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


Some videos about some treasures of Orthodoxy

(a small selection)
Reader Daniel sharing:

Warning: Most of what is shown in these videos is correct information, however especially in the case of this first BBC production, the narrator, not being Orthodox, utters some erroneous/in ignorance,  explanations and even a few un-Orthodox heresies, such as when he points to a fresco of the Holy Apostle Peter, and says, that St. Peter is the 'rock' that Christ founded His church upon, etc.

BBC Glories of Byzantium
1 hour

The Most Famous Five Byzantine churches: 
 13 minutes

In Bukovina,  etc.
 17 minutes
Bulgarian Monastery of St. John of Rila:
10 minutes

An Old Love Letter to ROCOR

from a spiritual brother in Russia during the communist times.  
(Our spiritual brothers remaining in these times were betrayed by the RocorMP union.)
from Orthodox Life 1977 translated from Orthodox Russia 1977, No. 20 (Oct. 15/28), pp. 12-13

Testimony from Russia

Below we cite a letter written in Russian and entrusted to a foreign tourist in the Soviet Union to convey to Jordanville for publication in our periodicals.

To the St. Job of Pochaev Press at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York, America

"...and I am bold also." II Cor. 11:21

Forgive me, a sinful, unworthy, worthless worm of the earth, who dares ask leave to salute the honorable, pure Bride – the Church of Christ.  Yes, your Church (which is ours also), with its lawful synod of bishops and its first hierarch, is the true, free Church of Christ, which has passed through the crucible of ordeals and has not faltered before the blows and waves that have engulfed all of Russia, but has escaped all of this, being known through the almighty Right Hand of God, to Whom be Glory unto ages of ages.  It has become a beacon to the whole world, for in it the teaching of the Church and the Holy Fathers and the decrees of the Councils have been preserved in their purity.  And how joyful it is; what comforting reverence surrounds the and the heart of the Orthodox Christian.  But the Heavenly Church (for the Church of Christ is not of this world) cannot be spiritually enslaved to an earthly prince, to the prince of this world.  Let the theologians examine the Holy Scriptures: where is it written that the will of God or the Holy Spirit have ever been enslaved?  Where, when and by whom were laws written for God to obey?  Did He not create everything in free love and goodness?  Did not God grant free will to all creation?  And the Church He redeemed with His holy Blood, can it be enslaved to atheists?  Instead of preaching the will of God, the word of the truth of salvation, we are forced to preach politics.  Can the Holy Spirit and the Lord Christ assent to this?  Christ came into the world, ate and drank with sinners, as though to unite with them; yet He was not party to their sin, but rather purified and saved that which was sinful.  Patriarch Sergei united himself to the atheists, perhaps thinking that by such a course he might save everything; but he proved to be an instrument of politics.  

In the person of the free Russian Church Abroad it is not only the Church which has been preserved, but Russia herself.  She is alive there through her decrees and traditions.  And to which man who has escaped the clutches of godless terror can this not be clear?  Yes, terror.  The atheists show themselves to be the stranglers of all truth and justice, passing themselves off as "angels of light", who, having suffocated Russia, imagine that they will rule forever.  But the corpse is still alive – it still has mighty powers reserved within itself.  And, if it be the Lord's will, it shall rise again.  And the Russian Church Abroad shall permeate its (Russia's) life as a soul does a body, and shall direct and renew that Holy Russia which God raised up and which has apparently been suffocated by the godless terror.  "Thy will be done. . ."  When a bridegroom sees that his bride is faithful and devoted to him, he rejoices.  How could our Lord Jesus Christ not rejoice, seeing His pure Church, which has preserved all the signs of the seal of that teaching which He gave her through the holy Apostles, the holy Fathers and the decrees of the holy Councils?  The Lord did not speak falsely when He said: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Lk. 12:32).  "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age" (Matt. 28:10.).  "And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:22)

Prayer Requests

health conditions and difficult days

Please keep Fr. Amboise  [in Haiti], especially in your prayers.  He has been stricken by the chikungunya virus, now epidemic in Haiti.  It is mosquito-borne, dreadful (high fever, severe joint pain, dreadful headaches, symptomatically rather similar to dengue fever).  Fortunately it is rarely fatal except to the very young and the very old, but certainly very debilitating.  In most cases it endures about 7 days, but sometimes with joint pain lingering for months.  There is no cure or treatment other than plenty of fluids & anti-inflammatories (which are almost unobtainable in PaP because of the epidemic).

•Archpriest Gregory
•Archdeacon Basil  (undergoing exploratory surgery Monday June 2)
•Reader Daniel
•Elizabeth  (injury to arm requiring stitches, wound not healing)
•Gabriella  (apostate, missing person, heroin addict)

Selected pair of news items

MP "priest" captured among terrorists rebels

A group of armed representatives of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, recognized in Ukraine as a terrorist organization, tried to disrupt the presidential election in Ukraine on 25 May after breaking into two polling stations and threatening violence against members of the election commission.
As a result of an armed clash of militants with forces of the Ukrainian army and MVD, 13 persons were arrested. Among them was the leader of the Maretskii group, who is an activist of the so-called Don cossackdom and rector of one of the local churches of the Moscow patriarchate, and there also was a staff member of the Dzhankoiskaia (self-proclaimed) prosecutors office named Saklakov, UNIAN reports. (tr. by PDS, posted 26 May 2014)

Comrade Mikhailov pretends he wants Church and state to be separated
Stetson News 27 May 2014   http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/1405g.html#47 

Internet Sobor report:

Memory Eternal

One Year Memorial
Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili

Funeral Announcement Portal Credo Ru May 30, 2013

Photos of 40 day Memorial July 6, 2013

Decree banning association with Nazarov

ROCA: Decree banning prayer and engage in social interaction with accursed M.V. Nazarov

TO: The clergy and parishioners of the Moscow diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Due to the fact that our Church excommunicated from itself, Michael V. Nazarov, and despite repeated admonitions to him, he continues to serve [pretends to be] an alleged member of our church: causing some priests and parishioners of the Church to oppose each other; doing online distribution of his rudeness and slander against our bishops, clergy and laity; given the fact that even an official opinion [about this] from the Council of Bishops of the ROCOR Synod, he has counted them as nothing; he so stubbornly resisting the Church of the Savior on the immutable word, we have rendered a verdict:
(full scriptural quote):
Mathew 18:17:
"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church; let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector [a Publican]."
Guided by the requirements of our Hierarchical oath, obliging us to guard against "such nastiness, and actions against Christian piety and good manners and customs, so that such ones be not allowed to hurt Christian lives."
Specifies, to all the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, staying in the Moscow diocese and beyond, not to have to face to face communication nor thereunder, nor prayer, nor everyday communication, with this man.
I remind you that, according to church canons, in particular, to the Apostolic Rule 10: "If a man be cut off from communion with the church, then who prays with him, even if it be in a house: so let him be excommunicated."
I urge all the faithful of our Church to unity in Christ our Saviour.
First Hierarch of ROCOR
+ Metropolitan Agafangel

1987 Synod Epistle: Millenium Jubilee Celebration

Of the Synod of Bishops of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
To the Pastors and Flock of the
Russian Orthodox Church

"...the power of the Church lies not in an intact external organization, but in the unity of faith and love committed by Her to Her children!"

    Beloved brethren and sisters in Christ, children of the Russian Orthodox Church!  The millennial jubilee of the baptism of our forebears is now approaching, an event which marked the beginning of the life of the Church and grace in the Russian land, and which has made us, their posterity, Orthodox Christians.

     This jubilee must be a festival for each Russian Orthodox Christian, wherever he may live, as well as for all the non-Russian children of our Church, who participate in Her grace-filled life.

     But, alas! our Mother Church has had to live through a terrible era, and is still trying to survive it to this very day.  Her ancient shrines are desecrated.  She weeps for Her children.  They have received a new baptism in blood as they end a thousand years of their Christian history.

    Oppression and persecution of Her faithful children continues, and the gates of the forced-labor camps and prisons even today yawn wide to receive them.  The Patriarchate of Moscow, officially recognized by the godless dictators of our homeland, is powerless to help the persecuted or to better its own position in anyway.  The millennial jubilee is not a particularly happy occasion for us, even though a "great celebration" is being prepared in our homeland to mark it.

The millennial jubilee is not a particularly happy occasion for us, even though a "great celebration" is being prepared.

    In the paschal epistle of the Patriarch of Moscow, the faithful read astonishing words about a supposed "universal renewal" of the life of our land.  We hope that this renewal will touch, first of all, the life of the much-suffering Church.

    Apparently believing in the possibility of such a renewal, members of the synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow say, in their pre-jubilee epistle of 21 June 1987, that "the coming jubilee must be a celebration also for those children of the Church of Russia who, for various reasons, are not at present in her salvific fold ...."  They therefore address to the hierarchs, clergy and laity who comprise the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia "...a fraternal appeal to overcome the spirit of bitterness and divisiveness, and to glorify the all-holy name of our Lord and Saviour with one mouth and one heart .... that the approaching jubilee may become a celebration for the totality of the Church of Russia..."

     We welcome this good desire and give thanks for the invitation.  But even they who call upon us speak in their epistle of the various reasons which divide us.

      The first reason is the denial by the Patriarchate of Moscow of the martyrs and confessors of our time.  It is impossible to say that we have had no martyrs for the Faith, as we have heard repeatedly from the lips of representatives of the Patriarchate of Moscow; we cannot remain silent about their struggle or avoid speaking of it, especially at the millennial jubilee of the baptism of Rus', thereby distorting the history of the Church of recent times.

      The fullness of the Church is not confined only to the faithful who live on earth.  She cannot be conceived of without all the saints of Russia, among whom are the martyrs of recent decades.  It is for this reason that the celebration of the jubilee coincides with the day on which all the saints who have shone forth in the Russian land are commemorated and invoked in prayer.  The Russian Church is one, the heavenly and earthly comprise her fullness.

the Russian Church is one, the heavenly and earthly comprise her fullness

     Thus, keeping in mind the "universal renewal" in which those who invite us believe, we, for our part, invite them fearlessly and openly to confess the struggle of the new-martyrs and confessors of our Church who have now been glorified.

    Without ardent prayers to them, without sharing one mouth and one heart with them, there cannot be a jubilee and the fullness of the Church.  They are our brethren and sisters by blood and the Faith; they are the glory of the Church; they are Her victory; their struggle is the justification of the thousand-year history of Christianity in Russia.

    The second reason is that the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (subsequently Patriarch), that the interests of the Church and the atheistic government are identical, to this day still forms the basis of their relations.  It deprives the Patriarchate of Moscow of freedom, justifying the total arbitrary rule of the regime in the affairs of the Church.

    We know that this declaration was not accepted in Russia by the majority of bishop-confessors, by the clergy faithful to them, and the flock, at the time of its promulgation, and on the strength of this they ended their life in martyrdom, in the terrible death camps.

     Even while in the camp on Solovki, these confessors, doomed to death, appealed to the Soviet government with a memorandum in which they spoke of the "irreconcilability of the religious teaching of the Church with materialism, the official philosophy of the communist party and the government guided by it.  The soul of the Church, the condition of Her existence and reason for Her being is that very thing which is categorically denied by communism.  No compromises and concessions, partial changes in religious teaching or reinterpretation of it in the spirit of communism will satisfy the militant atheists."  The voice of the pastors who wrote this historic memorandum was at that time, in 1925, the voice of a Church of Russia still free.

     In the circumstances then created, the Solovki prisoners saw the only way out of the position: a full and consistently-implemented law on the separation of the Church from the state.

    Even more than sixty years later, this is what the best Russian people now desire.  Thus, for example, in his article "From Repentance to Action" (Literary Gazette, 9 Sept 1987), the academic D. S. Likhachev boldly and truthfully wrote that "if one would speak of the contemporary Church, one should especially today, on the eve of the millennial anniversary of the baptism of Rus', emphasize: we stand in favor of the complete, genuine separation of the Church from the state."

     These are the changes which the faithful in Russia are waiting for in the life or the Mother Church.  They expect the representatives of the Patriarchate of Moscow, during the period of "universal renewal," to find within themselves the strength to cast off the heavy yoke imposed upon the Church by the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius.

      The third reason is that the epistle of the Patriarchate of Moscow distinctly maintains, even though it calls us Church, that we are "outside the salvific fold of the Mother Church."

The MP distinctly maintains that we are outside the salvific fold of the Mother Church.

 Is this so?

     Is this so?  Our Russian Church Outside of Russia is established upon a firm and immovable canonical foundation: the decree of His Holiness, Patriarch Tikhon dated 7/20 November 1920, #362.  This historic decree is one of the very last – we shall say, more prophetic – acts of the FREE Church of Russia, which has not lost its meaning even to the present day, in view of the fact that the Patriarchate of Moscow is until now not free and is enslaved to the atheists.

For the fullness of the Church, time and space do not exist.

    The authors of the epistle call upon us to return to what we have never left.  We have never thought of ourselves as apart from the Mother Church, preserving a spiritual and prayerful unity with those who have been martyred and who have suffered for the Faith, with those who have departed into the catacombs, with all the true Orthodox Christians, with all the fullness of the Church of Russia, for which time and space do not exist: "The Spirit bloweth whither so ever it wisheth." We, living outside the boundaries of our homeland, have not repudiated the name Russian, have not sought out the omophorion of other bishops, for which for all these years we have had to endure persecution and disdain from false brethren and those who hate not only our Church, but our homeland as well.  And now they call upon us to return.  But to what?

    We remain faithful to the testament of the Solovki prisoners, that "the power of the Church lies not in an intact external organization, but in the unity of faith and love committed by Her to Her children.”

The power of the Church lies not in an intact external organization, but in the unity of faith and love committed by Her to Her children.

    These are the basic reasons why we are still unable to "glorify the all-holy name of our Lord and Saviour with one mouth and one heart" with those who call upon us to do so.

     Yet apart from these very vital impediments, another, no less important, matter disturbs us: the direction taken by official representatives of the Patriarchate of Moscow in the sphere of the confession of the truth and unity of our Holy Orthodox Faith.  We have observed with regret the ever greater attraction of the Patriarchate of Moscow to ecumenism, with participation in prayer services even with pagans and idolaters (we have in mind here the ecumenical encounter at Assisi).

    All Russian people anxiously follow what is now happening in the homeland, for they want to believe in the "universal renewal'' in the ecclesiastical, political, social and cultural life of our native land.  They want to see signs of this renewal.

    Forthright voices fearlessly condemning the mistakes and crimes of the past decades in the life of Russia and desiring a better future are heard.  Those in the homeland who ponder over the moral problems of contemporary society, the root causes of the lack of spirituality, falsehood, disintegration, dishonesty, are beginning to realize that formerly the Church opposed evil, that She had experience in moral education which communist ethics are unable to give.  The voices of those who demand to be able to live according to their conscience, who seek firm and reliable bases for a renewal of life, resound; they think that the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, which the founders of the godless state so arrogantly repudiated, provide such bases.  Strivings and demands for justice have begun.

      In the same article, "From Repentance to Action," D.S. Likhachev avers that "We need the truth,  The truth not only about the past, but also about the recent past and the present .... If we will tell the truth only with hindsight, this will not deliver us from the repetition of past mistakes.  Only trust and openness are capable of withstanding violence and criminality,"

     This is what the children of the Church are waiting for, in the hope that to these bold voices the free voice of the Church of Russia will be added: a voice demanding religious freedom, freedom to preach Christianity, freedom for the "minister of the cult" to become a pastor of the Church, openly proclaiming the word of the divine Truth everywhere and to everyone, like the apostles, having free access to the faithful, the youth, the children, the sick, those who suffer in hospitals and private apartments, the unfortunate, the lonely, those incarcerated in prisons and forced-labor camps.

    Let us all rely on the omnipotent help of God, for what is impossible for men is possible for God, Who worketh wonders.  We shall await the results of the "universal renewal," believing that what is impossible today may become possible tomorrow.

Nov. 7/20, 1987 
+ Metropolitan Vitaly of Eastern America & New York
+ Archbishop Antony of Los Angeles & Southern California
+ Archbishop Antony of Geneva & Western Europe
+ Archbishop Anthony of Western America & San Francisco
+ Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse & Holy Trinity Monastery
+ Bishop Alypy of Chicago & Detroit
+ Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan

The Catacomb Church

See the pattern?  See the inherent evil in the MP?

The Catacomb Church
by Professor I.M. Andreev

Fr. Seraphim's introduction written 1970:
In recent years a marvellous witness has come out of the enslaved Soviet Union: a long series of protests from Orthodox laymen—and a few of the clergy—against the continued persecution of the Christian faithful by the Soviet Government and by its 'State Church,' the Moscow Patriarchate.

    But how can this be?—a 'Church' that persecutes its own faithful?  The layman Boris Talantov, now in prison in the USSR for 'anti-Governmental activity,' has carefully analyzed this question and found the explanation to lie in 'Sergianism,' i.e., the attitude of those who accept the principle of the 'Declaration' made by Metropolitan Sergius in 1927 that the Soviet Union's "joys and successes are our joys and successes, and its misfortunes are our misfortunes," which in effect made the Moscow Patriarchate the obedient tool of Communist purposes, which function it has continued to serve down to the present day.  Boris Talantov in a recent article has stated that "the roots of the serious ecclesiastical crisis which has now been revealed were planted precisely by Patriarch Sergius… Objectively, this address (the Declaration of 1927) and the ensuing activity of Metr. Sergius was a betrayal of the Church."  Further, according to Talantov, most of the churches that remained open after the persecution of the '30's no longer recognized Metropolitan Sergius as their head.*

* [John B. Dunlop, The Recent Activities of the Moscow Patriarchate, St. Nectarios Educational Series, no. 46, 1970, pp. 109, 113-4.]

    It is these clergy and laymen who do not recognize the official 'Moscow Patriarchate' who comprise the underground or 'Catacomb Church' in the USSR.  It is today an 'illegal' Church in the USSR and for obvious reasons very little can be said about its present extent, organization, etc.  But there are nonetheless at least three sources of reliable information about it: (1) the letters and petitions of bishops and delegations of clergy and laymen who protested the Declaration in 1927 and broke off communion with the official Soviet Church—these hierarchs and faithful were apparently in the majority, and the Soviet Church attained its present ascendancy and 'canonicity' in the USSR through the Government's arrest and murder of the leading anti-Sergianists; (2) statements in the recent Soviet press concerning the arrest and imprisonment of members of underground churches and monasteries belonging to the 'True Orthodox Church' of 'Tikhonites' who refuse to recognize the Moscow Patriarchate; the Communist Government considers this Church of such importance that it published a general account and historical summary of it in the 'Atheist Dictionary,' printed in Moscow in 1964 for the guidance of anti-religious activists; (3) the statements of those who have been members of the Catacomb Church in the USSR and have then come to the West.  The united testimony of these sources leads one to the conclusion that the Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union is a submerged iceberg, a reality of which only a small portion is visible on the surface.  Only when Russia, in God's time, will be freed of the tyranny of Communism and its obedient 'Patriarchate' will the secret life of Russian Orthodoxy be made fully known.

The following two accounts [only one is posted here] fall into the third category of testimony.   They were written by a Doctor of Medicine and Psychiatry who was confined for five years at Solovki – the renowned monastery of the Far North which the Bolsheviks converted into their most feared concentration camp – and was a member of the Catacomb Church there and when he was at freedom in Petrograd (until 1941) before falling behind the German lines and thus eventually reaching the free world.  Since 1950 he has been an instructor at Holy Trinity Seminary at Jordanville, New York, frequently giving lectures and writing articles in fulfillment of his life's aim: to inform the free Orthodox faithful of the existence of the Catacomb Church in the Soviet Union, which in its thousands and millions of members has not bended the knee to Baal.

These articles, although written twenty years ago [written in 1950], have perhaps an even greater urgency today when 'Sergianist' hierarchs, at the dictation of their Soviet masters have become a major factor on the international ecclesiastical and political scene, having achieved a crucial goal for which they have striven for 43 years – the 'spiritual' submission of the American Metropolia [OCA].

(The text is taken from Orthodox Russia, 1950, no. 3)
  The reality of life in the Soviet Union is a frightful nightmare that can neither be understood nor believed by those who have not experienced it.  And the most frightful thing is not the material deprivations, arrests, and banishments, but rather the fact that a conscious, systematic, and diabolically ingenious battle is being waged for the possession of the human soul, against God.  This is the chief aim, and everything else is subordinated to it.

a conscious, systematic, and diabolically ingenious battle is being waged for the possession of the human soul, against God

    Qualitatively the forerunners of Antichrist have already made his kingdom a reality there.  The actual Antichrist will devise nothing new: it will only remain for him to disseminate the methods of the Soviet NKVD (Secret Police) to the other five-sixths of the earth's surface.  The only bright, joyful, and encouraging phenomenon there is the existence of the Catacomb Church, the Church of the wilderness.  It permits us to evaluate optimistically the battle of the Russian soul with atheism: there, the infallible Church has been preserved, against which, as Christ has promised us, the gates of hell shall not prevail.

    I cannot name many names and events.  For understandable reasons I cannot describe much in detail.  I can only say very briefly or hint.  But I also cannot be silent altogether; I do not have the right and I do not wish to, since by my silence I would betray the Truth and memory of the priest-martyrs whom I have seen, with whom I have spoken, and with whom I shared five frightful years of imprisonment in the concentration camp at Solovki.

    Patriarch Tikhon wisely conducted the ship of the Church on the sea of life, which had become agitated by the Revolution.  His situation was extraordinarily difficult, not only because he was constantly threatened by physical danger, not even because for all seven years of his patriarchate he passed every day through moral tortures, but chiefly because there has never been such a situation in the Church's history.  He had to lay out a completely new road across unknown country.  This is why his errors are so understandable and so forgivable.  And his merit is all the greater in that he foresaw and laid the foundation of the Catacomb Church: while alive he blessed the physician-psychiatrist, Professor Zhizhilenko, to found the Catacomb Church. Later Professor Zhizhilenko, working under the Soviets as a physician, received a secret tonsure and was a bishop of the Catacomb Church, being subsequently arrested, imprisoned, and in 1930, shot.

    After the death of the Patriarch, his successors one after the other were banished.  And then Metropolitan Sergius, becoming head of the Church, published the Declaration known to everyone, which acknowledged the joys and sorrows of the Soviets as his own and declared all martyrs political criminals.

    All Orthodox Russia was shaken, and delegations with protests extended to Metr. Sergius from all corners of the land.

    As a member of such a delegation from the Petrograd Diocese I too came to Moscow.  In the Metropolitan's reception room forty people were waiting, and everyone of whom I asked his reason for coming replied that he had come as a delegate to see the Metropolitan.  Russia had not accepted this Declaration!

    The Metropolitan received us out of order.  Finding out the reason why we had come, he reaffirmed everything written in the Declaration, and in answer to our convictions called us 'counter-revolutionaries' and 'schismatics.'  Not taking his blessing, we left without obtaining anything.

    Soon the churches that did not accept the Declaration began to be closed.  In Petrograd only one remained, but everyone who entered it was registered and later arrested.  This was the time when the atheist Soviet power demanded of believers that they go to churches of the official Church.

    I, too, was arrested and banished for five years.  At Solovki I encountered many hierarchs of the true Church.  And there we already had our Catacomb church.

    In the concentration camps the persecution against faith was completely open: priests were shorn and shaved, forbidden to wear cassocks and crosses.  For making the sign of the cross a new term of imprisonment was given.  Of course there was no question of any open services.  The relics of saints were exhibited for mockery in an anti-religious museum with blasphemous inscriptions—even the saints suffered with us!  The monks of Solovki who remained there as specialist-laborers were forbidden to have any contact with the prisoners under penalty of death.  It was especially difficult before great feasts: it was impossible to gather even in twos, no one was allowed anywhere without special passes, night rounds were made more frequent, sentries were doubled. In order to pray one had to be ready at any minute for a martyr's death.  And we were ready for it, always carrying with us, like the first Christians, a Particle of the Holy Gifts.  I brought such a Particles abroad and gave it to Metropolitan Anastassy.

    And not only were we ready to die, but many did die, confident that somewhere there, outside the reach of the Soviet authorities, where there is freedom—there the Truth was shining in all its purity.  There people were living by it and submitting to it.  There people did not bow down to Antichrist.  And what terror overwhelmed me when, fairly recently, I managed to come abroad and found out that some people here 'spiritually' recognize the Soviet Church.  Spiritually!  Many of us there fell, 'for fear of the Jews,' or giving in to the temptation of outward cooperation with the authorities. I knew priests of the official Church who, at home, tore their hair out, who smashed their heads making prostrations, begging forgiveness for their apostasy, calling themselves Cain—but nonetheless they did not have the strength to decide upon martyrdom.  But even they spiritually did not recognize the Red Church.  But these others abroad -- it is precisely spiritually that they submit to it.  What good fortune that our priest-martyrs, in dying, did not find out about this betrayal!*

What good fortune that our priest-martyrs, in dying, did not find out about this betrayal!

* [The Soviets, in connection with the recent triumph of their Sergianist Church in gaining recognition from the American Metropolia, have tried to deprive the faithful even of this consolation: Two young hierarchs of the Metropolis, Bps. Vladimir of Tokyo and Theodosius of Sitka, have visited the "Mother Church" in the USSR, the latter—as the Metropolia press reports—being followed everywhere by great crowds of people, as if to tell the faithful: abandon hope in any free Russian Church abroad—its hierarchs are with your oppressors!]

    When I returned from banishment (to Leningrad) I found the Catacomb Church.  I personally know about 200 places where services were conducted.  Twelve traveling priests and two bishops served them.  These places were quite diverse: from peasant huts right to Soviet institutions, to which one was admitted only by pass.  But at that time the Catacomb Church did not have any general interconnecting organization.

    Having gotten abroad, I naturally began to seek out people who had belonged to the Catacomb Church.  Most of the refugees knew nothing about it. But almost every year I have encountered at least one representative of it, even priests, and I have had written contact with a bishop.

    According to my information the Catacomb Church now has not only become stronger, but has also obtained some kind of organizational forms. According to one bishop, although there are comparatively few active members of the Catacomb Church, the vast majority of the people sympathize with and help them.  Without this sympathy in Soviet conditions the Catacomb Church could not exist at all.

 are there not those who wish to annihilate the Russian Church Outside of Russia?

    Abroad I have been struck by the circumstance that most of the clergy of the Catacomb Church who have come here continue to remain in secret, not even entering the true—Synodal—Church.  This greatly disturbed me: was I then mistaken in entering the Russian Church Outside of Russia?  And if not, then why do they remain in secret?  And then, recently, I received an answer to my perplexity: A bishop of the Catacomb Church, unknown to me, who is living abroad, sent me through a third person a letter.  He speaks first in principle about my articles, which he had read in Orthodox Russia, and in general about the correctness of my position.  Then he gives an answer, as it were, to my doubts.  He says that the clergy of the Catacomb Church often do not enter the Russian Church Outside of Russia—which has not erred in its relationship to atheistic Communism—because the battle is still raging, and who can say whether it will not be necessary for them to apply their experience here, in the West.  The forerunners of Antichrist have already appeared and no one knows when the time will come when every believer, without entering the house, will have to flee into the mountains, i.e., go into the Catacombs.  And he is right; are there not those who wish to annihilate the Russian Church Outside of Russia?  Concerning this, those who have gone away from her have already spoken the first word.  And if this were to happen—we pray that the Lord will not allow this!—where would we then find refuge, where would we find the infallible Church?  Already almost all of the Local Orthodox Churches have either bowed down to the forerunners of Antichrist or give a 'brotherly embrace' to his loyal servants!

Already almost all of the Local Orthodox Churches have either bowed down to the forerunners of Antichrist or give a 'brotherly embrace' to his loyal servants!

    Today there is not and there cannot be any separation between ecclesiastical affairs and politics.  Politics pretends to universality, i.e., it wishes to take into its hands the resolution of questions concerning spiritual life also.  This means that political actions cannot be indifferent for the Church as well. Furthermore, when Antichrist shall have power on the earth, he will naturally be a political figure.  This means that the Church also will have to oppose his political persecution.  And so as, even now, to weaken this opposition, his forerunners, taking advantage of the idea that the Church should be above politics, conceal their warfare against God under a political cloak: the martyrs are 'political criminals.' To be sure, the Church should not intrigue, but as soon as politics touches on questions of spiritual life, the Church cannot close her eyes to this.

    This is why the question of the battle against Communism is a question of the spirit, and not of politics.  This is why the question of our jurisdictional divisions is not a question of 'quarrels of bishops over portfolios.'  No, it is a question of cooperation (or tacit agreement) with the forerunners of Antichrist, or else uncompromising battle against them.  This alone separates us from those who have broken away from the Truth; but it does not separate us from the Russian people, for there the soul, even if it is invisible, even if it has retreated within itself, is still alive, is not spiritually enslaved; it is drawn to the light of Truth.  And a testimony of this is the existence, in the frightful conditions of the Soviet Union, where there are many Judases out of fear and others out of conscience, of a Catacomb Church that has not fallen.

[The 2nd account, not included here, is the Life of Bishop Maxim of Serpukhov, who was secretly ordained to the episcopate by Patriarch Tikhon for the inevitable Catacomb Church.  It comprises Chapter Two of Ivan Andreev's Russia's Catacomb Saints.  And it is reprinted in issue #32, June 1970 of The Orthodox Word magazine.  Ask me for a copy of the magazine: joannahigginbotham@gmail.com]]

Ascension services St. Xenia's

The Ascension of our Lord
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 6:30 pm - All-night Vigil 
Leave of Pascha and Forefeast of the Ascension of Our Lord

Thursday, May 29, 2014, 8:40 am - Hours and Divine LIturgy
Ascension of Our Lord

The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ is celebrated each year on the fourtieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter). The Feast is always celebrated on a Thursday. The Feast itself commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven. 

The Lord ascended to Heaven not to sadden us with His departure, but in order to do what was best for us. It is to your advantage that I go away. He had told His disciples. [For] if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you (John 16:7). The Saviour saw that His mission on earth was accomplished. The goal of His Incarnation was to proclaim the Divine Truth to the world, to direct men onto the path of repentance and salvation, and deliver us from Eternal Death. The Lord accomplished our salvation and man acquires it through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Parish Events Bulletin
Blessed Saint Xenia of Petersburg
Russian Orthodox Cathedral
2 Colchester Square
OTTAWA Ontario (Kanata) K2K 2W9

Photos from weekend at Mountain View

ROCA Concelebration at Mountain View Saturday May 24 PHOTOS
  More here:

CORRECTION: to the previous article on this same event, wherein it was wrongly stated, [for some human error], in both the Russian text and also in the translation, that GOC Metropolitan Dionisios, co-served.  That should have been, GOC Metropolitan Demetrios, as it here is correctly reported.

 Sunday May 25 at St. Nicholas' Convent
You are invited to view Marina's album. This album has 27 PHOTOS.  May 25, 2014

Synod updates Award Rules

google translation-ROCA (amended in 2014): regulations for clergy awards
Award Rules
(Approved by the Synod of Bishops May 21, 2009. Supplemented Sinodom24 Bishops in October 2013. Supplemented by the Bishops' Council May 20, 2014.)

Clerics zealously carrying his pastoral obedience, not under the ban of the ruling bishop and having no other penalties from the highest ecclesiastical authority, hereby agreed to issue regular awards for years of service:
1. Gaiters - 1 year after the consecration.
2. Calotte - 1 year after the previous awards.
3. Kamilavka - 3 years after the previous awards. (The first three awards are given by the ruling bishop).
4. Award Cross - 5 years after the previous awards.
5. Archpriest or abbot - 3 years after the previous awards.
6. Mace - 5 years after the previous awards.
7. Cross with ornaments - 5 years after the previous awards.
8. Mitra. Archimandrite - 7 years after the previous awards.
Out of the lineup for long service awards may be granted for special services under the Decision of the Synod.
Other awards (Liturgy Holy Doors with holes, the right to wear a second cross, san protopresbyter and others) are not included in the number of awards for years of service and are for special merits decree of the Synod.
Awards deacon.
1. Double orarion after 5 years.
2. Protodiakonstvo 20 years.
3. Kamilavka 25 years.
In special cases protodiakona (ie, not monastic cleric) is raised to the rank of archdeacon. This award is made in exceptional cases, for special church services, and at the initiative of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR Synod decision.
Clergy adopted from other jurisdictions, to issue regular rewards after two years on acceptance of the parishes, after the expiration of the term after their ordination. Clergy from other jurisdictions without taking the last award.
Decision of the Synod of Bishops issued clergy and laity for meritorious service to the Church Synod mention. This patent award-issued only once.


•  Putin is outraged
   Prince of Wales likens Vladimir Putin's actions to some of those of the Nazis
   It has been noted by a parishioner that: If Prince Charles had said that Putin is like Stalin, Putin would probably have taken it as a compliment since Stalin is Putin's idol.

• Youth production skit/show VIDEO in Russian – 18 minutes

• Vis-à-vis the canonization of two Popes
   by Archdeacon German, (Human English translation of Internet Sobor submission)

Prayer Request

 • Memory Eternal • 
Handmaid of God Tanya
 Sunday, May 25 (sister of our Mat. Irene)
 day 40: July 3rd

Selected News Articles

• Boroday trying to intimadate Akhmetov in Donetsk

• World Bulletin

What a mess!  So called 'Christians' using violence against ecumenists.

• Ukraine articles.  MP skirts responsibility

• Putin's threat to the independence of 3 Baltic nations

• Historical Factual Similarities between PUTIN and HITLER
 Comment: And in the end analysis, it is irrelevant that it was Prince Charles who recently voiced  these words. This is the plain truth. We live now in very very dangerous times, going in the direction  of world war, a tragic repeat of past terrible world history.  Hitler is gone, but Putin is alive & active, struggling to make real his dream [ nightmare]  of restoring the 'glories' of the Soviet Union Empire, as his idol Joseph Stalin once lead. And, who will stop Putin???

• Stetson – Ukraine
Oh, no, the MP isn't "a participant in the civic confrontations in Ukraine."  They are entirely innocent of all involvement in politics or terrorism. Ha!
 We recall that recently journalists of TSN prepared material that said that members of the Russian Duma along with "Strelok," under the guise of Orthodoxy, prepared a special operation in Ukraine well before the Crimean pseudo-referendum.
 One month before the seizure of Crimea, a "holy" delegation on 30 January, under the patronage of the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill, brought to Simferopol from Mt. Athos an Orthodox shrine, the Gifts of the Magi. Security to protect the valuable reliquary of the Christian world was entrusted to Igor Girkin, who is now managing terrorists in Donbass and is known under the pseudonym "Strelok," the article noted.
 Journalists also discovered that Girkin was a constant member of Orthodox delegations in Ukraine. "There is confirmation that he systematically visited southern and eastern diocese of UPTs. This can actually be viewed now as an intelligence gathering and preparatory mission," the authors conclude. (tr. by PDS, posted 22 May 2014)
 The president of the St. Basil the Great Foundation and entrepreneur Konstantin Malofeev confirmed that he cooperated with the prime minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, the well known Muscovite political strategist Alexander Borodai.
 "Alexander Borodai really was my consultant on public relations before his appointment to his current office and he and I worked together about three years," K. Malofeev stated in an interview which was published in the Russian language edition of the magazine Forbes.

• Stetson – Ukraine
 The constitution of the Donetsk People's Republic [DPR] declares that the "dominant faith" in the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic is the "faith professed by RPTsMP."
 "The leading and dominant faith is the Orthodox faith (the Faith of the Christian Orthodox Catholic Eastern Confession), professed by the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate. The historical experience and role of Orthodoxy and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow patriarchate is recognized and respected as, among other things, the system-forming pillar of the Russian World," reads article 9 of the constitution of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, which is recognized by the authorities of Ukraine as a terrorist organization. A Portal-credo.ru correspondent reports that the text of the constitution was adopted in Donetsk on 14 May by the assembly of activists that proclaimed itself the Supreme Soviet of DPR, which was elected by nobody.
 The constitution of DPR has not been officially published yet; the press received only separate provisions of it that contain much patriotic Orthodox rhetoric, associated specifically with the conception of the "Russian World" that was previously preached by Patriarch Kirill. The document contains the legal bases for discrimination against various religious groups in DPR, including Orthodox believers who are not adherents of the Moscow patriarchate.

 Ukraine crisis: Tense divide in scarred Odessa

• Russia Religious News various in depth articles
Comment: A person has to be bedridden or snowbound, or fully retired,  to have the time.. to read all of these astute articles.
But, just each reader has to chose the subjects one is most interested in..
As far as I can understand, this organization, Stetson Education,  [ its reports founded on on-the-spot reportage], aims to find the truth and to share it.
But of course, each individual reporter/article writer,  has their own views on matters.
But I have found many truthful and valuable articles on this list, about various  religious and other related matters in Russia and in surrounding lands, etc.

• MORE Examples of Pro-A United-Ukraine, Average Ukrainian views
   A reminder: Vladimir Putin, 'ex-KGB agent' and an open admirer  of  J. Stalin...who wants to return Russia so the 'glories of the soviet empire days',...does not represent ...RUSSIA!, especially not the old Russian Imperial Empire.
So his excuses for intervening into Ukrainian territory and seizing the Crimean part of that nation, are not valid. Dictator Vladimir Putin does not really care ONE IOTA for the welfare of Russians living in his captive Russian Federation or in Ukraine! So, why should anyone believe his fantastic excuses for his such South Ossetian or Ukrainian military invasions and interventions, as if....his KGB run Kremlin gangster regime, ...owns Ukraine? or any country previously forced under the old soviet union, ..or...speaks for all ethnic heritage Russians, world-wide???
And a quote [ showing the typical Sergianist communist mindset schemes  to USE religion, first of all its captive MP,]  to promote its own worldly goals],  from Vladimir Putin a few years ago, speaking about The Biblical Ten Commandments: "I think an eleventh commandment should be added, commanding one to help the motherland".(!!!)
(Perhaps Moses had wax in his ears, and he did not hear God order this final eleventh commandment?).
About the present plight of the Crimean Tartars:

• Things are starting to stink in the new Secessionist Pro-Putin, "The Donetsk People's Republic"!
   In east Ukraine, a quiet majority grows frustrated by chaos of self-declared independent state
     blog reader's comment: This sounds so much like accounts that I have read of the Bolsheviks!  It is uncanny!
     Rotting garbage is piling up in the hallways of the government office building seized by separatists in eastern Ukraine. Telephones ripped from the walls are piled atop broken furniture and mounds of old files. The stench of sweat and stale cigarettes is everywhere. The guards, slouching men with pistols shoved in their pockets or flapping loosely in holsters, look increasingly bored.
     It's been six weeks since they took over the building, a week since they declared independence from Ukraine. But the authority of the alleged nation barely extends beyond their ten-story office tower and a few heavily armed checkpoints on roads leading into this industrial city 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Russian border.

• Some Pro-A United-Ukraine, Average Ukrainian views