|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Essays about Orthodoxy|
"...Uncritical zealotism and soul-destroying Ecumenism comprise the two sides of the same coin of fallacy..."
Republic - Sacred Metropolis of Piraeus
Please permit me
to make the following observations, in response to your letter-writers:
In the case of the self-titled "Genuine Orthodox Christians", on the pretext of piety and on account of a thoughtless zeal, a calendrical alteration by thirteen (13)days to the Julian calendar was decided so that the Spring Equinox of the calendar would coincide with the Spring Equinox of Creation - an act that does not however denote that the Church has embraced the so-called Gregorian calendar, because that would have meant She would be observing its Paschal dating and would be celebrating Easter along with Westerners, which would signify a falling away and an apostasy by the entire body of the Church of the Ancient patriarchates, the autocephalous Churches, and even by those who continue to observe the unaltered Julian calendar liturgically, with the tragic result of distancing themselves from the body of the Church and lapsing into the realm of being mocked by the cunning enemy.
2. It is not an accurate statement that the corpus of the Church, through a pan-Orthodox Synod, has accepted that the heresy-fraught Anti-Chalcedonian Monophysites and Roman Catholics have acquired a canonical and valid sacramental life. On the contrary, the Church unflaggingly upholds that, outside Her Body, there cannot exist and there cannot function the vivifying grace of the All-Holy Spirit. Any personal opinions of Clergymen or lay members of the Church, of any rank whatsoever, who are unstable regarding the dogmatic truth, are in no way binding to the body of the Church, nor can they "pollute" it. In the event that any such person dares to barefacedly proclaim heretic drivel that insults ecclesiology, the dogma, the polity and the ethos of the Church, then the commemoration of those persons will obviously be discontinued and they will be cast out as rotted members of the Church's body. This applies to whoever -we repeat- does not acknowledge any other person as the Head, except the existent One Who is Jesus Christ (1 Cor.3:11) - the Ecumenical Synod being the infallible expresser of His will.
3. In the Metropolitan District of Piraeus and in the broader area thereof, there are certain active groups who have labeled themselves as Genuine Orthodox Christians, with independently appointed 'Metropolitans of Piraeus' etc., such as:
Á. Mr. Gerontios, of the group that Your respected letter-writers belongs to
Â. Mr. Panteleimon, of the group belonging to the self-styled Archbishop of the “Matthewite” G.O.Cs, Mr. Nicholas
C. Mr. Gregory, of the other group, of so-called “Florinites”, under the self-styled Archbishop Mr. Makarios
D. Mr. Nephon, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Shelter in Keratea, Attica Province, who is being held in custody
Ĺ. Mr. Triantafyllos, of unknown other credentials
The above G.O.C. groups have absolutely no communion between them, but on the contrary, are completely separate from each other, and thus the question is justifiably posed: is it possible for divine Grace and the Tri-hypostatic God of the Truth, of harmony and unity, to have anything to do with – or be satisfied with – such a manifold splitting and fracturing, which most assuredly also contains the element of personal will and self-opinioned perception of what the Church is?
4. The first of Your respected letter-writers claims that his group has supposedly acquired Apostolic succession that originates from the Russian Diaspora, thus proving to be totally ignorant of the provisions of the Sacred Canons which he seeks to defend, and is ministering to the said extra-jurisdictional ordinations and their disregard of canonicity.
5. Your second letter-writer’s objection is that no Clergyman of the Church who has been defrocked for moral causes has ever sought refuge in the ranks of the G.O.C.. Unfortunately for me, my extensive service in the Synodic Ecclesiastic Courts has provided me with experience that has shown innumerable cases of defrocking for reasons of immoral conduct, where those involved had resorted to the canonically reckless and socially variform and multi-headed religious communities of the G.O.C. groups. To refresh his memory, I remind him that the synod of his own group had defrocked the late Afxentios Pastras as Archbishop and had elected as his successor Mr. Chrysostom Kiousis, as the former had ordained as Bishop of Patras with bishops of his own G.O.C. group the late Gerasimos Vrakas of Boeotia and Maximos Vallianatos of Cephalonia; this was Mr Dorotheos Tsakos who had been defrocked by the Church on charges of homosexuality; Afxentios Pastras who had not accepted this defrocking had convened another synod. Thus everyone can perceive how, by being outside the Church, every kind of instability that is not consistent with the truth of the eternal Logos of God can infiltrate easily, and also how uncritical zealotism and soul-destroying Ecumenism comprise the two sides of the same coin of fallacy, which cuts one off from communion with the living God.
6. Crowning proof of the veracity of all the above, and the divinely-originating confirmation thereof, is the annual gift by the thrice-holy God to His Holy Church; that is, the Holy Light which appears on the Holy Great Saturday within the Life-giving Tomb of the Sacred Temple of the Resurrection, at the venerable Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which is in full communion with the body of the Church. This continuing, supreme miracle by God clearly demonstrates the fallacy of those who are outside the Church, and invites them to recover and repent.Respectfully Yours
The Metropolitan of Piraeus Seraphim
Article published in English on: 29-6-2009.
Last update: 29-6-2009.