.

.

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






SIR Epistles to Three Sister Churches

from the newly-elected SIR Metropolitan Cyprian

(English pdf, 92 KB)

(English pdf, 92 KB)

(English pdf, 92 KB)

Ecclesiastical Position Paper of the Bulgarian Sister Church:

Festival of Satan

a reader shares:

No doubt this sermon refers to halloween
St. John Chrysostom
     DISCOURSE I.
     A HOMILY DELIVERED AT ANTIOCH ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE MONTH.
CONCERNING DRUNKARDS AND FREQUENTERS OF TAVERNS, AND FESTAL PROCESSIONS IN THE STREETS-
1. Yesterday, on the festival of Satan, ye celebrated a spiritual feast, ...


St. John Chrysostom

     DISCOURSE I.

     A HOMILY DELIVERED AT ANTIOCH ON THE SECOND DAY OF THE MONTH.

CONCERNING DRUNKARDS AND FREQUENTERS OF TAVERNS, AND FESTAL PROCESSIONS IN THE STREETS-

1. Yesterday, on the festival of Satan, ye celebrated a spiritual feast, receiving with all favour the word we addressed to you; spending a great portion of the day in thus drinking in that rapture which is full of sobriety, and rejoicing in company with St Paul. In this way ye gained a twofold benefit, since ye were both separate from the disorderly throng of feasters, and rejoiced in a spiritual and decorous manner. Ye also partook of that cup, not overflowing with unmixed wine, but filled with spiritual instruction. While others were following the festive companies of the evil one, ye, by your presence in this place, prepared yourselves as instruments of spiritual music, and surrendered your souls to the Divine Spirit that He might influence them, and breathe His own grace into your hearts. Thus ye gave forth a melody of perfect harmony, pleasing not only to men but also to the heavenly powers. |2

Let us, therefore, to-day, take up arms against inebriety, and expose the folly of a drunken and dissolute life. Let us oppose those who live in intemperance; not that we may shame them, but that we may put them beyond the reach of shame; not that we may blame them, but reform them; not that we may hold them up to contempt, but that we may turn them from all dishonourable exposure, and snatch them from the grasp of the tempter. For he who lives daily in excess of wine and luxury and. gluttony is under the very tyranny of the devil. And oh that something better may result from our words! Should they, however, continue in the same course after our warning, we shall not on that account cease from giving right counsel. For the springs, even if no one drink of them, continue to flow; and fountains, though no one should use their water, still burst forth; and rivers, though no man profit by them, still run on. So then, also, it is right that the preacher, even if no one attend to his voice, should fulfil all his duty.

For also in His love to man, a law is given by God to those who are entrusted with the ministry of the word, never to cease to discharge the duties of their office nor to be silent, whether the people have regard to their voice, or whether they neglect it. Jeremiah, therefore, having declared many threatenings to the Jews and warnings of future evils, was mocked by those who heard his voice, and was ridiculed all the day long. From human infirmity, feeling unable to endure scoffs and reviling, he at one time endeavoured to escape from his ministry. Hear him speak concerning this when he says: "I am in derision daily; then I said, I will not make mention of |3 Him, nor speak any more in the name of the Lord. But His word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay," (Jer. xx. 7, 9.) This it is which he says;---- "I was desirous to escape from prophesying, since the Jews did not listen to me; and all the while I was desiring this, the influence of the Holy Spirit penetrated like fire into my inmost soul, consuming all my inward parts and my bones, and devouring me, so that I could not endure the burning." If, therefore, he, when he was laughed at and derided each day; when he desired to be silent, underwent such punishment; of what forgiveness can we be worthy, who never at any time are treated thus, if we faint on account of the slowness of some, and cease from instructing them, and especially when there are so many who are attentive!

   http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_four_discourses_01_discourse1.htm


On Wealth & Poverty
St. John Chrysostom
As the modern reader is confronted with St. John's commentaries on the Christian life of his day, it is apparent that he too is being addressed, for the truth of the Gospel does not change, and we must answer to the challenges he presents just as was necessary for his own flock. His forthrightness led not only to his fame... but also to his exile and death.
Item# 2619. (DC: R) Paperbound. $14.00

Creepy

Creepy

The creepiest thing I ever saw was in 2008 when I visited an Old Believer parish in Woodburn, Oregon.  It was like a Civil War re-enactment.  Worse.  It was like an animated corpse, dead but moving.   Everything outward was so familiar and beloved, but there was no "life" there. The inside of the church was decorated with fake plastic flowers, garlands draped around the icons.

Creepy

Creepy

Creepy

Creepy

Stickies

Nyet on Halloween: Russian church warns of ‘dangers’; Siberia bans holiday

CreepyDoes MP want to give Lenin a Christian burial?

• MP says that Sergianism no longer exists

• Picturesque Chapel St. Joseph the Betrothed, Sweden

CreepyChrislam Rises! One World Religion Revealed? [heterodox, 10 minutes]

Remember to only buy beautiful American FLAG postage stamps and not  "pretty design" Muslim stamps by mistake

• Russian readers. Interesting site.  They have a lot of old books scanned and available to download

Photos from Bulgaria Sister Church

Vladimir Djambov shares
2 beautiful photos
from Bishop Foti's visit to Northen BG parishes Northern Bulgaria, October 21st — 24th 2013


more photos here

Fr. Alejandro after his release

Photo from Internet Sobor

Greeting priest Alexander Iwaszewicz after release from prison

Dear friends in Christ!
Happy Holidays!
"Ravnochislennyya bo sand thankyou If ye bring, is void commit worthy of all you prayers and support."
Bless you to save and protect the Lord!

After release, we spent a few days with the family together, praying, talking, playing, silently. I especially admire the poise and comfort of our children, as if parting a year ago, and at a meeting last week. From them I heard the idea of "no peace of surface excitement" at the time of the meeting, and instead of it - the world, and faith in the spiritual unity of the family under the grace the cover of the Church's prayer. Glory to you, Lord!

The circumstances do not allow me to return to Argentina.
But - "Wait for me, and I'll be back!"

Forever grateful and humble worshiper of you all,
Fr. Alexandre Ivashevich


• another translation

Dear in Christ  friends !

"Even if our expressions of gratitude were as numberless as the sand on  the seashore,  we do not have enough words to thank you all  for the blessings of your prayers and support".

May the Lord Bless you, save and protect you !

After my release, we spent a few days together with the family , praying, talking, playing, in silence. .. It was especially comforting to me, to see our children self-control;  when parting a year ago, and at the reunion last week.  I heard them reflecting  :  "the absence of superfluous excitement " at the time of the reunion , instead of it - we felt the quietness , sobriety , peace and faith in the spiritual unity of the family under the Grace of the Church's prayer. Glory to the Lord !

The circumstances do not allow me to return to Argentina yet. But - "Wait for me, and I 'll be back !"
Forever grateful and humble worshiper of you all ,

Prot. Alejandro Iwaszewicz


• Vladimir Djambov helps with translation:
"humble worshiper of you all" 
or rather 
humble prayer-supplicator for you all

also "Wait for me, and I'll be back!" [no Arnie!!! here]
refers to a celebrated [love/war] poem
http://stihiolubvi.ru/simonov-konstantin/zhdi-menya-i-ya-vernus.html

God is not mocked

Reported on Orthodoxy-News

Story found in Huffington Post in English
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/ron-neilson-sets-self-on-fire-burning-cross_n_4123681.html

10/18/2013
Ron Nielson Accidentally Sets Self On Fire Burning Cross For Halloween 
This was one cross he couldn't bear.

    Florida man Ron Nielson, 50, was hospitalized Tuesday after accidentally setting himself on fire when he set a cross ablaze as part of a Halloween display, WESH reported.
   Nielson set up a cross surrounded by a circle of candles in the yard of his Palm Bay home at about 8 p.m.. He poured gasoline over the cross and candles, and then when he lit one of the candles the whole thing went up in flames -- along with Nielson.
    His wife was able to extinguish the blaze with a hose, but Nielson suffered second-degree burns over about half of his body, a Palm Bay Police spokeswoman told Floriday Today. He was airlifted to an Orlando burn unit.
    Fire department officials said Nielson did not pour gasoline on himself, but caught on fire after vapors coming off the gasoline-soaked display ignited, according to NBC News.

Tuesday October 15 is the day we remember Sts. Cyprian & Justina

Time to Come Home

Reader Daniel open letter:

OPEN LETTER: Sharing for study purposes, nothing more: My private observations/thoughts about a very delicate issue: the general wish, among our ROCA clergy and laity, that little by little, former ROCOR people and parishes, will return to our ROCA, etc.

To all: my OPEN LETTER: (And wishing to offend no one, especially not our friends, if possible.)

This is a very sensitive and delicate a subject, and what I express here are strictly my own views, [though I know many others do agree with them], as I dare not pretend to speak for my entire ROCA church.

And, I only make these delicate and difficult observations, in response to a recent email communication from a good friend, a SIR Archimandrite, who brought up this touchy subject.

In essence: 
Many members of my ROCA [especially here in North America, where this issue most counts] under our Metropolitan Agafangel, wish/hope/desire/want/pray for . . . . clergy, and laity, and parishes, and monastic brothers and sisters, ...who originally belonged to the old free pre-2007 union with the MP, of the ROCOR, ...will, of their own free will and with no coercion or pressure from us or anyone, will, peaceably.... RETURN, on their own volition, to our ROCA, ...which we firmly believe is THE sole legitimate/canonical continuation of the old free pre-2007 union ROCOR with the MP.  The various warring divisions of the ROCiE schism, RTOC, and ROAC, and indeed from the Stalin founded ROCOR/MP ...ETC... all of which are not valid continuations of the old free ROCOR.

Our ROCA is!

This process of re-integration, re-couping, salvaging, of our old-ROCOR patrimony, we wish for those [of all ethnic roots or personal national identities], who sadly went with the so-called Mansonville Schism too, ROCiE, as also those who fled to RTOC, and ROAC, [during or after the union], from ROCOR/MP itself too, ....and also, those who fled for refuge, even, to our canonical sister church, The Synod in Resistance .....or to... other directions, (numerous former ROCOR members are now among the parishioners of many scattered and varied modernist Orthodox parishes here in America).

Of course, this is an especially sensitive matter, at this time frame, to even bring up at all, when we speak about our BELOVED sister church, the Greek Synod in Resistance.

We are glad for those former ROCOR members, who were wise enough, to flee to the SIR, [instead of to other directions], in that chaotic dark unionist unstable time.

BUT NOW, things have stabilized, and our ROCA is better organized.  Now, we wish for them to... return.

*An historical note: When Met. Agafangel needed to have the help of some other traditional and fully canonical Orthodox episcopate, [since poor Bp. Daniel of Erie was in virtual imprisonment by ROCOR/MP agents] to co-consecrate another [second] bishop, for us, and to thus, allow us to continue our ROCA's episcopate, he was first offered this consecration help, from an old friend of his, Archb. Chrysostomos of Athens, of the GOC-the Mathewite leader.  But because,... had he accepted the well-meant, GOC-Mathewite help, he saw that that would have meant that our ROCA would then be party to/aligned with... extremist Mathewitism, [which he has always OPENLY rejected], he declined this kind offer,..... and instead appealed for this help from the SIR Synod, whose basic ecclesiology is much more in keeping with his vision of The Royal Path Orthodoxy, though in some details of our internal church life, we in our ROCA do have a slightly different, on the ground approach to some issues of dealing with the Sergianist/Modernist Worldly Orthodox... some differences.  [The right/duty of every independent local Orthodox church is to use either strictness or economia in ADMINISTERING the canons and church discipline in their own dioceses, etc.]

THUS, the SIR chose to recognize us, i.e., Bishop Agafangel (Pashkovsky), as THE valid ROCOR, and to co-consecrate for/with us, our episcopal lineage, (and not for RTOC Tikhon Pasechnik!... who had also requested this from  them, to recognize him and his jurisdiction, and to reject us!.... but AFTER when they refused Tikhon Pasechnik... THEN he surprisingly declared them 'in heresy'!)  ....which original valid episcopal lineage, [Apostolic Succession*], all Greek Old Calendarists had gotten VIA the old ROCOR!... thus... giving back to us, a valid canonical episcopate.  (*Since it takes an absolute  minimum of two bishops to consecrate a third bishop, and to thus, to continue our church.)

Our ROCA rejoices with this, as does the SIR synod, and our sister Romanian and Bulgarian churches.

No matter how our many and varied ignorant or ill-willed critics and enemies attack us and the SIR saying we are 'heretics', etc.  – we in our ROCA..... LOVE and greatly respect the SIR synod!

YET....... we still do hope... that elements of the old free ROCOR (as with the many fooled into that 2007 union with the MP), will return to us (from wherever they fled to in the past). 

When and where this returning process takes reality...... it cannot be labeled as, 'people or parish or clergy STEALING', if some come back to us, from among our friends.  And, those who want to remain in the SIR are welcome to, certainly!  It is their free choice.  But since it is a main foundational underpinning of our ROCA's very cause for existence, under our Met. Agafangel,... to try to redeem and re-coup, gather back in, the old free ROCOR flock, world-wide, we exist to do that.... where possible.

But, God forbid, that we might offend our friends, with whom we frequently share the chalice with and much fraternal love and respect.

In America especially, many in our ROCA, do.... wish... for former old-ROCOR members, (most especially to come out from that foul 2007 union, the ROCOR/MP sheep), and to freely...... return.. to our ROCA....... nothing more and nothing less.

Just my private views.........
Rd. Daniel Everiss


– – ∞ • ∞ – –


Proof of our ROCA affection and respect for our sister SIR Synod:
+
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Hierarchal Synod

09/22.10.2013

Epistle of the Hierarchal Synod of  ROCA [Russian Orthodox Church Abroad] to the Synod of the Resisters:

Your Eminence, Kyr-Metropolitan Cyprian!

Your Graces, the members of the Hierarchal Synod of the Resisters, in the Lord dear brethren in the field of Christ,
Christ is in our midst!

We congratulate you on the occasion of your recent patronal feast and on the successful completion of the session of your Church’s Synod, which to our combined joy, elected as your President the Most Reverend Cyprian the Second – the worthy successor of Abba Cyprian, who has fallen asleep in a blessed repose. Together with you, we have mourned the departure from us of the founder, of the spiritually healthy direction in the Old Calendar movement. We honor Vladyka Cyprian for the fact that he endeavored to follow the path of apostolic and patristic Orthodoxy, not turning aside to apostasy, fanaticism and sectarianism. This path we ourselves wish to follow, having you as companions-in arms and valuing our brotherly union. Asking for your holy prayers, we the members of the Hierarchal Synod of  ROCA.

President of the Hierarchal Synod:

+ Metropolitan Agafangel

Members of the Hierarchal Synod:

+ Archbishop Andronik
+ Archbishop Sofrony
+ Archbishop Georgy
+ Bishop Afanasy

Most Reverends:

+ Bishop Dionisy
+ Bishop Nikolai


RUSSIAN ORIGINAL found on our official ROCA website: http://ruschurchabroad.org

related posts:

Food Relief for Our School Children

Note from Fr. Gregory in Tennessee

Returning from Haiti:  Good news:  

we've been assured of the donation of another container of food relief for our school children, to be shipped mid-November.  Not so good news:  we don't have enough money (about $5000, most of which will have to be produced within a couple of weeks) to cover the cost of shipping & distributing the container.  Search your hearts and bank accounts!  This is a super-bargain, the most bang for your buck you could ever hope for -- 12 TONS of balanced nutrition for 20½¢ per pound. Go to the grocery & figure out what you can buy for that cost!  A pound of dried, balanced nutrition ration will feed at least four hungry kids -- about a nickel a meal.  A REAL bargain!

The most good a dollar can accomplish is with a donation to the Haiti Mission, the poorest of the poor.
HAITI MISSION

Today a Vivid Reminder for Orthodox

Note from Fr. Gregory in Tennessee

Today -- the Fathers of the 7th Council; the last of the great ecumenical councils, the restoration of Orthodoxy after the dark and murderous iconoclastic period in the East (ironic that only the West stood fast in the Truth in that epoch!).  And a vivid reminder of what it means to be Orthodox.  No one, no "church", can legitimately claim to be Orthodox without accepting as the elaboration of our Faith all seven of these councils.  To claim otherwise (as do the "world orthodox churches") is to make a mockery of the Faith and the Fathers.  While the piety of many "Coptic Orthodox" is admirable (but so also is that of many Amish and Quakers and Buddhists), in no meaningful sense can any of them said to be Orthodox Christians.  Want to know more?  Read the Synaxarion, and the many lives of confessors and martyrs for the holy icons spread throughout past (and probably future) issues of Living Orthodoxy.

Fear of God and the Shutdown

a reader shares this note:
Didn't we go through a similar shakeup from Oct. 1-17 (Gregorian)?


from:
"On Wealth and Poverty" by St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople

The Sixth Sermon on Lazarus and the rich man
P. 101 - 102

So think over continually in yourselves that evening of the earthquake.  Everyone else was afraid because of the earthquake, but I was afraid because of the cause of the earthquake.  Do you understand what I mean?  They were afraid that the city would collapse, and they would die; but I am afraid that the Master is angry with us.  Death is not grievous, but it is grievous to provoke the Master.  So I was not afraid because of the earthquake; for the cause of the earthquake was the anger of God, and the cause of his anger was our sins.  Never fear punishment, but fear sin the mother of punishment.  Is the city being shaken?  What of it?  But do not let your resolution be shaken.  In the case of diseases and injuries we do not grieve for those who are being cured, but for those who have incurable diseases. Sin is the same as disease or injury; retribution is the same as surgery or medicine.

Do you understand what I am saying?  Pay attention: I want to teach you a work of wisdom.  Why do we grieve for those who are being punished, but not for those who are sinning? Punishment is not as grievous as sin, for sin is the reason for the punishment.  If you see someone with a putrefying sore, and worms and discharges coming from his body, and you see him neglecting his infection, but you see another person with the same affliction benefitting from the hands of physicians, for whom will you grieve?  Tell me, for the one who is ill and is not being treated, or for the one who is ill and is being treated?  In the same way imagine two sinners, one being punished, the other not being punished.  Do not say, this one is lucky because he is rich, he strips orphans of their property and he oppresses widows.  Apparently he is not ill, he has a good reputation in spite of this thefts, he enjoys honor and authority, he does not endure any of the troubles which afflict mankind–no fever, no paralysis, nor any other disease–a chorus of children surrounds him, his old age is comfortable; but you should grieve most for him, because he is indeed ill and receives no treatment. I shall tell you how.  If you see someone afflicted with dropsy, his body is swollen with a painful spleen, and not hurrying to the doctor, but drinking cold water, keeping a Sybaritic table, getting drunk everyday, surrounded with body guards, and aggravating his disease, tell me, do you call him lucky or unlucky?  If you see another person afflicted with dropsy, benefiting from the care of doctors, purging himself with hunger, with great difficulty braving his bitter medicines which are painful but bring forth health through pain, do you not call this person more fortunate than the other?  It is agreed: for one is ill and is not treated, but the other is ill and benefits from treatment.  But, you may say, the treatment is painful.  But its purpose is beneficial.

Our present life is like this also but you must change the words from bodies to souls, from diseases to sins, from the bitter taste of medicines to retribution and judgement from God.


On Wealth & Poverty
St. John Chrysostom
As the modern reader is confronted with St. John's commentaries on the Christian life of his day, it is apparent that he too is being addressed, for the truth of the Gospel does not change, and we must answer to the challenges he presents just as was necessary for his own flock. His forthrightness led not only to his fame... but also to his exile and death.
Item# 2619. (DC: R) Paperbound. $14.00

Greeting SIR New Metropolitan

Sharing: Warm Fraternal Greetings from our ROCA Synod of Bishops to Our Sister Church, the Synod in Resistance, and it's New Metropolitan Cyprian II- 

+
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Hierarchal Synod

09/22.10.2013

Epistle of the Hierarchal Synod of  ROCA [Russian Orthodox Church Abroad] to the Synod of the Resisters:

Your Eminence, Kyr-Metropolitan Cyprian!

Your Graces, the members of the Hierarchal Synod of the Resisters, in the Lord dear brethren in the field of Christ,
Christ is in our midst!

We congratulate you on the occasion of your recent patronal feast and on the successful completion of the session of your Church’s Synod, which to our combined joy, elected as your President the Most Reverend Cyprian the Second – the worthy successor of Abba Cyprian, who has fallen asleep in a blessed repose. Together with you, we have mourned the departure from us of the founder, of the spiritually healthy direction in the Old Calendar movement. We honor Vladyka Cyprian for the fact that he endeavored to follow the path of apostolic and patristic Orthodoxy, not turning aside to apostasy, fanaticism and sectarianism. This path we ourselves wish to follow, having you as companions-in arms and valuing our brotherly union. Asking for your holy prayers, we the members of the Hierarchal Synod of  ROCA.

President of the Hierarchal Synod:

+ Metropolitan Agafangel

Members of the Hierarchal Synod:

+ Archbishop Andronik
+ Archbishop Sofrony
+ Archbishop Georgy
+ Bishop Afanasy

Most Reverends:

+ Bishop Dionisy
+ Bishop Nikolai
Thank You to the translator

Halloween - Not for children

Not for children, not for adults, not for anyone
an important message from Peter Koltypin

Horribly there's tremendous pressure on our children and in schools and everywhere to celebrate halloween - all because it is 'fun'.  That it is not.  

It is a satanic celebration of death whereas Christians celebrate Life even after our passing - we all know this but the father of lies tells us it is 'fun' for the children and no harm is done.  But think of it: when one says 'trick or treat' what is really meant – 'trick' means an evil act.  Halloween is celebrated not only by children but by college students and adults and not in a 'fun' way.  It is pervasive in other countries, it is called the day of the dead

It is a satanic and a witch holiday - the devil's birthday.

Here in the USA it was illegal during the time of the Puritans, most of the 18th century and a good part of the 19th until the Irish came.  

In the Northeast [United States] in 2011 it was the horrendous 'Snowtober' and in 2012 'Hurricane Sandy' that wreaked havoc at Halloween and no one really noticed or feared that it might have been God's wrath - just another storm, one of those things.  In 2012 the infamous and horrific Greenwich Village Parade was cancelled but not for moral reasons.  Unfortunately it is scheduled for 2013.  Anyone interested to see how evil and satanic it really is, contact the writer for a previous parade.  

In advertisements even 'zombies' are considered 'normal' and 'accepted'...

All we can do is hope and pray attitudes will change.  There are more and more people who are realizing what it really is...

Synod Meeting Minutes October 2013

Minutes
Of a Session of the ROCA Synod of Bishops
October 9\22 – 11\24, 2013
Odessa, Ukraine


Minutes Part I

A SESSION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD.

The first meeting of the ROCA Synod of Bishops took place on October 9\22, 2013, at the Synod Office in Odessa.

Attendees: Synod members – The Most Reverend Metropolitan Agafangel, Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverends Archbishop Andronik, Archbishop Sophroniy, Archbishop Georgiy (Secretary), Bishop Afanasiy, along with invitees: Bishop Dionisiy and Bishop Nikolay.

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

Discussed: The Chairman provided the agenda.
Resolved: To accept the agenda.
1.      Synod Chairman’s report.
2.      Bishops’ reports on their dioceses.
3.      Discuss prodecures for accepting clerics from ROCA(V-V), as well as RTOC and ROAC.
4.      The Synod Residence.
5.      Diocesan boundaries.
6.      The Holy Land.
7.      The Service Book.
8.      Matters at the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax.
9.      Election of the Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops.
10.  Financial report.
11.  Awards by the Synod.
12.  Other.


1.      Discussed: The Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reports that for the most part, matters are normal within the Church since the last Synod
meeting.  Any pressing matters will be dealt with in this session.  Reports two, very active MP priests have joined the ROCA – Archpriest Oleg and Sergey from the city of Berdyansk, Ukraine, - along with their parishes.  Many others in this jurisdiction follow the life of our Church very closely.  The Chairman attributes this to the fact that remaining in the MP is becoming very difficult for any serious-minded, religious cleric.  They are suffocating in a structure where the primary goal is increased profit.  Provides the example of Archpriest Gennadiy in the Odessa oblast, who left the MP to join the ROCA.  Adds that several of our clerics have proposed stricter guidelines for accepting clerics from MP to the ROCA.  They feel that confession is not ufficient, that they should ask for forgiveness publicly from the ambo.  The Chairman explains that such strict measures did not bring good results previously in the history of the ROCA.  It is also difficult to expect someone to submit to that in these times.  Provides the example of former ROCA clerics: S. Perekrestov, O. Stenyev and A. Averyanov.  He does not see the merit of placing such demands.  The Chairman proposes to commemorate during the Great Entrance all the hierarchs of the Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian Churches, as well as Jerusalem Patriarch Irineos.  After a detailed discussion, the decision is left to the ROCA First Hierarch.
            The Chairman adds he had great difficulty arranging for a visa to Australia.  There is no Australian embassy in Ukraine, and contacting the one in Moscow is not easy.  The Chairman then opines that the ROCA traditionally maintained relations in two directions: with the better representatives of Orthodoxy like the Old Calendarists as well as those of so-called “World Orthodoxy.”  Adds that he would like the Church to continue holding to the “Royal Path” of the Holy Fathers and not veer into the extremes of radicalism or towards any movement to apostasy.
            Resolved: To accept the Chairman’s report.

2.      Discussed: Bishops’ reports.
Archbishop Sophroniy says life in his diocese is calm and without incident.  Matters related to the
parish in the village of Dudachkino have been settled and services are being held.
            Archbishop Georgiy reports the first session of the diocesan theological academy went well, with 12 attendees.
            The Chairman adds the project to broadcast services on the Internet from the Synod Office in Odessa is very successful, as are the news bulletins on the Internet-Sobor site by Hegumen Methodius. They are trying to purchase more broadcast equipment.
            Bishop Afanasiy says the house church in Ferapontovo is doing well.  They were able to change the zoning on the plot of land.  Unfortunately, the situation is just the opposite near Kiev.  The process to form a parish and pilgrim’s center near the monastery in Vologodskiy on the property of Deacon Fr. George Sosyurko has stopped, mainly due to Fr. George’s ill health.
            The Chairman reports a group of about 10 people is trying to rent property near Kiev to hold services.
            Archbishop Andronik says construction continues on the church center of his diocese in Mountain View.  The rooms on the second floor are being finished, as well as a dining hall.  A youth conference is planned for this winter.  Archpriest George Sachevskiy in Toronto, Canada, passed away.  Fr. Nikita Grigoriev has moved to Toronto and has begun serving there.  The parish is doing well.
            Bishop Dionisiy reports no significant changes.  Deacon Fr. Mikhail Buryakov has joined their diocese, but is not serving at the moment.
            Archbishop Sophroniy reports there is unfortunate news from the Ishimsk-Siberian diocese.  Parishioners are reporting there is no regular conduct of church services.  One priest is ill, while a second left for another jurisdiction.
            Bishop Nikolay reports one of his priests, Fr. Peter, left to join an uncanonical jurisdiction, that of “metropolitan” Sergey (Moiseenko).  Bishop Nikolay spent five months in Georgia.  Fr. Dmitriy conducts services in the city of Poti.  Bishop Nikolay provides the biography of Fr. Vissarion, born in 1975, who completed a seminary and whose mother is a nun.  Bishop Nikolay is having problems with him lately.  Bishop Nikolay believes this and other problems he is having would be resolved if he would be given the title of ruling bishop.  He asks that the Synod consider this request.  He ends by saying that several priests from the Georgian Patriarchate have shown interest in our Church.
Resolved: To accept the bishops’ reports.

3.      Discussed: Prodecures for accepting clerics from ROCA(V-V), as well as RTOC and ROAC.
Bishop Dionisiy provides a report on the history and current state of the so-called “Mansonville Synod”
(ROCA(V)).  He believes it is important to provide a detailed overview of the jurisdiction, its history and ecclesiology.  It showed itself very well in its battle with union with the MP and its support of Met. Vitaliy.  After a good beginning, this struggle changed them for the worse, as is often the case with schismatics who insist on their uniqueness, like the followers of Ignatiy, Nikolay and others.  This led to a series of violations of the canons, excesses and scandals, and a feverish struggle for power, divisions, all which tore the Mansonville Synod to pieces. All indications are that this is a typical schism: Libel of imaginary opponents, paralysis of church life, the moral disorganization, and the failure of the whole informational Internet site of Mansonville. These characteristic features can be likened to the schismatic divisions of any revolution. In the hands of fanatics and adventurers, a good start turns into a farce, which discredits true Orthodoxy. Fanaticism and hypocrisy – are two sides of the same coin. May Mansonville serve as a sad lesson of the error of such a path and a warning to everyone.
The Chairman adds that we all hope nevertheless that they have some good priests. Bishop Anastasiy, for example, seemed to offer kind words, only to take them back later.  On the other hand, we see in this jurisdiction many adventurers. That is why I accepted a cleric from Bishop Victor (Pivovarov) through chirotesia. Maybe we should accept only those who can benefit our Church.
Bishop Dionisiy gives the example of the open letter from Bishop Vladimir (Tselishchev) to Bishop Varnava, which showed the former to be lacking in principle.  He also recalls the actions of Archpriest Victor Melekhov, with whom they served in ROCA (V) for a whole year, and when power was not shared, "remembered" the ROCA decree to remove Fr. Victor from his office. 
The Chairman talks about the seemingly favorable initial discussions with Bishop Vladimir in 2007 during the organizational meeting to establish the ROCA PSEA. After cordial agreements were made, Bishop Vladimir surprisingly published an article defaming our Church. All this testifies to the remarkable inconsistency and unsound spirit that prevails in this jurisdiction.
Bishop Dionisiy is of the opinion that such a religious organization cannot be taken seriously, much less have their ordinations recognized.
A general discussion followed.
Resolved:  The decision on each case of accepting clerics from the jurisdictions of ROCA (V-V), RTOC and ROAC should be made on the level of the ROCA Synod of Bishops with a comprehensive consideration of all the circumstances.

            13:52 – Lunch
            The meeting resumed at 15:25. 

4.       Discussed: The Synod Residence
The Chairman repeated the necessity of acquiring a Synod residence, as the Synod of our Church is registered in the USA.  The idea is to locate it in an area with a large number of Russians, so that any parish that is established can be supported by them.  The intial consideration was to locate it in Brooklyn, which did not work due to lack of local support as well as the high cost of property there (a suitable building would cost around $600,000).  During a recent visit of the Tolstoy Foundation, the Chairman learned of the possibility of acquiring a house within 5-10 minute walking distance from the St. Sergius church at Tolstoy.  The location is a good one and would lend itself to organizing a religious community there.  The price is reasonable, around $305,000.  We have already gathered about $130,000.  We will have to take out a mortgage for ten years at $1,500 a month.  We are close too making this possible and we need to make a down payment of $30,000.  The Chairman believes this is a good opportunity.
Bishop Dionisiy asks about the square footage of the house.
The Chairman says it is a medium-sized house and there is sufficient room. The location is better than Brooklyn, especially with the church nearby.  The purchase of a Synod residence is very important for the administrative goals of our Church, as well as for morale and for religious reasons.  It would be helpful later to change the zoning to commercial, which Mark Kotlaroff is looking into.  It is possible theoretically, but may prove difficult, though we remain hopeful.  We have signed a contract and sent the proposal to the owners.  After they sign, we will attend to the other requirements.  The Chairman hopes the contract will be signed by the end of this week.  Then we need to seriously apply our efforts to paying it off.  The bishops must show an example to this end.
The bishops discuss what can be done to make this possible, like organizing fund drives.  They sign a document giving Archbishop Andronik power of attorney to sign the contract and take a mortgage out for no more than $300,000.
Resolved:  To approve the purchase of a house near the Tolstoy Foundation to be used as the Synod residence.  To approve Archbishop Andronik to sign the contract and take a mortgage out for no more than $300,000.  To call upon all ROCA church members to donate money for the house payments.  To ask each ruling bishop to submit a donation every month from their diocese.  To look into the possibility of registering the Synod in Russia and Ukraine.


5.      Discussed: Diocesan boundaries.
The Chairman discusses the boundaries of the New York diocese.  The Chairman does not have the opportunity to adequately serve the needs of all the parishes in America.  It is also costly.  The majority of all money gathered goes toward his airplane ticket from Ukraine to the US.  Archbishop Andronik can easily visit all these parishes.  The Chairman proposes to transfer his New York parishes to the Syracuse diocese. The St. Sergius Church at Tolstoy will be transferred to the New York diocese, as well as the house church at the future Synod residence.  The English-speaking Mission of Fr. Gregory Williams remains under the authority of the Chairman.  The parish of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in North Carolina will be joined to the Mission.
Resolved:  Transfer all New York parishes to the Syracuse diocese.  Transfer the St. Sergius Church at Tolstoy from the Syracuse diocese to the New York diocese.  The house church at the future Synod residence will be part of the New York diocese.  The English-speaking Mission of Fr. Gregory Williams will remain under the authority of the Chairman.  The parish of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in North Carolina will be joined to the Mission.
Discussed: The Chairman explains Bishop Iriney has asked to be released from the duty of ruling bishop of the Western-European Diocese.
Archbishop Sophroniy reads Bishop Iriney’s request of August 8/21, 2013.
After discussing the matter, the bishops decide:
Resolved: To accept Bishop Iriney’s request to be released from the duty of ruling bishop of the Western-European Diocese, while leaving the community in Bonn, German, under his authority.  To leave the Vernenskiy diocese under the authority of the Right Reverend Iriney, Bishop of Vernensk and Semirechensk, which includes Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan, apart from the northern oblasts near Uralsk, Aktyubinsk, Kustana, Kokchetav, Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar, Semipalatinsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk.
The Chairman will temporarily serve as the ruling bishop of the Western-European Diocese until the next Bishops’ Council.  Invite the Secretary of the Western-European Diocese, Protodeacon German Ivanov-Trinadzaty, to the Bishops’ Council to report on matters in that diocese.
Discussed: State of affairs as pertaining to the parishes in Georgia.
Resolved:  Establish the Prichernomorskiy Diocese in Georgia, which will include all of Georgia.  Appoint the Right Reverend Nikolay as the ruling bishop with the title “Bishop of Iversk and Prichernomoriye.”

6.      Discussed: The Holy Land
The Chairman explains the property of Fr. Roman’s parish in the Holy Land belongs nominally to
the Patriarch of Jerusalem Irineos.  The owner of the church being built for the parish has not been determined yet.  It is important to settle this legal issue, but it is next to impossible given the religious laws there.  We propose to resolve this matter.  In light of the support Fr. Roman has from local Arabs, it may be possible to make some arrangements.  Signatures for a petition are being gathered, but it may not help.  The Chairman proposes to acquire some building in the Old City part of Jerusalem for pilgrims.  The Chairman proposes to announce a fundraiser to purchase property in Jerusalem to establish a ROCA center for pilgrims.
            Bishop Dionisiy asks what canonical status will the center have?
            The Chairman answers, the Russian Ecclessiastical Mission.
            Bishop Afanasiy asks money can be gathered, but this will divert funds to pay for the Synod residence.
            The Chairman answers that he does not think so.  It is a different goal and one will not impact on the other.
            The Chairman explains the state of the Palestine Society.  Proposes to have Archbishop Andronik take measures to reactivate the American branch of the Palestine Society.
            Resolved:  Announce a fundraiser to purchase property in Jerusalem to establish a ROCA center for pilgrims in the Holy Land.   Instruct Archbishop Andronik to take measures to restore the activity of the American branch of the Palestine Society.

The meeting of the 1st day of the Synod of Bishops ended at 18.30 with the singing of "It is truly meet ..."


Minutes Part II

A SESSION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD.

Second day of meetings, October 10/23, 2013

The meeting of the Synod began at 11:30 with the singing of “O Heavenly King…”

The minutes from the first day are read and corrections are made.

7.  Discussed:  The Service Book.
The bishops had already received previously a printed draft of the Service Book which they could edit.
The attendees discussed various aspects of the draft Service Book, proposed edits and made corrections.

14:00 – Break
The meeting resumes after the break at 14:53

Discussions are concluded and edits are made to produce a final version of the Service Book.
Resolved:  To publish the Service Book with the necessary corrections.

8.      Discussed: Matters at the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax.
The Chairman reviews matters at the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax.

Resolved: To name Fr. John Hinton the rector of the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax.  The final
decision regarding Bishop Joseph’s status will be made at the Council of Bishops.  To invite Bishop Joseph to the Council of Bishops, so that the final decision is made in his presence, as prescribed by the canons of the Church.

9.      Discussed: Election of the Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops.
Resolved: To accept Dimitri Gontscharow’s resignation as the Treasurer of the ROCA Synod of
Bishops.  To express gratitude to him for his efforts.  To appoint Mark Kotlaroff as the Treasurer of the ROCA Synod of Bishops.

            The second day of the Synod of Bishops’ meetings concludes at 17:15 with the singing of “It is Truly Meet…”


Minutes Part III

A SESSION OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD.

Third day of meetings, October 11/24, 2013

The meeting of the Synod began at 10:27 with the singing of “O Heavenly King…”

The minutes from the second day are read and corrections are made.

10.   Discussed: Financial report.
The Chairman presented the financial report.
Resolved: To approve the financial report.

11.   Discussed: Awards by the Synod.
The attending bishops discussed the awarding of clerics who joined from other jurisdictions.
Resolved:  To add the rule to the Schedule of Awards that the awarding of clerics who joined from other
jurisdictions can only be done after they have been with us for two years.

            Resolved:  To award Archbishops Andronik and Sophroniy the right to wear a jeweled cross on their klobuks.

            The Chairman proposes to award the rank of archpriest with a golden cross to Fr. Aleksandr Martynenko for his work erecting a church.
            Resolved:  To award the rank of archpriest with a golden cross to Fr. Aleksandr Martynenko

Archbishop Sophroniy proposes:
-         Award Hegumen Pakhomiy (Popazov) the wearing fo a jeweled cross
-         Award Fr. Aleksandr Sukhov the rank of archpriest
-         Award Dimitri Gontscharow a gramota from the ROCA Synod of Bishops
Resolved:
-         Award Hegumen Pakhomiy (Popazov) the wearing fo a jeweled cross
-         Award Fr. Aleksandr Sukhov the rank of archpriest
-         Award Dimitri Gontscharow a gramota from the ROCA Synod of Bishops

12.   Discussed: Other.
The Chairman discusses a letter sent to the Synod of Bishops by Archpriest Victor Dobroff.
Archbishop Sophroniy reads the letter.
Resolved:  To note the information and suggestions contained in the letter of Archpriest Victor Dobroff.
To note that in accepting into the body of the ROCOR, the hierarchs of our Church have always combined adherence to traditions and ordinances of the Church Abroad with the spiritual and pastoral approach in each individual case. We consider it necessary to adhere to this practice in the future.

            Archbishop Georgiy discusses the schismatic actions of the censured Hieromonk Adrian (Zamlinskiy), who has created an uncanonical group headed by himself with the rank of “metropolitan,” thereby defaming the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.
Resolved:  To deprive Hieromonk Adrian (Zamlinskiy) of the priesthood for his schismatic actions, the creation of an uncanonical group headed by himself with the rank of “metropolitan” and the defaming of the Holy Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

The bishops discussed where and when to hold the Council of Bishops.
Resolved:  To hold the ROCA Council of Bishops in America on May 6/19 – 9/22, 2014, with the condition that before November 11/24, 2013, it is established that the bishops have the financial ability to arrive at its location.  If not, to hold the Council of Bishops on those dates at the Synod Office in Odessa.

The meeting of the Synod of Bishops concludes at 13:15 with the singing of “It is Truly Meet…”

Chairman of the Synod of Bishops:
+Metropolitan Agafangel

Members of the Synod of Bishops:
+Archbishop Andronik
+Archbishop Sophroniy
+Archbishop Georgiy
+Bishop Afanasiy
Invitees:
+Bishop Dionisiy
+Bishop Nikolay



kindly translated by Dimitri Gontscharow