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133. July 4/17, 73. Royal New Martyrs of Russia

Dear Father Ioannikios,
Blagoslovite!

We have talked with Vladika Anthony about Vladimir Anderson, and indeed it turns out that Vladika had in mind only that Vladimir go to Jordanville to be tested, and perhaps to spend a few days there, meet the seminary instructors, etc. And so, apparently we will be mostly conducting his “course,” and on his last visit he already began reading on the cliros. Unfortunately, he has had almost no time for study in the past months, so we don’t know how long it will take him to get prepared. He plans to visit us several more times this summer.

Fr. Alexander Lebedev repied to us that he has had no time to begin translating Fr. Michael’s Dogmatic Theology, and so, God willing, we will soon undertake this ourselves, after we hear from Fr. Michael concerning any corrections, etc. Vladika Anthony also thought it would be very good to translate Vladika Averky’s two volumes on the Gospels and Epistles, and even though this is beyond us right now, perhaps you could inform us if anyone has started or thought of such a translation?

We have just received the new “Open Letter” of Holy Transfiguration Monastery to Alexey Young, which was obviously written with the intention to discredit him completely and wipe him off the face of the map. We certainly hope Alexey will not reply in the same spirit, and hopefully the letter will not receive too wide a circulation. With grief we must say that there are so many half-truths, innuendos, and dubious theology in this letter, that in any case there is almost sure to be trouble later on when this is used as a starting point for more speculations. Well, we will be calm and careful, as Vladika Laurus recently advised us, but also we are prepared for the worst. Wherefore, could you tell us whether, in your study of Metr. Philaret of Moscow, you came across any definite views of his concerning the validity or lack thereof of Latin sacraments? If, as the “Greeks” say, there is evidence to indicate that he accepted their validity (which we rather doubt), have you found any plausible explanation or justification for it?

We greatly hope that there will be no vain and useless “theological” disputes in our poor small flock, but nonetheless there are some points on which our Russian theological tradition must be defended, if need arises. (Cautiously!)

Our Brotherhood is temporarily four in number with Daniel Olson’s arrival several weeks ago. Please pray for us feeble strugglers, especially at the Divine Liturgy, that we may bring forth a few small fruits while there is still the opportunity.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

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