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315. August 21/Sept. 3, 1981C Martyr Bassa

Dear Father Photios,

May the blessing of the Lord be with you!

I have heard from several people who were present at the recent Orthodox conference in Pennsylvania that you are planning to print a book by Dr. Kalomiros on creation and evolution. From one of these persons I heard that this book is to include excerpts from my correspondence with Dr. Kalomiros on these subjects in 1973. On the chance that this rumor might be true, please let me tell you the following:

This correspondence was strictly a private one between Dr. Kalomiros and myself. I specifically asked him not to send copies of it to anyone, so that we might work out our seeming differences on this subject and come to some fruitful agreement about it—something which simply cannot be done if outsiders are reading it, spreading rumors about a “dispute,” and in general putting this subject into the gossip route. I was very sad to find out at that time that, despite my plea, he had indeed sent out copies, and “xeroxes of xeroxes” were being read by a number of people who were interested in it precisely as a “dispute.” I was further saddened by the fact that Dr. Kalomiros, despite my several pleas to him to do so, has absolutely refused to have any contact with me since that time, evidently regarding my letter (which was quite frank and outspoken, and was intended for his eyes alone) as some kind of “insult” to him. I myself benefitted from the correspondence, changed several of my own opinions, and believed at that time that if only we could have continued the correspondence then we might have come up with something worth giving to the larger Orthodox reading public.

Given these circumstances, I think you can understand why I am absolutely opposed to the publication of any part of my correspondence with Dr. Kalomiros on this subject. I can only see it as an attempt to cause more dispute among Orthodox Christians and to sow discord among the small flock of Christ. There is enough of that already without adding more fuel to the fire. If Dr. Kalomiros wishes to publish something on this subject, let him do so in a spirit of peace, and with no reference to the disagreements which I once had with him on the subject. For my part, all I can do is categorically forbid any quotation from my letter. And if I am to be referred to in any way in this proposed book (since this would undoubtedly be for a disputatious purpose), I would ask you to send me a copy of the material for approval before publication, so that there will not be another of those senseless disputes that are dividing our flocks.

If all this is a groundless rumor, of course, please disregard this letter. My only concern is to avoid an unnecessary public “fight” between members of one and the same Orthodox Church. In essence these questions can be discussed without any “fight,” calmly and with respect for differing opinions; but the correspondence between Dr. Kalomiros and myself contains expressions (on both sides) that can too easily be interpreted as a “fight” by outsiders. This is why I wished, and still wish, it to be a private matter.

Asking your prayers,

With love in Christ,
Unworthy Hieromonk Seraphim

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