In every instance when the Church has been assailed by one or another heresy, we find that many people are fooled by the heresy without actually understanding what is happening. Heresy is always presented as the truth and in this way many are misled.

-- Metropolitan Ephraim, Holy Orthodox Church in North America, 2001

Showing posts with label Gregory Lourie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gregory Lourie. Show all posts

Saturday, May 25, 2013

HOCNA, the Name-Worshipping Heresy and the Synod of Archbishop Makarios of Athens

Sister Churches in More Ways Than One
by Fr. Panagiotes Carras

In 1995, a rebellious faction of six bishops formed within the synod of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, under Archbishop Chrysostomos and separated itself over what they claimed to be canonical infractions. These false charges were brought forth in order to avoid the impending trial of Metropolitan Euthymios (Orphanos) of Thessaloniki, who had been charged with moral infractions. The other charge had to do with the election of the notorious Bishop Vikentios (Malamatenios) of Avlona (fornerly of Astoria, N. Y.) as Metropolitan of Piraeus.
The six Hierarchs who left were Ephthimios, of Thessaloniki, Kallinikos of Lamia, Stefanos of Chios, Ioustinos of Evripos, Vikentios of Avlona and Paisios of America. The group was headed by Metropolitan Kallinikos of Lamia and was commonly known as the Lamian Synod.
The six hierarchs were defrocked on July 12/25, 1995 because of their schism from the Holy Synod. Euthimios of Thessaloniki was found guilty of immoral acts on 13/26 July, 1995 and was ordered to be confined to the Monastery of St. Iakovos, the Brother of the Lord and not to receive Holy Communion for 15 years.
By early 1996, the movement had fragmented into three groups. The first group, Stefanos of Chios and Ioustinos of Evripos, repented their schismatic actions and were reconciled with the Holy Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos. The second group, Paisios of America and Vikentios of Avlona, renounced the Faith and submitted to the Ecumenical Patiarchate. Later they became fugitives from American justice. The third group was made up of Euthimios, of Thessaloniki, and Kallinikos of Lamia.
Iin 1996, Kallinikos of Lamia and Euthymios of Thessaloniki proceeded to ordain five titular bishops in an attempt to create a new synod. In 2004, this synod finally decided to elect a primate, and elected Makarios (Kavakides) of Athens. A good deal of their membership was then lost, as many realized what really motivated the schism and returned to the Holy Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece.
In 2007 the Lamian Synod ordained Archimandrite Nectarios (Yashunsky) from St. Petersburg as Bishop of Olympus. He served as the administrator of two parishes in Russia. When these two parishes collapsed Bishop Nektarios returned to Greece. Bishop Nektarios, as an Archimandrite, introduced the Lamians to the Name-Worshipping Heresy. His article in defence of Name-Worshipping in Greek, A Brief Explanation of Onomatodoxy, can be found on HOCNA's web site that is dedicated to the heresy of Name-Worship. The other Greek article in defense of this heresy, The Name of God as A Sign Spoken Against appears to be written by Archbishop Makarios. Neither of these two articles appear on any of the Lamian sites and at least two Lamian hierarchs and many of their clergy and laity are opposed to the teachings of these heretics. Nectarios Yashunsky's article can also be found on Gregory Lourie's site which also includes an icon of the heretic, Anthony Bulatovich, founder of the Name-Worshippers.
Archbishop Makarios has also deviated from the Faith by allying himself with the renovationist, New-Calendar Archimandrite, Fr. Nektarios Moulatsiotis. Moulatsiotis became world famous in 2002 when he founded the Freemonks. This was a rock band named Paparokades. By 2005 the monks abandoned Moulatsiotis and monasticism.

Moulatsiotis' dedication to the struggle against Digital Identity Cards then became focused on organizing demonstrations against Digital Identity Cards. He was joined by Archbishop Makarios in this endeavour. At one of Moulatsiotis' demonstrations, Archbishop Makarios proclaimed, "Let us be united in one fist, New-Calendarists and we will not ask if you are with the new or old calendar but rather if you are with Christ."  Archbishop Makarios also joined Moulatsiotis in rallies sponsored by the political group ELKIS.
Many of Archbishop Makarios' unilateral activities [in relation to HOCNA] are not approved of by the other hierarchs, clergy and lay people of the Lamian Synod. The so-called STATEMENT OF EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION has been hidden from those in Greece. Clergy and people in Greece realize that the term Eucharistic Communion is another way of saying Eucharistic Hospitality. This heresy was expounded by HOCNA when they justified giving Holy Communion to the Name-Worshipper, Gregory Lourie. This heresy was expressed with the words: desire to foster the oneness that must exist among all Orthodox Christians in the Holy Body and Blood of our Saviour.
HOCNA and the Lamians are truly sister churches in more ways than one.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On the Economist articles

Several weeks ago, a British news magazine, The Economist, published two articles sympathetic to name-worshipping, and soon afterward, the links were being triumphantly circulated by members of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America.

Since the articles were not signed, it is hard to know what background the author has in Orthodox theology and history, and what makes him or her qualified to render an opinion on the thorny issue of name-worshipping.

Still, one can imagine that if Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston published an article about world economics in the True Vine, not many people would take him seriously.  So why should Orthodox Christians pay serious attention to an article about a theological dispute written by a secular writer and published in a secular publication?

They shouldn't.

Instead, they should be asking their friends in HOCNA some questions.

How did the anonymous author come to be writing about name-worshipping?  Could he or she be connected to HOCNA's Bishop Gregory of Brookline, who went to university in England?

Why is it that the only living people named in the article are supporters of name-worshipping?  Why did the author not seek out critics of name-worshipping and present a balanced picture of the Orthodox view of the situation?  After all, only two so-called Orthodox groups in the world recognize name-worshipping as a legitimate teaching: HOCNA and the Russian and Ukrainian group affiliated with the so-called Bishops Gregory Lourie and Job Konovaliuk.  The rest of the Orthodox world regards these tiny groups as heretical sects.

The main article, "In the name of the Name," published Dec. 22, 2012, is written from a secular perspective.  Take this line from the fourth paragraph: "But it is Athos's history, as well as its spiritual importance, that attracts visitors: these calm waters have seen some strange disturbances."  In other words, tourists are cruising the waters off of Mt. Athos not because the mountain has been a spiritual center for many hundreds of years, but because they are intrigued by name-worshipping and other controversies that have plagued the Holy Mountain.  Really?!!

The author goes on to describe the Russian presence on Mt. Athos in the early twentieth century: "What the Russians lacked in political power, they made up for in numbers and spiritual passion, exemplified by Ilarion's book. ...In a tender, cautious tone, the book argues that just as 'in God's name, God himself is present,' the name of Jesus Christ, when recited prayerfully, radiates sanctity; it is more, infinitely more, than a set of letters."  This is a series of arguments, not facts.  Argument one, that the Russians monastics on Athos were full of spiritual passion.  This assertion is just thrown out authoritatively, with no supporting evidence.  Two, that Fr. Ilarion's book, "In the Mountains of the Caucausus," exemplified this passion.  Again, no supporting evidence.  Three, that the book (which the author gives the impression of having read cover to cover) is tender and cautious, a sympathetic description to be sure.  One might be forgiven for suspecting it came straight from a champion of name-worshipping, such as Bishop Gregory of Brookline.

The author characterizes Fr. Ilarion as having hit on a fundamental dilemma of monotheism: are words, images or phenomena pertaining to God an aspect of the Creator or a part of creation.  Here again the author seems to draw his argument from a champion of name-worshipping.   The author describes how the Russian community on Mt. Athos was polarized by Fr. Ilarion's book, and how its supporters felt victimized by its critics.  The author is not interested, however, in how the monks who opposed name-worshipping felt about the heretical movement that was taking hold of their monastery.

The chief proponent of name-worshipping, Fr. Anthony Bulatovich, is presented in a similarly one-sided manner.  The author relates that Bulatovich sat down to write a critique of name-worshipping and felt possessed by an emptiness, coldness and darkness.  Bulatovich interpreted this as God's grace withdrawing from him because he opposed the truth of the name-worshipping, so he wrote a treatise defending it instead.  Anyone with any knowledge of Orthodox teaching would question Bulatovich's conclusion.  Emptiness, coldness and darkness suggest the presence of demons.  Why not raise the more spiritually plausible argument that Bulatovich was led astray by these demons and his reliance on his own intellect, and fell into heresy?

Likewise, when the author asserts, "Bulatovich could still use his fists as well as his pen," and describes how Bulatovich led the forceful eviction of the anti-name-worshipping abbot from St. Andrew's Skete, he seems blind to the absolute contradiction between Bulatovich's behavior and his monastic vows.

And when he asserts, "Whatever the merits of theology by water-cannon, the literature of the glorifiers often reads better than the propaganda of their foes, who caricature the glorifiers' views to make them sound like crude pagans," he not only gives the impression that he has read all the literature on both sides, but writes off the entire opposition of the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches as propaganda without so much as a supporting quote.  What kind of journalism is this?

In winding up his sympathy piece, the author refers to the nun Kassia as a learned nun in St. Petersburg attached to a dissident wing of the Orthodox Church. Mother Kassia is one of Lourie's closest disciples, and the "dissident wing" is his sect, isolated in the Orthodox world except for its friendship with HOCNA.  The author also refers to Metropolitan Hilarion of the Moscow Patriarchate, who argues that the name-worshipping question was never resolved by the Russian Orthodox Church.  Funny, he also mentions that Hilarion was trained at Oxford.  A strange place for an Orthodox theologian to learn about his faith, but certainly a place whose name carries weight among secular readers.

The author concludes that in all faiths, there is a tension between visionaries and prophets on the one hand (read: like Fr. Ilarion and Bulatovich) and hierarchs and administrators on the other hand (read: Metropolitan Anthony and the Russian synod), and that mysticism is a power-to-the-people movement that authorities naturally resist in order to retain their own power.  It's a cynical view.  From an Orthodox perspective, the opposite is likely to be true: having recognized name-worshipping as alien to Orthodox teaching, the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church did their best to stamp out the heresy because they were answerable to God for the wellbeing of their flock.

The second article, "How the name-glorifier's influence rippled through intellectual history," is a short sidebar to the first.  It recounts how two scholars consider that the Russian mathematician Nikolai Luzin and his friend Fr. Pavel Florensky were able to make intellectual breakthroughs in the study of infinity precisely because of their name-worshipping views.  The author - again, unnamed -- notes that Luzin, who was tried for treason under the Soviets but escaped execution, was rehabilitated posthumously by the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2012.  He concludes, "Perhaps the monks who inspired him will have a similar vindication."  Is this journalism?  Or wishful thinking?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chronology: Document 7

The Relevant Portion of Fr. Nicholas’s Email

From: Father Nicholas
Subject: Previous on Bp. Gregory Lourie?
Date: August 27, 2012 3:27:35 PM EDT
To: Bishop Demetrius
Cc: "Fr. John Fleser" , Father John Fleser
Reply-To: Father Nicholas


As the person responsible for many years for keeping our hierarchs, clergy, and monastics informed on the latest developments on the Russian Orthodox Church scene, I am very dismayed to hear that Metropolitan Ephraim is now attempting to convince people that, prior to the furor over Bishop Gregory Lourie's taking of Communion at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in October 2011, he, Metropolitan Ephraim, supposedly had little knowledge of Bishop Gregory and his teachings, and had only limited and positive information about the name-worshipers.

The contents of my filing cabinet and of my e-mail box tell an entirely different story. Allow me to share three documents with you to illustrate my point. I, as the translator, had given them to Metro-politan Ephraim and Fr. Panteleimon, among others.

(Of late, those of us who have any sort of archival materials, or even a good memory, are sometimes not appreciated in certain quarters. One needs to keep invoking the well known saying: "Don't shoot the messenger!")

1) In 1998, the then still layman, Basil Lourie (not even being a member of our church!) contacted our Georgian clergy, urging them to rebel against their hierarchs over the issue of The Dogma of Redemption by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky. Basil states that "The Dogma of Redemption" is 'pure and unadulterated heresy', yet he goes on to claim that that fact does not make Metropolitan Anthony a heretic! Rather interesting logic, no?!

As if that was not enough, he declares that Vladyka Gregory Grabbe could not comprehend Ortho-dox dogmatics at all! (Of course, it goes without saying, that Basil Lourie can and does!)

2) In early 2001, the by now Father Gregory Lourie raised the issue of name-worshiping within the synod of Metropolitan Valentin of Suzdal, to whose synod he then belonged. A certain priest's wife in Russia of that jurisdiction appealed to Matushka Anastasia Schatiloff (née Grabbe) for assistance and material to refute that teaching. Matushka Anastasia, in turn, sought our advice and aid.

I submitted a nine-page summary in English of all the materials in Russian which they had sent to us, and I gave it to Metropolitan Ephraim and Fr. Panteleimon. Attached here is the cover letter to that collection, in which I ask for their instructions on how to reply to Matushka Anastasia. When I wrote the words "since it appears that this issue of 'name-worshiping' is going to assume serious proportions...", I never dreamed then that it would become such a problem here with us!

3) The third document attached here is the response which Metropolitan Ephraim and Fr. Panteleimon instructed me to make to Matushka Anastasia at that time.

Note what they told me to say to her:
a) Name-worshiping is an internal affair of the Russian Church, and we cannot get involved.
b) We are unable to read most of the literature on the topic, which is in Russian, so it's beyond our competency.
c) On no account will we allow Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky to be disparaged.

It's very sad and disconcerting to see how much things have changed in eleven years! The documents given above are only a sample of what we have on file. Subsequently, I have kept Metropolitan Ephraim and Fr. Panteleimon abreast of all of Bp. Gregory Lourie's later pronouncements, undertakings, and various shenanigans....

[rest of email and its attachments omitted]

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dear Anastasia, On Your Letter from Fr. Mark

Dear Anastasia,

Since Fr. Mark’s letter to you has been used to defend the Holy Orthodox Church in North America against charges of heresy, I think it is fair to point out that he is mistaken.

Fr. Mark answered you sincerely, but his answer has a flaw which he himself does not recognize. All of his evidence and reasoning is an echo of what his bishops have said publicly. Clearly, he trusts his bishops and believes that they must have the correct answer. This is where he is mistaken. He received disinformation from his bishops, and he is naively passing that disinformation along to you.

The three bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America wrote in their recent statement, “Divergent Teachings” that Orthodox Christians believe “God’s Name is not His Essence, but rather is the revealed truth about Himself, that is, His Uncreated Energy, His Uncreated Grace, His Providence, His Glory.”

In fact, this is not what Orthodox Christians believe. Remember, as Orthodox Christians we believe what the Church has taught always and everywhere.  Common sense alone should tell you that if this were a universally held belief about the Name of God, articulated by St. Gregory Palamas, it would not have languished misunderstood and forgotten until the early 1900s, when a couple of renegade Russian monks rediscovered it and brought it to the attention of the Orthodox Christian world through insurrections in the Russian monasteries on Mt. Athos.  Right?  Now let's look at the disinformation.

Fr. Mark writes:
In my first letter to you, I hoped to illustrate that there is an abundance of passages from the Scriptures and the Fathers that talk about the glory and power of the Name of God. It is interesting to me that so many ignore this and, instead, zero-in on the decisions of a local "synod" in Russia. Why? Why do they ignore the Holy Scriptures which speak of God's Name? Why do they ignore the many instances in the Liturgy and services of the Church which encourage us to glorify God's Name? Why is the Russian "synod" of 1913 so important?
Part of the problem in debunking the name-worshipping doctrine is that its promoters do not clearly define what they mean by the “Name of God” and do not take into account that the Holy Scriptures use this phrase differently.

Very often in the Psalms, for instance, “the Name of God” refers to God Himself, and not to any particular name for Him. By analogy, think of a chase scene in a western movie, when the sheriff shouts, “Stop in the name of the law!” Who would imagine that the sheriff is referring to a particular name, or even to the word “law?” No, his words actually mean, “Stop because the law (in the person of me) orders you to do so.” Likewise, when we read, “Praise the name of the Lord, for exalted is the name of Him alone,” isn’t it clear that it is actually not a name that is praised, but the Lord Himself?

Orthodox Christians believe that God’s name is holy, because He Who is named by the name is supremely holy. According to St Basil the Great, “The name of God is said to be holy, not because it contains in it any special virtue, but because in whatsoever way we contemplate God, we see Him pure and Holy.” (On Psalm 32) Icons of our Saviour are also considered to be holy, not because the wood and paint are intrinsically holy, but because He Who is depicted is holy. As Fr. Barsanuphius has pointed out, the Name of God is an icon in a word.

Orthodox Christians do not believe that God’s name is God Himself, either in His Essence or in His Energies. Name-worshippers do.  The reason the decisions of the Russian Synod of 1913 are so important, along with the decisions of the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos, and of Patriarchs Joachim and Germanus of Constantinople, is because they were the official statements of the Orthodox Church condemning the heresy of name-worshipping.

 Fr. Mark writes further:
St Anthony Khrapovitsky said of these Russian "synods" in 1912: Our Church [in Russia] is governed by a layman, or, to say it officially, by a collegial institution never seen by the Church of Christ before... The [Russian] Church is deprived of its lawful head and is given over for enslavement to lay officials, which hide behind an assembly of six or seven hierarchs who are changed every half a year, and two presbyters. Who is not aware that such an institution is uncanonical? That it was not approved at its very inception by two Patriarchs; and even if it had been approved by all four, this would only show the unlawful deed of the Patriarchs and not the canonicity of [Russian] synodal rule, because no Patriarch can establish and authorize an institution which is unknown to Holy Orthodoxy and which was invented only to bring weakness and decay..."

(Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, Voice of the Church, Jan 1912).
Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory (he has not been glorified as a saint), rightly complained that Tsar Peter “the Great” was wrong to replace the patriarchal system of church governance with a synodal one, in which the synod was appointed and supervised by government officials. However, while this quote is intended to suggest that Metropolitan Anthony did not support the work of the Russian synod, the opposite is true. Metropolitan Anthony not only accepted the work of the synod, but participated in the synod for five years.  He was an active member at the time he wrote the above-quoted article and when he participated in the condemnation of the name-worshipping heresy. Like all the saints, tsars, bishops, monastics, clergy and laity of the Russian Church for the 200 years the synodal system was in force, Metropolitan Anthony abided by its decisions and considered them binding on the Church in Russia.

Fr. Mark continues,
The decisions of the 1913 synod condemning Name-worship was reversed several times in the ensuing years. The synod itself back-peddled its own decision soon after by only requiring the "heretics" to venerate the Cross and Holy Gospel rather than renounce their "error."
This is factually incorrect.

It is useful here to note that the recent revival of name-worshipping began with Gregory Lourie, who was at the time a priest in the synod of the late Metropolitan Valentin of Suzdal.  The controversy over name-worshipping in HOCNA was touched off after Lourie was communed at Holy Transfiguration Monastery last fall, and then-Hieromonk Gregory vigorously defended both Lourie and name-worshipping.  The arguments put forth by the HOCNA bishops now are arguments which Lourie used to defend name-worshipping to the bishops of the Suzdal synod.  (They did not buy his arguments and defrocked him. He later was consecrated a bishop by other renegades.)

Vladimir Moss, who was Lourie's chief opponent at the time, has written an extensive review of name-worshipping.  In an appendix, he writes:
On October 5/18, 2002 Hieromonk Gregory (Lourié) supposedly expressed “repentance” for his name-worshipping views before the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. In fact, however, Lourié’s “repentance” read more like a self-justification than a statement of repentance. He expressed “regret”, not about his belief in the Bulatovich’s heresy, but only about the fact that his public statements on the subject had “become a reason for discord within our Church” – in other words, that he had been indiscreet in his public proclamation of the heresy. There was no mention of Bulatovich, no condemnation of any specific heresy, and no admittance that he had ever confessed any heresy at any time. Instead he actually denied that he confessed heresy: “I hold to the teaching of the Holy Fathers and confess no heresy about the names of God, which would have been condemned by previous Fathers and Councils”. He could say this with sincerity (and cunning) because he considers that the teaching of Bulatovich is “the teaching of the Holy Fathers” and is in fact not a heresy. Moreover, no large Council has yet condemned Bulatovich’s teaching, only several Synodal decisions of both the Russian and the Greek Churches. So in saying that no Council has condemned the teaching, he is not lying according to the letter of the law. But there is a direct lie in is his assertion that no previous Fathers ever condemned that teaching. For several Fathers did, including Patriarch Tikhon, Hieromartyr Vladimir of Kiev, Hieromartyr Agathangel of Yaroslavl, Hieromartyr Basil of Priluki, St. Barsanuphius of Optina, etc. And he lies again when he says: “I also hold to the resolutions of the All-Russian Local Council of 1917-1918, which were confirmed by two resolutions of the Synod of our Church, in accordance with which the decision on the essence of the question of name-worshipping belongs exclusively within the competence of a Local Council of the Church of Russia”. For there were in fact no resolutions of the 1917-18 Council on name-worshipping, as Lourié (who has gone on record as calling the 1917-18 Council “a tragic-comic story, which exerted a minimal, or negative rather than positive, influence on the following life of the Church…”!) well knows.

A few weeks later, ... Fr. Gregory wrote a further “report”, dated November 11, 2002, in which he states that he “submits to Church authority and rejects the errors listed by the holy patriarch Tikhon” in a Nativity Epistle written on February 19, 1921.

...Let us examine what the patriarch supposedly said in this previously completely unknown Nativity epistle: “In these high days, when the Church is celebrating the Nativity of the God-Man, Who brought the peace and goodwill of God the Father to earth, I consider it appropriate to remind you in brief of the Athonite imyaslavtsi (name-glorifiers) and give you certain instructions on how to treat these monks. It can be seen, that the Holy Synod in its definition of April 22-25 1914, number 3479, was indulgent to the spiritual mood and to the way of thinking of the Athonite monks, who have a poor knowledge of theology as expounded in books and of the forms of paper work, and allowed them, instead of the previously required signing by the imyabozhniki (name-worshippers) of a denial of their false teaching, to substitute for this a written testimony (a promise on oath) of their Orthodox faith, with the kissing of the Holy Cross and the Gospel. They promised exactly to follow the Orthodox Church and obey the God-established hierarchy, believing exactly as the Holy Church teaches, neither adding anything from themselves, nor taking anything away. In particular in regard to the glorification of the name of God, they promised not to consider His name the essence of God, nor to separate it from God, not to venerate it as a separate Deity, nor to worship the letters and sounds and occasional thoughts about God. The Holy Synod decided to admit into Church those who believed in this way and declared their willingness to obey the Church authorities, and to allow their priests to serve. But, in rendering its indulgence, the Holy Synod did not change its former opinion of the very error contained in the writings of Anthony Bulatovich and his followers, whom the Synod decided to pass over for the consideration of the All-Russian Holy Council, upon which depends the resolution of the whole issue in essence”.

Now the teaching of Bulatovich can be summarized in two propositions: that the names of God are energies of God, and that the name of Jesus is Jesus Himself. Neither of these teachings is in the list of errors listed by the patriarch. “To consider His name the essence of God” was not one of Bulatovich’s teachings (although it may have been that of some of his more ignorant followers). For, as St. Gregory Palamas teaches, the essence of God is not to be identified with the energies of God. “To venerate it as a separate Deity” is, again, not one of Bulatovich’s teachings. “To worship the letters and sounds” is, again, not one of Bulatovich’s teachings. “To worship… occasional thoughts about God” is one of Bulatovich’s teachings, and the only one, therefore, which Lourie may be said to have renounced (although it is doubtful, judging from his dialogue with Vladimir Moss on the subject, that he would accept such a phrase as representing Bulatovich’s real view). In any case, the most important point is that the two propositions that summarise Bulatovich’s main views are not in this list, nor can they be reinterpreted to come within this list.

So why was the patriarch’s characterization of Bulatovich’s errors inaccurate? In order to answer this question, we need to investigate a little further. Let us begin by posing the question: In what other document of the time can we find this same list?

The answer is: in the judgement issued by the Moscow Diocesan Court with regard to the name-worshippers on May 8, 1914: “… The Synodal Office has found that in the confessions of faith in God and in the Name of God coming from the named monks, in the words, ‘I repeat that in naming the Name of God and the Name of Jesus as God and God Himself, I reject both the veneration of the Name of God as His Essence, and the veneration of the Name of God separately from God Himself as some kind of special Divinity, as well as any deification of the very letters and sounds and any chance thoughts about God’ – there is contained information allowing us to conclude that in them there is no basis for leaving the Orthodox Church for the sake of the teaching on the Names of God.’ (decree № 1443)”. The coincidence of wording is striking. It is obvious that the list of errors referred to by the patriarch in the document quoted by Lourié is in fact the list drawn up, not by the Holy Synod in its Resolution № 3479 of April 22-25, 1914, which does not contain a list of errors[130], but by the Moscow Diocesan Court on May 8, 1914.

However, it is essential to realise that the decision of the Moscow Diocesan Court of May 8, 1914 was overturned by the Holy Synod in its decree № 4136 of May 10-24, 1914, which set aside decree № 1443 of the Moscow Synodal Office, and confirmed the sentences against the name-worshippers. This confirmation of the sentences against the name-worshippers was again confirmed by decree № 2670 of March 10, 1916. And yet again by Patriarch Tikhon and his Synod on October 8/21, 1918. And yet again by the Nativity Epistle of 1921.

Lourié tries to get round this by claiming that there was yet another decree of the Holy Synod that was supposedly passed in 1921, just before the patriarch’s Nativity epistle, and which supposedly formed the basis for the patriarch’s Nativity epistle. “Unfortunately,” Lourié writes, “the true text of the decree of 1921 on removing all the bans from those name-worshippers who remained alive has not reached us”. Unfortunate indeed! And devastatingly destructive for his whole case. For since this mysterious decree “has not reached us”, I think we are fully entitled to conclude that it does not exist. After all, if it did exist, why should the patriarch not refer to it?
So you see, Anastasia, that the Russian Synod was in fact consistent in its treatment of the name-worshippers: it issued decrees against them in 1913, 1914 and 1916.  I hope you also see that Lourie and his disciples among the HOCNA bishops use the four points from Patriarch Tikhon's Nativity epistle and the decision of the Moscow Synodal Office as red herrings to make it seem as though the Russian Church authorities sympathized with the name-worshippers and opposed the synod.

Regarding the Russian Synod, Fr. Mark concludes:
So, we come, now, to what I wrote to you in my last email. By the definition of the 1913 "synod", a Name-worshiper is someone who deifies the letters and sounds of God's name; believes that God's Name is His Essence; and that the name is a separate deity. The Athonite monks did not believe this. These heretical ideas were attributed to them by the synod of 1913. When investigations were actually done and the monks allowed to speak for themselves, they were found to the fully Orthodox. A final decision of the subject of Name-worship was expected at a pan-Russian synod which never occurred due to the revolution. 
This paragraph is full of errors and misconceptions.  First, the Russian Synod was not of 1913, its investigation and condemnation of name-worshipping were issued that year.  The Athonite monks were not found to be fully Orthodox.  Anthony Bulatovich, the chief proponent of name-worshipping, died a violent death outside the Church.  The pan-Russian council did occur, but did not take up the issue of name-worshipping.

The definition that Fr. Mark attributes to the Russian synod is in fact taken from the one the HOCNA bishops use to define a name-worshipper, including deifying letters and sounds, identifying God's Name with His Essence, or considering God's Name to be a separate deity.  These were beliefs which the Moscow Synodal office found the name-worshippers did not hold and which Patriarch Tikhon listed as points for them to specifically renounce in returning to communion with the Orthodox Church.  But they never constituted a definition of name-worshipping for anyone until the HOCNA hierarchs determined to use them in that way.  In essence, in their statement "Divergent Teachings," the HOCNA bishops have redefined name-worshipping to make it seem as though they have condemned it, when in fact they have also redefined Orthodox belief to include tenets of name-worshipping. It's propaganda, pure and simple.

Fr. Mark then writes,
So, we can all condemn Name worshipers, because they do not exist (as I said, there may be someone, somewhere, but who knows?). St Philaret can condemn them as have our holy Hierarchs.
By the definition of the HOCNA hierarchs, indeed there may be no name-worshippers in the world.  But by the traditional definition -- one who believes the name of God is God Himself -- the HOCNA bishops have made clear, in stating that the Name of God is an Energy of God and therefore God Himself, that they are name-worshippers.  They are joined in their heretical beliefs by Lourie and his followers, and by "Bishop" Job, our former priest in the Ukraine who was consecrated a bishop by Lourie last summer, and his followers.

The HOCNA bishops wrote in "Divergent Teachings:"
All should understand that, by these pronouncements, we hierarchs are not Nameworshippers as defined in this statement, and that we believe, confess and espouse the Orthodox Christian belief, also defined in this statement.
Again, remembering that Orthodoxy is what the Church has taught always and everywhere, the fact that the HOCNA bishops needed to write their own definition of Orthodox belief should make you deeply suspicious.  The fact that their definition of Orthodoxy includes the traditional definition of name-worshipping should be conclusive proof that they have fallen into error, and sadly have drawn Fr. Mark into error as well.

Fr. Mark concludes,
Anastasia, the Name of God is a holy mystery. We cannot understand it. It is a Divine Energy which is a revelation of God (Like Grace). To say that the God's Energies are not divine is to fall under the anathemas of the Synodicon of Orthodoxy and it runs contrary to Holy Tradition.
This is not the teaching of the Orthodox Church, it is the teaching of the name-worshipping heretics of the early twentieth century and of their modern followers, Lourie and the HOCNA bishops.

Hear St. Gregory of Nyssa: ...[N]ames were invented to denote the Supreme Being, not for His sake, but for our own.” (Answer to Eunomius’ Second Book)  And again, “We, following the suggestions of Scriptures, have learned that the nature [of God] is un-nameable and unspeakable, and we say that every term, either invented by the custom of men, or handed down to us by the Scriptures, is indeed explanatory of our conceptions of the Divine Nature, but does not include the significance of that Nature itself.” (To Ablabius)

Hear St. Gregory the Theologian: “The divinity is un-nameable." (Fourth Theological Oration)

Hear St. Isaac the Syrian: “There was a time when God had no name, and there will be a time when he will have no name.” (Unpublished Chapters on Knowledge)

The Holy Fathers of the Church have spoken, and their teaching is not the teaching of the HOCNA bishops.  God's Name is not His Energy.

As a tree can be known by its fruit, so too can the heresy be detected by its effect.  In the early twentieth century, the name-worshippers brought violence to Mt. Athos.  Now, a century later, the revival of name-worshipping has brought devastation to HOCNA.  Our former spiritual community has been divided.  Holy Transfiguration Monastery has been divided.  Parishes are being torn apart.  As clergy and laity who recognize this heresy depart, the circle of HOCNA has grown even smaller and tighter.  In embracing their own definition of Orthodoxy and rejecting all those who accept the decrees on name-worshipping, the HOCNA bishops also have more surely than ever isolated themselves from other old calendar true Orthodox Christians. 

Anastasia, our beloved HOCNA has ceased to be a true Orthodox Church and has devolved into a heretical sect.  May our Lord enlighten and save you and Fr. Mark.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chronology: Document 4


of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America

Beloved Christians:

We recently welcomed Bishop Gregory Lourie as a visitor to our monastery in Boston. While here, he asked if he could receive Holy Communion, and after we consulted among ourselves, and upon asking the counsel of other of our clergy, we agreed to share the Holy Mysteries with him.

By doing this, we did not intend to get involved in theological debates that have raged in the Russian Church for some one hundred years now. Nor do we intend to take sides in them.

In hindsight, it would have been more prudent perhaps to wait until that time when this issue and other issues in the Russian and Greek Churches are addressed. At the same time, while we realize that many matters still divide them, we want to promote unity among all these groups. If we erred in our judgment, we ask forgiveness, since it was an honest mistake committed out of a desire to foster the oneness that must exist among all Orthodox Christians in the Holy Body and Blood of our Saviour.

It is true that, as they themselves admitted to us, our predecessors, St. Philaret of New York and Archbishop Auxentius of Athens, also made missteps in the confused times and conditions that the Church now finds itself. But their love of the Truth, their purity of intention and their confession of Orthodoxy was also evident and true.

We ask for your prayers that God may help us navigate in these turbulent waters that surround the Ark of the Church. We seek only your ― and our ― salvation, and we call upon the mercy of God to overlook our human failings.

May God protect and shelter all of us.

+Metropolitan Ephraim

+Metropolitan Makarios

+Bishop Demetrius

November 19/December 2, 2011

Martyr Barlaam of Antioch

Chronology: Document 3

November 30/17, 2011

Saint Gregory the Wonderworker

[for your information]

Response of Father Andrew Boroda to Father Michael Azkoul<>Friday, November 25, 2011

Dear Fr. Michael,

I know Bishop Gregory Lourie for number of years by correspondence and met him in person for the first time month ago in New York. I read some of his works, some of his sermons and found in them no heresy or anything in variance with teaching of the Apostolic Church. I cannot claim that I read all his writings and I may miss something even in what I have read. However, unsubstantiated accusations in heresy should be rejected outright. It is not right to accept bare words, but we need to see what kind of false teaching man proclaims so that we may analyze it or even ask author to speak for himself and explain it.

As about anyone's personal life, I cannot speak to that and it is out of my interest. I do not read any gossips on so-called internet news groups, sites, etc. I keep my attention away from those sources.

Father Michael, it is first time we exchange letters and I want use a chance to express gratitude for your lifelong work in the field of Church education. Often I give to read your articles and your book Delivered to the saints to new people coming to our Church. It was Deacon Photius, of blessed memory, who introduced your works to me.

Father, we live in desert-like world in which Christ the Savior the source of life is long forgotten. As Diogenes of old, we have to go abroad with a lamp searching for even single likeminded man. I rather be mistaken in trusting than be strict in mistrusting (remember how it was with St. Gregory the Theologian and Maximus the Cynic?). God is our judge.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Andrew Boroda

P.s. Metroplitan Ephraim forwarded to me a letter of Mr. Alajaji. He puts a title MD by his name. Doctor of Medicine is reputable profession. One should ask him if he ever makes final diagnosis without seeing a patient or reviewing his medical records or reading analyses of his tests? That would be my answer to his letter.


Response of Father Gregory [HTM] to a layman <> November 25, 2011

Dear in Christ  _____

Thank you for your kind words! Please pray for me, that I may serve at the Holy Table in purity and fear of God.

Concerning your question about Bishop Gregory.

There was a lot of misinformation and slanders about these worthy Athonite fathers. The Church of Constantinople was motivated solely by political reasons of expelling as much Slavs from the Holy Mountain as possible. Thus it used the accusation of "heresy" to demand from the Russian government the removal of supposed heretics from the Mountain.

As for the decision of the Russian synod - it rests on very shaky theological grounds and contains some very erroneous teachings. The fact is that this very same decision against them was reversed several times, so, which one of them are we supposed to believe? If the synodal decision was wrong, then it was wrong, there should be no shame in admitting it. Other conciliar decisions turned out to be mistaken in Church history. We know, for example that St. Tikhon the Confessor disregarded this synodal decision and personally liturgized with the leaders of the Imyaslavtsy in Moscow churches.

Bishop Gregory Lourie is not making an issue out of this question. He simply believes that that the Athonite fathers were right and that the hierarchs were wrong (how many times has such a thing happened in history?) and that one day the Church will (formally or informally) make a correct judgement about this matter.

I should like to recommend you to read this letter about the subject, written by Bishop Gregory to Vladimir Moss.

As for the ordination of Bishop Gregory. He was ordained by Bishops Sebastian and Ambrose of Valentine's Synod. When, then, Father Gregory was defrocked by Valentine in breach of all canonical procedures, these two bishops were so disgusted by the whole affair, that they withdrew from participating in the synod. Namely, these bishops were forced by Met. Valentine to sign an empty piece of paper where the uncanonical defrockment of Father Gregory was then written in.

On top of this, the so called "synod" of Met. Valentine is a self-appointed assembly of those bishops that happen to be at his residence at a given time, the existence of which has never been sanctioned by a Sobor, as specified by ROAC by-laws. In fact, there has not been a single Sobor in ROAC throughout the duration of its existence.

In accordance with 84 Canon of Council of Carthage, these two bishops instituted a local gathering of bishops within the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, which in absence, and until the restoration of, the conciliar order in that church, allows them to proceed with canonical existence without, at the same time, breaking into a schism. These are the bishops that ordained Bishop Gregory.

I will be happy to supply you with any other information about this matter.

Please pass my regards to Daniel, whom I met during his stay here at the monastery.

I embrace you with brotherly love.

In Christ our Saviour,

Gregory, hieromonk.

Chronology: Document 2

February 6/19, 2012

Sunday of the Last Judgment

His Eminence Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston, His Eminence Metropolitan Makarios of Toronto, His Grace Bishop Demetrius of Carlisle:

Holy Masters, bless!

In his second epistle, St. Peter wrote, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Peter 3:17) Dear Despotas, I am writing to you because I believe you have fallen into such an error. In your statement of November 19/December 2, 2011, you characterized imyaslavie (name-worshiping) as an open theological debate which has raged in the Russian Church for some one hundred years. This is false. Imyaslavie is a heresy condemned one hundred years ago by both the Church of Constantinople and the Church of Russia. And since then there has been no debate within the True Orthodox Church. Based on this false view, you have made and continue to make grave errors. The most serious of these is your insistence on consecrating Priestmonk Gregory (Babunashvili).

As you surely know, imyaslavie is the teaching that the name of God is God Himself. It arose in early twentieth century Russia through the teachings and writings of Schema-monk Ilarion and especially Hieromonk Fr. Anthony Bulatovich, and spread to the Russian monasteries on Mt. Athos. Imyaslavie was condemned as a heresy by:

+ Patriarch Joachim III of Constantinople (September 1912)

+ The Holy Kinot of the Holy Mountain (February 2, 1913)

+ Patriarch Germanos V of Constantinople and the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (April 5, 1913)

+ Holy Synod of Russia (May 18, 1913; August 27, 1913; March 1916)

+ His Holiness, Patriarch Tikhon (October 21, 1918)

Somehow, Despotas, you have been led to believe that serious debate took place in the Russian Orthodox Church after the Holy Synod's decision, and continues to take place today. This is untrue. You have also circulated a letter by Priestmonk Gregory, in which he echoes the argument that the history of imyaslavie was a dispute between hierarchs and monastic ascetics in which the hierarchs prevailed not by truth, but by political maneuvering and force. This characterization is also false. In truth:

  • All 200+ bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church accepted the decision of the Holy Synod. The elders of Optina Pustyn, Valaam Monastery and of all other monasteries throughout Russia also received the decision of the Holy Synod without question.

  • Among 4,800 Russian monks on Mt. Athos, about 800 professed this heresy, but many of them later repented.

  • The seven members of the Holy Synod of Russia which condemned this heresy included Metr. Anthony Khrapovitsky and Proto New Martyr Vladimir, at that time Metropolitan of St. Petersburg. You could hardly characterize them as bureaucratic hierarchs with "shaky theology" or little knowledge of the Je-sus Prayer. Attached, please find the 1913 report of Metr. Anthony on imyaslavie. It is patristic and sound.

  • The Holy Synod of Russia never repealed its decision.

  • Our venerable hierarchs and fathers in faith, Metropolitans Anthony, Anastassy and St. Philaret of the free Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, never treated imyaslavie as an open question.

  • The only figures to defend the teaching of imyaslavie or to question its condemnation as a heresy were the original teachers and disciples of this heresy; followers of heretical philosopher Vladimir Soloviev such as Sergey Bulga-kov, Nikolay Berdyaev, Alexey Losev, and Pavel Florensky, who laid the foundation of the corrupt Paris theological school; "Bishop" Ilarion Alfeyev, a Moscow Patriarchate "theologian", whose background, education, and experience are all suspect; and Gregory Lourie, a self-described purveyor of punk Orthodoxy and self-proclaimed bishop.

You have admitted that you erred in allowing Lourie to be communed at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in October of last year. An academic who philosophizes over details while failing to grasp fundamental truths, Lourie has published sermons on such topics as why St. Nicholas should be worthy of veneration when the few hard facts reveal him as an ordinary provincial bishop and when the miracles attributed to him seem mythological. Far from traditional Orthodoxy, to say the least.

Lourie was ordained to the priesthood in 1999 by the Synod of Metropolitan Valentin of Suzdal to be pastor of the parish of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was suspended by the same synod in July of 2005, and then defrocked in September of 2005, precisely for promoting imyaslavie. In the letter notifying him of his suspension, Metr. Valentin wrote:
Over the course of many years, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox (Autonomous) Church has received several complaints from bish-ops, priests, monks, and lay persons, concerning intolerable and extremely scandalous remarks made by you, together with your spreading of the heresy of "name worshipping," and, despite the fact that you were warned several times to cease and desist from disseminating heresy via the internet, and you promised to abandon your waywardness and return to the true path, which leads to salvation, you continued, and even until now continue, to spread the heresy of "name worshipping," publishing the false teaching of hieromonk An-thony Bulatovich on the web page

True to his nature, Lourie disputed the details of the procedure by which he was defrocked. He failed to accept the essence of the matter: because of his militant belief in imyaslavie, the synod considered him no longer worthy of the priesthood, and later even excommunicated him and his followers. Lourie continued to serve in rebellion. In November of 2008, he dared to accept consecration as bishop by two bishops suspended by Metr. Valentin, taking for himself the title last rightly held by the New Martyr Metr. Joseph, "Bishop of Petro grad and Gdov." Further, despite claims of persecution, Lourie's parish of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr is the only nonMoscow Patriarchate parish that has been allowed to function openly in St. Petersburg in a traditional church building open to the public. In Putin's Russia, this can only mean Lourie has powerful governmental protection. In other words, he is not only pseudo-Orthodox and even heretical in his beliefs, a pseudo-bishop in his canonicity, but he is also clearly perceived as useful in some way by the government.

Your failure to grasp both the heretical nature of imyaslavie and the utter unworthiness of Gregory Lourie are why Priestmonk Gregory is still a candidate for bishop. In his letter of November 25, 2011, Fr. Gregory openly supported both the heresy of imyaslavie and the canonicity of Lourie, whom he has also described as a renowned theologian. (!!!) God allowed him to reveal both his heretical beliefs and his poor judgment before his consecration. Yet all you have asked him to do is to promise to keep these opinions to himself. Despotas , how can you think this is satisfactory? Since when is it acceptable for a bishop to believe in heresy but keep it to himself? Since when is a man who believes in heresy a valid candidate for consecration? You continue to look to St. Metr. Philaret as an example; how can you imagine that Fr. Gregory would have been acceptable to him?

The consecration of a bishop is an extremely serious matter for the whole Church. In a small synod like ours, the man who is chosen will influence decisions for years to come. Candidates should be men whose Orthodox faith and judgment are unimpeachable. With more than thirty monks at Holy Transfiguration Monastery, it is simply impossible that the best qualified candidate is this relatively unknown man who came to this country less than five years ago, was tonsured barely two years ago, and who now has revealed these serious errors in faith and in judgment. If you do not wish to "fall from your own steadfastness," you should not consecrate him. If you are truly seeking the best candidates and desire the unity of the Church, I respectfully urge you to tum to the whole Church to nominate new candidates. Let men be chosen who are supported not just by a majority of the Holy Synod, but by the laity, clergy and bishops. Let there be several candidates, and let the one to be consecrated be chosen from among them by lot. In this way, setting aside our own will in this matter, we would allow God's will be revealed.

In Christ,                                

Fr. Deacon Yakov Tseitlin

Chronology: Document 1

October 30/November 12, 2011

SS. Cleopas and Artemas, the Apostles

Most Rev. Ephraim, Metropolitan of Boston; Most Rev. Makarios, Metropolitan of Toronto; and Rt. Rev. Demetrius, Bishop of Carlisle

Beloved Holy Masters:

I kiss your right hands and ask your blessings.

In both written and verbal communications with you over the years, I have said to you that, if a son really loves his father, then, when a son sees his father in error, the son—precisely because he loves his father—corrects him. So I communicate again now with you in this same spirit because I love our Savior and His Church and you, my fathers in the Faith.
Over the last week or so, it has been established that Bishop Gregory Lourje of one of the non-State Church Orthodox jurisdictions in Russia, with the consent of the three of you, received Holy Communion with His Eminence Ephraim during the Divine Liturgy at Holy Transfiguration Monastery sometime near the close of Bishop Gregory’s very recent visit there. I am astounded by how muddled and inconsistent this decision has rendered our ecclesiology and by the entire manner by which you came to this decision.
When I arrived at the Monastery for the Saturday Divine Liturgy approximately two weeks ago, it happened to be right at the time of Bishop Gregory’s departure. Fr. Panteleimon asked me to greet Bishop Gregory, whom I did not even know was in town (which, of course, does not matter) and briefly introduced me to the bishop. I asked Father if the bishop is one of ours, and he said yes. Shortly after greeting the bishop, I approached His Eminence Ephraim, who was seated in his usual spot in the office, and inquired about this bishop.
His Eminence took the time to provide me with a brief background, told me we were reaching out to this man in the spirit of trying to establish an ongoing relationship that might eventually lead to a Sister Churches type of intercommunion, said that we advised this bishop to attempt to join the Tikhon Synod, noted that there were conflicts between this man and that Synod, and remarked that he (His Eminence Ephraim) did not fully comprehend all of the issues, part of which centered on the "Name of Jesus" controversy in the Russian Church. His Eminence gave me the very distinct impression that we would cautiously proceed to evaluate Bishop Gregory and the situation in Russia, which seemed fine to me. And then, this past week, I learned about the bishop’s receiving the Mysteries, which would have had to happen before His Eminence and I had the aforementioned conversation.

How, I ask, is it proper to commune with a bishop whom we are still evaluating and the controversies around whom we do not understand? Such a weighty decision—bishops com-muning with one another—is made on the basis of an impromptu phone call while the jury is still out on Bishop Gregory’s trustworthiness? How do we jump so fast to communion with this man, whom we truly barely know, while exercising all due caution, for example, with a bishop from another jurisdiction who has been in direct communication with us for over a year and with whom you have met and held discussions in person on more than one occasion? You write, laudably, in your recent "A Historical Clarification" that it is our desire to be in communion with those who, in effect, have canonical and confessional integrity. Where have you estab-lished that this Bishop Gregory meets this criterion?
And here is one glaringly obvious way in which you have seriously confused our ecclesiology. If you can commune with a hierarch whose canonical and confessional integrity we have not thoroughly studied and the controversies around whom we do not adequately comprehend, then, by your own unanimous decision of a little over a year ago when you officially recognized the Kiousis/Kallinikos Synod as the legitimate True Orthodox Church of Greece and turned over your responsibility for Athens to that Synod, you must forthwith commune with each and every one of the hierarchs on that Synod, whose canonical and confessional integrity you have determined and publicly proclaimed.

Beloved Masters, do you grasp the scandal and ecclesiological inconsistency and undermining of our own canonical and confessional integrity?

As for Bishop Gregory, by your own standards, either you have to produce—for the whole Church to see—the evidence of your study of him and his situation and his canonical and confessional integrity or you publicly have to repeal communing him until an unhurried and thor-ough evaluation and a proper and correct decision can be made. After all, you have an entire Church to answer to. Sad to say (for us), but even the Kallinikos Synod, its shortcomings not-withstanding, took longer in its deliberations and response time before accepting into commun-ion our departed hierarchs, clergy, and parishes.

And this brings us—yet again—to the beyond lamentable manner in which we govern the affairs of our Church. You have objected to the description of our Synod as dysfunctional. Fine; I’m not wedded to that specific word. But please tell me what word you would use to describe a group of people who do not adhere to their own policies, who act impulsively (in contradiction to their oft-declared "cautiously"), and who, in the face of ongoing, self-inflicted damage to our Church, steadfastly make momentous decisions without full, well-rounded consultation and deliberation.

As for inconsistency with our Synod’s policies and impulsivity, so as not to belabor these points, the several paragraphs prior to the one before this constitute ample evidence. Surely, given all of our past communications, I do not have to repeat prior instances. If you simply had adhered to your own policies and to your purported caution, Bishop Gregory receiving Holy Communion would not now be an issue. And this brings us to the third point, advice and guidance, beyond whatever you may or may not be obtaining now.

Our Synod appears to make decisions as if our hierarchs are in a vacuum, as if there is no rest of the Church which has a say in the Church’s governance and to whom our hierarchs must give account. The three citations immediately below, I hope, will help illustrate what I mean:

In a paper you distributed at this year’s Clergy Synaxis, Fr. Haralampos noted how even the Holy Apostles gathered in council with all of the people present, including laymen, and everyone expressed his view. (Father even remarked on the "Mediterranean" character of the proceedings.)

When we were searching for an Orthodox hierarch in 1987, follow-ing ROCOR’s departure from the Confession of Faith of St. Philaret, the whole church was involved—yes, even laymen. Further, we took several months to make our decision, and, when Archbishop Auxentios came increasingly into view, we actually met with him more than once, asked him anything and everything we wanted, answered any and all of his questions, and then decided the matter together, as the whole Body of Christ.

On and off over the last six years or so, the clergy have urged that you seek full counsel before deciding issues with serious ramifications. One suggestion has been the establishment of a standing board of advisors composed of parish clergy and perhaps laity. Another suggestion has been the convening, from time to time, of a Church-wide council. In both cases, their function would be to study carefully and to give you direction on how to handle serious pastoral and administrative issues and controversial matters of con-sequence. Both approaches have been applied in the Church throughout the centuries.

These three examples stand in sharp contrast to the way our Holy Synod, especially these last several years, determines how to handle situations with significant repercussions or arrives at decisions with far-reaching consequences. Unfortunately, our history gives the impression either we are not aware of either of these potential outcomes or we just do not care. Indeed, I posit that because, to date, you have effectively ignored the suggestions above regarding advisors and councils, some of your more significant decisions and courses of action have increased the tension, turmoil, and division in our Church. Our Synod’s handling of weighty matters and decisions appears to be less thoughtful and open and conciliar within the context of an entire Church and more, I’m sorry to say, impetuous and private and personal, with the too-frequent aura of backroom deals. I know we are capable of conducting the business of the Church much better than that.

You have seen as recently as the end of this September in a meeting with clergy with His Eminence Ephraim and, again, at the last Synaxis that a number of clergy share this concern. In fact, some said they were relieved to learn that other clergy have the same understanding of our conduct and the same concerns addressed in this letter and in previous communications with you and that these concerns have been raised with you, but they are thus far disappointed in our Synod’s overall response. They said they would receive, on occasion, material from our hierarchs showing support for how our Synod was handling a controversial matter, but the same clergy never were made aware by our hierarchs that there were serious opposing views to how our Synod was handling things. I, too, was reassured to learn that others of my brother clergy are of a similar mind.

Are you not tempting God by willfully (after all, you are not in ignorance here) continuing to preside over this self-inflicted destruction? And if you are, for how long will our Lord forbear? You know He allowed His people to be defeated in war in order to teach them to have faith in Him and to be obedient to His will. Clergy, laity, and parishes have departed, a sizable number of our remaining clergy and laity are in dismay and are having temptations, and all of our mon-asteries (what’s left of them) are, at best, on shaky ground and/or divided. (This includes Holy Transfiguration; just pay honest attention to what is going on around you.) And all of this is re-lated to our Synod’s conduct. Are we to lose, perhaps irretrievably, everything built up by di-vine grace and our decades-long labor before we mend our ways?

Kissing, again, your right hands, I remain your unworthy servant in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Father Christos Constantinou

P.S. Some of those same clergy asked that they be "kept in the loop" concerning matters such as these. Thus, whereas in the past I have not sent my communications with you broadly to others, I am sending this letter and similar others in the future to those who asked to be kept up on such things.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Gregory Lourie Deposed for Name Worshipping

In 2005, the Synod of Metropolitan Valentin of Suzdal deposed Gregory Lourie from the priesthood for his refusal to cease from promoting the heresy of name-worshipping.  Lourie maintains the decision was uncanonical.  He did not allow it to deter him from accepting consecration as a bishop in November 2008 from two bishops who had also been deposed by Metropolitan Valentin.  "Bishop" Lourie is now the foremost promoter of name-worshipping, having influence in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and the United States.  He has glorified the heretic Anthony Bulatovich as a saint.

More about the synod's decision to defrock him here and here.  Background here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Holy Transfiguration Monastery on Name-Worshipping

Issued recently by the monastery fathers in response to the promotion of the name-worshipping heresy by Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston and Bishop Gregory of Concord of the Holy Orthodox Church in North America.

Historical Events and Analysis of the Name Worshipping Controversy

August 5/July 23, 2012 Synaxis of the icon of the Mother of God of Pochaev
“God is without name.” St. Anastasius of Sinai CCSG 8:26

“In all the earth His name is not known, but it is worshipped.”
St. Gregory of Nyssa PG 44, 1028D
For some time we have observed covert and overt efforts to propagate the doctrine of the Name-worshippers. The proponents of these teachings ignore or distort many historical events, offer truncated or misapplied or unknown quotations from Church Fathers, present improvable or unfounded facts; and they vilify anyone who disagrees with them. We have set forth here, in a compilation by many hands, a short chronology of the principal events in the development of the controversy, authentic quotations from our Holy Fathers which make evident the false foundation of the Name-worshippers, and their disregard for the God-established theology of the Church.

A sure mark and sign of their deviance is their frequent statement, when a Saint or Council is cited as being contrary to their doctrine, “Even Saints and Councils can make mistakes; they are not infallible.” Actually, it has been observed, that for the Name-worshippers, almost every Saint – even those who are declared by the Church to be Fathers of Fathers, and Canons of the Faith – has been subject to dogmatic mistakes; since their teachings undercut and deny the premises of the Name-worshippers; only two men have been found by them to be without dogmatic error regarding this issue: Anthony Bulatovich and his modern, fervent advocate and apologist, Gregory Lourie.

Another fallacy that has been widely heard: “Name-worshipping is a Russian affair and must be settled by the Russians; we should avoid any discussion about the subject”. This is another ruse by the Name-worshippers to have history and doctrine ignored while they prepare the ground with pleas for compassion and objectivity.

The fact is that the Name-worshipper sect began and took root on Mt. Athos, and was developed by Monk Hilarion (author of the seminal work On the Mountains of the Caucuses) and by Hieromonk Anthony Bulatovich. Many booklets were printed in Greek, written by Bulatovich and others, disseminating their new doctrines, while others published rebuttals. Their beliefs were first condemned by the Sacred Community of Mt. Athos and later by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, well before their final condemnation by the Russian Synod.

Another gross distortion of fact frequently stated, “We must vindicate the poor, martyred monks of Mt. Athos, who suffered so unjustly for their beliefs at the hands of the ruthless authorities.” An ignored fact is that in 1911, the Name-worshippers became aggressive and violent; they seized monasteries, expelling or imprisoning the brothers and robbing their goods by force, overturned established order and disobeyed the legal authorities. Such criminal acts would not be tolerated in any society.

Finally, we will show with quotations from the Great Fathers and others that the Church’s sacred theology have remained the same from the beginning and contradicts every doctrine of the Name-worshippers. The Church has reaffirmed the Church’s doctrine that the name Jesus (or any divine name) is not an energy of God and that the name is not that which is named.

Indeed, the entire Church has condemned the Name-worshippers, either by words of agreement, or by acquiescing to the formal decrees of the condemnation by the Patriarchates.

When the Church condemns something, it is binding.

Anthony Bulatovich was excommunicated from the Church twice. Actually, it was a self-excommunication. He declared that all the Church was in heresy because it did not accept his doctrine. After the second time, he died on Dec. 5th, 1919, excommunicated and anathematized, when he was killed by robbers at his mother’s estate.

Patriarchal and Synodical decisions have definitively condemned the teachings of the Name-worshippers as heresy, and they have never been reversed; these decisions are binding for us all, remaining in force to the present day. All the local Orthodox Churches and Orthodox Christians everywhere have accepted them.

Bishop Gregory Lourie maintains that the Kollyvades of Mt. Athos had also been unjustly condemned by the Constantinople Patriarchate (the decisions of Patriarchs and Synods are not necessarily always true and infallible) but this condemnation was not long after recalled by the same Patriarchate. In any case, the Kollyvades did not disturb the monasteries of Mt. Athos with violent disorders as did Bulatovich; nor was there any new teaching, but only a desire to respect and observe the ancient typicon and usage of the Church. They did not cut themselves off from the Orthodox Church and declare all those who disagreed with them to be heretics. Indeed, St. Athanasius of Paros, one of the leaders of the Kollyvades, accepted his deposition and did not serve until he was restored by the Patriarchate. The Name-worshippers in no wise followed the example of the Kollyvades, which rather serves to condemn their actions.

A chronology of the principal events in the Name-worshipper controversy

1912 – Joachim III, Patriarch of Constantinople[1] describes the Name-worshipper teaching as “foolish theology”, “completely deceived thinking”, “soul-destroying deception”,“innovation and novel teaching”, “foolish and blasphemous doctrine”. Anthony Bulatovich was called to Constantinople to a canonical Church Court, but ignored the summons. [2]

1913 – After the disturbances on Mt. Athos, the Sacred Community (Iera Koinotis) informed the Patriarch of the sorrowful events and petitioned that the guilty be expelled from the Holy Mountain Athos. Patriarch Germanus, the successor of Joachim, in a letter of April 5th mentions the letters of the Mt. Athos fathers as well as of the “newly appeared and vain doctrine”, of this “blasphemous cacodoxy” and “heresy”, especially among the Russian monks, which leads to “pantheism”. The Metropolitans and other Bishops of the throne in turn also judged the subject worthy of great care and study. The Bishops requested the opinion and verdict of the theological faculty of Halki and, after receiving it, they condemned this “newly appeared doctrine” as “blasphemous and heretical”.

With this letter of his, the Patriarch announces “the synodical conviction and condemnation of this deception” and that it be made known in the Monastery of St. Panteleimon and the Skete of St Andrew and that “the deceived monks” “must reject the blasphemous error”, otherwise they will be deemed “heretics and seditionists against ecclesiastical discipline; and if they remain impenitent, they will not have the right to remain on Mt. Athos to infect this sacred place.” [In other words, if they do not repent and reject this teaching, they will be expelled.]

1913 - Church Truth, the official journal of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in the issue of May 11th, p. 145 states that “Name-worshipping” is a “deception” and “heresy” and urges its followers “to return to Orthodox doctrine, before the Church be obliged to apply the measures enjoined by the sacred canons."

1913 - Church Truth, June 15th, p. 187, publishes the official documents in which the newly-appeared doctrine of the worship of the name of Jesus “is condemned by us, the Great Church of Christ as without foundation and heretical”. It published also the official condemnation of the Name-worshippers by the Church of Russia

1913 – The Church Beacon, official journal of the Church of Alexandria #11, (1913) p. 363 describes the Name-worshippers as a movement of ignorant monks, lacking any theological learning – inclusive of Bulatovich – who were swept along by him and even stooped to violence  [3].

1913 – The condemnation of the Name-worshippers by the Russian Synod is published [4]. To name but a few of those that signed this condemnation are Hieromartyrs Metropolitans Vladimir of Kiev [5] and Agathangelus, the founders and the pillars of the Russian Church Abroad Metropolitan Anthony and Metropolitan Anastassy, who was also called “the Most-wise”.

1913 - It is said that Patriarch Gregory of Antioch also condemned the Nameworshippers, although we have not found any official text. No great reference to official decision is necessary. The official decisions of Constantinople, Mt Athos, and Russia are more than sufficient because of the very important fact that no Patriarchate, no regional church, have ever doubted or rejected these decisions and they have been accepted thus for a hundred years. It is an accepted Pan-Orthodox decision.

1914 – Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow condemned “the false doctrine of the name of God which is preached by schemamonk Hilarion and Anthony Bulatovich".

1914 – The Sacred Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, announces its decision #4136 of 10/24 May, that Bulatovich and those with him had not really repented and so the Synod invalidates decision #1442 of the Moscow Synodical office, which had been deceived by the apparent orthodoxy of the Name-worshippers.

1916 – For a second time, after two years, the sacred Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church confirms by decision #2670 of March 10th, 1916 the decision of condemnation issued two years prior (#4136, May 10/24, 1914).

1917 – 1918 – The Pan-Russian Council had on its agenda to re-open the examination of the question of the Name-worshippers. The council began sessions August 15, 1917, and adjourned on Sept. 20, 1918 because of the political turmoil caused by the Bolsheviks. In any case, a new examination was hardly needed, since three Synods had already condemned them in 1913, 1914, and 1916. That the Pan-Russian Council would not have changed the decision and justified them is proven by the little priority they gave it and the following action of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow:

1918 – The Pan-Russian council ceased its sessions in September of 1918 because of the Bolshevik revolution. On October 8/21, 1918 St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow (+1925) wrote on the part of the synodical members:
The sacred Synod does not change its former decision concerning the error of the Name-worshippers…and in no way has it changed the general condition according to which the Name-worshippers, in as much as they have been condemned by the Church authorities, are not accepted into communion with the Church…only when they have rejected Name-worshipping and show obedience to the church. The request of the Hieromonk Anthony [Bulatovich] that he be permitted to serve as a priest is deemed not worthy of fulfillment in as much as he continues in disobeying the church and spreads his ideas which have been condemned by the Church Hierarchy as being harmful for the Church.
After this decision, in November 1918, Fr. Anthony Bulatovich wrote to Patriarch Tikhon and the Holy Synod informing them of his secession from any spiritual communion with the ecclesiastical authorities until “an examination of the case in its essence by the Holy Council”041. Not long thereafter, he suffered a violent death as mentioned above, being 49 years old, in 1919  [6].

1921 – Patriarch Tikhon mentions the subject of the Name-worshippers in his Christmas Encyclical of 1921.

...During these lofty days, when the Church celebrates the Nativity of the Godman, Who brought upon the earth peace and goodwill of our Heavenly Father, I deem it proper to remind you, in brief, concerning the Athonite Name glorifiers and to offer you some guidance on how to treat these monastics. From their case it can be seen that in its Resolution 3479, of April 22-25, 1914, the Holy Synod condescended to the spiritual mood and the disposition of mind of those Athonite monks who were not well versed in theology as expressed in books, nor very knowledgeable concerning formal proceedings, [and it, the Synod of 1914] allowed the previously required signed repudiation by the Name-worshippers of their false teaching to be replaced with a written testimony [i.e. from witness] (by sworn promise), while kissing the Holy Cross and the Gospel, of their Orthodox Faith, their exact following of the Orthodox Church, and of their obedience to the God-established hierarchy, believing according to the teaching of the Holy Church, adding nothing and subtracting nothing on their own, in particular as pertains to the veneration of the Name of God, not to believe that His Name is God’s essence, not to separate it [the Name] from God, or consider it another deity, and not to deify letters, sounds and random/accidental thoughts about God, and such who believe in this manner and who manifest their submission to the ecclesiastical authorities, the Holy Synod [of 1914] decided to receive into the Church, while those of priestly rank it permitted to perform services. However, while manifesting its condescension, the Synod did not alter its previous judgment regarding the very error contained in the writings of Anthony Bulatovich and his followers, which it decided to refer to the consideration of the Holy Pan-Russian Local Council, from which depends the resolution of this case in its essence…
The Name-worshippers had used a version of the above excerpt of the 1921 Nativity encyclical which is mistranslated and subsequently they misinterpret. Their translation uses the English simple past for the first half of the excerpt: “…the Holy Synod…permitted…decided”, etc., but the present perfect for the second half of the translation: “…the Synod has decided…has permitted”. The implications here is that one body made the first decisions, and that a later body made the other ones. Such is not the case. Bishop Gregory Lourie does use this 1921 epistle of Patriarch Tikhon to argue for the existence of just a separate resolution, which, according to him, “has not come down to us”. He further claims that this hypothetical ‘resolution’ removed all the remaining bans on those Name-worshippers still living. According to Bishop Gregory, the text of Patriarch Tikhon’s epistle was based on this ‘resolution’. He offers no proof for these assertions.

One apologist for the Name-worshippers likewise interprets this excerpt of the 1921 encyclical in the same manner as we have above. Metropolitan Hilarian (Alfeyev), the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Affairs, is a well-known expert on the Name-worshipping movement and has written a two-volume study on it. Nor can Metropolitan Hilarion be suspected of partiality toward Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky, of whom he declares in his book that he was driven into exile after the Revolution and died as a schismatic, outside of the Church. In citing this 1921 encyclical of Patriarch Tikhon, Metropolitan Hilarion writes:
At the beginning of 1921, the Patriarch sent a nativity Epistle to the diocesan bishops, part of which was devoted to the treatment of the Athonite Name-glorifiers. The Patriarch, in particular, mentioned the resolution of the Synod, No. 3479, of April 22-25, 1914, according to which the Name-glorifiers were allowed to participate in the Mysteries and priestly services on the condition of a written or oral testimony “of their exact following of the orthodox Church and obedience to the God-established hierarchy”; however, as the Patriarch emphasized, the Synod, in its Resolution of 1914, “did not change its previous judgment regarding the error itself, which is found in the writings of Anthony Bulatovich and his followers, which it decided to refer to the consideration of the Holy All-Russian Council, on which depends the resolution of this entire matter in its essence.... [7]
The Pan-Russian Council did not need to re-discuss the subject. All the Synods which had previously convened had condemned the Name-worshippers, and had not altered their opinion and decision. Shortly thereafter, robbers murdered Bulatovich. Despising Synodical decisions does not lead to a good end, “the death of sinners is evil” (Ps 33:22).

Another similar occurrence: Archimandrite Arsenius, general delegate of the Holy Synod of Russia, was sent by the Moscow Patriarchate to Mt. Athos to judge the situation in 1913. Having arrived, the next day he attached himself to the party of the Name-worshippers. At the critical moment of the dialogue between the opposing parties, Arsenius suffered paralysis and could not speak. After a month and a half, he suffered another attack and became a complete invalid and never recovered [8] He had been abbot of the Monastery of St. Macarius. His successor, the sacred martyr Macarius, became bishop of the Catacomb Church. He and the entire monastery remained Orthodox [9].

The events of 1911 – 1918 on Mt. Athos and Russia became known throughout the whole Orthodox world, through articles and journalistic reports; and comments appeared in all the centers of the Orthodox world. The Church Herald, official organ of the Church of Cyprus (#3 [1913] 708 – 720), the Church Beacon, of the Church of Alexandria (#11, 1913 pg 362) and Church Truth of Constantinople (#33, 1913, pg 123) describe the new heretical teachings, and the Name-worshippers' vicious language and violent assaults in their invasion of St. Panteleimon Monastery, where they imprisoned the abbot Misael and elected a new abbot David, and of the Skete of St. Andrew, where they expelled the abbot Hieronymous with many monks and seized the Skete. The news accounts have many more details from which the account above is summarized. Most of the Local Orthodox Churches had no problem in their regions with Name-worshippers, so no official action was required, or indeed, canonically proper for them to enact. But the official journals indicate their agreement with the condemnation of the Name-worshippers and their disorderly and illegal behavior; nor was there any objection or demurral voiced.

We either agree with the councils or Synods or we do not. We can summon a council and declare the former a “robber” council and condemn their decisions, or we can ignore their decisions because they are not enacted with ecumenical authority, or not of our province, i.e. not part of our local Church. We should remember, however, the Council of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the eleventh century under Patriarch Michael Cerularius, which put the Latins under anathema. Patriarch Peter of Antioch expressed himself guardedly against the anathema unless the dogmatic accusations were verifiably true.

Yet this decision of a local council has ecumenical force and authority for the Orthodox Church, because its dogmatic formulations were undoubtedly true to Orthodoxy, so the churches all accepted it as self-evident truth and did not convene separate councils.

Sacred martyr Basil (Zelentsov) (+1930) was catacomb Bishop of Proluki, a professor of theology and a witnessing Christian, a lay delegate to the Pan-Russian Council. His sermon at his ordination was more a pledge of fidelity to the Church of Christ to struggle until “his last breath” against the “apostates [he means the Sergianists], the blasphemers, innovators and heretics”. He recognized the condemnation of the Name-worshippers by the Synod and declared “they will be accepted into Church communion and participation in the mysteries of the Church only under the inviolable condition that they reject the false doctrine of Name-worshipping and verify their faith in the dogmas and doctrine of the church, as well as their obedience to the Church authorities."

Callinicus the Hesychast (+Aug. 7, 1930) was one of the foremost teachers and examples of hesychasm and spiritual guide and confessor upon Mt. Athos in his lifetime [10].
The name of God does not have a magical character so that whoever invokes it gains its powers. A medium, a Satanist, an actor can take in his mouth or use in a book of magic the name God, Jesus, or Christ, without grace obeying him and working, just as an icon or cross in the hands of a heretic or in magic has no power, but is a simple object, inert matter without power, even if it bears thename of God upon it. Christ names Himself: door, vine, rock, spirit, light, life, Lord, shepherd, Lamb, father, mother, teacher, bread, etc. Certainly, that does not mean whenever I see the words bread, door, rock, etc. without fail, God is there. Neither when one says the word “spirit” is only God signified, for a demon is called spirit, as also are the wind and the air and man’s soul. ‘Take caretherefore, when hearing such words lest you be lead astray by the sameness of the sound and understand something else than that which is intended’ (St. Cyril of Jerusalem 16:13). Faith is the presupposition; grace does not pour forthwithout distinction and discretion. Rightly did the Russian Synod condemn theName-worshippers, who believed ‘that the unconscious repetition of the name of God is effectual!’ The same Synod speaks of a ‘mechanical repetition’ and ‘magical superstition’ of the Name-worshippers. ‘An inexperienced monk will forget that prayer is directed to someone’ and ‘only a dead repetition will suffice’ and ‘not gaining the fruits which only true prayers can provide, either he will fall into despair (he will lose heart) or will produce them artificially in himself and he will perceive that exultation as the action of grace, that is, he will fall into deception.’ [see decision of the Russian Synod]
The name of God is holy “certainly not because the syllables contain some sanctifying power” writes St Basil the Great, On Psalm 32  (Ellines Pateres Ekklesias, vol 5, p. 197).
“There exists no name which embraces the whole nature of God, and is sufficient to declare it; more names than one, and these of very various kinds, each in accordance with its own proper connotation, give a collective idea which may be dim indeed and poor when compared with the whole, but is enough for us.” St. Basil the Great, Against Eunomius, I, 10.

“There was a time when God had no name, and there will be a time when he will have no name.” St Isaac the Syrian, Unpublished Chapters on Knowledge, III, 1, syr. e7, Bodleian.
“The movements of the tongue and the heart in prayer are keys; what comes after them, however, is the entrance into the treasury. Here let every mouth, every tongue become silent, and let the heart (the treasurer of the thoughts), and the mind (the ruler of the senses), and the reason (that swift-winged and most shameless bird), and their every device become still.” The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 2011, Homily 23, p. 239.
“So far, nobody has found any name completely worthy of God; nor is this very ‘Word’ used strictly and essentially of Him; it only shows that the Son was born from the Father without passion.” Blessed Theophylactus, Archbishop of Bulgaria, Commentary on John, 1:2.

Saint Basil the Great in the Hexaemeron describes the dispensation of words as used in Scripture, that the words are human, not directly God’s words:
“It must be well understood that when we speak of the voice, of the word, of the command of God, this divine language does not mean to us a sound which escapes from the organs of speech, a collision of air struck by the tongue; it is a simple sign of the will of God, and, if we give it the form of an order, it is only the better to impress the souls whom we instruct. (Hexaemeron 11:7)
“Let not the unbelieving heart think that the sign of the cross as well as the name of Christ work miracles of themselves independently of Christ Himself…They work no miracle until we see Jesus Christ with the eyes of our soul, with faith.” St John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ, p.75.

Starets Barsanuphius of Optina, contemporary of Bulatovich said, “Power is not in the word, it is not in the name, but in Christ Himself who is named,” (Elder Barsanuphius, 2000, p. 810). A spiritual daughter of the Staretz relates, “knowing the Elder’s strict obedience to the Church, I know that he would have taken these books [In the Mountains of the Caucasus] away from us and would have submitted to the Synod’s order. [11] ( Elder Barsanuphius, 2000, p. 811).
Theophanes the recluse said, “Words are only prayers expression and are always weaker than prayer itself” (Art of Prayer, p. 125). Again he says, “The Jesus prayer is not itself miraculous, but like any other short prayer, it is oral and consequently external” (pg 126). This “external” of which the saints teach, the syllables of the words, are the “cap” that the holy Elder Callinicus so wisely spoke of in his excellent and down to earth metaphor, which the Name-worshippers mocked. He said, “They have left off worshipping the head and are worshipping the cap”. In his correspondence, the Elder Callinicus called it “this stupid heresy."
We have seen all the Synods, Churches and Saints, which, following the Fathers, have condemned the Name-worshippers, or rejected their doctrine by their contrary exposition of Orthodox doctrine. No Synod has repealed these condemnations. The supporters of the Name-worshippers in past decades were Berdyaev, S. Bulgakov (condemned for his heresy of Sophiology) and another Sophiologist and occultist, the priest Paul Florensky.

Bishop Gregory Lourie has revived the doctrine of Name-worshipping by writing about it and lauding their founders Hilarion (who admitted that his doctrine is “new” and never found before) and Anthony Bulatovich, whom he has canonized with an icon and a service. He pretends that this is the genuine Athonite teaching, and that he is battling against “Name-fighters” and innovators. Bishop Lourie says, “There are no strange or erroneous teachings in Fr. Bulatovich’s books”. Bulatovich called anyone who disagreed with him, “heretics”, “fools”, “blasphemers”, and “anathematized”. In fact, according to him, the whole Church was in Apostasy, because it did not agree with him. All the saints, martyrs, confessors, struggles, and godly scholars from the 1900’s, and all the Church’s councils were flawed or heretical.

Both Bulatovich and Gregory Lourie angrily attack and defame Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky, who was a major religious and theological figure of the time.  Bulatovich and Lourie, with no substantiation, pronounce him to be a heretic [12]  This is the man whose students were confessors and martyrs, and was greatly respected, even though many of his theological positions were controversial because they had patristic foundations and were different from the customary philosophical and scholastic theology usual in Russia during the prior three centuries. He was the reviver of Patristic theology in Russia. St. Justin Popovich declared, “We are ants before him, who is a soaring eagle.” St. John of San Francisco was a student of his as well as St. Hilarion (Troitsky) the hieromartyr, and many others. His analysis of the Name-worshippers was convincing and unanswerable.

Throughout St. Dionysius the Areopagite’s works, The Mystical Theology and The Divine Names (and indeed, in all his writings), he proclaims that God is without form and inconceivable to human conception, beyond any grasp: physical, spiritual, intellectual; unknowable, uncontainable, infinite, perceivable only by His effects, only when He wills. God acts and can effect, but He cannot be acted upon or affected; God is impassible, changeless, remaining always the same as He ever was and shall be According to St. Dionysis, “God participates in us, but we do not participate in him (Divine Names 2:5 – 6). That is to say, God affects us, but we do not affect Him. So all the Apostles and Fathers have preached.
St. Isaac the Syrian quotes St Dionysius when he discusses the different types of prayer:
“Saint Dionysius, who writes: ‘We use sounds and syllables and phrases and descriptions and words on account of our senses, since when our soul is moved by noetic energies (operations) to things noetic, both the senses and that which they perceive become superfluous; just as, in turn, the noetic powers are superfluous when the soul, having become Godlike by an unknown union, throws herself upon the rays of the unapproachable Light with sightless hurlings.’ [13]
St Basil the Great and St Gregory of Nyssa in their books Against Eunomius [14] say that no name can be applied to God, which describes His nature or essence, because names are material, human constructions. Certainly, the doctrine of the Names of God has been clearly set forth by the church, by St. Irenaeus, Ss. Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria, Maximus the Confessor, John of Damascus and many more. These citations are found in the conciliar decisions against the Name-worshippers and in the exposition of Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky.

Bulatovich, in order to establish his doctrine, frequently brings forward these words of our Savior as a proof text, with his peculiar interpretation. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn 6:63) Bulatovich maintains that the Lord meant that whatever words he had said to the Apostles were the Holy Spirit itself and life itself, i.e., since life is one of the divine names, the name is therefore, Life itself. He concludes that every word that Christ spoke was, therefore, God Himself; when the Apostles and disciples repeated these words, their words were God Himself; whenever they were printed and repeated by others, these words also were God Himself, because they are divine energies of God. When God gave the commandments and law on Sinai; these are God Himself, as they are the energies of God. The entire written Gospel is God Himself, because it is the energies of God. Whatever the Holy Spirit did and revealed is God Himself, as they are “the fruits of the Spirit” of which the Apostle Paul speaks therefore they are God Himself. (pg. 74, Bulatovich, The Glory of God is Jesus, Christomanou Press, Thessalonica, 1913) No wonder the Theologians of Halki judged that his doctrine “reeks of  Pantheism”. However, St Cyril of Jerusalem repeats the common interpretation understanding in the Church of this text of the Gospel:
But since concerning spirit in general many diverse things are written in the divine Scriptures, and there is fear lest some out of ignorance fall into confusion, not knowing to what sort of spirit the writing refers; it will be well now to certify you, of what kind the Scripture declares the Holy Spirit to be. For Aaron is called Christ, and David and Saul and others are called Christs, but there is only one true Christ, so likewise since the name spirit is given to different things, it is right to see what is that which is distinctively called the Holy Spirit. For many things are called spirits. Thus an Angel is called spirit, our souls are called spirits, and the wind which is blowing is called spirit…and a devil our adversary is called spirit…And of good doctrine the Lord Himself says, ‘The words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life’; instead of “are spiritual”. Catechetical Lecture, 16:13) [in other words, the Lord says spirit instead of saying spiritual]
Bulatovich distorts the meaning of the phrase “in the name of Jesus” as meaning the very name itself, “Jesus”, which he believes is God Himself. The phrase is commonly understood even in everyday speech as invoking the authority and power of who or what is named as the justification for the action: “in the name of the government of the United States”, “in the name of the King”, “in the name of President Obama”, “in the name of common humanity”.

Bulatovich also claims that the name “Jesus” existed before eternity in the eternal counsel of God and therefore is the most-excellent, eternal name of God above every name. Yet no Father when speaking about the divine names has ever referred to the Word and Son of God as “Jesus” before His incarnation. He is called, “God, “Son”, “Word”, “Angel of great counsel”, “Wisdom”, etc. St Cyril of Alexandria says, “the names before the incarnation are appropriate to His nature, “God” and “Wisdom”…but since he came down to empty himself by taking on the likeness of a man…he accepts the common name, that is both “Christ” and “Jesus”, which is to say, “God with us”… Therefore, then, I declare that the name of Christ is inappropriate for God the Word before His incarnation; if he has not yet received the Chrism, how can he be called Christ? [If he has not yet been anointed, how can he be called the Anointed one?] (Commentary on Esaias 4.4 2.656 A – E)

St Basil the Great: “The name of God is said to be holy, not because it contains in it any special virtue, but because in whatsoever way we contemplate God, we see Him pure and Holy.” (On Psalm 32)

Whatever we know about God “received its name after the name came into being… [For] names were invented to denote the Supreme Being, not for His sake, but for our own.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa, Answer to Eunomius’ second Book)

“Inasmuch as He is the cause of all, He receives names from all His effects” (St. John Damascene, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 1, 12). God’s effects, that are His energies, receive names from men, but the names are not the effect (energies) which God causes. Therefore as the Synods declared: the name is not the energy of God; the name is not that which is named.

“The God-inspired scriptures of necessity use many names and expressions for the particular and moreover, enigmatic portrayal of the glory of God.” (St. Basil the Great, On Faith, 5) The glory of God is a divine energy, the “names and expressions” are mankind’s description of the glory of God, but not that glory itself.

“The divinity is un-nameable. When we represent God by borrowing certain traits from that which surrounds God, [His glory or energies] we compose a certain unclear and weak idea gathered in-parts from this and that. And the best theologian among us is not he who has discovered everything, but he whose idea is broader, and who has formed in himself a fuller likeness or shadow of the truth.” (St. Gregory the Theologian, Fourth Theological Oration, 17)
“That which surrounds God” [ta peri tou theou] –His glory or energy– forms in the believer and theologian a shadow or likeness in his understanding. This can be named, but that name is not that glory itself, but one man’s understanding of it. The term “divinity” refers also to the divine energies, which are formless, without shape or image. They are the formless ideas or words logoi of creatures; they are the formless “wills” of God, which are then named by men, not the energies themselves. Therefore as the Synods declared: the name is not the energy of God; the name is not that which is named.

“We, following the suggestions of Scriptures, have learned that the nature [of God] is un-nameable and unspeakable, and we say that every term, either invented by the custom of men, or handed down to us by the Scriptures, is indeed explanatory of our conceptions of the Divine Nature, but does not include the significance of that Nature itself.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa, To Ablabius, PG 45, 121B)

Our conceptions, which can be described and named, explain the divinity, but do not include its significance, therefore the names also do not include, the energy of the divinity. Therefore as the Synods declared: the name is not the energy of God; the name is not that which is named.

“Note that the name ‘God’ does not show the essence or what God is, but a certain good deed in relation to us, and that we create names for God from the gifts of God of which we are participants.” (St. Maximus the Confessor, Scholia on the Divine Names II)

“We create names for God,” but man does not create the divinity, which is ever existent, beginning less and unending. Therefore as the Synods declared: the name is not the energy of God; the name is not that which is named.

“That which surrounds God,” is His glory, might, power, majesty, light, providence, will, energy, which are referred to, or explained or portrayed by the divine names. These name are inventions of men even, if they refer to the very essence of God or recount God’s revelation, as the divinity is beyond every name or image or conception of man; God certainly cannot be held or enclosed by human words or terms or by any constraints – material, intellectual, spiritual, or noetic.

Many students of philosophy attempted to apply categories of necessity, nature, and essence to God and the incarnation; likewise, many sought for solutions in the Platonic ideas, in the Neo-platonic sympathies, but the Church rejected these. Indeed, Synodicon of Orthodoxy condemns these philosophies in three different chapters.

The revelation of the doctrine of the Tri-Hypostatic Trinity has been the formulation, which has rescued the Church from any such errors. One essence revealed in three sovereign hypostases, of one power, throne, glory, and dominion: Infinite, without beginning or end, impassible, omniscient, omnipotent, without form or body, and uncreated. Divinity is attributed to the essence of God, but He is multiple in His will, because all created things have the formless, shapeless will of God as the ground of their being, an unrelated relationship, a formless icon or archetype (according to St. John of Damascus), thus denying any doctrine of Platonic ideas or images. There is an indivisible division of God among individual creatures, which the Saints call also the natural energy of God. The natural energy of God’s essence does not differ from God’s essence and is not separate from it. They are not two separate things for God’s natural energy is simple as is His essence. St Gregory Palamas repeated this Patristic truth against the Barlaamites, when he declared, that it was a God-befitting distinction, which in no way violated the divine simplicity. God is not diminished, but he is everywhere present in all his essence, wherever his energy is differentiated and measured out according to His will; He is present in His grace in the measure he determines for every creature. The Nameworshippers call those who do not believe in their new teaching, Barlaamites. However, it is their “dogma” that resembles the Barlaam heresy; for they, like Barlaam, declare that the grace of God is created, since they declare a created name is God Himself.

A sheet circulated by the Name-worshippers recently, purports to compare in two columns, Teaching of the Russian Synod on the Grace of God in one column, and by its side in another, Teaching of St Gregory Palamas on the Grace of God.  The Name-worshippers accuse the Decision of the Russian Synod of 1913, Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky, and S. Troitsky of misquoting and denying the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas, while, in opposition, they quote some few lines from the writings of St Gregory. To prove that the above mentioned authorities did not misquote St Gregory, as is claimed, and that he also used the term ‘Divinity’ as they did, we shall offer the fifth chapter of those anathemas written by St. Gregory against Barlaam and Acyndinus [15].
Again, to those same men who say that the name Godhead or Divinity [theotes] can be applied only to the essence of God, and who do not confess, in accord with the divinely inspired theologies of the Church that this appellation is applied as well to the divine energy, and that by all means, the Saints thus still profess one Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whether one apply the term Godhead to Their essence or to Their operation, since the divine expounders of the mysteries have so instructed us,
Anathema (3)
Clearly the Saint uses the term Divinity, in the same way as do the Synod and the theologians mentioned, to refer to the divine energy. Referring to the divine essence itself as God, was not unknown to ancient church writers. In any case, the quibbling over the term “divinity” is ridiculous, because any dictionary will define it as Godhead, or God, or the deity, or the quality of being divine, or partaking of the divine nature, etc., and this is how it is used here. St. Basil remarked that we will not argue over the order or form of words so long as they mean the same thing. Here they signify clearly that the energies are God Himself.
St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Basil the Great call the light of Mt. Tabor (the divine energy) ‘divinity’ saying that ‘the light is the divinity manifested to the disciples on the Mount’ and that it is ‘the beauty of Him Who is almighty, and His noetic and contemplatable divinity.’ St John of Damascus as well as St. John Chrysostom call that light a natural ray of the Divinity. The former writes, ‘Because the Son was begotten unoriginately from the Father, He possess the natural, unoriginate ray of the Divinity, and the glory of the Divinity becomes the glory of His Body.’ And St John Chrysostom says, ‘The Lord appeared upon the mountain more radiant than Himself because the Divinity revealed its rays.’” (St. Gregory Palamas, Topics of Natural and Theological Science, no. 146)
There are no arguments with the other texts thus quoted from St. Gregory, although the use of no. 126 from his Topics of Natural and Theological Science is an amusing stumble by the Name-worshippers; for a few words before, the Saint uses the word “God” in a manner similar to the theologians they condemned: “God the Father is called Father in relation to His own Son, and fatherhood pertains to Him as an uncreated property, even though energy differs from essence.” Theological terminology shifts somewhat in usage of terms in order to present a truth which is beyond conception and verbalization; it must be understood within the limitations of language as the meaning and significance is presented in all its facets to reach fuller expression and development, after all terms have had their relationship explicated.

Sufficient are the quotations presented to prove that the use of the word “Divinity” by the Russian Synod and other Orthodox Theologians is not a denial of St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodoxy; rather the Name-worshippers attempt to confuse the issue by using selectively truncated quotations to discredit the Synods and the Orthodox theologians; it is also a smokescreen to hide the real reason for their condemnation.

The decisions of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate, of the Russian Synod, of Mt. Athos, of Halki’s verdict, and Metropolitan Anthony’s analysis and exposition prove that they knew and certainly understood St Gregory, who had gathered his teachings from the scriptures, the Apostolic Fathers, and St. Dionysius the Aeropagite, and all the Saints up to his day, in order to refute the Thomist theology of Barlaam, which teachings were also known to the aforementioned, when they declared that the properties, characteristics, and attributes of God were also divine, according to the ancient doctrine of the Church. They all rejected the blasphemous innovation of Hilarion and Bulatovich, which made God material. Wherefore they condemned them as being the actual Barlaamites (for such is Thomism: God’s energies and grace are created, thus material).

God is uncreated. All else is created. God alone is always and forever, without beginning or end, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, infinite, incomprehensible, ever the same, simple, uncomposite, unconstrained, impassible, inviolate and invulnerable. This is God alone, the Trinity, with all His attributes and properties, which aside from the hypostases, are His essential energy, for He dwells in unapproachable light.

St Gregory Palamas, following St Maximus the Confessor, concerning a symbol or sign of divinity, declares that “every symbol either derives from the nature of the object of which it is a symbol, or belongs to an entirely different nature. Thus when the sun is about to rise, the dawn is a natural symbol of its light, and similarly heat is a natural symbol of the burning power of fire.” In other words, it is a natural symbol because it participates in the same nature as that which it symbolizes, thus the light of Tabor is a natural symbol because it is the light of the Divinity as all the Fathers and services of the Church have declared. “As for the symbol which derives from another nature, having its own existence, it is quite impossible for it constantly to be associated with the object it symbolizes, for nothing prevents it from existing before and after this object, like any reality having its own existence.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Triads III, 1, 14) This, of course refutes the claim of Barlaam that the light of Tabor was created, as St. Gregory proves in the following chapters, 15 – 23; but it also refutes the Name-worshippers, for the name is created, derived from a different nature from the uncreated divinity, and impossible to be continually associated with it.
According to those who hold the true faith – and contrary to Acindynus’ nonsensical and impious ramblings – created things are not the energy of God, but they are the effects of the divine energy. For if the created things are the energy, either such things are uncreated – which is sheer folly, for it would mean that they exist before they are created – or else prior to created things God possesses no energy; and this is mere godlessness. For of course, God is eternally active and all-powerful. Thus creatures are not God’s energy, but things that (whatever the precise terminology employed) have been actualized and effected. But God’s energy, according to the theologians, is uncreated and co-eternal with God.” (St. Gregory Palamas, Topics of Natural and Theological Science, no. 140)
“It is not activating and energy, but being acted upon and passivity that produces composition. God activates without in any way being acted upon or subject to change.” (Ibid, no. 145)

It is ironic that the Name-worshippers rush forward, purportedly as great champions and defenders of St. Gregory Palamas, while railing against the Orthodox Church as not understanding him or as misquoting him. But upon actually reading St Gregory, the Name-worshippers find themselves impaled upon the spiritual sword of his doctrine.

The names of God or the divine names are our perception of the revelation about God, not of the essence, but of that which pertain to God or surrounds God, (ta peri tou theou), i.e., God’s glory or energy. These names are given for our recognition and recall. According to all the Fathers, and accepted by all Orthodox, especially after being defined by Ss Dionysius, Gregory the Theologian, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas, these names are created, creations of man, and thus can never be energies of God.

Since God alone is uncreated and cannot change, and he is one and uncomposite, i.e., simple, His essence and essential energy are simple and undivided. A created name cannot become uncreated God, i.e., an energy of God, still less a part of the divine essence, which has no relation with anything created.

St. Gregory Palamas, states in his Chapters Against Barlaam and Acindynus, no. 3, Synodicon of Orthodoxy:
Since according to the Saints, created energy evinces a created nature, whereas uncreated energy designates an uncreated essence; in consequence, they now face the hazard of falling into complete atheism, since they have affixed the mythology of the Greeks and the worship of creatures to the pure and spotless faith of the Christians; to those men, therefore, who do not confess, in accord with the divinely-inspired theologies of the Saints and the pious mind of the Church, that every natural power and operations [energy] of the tri-hypostatic Godhead is uncreated,
Anathema (3)

Therefore if we follow the Name-worshippers, we will either worship a created God and become idolaters, since, as they declare His name, a creation, is now a divine energy; or we will fall into Pantheism, since all the divine names or energies sustain every creature in existence, give life and love, and provide for them and direct them. These are the conclusions drawn by St Gregory in the foregoing quotation, since the worship of creation is idolatry; or pantheism, which results in atheism, i.e., that is the denial of the living, Triune God and the worship of an eternal universe, like the ancient philosophers.

The Name-worshippers attempt to imbue the names – especially Jesus – with mystic, special power, sympathy or attachment. This is the mark of Gnosticism, Platonism, Neoplatonism, or magic. All the foregoing have been refuted and condemned by the Church; in the Synodicon of Orthodoxy, Platonism and its doctrines have been condemned three times.

If the Iconoclasts had heard the Orthodox say that the icon of Christ is God Himself, they would have been justified in calling us idolaters since the Orthodox worship a piece of wood and call it God Himself. Yet Name-worshippers say that this is God Himself if the monograms are painted thereon. We follow the Seventh Ecumenical council in declaring: worshipping but not deifying; the honor passes over to the prototype.

Indeed, this whole sorry attempt to discredit the Orthodoxy of the decision of the Russian Synod, of the Constantinople Patriarchate, Halki’s verdict and that of Mt. Athos, is a smoke screen and distraction to hide the real reason for their condemnation.

Now the Name-worshippers say that the name “Jesus” (or any divine name or even any word of scripture) is an energy of God, that is God Himself. As we have seen in the writings of the Fathers, names are created, the inventions of men. We would resemble the Gnostics who said that God degenerated and fell becoming material if we should say what the Name-worshippers do. But such can never be attributed to our omnipotent, infinite, ever-existent, unchangeable deity of one essence and essential energy in three hypostases. Quite rightly have the Synods declared that the divine names are not an essential energy of God. Otherwise we would be saying that the uncontainable God can be contained, the Omnipotent constrained and coerced, and the Unchangeable changed.

With their doctrine of the energy of God being a name (while all the Saints have declared names to be material), the result is that the more frequently the name is said, the more grace is gathered, thus quantifying God and God’s energy: A mechanical process similar to Tibetan prayer wheels, which the more they turn, the more merit is gained. The Name-worshippers appear to be applying one of the so-called laws of Magic, that of Identity: the name is identical with that which is named. We can do without such superstition, condemned by the Church as demonic deception.

If the Name-worshippers should say that Jesus Christ was also God and created, the Incarnation is a completely different matter. The Incarnation concerns the Word of God, one hypostasis of the Most Holy Trinity, a hypostasis not an energy, Who became a man, taking upon Himself a pure, perfect human nature for our salvation, uniting it to the divine nature in Himself ‘without confusion or change”, “perfect God and perfect man”. Even here, the divinity did not change or merge with the humanity, nor was humanity dissolved in the divinity, but because of the intercommunion of the attributes in the hypostasis of the Word, we speak of Jesus Christ as both God and man. But such a union cannot apply to the inviolable grace and will of God, for they are the single, united, essential energy of the Trinity. Even in the incarnation, the human nature retained its natural identity and did not become divine in itself, although the distinction we are told by S John Damascene, is only used in abstract thought, not in reality. But the communion of the divine energy or grace with creation – creature, inanimate nature, or a name – is not a hypostatic or essential change: the created nature remains created and its grace and glory is forever contingent, uncreated and not bound to the nature.

We worship the Cross of Christ, we worship the name of Christ, we worship the icon of Christ, as all the saints have declared; “The worship and honor passes over to the prototype,” “we worship them but we do not deify them”, according to the Seventh Ecumenical Council and the theologies of the Saints.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Boston, Massachusetts USA


1   "Joachim III (1834-1912). Born in Constantinople, he served as Patriarch 1878-84 and from 1902 to 1912, the year of his repose. Known for his almsgiving and compassion, he strengthened the bond of the Church of Constantinople with other local Orthodox Churches, especially that of Russia. He was geatly esteemed by the last Sultan, Abdul Hamit. During his exile between his two tenures as Patriarch, he resided on the Holy Mountain where he was loved and esteemed by the fathers of the monasteries and sketes. His family name was Demetriades and, according to some, he was one of the greatest Patriarchs after the fall of the City (1453), characterized as ‘of great mind, majesty, and great accomplishments.’” Peter Botsis, The Elder Ieronymos of Aegina, translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, pg 77 (the text cited was inserted intothe book by the translator).
2 Archbishop Nikon wrote and rebuked Anthony Bulatovich for not obeying the Constantinople Patriarch’s summons to a spiritual court but instead began violent sedition against his ecclesiastical superior before even hearing any decision of theirs. Constantine Papoulides, “Unpublished Documents Concerning the Russian Name-worshippers of the Holy Mountain” in Makedonika 21 (1981) pp 264-265 (in Greek).
3  See the excellent work published by Dorotheus, monk, The Holy Mountain (To Agion Oros) vol. 1, 1986 (receiving award from the Academy of Athens) on page 175, “[Anthony Bulatovich] belongs to that category of persons who possess some dogmatic knowledge which they vaunt and attempt to apply with exaggeration, violence, and lies".
4 The Russian Synodal Decision, Halki’s Verdict on the Name-worshipping Controversy, Constantinople's Decision, and Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky’s Analysis, are all available in English.

5  Metropolitan Vladimir was the head of the Russian Synod at that time as he was the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg.

6  Anthony Bulatovich entered St. Andrew Skete in July 1907, but was possessed by depression. The Skete Elders, in order to relieve him of the pressure he had from a desire for activity, permitted him a journey to Ethiopia where he remained for almost a year. Upon his return, he became zealous in theological matters. The Abbot Hieronymus admonished him not to spread teachings of Name-worshipping among the monks. He refused to obey and abandoned the Skete. After a few months, he returned with reinforcements. His followers, with uplifted fists shouted, “Blood will be spilt!” They occupied the main church and later used force to expel the Abbot Hieronymous and other faithful. Anthony was the leader, “applying to monasticism the methods he had learnt in his military career.” Dorotheus, monk The Holy Mountain, vol 1, pp 177-178).


8   Dorotheus, monk, The Holy Mountain vol 1, pg 179; Papoulides, “Unpublished Documents Concerning the Russian Name-worshippers of the Holy Mountain” in Makedonika 21 (1981) p. 276 (in Greek).

9  Russian Catacomb Saints, 1982 (p. 362) and Orthodox Word (1972)
10  Contemporary Ascetics of Mt. Athos; Archimandrite Cherubim, vol. 1, 1991, pp. 169 - 219
11  The Starets reposed in April 1913, before the Russian Synodal Decision was released.

12  Bulatovich spends an entire chapter of his book, The Glory of God is Jesus, (Christomanou Press, Thessalonica, 1913, Chapter 4, pp. 34 – 45) in which he calls Met. Anthony Khrapovitsky an “arch-heresiarch”, “drawing all the Russian Orthodox Church into apostasy.”(p. 43)

13  The Ascetical Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian, Holy Transfiguration, 2011, pg. 241-242

14 The 4th century heretic who declared, “A name is one and the same as the object named.” He believed that the name “un-originate” denoted the very essence of God.

15 Synodicon of Orthodoxy