Ecclesiology of a Retreating Army

by Hegumen Gregory (Lourie)

"Skorbnye sobytija, no oni - predrechennogo sbytie"
(These mournful fortunes are but prophesies come true)

This article was written in the summer of 1996 for another publication which never appeared in print. Nevertheless, the article has gained considerable circulation primarily due to its release on the Internet in Russian and English. In response to critical comments, several people, including myself, have amended and supplemented the text to a certain extent. The version appearing in this issue has seen some further elaborations which do not affect the principal content and message of the article. The focus of the article remains on the most general ecclesiastical issues of the current epoch which has witnessed a sweeping and, apparently, final defeat of true Christianity in the world, its retreat and the onslaught of the adversary. In its retreat, true Christianity-s sole concern is to keep some semblance of order in its ranks, so that its dignified retreat does not turn into a stampede. The ecclesiology of the present epoch addresses only one issue: how to preserve the fragments of a defeated army. We already know that it will eventually fail in this, too. The handful of successors to the true Church that will eventually survive will retain very little semblance to an army. Meanwhile, while there is still an army it has to choose its mission itineraries, improve interaction between its units and, where possible, score victories in minor tail fights.

The subject-matter of this article verges on some vast and vitally important areas which this article has never dealt with, and will never discuss in the future. One of them is an overview (updated to the last minute, not last week) of the present situation in the Orthodox world and analysis of certain problems specific to Russia, Greece, Serbia and other nations with an Orthodox tradition. I have endeavored to adhere to the subjects which may be deemed to be common for the entire Orthodox world or a predominant percentage thereof.

The idea of the reflection, which is now presented to the reader, grew out of informal communication between Orthodox Christians of various local churches. лVarious local churches╗ - these are words which should express the only possible difference between Orthodox Christians. But is it like that now? What does the concept of local churches mean in our time? Are there not substantial differences between Christians within the лlocal churches╗? The heresy of ecumenism and the various tendencies of ecclesiastical лrenovationism╗ that are closely linked with it engender not only, and not so much theological discussions, and not merely differences in the style of calendar and the лstyle╗ of spiritual life. The differences go as far as membership of the Church; some preserve it, while others are deprived of it. How is one to remain among the former and not fall among the latter? These are by no means idle questions, and in order to clarify them we should not confirm ourselves to the limits of those formations which are called лjurisdictions╗ in contemporary jargon. True Orthodox Christians are divided by barriers of canonical discipline which inevitably arise from human feebleness in times of ecclesiastic uncertainty. In ancient times, these barriers were no obstacle to Orthodox Christians' common understanding of their shared Orthodox faith, and they must not become such obstacles now. This article has emerged as a result of my communication with Orthodox Christians belonging to various Orthodox "jurisdictions" (therefore, I cannot claim its sole authorship). In its turn, this article has encouraged further communication and might, by God's grace, continue to encourage it in the future.

1. The local churches in an ecclesiastical time of troubles
The destruction of the external forms of the local churches

The local churches are the communities of believers which are confined to a definite territory (linked, as a rule, to state divisions) and which have a single first-hierarch - a patriarch, metropolitan or archbishop. The totality of the local churches represents the normal organisation of the Universal Church on earth. There frequently take place more or less serious violations of this normal structure, and sometimes its visible collapse on a universal scale. It is precisely the possibility of the latter which is particularly difficult for us to accept. And yet there is nothing impossible in it, and the visible destruction of the external church organisation at the end of time has been directly revealed by God.

It is difficult for us to comprehend such a catastrophic situation for the simple reason that it has not happened in the Church for a long time now. The greatest tragedy of our millenium has been the falling into heresy of the largest patriarchate - that of Rome. However, this event did not have a particular influence on the general organisation of the Church. There was лjust╗ one less local church, while the structure of the others remained unchanged.

We have a much murkier idea of, for example, the iconoclast and monothelite periods, when almost the whole hierarchy fell into heresy; it is still more difficult to imagine the period of the monophysite disturbances (5th and 6th centuries) and that of arianism, when there were Orthodox among those who rejected the Orthodox Councils, while there were heretics among those who accepted them. Such ages extended over many decades, and were usually brought to an end by a conciliar decision which condemned the pseudo-Orthodox and accepted into full communion those who had aroused suspicions that proved to be unfounded. Thus, for example, the Second Ecumenical Council condemned Macedonius, who formally supported the Nicene Creed, and accepted into communion St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who had been elevated to his see by opponents of this Creed.

During such disturbances the local churches in the usual, that is, purely external, sense of the word ceased to exist. Instead of them there arose temporary unions of church communities headed by bishops who were in communion with each other. (Such a form of ecclesiastical organisation was foreseen by the holy Patriarch Tikhon in his Ukaz No 362 from 7/20 November of 1920). It was precisely such unions, even if constituted by only one bishop with his flock, that were the true лlocal╗ churches. The word лlocal╗ is put in inverted commas here because, in reality, in view of the difficulties of communications and the small size of the communities, there could turn out to be several in one and the same locality. Apparently that was the organisation of the majority of Christian communities until the 2nd century.

If we look at the history of such ages of ecclesiastical collapse through genuine documents, they are very reminiscent of the contemporary situation of the Church. Thus in the 4th century very many Orthodox bishops separated from St. Basil the Great because he was in communion with Eustathius of Sebaste, whom almost everyone considered to be a heretic. However, St. Basil trusted him, being well-disposed towards him as to a former elder comrade, almost his mentor, in the monastic life. Years passed, and Basil had to admit that Eustathius was a heretic; then he broke communion with him. But until then he could involuntarily have been a snare for others by his insistence on trusting Eustathius. Were not those who broke communion with St. Basil in his time right? In this way were they not urging the Hierarch to be less trusting in relation to Eustathius' hypocrisy?.. Analogical problems fill the correspondence of the Russian hierarchs of the 1920s and 30s, who in just the same way broke communion with each other because of differences with regard to the admissibility of showing condescension to various kinds of schismatics and apostates.

We shall not multiply examples.

After a thousand years of global stability in the Universal Church we have come to our century, which is marked by the pan-heresy of ecumenism. It has become a new epoch of similar ecclesiastical disturbances. As in the period of arianism, heretics have appeared within the visible limits of the Church, even on the highest rungs of the hierarchy. Far from all the Orthodox have broken eucharistic communion and communion in prayer with them. At the same time many Orthodox have already lost visible eucharistic communion with each other because of canonical divisions and political disagreements. Some adhere to dogmatic and canonical strictness [akribeia] more firmly, others less so, while yet others... do not know what to adhere to, or, more exactly, what to reach for.

Of course, even now there exist organisations calling themselves лlocal churches╗ - as they existed both in the arian and in the monothelite periods. However, hardly any of them is a local church in the true sense of the word. The transformation of the Universal Church into a patchwork quilt of лjurisdictions╗ (there is no such word in either the Church Greek or the Church Slavonic languages) is glaringly obvious, but it is, alas, far from being the worst manifestation of the global crisis. The most important thing is to be found elsewhere. A true local church does not tolerate in itself, and still more in its hierarchy, and most particularly in the place of the chief-hierarch - heretics. It deprives them of their rank and excommunicates them from the Church following an ecclesiastical trial. But if such a trial cannot be carried out, although the necessity of it is evident, then it is clear that the given hierarchy has lost the capacity to act. Consequently, as a dead structure it cannot be an organ of a local church - a part of the living Body of Christ.

This reasoning is just in relation not only to heresy, but also to disciplinary questions, in which the indulgence of clear sin becomes a heresy sui generis. Thus St. Theodore the Studite separated from his patriarch St. Nicphorus insofar as the latter had accepted into communion a presbyter who had been banned for marrying a king who was living in adultery. St. Theodore called this act of the patriarch лthe heresy of moichism╗ (лadultery╗). However, one could still say here that the position of St. Theodore was лbetter╗ while that of Patriarch Nicephorus was лworse╗, although he deserved a certain condescension. But in the case of heresy proper, that is, a real distortion of the Orthodox Faith, there can be no question of condescension. лNever, O man, is that which relates to the Church corrected through compromises: there is no middle way between the Truth and the lie... and although one can say that there is a mean between light and darkness which is called the morning and evening twilight, nevertheless between the Truth and the lie, however hard you try, you will never find a mean.╗ (St. Mark of Ephesus, from the epistle to Scholarius).

Ecclesiastical authority that is slow to condemn heresy loses its property of being an authority. After all, just as in an ordinary organism the function of the immune system is to cast out all alien bodies, in the same way the basic function of the ecclesiastical, hierarchical authority is to preserve the flock лfrom the wolves that destroy it╗ (cf. John : 10.12-13). Therefore the point is not only that the лheresy-loving╗ hierarchs are themselves naturally suspected of heresy. Independently of their personal heresy, they lose ecclesiastical authority insofar as they do not carry out the main function of this authority. Consequently they cannot carry out as they should the other functions of episcopal service which are subject to, and dependent on, this main one. Such hierarchs should not be obeyed in that which is directly related to heresy. But it is also not always possible to obey them in other matters... In the final analysis, it becomes difficult and even impossible to define where is the boundary between where one can and where one cannot obey them.

In such a case the collapse of ecclesiastical discipline is inevitable, and this means that the given hierarchical structure ceases to be a real ecclesiastical organisation. In particular, it can no longer exert the exclusive right to a canonical territory, and in practice the presence of various Orthodox лjurisdictions╗ on one and the same territory is now universally recognised. (The recognition of the possibility of лjurisdictions╗ does not prevent protests against the tearing away of parishes to a лstranger's╗ benefit; but then if the head's gone, there's no point crying over the hair...)

The structures which continue to call themselves лlocal churches╗ are in an unstable state. They are changing the whole time, and if we examine the direction of these changes in the last 70-80 years, then we have to say: they are disintegrating.

New structures are emerging - first of all, the Old Calendarist movement in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. This movement is based on the clear principle of separation from those who proclaim heresy. However, it has quite a few internal problems-

All this means that at the present time there exist no Orthodox Christians who live in completely well-ordered local churches. The former structure of Orthodox local churches has collapsed[2], and it is hardly likely to be regenerated in its former form.

2. The Canonical Principles of Relations with Heretics

The regeneration of the normal organisation of church life now must be the aim of Orthodox Christians, even if this aim is not always attainable. At least we must not increase the disorder by our unwillingness to help in the creation of order.

At the present time it is especially important for Orthodox to work out the same practice in relations with the newly-appeared heretics, which is what the ecumenists and modernists undoubtedly are. It goes without saying that such practice would have to correspond to Church Tradition. But it turns out at this point that the inertia of a peaceful period of Church life has been so powerful up to now that it is only with great difficulty that one is reminded of this practice. Thus in Moscow one hieromonk (Fr. Tikhon Shevkunov), having just delivered (and then published) a big speech against the heretical actions of one Muscovite neo-renovationist лpriest╗ (George Kochetkov), himself began to concelebrate with him! Thus the rebuker of heresy without any words gave it to be understood that he did not know what he was saying: he is able to define heresy according to certain formal signs (completely reliable ones, let it be said), but has no understanding of what heresy is in essence! St. Maximus the Confessor, who was not even a priest, categorically refused to have ecclesiastical communion with heretics, although at that time they had not yet fallen under any conciliar condemnation (until the Lateran Council of 649). Whence does such a difference in positions arise, that some resist even to the shedding of blood only so as not to be defiled with the so-called лDivine services╗ of the heretics, while others, though capable of uttering denunciatory speeches, notice no impediments in the way of concelebration?

But what do the Church canons say about those cases when the person uttering heresy does not belong to an heretical community which has not yet been expelled from the Church? The Church canons distinguish two cases.

1. When the person uttering heresy is not a bishop (in which case it is not important who he is: a layman, a monk, a deacon, a priest, a superior, etc.).

In this case the full force of the words of the Apostle Paul is preserved: лa heretic after a first and second admonition, reject╗ (Titus 3.10). They are not supplemented by any Church canons.

This means - and it is precisely such an understanding that is confirmed by the practice of the Holy Fathers - that one must not wait for any ecclesiastical condemnations of, for example, the priest that is uttering heresy. One must immediately stop praying with him, and going to confession and receiving communion from him, and concelebrating with him. First one must break communion in prayer with him, and only later, if possible, appeal to an ecclesiastical court (juridical authority over a priest is given to a bishop).

2. When the person uttering heresy is a bishop. Here the Church at various times has introduced various elaborations of the apostolic formulation. That which functions at the present time was introduced in 861 at the so-called First-and-Second Council of Constantinople, in canon 15. This canon condemns those who under the pretext of various accusations separate from their bishop; there later follows the clarification that condemnation by no means extends to those cases in which the reason for separation from the bishop is heresy:

лFor those who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a bishop before any conciliar or synodical verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied, not bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.╗

From these two canons there follow the main principles by which each person must be guided who does not want to fall away from the Church: he must not go to the churches where the priest-heretics serve, or pray together with the heretics among the laymen or monks. He must not go to the church where the bishop-heretic is commemorated during the Divine service. The latter, however, not unconditionally: if we are talking about a bishop who has not been deposed in accordance with an ecclesiastical trial, then one must separate from him without a trial only if two conditions have been fulfilled: the heresy must have been uttered by him for all to hear, and the essence of this heresy must be already well-known and condemned. The latter condition is always fulfilled in the case of ecumenism - after all, it contains in itself the union of many formerly condemned heresies. But it is necessary to say something more about that which is in principle new in ecumenism. This is linked with a most important feature of our epoch.

3. Ecumenism as a New Heresy on a Universal Scale.

— The Consciousness of a Break with the Tradition of the Holy Fathers.

In order to draw a conclusion concerning the heretical nature of ecumenism it will be sufficient to examine the ecumenist theories (especially those like the лbranch theory╗, which was condemned at the Hierarchical Council of the Russian Church Abroad in 1983) from the point of view of their relations with the heterodox.
But we must not stop at such a conclusion if we want to evaluate the scale and perspective of the development of the new heresy. The fact that its scale is great is evident at a glance. But we must understand the mood of contemporary man that the heresy particularly satisfies. The everyday experience of mixing with ecumenists who call themselves Orthodox very often reveals in their heretical utterances just the same motives that have made people victims of various mass false-teachings in all ages. These can be avarice or non-acceptance of Orthodox asceticism and in general the Orthodox лstrictness╗ of life and discipline of mind. They can also be faith in the лbatyushkas╗ or in the bureaucratic apparatus of the ecclesiastical organisation - a faith which takes the place of faith in the Church, the Church which the Creed talks about. There are many such people - they are as it were the stones and debris that have been caught up in the heretical maelstrom. But it is significantly more rarely that one meets people of another kind, who voluntarily and consciously call up this maelstrom. However, it is precisely these people who are capable of expressing the true idea behind the phenomenon - and at times more precisely even than the most penetrating Orthodox critics.

In the case of ecumenism, such a person was лPatriarch╗ Athenagoras of Constantinople, who is especially notorious for his лlifting of the anathemas╗ against the Latin heresy (in 1965). Athenagoras loved the Latins and did not consider them to be heretics. But his denial of their hereticalness was not the manifestation of a special love for them: Athenagoras did not recognise the existence of heresy in general! On hearing of a certain man who saw heresy everywhere, Athenagoras said: лI don't see them anywhere! I see only truths, partial truths, reduced truths, truths that are sometimes out of place...╗[3]

The teaching of the Church, of the Holy Fathers, is based on the rock of the confession of the fullness of the Truth incarnate in Christ, which is organically incapable of being mixed with lies. The ecumenists consciously choose the sand of лpartial truths╗ cemented by the lie of the denial of Christ as the true Son and Word of God.

— The New Feeling of Pan-Human Unity and the Expectation of the Antichrist

Why can Athenagoras and people like him, who are characterised by their own kind of deep faith, asceticism and even capacity for sacrifice[4], completely consciously go against, not simply individual Fathers, bu85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250

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2985 109305166 2985 109325726 sian and Ottoman empires, whose preservation at that time, as the same Leontiev warned, was exceptionally important for the earthly fate of the Church. In particular, Leontiev's worst predictions concerning the possible consequences of a premature collapse of the Ottoman empire were fulfilled: the Ecumenical Patriarchate fell into direct dependence on the West, and already in 1920, through an open violation of the canons, the heretic and English Mason Meletius Metaxakis, the leader of the very robbery council of 1923 which officially opened the age of ecumenism, was raised by force to the see of Constantinople.

At the beginning of the 20th century the organizers of лworld revolution╗ were consciously engaged in cleverly mixing doses of cosmopolitanism and nationalism. One and the same Masonic lodge - the Grand Orient of France - simultaneously created лcosmopolitan╗ masonic organisations in Russia (they first composed the core of the State Duma, and then formed the Provisional Government from its midst), and лnationalist╗ ones in Turkey (the organisation of the Young Turks was a masonic lodge).[15]

But even in the purely ecclesiastical sphere Leontiev's fears were completely fulfilled. From the time of Metaxakis to the present day, the politics of the Patriarchate of Constantinople have been dictated by Greek nationalism: the West is necessary for it precisely for the expansion of a Greek national state, for the possibly more complete realisation of the so-called лGreat Idea╗ -the re-establishment of the Greek state within the boundaries of Byzantium. Greek phyletism does not let it be understood that Byzantium was great because it never became a national Greek state! The greatness of the Empire of the East Romans was preserved as long as it preserved Orthodoxy. For the successors of Metaxakis everything is the other way round: Orthodoxy for them is only an instrument of national politics, and so the instrument is always being лperfected╗. Of course, the Russian лgreat idea╗ - the re-establishment of a Russian national state within the boundaries of the Russian Empire - is not in principle different from its Greek analogue. Therefore if the contemporary лstatist╗ politicians are not inspired by genuine Orthodox faith they can be only temporary and unreliable allies of the Church. Before the Greeks ecumenism has arisen unexpectedly as the reverse side of the coin of phyletism; the situation has changed - and ecumenism has become useful. In Russia today it is not like that: Russian phyletism is yet anti-ecumenist, but this gives no guarantees for tomorrow. And the most important point is that because of this it will not cease to be a heresy.

— The Occult Roots of Ecumenism and Phyletism

Occult teachings have turned out to be the real, in-depth cause of both ecumenism and phyletism to an equal degree. It is no accident that the same masonic organisations have turned out at different times to be behind both the лinternationalist╗ and the лnationalist╗ movements. Many extra-ecclesiastical forms of Russian nationalism bear on themselves the seal of theosophy. The лpaganophile╗ currents stand out particularly clearly in this respect; they clamour for a return to some kind of primeval religion of the Slavs. Their Christ-fighting character is evident. However, there also exist other forms of nationalism which cover the same goals with an appearance of Christianity. Their occult, neo-pagan essence remains the same: wherever the лmysticism of the race╗ or лmysticism of blood╗ is introduced into religion, there is no room for the sacrament of the Blood of Christ.

If even primitive cultural-political cosmopolitanism can be transformed into an epidemic, what are we to say of the mystical infection of the theosophical teachings?

From the point of view of the inner existence of the Church, it is not so important what the further destiny of a society that has fallen away from the Church because of phyletism is: in any case, it is no longer the Body of Christ, but a spiritual corpse. However, this question is very important from the point of view of the relationship of the Church to the surrounding world, in which very many people are perishing, since they have no other hope of salvation than the Church, the only ark of salvation. At this point the лsanitary-hygienic╗ aspect becomes important: the degree of danger that this decomposing corpse represents for those surrounding it.

The infection of theosophy and occultism spreads equally through the stench of decomposition presented by the ecumenist and the phyletist false-Christian.

5. Orthodoxy in the Age of Ecumenism.

Circumstances compel contemporary Orthodox to learn how to live and remain Christian in the conditions of the onslaught and apparent triumph of ecumenism.

All the structures of the earthly organisation of the Church that have been inherited from the last century have been more or less infected and - this is the most important point - have no immunity against this infection. Therefore they are now in various stages of the process of dying.

By the лdying╗ of the external ecclesiastical organisation we mean the situation in which the apostolic succession of the episcopate still flickers, although some bishops may have fallen away from it as a result of heresy, while the members of this organisation who have remained faithful to Orthodoxy are no longer able to cast out the heretics from their midst so as to prevent the latter from taking control of a significant part of the former ecclesiastical structure, turning it into a schismatic and heretical one. In other words, the лdying╗ of the ecclesiastical organisation is the situation in which there are only two possible outcomes: revival through a visible schism or final death. But the possibility of a smooth development has been lost.

Many local church organizations from time to time fall into such a situation. But we have already got out of the habit of thinking that all the church organizations on earth could be in such a situation simultaneously. We have not seen such a thing for more than 1000 years. Andyet from an ecclesiological point of view, nothing special has happened. For the Church as a whole there is nothing new here.

Nevertheless, the creation of new structures in which the episcopate and the whole people of God are united by a common confession of Orthodoxy was always painful and fraught with a multitude of temptations, as the history of the Old Calendarist movement witneses. It is difficult both because it is impossible to rely on the base of an already existing church organization, but also because the new structures being formed cannot renounce their succession for the old (if only for the sake of the succession of the hierarchy), and for that reason they themselves have difficulty in protecting themselves from the same illnesses. And never has it been possible to define beforehand what degree of proximity to the old is permissible, and what degree is not.

* * *

Christianity once defeated paganism, but now it finds itself, in its turn, defeated by the pagan world. Both the above statements have a strictly earthly meaning, but Christianity has always been not of this world, and no changes in its relations with the world have ever had any impact whatsoever on the internal life of the Church. They do change a lot in the external life of the Church, though. A huge portion of the planet once used to be divided among ecclesiastical regions... the regions are still there, but they are no longer ruled by Christians. The Church has lost control of the лland.╗ What has remained of the Church is a small army which can no longer hold strategic heights, but still has time for an organized retreat into the wilderness. It is our duty to organize the retreat quickly without wasting time on useless dealing with the new owners of the land that once belonged to the Church.

[1] From The Two (versified) Centuries on True Church, a Catacomb poem dating back to mid-20th century. Recovered in Saratov Region (unpublished).

[2] I.e. that which existed before the collapse of the Russian Empire and the heretical pseudo-council of 1923 held by лPatriarch╗ Metaxakis of Constantinople.

[3] Olivier Clement. Conversations with Patriarch Athenagoras. Translated from the French [into Russian] by Vladimir Zelinsky, Brussels, лLife with God╗, 1993, pp. 301-302. Olivier Clement is a still living лOrthodox╗ theologian who is very well-known in the West as a лpopulariser╗ of Orthodoxy.

[4] One of the contemporary Holy Fathers was the spiritual father of Athenagoras when he was a hierodeacon. This was none other than the future first-hierarch of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece (the Old Calendarists), Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina of blessed memory (1880-1955). Athenagor retained his love for him for life:"...we will treasure the undying reverential memories of our memorable elder Metropolitan Chrysostom..." wrote Athenagor in 1969 (this message was later reproduced in a New Calendarist - yet highly laudatory - book on Chrysostom: E. Angelopoulos, D. Batistatos, Metropolites pr. Florines Chrysostomos Kavourides (agonistes tes orthodoxias kai tou ethnous) [Metropolitan Chrysostom Kavuridis, formerly of Florina (struggler for the Orthodoxy and the people)]. Athens, 1981. P. 9).

[5] Clement. Conversations..., p. 209.

[6] Clement. Conversations..., p. 544. Characteristic of the heretics is their лjuggling╗ of texts of Holy Scripture - cf. Matthew 24:26-27.

[7] Cf. Athenagoras on the influence of Berdyaev on one of the лfathers╗ who were directly involved in the preparation of the Second Vatican council - Cardinal Jean Dani?lou, and through him on Athenagoras himself: Clement. Conversations..., pp. 448, 332. So as better to evaluate the degree of influence of the лRussian religious philosophy╗ in the western world, we shall cite one more recent (12.12.1992) speech of the present Pope. John-Paul II: л... I confess the same Christian faith as was the faith of Soloviev. I cannot accept that the Church is divided. The Church of Christ is one╗ (Irenikon, 1993, vol. 66, 526).

[8] Leontiev even wrote an article, лOur Bulgar-madness╗, which could not have appeared if he had not received the blessing of St. Ambrose of Optina, insofar as Leontiev was his spiritual son and undertook nothing without his blessing.

[9] It is more accurately expressed in the words of the 1872 Council: "By Holy Spirit, we hereby resolve that: 1. we reject and denounce tribal segregation. i.e. tribal distinctions, popular strife and dissent in the Church of Christ as they are abominable to the teachings of the Gospel and the sacred commandments of our blessed fathers upon whom this Holy Church rests and who make the humankind proud of them by leading it to divine virtue. 2. Those who accept such tribal segregation and dare found upon it hitherto unheard-of tribal gatherings, we do hereby declare under the Holy Canon alien to the Unified Holy Universal and Apostolic Church and we do hereby declare them schismatics (dissenters)." (Russian translation by T.I. Filippov. Sovremennye tserkovnye voprosy [Modern Ecclesiastical Agenda]. St. Petersburg, 1882. 186; my italics) The above-mentioned Council, the decisions of which were recognized by the Russian Synod, branded the formation of ecclesiastical associations by tribal affinity a heresy. We will discuss philetic trends as trends leading towards this heresy. (ROCA was established under canon 39 of the 6th Universal Council which provides for immigration of members of a local church together with the whole hierarchy. ROCA's fundamentally un-philetic nature is proven by its ability to admit "converts" and create parishes where divine services are administered in the local language)

[10] One can see a vivid example of this in Russian society before and after the revolution, when there arose against the Church both Russians brought up in the Orthodox tradition and Jews who had grown up in a Christ-fighting environment.

[11] Here and below the italics are the author's. Let us recall that phyletism revealed itself in Bulgaria precisely during the hullabaloo of a struggle of лnational liberation╗.

[12] лTribal Politics as a Weapon of Global Revolution╗, letter 2. Constantine Leontiev, Selected Works, edited and with an introductory article by I.N. Smirnov, Moscow, 1993, p. 314 (in Russian).

[13] лOn Political and Cultural Nationalism╗, letter 3. Op. cit., p. 363.

[14] Op. cit., p. 360.

[15] The most complete collection of documents is V.I. Startsev. Russian Political Masonry at the Beginning of the 20th Century, Saint Petersburg, 1996 (in Russian).


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