June 07, 2013 The troubles of the Serbian Patriarchate continue to afflict the Serbian nation and the souls of individual Serbs. As the previously reported and horrific scandal surrounding Serbian Patriarchate Bishop Vasilije Kacavenda continues, other sources note that the Serbian Patriarchate refused to act despite the evidence (one could also ask Fr. Goran Arsic what happened when he tried to expose the evil). Even the former Deacon of Bp. Vasilije Kacavenda is even writing a book about the matter of sexual abuse in the Serbian Patriarchate. Now it seems that the priest who has been accused of supplying children to Serbian Patriarchate Bishop Vasilije Kacavenda, has also been accused of narcotics trafficking.
Yet, Bp. Vasilije, despite being relieved (and not deposed by the Serbian Patriarchal Synod) continues to maintain his innocence.
It seems, however, that the Serbian Patriarchate is in the worst moral crisis it has ever experienced; bishops being accused for years of immoralities and abuse, the official Serbian Patriarchate intentionally ignoring the accusations, bishops being penalized who simply criticized the Serbian government, priests involved in narcotics trafficking and pimping children to bishops, abbots being relieved of their positions over sexual abuse, and the Serbian Patriarchate deeply involved in ecumenism with its Patriarch publicly celebrating Jewish religious festivals with Roman Catholic and Islamic clergy. What more, one asks, can we expect to be revealed next?
Christ and His Gospel and the Apostolic Teachings seem to be not even an issue for the Serbian Patriarchate leadership; and not only the leadership, but, even many of its priests and lower clergy. Wealth and power seem to trump these. And for what? The temporary evil pleasures of this life? Many would like none of this to be reported on; they feel this somehow disillusions people from the Church of Christ. However, is the Serbian Patriarchate part of the Church of Christ, the true Orthodox Church? Or is it now merely the empty shadow and vessel, the institutional leftovers, from when it was part of Christ’s Orthodox Church? Ever since the heresies of ecumenism, modernism, and Sergianism have inflicted themselves upon Orthodox Christians, and have taken over wholesale the hierarchy, leaving only relatively few numbers of bishops, clergy, and laity faithful to Orthodoxy (and that after long struggles and fights to maintain the faith, both from internal fights and external assaults), we have seen the complete moral collapse of the Patriarchates. The evils transpiring in the World Patriarchates are now approaching a level equal too, and, in the case of the Serbian Patriarchate if more evidence is brought forward, surpassing, the iniquity of the Roman Catholic Church.
The obvious answer for any traditional minded persons in the World Patriarchates, in particular the Serbian Patriarchate, is to flee that institution in order to seek True Orthodoxy. In Serbia there is already a True Orthodox Church led by the good and confessing Bishop Acacius. If the Serbs still adhere to that old saying, “Solidarity saves the Serbs!”, they will soon find out that they are only in solidarity with evil. If a cancerous limb refuses to be healed, it must be cut off. Whether for those inside of Serbia, or outside, of whatever nationality, a choice must be made; and that choice is between the heresy of the World Patriarchates, and their continuing immoral devolution, on the one hand, and on the other, the scattered, and maybe few, but, still confessing True Orthodox Churches. Just as in previous centuries when heretics had seized all the institutional structures of the Church, the devout true Orthodox Christian did not wait around; they fled such bodies. Should we be any more concerned over the disputes (sometimes ridiculous in nature) between the True Orthodox synods, any more than the clergy and laity under Eustathius of Antioch were about St. Meletius of Antioch?
And, for those who point to the evils that transpired in some of the traditionalist synods (such as that reported on in HOCNA), we saw what happened there. The faithful bishops, clergy, and laity, did leave. And if this causes HOCNA to re-evaluate its position on the issues that caused those to leave, then so much the better.
Remember, there is no salvation without sacrifice. Christ said, “But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:13) There is no talk of a happy, prosperous, and care free Orthodox Christian life. Those who seek such will only be deluded. The time comes to make a choice.
When the ancient nation of Israel was being led by Joshua, they fell into immorality and idolatry on their way to their inheritance, thus apostatizing from the true Faith. This prompted Joshua to ask them, “But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14)
So tell us, does it seem evil to serve the Lord because of what will be put upon you? Will you and your house serve the Lord? Many wish it had not been in their times that such evils come upon the world, and the Church in particular. Whether it was from the loss of vigilance of our parents, or our own, we still have a choice to make. And should it seem hard to make such a choice? If so, remember how St. Paul, the Apostle to the nations, exhorted the Corinthians, “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” ((2 Cor. 4:15-18)
Our lives are short, and fleeting. The houses we build will crumble, for “Unless the Lord build the house, in vain do they labor that build it. Except the Lord guard the city, in vain do they watch that guardeth her.” (Ps. 127:1,2) All is straw, except for the works of righteousness done for Our Lord’s sake. Notice all the buildings, churches, cathedrals, and all the accumulated capital of the previous Orthodox generations. It was for such that the likes of the World Patriarchates and their clergy were so far willing to compromise with the world, the flesh, and the Devil, just for the purpose of saving it, and what little they did. They certainly were able to save some buildings, and even build more after enough time; but, at what cost? What will a man give in exchange for his soul? Even if he labor until eternity he can find no price for such.
How many are willing to start with little or nothing? With only Christ and the saints on their side? In such a world as ours, it seems few are they indeed. Christ shall come with His Judgement, and what will He find when He does?
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)