A LETTER OF ORTHODOX CONFESSION
by Archimandrite Adrianos, former Confessor and Elder at the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai (written 1994)Transl. from: A Letter of Orthodox Confession, Archimandrite Adrianos, Etna, Calif.: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1994.
1) THE NECESSITY OF AN ORTHODOX CONFESSION It is truly good and sweet for Monastics to live a life of prayful stillness, and what is more, this is their calling. However, when Times are difficult, as they are today, when the spiritual Ship of the Holy Orthodox Church is suffering the deadly plagues of the last times, to acquiesce is a denial of the Faith, and the lack of a consistent confession in deed and word is completely inexcusable. St. Theodore the Studite is very clear and unambiguous: „For it is a commandment of the Lord that we should not keep silent at a time when the Faith is in peril. Hence when it is a matter of Faith, one can not say, ‚Who am I?’ A priest, perhaps? So what? A farmer? This, too, is beside the point. A pauper, perhaps, who only provides his daily sustenance? ‚…I have no stake or interest in the matter.’ Woe, the stones would cry out, and you are silent and unconcerned?” (Epistle II.81; PG 99:1321B). Unfortunately, the shepherds of the official Church, when they are not preaching in an un-Orthodox manner, keep their lips closed in sinful silence. This is precisely what academic theology is doing. I hoped in my prayers that some barrage and censure would be directed against all of the uncanonical and un-Orthodox activities which are taking place in the Church, and which are increasing day by day at a most alarming rate rather than diminishing. 2) UN-ORTHODOX PHILOPAPISM Everyone is aware of the so-called „dialogue of love,” which the unfortunate Patriarch Athenagoras inaugurated and which his like-minded successors Demetrios and Bartholomew have continued, with the heretical and anti-Greek Pope. The Holy Hieromartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Cosmas of Aitolia denounces the Pope of Rome as ANTICHRIST and urges us to curse him for all of the tribulations which, on his account, will assail our blessed nation and our Holy Orthodoxy. The Latin-minded Patriarch Athenagoras preached that the Orthodox Church, prior to him, was in error, and he officially lifted the anathemas against pan-heretical Papism, while the Papophiles who have continued his anti-Orthodox course formally proclaimed only last year In Balamand, Lebanon, that Papism and Orthodoxy are „Sister Churches” in the full sense of the term. The deceitful slogans and sermons concerning love and peace overlook the true unity of the Faith, and promote a love without Truth, even though Love and Truth are inseparable. The great Joseph Bryennios writes the following about this false peace: „It is good for all to be at peace, as long as they agree on piety…, because there is evil concord just as there is good concord. For to those for whom friendship is an occasion for perdition, hatred becomes the basis for virtue. And disagreement for the sake of dispassion is better than agreement” (The Complete Works of Joseph Bryennios, Vol.1, p.482). 3) SINAI’S FALL INTO ECUMENISM For thirty consecutive years I served faithfully at the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai, where God walked. I was a daily Priest, a Spiritual Father, a chanter, and a hermit at the Holy Hesychasterion of the Monk-Martyrs Galaction and Episteme. For many years I endured the insults and slights that came forth from the Patriarchate of Constantinople against the spotless Bride of Christ, the Most Holy Orthodox Church! I exercised oikonomia for a period of time, awaiting – albeit in vain – the repentence and return of the innovators to the correct path. However, the spirit of heretical Ecumenism has soaked to the marrow not only the clergy of the Phanar, but unfortunately also the clergy of other local Orthodox Churches, the official Church of Greece being no exception. Unfortunately Damianos, the Archbishop and Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Sinai, was also attacked by the virus of ecumenism, and, in particular, he ceased to commemorate Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem after the relevant decision of the so-called „Great and Extraordinary Synod” of the Phanar, which was directed in a spirit of persecution against His Beatitude in July of 1993. In this way, Archbishop Damianos sides with the friends of Papism and Protestantism, prays with them, and contributes to the apostasy of ecumenism. I personally, as much as other Fathers of the Monastery, in private and in gatherings, censured him, because we could not tolerate joint prayers with innovators and friends of heretics. However, he „did not want to understand.” He continued and continues to preach with bared head in words and deeds whatever the Latin-minded Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the others who hold the same views preach and practice. And not only that, he publicly insults the Spiritual Father of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine, Patriarch Diodoros, in an unseemly fashion. We reproached Archbishop Damianos, who had deviated terribly, for unjustifiably breaking off commemoration of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, insofar as those living in the Monastery are canonically obligated to commemorate the Presiding Bishop of the Holy City, Jerusalem, since from its creation the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine has been spiritually subject to the Patriarch of Jerusalem;… but to no avail! 4) THE TERMINATION OF MY RELATIONS WITH THE „OFFICIAL” ORTHODOX In the light of all these considerations, and of many others which are neither written down nor described, I decided to break ecclesiastical communion with St. Catherine’s and to relieve myself of my responsibilities. My soul is distressed, brethren, Fathers, and children beloved in the Lord, because Holy Orthodoxy is being beheaded by the sword of ecumenism. Holy things are being given to dogs and the Pearl is being trampled by swine. I abandoned the security of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine and went forth into the struggle, because it was not possible for me to do otherwise. Orthodoxy was in peril; Piety, our Mother, was being blasphemed; the worship handed down by the Fathers was being betrayed. How could I put up with this, when I had been fighting for Orthodoxy for the whole of my life up till the present? I went to Australia to meet my brother (according to the flesh), and there I preached against ecumenism and all heresies. From the pulpit I censured all those who undertake joint prayers and dialogues with the Papists, the ecumenists, and heretics of every kind. The Papophile and ecumenist Archbishop Stylianos was very bothered, since his views were not in accordance with what the Sacred Canons of our Holy Orthodox Church prescribe. Naturally, I did not go to take a blessing from the impious Archbishop Stylianos, because he preaches with bared head the pan-heresy of ecumenism and blasphemes the Name of the Holy Trinity with his anti-Orthodox proclamations. I did the very same thing during my visit to Canada, because Bishop Sotiros of Toronto, a subordinate of the arch-ecumenist Iakovos, has the same views as Archbishop Stylianos. About the unfortunate Archbishop Iakovos, what can I say? His un-Orthodox views have been notorious for many years. 5) MY BREAK WITH THE METROPOLITAN OF ZAKYNTHOS After my return to Greece, I went to my native place, the island of Zakynthos. There the Metropolitan of the official Church, Panteleimon (Bezenitis), is well-known for his ecumenist views. I was flabbergasted when he stated to me privately that the Latins are not heretics…! Naturally, I broke off all ecclesiastical communion with him. On my father’s property in the village of Planos, Zakynthos, there was an old family Chapel, which I renovated in order to Liturgize. The Latin-minded Metropolitan Panteleimon responded with persecution: he ordered the police to seal up the Chapel. However, the pious laypeople should be informed that Metropolitan Panteleimon was one of the many Orthodox who took part in the Seventh General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Canberra, Australia (February 1991), where there were prodigies and omens, and sky-high blasphemies against the Holy Spirit were heard. The ecumenist Metropolitan Panteleimon was not bothered by the heretics of all kinds who wander around the blessed island of St. Dionysius, nor by the church of the heretical Latins on the island. The only thing that bothered him was my own return to the genuine sources of our Holy Faith and the consistency of my Orthodoxy. 6) MY ACCESSION TO THE ORTHODOX IN RESISTENCE Indeed, to the extent that I resolved to struggle for my Confession, I knew that I would experience warfare, which has begun and which continues. Not having anything to reproach me with, the ecumenists spread the rumor that I was in a state of delusion (plane). Why? Because I ceased to commune with the ecumenists, because I wage war on ecumenism, because I do not accept joint prayers and friendships with the Pope and Papophiles, and finally, because I sided with the Orthodox in Resistence, who follow the Old Calendar. In fact, I went over to the Holy Synod in Resistence of Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili, since it is the duty of Orthodox to break off ecclesiastical communion with and commemoration of innovating Hierarchs, to distance themselves from them, and to commune only with those Orthodox who are genuine in deed and word. This cessation of relations with ecumenist shepherds is called a „walling off” (Canon 15 of the First-Second Synod). We ought to wall ourselves off and separate ourselves from a Bishop who „is manifestly at fault either in point of piety or in point of righteousness, that is to say…, is manifestly either heretical or unjust.” (Canon 31 of the Holy Apostles, Interpretation of St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite). When Bishops preach heresy publicly, then they are „pseudo-Bishops,” and all those who „wall themselves off” from such pseudo-Bishops are not only not subject to penalties, but on the contrary are worthy of „honor” (Canon 15 of the First-Second Synod). St. John Chrysostomos says in this regard that when the Bishop is „wicked in regard to Faith,” we should „flee and avoid him, not only if he be a man, but even if he be an Angel come down from Heaven” (Homily 34 on Hebrews; PG 63:231). St. Theodore the Studite states very plainly that „we have a recept from the Apostle [Paul] himself, that if anyone teaches or enjoins us to do anything other than what we have received and what the Canons of the universal and local Synods prescribe, we should regard him as unacceptable and not consider him to belong to the holy clergy” (Epistle I.24; PG99:988A). When the Faith is in peril, then silence is reckoned to be a violation of a commandment of the Lord: „It is a commandment of the Lord that we should not keep silent at a time when the Faith is in peril” (St. Theodore the Sudite, PG 99:1321B). Therefore, when heresy is preached, the Orthodox should (1) not culpably keep silent, but should speak the word of Truth with boldness, should (2) „wall themselves off” from false teachers and false Bishops, and should (3) vigorously fight the good fight „of the Orthodox and God-pleasing resistence” (St. Theodore the Studite, Epistle I.39, PG 99:1045D). Orthodox resistence means opposition and struggle against those who uncanonically reformed the Ecclesiastical Calendar handed down by Tradition and who preach the pan-heresy of ecumenism. Orthodox resistence means that we exercise the right, which belongs to the People of God, to reject anything un-Orthodox imposed on us by shepherds who do not teach aright the word of Truth. A decision in the Orthodox Church is never imposed from above, as it is by Papism: the People of God are the defenders of the Faith, wielding a veto, rejecting whatever is contrary to Tradition, and even judging the Orthodoxy of any Ecumenical Synod that can be characterized as a „Robber Synod.” The Holy Synod in Resistence of Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili carries on this struggle of an „Orthodox and God-pleasing resistence” with consistency and discernment, walking the royal path of moderation and working for the union of the divided Orthodox Church through the convocation of a unifying Orthodox synod, which would condemn the pan-heresy of ecumenism and reinstate the traditional Ecclesiastical Calendar, for the reconciliation of the pious people and the unity of the Orthodox festal Calendar. It is abundantly clear that the Holy Synod in Resistence does not aspire to create „another Church,” but to preserve the continuity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, that is, the Orthodox Church, to which the erring Orthodox clergy and laity, who have embraced the deceitful slogans – whih are deadly to the Church – of the so-called ecumenical movement and who participate in the pan-heretical „World Council of Churches,” are called to return in repentence. 7) DO YOUR ORTHODOX DUTY Beloved children in the Lord: I have concisely delineated the reasons which impelled me to the very serious step of breaking communion with the ecumenists and of joining the Holy Synod in Resistence of the True (Old Calendar) Orthodox chuch of Greece. This action of mine, which was a fruit of prayer and agony for the preservation of my Orthodox confession, does not have a merely personal character. I acted in this way because I was oppressed by the weight of responsibility for all my spiritual children, who await from me a word of salvation and correct guidance. With the present letter I ask you to examine in depth all of the points that I mentioned above, to study the subject of the pan-heresy of ecumenism more closely, to think long and hard about it, and, when you have prayed to our Lady Theotokos, to do your Orthodox duty. The times are extremely critical; the signs of the times are being fullfilled; the „Apostasy” is culminating with the participation, unfortunately, not only of the New Calendarists, but also of all the Orthodox ecumenists. We will have to answer terribly on the Day of Judgment if we keep silent, if we commune with the innovators and the Latin-minded, and if we do not imitate our Holy Ancestors, who made no concessions on matters of the Faith. Do not forget that St. Theodore the Studite proclaimed the following: „Chrysostomos loudly declared that the enemies of God were not only heretics, but also tose who commune with such people” (Epistle I.39; PG 99:1049A). „Let us stand aright! Let us stand with fear!” In concluding this humble letter of mine, I appeal with sincere love to the ecumenists and the other enemies of our Holy Faith, and I remind them that our Orthodox Church always conquered, conquers, and will conquer Her adversaries, because She is watered by the blessed blood of countless Holy Martyrs and Confessors of our Savior Jesus Christ. So let the Latin-minded, the ecumenists, the innovators, and the heretics repent, and let them return to the Holy Orthodox Ark of salvation, because, as St. Photios the Great says: „There is one Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, not more, not even two; congresses other than this are synagogues of wicked men and a synod of dissenters; thus do we the true Christians think, thus we do believe, thus we do proclaim” (Epistle 284, Against the Heresy of the Theopaschites). Sunday of Holy Pentecost June 6, 1994 (Old Style) Archimandrite Adrianos formerly of Sinai