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


Orthodox Life articles for this coming Sunday

• Holy Prophet Elijah

• Abraham, Moses, and Elijah 

• New Hieromartyr Philosoph (1918†)  FIXED •  TRY AGAIN

Food Subsidy for our ROCA Haiti Mission

Monday Sept. 28, 2015
The not-quite-hurricane a few weeks ago wrought terrible damage at Jacmel/Cyvadier... nearly all crops destroyed.  I had to dispense some emergency aid, as many people in the area are heavily dependent on their gardens.  It was bad enough to destroy even banane trees, which are pretty sturdy.

The FMSC food aid is in PaP, expected to be ready for trucking to LaPlaine and Cyvadier today or tomorrow... but the situation with the former is unclear; when I was there I was unable to visit St. Dorothy's because of massive demonstrations and barricades on Blvd. Marin... so there may be some delay.

I had hoped to make some further website updates, and might still be able to do so from here... but computer connections here are very troublesome, so might not be able to do anything till I return home 10/10.  Notably, some major repairs/ reconstruction at St. Augustine's, both church & school.

Please keep me in your prayers... a badly needed period of R&R before plunging back into the cyclone of calendar work!

Haiti Food Subsidy UPDATE 
from Fr. Gregory 8/30/2105

The food shipment for our children in Haiti is on its way, but unlikely to arrive until after my return from Haiti on the 18th.

Haiti website is in process of being updated and renovated.  The top post on the HOME page reveals the gross exaggerations ROCOR-MP makes about its presence in Haiti.

Haiti Food Subsidy UPDATE 
from Fr. Gregory 8/26/2105

The Haiti Mission website has been neglected, and is in need of major rebuilding and updating... now in progress.  I hope to have something up and running by the end of the week, and to be able to keep it reasonably updated in the future.   This is of course not without its costs... I'm not a website designer and have needed to enlist the support of professionals for this purpose, but I think in the long run this will have been a wise move.

The container of food for our school children is expected to be en route the first week of Sept., with probable release from Haitian customs late in the month, just in time for availability for the opening of school session.  While the freight costs from IL to Haiti have been covered, there yet remain the in-country trucking costs and food-preparation costs.  Anything you can do to help much appreciated!

For the first time ever, it appears likely I may actually be in Haiti for the arrival & distribution of the food... should be interesting!


from Fr. Gregory:

Blessings!  No startling news to report in the past months, obviously -- your continued support and prayers are deeply appreciated.

Good news department:  Once again, FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN is donating tons of balanced meal packets to help feed our school-children in Haiti.  No cost whatever for the food, but...

Bad news department:  The Florida loading option is not available this year, which greatly increases the shipping cost (from suburban Chicago) to Haiti.  Once again we're partnering with help for haiti, which will handle all the shipping and customs details, up to the point where the shipment arrives at their facility in Santo (not far from where I live in Haiti).  Our portion of that cost will be $5374, payable by the end of next month.  Current balance in the Mission account:  $7 & change.

Beyond that, of course, there are transport costs in Haiti (not very great to LaPlaine, much more to Cyvadier), and the costs of additives (spices, oil, etc.) and preparation (charcoal, cooks, etc.) at the two schools.

Please bear in mind that this provides a solid nutritious meal every school day from early Oct. till mid June for about 400 school-kids (and their teachers).  Do the math!  A great bargain... you couldn't even buy a candy bar a day for that price here!

Please be as generous as you can.  Make checks to Haitian Orthodox Mission.  Credit card donations (via www.sjkp.org) also welcome of course.

I'll need to pay the freight cost before the shipment loads 8/24.  Please think ahead!

In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Gregory Williams

Related posts from past years:

2015 GOC Pilgrimage Sister Churches

Sister Church GOC visits Sister Church in Romania and Sister Church in Bulgaria
feast of St. Glikeriya 

Reader Daniel sharing:  The narration of the videos is mostly in English

An Orthodox Pilgrimage: Romania
15 minutes

An Orthodox Pilgrimage: Bulgaria
4 minutes

Minutes Diocesan Conference July 24

Download PDF here:

machine text extract:
Pyccrcasi Hpasocnannasi Russian Orthodox I_IepKoBL 3arpaHuue171 Church Abroad C1v1paIcy3cKo—Hui
2781 Route 145, Schoharie, New York, 12157 Tel 518.827.7555; Cell: 646.300.2300
Minutes of the Diocesan Conference of the Syracuse
and St. Nicholas Diocese and Canadian Diocese July 24, 201 5
The diocesan conference was held on the grounds of the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, New York.
The following attendees were present at the conference of the ROCA Syracuse and St. Nicholas Diocese under the chairmanship of the Right Reverend Andronik, Archbishop of Syracuse and St. Nicholas: Archbishop Andronik (Kotlaroff), Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff, Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow, Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev, Mother Agapia, (Stephanopoulos), Fr. Andrei Erastov, Fr. John Somers, F r. John Hinton, Dcn Fr. Dmitriy Dobronravov, Hierodeacon Pavel (Lipin), Mark Kotlaroff, Dimitri Gontscharow, George Lukin, Vladimir Viktorovich Zemlyakov, Irina Mikhaylovna Khoperskaya, Artur Mifedov—Frolov, Tatiana Rusiecki, Svetlana Kotlaroff and Vera Gor by Skype.
The meeting began at 10:00 AM with the prayer, “O Heavenly King... ” Dimitri Gontscharow was elected as secretary for the meeting.
The meeting approved the following agenda:
1. Report by the Conference Chairman, the Right Reverend Andronik. 2. Reports by all diocesan rectors. 3. Report by the Diocesan Treasurer. 4. Report by the Diocesan Secretary. 5. Discussion of the ROCA Synod of Bishops’ decision on April 28-30, 2015, regarding the joint stewardship of the US parishes by the First Hierarch and Abp. Andronik. 6. Other.
1. Report by the Conference Chairman, the Right Reverend Andronik: His Eminence reports Mountain View continues to have a schedule of events for the community, including youth conferences, adult retreats, and other activities. His Eminence visits the parishes of his diocese, as time and his health permit. Participated in the enthronement of Metropolitan Demetrius as Metropolitan of America in The Church of the GOC of America. The two eminences have met on occasion and have served together. Both greatly appreciate the harmonious relationship between our churches. His Eminence also travelled to Romania and was deeply impressed by the clergy of the Romanian Old Calendar Church, their followers and their beautiful churches and monasteries.
2. Reports by the rectors:
Fr. Gregory Kotlaroff reported having a new starosta, Artur Mifedov—Frolov, is a big help and very beneficial for the St. Sergius of Radonezh parish. Fr. Gregory is feeling much better after his recent

****************************************Page 2****************************************
back problems. Their parish was very saddened by the untimely death of 14-yr old Larissa Karassik, who was killed in a car accident.
Fr. Gregory expressed his continued displeasure of not being allowed to join the Syracuse and St. Nicholas Diocese. He had asked Metropolitan Agafangel for permission and was turned down. Met. Agafangel said the Synod of Bishops will discuss it at some later time, but Fr. Gregory pointed out that the initial decision to make him a member of the Eastern American & New York Diocese was not made by the Synod. Fr. Gregory even reminded Met. Agafangel that the church belongs to the Tolstoy Foundation and it is by their kindness that he is allowed to serve there. Met. Agafangel should coordinate with them, but he does not. When Met. Agafangel decided which diocese he belongs to, the Tolstoy Board of Directors was not consulted. The attendees unanimously agreed his request should be honored and he should be allowed to join the diocese.
Fr. Vsevolod Dutikow reported the celebration of the 100th anniversary of his Holy Trinity parish went very well, with many people attending, including Met. Agafangel and Met. Demetrius and our friends in the Greek Church. Fr. Vsevolod also attended the enthronement of Met. Demetrius and continues to enjoy good relations with our sister church. The repairs of the heating system and floor in the church have been completed, but the roof needs repair, as do many other parts of the aging
Fr. Victor Dobroffis departure from the parish was very difficult and brought great harm to the parish. Fr. Victor made many offensive charges, including that the parish was without Grace, that Fr. Vsevolod persecuted him and Fr. Vsevolod is not fit to be the rector. In the years leading up to his leaving, Fr. Victor divided the parish and developed a group of followers who blindly obeyed him and revered him in an unhealthy manner. He would decide arbitrarily whether he and his followers would attend events in the church and often left the parish without services when Fr. Vsevolod was away. Shortly before his departure, Fr. Victor had served at Fr. Gregory’s church while he was recovering from back problems. Fr. Victor then realized he wanted his own parish. Fr. Vsevolod and others offered to help found a parish in Brooklyn or wherever he chose and would provide funds, prosfora, candles and other necessary items. Instead of appreciating the kind offer, he removed his vestments and belongings from the church, and began spreading malicious gossip that he and his followers were thrown into the street. After his departure, life in the parish has quieted down, but it has been affected greatly.
Fr. Nikita Grigoriev reported that his Holy Resurrection parish in Toronto continues to strengthen and develop further. It is in a better financial position and has more people attending services. They have a lot to do to renovate the church building. The basement was damaged by a flood this past winter and there is much to work to be done still. The parish has a diverse group of Russian, Bulgarians, Macedonians and is made up almost 50% of Ukrainians that speak Russian mainly. They also use English in services. Fr. Nikita has offered liturgics and other classes and it has helped the services to be conducted in a more traditional way. He offered profound thanks to his starosta Daniil Zavisha and his wife, both of whom are very elderly, yet do a lot to help the parish. Mother Agapia continues to hold various events at her St. Nicholas monastery to benefit church members in North America. The monastery’s feast day was well attended, including members of the

****************************************Page 3****************************************
Greek parishes in Binghamton and Rochester, with whom she has good relations. Mother Agapia’s annual summer camp will begin shortly, with the older children arriving first to help maintain the monastery grounds and make improvements. The second week will include younger children. Mother Agapia is grateful to all the priests and church members that help with all these events. Mother Agapia would like to have a more regular schedule of services. If a brothergood were to be established at Mountain View, hieromonks could visit and help with that. Mother Agapia will attend the GOC conference in October of this year.
Fr. John Hinton remains the rector of the Holy Ascension parish in Fairfax, VA, for now and is the interim Rector of Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Church in Oxnard, CA. Their, Holy Ascension’s, patronal feast was celebrated with many people attending, including parishioners from the GOC church in Clifton, MD. Retired Bishop Joseph and Fr. Andrew Frick conduct services at Holy Ascension when Fr. John is away. Fr. John continues to help the diocese at B. Andr0nik’s request and provides services at parishes in California, Oklahoma, North Carolina and at Mountain View, which is of great benefit to the faithful. Fr. John also conducts services at his house, a
podvoriye of the diocese.
Vera Gor, President of the Board of Directors of the Holy Trinity parish in Oxnard, CA, reported they conduct Reader Services on Saturday Vigil and Sunday Typica when there is no priest serving. Fr. John Hinton spent the entire Holy Week serving at Holy Trinity, from Palm Sunday thru the Vesper Service on Pascha. Abp. Andronik and Fr. Pavel served on Pentecost which marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of their parish. A Panikhida was served on Saturday immediately prior to the Vigil Service for Pentecost for the Founders and all those who helped establish the parish. Abp. Andronik celebrated Divine Liturgy on Pentecost, the patronal Feast day of the parish. A festive trapeza followed. Holy Trinity has established a teleconference line which was originally used to patch into the Bible Studies conducted by Fr. Photios Cooper (GOC) in Bakersfield. Recently, Holy Trinity started live readings of Bishop Alexander’s (Mileant) missionary brochures using the teleconference line. All who are interested are invited to call-in. Phone number and access code were provided. They are grateful to Fr. Nikita and Fr. John Sommers for their Liturgics course and other resources, and would like to be included in such courses/discussion/studies and offered the use of their telephone conference line for such events. We are a small group and we need to share our resources. Vera stresses that Abp. Andronik and all the clerics of the diocese must understand that if the Oxnard parish, or any parish that does not have a resident priest, needs a priest in an emergency, e.g. for those near death or to conduct a funeral, emergency baptism etc., they must send someone right away.
Fr. John Somers is very happy to attend the diocesan conference for the first time and is happy to be a member of the diocese. He used to be a rector at a Greek church, but could not go on at some point. He received a release from Met. Demetrius, and was fortunate to join us. His Nativity of Christ parish in Wheaton, IL, is doing well. They serve in Fr. John’s garage for now, but are looking for better arrangements. This is made difficult by that fact that most parishioners are either retirees or young, and there are very few working adults. Nevertheless, they have a good group and have about 40 people at services on Sunday; Russians and Americans who have converted to Orthodoxy.

****************************************Page 4****************************************
Fr. John is busy teaching some of the parishioners how to help with the services and much progress is being made. Fr. John will talk to the diocesan treasurer about tax—exempt status for his parish. Abp. Andronik is very happy that we now have a parish in the middle of the country, and all the attendees warmly greeted Fr. John.
Fr. Andrei Erastov told the group of his Martyrs of Vilnius parish in Melbourne, Australia. There are more Greeks than Russians, as well as a group of Belorussians. Fr. Andrei serves in various languages, including English. They have about 50 people attending on Sundays. Fr. Andrei holds iconography classes, along with other courses, and has developed a full parish life. Hegumen John (Smelic) visits on their patronal feast. Deacon Fr. Basil Yakimov also visits occasionally, but he lives eight hours away by car. Abp. Andronik has served there when visiting Australia. There are some in the parish that may eventually be suited to become deacons or priests, but not yet.
. Treasurer’s Report: Mark Kotlaroff reported tithes from the parishes have increased in 2015. There
are still some parishes that do not contribute. Mark reminded everyone it is a duty of each parish, and a rule in the ROCA By Laws, to contribute ideally ten percent of the monthly income. One of the important needs this provides for is a stipend for Abp. Andronik. Checks can be made out to “ROCA Syracuse Diocese,” and sent in his name to PO Box 591, Valley Cottage, NY, 10989.
Mark still needs an assistant to help maintaining the books. He proposed Gregory Moss. Fr. John Somers seconded, approved. Dimitri Gontscharow moved to approve the Treasurer’s report and Fr. Nikita seconded, approved.
The conference took note of a recent posting on the Internet Sobor website alleging the Synod bank account in America had been hacked. We consider this an over-reaction and an unnecessary charge of conspiracy. Bank accounts in America are quite often misused by thieves, who try to write bad checks using the account numbers. The banks usually stop payment, transfers the account balance and the company or organization opens a new account with a new number. It is unfortunate that it was not explained properly to church members, causing unnecessary alarm and worry.
Secretary’s Report: Assistant Diocesan Secretary Dimitri Gontscharow read the request from Fr.
. Victor Dobroff where he asked to be relieved of his duties as Secretary. Mark Kotlaroff proposed to
make Dimitri Gontscharow the Secretary, Fr. John Hinton seconded the motion and it was carried.
. Discussion of the Synod Decision: There were several clergy in the conference who could speak
with great authority on the canons of the Church. They and the other attendees discussed the Synod’s decision to have Met. Agafangel be the leading ruling authority in the diocese, with Abp. Andronik becoming de facto a vicar bishop in his own diocese. Abp. Andronik explained that he was tired and distracted when the topic was discussed and signed the decision in error. Later, once he was able to consider what had happened, he realized the decision was uncanonical and incorrect. All attendees agreed there were no grounds for this decision. It is Very unfortunate, as Met.

****************************************Page 5****************************************
Agafangel’s decisions bring disharmony and concern to the flock. It is very hard to keep current members in the Church or attract new ones, when such decisions are made.
After much discussion, it was decided this decision violates several important canons of the Orthodox Church and is not in keeping with the Statutes & Regulations of the Church Abroad. It would be wrong for the members of the diocese to agree to this decision and be complicit in this violation of the canons. It was unanimously decided therefore that we carmot recognize this decision as valid. We continue to recognize Archbishop Andronik as the sole ruling authority in the Syracuse & St. Nicholas Diocese. We await the Synod’s prompt correction of this clear violation of basic
canon law.
Other: The conference expresses its sadness at the recent decision in America to allow same-sex unions. This goes against church dogma and doctrine and undermines morality in the country. An encyclical on the matter deserves to be written, a proposal will be made.
It was noted that the 50th anniversary of the repose of St. John of Shanghai will be commemorated next year. It is important for the diocese to celebrate it properly and make arrangements beforehand.
Fr. Vsevolod Dutikow moved to create a Diocesan Council again and unanimously elected as its members: Fr. John Hinton, Fr. John Somers, Mark Kotlaroff and Dimitri Gontscharow.
The ROCA Assistance Fund under the direction of Fr. John Hinton continues to receive donations and help clergy, parishes and people in our Church. Everyone is encouraged to continue supporting this worthwhile endeavor.
The Blessed St. Xenia Memorial Fund under the direction of Elena Bogolubov continues to receive donations and help people in our Church who are in need. Everyone is encouraged to continue supporting this worthwhile endeavor.
Mark Kotlaroff announced a diocesan website will be created soon, and a domain name has already been registered. It will depend on everyone in the diocese to submit information, photos and
materials to make it successful.
Mark Kotlaroff added the diocese should be incorporated and steps towards that end will be begun soon.

****************************************Page 6****************************************
The meering concluded at 12:30 PM with the prayer “It is Truly Meet” and prayersfor the rzewly—trarzslated Larissa Karassik and Princess Irina Sergeevna Bagration.
Meeting Chairman
+ ,¢'/ /@%@2
+Ana’rom'k Archbishop of Syracuse and St. Nichola -
Dlmitri Gfimtscharow T
Diocesan Secretary

Message from demons

1980s message to people from the space aliens

Jeanne Robinson is what is called "a contact".  She has been receiving telepathic messages from space aliens since childhood.  This is one of the earlier messages she received:

We have researched your physiology to understand the elements that are parallel to our own.

We mean you no harm, but we must save ourselves from extinction.

When acceptance of the reality of our kind is tolerated within your population, a more open relationship can begin.

We will continue covert contact for now.  Soon we will be able to establish a more active and cohesive relationship, an equal partnership within the alliance of intelligent life forms.

What the demons predicted has come to pass.  Demons are being acknowledged to be real and are now tolerated by society.  Many people have entered into an open relationship with the demons, willingly being influenced by them.

Jeanne Robinson has published her very sorrowful story in a book, Alienated – A Quest to Understand Contact.  After being abducted at age 4 she suffered a lifetime of abuse by the demons.  It is heartbreaking for us to see such suffering of our fellowmen outside the Church.  We could have helped her!

photo:  Jeanne on CNN  minute 5:30 and 8:30

Living Orthodoxy magazine #203

 3.  The Life & Martyrdom of Saint John (Pommers), Archbishop of Riga & Latvia 
 6.  Liturgical Service
15.  Interpretation of the Epistle of St. Paul to Titus St., Theophylact the Bulgarian
25.  Sermon on the Holy Martyr Nestor, St. Philaret of New York
26.  Protomartyr of the Calendar Struggle Catherine of Mandra
28.  Hymn for the Lord’s Day, St. Ephraim the Syrian

published bi-monthly

Jerusalem Patriarch Irenaios Statement Against Ecumenism

Internet Sobor
Anti-ecumenism message honed Jerusalem Patriarch Irinej
Author: Archpriest Eugene Korjagin incl. July 21, 2015
Tags: Patriarch Irinej , the Jerusalem church

Anti-Ecumenism message honed Jerusalem Patriarch Irinej

Our appeals to the dimensionality of our flock and to all Hristoimenitoy:

Come Ecumenical Orthodoxy, to our brothers - the Orthodox Church, to our brothers in Christ - Svyatogrobskim fathers.

Based on the fact that the violent overthrow of our removal from the throne and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 2005, was anti-canonical and illegal, We declare that we remain the only valid truth Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Due to the fact that Our dimensionality accused of heresy, ecumenism, split, we consider it necessary to point out such a well-known fact in the Church: Rev. Agathon calmly took all the insults, but when he was told that he is a heretic, he replied, saying, "those I took offense because it's good for my soul, and it does not accept, because being a heretic - is to be separated from God. " So did our Holy Fathers have taught us to do and our Mother Church.

Therefore, we consider it our duty to declare the following:

1. Our dimensionality has never been and is not a heretic and ecumenist. Ecumenism - a mosaic, composed of heresies and schisms. Ecumenism - a heresy.

This is a complete collection of all the heresies and distortions in the faith, because ecumenism gathers and unites all into one fold, from standing in the truth to the heretics, takes over for a long time fallen away and pervert their faith dissenters and even heretics. The question of repentance is not discussed, but they all recognized equal-dignity before God. Where is this wicked bunch may be the truth? Can grow on one tree and the fruits of edible and poisonous fruit? And the fruits of sweet and bitter fruits? The ecumenical church - it is not alive, but dead, because it lies kills all truth.

2. Our dimensionality without having to enter Jerusalem Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches, which is an ecumenical gathering.

I totally agree and fully support and endorse the decision of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Diodorus of blessed memory, who in 1979 led the Jerusalem Church from the WCC.

Branch theory, implanted and recognized in the World Council of Churches, is untenable, as separated from the Church community are not living branches, but broke off and dries up. "Whoever does not remain in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned "(Jn. 15: 6).

3. With regard to preparing for the holding of the 2016 Pan-Orthodox Council.

His Holiness the Patriarch of Constantinople is preparing, together with local churches Pan-Orthodox Council, for making him allegedly unresolved issues of the Orthodox Church.

But, first, most of the issues from the agenda of the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council has already been resolved in the Orthodox Church: ecumenism, the relationship to the non-Orthodox, about fasting, about the calendar, the Orthodox baptism, marriage, etc. So great is the danger that this council can happen treacherous revision of Orthodox theology and anthropology.

And secondly, the Most Holy Patriarch of Constantinople and the Orthodox Church totally ignore the fact of committing the 2005 Universal Crimes against us. Or they calmed their conscience, thinking that I was on their own "closed up" achieving and begging for a place on the throne?

Ecumenical Patriarch himself, "standing in the holy place," sparked the schism on the Holy Zion, in the bosom of Mother Church, from which will shine the truth and the light in the world.

The Holy Spirit sorabotnichaet only stand in the truth of the Orthodox Christians. He can not participate in the affairs of the unjust. Therefore, ignoring the Orthodox Church unresolved issues regarding anti-canonical dethronement our dimension makes it impossible Inspiration forthcoming Council, and it will then be without grace and nebogougodnym.
More than ever, at this fateful stage, God designed and set to keep faith Primate of the Church, bishops should take patristic confessional stance protect Orthodoxy from those that they sell and it is put into a policy of pleasing this world that lies in evil.

Escape can only return to the God-man through and vseuserdnoe vsestronnee repentance and assimilation of the Orthodox faith of the Apostles, the Holy Fathers, the Holy Ecumenical Councils.

Paternal Our heart does not tolerate more kinds of Body of the Church of Christ, bleeding through the fault of criminals and apostates, and encourages and invites all members of Zion's Mother Church and the Orthodox, as well as all the representatives of the competent authorities to come and contribute to the fear of God, faith and love, restoration of canonical order in our Patriarchate, so that, after they came from Satan Aggele it from the flock of Christ, we partook of truth with Christ himself instituted Mother of the Church, for the glory of the faith, for the glory of the people of our God.

Liberally nisposylaya Our blessing kirineyskogo expect all kinds of work, praying, that the Lord shone around Zhivodavets all with the unfading Light His Light.

In the Holy City of Jerusalem, 2015, June 20 days
YOUR abides imprisoned Patriarch of Jerusalem
Irina I

Photographs of original letter in Greek

Two Gifted Orthodox Preachers from 19th century

Two brief lives excerpted from Russian History of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, an old (pre-Laurus) seminary textbook published on demand by SJKP.

~ taken from Chapter 63
§ 63

Philaret Drozdov, Metropolitan of Moscow.  The son of a priest of Kolomna (later an archpriest), Basil Mikhailovich Drozdov (Philaret's secular name) was educated at the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra's Seminary, graduating in 1803.  There he took the monastic tonsure and was a teacher.  Metropolitan Platon was astounded by one Philaret's sermons, perceiving in it gleams of an extraordinary talent, and, while valuing it, with great sorrow (an emotion shared by the young monk) sent him to serve in St. Petersburg (in 1808).  The extraordinarily gifted instructor and preacher quickly attracted the attention of everyone there and was rapidly advanced.  In 1817, he was ordained Bishop of Revel, and four years later (at the age of forty) to already occupied the see of Moscow, on which he served the Church for forty-six years (having been a bishop for more than fifty years).

Philaret was primarily famous for his extraordinary gift of preaching.  The peculiarity of his sermons lay in the fact that, in disclosing the teaching of Christianity, he concentrated particularly on the intellect and consciousness of his audience.  His discourse is full of profound theological contemplations, and at the same time contains exalted Christian poetry.  Thus, conviction of his intellect is of itself regenerated, becoming a living sense, and his discourse produces the same effect upon the listener and reader.  His speeches, delivered for the most part in the presence of royalty, show an unusual play of a powerful mind and the most lively grasp of the needs and events of the era. Of great importance for the Church are Philaret's works: "The Church's Biblical History", "Notes on the Book of Genesis", and others.  His catechism enjoys the prestige of a symbolic book, and Russian youth learn of their Faith from it.

In the course of sixty years, Philaret took an active part in the ecclesiastical administration, so much so that his history is linked in the closest possible way with the history of the Church of Russia because of this.  The characteristic trait of his activity was a strict maintaining of Orthodoxy in the mind and life of the Christian; and he was the first to respond to the needs of the time, and to him belongs the initiative behind many benevolent works and measures of later times.  One of Philaret's principal concerns was to make the reading of the Word of God accessible to each Orthodox Russian in a generally comprehensible language.  He drew up the rule for the care of the poor of clerical rank, the statutes for the preservation of ecclesiastical antiquities, the rules for monastic communities.  He was the first to propose aid for teachers in institutions of religious education to better their standard of living; he supported missionaries in their difficult task; he cared for the needs of the churches of the Orient and of the other Slavic peoples; he encouraged loyal servants of the homeland in their difficulties and in their struggle against the enemy (e.g., Muraviev during the Polish uprising).  By his advice and instructions they benefitted not only in ecclesiastical, but in governmental affairs.

In private life Philaret was a model bishop and monk.  The doors of his home were always open to all who were looking to resolve perplexities and sought peace for their conscience.  Ever simple in his life and domestic circumstances, he was wholly committed to the obligations of his calling and stood guard over his flock.  He himself was a strict ascetic; he loved and honored spiritual asceticism as the most exalted flowering of Christian life, and collaborated in the establishment and founding of many monastic communities.

Not long before the death of the holy bishop, his late father appeared to him more clearly than in a dream, and commanded him to remember the 19th.  Two months later, on November 19, 1867, a Sunday, the holy hierarch himself celebrated the liturgy in the Church of the Holy Cross, and soon after suddenly died.  He was buried in the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra.

Innocent Broisov, Archbishop of Cherson.  Innocent, whose secular name was Ivan Borisov, was the son of a priest, and received his education at the Orlov Seminary and the Kiev Academy. 

His scholarly activity began in St. Petersburg (in 1823), where he received the monastic tonsure, but flourished primarily in Kiev, where he was rector of the Academy and professor of theology (1830-1839).  There he began his episcopal ministry as a vicar bishop; subsequently he occupied the cathedras of Vologda, Kharkov and Cherson (1839-1857).  At the coronation of Emperor Alexander II (August 26, 1856), he was appointed a member of the Most Holy Synod.

Innocent's principal glory, like that of Philaret, lay in his unusual talent for preaching.  A contemporary of the famous orator of Moscow, Innocent differed from him in that he had an effect primarily on the senses of his audience and attracted them by the extraordinary clarity and simplicity of his speech and the artful presentation of images and suggestions.  In all of this, Innocent was a renowned improviser and always spoke without the aid of notes; his carefully weighed words flowed from his soul in and of themselves, as though in the grasp of inspiration.  However beautiful his words were in print, they nevertheless did not have the power to captivate his audience in the same way his living, inspired discourse could, as those who heard him testified.

In the history of theological education, Innocent is famous because he, as one fluent in new languages, who attentively followed the development of theological science in the West, made the first attempts to bring Orthodox theology closer to it, for which he was at times reproached by zealots of the old ways.  At the same time, Innocent strove to bring theological science together with other branches of knowledge.  He greatly loved the natural sciences, and in his view they not only did not contradict theology, but instead served theology in the best possible manner.

As instructor and archpastor, Innocent won the love of all in every place of his ministry through paternal closeness to the flock subject to him.  The literary soirees organized by him had as their objective the acquainting of students of theological science with well-intentioned secular activists: at them lectures and sermons were delivered, and a lively discussion of religious questions was carried on; "You wouldn't read in a half year of all possible magazines what you could learn, and learn easily, at one such soiree," said one of the participants in these literary evenings.

At the same time, His Grace Bishop Innocent took all possible care to instill a religious spirit in the people; in addition to continuous preaching, he organized everywhere processions for this purpose, the restoration of ancient monasteries (the Akhtyrsk and the Svyatogorsk), ancient monuments and the holy places in the Crimea, and the composition of compunctionate akathist hymns (to the Sufferings of Christ, the Protection of the All-Holy Theotokos, and the Life-Creating Tomb).

In the latter years of his episcopate, Innocent won renown with his very active archpastoral participation in the misfortunes of the Crimean War and acquiring a high degree of positive influence on the soldiers.  During the bombardment of Odessa (on April 10, 1854), the courageous archpastor calmly celebrated the liturgy and with his powerful discourse instilled courage in the hearts of the populace.  After the sad rout of the Russian forces at Alma, the inhabitants of the city of Simferopol were reduced to horror and confusion.  Suddenly, without an invitation, without an entourage, the archpastor appeared in their midst and burst out with a sermon in the cathedral chastizing them for their cowardice.  His sermon was so powerful that everyone who was in the cathedral burned with shame and wept.  From Simferopol, Innocent went on to the bloody and defeated city of Sebastopol; he served, delivered sermons, distributed icons to the soldiers, encouraged them and urged all to stand fast for the Faith and the fatherland.

His intense labors and alarms undermined the health of the valiant archpastor; his death took place suddenly, on May 26, 1857, the feast of Pentecost.

Notice what it says about St. Philaret's sermons: "profound"," exalted", "becoming a living sense, and his discourse produces the same effect upon the listener and reader."  I found this true of St. Philaret's sermons, and I can't recommend them highly enough.  Something mystical is conveyed to the reader. 

Notice what it says about the another extraordinary preacher, St. Innocent, "However beautiful his words were in print, they nevertheless did not have the power to captivate his audience in the same way his living, inspired discourse could, as those who heard him testified."  This observation about St. Innocent points back to the specialness of St. Philaret's sermons.

 St. Philaret's sermons are serialized in Living Orthodoxy magazine, taken from Philaret, Selected Sermons, Elibron Classics.  A number of St. Innocent's sermons are found scattered online in English.

St. Mildred

• St. Mildred, abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, feast day July 13/26
       Life and Liturgical service Living Orthodoxy magazine #190

An Unpleasant But Necessary Statement

About Certain Misrepresentations of Historical Fact

GOC Bishop Auxentios of Etna & Portland dispels harmful rumors in an open statement published on the Etna diocesan website:

The rumors are:

• The Synod in Resistance, “admitting that it was in schism, joined the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece,” disavowing its “Cyprianite heresy” and its “heresiarchical leader, ‘Metropolitan’ Cyprian of Oropos and Phyle,” whose “consecration as a ‘bishop’ was doubtful” at best.

• The official history of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, which “is presented on the Synod’s official website” (it can be found there as a .pdf file and has since appeared in book form) states that the Synod in Resistance, in 1984, “sinfully went ahead with ordinations of bishops, and some of them people they didn’t know at all and shady characters, mostly outside of Greece in missionary societies in Europe, America, and Africa and during the time they stayed in communion with the True Orthodox Romanians.  Since the only ones that they had in America were the so-called ‘Bishops’ Chrysostom and Auxentios, they obviously now admit that these characters were unworthy of the priest- hood and didn’t even know where they were from or whether they were ever real priests. Who does? At least they got rid of one of them.”

• “The ‘Cyprianite’ Bishops, depending on where they were from, were either reordained or received by a laying on of hands and a formal confession of their heresy.”

A paragraph from the Statement on page 2:

The union brought together, in Greece, the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, under Archbishop Κallinikos of Athens, and the Holy Synod in Resistance, under Metropolitan Cyprian the Younger of Oropos and Phyle, along with the three Sister Churches of the Synod in Resistance: the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania (the largest Old Calendar body), under Metropolitan Vlasie; the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, under Bishop Photiy; and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, under Metropolitan Agafangel. 

The Synod in Resistance and its Sister Churches in Romania and Bulgaria had been in communion with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, under Metropolitan Laurus, since 1994, but broke communion with that Church when it joined with the Moscow Patriarchate (in 2007), at which time Metropolitan Agafangel also ceased his affliation with it and, with the help of the Synod in Resistance, ordained new Bishops to continue, under his guidance, the former witness of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad against the ecumenical compromises and Sergianist legacy of Moscow.

Please let me point out – that the SIR did not and does not recognize any of the groups that did not follow the Laurus Synod out of the ROCOR (whenever and whereto) – EXCEPT Vladyka Agafangel.  No other group, (ROAC, RTOC, ROCiE) is considered "true" except us.  They are not canonical.  They are schisms.  They refer to themselves as "true", but we should not refer to them as true.  True Orthodox is not simply non-world-orthodox.  True Orthodoxy, (by Archbishop Averky's meaning) is also canonical and not schismatic and not vigante.  Since the GOC-SIR union we can now define the boundaries even more clearly: True Orthodox is we and our Sister Churches only.

Reflection on the Latest ISIS Murder

by Anastasios Hudson on February 3rd, 2015
Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh Faces His Fate with Courage and Dignity
Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh

For whatever reason, I decided to watch the ISIS murder[1] video of the Jordanian pilot by burning after hearing about it on the news today. ISIS has propaganda down well. Here are some thoughts:

1. The video was well-produced, slick, and I can see how the target demographic could be swayed by such (disgruntled youth lacking focus/direction who have found what they consider a “righteous” cause that speaks in black/white and absolutes). For instance, in order to set the stage for the gruesome murder, they constantly showed video footage of bombed-out locations with dead people and destruction, then flashed back to video of the pilot, in order to imply that he was a murderer and thus deserved to die. The site selected for the murder appeared to be a place that had previously been bombed.

2. As the victim was being murdered, a type of Islamic chanting began to play in the background, which picked up in pace and was hypnotizing in nature. The editors of this video know how to lock the images of the video into the mind permanently, I will give them that.

3. The hues of the ISIS militants’ fatigues and clothing matched the desert, whereas the unjustly-condemned victim’s orange jumpsuit suggested non-belonging, creating an us-vs-them feel, an unnatural feel.

4. The man was placed in a cage, like an animal.

That being said, that was not my takeaway from the video, nor the reason I decided to jot down some reflections. Above all, what struck me was how dignified the victim looked during the whole process. He seemed to walk willingly to the cage, and stood there peacefully as they lit up the charge. He only began to move frantically when the flame reached him.

I wondered about this—I’m not the physically strongest fellow out there, and I wonder if I would be screaming like a girl the second I saw the torches, or they doused me with gasoline. He walked calmly to his cage; the other hostages murdered in other videos likewise read statements calmly, etc. Is it brainwashing? Fatigue? Depression? A hope that it will “go easier” if they cooperate? Or perhaps threats against their family members? Still, one would expect to see frantic desperation, and if such existed, one would assume that ISIS would highlight it, in order to paint the victim as a coward (unless I am misunderstanding something about Arab cultural norms and perceptions; add your comment below if you can shed light on that).

Instead, what I saw was a man who stood with dignity and patience, a hero who rested on the fact that he had served his king and country honorably, who faced his fate with courage, calmly and dispassionately. The result for me was a deep respect for this fallen comrade in the fight against evil. ISIS may have tried to use him as propaganda, but in the end, they only made themselves look like fools. This man stood without a veiled face, while the cowards of ISIS killed him without even looking him in the eye, or showing their faces.

Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, Muslims such as yourself believe with us Christians that Jesus will judge at the end of time, despite your rejecting the Christian belief in His Divinity; I pray that when you encounter Him Whom you considered a mere Prophet, you will be bathed in His light, forgiveness, and mercy, and that somehow you will be granted Paradise on that great and fearsome day. Thank you for inspiring me with your courage and dignity. May your widow and family be granted peace, and may your death be avenged. As an Orthodox Christian, I hope that such avenging is by the conversion of the hearts of your murderers, but barring such, then by their swift destruction.

[1] Following the comment of a journalist, I will not be referring to it as an execution—execution implies legitimate authority on the part of the executioner, and a crime on the part of the executed.


• GMO Labelling: It sounds like the bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer is the one to back.

• Another mass murder committed by an educated Muslim

• Obama thanks Putin for role in Iran deal  (Reuters)

•  Orthodox Christian soldiers train snipers for Donbas combat missions

• Putin Wants to Continue to Hide the Truth About MH17

• Unerased Chalkboards from 1917 found in Oklahoma City school during renovations

• Oregon Poisoned Eggs Accident 1942

• "Teach Your Children Well"  (Dan Fogelberg, tribute to his father – first 4 minutes of ten-minute video)

Katyn Forest Massacre - 1940 Poland

One of the most horrifying events during the Second World War was the Katyn Forest massacres which occurred in the spring of 1940.  About half the officer corps of Poland was put to death by the Soviet Union's secret police (NKVD). In August 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union --two ideological enemies-- shocked the world by signing a non-aggression pact.  As part of the deal, Germany was allowed a free hand to invade Poland from the west on September 1.  The Soviets would invade from the east half a month later.  The Poles were utterly overwhelmed.  The Soviet Red Army met almost no opposition as the Polish Army was told by its government to not confront the Russians.  In effect, conquered Poland was divided into two sections: one controlled by Nazi Germany, the other under the heel of the Soviet Union.

Polish prisoners in the Soviet Sphere numbered about 30,000.  At least 22,000 were executed methodically by gunshots to the back of their heads from close range.  Along with most of the Polish officer corps, numerous intellectuals, journalists, doctors, lawyers, and professors were also killed by the NKVD on the special order of Josef Stalin.  Their corpses were hastily buried in mass graves in the Katyn Forest.  After the Germans attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, they learned about the mass graves. Sensing a propaganda bonanza that would demonize the USSR, they exhumed thousands of corpses.  International Red Cross officials and top forensic scientists were called in by the Germans to make a report.  They all agreed the massacre was done by the Soviets.  Some Allied POWs were also brought in to witness the scene.  One American agreed, saying the Russians were undeniably to blame.  After reconquering the area, the Soviets blamed the Germans for the massacre.  It took until 1990 before the Soviet Union accepted responsibility for the mass extermination of the cream of Poland's officer corps and much of its intellectual community half a century before.


Welcome to the future, Comrade.

How to Respond to Anti-Christian Hatred

Heterodox Opinion
Satan hates homosexuals and heterosexuals alike

Looking at the official responses to the Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling that are coming from the SCOBA jurisdictions, it appears that world orthodoxy is not going to accept homosexual partnership as marriage.  We have statements now on the internet from the GOA, OCA, ROCOR-MP, and the Antiochians.


Also it appears that the "fundamentalist" Heterodox churches are not going to accept the homo-marriage idea either.  Here is an insightful heterodox opinion of interest to us, because it echos some Orthodox precedents.

How to Respond to the Rising Tide of Anti-Christian Hatred

July 10, 2015     9:25 am

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision on marriage, which effectively codifies Bible believers as bigots, the attack on conservative Christian values has reached fever pitch.

This is not the slightest surprise, as many others and I have been warning for some time now, but the ferocity and ugliness of it is still shocking, and it is something we must be prepared for.

The other day I posted on Twitter, "Much has changed since the SCOTUS decision, but more has not changed. Jesus is still Lord, the world is still fallen, Satan is still raging."

An "equality" advocate responded by challenging me to name one thing in my life that had changed since the decision.

I responded, "The absolutely horrific, ugly, non-stop, nasty, vile attack on me (& colleagues) from LGBT advocates. That's just one. :)"

Bear in mind that I constantly address LGBT issues with sensitivity and compassion (for two recent examples, see links on website ), but because I strongly oppose gay activism, that makes me a "hater" of the worst kind.

Here's just the tiniest sample of posts on my Facebook page in the days following the Supreme Court decision, almost all of them coming from those who identify as LGBT (or their advocates), and almost all of them being totally unsolicited – in other words, open attacks rather than responses to my own posts or comments.

Of course, I'm not complaining about this – far from it – nor is this worth comparing with the real suffering endured by Christians around the world.  It is simply a representative sampling to remind us of what we're up against.

Here is a man who preaches hate and ignorance.
What a pathetic example of humanity your opinion and those who follow you portray. Small mindedness is unacceptable this day and age. You should all be ashamed of yourselves!!!
You are not a Christian, you probably are a devil worshiper passing for a Christian.
People would get a better look at the Gospel from Satan himself... and I'm not even a Satanist. If you take the bible literally, do not bother responding to me. Thanks!
This guy is just another cultist who worships the evil, mass-murdering, incest-obsessed, rape-encouraging and hate-mongering god of Abraham as a good thing. Anyone who worships evil as good and claims that basic human rights is something to be fought against is a threat to civilization and a terrorist.
Just another cult leader, disgusting!
A very hateful stupid person. The worst kind.
Completely ignorant. Shut your mouth and mind your business.
Just another brainwashed uneducated Christian.
Doctor of what, exactly? Bigotry? Intolerance? Ignorance? Do they give out PHD's just for being a complete [expletive] these days?
Just another ignorant, hate-filled Christian bigot.
Who wants to ask a bigot doctor anything! ...
BRAVO to the Supreme Court! You LOST, Christian bigot! Get over it!
Ignorant bigot.
Icky bigot.
Another ridiculous ignorant bigot. Get the [expletive] out.
Close-minded bigot who thinks he's better than others because of his close-minded beliefs.
Bigots like this wrapping themselves in religion while viciously attacking LGBTQ folks is DISGUSTING. The Supreme Court has ruled. Gays exist and are just as valid and have all the same rights you do. SHUT YOUR BIGOT FACE. NOW!
You're a [expletive] gross pimple nosed [expletive] [expletive]. Dr. Brown I hope you catch [a specific deadly disease] and die.

Again, this is only a tiny sampling of what I've actually seen, which represents a tiny sampling of hateful comments that I haven't seen, but the overall theme is undeniably clear: If you do not affirm homosexual "marriage," homosexual relationships, and even homosexuality itself, you are a hate-filled, despicable, uneducated bigot, with the emphasis on that last word, bigot.

How then do we respond?

First, the uglier and more vile the attacks, the more we know we're doing the right thing.  The opposition is a sign of encouragement to us, and the more people try to silence us, the louder we shout.

Second, we must remember that this is a spiritual battle and that Satan hates homosexuals and heterosexuals alike.  Fervent prayer is one of our greatest resources.

Third, we must bless those who curse us and overcome evil with good, to use the words of Jesus and Paul.  Responding to hatred with hatred will hurt everyone, ourselves included.

Fourth, we must continue to propagate the truth until the lies are dispelled, cutting through the emotional arguments and rhetorical attacks and doing our best to get people to think, sometimes by asking questions.

Fifth, we must remember that Jesus already warned us that the world would hate us for doing what is right, and so we must renew our resolve to stand firm with backbones of steel and hearts of compassion.

Sixth, we must determine afresh to bring the good news of the gospel to everyone, knowing that our ultimate counterculture weapon is the message of the death and resurrection of the Son of God.

Seventh, we must pray for revival and visitation, knowing that only a massive move of God can turn the tide.

Ultimately, whether America goes up or down, we will continue to live for the Lord, continue to do what is right, continue to reach out, and continue to stand strong.  Forward!