Written by Vladimir Moss



     In 1974 the Third All-Emigration Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) took place in the monastery of the Holy Trinity in Jordanville, New York. Just as the First Council, held at Karlovtsy in 1921, had defined the relationship of ROCOR to the Bolshevik regime and the Romanov dynasty; and the Second Council, held in Belgrade in 1938, defined her relationship to the Church inside Russia; so the Third Council tried to define her relationship to the ecumenical and dissident movements. As Metropolitan Philaret, president of the Council, said in his keynote address: “First of all, the Council must declare not only for the Russian flock, but for the entire Church, its concept of the Church; to reveal the dogma of the Church… The Council must determine the place our Church Abroad holds within contemporary Orthodoxy, among the other ‘so-called’ churches. We say ‘so-called’ for though now people often speak of many ‘churches’, the Church of Christ is single and One.”[1]

     There was much to discuss. In the last decade the apostatic influence of the ecumenical movement had broadened and deepened, and Metropolitan Philaret, had assumed a leading role in the struggle against it through his “Sorrowful Epistles”. Under the influence of his leadership, many non-Russians, such as the Greek American Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Boston, had sought refuge in ROCOR, and this movement had been strengthened by the application of the two Greek Old Calendarist Synods to enter into communion with her. ROCOR was no longer an exclusively Russian jurisdiction, and she could no longer be seen as simply an outpost of Russian Orthodox anti-communism. She was a multi-ethnic, missionary Church fighting the main heresies of the age on a number of fronts throughout the world. However, such a vision of ROCOR was shared by only a minority of her hierarchs, among whom Archbishop Averky of Jordanville was the most prominent.

     ROCOR was now isolated from almost all other Orthodox Churches; and the question arose how to justify this. Some saw the isolation of ROCOR as necessitated, not so much by the struggle against ecumenism, as by the need to preserve Russianness among the Russian émigrés. This created a problem for a Church that was rapidly filling up with non-Russian converts. It was not that the preservation of Russianness as such was not an undoubted good. The problem arose when it hindered the missionary witness of the Church to non-Russian believers. Such phyletistic tendencies inevitably led to a loss of Church consciousness in relation to ecumenism, and to a feeling that ROCOR was closer to Russians of the MP, ecumenist though they might be, than to True Orthodox Christians of Greek or French or American origin.[2] 

     Another cause of division was the stricter attitude that ROCOR was now being forced to adopt towards “World Orthodoxy”, the Local Orthodox Churches that participated in the ecumenical movement. Most of the hierarchs had passively acquiesced in Metropolitan Philaret’s “Sorrowful Epistles”, and in the union with the Greek Old Calendarists. But they began to stir when the consequences of this were spelled out by the zealots in ROCOR: no further communion with the new calendarists, the Serbs and Jerusalem. The unofficial leader of this group of bishops was Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, who was supported by Bishop Laurus of Manhattan, Archbishop Philotheus of Hamburg and Bishop Paul of Stuttgart.[3] His main opponents were Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishops Anthony of Los Angeles and Averky of Syracuse, Bishop Gregory (Grabbe)[4]and, especially, the Greek-American Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration in Boston.

     Archbishop Anthony of Geneva was a powerful hierarch who had already once apostasized to the Moscow Patriarchate.[5] He continually proclaimed that the MP was a true Church.[6] Moreover, he concelebrated frequently with the heretics of “World Orthodoxy”, and even, in 1986, ordered his Paris clergy to concelebrate with the new calendarists in Greece, and not with the Old Calendarists. He was a thorn in the side of Metropolitan Philaret until the latter’s death in 1985…

     In his address to the Council, entitled “Our Church in the Modern World”, he declared: “By the example of our First Hierarchs [Anthony and Anastasy] we must carefully preserve those fine threads which bind us with the Orthodox world. Under no circumstances must we isolate ourselves, seeing around us often imagined heretics and schismatics. Through gradual self-isolation we will fall into the extremism which our metropolitans wisely avoided, we will reject that middle, royal path which until now our Church has travelled… By isolating ourselves, we will embark upon the path of sectarianism, fearing everyone and everything, we will become possessed with paranoia.”

     This somewhat hysterical appeal not to separate from the World Orthodox at just the point when they were embarking upon “super-ecumenism” was criticised by Fr. George Grabbe: “The report does not mention to the degree necessary, maybe, that life goes on, and the sickness of ecumenism deepens and widens more and more. Condescension, oikonomia, must under different circumstances be applied differently, and to different degrees. In doses too great it can betray the Truth.” Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles also opposed him, recalling that “we have many Greek [Old Calendarist] parishes. Our concelebration with the new calendarists was very bitter for them.”[7]

     The leader of one of the Greek Old Calendarist parishes within ROCOR, Fr. Panagiotes Carras, sent an appeal to the Synod of Bishops on August 24, 1974 on behalf of all “non-Russian monasteries, parishes, and laity of ROCOR”, in which he called on the ecumenists to be labelled as heretics who had lost the Holy Spirit and who should be subjected to the canonical sanctions that apply to heretics and schismatics.

     Metropolitan Philaret was sympathetic to this appeal, and moved for an official statement that the MP was graceless. According to the witness of a seminarian present at the Council, the majority of bishops and delegates would have supported such a motion. However, at the last minute the metropolitan was persuaded not to proceed with the motion on the grounds that it would have caused a schism.[8] Nine years later, the ROCOR Council of Bishops did anathematize ecumenism.


     Voices were heard at the 1974 Council arguing for union between ROCOR and the schismatic Paris and American Metropolia jurisdictions. Love, they said, should unite us, and we should not emphasize our differences. Metropolitan Philaret, however, pointed out that love which does not wish to disturb our neighbour by pointing out his errors is not love but hatred![9]

     The divisions that were beginning to emerge between Metropolitan Philaret and the majority of other hierarchs were expressed by him in a letter to one of his few allies, Protopresbyter George Grabbe, the Secretary of the Synod. Describing a meeting with the hierarchs, he wrote: “I saw how truly alone I am among our hierarchs with my views on matters of principle (although on a personal level I am on good terms with everyone). And I am in earnest when I say that I am considering retiring. Of course, I won’t leave all of a sudden, unexpectedly. But at the next Sobor I intend to point out that too many things that are taking place in our church life do not sit well with me. And if the majority of the episcopacy agrees with me than I will not raise the matter of retiring. But if I see that I am alone or see myself in the minority then I will announce that I am retiring. For I cannot head, nor, therefore bear the responsibility for that with which I am not in agreement in principle. In particular, I do not agree with our practice of halfway relations with the American and Parisian schismatics. The Holy Fathers insistently state that long and obdurately continuing schism is close to being heresy, and that it is necessary to relate to stubborn schismatics as to heretics, not allowing any communion with them whatsoever (how Vladyka Anthony’s hair would stand on end at such a pronouncement! But I remain unyielding)…”[10]


     Also discussed at the Council was the dissident movement in the Soviet Union. As we have seen, détente affected both the political and cultural spheres (the works of such figures as Sakharov and Solzhenitsyn), and also the religious sphere (Solzhenitsyn again, Bishop Hermogen of Kaluga, the priests Yeshliman, Yakunin and Dudko, the layman Boris Talantov).

     Those hierarchs of ROCOR, such as Anthony of Geneva, whose attitude to events in Russia was dictated as much by political as by spiritual or ecclesiological considerations, were inclined to raise the dissidents to the status of true Church confessors.[11] For on the one hand, they were sincere anti-communists and despised the kow-towing of the MP hierarchs to communism. On the other hand, they would not have dreamed of denying that the MP was a true Church.

     The position of these hierarchs was threatened by the anti-ecumenist zeal of Metropolitan Philaret, Archbishop Averky and the Boston monastery. But the expulsion of Solzhenitsyn to the West in 1974 presented them with an opportunity. Archbishop Anthony brought Solzhenitsyn to the Council, where he created a sensation by his rejection of the zealot view. Then Anthony himself read a report calling on ROCOR to support the dissidents, in spite of the fact that they were ecumenists and in the MP. He was countered by Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles, who, while respecting the courage of the dissidents, objected to a recognition that would devalue the witness of the true catacomb confessors.

     One of the most important Soviet dissidents was the Moscow priest Fr. Dmitri Dudko, who conducted open meetings in his church that attracted many and influenced many more. Unlike Solzhenitsyn, he knew of the Catacomb Church, and wrote of it in relatively flattering terms: “We all recognize Patriarch Tikhon and we look on Patriarch Sergius’ [acts] as a betrayal of the Church’s interests to please the authorities. The following (Patriarchs) – Alexis and the present Pimen – only go on the road already opened. We have no other hierarchy. The Catacomb Church would be good – but where is it? The True Orthodox Church – these are good people, morally steadfast; but they have almost no priesthood, and you simply can’t find them, while there are many who are thirsting. And one has to be ministered to by the hierarchy we do have. Immediately the question arises: are they ministering to us? Basically, they are the puppets of the atheists. And another question: at least, are they believers? Who will answer this question? I fear to answer…”[12]  

     These sentiments elicited sympathy from members of ROCOR. Less well known – because edited out of his books as published in the West[13] - was Fr. Dmitri’s ecumenism… The right attitude to him would have been to applaud his courage and the correct opinions he expressed, while gently seeking to correct his liberalism and ecumenism. In no way was it right to treat him as if he were a true priest in the True Church, and an example to be followed that was no less praiseworthy than those of the true confessors in the catacombs. But that is precisely what many in ROCOR now began to do.

     Even the 1974 Council was tempted, declaring: “The boundary between preservation of the Church and seductive self-preservation was drawn by his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon, his lawful locum tenens Metropolitan Peter, Metropolitan Cyril of Kazan, Metropolitan Joseph of Petrograd and the Solovki confessors headed by Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky). In recent years, this boundary has again been clearly drawn by Archbishop Hermogenes, several priests, among them Nicholas Gainov and Dimitri Dudko, the laypeople of Vyatka led by Boris Talantov, the defenders of the Pochaev Lavra such as Theodosia Kuzminichna Varavva, and many others. This boundary has also been drawn by Solzhenitsyn in his appeal ‘Do not live by the lie!’ Not to live by the lie and to honour the memory of the holy martyrs and confessors of our Church – this is the boundary separating the true Tikhonites from ‘the sergianist leaven of Herod’, as wrote Boris Talantov, the rebukers of the present leaders of the patriarchate who died in prison. In our unceasing prayers for each other, in our love for the Lord Jesus, in our faithfulness to the ideal of the past and future Orthodox Russia, the faithful archpastors, pastors, monks and laymen on both sides of the iron curtain are united. Together they constitute the Holy Church of Russia, which is indivisible just as the seamless robe of Christ is indivisible.”[14]

     This was a serious distortion: to place the confessors of the Catacomb Church on the same level as sergianist dissidents. A case could be made for considering that Boris Talantov was a true martyr, since he denounced the MP in terms identical to those employed by the Catacomb Church and may well have died out of communion with the MP. But Dudko and Solzhenitsyn did not share the faith of the True Church, and did not join it even after the fall of communism…

     Fr. Seraphim Rose criticized Solzhenitsyn as follows: “Let us return to the belief of Solzhenitsyn and all the defenders of the Moscow Patriarchate that the betrayal of her hierarchs does not affect the Church's faithful. This view is based on an entirely false view of the nature of the Church which artificially separates the hierarchs from the believing people and allows ‘church life as normal’ to go on no matter what happens to the Church leaders. On the contrary, the whole history of the Church of Christ persuades us of the exact opposite. Who else was it but the Bishops of Rome who led the Church of the West into apostasy and schism and heresy? Is it the fault of ordinary believing Roman Catholics that they, the largest group of ‘Christians’ in the world, are today outside the Church of Christ, and that in order to return to the true Church they must not only reject the false doctrines of Rome, but also completely reform their religious mentality and unlearn the false piety which has been transmitted to them precisely by their bishops? Today, it is true, the Moscow Patriarchate allows Roman Catholics to receive its Sacraments and implicitly already teaches the ecumenist doctrine that these Catholics too are ‘part of the Church’. But this fact only shows how far the Moscow Patriarchate has departed from the universal Orthodox tradition of the Church into an erroneous ecclesiology, and how correct the True Orthodox Church is in refusing to have communion with an ecclesiastical body which not only allows its policies to be dictated by atheists, but openly preaches the modern heresies of ecumenism and chiliasm.”[15 

     In 1976 the ROCOR Synod issued an Epistle to the Russian people which, after declaring unity with the Catacomb Church, went on to say to MP dissidents: “We also kiss the cross that you have taken upon yourselves, O pastors who have found in yourselves the courage and strength of spirit to be open reproachers of the weakness of spirit of your hierarchs, who have surrendered before the atheists… We know of your exploit, we pray for you and ask your prayers for our flock that is in the diaspora. Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!”[16]

     “Christ is in our midst! He is and shall be!” are words that Orthodox priests exchange in the altar after the ordination of the Holy Gifts. Their use here implies the recognition of the dissidents as co-celebrants with ROCOR, members of the same Church. Clearly the influence of the dissidents was having a corrosive effect on the ecclesiology of ROCOR.


     In February, 1976 the Greek Old Calendarist Matthewites broke communion with ROCOR, claiming that the Russians had broken their promise to give them a written confession that the new calendarists were graceless[17], and that Archbishop Anthony of Geneva was continuing to have communion with the new calendarists.[18] This was true; and his ecumenist activities continued even after the break with the Matthewites. Thus at Pascha, 1976, he asked permission for pastoral reasons to serve with Russian clerics of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Europe.[19] In October he again concelebrated with several heretics at the funeral of Archbishop Nikodem of Great Britain. And in May, 1977 he travelled to Birmingham, England to concelebrate with the local Serbs.

     Archbishop Anthony’s ecumenist actions caused several priests and parishes to leave him for the Matthewites, including those of Fr. Basile Sakkas in Switzerland and of Hieromonk Cassian (Braun) in France, and a parish in England. Metropolitan Philaret expressed disapproval of Archbishop Anthony’s canonical transgressions, but he was not in sufficient control of his Synod to obtain his repentance.[20]

     In the same critical year of 1976 the well-known Brotherhood of St. Herman of Alaska in Platina, California began to turn away from its previously zealot course to a markedly softer line in relation to the MP and World Orthodoxy.[21] They were influenced in this direction partly by the “dissident fever” that was now raging through most of the Russian part of ROCOR, and partly by the “moderate” ecclesiology of the Greek Old Calendarist Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili. However, a still more important influence may have been a series of controversies – on evolution, on the soul after death, on Blessed Augustine of Hippo – conducted exclusively in the “convert” part of ROCOR between the Platina Brotherhood and the Greek-American monastery in Boston. In all these controversies, in the present writer’s opinion, Platina was right as against Boston. But the negative impression that the Platina monks formed of Boston as a result led them to error in the one area of controversy in which the Boston monastery was right – the canonical status of World Orthodoxy and the MP. Arguing that the Boston monastery’s “super-correctness” was leading them to abandon the “Royal Way” as regards the status of the World Orthodox, Platina came out strongly on the side of the liberal wing of ROCOR led by Archbishop Anthony and his idolisation of Fr. Dimitri and the other dissidents.

     Another important issue was relations with the Serbian Church. The Serbs, as we have seen, had joined the WCC in 1965, their ecumenism extended to official acceptance of the canonicity of the Anglican Church[22], and they were as fully under the thumb of the communists as the MP. In spite of this, Archbishop Anthony continued to serve with the Serbs, citing the pre-war hospitality of the Serbs to ROCOR in his justification.

     In this connection Metropolitan Philaret wrote to him: “I consider it my duty to point out to you, Vladyka, that your assertion that we must thank the Serbian Church for her treatment of us, I fully accept, but only as regards her past – the glorious past of the Serbian Church. Yes, of course, we must keep the names of their Holinesses Patriarchs Demetrius and Barnabas in grateful memory for their precious support of the Church Abroad at that time when she had no place to lay her head.

     “There is no denying that a certain honour is due the Serbian Church for her refusing to condemn our Church Abroad at the parasynagogue in Moscow in 1971, and also on later occasions when Moscow again raised the matter. But then, on the other hand, she did participate in the aforementioned parasynagogue, when it elected Pimen, and the Serbian hierarchs did not protest against this absolutely anti-canonical election, when he who had already been chosen and appointed by the God-hating regime was elected. Our Sobor of 1971 did not, and could not, recognize Pimen, whereas the Serbian Patriarchate recognized and does recognize him, addressing him as Patriarch, and is in full communion with him. And thus she opposes us directly, for we attempt at all times to explain to the “Free World” that the Soviet Patriarchate is not the genuine representative and head of the much-suffering Russian Church. But the Serbian Church recognizes her as such, and by so doing commits a grave sin against the Russian Church and the Russian Orthodox people.

     “How can there be any talk here of a special gratitude to her? Oh, if the Serbian Church would, while recognizing our righteousness, likewise directly and openly, boldly recognize the unrighteousness of the Soviets! Well – then there would truly be something for us to thank her for! But now, as it is, while extending one hand to us, she extends her other hand to our opponents and the enemies of God and the Church. If it pleases you, having shut your eyes to this sad reality, to thank the Serbs for such ‘podvigs’ of theirs, then that is your affair, but I am not a participant in this expression of gratitude.

     “How dangerous are compromises in matters of principle! They render people powerless in defence of the Truth. Why is it that the Serbian Patriarchate cannot resolve to sever communion with the Soviet hierarchy? Because she herself is travelling along the same dark and dangerous path of compromise with the God-hating communists. True, she has not progressed along that path to the extent that the Soviet hierarchy has, and she attempts to preach and defend the faith, but if the shades and nuances here are quite different, yet, in principle, the matter stands on one and the same level.”[23]

     In 1979, in response to a series of protests by Fr. Dmitri against what he saw as excessive strictness on the part of ROCOR towards the MP, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, breaking the rule imposed by Metropolitan Anastasy (and reasserted by Metropolitan Philaret) that ROCOR members should have no contact, “even of an everyday nature”, with Soviet church clergy, wrote to Dudko: “I hasten to console you that the part of the Russian Church which lives in freedom beyond the bounds of the homeland, has never officially considered the Moscow Patriarchate, which is recognised in the USSR, as graceless…. We have never dared to deny the grace-filled nature of the official church, for we believe that the sacraments carried out by her clergy are sacraments. Therefore our bishops received your clergy into the Church Abroad in their existing rank… On the other hand, the representatives of the Catacomb Church in Russia accuse us of not wanting to recognise the Moscow Patriarchate as graceless.”[24]

     However, in 1980, Fr. Dmitri was arrested, which was closely followed by the arrest of his disciples Victor Kapitanchuk and Lev Regelson. Then Dudko issued a recantation on Soviet television in which he confessed that his “so-called struggle with godlessness” was in fact “a struggle with Soviet power”.[25] Kapitanchuk and Regelson confessed to having “criminal ties” with foreign correspondents and of mixing religious activity with politics, while Kapitanchuk said that he had “inflicted damage on the Soviet state for which I am very sorry”. Both men implicated others in their “crimes”.

     Metropolitan Philaret had been proved right – although many continued to justify Dudko and denounced those who “judged” him. But it was not a question of personal “judging”, but of the correct discerning of the boundaries of the Church and the correct attitude to those outside it.

     The metropolitan wrote that the tragedy had overtaken Dudko because his activity had taken place from within the MP – that is, “outside the True Church”. And he continued: “What is the ‘Soviet church’? Fr. Archimandrite Constantine has said often and insistently that the most terrible thing that the God-fighting authorities have done to Russia is the appearance of the ‘Soviet church’, which the Bolsheviks offered up to the people as the True Church, having driven the real Orthodox Church into the catacombs or the concentration camps. This false church has been twice anathematized. His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon and the All-Russian Church Council anathematised the communists and all their co-workers. This terrible anathema has not been lifted to this day and preserves its power, since it can be lifted only by an All-Russian Church Council, as being the canonically higher Church authority. And a terrible thing happened in 1927, when the leader of the Church, Metropolitan Sergius, by his shameful apostate declaration submitted the Russian Church to the Bolsheviks and declared that he was cooperating with them. In the most exact sense the expression of the prayer before confession was fulfilled: ‘fallen under his own anathema’! For in 1918 the Church anathematised all the co-workers of communism, and in 1927 she herself entered into the company of these co-workers and began to praise the red God-fighting authorities – to praise the red beast of which the Apocalypse speaks. And this is not all. When Metropolitan Sergius published his criminal declaration, the faithful children of the Church immediately separated from the Soviet church, and the Catacomb Church was created. And she in her turn anathematised the official church for her betrayal of Christ…

     “We receive clergymen from Moscow not as ones possessing grace, but as ones receiving it by the very act of union. But to recognize the church of the evil-doers as the bearer and repository of grace – that we, of course, cannot do. For outside of Orthodoxy there is no grace; and the Soviet church has deprived itself of grace.”[26]

     Looking at this tragedy from a psychological point of view, we can see that Dudko’s vulnerability consisted, not so much in the fear of physical torture, as in the KGB’s ability to induce in him a feeling of false guilt, guilt that he had objectively harmed the Soviet State. This tragedy exposed an inescapable dilemma facing all the dissidents: that action aimed to restore the freedom of the Church was necessarily anti-soviet, insofar as the Soviet State and the Orthodox Church represented incompatible aims and ideologies. Therefore every committed campaigner for Church freedom sooner or later had to admit that he was working against Soviet power – if not by physical, at any rate by spiritual, means, and that he had to work outside the political and ecclesiastical institutions of Soviet power. So the failure of the dissidents was the natural consequence of the refusal to obey the Apostle’s command: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6.14). They refused to obey Patriarch Tikhon’s adjuration to the faithful to have no communion at all with the communists, “the outcasts of humanity”. They tried to do good from within an accursed evil - the pact between Metropolitan Sergius and the Communists which, in the words of a samizdat document dating from the early 1970s, “tied the Church hand and foot by imposing on her a loyalty not only to the State, but mainly to the communist ideology.”[27]


[1]  Third All-Diaspora Council, 1974, Protocol 1, August 26 / September 8, Synodal Archives, p. 2; quoted in Nun Vassa (Larin) “’Glory be to God, Who did not Abandon His Church’, The Self- Awareness of ROCOR at the Third All-Diaspora Council of 1974”,

[2] See Eugene Pavlenko, “The Heresy of Phyletism: History and the Present”, Vertograd-Inform, 13, November, 1999.

[3]  Nun Vassa, op. cit.

[4] “In his report to Metropolitan Philaret on 7 December of 1972, Archpriest George Grabbe, who then headed the Synod’s External Affairs Department, protested against Bishops Nikon and Laurus having united in prayer with Archbishop Iakovos during the visit of the relics of St. Nicholas to the Greek Church in Flushing, NY. His protest was motivated on the basis of determinations of the ROCOR Councils of Bishops of 1967 and 1971 that its clergy must by all means avoid prayerful communion with hierarchs who were ecumenists, and even more so because ROCOR had accepted clerics who had left these other churches for ‘dogmatic reasons’.” (Psarev, op. cit., p. 4).

[5]  “In 1945, being in Serbia, he went over to the MP and waited for a Soviet passport so as to go to the USSR, but the Soviet authorities took their time with the passport, bestowing on him in the meantime the rank of archimandrite [through Patriarch Alexis I]. But, fed up with waiting for permission to return, [in 1949] the future bishop left for Switzerland to his brother Bishop Leontius, where he was reunited with ROCOR, having received a penance for his joining the MP.” (Vladimir Kirillov, May 15, 2006; Bernard le Caro, “A Short Biography of Archbishop Antony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva and Western Europe (+1993)”,

[6] He said as much to the present writer in October, 1976.

[7]Protocol 4 of the All-Diaspora Council, August 29 / September 11, 1974; Synodal Archives, p. 4; Nun Vassa, op. cit.

[8] Fr. Basil Yakimov, “Re: Fundamental Question”, , 4 June, 2003. And the following is an extract from Protocol 3 of the ROCOR Sobor, dated October 8/21, 1974: “Bishop Gregory says that to the question of the existence (of grace) it is not always possible to give a final reply immediately. The loss of grace is the consequence of spiritual death, which sometimes does not come immediately. Thus plants sometimes die gradually. In relation to the loss of grace in the Moscow Patriarchate, it would be interesting to make the comparison with the position of the iconoclasts, although the sin of the Patriarchate is deeper. The President [Metropolitan Philaret] says that we cannot now issue a resolution on grace in the Moscow Patriarchate, but we can be certain that grace lives only in the true Church, but the Moscow hierarchs have gone directly against Christ and His work. How can there be grace among them? The metropolitan personally considers that the Moscow Patriarchate is graceless.” (Tserkovnie Novosti (Church News), 4 (95), June-July, 2001, p. 9).

[9]  See his letters to Fr. Victor Potapov, Vertograd-Inform, 11 (44), November, 1998, pp. 28-32, and to Abbess Magdalena of Lesna of December, 1979.

[10]  Metropolitan Philaret to Fr. George Grabbe, July 12/25, 1975, Vertograd-Inform, 11 (68), November, 2000, pp. 52-53.

[11] Many West European members of ROCOR belonged to the NTS, a secret anti-communist political party which was infiltrated by both the KGB and the CIA.

[12] Posev, translated in The Orthodox Word, September-October, 1979.

[13] Personal communication from Monks of Monastery Press, Montreal, January, 1977.

[14] Poslanie Tret’ego Vsezarubezhnogo Sobora Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi Zagranitsei Pravoslavnomy russkomu narodu na rodine (Epistle of the Third All-Emigration Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to the Russian People in the Homeland), September 8/21, 1974.

[15] Rose, "The Catacomb Tikhonite Church 1974", The Orthodox Word, 1974, pp. 241-242.

[16] Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia), 1976, 20.

[17]  The official statements of the ROCOR Synod were indeed weak from the Matthewite point of view, who regarded the matter as already decided long ago. Thus on September 12/25, 1974 the Synod declared: “Concerning the question of the presence or absence of grace among the new calendarists the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad does not consider herself or any other Local Church to have the right to make a conclusive decision, since a categorical evaluation in this question can be undertaken only by a properly convened, competent Ecumenical Council, with the obligatory participation of the free Church of Russia.” (This was quoted by Metropolitan Philaret in his letter to Archbishop Andreas dated October 5, 1974 (ref. no. 3/50/760)). Again on September 18 / October 1, 1974 the ROCOR Council of Bishops declared: “Manifesting good will [towards the Orthodox Greeks], the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has called and addressed separate groups of the Church of the Old Calendarists to find the path to make peace and attain fraternal unity. However, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has no canonical power over the Church jurisdictions in Greece and therefore cannot interfere in their life with decisions that would be obligatory in questions of their disagreements.”

     Although ROCOR officially refused to call the new calendarists graceless, there is evidence that Metropolitan Philaret’s personal views were stricter and closer to those of the Greeks. Thus on September 20, 1975, he wrote to Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kition, the leader of the Old Calendarist Church of Cyprus, with whom he continued to have friendly relations even after the Matthewite Synod to which Epiphanius belonged had broken communion with ROCOR: “From the beginning our Russian Church has known that the calendar innovation was unacceptable, and has not dared to move this boundary set by patristic tradition, for the Ecclesiastical Calendar is a support of the life of the Church and as such is fortified by decrees of Holy Tradition.

     “However, it is obvious to all that the calendar innovation caused a schism in the Greek Church in 1924, and the responsibility for the schism weighs exclusively on the innovators. This is the conclusion that will be reached by anyone studying the Patriarchal Tomoi (as that of 1583) and taking into account the wretched and self-evident fact of the schism and the frightful punishments, persecutions and blasphemies which those who have cleaved to the patristic piety of Holy Tradition have undergone.

     “Thinking in this way, our Holy Synod has decreed that we ‘flee’ concelebrations with the new calendarist modernists. We do not concelebrate with them, nor do we give permission or a blessing to our clergy for such a concelebration. In order to assure you of the truth of what we say, we inform you that whenever a community in the diaspora is received into our Church, they are required to follow the patristic Calendar of the Orthodox Church…” (from the archives of the True Orthodox Church of Greece)

[18] Kyrix Gnision Orthodoxon (Herald of the True Orthodox Christians), February, 1976, pp. 5-12.

[19]Psarev, op. cit., p. 4.

[20] As he told the present writer in January, 1977, he had a gun at his head. However, he was able to remove Britain, where Archbishop Anthony’s ecumenism had elicited protests from the English Orthodox Parish of St. Michael, Guildford, to his own jurisdiction later that year.

[21] See especially Fr. Seraphim Rose’s article, “The Royal Path” (The Orthodox Word, 70, 1976), in which he wrote: “The Russian Church Outside of Russia has been placed, by God’s Providence, in avery favourable position for preserving the ‘royal path’ amidst the confusion of so much of 20th centuryOrthodoxy. Living in exile and poverty in a world that has not understood the suffering ofher people, she has focused her attention on preserving unchanged the faith which unites her people,she has focused her attention on preserving unchanged the faith which unites her people, and soquite naturally she finds herself a stranger to the whole ecumenical mentality, which is based onreligious indifference and self-satisfaction, material affluence, and soulless internationalism. On theother hand, she has been preserved from falling into extremism on the ’right side’ (such as might be adeclaration that the Mysteries of the Moscow Patriarchate are without grace)… If there seems to be a‘logical contradiction’ here… it is a problem only for rationalists; those who approach church questions with the heart as well as the head have no trouble accepting this position…”

[22] Thus George Deretich writes: “In Waukegan, Illinois (Feb. 7, 1980),… the pro-Belgrade Bishop Firmilian stated openly in court under oath that Episcopalian clergy are canonical priests recognized by his Orthodox Church” (Treacherous Unity, Acel Officeworks, 1998, p. 68).

[23]Letter of Metropolitan Philaret to Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, November 16/29, 1977.

[24] Vestnik Zapadno-Evropejskoj Eparkhii (Herald of the Western European Diocese), 1979, 14; Posev (Sowing), 1979, 12.

[25] In fact, before his death in 2004 Dudko became an open advocate of Stalinism and Putin’s neo- Stalinism: “I hope so much for Vladimir Putin now. It seems to me that he is like Joseph Stalin. I treat Stalin with respect, and I think that he was a very wise leader. It is Stalin who established such a powerful country. Russia has never been that powerful since, and there was no tsar in Russia who was able to accomplish the things that Stalin did. He managed to overcome and sacrifice so much for the sake of the country’s greatness. I hope that Putin will follow in Stalin’s path…” (; quoted by Nicholas Candela, “[paradosis] the wisdom of an MP priest”, , January 22, 2004).

[26] “A Letter from Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) to a Priest of the Church Abroad concerning Father Dimitri Dudko and the Moscow Patriarchate”, Vertograd-Inform, 4, February, 1999, pp. 16-20. A few years earlier, on August 14/27, 1977, Metropolitan Philaret had told the present writer: “I advise you always to remain faithful to the anathema of the Catacomb Church against the Moscow Patriarchate.”

[27] Keston College Archives 12/92, 892б March 29, 1972, in Orthodox Life, September-October, 1974.

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