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254. May 19/June 1, 1978 St. Cornelius of Komel

Dear Father Chrysostomos,

In truth Christ is risen!

Thank you for your letter and kind gift. Regarding Fr. Theodore in Cleveland: I believe he is not a “fanatic” regarding Fr. Panteleimon, but still he has ties with him and your serving with him in any case would produce “complications.” Sadly, this is the way it is with most of the English-speaking wing of our Church. There are only a few “fanatic” partisans of Fr. P., but few have as yet come to see the whole meaning of his “movement,” in its negative as well as positive aspects. Those who see this are usually those who have suffered as a result of his political orientation, or have seen the suffering of others. To those who have not gone through something like this, it is difficult to speak directly about him. We have tried to set a different tone in our publications for several years now (that is, different from Fr. Panteleimon’s), but this is seen only gradually. In the meantime, most of our convert priests are not capable of being very objective about the “Greek” question, and would probably be afraid of holding an opinion different from Fr. Ps. There is a further complication in that Archbishop Vitaly of Montreal has never been very well-disposed to Metropolitan Akakios. We hope and pray that with time and greater maturity all this will change for the better.

In the meantime, your friends in our Church will probably continue to be more or less “secret.” But spiritually this is probably not bad. We feel the signs of the times point more and more to a coming “catacomb” existence, whatever form it may take, and the more we can prepare for it now the better. I think you should have no hesitation in having Sunday services in your own building, even temporary or unfinished; it would probably even be helpful to those who attend to participate in your struggles in establishing yourself.

You will probably go through many trials and difficulties in your new location, the devil’s envy being what it is. May Christ our God strengthen you to bear them courageously. Every such monastery or community we look on as a part of the future catacomb “network” of strugglers for true Orthodoxy; probably in those times (if they will really be as critical as they look from here) the “jurisdictional” question will recede into the background. However, be assured that even now Fr. P. himself cannot deny that, at least theoretically, we are in full communion with the Synod of Archbishop Auxentios; the complications are owing to politics and rivalries, from which you do well to remove yourselves as far as possible.

If you are ever in need of help, please let us know.

With love in Christ,
Unworthy Hieromonk Seraphim

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