.

.

After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY






Sticky

√ help support Orthodox film, Saint Moses The Black, The Motion Picture  http://www.mosestheblack.com/        *click* 

Our future...

From Metropolitan Agafangel’s Forum page 62:
posted August 25, 2010

It is quite clear that the alliance of the FSB and MP, having received its assignment and funding, will now try to do everything to disrupt the existing situation in South America.  It is certainly better to keep your distance from professional recruiters sent from Moscow.  The rector of the Holy Trinity church, Archpriest Valentin Iwaczewicz, told me how when Patriarch Kirill was still a metropolitan, he asked to see that beautiful church, but instead of looking around, he started to insist that Fr. Valentin join the Moscow Patriarchate.  Taken aback by the inappropriate behavior of his guest, Fr. Valentin answered that his hierarchy did not give him the right to discuss such matters and that Metropolitan Kirill should make such an offer to Fr. Valentin’s Synod and not to the rector.  Metropolitan Kirill’s efforts were for naught.  Such an episode speaks volumes not only of Patriarch Kirill’s well-known desire for other people’s property, but also shows his true moral character better than all his homilies “about eternity.”

Certainly, these “insinuating” letters, and “The Days of Russian Culture in South America,” and “round table discussions,” and visits to the continent by miracle-working icons, and threats of legal actions against our clergy, and censures, and tempting offers, and earnest visits with representatives of the RF embassies, and the active organizing of the pro-Kremlin, post-Komsomol movement “Ours,” and all the rest are all links of the same chain and are evidence of the well-funded operation by the Russian Federation to strengthen its presence in South America.  The ROCOR(MP) is now truly, and not just symbolically as Fr. Victor Potapov said, representatives of the Russian Federation, a religious-political appendage of it, receiving and carrying out directives from “headquarters.”  To paraphrase a Soviet slogan, one can with all confidence attest that when the Kremlin says “we need it!” the ROCOR(MP) answers “you got it!”

“Whither goest thou” ROCOR(MP)?

Thank you, D.G. for this English translation

Pope of Rome openly commemorated in Constantinople

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Spyridon, 

Here is a short clip from the mountains of coverage of the Pope's visit to Constantinople in 2008. Patriarch Bartholomew's deacon clearly commemorates the Pope, and then the Patriarch.

It is extremely clear to those in charge of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that they and the Pope share one and the same religion. They have been saying this for so long, and in so many ways, it is amazing how some still don't believe this to be so.

May the Lord enlighten us all.

with love in Christ,
Fr. Steven


Fr. Steven Allen 
Church of St. Spyridon 
Detroit, Michigan USA 
GOC  Archbishop Chrysostomos II

Definition of INSIDIOUS

a: having a gradual and cumulative effect
Latin insidiosus, from insidiae ambush
Used in a sentence: ROCOR(MP) is powerless to stop the Moscow Patriarchate’s insidious efforts to establish relations with the Catholic Church.


Though they continue to insist they can influence the MP on this issue and ecumenism in general. They promise that Met. Hilarion will mention it during the MP Synod session he has been invited to participate in. Patriarch Kirill and the others will certainly let him speak and listen to him earnestly. And then continue their ecumenist policies regardless. The MP’s overtures to the Catholic Church are the most troubling aspects of their ecumenist activities. They are the most pronounced, because it suits the geopolitical goals of the MP and the Russian government the most.

The MP engages in legalistic games to cover its activities. As long as they are not partaking of the Eucharist with Catholics or others in a Divine Liturgy, they cannot be accused of being ecumenists and are not breaking any canon laws. As if the Church Fathers were that simplistic, or maybe they were too old-fashioned and un-Christian in their severity. Or maybe the MP is such an unreligious entity that they care little for the spirit of the canon laws and use religion as a tool to achieve earthly gain.

No, the Church Fathers and all the saints and martyrs throughout time defended Orthodoxy as the one true religion and called on all people to come to it for salvation. That is what is lost in the maneuverings and intrigues of the MP, as they engage in “prayer services” with others. It dilutes the message of Orthodoxy and reduces it to just another form of worship. As many say nowadays, “there are many paths to God.” The endless meetings between MP and Catholic representatives, hugging each other, and making grandiose statements that serve only their own vain egos, cheapens Orthodoxy in the world, removes its unique element.

The latest tactic is praying before Catholic sacred objects like the Shroud of Turin or the Crown of Thorns in the Notre Dame. A recent group of young ROCOR(MP) pilgrims even venerated the crown on a recent trip. Again, hiding behind the antiquity of these objects, an excuse is found for these expressions of misguided tolerance. No one is rejecting the sanctity of these objects. They are to be treated respectfully, but they are sacred objects of the Catholic Church and should be left to them for veneration.

So ROCOR(MP) can engage in their periodic pleas to slow the rush towards ecumenism, but it is already too late, the damage has been done. The clarion call of Orthodoxy has been muffled and the MP’s actions feed into the overall atmosphere of apostasy that reigns in this world. As long as the MP does not proclaim the singular nature of Orthodoxy and call upon others to accept Orthodoxy, it contributes to the further erosion of its message. ROCOR(MP) cannot pretend to be on the sidelines. They are now a part of the MP and equally responsible for this result. This is the price of disobeying the founding hierarchs of the Church Abroad who loudly warned of this possible outcome. This is the price of straying from the traditions of the Church Abroad and the understanding that the Church Abroad, and not the man-made MP, is the continuation of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Tikhon - About his final days

from Dr. Bakunin, & some added comments
Reader Daniel SHARING for better historical understanding:
 One needs to first read the historical record by Dr. Bakunin, who attended Patriarch Tikhon in his last days, in 1925, (posted now, on guest-2), and then read these added comments- 

Note of explanation: The below valuable comments, a studied  brief contribution to the subject, are connected to this historical account by the woman doctor, Dr. Bakunin, who took care of Patriarch Tikhon, in his last days, in 1925.


The anonomous author of these astute though short comments, is an expert in Russian Church history, and thus his remarks here, about the final days of the Patriarch, as he compares various documents, from the original Russianon that history, are especially of worth.

He especially is addressing the suspicion or accusation, that Met. Peter of Krutitsky, (who died a Martyr's death in 1937) may have had, something to do with the Patriarch's death, plus some other wild speculations of the chaotic times, or afterwards.  Of course, only God Himself knows the full story as to the why and how of his death, so all we can do, is to read & compare what factual accounts from those days, that we can muster.  -R.D.
----------∞ ∞ ∞----------

About the final days of Holy Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin), and about this account by Dr. Bakunin:

I read with great interest Dr. Bakunin's memoirs regarding Patriarch Tikhon's last days, (posted now on: http://guest-2.livejournal.com which can be read thru google English if one first punches in:  http://google.com and then punch in the above link and ordering google to translate from Russian into a rough-English)  when he was a patient in the hospital run by her, in the last days of his life, in 1925. 

Regarding Metropolitan Peter, she writes:

"Apparently, the Patriarch did not like Peter of Krutitsa, although he never refused to receive him. He [Peter] was tall, stout, with fluffy hair, coarse and rather unpleasant in manner. They said that the Patriarch did not like him because he had overly insisted before him on getting the post of Metropolitan of Moscow and had almost forced this appointment from the Patriarch. The monk [cell attendant] often let Peter of Krutitsa in without permission, as well as other hierarchs. To struggle against this violation of the prescribed regimen was very difficult; the Patriarch himself did not protest and did not complain."

While Dr. Bakunin is entitled to her personal opinion about Metropolitan Peter, it is clear that Metropolitan Peter was closely associated with the Patriarch in the governing of the church. This could not have been possible without the Patriarch's confidence and trust in him. And it is known that it was the Patriarch himself who pushed Peter into going from layman to bishop almost overnight. When he accepted the Patriarch's proposal in 1920, Peter wrote: "I cannot refuse. If I refuse, I will be a betrayer of the Church; but when I agree, I know that I myself am signing my own death sentence."

Dr. Bakunin apparently does not record all the details about the Patriarch's last day. For example, from other sources, it seems that the Patriarch had a meeting with Tuchkov on that day. Also, it seems that Metropolitan Peter visited the Patriarch several times that day; Dr. Bakunin does not mention these multiple visits.

Apparently, what was going on was that Tuchkov wanted the Patriarch to sign a declaration, something similar to what Metropolitan Sergei some years later agreed to sign. A draft was probably presented to the Patriarch by Tuchkov; but the Patriarch did not agree with it or at least with portions of it. It is reasonable to assume that Metropolitan Peter's meetings with the Patriarch had to do with this declaration. Subsequently, after the death of the Patriarch, this declaration was made public, as if the Patriarch had agreed to it. But apparently he never signed it.

There is nothing in Dr. Bakunin's memoirs to indicate that Metropolitan Peter had anything to do with the Patriarch's death. Of course, it is possible that the pressures placed upon the Patriarch by Tuchkov and by his meetings with Metropolitan Peter that day exacerbated the Patriarch's already precarious condition. But it seems rather clear from Dr. Bakunin's memoirs that the Patriarch died from his long-standing heart condition. Dr. Bakunin says that at the time of his death that she found him suffering from angina pectoris.

Rumors subsequently circulated that the Patriarch had been poisoned; but Dr. Bakunin does not even mention this possibility. 

In his will, which had been written in December 1924, the Patriarch appointed three locum tenentes, the third of whom was Peter of Krutitsa. Since the first two candidates were in exile at the time of the Patriarch's death on 25 March 1925 (o.s.), Peter of Krutitsa became the locum tenens with the written agreement of the 58 hierarchs who attended the Patriarch's funeral. However, before the end of 1925 Metropolitan Peter was arrested again (he had previously been imprisoned in the early twenties) and never saw freedom again. He was executed in 1937.

From the original Russian sources that I am familiar with.............

Homily: Christ or the World?

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Who crucified Jesus Christ?  Was it the Romans? Certainly not. They were not interested in Jewish religious affairs.  Was it the Jewish people? Not really. The people followed Him by the thousands.  Who then put to death the Son of God?  It was the Church. Or more precisely, it was the leadership of the Church.

How can it be that those who are supposed to love God with all their heart and have dedicated their life to serving Him can end up hating Him so much that they will crucify Him?  The answer is very simple and it lies in their hearts. It is precisely because in their heart of hearts they do not love God but rather the world.  Christ only asks for one thing from each of us: our heart.

He says that a man cannot serve two masters. Either he will love one and hate the other or vice versa. You cannot serve God and, at the same time, serve mammon (that is, the world).   This is because God is Holy and all His ways are holy and founded totally on truth. There is no guile or deceit with God whatsoever. Anyone who will serve God must also be permeated totally by nothing but the Spirit of Truth.

The spirit of the world is foreign to Christ. It is the spirit of guile and deceit, of envy and greed, of lust for power and pride. But it cloaks itself with a thin veneer of righteousness and so it is always hypocritical.  Christ said that people approach Him who worship Him with their lips, but they worship Him in vain because their hearts are far from Him. On the day of Judgment, He said, they will say to Me that we preached in your name and performed miracles in your name, but I will say to them: depart from Me, I have never known you. What terrible words! But they will be directed towards the people who use the Church only to further their own worldly and political interests.

Two thousand years ago the leadership of the Church was very corrupt and hated Christ. They persecuted Him and sought to destroy Him, so they could keep His inheritance (the Church) for themselves. They renounced Christ and God the Father at the trial they set up for Jesus. When Pilate asked them “shall I release your King?”, they shouted, “we have no King except Caesar”. That made their choice of the world over Christ clear and official and their history naturally followed from that choice.

The synergy between the Church and the state can only work if the Church is unwaveringly committed to Christ. Then, the Church acts as the conscience and guide for the civil authority and the two can act in concert. The Church looks after the spiritual needs of the people while the civil government takes care of the physical and material. There should be no conflict nor contradiction in their interests but rather a harmonious union as in the case of the soul and body union in a healthy, pious and well-adjusted individual. But it cannot be overstressed that this “symphony” between Church and State is only God-pleasing and in the interest of the welfare of the nation only insofar as the Church remains unwaveringly loyal to Christ and does not betray Him.

When the Bolshevik government demanded of Patriarch Tikhon complete and unconditional loyalty, the Patriarch responded by saying that the limits of loyalty that they are demanding from him lie beyond the limits of loyalty to Christ. And so he refused.

When Met. Sergius wrote in his Declaration in 1927 that they want to be completely loyal to the (godless and theomachistic) Soviet government and, at the same time, remain Orthodox Christians, he was precisely contradicting the very words of Christ that no man can serve God and mammon.

That choice then committed him, and all those who followed him, to the service of mammon and not God, according to the words of Christ. And that, I submit, is in essence the actual “heresy of Sergianism”, ipso factum.  This is why this modern Church (the Moscow Patriarchate), founded by Met. Sergius  and Stalin, is foreign to the Spirit of Christ. And just as the Church of the Pharisees did two thousand years ago, so will this new Sergianist Church naturally persecute the followers of Christ. It will always regard them as very dangerous competitors and will endeavor to destroy them or at least minimize their influence and reach over the population as much as possible.

Two thousand years ago Christ said to the Church leadership that they have taken the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven into their hands and are not entering themselves and are preventing those who wanted to enter from entering. Such a situation God did not tolerate then and came down Himself in person to rectify. And now, after two thousand years, history seems to have come full circle. Again the leadership of the “official” Church is not entering into the Kingdom of Heaven and is trying to prevent those who would from entering.

The challenges facing the small flock of  those who are determined to remain faithful to Christ to the victorious end are actually not so new. There are no serious dogmatic nor canonical impediments to the reunification of the various “fragments” of the Church. Whatever differences seem to exist can and must be reconciled in a conciliar (soborny) manner as is, and always has been, the tradition of the Church. As Apostle Paul exhorted the faithful of his time to not divide themselves into “Paul’s” or some other Apostle’s. The only choice we need to make now is: are we with Christ or with the World.

If we are with Christ, then we must absolutely be prepared for persecution. Christ told us that the world hated Him before it hated His followers and that in the world His followers will endure grief. But be of good cheer, because Christ has conquered the world.

Now is not the time to scatter as the flock without a pastor. If we are of Christ, then in Christ’s Name we must all stay together. If there is but one Shepherd, let there be only one Flock.

There are many different kinds of people in this world now. But on that day of the Last Judgment they will all be divided into only two groups: those that stand on the right side of Christ and those that stand on the left. The choice is free to make for each one of us, and we have a lifetime to make it. It is not only love of the world that separates us from God. Christ said that he who loves his mother  or father, daughter or son or friends or anyone or anything more than he loves Him, is not worthy of Him. Let us set our gaze firmly on Christ as our Shepherd and Guide lest we fall prey to the spiritual wolf that is stalking the small Flock from all sides. If we love Him with all our heart then we will know His voice from all the impostors and follow only Him.
Fr. Nikita [Grigoriev, Richfield Springs NY

Chrisanthy Gets Baptized

Before and After Photos


Location, location, location...

The ROCOR(MP) website recently heralded the debut of a website for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign on 93rd St and Park Avenue in New York City. Once the spiritual home of the Church Abroad, it served as the residence for our dear departed First Hierarchs, Metropolitans Anastasy, Philaret, and Vitaliy, and many other clerics who served the Church selflessly and with great dedication. The canonization of Blessed St. Xenia, the Holy New Martyrs, and others were held in the main church. Later, it fell into disrepair, but was restored a few years ago.

Unfortunately, the clerics who gave life to the Church Abroad no longer inhabit its hallways and its purpose has become unclear. Yet the bills for its upkeep continue to come in and the cash-strapped ROCOR(MP) is in a quandary. There were plans to convert part of the building into expensive apartments\condos, but that was met with howls of protest from the Russian community and from the neighbors. (The mansion that contains the Cathedral and the lower church is a historic landmark and the preservation society is opposed to any changes.) What to do? Rather than find some spiritually uplifting purpose for it, it started being used in a long list of tawdry movies and television shows. The location, which is like sacred ground, suddenly appears as the backdrop for unseemly Hollywood entertainment.

Still the bills keep coming in. Problem is, the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) is not interested in using it, unless it is simply sold and they get a share of the profits. (That's another obstacle. The benefactor who donated the building to the Church Abroad left stipulations that are hard to get around.) With their keen business sense, the MP is only interested in sites that have PR value; churches with pretty onion domes, historic locations, or holy relics that will bring in the religious pilgrims, who will stay at their hotels and buy up all the religious souvenirs. The MP is interested in profit centers, not spiritual centers.

They have already appropriated the church in Bari, Italy, which contain the relics of St. Nicholas, and recently, Pat. Kirill spoke of how the Church Abroad had preserved the sacred sites in the Holy Land, and now that the churches were united, they can all enjoy them. Between the lines, that means the usual land grab, with ROCOR(MP) left on the short end. Anywhere there is a Church Abroad site with value potential, that is where you will see the MP using all of its devices to pressure the owners. (Witness the new interest in South America.)

A curious sidenote, Fr. Seraphim Gan transformed the altar of his church in Sea Cliff, NY, into a memorial of the union, with new frescoes depicting the saints the participants were named after. A shrewd politician, and with his patron (Met. Laurus) gone, Fr. Seraphim may be trying to remain relevant and please the senior VPs of the MP, but he need not have bothered and gone through the expense. The MP has no use for small, local parishes.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign does have the most important holy relic of the Church Abroad, the Kursk-Root icon of the Mother of God, but the MP has not bothered to promote it in its present location. Maybe it is because they have already built a new home for it in Kursk, and in time, it will make its way back to Russia. That is even depicted in the icon frame painted in Russia. The last square shows the icon on a ship sailing to the homeland. Supposedly, that depicts its triumphant visit in Kursk last year, but I would not bet on it.

So that is the dilemma, what to do with the Cathedral as it continues to drain the meager coffers of the ROCOR(MP). Time will tell, time will tell...

Powerful and Timely Homily

From a True Shepherd:

SERMON FOR THE FEAST OF STS. PETER AND PAUL:
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the memory of the holy and supreme apostles Peter and Paul. Together with the other holy apostles they are the foundation of our faith. We name the Church apostolic, because it preserves their teaching about the Orthodox faith and pious life, which they received from their Teacher and Lord.

However from the very beginning the devil sows unceasingly his weeds on the field of the Church. Thus heresies appeared, i.e. false dogmatic teachings about God, the Son of God Jesus Christ and His Church. The devil always tries to replace the true Christ’s Church with his counterfeit, mostly using ministers of the Church as his instruments.

How has the apostolic faith been preserved in the Church, unalterable, throughout the ages, till our day, despite endless attempts from the enemy? The Orthodox faith is preserved not in the reference books on theology; it is preserved in the hearts of the faithful. The Holy Spirit living in the church always incited love for the true faith in the hearts of the faithful and gave them courage to endure all persecutions for its sake. 

The defenders of Orthodoxy in the church are the people of the church, who recognize falsehood at once and do not follow false teachers. The Lord says: “The sheep will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John, 10).

Now they blame us for abandoning our priests and bishops, but we have abandoned them only because they themselves abandoned the way of Orthodoxy in joining the Moscow Patriarchate.

The true Church of Christ lives in the world but it is foreign to it; the Lord said about His disciples: “The world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John, 17). This is the most essential characteristic of the spirit of the true apostolic Church. 

The official Moscow church however, lives according to the principles of this world, which “lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John, 5). Cunning politics, lie, servility, pursuit of power and wealth, cruelty and unscrupulousness, this is what one observes constantly in the ways of the Moscow hierarchy. St Paul says: “The Church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1Tim. 3). Then how could the Moscow church, where lie from the high sees is customary, be called “a pillar of truth”?

 Though the Moscow Patriarchate keeps, at least formally, the Orthodox dogmas, it is in essence a counterfeit church, having in no way the spirit of the apostolic faith. It is an extreme cunning of the devil, by which many are seduced. 

Of course, in all churches there are pure, faithful hearts, but we are speaking about the hierarchy and their principles, which more and more infect the whole body of the Moscow church.

St. Theophan the Recluse in his commentary on the epistle of St. Paul prophesizes about the Church in the times preceding the coming of the antichrist: “The churches will be seen everywhere, they will celebrate everywhere according to the rites of the Church. But all this will be only an appearance, as for the inner content there will be a total apostasy… They will be Orthodox only by name, but they will not have in their hearts the disposition, which is required by faith, having loved this present world” (on the Thessal. 2). Thus St. Theophan denotes the source of this inner apostasy “the love of this present world”.

Modern society is concentrated exclusively on the material and rejects even a thought of the future eternal life. But the most terrible is that the same preoccupation with the material became typical even for the Orthodox Church as well. This disposition, i.e. pursuit of earthly interests, destroys the inner essence of the Church, leaving only appearance.

St Paul shortly before his martyrdom, writes to Philippians from Rome where he was kept as a prisoner: “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.  For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly,… who set their minds on earthly things.  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3).

So a Christian, while living in this world and taking part in its matters, by the aspirations of his heart should live in heaven, our true homeland.  If he sets his mind on earthly things and sticks to them with his heart, he becomes an enemy of the cross of Christ.

Instead of judging us and threatening with eternal fire, those among them who really seek the truth and know the Church history should think deeply about what has happened in ROCOR. They should look closely and understand that those who left were motivated not by stubbornness or self-will, but by the love of truth. 

They would wish that all of us would have unanimously followed their bishops, as soldiers their generals. But the Church is not an army. The Church is being guided not by the bishops, but by the Holy Spirit; as for the bishops they can both work together with Him or hinder Him.

To demand absolute, army-like obedience, regardless of one’s conscience, means to deny the essence of Christianity, which is based on spiritual freedom and conscience, without which love cannot be.

The very fact that there were those who didn’t accept the union with Moscow shows that the Church is living, that the Holy Spirit speaks in the conscience of the faithful.

The fact that we are in the minority rather speaks well for us, if we remember what the Scripture says about the diminution of faith in the last times. The Church is not a parliament; the majority has no value in it.

 Now we are being persecuted through canonical suspensions and legal actions. It is again a sign speaking for us. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”, - St Paul says. The destiny of the true Church in the world is persecution, not power, influence and wealth.

Of course this is not an exact criterion of truth.  Such criterion  does not exist.  Truth can be recognized not by external criterion, but by the inner feeling of the heart.      

They say that nothing has changed in the Church after the union. This is not true. ROCOR preserved the spiritual vision of our times, recognizing them as the times of apostasy, which is to come before the antichrist.  Here lies the importance of ROCOR not only for Russia but also for the whole world. Now this spiritual vision is obscured, even lost.  So because of the union they changed themselves, their ability of spiritual perception has been darkened.

Let us not “set our minds on earthly things”, saying with the apostle, that “our citizenship is in heaven”, so that we may be able to understand the meaning of our time.
Amen

Hieromonk Fr. Andrei Erastov, 2010
ROCA Church of the Holy Vilensky Martyrs
Melbourne, Australia

A Quick Reminder

√ from Joanna:  ROCOR Unity is gleefully promoting their propaganda again.  Today I received an email from them even though I thought I had them blocked.  "Them" means Artyom et.al.  Today's email was from the 'et.al.' using the name "Vesna Jankov."   The subject line was advertising a post on their propaganda blog.  It is time for a reminder of who, or rather what, they are...

Boys Work Week at St. Nicholas Convent

Mother Agapia's report taken from the convent's blog:

Nine teenage boys from various parishes visited St. Nicholas Convent from July 25-August 1 helping with needed chores on the Convent property. The young men did a great job in clearing out a barn and tending to the grounds and garden of the Convent.

Along with the older boys, a number of younger boys also stayed at the Convent on Sunday and Monday, July 25 and 26 and participated in the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Nicholas Chernyavsky of Holy Ascension parish (SirR, Rochester, NY).

Throughout the week the boys had a chance to meet with other Orthodox their own age and to participate in the daily reader services of the Convent. As well there were opportunities for the boys to talk privately with visiting priests, participate in the Divine Liturgy and take some time to quietly prepare for Holy Confession and Communion.

On Friday July 30 St. Marina day, the divine services were celebrated by Fr. Daniel Meschter of St. Innocent parish (ROCA) in Pottstown, PA, ably accompanied by sub-deacon Adam Foley, choir director of Holy Ascension parish. It was a joy to see the boys participate in the choir and services and to have all who had come to work end the week with Divine Liturgy and the reception of Holy Communion. 

Many thanks to all who participated and helped to make the week not only a practically useful one, but a spiritually uplifting one as well.

mother Agapia

See video

Sticky

Great historical information on the Third Rome, interesting and a reminder of who we are and the awesome place in divine history that we have as the real Russian Orthodox Church.  Remember to pray for "the restoration of the throne of the Orthodox Tzar."

Even Some World Orthodox Can See

Reader Daniel forwards this:
 SHARING via SIR- Fr. Alexis in England: A very astute observation of what that recent pathetic/arrogant ROCOR-MP/s 'Open Letter' to our South American flock, is really all about:...i.e. even other Orthodox, can see the dirty truth-  R.D.

This is from a layman in the New Calendarist Greek Orthodox Church in this country, who follows our links.  We might disagree with minor points, but I thought it was a very insightful response.  Fr Alexis

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Fw: The ROCOR[MP] - Official Website
Greetings in Christ, Your Eminence & Fr. Alexis,
Bless!

I have to, after reading the Official ROCOR website letter from their Synod, say this is one of the most arrogant, bullish letters I have ever read and demonstrates a politicking that is not Orthodox, but more of the mentality of a communist regime of the past, but alas, it will take many more years to expunge such a mentality from the within MP.

I can only say one or two things with confidence: This style of confrontation and scary fear tactics does not proceed from Christ, but from the Enemy. It proceeds from fear, not truth, Orthodoxy or from the Holy Tradition - only quotes bits of it to suit their purposes.

It may have slipped the notice of some who read the ROCOR/MP Synod response to those who walled themselves off, it is subtle, every point they raise, threats of censure, excommunication and is either prefixed, or postfixed as being against the Fatherland, and against Rus. &c.

This is a clear indication who is actually in charge of MP - they are being ruled by the Russian Government, and like that old enemy, always tries to keep hidden, getting others to do his dirty work. But we are not ignorant of his devices!

I could add so much more here, but it seems there is no filial affection in the MP Synod's appalling letter. This is as a roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour. Stand firm, resist him and he will flee from you.

This tone in the ROCOR/ MP Synod's letter, where the Fatherland of Russia is brought in at every point, is deceitful as it tugs at nationalist heartstrings.  Here again, it demonstrates not a Holy Russia, but one which has deserted Orthodoxy, but thinks by quoting a few Canons well known to many within Orthodoxy, they are actually defending it, when they have actually in part departed from it and are resorting to such unspiritual and earthy politics and wicked worldly means.

Seeking to force, or at best encourage people to return to Russia, or to a ROCOR that has divided on account of the actions of MP. This argument, exposes their weaknesses and failures and errors, not of truth, correctness or even spirituality or a position of strength as they claim.

They want, and need people to return to Russia because Russia is in a bad way actually. There is a great shortage of manpower in all fields of Russian society. This has come about because it has the highest rate for abortion in the world, drunkenness among men in particular is very high too.

National Institutionalism, that was the former Communism, took away ones ability to think and act for themselves. This is a very clear attitude as demonstrated in the ROCOR/MP Synod letter. It assumes a institutional conformity, one that has nothing to do with Orthodoxy as such.  It s not exactly the best way to win friends and influence people!

Lastly, the Russian Elders, many of whom spoke of these latter days, tell of a Russia going through all its present Church building programs, but the Hierarchies and Bishops and priests will become ill-taught and will lack actual spirituality and spiritual insight.

The world is entering a period where there is contraction of the soul. In other words, the worldly world is already cold towards Christ.  Now, within the Church, the love of many will or is growing cold.  Stand firm in Christ and in faith, lest we lose our crowns. Only he/she who remains faithful to the end shall be saved.

Let us love one another more that ever, let us help one another willingly out of a gladsome heart.  If we do this, we will be ready for what has yet to befall this fallen world. Truly, the end is nigh, but don't be afraid, `when you see these things, look up, for your redemption draws nigh.' Therefore let us, STAND FIRM and NOT BE AFRAID!

 With love & prayers - N___

There is need for compassion, and we all need to not only to love one another, help one another, but also pray for one another, especially our leaders.

And let me add that we need to choose our leaders very carefully.  -jh

Vladyka's official response to the MP letter:

Response to "An Open Letter of the Bishops' Synod
clergy of the South American diocese "

Reading published on the official web site of the Synod of ROCOR in the Moscow Patriarchate, An Open Letter Synod of Bishops Clergy South American diocese, eliminated from the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad , catch yourself on the feeling that it was written not in New York, but in Moscow. And the author did not zarubezhnik old and modern Russian.
The feeling is because the writer uses the categories and thinks in modern Soviet-style, but not in the tradition of Russian foreign. Hence the emphasis placed in the post-war spirit of the late 40-ies - come back, they say, are good in Russia - the leitmotif of this letter.
A sin, many distortions and outright, unfortunately, it is clear that the author knows about this, but does so intentionally. One is, for example, the assertion that Metropolitan Laurus was the ruling bishop of the Americas ("On the death of Lord Alexander, in full agreement with the Statute of the ROCOR, based on "different" the Holy Canons, remained, as Primate, your ruling bishop ") - which is a blatant falsehood - Bishop Laurus was manager Siracusa diocese, and then, by electing Metropolitan - and New York. On knows that every zarubezhnik knows and author of the article, but wrote a deliberate untruth, to mislead readers. Further, based on this false set, are the canons, weaning cleric, out-of communion with his bishop, implying that this bishop is Bishop Laurus. But Bishop Laurus was not "my bishop" for South America, there has been appointed another bishop, and with it the clergy were associated canonical obligations. It was from him, and not from the lord Laurus clergy could leave just because he preached heresy. Why was not there and the clergy have remained with the bishop, in full accordance with the canons and their own consciences.
Then in the "Open Letter" is another lie - that no heresy in the Moscow Patriarchate there. But this contradicts the whole history and tradition of the Church Abroad, which has always maintained that the Moscow Patriarchate struck heresy of ecumenism and sin sergianism. This all-important aspect for us is absent in this letter, which also suggests that it was written in Russia, rather than abroad, because the Moscow Patriarchate, Ecumenism and sergianism regarded as secondary, long consigned to the past. But not so for the Orthodox Church. Patriarchy professed heresy is precisely the main obstacle to dialogue with her. For it is always pointed out all of our First Hierarch, churches and people's conscience Russian abroad.
Another untruth lies in the fact that, according to the "open letter:" The persecution of the Orthodox Church, in whatever form whatsoever, in Russia today by the authorities - are completely absent. " And this is approved at the time wicked withdrawal churches in Suzdal and other places, for example, that was even documented by the U.S. Congress. The sad fact, consists in the fact that in modern Russia is actively reviving totalitarianism - recognizes the entire free world. One of the main components (the ideological part thereof) of the nascent totalitarianism be allotted under the control of the FSB of the Moscow Patriarchate. But that allegedly did not see the author of "answer" and tries to influence the conscience of the reader with stories that "the process going and breadth and depth - captures more of our brothers and sisters." That's right - captures the spirit to dominate the new government. In this and the money released enormous power.
In conclusion, "the answer" The words of St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) - "Understand the time!" You can continue with the words of the Apostle Paul: "Know thou that in the last days perilous times. For men shall be <...> with a form of godliness but denying its power. <...> And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. " (2Tim 3.1,5,12-13).
We see that the Open Letter to the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR MP written untrue and, therefore, to believe him, and even more so, to be guided, is impossible.
  + Metropolitan Agafangel
Odessa, 22 July / August 4, 2010. Sepulchre ravnoap. Mary Magdalene.

Vladyka's Comment

This is from Vladyka Agafangel's blog regarding the attacking letter referred to in the previous post:
4/8/2010 7:41 pm UTC ( Link )
In the letter discussed a lot of details, indicating that it was written in Moscow. Even the postscript at the end instead of the signature (followed by the signature of the Chairman and members of the Synod of Bishops) indicates that the marked sign did not have time, but this order from Moscow "moderators" do not be conformed to remove.

Warning

Editorial

ROCOR/MP's Attack Upon Us, The Words of Servants of the KGB-Ruled Still Enslaved MP in Moscow  - in a Russia STILL Not Free from it's Neo-soviet Gangster Masters http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2010/7ensadioceseletter.html 
WARNING: (To be read with extreme caution):

This is a typical Sergianist approach: to subdue and to confuse the flock, by the use of two main tools: 1) placing their agents/collaborators in the highest positions of hierarchical rule, so the Orthodox faithful will, naturally respect & obey them, and 2) using our Orthodox church canons, to subdue and control, and eventually to destroy our Orthodox Church and Faith. This the communists have expertly done, and they still do it, i.e. to use our own church structure, piety and canons, to divide & to destroy us.  

These are the garbled and clever words of the current leading clerical betrayers of our formerly free-ROCOR, who now march/speak in 'pious' ? lock-step with their secular masters in Moscow, the neo-soviet repressive Putin KGB rulers, of both the still oppressed Russian nation and of their captive, created by Stalin, MP-church organization, the political TOOL of neo-soviet world-wide espionage & military imperialism, all in the name of, 'Russian Culture,or 'defending the Russian Motherland,or....whatever other lies they tell.

Remember: Joseph Stalin, in 1943, in his satanic/athiestic desperation & in order to repulse Hitler's invasioncreated this MP, as his-'church', to rally the Russian people under his bannerand it was not, as an organization, from it's uncanonical inceptiona valid continuation of The Russian Church or Patriarcate, which had as it'last real head, Holy New Confessor Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin).  After him, there have only been a succession of KGB actors, playing the patriarch's role. STILL today, that still-unrepentent/still tainted/still captive, MP-organization continues to be totally subservient to the KGB gangster SECULAR rulers of Russia.  Russia is STILL not really free, and the MP organization is STILL not cleansed from it's secular government control.

So, how? is that situation, acceptable? How? was it 'time to unite'?

Friends, the stark facts are on our side, not on the side of these liars/deceivers/pathetic fellows in clerical garb and robes, still keeping their grand titleswho have turned their backs on God, and who now serve Belial..... but yet, they pretend to speak for God, and for Orthodoxy.

What utter blasphemy!
God save them and us!
Reader Daniel Everiss