The Head of True Russian Orthodox Church (Metr Raphael) gave a recent interview to “Portal-Credo” about his early history and the manner in which it is necessary to operate a Synod (in distinguishment from the MP). [Google or ‘machine’ translation]
“Portal-Credo.Ru”: How long was it between your priestly and episcopal consecration? And how is it that you do become a priest?
Metropolitan Raphael: The promise that I will be a bishop, was given by the Lord, when I was in a state of clinical death. I have not seen him, I heard him. It is not possible to pass …
– Usually, people who have visited in a state of clinical death, say they see in this state light corridor …
– No corridors I have not seen. I got injured on the night before Christmas 1984. I did the first operation in Lebanon, it lasted ten hours, I just woke up.The doctors said that nothing more can not. And I was taken to Damascus, and from there by plane to Moscow. I spent eight months in hospital Burdenko. After that I wanted to resign from the army, but I insisted on staying. And served for six years teacher.
In 90, the year I retired on medical grounds and, at my request – I have lost interest in serving.
I went to one of the Moscow churches MP. And he brought back all the savings that have been – willing to sacrifice. I cursed it in every way that I did not come in time. To which I said that I do not need anything – I just wanted to donate money. After that, they ran well – brought to the altar and so on and so on! And so it was disgusting – first were unhappy, and once brought the money, it has become very different.
I wrote a letter to Patriarch Alexy asking me to train and ordain, because I made a promise to the Lord. Probably, it is considered nonsense and did not answer.
And there appeared the catacomb bishop, who taught me, taught – now introduced himself Metropolitan Sergius (Sarkisov). And his efforts I was churching and became a priest. He told me that if you want to be a priest, you have to stop drinking, smoking, and vandalize every way. This case was my incredibly easy – but I’m a real colonel. I wrote a note to himself: “stop smoking, stop drinking, my wife just after the holidays, it is not” and so on. And from that day I never smoked.
When I was a 90-year told my wife that we had lived 28 years, taking holy orders, she said she did not want to be a mother. The children were already adults, and we are with her. Since then, we’ve seen two or three times, she lives by herself, and the children with me, that is, they did not understand and did not take it that step. A good life, but the time has passed.
– How to choose your Church bishops? And how does this differ from the Moscow Patriarchate?
– At the Synod are differences, how to deal with the practical solutions – as the Moscow Patriarchate received, or at the Catacomb rule. What is the rule of the catacomb? In short, in order to attract people, it must be good to know. And to ordain him to the priesthood, must not only know him as a person, but also to know how good he will be a priest. This is not a simple matter.
Recently, we have not in a hurry to ordain new bishops. But sometimes we can make a mistake, taking people already in the rank – the priests and the bishop. True, it is through the adoption of our oath and even some formal things. And often we have to abandon the people whom we take from other jurisdictions, because they carry the ideology of the Moscow Patriarchate, its vision of the church, and something else connected with it – and we do not like it.
It happens that those who were not got on together, because of their moral and ethical characteristics, alcohol abuse and other things come to us in pure form – see: Well, just a little baby. But, after living a month, he can not hide his vice, vice crawls out. In particular, recently Peter (cornflower), we are “left”, and there were cases.
As for our people we ordain themselves – then we do it, if we see that he will make something sensible. In particular, we recently ordained bishop pious priesthood from the Ukraine – he temple and two monasteries, but he or she would have to fight, and to the bishop listened more.
– How do you solve the problem of the church’s economy? You are independent from the state, but, nevertheless, you exist. That there is a major?
– The main ones are the people who come. At first we thought, what should be done – perhaps to organize the collection of tithes. And people have supported us. Then we stopped talking about it, but people still bring and donate to the church, and in large quantities, and the officials, too. They often come to pray and poispovedovatsya. And they say that they can not confess it, the patriarchate.
But we do not need the money. When they want to donate something to us, then please do something – asphalt road to the monastery, for example.And they are doing and pay the builders themselves.
To what has been done, I have nothing to do. I am concerned only with my own cell.
– As for the rural communities, what does it depend?
– From the parish – priest behave as such and will flock. We are now in Kuznetsk (Penza diocese), the community selected the temple. So there was a house to him from all sides have attached various extensions and get a Smart temple for 400 people, probably. And there they are. To get to the temple, they must go through the courtyard of the old church, which is patriarchy. At least, in our church, many more people than in the patriarchal church of St.. Demetrius.
– That is, all of your church’s economy is built only on gifts?
– Why gifts? – With donations. And little by candlelight. We buy wax in Ukraine and make candles. We buy about a half tons of wax a year and we have enough.
– How is centrally? Priests of your Church are free to buy candles anywhere?
– Floor. First, we are not able to provide all the candles here, and we do not allow them to take the candles anywhere. In fact, we have in each parish is the candle. But some buy paraffin at the Patriarchate.
Interviewed by Michael Zherebytjev,