Excerpt from a scholarly article titled, "Western Orthodoxy Revisited" written by an Orthodox researcher at Swtizerland University and translated from the original French
Father Alexey Young, an American priest who collaborates in several Orthodox periodicals asked in 1989 to be received into the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese after having ministered for years in a parish of the Russian Church in Exile. He was sensitive to the missionary possibilities that seemed be to opening up and a form of “re-appropriation” of his own western heritage.” In June 1996, he resigned from the western rite parish where he served, and asked to return to the jurisdiction of the Russian Church in Exile. He explained:
“I began to like the western rite and understand its authentic pre-schism spirituality and its viable character for our time. (…) However, I am now leaving the western rite movement – not because I don’t like the rite, but because I believe the movement itself within the Antiochian Archdiocese has failed. Of course, it continues to grow numerically (…). However, quantity does not ensure quality, and the direction of this movement has been largely ineffective. In many cases, our western rite clergy and faithful have not been adequately instructed, prepared or guided. They do not understand the spirit of Orthodoxy or even their own pre-schism western heritage. In most cases, they sought union with the Orthodox Church above all to preserve a rite that had been abolished in the Church to which they formerly belonged. This is not an adequate reason to become Orthodox, and this is not a sufficient justification for a Church to accept them.”
This article also gives us some details about the failed western rite experiment in France, and basically supports what Remnant Rocor has been saying about the western rite. read more...
Various Notes on Rocor History
2003 Portal Credo interview with Matushka Anastasia Grabbe. Here is the portion of the interview about the western rite.
-“The last shall be first” … and when the Metropolitan also displayed firmness?
- For example, when John of Shanghai received the Dutch and gave them the possibility to serve the western Paschalion. It was a very difficult moment and didn’t last a long time. The Council (of Bishops, transl.) insisted that John of Shanghai demanded from them the old style (calendar, transl.). They left right away to the MP. The second case was when either by fault or mistake of Vladika John, Nectari (Kovalevskii) was consecrated. He ordained him with Theofil - the Rumanian, who, by the way, was in the Church Abroad, but later was discovered that he was a drug addict. The Sovereign said, that “(to be) Rumanian (is not to be) a nation, but an occupation”. The Synod had received the warning that, according to one version, Kovalevskii was a Satanist, and according to other, a big mason. It can be said that his aspect was such, that there is a possibility, he was a Satanist. (What a) sinister appearance! Nonetheless, his consecration was done against the resolution of the Council (of Bishops, transl.). Metropolitan Filaret was so against all this business, that he didn’t take part on it at all. Whenever he traveled to France, he never served there. Overall, these Frenchmen left rather quickly. By the way, also upon recommendation of Vladika John, they also wanted to recreate the Gallican Liturgy. An infinite number of translations were distributed to all the hierarchs. But right at the time of the liturgy it seems to be there was not a sufficient …
- Eucharistic canon?
- And was it cancelled?
- It should have been, but all this business didn’t last more than 2-3 years.
- And Vladika Filaret didn’t approve the idea of the Gallican Liturgy?
- No. But it was not easy for him to resist 15 hierarchs. Not all of them had such an educational level that was possible to take into consideration what they said.
Thank you, O Κύριος Σεβαστός, for offering this translation.
machine translation of entire interview here:
machine translation of entire interview here:
St. John's teaching vs. the evolution myth
Excerpt from the preface of Genesis, Creation and Early Man
4. The Mind of the Holy Fathers
[In 1963, in San Francisco] Fr. Seraphim's spiritual mentor, the saint and miracle-worker Archbishop John Maximovitch, had begun a series of theological courses, which Fr. Seraphim attended several times a week for three years... Among the many subjects covered, he was taught Patristics by Bishop Nektary [a disciple of Optina Monastery...] and Old Testament by Archimandrite Spyridon [a clairvoyant elder and the closest man to Archbishop John]. Here, in contrast to the rationalistic evolutionary ideas he had been taught while growing up, Fr. Seraphim learned the revelation of God Himself regarding the creation of the universe and the nature of the first-created world, as passed on through the Scriptures and the God-bearing Holy Fathers throughout the centuries. Fr. Seraphim's instructor's -- Archbishop John, Bishop Nektary and Fr. Spyridon -- were themselves Holy Fathers of modern times, and thus Fr. Seraphim was able to receive the Patristic transmission not only from books, but from living bearers of that transmission. It was through the lips of living repositories of sanctity that the meaning of Genesis was opened to him.
What Fr. Nikita says about one species becoming another species
Chapter 35 page 166
...it finally became necessary to subject the theory of evolution to scientific analysis.
In the beginning of the 20th century, it was finally understood that every species is primarily defined genetically [it's DNA]. not just morphologically [physical appearance], i.e., according to it genotype, and not only by its phenotype. Therefore each species can only reproduce itself with the same species, and not any other. Attempts to interbreed with another species are always futile, because the DNA is incompatible, apart from a couple of exceptions. In such cases the offspring is left incapable of further reproduction. An example of such an offspring is a mule, which is the impotent offspring of a donkey and a horse.
At this point, the objective of the evolutionists became completely clear. In order to at least prove that theoretical possibility of evolution, it was necessary to produce, even by the most extreme artificial means, but nonetheless produce an organism which would continue to procreate among themselves, but would be reproductively incompatible [infertile] with its parent species.
With this aim, from the beginning of the 20th century, scientists began to breed a certain variety of fly, called "Drosophila Melanogaster". This obliging little fly was capable of producing up to an amazing 25 generations a year. These poor fruit flies were subjected to every possible effect of radiation and all other types of extremes for over 800 generations. They were artificially mutated beyond recognition, resulting in extreme deformity. But each time, every offspring continued to breed freely with the previous generation [that is, with its parent species], except for cases when it was mutated to such an extreme deformity that virtually left it impotent. The experiment was fruitless, one could say.
It became apparent that it was impossible to exceed the boundaries of genetic species. Contemporary attempts through "genetic engineering" to produce beings, which would interbreed amongst themselves, yet be incompatible with the previous, parent generation, are not only futile, but simply impossible.
The further science delved into the fable of "evolution", the more decisively all the inventions of this fantasy crumbled. Everywhere and at all times, the findings of science were actually the reverse and contrary to what evolution purported.
Paleontology [the study of fossils] for instance...
Do we think Darwin would have drawn his same conclusions if he had known about DNA?
ordering information for Fr. Nikita's book:
A crown for compromise certainly must go to the idea of "Christian evolutionism," especially Orthodox Christian evolutionism. This idea says that at a particular point in evolution the ape had advanced enough to sustain a human soul, so then God breathed into this advanced ape the breath of life. This was Adam, and he was hairy and beastly in appearance. An award for this idea was actually given to an Orthodox evolutionist in 1972 by St. Vladimir's Seminary. This is taken from Genesis, Creation and Early Man p. 352:
Theodosius Dobzhansky is a Russian Orthodox scientist who is often quoted by other "Christian evolutionists." A well-known geneticist, he is presently  professor of genetics at the University of California at Davis. I think he still has his fruit flies, and is continuing to make experiments on them to prove evolution. He was born in Russia in the year of the canonization of St. Theodosius of Chernigov , in answer to prayer from his parents; and that is why he was called Theodosius. Alas, he became an apostate. He came to America in the twenties and has been an American since that time.
He has been absolutely prohibited in Soviet Russia, although the Soviet scientists know about him. Once when a film was accidently presented at one scientific meeting in Russian which showed him on it, all scientists cheered; but the film was withdrawn. He is considered nonexistent, a non-person because he left Russia. But he thinks like a communist.
Although he was baptized Orthodox, when his wife died he had her cremated, took the ashes and scattered them in the Sierras. As far as one can see, he never goes to church; he's quite beyond religion. Nevertheless, for his Christian evolutionist views, he was granted an honorary doctorate of theology by St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in New York in 1972. At the same time, he gave as address to the Second International Theological Conference of the Orthodox Theological Society of America, which was attended by all the renowned "theologians" of the various Orthodox bodies. His ideas on evolution, from what he and many official representatives of Orthodoxy in America apparently believe to be an "Orthodox" viewpoint, are set forth in two Orthodox periodicals, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, and Concern.
In an article which was well publicized and summarized without comment in many Orthodox periodicals in America, "Evolution: God's Special Method of Creation," Dobzhansky accuses anyone opposed to the theory of evolution of "blasphemy."
Here is what Fr. Seraphim Rose says about the conflict between Christian Truth and Evolutionary Philosophy page 324:
...According to the theory of evolution, man is coming up from savagery, and that is why books show Cro-Magnon Man, Neanderthal Man, etc., looking very savage, ready to beat someone over the head and take his meat. This is obviously someone's imagination; it is not based upon the shape of fossils or anything else.
If you believe that man came up from savagery, you will interpret all past history in those terms. But according to Orthodoxy, man fell from Paradise. In evolutionary philosophy there is no room for a supernatural state of Adam. Those who want to keep both Christianity and evolutionism, therefore, are forced to stick an artificial Paradise onto an ape-like creature. These are obviously two different systems which cannot be mixed...
Apparently world Orthodoxy has long ago accepted this compromise. The book, Genesis, Creation and Early Man, offends world Orthodoxy. And if you speak out against evolutionism, you lose credibility in the eyes of the world; because, after all, only backwards ignorant fundamentalists don't believe in evolution...
RocorMP must realize that someday they might have to face this compromise or offend their brother the OCA, now that they are in full communion with world orthodoxy. The subject is bound to come up sometime.
book available here:
by Archpriest S. Lyashevsky
Orthodox Life Vol. 32 No. 1 January/February 1982
Ararat is a cone-shaped mountain of volcanic origin with an elevation of 5,700 metres above sea level. From a level of 4.5 kilometers above the sea to its peak the mountain is covered with permanent ice. If a boat had been beached below this zone of ice it would have disintegrated and vanished without a trace. However, if the vessel had come to a standstill at the peak of the mountain, after the flood, it would have been covered with an immense layer of ice and become inaccessible to man. Divine Providence arranged it that Noah's Ark came to a halt at a height of 5000 metres, where glaciers slide down from the peak and where the icy covering is significantly thinner. In cold years the Ark is covered with ice and snow and is not visible; in warm years during the summer a portion of it becomes exposed, but this is a rare occurrence.
The first information concerning the search for Noah's Ark is provided by the [Chaldean] pagan priest Berose, or Berosus,in 475 B.C. He states that many people of his day and earlier, having climbed to the top of Ararat, saw the Ark of Noah from there and took away portions of it as relics.
In the Christian era, Nicholas of Damascus also testifies to this. Josephus Flavius in his Antiquities of the Jews likewise writes that many had brought portions of the Ark from Ararat. The same testimony is given in 180 A.D. by St. Theophilus of Antioch.
In 1800 an American, Claudius Rich, published the report of Aga Hussein, who claimed to have reached the summit of Ararat and to have seen there the remains of the Ark.
Scientific expeditions to Ararat begin in the year 1829, i.e., at the time of the expedition of Frederic Parrot, a professor at Dorpat University. Two of his expeditions failed to reach the top, but during his third attempt he was successful in reaching what seemed to him to be the site of the Ark; he was, however, unable to verify that this was indeed the spot.
In 1840, a Constantinople newspaper reported the discovery of Noah's Ark. A Turkish expedition, equipped for the study of avalanches on Mt. Ararat, discovered a gigantic wooden frame, almost black in color, jutting out of the glacier. When questioned, the inhabitants of settlements closest to Ararat replied that they were aware of the existence of such a structure, but dared not approach it because they had seen a fierce spirit at the top window. The Turks, in spite of extreme difficulties, did succeed in coming near the Ark and found that it was in good condition and only the sides had been damaged. One member of the team stated that the sides were built of the wood mentioned in Scripture, which, as is known, grows only in the valley of the Euphrates River. Entering the Ark, the members of the expedition came to the conclusion that it was built for the transport of livestock, since the inner area was divided into sections 15 feet high. The Turks were able to enter only three of these rooms because the others were filled with ice. The length of the Ark was 300 "kude" [a Turkish measurement].
In 1893 an archdeacon of the Nestorian Church, Nourri, reported officially that "only the bow and the stern of the ship were accessible, while the central part was caught in the ice." The Ark was constructed of heavy beams of a dark reddish-brown color. Having measured the Ark, Nourri found that its dimensions coincided exactly with those given in the Bible. A company was formed to finance Nourri's second expedition on the condition that the Ark would be brought for exhibition at the Chicago's World Fair. These plans came to nothing, however, due to the Turkish government's refusal to permit the Ark to leave the country.
In August of 1916 a Russian aviator, Vladimir Roskovitsky, while surveying the Turkish boundary, found himself over Ararat and observed a frozen lake on the eastern section of the snow-covered summit. On the edge of this lake the frame of a large ship was visible. A section of the ship was submerged in ice, but the sides were exposed, a portion of them with holes. One of the halves of a double door was visible. When Roskovitsky informed his superiors of this discovery, the latter wanted exact confirmation of it. After a few flights over the mountain they became convinced of the presence of the aforementioned object and sent a report to Moscow and Petrograd. Emperor Nicholas II ordered that an expedition be sent. This expedition took measurements, photographed the Ark and curt off samples, all of which were sent to Petrograd. Unfortunately, the entire assembly of these invaluable documents apparently was destroyed during the Russian Revolution.
The Roskovitsky affair revived during the Second World War. The head of the Soviet camouflage services, Jasper Maskelyn, reported that one of his men flew over Ararat out of curiosity to see whether there was any substance to Roskovitsky's claims. The Soviet pilot also noticed a structure partly submerged in a frozen lake. None of this, however, kept Soviet scientists from classing the history of Noah's Ark as a myth, having nothing whatever to do with science. On July 6, 1955, the alpinist Fernand Navarra together with his eleven-year-old son Raphael located what he believes to be Noah's Ark and brought this discovery to the attention of the whole world. It took Navarra seventeen years to prepare for this expedition. The fact that Ararat is situated on the borders of three countries, Iran, Turkey, and the U.S.S.R, and that an agreement had been reached prohibiting anyone from ascending Ararat, caused great difficulties. Navarra conducted all three of his expeditions secretly, passing through the danger zone during the night. The third, successful, expedition took place as follows:
Having reached the edge of the ice-covered area during the night, according to the directions of his Armenian friend, Navarra set up camp in order to set off in the morning to scale the inaccessible cliffs which were completely covered over with ice. During the night a fierce storm broke out, accompanied by heavy frost, and Navarra and Raphael almost froze, for they were covered by a heavy layer of snow at a temperature of 30° below zero. In the morning, with God's help, as he himself related, he set out for the place which he had seen from afar during one of his first expeditions. It was not an opportune time, however, and everything was covered over with ice and snow. Nevertheless, he succeeded in locating the forbidden area and with great difficulty and risk he cut out of the ice a piece of oaken beam from the ribs of the vessel, one metre long and eight centimeters thick. There were no boards from the trimming at this spot. On the return trip Navarra was shot at and arrested by the border patrol, but was eventually released with all of his photographs and the piece of wood. Such were the circumstances surrounding this expedition.
In laboratories in Cairo and Madrid radioactive analyses of the piece of wood determined that its age was 5000 years.
Navarra's book, published in French, * is illustrated with photographs of the cutting out of the section of the ribs and the area where the Ark lies beneath the ice, as well as photographs of laboratory results, drawings, plans, etc.
Translated from Archpriest S. Lyashevsky, An Attempt at Harmonizing Contemporary Scientific Data with Biblical Accounts in the Light of Recent Excavations and Studies [translated into Serbian]
*Available in English translation: Fernand Navarra, Noah's Ark: I Touched It, Logos International, Plainsfield, N.J. 1974, 137 pp.
Remnant Rocor greets author Sbn. Konstantin Preobrazhensky on his family feast day.
In Russian, Transfiguration is "Preobrazhenie".
"Preobrazhensky" means Transfiguration. Subdeacon Konstantine's ancestors were deans of Transfiguration church in Russia centuries ago.
√ The Shepherd Magazine, St. Edwards
Excellent article by Archbishop Averky on the Dormition
√ Interesting TIME article
The Return of the Cossacks: Russia's Warrior Clan Wants Its Old Country Back
Looks like you will encounter lots of them in Odessa...
√ 1946 Photo of Bishop Leonty of Chili, with Archimandrite Vitaly (Ustinov)
About the Various Blessings of St. John
There appears to be a tendency to want to attribute it to our popular departed spiritual heroes that they support certain pet agendas. Thus, the super-correct are certain that St. Philaret is the patron of the fragments. And world orthodoxy says that Fr. Seraphim was headed towards it during his life. The new calendarists are certain that St. John accepts their calendar; and the western-riters believe that St. John has blessed their use of the western rite. The letter that follows, edited for Remnant Rocor, addresses this latter abuse in particular.
Dear Fr. S.,
Virtually all the current advocates for various western rites misuse St. John Maximovitch's specific and local original blessing for the Gallican rite experiment in France. It is presented as paramount "proof" that what they are doing today is blessed by God. But the voice of reason says, "Wait a minute! What the western rite is doing today, is just not soundly Orthodox. It is causing much confusion and division among the faithful, and on a local level, it only seems to serve the ecumenists and other enemies of our Orthodox Faith." And we, western rite critics, are depicted as somehow impious souls who resist the commands of a saint. But this is absurd.
As a long-time resident of San Francisco, and I've spoken with a number of Russian people who had been close to St. John in China, Europe, and America, who related to me many of their personal observations of many things which St. John said and did. This includes things, people and projects that he blessed when he was the ROCOR Archbishop in that city. [Also I heard of the various miraculous healings he did. And, not all of those healings are recorded in various writings about his life.]
At one time, in San Francisco, St. John blessed it that every Saturday morning Hollywood cartoon films (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc.) could be shown for the little children to enjoy at his St. Tikhon's Orphanage & Church. So, does that blessing of a saint mean that today, all over the Orthodox world, such cartoon movies are blessed to be shown to all Orthodox children? My point is that the saint's blessing for the cartoons was specific and limited and not a universal approval for Hollywood cartoons.
Once St. John gave his blessing as a penance to a man who was trying to impress the bishop with his piety. The man told him, "Vladyka, I am the worst of all sinners! I have committed ALL sins!" To which Vladyka responded, "Well then, my son, since you are that terrible of a sinner, as penance, I bless you to go out into the street, and lay down on the trolley tracks, and let the trolley run over you." The frightened man responded: "Oh no! Vladyka, I am not that bad!" (St. John hated lies, of any kind, small or big ones).
Does that specific blessing of St. John [given as a penance for the man's supposed many sins] mean that the man should then commit suicide? Or that any and all who sin that much should also commit suicide? Of course not. St. John was blessing an individual (deceitful) person with his specific command/blessing, not the whole world! And, the saint also gave his blessings for many specific purposes and to many people. He blessed, as that is what Orthodox bishops do!
There are testimonies that sometimes he later regretted some of his blessings, and then he took them back. St. John was a very real human being. Only the Good Lord makes no mistakes, as He alone is perfect. Saints are not perfect, they are just closer to God than most of us, i.e. they share/participate in God's virtues, but to a much lesser degree. They reflect God, in this world, though imperfectly, as we all are supposed to struggle to do. But we all still remain flawed human beings. Can we say that all of St. John's saintly blessings, in the long view of church history, were 100% correct, in all cases? But of course, not.
For the current western rite advocates to persist in repeating that a saint approves of what they are doing, is actually showing much disrespect for a saintly bishop, who was, after all, a real human being, who thus made some errors. We have no proof whatsoever that St. John Maximovitch ever thought that his specific blessing for experimentally using the western rite in France would be universally applied to all. He blessed a sizable number of French people, in their native country of France, (who had come to him with their appeal), to use their resurrected/doctored 'Gallican Rite' in their French language (with mostly Russian church music and Russian tones being used).
It is also recorded that, before his passing, St. John had made plans in San Francisco, for some regular English language services to be conducted at his San Francisco cathedral, as his outreach to Americans. This plan was opposed by many in the Russian community, who seemed to mainly see their 'Russian religion' as their private Russian nationalistic preserve. They saw the surrounding non-Russians, 'The Americans,' somehow as a threat. (The Kremlin and the MP later, used that chauvenistic ethno-centered Russian emigre nationalism to fool and to haul into their fishing net exactly those Russians in America, by appealing to their 'devotion and love for the Russian Motherland'.)
But St. John had trouble finding those who could conduct those English services. Those English services would have been the done in the standard Orthodox worship and ustav, not any western rite. There was no hint of him or his clergy doing any missionary outreach in his Western diocese in any other rite but the standard Orthodox Rite. He did not promote the western rite in America in general, though some claim his occasional blessing to a very few, here and there, to quietly continue to worship, in what rituals they were used to, before becoming Orthodox. Dom Augustine Whitfield in the south was perhaps one such quiet exception.]
I firmly believe that if St. John could tell us today what he thinks about all this current western rite chaotic mishmash, he would strongly condemn it and say, "That is not what I had in mind!"
Of all the main character qualities of St. John, two stick out in my mind:
1) he was firm in his devotion to solid Orthodoxy (which is why he opposed the Stalin created MP, and why he could not have gone along with that 2007 union with the MP).
2) he believed in church order at all times. This disorderly western rite three-ring circus could not have been to his liking. This current ecumenist plot, this western rite nonsense, he could not have approved.
The time ages ago, when such local ritual and worship differences were viable, is now long gone and over. Yes, perhaps back when St. John blessed it for France, then it might have been right. Now we are in the age of massive world-wide apostasy and probably the End Times. Now, we who call ourselves Orthodox Christians need to not be doing any unnecessary divisive things. We need to stand up for genuine Orthodoxy and for what is truth, holding firm to what is most unifying and most meaningful to us all, i.e., our Sacred Orthodox Worship and our Holy Orthodox Faith, unchanged and untainted.
Just my honest observations-
Rd. Daniel Everiss in the USA...from the book The Calendar Question
The difference which existed between St. Basil the Great and Macedonius as regards the issue of the Holy Spirit is the same as exists between the Russian Church in Exile and the Greek Church as regards the calendar issue. It is true, that, for missionary reasons, the Russian Church has not only practiced and continues to practice economy concerning the Western calendar, but also concerning the Western Paschalia and the Western Rite. We regret this, but let those who wish to be scandalized, be scandalized, and let those who wish to understand, understand.
If, for example, the Russian Church in Exile were to permit one of Her own Russian communities to exchange the Orthodox calendar for the Western calendar, this would certainly place Her on the same level as Archbishop Chrysostom Papadopoulos. But when She is confronted with communities who are, spiritually speaking, barbarians, Her duty is to draw them towards Christ and the Truth, even if she must condescend as regards the Western calendar and Paschalia “for a certain time.”
Let him who is of good faith note the following well:
1 Several years ago, the Dutch Orthodox Mission sought to be placed under the canonical jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Western Europe and later Archbishop of San Francisco, John of blessed memory. The mission was granted the use of the new calendar and the Western Paschalia as well as the Western rite.
2 The French Mission which already used the Gregorian calendar and the Western Rite asked that it also be permitted the use of the Western Paschalia like the Dutch. Yet the same Archbishop who granted the Western Paschalia to the Dutch refused it to the French.
3 Several years afterwards, the present Archbishop of Western Europe, the Most Reverent Anthony, deprived the Dutch of the Western Paschalia, which had formerly been permitted them.
4 The French communities under the canonical jurisdiction of the Synod (under the leadership of the most Reverend Abbot Ambrose) that is, those of Lyons and of Paris, abandoned the Gregorian calendar and adopted the Orthodox calendar.
5 Recently two Russian communities, one in Florida and the other in Pennsylvania, sought to join the Synod of Metropolitan Philaret. These communities were formerly under the so-called “Metropolia” which had permitted them to change to the Gregorian calendar. However, our Synod requested that they reject the Gregorian calendar and return to the Orthodox calendar. The communities did not accept this proposal and therefore, their request to join the Synod was also rejected.
Hence, it is evident that the Synod knows when to be lenient and when to be strict in the application of economy. Any intelligent man will understand that he finds before him a true “governing of the household” (from the Greek ecos—“ house,” nomia—“governing”), where condescension and strictness, allowance and refusal, and permission “under certain conditions” are found simultaneously. The spiritual benefit of the faithful is the purpose of every act and everywhere ascendance in spiritual matters can be seen. But in the case of the hierarchy of Greece, descendence is to be seen. It does not matter so much at what level one is found, so much as what direction he is taking.
If one were to ask the Russian Synod in the Diaspora why She permits the partial usage of the Gregorian calendar within Her jurisdiction, She would reply: “In order to save souls, I must sometimes walk according to the ‘pace of little children’ like the Patriarch Jacob” (Gen. 33:14). But if one asked the same question of Chrysostom Papadopoulos and Meletius Metaxakis, what would they answer? Was the Orthodox calendar, perhaps, a hindrance to the salvation of the faithful and, therefore, it was necessary to change it? Behold, therefore, how it is possible to take true facts and present them from a wrong and distorted angle in order to give them another interpretation, according to the method of Fr. Athanasius Gievtits.
Why I must totally reject so-called, 'Western Rite Orthodoxy'
for anyone or anywhere
IT JUST DOESN'T WORK!!!
It is now an ecumenist Trojan Horse-
To all: (and please forgive any spelling or typo errors)
I have been resisting making this collection and declaration of some of my own beliefs and impressions and of what all, I know, on this very current and very contentious subject,... i.e. so-called, 'Western Rite Orthodoxy', which is causing much confusion and arguments among Orthodox, especially precipitated by the Moscow-dependent ROCOR/MP's on-going and triumphalistic & 'missionary' excuses for their reception of many such 'Western Rite' clergy and advocates, while their Mother Church, the KGB run MP is engaged in more and more outrageous ecumenist betrayal, especially towards Rome... (the very epi-center of the real historic, 'Roman Rite', Western Rite)... with which they clearly are rapidly moving towards union, as is also EP Bartholomew.
I do not pretend to be an expert on all things Orthodox. But, for most of my 67 years, I have been a sincere Orthodox Christian layman. My only qualifications, to write down and to share these observations and opinions of mine, are that I have been a sincere Orthodox Christian since age 17, I have studied, read much and discussed with others most aspects of our ancient and complicated faith, I have personally spoken with various historical figures or those who directly knew them, and I have myself, witnessed many things, good and bad, in present day Orthodox church life. And, I am not stupid! I use the mind that the Good Lord gave me!
And, I CARE about the truth of things and what is good or harmful to our church and people, ...i.e. what works or DOES NOT WORK, pastorally, on the local level, so to speak.
Thus too, I care about genuine missionary outreach and serious efforts to bring more souls to Orthodoxy and to God. I believe in true Orthodox missionary work.
So, in as a concise manner as I can, here are some of my main thoughts on this difficult subject:
1) all Orthodox liturgical worship, began in Jerusalem, and what they did there in the first century or thereabouts, where they weekly went physically to each PLACE where Jesus had walked and suffered and died and rose, and re-enacted those sacred events, the Holy Week agenda.
This basic, Jerusalem worship, was copied and spread throughout the whole Christian world, east and west and south and north, it was UNIVERSAL.
It was mostly done in Greek or Latin, but in the later monastic movement, the Coptic language was also used in those monasteries with mixed ethnic members, etc. And gradually, it began to be performed in some local languages, east and west.
2) gradually, in each local region or nation, local differences in calendar, rituals, church disciplines and simply CUSTOMS connected to the worship or the local application of Orthodox life-principals, became... varied. Much of those differences, depended on the exact pre-Christian local pagan cultures.
3) and, gradually, east and west, there naturally developed an amalgamation/unification/simplification process - liturgically, a natural CENTRALIZATION .
In the west the Roman Rite (how things were done in the Holy City of Old Rome), gradually replaced virtually all the local 'rites', and was often FORCED upon the locals. That development occured, before 1054, but continued after the Latin Schism.
In the east, Byzantium, the Constantinopolitan Rite (what was done in the capital city and in the Emperor's St. Sophia Cathedral) gradually supplanted and replaced most local eastern diocesan rituals of worship, and became the norm for liturgical worship in the Eastern Roman Empire. But it was not 'Eastern', it was simply what was done in the Emperor's Church, and was a compendium of all the earlier Christian worship - mainly from Jerusalem, plus taking heavily from the monastic worship practices.
4) these liturgical developments, according to what our church teaches, (the same as for the doctrinal expressions and the iconography and other aspects of our faith), were guided by the Holy Spirit, BECAUSE WE ORTHODOX firmly believe that our Holy religion is a divinely revealed religion, and not man-made! And they expressed 'The Mind of The Church', and were a blessed and totally natural development. So, this amalgamation of the liturgical worship, was seen as BLESSED and not in any way, some sort of wrong or evil suppression of local or quaint folk-customs, etc., as now many advocates of the Western Rite, seem to suggest. Nor was it some 'layering' of novel additions to the Early PURE Church worship' which the mistaken later Protestants felt that THEY alone had 'recovered' [by throwing out most of the rituals and worship of centuries!]
5) also, as gradually occurred, there was a liturgical expanding of the worship, from the earliest Christian worship which was mostly a Hebraic style of worship, chanting of the Psalms, to the addition of the poetic Kontakia of St. Romanus the Sweetsinger; our Orthodox liturgical worship was always expanding and developing and was ALIVE and in movement, and centered in the monastery worship.
6) as time went on, with the great growth and wide acceptance of the Monastic Institution, what was liturgically done in famous old coenobitic monasteries, became the norm for each national Orthodox Church, which used that 'Typicon' of a particular monastery. That was what happened in the east; but in the west, I am not certain.
7) worship expresses belief/doctrine. That is very Orthodox. That is exactly why, we should fear to change our worship. This Western Rite three-ring circus, does change it. Isn't that what the ecumenist betrayers of our faith, want? I really think so.
8) then came the process of the splitting of the west away from the Universal Church, culminating in the official separation date of 1054 AD.
9) we Orthodox believe that at that event the west lost grace, and it gradually became debased and disfigured in all aspects of it's church life, including it's worship. It had fallen into many heresies, papal-supremacy among it's chief sins. It's worship reflects these heresies.
10) over the long sad centuries since that western schism, the Latin Roman-Rite, west has attacked our Orthodox people and church, by many vile and evil means: wars of invasion and occupation, destruction of Orthodox churches and holy places and holy things, and finally by their trickery of their satanic 'Unia', i.e., allowing (conquered and suppressed) Orthodox populations to keep our peculiar and strange 'Eastern Rites', and even our married priests keeping their wives, (for awhile anyway!) while being 100% submitted to their despicable Pope, 'The Vicar of Christ', and all their Romish skullduggery and power machinations, and being gradually Latinized, bit by bit, removing/changing/CORRUPTING our peculiar 'Eastern' worship (in reality, our UNIVERSAL Christian worship of the ages before the Latin Schism!) in favour of their debased pure-Roman Rite, i.e., the process of becoming 'good Roman Catholics.'
11) so, why, today, long after all that has transpired since 1054, should we Orthodox accept as somehow normal or right, this 'Western Rite' experiment - this foreign invasion of our sacred temples and worship?
In 1962, I met and spoke with Fr. Alexander Turner, the head of the Antiochean Western Rite endeavour blessed by Met. Anthony-Bashir, who gave me THE main theoretical underpinning as to 'why have a Western Rite?' in Orthodoxy:
He said: "The western mind cannot comprehend the Eastern Rituals. The Western mind needs a Western Rite!"
To me, who came from mainstream American Protestantism, I had a hard time translating his message. He clearly was referring to former Roman Catholics or high church Episcopalian converts to Orthodoxy, I suppose, who were used to the R.C. Roman rite or variations of it. But to me, a converted Protestant, who was taught from early Sunday school, that ALL connected to the hated & evil church of Rome was of the devil, and most especially their ritualistic worship. What Fr. A. Turner said was gibberish and nonsense back in 1962, and it is still nonsense NOW.
To the Protestant mind, rituals separate men from God!
And, it didn't help his arguments when I viewed his very barren iconoclastic church, a sea of pews, which was exactly like a stark and drab life-less Presbyterian church - no icons (or statues) or any religious art, and NO parishioners, and no real ALTAR EITHER. The man was a heretic!! and this was what Met. Anthony Bashir blessed to "steal" back people from the Pope, etc.(!!!) ... his deplorable, reverse-uniatism.
And, by the way, when Met. Anthony had his Western Rite priests perform their strange liturgy at his Antiochean convention for his Arab flock to see, when an Arab woman was given the communion in her mouth by 'intinction' by the fingers of the priest, she then SPAT it out onto the floor, exclaiming, 'THAT! is NOT communion!"
Most Orthodox Arabs, as with most born Orthodox, utterly reject this monstrosity called, 'The Western Rite'. And, we converts to Orthodoxy, also, by-in-large also, reject it. Former Protestants, most raised to be essentially anti-ritual anyway!, are NOT attracted to Orthodoxy because it resembles anything Catholic!!!
12) Now, I come to a big pro-Western Rite argument: that a saint, St. John Maximovitch, blessed it, so how can anything that a saint blessed, be wrong? And if anyone now speaks against any Western Rite, he is going against a saint, and thus against God Himself!!!
Folks, fellow Orthodox: ONLY GOD IS PERFECT and makes no errors!
Every saint in our church's history did and said SOME things amiss, he or she made mistakes, and also sinned, some of which had to later be condemned by church councils.
In our Orthodox Church, the phrase, 'The Mind of the Church' is a paramount reality, in determining, long-term, what is correct or in error.
I submit that the 1978 Synodal condemnation of the Western Rite did exactly not condemn St. John himself, but it DID condemn his Western Rite experiment which was a failure. Such liturgical experiments today, continue to be FAILURES, except for the enemies of our faith, who only wish to divide and destroy us. Our Orthodox Worship, which is UNIVERSAL! is one of the few realities that bind us. WHY dump it in favour of these strange exotic rituals, dug up and re-constructed according to various unbalanced peoples' whims???
And for anyone today to MISUSE a saint to provide underpinning for their unOrthodox practices, which only divide the faithful, and which give joy to our enemies, and help the pro-ecumenist cause, is in itself an abomination.
O, Our Holy St. John Maximovitch, PRAY TO GOD FOR US! and enlighten us by your holy prayers to know and to do what pleases God and not man.
SHAME on all who continue to defend this unOrthodox 'Western Rite' invasion of our Holy Church and it's Holy UNIVERSAL worship!
St. John was a great missionary, and he wanted to save souls!, and it appears that his main thrust in blessing that French Gallican church, was in response to those French people's request and appeal to him. His intentions were pure and saintly without any doubt! But, I believe that St. John mainly blessed that French experiment for FRANCE, with it's ancient history of it's own native Catholic worship and customs, etc., and that he did not expect it to be world wide.
St. John blessed some theories and past things in past centuries which today, do NOT work! He made a mistake, he was wrong in his blessing something which now, has come to be a major harm to Orthodox people, world-wide. But. St. John's antiquarian liturgical experiment, did not, and cannot have universal appeal or missionary usefulness,today in this modern utterly chaotic world situation, when we verge on total world-wide apostasy from our Apostolic Faith. It is just no good here in America, for one place. I have witnessed how much harm it does, and how much delusion it causes.
But, of course, we Orthodox accept as true saints, as did St. John, those pre-schism western saints, as those saints are OUR saints, not fallen-away Rome's!
13) just look at WHO, today, is now promoting this Western Rite (which, by the way, there is no ONE Western Rite, but as many different mishmash & fantastic rituals as there are those who in their personal whims, perform such bizarre rituals!) and just see what are their true motives, such as the KGB controlled MP in Moscow, or the EP, or whoever. Their aims are not holy and not Orthodox!
14) As a convert to Orthodoxy, I declare: NO ONE! 'needs' any other rite or worship ustav but our standard universal ORTHODOX RITE, but yes, we need our worship to be in our own native languages. And, contrary to Western Rite critics of our Orthodox worship, it DOES have many natural local variations, already, from country to country and from national ustavs, such as the chants used and customs connected to the church life, etc. We HAVE variety!!!
Our Orthodox Worship is THE universal Christian worship, of east and west and of all ages, and we DARE not adopt long disused or dead & concocted or contrived western forms of ritual or prayers of those who long ago departed from our church and have made war on us, for many many centuries now.
15) Any Orthodox who have been beguiled by 'Western Rites,' need to flee from them and the bishops & clergy who perform or who permit them, and to renounce them and just HUMBLY read and study and USE our HOLY Standard Orthodox worship, but only in their understandable native tongues.
16) for prospective converts to Orthodoxy, to come to our church's door, demanding WE change things in our HOLY religion to suit their heterodox or pagan tastes is IMPOSSIBLE!
Fellow Orthodox! I could go on and on, but I will stop here on this subject.
The so-called 'Western Rites!" are an abomination TODAY and are a Trojan Horse meant to destroy our religion, from within.
Let those who want such strange, NOW in this present day, unOrthodox rituals, stay outside our church, and be honest about it.
Because, in many cases, such people do not accept our dogmas or doctrines or our ecclesiology. They have made up their own private versions of their-personal 'Orthodoxy'.
So, how? can they be fellow-'Orthodox' believers???
Just my thoughts.....
Rd. Daniel Everiss in Oregon
"This book, compiled and published posthumously, represents one of the most important achievements in the life of the great Patristic philosopher, Fr. Seraphim Rose. It is an exhaustive collection of all the relevant material -- both from many scripts and from transcriptions of tape-recorded lectures -- that Fr. Seraphim produced on the subject of Genesis and creation over the course of nine years, up until his repose in 1982. As such, it can be used by the serious student of Patristic philosophy as a compendium that may be referred to over and over again. But it is more than a text book. Behind the posthumously gathered components of this book there lies a story: a story within the whole story of Fr. Seraphim's live and work, which was always concerned with the ultimate meaning of the beginning and end of all things..."
Here in this book the Orthodox faithful can be rescued from the temptation to think that God created evolution. It is easy to read, many chapters are short and can stand alone, like a magazine with a theme. This book doesn't just edify, it inspires by increasing faith and love for God.
The sad and dark historical facts about Rome's 'Unia'.
Isn't this current unbalanced 'Western Rite' experimentation by various Worldly-Orthodox, (such as in ROCOR/MP), also it's own form of 'reverse uniatism'-?
From my memory: Back in 1962-63, I was part of a group of St. Vladimir's Seminarians who attended the Names-Day celebration of Antiochean Met. Anthony Bashir, at his Brooklyn, New York cathedral.
Among other curious, humorous, and frank things the metropolitan said at the podium, at his banquet, he said: "Now, students...some of you may be wondering at my Western Rite-? ........ DID.... I..... complain, when the Pope....... STOLE.... some.... of MY people???"
In plain words, Met. Anthony Bashir had created and blessed his 'Western Rite', in order....to STEAL some Roman Catholics... i.e., reverse uniatism.
And, how?!... is that, either honorable or truly Orthodox?!
And of course, what was most meaningful in his words, was that his frank reason, for his Western Rite, was exactly.... to steal some Roman Catholics, not any fancy reasoning about ancient legitimate western rituals or saving souls, etc. (things that obviously were at the heart of why St. John Maximovitch gave his blessing for his French 'Gallican' experiment). With Met. Anthony Bashir .... as also with the MP's experiment with it at the same time, it was about power church -politics, pure and simple,... and expanding his earthly diocesan KINGDOM and thus his glory and prestige, i.e., using Rome's own time-tested crooked and devious methods, to attain more worldly power and prestige.
Rd. Daniel in Oregon
St. Andrew's in St. Petersburg, Florida
Please read the article below from the St. Petersburg Times (August 3,
2011). It is very sad testament to the final demise of a venerable emigre
church in St. Petersburg, Florida, built, nurtured and supported by so many
of our elderly friends and relations for over 50 years.
St. Andrew's Church has been sold for $223,000. The new owners, a couple
from New Mexico, are new-age mystics. However decent their intentions may
be, for the remaining elderly Russian community living in St. Petersburg and
totally uprooted by the events of the past years, this is the end of the
road -- a final stake through their hearts.
Congratulations are in order to those who helped make this possible.
-[name withheld pending permission]
of the Fifth Ecumenical Council in the year 553
... the Fifth Ecumenical Council, which is also commemorated today. Note especially how seemingly trivial differences in wording can lead to extraordinarily great differences in practical belief. The premiere example of this (in Greek) pertains not to this council, but to the first: is Our Lord Jesus homo-ousios (of the same nature) or homoi-ousios (of similar nature) with the Father? The added letter is, in fact, the tiniest in the Greek alphabet -- truly a "jot". In the former lies Truth; in the latter the most abject of heresies. We live in a world which wants (particularly in matters of faith) to gloss over such differences as "just political" or "just a misunderstanding" or "not really meaning anything". The fathers knew better -- and so had we! In fact, in this very issue celebrated in this council lies the heart of a major issue on our Church world today. "World Orthodoxy" wants to pretend that this council (and its predecessor) were in error, or misunderstood, or made a mountain out of a molehill -- and therefore they can simply disregard them and blithely enter, directly or obliquely, into communion with the monophysite heretics (the so-called "Coptic Orthodox" and their Syrian counterparts). The councils clearly condemn such disregard, and condemn to deposition and excommunication those who so behave -- or remain in communion with others who do so. This is one of the major reasons for which our Church, under the leadership of St. Philaret, many decades ago withdrew from communion with the churches of Constantinople, Antioch, Greece and Alexandria. At that time, this was not an issue with the Moscow Patriarchate -- but it is now. Stand Fast in the Truth!...
Fr. Gregory †
on her deathbed
From: St. Edward's
Subject: Mother Pelagia
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 19:16:03 +0100
Dearly Beloved Brethren!
We heard today from the sisters in the Lesna Convent in Normandy, that Mother Pelagia is now beginning to fail. She is very weak, does not eat and drink any more. She is receiving Holy Communion now every day. Please remember her in your prayers as she nears her end.
With love in Christ Jesus,
See previous post
After its union with the MP, the ROCOR-MP started sponsoring
a revival of Western Rite missions, which once flourished in ROCOR
(and with the participation of no less a luminary than St. John of
San Francisco), but ultimately failed.
A decision in 1978 of the Hierarchs of the ROCOR, by synodal decree,
disallows the use of the Western Rite, partly on the basis
of its negative experience therewith.