ROCOR has both feet on the Royal Path
RTOC priest Siluan, in a recent multi-recipient emailing, calls attention to a comment made by Vladyka Agafangel in his livejournal March 23, 2008
Vladyka's comment through the machine translator says:
The Church Abroad has always been a mean way - between sectarian deviation (which is represented by numerous TOC) and apostasy (which is now represented by the so-called Orthodox world). We do not "gravitate", therefore, either to the TOC or the MP. So will "neither here nor there," as you say. Those who have ears to hear it, and those who have eyes - see.
I understand it this way:
The ROCOR has always followed the Royal Path – between sectarian deviation (super-correct) and apostasy (world-orthodoxy). We do not lean toward either side – neither towards the TOCs nor towards the MP. We are "neither here nor there", meaning that we are not partially in either the left or the right. We do not have one foot in the TOCs and the other foot in world-orthodoxy at the same time. Rather, we have both feet on the Royal Path.
In the emailing was also included this photo:
What is this document? Here is what came out of the translator:
An extract from the Council of the Russian Arhіereyskago
Orthodox Church Outside ot 25/8 May 1998
Arhіereyskіy SOBOR Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Imtli suzhdenіe: naimenovanіi of our Church unto predљlah Rossіi.
Resolved: to bless rossіyskim eparhіyam ROCA register
beneath nazvanіem: Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)
It looks like this is a decision of the 1998 ROCOR synod to bless our Church in Suzdal (suzhdenіe) to register under the name RTOC.
Why is Fr. Siluan sending out this email?
The subject line of the email translates: "Contradictions". Probably Fr. Siluan is trying to show a contradiction between what ROCOR said in 1998 and what Vladyka Agafangel says in 2008. Maybe the purpose is to show that Vladyka Agafangel can not be the valid continuation of ROCOR, based on this and other seeming contradictions of past and present.
But, it was later, after 1998, that events raised the canonical issues regarding RTOC. The RTOC that was blessed by the ROCOR synod in 1998 is NOT the same body that was later contrived by that mess that came out of ROCiE. The RTOC of today is not that body that the ROCOR blessed back in 1998. The RTOC of today is a ROCiE schism. There should be no contradiction in our understanding.
Personally I appreciate having Vladyka's 2008 comment brought out at this time. There are certain people in ROCOR I'd like for them to see it. Certain of my people who, back then, accused me of having my "own brand of Orthodoxy" and of being "myopic".
I confess to being "myopic" in the sense that I see things only from my position of old convert (20 years in the Orthodox Church), American convert, and lay-follower of Fr. Seraphim Rose. But I emphatically deny having my "own brand of Orthodoxy". I strive always to conform my understanding to that of my Synod. Vladyka's 2008 comment shows that back then I was actually right in step with my Synod.
Truth About the Suzdal Schism
by Archpriest Lev Lebedev