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


Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

1st week and 5th week

Music and Service for The Order of Matins on the 5th Thursday 
of Great Lent of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
arr.  Dr. Timothy Clader
Complete text and music including the Life of St. Mary or Egypt and the Kathisma.
Item# 2160   [DC: C] Comb-bound.  $35 + $5 s&h
view sample pages here                                                  http://www.sjkp.org

Starting Lent

From the bulletin of St. Xenia's in Ottawa

2 March - Sunday of Forgiveness.  Cheese fare Week (Maslenitsa), which precedes Great Lent, has concluded. The Gospel reading the last Sunday before Great Lent includes the warning that we shall be forgiven by God only if we are forgiving towards others. Accordingly Vespers will be served at 11:30 am immediately following Divine Liturgy and will conclude with the distinctive Rite of Forgiveness. The faithful will come up in turn to venerate the icon and prostrate themselves in front of our priest and ask, Forgive me, a sinner. Then the priest in turn will ask for forgiveness, prostrating himself and blessing them. The congregation is then encouraged to go to their fellow Christians, each asking forgiveness of the other. Truly, to forgive is one of the most challenging ways of expressing Christian love; and accepting forgiveness is one of the hardest forms of Christian humility. Few better ways of beginning the observance of Lent could be provided by the Church than this.

3-9  March - First Week of Great Lent. The Lenten fast begins with the Rite of Forgiveness.  Fasting is an important practice for Orthodox Christians. Fasting from food goes hand in hand with fasting from the passions. The Fast is also a time of spiritual combat, as we struggle to restrain vice and cultivate virtue. With weekday services that reflect these themes, having Confession so as to receive Holy Communion the following Sunday is suggested. Please be reminded that especially during the First week of Great Lent and then Holy Week, the strictest possible observance of fasting rules and behavior is encouraged.

Monday 3 – Thursday 6 March 6:30 pm: Reading of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete. Central to the themes of Great Lent the services of the First Week are dominated by the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete which are read as the Great Compline, or the last prayer service of the evening. Composed in the 8th century, this remorseful hymn consists of nine canticles or chants taken from the Old and New Testaments. It draws on examples of sinners and saints to urge us toward repentance. During the First Week, each canticle is divided into four; one section is chanted each evening from Monday to Thursday. In the Russian tradition, Evening Prayers (i.e., Prayers before Sleep) will be read near the end of Compline followed by a mutual asking of forgiveness. Then everyone present venerates the icons in the church, and receives the priest's blessing.  Copies of the service in English will be made available at the Church and hopefully online. At the beginning of Great Lent, we are reminded not only of the need to repent, but to show the sincerity of our repentance by disciplining ourselves to lead a better life.

9 March – First Sunday of Great Lent: The Triumph of Orthodoxy.  Since 843 the dominant theme of this Sunday has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year, the iconoclastic controversy, which had a history of more than 100 years, was finally laid to rest. Icons and their veneration were restored on the First Sunday of Great Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated at the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” which reflects the great significance which icons possess for the Orthodox Church. All, but especially those who have followed the First Week services and fasted, are encouraged to have Holy Communion. 

15, 22, 29 March – Saturdays of the Departed. 10:00 am Panikhidas or Remembrance Services. During Great Lent, periodic remembrance services are held for the departed, starting with a general Panikhida on Saturday 15th of the Departed or Soul Saturday. This service is repeated Saturdays of the 22 and 29. If you are unable to attend, please submit the names of your departed to Fr. Oleg ahead of time. On the days when the dead are commemorated in the church, it is traditional to bring ‘Kolyva” or boiled wheat, with sugar, fruit and/or nuts, as an offering. This food is blessed, and is eaten by the faithful after the service.

Twelfth Joint Meeting GOC -SIR February 5


The Dialogue Between the Holy Synods of the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece and the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Community in Resistance

Twelfth Joint Communiqué

On Tuesday, January 22/February 5, 2014, the twelfth Joint Deliberation of the Committees for Dialogue Between the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece and the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Community in Resistance took place in Daphne, Athens, in the parish hall of the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

All of the appointed members of both committees were present. 

During this six-hour deliberation, those present discussed the draft of a joint document dealing with historical and ecclesiological matters, entitled “The True Orthodox Church in Opposition to the Heresy of Ecumenism: Dogmatic and Canonical Issues,” and specifically the proposals of each side for putting this document in final shape.  After an extended discussion, and after the necessary expansions and reformulations had been made, the members of the two committees agreed upon the draft of the document, which will be submitted to the Hierarchs of both sides for their evaluation and final approval.

It is clear from the official dialogue, which has hitherto proceeded in a positive manner—and especially during this twelfth Joint Deliberation — that the awaited union is closer to realization, especially after the joint endorsement of and agreement on (October 18/31, 2013) the “Schedule of Steps in the Union Process(§§1-9).  The first of these steps laid the basis for the completion of this endeavor, inasmuch as the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Community in Resistance has agreed no longer to insist on the ecclesiological expression by which the ecumenists are characterized as “ailing members of the Church,” nor will it insist on attributing to that expression a dogmatic quality (§1).

Steps 2 through 9 envisage the following: 

That there be a discussion of ecclesiological issues, and in particular the ecclesiological positions of the Synod in Resistance (§2).

That we produce a precise formulation of our common Orthodox Faith, with special reference to the calendar innovation and the heresy of ecumenism (§3).

That the dialogue between the two sides be brought to a conclusion on the basis of the appointed agendum (§3). The two committees are already approaching this point.

That our joint agreement be worked out in coöperation with the True Orthodox Churches of Romania and Bulgaria and with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, with whom we are called, by the Grace of the Lord, to coexist in Mysteriological communion (§4).

In connection with this last point, the committee of the Orthodox Ecclesiastical Community in Resistance has undertaken to translate the agreed-upon draft of the aforementioned joint document (“The True Orthodox Church in Opposition to the Heresy of Ecumenism: Dogmatic and Canonical Issues”) into English, Russian, Romanian, and Italian, with a view to preparing more effectively for a multilateral meeting and deliberation, for the purpose of achieving a broader convergence on the ecclesiological basis of the sacred struggle of True Orthodoxy against the heresy of ecumenism.

After agreement is reached on the issue of ecclesiology, we will deal with practical issues of a canonical nature, for the sake of completely removing any impediments to union (§§5-7).

Thereafter, we will jointly pursue the ongoing effort to convene a General Synod of the local anti-innovationist Orthodox Churches, to the end that such a Synod might with expanded authority, decisively treat with the issues of the calendar innovation and the heresy of ecumenism (§§8-9).

The next Joint Deliberation will be held on Thursday, February 7/20, 2014 at the Holy Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina, near Phyle, Athens.

From the Joint Secretariat of the Committees for Dialogue 
Daphne, Athens and Phyle 
January 28/February 10, 2014

St. Valentine's feast day

The Orthodox Saint Valentine

St. Valentine the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - February 14 and July 6)

The ancient martyrology of the Church of Rome marks February 14th as the remembrance of "the martyr Valentine, presbyter of Rome" (Valentinus means "vigorous" in Latin). Unfortunately the historical data for the Saint is incomplete.

The Martyrdom of the Saint in Rome

Saint Valentine lived in Rome in the third century and was a priest who helped the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II the Goth. The great virtue and catechetical activities of the Saint had become known. For this he was arrested and brought before the imperial court.

"Why, Valentine, do you want to be a friend of our enemies and reject our friendship?" asked the Emperor.

The Saint replied: "My lord, if you knew the gift of God, you would be happy together with your empire and would reject the worship of idols and worship the true God and His Son Jesus Christ."

One of the judges stopped the Saint and asked him what he thought about Jupiter and Mercury, and Valentine boldly replied: "They are miserable, and spent their lives in corruption and crime!"

The judge furiously shouted: "He blasphemes against the gods and against the empire!"

The Emperor, however, continued his questions with curiosity, and found a welcome opportunity to finally learn what was the faith of Christians. Valentine then found the courage to urge him to repent for the blood of the Christians that was shed. "Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved, and from this time forward the glory of your empire will be ensured as well as the triumph of your armory."

Claudius became convinced, and said to those who were present: "What a beautiful teaching this man preaches."

But the Mayor of Rome, dissatisfied, began to shout: "See how this Christian misled our Prince."

Then Claudius brought the Saint to another judge. He was called Asterios, and he had a little girl who was blind for two years. Listening about Jesus Christ, that He is the Light of the World, he asked Valentine if he could give that light to his child. St. Valentine put his hand on her eyes and prayed: "Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child." Oh the great miracle! The child could see! So the judge with all his family confessed Christ. Having fasted for three days, he destroyed the idols that were in the house and finally received Holy Baptism.

When the Emperor heard about all these events, he initially thought not to punish them, thinking that in the eyes of the citizens he will look weak, which forced him to betray his sense of justice. Therefore St. Valentine along with other Christians, after they were tortured, were beheaded on 14 February in the year 268 (or 269).

The Relics of the Saint in Athens

After the martyrdom some Christians salvaged the body of the Saint and put a bit of his blood in a vile. The body of the martyr was moved and buried in the Catacombs of St. Priscilla, a burial place of most of the martyrs. Over the years somehow he was "forgotten" since almost every day there were buried in these catacombs new martyrs for several decades. The memory of Valentine's martyrdom however remained robust, particularly in the local Church of Rome. Officially the memory of St. Valentine was established in 496 by Pope St. Gelasius.

Fifteen centuries pass and we arrive at 1815, at which time the divine intention was to "disturb" the eternal repose of the Saint. Then the relics were donated by the Pope to a gentle Italian priest (according to the custom of the time). After this the relics are "lost" again until 1907 where we find them in Mytilene in the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady. It seems that after the death of the priest that a descendant of his had inherited the relics and had migrated to Mytilene, which was then a thriving community of West-European Catholic Christians. There they remained until 1990 when they were moved to Athens in the Church of Saints Francis and Clara's Italian community, where they are today.

Saint Valentine the Greek

We should first say that there is not sufficient information on the national origin of the Saint, though there are some other (shades of) evidence that the Saint was of Greek origin. For example, the earliest depiction of the Saint bearing the inscription «O ΑΓΙΟC BAΛΕΝΤΙΝΟC" in Greek is in the Church of Our Lady the Ancient (Santa Maria Antiqua) of the 6th century which was the parish of Greeks in Rome. The church particularly venerated saints who were Greeks and generally from the East. The decoration and renovation of the church was ordered by the Greek Pope John VII (705-707) and finished by his successors, including the last Greek Pope Zacharias (741-752). But perhaps it is no coincidence that after seventeen centuries, the remains arrived in Greece. The issue here still requires research.
Saint Valentine: Patron of Lovers

Apart from the historical data we have for Valentine's life, there is accompanied various legends, such as from those who say he is the patron saint of lovers.

The Saint had a reputation as a peacemaker, and one day while cultivating some roses from his garden, he heard a couple quarrel very vigorously. This shocked the Saint, who then cut a rose and approached the couple asking them to hear him. Even though they were dispirited, they obeyed the Saint and afterwards were offered a rose that blessed them. Immediately the love returned between them, and later they returned and asked the Saint to bless their marriage. Another tradition says that one of the charges against Valentine was that he did not adhere to the command of the emperor which stated that men who had not fulfilled their military obligations were not allowed to marry; meanwhile the Saint had blessed the marriage of young Christian soldiers with their beloveds.

Besides all this, the likely choice of him as the "saint of lovers" is to be associated with the pagan festival of Lupercalia, a fertility festival, celebrated by the Romans on February 15. Others connect the celebration of this feast with the mating season of birds during this period. Certainly, however, the Saint has nothing to do with the commercialism (marketing) of flowers, gifts and secular centers which trivialize Eros, this great gift of God.

Saint Valentine and Orthodoxy

Many, however, raise the objection that St. Valentine is not mentioned anywhere in the calendar of the Orthodox Church. Indeed on 14 February in the calendar of the Church there are commemorated Saints Auxentios, Maron and the martyrs Nicholas and Damian. The explanation is simple: in ancient times hagiographic directories, biographies and martyrologia were written to be primarily used locally in their own character, and the fame and reputation of a saint locally does not mean that it extended also throughout the Church. So there may be saints honored widely in one region and completely unknown in another, as for example St. Demetrios, who is famous throughout the Eastern Church, yet in the West is not honored at all, and is almost unknown, but this does not mean that he is not a saint. Another example of the modern Church: St. Chrysostomos of Smyrna († 1922) who in Greece is known, yet in Russia is completely unknown, but this does not mean that he is not a saint.

Honor Martyrs - Imitate Martyrs

We honor our saints and St. Valentine when we imitate their courage to proclaim their faith in Christ the Savior, who did so even at the cost of their lives. We honor them when we beseech them to appeal to God to have mercy on us and forgive our many sins. We honor them when they are our models of the life in Christ. We do not honor the saints when we measure their 'worth' by worldly amusements and festivities in the best circumstances ... Honor Martyrs - Imitate Martyrs!

1. Encyclopedia New Advent (www.newadvent.org)
2. Patron Saints Index (www.catholic-forum.com/saints/indexsnt.htm)
3. Oxford Dictionary of Saints
4. Ελληνισμός & Ορθοδοξία, Εκδόσεις PSL Λιβάνη
5. Ο άγιος Βαλεντίνος της Αθήνας, Εκδόσεις Καλός Τύπος
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos
Read also:

original source:
translation and photos:


more mockery, coming from world-orthodoxy...
This one is particularly blatant.  "It is a religious obligation to get drunk on St. Valentine's feast day."

Youth Conference Mountain View

• Photos Mountain View Youth Conference
   Russian text
also see machine translation of news.ruschurchabroad  February 2014 posts

Discontent in Romania

Apparently not everyone in Romania is happy about the possibly-coming unity of the GOC with the SIR.  I received this email this morning from a Romanian layman.

Thank you Joanna for responding me. I will give you a material in romanian language, but if you fins some persone for translate this document in english. I think is good for you. Thanks for all informations. The true is another.
We keep connection if you want. Yes our website is closed. We have now one heresy, kiprianism, Bishop Kiprianos de Oropos and Fili. If you can read about his ecclesiological thesis of Kiprianos. In our church are many problems. 
In Christ,

The document that was attached to the email is somewhat readable even before being put through the translator.  Even in Romanian we can see that it is from the Vitaly schism, RocorV-Archbishop Victor Pivovarov.   This is the sign-off, the last sentence:

În prezent, ROCOR-V Vicariatul Ortodox Românesc este în sobordonare canonică faţă de Arhiepiscopul Victor Pivovarov, unul dintre ierarhii apropiaţi Mitropolitului Vitalie (Ustinov). Din data de 21 Mai 3 Iunie 2012, Eparhia din România a fost numită “Blagocinatul Românesc”.

Videos of Lenin's statues being razed

Reader Daniel sharing
5 videos of Lenin's statues being razed
AND, in many other cities in Ukraine, this is being repeated.
"The idols, O Our Saviour, have fallen, unable to endure thy strength!"

2 minutes
3 minutes
3 minutes
1 minutes
4 minutes

Draft Text on ROCA Canonicity

found on Internet Sobor:
Human translation kindly provided by Vladimir Djambov

Metropolitan Agafangel: On the Canonicity of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Vis-à-vis the fact that reproaches are often made against us about our  canonicity, I decided to try and draw-up a brief reference, with the most general of answers to the questions asked, so that  it may be accessible and understandable to many. I here propose a draft of the text. Comments and corrections are welcome.

Brief background [reference]
[version as of February 18, 2014]

The Canonicity of the Church comes from three components:

1). The Orthodox Faith that the Church has maintained unchanged [ever] since the Apostolic days (to the present day).

2). The Continuity [Succession] of Grace's being handed down from the Apostolic times to the present day.

3). The Non-disassociation from those Christians who have themselves always [and invariably, consistently] complied with the first two conditions.

1).      The  Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR – also called ROCA) has always confessed an Apostolic, Patristic, Orthodox Faith; a faith that has established the Universe, and has retreated  in nothing from that confession.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has anathematized innovationism that has tried and is still trying to bring into Orthodoxy, its enemies: the heresy of Ecumenism and the sin of Sergianism.

2). The issue of the continuity [succession] of Apostolic Grace within ROCA is not questioned.

3). This issue requires a more detailed consideration. Required to explain are: a) ROCOR's belonging to the Local Russian [Orthodox] Church, and b) its belonging to  Ecumenical (Catholic) Orthodoxy.

a). ROCA has always confessed and still confesses itself not as the completeness but as PART of the Local Russian Church. Historically – due to external, political circumstances – there have been formed three such parts: [namely] the ROCA, the Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union, and the official Moscow Patriarchate ( which though having adapted itself to the Soviet power [regime]. The Russian Church's separation into these three parts has [its] political reasons that do not depend on the Church. ROCA proved to be cut off from the Church Administration in Moscow by the front line (and later – by the "Iron Curtain"), because of which between them there could be no connection. For this reason, in 1920, the highest authority of ecclesiastical power in Moscow, headed by Patriarch Tikhon, issued decree Number 362, which prescribed in that case, the organization [launching] of an independent church administration. Which was done: a Supreme Church Authority (the SEA) was set up, which consisted of two sub-units – the Synod of Bishops and the Supreme Church Council (made up, apart from the bishops, also of priests and laity). In 1922, Patriarch Tikhon – pressured by the theomachist [God-fighting] power [government], issued a Decree on the dissolution of the SEA. ROCA obeyed and abolished [lit. – emtpied up] the SEA. For the purpose of converting the foreign parishes in compliance with Patriarch Tikhon's will, an Interim Synod was formed. However, Patriarch Tikhon required no further reforms of church administration abroad and acknowledged this Synod's regulations and its validity (which [Synod] was later transformed into a standing one) and which has since been the canonical governing body of ROCA.*

ROCA has always emphasized that although it is separated from the Russian Church – to have remained on its territory – but spiritually and canonically these [two] do [comprise] one whole.

The canonical disassociation from a part of the Russian Church, administratively headed by Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) took place in 1927. Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), in collusion with the theomachists, issued the infamous Declaration, recognized – and obeyed to – the Soviet authorities, and complying with all its requirements. One such requirement was the subordination of the ROCA to the godless power in the USSR. ROCA could not – join together with Metropolitan Sergius, who had betrayed Christ – go into the service of the theomachists; it abandoned any canonical communion with Metropolitan Sergius (especially since the administration he headed had an interim and transitional nature, and it could not [possibly] claim to possess the canonical fullness of a Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority**).

ROCA has always remained united [one] with the Catacomb Church in Soviet Russia, and it has many times officially declared this.

ROCA was always ready to unite with [the] other parts of the Russian Church, as soon as an opportunity for this appeared. However, in 1943, Joseph Stalin – for political reasons, decided to restore – allegedly – the fullness of the Russian Local Church, [by] convening a Council of bishops under [his] control and choosing a "patriarch", thus creating the now extant Moscow Patriarchate. The ROCA and the Catacomb Church did not recognize that act of the Soviet power. Later, the Moscow Patriarchate – apart from the sin of collaboration with the theomachist authorities (which we name "Sergianism"), began confessing the heresy of ecumenism (claiming that the Church of Christ should unite with  itself all heretics, those excommunicated by the Seven Ecumenical Councils included). These two obstacles (namely, Sergianism and Ecumenism) became an impenetrable wall between  ROCA and the MP. Henceforth ROCA could become one with the MP only under the condition of the latter's repudiation of the last of these two obstacles. Later, adding onto these obstacles was the gaping abyss of the spiritual fall of the MP's episcopate [bishops], possessed by the vices of homosexuality, debauchery, greed and fraud.

When an opportunity availed itself, ROCA merged with a certain part of the Catacomb Church, which has entered into submission to the ROCA Synod.

+ + +

ROCA's legislative acts developed so as to provide for the situation – just in case – that if its Synod ceases to exist*** (which was what happened in 2007, when part of the ROCOR entered into submission to MP, without repentance by the latter for its Ecumenism and Sergianism). The remainder faithful bishop, holding  onto traditionalist positions, ROCOR Bishop (now Metropolitan) Agafangel – kept the duty of loyalty to  ROCA's spiritual and canonical heritage – and thus fulfilled what was prescribed by the Councils of 1934 and of 1959. The supreme governing body of the ROCA was convened – the Diaspora [All-Outside-Russia-parishes] Council, which restored the canonical administration of our Church.****

b).       ROCA's belonging to  Ecumenical [Catholic-Universal]  Orthodoxy is conditioned by the fact that the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church (part of which is the ROCA) belongs to  Ecumenical Orthodoxy.

ROCA's disassociation with other Local Churches is also conditioned by the fact that other Local Churches are subjected to just the same canonical ailments as is the Moscow Patriarchate. Definitive relationships with other Local Churches can be established only after a [future] Local Council of the Russian Church, which will restore the fullness of the Local Russian Church.

Thus, the canonical status of  ROCA is today just the same as it has always been with ROCA: ROCA was formed not as a result of a split, but by the Decree of the Supreme Ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Church in 1920. In ROCA's historical path there has been not [ a single] episode when it willfully, broke [split] away from the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church, which  ROCA and the MP currently share – just the same as they used to share before – the heresy of Ecumenism and the sin of Sergianism (which has, in particular, led to a deep moral fall of the MP episcopate).

ROCA has always been and continues to be a free and healthy part of the Russian Orthodox Church.

+ + +

We are few, but the Lord said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20) and "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke. 12:32).

We are reproached that we do not have communion with the other Local Churches. But we should not [at all] strive after such communion. Our issue is limited to the boundaries of the Local Russian Orthodox Church, and only after the final decision of this issue at a [future] Russian Local Council can we talk about relations with other Local Churches.

They say that no one recognizes us. This is untrue, we are not testifying of ourselves. Testifying of us as of the historical ROCA are the Old Calendar Churches of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, as well as the Jerusalem Patriarch Irenaeus. We cherish communion with these churches because they unite true Christians [believers] – both by Faith, and by moral life. We cherish the testimony of us by the Patriarch of Jerusalem – the legitimate head of the Local Church of Jerusalem.


* This Synod controlled all Russian parishes in territories that were not controlled by the Soviet power: [namely] in Europe, North and South America, in the Middle and Far East, in Australia, New Zealand, the Holy Land, Russian monasteries on Mount Athos, the Russian parish in Tehran, Russian émigrés established parishes in Africa. Subsequently, under the influence of the Soviet regime and the Masons, breaking away from ROCOR were parishes in Europe (that are under Metropolitan Eulogius) and in America (that are under Metropolitan Platon)., the schismatic North American Metropolia, since 1970 named, The Orthodox Church in America. 

** The Church did not give Metropolitan Sergius full rights [allowing him] to take decisions that were vital for the whole Church. He was – canonically – a Secretary to Metropolitan Peter, whose powers included for him to simply support the Office during the arrest of the locum tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Peter. But Metropolitan Sergius, through the help of the Soviet power [government], usurped [for himself] the rights of the Patriarch [and that] with Metropolitan Peter still being alive.

*** ROCOR Council of 1959, Protocol [minutes] 21, Para [article] 18

XVIII. Bishop Nikon reports that certain Right Reverends have raised the issue of the need to have a definition that would indicate how to proceed in the event of such global events that would [possibly] disjoin [dissociate] individual dioceses from the Synod of Bishops. In this regard, the Synod Office presented the following act, signed by His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony on August 31, 1934:

"Decree of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad at a meeting of August 31, 1934 in Sremsk Karlovci (Yugoslavia).:
Having discussed the issue of further activities of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian [Church] Abroad and taking into account the possibility of the most unexpected events, which our time abounds with, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia – before its adjournment decreed [ruled the following]: if in the event that for any reason the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad would have been forced to cease its activities, it would be the duty of the oldest hierarch – who is [abides] in a situation [under conditions] that does not severely-limit his actions – to convene as soon as possible a new Synod, and if possible – a Council, as well, at that place that would be most convenient. Until that time, [each and] every hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, would govern his flock on his own, according to his conscience and his understanding as of an arch-pastor. This decree shall not be made public [subject to proclamation].

President of the Council: + Metropolitan Anthony."

[It has been] Decreed: The definition of the Council of Bishops of the August 31, 1934 is to remain in force, accepting it for information and guidance.

**** This decision was supported by the Jerusalem Patriarch Irenaeus, as well as by the Old Calendar Churches of Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, which the ROCA had established communion with since 1994.


Reader Daniel:
... we need to clearly state that the fragments are uncanonical and do not have valid orders, etc. – as one major set of issues.

Metropolitan Agafangel 18.02.2014 
Metropolitan Agafangel's avatar  
Thank you, Fr. Nicander. I agree [with this] and have put additional footnote to this effect [with this remark].

Fr. Nikander  18.02.2014 
monk Nicander's avatar
Vladyko, it is probably worth adding,  the circumstances of the usurpation by Met. . Sergius of the church authority from under the living locum tenens Met.  Peter and other candidates.

Metropolitan Agafangel  18.02.2014 
Metropolitan Agafangel's avatar 
If there are  constructive propositions which may  come in for improving the text, these will immediately be entered into the draft [version].

Fr. Victor 18.02.2014 
Vladyka, maybe [we had better] expand the number of items [components]:

I              Orthodoxy of the Faith, maintained by the Church.

II             Continuity [Succession] of grace's handing down since the Apostolic times.

III           Canonicity of the jurisdiction's origin (the SEA –jurisdiction['s] of the Council and of the Synod)

- The Canonical Act (Tomos, Decree) of the canonical, Autocephalous, holding the right of talent [Grace?], Mother-Church, on the granting of autocephaly, autonomy or independence of the newly-elected SEA.

IV           Recognition of the canonical Act of the Mother-Church on the part of other Local Churches:

- Adoption of a new jurisdiction in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate (as a minimum), and by other local churches.

V             Canonicity of staying in the jurisdiction:

- Unchanged preservation of the newly formed jurisdiction's communion with its Mother-Church.

VI           Canonicity of the episcopate [bishops], constituting the SEA of the jurisdiction being formed.

- The election by the Council of newly consecrated  [chirotonia] bishops [to be ordained?] – as approved by the Primate, chirotonias performed in accordance with the Councils decision of the SEA, a sufficient number of canonical bishops concelebrating the liturgy, preservation of the Orthodox Faith and the episcopal [bishop's] oath, offered by the bishop prior to his ordination [chirotonia].
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Metropolitan Agafangel 18.02.2014 
- The Canonical Act (Tomos, Decree) of the canonical, Autocephalous, holding the right of talent [Grace?], Mother-Church, on the granting of autocephaly, autonomy or independence of the newly-elected SEA.

Decree # 362 of Patriarch Tikhon, the Holy Synod and the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council [Administration?] dated November 7/20, 1920.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

ROCA has - in practical terms – recognized all the Local Churches and addressed them as a representation of the Russian Church [should  be addressed].

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

ROCA has always – until recently – concelebrated [the liturgy] with the Jerusalem and the Serbian Orthodox Churches.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + +

The Central Ecclesiastical Authority of the Russian Church has ceased to exist with the death of the locum tenens Metropolitan Peter. It can be restored only at a free Local All-Russian Council, which has always been referred to within the ROCA and the Catacomb Church.

I do not see any particular need to dwell in details on these points. In my opinion they do not add anything fundamentally new to what has the already been set out. But perhaps we should edit somewhat the draft [version] in accordance with your comments. We have to think [it over]. Thank you.

Fr. Victor 18.02.2014 
Vladyka, you wrote: " ROCA has - in practical terms – recognized all the Local Churches and addressed them as a representation of the Russian Church [is to be addressed]."

- I would add up to this some historical facts, such as:

The fact of formal recognition by SEA of the ROCA and vesting her the status of epitrotsii by the Constantinople Patriarchate [through] a Decree by the locum tenens of the Ecumenical Patriarchal Throne Metropolitan Dorotheos of Brusk on December 2, 1920.

The fact that the first All-Diaspora Council in 1921 was chaired by the Serbian Patriarch Barnabas.

The fact that the Jerusalem Patriarchate's canonicity is 50% dependent on ROCOR, due to itsdescent from  ROCOR, from 1921, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky) together with the Patriarch Damian ordained [performed the chyrotonia of] the Synod of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in a new membership.

The fact that the Met. Anthony (Khrapovitsky) personally participated in the enthronement of Patriarch of Romania Miron (Cristea) on November 1, 1925.

The fact that Archbishop Anastassy ( Gribanovsky ) was raised to the rank of Metropolitan by the Serbian Patriarch Barnabas in 1935 .

It seems to me, Vladyka, that the topic you started, needs to be developed so that in the issue of our canonicity there would be no questions not only to the children of our Church, but also to outsiders [to it] and especially to ROCA's ill-wishers.

Issues raised here may [well] serve to the clear-cut proof of the non-canonical origin and the plight of those abiding outside the Church walls, of all those – with no exceptions – who self-formed church departments [administrations] of the ROCA "fragments", spiritually nourished by bishops of ordinations of dubious origin and clergy that are respectively [matching] to their bishops; and to encourage them to the thought that ONLY A RETURN TO THE BOSOM OF THE CANONICAL ROCA UNDER THE OMOPHORION OF ITS LAWful PRIMATE MAY FIX [straighten up] THEIR CANONICAL STATUS.

Metropolitan Agafangel 2/19/2014
I've corrected a little the draft in line with your, Fr. Victor, remarks. Check the outcome[A1] . I'll be grateful for new propositions.

Fr. Victor 19/02/2014
Perhaps, Vladyka, you can add a little vis-à-vis the actions of Metropolitan Sergius that led to the uncanonicity of the Moscow Ecclesiastical Authority in 1937 ***

In his article, "On the powers of the patriarchal locum tenens and his deputy," carried by issue # 1 of the "Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate" in 1931 Metr. Sergius (Stragorodsky) wrote that "The deputy is vested in patriarchal authority to the same extent as the locum tenens who is being replaced. The difference between the locum tenens and his deputy is not in the extent of patriarchal authority, but in the fact that the deputy is like a companion to the locum tenens: he retains his powers up until the time the locum tenens remains on [takes control of]  his post [position]. Once the locum tenens is out of his position (for [reasons of] death, traverse [refusal], etc.) at that very moment the powers of the deputy are discontinued. It goes without saying that with the return of the locum tenens to governing, the deputy discontinues to govern".

Metropolitan Sergius admitted [repeatedly] that without a Patriarch the Moscow Cathedra remains unoccupied, and the election to this cathedra of the new Patriarch belongs to [falls within] the competence of the Local [Church] Council.

Thus, with the death of Metropolitan Peter in 1937, Metr. Sergius – having not [resigned] put off himself the mandates, and having not immediately passing them [on] to the still alive, Patriarch- elect Tikhon and to the approved by the Local Council Locum Tenens – Metropolitan Agathangelus, Metr. Sergius perpetrated a split, [ a SCHISM]  and thus usurped the canonical power of the Primate that did not belong to him, illegally he adjoined to his title a new, never existing before the [honorary] title [or rank] – "patriarchal locum tenens", willfully usurped [for himself] the Patriarchal Diocese of Moscow, [by] sanctioning these atrocities by the Decree of December 27, 1937.
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Metropolitan Agafangel 02/19/2014 
I touched up the text a little bit based on your comments. I would not like to complicate things greatly, on the one hand, while on the other – answers need be given to many questions.
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Fr. Victor 19/02/2014 
Vladyka, the format that you have chosen for your article is perfectly  suited for implementing both one and/or the other purpose.

On the one hand, this is a brief – in a few points [items, only] – canonical reference with general answers – it is easily accessible to laity. On the other hand, you have already provided the reference with helpful footnotes with detailed explanations, which is extremely important for the clergy who are interested [in this].

I think it would be well for this work to set out in greater details three issues:

I              The issue of the canonical status of the MP.

1. The non-canonicity of the self-formed patriarchalal throne of MP since [the moment of] its founding by Stalin in 1943.
2 . The non-canonicity of the elections of the first Soviet Patriarch by ReCom [based on recommendations?] by the Council of Bishops in 1943 in violation of the Definitions of the Local Council of 1917-1918. The automatic non-canonicity of subsequent patriarchs. Non-recognition of the Soviet Patriarchs on the part of  ROCA.
3 . Indiscriminate non-canonicity [of each and every one] of the MP bishops and priests in the light of their ordinations performed at the behest of secular authorities.
4 . The heresy of Ecumenism of the MP in the light of the Definitions of the All-Orthodox Meeting in Moscow, 1948, and the 1982 anathema by ROCOR.
6. The sin of Sergianism.

II             The canonicity beyond any doubt of the modern[-days] ROCA and its inseverable link with the historical ROCA.

1. Discontinuation of the existence of the Synod of Metropolitan Laurus. Metr. Laurus' and his supporters' departure into the Ecumenic heresy and joining the MP schism in 2007
2. The beyond-doubt canonicity of the ROCA bishop Agafangel on May 17, 2007
3 . The unlawfulness of the prohibitions imposed on May 20, 2007 on Bishop Agafangel by the meeting of former ROCOR bishops who had already joined the MP schism [split] and heresy. (It should also be stressed here that that prohibition stemmed not from the Council and not even from the Synod of the former ROCOR. One should especially emphasize the forgery unacceptable in the Church and the unheard-of baseness [act of treachery], played out by the Synod of Metropolitan Laurus and its implementation by Bishop Michael (Donskoy)) – which was a combination of two separate Decrees, found out[ discovered]  at a meeting of the Ukrainian clergy in April 2007)
4. Preservation of the canonical diocesan structure of ROCA, the All-Diaspora Meeting of clergy and laity in 2007, the Vth All-Diaspora Council, Restoration of of the bodies of canonical governing of ROCA.

III           The absolute non-canonicity of all the "fragments" of the ROCA

1. The non-canonicity of the origin of these new self-formations.
2. The non-canonicity of the ordinations/consecrations  [chirotonia-s] performed within these schisms and para-synagogues.
3. The schismatics' rapture with the rights of court [belonging to] of the Ecumenical Council (for example: ROAC's [illegitimate] anathema to the Greek Synod of the TOC of Metropolitan Cyprian, and those who are in communion with them, Met. Vlassie of the Romanian Synod, Bishop Photios of the Old Calendar Bulgarians and the ROCA).
4 . The schismatics' rapture with the rights of the Local Autocephalous Church (for example: the granting by the para-synagogue of RTOC of 'autocephaly' to the Trenton "I-ROCA" of prot. Stephen Sabelnik.["RTOC-Trenton"].
5 . Schismatic activities of the "fragments" abroad [in foreign countries]. The illegal reception of parishes and the forming of dioceses on the canonical territory of the ROCA.

Internet Cathedral  20.02.2014
Do not want to strongly increase the volume. I made some adjustments in line with your comments.

Fr. Victor  21.02.2014 
Pleases our soul consciousness, that we belong to our small, but "crystal clear" prophetic Orthodox Church of St John of Shanghai. The cleanliness of our Holy Church and its determined canonicity of its undoubted origin and continuity with  Her Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority, the Primate of our canonicity, the Council of Bishops and undamaged united  Orthodoxy manifested as one. Risen from the ruins left by themselves in 2007, of the  Uniates, ROCA - is a miracle of God and it is not an exaggeration to say that our  Church has no other such comparison. Bogolyubets [God-lovers] seeking refuge in the bosom of the True Church, by just staying in the lap of our ROCA or by communicating with  ROCA's sister  jurisdictions, may prove to themselves and  realize themselves, that they  are dwelling in the Ark of Salvation. though we are saddened that the leaders of the "fragments" of the ROCA - those that primarily should  ask to join the Orthodox Church, amuse themselves and deceive others that they belong to the "CPI", actually are being in a clearly non-canonical position, and if they cannot understand, that they are outside of the Truth, and therefore outside of Christ, because Christ is the Truth-. of which there is  proof enough in the obvious facts and any further explanations  to them, could go on forever and ever (!), but it seems it was already written [ long ago], and well said enough that, "having eyes shall they not see, yes, and having ears - they shall not  hear!"

* "crystal clear" refers to a recorded prophecy of St. John that the ROCA would be small but "crystal clear".  With the purge of the RocorMP union this prophecy was fulfilled.

more commentary can be read through the Google translator.