THE APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION OF THE ROMANIAN OLD CALENDARIST CHURCHES

Written by Vladimir Moss

THE APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION OF THE ROMANIAN OLD CALENDARIST CHURCHES

 

     There are two Romanian Old Calendarist Synods. The first, popularly known as “Slatioara” after its main men’s monastery, has in recent decades spread all over the country from its original homeland in Moldavia, and represents the largest True Orthodox Church in the world. The second, popularly known as “Tekuch” after the village in which its main monastery is situated, is smaller and concentrated mainly in Eastern Romania. The Apostolic succession of the Slatioara Synod has recently come under scrutiny since the claim by the Old Calendarist Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens that in about 1980 the “Kallistite” Synod to which he then belonged administered the rite of cheirothesia (laying on of hands) to the Slatioara bishops – a claim that the Slatioara Synod vehemently denies. In this article the present writer proposes to examine this claim, before going on to discuss the apostolic succession of the other, “Tekuch” Synod.

     In 1924 the Romanian state church under its former uniate Patriarch Miron adopted the new, papal or Grigorian calendar. Immediately a resistance movement grew up in Moldavia under the leadership of Hieromonk Glycerie of Neamts monastery. For the next thirty or so years, several hundred thousand Old Calendarists maintained their faith in spite of severe persecution, first from the new calendarist Church and State, and then, after the war, from the communists. Twice their churches were destroyed, and twice they rebuilt them. In the whole of this period, they had no native bishop and were not in official communion with any other Church, although some support came from the Old Calendarist zealots of Mount Athos.

     However, the need for a hierarch became pressing; and so the distinguished traditionalist theologian Metropolitan Galaction (Cordun), who was living in virtual retirement in Bucharest, was approached by leaders of the Old Calendarists and was asked to join them. He agreed to do so when the time was ripe. And so on April 5/18, 1955 he publicly declared in a letter to the newcalendarist synod that he had accepted to be the head of the Old Calendarist Church, and on May 8/21 he arrived in Slătioara Monastery, where the people greeted him with the cry: “Axios!”, “He is worthy!” Thus was fulfilled a prophetic vision that Hieromonk Glycerius had had during the war, while in a forest being pursued by enemies: “It was night. Before him, he saw a beautiful Church. Metropolitan Galacteon (Cordun)… appeared. Vladyka was holding Icons and a Cross in his hands, and he was giving each believer in the Church an Icon. When he reached the pious Father Glycherie, he gave him the Cross.”[1]

     In November Metropolitan Galaction and Fr. Glycherie were summoned to the police to register and legalise the Church. The faithful were against them going, sensing a trap, but the metropolitan insisted. The result: he was placed under house arrest in the monastery of St. Callinicus at Cernica, while Fr. Glycherie was exiled. However, under the pretext of visiting his doctor, the metropolitan went several times to Moarea Domneasca, which belonged to the Old Calendarists, and consecrated two bishops (Evloghie and Meftodie[2]) and several priests. When this was discovered, about a year later, he was placed under stronger observation in Căldăruşani Monastery. But on Good Friday, 1959, Metropolitan Galaction was abducted by Fr. Pavel Mogârzan, Georghe Hincu and the advocate Albu, disguised as Securitate agents. He went the next day to Slătioara… “When, two or three hours [later], the patriarch phoned to find out what the metropolitan was doing, they told him that two officers of the security police had taken him. The patriarch shouted: ‘I didn’t send any officers!’ But the metropolitan was already far away.” [3]

     This was not the first dramatic abduction carried out by the Romanian Old Calendarists in this period… Metropolitan Blaise, the present leader of the Church, writes: “During the night of November 17, 1956, Archimandrite Glycerius, who had been abducted from his forced labour, was secretly consecrated a bishop [in Moara Domnească]. Then they hid in our monastery [of Slătioara], where every day ordinations took place. A year later they were again arrested.”

     Metropolitan Galaction died in 1959; but the Slatioara Church was now firmly established with a Synod of bishops under the inspired leadership of Metropolitan Glycerie. However, they were still completely isolated from other Orthodox Churches, and there was a canonical question mark over the hierarchy. For its founder, Metropolitan Galaction, had been consecrated by new calendarist bishops in 1935, and his consecration of Bishop Evloghie had been single-handed…

*

     Let us put the problem in historical and canonical perspective. Without entering in detail here into the reasons why the new calendar was rejected, we need note only that it was anathematized by three Pan-Orthodox Councils of the Eastern Patriarchs (attended by a plenipotentiary of the Russian Church) in 1583, 1587 and 1593. Then, in 1924, it was introduced almost simultaneously into the State Churches of Romania and Greece. In 1935 three bishops of the State Church of Greece joined the Greek Old Calendarists, and promptly declared the Greek new calendarists to be schismatics and without the Grace of sacraments. No such decision was made in relation to the Romanian new calendarists at that time for the simple reason that the Romanian Old Calendarists did not yet have any bishops who had the canonical right to bind the new calendar church. So the question was: was the consecration of Metropolitan Galaction by new calendarist bishops valid or not?

     The rigorist position, which is maintained by the a minority of the Greek Old Calendarists called the “Matthewites” and the Romanian “Tekuch” Synod, is that all the new calendarists, both in Greece and Romania, immediately and automatically lost Grace in 1924, and so were unable to consecrate true, Grace-filled bishops. It follows that Metropolitan Galaction’s consecration in 1935 was invalid, as were his consecrations of the Slatioara bishops from 1955 onwards. So from 1924 Romania was completely deprived of true bishops and churches, with the single exception of the founder of the “Tekuch” hierarchy, Bishop Victor-Vasile (Leu), of whom we will speak in more detail later.

     However, the rigorist position has several serious flaws that make it untenable. First, while the adoption of the new calendar was undoubtedly a most serious sin which led subsequently to the falling away of the new calendarists from the Church, it cannot be considered to be more serious than the pan-heresy of ecumenism, which was officially proclaimed in an Encyclical by all the bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1920. And yet, to the writer’s knowledge, while the fateful significance of the 1920 encyclical has been widely recognized, no Orthodox bishop of any jurisdiction, even the most rigorist, has ever declared that the Ecumenical Patriarchate lost Grace immediately and automatically when it proclaimed heresy in 1920.

     Secondly, if the adoption of the new calendar immediately and automatically leads to the loss of the Grace of sacraments, then we should have to conclude that Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow lost Grace in 1923, when he adopted the new calendar. True, this lasted for only three months, after which the patriarch, impressed by the almost unanimous refusal of the people to obey his decree, realized his mistake and returned to the Old Calendar. However, the rigorist position, if followed through consistently, must lead us to conclude that Patriarch Tikhon fell away from the Church in 1923. Moreover, to the present writer’s knowledge, since no Synod of bishops ever received his repentance or received him back from “schism” into Orthodoxy, the rigorists must also declare that he died in schism in 1925. And yet no Orthodox zealot, even the most fanatical, has ever made such a shocking declaration, knowing that it runs completely counter to the conscience of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

     Thirdly, if the Greek new calendarists lost Grace immediately and automatically in 1924, then the three bishops who returned to the Old Calendar in 1935 were not in fact bishops, and all their acts as “bishops”, not only between 1924 and 1935, but also thereafter, were invalid… The rigorists may retort that two out of the three bishops who returned to the Old Calendar had been consecrated before 1924, and so had at least had true consecrations. All they needed to do was repent of their newcalendarism before the Old Calendar clergy and laity, after which they could exercise the functions of true, canonical hierarchs in the Old Calendar Church… But if, as the rigorists insist, the acceptance of the new calendar was not simply a serious mistake, but a falling into schism from the Church and deprivation of their episcopal rank, then in order for the bishops to be restored to their episcopal rank, they needed not simply absolution from their sin, which could be given them by a simple priest: they needed the Grace of the episcopate to be restored to them. But only a Synod of bishops can bestow the Grace of the episcopate. No group of clergy or laity, however large or Orthodox, can take the place of a Synod here.

     If this reasoning is correct, then the three Greek bishops who returned to the Old Calendar in 1935 were still bishops at that time, and did not need to have their episcopate restored by re-ordination, cheirothesia or any other means. They only needed, before beginning to act as bishops in the Old Calendar Church, to receive forgiveness for the blot on their conscience caused by their (unwilling and temporary) acceptance of the new calendar. This they received…

     Having been received back into the Old Calendar Church, the three bishops proceeded to condemn the new calendarists as true schismatics, invoking the anathemas of 1583, 1587 and 1593. This already changed the status of the Greek new calendarists, making it less excusable and more serious; for now, for the first time, a living synod of canonical, Old Calendar bishops declared that the new calendarists from now on fell under the anathemas against the new calendar. However, it should be emphasized that this decision of the Greek Old Calendar Synod, declaring the new calendarists to be outside the Church, applied only within the bounds of the Church of Greece…

*

     Returning now to Romania, we may apply the same logic to the question of Metropolitan Galacteon’s consecration. When he returned to the Old Calendar in 1955 he did not need to receive re-ordination, cheirothesia or any such thing. For when he was ordained to the episcopate in 1935, no living Synod of Romanian bishops had yet condemned the Romanian new calendarists in the way that the Greek Old Calendar Synod condemned the Greek new calendarists in 1935.

     Some years later, this was confirmed by the Greek Old Calendarist Synod under the presidency of Metropolitan Kallistos of Corinth. On October 30, 1979, they decided “to recognise the episcopal consecrations performed by Metropolitan Galaction Cordun through concelebration of the Romanian and Greek hierarchs, in agreement with the divine and holy canons and the order of the Orthodox Church…

     “Our Holy Synod, having full knowledge of the circumstances, and of its historical responsibilities before God and men, decides to recognise the ordinations of the Romanian Church of T.O.C., which are dogmatically and sacramentally (mystiriakos) valid, but uncanonical, as having been performed single-handedly (Bishop Galaction Cordun alone ordained Bishop Evloghie). This recognition and the consequential settling (taktopoiisis) of the existent anticanonicity will be realised through a simple concelebration of our bishops of the Greek Church of T.O.C. with their Romanian brothers in Christ; this will signify the establishment of spiritual-ecclesiastical intercommunion of the two sister Churches.”

     The decision is signed by ten bishops: Kallistos of Corinth, Anthony of Attica and Megara, Kyprianos of Oropos, Maximos of Magnesia, Kallinikos of Achaia, Matthew of Oinoe, Germanos of Aiolia, Kalliopios of Pentapolis, Merkourios of Knossos and Kallinikos of the Dodecanese.[4] It is in Greek and Romanian, and also contains the signature of the emissary of the Romanian Synod, Bishop Silvestru. A photocopy of this document was supplied to the present writer by Bishop Ambrose of Methone, who was at that time interpreter for the Greek and Romanian bishops.

     In April, 1980 the Kallistite Synod entered into official communion with the True Orthodox Church of Romania under the presidency of Metropolitan Glycerie.[5]

     A few years later, the Kallistite Synod collapsed and all of its bishops (with the exception of Metropolitan Kyprianos) joined a new union of the Greek Old Calendarists under Archbishop Chrysostomos (Kiousis) of Athens.

     However, in recent years a completely new version of this story has been put forward by one of the bishops who signed this document – Metropolitan Kallinikos of Achaia, who is now Archbishop of Athens in succession to Archbishop Chrysostomos. According to his version, as recounted by the Secretary of the Synod, Bishop Photius of Marathon, in 1981 Metropolitan Kallistos, together with Metropolitans Kallinikos of Achaia and Kyprianos of Oropos, went to Romania and performed the act of cheirothesia on the Romanian bishops in order to regularize their position. Later, when the Kallistites united with the other Old Calendarist “Florinites”, this act was recognized by the united Church.[6]

     Since Archbishop Kallinikos’ version of history is flatly contradicted by the documentary just cited, by the whole of the Slatioara Synod[7] and by eye-witnesses such as Bishop Ambrose, it can be safely rejected. We shall not speculate here why Archbishop Kallinikos has been “economical with the truth” in this instance… The important point is that no cheirothesia took place because, as Kallinikos’ own signature under the 1979 document witnesses, none was necessary…

*

     There is another Old Calendar hierarchy in Romania; its origins go back to the immediate post-war period. [8]  In 1948, at the request – more precisely, order - of the Soviets, the new calendarist Romanian Church was obliged to surrender its parishes in the diaspora and let them come under the jurisdiction of the Moscow patriarchate. Worried by the danger this posed for their flock, several bishops, foremost among them Grigorie Leu of Husi and Chesarie of Tomis, decided to send the priests Florian Galdau and Vasile Leu, the son of Bishop Grigorie, to help the aged and sick Metropolitan Visarion Puiu. Since Fr. Vasile’s wife had died, he was tonsured on August 21, 1948 in preparation for consecration to the episcopate with the name Victor.

     On August 21, 1948 the two priests left Romania, and after jumping from the train at Isanova railway station, entered Yugoslavia, where they were arrested and interrogated by Yugoslav security. They succeeded in escaping and reached Austria. There, after staying for a time in a camp, they were set free by the Allied Forces and began to serve in a church in Salzburg. Eventually, after a meeting of Romanian exiles from all over the diaspora, the Autonomous Romanian Orthodox Archiepiscopate of Western Europe was set up. Since Metropolitan Visarion was ill and paralysed in a sanatorium in Switzerland, Fr. Vasile was sent, with Visarion’s blessing, to the Russian Church Abroad in Munich to be consecrated to the episcopate.

     ROCOR had already given some help to the Romanian Church. Thus in the early 1930s ROCOR appealed to the Serbian Church on behalf of Russian Orthodox Christians persecuted in Romania. Moreover, Bishop Seraphim (Lyade) of Vienna was sent to Bessarabia to minister to Russian Old Calendarists led by Hieromonk Gamaliel of Niamets monastery, and ordain priests there.[9]

     Now, at the request of representatives of the Romanian Archiepiscopate, Seraphim (now Metropolitan of Berlin) joined Bishop Stephen (Sevbo) of Vienna and (according to one version) Bishop Philip (Gardner) of Potsdam in consecrating Fr. Vasile in Munich in December, 1949, giving him the new name Vasile-Victor. However, the files of the German diocese of ROCOR reveal no record of this consecration, and there is also no record that Philip Gardner was ever a bishop…[10]

     Even before his consecration Bishop Vasile-Victor had been founding Romanian Orthodox parishes on the basis of a strong anti-communist position. He met King Michael in Switzerland, gave the sacrament of confession to Queen Anna, and met the old King Carol in Paris. He also broadcast in Romanian from the BBC in London and several radio stations in Austria, and was a regular contributor to Paris Radio. He issued thousands of certificates to Romanian refugees to enable them to obtain visas in western countries.

     In Romania, meanwhile, Bishop Victor-Vasile’s father, Bishop Grigorie, had suffered the abolition of his diocese of Husi, and on February 25, 1949 was summoned to Bucharest for discussions. Being a strong anti-communist who had warned about the transformation of the Romanian Church into a “Sovrom patriarchy”, he was not allowed to return a healthy man. Three days later he died, probably from poisoning.

     On August 16, 1952 Bishop Victor-Vasile was arrested in Vienna, injected with some substance, and kidnapped. Three days later he woke up in a Soviet prison. He was transported to the Lubyanka in Moscow, where he was interrogated for seven months and charged with working for the English and American secret services. Beria himself sometimes took part in the interrogations. Bishop Victor-Vasile refused to ask for a pardon, and also refused to delegate anyone to make such a request on his behalf. “I consider communism to be the main enemy of the Christians,” he said, “and that is why this is the goal of my life.” At the Bucharest District Law Court on November 16, 1954 he declared: “I realize that you want to find out whether I collaborated with the English information service. I said and I repeat that I haven’t spied for anybody. I am an enemy of this Romanian regime, which has turned the country into a kind of prison. I carried out this activity because the communist regime is a straitjacket for the soul and essence of the Romanian people. The only decision that would honour me and the law court would be my condemnation to death.”

     On November 20, 1954 he was condemned to death for treason (resolution № 2417). However, he was not executed, but passed through all the prisons of Romania. In 1964 he was released. His file in the security archives is 300 pages long and reveals that he made no compromise with the authorities.

     After his release, Bishop Victor-Vasile refused to join the Romanian patriarchate, but instead set off for the monastery of the Old Calendarists at Slatioara in Moldavia, where he was accepted as a bishop at first (he served with them for seven years, according to one account). However, canonical differences with the other Old Calendarists forced him to return to Bucharest. It appears that Bishop Victor-Vasile took a stricter attitude towards the Romanian new calendarists, rebaptising and remarrying them, and also could not recognize the validity of the consecration of Metropolitan Galaction, since it had been carried out in 1935, after the calendar change. On the other hand, the Old Calendarists did not accept Victor-Vasile’s consecration because he did not have ordination papers, and because ROCOR had no records of his consecration.[11]

     On leaving Slatioara, Bishop Victor-Vasile joined the followers of Fr. Gamaliel, who, like St. Glicherie, was a hieromonk of Neamt and rejected the calendar change, but who differed from Glicherie from the beginning over the baptism issue as also over beards (he regarded men who shaved as automatically excommunicated). Nifon Dobrogeanul and Mina were his followers, and Bishop Victor now ordained Niphon to the episcopate single-handedly. Later Niphon, also single-handedly, but with the agreement of Bishop Victor, consecrated Clement and Cassian. Victor’s activity was confined to his flat in Bucharest because the communists placed him under virtual house arrest in order to restrict his contact with the faithful. That is why, when he died in 1978, he was taken to Cernica monastery and buried by the new calendarists there. Only a few laymen from his flock, and no priests, were present.

     The “Tekuch” Church is now led by Bishops Gherontie of Vrancea and Cassian of Moldavia, and has between 8000 and 12,000 believers, according to one account, about 4000 according to another. It has ten priests, three deacons and three monasteries. On April 19 / May 2, 2008 it officially entered into communion with Metropolitan Cyricus of Mesogaia and Lavriotiki, the most rigorist of all the Greek Old Calendarist bishop who is recognized by no Greek Synod.

     The union took place through simple concelebration of the Greek and Romanian bishops, which would seem to suggest that Kyrikos recognized the apostolic succession of the “Tekuch” church.  In a joint statement, all the other Greek Old Calendarists were condemned, and the union between ROCOR and the Greek Old Calendarists in 1971 declared to be a Masonic plot.

     However, in an apologia reproduced in English on the “Kyrikite” website the “Kyrikites” declared: “According to the writings of St. Theodore the Studite, whose canon is quoted in the Synodal Decision, the bishops of the Romanian Catacomb Church were accepted based on their Confession of Faith, and their Apostolic Succession was sealed by the Act itself, which Metropolitan Kirykos read out aloud during the Divine Liturgy, just prior to entering into communion with them. The Decision states "By this act we RECOGNIZE, SEAL AND APPROVE your Apostolic Succession, asking the Holy Spirit to fill anything that may be lacking, and known only to God." The last phrase in bold is an exact quotation from the prayer for ordination of bishops. So Metropolitan Kyrikos appears to have tried to re-ordain the Romanian bishops – evidently without their knowledge.[12]

     In the present writer’s opinion, while Bishop Victor-Vasile may have been validly ordained by ROCOR bishops, the “Tekuch” church he founded cannot be considered to have apostolic succession for the following reasons: (i) there is no documentary evidence of his ordination, which according to Apostolic Canon 33 means it should not be accepted; (ii) the present “Tekuch” Synod rejects all other True Orthodox jurisdictions, which makes it schismatic; and (iii) its official communion with the schismatic Metropolitan Kyrikos deepens its schismatic status.

 

Vladimir Moss.

May 2/15, 2012.

 

    

 

 

 



[1] Metropolitan Blaise, The Life of the Holy Hierarch and Confessor Glycherie of Romania, Etna, Ca.: Center for Traditionalist Studies, 1999, p. 50.

[2] Bishop Evloghie was consecrated in 1955 and died in 1978. He had previously spent seven years in prison after declaring his adherence to the True Orthodox Church, and spent 14 years in prison in all. Bishop Meftodie was consecrated in 1956 and died in 1977.

[3] Metropolitan Blaise, Pravoslavnaia Rus’, ), 2 (1479), 15/28 January, 1993, pp. 8-9; Constantin Bujor, Resisting unto Blood: Sixty-Five Years of Persecution of the True (Old Calendar) Orthodox Church of Romania (October 1924 – December 1989), Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2003, pp. 126-127; Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili, "The True Orthodox Christians of Romania", The Orthodox Word, January-February, 1982, vol. 18, 1 (102). pp. 8-9; Stefan and Girgiu Hîncu, personal communication, September, 1994; Bishop Ambrose of Methone, personal communication, May, 2006.

[4] The document is headed “Elliniki Ekklesia Gnision Orthodoxon Khristianon, Iera Synodos, protocol no. 37, giving as office address: Koumoundourou 25, Athens.

[5] "Panigyrikon Sulleitourgon Ellinon kai Roumanon G.O.X." (Festive Concelebration of Greek and Romanians of the True Orthodox Christians), Phylakes Orthodoxias (Guardians of Orthodoxy), № 9, November, 1979, pp. 72-74; Bishop Ambrose of Methone, personal communication, December 24, 2009.

[6] Bishop Photius of Marathon, personal communication, March 18, 2010.

[7] The cheirothesia was officially denied by the Romanian Synod in 2010. See http://mitropoliaslatioara.ro/stire.php?id=91.

[8] Most of the following information comes from an English summary, by Fr. Anthimus Bichar, of a book written by Corneliu Leu and entitled The Life and Sufferings of the First Bishop of the Exile: Victor Leu (Bucharest: Bishop Grigorie Leu Foundation).

[9] Andrew Psarev, “The Development of Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Attitude Toward Other Local Orthodox Churches”, http://www.sobor2006.com/printerfriendly2.php?id=119_0_3_0, p. 2; .Kovalevsky, “Tragicheskaia smert’ mitr. Serafima (Lyade)” (The Tragic Death of Metropolitan Seraphim (Lyade), Russkaia Mysl’ (Russian Thought), October 4, 1950; quoted by Archbishop Ambrose (von Sievers), “Bezobrazniki: K sobtytiam v RPZTs 1945-55gg.” (Hooligans: Towards Events in the ROCOR from 1945 to 1955), Russkoe Pravoslavie (Russian Orthodoxy), № 2 (16), 1999, p. 17; Fr. Anthimus (Bichir), “Re: [True-Faith] New Romanian OC Synod?”, True-Faith@yahoogroups.com, February 3, 2002.

[10] According to Bishop Ambrose of Methone, when Fr. Glycerie approached Metropolitan Seraphim with regard to consecration in 1943, the metropolitan asked for money. So this aspect of the story seems plausible. On the other hand, Bishop Philip of Potsdam had renounced his episcopate and monasticism by this time. Also an attempt was made to verify the fact of the consecration through Archimandrite Anthony (Grabbe) of Jerusalem. He contacted his father, Protopresbyter George Grabbe, who said that he had never heard of it (personal communication).

     A recent ROCOR-MP source (Voprosy Istorii Russkoj Zarubezhnoj Tserkvi, December, 2009, http://rocorstudies.org/index.php?part=publications&aid=10865 (in English)) appears to accept that Fr. Vasile was consecrated by Metropolitan Seraphim and Archbishop Stefan, but not by Bishop Philip.

 

[11] Kovalevsky, op. cit.; Bishop Ambrose of Methone, private communications, August 23, 2005 and December 22, 2009.

     Stavros Markou writes: As for Bishop Victor Leu's consecration, there actually is documentary evidence. In a biography of Fr. Constantin Moraitakis (the author of the biography is Fr. Constantin's son), it is mentioned quite clearly that Fr. Constantine met an old friend of his in Istanbul, namely, Bishop Victor Leu. Among the documents in Fr. Constantin's archive was a letter written by Bishop Victor Leu to Fr. Constantin Moraitakis in which Bishop Victor Leu write "Please find my attached consecration certificate" and "Please translate it into Greek for me." In the writings of Fr. Constantine Moraitakis it is also related that Bishop Victor Leu was consecrated by "two White Russian Bishops" to serve as "Exarch of the Bessarabians in Exile" and Fr. Constantin criticizes this consecration as "uncanonical" and calls Bishop Victor Leu a "pseudo-bishop." Of course, Fr. Constantin held these opinions because he was a member of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whereas Bishop Victor Leu was consecrated by Metropolitan Seraphim Lade and Archbishop Stephan Sevbo, who were not recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

     “This evidence provided in the biography and personal archive of Fr. Constantine Moraitakis (including the letter of Bishop Victor Leu to Fr. Constantine, and the written accounts of Fr. Constantine himself about Bishop Victor Leu and the consecration certificate he had been presented with to translate) clears up all of the speculations about the consecration. For instance, now we know the consecration DID actually take place. Now we know that the consecration took place by TWO bishops (Seraphim and Stephan) and that there was not a third bishop. This makes perfect sense now, since the third bishop that the Communist archives cited as having taken part (Bishop Philip von Gardner) had already been defrocked from the episcopate three years prior to Bishop Victor's consecration date. Now we know that a consecration certificate WAS actually issued, and that it was printed in three languages (Russian, Romanian and German) and that Bishop Victor Leu was seeking for Fr. Constantine to also make a Greek translation. Now we know that consecration date is also true too, because it is in December 1949, and Fr. Constantine Moraitakis's diary claims that he met with Bishop Victor Leu in Constantinople in 1950. So everything falls in place, there are no discrepencies. The fact the original consecration certificate was lost is because it was confiscated and burned by the Communists when Bishop Victor Leu was arrested.” (personal communication, June 17, 2010).

[12] http://genuineorthodoxchurch.com/apologia_Met_Kirikos.html. The Greek text of this “apologia”, as reproduced here: http://www.churchgoc.org/pnoi/181/1.html does not contain the phrase from the prayer of ordination.


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