Synodical Epistle of the ROCOR-Vl 2011

Bishops Present at the Mansonville Sobor, 2011
Beloved in Christ, children of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, both in the homeland and the Diaspora.
As Archpastors gathered at the holy Transfiguration Skete in Mansonville Quebec under the protection of the Mother of God in the presence of her holy Kursk Icon and the myrrh streaming Reigning Icon; as well as in the presence of the Life Giving Cross we would first and foremost like to assure you that the vessel of our Holy Church has not altered path through these past 90 years, from the time of our forebearing Archpastors, when they gathered in Sremski Karlovci, Yugoslavia.

A uniting tie of these years is further witnessed in that we are gathered in the same hall today, as where our Bishops before us, under the Enlightener St. Philaret, in 1983 proclaimed and anathematized the heresy of heresies – ecumenism.

This past year has been one of relative calm in our Church. This is demonstrated by how even in our pre-apocalyptic times, the faithful can thru the mysteries of the Church, especially Confession and Holy Communion, not fall to the powers of the evil one, the enemy of our salvation.

 Unfortunately, attacks that would have our ark of salvation swayed from the true course persist.

Those who would hope to see us canonically united to other orthodox groups in order to increase our numbers or united to world orthodoxy for appearances sake would do well to recall the words of Archbishop Averky (Tauchev, + 1976) who said that the matter is not in numbers or quantity but rather in strict adherence to the truth of Christ, that one pursuing quantity can easily lose the true path.

Sorrowfully, we must admit that our current state cannot be related to a spiritual rebirth of Russia. The now 25 year old movement of Perestroika is merely a change of mask of the god-fighting government which continues on successfully. This is evident to the world in the endurance of things such as soviet street names, the display of antichristian symbols, godless memorials and the preservation of their major idol – the red square.

In Russia today, this government provides for the process of moving from the fundamental ideology of Sergianism to the integration of Russia into the global system.

Aside from this, an orthodox society from which any local church could be formed is missing from modern Russian society. It is replaced rather with an apathetic population of heretics, Sergianists, ecumenists, sectarians and neopagans, as well as atheists and even Satanists.

Many, albeit incorrectly, view the decisions of our church as only pertaining to administrative matters. They see this as a result of the downsizing of our church following the schisms we have endured.  In the words of our ever-memorable Archbishop Averky…. Not even the most ideal of administrations can sow true spirituality…. It is for this cause now, more than ever, that a great responsibility lies on the Pastors of the true Church….to regain in all fullness the faith once strong in the faithful….for without this all will certainly perish in the destructive waves of the “sea of life.”

In fulfillment of this testimony of our Hierarch, and in keeping with the path of our episcopacy, we have consecrated Heiromonk Ambrose as Bishop of Denver and Vicar to the Western American diocese.

In the holy Church there are various titles, positions and obediences. Each is called to fulfill his duty without causing discord one to another. Rather to help each other. Just as each member of the human body must work in unison and harmony. In the body such a lack of harmony would bring certain demise – so in the Church there must always be accord and oneness of both mind and spirit. In the words of the apostle Paul “be of the same mind one toward another” (Rom 12, 16).

We hope we, and all of our flock may follow the way of this apostolic guidance with the mercy of God and through the Love of our Savior Jesus Christ,
+Archbishop Vladimir of San Francisco and Western America
+Bishop Anastassy of Vladivostok and the Far East
+Bishop Victor of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia
+Bishop Alexei of Saltanov and Lesser Russia
+ Bishop Tikhon of Basilkosk, Vicar of the Lesser Russian Diocese
+ Bishop Martine of Istra and Southern Russia
+Bishop Cassian of Marseilles and Western Europe

+Bishop Ambrose of Denver, Vicar to the Western American Diocese