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058. August 8/21, 1970. Apostle Matthias

Dear Father Michael [Azkoul],
Bless us, Father!

Thanks be to God, our linotype is now operating, and as soon as lead and type arrive in a few days we will begin, and hopefully quickly finish, our May-June Orthodox Word with your article. In rereading this article we find two important statements for which we would like to have some kind of confirmation available in case of attack: namely, “Was not the ‘secret meeting’ between the Metropolia and Moscow at Geneva under the auspices of the WCC? Were not representatives of the WCC present at the recent ‘meeting’ in New York?” Can you give us any more detail or evidence on these statements, and if possible name the WCC representatives involved? I don’t think we need to footnote these statements, but we would like to have some further evidence handy in case someone chooses to challenge them.

And there doubtless will be attacks! The Metropolia would like to ignore the Synod, but their response so far indicates that they have been hit hard by the various criticisms from our side. Your article is important especially as coming from someone “outside” and not from those troublesome reactionary Russians.

I wonder how your investigation of Iakovos & Co. is progressing? Recent statements of Athenagoras, Iakovos, the Clergy-Laity Congress, and The Orthodox Observer indicate progress in abandoning Orthodoxy is going very rapidly — but how do you grasp hold of the whole situation and explain what’s going on? That’s a real problem.

We were happy to see Frs. Panteleimon and Ephrem from Boston, Fr. Neketas Palassis, Fr. Michael Lightfoot, and Fr. Elias Armistead at the canonization of St. Herman in San Francisco. The significance of this event for American Orthodoxy is doubtless great — spiritual seed of which the future will reveal the fruits. We will have a full account in the July-August OW. The San Francisco Cathedral is a real stronghold of Russianness, and that we were able to sing a large part of the service in English is a wonder in itself, and probably a sign of the times. The San Francisco Examiner of Aug. 10 reported our view of the canonization, but the AP story in other papers carried headlines blowing up Bp. Theodosius’ sacrilegious statement: “Russian Church Canonizes a ‘Hippy’ Monk.” How just plain painful.

But God is with us, and in these critical years it’s up to a small number of us to fight for that genuine Orthodoxy that has been faithfully handed down to us.

We ask your prayers for us.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Eugene Rose

P.s. We would appreciate if your would send us any material you find that reveals a change in attitude of Metropolia, especially clergy, concerning Soviet Church and Government. Bp. Theodosius has already taken the lead by finding Soviet people “comfortable and happy” and saying that “as Americans we have to reassess our ideas of life in the Soviet Union.” A collection of such statements would make a good article!

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