MANIFESTO

My dear Christians,

I am writing these words to inform you where our Church is lately, because most people are not informed by their shepherds.

Fr. Emmanuel

Our Church leaders, prelates of different titles (patriarchs, archbishops, metropolitans and bishops) have abandoned the faith of our Fathers.

This was shown more openly at the so-called Synod of Crete in June 2016. In one of its texts this pseudo-Synod recognized the existence of other Churches besides the Orthodox Church. We believe that God’s Church is only one, and this is the Orthodox Church.

Four Autocephalous (independent) Orthodox Churches did not participate in this pseudo-Synod of Crete, while two of these, the Churches of Bulgaria and Georgia, condemned its decisions. The Orthodox Church is being torn in two.

The worst is that our Patriarch and all the bishops that follow him want to unite with those other “Churches,” without first being united in the same faith. This would mean that the struggles of our Fathers were in vain.

According to our Patriarch, the differences that exist between us, which the Holy Synods of the Church have condemned, no longer prevent us from uniting.

It is no longer allowed to call those who are outside the Orthodox Church “heretics” and “schismatics.” To them, there are no more schisms and heresies; anyone from any tradition and form of worship is in the Church of Christ.

The Patriarch has given the directive to no longer receive those Christians who want to become Orthodox through baptism, because, he says, since they are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity they have a valid baptism. For us there are no Sacraments outside the Church.

They recognize the aero-baptism that is performed even by non-Christians, and fiercely hunt down priests who dare to baptize converts. They allow marriages with non-Orthodox, without requiring them to become Orthodox.

They say that we should not let minor differences divide us, we should no longer insist in dogmas that became the reason we are divided and remain separated, and that we should be united in love.

Were the struggles of our Fathers, who kept our faith in the Holy Trinity and in our Christ pure and undefiled, in vain? “We have gone beyond them," they would reply, "because we have more love than they had.”

We, my dear Christians, must follow the faith of our Fathers: of Saint Nektarios, of the holy Elder Paisios, of Saint Justin the New and of all the Saints, whose teachings are not followed by our Patriarch and by all the bishops in America.

What do we need to do

  • Courageously resist our ecumenist Bishops
  • Priests who want to remain Orthodox need to stop commemorating them
  • Start following an Orthodox Bishop
  • Stand behind our priests
 

Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis
Orthodox Priest
fremmanuel@orthodoxwitness.org
(727) 698-3400

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8 thoughts on “MANIFESTO”

  1. I disagree with the sentence: “To them, there are no more schisms and heresies.” In fact, the ecumenists do claim that there is one group of people who do not belong to the Church: the true Orthodox Christians who have disrupted ecclesiastic communion with the ecumenists.

  2. Fr. bless!

    I rejoice that we are able to comment and interact with you again! I’ve become more disappointed with the pervasive silent collusion amongst the non-ecumenist hierarchs. To say and do next to nothing while the House of God is being destroyed from within by those in error is a grievous fall. At least the ecumenists act according to their beliefs. Most anti-ecumenist bishops do nothing to oppose them. They say they don’t want a schism but let someone intrude upon diocesan property or money and no one is worried about a schism then.

    I attempted to call the Georgians nearest to me and it was a bishop’s number apparently. I was told to never, ever call them again. I apologized for bothering them and tried to explain my reason for calling but no avail. I’m faced with ecumenism, phyletism and apathy as far my “canonical” Orthodox options. My confessor forbade me to visit a GOC parish and I trust him emphatically, but I am tempted to disobey. Lord, illumine our paths.

  3. The Moscow Patriarchate has just issued a new catechism which has a final chapter condemning anyone accusing the ecumenists of heresy. The church of World Orthodoxy has adopted the papal model in which the official patriarchs are the “church” and the traditions, canons, liturgies, and even dogmas are merely something for them to twist or ignore. St Ignatius Brianchaninov said the Church was trying to use secular means to preserve itself and that its fall would be sudden and devastating. He also said that our “weak hand” would be unable to stop it; that it would be all we could do to save ourselves. The Apostasy must come, but like Judas, woe to those through whom it comes.

    It is so hard to discern what to do. By attending and donating to a World Orthodoxy church I feel that I am enabling their Apostasy, but they have me afraid to break and go to the “noncanonical” (according to them) bishops. I am thinking maybe my prayers should be for the unity of the True Orthodox, as their present disunity is the only mark against them.

  4. The Church, e.g. the Body of Christ, never loses Her unity.
    The issue is: Are we part of Her? According to our beliefs (faith) and our deeds, do we belong to His Body?

    Do we repent as He wants? If yes, when our faith is at stake, we will be able to immediately act upon this threat as He wills, e.g. successfully, towards salvation.
    …and we will find rest for our souls.

    Stay put and be spiritually careful, in prayer.

    God bless us all.
    Nikolaos, Thessaloniki, Greece.

  5. I appreciate the aim of this manifesto. However, I think that the idea that baptism is necessarily the way to receive heretics is far from established. When the Russian church decided to rebaptize Catholic converts in the seventeenth century, bishops of Eastern churches clamored to stop them. And the Russians did stop that practice. Baptism only became the normative means of receiving Catholics in the Greek church in the eighteenth century because of an obscure theological controversy that was inspired by a dubious figure. Just read the history, the answer is not clear. Sources: Fr. Ambrose Pogodin provides a good history here: http://www.rocorstudies.org/2017/12/30/on-the-question-of-the-order-of-reception-of-persons-into-the-orthodox-church-coming-to-her-from-other-christian-churches/
    Andrei Psarev examines a relevant canon here: http://www.rocorstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Psarev-SVTQ-Article.pdf
    Fr. John Erickson (I know) has a useful overview here: http://jbburnett.com/resources/erickson_reception-svtq97.pdf

    • Dear Austin,

      I intend to post your question and my answer to it on our blogs page (keeping your anonymity, of course). However, I have a few comments to make to you personally.

      You refer me to three articles, which I would like to address very quickly. The first one by Archimandrite Ambrose (Pogodin, +2004) titled, “On the Question of the Order of Reception of Persons into the Orthodox Church, Coming to Her from Other Christian Churches” appeared on the official ROCOR website. I’m sorry, but I don’t find it to reflect the Orthodox faith and practice as I have received it.[1] However, I do find the decision of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad of 15/28 September 1971 at the end of the study to be correct in every respect. (See it also here), with an article introducing it, “Strictness and Economy”, by Protop. George Grabbe, originally published in Orthodox Life, Vol. 29, No. 2, 1979, pp. 35-43.)

      Concerning the second study by Andrei Psarev, “The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia” appearing on St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51:2-3 (2007) 297-320, I agree entirely with its opening paragraph, which states succinctly the faith of the Church, which is summarized at the last paragraph of the monograph: “Cyprian’s ecclesiology, that there are no mysteries outside the Church, was never refuted by the Orthodox Church.” Unfortunately, the study itself is of no help for our purposes, since, as it states, “It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the teaching of the Orthodox Church on the validity of the mysteries performed outside her canonical boundaries other than in connection with reception into the Orthodox Church.” (p. 297) And that’s the big question to ask.

      The last referenced article, which you call a “useful overview,” by Fr. John Erickson, “The Reception of Non-Orthodox into the Orthodox Church: Contemporary Practice,” also appears in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 41 (1997) pp. 1-17, covers what the previous article did not, i.e. what is the practice of the Church in receiving converts; unfortunately, after reading the material, one indeed remains confused and uncertain about where does the Orthodox Church stand on the reception on converts.

      The reason “the answer is not clear” is because the sources, to which you refer me are not clear, but rather confused themselves and confusing. They lead us to the muddy waters of ecumenism instead of the limpid waters of the Fathers, searching in the dark, instead of in the light of the holy canons of the Church, her holy Tradition, and the statements and practice of the illumined Saints of the Church. The result of the ignorance of the holy canons of the Church, especially those pertaining to the holy baptism is the acceptance of the heretical groups as churches. It is logical: if we recognize their sacraments as “valid” then the baptized are members of the same ONE Church. The pseudo-synod of Colymbari sealed this heretical belief, acknowledging the existence of other “churches.” And now we recognize their leaders as legitimate bishops, and their sacraments as valid sacraments.

      In my pastoral experience, one who seeks acceptance in the Orthodox Church without baptism is not ready to be received. Perhaps the fault is not his but of him who receives him without the proper catechesis. Usually such “converts” are not fully converted.


      1. He refers to the great schism of 1054 as “the great division of Churches.” He also refers with longing to the “exceptionally cordial and attentive relations towards all of the observers from the Orthodox Churches on the part of the Roman Catholic Church” at the Second Vatican Council. His conclusion that “our Churches (with the exception of the Russian Church Abroad) recognize the sacrament of baptism performed by Roman Catholics and Lutherans as valid” is erroneous. Only ecumenist bishops recognize validity of baptisms outside the Church.

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