Subject: Fwd: reply to Fr. Basil
Date: September 13, 2012 1:27:30 PM EDT
Father Basil has been spreading a great deal of misinformation about the Synod of the GOC under Archbishop Kallinikos.
First of all, HOCNA recognized the GOC as the canonical church of Greece in October 2010. In so doing, it simply recognized what was already the reality: namely, that the vast majority of the Old Calendarists in Greece belong to the GOC. And why is that? Obviously, because the GOC is the linear continuation of the Old Calendar Church of Greece. Archbishops Chysostomos (Kiousis) and Kallinikos are the successors to Arch. Auxentius, and there is no rival claimant to the throne of Athens who possesses any canonical legitimacy. This should all be obvious, because the Synod of Auxentius ceased to exist as a separate body, and almost all of its churches, clergy, and bishops were incorporated into the GOC.
It is not necessary to bring up here the fact that Archbishop Auxentius of blessed memory himself stood on weak ground after 1985. After all, the Holy Synod's vote carried 15 (for Chrysostomos Kiousis) to 5 (for Auxentius). This was the case because apart from his misadministration, it is no secret that Arch. Auxentius did in fact ordain immoral men to the episcopacy – witness Paisius, Vikentius, and Euthymius. Whatever was left of the synod of Auxentius joined up with the GOC under Chysostomos, because the GOC has no toleration for immorality (unlike HOCNA, whose founding members were engaged in immoral behavior over a period of decades.)
The “ecumenist” statements you mention from the GOC bishops are mostly hearsay and are completely out of context, to the point that they have no force or meaning. You know very well that the GOC bishops are not ecumenist, and would not defend any such statement from an ecumenist point of view. None of your quotes which you are so obsessive to track down can change the clear fact that the bishops of the GOC are unshakable in their confession of the Orthodox faith and their opposition to ecumenism. This is easily proven from the official documents of the Synod, such as the anathemas against ecumenism of 1998; the statements from the dialogue with the Cyprianites; and the statements from the dialogue with the Tikhonites. All these documents are crystal clear in their exposition of an Orthodox anti-ecumenist ecclesiology.
Furthermore, your accusations against the GOC are really just hypocrisy, because the same sort of statements and actions which you so oppose in the GOC were occurring during the time of Archbishop Auxentius--but not a word was said. Specifically, Fr Panteleimon called him a "semi-ecumenist" and published it in "The Orthodox Christian Witness," just a little while before joining with him.
There was never a recantation.
Moreover, it was Archbishop Auxentius who accepted the Portuguese bishops, and the Free-Serb bishops (thanks to Paisios of NY) who were masons.
Do people know that when Metropolitan Makarios served in Petroupouli (the residence of Archbishop Auxentius) and made an announcement that only those who follow the traditional calendar can come forward to take Communion, the nuns told him, "PLEASE do not make that announcement again"!
Also, a very faithful archimandrite of the Archbishop who was a very reliable source told us that Abbess Xenia herself (the abbess of the aforementioned convent) took Communion in the new-calendarist Churches. When asked "did the Archbishop know," he said, "of course he knew"!
Or perhaps you didn't see the article which was written by Archbishop Auxentius' official periodical in Greece praising the Patriarch of Jerusalem with his entourage, and welcomed them to Greece after their arrival.
On the other hand, maybe you do remember that after St Photios the Great was exiled, when he returned to Constantinople he went to the "adulterer bishop" Ignatius and made a full prostration to him! It was the same St Photios who said "let God consign all previous events to oblivion."
Not to mention as well the differences of opinion concerning strictness and leniency throughout the centuries. For example, Archbishop Demetrius Homatianos of Bulgaria was the one who (during the 13th century) said that we allow the Latins to take Communion "for their enlightenment." Not because such a thing is correct, it clearly is not, but, according to your mentality, the Church should have ceased to exist centuries ago.
Finally, you praise Archbishop Tikhon to the skies, while overlooking the fact that his Synod espoused a Cyprianite ecclesiology until 2010, when they deliberately changed their ecclesiology at the insistence of the GOC, as a precondition for entering into communion with the GOC. In any case, if you wish to join Archbishop Tikhon, keep in mind that he has name-worshippers in his Church as well.
It would be wiser if you kept your criticisms to a minimum Father, because you may be forced one day to join the Synod of the GOC, which is the canonical Church of Greece.