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


Happy Halloween

see this:
Harry Potter infects the Church

The Harry Potter Phenomenon
infects the Church: see here: 
see page 14

How to Spot a Communist

He May Be a Communist [3 mins.]

Also see:
Are you a commie or a citizen? [10 mins.]

How can anyone Orthodox defend Halloween?

See this website:

This website might be called "Orthodoxized Protestant" – but it is doing a
better job than johnsanidopoulos in the halloween department:

This is the saddest of all: some members of our Sister Church defend Harry Potter:
see page 14
author John Granger, is in the SIR – he lives in Washington state.

RocorMP [still] against Halloween:

Bishop Gregory Visits Odessa

Bishop Gregory and his son from South America and Fr. Vsevolod from New York visit St. John's convent

October 14/27, 2012, the ringing of bells, the gates of the holy monastery of St. John of Shanghai (Odessa region, p. Egorovka) included distinguished guests: Bishop Gregory of Sao Paulo, Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow and Archpriest Vladimir (son of Bishop Gregory). 

Hurricane Sandy

Comments on the Hurricane connections to Halloween.

Illarion Marr:
**Hurricane 'Sandy'-just like last year 2nd time around-God's wrath/warning on Halloween

Fr. Gregory of SJKP:
 Actually, more than 2nd time around -- the infamous "Perfect Storm" was also a  halloween storm.  And of course, where we all should be Wed. evening is in whatever way possible keeping the feast of St. John of Kronstadt.

This is the full original version [some internet versions are abbreviated]

I think it was in the 2000 Farmer's Almanac there had been a survey to see what Americans thought of the idea of moving halloween to the Saturday nearest the 31st.  There was a huge uproar protest by witches and satanists, so the Almanac dropped the idea.  Letters to the Editor included from witches words like these: Don't you dare mess with our special day!  All the forces and powers of nature are with us on THAT sacred night

Axios! Axios! Axios!


Bishop Joseph ordained Deacon Andrew (Frick) into the priesthood during the Liturgy 
at the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church (Fairfax, Virginia) 
Sunday, October 28.
May God grant Father Andrew many years as he toils in God's vineyard!

Putin's Police Torture Prisoner to Death

Putin's Russia: 
Video Shows 'Stalinist' Police Torturing Prisoner to Death

Pavel Drozdov was allegedly tortured to death in police custody (investigation.ru)

Orthodox priest kidnapped found dead

ASIA/SYRIA - The Orthodox priest kidnapped in Damascus found dead

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The body of the Greek-Orthodox priest Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of the church of St. Elias in Qatana, was found today in the Jaramana neighborhood (north of Damascus) not far from the place where he was kidnapped, on October 19, by unidentified armed group (see Fides 24/10/2012). This was confirmed to Fides by Fr. Haddad’s Greek-Orthodox confrere, who asked for anonymity. "His body was horribly tortured and his eyes gouged out," he told Fides. "It is a purely terrorist act. Fr. Haddad is a martyr of our church. "
    With regards to the responsibilities of the terrible act there is an ongoing rebound of responsibilities between the opposition forces and government authorities, that accuse the armed gangs of armed rebellion in the army. According to Fides sources, the kidnappers had asked the priest’s family and his church a ransom of 50 million Syrian pounds (over 550 thousand euro). It was, however, impossible to find the money and meet this exorbitant demand. A source of Fides condemns "the terrible practice, present for months in this dirty war, of kidnapping and then killing innocent civilians."
    Among the various Christian communities in Syria, the Greek-Orthodox is the largest (with about 500 thousand faithful) and is concentrated mainly in the western part of the country and in Damascus. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/10/2012)

Memory Eternal

Handmaid of God Nina

Nina Petrovna Lapina, a long-time parishioner of the Holy Trinity R.O. Church, and former member of our Sisterhood, passed away on October 22, 2012, after a brief illness.  Nina was the younger sister of Margarita Suwalow and sister-in-law of our former starosta Arthur Suwalow.  She is survived by her brother, Peter Lapin, her nieces Tamara and Marina, her nephew Gregory, and her great nieces Yekaterina, Yuliya, and Dariya.  She spent the last ten years living at Tolstoy Farm in Valley Cottage, where she was a devoted parishioner of St. Sergius of Radonezh R.O. Church.  Nina supported the parochial Russian School at Tolstoy (St. Sergius Learning Assembly), and spent her time going to the Tolstoy Nursing home and helping those less fortunate than she.  She was a beloved aunt and great aunt.  God grant her eternal rest.

May our newly departed sister, NINA LAPIN, rest with the saints!
"I was sick, and ye came unto me!" 

Interview with an Iconographer

Interview with iconographer Archimandrite Zenon of Pskov Monastery the Caves
First published in the Fall 1990 issue of the Literary Studies magazine


Question: Few of us are able to explain even if to ourselves the difference between the icon and a religious painting.
 Answer: With the icon the Church bears witness to the incarnation of God.  Consequently, the iconographer is a witness.  Therefore, the closer he is to the realm he is to bear witness to, the more convincing his icons are for those who are going to pray before them.  As a comparison: whose account of a trip, let’s say, to Italy will be more expressive and convincing for you: of a person who actually traveled to Italy or of someone who simply read a book about the country?  It would be even better if you could see the country with your own eyes!
    Leonid Uspensky put it very well: “Icon is an image of a person in whom there tangibly abides the passion-burning and all-illumining grace of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, such a person’s flesh is portrayed essentially different from the usual, corrupt human flesh”.  Looking at the icon, at the image of the saint transfigured by grace, we see the very likeness of God, God’s revelation of Himself to mankind, “revelation and perception of the mystical, of the hidden”.  
    In Christianity, the central prototypes are the image of Christ, Who came down from heaven as a Man for our redemption, and the image of His Mother.  The Church teaches both by word and by image, this is why the icon is called a teacher.  Prince E.N. Trubetskoy gave a beautiful definition of the icon – contemplation in color.

Question: Ancient iconographer was, as a rule, a hesychast.  What does it mean?
Answer: Translated from Greek, hesychia is silence which is acquired through the work of the heart, that is, through prayer. Hesychia is gathering of oneself both spiritually and physically for the sake of overcoming one’s egotistic tendencies, for denial of everything sensual, and entering the realm of ontological realities unknown to the secular artist.  This is why the Church has always understood the icon as prayer.  And consequently, the icons were written after prayer and fasting.

Question: What happens if a secular artist wants to become a Christian?
Answer: The Church has always demanded from the actor (here the term is used in a broader sense) who desires to be baptized to abandon his trade, because Christianity is incompatible with acting…
    In art, one’s soul is driven by diverse desires which lead the person away from God.  Holy Hierarch Ignatii Brianchaninov warned people about the dangers of fantasizing, of relying on imagination which can create images that appear real and attractive, when in reality all those images are merely “disorderly feelings of the heart unpurified of passions”.  Here, the artist fails to tell idols from God, he gets used to wearing masks, to reincarnations, he loses his own face and begins to create for the glory of demons.  Therefore, let me repeat it, one cannot be a Christian and remain an actor.  Indeed, it is impossible to gaze with one eye to heaven and with another to earth!  Christ teaches us that it is impossible to serve two masters.  
let me repeat: one cannot be a Christian and remain an actor
    In this sense, Nikolai Gogol’s life is remarkable. He used to say that God is our goal and that for him it would be incredibly hard to walk along the path leading to this goal.  Elder Makarii of Optina, whom Gogol visited for spiritual guidance, noted that Gogol would have to work on himself a great deal.  The further one enters the sphere of secular art, the more spiritual powers and humility he will need to immerge from it.  Some could not endure the war with their passions and have perished both spiritually and bodily, whereas others need a year after year of sobering up is a skete, in a monastery.  The mask acquired in the world cannot be simply taken off, rather it is washed off with tears, says Saint Gregory Palamas.  “Work for the Lord in fear and rejoice in Him with trembling” (Ps. 2:11).
the human race eventually is going to produce from within itself an ultimately sinful being – Antichrist.  In our art and culture this process of decomposition is accelerating
    History provides us with quite a few examples when a decline in art began once the religious and moral foundations of the nation had subsided.   What moral heights are there in paganism?  On the contrary, various pagan cults promote vices and infect people with “intoxicated staggering of madness”.  Christ knew that man cannot be vivified by bread alone.  Besides, if the spiritual life is absent the man falls into depression, loses his mind; he either kills himself or rushes headlong into pagan fantasies,” wrote Dostoyevsky, for he knew that the Lord puts everything where it belongs.  From the Holy Scripture we know that the human race, as it continues to decompose morally, eventually is going to produce from within itself an ultimately sinful being – Antichrist.  In our art and culture this process of decomposition is accelerating.  Let us not deceive ourselves thinking that the things will correct themselves on their own.  They won’t.  “Do not deceive yourselves”, warns us Holy Apostle Paul, “bad societies corrupt good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33).
     Reading the Gospels I am always amazed how our educated people, even whose among them who do have faith, when they read the Scripture do not see and do not hear that the very first work spoken by Christ is true!
the answer to Pontius Pilate’s question “What is truth?” is not “what”, but “Who”
   Therefore the answer to Pontius Pilate’s question “What is truth?” is not “what”, but “Who” – Jesus Christ, the Living God, and not some cultural, humanistic teachings based on ‘human rights’.  Obviously, you can feel it in your heart.  Having already entered the Church, I unsuccessfully tried to know God rationally, whereas there is only one instrument for knowing God and that is our heart.
    There is no other source of true life but God.  Those who have forgotten about this expose themselves to mortal danger.  The same is true for whole nations.  If we all turn away from God, then, in the full sense of the word, we are no longer a nation.  Yes, it might be hard to admit it, however, self-deception is equally sinful.  We are harvesting now what we planted a long time ago.  Indifference to Orthodoxy and to the truth has been shamelessly instilled in our heads.  Now we find ourselves in a strange state of neo-paganism.
    How can we raise ourselves from the current fallen state?  It is possible only if we immerse ourselves deeper into the life of the Church.  Outside the Church, there can be no true repentance, no true virtues.  Blessed Augustine said: “Virtues of the godless people is magnificent evil.”  Repentance is a restoration, or affirmation, of our spiritual wholesomeness.  And now we should be concerned not so much with freedom, but rather with truth, because only truth makes people free.
   With rare exceptions, contemporary art finds itself without Christian principles which enable us to lead a truly fulfilling and fruitful life.  We know the saints who had led lives of vice.  Venerable Moses the Ethiopian, for instance, had been a thief and a murderer, but then, having repented, he reached such heights of perfection that many would come to him for spiritual instructions.
   We just have to know that the Church has never forced anyone to join her.  We make our choice freely.  However, for everyone who desires to grow spiritually there arises a question of the measure.  We all enter the Church differently.  Nevertheless, all of us must continually ascend from strength to strength, for stopping during the ascent we inevitable fall.
   We are not expected to live mindlessly.  One and the same deed can be either good or evil depending on the intention which inspired it.
   We have to prayerfully ask of God that what we really need.  When we rely on our own strength we leave no place for God in our souls; and by ourselves, no matter how hard we try, we can accomplish nothing good: for immediately there comes bitter envy and grumbling from which precedes “Disorder and all sorts of evil” (James 3:14, 16).  Only when we truly understand that we are nothing without the Lord only then there begins the sincere repentance of true prayer.
   There is another thing we must remember – it is about goals we place before ourselves in our spiritual life.  Often, having reached a goal we think: that’s it, we’ve done it (for example, we’ve made it to the monastery, or talked to a monk).  However it is clear that all those minor goals are but steps leading to another and greater goal which is a correct, true Christian life and righteousness.  Unfortunately we live without trying to perceive what is going on with us.  Now, for example, people talk a lot about the latter times.  Here and there people rather carelessly quote the Book of Revelation.  Or someone reads the Lord’s Prayer everyday: “Our Father… Thy Kingdom come”, where he is praying for the end of the world and for the coming of the Kingdom, and yet he is scared of it.  However, if your life follows the commandments, the coming of Christ is always desirable.  Let us remember that the Apostles were convinced that they would live to see the Second Coming of Christ.  “The Second Coming”, which in many aspects “is greater than the first coming” (Saint Cyril of Jerusalem), was desirable for them already for the reason that they lived in the realm of eternity, being ready to stand at the righteous judgment at any moment of their earthly life (John 5:30), for they had good conscience (Heb. 13:18).

Question: Contemporary artists quite freely use the imagery of the Apocalypse.  How does the Orthodox Church view the contemporary ‘prophecies’ concerning the end of the world?
Answer: According to the mind of the Holy Fathers, even if the world is to exist for another thousand years, anyway even such a long period is nothing but the last times, since there will be no other Testament between God and man.  The eschatological idea was a driving force in the Early Church.  The eschatological elements were always present in the public consciousness.  The Last Judgment has begun since the words of the Good News resounded for the first time (Venerable Symeon the New Theologian).
   For those who live by the commandments of Christ there is nothing to fear, for the glory of God is going to come in power.  Christ’s first coming was hidden, humble; the Second Coming will be glorious, it will be open and obvious for everyone, and everyone will see right away whether he can take part in this new life, the life which has already entered the world secretly through the Church.  And as much as we are partakers of this new life already here on earth, so much we are going to partake of the life in the age to come, in the Kingdom of God which is going to dawn on earth, on earth renewed and transfigured by the Spirit of God.

Man turned into a parasite believing that everything is given to him as a due reward
    The Holy Scripture tells us that the world was created as a magnificent temple and the Lord appointed man as its king and priest.  The man received the world as a gift from God, for him to keep it, and to cultivate it, and to finally give it back to God as thanksgiving, as an unceasing sacrifice.  But man fell away from this calling, began to view the world egoistically, that is he turned into a parasite believing that everything is given to him as a due reward. Christ has restored the human nature and all creation to the state intended for it by the Creator.
   Every Christian becomes a participant in God’s Divine flesh of Christ through the Mystery of Holy Communion – Eucharist.  First Christians came together for the celebration of the Eucharist every Sunday, but they received communion every day.  What’s the meaning of this?  The priest is praying for the Holy Spirit to come upon all the participants of the Divine Liturgy, as well as upon the bread and the wine which symbolize life.  In communion we communicate with the Source of life, and we restore ourselves to the image we had fallen away from.
    Unfortunately, we have lost sensitivity for the Liturgy as for the only opportunity for the restoration, for recovery from the fallen state.  During the Proskomedia (preparation for the Mystery), we behold a “great mystery: God among His people and God among gods who are deified by the grace of the True God, Who became incarnate for our sake.  Here is the future Kingdom and revelation of Life Eternal”  (Saint Symeon of Thessaloniki).
the Orthodox icon points to the end times, it is always eschatological
    Let me remind you that the Orthodox icon points to the end times, it is always eschatological.  The icon is centered on the deified person.  Whoever prays before the icon lifts his heart into the Light of Transfiguration.
Archimandrite Zenon

 Question: How are we to understand that beauty will save the world?  Today all kinds of godless events (beauty contests, shameless nudity, etc.) are being justified by this quote.
Answer: I am sure when Dostoyevsky wrote about salvation of the world by beauty, he had in mind Beauty as one of the Names of God, or as likeness of God.  Beauty, as it is understood in the world, is an abstract concept which can cover virtually anything: someone finds one thing beautiful, another person sees beauty in something else.
    When talking about iconography it must be noted that our historical chronicles are full not only of the state and government related events, but they also mention constructions of churches, creation, translation and even renovation of icons (when an old, darkened image, through the Divine intervention, all of a sudden becomes light and radiant, therefore we say that the icon has renewed itself, whereas in reality it is God Who manifests Himself to His creation in such a manner).  Tsar Aleksei Mihailovich had in his Icon Hall 8,200 new icons and 600 old ones.  In the Kremlin temple of Annunciation there were 3,000 icons. Every peasant family, even the poorest, had an icon in the ‘red corner’ (icon corner).  Some houses had a special room with its walls covered with icons. An icon was also placed above the front door of the house. Besides, icons were mounted on the short poles on the crossroads and along the highways.  There were many iconographers, too.  For instance, the large village of Paleh and vicinity had over 400 iconographers, Holui – 500, Mstera – 800.  Only from that region alone up to half a million icons were sent to markets every winter.
   We must remember that prayer before the icon is a prayer of the heart.  A 15th century instruction for iconographers commanded: “Expel from your heart all earthly thoughts, and malice, and wrath, and rage, and hatred, and desires of the flesh; direct your eyes to tears and your whole being – to heaven”.
   The goal of a truly churched person is to acquire everything the Church has passes on to us.  The Church has always called people to herself, never coerced anyone.  The question is whether we heed her call or not.
   Every person ought to be creative, but we have forgotten about it. There is a codex of instructions on spiritual life, called Philokalia, which means Love of Beauty, or of Goodness. Both words ‘love’ and ‘goodness’ are definitions of God.  Therefore love for beauty is love for God.  The spiritual labor, purification of oneself, preparation for becoming a temple of God, a temple of the Holy Spirit – is the Art of arts and Science of sciences.  This gift of creativity distinguishes us from all other created beings.  In this sense, we are higher than angels, because all spheres of knowledge and all skills are given to us…
   Artists create, but good artists have always understood that the only true Artist, true Creator is God.  The best artists, in the measure of their God-given talent, strive to imitate God.  Therefore, they are free from haughtiness and self-exaltation.
   No art propels us heaven-ward as iconography does.  In the hierarchy of the Christian worldview, man occupies the primary position, he is the center of the creation.  Iconographer portrays the world in the state which is communicated to him by the holiness of the portrayed person.
   We have to understand that the path to ascesis (spiritual discipline of becoming Christ-like), the path of comprehension of and participation in the Church history is long and demanding.  When the world is trying to explain Christianity, even to explain it to itself, it follows the well-trodden path of profanation of holiness, of the depths of the Orthodox theology.  This profanation is evident everywhere around us.  We are yet to learn to connect the symbolism of culture with the symbolism of Christianity. George Fedotov said: “While the people are not ready for the liturgical wine, they should settle for water”.
online source:
RocorMP Church bulletin 2007, St. Nicholas, Hobart, Indiana

Minutes of Synod of ROCA (Odessa) Bishops Session

Minutes of a Session of the Synod of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Synod Office
1 Mikhaylovskaya Square, Odessa
(10\23 –11\24 October 2012)

Minutes Day I


The session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad took place on October 10\23, 2012, in the Synod Office in Odessa.

Attendees:  the Most Reverend Agafangel, Metropolitan of Eastern-America and New York, Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverend Sofroniy, Archbishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia; the Right Reverend Georgiy, Archbishop of Kishinev and Moldova and Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverend Afanasiy, Bishop ofVologodsk and Velikoustyuzhsk; and the Right Reverend Gregory, Bishop of Sao Paulo and Southern America and Deputy Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops

The session of the Synod began at 10:50 AM with the prayer “O Heavenly King…”

The Chairman read the agenda.
Resolved: To approve the following agenda:

1.      A report from the Synod Chairman.
2.      Reports from all attending bishops.
3.      Fund gathering for the Synod Residence.
4.      The proposed publishing of a Service Book.
5.      Mass media outlets for the ROCA.
6.      Organizing events in our Church.
7.      Discussion on sergianism.
8.      Other.

1.      Discussed: The report of the Synod Chairman.
The Chairman reports the overall condition of the Church since the last session of the Synod is
stable and normal.  A certain kind of lull has emerged.  No one from the other jurisdictions has joined us, but by the grace of God, there have not been any significant problems.  There have been several requests to join our jurisdiction.  The Chairman explains his idea of how individuals from other jurisdictions can be brought into our Church; it would be preferable if priests would be accepted with their flocks.  The parish members should draft their request to join the Church Abroad at a parish meeting and that the priest should be designated as their rector.  Priests without flocks have approached us, but it is difficult to find a place for them to serve.  The Chairman discusses the current state of affairs in the Holy Land.  In Odessa, the diocesan church center is still being built, but not as quickly as desired.  All is well in the diocese.  There is no extraordinary harassment of our churches in Ukraine, other than in Malin where representatives of the MP along with local officials are trying to seize our church without any legal basis.  Lately in the Ukraine, the governmental bodies now consider the MP’s charter when considering whether a church can make any changes or join a different jurisdiction and require the approval of the ruling bishop.  The illegality of this is apparent, but in practice it is difficult to fight such violations of the law.  One can only rely on rulings by international courts.  The Chairman reports on our priests in Udmurtia and the difficulties they face in trying to organize a meeting in Moscow of the ROCA parishes.  The MP continues to hamper the ruling of the French court in Cannes and refuses to vacate the church which was previously illegally seized.  As a compromise, the local court official has proposed to take turns serving in the church.  The Chairman will visit France in December to personally look into the matter.  New antimens need to be consecrated.  The bishops discuss the various details of the appearance and composition of the antimens.    Regarding the re-registration of groups in Kazakhstan, the bishops discuss how the Apostille should read.
Resolved:  To accept the Chairman’s report.

2.      Discussed: Reports from the attending bishops.

Archbishop Sofroniy reports all is well in his diocese.  Unfortunately, Hegumen Iov of the Theophany Monastery left and joined an uncanonical jurisdiction.  On the other hand, things are going quite well at the parish in the village of Dudachkino, where Archbishop Sofroniy served on Protection.  There were almost 200 communicants and more faithful keep attending.  There are services every day whenever possible, but they still face legal problems with the local authorities.  A new building intended only for the monks is being built at the monastery.  It will be across the road from the other structures.  Archbishop Sofroniy visits his parishes as often as he can.
The Chairman asks about a moleben by Fr. Aleksandr Smirnov in St. Petersburg which was held in Russian with political overtones.  He offers his opinion that such matters should be avoided and should not be publicized on the Internet.
Resolved: To accept Archbishop Sofroniy’s report.

Archbishop Georgiy reports the church to be used in the winter has been consecrated and construction at the Resurrection monastery in his diocese has almost been completed.  He reports services at the monastery are well-attended.  Similar progress is being made in Kishinev, where as a result of the bishop’s efforts, a religious group of 16 members has been formed.  Other parishes are also being planned.  All is well in his diocese.
Resolved: To accept Archbishop Georgiy’s report.

Bishop Gregory reports all is well in South America.  He discusses the court case involving the church in Argentina where Archpriest Vladimir Shlenev is the rector.  Having lost the initial court case, it is now under appeal and the process continues.  Bishop Gregory also discusses the proposed ordination of a Serb, Stefan Ivanovic, in Argentina.
Continuing, Bishop Gregory says clergy from uncanonical jurisdictions as well as the so-called “World Orthodoxy” have asked to be accepted.  A discussion follows and the bishops affirm the traditional ROCA practice of accepting clergy in their current rank, but only after repenting.
Bishop Gregory discusses the youth in his diocese.  They have enough to be altar attendants, but not enough for choirs.  Archpriest Vladimir Petrenko provides instruction in singing and reading at the kliros for the younger generation.  A youth conference is planned for November 15 and almost 70 individuals have already registered.  Unfortunately, Archpriest Vladimir Shlenev cannot attend due to his health.  Preparations are being made for the ordination of Deacons Eugene and John into the priesthood.
The Chairman stresses the need for finding someone to help Archpriest Vladimir Shlenev, since he serves several parishes as well as some in Uruguay. 
Bishop Gregory provides information and his opinion on the matter.  Most importantly, the faithful need to continue to be served by clergy.
Resolved:  To accept Bishop Gregory’s report.

Bishop Afanasiy reports on his diocese.  The church at the convent in Vologda is still being built.  The
parish of the Church of Holy Great Martyr St. George the Victory-Bearer in the area near the border of the Vologodsk and Kostroma oblasts along with their rector who has been a priest in the MP for 35 years have joined us.  In general, there are more faithful in the diocese, they need priests.  They would like them, whenever possible, to come from their own ranks first.  A deacon has been ordained and another one is planned, but it takes time.  All is well in general.
Resolved:  To accept Bishop Afanasiy’s report.

            14:15 – Lunch
            The session resumed at 15:40. 

3.       The Chairman reports he is happy that funds for the Synod residence continue to come in, though
not as quickly as would be hoped.  A new development is a group in Brooklyn which was created with the blessing of the Chairman and named after the Myrrh Bearers.  They will also gather funds for the Residence, which will also include a chapel.  This will provide a church for our faithful in Brooklyn.  At a joint session of the Eastern-American & New York and Syracuse & Nikolskiy dioceses, it was decided that every parish in both dioceses will donate $100 to the Residence Fund every month.  This decision should be replicated everywhere else.  The listing of the donations is available on the Synod website.

4.      Discussed:  The Chairman discusses the publishing of a Service Book.
The bishops discuss various parts of the Service Book, for example the joint prayers of the priest and
deacon at the beginning of the liturgy, the prayers read during the Cherubic Hymn and the opening of the Royal Gates, the blessing of the Holy Gifts and various aspects of hierarchical services.
Resolved:  To continue working on the Service Book and discuss it further at the next Synod session.

5.       Discussed: The Chairman discusses media outlets for the ROCA.
The Chairman states that efforts to publicize the persecution of our parish in Malin revealed that we do
not have access to media sources.  Our print materials and Internet sites are not read by many and trying to get our information released in mass media is not welcomed or even understood.  We have a Synod website, but it does not have enough information.  All the ruling bishops should make an effort to pass along information on life and events in their dioceses; photos, video, anything small or large, but on a routine basis.  To overcome this information block, the Chairman considered it necessary to create another website “Internet-Sobor” with a broader range of information.  It is important to attract as many people as possible to help with this effort in order to have new and fresh information.  If possible it would help to employ someone to constantly maintain the site.  As regards a seminary in North America, the Chairman suggests giving Mother Agapia a blessing to develop such a project to be based at the St. Nicholas Convent.  For example, it may be possible to hold seminary courses at the convent twice a year.
            Resolved:  To ask the ruling bishops to develop websites for their dioceses.  To help develop the general website “Internet-Sobor” and regularly publish news items, sermons, photos and videos.

6.      Discussed: Organizing events in our Church. 
By the grace of God, youth summer camps are held in Russia (the Izhevsk priests had almost 200
people, the Vologodsk diocese had around 40),  a youth conference is planned in South America, Mother Agapia has various events at her convent, there are choral conferences in the Odessa diocese as well as theological conferences.  It is critical to continue to hold such events and others as well to broaden our community.  Unfortunately, there are few people who can lead such initiatives.
            Archbishop Sofroniy suggests encouraging such people by issuing special gramotas by the Synod.
            The bishops discuss the topic and how gramotas can be prepared.

The first day of the session concluded at 18:05 with the prayer “It is Truly Meet…”

Minutes Day II


Second day of the session, October 11\24, 2012.

The session of the Synod began at 11:05 AM with the prayer “O Heavenly King…”

The minutes of the previous day are reviewed and corrected as needed.

7.      Discussion on sergianism.
The Chairman presents the text of the anathema to the attending bishops:
“To those that call the godless authority of antichrist blessed rather than a trial alllowed by God, to those
that subjugated the Holy Church to that authority in order to preserve an external structure, to those that scorned God's commandments, the holy canons, patristic tradition and the sobornost of the Church, to those that denied the Holy martyrs and confessors of Christ and blasphemed their holy struggle and gave them over to their tormentors, to those that justify this mentality and these actions, akin to those of Judas, as a "special wisdom" for the sake of the "salvation of the Church"; to give in to the temptation prepared by the Antichrist to revere the leaders as being sent from God, to the sergianists, the new renovationists—Anathema.”
Since varying opinions have emerged in the Church on the subject, the Chairman proposes allowing
each ruling bishop to decide whether to include or not include the anathema in the Triumph of Orthodoxy service in their diocese.
            Bishop Gregory believes it would be better if the practice would be uniform.
            The Chairman offers that uniformity would be expressed by the Synod approving the text.
            Archbishop Sofroniy believes such a decision is beyond the authority of this Synod.  It can discuss the text, but not approve it and cannot decide conclusively whether to implement it or not.
Bishop Afanasiy reads a section of Met. Philaret’s letter to Fr. Victor Potapov where he wrote, “the Soviet false-Church was anathematized twice; first by Patriarch Tikhon and then by the Catacomb Church.
Archbishop Georgiy has discussed the matter with his priests.  They do not oppose the approval of this
Anathema, but more importantly, they desire to preserve the practice of accepting MP clergy in their current rank after repenting.
            After a lengthy discussion,
Resolved:  To accept the text of the Anathema against sergianism as the accepted version until it is approved by the Council of Bishops.  To allow each ruling bishop to decide whether to include or not include the anathema in the Triumph of Orthodoxy service.  A final decision will be made at the next Council of Bishops.

8.      Other.
The Chairman presents the information provided by Bishop Nikon.  A former cleric in his diocese, Fr.
Sergey Chulkov, was accepted by the RTOC only after being ordained again.
            Resolved:  That the re-ordination of Fr. Sergey Chulkov by the RTOC is an indication of the danger of the jurisdiction led by Archbishop Tikhon (Pasechnik) truly becoming a sect and thinking like one.  For the RTOC episcopate to justify this by saying we did not recognize Bishop Akakios’ ordination for the Serbian TOC is baseless, as we have accepted clergy from the RTOC all along in their current rank after repenting.

At the request of the Chairman, Archbishop Sofroniy reads three letters received by the Synod and the Metropolitan asking to bar a parishioner of the Moscow parish from communion.  The letters were from the parishioner himself V. K. Demin, from ROCA parishioners in Samara and from parishioners of the Moscow parish.
After discussing the matter, the bishops agree this cannot be decided by the Synod, but by the ruling bishop and the diocesan spiritual court.
The Chairman does ask the Synod to allow the Theological Committee to review arguments and opinions presented by V.K. Demin.  Until the Committee makes a final determination and the Synod makes their decision, the Chairman will allow Demin’s spiritual father to decide for now if he can or cannot take communion.
Resolved:  To accept the Chairman’s decision on the matter.  Since similar views are held by other members of the Church, allow the Theological Committee to look into the matter.

The Chairman adds that while in Canada and after discussing the matter with other members of the Synod, it was decided to elevate Fr. Georgiy Sachewskiy to archpriest.  He asks that this decision be approved.
Resolved:  To approve the elevation of Fr. Georgiy Sachewskiy to archpriest. 
Archbishop Georgiy submits requests to
-          award Hieromonk Nikolay (Zavyalov) a gold cross
-          award Hieromonk Damian (Vosian) a gold cross
Resolved: To award
-          Hieromonk Nikolay (Zavyalov) a gold cross
-          Hieromonk Damian (Vosian) a gold cross

The Chairman presented the financial report.
Resolved: To accept the financial report.

Discussed when and where to hold the next session of the Synod of Bishops.
Resolved: To hold the next session of the ROCA Synod of Bishops at the Synod Office in Odessa on May 15\28 – 17\30, 2013.

 The session concluded at 14:05 with the prayer “It is Truly Meet…”

Chairman of the Synod of Bishops:
+ Metropolitan Agafangel
            Members of the Synod of Bishops:
            + Archbishop Sofroniy
            + Archbishop Georgiy
+ Bishop Afanasiy
+ Bishop Gregory
Translation kindly provided by Dimitry Gontscharow

Rocor parish in Nazareth

In the sidebar click on Orthodox-News livejournal translated which is under NEWS FROM INSIDE and go to post dated october 25th, 19:14

Jose Muñoz Memorial

Don't miss this
Reader Daniel sharing

The memorial evening
INSPIRING!-"Oct. 8/31, 2012 15th. Anniversary Memorial Evening, of the Martyrdom of Jose Muñoz, the Keeper of the Myrhh-streaming Icon

And, notice of the Memorial Evening in the honour of Jose Muñoz and the icons 1993 visit, which was a great inspiration to the pious Bulgarian faithful, with Bp. Foti and his Synod. 


√  "His Holiness" Kirill denies the marriage of Church & State
Reminds us of 50 years ago when MP denied persecuting Christians

New Website

Internet Sobor


Machine English:

The link has been added to the sidebar of this blog:

Internet Sobor
Official ROCA News english version
Official ROCA News translated
Synod Website english version
Synod Website translated
Orthodox-News livejournal translated

Photos of Progress in Barnaul

Reader Daniel Sharing

-Barnaul, Siberia- progress
Progress report with photos- (can be easily machine translated)-

Our brave fellow believers in Barnaul, Siberia.

May God protect and prosper them! Mnogaya Leta!
Many Years!

 under: 20.10.12 " Reconstruction of Ascension Church in Barnaul

 Bishop of Voronezh and Southern Russia Kirill took part in the celebrations in Greece, to the celebration of the Protection of the Holy Virgin as well as the feast day of the monastery in honor of the martyr Cyprian and martyr. Justin (Synod of Metropolitan Cyprian). Read more here

Sts. Sergius & Bacchus

Holy Martyrs 
October 7/20

Because of their unity in love for Christ, Sts. Sergius & Bacchus were granted to suffer martyrdom together.  As one part of their humiliation during their tortures they were dressed in women's clothes.

After singing hymns to these venerable martyrs I did a Google search to see if I could learn more about their lives.  Guess what I found?  

Homo perverts commit sickening disgusting blasphemy
Pervert homos are abusing Sts. Sergius & Bacchus as propaganda for their 'sodomite movement'!  Gross!  Would they abuse Sts. Peter & Paul, too!

One commentator wrote: ... Any one that uses them to prove that homosexuality is fine in the Churches eyes should be Excommunicated  ...  the Orthodox Church of Finland should be cut off like an infected limb...

Pervert homo-ism is infecting the world orthodox churches.  Maybe Sts. Sergius & Bacchus can be special intercessors to prevent the homo abomination from threatening our Royal Path Churches.

from the Stichera on the Praises:
Bound not by love of nature, but by faith, 
like David, the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus cried out:  
"Behold now, what is so good or so joyous 
as for brethren to dwell together in unity?"  
Wherefore the holy ones trampled upon the enemy, 
and, taking up the cross, they followed Christ; 
and they beseech our King and God 
to grant great mercy to our souls.

Sts. Sergius & Bacchus, pray for us!

The icons in this post came from this superb online collection, worth visiting:

Vote against Monsanto

from Joanna's notepad

Monsanto is an evil company and a serious threat to the well-being of humans on all levels and all forms of life on earth.  It's worse now than it was even just a year ago.

Monsanto is indirectly related to the coming of Antichrist in that its stated purpose is to control the world's food supply, forcing this agenda partly by using genetic engineering to infiltrate normal seeds to make them sterile, and/or to make normal seed illegal.  Monsanto is a powerful lobbyist and has its men in key positions in the FDA.

Vote against GMO foods with your dollar - don't buy them.   Especially anything with corn or soy unless it specifically is labeled: non-GMO.  Also  corn oil, soy oil/soy proteins, and Canola oil.

GM foods and Monsanto have been linked to strange new diseases like Morgellon's and is suspected in the mysterious disappearing of bees.

learn more:
Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives


√  **Mark your calendar**      Next Divine Liturgy in English 
Sat Nov 17 ten am      Holy Trinity Church      25-36 37th St Astoria

Tears of the Heavenly Queen

from Orthodox Life 1960
There are only two things I can find to update this 50-year-old epistle:
1. Add the grief of the Theotokos over the RocorMP union [the Hawaiian Iveron icon began its manifesting in May 2007].
2. Add the grief of the Theotokos over jurisdictional ecumenism which brings ecumenism to a new low, because it specifically targets the Royal Path.

Tears of the Heavenly Queen

In one Greek family living within the vicinity of New York City an ikon of the Virgin Mother of God that shed tears was discovered.  The ikon was transfered into a Greek cathedral and mass pilgrimages began towards the weeping ikon of the Virgin Mother of God.  Soon following this in the home of another related family a second ikon was revealed, and then also a third.  All three weeping ikons are now found in a Greek cathedral.  Masses of faithful people came in order to take a look at the newly revealed miracle and to pray before the weeping ikons of the Mother of God.  Many bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were before the ikons.  The head of the Russian Church Outside of Russia, the deep elder Metropolitan Anastassy also prayed before the weeping ikons.  In short, an occurrence that took place in a humble Greek family has become the property of all America.  The fact of the wondrous manifestation of tears on these ikons of the Mother of God is undoubted.  Not only the holders of the ikon saw tears, but many visitors likewise.  For all visitors traces of tears are seen on the ikons.  The representatives of science even subjected to analysis the tears shed by the Mother of God.  The incomprehensible, the miraculous has become an evident object, perceptible in physical reality to man the sinner.

It is with depth of feeling in reverence that masses of people pray before the ikons of the weeping Mother of God.  They pray and withdraw in deep silence from the wondrous ikons of the Heavenly Queen.  Thoughts arousing grave concern penetrate into the heart, and in our consciousness involuntarily the question arises: of what significance are these tears of the Heavenly Queen?  What is the essential meaning of this wondrous phenomenon?  Who  can dare to answer these questions?  Before us, without any doubt, is a Divine phenomenon.  But that which is Divine is perceived and explained  only by the Spirit of God and by people who are inspired by Him.  Human powers are insufficient here.  Alas, up until now there has not been a prophet amongst us, there is not seen a man who has been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, who would be able to explain the significance of the tears of the Heavenly Queen.  One is forced to be contented with only mere thoughts offered to us by a mind enlightened in faith.

  There is no prophet amongst us enlightened by the Holy Spirit, who can explain the significance of the tears of the Heavenly Queen.

What can the human mind tell us concerning this problem?

First of all, let us clear up for ourselves: in general what do tears signify?  Tears in human life almost always mean deep sorrow, pain of heart in the weeping ones; rarely is it that tears are an expression of unexpected happiness.

Now let us direct our attention to the following: Who is it that is weeping?  The Heavenly Queen is weeping, the Mother of the incarnate Son of God is weeping, and from adoption from on high, the Mother of all humanity.  And Her tears She is manifesting to us – to human beings.  This means our instruction is had in view.

And now let us pose the question: could the contemporary Christian world manifest anything that could be a cause of tears of happiness for the Mother of God?  I think that not one sane minded person would dare give an affirmative reply to this question.  This means the tears of the Heavenly Queen can only signify her sorrow and suffering.  What then can be the cause of this sorrow?  The presentiment and foreknowledge of the impending severe and terrible judgment by God of humanity.  Is there a basis for such judgment in the life of contemporary humanity.  Yes, without doubt.  This – is its general withdrawal from Christ and from His divine teaching: in a spiritual sense what does contemporary humanity show itself to be?  Here – there is complete darkness about the spiritual beacons, complete withdrawal from Christ, complete denial of His divine commandments.  The world is burning in a fire of inhuman passions, the world is drowning in its blood and tears.  The world is seeking a way out, – towards new life that is blessed by God.  What do its leaders and rulers offer it?  At first they connived with evil, gave it an opportunity to entrench itself.  Later, at the zenith of its power, it attained to the following, that instead of struggling with it, overcoming its power, they offered "co-existence" to this evil and invited it to take part in the setting up of a supposedly authentic-human manner of living.  This is an utter absurdity.  It is leading towards the further deterioration of human life.  In the final account it may lead humanity towards its complete ruin – not only in body, but also in spirit.  And this then means – so into eternity!  There is something to weep over.  An unfortunate man weeps.  And now the Heavenly Queen weeps with him – the Mother and Heavenly Protectress of all human beings.

Let us now turn our gazes towards church life.  Here we shall see something threatening.  Christ created a single Church, prayed to His Father for a unity of its members, founded upon deep faith in the Son of God, as the Savior of the whole human race, and kindled in life by the commandment of love for God and for neighbors, through the constant helping activity of the Spirit of God.  All the members of the Church must compose one live body, whose head is Christ, and existing and acting as soul in the Church – in the Body of Christ – is the Holy Spirit.  Such was it at the time of the Apostles.  Such was it also later, in the course of several centuries.  Then at the middle of the XI century the first breaking away from the One Apostolic Church took place – that of Rome; following Rome the protestant world withdrew from the Church – Luther, following Luther were Zwingly,  Calvin and other men-gods, You know their names, Lord!  The rupture and divisions drew after themselves the consequences: animosity, hate, struggle, mutilation and denial of Heavenly Truth, a fall and complete deterioration of the spiritual life of humanity.  Attempts at treating these consequences led only to greater division and animosity, to a final loss of Divine Truth, and, consequently, of authentic-human living.  There is something for humanity to lament over – not only over the divisions, but also from unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation.  And so it is up to the present.

Having reached the boundaries of ultimate division and seeing the complete loss of their authority and influence upon the life of humanity, all the big and small leaders of these divisions came to the thought of the necessity of unifying.  And for what? not in order to receive into themselves the true Christ Apostle Church and Her Truth, but in order to strengthen their influence upon humanity, to retain in their hands the control of guidance in human life.  In a corresponding manner also the method for this world unification of churches is of a particular type.  It consists not of finding the authentic Church of Christ and of entering into Her formation, but in order to bring the whole innumerable conglomerate church divisions into unity on the basis of the recognition that now there is no true Church of Christ,  that She was converted into dust in the course of numerous church divisions and that She only can be obtained through unification of all these innumerable divisions: in each division there is some kind of truth, but not one part possesses the fullness of Church Truth.  In short: there is no Church of Christ; She has disintegrated in all of its divisions; there are some kind of grains of truth, but a fullness of Church truth – there is not.  Evidently then the gates of hell have turned out to be stronger than the Church of Christ, and the words of Christ the Saviour: "I shall build a Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her" have turned out to be untrue.

And so at the present time there exists only a relative truth.  There is not a Truth in Itself, it has to be sought, and the path towards this: the bringing into a unity of the fragments of truth which have been distributed throughout all the so-called church organizations.  An unhealthy device is this, depraved, downright sacrilegious.  it not only gives evidence of an ignorance of truth, it lowers it, it denies it.  A new transgression, worthy of tears.  There is something for the world to weep over.  The Heavenly Queen is weeping over it.  She knows that God does not remain abused.  She knows that all falsity draws punishment after itself.  And what could be more transgressing than treachery to Heavenly Truth, or a withdrawal from it, or unrecognition of It, or negation of it.  This transgression in our times – is most apparent.

Accept  the tears of the Heavenly Queen as a heavenly call for spiritual regeneration and purification through repentance.

But this is not all.  For transgression severe judgment of the transgressor can not but ensue.  Who will be able to withstand this trial?  What will be its consequences?  The Heavenly Queen only knows this and for this reason she is weeping.  She is weeping in order to rouse the contemporary world out of its sinful slumber and to call it to repentance.  To repentance that is sincere and deep.  For only through this one thing can humanity avert punishment by God, to save the world and dry the tears of the Mother of God.

Faithful people, wherever you many be, in what condition you may find yourselves – listen to the voice of an elder, a priestly servant of the Church.  Accept the news of the tears of the Heavenly Queen not as an object of simple curiosity, but as a heavenly call for spiritual regeneration and purification through repentance, directed towards the whole human race.  Weep, pray, repent in your sins.  And be especially firm and unshaken in your Orthodox, Apostolic, Holy Fathers' faith.  In Her is included the whole Truth which was made known to us by the Son of God and which has been preserved untainted only by the Orthodox Church; by the Church which is One, Holy, Soborny and Apostolic.  May God preserve you in this Truth during our days of evil and open and hidden struggle with God.

Archpriest Vassil Boshtanovsky
from Orthodox Life 1960 #3 May-June