Bp Ireneos of Illyricum: “Do we not owe our brothers in Christ more than the secular state owes its citizens…?”

Editors: The following statement of His Grace, Bp. Irineos of Illyricum (resident in Texas) of the Synod of Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlona, on Facebook regarding Bishop Enoch of Aphshawa’s comments concerning Metropolitan Seraphim is posted to NFTU with his permission. As always, opinions of individual Bishops do not of themselves represent opinions at the Synodical level.

I have been made aware via social media of the statements of the AOM regarding a potential break in communion with Met. Seraphim and the proposal of a cessation of communion with our Greek synod as well. I understand these statements to be based on a Google translation of a purported interview with Met. Seraphim which was reduced to written form. In legal parlance, this would be an inadmissible translation of inadmissible hearsay on top of inadmissible hearsay. In other words, even if you fix one of those issues, you still have multiple issues relating to the veracity of the statement. Surely, the sacred bond of communion deserves more careful consideration than a methodology that would not even be acceptable in secular courts. Do we not owe our brothers in Christ more than the secular state owes its citizens when they are subject to accusation?

I encourage all parties to refrain from hasty conclusions and inflammatory rhetoric. I encourage them to engage in direct communication with qualified translators. I do not speak Russian and have not discussed this matter with Met. Seraphim. However, I do know that our synod does not and never has engaged in name worship. I do know that those who speak Russian have spoken directly with Met. Seraphim and did not find that whatever academic or philosophic interest he had in the topic extended to any type of dogmatic or teaching position. I will put my trust in the right confessing bishops of our synod who have discussed this directly with the Metropolitan in his native tongue and were satisfied with his explanation. I am certain they will give this new concern the attention it deserves and reach the proper conclusion.

In the meantime, I pray that the coming feast of the Nativity of Our Lord in the Flesh brings to us all the peace and sanctification bestowed upon our fallen creation when God condescended to take on our human flesh for the salvation of us all.

In Christ,
+Irineos of Illyricum