On the Break with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Parishioners of ROCOR


Archpriest John Whiteford is a clergyman of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which is an autonomous Church under the Moscow Patriarchate. Last Sunday he 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.

(MP3 файл. Продолжительность 15:38 мин. Размер 27.7 Mb)

Used with permission.
Dawn Donivan11/18/2020 1:35 am
Dear Father, I was chrismated in the GOA but have spent most of my Sundays going to a ROCOR church and doing all my confessions to Father Mi hael of St George Russian Orthodox church. I'm very confused over where I should be. My leanings are definitely with ROCOR.
Mr. Anderson11/9/2019 10:54 am
EP's actions are very upsetting.
Ian12/26/2018 1:24 pm

Thank you Fr. Whiteford.

Yet, before the canons, Bishops married and in this context Paul prophesied:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth…If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (1 Tim. 4:1-5)

Fr. John Whiteford12/25/2018 10:49 pm
Ian, the canons do not allow a clergyman to marry after he is tonsured a Subdeacon. Filaret is ostensibly a monastic, and as such cannot be married.
Ian12/22/2018 2:22 pm
Fr. John Whiteford: Filaret was, “deposed for, among other things, having a wife and three children, which is obviously contrary to the canons…as long as there are sinners we will have bishops who will go astray”, we “cannot disregard truth.”

Saint Paul: “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop… must be …the husband of one wife…One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Timothy 3:1-5)
Afanassy10/31/2018 8:44 pm
Dan - - -

Thanks for the correction: "affiliate" is not the right word. I agree. What other word to use? OCA is not a "member" under the EP, as you point out.
The OCA has been "playing up" to the EP for decades now, not to ROCOR, since the EP still considers it a schism, while ROCOR does not.

dan10/29/2018 4:35 am
Someone mentioned the OCA as an "EP affiliate". Hardly, if that were the case the OCA would be another department of the EP much like the Carpatho Rusyns and Ukrainians in the United States and Canada. The Russian Orthodox Church recognizes the OCA's autocephaly, not the EP. That also does not make the OCA another ROCOR.

That said if you are looking for condemnation from the OCA then I think you did not understand Fr. Whiteford's sermon. "The canons are not landmines..." just as the Russian Orthodox Church continues to be in communion with Antioch and Romania, for example who are still in communion with Constantinople.
Editor10/27/2018 2:23 pm
Afanassy: We apologize for the technical problem with the comments, which we are trying to fix. The comments are coming through though. We can be contacted by email at editor@pravoslavie.ru (it's at the bottom of the home page). Thank you.
Afanassy10/27/2018 4:10 am
OrthoChristian - - -

In the absence of a "Contact Us" link on your website, I must use this comment section:
When I CORRECTLY enter the screening ("captcha") number to submit my message, I have been getting two requests from you to try again.
But when I try the third time, I am told that the comment was already submitted, and that I don't have to repeat it!
What's going on?
(I do have a Mac: could that be the issue?)

Afanassy10/27/2018 3:36 am
Patrick - - -

Very good question. I was wondering the same thing myself.
It does appear that, as of right now, several jurisdictions are "straddling the fence", trying to have it both ways, while waiting to see what happens.
The OCA, as both a Russian off-shoot and an EP affiliate, is in a very difficult position.
My sense is that severity of the MP's position and the lack of repentance from the EP mean that a resolution will not occur soon.
In the absence of a General Council (which the MP repeatedly called for), the OCA, with other wait-and-see jurisdictions, will be forced to make a choice.

Patrick10/26/2018 4:27 pm
What does this mean for the laity in America? If the OCA is in communion with ROCOR and the Greeks but ROCOR is no longer in communion with Constantinople because Moscow has declared them in schism, does that mean the OCA must break communion with the Greeks as well or risk being in communion with schismatics?
JohnP10/26/2018 2:31 pm
Axios, Worthy Fr.John!
Steve Cox10/26/2018 12:37 pm
Thank you for this clear and concise article. May God help us all.
Nicole10/26/2018 5:59 am
Axios, Father John.

Clear, truthful, informative, compassionate. Ecclesiology, not politics.
Afanassy10/25/2018 9:50 pm
Dear in Christ Fr John,

Please Bless...

Excellent sermon.
But here are just some things that we all (including me) seem to have overlooked earlier:
This "Great Schism of 2018", if not resolvable and therefore permanent, may have the Blessing of focusing us on ----
1) Moscow (MP) as indeed the Third Rome, which is now taking the leadership that it is called to exercise;
2) The era of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is OVER, just as an Orthodox era was over for the Pope of Rome;
3) This crisis was caused by Modernism (including the Calendar) and Disregard for Canons, such that the MP could heal those divergences.

David10/25/2018 6:32 pm
Dear Father John,

Father Bless!! As a parishioner in the GOA I can say that I, along with MANY of my brothers and sisters wholeheartedly agree with you.

It pains us tremendously to see this schism and the uncanonical actions of the Ecumenical Patriarch. We are joining our dear brothers and sisters in ROCOR to pray for an end to this madness! So that we may be united again quickly in the Eucharist.

Love to all!
anthony10/25/2018 2:25 pm
Excellent sermon as usual from our beloved Fr John W. Always have enjoyed his writings and sermons not least of all because he tells it like it is. I think the only resolution to this will be where the hierarchs from the various jurisdictions first repent of their own actions especially vis-a-vis the heresy of ecumenism. This should include a Council condemning this demonic organisation. Following on from that, issues like the calendar and other issues that have created these schisms should be resolved. For too long those in higher positions have acted pompously and against the canons. This is why we have reached this stage. False unity with heretics = schism.
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