Can’t Get in the Pope’s Good Graces? ROCOR-MP Will Take You In!

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Can’t Get in the Pope’s Good Graces? ROCOR-MP Will Take You In!

Fr Thomas and servers at ROCOR-MP’s New Monastery

It has been revealed that as late as last year, a ROCOR-MP monastery has been posing as Roman Catholic in Germany.

In a disturbing series of emails involving the ROCOR-MP’s Bishop Jerome (Shaw) of Manhattan sent to the private ROCOR Western Rite “Occidentalis” list, another saga threatens to rear its head less than two years after the reception of an entire vagante group by the Moscow Patriarchate and its satellite, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of ROCOR-MP in November of 2011.

The newest controversy seems to do with a monastery received by the ROCOR-MP in 2011 which continues to claim affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church through the Benedictine Order. An email from a concerned layperson explains: “As one who does read German like a native, what you were told in Porta does not match what the abbot told the German newspapers which reported on this topic in January 2010 and on subsequent dates. Simply put, from their arrival in Porta through the end of last year, they purported to be canonical Roman Catholic just working out some details, and that due to their relationship with Notker, fully expected to be received into the Benedictine Order. Notker told them that the initial step was the Benedictine Abbots’ Conference, which would declare whether this was a desirable act. Once that happened and assuming a positive response, they would be free to apply for entry into the order. That has to date not happened. They have no special relationship with Notker. The Roman Catholic ordinary for this archdiocese got bent out of shape because from the January 2010 opening in the factory (future mansion is a bit of a reach), they have passed themselves off as being Roman Catholic, which they were not. As recently as October of last year, the abbot and his people passed themselves off as “Catholic religious” from the “Benedictine Abbey of Eisbergen” while attending the installation of a new Protestant female pastor in Eisbergen. The local press in Porta, Minden, and Paderborn has been running extensive reporting and letter columns, including an interesting essay entitled: “Flying under False Flags.” (Segeln unter falscher Flagge; German available here)

For his part, Bishop Show of ROCOR-MP did claim that Western Rite clergy in ROCOR were placed under “a battery of tests”. However, the tests didn’t prevent some of the clergy mentioned in our previous articles are, as late as last year, still offering modern Roman Catholic liturgical books such as “Christian Prayer” (a banal English translation of the 1985 Roman ritual hours) for “spiritual formation”. Nor was any clear information given as to why the monastery received by the ROCOR-MP had a female acolyte standing in the altar who was still active in the monastery. We assume that’s been corrected.

Bishop Shaw did, however, point out that one of these new WR communities suddenly has a myrrh-streaming icon in a frustrated email: “Our parish in Tullytown PA is the *only* church of any denomination in Tullytown (the local RC church closed down a couple of years ago) — and the pastor is a well known figure locally, often asked to bless the table at civic events, and there is a miraculous, myrrh-gushing icon in the church, which no one seems to want to hear about.”

Since we at NFTU love hearing about these things, we went looking for any articles on the only Church in Tullytown– with a miraculous icon, to boot! We only found a picture of the charming structure and a thread on orthodoxchristianity.net, where apparently myrrhstreaming icons are now rapidly spreading through touching other icons, with a large number, oddly, in Arizona.

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  • disqus_LWYDsczHDH

    Father, The monastery was not received in 2011 but just two weeks ago in February 2013 when Bp Jerome was in Europe. It has not been a Russian Church monastery posing as a Roman Catholic monastery. ambrois@xtra.co.nz

    • NFTU

      No, it was some kind of “Liberal Catholic” monastery deceiving the Papist faithful up till October of last year. As I understood it, this group has been with you longer. I will check and correct that minor detail if that’s the case.

  • disqus_LWYDsczHDH

    A clarification was given by Bp Jerome….”The lady
    in the photo, Sister Humiliana, is now quite elderly, and although she
    is allowed to wear the white robe that she is shown in,
    during services, her participation consists *only* in trying to sing along,
    and sometimes handing books or other objects to
    someone if requested. I was there the better part of a week,
    and she did not “read in church” or do most of the things
    that choir ladies generally are allowed to do in our
    Russian parishes. So I would not call her an “acolyte” – but
    simply what is known as an “oblate” in Benedictine monastic
    life.” ambrois@xtra.co.nz

    • NFTU

      I’m glad Bp Jerome is being so gracious as to answer us here on NFTU. Perhaps he can therefore explain the pictures of her standing at the altar where an altar server would stand wearing an alb (the Western equivalent to a sticharion) — and in another, still in alibis, she’s holding up a censer, which is– as we who use a Western rite know– permitted for acolyte.

      Interesting to know she also hands over liturgical functions and sings, therefore fulfilling all the functions of an acolyte and perhaps a reader to boot.

      I could have sworn I banned you, Father; I will double check what happened.
      In Christ,
      Deacon Joseph Suaiden
      St Eulalia Orthodox Mission Chapel, Yonkers NY:
      *A Mission of the Orthodox Metropolia in North America*
      *Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles*
      *
      *
      “Let these canonical rules be established by us for you, O ye bishops; and if you continue to observe them, ye shall be saved, and shall have peace; but if you be disobedient, you shall be punished, and have everlasting war one with another, and undergo a penalty suitable to your disobedience.” *–Epilogue to the Apostolic Constitutions
      *

  • frsteven

    It’s getting kind of weird out there.