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190. Oct. 4/17,1975. St. Hierotheus of Athens

Dear Alexey,

Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say, rejoice! You are being taught humility and not trusting you own corrupt mind!

The fact that you are having quoted against you letters that don’t exist—should make you sober and realize that against that kind of attack you can’t fight, if you are an honest man. Therefore, don’t. Let them do and say what they will. They have their rope, and alas, they are now going to hang themselves with it, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. But you stay clear of it and have no contact whatever with them.

We are witnessing a classic case of prelest, brought about by vainglory and self-esteem. The end will be disastrous, but many will fall into the pit because they trusted this man more than God.

We are not surprised at the forged letters—if they exist anywhere except in Fr. P’s mind. Do you remember what Dr. Kalomiros wrote us about the supposed letter of Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago— “translated” by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, and including a whole page vilifying certain Greek bishops which was not written by Archbishop Seraphim and horrified him?

Fr. Panteleimon told me in Seattle two years ago: for the sake of the “Church” anything is permissible—lying, stealing, anything; the end justifies the means. The meaning of this didn’t really register on me then, for I did realize that sometimes, to avert a greater evil, it is necessary to commit a smaller sin, such as lying. But always one does this only under absolute necessity and with self- reproach and repentance before God for having to do something which is not right. But with Fr. Panteleimon this Jesuit principle becomes a basic principle of church life which the politically astute ones can put into practice with impunity. His idea of the Church is all wrong, which explains also why he built his monastery in the middle of a city (to give the thirsting people the maximum benefit of his “holiness”) and immediately began interesting himself in the political affairs of the Church everywhere.

Even if you had written such a letter to Fr. Ischie—what business is it of Fr. P’s, that he should keep it on file and use it to blacken you later? And actually, even if the letter existed there is nothing whatever wrong about it—your guilt lies only in the mind of Fr. P., for whom alone association with Fr. Ischie is some crime! But on top of this, the letter doesn’t even exist! Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive! (A handy poet, Pope!) This is all politics of the lowest sort, Communist Party style. Our Greeks are just a bunch of “birchers” after all! (I don’t mean to the judge the well-meaning people in the Birch Society, but I don’t like their political approach!)

There is a spiritual law: a feeling of heaviness and desperation should not come from leaders in the Church; that cannot be the effect of grace. If this feeling does come from them, they are in deep trouble—something is wrong with them. It is easier for those who have to suffer it, for it does refine them spiritually.

All this will pass, like some horrible nightmare. Just remember that that is not the reality. Try to avoid entirely any thought of “who is right, who is wrong.” Pray for Fr. Panteleimon, who is in deep trouble spiritually, but cut yourself off entirely from him. There is sickness, petty politics, and demonic activity coming from that direction. Deep down we are peaceful about all this, for we know the Church us stronger than any of those who have been deceived into thinking they are the Church, and they always fall away, making those who remain in the Church more sober thereby.

Today, God willing, the new OW goes out. Pray for us.

With love in Christ,
S.M.

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