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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






Summing up the recent split

 from Internet Sobor 

Metropolitan Agafangel: Reflection on our position
22 January 2017

"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"
(Matthew 16.18)

To summarize that which pertains to the recent schism, it is impossible not to notice a certain pattern (a trend) in the latest events. It seems that they were inevitable, and it would not have been possible to stop them. Previously, the same thing happened in the Russian Federation, and now in the USA, Canada and Australia. The next phase can be expected in Argentina. In the Ukraine, Moldova and Brazil, all is quiet and peaceful - no disturbances. Perhaps it is because the United States, Canada, Australia, and Argentina have a lot of newcomers from the former Soviet Union, while the Ukraine and Moldova have sharply distanced themselves from the Russian Federation, whereas in Brazil there are no "Russian newcomers" at all? I personally think that yes - that the immigrants from the former Soviet Union are a multifarious and dangerous mix, which contains a lot of diversities and specially introduced components into the environment, including anti-church elements. Nowadays, it is exactly in this milieu, that it is very easy and convenient to operate for those who wish to destroy the Church independently from any external forces. I do not want to analyze the new emigration and break it up into groups at this point – they are all different; one can find many positive factors, but also many negative ones can be found as well. The newcomers have almost completely replaced the old immigrants themselves in the old parishes, and it is they - not the old immigrants - who now decide the fate of the parishes and the parish properties. In France, where there also are many new immigrants who have joined us, in Cannes the parish with the old church wound up in the Moscow Patriarchate, but in Lyon everything is hanging on Protodeacon Herman. (May God grant him the perseverance).
Moreover, I think that it is fully possible that within a short time, all the large parishes of the Russian churches from "alternative" Orthodoxy will begin to drift off onto different paths, but towards the same goal – to the Church-state structure of the MP. In other words, I think we will lose all large (even to our understanding) properties. More correctly, this process has already been underway for over ten years right before our eyes. The Russian Federation is a sample of what will take place everywhere in the near future, but only wherever this structure can prevail and influence events.
***
Regarding the splintered from us heretics - they  are presently very happy, they are left alone with their property (as expressed by Oleg Mironov – "колбасой – sausage.” This is a Russian saying which literally means “ selling out” for the sake of material goods or wealth.), and they foster the illusion that everything continues as before; services are served, more people join the parish: "Behold now, what is so good or so joyous as for brethren  to dwell together in unity?" (Psalm 132) - now they have an illusion of a joyful life. But not for long, because to live and be happy for a long while without any canonical patristic foundation, and being devoid of the saving grace of the Holy spirit, will not work. A house built on sand will soon begin to crumble. The scriptures testify to this.
In as much as all of our numerous attempts at reconciliation and all of our exhortations were ignored by the heretics, we do not see any other way to call them to repentance, other than by  completely disassociating ourselves from them as required by the church canons. We have no choice other than to fence ourselves  off from a destructive heresy which contradicts the dogmas of the Church; and in spite of the confirmations of the Holy fathers, they claim that a schism does not exist. Therefore, we must cease all communication with the heretics, as required by paragraph 9 of Patriarch Tikhon’s Decree No. 362: "to break ecclesiastical communion with the disobedient", and as required by the Holy Universal Church: "who merely prays with heretics, let him be excommunicated" (Apostolic Rule 45).
Since a group of names are missing from the list of those who took part in the gathering (the heretics were afraid to make it public) we list the following participants as we know them: archbp. Andronik, archbp. Sophrony, Fr. Gregory Kotlyarov, Ig. Andrei Erastov, Fr. Nikita Grigoriev, Ig. Nestor Mihaylechko, Fr. Igor Dubrov, Fr. Oleg Mironov, Fr. Ignatius Krutkov, Fr. Dmitry Dobronravov, deacon Paul Lipin, deacon Victor Zavodov,  subdeacon Hilarion, subdeacon Victor, and the laity: Yuri Lukin, Nikolai Chertkov, Vladimir Solntsev, mark Kotlyarov, Dmitry Goncharov, Alexander Krivoshlykov, Vyacheslav Mazur, Budzilovich (son), Alexander Kovmir, Vladimir Pasichnyk, Vadim Yarmolinets, Vladimir Zemlyakov, Artemy (the warden of the Tolstoy farm) and four others (or else - only God really knows how many more) who are unidentified.
Since bishop Irenaeus and three Izhevsk priests were prohibited from serving earlier, the question regarding their bans  will be discussed at the next Bishops' Council.
According to the resolution of the Council of Bishops in 2016, all of the clergy listed above are forbidden to serve, and the laity listed above are banned from Holy Communion. According to the Canons (Apostolic rule 45), there can be no communion with these people in prayer, and equal punishment will be warranted by those who will pray together with them. Therefore, it is forbidden to visit the churches and parishes where those heretics and schismatics listed above serve.
What was said regarding heretics and schismatics has been established not by us, but by the Holy fathers and has been incorporated into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church since its inception.

We will further continue our path towards Christ with the fear of God, safeguarding the legacy of the fathers of the Russian Church Abroad, and guided by the words of Christ read from the Gospel today: "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17).

+ Metropolitan Agafangel
9/22 January 2017


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