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


"Lord, return to us worthy sheep from the fragments"

This editorial is in regards to Archdeacon German Ivanov's recent posting about his frustration with our Holy Synod for not yet being united with the fragments, "Thoughts Following the Synod Meeting".  ROCANA has published an English translation by an unnamed translator.  I wonder who?  I'd like to ask whoever he is to translate some things for me – things from our Holy Synod that explain jurisdictional ecumenism and why we don't just do what the fragments want us to do to make our Church suit them.  Of all the things out there that need translating – why this?

So, what is it we are supposed to be doing?  which fragment should we join?  which death chamber is the one we should walk into?  ROCiE? ROAC? RTOC?  The requirements are the same for each of them.
1. dump our Cyprianite Sister Churches
2. recognize the selected fragment as canonical

Then what?  Is our joining one of them going to cause the remaining two to join together with us in one big happy family?  If the fragments are not in communion with each other now, how would our uniting with one of them change that?  And if we try to go into communion with a second fragment, would not the first one object?

We can forget that idea.  Other ideas I can come up with are even more ridiculous. 

Last October (2015) Archdeacon German came out with a similar cry: "Start the Unification Process!"

His conclusion through the machine translator:

Just think: what kind of spiritual power, we can imagine if you combine around three principles that most of us are undoubtedly shared:
- The rejection of ecumenism,
- Refusal of Sergianism in all its varieties,
- And a promise to follow the example and throughout the historical path of the Church Abroad.
Is this not sufficient and it is a solid basis for at least a working meeting for the beginning of godly unification process?

No.  It is not sufficient.  A foundational element is missing: canonicity.  Ideally the fragments would recognize our ROCA as the sole true valid continuation of the ROCOR and return to us.  Since that is not going to happen Vladyka Agafangle has offered to correct their orders while letting them keep their structure.  None of them will admit they need their ordinations corrected.  The fragments were created in the very beginning for the purpose of separation.  They will resist any efforts at unification – even with each other and starting with each other.

It has been 9 years since the ROCOR-MP union and none of the fragments have found a way to unite with each other where there is no issue of Cyprianism – which is mutually held as their supposed main complaint against us.  It is beating a dead horse to repeatedly revive this go-nowhere idea of uniting the fragments.  Our Holy Synod has made its best offer, the offer still stands.  The fragments have so far not responded.  The ball is in their court.  ROCA is not to blame.  There is nothing more we can do. 

Two months ago Archdeacon Basil in Australia republished an Open Letter from 2012.  It still makes the most sense.  First, I notice that he addresses it mainly to the sheep.  Realizing we are not going to get anywhere with the leaders of the fragments, he addresses the members.  Our prayer to God is for worthy sheep from the fragments to be returned to us.  I'm reposting the open letter here.  All we can really do at this point is repeat what we have said before:

An Open Letter 
from the unworthy protodeacon Basil from Canberra
to all who have ears and eyes to see….. 

I am not sure how to broach this subject of the disunity of our ROCA.  (I am not speaking about those that have subjugated themselves (be they the majority) to the sergianist and ecumenist (post soviet MP), but those, in the time that was chaotic for all of us, went to other jurisdictions (some even creating their own).  Our Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour bless me to say what is right and to offend no-one, I know I speak from my heart that is bleeding and spiritually hurt, and I hope you will understand me and my sincere plea! 

I know many others have stopped attending CHURCH all together and/or have gone to other old calendar jurisdictions.  You all know that I suffer and my pain is great that I could not have been more stronger and relevant in my opposition to the premature union between ROCA and thepost soviet sergianist/ecumenist MP (it is now after the five years ((soviet) MP plan) is more than crystal clear that many of our ROCA brothers and sister are now entrapped in the quagmire of sergianism and ecumenism (or worse) in the post soviet MP.  Families are divided – it  is hard for many to be family.  I hope metropolitan Hilarion (and others that have followed him) can sleep peacefully every night of the rest of their life, but they do not care anymore about the lost sheep (they care more about the post soviet MP medals and banquets that are more befitting to their new life style – their hero and saviour now is KGB agent PUTIN and his cronies).  WOW I am speechless at their five year success!

I come to those that find themselves now in the so called splinter/and or fragments (groups).  I do not mean, again, to offend no-one but if we could be of one heart, our strong ROCA voice, could make the enemies of our LORD JESUS CHRIST pay attention to ROCA, traveling as ever before, on the ROYAL PATH to SALVATION.  Could we together in ROCA not save them  as well?!?  The following is from the Summary of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Central Russian Administrative District. August 1, 2008 –  St. Seraphim of Sarov.

 1. It is with great sorrow that we (STILL) witness the divisions that occurred after the signing of the Act.  The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad is now fragmented, with each group claiming “divine purpose.” 

 2. We hold to the belief that it is still possible to unite the faithful adherents of the Church Abroad around the legacy of the ROCA, which is characterized by a spirit of sobornost; uniting laypeople, clergy, and the episcopate.  The legacy maintains the traditions of the founding hierarchs, a full life within the Church, and the readiness to set aside one’s supposed “truths” for the sake of God’s Truth.  The tendency of other “fragments” to treat lightly the decisions of past sobors and Synod of Bishops is quite worrisome and symptomatic of the irreligious idea of “dogmatic progressiveness.”  This leads them to reject certain decisions, or consider them not quite Orthodox in spirit.  It should be noted that such tendencies are exhibited by bishops who have become ordained only recently or only a few years ago.

 3. We wish to point out that the ROCA PSEA remains an open church body, headed not by a Hierarch, not by an Archbishop, but headed temporarily by Bishop Agafangel.  We do not share the ambitions of those in newly-formed jurisdictions, and seek only to avoid considering any fragment as the body of the Church.  We regret the refusal to maintain sobornost within the fragments of the ROCA, which results in premature ordinations, canonisations, and rejections of past decisions.

 4. We are prepared to engage in dialogue with anyone who considers our divisions to be unnatural and ask them only to answer one question in good conscience: who is creating these obstacles and striving to keep things as they are?  If we are guilty of rewriting the history of the ROCA, prove it to us.  If these divisions are caused by intemperate feelings, let us reject them and return to the conditions that existed before the tragic divisions.

 In my very short and succinct appeal to you… “please return to the church that is based on and lives by the principles and values set down by our founding hierarchs.  Let us continue together on the Royal Path that was charted by them and the sacrifices made by so many that came before us.  Please hear our anguished cry and together let us heal the divisions that have come between us.  From the Parish Council – Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church Fairfax, VA May 27, 2012 

Please see the latest invitation (in Russian) from his Eminence metropolitan Agafangel here:
With love in Christ Jesus our Saviour, asking for your prayers,
 the unworthy protodeacon Basil from Canberra, 
13 June 2012, Canberra


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