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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chronology: Document 16

Statement of St. Mark of Ephesus Cathedral Clergy
September 3/16, 2012
St. Anthimus the Hieromartyr

Most Rev. Ephraim, Metropolitan of Boston; Most Rev. Makarios, Metropolitan of Toronto; and Rt. Rev. Gregory, Bishop of Concord:

Dear Masters, purported internal theological errors in the Epistle of the Russian Synod of August 1913 are not at issue here. The issue is that the whole Orthodox Church has accepted all the synodal decisions regarding Name-worshipping without conditions and reservations, but you wish to qualify your possible acceptance of these decisions. Certainly, no sound Orthodox Christian, including us, on coming across a genuine theological error, would agree with that error, but that does not invalidate the decisions. In actuality, the Name-worshippers are not concerned with the internal theological errors; they are concerned with the decisions, themselves, which condemn the teaching they advocate. This is their real target.

None of this was an issue anywhere in the Orthodox Church until today’s Name-worshipping advocates made it an issue. The whole Church, and our jurisdiction there-in, was in peace over this matter until it was recently thrust on the Church. So, since you have permitted the Name-worshipping doctrine to come into our midst, we have been asking you to make it clear that you accept the decisions without conditions and reservations just as all of Orthodoxy has done now for about 100 years. Further, if you say it is the proper province of the Russian Church to deal with this issue (and that Church has been at ease with the decisions), who is our Synod, and what are you doing raising the issue and nit-picking your way through the decisions?

In any case, it is clear to us from your response of 29 August/11 September, 2012, and from your earlier statements, that you object to the decisions against Name-worshipping as they have been universally accepted by the Orthodox Church. This puts you in opposition to all of Orthodoxy and to New Hieromartyr St. Tikhon’s expressed position that these decisions stand.

Therefore, we herewith submit our withdrawal, together with the majority of the pa-rishioners of St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Cathedral who on this day have voted to do so, from The Holy Orthodox Metropolis of Boston under the jurisdiction of The Holy Orthodox Church in North America. We are leaving on the canonical grounds of pre-serving our Orthodox Christian confession of faith. Because of this reason alone, we are not creating a schism. Yet further in this regard, we are not creating a new synod but going to a Synod of Bishops that already exists. Indeed, we are seeking refuge in the very Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece which you, in your decisions, dated September 21/October 4, 2010, by your de facto recognition thereof and the lifting of the depositions (Motion 2) publicly and synodically acknowledged to have soundness in its confession of Faith and integrity in its canonicity, so much so that you dissolved the office of locum tenens of the throne of Athens (Motion 3), effectively relinquishing the See of Athens to that Synod.

We pray for the forgiveness and blessings and salvation of our merciful Savior on us all. Amen.

(signatures of Fr. Christos Constantinou, Fr. George Kamberidis, Fr. Demetrius Houlares)