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THE FREQUENCY OF HOLY COMMUNION By Elder Pachomius of Chios Who would not weep at the ignorance and wretched state of our contemporary clergy? Where has it ever been heard, that the Christians should go to Church, seeking to receive Holy Communion, and the priests hinder them, saying to them, “Is Communion soup? Forty days have not passed since you received Holy Communion, and you come to receive again?” In like manner, regarding the first week of the Great Lent, I know of many men and women who keep the three‐day fast [an optional tradition of fasting from food and water], and they go to church on Wednesday for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and the clergy do not allow them to receive Holy Communion, saying, “Just the other day you were eating meat, and today you come to receive Communion?” “And secondly,” they say, “the Presanctified is for the priests, and not for the laity.” Fie! on our ignorance and lack of understanding! You, on the one hand, O ordained man, are eating meat the night before, and many times you are even drunk, and perhaps also irreverent, and you go to serve the Liturgy, and you hinder the one who has been fasting with so much reverence? And you deprive him of so much benefit and sanctification? Do you see what lack of learning our priests have? “The Presanctified,” say they, “is for the priests, and not for the laypeople.” St. Basil the Great says, “I commune my parishioners four times a week.” St. John Chrysostom and the entire Church of Christ do likewise. They had this custom of Communion four times a week. And since the Liturgy is not served during the weekdays in Great Lent, the Holy Fathers in their wisdom devised to have the Presanctified, only so that the Christians might have the opportunity to commune during the week; and you say the Presanctified is only for the ordained? And observe, O reader, that as long as this discipline prevailed, and the Christians communed frequently, their hearts were warmed by the grace of Holy Communion, and they ran to martyrdom like sheep. Therefore, the priests who hinder the Christians from receiving the Immaculate Communion should know well that they sin greatly. I do not say that the people should commune simply and indiscriminately, but that they should approach with the fitting preparation. However, I heard what some priests say: “I” (say they) “am a priest and I serve the Liturgy frequently, and I commune, but the layman does not have this permission.” In this matter, O priest, my brother, you are greatly mistaken. Because, in the matter of Holy Communion, the priest differs in nothing from the layman. You, O priest, are a minister of the Mystery, but this does not mean that you have the right to receive frequently, and the layman does not. In this matter I can bring you many proofs from the Saints, demonstrating that it is permitted equally to bishops and priests and laypeople, both men and women, to partake of the Immaculate Mysteries continuously – unless they have been married a third time. As many as have married three times commune three times a year. I have myriads of proofs concerning this issue, but which one should I present to you first? Chrysostom, Clement, Symeon of Thessalonica, David? As I said, which one should I mention first? In this matter, I can bring you so many proofs, I could fill a whole book! For this cause, I cut short what I am saying and tell you only this in brief. If you don’t want the Christians to commune frequently, why do you hold the Holy Chalice, and display it to the Christians, and cry out from the Holy Bema, “With the fear of God, faith, and love, draw near, and approach the Mysteries that you may commune?” And yet again, you yourselves hinder them, and you lie openly? Why, on the one hand, do you invite them, and, on the other, do you push them away?...
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.
The Creation of the Matthewite Hierarchy On the 26th of August 1948, Bishop Matthew of Bresthena together with only a handful of clergy consisting of only one archpriest, six archimandrites, seven hieromonks and two priests (hardly anything compared to the remaining four bishops and 300+ Old Calendarist priests alive in Greece at this time), decided that Bishop Matthew was permitted to create a provisional “Holy Synod” with himself as president and four priests (who he was to select) to be members. Bishop Matthew selected the four priest‐members of his provisional “Holy Synod” to be Fr. Gideon Pasios, Fr. Eugene Tombros, Fr. Athanasius Anestis and Fr. Callistus Makris. On the 28th of August 1949, Bishop Matthew together with the four priest‐members of his provisional “Holy Synod” took part in the election of one of the members, Fr. Gideon Pasios, to fill the roll of “Bishop of Trimythus in Cyprus.” Bishop Matthew then performed the consecration with five archimandrites, seven hieromonks and one archpriest serving as “witnesses” in the place of a second bishop (since Bishop Matthew was the only bishop present at the consecration, just as he was the only bishop present at the election). The consecration took place at Prophet Elias chapel, Kroniza, Attica. At the consecration, Fr. Gideon was renamed Spyridon, so that he became “Bishop Spyridon of Trimythus.” In the next few weeks, Bishops Matthew of Bresthena and Spyridon of Trimythus took part in the elections and consecrations of Bishops Andrew of Patras, Demetrius of Thessalonica and Callistus of Corinth. Standing (left to right):
michael becomes head preist Michael will get impatient and off the chief priest in some way Probably poison because that's just how he rolls This leaves him as the obvious candidate to replace her, and he does This is where he starts to falter He becomes overly cautious/paranoid and stays in power for a number of months (idk how many) without changing anything He thinks he's just trying to win the trust of the other priests, and that he'll begin to change things later Character interactions Legal parnership with second Antagonism with nicholas is not as intense as it was before, as nicholas has backed off a little and is waiting for his chance to take michael down.
In addition, each character may select up to a total of 150 points of combined Wargear and Tech Relics, except for Tech-Priests who may take up to 200 points.
PELAGIANISM IS NOTHING OTHR THAN THE “CHRISTIAN” VERSION OF PHARISAISM Although we are speaking of the heresy of Pelagianism and not that of Pharisaism, it is difficult not to mention the Pharisees because their positions were also a kind of Pelagianism. In fact, the Pharisaic view of fasting is very much identical to the view held by Bp. Kirykos, since he thinks that “fasting in the finer and broader sense” makes someone “worthy to commune.” But our Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for this error of theirs. Fine examples of these rebukes are found in the Gospels. The best example is the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, because it shows the difference between a Pharisee who thinks of himself as “worthy” due to his fasts, compared to a Christian who is conscious of his unworthiness and cries to the Lord for mercy. It is a perfect example because it mentions fasting. This well‐ known parable spoken by the Lord Himself, reads as follows: “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:9‐14).” Behold the word of the Lord! The Publican was more justified than the Pharisee! The Publican was more worthy than the Pharisee! But today’s Christians cannot be justified if they are “extortionists, unjust, adulterers or even… publicans.” For they have the Gospel, the Church, the guidance of the spiritual father, and the washing away of their sins through the once‐off Mysteries of Baptism and Chrism, and the repetitive Mysteries of Confession and Communion. They have no excuse to be sinners, and if they are they have the method available to correct themselves. But how much more so are Christians not justified in being Pharisees? For they have this parable spoken by the Lord Himself as clear proof of Christ’s disfavor towards “the leaven of the Pharisees.” They have hundreds of Holy Fathers’ epistles, homilies and dialogues, which they must have read in their pursuit of exulting themselves! They have before them the repeated exclamations of the Lord, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men! For ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in (Matthew 23:13).” They have even the very fact that it was an apostle who betrayed the Lord, and not a mere disciple but one of the twelve! They have the fact that it was not an idolatrous nation that judged its savior and found him guilty, but it was God’s own chosen people that condemned the world’s Savior to death! They have even the fact that the Scribes, Pharisees and High Priests were the ones who crucified the King of Glory! Yet despite having all of these clear proofs, they continue their Pharisaism, but the “Christian” kind, namely, Pelagianism. But who are we to condemn them? After all, we are but sinners. Therefore let them take heed to the Lord’s rebuke: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33). A Genuine Orthodox Christian (i.e., non‐Pelagian, non‐Pharisee), approaches the Holy Chalice with nothing but disdain and humiliation for his wretched soul, and feels his utter unworthiness, and truly believes that what is found in that Chalice is God in the Flesh, and mankind’s only source of salvation and life. If a man is to ever be called “worthy,” the origin of that worth is not in himself, but is in that Holy Chalice from which he is about to commune. For a man who lives of himself will surely die. But a man who lives in Christ, and through Holy Communion allows Christ to live in him, such a man shall never die. As Christ said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6:51).” Thus a Genuine Orthodox Christian does not boast that he “fasts twice a week” as did the Pharisee, but recognizing only his own imperfections before the face of the perfect Christ, he smites his breast as did the Publican, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Like the malefactor that he is in thought, word and deed, he imitates the malefactor that was crucified with the Lord, saying, “I indeed justly [am condemned]; for I received the due reward for my deeds: but this man, [my Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ,] hath done nothing amiss (Luke 23:41).” And he says unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom (Luke 23:42).” To such a Genuine Orthodox Christian, free of Pharisaism and Pelagianism, the Lord responds, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43),” and “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom (Luke 22:29).” How does all of the above compare to Bp. Kirykos’ statement that “fasting according to one’s strength” causes one to “worthily receive the body and blood of the Lord?” How can Bp. Kirykos justify his theory that the early Christians supposedly “fasted in the fine and broader sense, that is, they were worthy to commune?” Can anyone, no matter how strictly they fast, ever be considered worthy of Holy Communion? Does someone’s work of fasting make them worthy? Is Bp. Kirykos justified in believing that fasting for three days without oil or wine supposedly makes an individual worthy of Holy Communion? If Bp. Kirykos is justified, then why does he not do this himself? Why does he eat oil on every Saturday of Great Lent, and yet communes on Sundays “unworthily” (according to his own theory) without shame? Why does he demand the three day fast from oil upon laymen, but does not apply it to himself and his priests? We are not speaking of laymen with penances and excommunications. We are speaking of laymen who have confessed their sins and are permitted by their spiritual father to receive Holy Communion. When such laymen receive Holy Communion they are not meant to kiss the hand of the priest after this, because the Orthodox Church believes in their equality with the priest through the Mysteries. There is no difference between priests and laymen when it comes to the ability to commune, except only for the fact that the clergy receive the Immaculate Mysteries within the Holy Bema, whereas the laity receives them from the Royal Doors. Aside from this, there is no difference in the preparation for Holy Communion either. The laymen cannot be compelled to fast extra fasts simply for being laymen, whereas priests are not required to do these extra fasts at all on account of being priests. The equality of the clergy and laity with regards to Holy Communion is clearly expressed by Blessed Chrysostom: “There are cases when a priest does not differ from a layman, notably when one approaches the Holy Mysteries. We are all equally given them, not as in the Old Testament, when one food was for the priests and another for the people and when it was not permitted to the people to partake of that which was for the priest. Now it is not so: but to all is offered the same Body and the same Chalice…” (John Chrysostom, Homily 18, on 2 Corinthians 8:24) This is why the Orthodox Church preserves this tradition whereby the priest forbids the laymen who have communed from kissing his hand. These are the pious laymen we refer to: those who are deemed acceptable to approach the Chalice. Aren’t the bishops and priests obliged to fast more strictly than the laymen, especially since the bishops and priests are the ones invoking the Holy Spirit to descend on the gifts, while the laymen only stand in the crowd of the people? So then why does Bp. Kirykos demand the three‐ day strict fast (forbidding even oil and wine) upon laymen, while he himself and his priests not only partake of oil and wine, but outside of fasting periods they even partake of fish, eggs, dairy products (and for married clergy, even meat) as late as 11:30pm on the night before they are to serve Divine Liturgy and commune of the Holy Mysteries “worthily” yet without fasting? Are such hypocrisies Christian or are they Pharisaic? What does Christ have to say regarding the Pharisees who ordered laymen to fast more heavily while the Pharisee hierarchy did not do this themselves? Christ rebuked and condemned them harshly. Thus we read in the Gospel according to St. Luke: “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying: “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Mosesʹ seat. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Luke 23:1‐4). So much for the Pharisees and their successors, the Pelagians! So much for Bp. Kirykos and those who agree with his blasphemous positions, for these men are the Pharisees and Pelagians of our time! May God have mercy on them and enlighten them to depart from the darkness of their hypocrisy. May God also enlighten us to shun all forms of Pharisaism and Pelagianism, including this most dangerous form adopted by Bp. Kirykos. May we shun this heresy by ceasing to rely on our own human perfections that are but abominations in the eyes of our perfect God. Let us take heed to the admonition of one who himself was a Pharisee named Saul, but later became a Christian named Paul. For, he was truly blinded by the darkness of his Pharisaic self‐righteousness, but Christ blinded him with the eternal light of sanctifying and soul‐saving Divine Grace. This Apostle to the Nations writes: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:17‐31).” Yea, Lord, help us to submit entirely to Thy will, and to learn to glorify only in Thee, and not in our own works. For in truth, even the greatest works of ours, even the work of fasting, whether for one day, three days, a week, forty days, or even a lifetime, is worthless before Thy sight. As the prophet declares, our works are an abomination, and our righteousness is but a menstruous rag. Therefore, O Lord, judge us according to Thy mercy and not according to our sins. For Thou alone can make us worthy of Communion. Note that in the above short prayer by the present author, the word “us” is used and not “them.” This is because, in order to preserve oneself from becoming a Pharisee, one must always include himself among those who are lacking in conduct, and must ask God for guidance as well as for others. In this manner, one does not fall into the danger of the Pharisee who said “God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are…” but rather acknowledges his own misconduct, and thereby includes himself in the prayer, imitating the publican who said “God be merciful to me a sinner.” For there is no point preaching against Pharisaism unless one first admonishes and reproves his own soul, and asks God to cleans himself from this hypocrisy of the Pharisees. For we are not to hate the sinners, but rather the sin itself; and we are not to hate the heretics, but rather the heresy itself. In so doing, our Confession against the sins and heresies themselves constitute a “work of love.” But when it comes to people judging Christians for food, or Sabbaths, such as what Bp. Kirykos has done by his two blasphemous letters to Fr. Pedro, this is definitely not a “work of love” but is in fact the leaven of the Pharisees in its fullness. It is a work of demonic self‐righteousness and satanic hatred towards mankind. For rather than being a true spiritual father towards his spiritual children, he proves to be a negligent and self‐serving, and a user of his flock for his own personal gain. He allows himself to commune very frequently without the slightest fast, while demanding strict fasting on his flock while also forbidding them to ever commune on Sundays. Thus it is well that Mr. Christos Noukas, the advisor to Fr. Pedro, asked Bp. Kirykos: “Are you a father or a stepfather?” By this he meant, “Do you truly love your spiritual children as a true spiritual father should, or do you consider them to be another man’s children and nothing but a burden to you?” Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the sermon in which he taught us to pray to “Our Father,” explained the love of a true father towards his children. The account, as contained in the Gospel of Luke, is as follows: “And [Jesus] said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with
From orbit, he watched as four Indigo Priests backed against the outer wall of their monastery.
Orthodox Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny Accepted the Mysteries of the Anglicans In 1910 and Then Changed His Mind in 1912. He Was Not Judged By Any Council For This Mistake. Did He and His Flock Lose Grace During Those Two Years? His Grace, the Right Reverend [Saint] Raphael Hawaweeny, late Bishop of Brooklyn and head of the Syrian Greek Orthodox Catholic Mission of the Russian Church in North America, was a far‐sighted leader. Called from Russia to New York in 1895, to assume charge of the growing Syrian parishes under the Russian jurisdiction over American Orthodoxy, he was elevated to the episcopate by order of the Holy Synod of Russia and was consecrated Bishop of Brooklyn and head of the Syrian Mission by Archbishop Tikhon and Bishop Innocent of Alaska on March 12, 1904. This was the first consecration of an Orthodox Catholic Bishop in the New World and Bishop Raphael was the first Orthodox prelate to spend his entire episcopate, from consecration to burial, in America. [Ed. note—In August 1988 the remains of Bishop Raphael along with those of Bishops Emmanuel and Sophronios and Fathers Moses Abouhider, Agapios Golam and Makarios Moore were transferred to the Antiochian Village in southwestern Pennsylvania for re‐burial. Bishop Raphaelʹs remains were found to be essentially incorrupt. As a result a commission under the direction of Bishop Basil (Essey) of the Antiochian Archdiocese was appointed to gather materials concerning the possible glorification of Bishop Raphael.] With his broad culture and international training and experience Bishop Raphael naturally had a keen interest in the universal Orthodox aspiration for Christian unity. His work in America, where his Syrian communities were widely scattered and sometimes very small and without the services of the Orthodox Church, gave him a special interest in any movement which promised to provide a way by which acceptable and valid sacramental ministrations might be brought within the reach of isolated Orthodox people. It was, therefore, with real pleasure and gratitude that Bishop Raphael received the habitual approaches of ʺHigh Churchʺ prelates and clergy of the Episcopal Church. Assured by ʺcatholic‐mindedʺ Protestants, seeking the recognition of real Catholic Bishops, that the Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church were really Catholic and almost the same as Orthodox, Bishop Raphael was filled with great happiness. A group of these ʺHigh Episcopalianʺ Protestants had formed the American branch of ʺThe Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Unionʺ (since revised and now existing as ʺThe Anglican and Eastern Churches Association,ʺ chiefly active in England, where it publishes a quarterly organ called The Christian East). This organization, being well pleased with the impression its members had made upon Bishop Raphael, elected him Vice‐President of the Union. Bishop Raphael accepted, believing that he was associating himself with truly Catholic but unfortunately separated [from the Church] fellow priests and bishops in a movement that would promote Orthodoxy and true catholic unity at the same time. As is their usual custom with all prelates and clergy of other bodies, the Episcopal bishop urged Bishop Raphael to recognize their Orders and accept for his people the sacramental ministrations of their Protestant clergy on a basis of equality with the Sacraments of the Orthodox Church administered by Orthodox priests. It was pointed out that the isolated and widely‐scattered Orthodox who had no access to Orthodox priests or Sacraments could be easily reached by clergy of the Episcopal Church, who, they persuaded Bishop Raphael to believe, were priests and Orthodox in their doctrine and belief though separated in organization. In this pleasant delusion, but under carefully specified restrictions, Bishop Raphael issued in 1910 permission for his faithful, in emergencies and under necessity when an Orthodox priest and Sacraments were inaccessible, to ask the ministrations of Episcopal clergy and make comforting use of what these clergy could provide in the absence of Orthodox priests and Sacraments. Being Vice‐President of the Eastern Orthodox side of the Anglican and Orthodox Churches Union and having issued on Episcopal solicitation such a permission to his people, Bishop Raphael set himself to observe closely the reaction following his permissory letter and to study more carefully the Episcopal Church and Anglican teaching in the hope that the Anglicans might really be capable of becoming actually Orthodox. But, the more closely he observed the general practice and the more deeply he studied the teaching and faith of the Episcopal Church, the more painfully shocked, disappointed, and disillusioned Bishop Raphael became. Furthermore, the very fact of his own position in the Anglican and Orthodox Union made the confusion and deception of Orthodox people the more certain and serious. The existence and cultivation of even friendship and mutual courtesy was pointed out as supporting the Episcopal claim to Orthodox sacramental recognition and intercommunion. Bishop Raphael found that his association with Episcopalians became the basis for a most insidious, injurious, and unwarranted propaganda in favor of the Episcopal Church among his parishes and faithful. Finally, after more than a year of constant and careful study and observation, Bishop Raphael felt that it was his duty to resign from the association of which he was Vice‐President. In doing this he hoped that the end of his connection with the Union would end also the Episcopal interferences and uncalled‐for intrusions in the affairs and religious harmony of his people. His letter of resignation from the Anglican and Orthodox Churches Union, published in the Russian Orthodox Messenger, February 18, 1912, stated his convictions in the following way: I have a personal opinion about the usefulness of the Union. Study has taught me that there is a vast difference between the doctrine, discipline, and even worship of the Holy Orthodox Church and those of the Anglican Communion; while, on the other hand, experience has forced upon me the conviction that to promote courtesy and friendship, which seems to be the only aim of the Union at present, not only amounts to killing precious time, at best, but also is somewhat hurtful to the religious and ecclesiastical welfare of the Holy Orthodox Church in these United States. Very many of the bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church at the present time—and especially myself have observed that the Anglican Communion is associated with numerous Protestant bodies, many of whose doctrines and teachings, as well as practices, are condemned by the Holy Orthodox Church. I view union as only a pleasing dream. Indeed, it is impossible for the Holy Orthodox Church to receive—as She has a thousand times proclaimed, and as even the Papal See of Rome has declaimed to the Holy Orthodox Churchʹs credit—anyone into Her Fold or into union with Her who does not accept Her Faith in full without any qualifications—the Faith which She claims is most surely Apostolic. I cannot see how She can unite, or the latter expect in the near future to unite with Her while the Anglican Communion holds so many Protestant tenets and doctrines, and also is so closely associated with the non‐ Catholic religions about her. Finally, I am in perfect accord with the views expressed by His Grace, Archbishop Platon, in his address delivered this year before the Philadelphia Episcopalian Brotherhood, as to the impossibility of union under present circumstances. One would suppose that the publication of such a letter in the official organ of the Russian Archdiocese would have ended the misleading and subversive propaganda of the Episcopalians among the Orthodox faithful. But the Episcopal members simply addressed a reply to Bishop Raphael in which they attempted to make him believe that the Episcopal Church was not Protestant and had adopted none of the errors held by Protestant bodies. For nearly another year Bishop Raphael watched and studied while the subversive Episcopal propaganda went on among his people on the basis of the letter of permission he had issued under a misapprehension of the nature and teaching of the Episcopal Church and its clergy. Seeing that there was no other means of protecting Orthodox faithful from being misled and deceived, Bishop Raphael finally issued, late in 1912, the following pastoral letter which has remained in force among the Orthodox of this jurisdiction in America ever since and has been confirmed and reinforced by the pronouncement of his successor, the present Archbishop Aftimios. Pastoral Letter of Bishop Raphael To My Beloved Clergy and Laity of the Syrian Greek‐Orthodox Catholic Church in North America: Greetings in Christ Jesus, Our Incarnate Lord and God. My Beloved Brethren: Two years ago, while I was Vice‐President and member of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union, being moved with compassion for my children in the Holy Orthodox Faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3), scattered throughout the whole of North America and deprived of the ministrations of the Church; and especially in places far removed from Orthodox centers; and being equally moved with a feeling that the Episcopalian (Anglican) Church possessed largely the Orthodox Faith, as many of the prominent clergy professed the same to me before I studied deeply their doctrinal authorities and their liturgy—the Book of Common Prayer—I wrote a letter as Bishop and Head of the Syrian‐Orthodox Mission in North America, giving permission, in which I said that in extreme cases, where no Orthodox priest could be called upon at short notice, the ministrations of the Episcopal (Anglican) clergy might be kindly requested. However, I was most explicit in defining when and how the ministrations should be accepted, and also what exceptions should be made. In writing that letter I hoped, on the one hand, to help my people spiritually, and, on the other hand, to open the way toward bringing the Anglicans into the communion of the Holy Orthodox Faith. On hearing and in reading that my letter, perhaps unintentionally, was misconstrued by some of the Episcopalian (Anglican) clergy, I wrote a second letter in which I pointed out that my instructions and exceptions had been either overlooked or ignored by many, to wit: a) They (the Episcopalians) informed the Orthodox people that I recognized the Anglican Communion (Episcopal Church) as being united with the Holy Orthodox Church and their ministry, that is holy orders, as valid. b) The Episcopal (Anglican) clergy offered their ministrations even when my Orthodox clergy were residing in the same towns and parishes, as pastors. c) Episcopal clergy said that there was no need of the Orthodox people seeking the ministrations of their own Orthodox priests, for their (the Anglican) ministrations were all that were necessary. I, therefore, felt bound by all the circumstances to make a thorough study of the Anglican Churchʹs faith and orders, as well as of her discipline and ritual. After serious consideration I realized that it was my honest duty, as a member of the College of the Holy Orthodox Greek Apostolic Church, and head of the Syrian Mission in North America, to resign from the vice‐presidency of and membership in the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union. At the same time, I set forth, in my letter of resignation, my reason for so doing. I am convinced that the doctrinal teaching and practices, as well as the discipline, of the whole Anglican Church are unacceptable to the Holy Orthodox Church. I make this apology for the Anglicans whom as Christian gentlemen I greatly revere, that the loose teaching of a great many of the prominent Anglican theologians are so hazy in their definitions of truths, and so inclined toward pet heresies that it is hard to tell what they believe. The Anglican Church as a whole has not spoken authoritatively on her doctrine. Her Catholic‐minded members can call out her doctrines from many views, but so nebulous is her pathway in the doctrinal world that those who would extend a hand of both Christian and ecclesiastical fellowship dare not, without distrust, grasp the hand of her theologians, for while many are orthodox on some points, they are quite heterodox on others. I speak, of course, from the Holy Orthodox Eastern Catholic point of view. The Holy Orthodox Church has never perceptibly changed from Apostolic times, and, therefore, no one can go astray in finding out what She teaches. Like Her Lord and Master, though at times surrounded with human malaria—which He in His mercy pardons— She is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb. 13:8) the mother and safe deposit of the truth as it is in Jesus (cf. Eph. 4:21). The Orthodox Church differs absolutely with the Anglican Communion in reference to the number of Sacraments and in reference to the doctrinal explanation of the same. The Anglicans say in their Catechism concerning the Sacraments that there are ʺtwo only as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.ʺ I am well aware that, in their two books of homilies (which are not of a binding authority, for the books were prepared only in the reign of Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth for priests who were not permitted to preach their own sermons in England during times both politically and ecclesiastically perilous), it says that there are ʺfive others commonly called Sacramentsʺ (see homily in each book on the Sacraments), but long since they have repudiated in different portions of their Communion this very teaching and absolutely disavow such definitions in their ʺArticles of
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
Chapter 29 goes into the cleansing and consecration process they were to go through to become official lifetime priests for the Tabernacle.
Peter's Church, Springfield, there were present two American bishops, two Greek priests, a Russian, a Syrian, and a Polish Old Catholic priest, who vested and took part in the procession.
The Second Witness of Theoharis (Letter to Peter Barbagiannis) The following is Theoharis’ response to an email by Peter Barbagiannis. The latter had tried to falsify history by claiming that Fr. Pedro supposedly was “wiping the spoon” after each time he communed someone, and that this was reported by “members of the parish” when in reality only one woman (Bp. Kirykos’ ex fiancé) is the one who was reporting, and it was a lie because Fr. Pedro never did such a thing. He only wiped the spoon at the end of everyone communing, which is something traditionally done by all priests of the Russian typicon. When that original report failed, Bp. Kirykos’ ex fiancé came up with another one, that she was “scandalized” that Theoharis was communing every Sunday. So then Kirykos wrote his two blasphemous letters to Fr. Pedro, advising him NEVER to commune parishioners on Sundays, but only on Saturdays! In other words, Kirykos was willing to dogmatize Sabbatianism simply to obey the whims of his ex fiancé who controls the parish and tries to control whichever priest serves there! The email by Theoharis should now be quite comprehensible: Re:
The tree was called Maya by the Indigo Priests, a group of spiritual philosophers who could be found in small numbers in almost every society in the galaxy.
For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: