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Gregory Bistrita
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Gregory Bistrita
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They say, "let us Orthodox Christians make a common stand with the heretics, Jews, Muslims and pagans. A stand for traditional morality. A stand for humanity and society. A stand against oppression, against abortion, against the homosexuals, against war, against terrorists, against the west, against greed and exploitation; a stand for the traditional family, for social justice, for world peace. We will build Churches, they will build mosques and synagogues. We will rejoice in all this for we are brothers and joint undertakers of this venture. We will show mutual respect. We shall value our friendship and seek to further spread this, our humanism. Religion will flourish, the world will become just, love will reign. We will not actively seek to convert the other, for isn't God pleased with peace and love above all? After all, isn't this why the Church and religion exist - so all of God's children can dwell in unity?

To the Orthodox, who question this, our "God given mission" - we will politely respond that we have violated neither "dogmas or canons". If they, persist in their non-compliance - well, (in a hushed voice) - we have ways to deal with these enemies of the common good. After all, they are not striving to please God, like we are - they are simply "political criminals" and enemies of the emerging world order..."

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Let us please remember, that when Orthodoxy is trampled upon (i.e. the "synods" of Crete and Moscow), when the "mission of the Church" is effectively altered, when morality becomes idolized (even at the cost of trampling upon theology) - all this is a path to the Antichrist; irrespective of whether full blown (theological and Eucharistic) unity is achieved or not.

The Antichrist himself will be heralded as a champion of morality, as a restorer of authentic religion, as the source of world concord...

For more information, please watch the following video...(Concerning the Sovietized "Christianity" of the Cretan "Mission" document, the "Social Gospel" and the "World Peace Movement") - Sergianism (which was fough...
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7 days ago

Radu Blebea
An Orthodox Critique of Perennialism (and René Guénon)

A less known and I would say more subtle influence that seems to have afflicted many contemporary Orthodoxy theologians and thinkers in recent times is Perennialism. Perennialism as defined on Wikipedia, is a perspective on modern spirituality that views each of the worlds religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.

From an Orthodox point of view this idea has some truth in it. We as Orthodox Christians understant that God has revealed Himself to mankind in a limited way and in its very simplistic approach it could be stated that all modern religions have some form of original Truth in them. The question though is how much of that truth is still present in various religions we see today and how Orthodox Chrisianity fits into this picture. This is especially important to examine, because putting this in the correct light will help us avoid the dangers of falling into the traps put forth by Perennialism currents today, especially its influence of the Ecumenist movement.

It is important to start this essey by noting that Perennialism is very close to the idea of branch theory Ecumenism is founded upon. Accordingly the Ecumenists of recent times argued that all Christian denominations have some form of Truth preserved in them and therefore are not completly devoid of grace. Just like the Perennialists try to go back to the origins and find that original metaphysical truth, the Ecumenists argue that all Christian denominations, including the Orthodox Church, have the same God which they need to rediscover.

The principal thinker of the Perennialist movement was René Guénon (a mason educated in jesuit schools from an early age), who like Fr Seraphim Rose seemed to be in search for the absolute Truth, but unlike him never found it. Considering the reasons stated above it is no wonder that his influence seems to have grown amongst many of the Orthodox theologians and high ranking clergy of today. The anti-Ecumenists have long argued that the main problem with Ecumenism is that it departs the idea that the Orthodox Church is the only True Church given to man by God in its complete form from its foundation. The Ecumenists argue that The Church is some entity in some sort of continual spiritual search (like all others) whose purpose is to lead man to a future unity with God which is to be discovered at a later point in time. Fr Seraphim Rose and Herman Podmoshenski identified this point as being The Omega Point as defined by another contemporary jesuit thinker, Teilhard de Chardin:

At the same time that the universe is evolving into the Body of Christ, according to Teilhard de Chardin, man himself is reaching the pinnacle of his evolutionary development, which is called Super-Humanity. He says, “If...the evidence obliges our reason to accept that something greater than the man of today is in gestation upon the earth,...in order to be able to continue to worship as before we must be able to say to ourselves, as we look at the Son of Man, (not ‘Apparuit humanitas,‟ but) ‘Apparuit uperhumanitas,‟”cclxviii let Super-Humanity appear. “Humanity would reach a point of development when it would detach itself altogether from the earth and unite with Omega, a phenomenon outwardly similar to death perhaps, but in reality simple metamorphosis and accession to the supreme synthesis.”cclxix That is, this new state which is coming. He calls it the Omega Point, the point to which all the creation now is ascending. (quote from Orthodox Survival Course)

Today we can find very few Orthodox resources that seem to offer a true spiritual seeker much light of why René Guénons views are a real spiritual danger. One such critic was Philip Sherrard, a Perennialist (unfortunately) and member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Here is how he tried to refute René:

http://thechristianmysteries.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/late-philip-sherrard-and-member-of.html

The late Philip Sherrard, a Perennialist and member of the Greek Orthodox Church, devotes a long chapter in his last book, Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition, to the “Logic of Metaphysics in René Guénon” – although the points he makes are just as applicable to Schuon, as we shall see. Guénon did more than anyone else to reawaken metaphysical perception in our century, Sherrard says. But he made two important assumptions that predisposed him against Christianity and towards Vedanta (and which help to explain his own conversion from Catholicism to Islam). The first of these assumptions was that a strict correlation must be preserved between the metaphysical and the logical order – thus ruling out in advance the more paradoxical Christian relationship between Unity and Trinity in the Godhead. The second assumption was that every “determination” of the Absolute must be some form of limitation, and is therefore incompatible with the divine nature. These two assumptions led Guénon into an apophaticism so radical that he could affirm nothing at all of the Absolute, except by way of negation – including, obviously, a negation of the Christian Trinity.

Before his death, then, Sherrard had come to the conclusion that a Christian thinker who accepts Revelation must start from an entirely different point of view – must begin, in fact, from the knowledge that the supreme Principle is the Trinity, and furthermore that “personality” (indeed, triple Personality) in God is not necessarily a limitation. Without it, in fact, the Absolute has no actual freedom to determine itself or create a world: the freedom of God becomes merely the absence of external constraint. Although Sherrard assumes Schuon’s “transcendental unity” approach throughout his book, this insight calls into question one of Schuon’s core teachings: that a personal (or Tri-Personal) deity derives from an impersonal Godhead and will be “dissolved” in the gnosis which transcends Being. (As Sherrard writes, “This view thus involves a total denial of the ultimate value and reality of the personal. It demands as a condition of metaphysical knowledge a total impersonalism – the annulment and alienation of the person.”)

Despite being a Perrenialist, it appears though that towards the end of his life, Philip Sherrard (just like Vladimir Soloviev, who flirted with the philosophical ideas of this age and was under constant temptation to convert from Orthodoxy to catholicism, yet resisted it, and was granted by God in the last year of his life a revelation out of which came what we know today as A Short Story of the AntiChrist which BTW is a must read) did come to the realization that the major difference between Perennialism and Orthodoxy is Divine Revelation. While Perennialism is a rational way of seeking God and His wisdom, Orthodoxy is Gods truth as revealed to man, even if not in its fullness, as in this fallen state it is not possible for man to fully know and understand God. Orthodox Christianity accepts this as a reality and doesnt seek to add anything more to it by means of reason or human wisdom, but only through Divine Revelation. And this is the very idea of redemption and salvation - through Repentance and Divine Revelation man is revealed more of the nature of God. This Divine Revelation does not work for the humanity as a whole, but at individual level, according to that extent to which each individual human being can rid himself of sin and self in order to unite with God. It is very clear that Divine Revelation was given to mankind through various Holy Man and Women, who for their own podvig (spiritual struggle) were found worthy to be allowed to see more and more into the divine nature of God and confess it before others.

In contrast to this, the Perennialists argue that humanity is collectively in a struggle to find God and in some sort of a continual spiritual evolution which will in the end achieve the unity with divinity. It is obvious that such wrong beliefs can only lead to the revelation of the coming Antichrist and the promised kingdom of heaven on Earth.

In order to contrast how human search of God differs to Divine Revelation is the example of the Three Magi. Although they were not even in the right faith, they had the correct spiritual disposition and humility before God, and thus found worthy to receive divine revelation about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Similarly, let us only consider the personal experience of our blessed Father Seraphim Rose, who in one of his early letters admitted he was inspired by René Guénon in his search for finding the Truth, but it was Divine revelation that really got him on the right track:

It so happens that Rene Guenon was the chief influence in the formation of my own intellectual outlook (quite apart from the question of Orthodox Christianity). I read and studied with eagerness all his books that I could get a hold of; through his influence I studied ·the ancient Chinese language and resolved to do for the Chinese tradition what he had done for the Hindu; I was even able to meet and study with a genuine representative of the Chinese tradition and understood full well what he means by the difference between such authentic teachers and the mere professors who teach in the universities.

It was Rene Guenon who taught me to seek and love the Truth above all else, and to be unsatisfied with anything else; this is what finally brought me to the Orthodox Church. Perhaps a word of my experience will be of help for you to know.

For years in my studies I was satisfied with being above all traditions but somehow faithful to them; I only went deeper into the Chinese tradition because no one had presented it in the West from a fully traditional point of view.When I visited an Orthodox Church, it was only in order to view another tradition-knowing that Guenon (and one of his disciples) had described Orthodoxy as the most authentic of the Christian traditions.

However, when I entered an Orthodox Church for the first time (a Russian Church in San Francisco), something happened to me that I had not experienced in any Buddhist or other Eastern temple; something in my heart said that this is home, that all my search was over. I didnt really know what.. this meant, because the service was quite strange to me, and in a foreign language. I began to attend Orthodox services more frequently, gradually learning its language and customs, but still keeping all my basic Guenonion ideas about all the authentic spiritual traditions.

We can now clearly see why Orthodoxy is the only True Church and why by not remaining deeply rooted in Her we become spiritual pray for the wisdom of this age, and today, more than ever, we need to be aware of these dangers. Ill just use a few short paragraphs from the Introduction Chapter of René Guénons book The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times and offer some short commentaries to show how the humanity is being pushed towards a global human consciousness based on all traditional religions, meant to replace God, and show how easy this is to be identified in the Perennialist philosophy. Although Teilhard de Chardin identified this new human consciousnessas as Christ, it has in fact no resemblance with the Orthodox Christ, Who only came to the world to put us back on track and show us how far we had deviated from the truth back then. Again, the same wrong ideas as existed before Christ, are found today ready to derail the True Faith (Orthodoxy) once again.

So let me present just a few quotes René Guénons most important book The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times:

Quote: ... for everything that has any kind of existence, even error, has necessarily its reason for existence, and disorder itself must in the end find its place among the elements of universal order

Observation: Reading just this in the Introduction Chapter it kind of strikes me thinking about where I believe the argument seems to be going - that which sees disorder (or chaos) as just a temporary state of reality which leads to a greater state of order. This certainly is very interesting to note as it sounds very much in the same tone with the new age teachings of all the occult philosophies, and strikingly close to the idea of order out of chaos. This in itself is not a strange idea to other similar teachings found in various Christian churches. The very idea of purgatory is probably very related to this concept, for it does away with hell as a permanent state of things and presents it (hell) as a necessary step towards achieving a higher state (salvation). So from the very beginning we can observe that we are not presented with what Orthodoxy teaches as being a reality in which hell is a permanent state of disorder and chaos, and to where souls will be forever condemned, but just a transitory thing necessary for purification towards a higher spiritual state. This is very much the same thing as the idea of spiritual evolution towards the omega point, in which disorder is seen as a necessary step.

Quote: If our contemporaries as a whole could see what it is that is guiding them and where they are really going, the modern world would at once cease to exist as such, for the rectification that has often been alluded to in the authors other works could not fail to come about through that very circumstance; on the other hand, since this rectification presupposes arrival at the point at which the descent is completely accomplished, where the wheel stops turning- at least for the instant marking the passage from one cycle to another- it is necessary to conclude that, until this point is actually attained, it is impossible that these things should be understood by men in general, but only by the small number of those who are destined to prepare, in one way or in another, the germs of the future cycle. It is scarcely necessary to say that everything that the author has set out in this book and elsewhere is intended to be addressed exclusively to these few, without any concern for the inevitable incomprehension of the others; it is true that these others are, and still must be for a certain time to come, an immense majority, but then it is precisely in the reign of quantity, and only then, that the opinion of the majority can claim to be taken into consideration at all

Observation: Here we can see again the idea of order out of chaos. If one carefully examines this paragraph, the author seems to address to a selected elite, or the few who understand that the world needs to be allowed to reach a new low, or a rectification point where some sort of awakening of the masses occurs that mark the beginning of the next step higher.

Quote: It might appear that there is, in a sense, multiplicity at the two extreme points, in the same way as there is correlatively, as has just been pointed out, unity on the one side and units on the other; but the notion of inverse analogy applies strictly here too, so that while the principia! multiplicity is contained in metaphysical unity, arithmetical or quantitative units are on the other hand contained in the other and inferior multiplicity

Observation: According to this we are supposed to spiritually evolve from the lower form of inferior multiplicity the the higher level of superior unity, from a low form of individual spirituality to a higher form of collective spirituality.

Conclusion: Are we not then to understand from these Perennialist ideals that the humanity is to prepare for a new step in its spiritual evolution from the current low, in which disorder is not to be looked at as a negative factor but as a catalyst for the next leg up towards a higher spiritual state, to which the masses that reach a new low in the age of quantity awaken, and then, led by the few enlightened, make a huge step forward? Have we not heard that before, is that not the new mission of the Orthodox Church as defined at the Synod in Crete and as highlighted in the numerous other articles and posts we at Orthodox Australia continually promote?

Just look at what Dan Brown has just said and see if this does not fall in line exactly with this sort of philosophy in which Christ is replaced with some form of a global conscience of humanity, a spiritual enhanced humanity

https://www.yahoo.com/news/collective-consciousness-replace-god-author-dan-brown-120033225.html

An Orthodox Critique of Perennialism (and René Guénon)

A less known and I would say more subtle influence that seems to have afflicted many contemporary Orthodoxy theologians and thinkers in recent times is Perennialism. Perennialism as defined on Wikipedia, is a perspective on modern spirituality that views each of the world's religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.

From an Orthodox point of view this idea has some truth in it. We as Orthodox Christians understant that God has revealed Himself to mankind in a limited way and in its very simplistic approach it could be stated that all modern religions have some form of original Truth in them. The question though is how much of that truth is still present in various religions we see today and how Orthodox Chrisianity fits into this picture. This is especially important to examine, because putting this in the correct light will help us avoid the dangers of falling into the traps put forth by Perennialism currents today, especially its influence of the Ecumenist movement.

It is important to start this essey by noting that Perennialism is very close to the idea of branch theory Ecumenism is founded upon. Accordingly the Ecumenists of recent times argued that all Christian denominations have some form of Truth preserved in them and therefore are not completly devoid of grace. Just like the Perennialists try to go back to the origins and find that "original metaphysical truth", the Ecumenists argue that all Christian denominations, including the Orthodox Church, have the same God which they need to rediscover.

The principal thinker of the Perennialist movement was René Guénon (a mason educated in jesuit schools from an early age), who like Fr Seraphim Rose seemed to be in search for the absolute Truth, but unlike him never found it. Considering the reasons stated above it is no wonder that his influence seems to have grown amongst many of the Orthodox theologians and high ranking clergy of today. The anti-Ecumenists have long argued that the main problem with Ecumenism is that it departs the idea that the Orthodox Church is the only True Church given to man by God in its complete form from its foundation. The Ecumenists argue that The Church is some entity in some sort of "continual spiritual search" (like all others) whose purpose is to lead man to a future unity with God which is to be discovered at a later point in time. Fr Seraphim Rose and Herman Podmoshenski identified this point as being "The Omega Point" as defined by another contemporary jesuit thinker, Teilhard de Chardin:

"At the same time that the universe is evolving into the Body of Christ, according to Teilhard de Chardin, man himself is reaching the pinnacle of his evolutionary development, which is called Super-Humanity. He says, “If...the evidence obliges our reason to accept that something greater than the man of today is in gestation upon the earth,...in order to be able to continue to worship as before we must be able to say to ourselves, as we look at the Son of Man, (not ‘Apparuit humanitas,‟ but) ‘Apparuit uperhumanitas,‟”cclxviii let Super-Humanity appear. “Humanity would reach a point of development when it would detach itself altogether from the earth and unite with Omega, a phenomenon outwardly similar to death perhaps, but in reality simple metamorphosis and accession to the supreme synthesis.”cclxix That is, this new state which is coming. He calls it the Omega Point, the point to which all the creation now is ascending." (quote from "Orthodox Survival Course")

Today we can find very few Orthodox resources that seem to offer a true spiritual seeker much light of why René Guénon's views are a real spiritual danger. One such critic was Philip Sherrard, a Perennialist (unfortunately) and member of the Greek Orthodox Church. Here is how he tried to refute René:

thechristianmysteries.blogspot.com.au/2011/04/late-philip-sherrard-and-member-of.html

"The late Philip Sherrard, a Perennialist and member of the Greek Orthodox Church, devotes a long chapter in his last book, Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition, to the “Logic of Metaphysics in René Guénon” – although the points he makes are just as applicable to Schuon, as we shall see. Guénon did more than anyone else to reawaken metaphysical perception in our century, Sherrard says. But he made two important assumptions that predisposed him against Christianity and towards Vedanta (and which help to explain his own conversion from Catholicism to Islam). The first of these assumptions was that a strict correlation must be preserved between the metaphysical and the logical order – thus ruling out in advance the more paradoxical Christian relationship between Unity and Trinity in the Godhead. The second assumption was that every “determination” of the Absolute must be some form of limitation, and is therefore incompatible with the divine nature. These two assumptions led Guénon into an apophaticism so radical that he could affirm nothing at all of the Absolute, except by way of negation – including, obviously, a negation of the Christian Trinity.

Before his death, then, Sherrard had come to the conclusion that a Christian thinker who accepts Revelation must start from an entirely different point of view – must begin, in fact, from the knowledge that the supreme Principle is the Trinity, and furthermore that “personality” (indeed, triple Personality) in God is not necessarily a limitation. Without it, in fact, the Absolute has no actual freedom to determine itself or create a world: the freedom of God becomes merely the absence of external constraint. Although Sherrard assumes Schuon’s “transcendental unity” approach throughout his book, this insight calls into question one of Schuon’s core teachings: that a personal (or Tri-Personal) deity derives from an impersonal Godhead and will be “dissolved” in the gnosis which transcends Being. (As Sherrard writes, “This view thus involves a total denial of the ultimate value and reality of the personal. It demands as a condition of metaphysical knowledge a total impersonalism – the annulment and alienation of the person.”)"

Despite being a Perrenialist, it appears though that towards the end of his life, Philip Sherrard (just like Vladimir Soloviev, who flirted with the philosophical ideas of this age and was under constant temptation to convert from Orthodoxy to catholicism, yet resisted it, and was granted by God in the last year of his life a revelation out of which came what we know today as "A Short Story of the AntiChrist" which BTW is a must read) did come to the realization that the major difference between Perennialism and Orthodoxy is Divine Revelation. While Perennialism is a rational way of seeking God and His wisdom, Orthodoxy is God's truth as revealed to man, even if not in its fullness, as in this fallen state it is not possible for man to fully know and understand God. Orthodox Christianity accepts this as a reality and doesn't seek to add anything more to it by means of reason or human wisdom, but only through Divine Revelation. And this is the very idea of redemption and salvation - through Repentance and Divine Revelation man is revealed more of the nature of God. This Divine Revelation does not work for the humanity as a whole, but at individual level, according to that extent to which each individual human being can rid himself of sin and self in order to unite with God. It is very clear that Divine Revelation was given to mankind through various Holy Man and Women, who for their own "podvig" (spiritual struggle) were found worthy to be allowed to see more and more into the divine nature of God and confess it before others.

In contrast to this, the Perennialists argue that humanity is collectively in a struggle to find God and in some sort of a continual "spiritual evolution" which will in the end achieve the unity with divinity. It is obvious that such wrong beliefs can only lead to the revelation of the coming Antichrist and the promised "kingdom of heaven on Earth".

In order to contrast how human search of God differs to Divine Revelation is the example of the Three Magi. Although they were not even in the right faith, they had the correct spiritual disposition and humility before God, and thus found worthy to receive divine revelation about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Similarly, let us only consider the personal experience of our blessed Father Seraphim Rose, who in one of his early letters admitted he was inspired by René Guénon in his search for finding the Truth, but it was Divine revelation that really got him on the right track:

"It so happens that Rene Guenon was the chief influence in the formation of my own intellectual outlook (quite apart from the question of Orthodox Christianity). I read and studied with eagerness all his books that I could get a hold of; through his influence I studied ·the ancient Chinese language and resolved to do for the Chinese tradition what he had done for the Hindu; I was even able to meet and study with a genuine representative of the Chinese tradition and understood full well what he means by the difference between such authentic teachers and the mere "professors" who teach in the universities.

It was Rene Guenon who taught me to seek and love the Truth above all else, and to be unsatisfied with anything else; this is what finally brought me to the Orthodox Church. Perhaps a word of my experience will be of help for you to know.

For years in my studies I was satisfied with being "above all traditions" but somehow faithful to them; I only went deeper into the Chinese tradition because no one had presented it in the West from a fully traditional point of view.When I visited an Orthodox Church, it was only in order to view another "tradition"-knowing that Guenon (and one of his disciples) had described Orthodoxy as the most authentic of the Christian traditions.

However, when I entered an Orthodox Church for the first time (a Russian Church in San Francisco), something happened to me that I had not experienced in any Buddhist or other Eastern temple; something in my heart said that this is "home," that all my search was over. I didn't really know what.. this meant, because the service was quite strange to me, and in a foreign language. I began to attend Orthodox services more frequently, gradually learning its language and customs, but still keeping all my basic Guenonion ideas about all the authentic spiritual traditions."

We can now clearly see why Orthodoxy is the only True Church and why by not remaining deeply rooted in Her we become spiritual pray for the wisdom of this age, and today, more than ever, we need to be aware of these dangers. I'll just use a few short paragraphs from the Introduction Chapter of René Guénon's book "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times" and offer some short commentaries to show how the humanity is being pushed towards a "global human consciousness" based on all "traditional religions", meant to replace God, and show how easy this is to be identified in the Perennialist philosophy. Although Teilhard de Chardin identified this new human consciousnessas as "Christ", it has in fact no resemblance with the Orthodox Christ, Who only came to the world to put us back on track and show us how far we had deviated from the truth back then. Again, the same wrong ideas as existed before Christ, are found today ready to derail the True Faith (Orthodoxy) once again.

So let me present just a few quotes René Guénon's most important book "The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times":

Quote: "... for everything that has any kind of existence, even error, has necessarily its reason for existence, and disorder itself must in the end find its place among the elements of universal order"

Observation: Reading just this in the Introduction Chapter it kind of strikes me thinking about where I believe the argument seems to be going - that which sees "disorder" (or chaos) as just a temporary state of reality which leads to a greater state of order. This certainly is very interesting to note as it sounds very much in the same tone with the new age teachings of all the occult philosophies, and strikingly close to the idea of "order out of chaos". This in itself is not a strange idea to other similar teachings found in various "Christian" churches. The very idea of purgatory is probably very related to this concept, for it does away with hell as a permanent state of things and presents it (hell) as a necessary step towards achieving a higher state (salvation). So from the very beginning we can observe that we are not presented with what Orthodoxy teaches as being a reality in which hell is a permanent state of disorder and chaos, and to where souls will be forever condemned, but just a transitory thing necessary for purification towards a higher spiritual state. This is very much the same thing as the idea of spiritual evolution towards the "omega point", in which disorder is seen as a necessary step.

Quote: "If our contemporaries as a whole could see what it is that is guiding them and where they are really going, the modern world would at once cease to exist as such, for the 'rectification' that has often been alluded to in the author's other works could not fail to come about through that very circumstance; on the other hand, since this 'rectification' presupposes arrival at the point at which the 'descent' is completely accomplished, where 'the wheel stops turning'- at least for the instant marking the passage from one cycle to another- it is necessary to conclude that, until this point is actually attained, it is impossible that these things should be understood by men in general, but only by the small number of those who are destined to prepare, in one way or in another, the germs of the future cycle. It is scarcely necessary to say that everything that the author has set out in this book and elsewhere is intended to be addressed exclusively to these few, without any concern for the inevitable incomprehension of the others; it is true that these others are, and still must be for a certain time to come, an immense majority, but then it is precisely in the 'reign of quantity', and only then, that the opinion of the majority can claim to be taken into consideration at all"

Observation: Here we can see again the idea of "order out of chaos". If one carefully examines this paragraph, the author seems to address to a "selected elite", or "the few who understand" that the world needs to be "allowed" to reach a new "low", or a "rectification point" where some sort of awakening of the masses occurs that mark the beginning of the "next step higher".

Quote: "It might appear that there is, in a sense, multiplicity at the two extreme points, in the same way as there is correlatively, as has just been pointed out, unity on the one side and 'units' on the other; but the notion of inverse analogy applies strictly here too, so that while the principia! multiplicity is contained in metaphysical unity, arithmetical or quantitative 'units' are on the other hand contained in the other and inferior multiplicity"

Observation: According to this we are supposed to "spiritually evolve" from the lower form of "inferior multiplicity" the the higher level of "superior unity", from a low form of "individual spirituality" to a higher form of "collective spirituality".

Conclusion: Are we not then to understand from these Perennialist ideals that the humanity is to prepare for a new step in its spiritual evolution from the current low, in which disorder is not to be looked at as a negative factor but as a catalyst for the next leg up towards a higher spiritual state, to which the masses that reach a new low in the "age of quantity" awaken, and then, led by the few enlightened, make a huge "step forward"? Have we not heard that before, is that not the new mission of the Orthodox Church as defined at the Synod in Crete and as highlighted in the numerous other articles and posts we at Orthodox Australia continually promote?

Just look at what Dan Brown has just said and see if this does not fall in line exactly with this sort of philosophy in which Christ is replaced with some form of a "global conscience of humanity", a "spiritual enhanced humanity"

www.yahoo.com/news/collective-consciousness-replace-god-author-dan-brown-120033225.html
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Ok, so it seems we now get into some very interesting (to say the least) territory. traditionalistblog.blogspot.com/2017/07/bannon-and-guenon-explained.html "Bannon first read Guénon when he was a young man in the US navy, and Guénon was “a life-changing discovery” for him. But, as Green says, Bannon is “more synthesist than strict adherent.” While at a personal level he may be a Traditionalist, at a political level Traditionalism is something that helps “build an intellectual basis for Trumpism, or what might more accurately be described as an American nationalist-Traditionalism.” He isn’t alone. Before Trump came along, the clearest example of Traditionalist political influence was in Russia. Vladimir Putin’s chief ideologist, Alexander Dugin— whom Bannon has also read and cited—translated Evola’s work into Russian and later developed a Russian-nationalist variant of Traditionalism known as Eurasianism"

So what does Alexandr Dugin have to say about René Guenon ... and what about that "mission" thing ?! "We believe that the most essential and most interesting perspective would be a consideration of the specificity of Russian Orthodoxy in the context of Rene Guenon’s works. In order to accomplish this or, more precisely, in order to lay the groundwork for such an approach which would offer unlimited possibilities for a deep and unexpected understanding of Russian Orthodoxy, we must first briefly outline the most important propositions of Guenon in regards to exotericism, esotericism, initiation, and counter-initiation. Basing ourselves on these provisions, we can then better and more clearly grasp the secret of Russia and the meaning of its historical mission." www.4pt.su/en/content/russian-orthodoxy-and-initiation

Is there a Trump - Russia connection after all?

There is probably a Trump-Russia connection although not necessarily a Trump Russian government connection the way it is being portrayed. The real question for me would be is there a Trump intellectual curiosity or capability neurologically or ideological/philosophical connection to anything Trumpian?

Well, never thought this much would hide under the guise of "traditionalism" ... 🙂

Dugin is a schismatic to begin with it

I always take his writings with reservations ... There always seems to be some hidden purpose in his writings ...

He uses "Orthodoxy" as magical russian primordial tradition that conects in same way with "all" "other" primordial traditons his writings can end up a mixture of fantasy and pseudo history to make such claims and by extension denying the absolute essence of Orthodox Church as a Hospital not a Cultural Motif.

"Sedgwick mentions several other Traditionalists who identified with the Orthodox Church, such as the young Swiss Jean -Francois Mayer in the mid-nineteen-seventies and Alexander Dugin, who is currently politically active in Russia (209-10, 221). Dugin attempts to correct Guénon’s dismissal or neglect of the Orthodox tradition, arguing “the Christianity that Guenon rejected was Western Catholicism. Guenon was right in rejecting Catholicism but wrong in rejecting Eastern Orthodoxy, of which he knew little” (225-6). In The Metaphysics of the Gospel(1996), Dugin claims that “Orthodoxy, unlike Catholicism, had never lost its initiatic validity and so remained a valid tradition to which a Traditionalist might turn” (225-6). Dugin also attempts to translate much of the Traditionalist philosophy into Orthodox terms (226). Even though “Schuon’s universalism claimed to encompass Christianity, as it did all religions [...] Traditionalism has not usually claimed to be compatible with Christianity” (271). As the exception, “Dugin’s Traditionalism led not to Sufism as the esoteric practice of Islam, but to Russian Orthodoxy as both an esoteric and an exoteric practice” (226). In her article “Aleksandr Dugin: A Russian Version of the European Radical Right?” Marlene Laruelle paraphrases Dugin’s argument that Guénon’s description of Christianity becoming exoteric after the Ecumenical Councils refers only to the Western confessions of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, the East having “retained its initiatic character and esoteric foundations to this day” (Laruelle 2006: 10). " This is a common thing. You read Guenon and then look for a true tradition as Guénon expose. I think many reached Orthodoxy after reading Guenon. I myself used to read him before becoming Orthodox. Many realize that Roman Catholicism is not true not based in historical claims etc but because it lacks the 'initiatory' aspects... (to use Guenon terms)

Yes, but as Pedro said, they are now saying everything is a tradition ... Very confusing. I therefore must raise concerns. I am not convinced at all. He dreams of earthly glory of Orthodoxy in a very chiliastic way, just like Solzhenitsyn

In other of his writings Dugin identified the West as "The kingdom of Antichrist". I tend to dissagree. I see it more as the "Kingdom of the False Antichrist" ...

I remember coming accross a FB post of Dugin a while back in which he was quite an apologist of the Distributist doctrine. He was kind of thanking those who wrote it (the article) stating that if they didn't do it, he would have done it himself. That is another dodgy area crossings over into some Catholic Social Doctrine etc. I had a bad feeling when i read it ...

Just trying to bring in to many things foreign to Orthodoxy and see if "they fit". I just don't like that idea, something tells me i should stay away. Certainly that is as far as it can be from Ortodoxy as Divine Revelation and as close as it can be to Human Reasoning ...

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Gregory Bistrita
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Gregory Bistrita
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Elder Athanasios Mitilinaios: on Hitler, Stalin and the demons who stood behind them.

It should be noted, that the magicians mentioned by the Holy Elder were likely called by more "scientific" names by those associated with them.

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Radu Blebea
Uncovering of the relics of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker

Commemorated on September 29

Archbishop John was born on June 4, 1896 in Kharkov province, to the pious aristocrats Boris and Glafira Maximovitch; at baptism he was given the name Michael. Even in childhood Michael displayed a certain striving toward holiness, similar to that displayed by his distant relative, the renowned Siberian missionary Holy Hierarch John of Tobolsk, who was glorified by God through his working of miracles and the witness of his incorrupt relics. Michael was a sickly child with a poor appetite. He would take his toy soldiers and make them into monks, and the fortresses into monasteries. The Sviatogorsk Monastery, not far from the Maximovitch estate, provided the impetus for young Michael to take a seriously contemplative attitude toward life. Under the influence of the youth Michael, his governess converted to Orthodoxy.

In 1914, Michael completed the Poltava Military Academy, and entered the Kharkov Imperial University school of law. He was an excellent student, although he devoted part of his time to studying saints’ lives and other religious literature.

In the religious life of Kharkov, the young Michael was provided with the first step along the path of piety. In the crypt under the Kharkov cathedral church lay the relics of the Miracle-Worker Archbishop Melety Leontovitch, who spent his nights standing, with arms uplifted in prayer. Michael came to love this saint, and began to emulate his podvig [spiritual struggle] by staying awake all night. Thus, gradually, young Michael began to develop the desire to dedicate himself fully to God, and as a concomitant, began to manifest exalted spiritual qualities: abstinence and strictness toward himself, profound humility, and compassion for the suffering.

Even before his departure from Russia, young Michael made the acquaintance of the Most-blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovistky), founder of the Russian Church Abroad. At the close of the civil war, Michael and his entire family emigrated to Yugoslavia, where he enrolled in the Department of Theology of Belgrade University, from which he graduated in 1925. Metropolitan Anthony came to greatly love Michael, and kept the youth near him. In 1926, Metropolitan Anthony tonsured Michael to the monastic rank with the name John (after St. John, Metropolitan of Tobolsk), and soon thereafter ordained him a hierodeacon. On the Feast of the Entry of the Most-holy Theotokos into the Temple, monk John became a hieromonk. In 1929 he began to teach at the Serbian high school, and soon, with his capacity for inspiring lofty Christian ideals in his students, won their love.

As a hieromonk, John continued to practice the podvig of strict asceticism, to which he joined a podvig of all-night prayer, a podvig beyond the capacity of most people. It was during this time that, at the request of local Greeks and Macedonians, he began to serve in Greek for them. Like Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt, Vladyka served the Liturgy daily, acquiring thereby great spiritual strength, and having fanned within him the flame of love for God and for men.Hieromonk John began to visit hospitals and to search out the sick, those in need of prayer, consolation, and Communion. Inasmuch as Hieromonk John’s renown was constantly growing, the bishops abroad resolved to elevate him to the episcopate. Wishing to decline such a lofty calling, Hieromonk John emphasized the fact that he had a speech impediment; the bishops remained unmoved, pointing out to him that the Prophet Moses had also had a speech impediment.

Hieromonk John’s consecration, and his assignment to the Diocese of Shanghai, China, took place in May 1934. The newly-consecrated Vladyka arrived in Shanghai at the end of November, and immediately made efforts to restore church unity. He established ties with the local Orthodox Serbs, Greeks, and Ukrainians. At the same time, he began the work of erecting a huge cathedral church dedicated to Surety of Sinners Icon of the Mother of God, as well as a three-storey parish house and bell tower. Gifted with boundless energy, Vladyka John served as the inspiration for the building of churches, hospitals, and orphanages, and played an active part in many benevolent undertakings in Russian Shanghai.

But despite such frenetic activities, Vladyka John continued to live as if in another world. In order to avoid secular glory and human praise, he from time to time pretended to act the fool. He remained in constant prayer, and if he did not serve in the church, then he would read the daily cycle of services himself. Often Vladyka would walk barefoot, even on the coldest of days. He would eat once a day, and during the fasts of the church would eat nothing but prosphoras. Each morning, to quicken his spirit, he would pour cold water over himself. He did not make social visits, but those in need of help he would visit, at unpredictable times and in bad weather. He would visit those he knew to be sick on a daily basis, taking with him the Holy Gifts. He possessed the gift of clairvoyance, and the gift of powerful prayer. There is documented a multitude of instances in which miraculous help came through the prayers of Vladyka John.

In 1939, a certain parishioner, beset by a number of tribulations, began to lose her faith. Once, upon entering the Church while Vladyka was serving, she witnessed a flame, shaped like a large tulip, descend into the Chalice during the consecration of the Holy Gifts. After seeing this miracle, her faith returned to her, and she repented of her faint-heartedness.

It once happened that as the result of constantly being on his feet, Vladyka’s leg became very swollen, and the physicians, fearing the possibility of gangrene, prescribed that he be hospitalized. After much pleading with him, they succeeded in talking Vladyka into entering the Russian Hospital. But he did not remain there long. The same evening, he secretly left and went to the cathedral, where he served the All-night vigil. By the next day, the swelling had completely gone.

Vladyka used to visit prisons, and he served the Liturgy for those under St.John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Mural, NW side of our cathedral arrest. Often, upon seeing Vladyka, the spiritually ill would become calm, and would piously receive Communion. Once, Vladyka John was asked to commune a dying patient at the Russian Hospital in Shanghai. On that occasion, Vladyka took a priest along with him. Upon their arrival, he noticed a gregarious young man of about 20, playing a harmonica The lad was to be discharged the following day. Vladyka John called to him and said: “I want to give you Communion right now.” The young man immediately confessed his sins and received Communion. The astonished priest asked Vladyka why he had tarried with an apparently healthy young man instead of going to the one who was dying. Vladyka answered: “He will die tonight, and the other one, who is seriously ill, will live for many years.” And so it came to pass.

An enormous feat of charity was Vladyka’s building in Shanghai of an orphanage to serve orphans and needy children. At first, there were only 8 orphans living there, but over the years, the orphanage gave shelter to hundreds of children, with an overall total of 1,500. Vladyka himself gathered up ailing and starving children from the streets of the Shanghai slums.

It once happened that during the war, there was not enough food in the orphanage to feed the children. Vladyka prayed all night, and in the morning, the doorbell rang. The representative of some charitable organization had brought a substantial donation to the orphanage. During the Japanese occupation, Vladyka declared himself to be the temporary head of the Russian colony, and showed great courage in defending Russians before the occupying Japanese powers.
In Shanghai, there was a voice teacher named Anna Petrovna Lushnikova who taught Vladyka proper breathing and enunciation, thereby improving his diction. At the end of each lesson, Vladyka paid her $20.00. During the war, in 1945, she was gravely wounded, and happened to be in a French hospital. Sensing that she might die during the night, Anna Petrovna begged the nurses to call Vladyka John, so that he might give her Communion. Because, as the result of war-time conditions the hospital was locked up at night, the nurses refused. On that stormy night, Anna Petrovna was beside herself, and kept calling upon Vladyka. Suddenly, about 11:00 PM, Vladyka appeared in the ward. Unable to believe her eyes, Anna Petrovna asked Vladyka whether she was dreaming or whether he had actually come to her. Vladyka smiled, prayed, and administered Holy Communion. Afterwards, she calmed down and slept. The next morning she felt healed. As the hospital had been tightly secured, no one believed Anna Petrovna’s report that Vladyka had visited her during the night. However, a patient in a neighboring bed confirmed that she had also seen Vladyka. The greatest surprise was the discovery of a $20 bill under Anna Petrovna’s pillow. In this way, Vladyka left material evidence of his visit.

Archpriest George Larin, who had been an altar boy of Vladyka’s in Shanghai, relates: “Despite Vladyka’s strictness, all of the altar boys loved him very much. To me, Vladyka was an ideal, one which I wanted to emulate in every way. Thus, during Great Lent, I would not sleep in bed, and instead lay on the floor. I would not eat my usual meals with the family, but instead would partake of bread and water in solitude….My parents became worried and took me to Vladyka. Hearing them out, the prelate asked the guard to go to the store and bring a sausage. In response to my tearful cries that I did not wish to violate Lent, the wise prelate admonished me to eat the sausage and to always remember that obedience to parents is more important than personal accomplishment. “How then should I proceed, Vladyka?” I asked, hoping nonetheless to “especially” apply myself. “Go to church as you always did, and at home, do what your mother and father ask.” I remember how grieved I was that Vladyka did not assign to me some “special” deeds to accomplish.”

With the coming of the Communists to power, the Russians in China were once again forced to flee, most through the Philippine Islands. In 1949, approximately 15,000 refugees from the Chinese mainland were living in a camp on the island of Tubabao. Every night, he made a circuit of the island, and by his prayers and the sign of the Cross, protected the island from the seasonal typhoons , something acknowledged by the Filipinos themselves. By the lobbying efforts of Vladyka in Washington, a law regarding Russian refugees was amended, with the result that many Russians were permitted to enter the United States. It was during this trip to Washington in 1949, that on September 11th, the Feastday of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, Vladyka founded our parish.
In 1951, Vladyka was appointed to head the Diocese of Western Europe, with his cathedra in Paris. Vladyka expended great efforts to unite to the Church Abroad parishes of the French Orthodox Church, and he helped establish the Orthodox Church of Holland. Vladyka turned his attention to the existence of local saints who had lived in antiquity but who were heretofore unknown to the Orthodox Church. At his initiative, the Synod passed a resolution with respect to veneration of a host of saints who had lived in the West prior to the schism of 1054. Vladyka was constantly traveling across Europe, and he sometimes would celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Dutch, in French; later he also served in English. Many revered him as an unmercenary-healer.

E.G. Tchhertkoff reminisces about the time during which Vladyka was in Western Europe: “On several occasions, I visited Vladyka while he was living in the Cadet Corps building near Parish. He occupied a small cell on the top floor. In the cell, there was a table, an armchair and several chairs, and in the corner, icons and a lectern with books upon it. There was no bed in the cell, as Vladyka did not lie down to sleep, but rather prayed while leaning on a staff topped with a cross-bar. Sometimes he prayed on his knees. It was likely that when he prostrated himself, he would fall asleep for a little while in that position on the floor. That is how he brought himself to exhaustion! Sometimes during our conversation, he appeared to doze. But whenever I stopped talking, he would immediately say, “Continue, I hear you!”

“Whenever he did not serve, but remained home, he usually walked barefoot (to mortify the flesh) even on during the hardest frosts. He would be walking barefoot in the cold, along the rocky road from the military school, which was on a hill inside a park, to the church at the gate. Once he happened to injure his foot. The doctors were unable to heal it, and they feared the possibility of sepsis. They were forced to hospitalize Vladyka, but he refused to lie down in the bed. However, at the urging of the administration, Vladyka finally acceded, and lay down in the bed, but only after placing a boot under himself to make himself uncomfortable. The French hospital nurses said “You have brought us a saint!” Each morning, a priest would come to serve a Liturgy, and Vladyka would receive Communion.”

Since for a long time our church did not have a permanent priest, once a priest from another parish came to us to celebrate Vespers. The whole service lasted only 45 minutes (usually it takes 2 and a half hours)! We were horrified! So many parts of Vespers were skipped that we decided to tell about this to Vladika. We hopped that he will influence the priest to follow the established order of Orthodox services. But Vladika pleasently smiling said to us: `How difficult is to please you people. I celebrate too long and he too short! With such kindness and meeknes he taught us not to judge.

Vladikas reputation for holiness, too, spread among the non-Orthodox as well as the Orthodox population. In one of the Catholic churches of Paris, a priest strove to inspire his young people with these words: You demand proofs, you say that now there are neither miracles nor saints. Why should I give you theoretical proofs, when today there walks in the streets of Paris a Saint - Saint Jean Nus Pieds (Saint John the Barefoot). Many people testify to the miracles worked by the prayers of Archbishop John in Western Europe.

V. D. recounts: Many were aware that it was not necessary to ask Vladika to visit someone. The Lord Himself inspired him where and to whom to go. Vladika John was known to many in the French hospitals and was admitted therein at any time. Besides, Vladika unerringly directed himself where he was needed. My brother, when wounded in the head, was taken to the hospital. The x-ray revealed a large fracture of the skull. His eyes swelled and became sanguinous; he was in critical condition. Vladika, who did not know my brother, somehow found him in the hospital, prayed over him and gave him communion. When my brother underwent a follow up of head x-rays, there was no fracture to be found. My brother recuperated very fast. The doctor was dumbfounded!

Vladyka John’s Final Years

The Beatitudes contained in the Gospel are sequentially linked to one another, and conclude with a reward for enduring abuse and persecution for the sake of the Truth. Toward the end of his days, the time came for Vladyka John to endure many sorrows. These reached him while he was yet in Brussels. From his spiritual children in San Francisco, he heard the sad news that dissension had appeared in their cathedral. At this time, Vladyka John’s long-time friend Archbishop Tikhon of San Francisco, had retired. In his absence, the building of the cathedral was brought to a halt, and bickering paralyzed the community. In response to persistent requests by thousands of Russian parishioners in San Francisco, the Synod appointed Archbishop John to the San Francisco cathedra, so that peace might be restored and the construction of the cathedral completed.
Vladyka arrived in San Francisco, that eternally foggy city of the far West, in the Fall of 1962. Under Vladyka’s direction, peace was restored, the majestic cathedral in honor of the “Joy to all Who Sorrow” Mother of God was erected and decorated with gold cupolas.

But things were not easy for Vladyka. He was forced to meekly and silently endure a great deal. He even had to appear in public court to answer absurd charges of financial irregularities by the Parish Council. All the truth triumphed, Vladyka’s last years were filled with the bitterness of slander and persecution. Accounts of several instances of Vladyka’s miraculous assistance during this final period have come down to us. We will cite just a few stories.

Anna Hodyriva recounts: My sister Xenia Yarovoy, who lived in Los Angeles, suffered for a long time with a painful hand. She sought physicians, tried home remedies, yet nothing helped. She finally decided to turn to Vladika John and wrote to him in San Francisco. Some time went by and the hand was healed. Xenia began to forget about the previous pain in her hand. On one occasion, when she visited San Francisco, she went to the Cathedral for services. At the end of the service Vladika John held the cross to be kissed. On seeing my sister he asked: `How is your hand? Vladika saw my sister for the first time! How then did he recognize her and know that it was she who had a painful hand?

Anna S. recollects: My sister Musia and I got into an accident. A drunken young man was traveling towards us. He struck with great force the door on the side where my sister was sitting. The ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital. Her condition was very serious — a lung was punctured and a rib broken, which caused her great pain. Her eyes were invisible in her swollen face. When Vladika visited her, she lifted her eyelid with her finger and upon seeing him took his hand and kissed it. She could not speak since she had a tracheotomy, but tears of joy flowed from her eyes. After that Vladika visited her several times and she began to get better. Once Vladika entered the ward and announced: Musia is feeling very poorly now. He then went to her and, closing the drape around her bed, he prayed for a long time. During his prayer we were approached by two physicians and I asked them how serious was my sisters condition and if I should summon her daughter from Canada? (we kept from the daughter the fact that her mother was in an accident). The physicians answered: To call or not to call the family is your problem — we cannot guarantee that she will survive until the morning. Thank God that she not only survived that night, but was completely cured and returned to Canada … My family and I believe that Musia was saved by the prayers of Vladika John. 

Vladikas life was governed by the standards of the spiritual life, and if this upset the routine order of things it was in order to jolt people out of their spiritual inertia and remind them that there is a higher judgment than the worlds. A remarkable incident from Vladikas years in San Francisco (1963) illustrates several aspects of his holiness: his spiritual boldness based on absolute faith; his ability to see the future and to overcome by his spiritual sight the bounds of space; and the power of his prayer, which beyond all doubt worked miracles. 

Our parishioner, Mr. L.A. Liu recalls, “In San Francisco, my husband, who had been in an automobile accident, was extremely ill. He had lost his equilibrium, and suffered greatly. At that time Vladyka was enduring a multitude of troubles. Knowing the power of Vladyka’s prayers, I thought to myself: If I ask Vladyka to visit my husband, he will recover. However, knowing that Vladyka was so busy, I was hesitant to invite him. Two days passed, and suddenly in came Vladyka, accompanied by his driver, Mr. B.M. Troyan. Vladyka was with us for only 5 minutes, but I began to believe that my husband would recover. After Vladyka’s visit, he endured a crisis, then began to improve. I later saw Mr. Troyan at a Church gathering. He told me that as he was driving Vladyka to the airport, suddenly Vladyka said to him “Let’s go now to the Liu’s.” He had protested that they would be late for the plane. Vladyka said, ”Can you take a man’s life upon yourself?” He had no choice, and drove Vladyka to our home. As it turned out, Vladyka did not miss his flight, for it was delayed.”

Several people have asserted that Vladyka John know of the time and place of his death. On June 19, 1966 (old style calendar), Vladyka accompanied the Miraculous Kursk-Root Icon to Seattle, there celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and then spent 3 hours alone in the altar with the Icon. With the Icon, he visited his spiritual children who lived near the cathedral, and, then, proceeded to the room in the parish house where he was staying. Acolytes sat Vladyka down in the chair, and saw that he was already dying. Thus did Vladyka give up his soul to God before the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign.

Metropolitan Philaret was the principal celebrant of Vladyka’s funeral service. For six days, Vladyka lay in his coffin, and despite the heat, no smell of corruption was evident, and his hand remained soft. Vladyka rests in a crypt chapel of the San Francisco Cathedral. In 1994, a special commission for the glorification of Vladyka John discovered that his relics were incorrupt. On July 2 (new style calendar) of that same year, the blessed founder of our parish was glorified as one of the Holy Worthy Ones of God. 

Soon after his repose, a new chapter began in the story of this holy man. Just as St. Seraphim of Sarov told his spiritual children to regard him as living after his death, and to come to his grave and tell him what was in their hearts, so our Vladika also has proved to be hearing those who revere his memory. Soon after his death a one-time student of his, Fr. Amvrosy P., saw one night a dream or a vision: Vladika, clad in Easter vestments, full of light and shining, was censing the cathedral and joyfully uttered to him just one word while blessing him: happy.

As during his life time, Vladika continues to be very active in helping those who need him. Here are just two of the thousands of cases of Vladikas miracles. Victor Boyton, who witnessed the healing of his friend by Vladika John, recounts: The miracle occurred after I had received the copyright to the English publication of Orthodox Life from Jordanville, N.Y., which included photos of Vladika John. I had a friend, a Moslem from Russia, who was suffering from cancer of the blood and was losing his sight. The doctors concurred that in three months time he would be blind. Placing the picture of Vladika John by my vigil light, I began to pray daily for my friend. After a short period of time my friend was healed from the blood cancer and began to see normally. The eye doctors were amazed at this occurrence. From then on, my friend has lead a normal life and reads without impediment. 

The archpriest Stephan Pavlenko recollects: My brother Paul, although not in the military, lived for some years in Vietnam. There he sought children who were wounded or orphaned due to the then continuing war. He placed them either in orphanages or hospitals. Thus he became close with his future wife, a certain Vietnamese Kim En who was also involved with helping the unfortunate children. My brother introduced Kim to the Christian faith and to the lives of many of Gods Saints. She told my brother that during her very difficult times there appeared to her in her dreams a certain monk who consoled her and told her what to do. Once, towards Easter time, I sent my brother some cassettes of monastic songs as well as some books and journals of a spiritual context. Having received my parcel and having shown the spiritual literature to Kim he was surprised, when upon seeing the cover of a certain journal she exclaimed: `This is the monk who appears to me in my sleep! She pointed to a well known picture of Vladika John, taken among the graves of the Novo Diveevo monastery in Spring-Valley. In suit, Kim was baptized in the Orthodox Church with the name Kyra.

By prayers before his incorrupt relics, people are strengthened in faith, and Mosaic over the NW entrance to the Cathedral. receive healing, consolation, and spiritual powers. After the many struggles, cares, sorrows which he endured for the sake of Christ and His Truth, Holy Hierarch John has arrived at the peaceful heavenly harbor, where rejoicing together with the angels, he glorifies the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, God One in Trinity, to Whom from us as well may there be glory, honor and worship, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

Uncovering of the relics of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker

Commemorated on September 29

Archbishop John was born on June 4, 1896 in Kharkov province, to the pious aristocrats Boris and Glafira Maximovitch; at baptism he was given the name Michael. Even in childhood Michael displayed a certain striving toward holiness, similar to that displayed by his distant relative, the renowned Siberian missionary Holy Hierarch John of Tobolsk, who was glorified by God through his working of miracles and the witness of his incorrupt relics. Michael was a sickly child with a poor appetite. He would take his toy soldiers and make them into monks, and the fortresses into monasteries. The Sviatogorsk Monastery, not far from the Maximovitch estate, provided the impetus for young Michael to take a seriously contemplative attitude toward life. Under the influence of the youth Michael, his governess converted to Orthodoxy.

In 1914, Michael completed the Poltava Military Academy, and entered the Kharkov Imperial University school of law. He was an excellent student, although he devoted part of his time to studying saints’ lives and other religious literature.

In the religious life of Kharkov, the young Michael was provided with the first step along the path of piety. In the crypt under the Kharkov cathedral church lay the relics of the Miracle-Worker Archbishop Melety Leontovitch, who spent his nights standing, with arms uplifted in prayer. Michael came to love this saint, and began to emulate his podvig [spiritual struggle] by staying awake all night. Thus, gradually, young Michael began to develop the desire to dedicate himself fully to God, and as a concomitant, began to manifest exalted spiritual qualities: abstinence and strictness toward himself, profound humility, and compassion for the suffering.

Even before his departure from Russia, young Michael made the acquaintance of the Most-blessed Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovistky), founder of the Russian Church Abroad. At the close of the civil war, Michael and his entire family emigrated to Yugoslavia, where he enrolled in the Department of Theology of Belgrade University, from which he graduated in 1925. Metropolitan Anthony came to greatly love Michael, and kept the youth near him. In 1926, Metropolitan Anthony tonsured Michael to the monastic rank with the name John (after St. John, Metropolitan of Tobolsk), and soon thereafter ordained him a hierodeacon. On the Feast of the Entry of the Most-holy Theotokos into the Temple, monk John became a hieromonk. In 1929 he began to teach at the Serbian high school, and soon, with his capacity for inspiring lofty Christian ideals in his students, won their love.

As a hieromonk, John continued to practice the podvig of strict asceticism, to which he joined a podvig of all-night prayer, a podvig beyond the capacity of most people. It was during this time that, at the request of local Greeks and Macedonians, he began to serve in Greek for them. Like Holy Righteous John of Kronstadt, Vladyka served the Liturgy daily, acquiring thereby great spiritual strength, and having fanned within him the flame of love for God and for men.Hieromonk John began to visit hospitals and to search out the sick, those in need of prayer, consolation, and Communion. Inasmuch as Hieromonk John’s renown was constantly growing, the bishops abroad resolved to elevate him to the episcopate. Wishing to decline such a lofty calling, Hieromonk John emphasized the fact that he had a speech impediment; the bishops remained unmoved, pointing out to him that the Prophet Moses had also had a speech impediment.

Hieromonk John’s consecration, and his assignment to the Diocese of Shanghai, China, took place in May 1934. The newly-consecrated Vladyka arrived in Shanghai at the end of November, and immediately made efforts to restore church unity. He established ties with the local Orthodox Serbs, Greeks, and Ukrainians. At the same time, he began the work of erecting a huge cathedral church dedicated to Surety of Sinners Icon of the Mother of God, as well as a three-storey parish house and bell tower. Gifted with boundless energy, Vladyka John served as the inspiration for the building of churches, hospitals, and orphanages, and played an active part in many benevolent undertakings in Russian Shanghai.

But despite such frenetic activities, Vladyka John continued to live as if in another world. In order to avoid secular glory and human praise, he from time to time pretended to act the fool. He remained in constant prayer, and if he did not serve in the church, then he would read the daily cycle of services himself. Often Vladyka would walk barefoot, even on the coldest of days. He would eat once a day, and during the fasts of the church would eat nothing but prosphoras. Each morning, to quicken his spirit, he would pour cold water over himself. He did not make social visits, but those in need of help he would visit, at unpredictable times and in bad weather. He would visit those he knew to be sick on a daily basis, taking with him the Holy Gifts. He possessed the gift of clairvoyance, and the gift of powerful prayer. There is documented a multitude of instances in which miraculous help came through the prayers of Vladyka John.

In 1939, a certain parishioner, beset by a number of tribulations, began to lose her faith. Once, upon entering the Church while Vladyka was serving, she witnessed a flame, shaped like a large tulip, descend into the Chalice during the consecration of the Holy Gifts. After seeing this miracle, her faith returned to her, and she repented of her faint-heartedness.

It once happened that as the result of constantly being on his feet, Vladyka’s leg became very swollen, and the physicians, fearing the possibility of gangrene, prescribed that he be hospitalized. After much pleading with him, they succeeded in talking Vladyka into entering the Russian Hospital. But he did not remain there long. The same evening, he secretly left and went to the cathedral, where he served the All-night vigil. By the next day, the swelling had completely gone.

Vladyka used to visit prisons, and he served the Liturgy for those under St.John of Shanghai and San Francisco, Mural, NW side of our cathedral arrest. Often, upon seeing Vladyka, the spiritually ill would become calm, and would piously receive Communion. Once, Vladyka John was asked to commune a dying patient at the Russian Hospital in Shanghai. On that occasion, Vladyka took a priest along with him. Upon their arrival, he noticed a gregarious young man of about 20, playing a harmonica The lad was to be discharged the following day. Vladyka John called to him and said: “I want to give you Communion right now.” The young man immediately confessed his sins and received Communion. The astonished priest asked Vladyka why he had tarried with an apparently healthy young man instead of going to the one who was dying. Vladyka answered: “He will die tonight, and the other one, who is seriously ill, will live for many years.” And so it came to pass.

An enormous feat of charity was Vladyka’s building in Shanghai of an orphanage to serve orphans and needy children. At first, there were only 8 orphans living there, but over the years, the orphanage gave shelter to hundreds of children, with an overall total of 1,500. Vladyka himself gathered up ailing and starving children from the streets of the Shanghai slums.

It once happened that during the war, there was not enough food in the orphanage to feed the children. Vladyka prayed all night, and in the morning, the doorbell rang. The representative of some charitable organization had brought a substantial donation to the orphanage. During the Japanese occupation, Vladyka declared himself to be the temporary head of the Russian colony, and showed great courage in defending Russians before the occupying Japanese powers.
In Shanghai, there was a voice teacher named Anna Petrovna Lushnikova who taught Vladyka proper breathing and enunciation, thereby improving his diction. At the end of each lesson, Vladyka paid her $20.00. During the war, in 1945, she was gravely wounded, and happened to be in a French hospital. Sensing that she might die during the night, Anna Petrovna begged the nurses to call Vladyka John, so that he might give her Communion. Because, as the result of war-time conditions the hospital was locked up at night, the nurses refused. On that stormy night, Anna Petrovna was beside herself, and kept calling upon Vladyka. Suddenly, about 11:00 PM, Vladyka appeared in the ward. Unable to believe her eyes, Anna Petrovna asked Vladyka whether she was dreaming or whether he had actually come to her. Vladyka smiled, prayed, and administered Holy Communion. Afterwards, she calmed down and slept. The next morning she felt healed. As the hospital had been tightly secured, no one believed Anna Petrovna’s report that Vladyka had visited her during the night. However, a patient in a neighboring bed confirmed that she had also seen Vladyka. The greatest surprise was the discovery of a $20 bill under Anna Petrovna’s pillow. In this way, Vladyka left material evidence of his visit.

Archpriest George Larin, who had been an altar boy of Vladyka’s in Shanghai, relates: “Despite Vladyka’s strictness, all of the altar boys loved him very much. To me, Vladyka was an ideal, one which I wanted to emulate in every way. Thus, during Great Lent, I would not sleep in bed, and instead lay on the floor. I would not eat my usual meals with the family, but instead would partake of bread and water in solitude….My parents became worried and took me to Vladyka. Hearing them out, the prelate asked the guard to go to the store and bring a sausage. In response to my tearful cries that I did not wish to violate Lent, the wise prelate admonished me to eat the sausage and to always remember that obedience to parents is more important than personal accomplishment. “How then should I proceed, Vladyka?” I asked, hoping nonetheless to “especially” apply myself. “Go to church as you always did, and at home, do what your mother and father ask.” I remember how grieved I was that Vladyka did not assign to me some “special” deeds to accomplish.”

With the coming of the Communists to power, the Russians in China were once again forced to flee, most through the Philippine Islands. In 1949, approximately 15,000 refugees from the Chinese mainland were living in a camp on the island of Tubabao. Every night, he made a circuit of the island, and by his prayers and the sign of the Cross, protected the island from the seasonal typhoons , something acknowledged by the Filipinos themselves. By the lobbying efforts of Vladyka in Washington, a law regarding Russian refugees was amended, with the result that many Russians were permitted to enter the United States. It was during this trip to Washington in 1949, that on September 11th, the Feastday of the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, Vladyka founded our parish.
In 1951, Vladyka was appointed to head the Diocese of Western Europe, with his cathedra in Paris. Vladyka expended great efforts to unite to the Church Abroad parishes of the French Orthodox Church, and he helped establish the Orthodox Church of Holland. Vladyka turned his attention to the existence of local saints who had lived in antiquity but who were heretofore unknown to the Orthodox Church. At his initiative, the Synod passed a resolution with respect to veneration of a host of saints who had lived in the West prior to the schism of 1054. Vladyka was constantly traveling across Europe, and he sometimes would celebrate the Divine Liturgy in Dutch, in French; later he also served in English. Many revered him as an unmercenary-healer.

E.G. Tchhertkoff reminisces about the time during which Vladyka was in Western Europe: “On several occasions, I visited Vladyka while he was living in the Cadet Corps building near Parish. He occupied a small cell on the top floor. In the cell, there was a table, an armchair and several chairs, and in the corner, icons and a lectern with books upon it. There was no bed in the cell, as Vladyka did not lie down to sleep, but rather prayed while leaning on a staff topped with a cross-bar. Sometimes he prayed on his knees. It was likely that when he prostrated himself, he would fall asleep for a little while in that position on the floor. That is how he brought himself to exhaustion! Sometimes during our conversation, he appeared to doze. But whenever I stopped talking, he would immediately say, “Continue, I hear you!”

“Whenever he did not serve, but remained home, he usually walked barefoot (to mortify the flesh) even on during the hardest frosts. He would be walking barefoot in the cold, along the rocky road from the military school, which was on a hill inside a park, to the church at the gate. Once he happened to injure his foot. The doctors were unable to heal it, and they feared the possibility of sepsis. They were forced to hospitalize Vladyka, but he refused to lie down in the bed. However, at the urging of the administration, Vladyka finally acceded, and lay down in the bed, but only after placing a boot under himself to make himself uncomfortable. The French hospital nurses said “You have brought us a saint!” Each morning, a priest would come to serve a Liturgy, and Vladyka would receive Communion.”

"Since for a long time our church did not have a permanent priest, once a priest from another parish came to us to celebrate Vespers. The whole service lasted only 45 minutes (usually it takes 2 and a half hours)! We were horrified! So many parts of Vespers were skipped that we decided to tell about this to Vladika. We hopped that he will influence the priest to follow the established order of Orthodox services. But Vladika pleasently smiling said to us: `How difficult is to please you people. I celebrate too long and he too short!' With such kindness and meeknes he taught us not to judge."

Vladika's reputation for holiness, too, spread among the non-Orthodox as well as the Orthodox population. In one of the Catholic churches of Paris, a priest strove to inspire his young people with these words: "You demand proofs, you say that now there are neither miracles nor saints. Why should I give you theoretical proofs, when today there walks in the streets of Paris a Saint - Saint Jean Nus Pieds (Saint John the Barefoot)." Many people testify to the miracles worked by the prayers of Archbishop John in Western Europe.

V. D. recounts: "Many were aware that it was not necessary to ask Vladika to visit someone. The Lord Himself inspired him where and to whom to go. Vladika John was known to many in the French hospitals and was admitted therein at any time. Besides, Vladika unerringly directed himself where he was needed. My brother, when wounded in the head, was taken to the hospital. The x-ray revealed a large fracture of the skull. His eyes swelled and became sanguinous; he was in critical condition. Vladika, who did not know my brother, somehow found him in the hospital, prayed over him and gave him communion. When my brother underwent a follow up of head x-rays, there was no fracture to be found. My brother recuperated very fast. The doctor was dumbfounded!"

Vladyka John’s Final Years

The Beatitudes contained in the Gospel are sequentially linked to one another, and conclude with a reward for enduring abuse and persecution for the sake of the Truth. Toward the end of his days, the time came for Vladyka John to endure many sorrows. These reached him while he was yet in Brussels. From his spiritual children in San Francisco, he heard the sad news that dissension had appeared in their cathedral. At this time, Vladyka John’s long-time friend Archbishop Tikhon of San Francisco, had retired. In his absence, the building of the cathedral was brought to a halt, and bickering paralyzed the community. In response to persistent requests by thousands of Russian parishioners in San Francisco, the Synod appointed Archbishop John to the San Francisco cathedra, so that peace might be restored and the construction of the cathedral completed.
Vladyka arrived in San Francisco, that eternally foggy city of the far West, in the Fall of 1962. Under Vladyka’s direction, peace was restored, the majestic cathedral in honor of the “Joy to all Who Sorrow” Mother of God was erected and decorated with gold cupolas.

But things were not easy for Vladyka. He was forced to meekly and silently endure a great deal. He even had to appear in public court to answer absurd charges of financial irregularities by the Parish Council. All the truth triumphed, Vladyka’s last years were filled with the bitterness of slander and persecution. Accounts of several instances of Vladyka’s miraculous assistance during this final period have come down to us. We will cite just a few stories.

Anna Hodyriva recounts: "My sister Xenia Yarovoy, who lived in Los Angeles, suffered for a long time with a painful hand. She sought physicians, tried home remedies, yet nothing helped. She finally decided to turn to Vladika John and wrote to him in San Francisco. Some time went by and the hand was healed. Xenia began to forget about the previous pain in her hand. On one occasion, when she visited San Francisco, she went to the Cathedral for services. At the end of the service Vladika John held the cross to be kissed. On seeing my sister he asked: `How is your hand?' Vladika saw my sister for the first time! How then did he recognize her and know that it was she who had a painful hand?"

Anna S. recollects: "My sister Musia and I got into an accident. A drunken young man was traveling towards us. He struck with great force the door on the side where my sister was sitting. The ambulance was called and she was taken to the hospital. Her condition was very serious — a lung was punctured and a rib broken, which caused her great pain. Her eyes were invisible in her swollen face. When Vladika visited her, she lifted her eyelid with her finger and upon seeing him took his hand and kissed it. She could not speak since she had a tracheotomy, but tears of joy flowed from her eyes. After that Vladika visited her several times and she began to get better. Once Vladika entered the ward and announced: 'Musia is feeling very poorly now.' He then went to her and, closing the drape around her bed, he prayed for a long time. During his prayer we were approached by two physicians and I asked them how serious was my sister's condition and if I should summon her daughter from Canada? (we kept from the daughter the fact that her mother was in an accident). The physicians answered: 'To call or not to call the family is your problem — we cannot guarantee that she will survive until the morning.' Thank God that she not only survived that night, but was completely cured and returned to Canada … My family and I believe that Musia was saved by the prayers of Vladika John."

Vladika's life was governed by the standards of the spiritual life, and if this upset the routine order of things it was in order to jolt people out of their spiritual inertia and remind them that there is a higher judgment than the world's. A remarkable incident from Vladika's years in San Francisco (1963) illustrates several aspects of his holiness: his spiritual boldness based on absolute faith; his ability to see the future and to overcome by his spiritual sight the bounds of space; and the power of his prayer, which beyond all doubt worked miracles.

Our parishioner, Mr. L.A. Liu recalls, “In San Francisco, my husband, who had been in an automobile accident, was extremely ill. He had lost his equilibrium, and suffered greatly. At that time Vladyka was enduring a multitude of troubles. Knowing the power of Vladyka’s prayers, I thought to myself: If I ask Vladyka to visit my husband, he will recover. However, knowing that Vladyka was so busy, I was hesitant to invite him. Two days passed, and suddenly in came Vladyka, accompanied by his driver, Mr. B.M. Troyan. Vladyka was with us for only 5 minutes, but I began to believe that my husband would recover. After Vladyka’s visit, he endured a crisis, then began to improve. I later saw Mr. Troyan at a Church gathering. He told me that as he was driving Vladyka to the airport, suddenly Vladyka said to him “Let’s go now to the Liu’s.” He had protested that they would be late for the plane. Vladyka said, ”Can you take a man’s life upon yourself?” He had no choice, and drove Vladyka to our home. As it turned out, Vladyka did not miss his flight, for it was delayed.”

Several people have asserted that Vladyka John know of the time and place of his death. On June 19, 1966 (old style calendar), Vladyka accompanied the Miraculous Kursk-Root Icon to Seattle, there celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and then spent 3 hours alone in the altar with the Icon. With the Icon, he visited his spiritual children who lived near the cathedral, and, then, proceeded to the room in the parish house where he was staying. Acolytes sat Vladyka down in the chair, and saw that he was already dying. Thus did Vladyka give up his soul to God before the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign.

Metropolitan Philaret was the principal celebrant of Vladyka’s funeral service. For six days, Vladyka lay in his coffin, and despite the heat, no smell of corruption was evident, and his hand remained soft. Vladyka rests in a crypt chapel of the San Francisco Cathedral. In 1994, a special commission for the glorification of Vladyka John discovered that his relics were incorrupt. On July 2 (new style calendar) of that same year, the blessed founder of our parish was glorified as one of the Holy Worthy Ones of God.

Soon after his repose, a new chapter began in the story of this holy man. Just as St. Seraphim of Sarov told his spiritual children to regard him as living after his death, and to come to his grave and tell him what was in their hearts, so our Vladika also has proved to be hearing those who revere his memory. Soon after his death a one-time student of his, Fr. Amvrosy P., saw one night a dream or a vision: Vladika, clad in Easter vestments, full of light and shining, was censing the cathedral and joyfully uttered to him just one word while blessing him: "happy."

As during his life time, Vladika continues to be very active in helping those who need him. Here are just two of the thousands of cases of Vladika's miracles. Victor Boyton, who witnessed the healing of his friend by Vladika John, recounts: "The miracle occurred after I had received the copyright to the English publication of Orthodox Life from Jordanville, N.Y., which included photos of Vladika John. I had a friend, a Moslem from Russia, who was suffering from cancer of the blood and was losing his sight. The doctors concurred that in three months time he would be blind. Placing the picture of Vladika John by my vigil light, I began to pray daily for my friend. After a short period of time my friend was healed from the blood cancer and began to see normally. The eye doctors were amazed at this occurrence. From then on, my friend has lead a normal life and reads without impediment."

The archpriest Stephan Pavlenko recollects: "My brother Paul, although not in the military, lived for some years in Vietnam. There he sought children who were wounded or orphaned due to the then continuing war. He placed them either in orphanages or hospitals. Thus he became close with his future wife, a certain Vietnamese Kim En who was also involved with helping the unfortunate children. My brother introduced Kim to the Christian faith and to the lives of many of God's Saints. She told my brother that during her very difficult times there appeared to her in her dreams a certain monk who consoled her and told her what to do. Once, towards Easter time, I sent my brother some cassettes of monastic songs as well as some books and journals of a spiritual context. Having received my parcel and having shown the spiritual literature to Kim he was surprised, when upon seeing the cover of a certain journal she exclaimed: `This is the monk who appears to me in my sleep!' She pointed to a well known picture of Vladika John, taken among the graves of the Novo Diveevo monastery in Spring-Valley. In suit, Kim was baptized in the Orthodox Church with the name Kyra."

By prayers before his incorrupt relics, people are strengthened in faith, and Mosaic over the NW entrance to the Cathedral. receive healing, consolation, and spiritual powers. After the many struggles, cares, sorrows which he endured for the sake of Christ and His Truth, Holy Hierarch John has arrived at the peaceful heavenly harbor, where rejoicing together with the angels, he glorifies the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, God One in Trinity, to Whom from us as well may there be glory, honor and worship, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
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Gregory Bistrita
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This is a new video lecture from Constantine Zalalas...(By Constantine Zalalas) ... See MoreSee Less

 

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Gregory Bistrita

This note is now complete. Please check it out if you like. Many new pictures and some links have been added; in addition to new text. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Radu Blebea

Brother Gregor:

"By the beginning of the Second World War… the greater part of those churches that remained did not recognize Metropolitan Sergius." Out of the more than 100 bishops known to be still alive in 1943, Sergius could find only 18 (and some of these were newly consecrated) to elect him "Patriarch" in that year." (From "Russia's Catacomb Saints" by I. M. Andreev and Fr. Seraphim Rose)

"The lawful succession of higher Church authority in the Russian Church has been broken since 1927, when the Acting Locum-Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Sergius of Nizhny-Novgorod, went against the order of the Metropolitan of Krutitsa whom he was replacing and signed an agreement with the atheistic secular authorities, to which neither Metropolitan Peter nor the other elder hierarchs agreed. The Soviet government began to throw all the hierarchs who did not agree with Metropolitan Sergius in prison, thus clearing the path for him to become head of the Russian Church ... In 1943, by order of the atheist and the malicious persecutor of the Church, Stalin, he hurriedly (in four days) pulled together, in fulfillment of the latter's political plans, a Council consisting of bishops specially chosen and freed from prison for the purpose by Stalin, a Council which, counting Metropolitan Sergius, himself, consisted of only 19 bishops, and which elected him Patriarch." (From the ROCOR Synod of 1971)

This note examines how the "Moscow Patriarchate" grew from an organization of 18 or 19 bishops in 1943 to its present status; while simultaneously examining what happened to the 82 or so bishops who did not recognize Metropolitan Sergius. This group was also known as the "Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church".

The short answer, from Fr. Seraphim Rose is:

"...the Soviet Church attained it's present ascendancy and 'canonicity' in the USSR through the government's arrest and murder of the leading anti-sergianists."

Many more details can be found in this note: www.facebook.com/notes/gregory-bistrita/the-now-silent-voice-of-the-russian-orthodox-church/17162...

It may be considered impossible to understand the modern day "Moscow Patriarchate" apart from coming to grips with these historical realities...

A new section was added today entitled: "Two bitter fruits of Sergianism (infiltration and collaboration)".
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Gregory Bistrita
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(From the book "Russia's Catacomb Saints" by I.M. Andreyev and Fr. Seraphim Rose) ... See MoreSee Less

 

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Gregory Bistrita
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Radu Blebea
Ok. Time for some answers. I was asked this in a private message. I think it will be beneficial to have an open discussion in light of the teachings of the Holy Fathers. I will pin this post because probably many answers will be given, so i encourage people to check it frequently.

If you no longer trust the official churches, where do you go? How is one to navigate through these difficult times?

Ok. Time for some answers. I was asked this in a private message. I think it will be beneficial to have an open discussion in light of the teachings of the Holy Fathers. I will pin this post because probably many answers will be given, so i encourage people to check it frequently.

If you no longer trust the official churches, where do you go? How is one to navigate through these difficult times?
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Great question! Elder Ephraim states: "...the Church is represented by a number of it's members assigned to important posts, it does not spread its universal conscience by means of the actions or decisions of these representatives when these actions or decisions are not in absolute agreement with what has been the common heritage of the Orthodox Christian Faith through the ages ... In cases of deliberate or undeliberate deviation from tradition, judgement has always been, has and shall be pronounced by the sound public opinion of the Church which by right intervenes and restores peace in the Church; peace not truth, for the grace and the truth never abandon the Divine Body of the Church. It abandons those who in wavering "concerning (the) faith have made shipwreck," ... It never abandons the flock of the Church, either clergy or laity. That is why "remain with the Church" counsels St. John Chrysostom, "and ye shall not be betrayed by the Church; if you do depart from the Church the cause is not the Church ...but with your faintheartedness." In other words, you trust the Church because all deviations from the faith, although they may be present in the Church "organization" - they actually take place outside of the Mystical Body and are not reflective of her. I see the future of Orthodoxy (except for a miracle from God, an anathema against ecumenism being hurled by a Local Church, or the materialization of a false union) as presenting a catacomb type of existence within the official Churches. These people will avoid interactions with, and the teachings of those who deviate - probably, as time gets worse, they will cling only to those parishes and monasteries which are led by clergy or Elders who strive to remain faithful to our Patristic Orthodoxy (we should be doing this already btw!). From this point, they will await the manifestation of God's mercy or death in (or for) the Faith...

In the same spirit, Fr Seraphim Rose wrote: "Orthodoxy," wrote Archbishop Averky, "is not merely some type of purely earthly organization which is headed by patriarchs, bishops, and priests who hold the ministry in the Church which is officially called 'Orthodox.' Orthodoxy is the mystical 'Body of Christ,' the head of which is Christ Himself.... "The Church, it is true, may not be removed completely from the world, for people enter her who are still living on the earth, and therefore the 'earthly' element in her composition and external organization is unavoidable; yet the less of this 'earthly' element there is, the better it will be for her eternal goals. In any case, this 'earthly' element should not obscure or suppress the purely spiritual element—the matter of the salvation of the soul unto eternal life—for the sake of which the Church was both founded and exists." "We ourselves have a feeling—based on nothing very definite as yet—that the best hope for preserving true Orthodoxy in the years ahead will lie in such small gatherings of believers, as much as possible 'one in mind and soul.' The history of the twentieth century has already shown us that we cannot expect too much from the 'Church organization'; there, even apart from heresies, the spirit of the world has become very strong. Archbishop Averky*, and our own Bishop Nektary also, have warned us to prepare for catacomb times ahead, when the grace of God may even be taken away from the 'Church organization' and only isolated groups of believers will remain. Soviet Russia already gives us an example of what we may expect—only worse, for the times do not get better." orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/fsr_99.aspx

2 weeks ago

Gregory Bistrita

The type of history that is being re-written... ... See MoreSee Less

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