Everyone on the Lifeboats! A Letter to a Blogger

I’ve updated this post for further clarification since I’ve gotten a bit of offlist confusion. Rdr Joseph, NFTU

Dear Artyom,

I see you’ve cited NFTU alongside ROCOR Refugees as proof of a “siege mentality” in your article “ROCOR UNITED: Agafangel – Where to Now?” from April 3 (NS). While we here at NFTU can appreciate that you are following the site with interest, I as the general editor would prefer that you clarify who says what– and what our actual position is here at NFTU, since you’ve cited us a couple of times recently. First, NFTU has nothing to do with ROCOR Refugees, which is run by members of the ROCOR under Metropolitan Agafangel. Second, NFTU is not affiliated with either jurisdiction you mentioned, though we recognize their fidelity to Orthodoxy. Third, NFTU does not represent a jurisdiction at all, not even that of its editors, a position we’ve held since 2006 (and for the record, I am a Reader in the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and the Americas, usually informally known as the Synod of Milan, an Old Calendarist Synod– not the ROAC. I haven’t been part of ROAC since 2006, though I have a number of friends there). NFTU is solely a news site. We report on all True Orthodox jurisdictions and ecumenical activities in official Orthodoxy.

I find it ironic that you refer to NFTU and others as having a “siege mentality”– when you responded to a post on this site that the ROAC is actually under physical and legal siege by the Moscow Patriarchate– with some analogy about counterfeit Coca-cola, which I flatly told you was ridiculous. I hope you will allow me an analogy in response.

Think of the ROCOR before this wonderful union (were you actually part of ROCOR before then? I don’t get the impression you are very old) as the ship guided by the Holy Canons, and all of a sudden she veers off path to an unscheduled port. A pirate hangout, if you will, or a well-known den of well-armed thieves. People are jumping off and hitting the lifeboats, smaller, but safer. Whether ROAC, ROCiE, ROCiE-A, ROCOR-A, the RTOC, the RusOC, the Greek or other Old Calendarists, everyone’s on a lifeboat and telling the poor blighted fools to jump of the ship as it is now getting hijacked. (It has since been pillaged and put on an auction block for sale.)

NFTU‘s policy in dealing with all the True Orthodox Churches is to support “everyone on the lifeboats”, and not a particular one. We follow news as well as we can, in fact, on all six publicly documented Russian True Orthodox bodies which do in fact have Apostolic ties to the old Church Abroad as well as any information we get on catacomb Churches. We also posted heavily on the issue of the now-deposed Bishop Diomid for his stance against ecumenism. (Remember him?)

Before assuming what the “schismatics” would do if “Sergianism and ecumenism were gone”, do yourself a favor and research whether they actually are gone before speaking– the well-documented canard that ROCOR-MP apologists shoved down everyone’s throats (“Ecumenism? Sergianism? But those are gone now!”), because part of the purpose of NFTU is to plainly demonstrate the opposite. The cold hard truth is that Ecumenism and Sergianism are not gone: they are rather there in force. And that is part of the purpose of this news site– to remind readers, as news breaks, that we are still dealing with the same old Soviet, ecumenist MP, with some cute changes in legal structure, but the same old KGB agents with mitres: a communist hierarchy in a capitalist– but still sometimes totalitarian– modern Russia.

Thank you for your interest, and have a most spiritually beneficial Holy Week.

Rdr Joseph Suaiden, NFTU
(who is neither a member of the ROCOR-A nor the RTOC)