Hat tip to J.S.K on this one. Google translation. If our readers find a better translation, let us know. The parts we can read left us stunned.
Open Letter of Andrew Alexandrovich Serebritch, student of Russian Orthodox Seminary in France, to Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Innocent of Chersonese, Eugene Vereia;
Hieromonk Alexander, and teachers and students of the Russian Orthodox Seminary in France
January 8, 2010
I, Andrew Alexandrovich Serebritch, student of Russian Orthodox Seminary in France, can not continue my seminary training for the following reasons:
Having studied almost three months at the seminary, from October 8 to December 22, 2009, I found that part of the management of the seminary required lessons and points of view clearly unorthodox for the students, on the other hand, a deception to against seminary students.
I can not share the views of dogmatic management seminar, which is taught as undisputed and do not support any objections:
1) The rector of the seminary, the hieromonk Alexander (Siniakov) during a course of dogmatic theology under his responsibility, said that the Catholic Church in its teaching on the Filioque, based on the Treaty St. Basil the Great, “On the Holy Spirit” (as in the study of text, this does not showed), and the question of seminarians on the orthodox position on the subject, the President replied that the orthodox n ‘had position, and that in fact there is no difference in reading the Symbol of faith – with the “Filioque” or without it. But in reality, the Orthodox position on this issue and has been expressed by St. Gregory Palamas, for example, when he told the Catholics: “We will not be in communion as long as you say that the Holy Spirit proceeds also from the Son “and was also expressed at the Council of Constantinople of 1583 when it was enacted that” whoever does not confess with heart and lips … the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only about hypostasis … let him be accursed. ” The Letter of the Patriarchs in the Eastern Orthodox faith, dated 1848, also expressed, indicating that “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic, following the holy Fathers of both East and West, by as the past and again today, said in a conciliar opinion that this newly established that the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son is a notorious heresy, and his followers, whoever they are, are heretics … communities consisting of those adherents are heretical communities, and all spiritual communion in the office with them faithful Orthodox Church concilaire is illegal. “
2) Another time, during a course of dogmatic, it was a question of historical authenticity of the Feast of the Entrance Hall of the Holy Mother of God. This question was asked after we had attended a course at the Catholic University of Paris, where we, the seminarians also follow instruction. The Father Rector, following Yves-Marie Blanchard, a teacher from the university, argued that the reality of the entrance to the Temple of the Holy Mother of God was not history, this festival had no well-founded historical and having only symbolic – which contradicts the Orthodox tradition. Moreover, the Father Rector presented this information not as an alternative, but as a true position, which the mp3 recordings of his lectures show.
I can not accept the rules of conduct imposed on students. Recognizing that, in relations with representatives of the Catholic Church, it is necessary to conform to the relevant chapter of “Foundations of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, but I believe that some actions of the leadership seminar have caused some confusion:
1) The provisions on the obligation to take the blessing of Catholic Bishops and kiss their hands while the canon 32 of the Council of Laodicea stated that “we must not take the blessing of the heretics.” To this we can also add the fact that, during one of our seminar in receptions, dinner was blessed by a Catholic bishop invited by the rector.
2) At the start of classes, prayer “Heavenly King” is pronounced with all Catholics, while the canon 33 of the Council of Laodicea stated that “it is not appropriate to pray with a heretic or an apostate, and, Similarly, at the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2008, it was decided that in relations with non-Orthodox, “Our church would not accept attempts to” mixed faith “actions Common Prayer that mix of faith traditions and religious artificially “(” Questions relating to the internal life and external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church “, 36).
3) Because the life of seminarians is held in permanent contact and dialogue with the Catholics (among teachers, some classes of seminarians taking place at the Catholic University), he shall testify of Orthodoxy meet Catholics on the pretext that among them, so saying “everything is normal as regards the teaching of the faith.” Yet the holy Fathers teach that among Catholics, all is far from normal as regards the teaching of faith: “We Latins rejected simply because they are heretics” (St. Mark ‘s Ephesus); Latins were separated from the Church and “fell … into an abyss of heresy and errors … and remain there without any hope of getting ahead “(St. Païssij Velitchkovski);” since the separation of the Church of the Eastern Church and its plunge into darkness fatal heresies … “(St. Ignatius Brianchaninov ), “the Church of Rome has long been discarded for heresy and innovations” (St. Ambrose of Optino). As for the prohibition of preaching to Catholics, it comes in clear contradiction with the same council of bishops in 2008 which established that “the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Christian dialogue with other religions was held to testify the truth of Holy Orthodoxy “(” Questions concerning the internal life and external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church, 35).
4) It remains perplexed statements opposing the President that we visit the Orthodox places of Paris, particularly the Church of the Three Doctors in Paris [seat of the diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow].
5) Another provision has caused trouble before the holiday – about the need for seminarians, January 7th – Day of the Nativity of Christ – to attend as usual courses of the University of Paris because of alleged if we were not going to progress, “Catholic brothers” would not understand and vex. If I am not mistaken, according to Orthodox tradition, this is considered a non-respect for the religious festival, and it is unlikely that there is another seminar in our church where we study and working day of the Nativity!
6) One student was expelled from the seminary just for crimes of opinion. Georgij Arutyunov – is his name – has been accepted to the seminar as the other students, he studied with the others, was active during lessons, asking questions, always defending the orthodox position, but not injuring anyone personally. Nevertheless, he was deported simply because his views do not correspond to that of the rector. The Disciplinary Board of the seminar has not met once to consider his case, there was no formal charge, no opportunity to explain – it was announced that he was no longer a student, that’s all. Informally, orally, are forbidden even to other students to communicate with him. Ultimately, anyone who has a viewpoint on an issue or another, different from the Father Rector and openly defend – will be expelled.
Going to study in seminary, we thought this seminar would be like the light of Orthodoxy in the Catholic and Protestant in Western Europe, a place of preaching orthodox values in a secularized European society. Unfortunately, currently the seminar is not a place for Orthodox witness – neither in education issues of faith, or in disciplinary matters, or in everyday life.
Because what is expressed above, I consider that the continuation of my seminary training is not beneficial to the soul and therefore unacceptable. I have no personal claims in respect of the management seminar.
Serebritch A. A. (Серебрич Андрей Александрович)