HOCNA enters into Communion with Gregory Lourie?

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HOCNA enters into Communion with Gregory Lourie?

Internet Reports, blogs, private and open letters of the past two weeks indicate that HOCNA has entered into an informal communion with “Bishop” Gregory Lourie, the leader of a heretical sect in Russia, who became well-known after running a suicide center where two people died. Lourie is well known as a proponent of the name-worshipping heresy (Imyaslavie), a late 19th century heresy which was condemned shortly before the revolution dismantled the Russian Church’s organization. After being removed by the ROAC in 2005, Lourie was then “consecrated” a Bishop by two deposed Bishops of the ROAC.
Rumors began to circulate after Lourie’s visit to Holy Transfiguration Monastery, during which Lourie communed and blessed a dying monk at the monastery. Photos began to appear on Lourie’s blog of his visit and reports.
A letter from an influential priest at the monastery demanding a deeper investigation of Lourie’s beliefs surfaced privately and have been made available to NFTU, as well as an open response from a cleric in Georgia. To date the Synod of the HOCNA seems to have refused to respond to the requests.
After the departure of two Bishops from the HOCNA to join the TOC of Greece under Archbishop Kallinikos, the news of this attempted union could further erode the credibility of HOCNA in the True Orthodox world. NFTU reported on the removal of Lourie from his post in the ROAC, as well as a recent attempt to protect him from a Russian government fraud investigation through a petition to the US government.

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  • STATEMENT OF THE HOLY SYNOD
    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

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