ROCOR: Patriarch Bartholomew is not free in his actions; there are forces behind him that are far from Christ’s Church

At the request of the website Pravlife.org, Archpriest Seraphim Gan, the head of the chancery of the Synod of Bishops and secretary to the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, gives his assessment of Patriarch Bartholomew’s recent decision and evaluates the Phanar’s actions.

Archpriest Seraphim Gan. Photo: © Natalia Goroshkova/Pravoslavnaya Zhizn. Archpriest Seraphim Gan. Photo: © Natalia Goroshkova/Pravoslavnaya Zhizn.
    

Our thoughts, deep feelings and fervent prayers are with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, the archpastors, pastors, monks, parishioners and pilgrims of the Kiev Caves, Pochaev, and Sviatogorsk Lavras, the monastics, laity and entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church—which is the heart of holy Russian Orthodoxy. Our Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not only the heart of the whole Russian Church, but of every autonomous part of it, including the Russian Church Abroad.

In the wall painting of our monument-church in Sea Cliff (New York), where by God’s mercy I serve, there is depicted the entire history of the sanctity and piety of our God-preserved people, our ancestors—from the Kiev baptismal font to the restoration of the fullness of brotherly communion within the united Russian Orthodox Church: the first Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who founded and consecrated the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra and who after the murder of Holy Hieromartyr Vladimir (Bogoyavkensky) became his successor to the Kiev metropolitan cathedra; Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who served an Akathist in the church of the Kiev Caves Lavra with Metropolitan Vladimir just a few days before he was murdered in 1918, and who over the course of many years headed the printing press of the brotherhood of Pochaev Lavra. With God’s help, Archbishop Vitaly, at the time Archimandrite, was able to bring the publishing brotherhood of Pochaev outside the country and continue this ecclesiastical and community missionary service in the diaspora.

The Pochaev publishing brotherhood, at first on the territory of Prashevsky Rus’,1 and then in Germany and the United States, printed spiritual-moral, ecclesiastical-theological and liturgical literature not only for the Church’s children in the diaspora after the revolution and Civil War, but also for those who thirsted for spiritual enlightenment in the Motherland. This truly holy work was continued later by the abbot of blessed memory of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville (New York), Metropolitan Laurus, a spiritual friend and sotainik2 of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, (Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church). As we know, St. John (Maximovitch), the great archpastor and wonderworker of the Russian Church Abroad, was born, studied, and spiritually formed on the territory of the present-day Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And so, we hold the Orthodox Church on the sacred Ukrainian ground and everything connected with it very dear to our hearts.

Therefore, when His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew literally only yesterday announced, in fact more than once, that he recognizes only His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry as the head of all the Orthodox in Ukraine and solemnly promised before a high assembly of primates and representatives of Local Orthodox Churches not to meddle in the affairs of the fraternal Ukrainian Orthodox Church, this gave us joy in the Lord and peace of soul over the fate of all the Orthodox believers of Ukraine, and respect for Patriarch Bartholomew, who, as it seemed then, deeply understood the situation and lovingly protected and defended the canonical Church.

But today he is ignoring the hierarch respected by all, His Beatitude Onuphry, the archpastors, pastors, and the entire many million-strong host of the Church’s true children, as well as the many holy and Beatific brother primates of God’s holy Churches. And this evokes in our hearts at the least perplexity and foreboding feelings.

It has to be noted that the Constantinople Patriarchate only very recently completely supported and even confirmed our Church’s position in relation to Mikhail (Philaret) Denisenko and his activities.

Therefore Constantinople’s current actions force us to suspect that His All-Holiness is not free in his actions; that behind him are specific powers are that are very far from Christ’s Church and which are following their own ill-fated aims. And this is very bitter indeed!

When we see in the churches of the “Kiev Patriarchate” icons of Great Martyr George striking down the double-head eagle, and other depictions with similar themes, when we hear from their ambos political proclamations and all sorts of other utterances that only ignite passions and national conflicts, then it becomes clear that the teacher of schism Philaret and his minions are seeking not peace and unity of the Orthodox in Christ, but power, influence, the vain glory of this world, and the realization of some irreligious aims of theirs. But in observing the mien and service of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, listening to his sermons and reading his interviews, we can see that he is calling all to ceaseless prayer, brotherly love, to peace of soul and true patriotism, manifested in a life according to the Gospel and love of neighbor. In my opinion this is a sign that His Beatitude is on the side of God’s truth, where by his own example he is leading the God-loving flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And if under today’s complicated conditions of Church life in the Ukraine a person wishes to hold to the truth or seek it, then let him hold fast to His Beatitude’s mantle—and all will be well!

Nevertheless, we do not despair, but with fervent faith and humility we pray that the situation that has been created would reveal God’s truth and the and true ascetics of piety and preservers of Holy Orthodoxy in the Ukrainian land, worthily doing and bearing Christ’s work. The most important thing for all the Orthodox is not to ignite passions but to pray, to trust God, accepting this current trial as his gift and the opportunity to serve the Church—and to speak the truth with complete calmness, as did St John the Forerunner of the Lord with regard to Herod, who as we know, did not act rightly. If we will try to do just this, then I believe the Lord, in the expression of the Psalmist, “will give strength unto His people, and bless His people with peace.” This is what I desire with all my heart for our brothers and sisters of one blood with us.

With unfailing love in the Lord and veneration for the podvig of confession of the faith of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,

Archpriest Seraphim Gan,
head of the chancery of the Synod of Bishops and secretary to the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
Translation by Nun Cornelia (Rees)

Pravoslavnaya Zhizn

10/28/2018

1 A region in Slovakia inhabited mainly by Carpatho Russians (Rusyns) and Ukrainians.

2 This word means literally, “sharer of spiritual mysteries.”

See also
On the Break with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Parishioners of ROCOR On the Break with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Parishioners of ROCOR
Fr. John Whiteford
On the Break with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Parishioners of ROCOR On the Break with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Parishioners of ROCOR
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Fr. John Whiteford gave a sermon to his parishioners explaining the decision of the ROCOR to break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate—which means also the Greek Orthodox Diocese of North America, under the Ecumenical Patriarch—and what this means for members of ROCOR.
U.S. Secretary of State backs bid for Ukrainian autocephaly U.S. Secretary of State backs bid for Ukrainian autocephaly U.S. Secretary of State backs bid for Ukrainian autocephaly U.S. Secretary of State backs bid for Ukrainian autocephaly
The head of the U.S. Department of State, Mike Pompeo, put out a statement on Friday expressing the U.S.’s support for the creation of an autocephalous Church in Ukraine.
Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
New York: October 18, 2018
Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Statement of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
New York: October 18, 2018
The illicit actions of the Church of Constantinople are able to suffer no canonical defence and constitute a grave and dangerous injustice against the traditions of Orthodoxy, as well as a shocking disregard for the spiritual welfare of the sheep of Christ (cf. John 10.3, 11).
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
But temporarily setting aside modern complexities, we’ll begin by looking back to distant, apostolic times, when the light of Christianity was just beginning to penetrate the tenebrous dominions of Scythes and Slavs.
Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want
Dimitry Marchenko
Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want
Dimitry Marchenko
That is why I, a parishioner of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, living in Kiev, would like to show you the situation from the inside, from the very epicenter.
What moved Patriarch Bartholomew to lay to ruin Ukrainian Orthodoxy? What moved Patriarch Bartholomew to lay to ruin Ukrainian Orthodoxy? What moved Patriarch Bartholomew to lay to ruin Ukrainian Orthodoxy? What moved Patriarch Bartholomew to lay to ruin Ukrainian Orthodoxy?
Kirill Alexandrov
Dubious initiatives by the Phanar in Ukraine are becoming increasingly puzzling; but is Patriarch Bartholomew really free in his actions?
Comments
Bertinos10/30/2018 11:11 am
Dear Nisibis and Momcilo: He is and He will be! Keep the faith: Christ promised that the gates of hell will not prevail over His Church. I profoundly believe that in the end, He will surprise us, and that something good will come of the current dreadful situation. Let's keep focused on Christ, and not be distracted/temped by politics.
Momcilo10/29/2018 6:22 am
Christ is in our midst!
I am glad to see people asking these questions about the mild reactions from other Local Churches. I have wondered the same from the start. To be honest, I think the most vocal defender of canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Serbian Church. I think the Serbian Church is trying to play a "mediator" role, and therefore the tone of critique is still very measured. However, I know that this issue is a burning topic in Serbian Church, and we (Serbs) take this very personally, as we have open wounds such as Kosovo and others, and we feel the pain of Ukraine as if ours. I am especially perplexed and dare I say angry about no reaction from Georgia & Mt Athos.
Nisibis10/28/2018 9:24 pm
I have often asked myself the same question that Anthony asked. Why are all of the other local churches silent? Where are the voices of condemnation from Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania and most surprising of all where is Mount Athos? All we hear is crickets or very general, meaningless statements! Something is very very wrong here, and I for one am concerned about this. What PB is doing should have caused an uproar from all of the other patriarchetes. God help and protect us all!
Michael10/28/2018 8:55 pm
As previously noted on this webpage, U.S Secretary of State Pompeo met with Denisenko and declared support for him and his entourage. It's also been known over the years that the Government of Turkey controls much of the actions of the Patriarchate (Patriarchal elections, seminaries, etc). Therefore, it's not inconceivable that Turkey and NATO are controlling the actions and words of Patriarch Bartholomew. Crazy? Russia has taken part of Ukraine, the West is getting back at them through religion.
David10/28/2018 8:38 pm
I am grateful for this article and THE TRUTH being revealed. Thanks for your comments brother Anthony!

I am a grateful follower of our dear Saint Paisios. And right now I know that many parishioners within the Ecumenical Patriarch including our many Monks of Mount Athos are fervently praying that a pan-Orthodox council will take place to depose the heretics including Patriarch Bartholomew.

May God grant our Orthodox Bishops courage to step up and depose the heretics and schismatics! Much love to my dear Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Anthony10/28/2018 10:43 am
Rejoice! Ayios Paisios said of the accursed leaders of our beloved Hellenic Motherland, that God allows storms to arise for a short time, so the intentions of all can be revealed. Those storms bring forth the rain which washes the flotsam away! Likewise, the storm in the Church will pass. And with it the heretics in our midst. The phanar has once and for all revealed whom he truly serves. This is tragic (for him). Blinded by his own pride he has fallen into the pit crawling with NWO/Western serpents. What is sad is that whilst individual clergy in the various jurisdictions have condemned the phanar, whole Church councils have not. Are they cowards. Or do they secretly serve the same master??
JEinCA10/28/2018 10:09 am
I publicly pledge my loyalty to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our King and Our God and to His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I am currently a parishioner of an OCA parish (which I love and am dedicated to) but if our Bishop or parish ever (God forbid) falls out of communion with Moscow and sides with Bartholomew and the Schismatics I will without a doubt leave that parish for ROCOR or the Antiochians.
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