among us at the cathedral was both touching and praiseworthy, some people did not approve the action of the Patriarch because the Anglicans are not in formal communion with us.ʺ Frank Steel, an attaché of the British legation, who was one of the eight communicants, writes a letter to the Church Times of which I give some extracts: ʺAs there is no English church or chaplain in Belgrade, a letter was sent to the Patriarch, asking if he would permit us to make our communion at the cathedral on Christmas Day. The Patriarch replied expressing his approval, and personally administered the Sacrament to four Americans and four English people, of whom I was one.ʺ ʺI understand that no patriarch has ever officiated in this capacity before, but His Holiness insisted on administering the Sacrament himself. I hear that a large number of Orthodox priests have expressed their disapproval of His Holinessʹ action, and the newspapers have given diverse views on the matter.ʺ It would be indeed interesting if Mr. Steel would give us some more details of what must evidently have been a very wonderful experience. A WAR PRECEDENT Another letter has also been printed in the same journal from an English country parson who was communicated by a Serb priest during the war: ʺIt may be of interest to know that during the war, while I was stationed at Salonika, I was admitted to the Sacrament of Holy Communion by the express consent and with the utmost goodwill of the Serbian ecclesiastical authorities. There could be no question of destitution in this case, for English chaplains and services were well to the fore. I took it to be a grateful acknowledgement of the kindly feelings between me and the Serbians under my command, and who asked that I might communicate with them. I was not a chaplain.ʺ This is indeed a remarkable letter. The sum total of the matter seems to be, whatever the theological issues involved may be, that the Serbs like the Americans and English and wish to share their religious experiences and privileges with them. INTERCOMMUNION SIXTY YEARS AGO I am supposed to chronicle news in these letters, but perhaps I may be pardoned for once if I delve down into the files of the Church Times as far back as August, 1865, to find an occasion when a similar thing seems to have happened in Belgrade. The following is quoted from a correspondent signed W[illiam]. D[enton]. ʺWhen I mentioned in my former letter that I received communion in the Serbian Church at the hands of the Archimandrite of Studenitza, I forgot at the same time to point out the full significance of the act. The Archimandrite was one of the ecclesiastics consulted by the Archbishop of Belgrade as to my request for communion on Whitsunday, so that the administration was not the act of an individual, however prominent his position, but was the synodical act of the prelates and inferior clergy of Servia. I arrived at the monastery of Studenitza on Monday. I left it on Wednesday, and on Thursday I had another pleasant meeting with the Bishop of Tschatchat. I found that he knew all about the proposed administration to me by the Archimandrite. Leaving him, I had a few daysʹ travel in the interior of the country and met all the leading ecclesiastics. Among others I had pleasure in meeting the Archpriest of Jagodina, whose acquaintance I had made while he was a resident of the monastery of Ruscavitza. I found on all sides the greatest satisfaction at my communion, and I heard the strongest desire expressed for closer intercourse with the English Church on the ground of its orthodoxy and the prominent position given to scriptural teaching in its formularies. ʺI had the pleasure of staying with the Bishop of Schabatz and the opportunity of discussing with that able and large‐minded prelate the question of intercommunion of the Churches of England and Servia. Referring to my communion at Studenitza he hailed me as a member of the Orthodox Church. But he did more than this. I was accompanied by an English layman who intends to make a stay in Servia of at least two monthsʹ duration after my leaving. I mentioned that as he was accustomed to communicate in the English Church he was unwilling to be deprived of the same blessing whilst in a strange land. The bishop at once declared that there was no hindrance to his communicating in Servia, and at my request gave him a letter addressed to all the clergy of his diocese, directing them to administer communion to him, a member of the Church of England, if he desired to receive the sacred mysteries. ʺThere now remained the general question of the right of all members of the English Church to communicate simply as members of the English Church, and without any test beond that of their loyal membership in their own branch of the Church Catholic: and your readers will be glad to know that on the production of a simple certificate of real and living membership, settled by the bishop and indicated to me, all such persons will from this time forth be received as communicants of the Orthodox Church of Servia. And intercommunion of one portion of the Orthodox Church cannot long precede formal intercommunion with the whole Eastern Church. Here is real intercommunion on the true Catholic basis, the beginning I trust of wider communion. There is no doubt much to labor for, much to pray for, much need of ʹpatience and confidenceʹ, but here surely is the darn and promise; in part also to past prayers for unity, but especially may we, I trust, without presumption, see an answer to His effectual prayer, who, in the night of His betrayal, prayed ʹthat they all may [541/542] be one.ʹ Who shall despair and say any longer that the unity of all Christian people is a mere dream, when in the person of the English and Servian Churches, the distant East resumes her intercourse with the separated West; and when what to most persons since the Council of Florence has seemed unattainable, has been done without human instruments by Him who in essence and attributes is One.ʺ Church Times OPTIMISTIC This is an extraordinarily optimistic letter almost implying that reunion between the two churches was a fait accompli. But, whatever the rights and wrongs of the facts, very little seems to have arisen from them. The following is a portion of a leading article that appeared in the Church Times on August 26, 1865. ʺThe Servian Church has entered into full communion with the Church of England. This is the step to which we allude. The efforts of the ʹEastern Church Associationʹ and especially the energy, perseverance, and personal popularity in Servia of one of the first originators of that association have induced the ancient Orthodox Church in Servia to admit privately to Holy Communion, and to promise to admit to participation in the sacred mysteries any traveler, whether priest or layman of the Anglican communion, who shall bring with him certain letters commendatory, the form of which will be arranged and agreed upon by the Servian episcopate. Thus we really at the present moment are in communion with the whole Orthodox Church. For the Servian Church is an Orthodox branch of the great Slavonic communion, and is in full connection and communion with Constantinople. But the Servian Church has recognized our baptism, our orders, and our position, and has admitted our members into communion with herself: therefore now at last the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Church are as one. What shall we say? The heart of every believer must burst into an irrepressible Te Deum at such a truly Christian triumph. ʺThe Servian Church which, perhaps, is little known to our readers as yet except through certain charity‐breathing letters of its prelates, especially of Archbishop Michael, will soon be a household word in our mouths. We are bound to give the Servians the credit which is their due for their freedom of spirit and their intelligent and far‐seeing charity. English Churchmen must reciprocate this mighty act of Christian brotherhood by all the means that lie within their power. The Eastern Church for a century past is a suffering Church. The Church of autonomous Servia has emerged from the fiery trial of persecution into a clear sky and a more peaceful dwelling place. English Churchmen in future will find it impossible to side with the infidel and the Mahometan against those with whom they have broken the Bread of Life and shared the Cup of Immortality. They are and they must vividly realize that they are one Church with them.ʺ C. H. PALMER.