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The Saints: how do they emerge?

Katya1965

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In order to get closer to understanding the basic dogmas, one should pay more attention to those consequences that are more or less accessible to the rational mind, since without mental work, comprehension, analysis, there cannot be a full-fledged spiritual life.

Thus, the consequence of the dogma about the Holiness of the Church is the existence of holy saints of God. It is, so to speak, a practical realization of the Holiness of the Church, a product She makes. The presence of saints is the defining mark of the true church, a proof of its holiness. The adoration of saints is something that we can reason about, collect information, draw our own conclusions.

The big problem today is that the glorification of the saints is becoming more and more a matter for the hierarchs exclusively. The official canonization of a saint by the Council of Bishops provides the believers with a ready-made object for adoration without them having to do spiritual and mental work. It seems that most believers have nothing against this order of things. And they are glad to be spared the hassle and responsibility.

At the same time, the Orthodox tradition assumes that adoration originates among the Orthodox people, and the Council of Bishops only formally fixes the already existing situation. This is logical, since the object of worship and love cannot be ordered by the superiors. Otherwise, adoration will not be sincere and conscious, and will not be adoration in the sense that the teachers of the church and the holy councils speak of it. This is stated, in particular, in Acts 3 and 4 of the II Ecumenical Council.

The indifference and inattention of believers to the processes of canonization gives rise to such strange and ugly phenomena as false, crafty or opportunistic canonization, theft of saints, canonization carried out by an unfit subject, falsification of relics. All this is happening today and in front of our eyes. The question is how much we care.

Let us recall the canonization of the Emperor Nicolas II and his family by the MP. It is a real detective story that deserves to be known in all its details. This canonization took place on the eve of "reunification with ROCOR" and was intended to attract the flock of ROCOR. The acts of canonization are filled with striking slyness, e. g. the use of the naming "passion-bearers", a term coined to deny martyrdom.

It would be good to formulate the clearest possible answers to the questions:
What is required for canonization? What are the canonical criteria and what is their spiritual content? Who can be considered a saint? What is the adoration of saints? Are we ready to share with these perfect people (Heb. 11:40) their faith and ideals, to exemplify them as prescribed by the Second Ecumenical Council (Acts 3 and 4)?


Modern saints, practically our contemporaries, are like an enlightening manual for us. At the same time, the study and understanding of their exploits can put us in a delicate position, as all these saints were very anti-mainstream people. Many belonged to unrecognized jurisdictions like St. John of Shanghai.

Even among Catholics, there are manifestations of that spiritual freedom in the adoration of saints, which some Orthodox have lost. For example, there are French Catholics who love specific Orthodox saints, despite the fact that these saints are not recognized, and probably will never be recognized by the Vatican.
 

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Interesting. I wonder if you could give some examples, apart from the Romanov family, of "... false, crafty or opportunistic canonization", and what in particular makes them so.

Also, what is "theft of saints", and what do you mean by "canonization carried out by an unfit subject"? Can you provide verifiable examples of this, too? Who are these unfit subjects, and what makes them so?

Do you have examples and evidence of "falsification of relics"?

Modern saints, practically our contemporaries, are like an enlightening manual for us.
Couldn't agree more! I'd only add that ALL saints are "like an enlightening manual for us"--even those lacking "official" canonization.

At the same time, the study and understanding of their exploits can put us in a delicate position, as all these saints were very anti-mainstream people.
Please explain. I fail to see how this could be so, but that's probably due to my own shortcomings. Besides...what's wrong (if that's the correct word) with being "anti-mainstream"? Christianity itself is just that! Would a saint, officially canonized or not, be a saint if he or she were mainstream?

Even among Catholics, there are manifestations of that spiritual freedom in the adoration of saints, which some Orthodox have lost. For example, there are French Catholics who love specific Orthodox saints, despite the fact that these saints are not recognized, and probably will never be recognized by the Vatican.
Is it safe to assume you're referring to Catholics venerating post-schism Orthodox saints? Hasn't that been the case for decades, if not centuries? Obviously there's no "official" veneration of them, but I think Catholics are free to venerate privately whichever holy people they want--and I'm certainly open to correction about that if I'm wrong.

And, why would it matter to the Orthodox whether their post-schism saints are "recognized by the Vatican" or not?

It would be good to formulate the clearest possible answers to the questions:
What is required for canonization? What are the canonical criteria and what is their spiritual content? Who can be considered a saint? What is the adoration of saints?
Forgive me if I misunderstand, but it seems like you're asking for a more Catholic, as in Roman Catholic, process or system of recognizing saints.



and...

 
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RaphaCam

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The big problem today is that the glorification of the saints is becoming more and more a matter for the hierarchs exclusively. The official canonization of a saint by the Council of Bishops provides the believers with a ready-made object for adoration without them having to do spiritual and mental work. It seems that most believers have nothing against this order of things. And they are glad to be spared the hassle and responsibility.

At the same time, the Orthodox tradition assumes that adoration originates among the Orthodox people, and the Council of Bishops only formally fixes the already existing situation. This is logical, since the object of worship and love cannot be ordered by the superiors.
I tend to agree with you here, but I think setting strong criteria (like the EP does, very similarly to the RCC) might not be the answer. It would be interesting to first know how everyone does it, but, if it's just a matter of submitting it to the synod, I trust this process.

Let us recall the canonization of the Emperor Nicolas II and his family by the MP. It is a real detective story that deserves to be known in all its details. This canonization took place on the eve of "reunification with ROCOR" and was intended to attract the flock of ROCOR. The acts of canonization are filled with striking slyness, e. g. the use of the naming "passion-bearers", a term coined to deny martyrdom.
I have heard conflicting accounts on the term "passion-bearer", but anyway I don't like how it contrasts with ROCOR's title of martyrdom either.

I agree the timing was auspicious, but for different reasons. Their glorification happened seven years before ROCOR's reunion, but within one year of Yeltsin's retirement and the end of the Kosovo War. I won't get into detail to avoid politics, but what I'm saying is that the picture of what was happening in the minds of Russian leaders is way more complex. It has more to do with the spread of an idea of Holy Russia that had been cultivated by some specific bishops since the fall of the USSR, and which was favoured by geopolitical stress.

Interesting. I wonder if you could give some examples, apart from the Romanov family, of "... false, crafty or opportunistic canonization", and what in particular makes them so.
Keep in mind she's talking about the MP's glorification only, not ROCOR's. They were saints.

Is it safe to assume you're referring to Catholics venerating post-schism Orthodox saints? Hasn't that been the case for decades, if not centuries? Obviously there's no "official" veneration of them, but I think Catholics are free to venerate privately whichever holy people they want--and I'm certainly open to correction about that if I'm wrong.
Some of them are official, yes.

And, why would it matter to the Orthodox whether their post-schism saints are "recognized by the Vatican" or not?
It puts pressure in our bishops, entices creative "scholars" and confuses our people in general, making the job of responding to hardcore ecumenism (two lungs theory, in this case) harder, which puts us in a more vulnerable position.
 

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what is "theft of saints"
Theft of saints, this is what happens when saints already glorified by another church are re-canonized. With the same success, the MP could canonize John Chrysostom and Mark of Ephesus. Saints glorified in another jurisdiction are simply recognized and honored as saints of the Church – the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. As the Serbs venerate the Russian emperor, glorified by the Russian Church. The Serbian Church did not canonize him.
 

Katya1965

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ROCOR's reunion
It was not really a ROCOR's reunion in 2007. The problem is that 6 years before, in 2001 there was a forceful seizure of power in ROCOR combined with a violence against the legitimate First Hierarch.

There would be no claims against Lavr and his associates if they had honestly separated from Metropolitan Vitaly. If they disagreed with Metropolitan Vitaly, they should have honestly separated from him and announce this and call their community not ROCOR, but something else. After that, they could unite with anyone, even with the Pope, in the name of their new church, but not in the name of ROCOR.

But this was not what they needed. They wanted to eliminate the inconvenient first hierarch.

We can go very far if we introduce the law of the jungle into the Church: consider that the law is on the side of a stronger and more numerous faction. This is against the fundamentals of Christianity. That is not how the Church works.

The story of voluntary retirement is a lie. Everyone can sort everything out since the Internet is full of information on this matter.
 

Katya1965

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idea of Holy Russia that had been cultivated by some specific bishops since the fall of the USSR
The Russian Святая Русь should be translated as Holy Rus and not Holy Russia.

Русь–Rus is the Russian people. But we write Rus in this case because we are talking about pre-revolutionary Russians, who were not crippled by the god-fighting Soviet regime and not modern citizens of the Russian Federation. It is important to emphasize this because we are talking about spirituality.

Metropolitan Vitaly explains what Holy Rus is in his talk about the spirituality of peoples. Every nation has its own ideal, given to it by God. Something that he considers important for them. The ideal of Russian people is holiness. Therefore, Holy Rus.

The specific bishops deceive people by saying that Holy Rus is a territory, therefore they translate it as Holy Russia. For them, this is a brand and a territory where they can do whatever they want under the banner of holiness.
 

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It was not really a ROCOR's reunion in 2007. The problem is that 6 years before, in 2001 there was a forceful seizure of power in ROCOR combined with a violence against the legitimate First Hierarch.

There would be no claims against Lavr and his associates if they had honestly separated from Metropolitan Vitaly. If they disagreed with Metropolitan Vitaly, they should have honestly separated from him and announce this and call their community not ROCOR, but something else. After that, they could unite with anyone, even with the Pope, in the name of their new church, but not in the name of ROCOR.

But this was not what they needed. They wanted to eliminate the inconvenient first hierarch.

We can go very far if we introduce the law of the jungle into the Church: consider that the law is on the side of a stronger and more numerous faction. This is against the fundamentals of Christianity. That is not how the Church works.

The story of voluntary retirement is a lie. Everyone can sort everything out since the Internet is full of information on this matter.
I'm honestly shocked to look up and read the whole story, but the way Metropolitan Vitaly sorted it out can only be canonically justified if his claim to be saving ROCOR from heresy is taken as a given. From what I understand, he was vocal while outnumbered as a rigorist, he signed a letter of voluntary retirement under pressure in the council that elected Archbishop Laurus, and then he withdrew it because the rigorist party didn't accept the outcome and the unionist hierarchs refused to make ammends? Then he was called for a presumably abusive psychiatric evaluation and went on to name as deputy first hierarch a supporting bishop, who in turn did lone consecrations? Am I missing something?

It doesn't sound like strict ideas of canonicity are in the side of either.

The Russian Святая Русь should be translated as Holy Rus and not Holy Russia.

Русь–Rus is the Russian people. But we write Rus in this case because we are talking about pre-revolutionary Russians, who were not crippled by the god-fighting Soviet regime and not modern citizens of the Russian Federation. It is important to emphasize this because we are talking about spirituality.

Metropolitan Vitaly explains what Holy Rus is in his talk about the spirituality of peoples. Every nation has its own ideal, given to it by God. Something that he considers important for them. The ideal of Russian people is holiness. Therefore, Holy Rus.
I understand the idea, but the background of these words is so nuanced (as exemplified by your very specific idea of how it should be made) that I personally don't see much use in making a strong distinction. Latin uses Russia for both. Anyway, if we're talking about how this idea manifests in the minds of most who adhere to it today, it makes sense to speak of "Holy Russia".

Theft of saints, this is what happens when saints already glorified by another church are re-canonized. With the same success, the MP could canonize John Chrysostom and Mark of Ephesus. Saints glorified in another jurisdiction are simply recognized and honored as saints of the Church – the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. As the Serbs venerate the Russian emperor, glorified by the Russian Church. The Serbian Church did not canonize him.
 

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Whoops, I didn't reply to the last excerpt. I was just going to say that I don't understand why synods so often repeat glorifications, but it does happen, and in the case of the Romanov it makes a bit more sense, since the MP and the ROCOR were not in communion with each other... Although, of course, they were part of the same Orthodox Church.

Anyway, the ceremony was a big deal in Russia, so I believe the context I provided applies, too. It's hard to answer whether it had more to do with the reapproachment of ROCOR or with the historical revisionism Russians were going through, since both of these phenomena are part of the same cultural turn.
 
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Katya1965

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I'm honestly shocked to look up and read the whole story, but the way Metropolitan Vitaly sorted it out can only be canonically justified if his claim to be saving ROCOR from heresy is taken as a given.

Metr. Vitaly explained that he was pressed to retire and accepted to do so under the condition that the course of the ROCOR will not change – which means no reunion with MP until the obstacles (denouncing of the declaration of Sergius, with repentance, recognition of the canonization of the new martyrs done by the ROCOR, the exit from the WCC) are cleared.

So he retired under a condition, and he rescinded as he saw the condition is being broken as the ROCOR changes the course immediately after his retirement.

And it was exactly a move to save the ROCOR from heresy. The sergianism was obviously a heresy as a part of the heresy of renovationism. It had not been separately anathemized before, but retaking the function of First Hierarch, Metr. Vitaly corrected this, and the Council of ROCOR(V) anathemized the sergianism in 2004.

In addition, according to the statutes of the ROCOR, the first hierarch is elected for life. And no one has the right to remove him and elect another. When the First Hierarch cannot physically govern, he still stays First Hierarch, and the one who governs is an acting First Hierarch. Laurus and his accomplices understood this, understood that they were lawless. That is why they entered the subordination of the MP only after his death. Even the U.S. court figured out who was the legitimate First Hierarch when Laurus had the audacity to sue Vladyka Vitaly to take away the church property (in the old Bolshevik tradition).


It doesn't sound like strict ideas of canonicity are in the side of either.
I don't know which canons you mean to be violated by Metr. Vitaly, but here are some of the canons violated by Laurus: the 14th and 15th canons of the Protodeutera Constantinople Council on bishops breaking communion with their metropolitan, the 31st apostolic canon on the tyrants, the 34th apostolic canon on the status of the primat, the 55th apostolic canon on those who insult the bishop, canon 18 of IV Council and canon 34 of the VI Council on conspiracy and factions. Also canon 8 of IV Council, 39 apostolic canon... (Protodeutera c. 14-15/Ap. 31/Ap. 34/Ap. 55/Ap. 61/IV c. 8/Ap. 39...).

This is still not the main point. Indeed the story is not about disagreements over religious matters, but about the civil war.

How did the MP come about? The Bolsheviks had an official doctrine to eradicate Christianity and exterminate the clergy as a class, as a counterrevolutionary element. Could this regime allow the church? The one preaching a creed that implies the illegitimacy of the Bolsheviks. Why would they allow a breath of moral and spiritual freedom to people whom they condemned to be made atheists and turned into slaves?

Then they decided they needed to somehow show the outside world that there was no oppression of religion in the USSR. They needed an appearance of a church. Through terror (which was officially declared) they broke the priests and found one who could not stand it and agreed - Sergius Stragorodsky. And he issued a declaration about the complete subordination of his synod to the Soviet regime, which says that the enemies of the regime are the enemies of his church.

Did the Bolshevik doctrine to eradicate Christianity change? Of course not. Priests were to enter under the command of Sergius and join the Bolshevik God-fighting apparatus. The rest were condemned to extermination as the enemies of the people, including foreign clergy. This is what Sergius' declaration of 1927 is about. This declaration is not a document from the past; it is still a valid document. The MP has never condemned it or distanced itself from it in any way. On the contrary, not so long ago they erected a monument to Sergius.

In the 1930s, bloodletting (partial extermination) began among the Sergian priests, too, to make them keep low profile and to prevent the growth of the number of believers.

In 1943, when Stalin saw the great popularity of churches opening in the occupied territories, he decided to create his own church, disguised as the ROC, but completely denatured and actually turned into a department of the MGB. An MGB official Karpov, coordinating every step with Stalin personally, compiled a list of convenient Sergian clergy representatives and convened a church council that had to approve the decisions prepared by the MGB. The entire clergy was effectively integrated into the MGB. The MGB approved the new patriarch when Sergius died; those whom the MGB appointed as bishops no longer decided anything at all, but only carried out instructions; the MGB convened "councils," appointed to bishop's sees, issued approvals of texts of "conciliar messages" before they were adopted, etc., see materials on this topic at https://istmat.org/, for example:


How all this looks from a canonical point of view? What is Stalin's status in terms of church canons? I think a servant of Satan. So canonically the MP is not even schismatic, but an unlawful congregation (Canon 1 of St. Basil the Great). And also a church of the wicked according to Metr. Anthony. (Psalm 25:5: "I hated the church of the wicked, and I will not sit with the ungodly"). Metr. Anthony was saying: "We will ask the almighty God to deliver the Russian people from the Church of the wicked ones and the godless power." It is also heretic, as noted above.

The entire history of the 20th century MP is a war against foreign clergy who did not submit to Sergius and the KGB. Metr. Vitaly, a nobleman, monarchist, son of officer of Wrangel's army, fearless and strictly observant of the canons, is a class enemy for any descendant of Sergian MP and could only arouse hatred in them. And the elimination of vl. Vitaly is an act of this civil war, a special operation of the KGB. The attempt to isolate him in a psychiatric hospital (KGB classic) alone turns the participants of the special operation in. KGB agents were infiltrated into the ROCOR, through the recruitment and under the guise of the clergy passing from the MP to the ROCOR. The ROCOR accepted all fugitives as it is prescribed by the Canons. In the end of 90s it turned out that the majority in the synod were in favor of the union with MP. The book "KGB amidst Russian emigration" of Konstantin Preobrazhensky contains a chapter on the subversion of KGB against ROCOR.

Metropolitans Vitaly and Anthony are class enemies for the Sergians. This is what ROCOR is about – the choice of the side of the frontline in the civil war of 100 years ago.
 

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Metr. Vitaly explained that he was pressed to retire and accepted to do so under the condition that the course of the ROCOR will not change – which means no reunion with MP until the obstacles (denouncing of the declaration of Sergius, with repentance, recognition of the canonization of the new martyrs done by the ROCOR, the exit from the WCC) are cleared.

So he retired under a condition, and he rescinded as he saw the condition is being broken as the ROCOR changes the course immediately after his retirement.

And it was exactly a move to save the ROCOR from heresy. The sergianism was obviously a heresy as a part of the heresy of renovationism. It had not been separately anathemized before, but retaking the function of First Hierarch, Metr. Vitaly corrected this, and the Council of ROCOR(V) anathemized the sergianism in 2004.

In addition, according to the statutes of the ROCOR, the first hierarch is elected for life. And no one has the right to remove him and elect another. When the First Hierarch cannot physically govern, he still stays First Hierarch, and the one who governs is an acting First Hierarch. Laurus and his accomplices understood this, understood that they were lawless. That is why they entered the subordination of the MP only after his death. Even the U.S. court figured out who was the legitimate First Hierarch when Laurus had the audacity to sue Vladyka Vitaly to take away the church property (in the old Bolshevik tradition).
IOW, it was a move to keep ROCOR in a certain path. From what you're saying, it seems his conditions were respected under a legalistic POV, but it was clear where things are going, so he pressed the panic button.

This is very roughly comparable to how Levantine Orthodoxy was saved from the Melkite schism, so I guess it's justifiable under the line that the preservation of the Orthodox faith comes first, but there's the issue of how it comes with "us versus them" rhetorics that have historically isolated the Old Calendarist jurisdictions that didn't simply merge into the Orthodox Church, the last of the ones to isolate themselves being the Cyprianites. There are still the non-commemorators, of course, but by definition they're not jurisdctions.

I don't know which canons you mean to be violated by Metr. Vitaly, but here are some of the canons violated by Laurus: the 14th and 15th canons of the Protodeutera Constantinople Council on bishops breaking communion with their metropolitan, the 31st apostolic canon on the tyrants, the 34th apostolic canon on the status of the primat, the 55th apostolic canon on those who insult the bishop, canon 18 of IV Council and canon 34 of the VI Council on conspiracy and factions. Also canon 8 of IV Council, 39 apostolic canon... (Protodeutera c. 14-15/Ap. 31/Ap. 34/Ap. 55/Ap. 61/IV c. 8/Ap. 39...).
I won't get into research right now since I'm so busy, but one cannot ordain a bishop alone, nor without the approvation of their synod. It'd be good to see how appointing a deputy first hierarch works, too.

This is still not the main point. Indeed the story is not about disagreements over religious matters, but about the civil war.

How did the MP come about? The Bolsheviks had an official doctrine to eradicate Christianity and exterminate the clergy as a class, as a counterrevolutionary element. Could this regime allow the church? The one preaching a creed that implies the illegitimacy of the Bolsheviks. Why would they allow a breath of moral and spiritual freedom to people whom they condemned to be made atheists and turned into slaves?

Then they decided they needed to somehow show the outside world that there was no oppression of religion in the USSR. They needed an appearance of a church. Through terror (which was officially declared) they broke the priests and found one who could not stand it and agreed - Sergius Stragorodsky. And he issued a declaration about the complete subordination of his synod to the Soviet regime, which says that the enemies of the regime are the enemies of his church.

Did the Bolshevik doctrine to eradicate Christianity change? Of course not. Priests were to enter under the command of Sergius and join the Bolshevik God-fighting apparatus. The rest were condemned to extermination as the enemies of the people, including foreign clergy. This is what Sergius' declaration of 1927 is about. This declaration is not a document from the past; it is still a valid document. The MP has never condemned it or distanced itself from it in any way. On the contrary, not so long ago they erected a monument to Sergius.

In the 1930s, bloodletting (partial extermination) began among the Sergian priests, too, to make them keep low profile and to prevent the growth of the number of believers.

In 1943, when Stalin saw the great popularity of churches opening in the occupied territories, he decided to create his own church, disguised as the ROC, but completely denatured and actually turned into a department of the MGB. An MGB official Karpov, coordinating every step with Stalin personally, compiled a list of convenient Sergian clergy representatives and convened a church council that had to approve the decisions prepared by the MGB. The entire clergy was effectively integrated into the MGB. The MGB approved the new patriarch when Sergius died; those whom the MGB appointed as bishops no longer decided anything at all, but only carried out instructions; the MGB convened "councils," appointed to bishop's sees, issued approvals of texts of "conciliar messages" before they were adopted, etc., see materials on this topic at https://istmat.org/, for example:


How all this looks from a canonical point of view? What is Stalin's status in terms of church canons? I think a servant of Satan. So canonically the MP is not even schismatic, but an unlawful congregation (Canon 1 of St. Basil the Great). And also a church of the wicked according to Metr. Anthony. (Psalm 25:5: "I hated the church of the wicked, and I will not sit with the ungodly"). Metr. Anthony was saying: "We will ask the almighty God to deliver the Russian people from the Church of the wicked ones and the godless power." It is also heretic, as noted above.

The entire history of the 20th century MP is a war against foreign clergy who did not submit to Sergius and the KGB. Metr. Vitaly, a nobleman, monarchist, son of officer of Wrangel's army, fearless and strictly observant of the canons, is a class enemy for any descendant of Sergian MP and could only arouse hatred in them. And the elimination of vl. Vitaly is an act of this civil war, a special operation of the KGB. The attempt to isolate him in a psychiatric hospital (KGB classic) alone turns the participants of the special operation in. KGB agents were infiltrated into the ROCOR, through the recruitment and under the guise of the clergy passing from the MP to the ROCOR. The ROCOR accepted all fugitives as it is prescribed by the Canons. In the end of 90s it turned out that the majority in the synod were in favor of the union with MP. The book "KGB amidst Russian emigration" of Konstantin Preobrazhensky contains a chapter on the subversion of KGB against ROCOR.

Metropolitans Vitaly and Anthony are class enemies for the Sergians. This is what ROCOR is about – the choice of the side of the frontline in the civil war of 100 years ago.
I'd definitely have to look into sources for the post-WW2 part, but the bottom line is that sinister political forces have infiltrated the Church for a long time, but creating parallel structures as an act of war equals to seeing the perennial harmony of the Church gone. Sure, there is precedent for this being a valid stance: Rome would have at least kept Orthodoxy for longer if the counts of Tusculum had prevailed over Germanic warlords. Still, I have a strong faith in the communion of the faithful, and I believe this is where victory will come through again.
 
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Katya1965

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it seems his conditions were respected under a legalistic POV
We cannot judge w/o seeing the text of the agreement. The Laurus side kept it in secret and never published it. It might be so that it is up to Metr. Vitaly to decide whether the other side respected the condition (for he did not sell his retirement but granted it for free, and then he unilaterally evaluates if the condition for the granting is broken or not).

one cannot ordain a bishop alone, nor without the approvation of their synod. It'd be good to see how appointing a deputy first hierarch works, too.
Which ordination do you mean? If Anthony Orlov's, it was orderly, Anthony Orlov and Bishop Sergiy flew to join the Archbishop Barnaba as the second bishop for the ordination, which took place on 3/16 September 2002.
 

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Which ordination do you mean? If Anthony Orlov's, it was orderly, Anthony Orlov and Bishop Sergiy flew to join the Archbishop Barnaba as the second bishop for the ordination, which took place on 3/16 September 2002.
I'm talking about Bishop Sergiy's own consecration by Bishop Varnava. Then apparently the first bishop the two of them consecrated together (Vladimir) was someone who consistently claimed Archbishop Vitaly to be mentally unfit? And it seems everyone present in the synod that elected Archbishop Anthony traced back their apostolic succession to Bishop Varnava? Sorry, but this sounds all to shady. This kind of stuff is exactly why bishops can't do lone consecrations.
 

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I'm talking about Bishop Sergiy's own consecration by Bishop Varnava.
Metr. Vitaly took part in the consecration of Sergius together with Varnava. It was not a lone consecration. The enemies of Metropolitan Vitaly are spreading the rumor about a lone consecration, basing on the fact that Metr. Vitaly's broken right hand was not healed. Perhaps he could not lift it high enough to reach Sergius's head when Sergius was standing. But this does not mean that he could not lay his hands on his head - Sergius could get down on one knee, for example.
 

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Metr. Vitaly took part in the consecration of Sergius together with Varnava. It was not a lone consecration. The enemies of Metropolitan Vitaly are spreading the rumor about a lone consecration, basing on the fact that Metr. Vitaly's broken right hand was not healed. Perhaps he could not lift it high enough to reach Sergius's head when Sergius was standing. But this does not mean that he could not lay his hands on his head - Sergius could get down on one knee, for example.
I won't take a side on a discussion I know nothing about, but apparently Metropolitan Vitaly was wearing a mantle in the pictures of the ceremony, which indicates he was not serving the Divine Liturgy. So, even if he did lay his hand, he didn't perform a proper consecration, which is problematic in Orthodox Christianity, since we avoid scholastic distinctions between essential and accidental aspects of the mysteries. Anyway, the canonical number of consecrators is three.
 

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I won't take a side on a discussion I know nothing about, but apparently Metropolitan Vitaly was wearing a mantle in the pictures of the ceremony, which indicates he was not serving the Divine Liturgy. So, even if he did lay his hand, he didn't perform a proper consecration, which is problematic in Orthodox Christianity, since we avoid scholastic distinctions between essential and accidental aspects of the mysteries. Anyway, the canonical number of consecrators is three.
Raphacam, I tell you that Metr. Vitaly was removed illegally and with unacceptable violence: captivity, assault, deprivation of medical care. And you tell me that he was dressed in a wrong mantle at some ceremony.

This is irrelevant. There were a lot of sacraments and liturgies performed in the church in the wrong vestments. In the Catacomb Church, part of the sacraments took place in Stalin's camps. These sacraments were performed by bishops even without mantles, in prison robes. But these were valid ordinations, since the essential part (related to the impartation of grace) was done.

The separation of the essential from the non-essential is the basis of the thought process and is what distinguishes Orthodoxy from Pharisaism. You deny the thought process as such, declaring it scholasticism. Without a thought process it is impossible to learn the Orthodox doctrine. And those who do not know the doctrine, the «uneducated laities » (1 Basil the Great) easily fall under the influence of false teachers, against whom the canons warn: Ap. 47, XV of the First-Second, St. Basil the Great. Creations. Part 3.

The most essential is contained in the teaching and canons of St. Apostles. Apostolic canons take precedence, other canons cannot contradict them (13 Carthage Zonara). First Apost. canon is: Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops. That is, the presence of two bishops in the altar is sufficient for the ordination (ibid.).
 

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Raphacam, I tell you that Metr. Vitaly was removed illegally and with unacceptable violence: captivity, assault, deprivation of medical care. And you tell me that he was dressed in a wrong mantle at some ceremony.

This is irrelevant. There were a lot of sacraments and liturgies performed in the church in the wrong vestments. In the Catacomb Church, part of the sacraments took place in Stalin's camps. These sacraments were performed by bishops even without mantles, in prison robes. But these were valid ordinations, since the essential part (related to the impartation of grace) was done.
It's not about a wrong mantle, I'm pretty sure Metropolitan Vitaly, Bishop Varnava and others knew their way around the mantles. It's precisely because they knew it that the version that Bishop Varnava didn't perform a lone consecration sounds odd.

Your comparison between setting up a new synod from scratch to resist reunion with the MP and the Catacomb Church is a reflection of what I said: this whole story is justifiable as long as someone is coming from an "Old Calendarist" position. If one is coming from a position you'd call "World Orthodox", even if we take every factual you're saying as true, it's just the story of an illicit retirement gone tragic... Most of Orthodox canon law was created specifically to prevent illicit acts to become much larger problems due to snowball effect. The Fathers knew well how lawlessness and an excessive sense of repairing injustice could create a snowball effect (see Judges 19-21; Ecclesiastes 7:16).

The separation of the essential from the non-essential is the basis of the thought process and is what distinguishes Orthodoxy from Pharisaism. You deny the thought process as such, declaring it scholasticism. Without a thought process it is impossible to learn the Orthodox doctrine. And those who do not know the doctrine, the «uneducated laities » (1 Basil the Great) easily fall under the influence of false teachers, against whom the canons warn: Ap. 47, XV of the First-Second, St. Basil the Great. Creations. Part 3.
I didn't mean it as a universal assertion, but rather to the question of whether laying of hands without performing the proper liturgical prayers amounts to a valid consecration. Then it becomes "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Of course, if he hypothetically did everything correctly, but with a mantle, it's still valid. To say otherwise would be to adhere to the heretical teachings of the Old Believers.

The most essential is contained in the teaching and canons of St. Apostles. Apostolic canons take precedence, other canons cannot contradict them (13 Carthage Zonara). First Apost. canon is: Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops. That is, the presence of two bishops in the altar is sufficient for the ordination (ibid.).
Canon XIII of the Council of Carthage became ecumenical by virtue of the Fifth-Sixth Ecumenical Council (the same council that made the Apostolic Canons ecumenical), and Canon IV of the First Ecumenical Council has the same indication. Presumably they eventually decided that bishops with two consecrators were more likely to act sectarily, and/or it became easier to find three bishops as Christianity grew larger.
 
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Canon XIII of the Council of Carthage became ecumenical by virtue of the Fifth-Sixth Ecumenical Council (the same council that made the Apostolic Canons ecumenical), and Canon IV of the First Ecumenical Council has the same indication. Presumably they eventually decided that bishops with two consecrators were more likely to act sectarily, and/or it became easier to find three bishops as Christianity grew larger.
No, no later canon may contradict the apostolic canons. Zonaras, Balsamon and Aristenos all the three reaffirm this principle in their commentaries of the Canon XIII, saying that the latter stipulates three bishops should be present in the election of a new bishop, but two suffice for the ordination, in accordance with Ap. I.

Anyway, the illegal seizure of power in ROCOR in 2001 is an event disjoint from the ordination of Sergius and the union with the MP. Laurus has violated all possible norms of morality and at least 10 canons, and his group was non-canonical.
 

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No, no later canon may contradict the apostolic canons. Zonaras, Balsamon and Aristenos all the three reaffirm this principle in their commentaries of the Canon XIII, saying that the latter stipulates three bishops should be present in the election of a new bishop, but two suffice for the ordination, in accordance with Ap. I.
Do any of them say "no later canon may contradict the apostolic canons", or do they just say two are enough, but three are required? These are very different things. You're seeing a "contradiction" where I'm just seeing a change. I'd take the Holy Fathers of the Fifth-Sixth Council over personal opinions anytime, and they were pretty okay with convalidating both Carthage and the Apostolic Canons.

By all means, the number of three is meant to preserve unity and prevent sectarianism, which ROCOR-V has absolutely failed to accomplish. So I don't think it's very relevant to argue about whether it's two bishops or three as an abstraction.

Anyway, the illegal seizure of power in ROCOR in 2001 is an event disjoint from the ordination of Sergius and the union with the MP. Laurus has violated all possible norms of morality and at least 10 canons, and his group was non-canonical.
I would just point out that this particular view of canonicity is specific to Old Calendarist groups, and even then not all of them.
 

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Do any of them say "no later canon may contradict the apostolic canons"
Yes, exactly.

or do they just say two are enough
They say two are enough for the ordination.

but three are required?
Absolutely no, two are enough.

You're seeing a "contradiction" where I'm just seeing a change.
There has never been a change to Ap. I.

I would just point out that this particular view of canonicity is specific to Old Calendarist groups
The point of view that the canons should not be violated is officially broadcast by any of the churches calling themselves Orthodox, not just the Old Calendarist "groups". Laurus and his associates violated many canons and are jamming the signals about their unlawful behavior by a stream of information noise on imaginary violations of canons by their opposers.
 

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You're either missing the point or beating around the bush.
Probably I am missing what you mean; I answered to your remark that "this particular view of canonicity is specific to Old Calendarist groups". Please, clarify what you mean by "this particular view of canonicity", if it is not the point of view that the canons should not be violated.
 

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Probably I am missing what you mean; I answered to your remark that "this particular view of canonicity is specific to Old Calendarist groups". Please, clarify what you mean by "this particular view of canonicity", if it is not the point of view that the canons should not be violated.
Unfortunately, canons are and have always been violated all the time, often involving primates, so "uncanonical" becomes pretty much a political label. Some Old Calendarists tend to believe that it's justifiable to respond to major breaches of canonicity with breaking up relations.
 

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Unfortunately, canons are and have always been violated all the time, often involving primates, so "uncanonical" becomes pretty much a political label. Some Old Calendarists tend to believe that it's justifiable to respond to major breaches of canonicity with breaking up relations.
Ok, I see. However, I think that such things should not be swept under the rug. Ugly actions and violations of the rules must be exposed. It is very good that there is an opportunity to discuss all this in the forum.
 

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I was just going to say that I don't understand why synods so often repeat glorifications, but it does happen, and in the case of the Romanov it makes a bit more sense, since the MP and the ROCOR were not in communion with each other... Although, of course, they were part of the same Orthodox Church.

Anyway, the ceremony was a big deal in Russia, so I believe the context I provided applies, too. It's hard to answer whether it had more to do with the reapproachment of ROCOR or with the historical revisionism Russians were going through, since both of these phenomena are part of the same cultural turn.
Why the "canonization" of the Russian New Martyrs and Confessors by the MP in 2000 made the anticipated reunion with ROCOR impossible

A precondition for the beginning of a dialogue with the MP on the part of ROCOR was the recognition of the holiness of the New Martyrs, the recognition by the MP of what was done by the ROCOR in 1981. This condition was absolutely necessary, since a refusal to recognize the saints would imply a fundamental divergence in faith. Only communities with similar faith can unite. Canonization is not just a fixation of the fact of holiness of a particular member of the Church. This is informing the believers about the martyrdom and the confessorship of the saint. When canonizing a saint, the church provides two types of information: historical and theological. What kind of historical information on the emperor Nicolas II and his family provides the MP in the canonization materials? The historical part of it is a tendencious, based on the bolshevik version of history, coverage of the last months of the life of Nicholas II. This part needs a radical changeover and an accurate unbiased account of veracious historical facts without sweeping under the rug the existing controversies. Suffice it to say that the very fact of the abdication of the emperor from the throne does not have reliable documentary evidence, in particular, there is no original abdication manifesto signed by him. As concerns the theological part of the message sent by the MP in the canonization materials, it distorts the Orthodox doctrine of the tsar power, originating from the Byzantium and adopted by the Russian church since the inception of Tsardom in Russia, by promulgating the false thesis that the Christian sovereign ceases to be a legitimate tsar and looses his quality of anointed by God as soon as he ceases to physically rule. The MP ends up by glorifying not saint martyrs, but just some people, avoiding to call them martyrs, in a way, such that it remains unclear in which quality and why they are glorified. And this implies, in particular, the non-recognition of the martyrdom of the emperor’s servants.

Metropolitan Vitaly wrote in his District Epistle of June 9/22, 2001:
"'Glorification' of St. New Martyrs by the Moscow Patriarchate, done under the pressure of the believing people, accompanied by a number of humiliating clauses, completely excluding the eschatological significance of regicide, cannot please and console us. We all know that the Holy Royal Martyrs suffered precisely in connection with their royal service; killing them was a symbolic part of the deliberate destruction of the God-established Orthodox state. With its own compromises and lies about the Royal Martyrs, non-recognition of the feat of the Tsar's servants, the Moscow Patriarchate deliberately leads the flock away from the spiritual understanding of the committed atrocity."

A similar forgery concerns the host of hieromartyrs, where the MP enlisted associates of Metr. Sergius, who bowed to the enemies of God, while omitting many opponents of Metr. Sergius, except for some of the most notable ones. "We also cannot ignore the fact that the same imprint of lie also lies on the “glorification” of the New Martyrs, among whom the Patriarchate impudently failed to recognize Joseph of Petrograd as Hieromartyr." (ibid)

Such “canonization” is by no means a rapprochement of positions. On the contrary, it officially formalizes and fixes the cardinal difference in faith. After such canonization (in reality, anti-canonization), the subject matter for the work of the “unification commission” disappeared. "The Moscow Patriarchate, which once participated in the persecution of confessors, without any repentance, is now glorifying them! It cannot be called otherwise than spiritual cynicism, which is completely unacceptable in the Church... No such commission can be created, because there is no subject for its work." (ibid)
 

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Why the "canonization" of the Russian New Martyrs and Confessors by the MP in 2000 made the anticipated reunion with ROCOR impossible
POSTSCRIPTUM

The canonization definitely is not the main thing. This is just a smoke screen to divert attention from the main thing.

The main thing is that, according to the canons, the MP is not within the Church and is, at least, an unlawful congregation since the moment it was hijacked by a person who, unlawfully pretending to act on behalf of the Church, swore an oath of allegiance to satan’s servants, the Bolsheviks. In order to return to the Church, the MP had to repent for collaborating with the Bolsheviks and their cannibalistic secret police, going under various abbreviations of 3-4 letters.

Metropolitan Vitaly speaks about this.
 

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Metropolitan Vitaly wrote in his District Epistle of June 9/22, 2001:
"'Glorification' of St. New Martyrs by the Moscow Patriarchate, done under the pressure of the believing people, accompanied by a number of humiliating clauses, completely excluding the eschatological significance of regicide, cannot please and console us. We all know that the Holy Royal Martyrs suffered precisely in connection with their royal service; killing them was a symbolic part of the deliberate destruction of the God-established Orthodox state. With its own compromises and lies about the Royal Martyrs, non-recognition of the feat of the Tsar's servants, the Moscow Patriarchate deliberately leads the flock away from the spiritual understanding of the committed atrocity."
I understand what both allude to, but I'd like to understand why this excerpt says the MP failed in the further and I was always curious to know ROCOR's stance on the latter.

A similar forgery concerns the host of hieromartyrs, where the MP enlisted associates of Metr. Sergius, who bowed to the enemies of God,
If Metropolitan Sergius himself had gone through the same fate, it would be fair to commemorate him as a martyr, like St. Gregory V of Constantinople. So there might be some circular reasoning there.

while omitting many opponents of Metr. Sergius, except for some of the most notable ones. "We also cannot ignore the fact that the same imprint of lie also lies on the “glorification” of the New Martyrs, among whom the Patriarchate impudently failed to recognize Joseph of Petrograd as Hieromartyr." (ibid)

Such “canonization” is by no means a rapprochement of positions. On the contrary, it officially formalizes and fixes the cardinal difference in faith. After such canonization (in reality, anti-canonization), the subject matter for the work of the “unification commission” disappeared. "The Moscow Patriarchate, which once participated in the persecution of confessors, without any repentance, is now glorifying them! It cannot be called otherwise than spiritual cynicism, which is completely unacceptable in the Church... No such commission can be created, because there is no subject for its work." (ibid)
I understand there are very relevant underlying differences of perspective regarding state-church relations in a secular Russia, but the MP not wanting to liturgically commemorate an act of separation from itself isn't as much of a big deal as you portray. Anyway, St. Joseph of Petrograd, pray for us!
 

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2 Katya: The Prophet Jeremiah - and Nebuchadnezzar; the apostles Peter and Paul - and Nero... Your curses against the ROC are unfair and ruin you. It would be not bad to find the reason why hatred found way to your heart, and eliminate it.
If you want, you can start by getting acquainted with a different point of view: https://sergeylarin.livejournal.com/37999.html
 

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2 Katya: The Prophet Jeremiah - and Nebuchadnezzar; the apostles Peter and Paul - and Nero... Your curses against the ROC are unfair and ruin you. It would be not bad to find the reason why hatred found way to your heart, and eliminate it.
If you want, you can start by getting acquainted with a different point of view: https://sergeylarin.livejournal.com/37999.html
Great text, Father, thanks.
 

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You read Russian???
No, I probably still need some vocabulary to claim a technically elementary level. I used Google Translate. You can put the URL in the source language box and click the link that will come up on the other side.
 
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No, I probably still need some vocabulary to claim an "elementary level". I used Google Translate. You can put the URL in the source language box and click the link that will come up on the other side.
I got it with Yandle translate. Don't know if that's any better or not. It's a long article, I'm a slow reader. I'll check it out probably tomorrow.
 

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I got it with Yandle translate. Don't know if that's any better or not. It's a long article, I'm a slow reader. I'll check it out probably tomorrow.
I just ran a quick test and it looks like Google Translate is better while Yandex is more literal.
 

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If Metropolitan Sergius himself had gone through the same fate, it would be fair to commemorate him as a martyr, like St. Gregory V of Constantinople. So there might be some circular reasoning there.
Patr. Gregory V had not usurp the first hierarch's see. Metr. Sergius did, and there is no reason to recognize him a martyr so much the more that he was not murdered but died a natural death.

Declaration of the Metr. Sergius Stragorodsky is an oath of allegiance to the lawless bandits: "we, church leaders, are not with the enemies of our Soviet state, but with our people and with our government." What people? Orthodox people were all exterminated by the "soviet government" as counter-revolutionary elements. Speaking about "our" people is a hypocrisy. That people is not the Russian people, the one which leads its succession from the people of historical Russia. There is not a single word about Russian people in the declaration.

"The joys and successes of the Soviet state are our joys and successes, and the failures are our failures." One of those successes was the extermination of the Orthodox.
 

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2 Katya: The Prophet Jeremiah - and Nebuchadnezzar; the apostles Peter and Paul - and Nero... Your curses against the ROC are unfair and ruin you. It would be not bad to find the reason why hatred found way to your heart, and eliminate it.
If you want, you can start by getting acquainted with a different point of view: https://sergeylarin.livejournal.com/37999.html
Don’t become personal. Do you have any objections to the point? You provide a reference to an article defending Metr. Sergius; it is obvious, that those staying with the MP have to justify themselves somehow, and this is one of such justifications.

To the point: let us look at historical facts. In 1927, the Locum Tenens of the Patriarch's See, Metr. Peter(Polyansky) of Krutitsy, was in prison. Meanwhile his temporary deputy (whose job is to carry out the will of his superior hierarch) Metr. Sergius Stragorodsky declared himself the head of the church. Despite the protests from Metr. Peter, he issued his shameful declaration on behalf of the church, swearing an oath of allegiance to open enemies of God.

Canonical evaluation of the facts:
1 canon St. Basil the Great:
"Hence they have called some of them heresies, and others schisms, and others again parasynagogues (i.e., conventicles). Heresies is the name applied to those who have broken entirely and have become alienated from the faith itself. Schisms is the name applied to those who on account of ecclesiastical causes and, remediable questions have developed a quarrel amongst themselves. Parasynagogues is the name applied to gatherings held by insubordinate presbyters or bishops, and those held by uneducated laities. As, for instance, when one has been arraigned for a misdemeanor held aloof from liturgy and refused to submit to the Canons, but laid claim to the presidency and liturgy for himself, and some other persons departed with him, leaving the catholic Church — that is a parasynagogue... as for those, on the other hand, who were in parasynagogues, if they have been improved by considerable repentance and are willing to return, they are to be admitted again into the Church, so that often even those who departed in orders with the insubordinates, provided that they manifest regret, may be admitted again to the same rank."

In my previous comment I used a softer naming "unlawful congregation" to design the parasynagogue, the term used by St. Basil the Great.

See also: Protodeutera c. 14-15/Ap. 31/Ap. 34/Ap. 55/Ap. 61/IV c. 8/Ap. 39.

There is also an explanation about sergianism by Metr. Vitaly (see interview to Canadian radio cited in my comment in another thread).

As concerns a hatred, it is not mine, it is emanating from the Sergians, active accomplices in bolshevik’s genocide of the Orthodox people. They are vindictive and cannot forgive their victims for the evil they have done themselves, that is why they are so shy to recognize the Holy Martyrs and invent euphemisms to call them otherwise. Today they still keep confessors, as Fr. Nikolay (Mamaev), in prison.
 

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Don’t become personal.
I'm talking about the fact that messages in this topic do not arise by themselves. Some reasons encourage personally you to hate the ROC. For example, if a healthy person rejects the necessity of fasting, the reason for this is his selfishness, the domination of the flesh over the spirit. A quarter of a century ago, in the ROC was popular for "fighting the antichrist", seeking out the number of the beast, and the like - because such quasi-spirituality is much easier than actual repentance. Well, and so on. And until you reveal your reason, you will continue to suffer and blaspheme the Holy Church. With this thought in mind, I gave you a link to the article - so that you, reading it and experiencing categorical rejection of everything that is said there, could better understand yourself, understand what exactly makes hatred profitable for you. I'm not going to fence with you in words, especially not to seriously discuss blasphemy against the Church.
 

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Not that a schismatic would accept it, but St. Athanasius Sakharov of Kovrov, who was consecrated by St. Tikhon, who did not commemorate Metropolitan/Patriarch Sergius because of his Declaration, and who suffered for the Orthodox faith under the godless authorities, entered into communion with Patriarch Alexis I after Sergius' death because Patriarch Alexis was accepted by all the Orthodox Churches as the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. https://orthochristian.com/98181.html

Also, not that a schismatic would accept it, but St. Luke the Surgeon of Crimea, on of the greatest wonderworkers of our times, did commemorate Metropolitan/Patriarch Sergius.

Clearly, since that time, the Orthodox Church has moved on. Only the schismatic holds to a narrow and now irrelevant view. They are always trying to justify their schism by inventing further justifications, all of which grow more and more anachronistic.
 

RaphaCam

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Patr. Gregory V had not usurp the first hierarch's see.
Have you actually read St. Gregory V of Constantinople's biography? He was patriarch three times, once after the forced resignation of St. Cyril V. He called for loyalty of Ottoman Orthodox Christians in conflicts with both Russia and Greece, and ended up being martyred with St. Cyril for his trouble. He was still a great patriarch to his flock, and a real martyr.

Metr. Sergius did,
Just like St. Gregory V having profitted from his co-martyr's being more incovenient to the Sublime Porte isn't proof that he was an usurper, and the same applies to Patriarch Sergius having profitted from the party line.

and there is no reason to recognize him a martyr so much the more that he was not murdered but died a natural death.
What I meant was actually a hypothetical, since you mentioned his martyred companions.

Declaration of the Metr. Sergius Stragorodsky is an oath of allegiance to the lawless bandits: "we, church leaders, are not with the enemies of our Soviet state, but with our people and with our government." What people? Orthodox people were all exterminated by the "soviet government" as counter-revolutionary elements. Speaking about "our" people is a hypocrisy. That people is not the Russian people, the one which leads its succession from the people of historical Russia. There is not a single word about Russian people in the declaration.

"The joys and successes of the Soviet state are our joys and successes, and the failures are our failures." One of those successes was the extermination of the Orthodox.
And now the ideology comes up...
 

Katya1965

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If Metropolitan Sergius himself had gone through the same fate, it would be fair to commemorate him as a martyr, like St. Gregory V of Constantinople. So there might be some circular reasoning there.
Just like St. Gregory V having profitted from his co-martyr's being more incovenient to the Sublime Porte isn't proof that he was an usurper, and the same applies to Patriarch Sergius having profitted from the party line.
ROCOR's faith is based on strict adherence to doctrine.
The doctrine requires apostolic succession as the basic condition for the God’s grace of the hierarchy. This has already been discussed in another thread.

Metropolitan Sergius lost his apostolic succession when he separated from his acting First Hierarch Metropolitan Peter. From that moment, Metr. Sergius lost his rank of hierarch and metropolitan.

This is an example, when the Church is reduced to the First Hierarch in captivity, and the insubordinate Synod leaves from the Church forming an unlawful congregation.
 
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