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


About Vladimir Moss' refutation of Etna's Unpleasant Statement

Updated: 10/18

Unpleasant but Necessary Statement by Etna July 15, 2015
Refutation by Vladimir Moss July 23, 2015

By now everyone who wants to has read Etna's Unpleasant But Necessary Statement and Vladimir Moss' refutation of it; and all discussion is pretty much talked out.  But I, being old and slow, still mull it over.

Vladimir Moss' basic premise (#1 item) is that SIR was/is not canonical.  I dismiss this right off the bat.  He is not a canonist.  He is one person, and a long-term schismatic as well – hardly an expert on canon laws of the Church of which he stubbornly remains outside.   He is not a fit judge of what is canonical and what is not.  The ROCOR Synod of Bishops, however, is fit and can venture to make canonical judgments; and the ROCOR has always considered both the GOC and the SIR to be canonical, even if this was not "official".  After the ROCOR-MP union both the GOC and the SIR offered to help Vladyka Agafangel consecrate bishops for PSCA.  Vladyka Agafangel chose the SIR because ROCOR was in communion with the SIR prior to the ROCOR-MP union, and  so, naturally, there was/is no reason this communion should not continue.   The SIR, recognizing the PSCA as the sole valid continuation of the ROCOR, also naturally continued in communion with the PSCA as soon as it was formed, immediately after May 17, 2007.  

With Vladimir Moss' basic premise out the window, his #2 point is groundless, and also, again, he is not qualified to judge the validity of our bishops.  If there were a serious problem with any of them, our ROCOR Synod would certainly call for a correction.

Dr. Moss' #3 point has something to it:
3. “The matter was not that of one side submitting to the other.” But we know for a fact that three bishops – Cyprian the Younger, Ambrose and Klimis – received some kind of absolution from GTOC. So they submitted… The details have not been published, unfortunately. However, the stubborn refusal of Bishop Auxentios and his elder to act likewise does them no credit.
Dr. Moss refutes Etna's statement that the GOC-SIR union was not a matter of one side submitting to the other.  I'm reminded of Anastasios Hudson's satire where he exaggerates Dr. Moss' idea of "submission" (http://remnantrocor.blogspot.com/2014/03/toc-author-shocks-world.html).  It is super-correct legalistic thinking that the SIR came home like the prodigal son.  However, there was submission on the part of the SIR.  And there also was some submission on the part of the GOC.

One area of the mutual (but not equal) submission is with Cyprianism.  Back when ROCOR first went into communion with the SIR (1994?) the ROCOR examined the (translated from Greek into Russian) Cyprianite ecclessiology and considered it "close enough" to our own.  However, the definition was poorly worded, leaving a loophole that did make the ecclesiology sound like heresy.  But the true meaning of it is not heretical.  In mutual submission, the SIR submitted to a thorough renovation of their definition.  SIR renounced the "sick & healthy" definition entirely.  And the GOC submitted to charitably accepting the truly intended meaning, when the SIR accepted the newly composed ecclesiology statement.

Both Churches agree that when a part of the Body apostasizes it is immediately and completely cut off from the vine.  
Both Churches agree that while the severed vine can produce no new fruit, yet existing fruit can still ripen.

With this agreement, "sick and healthy" goes out the window and Cyprianism goes out the window, too.  There is no such thing.  There is only ecumenism, and Cyprianites never were in danger of ecumenism, despite what some may have imagined.

So if there is no Cyprianism, is there still a trojan horse?  I think so... and it is destructive.  I don't see that it has much to do with the SIR in Greece.  Maybe that's because Greece is on the other side of the planet.  Instead I see that it has everything to do with Etna.  Maybe that is because Etna is in my back yard.  I don't know exactly what is in the trojan horse – clues seem to me to be: intellectual pride, possible vengeance, unfit (spiritually immature) ecclesiastical authority, cultishness, spiritual distortion, coldness.  The ugliness has already reared up its head, which is why I am being bold about expressing my opinion.  (I'm not free to expound any further at this time.) 

In Dr. Moss' introduction to his refutation he writes about Etna's statement:
The statement is written in the very distinctive Cyprianite style – over-long, flowery and self-indulgent. But we shall cut to the quick, ignoring the rights and wrongs of Bishop Auxentios’ quarrel with an anonymous Greek critic,...
I know exactly what Dr. Moss means.  But is this really Cyprianite style, or just Etna style?  Etna's flamboyancy and endless stream of anonymous critics (and flatterers) used as springboards does get to be a bit too much.  There have been times I wondered if they were real people, or just made up.

This is an editorial and these are only my opinions, and even as I do not take my opinions very seriously, neither should you.  If my opinions change I will update this post.  I have no ill-will towards anyone and I do not blame anyone.  I love our Church and all her hierarchs and I pray for their salvation and that God's will be done in our Church.

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Update 10/18:
From a reliable source:  The SIR bishops in Greece in fact did undergo a reception that included a prayer of absolution.  This is standard for someone returning schism, and SIR was deemed as a returning schism.  As far as we know, the absolution was for schism only and not any heresy – just schism.  There were witnesses to this prayer being read over the SIR bishops.  There were no "re-ordinations".   (Etna bishops have not yet had the prayer read over them.)


"If we have a good priest (or bishop), we give thanks to God. If a bad one, we endure him".
- old Russian saying


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