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Getting close to an anniversary

An Open Letter to Zarubezhniki who have switched into MP

It is near, even at the doors” [Matt. 24:33] – the day of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the shameful union between New York Synod of the [Russian Orthodox] Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate.

Realizing that by far not the entire White Church was ready to give up overnight its [their] former stands and that by far not all as one shall start praising what even yesterday they were still reproving, MP were then generous to provide a five-year moratorium for the doubters: they were allowed during that period not to commemorate the patriarch. The question was certainly not in generosity but in simple politics: the main thing was to seize the administrative power, and then on – as the saying goes – [a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush] better a tit in the hand than a crane in the skies. This five-year period of time then seemed to be actually necessary in order to facilitate the transition to those pastors and lay people whose conscience was troubling them. However, the experience has shown – as a rule – that very soon, ideological and consciousness reservations were forgotten and here – for nearly five years now – all have been liturgizing and living [happily ever after!sic!] fully singing in accompaniment – never taking a thought about the fact that by commemorating “His Holiness the Master and Father of ours” they themselves do indicate whose sons they are. And this, alas, disturbs not a bit their sleep and never troubles [warps] their conscience.

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But there are also those – not great in numbers – who have made use of this respite and to date take pride in the fact that “they are not defiling their mouth”. Let us be objective: of course, by this lack of understanding they witness to something, they try not to give up in full their glorious ROCOR past. In this way they try to show what makes them sick to be the “sons” of the notorious "His Holiness the Master and Father of ours” and this is why we do not want to be too critical and characterize their stand. But we cannot imagine that they are unable to see and understand the blatant naiveté and untenability of such a stand. Even if they do not commemorate Kirill Gundyaev, but they do [commemorate] Metr. Hilarion and take comfort in the fact they call him “the Primate of the Church Abroad”! Can such a self-deception indeed appease an honest man? As if they do not notice that this very so-called “ROCA Primate” not only happily, but also with servile zeal commemorates that very Kirill, whose name their conscience would not allow them to offer up [in prayer]! ... Each and every Orthodox faithful – [who is] more or less educated – knows that the Church is bishop-centric, it is of and within the bishop. And yet – all their bishops – without any exception at all, and not only Vl. Hilarion, do commemorate eagerly their patriarch. Not to mention that when these bishops visit a parish of a non-commemorating priest, they naturally do commemorate Kirill Gundyaev. Then what in this case does the priest make? Is he going out for some time of the altar? Does he shut up his ears?

Not for the first time and certainly not for the last time we write about the inadmissibility of recognizing the legitimacy of those who head the Moscow Patriarchate. But so far, we have denounced their Sergianism, their collusion with KGB, their obedient subservience to the godless power [regime], their mutual extinction – together with the nothingarians – of the spirit, and the prosecution of the worthy believers and ministers. And in actual fact – is it possible to morally justify clerics, who have not only cooperated with the state security bodies and have written calumnies [slander reports to these bodies], but have also made careers based on these denunciations. However, in the case of Kirill Gundyaev we have crossed the limit of one more immorality. In an atmosphere of complete lack of any embarrassment or prosecution – his name is constantly implicated in scandals, and even if not he himself in person, then [at least, the names of] his closest associates. Not a month passes without a new scandal. He has long been well known for his greed, inordinate lust for money and material goods. Not without a reason he was nicknamed “Tobacco Metropolitan” as early as back during Gorbachev’s perestroika. Not only is he an oligarch, but he also lies openly!

Cyril Gundyaev, to whom you have given up yourselves and a good part of the Church Abroad, its property, its flock, is no “holiness” but a simple businessman of the Church, alien to any sanctity.

Here we are not going to enumerate all these scandals that constantly make the life of the Moscow Patriarchate variegated; all it takes to verify this is open the Internet. We shall note only one of the recent cases involving a watch. Such a trifle it would seem, is it worth talking about it, so many [people] wear all kinds of [what-not] watches on their hands! But notable here is not the fact that the Breguet brand of watches cost – according to some estimates – USD 30,000, according to other – between USD 45,000 and 55,000 (and this at a time when not so long ago, in all seriousness, he urged the nation “to expel material idols from their life!”), but rather the fact that the so-called Patriarch unscrupulously LIED openly to all the people, as a crook caught by the hand in someone else’s pocket assuring he has nothing to do with it. It all started with [Mr.] Gundyaev stating without blinking in a talk with TV journalist that he does not at all possess such a watch, and if he did, then it is a gift and kept in a safe, since in patriarchal attire “it is impossible to wear a watch”. When he was shown a photograph of him with that watch, without hesitation or embarrassment he said this was a “collage” made with the aim of discrediting [him] and bump! in confirmation of the words of :His Holiness”, that same photograph appeared on the official MP website but without the watch! An explicitly – can you believe it! – proof that underway is a spiteful policy of persecution of the Church, which [Mr.] Gundyaev urged the people to an All-Russia withstanding in defense of the “desecrated Church” on last Sunday of [Ap.] Thomas. Of course, there has been no “collage”, but there was a simple fraudulent attempt to erase the watch using modern photoshop, just as in the good old Stalinist era they erased from historical photographs people to have become undesired. But this has not put an end to the adventure with the watch... The attempt to rascally resolve the case with a compromising photo provided a misfire: erase the watch – they did, but ... there remained a reflection of the watch on the varnished desk [surface]! One might think – now a thief has been caught in the act, the only thing remaining now is for him to own up [the blame]. But nothing of the sorts [has taken place]: men of such moral caliber never give up; they are capable of wriggling out of any situation, even the most desperate [one] and to that end [they are] willing to resort to even the most despicable methods. That was exactly what happened : they piled up everything on the hapless lady employee who allegedly due to her inexperience and foolish desire to help, seemingly willfully decided to erase the watch...! In his way everyone would believe that any pawn, working at the patriarchal administration, has direct access to the official website, and can at will make one’s [own] changes to the information [therein]!

There, as in a drop of water, albeit as a trifling example, one may see the whole man. Lie after a lie mixed up with vile slander. Here’s the moral feature of your “Holiness Lord and Father”.

Recall, dear ex brethren, with what great love and well-earned respect we all treat our First Hierarchs. We are not talking here of Laurus and of Hilarion, but of our true four ROCA Primates [First Hierarchs], who were glory and honor for all the Orthodox Church in the past twentieth century. That glory and that honor extended to the whole Church Abroad, which our Bishop Irenaeus rightly called the [flagman] leader of the entire True Orthodoxy. But take into consideration that in this way the Gundyaev shame, multiplied by the iniquity of countless number of other [inequities] of the kind, as well as of the Soviet bishops, also applies to all your new church, [that shame] applies to each and every one of you!

How can you not see and not understand this?

Each and every one of you – a priest, a layman, has the simplest possibility to crawl out of this sticky mire of lies, which you plunged into five years ago; some on ideological grounds, others – willy-nilly, just like that – because the authorities pushed that way. That possibility is very real and specific.

It pleased Lord God to save the Church Abroad. Headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel it thrives today just as it flourished yesterday. It is present in all countries of our scattering and – as a loving mother – only awaits the return of the lost sheep.

Alas, unfortunately, for the time being there are no visible attempts of coming to one’s senses. Nothing can now be heard about desires to opt out of MP, while – to the contrary – there are active preparations of a new enslaving of the congregation and the clergy. Starting from the first days of April diocesan meetings convene in Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal – one after the other and like pre-programmed [wound up] hurdy-gurdy they repeat with delight and undersign proclamations, stating the joy of restoring the Church unity. Have you all indeed lost finally any critical sense? Is it conceivable to constantly step on one and the same rake and never respond in any way? After all, you do not have a gun aimed at your [back of the] head. Wake up [Come to your senses], finally!

Understand and agree that your bishops used to serve God and the people, and now they have to curry favor with [Mr.] Gundyaev.

While at the end of the perestroika years the attitude to the Church was very respectful, what are we witnessing today, twenty years later? The Public Chamber speaks with anxiety of persecution [harrassmen] of Patriarch Kirill and that launched against the patriarch is “a mass-scale information campaign”. But we must also have the right understanding what is at stake [this kind of talking]. That Kirill Gundyaev has become a bogey and a byword [everyone laughs at], whom everyone turns away from – this is a fact, but the trouble is that suffering because of this is the Church, whose discrediting is in full swing. The patriarchal bishops, and more so [than all others] – the patriarch, bully the public against the Church and this by far is not their least sin.

All the trouble lies in a fatal error, that took place in the late 1980-s and the early 1990-s, when the KGB archives were opened and when all the patriarchal nomenclature [pariahs] looked finished rogues, but the people did not have enough courage and spirit to demand their dismissal. Back then everything was possible and then it was possible to talk about a real reunification of the Russian Church. But no hint even of repentance ever took place. The nomenclature-members of the mitroPOLIT-bureau took advantage of this weakness of the faithful [people] – and – as if nothing had happened at all – continued their iniquitous road. And because of this, in the minds of the public these fallen churchmen represent now the Russian Church. This is the reason for all the hostility spilling out with the bucketful at them, and thus poured out also onto the Church.

Let no one think that we are exaggerating and writing so critically only “for old times’ sake”, for a genetic aversion to the MP. No, this feeling is widely circulated among the people and today it can even be seen in the most faithful representatives of the system and in the subjects of the Patriarchate. The [ROCA] Diaspora remembers well one such representative of the Soviet system, sent to fool the masses abroad and drag them back into the MP. Word goes about [Mr.] Andrei Zubov, a professor of MGIMO [Moscow State (higher) Institute on International Relations], this highly qualified blacksmith’s (workshop) where in the Soviet times agents of influence were being prepared to decompose the free world. [Mr.] Zubov came to America in 2004 to lure ROCA faithful into the MP and received then a manly courageous rebuff on the part of ROCA veteran Oleg Mikhailovich Rodzianko. (And) So this same professor [Mr.] Zubov is confused today and seemingly echoes our words!

In a recent TV show, to a question by the host – why are there so many disputes about the Church and its Primate, [Mr.] Andrei Zubov, a little confused, replied, “There, the notorious apartment of the Patriarch was [being] mentioned in the news. But no claim should have been made and raise the matter to a public scandal. This is not persecution of the Church but objective reality. Standing up as initiator were not enemies of the Church but the Primate of the Church. These are some kind of unnatural things that we fail to comprehend. The Primate is suing the priest and ruining him, taking away his apartment. Why is the Church, not in the least being persecuted, should deal with such outrages?” – says that same [Mr.] Zubov, who 8 years ago came [over] to prove the charm of the MP. But further – there was more. The journalist continued: “The Russian Orthodox Church [ROC] leadership deters from the Church more than the Bolsheviks did in their time.” And even at that the unfortunate Zubov muttered, “That turns away – this is a fact. This is horrible and visible with naked eyes, / ... / now college students almost never go to the Russian Church, they go where they please, to the Baptists, to the Catholic Church, but to enter just like that a church – almost no one ever does from amidst the educated youth, [there have been] too many negative examples”.

It would be nice to acquainted with these ideas Fr. Victor Potapov, who has thrown out at us yet another [consecutive] “potapovschina” [a-la-Potapov foolishness] with a boorish letter to his uncle, O.M. Rodzianko, who quite reasonably sued in court for the attempt to transfer into the MP the Church in Nyack. It was good that our gracious Izhevsk Fathers gave a strong rebuff to the Potapov statement. They – of all – living in the Russia Federation and experiencing the post-Soviet life’s charm, know better than the Washington preacher how do Zarubezhniks [ROCA faithful] live under the authority of the MP.

In the meantime, there no “Nuremberg tribunal” for communism has been in preparation, but there has consistently been a comeback to respecting the Bolshevik idols. The monument to Lenin in St. Petersburg beheaded in 2009 had to be restored for the “leader’s” [vozhd !] birthday, and also the “Iron Felix” on Lubyanka Square toppled in the glorious days of 1991 from its pedestal is also going very shortly to be restored and once again find its previous place in downtown Moscow. This was vouched by V.V. Putin himself. It turns out, according to informations provided by the Interfax [news] agency, that the monumental sinister sculpture of Felix Dzerzhinsky is on the list of “cultural heritage artifacts”! There you are, the much praised new free Russia is with one hand solemnly burying – “re-burying” as they say – the remains of the noble White heroes – Generals Kappel and Denikin, along with the outstanding White thinker, I.A. Ilyin, and – with the other hand, it is restoring the monuments of bloody monsters of the human race, against whom our heroes fought not for life but for death.

And so, dear brothers of the New York Synod, who are enthusiastically making preparations to celebrate the “god-pleasing restoration of unity with the Moscow Patriarchate” – these bloody idols [istukan-s] represent now your legacy, too?! But who knows, perhaps within the frames of the envisaged five-year reunion celebration you will be given the honor to personally consecrate these memorials, so you could even more firmly affix your unity with Russia of today?

Can it really be that none of you shall at last begin to see with spiritual and physical eyes, whose conscience shall at last awaken?

Only one thing pleases: clouds are looming over the joyful celebrations on the occasion of the “reunification”. Celebrations in the United States extend over as much as 4 months to mid-October – on a very vague reason: “Because of difficulties in obtaining visas to the United States, Metropolitan Hilarion is unable to return from Australia in time for the conference in June” ... How is one to understand this? Does the “Primate” need a visa to enter his own country and one is not being issued to him? There, something very very strange...

Protodeacon Herman Ivanoff-Trinadtzaty