Disclaimer: In some of our articles, especially under the Modern Issues section, we present readers with challenging issues to examine, reflect upon and research. The material is neither supported nor rejected by us, and no one is responsible for its content, other than the original source. Therefore readers are requested not to make any complaints, but to take time to reflect on the material from an Orthodox perspective.

243. Jan. 27/Feb. 9, 1977 St. John Chrysostom

Dear Father Cyprian,


Please forgive our long delay in answering your letters. We have been even more overwhelmed with work than usual in these several months, and besides all that, just about a month ago Father Herman was ordained to the priesthood and I to the diaconate, so that now we have also the regular celebration of the Divine Liturgy, as well as the care of the few Orthodox Christians in this part of California. (We have the only church within 200 miles.)

We have finished the translation from Russian of the Life of Sts. Cyprian and Justina, and have just given it to a typesetter in the city 40 miles from us (our own typesetting equipment being just now in poor condition, and there being little time anyway for us to do it). Unfortunately, our work conditions are so pressed that there was simply no opportunity for us to send you a copy of the text before it was set up. However, I have read your comments on the Life in The Old Calendarist and can tell you that the confusions that seem to exist in the Greek Life are absent in the Russian—apparently any confusions were taken care of by research before the printing of the Synodal version of the Lives of Saints at the beginning of this century. The Life we have translated is very similar to yours except in small details, and there is no confusion at all with St. Cyprian of Carthage (even though the Life states that this St. Cyprian was born in Carthage). In any case, we will state clearly at the beginning that this Life has been translated from the Russian text.

However, it now turns out that since we first intended to print this Life, our subscribers have increased by many hundreds, and we are now about 500 short of the colored icons of Sts. Cyprian and Justina which you so kindly sent us some time ago. Is it possible for you to send them to us (i.e., 500 extra icons?), We will have just about enough to send out to our immediate subscribers, but we always make about 500 extra copies, and will need icons for those. We now print about 2700 copies.

We received safely the photographs of your monastery and plan to print also an article on it together with the Life. The article will be taken chiefly from your words—with, of course, the personal or controversial references removed. We have heard little from Father Panteleimon of late, but there have been several indications that perhaps he will step back from a too-“fanatical” position. Several of the Greek priests in our Church were upset with our article on Metropolitan Philaret, but I think they may be beginning to realize at last that this is how our bishops really think. We pray that God will grant peace to his small flock, and that small differences of opinion will not destroy the unity of all who should be fighting against the real apostasy of our times—that represented by the frightful “Eighth Ecumenical Council,” which seems to be drawing closer. In a way, we welcome this robber-council, for it will perhaps be so obviously anti-Orthodox that some will see it and withdraw from that ruinous path. That is another reason for the True Orthodox Christians to be not fanatical but moderate, holding a path of true Orthodoxy and not sectarianism in the face of such temptations.

We ask your blessing and prayers for us, and look forward to continued contact with you.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Unworthy Hierodeacon Seraphim

Download PDF