Daily Archives: September 4, 2017

Ten Points for the Agenda of a 21st Century Church Council

In the light of events in the Church over the last 100 years, it is clear that a Council of all the approximately 800 Orthodox bishops of the Church worldwide will need to meet in order to reverse the spiritual decadence of the period since the overthrow of the Orthodox Emperor in 1917. The approximately 80,000 Orthodox priests and the near 220 million flock of the Orthodox Church worldwide need light and direction from their bishops in order to counter contemporary militant secularism. Notably, ecclesiological and canonical errors have to be rejected, systemic administrative disorder overcome and Church life renewed. Below are ten points under these three headings, which we suggest might appear on the agenda of such a future Council.

Dogmatic and Canonical Measures

1. The whole Church hierarchy is to affirm the foundation stone of the dogmatic definitions of the Seven Universal Councils, as expressed in the Niceo-Constantinopolitan Creed, anathematizing especially anti-Incarnational trends which contradict it. This will obviously mean clearly condemning the incredibly old-fashioned, 1960s-style ecumenistic ‘branch-theory’ heresy implicit (when not explicit) in documents released for example by the 2016 meeting of a few Orthodox bishops in Crete and voted for by approximately 1.1% of Orthodox bishops. Those who signed those documents, which contradict the clear dogmatic teachings of Church Tradition and Teaching in general and notably the dogmatic ecclesiological definitions of St Justin of Chelije and other 20th century saints, should either take back their signatures or else face trial by Church courts.

2. The deposition of all ‘Orthodox’ patriarchs and bishops appointed by the US State Department. (In accordance with Canon XXX of the Apostolic Canons, Canon II of the Fourth Universal Council, Canons III and V of the Seventh Universal Council and Canon XIII of Laodicea). Similarly the deposition of all simoniacs. (Canon XXIX of the Apostolic Canons and subsequent anti-simoniac Canons).

3. The canonization of the last canonical Patriarch of Constantinople, Maximos V (+ 1972), unlawfully deposed by the CIA in 1948, who cried ‘The City is lost’, as he was taken at gunpoint to the airliner of the mass-murdering, atomic bomb president to be flown into exile.

Administrative Measures

4. The transfer of the title ‘Ecumenical’ (meaning of course, ‘of the Imperial Capital’, and neither ‘Universal’, nor ‘Ecumenist’!) from the Patriarchs of Constantinople to the Patriarchs of Moscow. This is already 564 years overdue at the time of writing.

5. The title ‘Patriarch of Constantinople’ to be transferred from Turkish citizens in Istanbul to Archbishops of Athens, who are the real Greek ethnarchs.

6. Admit the failure of the ‘Pan-Orthodox Assemblies’ in the Diaspora. The Orthodox presence outside Orthodox canonical territories, in the Americas, Western Europe, Southern Asia and Australasia, needs to be reorganized under the leadership and delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the only multinational Local Church. In other words, the uncanonical ‘jurisdictions’ invented since 1917 by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and imitated by five other Local Churches, need to be abolished, so that we can return to our previous administrative unity, though retaining full ethnic and linguistic diversity within emryonic new Local Churches, which unity was lost to divisive, Balkan-style phyletism introduced after 1917.

Pastoral Measures

7. All Orthodox are to return to observing the Orthodox calendar, abandoning the heterodox calendar which, incredibly, is still observed by some spiritually weak minorities.

8. Consequent to this return, to renew liturgical life, including restoring the integrity of the Divine Liturgy and services such as Vespers and Matins, virtually unknown in the parishes of some Local Churches.

9. Consequent to this renewal, renew sacramental life, especially the sacraments of confession and unction, which are virtually unknown in the parishes of some Local Churches.

10. Consequent to this renewal, renew the consciousness of the importance of ascetic and monastic life, prayer, fasting, the reading of the Holy Scriptures and missionary work to the Non-Orthodox world, which have been nearly abandoned by the parishes and dioceses of some Local Churches.

More Historic Developments in the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland

At the Clergy Meeting and first ever meeting of the Diocesan Council of the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland, presided over by the Diocesan Administrator, Bishop Irenei, on Saturday 2 September, it was resolved to hold a pilgrimage to the Shrine of St Alban every year. Also, in another historic event, all parishes were blessed by Vladyka to keep the third Sunday after Pentecost as the Sunday of All Saints of the British Isles and Ireland, using the service composed by Archpriest Andrew Phillips fifteen years ago.

It was notable that the Clergy Meeting was for the first time ever attended by representatives from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as from England. Both meetings were informed that the finally magnificently frescoed London church (with images of the local saints) will be consecrated on Friday 21st September 2018 and that the church in Colchester will at last be consecrated, probably in 2019, on its eleventh anniversary. There were also lengthy discussions about new missions, among several other places, including in Kent and Cambridgeshire, the need to found a monastery, about publications, websites and the involvement of the young people of the Diocese and the need to nurture their faith, as with the new Searchlight youth magazine.

The Diocese now has thirteen priests, a number never exceeded even in the 1950s. Moreover, they are multinational in background and ROCOR seems to becoming the only multi-ethnic Orthodox Diocese in these lands. Bishop Irenei’s visit to the reborn Diocese is the fourth episcopal visit this year, and not the last. Other candidates for ordination are coming forward, encouraged by Bishop Irenei who will not reject worthy candidates. One parish which had only had two episcopal visits in nineteen years has now had four episcopal visits in eight months.

It is remarkable what an episcopal presence can do, just as we had always thought, and all look forward to Bishop Irenei’s permanent return to this country in the near future. All are grateful to him and especially to the Most Reverened Metropolitan Hilarion and the Very Reverend Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco, without whom none of this would ever have been possible. It has taken a great deal of effort over the last nine years to arrange all this after a long and dark period in our 300-year history.