TOC-R Letter to American Metropolia: Cessation of Communion Unless You Accept Name-Worship

January 17, 2015  (Source:

A letter published on the website of Metropolitan Raphael (Prokofiev-Motovilov), and subsequently translated by Imiaslavists (Name-Worshippers) of Portal-Credo had previously been sent to the residence of Metropolitan John.  However, attempts to clarify by personal direct contact with Russian bishops and clergy, especially Metropolitan Raphael, about the authenticity of the letter, and even the teaching of Imiaslavism proved difficult [in one case with the phone being basically hung up after they discovered who was calling] ;  sources in the Greek Synod of Metropolitan Angelos (which has communion with the American Metropolia) have previously denied that such teaching (Imiaslavie) was being taught by Met. Raphael at all only a month before. Yet, it seems that since Met. Raphael has openly met at least on two occasions with Gregory Lourie, the chief leader of world Imiaslavists (who successfully managed the takeover of HOCNA and the Lamian Synod, so far, with Imiaslvism declared ‘Orthodoxy’ and thus any disagreement declared ‘heresy’), it seems the influence of Lourie in this case is definite.

With an anathema declared against Imiaslavism by the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles, which in fact names not only the original founder, the monk Ilarion, but the modern chief heresiarch, Gregory Lourie, a choice was forced, and the truth of whether or not Imiaslavism is actually being taught is being quickly revealed.

The ultimatum in the letter seems to be retraction of the anathema, or there will be a cessation of communion.  Below is the letter sent to Metropolitan John of New York and New Jersey apparently by Metropolitan Raphael.

Statement of the Synod of the TOC (R) in response to the “anathema against the name-worshipping heresy” by the Metropolitan Synod of Met John (LoBue)

“Better a debate about piety than a defective unity.” – St. Gregory the Theologian

The Autonomous Metropolia headed by Metropolitan John (LoBue), with which our True Orthodox Church is in canonical communion, has officially declared an anathema against name-glorifying and its followers.

This is a hard, unfortunate fact for us!

We have for a long time already stood on a firmly name-glorifying position and are firmly convinced that name-glorifying is one of the most important expressions of the True Orthodox faith – the faith of the Apostles and Holy Fathers. Following St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) we repeat: “the teaching of God’s power in the name of Jesus has the full dignity of a foundational dogma.”

At our last Local Council (July 14-15, 2014), our Church solemnly proclaimed this dogma – both in the Confession of Faith, and in a special Resolution.

Alas, Metropolitan John has not yet made sense of this question, which is of the greatest importance for the True Orthodox faith; he has not grasped the holy teaching of the Church about the dignity of the names of God. We very much hope that this is a temporary misunderstanding.

At one time we tried in brotherly fashion to admonish him both in private correspondence and in an open Epistle. We tried on the basis of Holy Tradition to show him where he had gone wrong.

Alas, our brother, sincerely beloved by us, has not heeded our admonitions and has made a tragic mistake, leading to the rupture of our ecclesial unity.

We testify that the given anathema against the Orthodox doctrine of the divine dignity of the names of God and against its adherents possesses no spiritual authority and no canonical significance. It is the fruit of human error, and nothing more!

We suggest that you think again, reconsider, and make an intelligent decision. Otherwise, we will be compelled to initiate the procedure of an official cessation of inter-Church communion with you and with the Autonomous Metropolia headed by you!

On the other hand, you, Vladyka John, remain in our heart as our brother, although an erring one. Moreover, we will under any circumstances ceaselessly remember you in our cell prayers, imploring the Lord Jesus Christ that He may enlighten your reason with the Light of His True Faith and join your heart to the great mystery of His name.

We mourn and regret, but can not sacrifice the truth!

The All-Holy Archbishop of Moscow

The Metropolitan of All-Russia

Primate of the True Orthodox Church

RAPHAEL (Motovilov)

Moscow, January 9, 2015

(Original Russian)

8 thoughts on “TOC-R Letter to American Metropolia: Cessation of Communion Unless You Accept Name-Worship

  • January 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Has everyone lost their minds??? If Greg Lourie is knocking at the door, don’t open it!

      • January 17, 2015 at 9:11 pm

        I was just going to go for a regular old ‘knock-knock’ joke, but that’s even better.

        • January 20, 2015 at 1:29 am

          OK, now I am just going for the absurd, but if Weird Al Yankovich were more theologically-inclined, he could parody the 1991 Milli-Vanilli song “Blame it on the Rain”….”Blame it on the Name, yeah, yeah!!!” and just like Milli-Vanilli was a pseudo-group and engaged in lip syncing, our modern Nameworshipers are pseudo-Orthodox knock-offs….

          • January 20, 2015 at 2:53 am


      • January 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Actually, for Greg it should be “You keep on knockin’ but you can’t come in….”. This all reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode where the man unlocks the door and let’s “you know who” out.

        • January 19, 2015 at 6:14 am

          He let Voldemort out??? (sorry, couldn’t resist that)

        • January 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm

          Some of the most terrifying words in any language should be: “I’m Gregory Louriye” and “I’m here to help.”

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