History of Orthodoxy in America

Orthodox Jurisdictions in America

“St. Seraphim of Sarov prophesied that the bishops of the Russian Church would depart from the true faith; he said that he had prayed fervently for them for several days, but the Lord had refused to have mercy on them. This prophecy is printed in the Divine service books of the Moscow Patriarchate like the writing on the wall of the palace of the Babylonian King Balthasar (Daniel 5).” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church by Vladimir Moss, 2010, p.6) I start with this quote because the Orthodox church in America was founded by the Russian church and is a child of it; and because the prophecy may now be fulfilled.

The original quotes I posted here, “from the perspective of a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) for over twenty-five years … ” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America), formed the main bulk of my first draft. Any quotes you try to look up but can’t find may be from that site.

“Once upon a time (before ROCOR) there were no jurisdictions in the US. The Russian Orthodox Church was the first to send missionaries to what is now … the US … Alaska, and … the entire Western coast … . The Russian Church (ROC) … established the first Orthodox bishopric in the Western hemisphere (first in Alaska, then) in San Francisco and New York. … No one in the Orthodox world disputed the rights of the Russian Orthodox Church to be the Mother Church of America, although there were many Orthodox immigrants from other nationalities in the US as well.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

Disputes over the canonicity of various Orthodox jurisdictions, “arose with the fall of Imperial Russia. No longer could the Russian Orthodox Church (which was under severe persecution by the communists) adequately take care of the American Missions.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

Soon after the revolution, thirty seven Russian Orthodox Bishops who were outside of Russia at the time, met together in Constantinople, “to form the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, under the protection of the Patriarch of Serbia. This was done in keeping with an Ukase by Patriarch (of Russia) Tikhon in 1920, who decreed that if communication with the Central Church Authority will become impossible due to political or other reasons, the bishops should gather together and form a temporary Higher Church Authority until such time as normal order is restored.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America) (The website http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/history/briefhistory.html adds: “This decision by the bishops cut off from Moscow became from that moment on the canonical basis for the existence of the ecclesiastical center abroad (the Synod Abroad). It is worth noting that (even though in 1922, under pressure from the Soviet government Patriarch Tikhon had been obliged to issue an order to shut down the Synod Abroad, it) informed Patriarch Tikhon of its activities, and the Patriarch imposed no other suspensions upon the bishops abroad despite the insistence of the bolsheviks. For this reason it follows that Patriarch Tikhon deemed the activities of the clergy abroad as legitimate and in accordance with the interests of the Church. Only in 1928, after the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, did such suspensions resume.”)

In other words, the Russian Synod Abroad was formed canonically under a directive of the Patriarchate of Russia, and then recertified after the fact by the Partriach’s tacit approval. Metropolitan Sergius, who followed Patriarch Tikhon, would have other things to say.

Also in the early 1920s “the Turks, supported by the Bolsheviks, defeated the Greeks in 1922, and destroyed the ancient Greek Orthodox civilization of Asia Minor” (St. Savva and our Time), and the Arab and Greek churches in the US were given jurisdictions independent of Russia under their “home Churches”. For example, according to The Life Story of Archbishop Gregory, “The Antiochian Patriarchate, to protect the Syrian Orthodox Christians in America, sent Archbishop Victor Abu-Asaly to the United States to put the Syrian people under the Patriarchate of Antioch.” And, “The Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America (were put) under the Patriarch of Constantinople, who expressed that he had ecclesiastical authority over all churches in the ‘diaspora,’ a position not accepted by the (Russian Synod Abroad, which saw) itself as the rightful successor to the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church, as the only free part of it outside of Russia.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

When under Metropolitan Sergius, the Russian Church under the U.S.S.R attempted to subject the Synod Abroad to its authority, the Synod Abroad “understood that subjugation of the Church Abroad to the Moscow Patriarchate was needed not for the good of the Russian Orthodox people in the emigration but for the purposes of (Soviet) political influence upon them,” and so they stood against it. Soon the Russian Synod Abroad had a substantial worldwide outreach, but unity was not to last long. Among the schismatic movements were, “the so-called ‘Platon Troubles’ in the United states and the Evlogian schism in Europe.”  http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/history/briefhistory.html

In 1923, the Synod Abroad appointed Metropolitan Platon head of the diocese of North America, which action was, “confirmed by an ukase of Patriarch Tikhon. But in 1924, under pressure from the Soviet authorities, the Patriarch rescinded this appointment and even recalled Metropolitan Platon to Moscow to submit to an ecclesiastical court. Thereafter (acting independently of everyone) the North American Diocese convened a Council of its clergy and laiety in Detroit, which (elected) Metropolitan Platon as the head of an independent American Orthodox Church,” and made him the, “chief trustee of all American parishes. By means of these measures, the American Diocese sought to free itself from subjugation to the Moscow Patriarchate and at the same time become independent from the Church Abroad.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America) The webpage Orthodox Jurisdictions in America adds, “This was the origin of what is now known as the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Other parishes remained loyal to the (Russian Synod Abroad).” (To describe the American Metropolia joining the Sergianist Moscow Patriarchate in order to gain autocepahaly in the United Sates, see, Russia’s Catacomb Saints, Ivan Andreyev pg.49)

The core strategic motive to form an American church independent of both the Russian Synod Abroad and the Soviet power had its roots in a spiritual movement that had surfaced in pre-revolutionary Russia. This was greatly similar to movements in England and America and no doubt elsewhere at around the same time. Following the westernizing influence of the Tsar, Peter the Great, the spiritual climate among the intellectual strata in Russia had changed considerably until, “at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries (it had become infected) with all kinds of liberal teaching, (and) all kinds of groups began to organize, often infected by sectarianism (and through the influence of a 19th century English preacher) the passion for theosophy, occultism, spiritism and other teachings condemned by the Church was considerable.” (The Truth About The ROCA, by M. Rodzianko) The reader may recognize the anti-christian nature of many of these views and practices. They are Luciferian. Rodzianko continues, “The Russian intelligentsia of that time, knowingly or not was undermining the age-old foundation of the Russian Orthodox church.”

Once the bolshevik power arose, the leading lights of this movement in Russia became represented as the “Free Academy of Spiritual Culture” and managed to live freely under the Soviet authority until 1922 when the government assisted in moving them to and establishing them in Paris. There they founced the “Brotherhood of St. Sophia.” Intending this as an institution of the Orthodox Church, they presented the constitution for their brotherhood to the Metropolitan appointed over Western Europe by the Russian Synod Abroad: Metropolitan Evlogy, who approved it on Dec. 11, 1923. “Shortly thereafter, they set about organizing a Theological Institute as part of the St. Sergius Podvorije in Paris, with the professorial staff composed of members who served the ‘Free Academy of Spiritual Culture’ during (their) bolshevik period. The personnel of this institute solidly encircled Metropolitan Evlogy. Also among this circle were the former (Tsarist government) President of the council of Ministers and minister of finance, Count V.N. Kokovtsev, and the members of the governmental Duma, E.P. Kovalevsky and I.P.Demidov (The Truth About The ROCA, by M. Rodzianko).” By 1926 Metropolitan Evlogy had split from the Russian Synod Abroad (Evlogian schism).

The above described people and influences are what were behind the movement in America to establish a church that was neither under jurisdiction of the mother church of Soviet Russia nor the Russian Synod Abroad. This is the movement that eventually became the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

The unilateral action of the North American Diocese to create an independent church split the Russian church in America into two jurisdictions: The American Orthodox Church, and the Russian Synod Abroad. The Russian Synod church claimed to have a legitimate claim to canonicity and that the American Orthodox Church did not. In Orthodoxy, a church can not form itself unilaterally, but must be created under the authority of an existing canonical church.

The Synod Abroad subsequently met in two successive councils calling upon the American Diocese to give up its illegal autonomy and come under their authority. At the second, in 1926, “Metropolitan Platon, who was present, reported that he did not support the attempts of his diocese to attain autocephaly,” and he, “asked the Council to give him a special decree to rule the North American Diocese and to conduct an ecclesiastical court case against the ‘living-church’ activists on the matter of church properties. When the Synod refused to give him this decree, seeing in it the intention of Metropolitan Platon to obtain independence, the latter left the ranks of the Church Abroad,” claiming that he was Metropolitan of North America. “This occurred concurrently with the departure of the ruling bishop of the Western European churches, Metropolitan Evlogii, who also strove to gain independence.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

At this juncture, “the Synod sent Archbishop Apollinarii to North America to head the parishes that remained faithful to the Synod Abroad, but in 1927, Metropolitan Platon … without a court proceeding, suspended (Archbishop Apollinarii) from his clerical duties. The Synod Abroad, deeming these acts uncanonical, dismissed Metropolitan Platon from heading the North American Diocese, transferring it to the authority of Archbishop Apollinarii. But Metropolitan Platon continued his self-authorized activities and declared on behalf of the ‘Holy Synod of the American Orthodox Catholic Church’ (five bishops) the establishment of an independent American Church. … All other Orthodox Churches condemned (this), and Metropolitan Sergius of Moscow refused to recognize it and dismissed Metropolitan Platon from heading the North American Diocese in an ukase issued in 1933.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America) In 1937 this was resolved when the American Diocese was absorbed into the Church Abroad as a “Metropoliate”, and this unity continued until 1946. Further details are here.

Now we return to the 1920s and the split in the Russian Church caused by the Bolshevik revolution; for it is important to realize how deep and critical this split is. Each side regards the other as uncanonical and therefore illegitimate. “On March 25 / April 7, 1925, his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon reposed in the Lord. On March 30 / April 12, the deceased Patriarch’s will of December 25 / January 7, 1924/25 was discovered and read out. It said that in the event of the Patriarch’s death and the absence of the first two candidates for the post of patriarchal locum tenens, ‘our patriarchal rights and duties, until the lawful election of a new patriarch, (were to) pass to his Eminence Peter, metropolitan of Krutitsa.'” (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa) Since the first two candidates were in fact at that time in exile, Metropolitan Peter became locum tenens of the Patriarchal throne.

“Almost immediately the renovationist schismatics, encouraged by the Patriarch’s death, energetically tried to obtain union with the Orthodox Church in time for their second Council, which was due to take place in the autumn of 1925. Their attempts were aided by the Soviet authorities, who put all kinds of pressures on the hierarchs to enter into union with the renovationists. A firm lead was required from the head of the Church, and in his proclamation dated July 28, 1925 this is exactly what Metropolitan Peter provided. …

At the present time the so-called new-churchmen more and more discuss the matter of reunion with us. They call meetings in cities and villages, and invite Orthodox clerics and laymen to a common adjudication of the question of reunion with us, and to prepare for their pseudo-council which they are calling for the autumn of this year. But it must be clearly recalled that according to the canonical rules of the Ecumenical Church such arbitrarily convened councils, as were the meetings of the ‘Living Church’ in 1923, are illegal. Hence the canonical rules forbid Orthodox Christians to take part in (or) elect representatives for such gatherings. In accordance with the 20th rule of the Council of Antioch, ‘no-one is permitted to call a Council alone, without those bishops who are in charge of the metropolitan sees.’ In the holy Church of God only that is lawful which is approved by the God-ordained ecclesiastical government, preserved by succession since the time of the Apostles. All arbitrary acts, everything that was done by the new-church party without the approval of the most holy Patriarch now at rest with God, everything that is now done without our approval – the approval of the guardian of the Patriarchal Throne, acting in conjunction with all lawful Orthodox hierarchy – all this has no validity in accordance with the canons of the holy Church (Apostolic canon 34; Council of Antioch, canon 9), for the true Church is one, and the Grace of the Most Holy Spirit residing in her is one, for there cannot be two Churches or two Graces. ‘There is one Body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one Faith, one God and Father of all’ (Eph. 4.4-6).

The so-called new-churchmen should talk of no reunion with the Orthodox Church until they show a sincere repentance for their errors. The chief of these is that they arbitrarily renounced the lawful hierarchy and its head, the most holy Patriarch, and attempted to reform the Church of Christ by self-invented teaching (The Living Church, nos. 1-11); they transgressed the ecclesiastical rules which were established by the Ecumenical Councils (the pronouncements of the pseudo-Council of May 4, 1923); they rejected the government of the Patriarch, which was established by the Council and acknowledged by all the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs, i.e., they rejected what all Orthodoxy accepted, and besides, they even condemned him at their pseudo-Council. Contrary to the rules of the holy Apostles, the Ecumenical Councils and the holy Fathers (Apostolic canons 17,18; Sixth Ecumenical Council, canons 3, 13, 48; St. Basil the Great, canon 12), they permit bishops to marry and clerics to contract a second marriage, i.e., they transgress what the entire Ecumenical Church acknowledges to be a law, which can be changed only by an Ecumenical Council.

The reunion of the so-called new-churchmen with the holy Orthodox Church is possible only on the condition that each of them recants his errors and submits to a public repentance for his apostasy from the Church. …

“Metropolitan Peter must have foreseen his fate. For on November 22 / December 5, 1925 he composed a will in the event of his death. And on the next day he wrote another in the event of his arrest (naming Metropolitan Sergius his temporary deputy). … December 10, Metropolitan Peter was placed under house-arrest (and) on December 12, Metropolitan Peter was taken to the inner prison at the Lubyanka.”  (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa)

The Bolsheviks had seen that they needed to gain control over the Russian Church, since it was the spiritual conscience of the Russian people. They had decided to destroy the Church from within itself. According to Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy  by Hieromonk Sava (Yanjic. This was produced for the 6th Convocation for Orthodox Awareness in 1998 by the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece, Holy Synod in Resistance), this had given rise to the movement called the Living Church, “which, with the help of the godless regime, wanted to dethrone Patriarch Tikhon and reform the Church along purely Protestant lines, making it an active tool of the godless system.” They did that, and then when the time was right they arrested the leadership that opposed them – Metropolitan Peter and a number of other archbishops, bishops, and priests. “In 1923 the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate (had) entered into communion with the ‘Living Church’, which had been anathematised by Patriarch Tikhon. This communion did not sanctify the ‘Living Church’, but only condemned the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate.” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.5)

One group, the Gregorians, were approved by the Soviet State, but competed against Metropolitan Sergius, pointing out Sergius’ links with Rasputin and the Living Church, saying, “‘On recognizing the Living Church, Metropolitan Sergius took part in the sessions of the HCA, recognized the lawfulness of married bishops and twice-married priests, and blessed this lawlessness. Besides, Metropolitan Sergius sympathized with the living church council of 1923, did not object to its decisions, and therefore confessed our All-Russian Archpastor and father, his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, to be ‘an apostate from the true ordinances of Christ and a betrayer of the Church’, depriving him of his patriarchal rank and monastic calling. True, Metropolitan Sergius later repented of these terrible crimes and was forgiven by the Church, but that does not mean that he should stand at the head of the Church’s administration.'” (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa)

Meanwhile the Soviet State Political Directorate (OGPU), “now tried to fan the flames of schism still higher by releasing Metropolitan Agathangelus, the second candidate for the post of patriarchal locum tenens, from exile and persuading him to declare his assumption of the post of locum tenens, which he did officially from Perm on April 5/18. … With the appearance of Metropolitan Agathangelus the claims of both the Gregorians and Sergius to first-hierarchical power in the Church collapsed. But Sergius, having tasted of power, was not about to relinquish it so quickly. … The leadership of the Russian Church was usurped for the second time. On April 17/30, Sergius wrote to Agathangelus rejecting his claim … .” (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa)

The apostasy fostered by the OGPU, “reached its height in March, 1927, when Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), after being held prisoner by the Bolsheviks for several months, was released, and soon thereafter, on 24 June of the same year, issued the notorious Declaration, in which the Russian Church solemnly extolled the godless communist regime.” (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa)

“In December, 1929 Metropolitan Peter wrote to Sergius (Hieromartyr Peter, Metropolitan Of Krutitsa):

Your Eminence, forgive me magnanimously if by the present letter I disturb the peace of your Eminence’s soul. People inform me about the difficult circumstances that have formed for the Church in connection with the exceeding of the limits of the ecclesiastical authority entrusted to you. I am very sorry that you have not taken the trouble to initiate me into your plans for the administration of the Church. You know that I have not renounced the locum tenancy, and consequently, I have retained for myself the Higher Church Administration and the general leadership of Church life. At the same time I make bold to declare that your remit as deputy was only for the management of everyday affairs; you are only to preserve the status quo. I am profoundly convinced that without prior contact with me you will not mke any responsible decision. I have not accorded you any constituent right as long as I retain the locum tenancy and as long as Metropolitan Cyril is alive and as long as Metropolitan Agathangelus was alive. Therefore I did not consider it necessary in my decree concerning the appointment of candidates for the deputyship to mention the limitation of their duties; I had no doubt that the deputy would 2not alter the established rights, but would only deputize, or represent, so to speak, the central organ through which the locum tenens could communicate with his flock. But the system of administration you have introduced not only excludes this: it also excludes the very need for the existence of the locum tenens. Such major steps cannot, of course, be approved by the consciousness of the Church.

Hopefully the reader is by this time thoroughly convinced that the Sergianite church is not canonical.

“The Soviet regime strove to destroy the Church through its spiritual leaders, who served as apologists for the Soviet regime abroad and preached a so-called “communist Christianity,” which paved the way for the triumph of communism not only as a universal political regime, but as an ideological and pseudo-religious tyranny. In order to understand this we must explain just what communism is. It is not only a senseless political regime but an ideological-religious system, whose aim it is to overthrow and uproot all other systems – Christianity in particular. Communism is, in fact, a heresy; its foundation is chiliasm, the teaching that history can attain its culmination in an indefinite state of earthly blessedness, like a perfect humanity that lives in perfect peace and harmony. This “gospel” became the official “sacred scripture” of many Moscow hierarchs … .” (Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy:  1998. It should be mentioned that the author here quoted does not think that grace has left the Sergianist Church and its present heirs.)

Many bishops in Russia in the 1920s, “openly rejected the Sergianist reforms; among them were Metropolitans Joseph of Petrograd and Cyril of Kazan. In time this movement developed into the so-called Russian Catacomb Church, whose establishment was originally blessed by Patriarch Tikhon and which to this day exists (and) has no canonical communion with the official Moscow Patriarchate.” (Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy 1998)

During that time, “the regime launched a bloody persecution of the Russian Church (those resisting the Sergian synod), the most frightful since the persecutions against the early Christians of the Roman Empire. Countless priests, monastics, and laity were martyred; thousands of churches and monasteries were closed. Yielding to pressure, Metropolitan Sergius openly denied before the whole world that there was any persecution in Russia for religious beliefs. All those hierarchs and other Christians who refused to participate in his apostasy were branded ‘political criminals.’ The Soviet regime arrested them and sent them to the Siberian death camps.” (Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy 1998)

When this Bolshevik policy finally won out, “Metropolitan Sergius occupied the patriarchal throne and … Sergianism became the official policy of the Russian Church, and for decades afterwards was the determining factor in its spiritual and ecclesiastical life.” (Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy 1998) By “1945 all hierarchs of the official Church, and most of the priests, were KGB agents.” (St. Savva and Our Time)  “In the years 1969-1970, Sergianism was exported to the West through the establishment of the so-called American Metropolia, which received its recognition from Moscow as an autocephalas Church under Moscow’s leadership.”(Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy 1998) The Orthodox Church of America grew out of the American Metropolia, and is under the patriarchate of Moscow today.

When Sergius made his decree regarding the Synod Abroad, they in turn rejected it, saying, “‘the Russian Orthodox Church abroad must cease administrative contacts with the Moscow Church authority, in view of the impossibility of normal relations with it and as a result of its enslavement by the godless Soviet state… [The Church Abroad] does not separate itself from the Mother Church and does not consider itself autocephalous. As before, it recognizes as its head the locum tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Peter.’ … who had refused to submit to Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod.”  Then in 1928, after Metr. Sergius demanded that the Church give “utter loyalty” to the Soviet State, the Synod Abroad refused, adding, “If a decree of Metropolitan Sergius and his Synod is issued on the expulsion of the bishops and clergy abroad from the ranks of the Moscow Patriarchate, such a decree would be uncanonical.” This the Sergian Synod did right away, and conscripted the Serbian Patriarch in attempting to get control of the resisting group. (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

“In 1934, the Patriarch of Serbia called Metropolitan Theophilus (the newly elected head of the North American Diocese) to a conference in Belgrade, and unity was restored (between it and them), with the American Orthodox parishes operating under a significant degree of autonomy as the American Metropolia. … Still, sensing the uncanonical nature of this church, the Council of American Bishops meeting in Pittsburgh in 1936 recognized the Synod of Bishops (Synod Abroad).” In 1937, “the Synod of Bishops accepted them into the Church Abroad as a Metropoliate. Metropolitan Theophilus took part in the composition of the Regulations of the American Church at a conference in Yugoslavia presided over by the Serbian Patriarch Varnava. This unity with the Church Abroad continued until 1946. (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

In 1944 a conference of bishops in the Synod Abroad determined that the appointment of Metropolitan Sergius was, “uncanonical and in essence did not change the enslaved condition of the Church in the Soviet Union.” After WWII, in 1946, “Soviet ‘non-returners’ and their families found themselves, threatened with forced repatriation to the USSR, where imprisonment in concentration camps awaited them. Clergymen and all emigre organizations were mobilized to their defense. All Russian refugees remember how Metropolitan Anastassy constantly visited refugee camps with the Miracle-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, encouraging and supporting the Orthodox faithful. … Many thousands of refugees were saved from repatriation and sent across the sea, and were thus able to return to the bosom of the Orthodox Church and give their children a religious upbringing.” (Orthodox Jurisdictions in America)

Meanwhile in Russia as the Second World War ended, “the Soviet Communist Party, and therefore the Sovietized MP, planned to draw the other Orthodox Churches into the MP’s orbit. And so in January, 1945, a council was convened in Moscow, consisting of four Russian metropolitans, 41 bishops and 141 representatives of the clergy and laity. Also present were the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Georgia, and representatives of the Constantinopolitan, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian and other Churches. In all there were 204 participants.” Stalin was quite concerned for the success of this event and set aside the best amenities for the participants, “so as to give an international significance to the given action. … although in the actual council only three patriarchs – those of Georgia, Alexandria  and Antioch – took part … .” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.291, citing The
Soviet Regime and the ‘Soviet Church’ in the 40s and 50s of the 20th Century)

“The council opened on January 31, 1945 with a speech of welcome in the name of the Soviet Stalinist regime … a new ‘Temporary Statute for the Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church’ … was accepted at the council. This Statute radically contradicted the canonical principles of Orthodoxy. ‘This Statute turned the Moscow patriarchate into a certain likeness of a totalitarian structure, in which three people at the head with the so-called “patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’” received greater power than a local council, and the right to administer the Church in a still more dictatorial fashion than Peter’s synod. … Now the official structures of the Church were absolutely subject to the will of the leaders of the God-fighting regime. …'” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.292, citing, The Soviet Regime and the ‘Soviet Church’ in the 40s and 50s of the 20th Century)

“By accepting in 1945 the new Statute on the administration of the Russian Orthodox Church that contradicted from the first to the last letter the conciliar-canonical principles of the administration of the Church confirmed at the All-Russian Local Church Council of 1917-1918, the Moscow patriarchate once more confirmed its own Soviet path of origin and development, and also the absence of any kind of link or descent from the canonical ‘Tikhonite’ Church, which legally existed in the country until 1927.” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.292, citing, The Soviet Regime and the ‘Soviet Church’ in the 40s and 50s of the 20th Century) The MP, having meekly submitted to the rule of the totalitarian dictator Stalin, was now in effect a totalitarian organization itself.”

“The power over the Church that the 1945 council gave to the atheists was
revealed in the secret 1974 Furov report of the Council for Religious Affairs to
the Central Committee: ‘The Synod is under the control of the Council for
Religious Affairs. The question of the selection and placing of its permanent
members was and remains completely in the hands of the Council, and the
candidature of the non-permanent members is also agreed beforehand with
responsible members of the Council. All issues which are to be discussed at
the Synod are first discussed by Patriarch Pimen and the permanent members
of the Synod with the leaders of the Council and in its departments, and the
final ‘Decisions of the Holy Synod’ are also agreed.'” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.293)

“After the enthronement of Alexis (on February 4), writes V. Alexeyev,
Stalin ordered the Council to congratulate Alexis on his election and to give
him “a commemorative present. … to the foreign bishops for their participation in the Council. … the Eastern Patriarchs recognised the canonicity of
the election, “hastening,” as Shumilo says, “to assure themselves of the
support of the head of the biggest and wealthiest patriarchate, which now,
moreover, had acquired ‘the clemency [appropriate to] a great power’”. (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.293,294)

“The price the Eastern Patriarchs paid for the favour of this “great power”
was an agreement to break communion with ROCOR.” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.294)

“In 1948 the World Council of Churches was founded. … The Bolsheviks at first tried to
mock it and remove all Orthodox participation in it. And so another “Pan-Orthodox” council was convened in Moscow in July, 1948, just before the First General Assembly of the WCC. … This was preceded by a celebration … attended by representatives of the Ecumenical, Antiochian, Alexandrian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Czechoslovak, Polish and Georgian Churches. … Only Jerusalem, ROCOR and the True Orthodox Churches of Russia, Greece and Romania were not represented. … At the council that took place after the celebrations, only the Churches within Moscow’s orbit and Antioch attended; the others boycotted it, ostensibly on the grounds that only Constantinople had the right to call such a conference … .” (The Battle for the Russian Orthodox Church p.294)

“Today, in the post-communist era (1998), when the official Russian Church is able to act freely, it is noticeable that it is avoiding decisively unshackling itself from its Sergianist past, openly condemning the heresy of ecumenism, recognizing and glorifying the choir of New Martyrs (In January of 2013 the Moscow Patiarchate, apparently by improper means, de-canonized 36 new martyrs that had been added) , and remedying known church and canonical disorders that crept in during the time of the Soviet tyranny. It is these deviations that constitute the fundamental disagreements preventing the possibility of the uniting of the entire Russian Church – in the homeland and abroad – into a single jurisdiction.” (Ecumenism in an Age of Apostasy 1998) The Moscow Patriarchate today, “is no less enthusiastically pro-Soviet than the civil government. Priests regularly praise Stalin … . The idea that the MP has repented of sergianism is laughable. Consider the patriarch’s latest statement on Metropolitan Sergius’ notorious declaration, on November 9, 2001: ‘This was a clever step by which Metropolitan Sergius tried to save the church and clergy.’ (http://www.ripnet.org/besieged/rparocora.htm?)” (Can the Leopard change his Spots?)

More…

(And see the rest of http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/history/briefhistory.html)

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