After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


(English Subtitles).

2 hours
Vladimir Khotinenko's new film, The Priest, purports to lift the veil on a little-known episode from the German occupation of Soviet territory during the Second World War.  Between 1941 and 1944, a small group of priests was dispatched by the Orthodox Metropolitan of Latvia on a mission to the Pskov region, then occupied by the Wehrmacht, to reopen churches closed by the Soviets.  Known as the Pskov Orthodox (sometimes "Spiritual") Mission, the episode was written into Soviet history as a simple case of the Orthodox Church's treasonous collaboration with the Nazis.  In recent years, however, the resurgent Russian Orthodox church has put forth a competing version of the episode, one in which the priests of the Mission are depicted as saintly men of God and true Russian patriots.  Despite the appearance of supporting the Nazi occupation, the priests of the Pskov Orthodox Mission administered to the spiritual needs of the Russian Orthodox population in a time of national crisis, while actually supporting Soviet prisoners of war, the anti-Nazi partisan forces and the larger goal of Russian independence from both the German and Soviet empires.  In just the last few years, the church has put forth its revisionist view of the Pskov Mission in documentary films, historical studies, memoirs, novels, and web sites.  

Khotinenko's Priest, the first high-profile feature film to tell the story of the Pskov Mission, represents the latest stage of the Orthodox church's attempt to rewrite the history of its collaboration with the Germans during WWII.  Reactions to the film in the press and the internet range from wholehearted approval (e.g., finally, the truth can be told) to wholesale rejection and outrage (e.g., a shameless attempt to whitewash Vlasovites and traitors).  The story of the making of The Priest is complex.  The late Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksey II, whose father served as a priest in occupied Estonia during the war, originally commissioned a novel about the Pskov Mission from the Orthodox writer Alexander Segen', although he apparently was thinking of a film version of the story from the very beginning.  Based on the memoirs of a participant in the Mission, Father Aleksei Ionov, the novel is a poorly written and tendentious apology for the Orthodox priests who served in occupied territory.

The fictionalized main character of the novel and film, Father Aleksandr Ionin (Sergei Makovetskii), is a paragon of all the Orthodox virtues: wise, kind, generous, resourceful, completely committed to his Orthodox flock, and a Russian patriot: his wife (Nina Usatova) is the epitome of a devout but down to earth peasant woman.

DEP Psaltic Arts Group Vespers Sts. Cyprian & Justina

DEP PSALTIC ARTS GROUP - Resurrectional Vespers with Verses to Ss Cyprian and Justina


Add star 

John-Peter Presson

Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 6:59 AM

. https://soundcloud.com/john-p-presson/vespers-1014-live-resurrection-mode-2-ss-cyprian-justina

Highlights of the Vespers for the Resurrection (Mode 2) and Stichera to Ss Cyprian and Justina.  The isokrat who recorded this is to be thanked.  The mic was placed in a slightly biased position and in spots caught more ison than melody, so sometimes we hear isokratima BEEEEEEEEZ.

John-Peter Presson
Protopsaltis of the Diocese of Etna & Portland (ΓΟΧ)
Director of Liturgical Music -Holy Nativity of the Theotokos Cathedral -Portland, OR
Musicorum et cantorum magna est distantia, isti dicunt, illi sciunt quae componit musica. - Guido of Arrezzo

also Doxasticon composed by Protopsalti John


The Power of Positive Thinking

Positivism:  the world's "religion"

1½ minute 
clip from true-crime show 
"Left for Dead"


"She is going to be found.  Until they tell me otherwise, that's what I believe."

Teri is missing.  She has been kidnapped by her evil x-husband.  The evil x-husband has been apprehended and taken into police custody.  He is being interrogated, but he pretends he can't remember what he has done with Teri.  The good husband, Nick, waits at home on pins and needles for news about his wife.  Is she still alive?  Until she is found dead, there is still hope that she is alive.  Keeping that hope is somehow the ultimate virtue, – a prized virtue, because somehow that hope even has the power to save a life.

Like, if you believe it enough -- then it is true. (?)   Somehow like the idea -- that if you believe strongly enough you can move mountains.   Didn't Christ say that?  You can make things happen with your mental "powers."  Your mental powers depend on your faith and belief (in whatever mental imagining you have).

How sad it is for people in the world living without the Church.  

2007 Letter to Metropolitan Laurus from 13 Jordanville monastics

submitted to Vernost April 2007

A Letter  to Metropolitan Laurus from a group of 13 Jordanville monastics
Dear All,
Christ is Risen!
Indeed, indeed, indeed He is Risen!
Bright paschal news keep coming these days; here is one in my hasty  translation from Russian
A group of 13 Jordanville monastics have forwarded the following letter to Metr. Lavr:

"We witness, with great sorrow and frustration, that as the rapprochement with the MP progresses, our ROCOR is disintegrating more and more, both externally and internally. We observe with a sad  feeling, that many staunch believers of our Church make a decision to  no longer be with us. We regret to see the bitter fruits of the  unification process: strife,  contention at court, dissent, general  perplexity; tragic destinies of some believers; loss of trust in our
archpastors; disillusionment often bordering on despair; self-willed  behavior of certain bishops not aligned with truth and canons; obvious  deviation from the traditional patristic path of ROCOR; heading for  unification in spite of the fact that many questions of sergianism and  ecumenism have yet to be dealt with in the light of the pure patristic  teaching of the Church. Globalization gains momentum, a tendency for  unification of all nations and religions is all too apparent. 

"Holy  Fathers warned us of this time, and interpreted it as an unleashed  preparation for the coming of the anti-Christ. Participating in this  are all those who are members of the God-fighting WCC, who supports  the unificatory movement of world's religions, termed ecumenism. In  light of this understanding, we experience deep anxiety when we are  told about the forthcoming union of our Church with such as are  obviously not prepared to follow her patristic course, are not  conscious of the dangers of the apostate ecumenist movement, nor do  they readily resist it. If we unite with MP, we will be one with it in  all things, including the heresy of heresies - ecumenism, and the  ecclesiology-distorting sergianism, hence we will be betraying our  Church. Such resistance is the corner-stone of the faith of the Holy  Fathers, the faith that prompted a mother, in times of old, to bless  her children to accept a martyric death. We are wary of the fact, that  unless those crucial problems find their rightful solution, in the  spirit of churchly humility and repentance, it may so happen that in  the future we will not be able to "endure to the end" (Mt. 10.22).  

"When we are faced with the final decision, who are we with? we may  find ourselves lacking the resoluteness and steadfastness, while the  deadly spirit of apostasy would prevail. This is exactly why we are so  worried and are asking ourselves, can such be the fruits of the Holy  Spirit? We have always believed the admonition of our archpastors that  there can be no unity except in the Truth, and we wish to be loyal to  these words unto the end. These days, however, many believers have  been scandalized by the open disloyalty of many bishops."

Signed by eight (8) monastics, including one archimandrite and three  priestmonks, of the Holy Trinity Monastery, as well as by all the 5  sisters of the St. Elizabeth nunnery in Jordanville.

Metr. Lavr has not responded to this address and forbade its  publication.

List of Reposed ROCOR Hierarchs

This list was begun by Fr. David Straut (ROCOR-MP) and is not complete.  It can be used as a prayer list.

My updates in green.
also see:

Fr. David wrote about this list he compiled:
Please bear in mind a few points:

(1) I decided to stay with the forms of the Hierarchs' Christian names
originally given by Reader Isaac. Some may prefer English names derived
from Russian forms rather than Latin (e.g. Averky rather than Abercius).
I cannot argue for one over the other, but I have decided consistancy is
a virtue I wish to maintain. So please don't send in 'corrections' of
these Christian names.

(2) I also decided to retain the transliteration of Russian family names
originally given by Reader Isaac. Different persons may have different
preferances in this matter of transliteration. Please don't send in
'corrections' of this type either.

(3) Metropolitan Meletius (Zaborovsky) of Harbin and Manchuria is one of
the Hierarchs there seems to be some disagreement about. Originally part
of the Russian Church Abroad, it seems he submitted to the Moscow
Patriarchate after World War II, dying soon after in March of 1946. It
has been pointed out by one of our brethren that there was some
misinformation spread around in China about this time concerning the
Synod Abroad's union with the Patriarchate and that Metropolitan Meletius
was deceived by this (as St John of Shanghai apparently was briefly) but
that he never concelebrated with the MP. Once again, I am not in a
position here to discern the truth, so I am asking for input from the
Lists. Did Metropolitan Meletius (Zaborovsky) of Harbin and Manchuria
repose in ROCOR or not? I give here his statistics which I have

Metropolitan Meletius (Zaborovsky),
of Harbin and Manchuria,
Ordained: 22 November 1908;
Died: 24 March 1946.

Thanking everyone for their help, I remain

Yours in Christ,

Fr David C. Straut
The Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth the New-Martyr (ROCOR)
88 Eastern Avenue
Somerville, New Jersey 08876
(908) 203-1252

Dates of the Repose of the Hierarchs of
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
(Arranged Chronologically by Date of Repose)


Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla) of sorry memory
Schism: May 17, 2007
Demise:  March 2008 

Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov)
Died: 12/25 September 2006

Saint Philaret (Voznesensky),
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
Ordained: 1965;
Died: 8/21 November 1985.

Metropolitan Anastasius (Gribanovsky),
formerly Archbishop of Kishinev and Khotin,
Ordained: 29 June 1906;
Died: 8/21 May 1965.

Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky),
formerly of Kiev and Galicia,
Ordained: 7 September 1897;
Died: July 28/10 August 1936.


Metropolitan Panteleimon (Rozhnovsky),
of Minsk & Byeorussia,
Ordained: 2 June 1913;
Died: 17/30 December 1950.

Metropolitan Seraphim (Lade),
of Berlin & Germany,
Ordained: August 1924;
Died: 1/14 September 1950.

Metropolitan Innocent (Figurovsky),
of Peking & China,
Ordained: 3 June 1902;
Died: 15/28 June 1931.

Metropolitan Methodius (Gerasimov),
of Harbin and Manchuria,
Ordained: 2 June 1894;
Died: 15/28 March 1931.


Archbishop Seraphim (Szezhevsky),
of Caracas and Venezuela,
Ordained: 1957;
Died: August 31/13 September 1996.

Archbishop Anthony (Sinkevich),
of Los Angeles and Southern California,
Ordained: 6/19 August 1951;
Died: 18/31 July 1996.

Archbishop Paul (Pavlov),
of Sydney and Australia & New Zealand,
Ordained: 1967;
Died: 2/15 February 1995.

Archbishop Anthony (Bartashevich),
of Geneva and Western Europe,
Died: August 25 /7 September 1993.

Archbishop Seraphim (Ivanov),
of Chicago, Detroit and the Midwest,
Ordained: February 24/9 March 1946;
Died:12/25 July 1987.

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov),
of Vienna and Austria,
Ordained: February 25/10 March 1946;
Died: October 27/8 November 1986.

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov),
of Vienna and Austria,
Ordained: February 25/10 March 1946;
Died: October 27/8 November 1986.

Archbishop Nathaniel (Lvov),
of Vienna and Austria,
Ordained: February 25/10 March 1946;
Died: October 27/8 November 1986.

Archbishop Philotheus (Narko),
of Berlin and Germany,
Ordained: 1942;
Died: 11/24 September 1986.

Archbishop Athanasius (Martos),
of Buenos Aires, Argentina & Paraguay,
Ordained: 8 March 1943;
Died: October 21/3 November 1983.

Archbishop Theodosius (Putilin),
of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand,
Died: July 31/13 August 1980.

Archbishop Andrew (Rymarenko),
of Rockland,
Died: June 29/12 July 1978.

Archbishop Nicodemus (Nagayev),
of Richmond and Great Britain,
Ordained: 6/18 July 1954;
Died: 4/17 October 1976.

Archbishop Alexander (Lovchy),
of Berlin & Germany,
Ordained: 16/29 July 1945;
Died: August 29/11 September 1976.

Archbishop Alexander (Lovchy),
of Berlin & Germany,
Ordained: 16/29 July 1945;
Died: August 29/11 September 1976.

Archbishop Nicon (Rklitsky),
of Washington and Florida,
Ordained: 14/27 June 1948;
Died: August 22/4 September 1976.

Archbishop Sabbas (Rayevsky),
of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand,
Ordained: 11/24 January 1954;
Died: 4/17 April 1976.

Archbishop Abercius (Taushev),
of Syracuse and Trinity,
Ordained: 12/25 May 1953;
Died: March 31/13 April 1976.

Archbishop Ambrose (Merezhko),
of Pittsburgh & Western Pennsylvania (retired),
Ordained: 11 September 1955;
Died: 26 November/9 December 1975

Archbishop Leontius (Filippovich),
of Buenos Aires and Argentina, Chile and Paraguay,
Ordained: 1943;
Died: June 19/2 July 1971.

Archbishop Demetrius (Magan),
of Boston and New England (retired),
Ordained: 1942;
Died: c. 1970.

Archbishop Theodosius (Samoilovich),
of Sao Paulo and Brazil,
Ordained: 8 January 1931;
Died: 13/29 February 1968.

Archbishop Theodosius (Samoilovich),
of Sao Paulo and Brazil,
Ordained: 8 January 1931;
Died: 13/29 February 1968.

Saint John (Maximovich),
Archbishop of Western America and San Francisco,
Ordained: 28 May 1934;
Died: June 19/2 Juy 1966;
Canonized: June 19/2 July 1994.

Archbishop Stephen (Sevbo),
of Vienna and Austria,
Ordained: 1942;
Died: 12/25 January 1965.

Archbishop Tikhon (Troitsky),
of Western America and San Francisco,
Ordained: 2/15 June 1930;
Died: 17/30 March 1963.

Archbishop Vitalis (Maximenko),
of Eastern America and Jersey City,
Ordained: 23 April 1934;
Died: 8/21 March 1960.

Archbishop Gregory (Borishkevich),
of Chicago and Cleveland,
Ordained: 24 October 1943;
Died: 13/26 Oct 1957.

Archbishop Hieronymus (Chernov),
of Detroit and Flint,
Ordained: 5/18 August 1935;
Died: 1/14 May 1957.

Archbishop Joasaph (Skorodumov),
of Buenos Aires and Argentina,
Ordained: 12 October. 1930;
Died: 13/26 November 1955.

Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky),
of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand,
Ordained: 25 July 1942;
Died: April 23/6 May 1955.

Archbishop Benedict (Bobkovsky),
of Berlin and Germany,
Ordained: 30 March 1941;
Died: August 21/3 September 1951.

Archbishop Tikhon (Liashenko),
of Berlin and Germany (retired),
Ordained: April 28/11 May 1924;
Died: 11/24 February 1945.

Archbishop Theophanes (Gavrilov),
formerly of Kursk and Oboyan,
Ordained: March 1917;
Died: 1943.

Archbishop Thephanes (Bystrov),
formerly of Poltava and Pereyaslavl,
Ordained: 1909;
Died: 6/19 February 1940.

Archbishop Damian (Govorov),
of Tsarytsin,
Ordained: 1916.
Died: 6/19 April 1936.

Archbishop Sergius (Petrov),
formerly of Chernomorsk and Novorossisk,
Ordained: 12 February 1899;
Died: 11/24 January 1935.

Archbishop Apollinarius (Koshevoy),
of North America,
Ordained: 21 October 1917;
Died: 6/19 June 1933.

Archbishop Gabriel (Chepur),
of Chelyabinsk and Troitsa,
Ordained: 1910;
Died: 1/14 March 1933.

Archbishop Simon (Vinogradov),
of Peking and China,
Ordained: 4 September 1922;
Died: 11/24 February 1933.

Archbishop Eusebius,
of Narva and Izborsk,
Died: July 1929.


Bishop Constantine (Jesensky),
of Boston (retired),
Died: 18/31 May 1996

Bishop Gregory (Grabbe),
of Washington & Florida (retired),
Died: September 24/October 7 1995

Bishop John (Legky),
of Buenos Aires, Argentina & Paraguay,
Died: 20 February/5 March 1995

Bishop Innocent (Petrov),
of Buenos Aires, Argentina & Paraguay,
Died: 10/23 December 1987

Bishop Nicander (Padelin),
of Sao Paolo & Brazil,
Died: November 19/2 December 1987

Bishop Nathaniel, (Lvov),
of Vienna & Austria,
Died: October 27/8 November 1986

Bishop Philotheus,
of Berlin & Germany,
Died: 11/24 September 1986

Bishop Nectarius (Kontsevich),
of Seattle,
Died: 13/26 January 1983

Bishop Sabbas (Sarachevitch),
of Edmonton (retired),
Died: 17/30 January 1973

Bishop Agapetus (Krijanovsky),
of Goiana (Brazil),
Died: 27 August/9 September 1966

Bishop John (Shlimov),
of Salma & Urmia (retired),
Died: 12/25 March 1962

Bishop John (Zlobin),
of Sitka & Alaska,
Died: 15/28 May 1959

Bishop Juvenally (Kilin),
of Singkiang,
Died: c. 1958

Bishop Leontius (Bartashevich),
of Geneva,
Died: 6/19 August 1956

Bishop Eulogius (Markovsky),
of Caracas & Venezuela,
Died: 11/24 March 1951

Bishop Basil (Pavlovsky),
of Vienna & Austria,
Died: 10/23 October 1945

Bishop Anthony (Dashkevich),
of Alaska & the Aleutians,
Died: 2/15 March 1934

Bishop Paul (Gavrilov),
of Detroit,
Died: May 22/4 June 1933

Bishop Amphilochius (Vokulsky),
of Alaska,
Died: 1933

Bishop Daniel (Sherstennikov),
of Ohotsk,
Died: January 19/1 February 1933

Bishop Nicholas (Karpov),
of London,
Died: 12/25 October 1931

Bishop Elias (Gevargizov),
of Supurgan in Urmia,
Died: December 1928

Saint Jonah (Pokrovsky),
Bishop of Tiantsin, later of Hankow,
Died: 7/20 October 1925

Bishop Michael (Kosmodamiansky),
of Alexandrovsk & Stavropol,
Died: 9/22 September 1925

Bishop Michael (Bogdanov),
of Vladivostok & the Maritimes,
Died: 9/22 Jul 1925

Bishop Michael,
of Cheboksar,

Died: 1925

Metropolitan Melety Zaborovsky of Harbin, 24 March 1946
Archbishop Savva Raevsky of ANZ (not Sabbas Rayevsky)
Archbishop Theodosious Putilin of ANZ 12 August 1980

Ilya Gevargizov of Persia Dec. 1928
Michael Bogdanov of Vladivostok 22 July 1925
St Jonah Pokrovsky 20 Oct 1925
Nicholas Karpov of London 15 Oct 1931
John Shlimov of Persia 25 March 1962
Juvinaly Kilin of Singkiang c. 1958
Leonty Bartoshevitch of Geneva 19 Aug 1956
Agapit Krijanovsky of Brazil 9 Sept 1966
Savva Sarachevsky of Edmonton 30 Jan 1973
Nektarius Kontsevich of Seattle, 6 Feb 1983
Nicandr Padelin of San Paolo 2 Dec 1987
Innokenti Petrov of Argentina 23 Dec 1987

Noteworthy comments of Vl. Agafangel and Fr. Victor

The following comments are found on Internet Sobor under an article about ROCOR-MP's suspension of their bishop Michael Donskov of  Geneva and Western Europe.  This disgraceful traitor bishop was a persecutor of Metropolitan Vitaly, and now, by God's sign, he is suspended on the anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Vitaly.  

Reader Daniel Sharing:
Internet Sobor:

By chance. - Fr. Victor Dobrov 10/03/2017 15:28
On September 25, the memory of the repose of the Fourth First Hierarch of the ROCA, Metr., Was celebrated. Vitaly (Ustinov)

Completely random. - Metropolitan Agafangel 03.10.2017 18:58
The Kingdom of Heaven to Vladyka Vitaly!

It is a pity that in our vanity we miss the days of prayers for our dear deceased. It is necessary, I think, to issue special decrees with the blessing to serve requiems in all our parishes. We all remember the Synodic in the proskomedia, but this commemoration for our dear hierarchs is, of course, not enough.

Every day I pray for the peace of the soul of Vladika Vitaly. And only now I begin to understand how hard it was for him.

Completely random. - Fr.. Victor Dobrov 10/04/2017 00:01
Vladyka Vitaly was insulted, humiliated, and even physically assaulted at the hands of this once-favored and appointed by himself and then anathematized bishop Michael (Donskova).

Your Eminence ordained to the bishops Andronik and Sophrony would also have to treat you with gratitude, like grateful children to their father, and not as Ham to Noah

# Совершенно случайно. — о. Виктор Добров 03.10.2017 15:28
25 Сентября отмечалась память преставления Богу Четвертого Первоиерарха РПЦЗ Митр. Виталия (Устинова)

# RE: Совершенно случайно. — Митрополит Агафангел 03.10.2017 18:58
Царство Небесное владыке Виталию!

Жаль, что мы в своей суете пропускаем дни молитв по нашим дорогим усопшим. Надо, я думаю, издавать специальные указы с благословением служить панихиды по всем нашим приходам. Мы-то поминаем всех по Синодику на проскомидии, но такого поминовения для наших дорогих иерархов, конечно, недостаточно.

Я каждый день молюсь за упокой души владыки Виталия. И только сейчас начинаю понимать, как ему было тяжело.

# RE: Совершенно случайно. — о. Виктор Добров 04.10.2017 00:01
Владыка Виталий испытал оскорбление, унижение и даже физическое насилие от рук этого, когда-то облагодетельств ованного и поставленного им самим и самим же потом анафематствован ного епископа Михаила (Донскова). 

Вашим Высокопреосвяще нством поставленные во епископов Андроник и Софроний тоже должны были бы относиться к Вам с благодарностью, как благодарные дети к отцу, а не как Хам к Ною

Quotes pertaining to liars

"If you see lying and hypocrisy, expose them in front of all, even if they are clothed in purple and fine linen."
Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky) of New York (1906)

History of the fall of ROCOR 2000-2007 V. Moss

... But the Most Blessed Metropolitan Philaret said:  

You have probably heard many times how there are many most sublime, beautiful and seemingly Christian words being said about everyone joining together into one faith, one religion.   But remember, what lies behind this is precisely indifference towards truth.  If a person valued truth, he would never agree to this.  It is precisely because everyone is little interested in truth and wishes only to make things simpler and more convenient even in matters of the faith,  this is why they say that everyone must unite", i.e. each person must admit that his faith is not the truth, and only when all these truth-less faiths combine into one, then somehow truth will emerge.  Brethren, let us fear such indifference toward the truth.  Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly indicates to us in Revelations how terrifying indifference toward the truth is.  He speaks to the Angel of the Church of Laodiceans:  

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:   I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot ( lukewarm - you do not treasure the truth) I will spue thee out of My mouth."  This is expressed more severely and strongly in the Slavonic text:  "I will vomit you out of My mouth", just as an organism expels something truly repulsive and harmful to it.

Metropolitan Philaret NY (1986)


Otherwise there would not have been a Church Abroad

from 2010
Informational Epistle
To all the faithful members of the South American Diocese 
of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
who did not accept the Act to join with the Moscow Patriarchate

November 8/21, 2010
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and St. Philaret of New York

Dear members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad!
Christ is with you!

Recently, there has been more unpleasantness from representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) and the Synod of Metropolitan Hilarion, not only to the clergy, but also to the members of that part of the ROCA which did not agree to union with the MP.  It is being done with sophisticated slander, the spreading of lies and gossip, and the sly casting of poison and doubts into the hearts of the so-called “Rusexpatriates” and “fellow countrymen,” who, with a small exception, have little knowledge of the Church and easily accept everything as the truth.  These gossipmongers, raised in the Soviet Union and experts at propaganda, hope to entice and influence those loyal to the Church through these local Rusexpatriates, with whom they are acquainted or have contact, with the goal of tearing away as many people as possible from their rectors and parishes and attracting them to themselves.

In their published statements, they call us schismatics, noting that all of our clergy has been forbidden to serve and that all mysteries performed by us are invalid.  Presenting historical facts of the last couple of years, they deliberately distort them and draw false conclusions for their own benefit.  One of their main accusations is Metropolitan Agafangel’s supposed disregard of the Synod Ukase which named him to the South American cathedra, which necessitated them to issue a Ukase of censure forbidding him to serve, and two years later, to be defrocked.  This is simply a complete lie, meant to deceive people!

Indeed, in April, 2007, the Right Reverend Bishop Agafangel was handed a ukase from the Right Reverend Bishop Michael naming him to the South American cathedra, which he ACCEPTED and immediately notified all the clergy of that diocese.  They then began to commemorate him as their ruling diocesan bishop, after Metropolitan Laurus.  The fact that he (Vl. Agafangel) did not move to South America is presented (by the ROCOR-MP) as proof that he did not comply with the ukase.  But our previous ruling bishop, Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of blessed memory, oversaw the South American diocese for several years while living in Los Angeles (USA).  This was not considered a violation or non-compliance of a ukase by anyone.

On May 17, 2007, as we all know, the disgraceful betrayal of the Church Abroad occurred, orchestrated by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Laurus, whom we all loved back then.  The Act which the MP considers to be HISTORICAL AND GLORIOUS is considered by us to be DISGRACEFUL, SORROWFUL AND INGLORIOUS, as it clearly undermined and destroyed the foundation of the Church Abroad, which had been worthy up to that point.  This event, as is well known, was a great temptation for many clergy and laypeople and led to discord and divisions among communities, parishes, and even among families.  Is it possible to consider this Act pleasing to God?  What does the Holy Scripture tell us of such seducers?  But for the MP that glorious day was one of victory, as they hoped that this way they would win over and eliminate that voice of conscience which had always rebuked them!  But…

Bishop Agafangel did not accept the Act of union and on that day (May 17, (2007)) left the Synod of Metropolitan Laurus.  Logically, from that moment on, all ukases and censures or anything issued from that Synod have no power or meaning not only for Bishop Agafangel personally, but for all those clergy and laypeople who followed him, or those who left the Synod of Metropolitan Laurus even earlier, endeavoring to remain true to those teachings, laws and traditions by which the Church Abroad lived for 80 years and thus allowing the voice of the TRUE, free and uncompromised Church Abroad to live on!

It is essential to recall what occurred in February, 2008.  At the behest of the Synod of Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Hilarion, accompanied by Archpriest Michael Boykov, arrived in Sao Paulo (they later went to Buenos Aires) to convince us to return to their Synod.  In one of the houses, in front of many witnesses, he stated that everyone should continue attending their churches, since Bishop Agafangel WAS NOT UNDER CENSURE!

     Besides, it is not that hard for a normal person to understand how invalid are the censures placed on Bishop Agafangel and all the clergy of the South American diocese.  Let us recall how Metropolitan Sergey (Stragorodskiy) issued an Ukase forbidding Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitskiy) and the all the clergy abroad from serving, because they had not accepted the previous Ukase to submit to the Soviet government, embodied in his Declaration of 1927.  And why did Metropolitan Anthony not acknowledge these ukases?  Because he had left Metropolitan Sergey and his Synod and therefore these ukases were not valid.  Otherwise there would not have been a Church Abroad.  As a result, all the bishops of the local Churches did not consider Metropolitan Anthony under censure, but as the head of the Church Abroad.  Of course, the MP still considered Metropolitan Anthony and all the CA clergy under censure right up to the time of the infamous Act of union.  So much so, that right up to the end Metropolitan Kirill (Gundyayev) himself still called us “karlovtsy schismatics.”  ( . )
It is understandable that these people are a nuisance for the MP, since they were unable to extinguish the voice of Truth completely, as in the dark years of Soviet atheism, and so they endeavor to wipe us off the face of the earth.  The Moscow Patriarchate was never interested in the souls of people, but only in fame, authority and power, which is why they were loyal to the atheistic, godless regime that was destroying the Church.  Unfortunately, to this day, this spirit still exists in the majority of its leaders.

We always loved and will love Russia and the Russian people and never rejected them, never left them and never disdained them.  This is evident by how we preserved the language, the culture and most importantly the ORTHODOX FAITH for all these years.  So much so that it is actually purer than in the Soviet Union itself.  We always prayed and even pray now that the Churches unite and always lived with the hope of uniting the entire Russian Orthodox Church, which we expressed at the All-Diaspora Council in San Francisco.  But this must be done in the TRUTH OF CHRIST and not in lies, deception and compromises with unbelievers and heretics and apostates from Orthodoxy, which is what “World Orthodoxy” aspires to do now and in which the MP is an active participant.  It is they who are making use of the fruits which we sowed and nurtured, which belong to us and which they are now usurping and brazenly posing as its owners.  In spite of everything, we still love them like our own brothers.  We pray for them that the Lord may enlighten them and show them that we are not their enemies and that they leave us in peace, to allow us to pray, and not take our churches from us and not slander us.  Our Lord God will be the judge of us all!

We call upon all our faithful parishioners and spiritual charges not to give in to false propaganda and hold fast to their faith and their spiritual leaders and may God’s blessing be with all of you!

+ Humble Gregory
Bishop of Sao Paulo and South America