In a peaceable, but firm, letter responding to the TOC (R)’s pronouncements in favor of name-worshipping, Metropolitan John of New York, after consulting with the other Bishops, wrote a letter to Metropolitan Raphael explaining clearly why he could not accept any change in the Orthodox position:
“As you may know, Holiness, the monastery where I live is named “Holy Name”. [ED: The full name of the monastery is “Abbey of the Holy Name”.] Thirty-six years ago I asked Metropolitan Saint Philaret of New York to bless the title “Holy Name” for my monastery, and he gave me his blessing, but he made me promise him that I would always teach about this title in accordance with the Synods of Moscow and Constantinople in 1912 and 1913. This promise I gave to him, and I cannot now break this promise. I even learned later that this teaching was required by our Patron, St. John Maximovitch, and his elder, Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Galich, and Patriarch St. Tikhon of Moscow. I cannot reject the teachings of these holy men and Saints of God.
The precise teaching that St. Philaret insisted on was the following:
1) The Name of God is not the essence of God.
2) The Name of God is not the energies of God.
3) Honoring the Name of God is both necessary and commendable.”
The Metropolitan further warns that since Metr Raphael is in communion with two other Synods he cannot operate in a vacuum, and that even if he so wished, he could not enforce any unique teachings on the Church without Synodal agreement, and further, that he would never receive it.
The letter is closed with an exhortation to refer to the previous letter sent by Metropolitan John explaining that the claims and quotations given were in fact misquotes and to abandon the path of the name-worshippers before it is too late. The letter was sent Wednesday to Metropolitan Raphael, and was released to the public today.