top of page

The Defilement of the Mysteries & The Obligation of Walling Off

By Hieromonk Euthymios Trikaminas | January 17, 2014

 

Preface


Hieromonk Euthymios is a well-known non-commemorator from the State Church of Greece and is not a member of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece (Old Calendarists). Father Euthymios walled-off from the State Church of Greece due to their consistent history of participation in the heretical ecumenical movement and membership in the World Council of Churches (WCC). His argument briefly examines the apostolic scriptural commandments to separate from those preachers and teachers of heresy as well as giving a concise examination of the Church Fathers and their hagiographic witness of breaking communion with those same heretics, even before an Ecumenical Council.


Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.

February 5, 2024 / January 23, 2024


 

The Defilement of the Mysteries & The Obligation of Walling Off


It is true that in recent times much has been written about the subject of walling off from the heretical Ecumenist Bishops. What I have understood from all of this is that the conscious and, so to speak, knowledgeable Orthodox do not have the problem of a lack of knowledge of this subject, that is, regarding what every Orthodox must do in a time of heresy, because this is expressed both in Holy Scripture and in the Patristic teaching; but I believe that their problem, even if they do not want to accept it, is focused on the cost and the price they have to pay if they follow the hagiographic and Patristic teaching on this subject.


For this reason, they offer pretexts in sin and either they lean on the multitude and authority, emphasizing, according to papal standards, the Apostolic Succession at the expense of the Orthodox faith, therefore placing the Church and themselves in heresy, or they try to justify, by reiterating certain views, that supposedly the 15th Canon of the First-Second Synod under St. Photios is not obligatory, but contingent, thus in this case, during a time of heresy and persecution of the faith, each Orthodox does whatever he wants. Namely, one is walled off from the heretical Ecumenists and is praised, and another remains in the mouth of the wolf and will come out (if he has not been devoured) when the Synod decides, and is neither censured nor certainly punished.

Or they even offer other justifications, that supposedly the heresy must first be condemned and then the walling off will take place, interpreting the heresy of Ecumenism nominally. But Ecumenism is a comprehensive term of many heresies, and those individual heresies which comprise this pan-heresy (e.g., recognition of Mysteries, our participation in the WCC, joint prayer and divine services, acceptance of baptismal theology, branch theory and the two-lung theory, primacy, etc.) have been condemned by a great number of Synods and Holy Canons. Still, they offer as justification that the walling off will take place when we officially join with the heretics (at the common cup) and in this manner, they willingly change the boundaries of the walling off. But Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers state that we always ecclesiastically keep away from whichever Bishop or clergyman has heretical sentiments, and especially when these are proclaimed publicly and synodally.


They cite even other justifications, that supposedly the relative Canon speaks only about clergy and therefore the laity are not walled off, if there are no clergy, but they remain in the mouth of the wolf, that we must receive the Body and Blood of Christ, because without Holy Communion we are not saved and thus we must receive the Mysteries from the heretical Ecumenists, etc. All of these justifications, which are offered by many Orthodox, easily guide our thoughts to the proverb which our people very often utilize: “whoever does not want to knead, sifts for ten days.”

There are, beyond the others, also those who, not having any hagiographic and Patristic argument to attribute, are content to stone with insults those walled off, calling them schismatic, psychopathological, types, creators of sects and factions, etc. They are surely those who, essentially unwittingly, do good to the walled off and deem those who are reviled for the name of Christ worthy of Blessedness (Matthew 5:11; Luke 6:22; 1 Peter 4:14). But they are a little more frank than the others, because not having any, absolutely any, hagiographic or Patristic argument, they are content with rationalism and insults, while the others offer these unsupported justifications with the intention, indeed on the one hand to legitimize violation of the law and treason, and on the other hand, to have their conscience calm that, beyond the others, they also have the virtue of discernment.


Perhaps it is novel and unheard of, and rather a product of the New Age and of the final days, that a theory should prevail and survive today among the Orthodox, which not only is not supported anywhere (rather it is supported nowhere and by nothing), but on the contrary, it has very many hagiographic and Patristic directives, which forbid and exclude it as an Orthodox way and course in a time of heresy.


Furthermore, we sought, in the recent correspondence with the fathers of the Metropolis of Piraeus Office of Heresies, for them to present to us the hagiographical and Patristic teaching of the contingent interpretation of the Canon of the First-Second Synod regarding walling off, and they replied that they will do this after the Conference they intend to organize on this subject. So, as they say, as some wrote characteristically, “they have changed direction with the engagement”! [Trans. - To delay/procrastinate or skirt an issue: e.g., getting engaged to dodge the wedding.] Here is clearly seen both the expediency and the avoidance and deceit of these fathers and of the Metropolis in general, because what would it cost to present us two or three hagiographical passages and just as many indicative Patristic passages, at the moment they wrote a multi-page study, trying to prove the walling off as illegal and unsupported?


We sought this hagiographical and Patristic defense of their theory, because we were not instructed in matters of faith and heresy, neither did we take from the Saints to obey people, even high standing and dignitaries, but Holy Scripture, the Holy Canons and the teaching of the Saints. They, on the other hand, with these newly minted theories, urge us to obey and submit to heretical Bishops, who indeed have the authority (Apostolic Succession), but do not have the Orthodox faith. Therefore, employing the authority, they guide the Orthodox to heresy, because they have turned the ship they were given to captain to sail at full speed towards the West. For this reason, they are the most dangerous and most sly of all the heretics, and I am at a loss, how there are serious fathers who, against the directives and commands of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers, continue to commemorate them and to recognize them as a type and place of Christ.


At this point we must state that there is an exception, which constitutes both one of the justifications they offer and an argument for the attitude of the Orthodox in a time of heresy. This exception states that what Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the Church teach, is written for heretics outside the Church, that is, those who have been condemned and cut off from the body of the Church, e.g., Papists, Protestants, Monophysites, etc.


This view is not stable and is an obvious excuse, stale and groundless. On the contrary, the Fathers always speak about the shepherds within the Church and are concerned with them, so that they will not mislead the faithful. The reasons are as follows:


Photios the Great, for example, states in his speech: “The shepherd is a heretic; he is a wolf. Flee from him, etc.” St. John Chrysostom, relating more precisely to the damage and harm done when we are governed by evil rulers and, besides, interpreting the hagiographical passage “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority,” states the following: “What then, you say, when he is wicked, and we are not convinced? Wicked, in what sense? If indeed regarding faith, flee from him, and avoid him, not only if he be a man, but even if he be an angel come down from heaven; but if regarding life, be not overly curious. And this instance I do not allege from my own mind, but from Holy Scripture.” (EPE 25, 370)


The Saints, therefore, continually teach us what Holy Scripture also teaches, that we must investigate someone's faith in order to have ecclesiastical communion with him. This is valid preeminently for both shepherds and Bishops, and for anyone. St. Theodore the Studite especially, on this topic, demands that we investigate the faith of a certain clergyman, not in order to receive Communion from him, but simply to ask for his blessing and to address him correspondingly:


“Question 12: If an unknown abbot comes to us, is it proper to ask for a blessing from him, before the examination of him as a holy one?


“Answer: When it is a time of heresy, before the examination, it is neither necessary to say bless you, holy one, nor to ask for a blessing from him; but a common greeting is not to be forbidden according to the statutes of St. Basil” (Fat. 552, 844, 99).


The same is required for the Moechian heresy of his time, because the saint did not recognize the newly minted and modern theories about condemned and non-condemned heresies: “The fifth (question), if on the road, an Orthodox happens to be called on by some priest or a layman to gather, and there is a time for psalmody; how is it discerned? I said, and again I say; with heresy prevailing, and not put down by an Orthodox synod, it is necessary to question both regarding Holy Communion and the shared meal, and no time for this is shameful and untimely. For as the question is not necessary for simply receiving bread from anyone, and for being entertained and by any chance being lodged by him, if he is not previously convicted of heresy or wickedness; but about the rest it is necessary to ask...” (P.G. 99, 1053, Fat. 40, 118, 109). This letter is from the Moechian heresy and the questions, and the answers of the Saint are related to it.


The Ecumenists, on the other hand, teach blind obedience to the shepherds, as long as they are canonically ordained; and if they have heretical spirits, the Synod will judge them. Certainly, the Ecumenist Bishops communicate ecclesiastically (joint prayers, joint divine services, common declarations, etc.) with the heretics outside the Church, whose spirit they know beforehand, in spite of, we would say, Christ, Holy Scripture and the Saints. In other words, they write Christ, the Scriptures and the Saints on the soles of their old shoes. [Trans. - They ignore/despise them.]

We must indicate at this point that faith is not shown only by words, but much more by works. Indeed, someone’s works are those which signify and define faith exactly. We mention this because many times Patriarch Bartholomew, especially when he visits Mt. Athos, pretends to be the teacher and defender of the faith and reassures mainly the simple and naive fathers, though after some time, he embraces the Pope, he signs agreements and declarations with him, he recognizes him as the Church and he shows by his works that he is a wolf and simply, on Mt. Athos, he casually wore the hide of a sheep. Moreover, the basic trait of Ecumenism is that it assumes, like a cuttlefish, the color of its surroundings, that is, Orthodox on Mt. Athos, and at the Vatican, papal and ecumenist, at the W.C.C., new age, etc.


+++


We must further mention, because recently an analogous objection has also been presented regarding the subject of Holy Communion, that is, that we must receive the Mysteries from whomever, even a heretic, as long as he has not been deposed, because without Holy Communion, we are not saved. At this point we will again invoke the teaching of the Saints, who teach us that the Mysteries are contaminated by the commemoration of a heretical Bishop, they indicate to us what this contamination is and how it is imparted to those who partake of them.


First of all, we must mention that the passages of John 6:53-58 and the like, which speak of that, if we do not receive the Body and the Blood of Christ, we do not have life and we are not saved, are only valid as long as we can partake of the Mysteries from Orthodox sources. In so far as the Mysteries do not work magically in a way that, whoever receives Communion is automatically sanctified or deified, the correct approach is also needed, because according to St. Paul (1 Corinthians 11:27-30), they work in a contrary and negative way and bring censure, punishment, and many times even bodily death. Here, therefore, the law of intent is in effect, that is, with whatever intent you approach with, so is the grace you will receive, but if the intent is bad or indifferent or formulaic etc., then approaching Holy Communion, we receive censure.


On Mount Athos, the old elders taught us that in whatever vessel you approach Christ, so is the grace you will receive. The grace of God is an infinite sea, but we, if we draw near, for example, with one container, or with one cup, or with one small spoon, or with nothing, proportionately, we receive from the sea of grace so much grace as our vessel, which is our intent, can contain. It is needless to say that also in the prayers of Holy Communion, the priest prays to God for Holy Communion to not be to the condemnation of the receivers.


In the case again during which we are not able to participate in the Mysteries, not out of indifference or negligence etc., but for serious reasons, then once more the law of intent is in effect and proportionate to our intent, and the reasons for which we do not participate in the Mysteries, we also have the blessing of God, as if we participated and we receive grace from the infinite sea in a mystical and inconceivable way. The Synaxaria elucidate this for us. There we see many ascetics, who lived completely alone and did not partake of the Mysteries, though they were fighting hard against their passions; they, not only partook of the Divine grace daily, but they were God-bearers and standard bearers. A classic example is St. Mary of Egypt, who after forty years without Holy Communion, crossed the Jordan with dry feet. [Trans. - That is, effortlessly.]


Likewise, we read in the Synaxaria every day about the unsolicited martyrs, who, while they were executioners of the Saints or visible idolaters, not only without Holy Communion, but even without Baptism, because of their good intent, received grace from the infinite sea and immediately reached the ultimate virtue, that is, martyrdom, and within a short time became Saints celebrated by the Church.


With these things that we have mentioned, we do not refute the necessity of the Mystery of Holy Communion for our salvation, but we emphasize that cases also exist where we participate unworthily and are punished, while on the contrary, in the case where out of necessity and for a very serious reason we do not participate, we are sanctified as if we participated with the best intention. We will also mention some examples, certifying the things said.


Under Patriarch Timotheus I of Constantinople (511-518) the people of Constantinople remained not having partaken of the Divine Mysteries for many years, because he did not want to accept the Fourth Ecumenical Synod of Chalcedon. When his successor St. John of Cappadocia (518-520) ascended to the throne, the people in the Church demanded that the Fourth Ecumenical Synod be read in the diptychs at the time of Divine Worship and afterwards, to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the new Patriarch. The incident is mentioned in the Minutes of the Synods as follows:


“Entry made according to the custom in our most holy great church on Sunday the fifteenth day of the present month of July, the eleventh month of the indiction year by our ruler, our most holy archbishop and ecumenical patriarch John, thus also not failing to recognize your being in the favor of God, he is to be with the undefiled clergy about the pulpit, the voices of the people have arisen saying; Many be the years of the patriarch, many be the years of the emperor, many be the years of the empress [Trans. - augusta], many be the years of the patriarch; why do we remain without Communion for so many years? Why do we not receive Communion? We want to receive Communion from your hands. Oh, ascend the pulpit, oh, influence your people. We have wanted to receive Communion for many years. You are Orthodox, whom is there to fear? You are worthy of the Trinity; Holy Mary is the Theotokos. You are worthy of the throne; Holy Mary is the Theotokos. Many be the years of the emperor, many be the years of the empress; Cast out Severus the Manichaean; Manichaeus is speechless” (Min. Syn. vol. 2, p. 333).


Finally, after a strong protest and stance of the people, the diptychs and the Fourth Ecumenical Synod were re-recognized at the time of commemoration during the Divine Liturgy and the non-participation in the Divine Mysteries stopped, a restoration of the Orthodox faith: “and after the reading of the Holy Gospel as is customary in performing the Divine Liturgy, and the doors closed, and the Creed read, during the usual time of the reading of the diptychs, the entire crowd ran and circled the altar, with much silence, and paid attention, and only when the names of the four holy synods and of the archbishops Euphemius and Macedonius and Leo, of blessed memory, were said by the deacon, they all cried out with a loud voice; ‘Glory to You, O Lord’. And after that, with all orderliness the Divine Liturgy was completed in God’s name” (op. cit. 335).


We will also mention a relatively contemporary, very eloquent example. Alaska was Christianized in the 18th century by Russian missionaries. But after the prevalence of Communism in Russia, for many years priests were no longer going there and the people remained without Communion. In the T. E. we read the following incident:


“As a result, the lack of priests had unpleasant consequences for the Orthodox community scattered throughout the boundless Arctic region. The faithful remained uncultivated, and several flowed into Protestant or Roman Catholic communities. But the great mass remained committed to Orthodoxy with astonishing endurance. The example of the Orthodox of the village of Nikolski in the Aleutians is characteristic. Although priests had not visited them for 35 whole years, they congregated without fail in their church, to chant unaccompanied as many Services as they could. A few years before a small group of Protestant missionaries arrived at their village. The inhabitants, who were gathered at the dock, when they learned the intention of the strangers, informed them that Christ had already come to their island about 150 years ago, that they were and they would remain Orthodox, and they did not permit them to disembark.” (T.E. vol. 2, p. 17)


Therefore, those who for thirty-five years were without Communion confronted the heretics confessionally, while those who continually receive Communion today, at the same time betray the faith through complicity with the heresy of Ecumenism.


Now, what happens when heresy exists, which is cultivated and spread inside the Church? The Saints teach that we must receive the Mysteries from Orthodox sources. There is a wondrous letter on this subject from St. Theodore the Studite to a certain wife of a Spatharios called Machara. For years she rarely received Communion and the Saint advises her on the subject as follows:


“For what reason does your honesty demand I speak of Holy Communion, and why have you rarely partaken for so many years; there must be a reason for this. It is necessary to receive Communion often, or properly every day, but with a clear conscience; It is said, for he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks punishment on himself, not discerning the Lord's body. Therefore, if you purpose yourself in such a matter, and you reverently wait for a time, whether brief or protracted, well it is if these things hold; and there is no other such condition, than to approach with a pure heart as much as possible for a person; and if one is without Communion because of a sin, then clearly that person may receive Communion when he has completed his penance. And if again he doubts, due to heresy, such a thing is necessary. For Communion from a heretic or someone clearly condemned for his life, alienates from God and familiarizes with the devil.


“Therefore consider, oh blessed one, of which type of the aforesaid manners is your purpose, and with that manner approach the Mysteries.” (P.G. 1668, Fat. 553, 846, 16)


Here, in an excellent manner, the Saint teaches the time and the manner in which we must approach Holy Communion. The manner therefore is summarized in “receiving Communion with a clear conscience.” The time lies in the intent of each one “whether brief or protracted, and there is no other such condition, than to approach with a pure heart as much as possible for a person.” If a spiritual canon exists, it must be fulfilled, and then we can approach Holy Communion. If, as the Saint also emphasizes, heresy exists, then it is necessary for us to remain without Communion. Because this communion estranges us from God and makes us like the devil: “For Communion from a heretic or someone clearly condemned for his life, alienates from God and familiarizes with the devil.” The publicly condemned also belong in this category, of whom the Apostle Paul teaches that we must not even eat with (1 Corinthians 5:11). In this case the Saint refers to the heretics who were acting within the Church, they had heretical spirits, and neither they nor their heresy had been condemned by a Synod, and this letter refers to the Moechian heresy.


In this point the issue of commemoration is also implicated. That is, the Fathers do not only forbid us from receiving Communion from heretics, but they also forbid us from receiving Communion at a Divine Liturgy where a heretical Bishop is commemorated, even if the priest who celebrates the Divine Liturgy is Orthodox. The Saint mentions this next in the same letter: “And it is known by all that the heresy of the Moechians is now taking over our Church. Therefore, spare your virtuous soul together with your brothers’ and your husband’s. And you say to me, that you fear to tell your presbyter not to commemorate the heresiarch. And what to tell you presently, I cannot clearly determine. Except that the Communion is defiled solely by the commemoration of him, even if the commemorator may be Orthodox.” (P.G. 99, 1668 C, Fat. 553, 847, 31)


Here the Saint clears up the issue of commemoration and states that with the commemoration of the heretical Bishop, the Communion is contaminated even if the priest offering the sacrifice is Orthodox: “the Communion is defiled solely by the commemoration of him, even if the commemorator may be Orthodox.” The Saint clearly declares that the defilement takes place with the naming (commemorating) of the heretical Bishop; therefore, it is as if we are putting a filth or an impurity into the Holy Chalice with the Bishop’s portion. Christ is certainly unchangeable and is not defiled, neither when we blaspheme Him, nor when we receive Communion unworthily, nor when we commemorate a heretical Bishop in the Divine Liturgy.


This contamination therefore has two meanings. First, that by the commemoration of the heretical Bishop we show impiety toward the Mystery because, as we mentioned, we put into the Holy Chalice an impurity regarding the faith, and secondly, we who participate (knowingly) are defiled because we identify with the faith of the visible leader, that is, the Bishop. Here we additionally mention that we were always taught, how in the Divine Liturgy we do not commemorate heretics, because the Paten is the model of the Church and heretics are outside the Church. So, if we are not permitted to commemorate whichever heretic, much more so we do not commemorate the heretical Bishop, by the commemoration of whom, I repeat, we show that we identify with his faith.


I think that this short letter of St. Theodore the Studite, which we have listed here in two sections, constitutes the charter on the subject of the Mysteries, for the period of the Church in a time of heresy and persecution of the faith. For exactly this reason the Athonite Fathers against Bekkos appeal to it and list it word for word in their confessional letter to the Latin-minded Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos for the period of the Church in a time of heresy under Bekkos.

From this confessional letter on the subject of the commemoration of a heretical Bishop and the contamination that results from it, they mention several important and theological arguments, which, although we have appealed to them many times, still it is always considered necessary to emphasize them so that they may be spiritually set in the Orthodox having good intent today. For the others, we stated that the popular wisdom applies: “whoever does not want to knead, sifts for ten days.”

Therefore, in this confessional letter the Athonite Fathers mention the following on the subject of commemoration: “John, the great Apostle and Evangelist of the Lord, says; ‘If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching with him, do not greet him and do not receive him into your house; for he who greets him communicates with his evil deeds’. If we are prevented merely from greeting him on the way, and if inviting him into our house is prohibited, how is it not prohibited, not in a house, but in the temple of God, but in these sanctuaries upon the mystical and dread table of the Son of God, who is offered sacrificially.”


Here, as if in a mirror, the Athonite Fathers against Bekkos show us our spiritual poverty. That is, they say to us that we should not be troubled at all today about the interruption of the commemoration of heretical Ecumenical Bishops, because Holy Scripture orders that an Orthodox person is prohibited to merely greet that Ecumenist heretic on the street, and to take him into his house, meaning not for a certain job, but for ecclesiastical reasons. So, by commemoration, we introduce the heretic, not simply into the Church, but into the sanctuary of sanctuaries, that is, we embody him through the Mysteries of the Divine Liturgy with Christ Himself.


Subsequently the Fathers say the following: “Whoever belches out from Hades the commemoration of him who has been worthily cut off by the Holy Spirit for his arrogance towards God and the Divine, and because of this becomes an enemy of God.” Here the Fathers declare that the heretics are cut off from the Church by the Holy Spirit and not by the Synod, the Synod which often happens to acquit them, to conceal them as like-minded or even to condemn and cut off the Orthodox. Also, the heretics are enemies of God, because through heresy they were impertinent toward God Himself. The commemoration of a heretic, as an act, will be appropriated by Hades. Today we have taken the subject of commemoration so frivolously, so as to think that we are simply praying for the health and longevity of the Bishop.


Further on the Fathers state the following: “For if simply greeting him allows the partaking of his evil deeds, how much more so is the shrill commemoration of him in the very presence of the Divine and dread Mysteries.” Here the Fathers teach, firmly fixed on Holy Scripture, that by commemoration we have communion with heresy and it is as if we also who commemorate the heretical Bishop accept it. This happens because the Divine Liturgy is a mystery of unity with the unseen Christ and with the visible head who is the Bishop. We are united with Christ according to our intent and our personal struggle, as we mentioned above, while we are united and incorporated with the visible head out of necessity, because the commemoration of the Bishop means that we are accepting him as the visible head and as being of like faith with us. For this reason, the Fathers grant us to understand the subject of the contamination of the Mysteries and our participation in this defilement. Because it is as if we are putting an impurity (heresy is worse than impurity) into the Holy Chalice, which we falsely present not to men, but to Christ Himself, as a diamond of the Orthodox faith.


We, on the other hand, are defiled in two ways, on the one hand, because we confess at the most sacred moment of the dread Mysteries, that we have been incorporated as an organic member of a heretical head, and on the other hand, by partaking of the Mystery, which we have knowingly polluted and have degraded it to Hades. Here there exists (for those who knowingly commemorate the heretical Ecumenists and partake of these Mysteries) other very serious sins, such as cowardice and compromise, our participation in the degradation of the Mystery, the comfort and security we feel when we go along with the multitude and the authorities, the perpetuation of heresy, etc.


Subsequently, the Holy Fathers, in order to grant us to understand what happens in the Divine Liturgy where the heretical Bishop is commemorated, state the following: “And if He that is present before us is the Truth Himself, how is it possible to presume that He accepts such a great lie, the rendering of him as an Orthodox patriarch among the rest of the Orthodox Patriarchs, playing a scene at the time of the dread Mysteries?”


Here the Fathers grant us to understand in even another manner the contamination of the Mystery, because in the Divine Liturgy we mix the Truth Himself (Christ) with falsehood in its worst doctrinal form (heresy). Likewise, through commemoration, we render the Ecumenist Bishop among the Orthodox Bishops, and finally, the Fathers state that we reduce the Divine Liturgy to “playing a scene” on a theatrical stage or, even better, we would say, that we tear down the Divine Liturgy to the level of shadow theater (a common Karagiozis). [Trans. - Karagiozis is a shadow puppet and fictional character in Greek folklore.] But woe to the plight of the Orthodox of the end times, that not only do we not understand what we do at the time of the dread Mysteries, but we are worried about walling off, about whether contamination exists, about the need to receive Communion, otherwise we are not saved, as if we receive the Mysteries from wherever, from the greengrocer, etc.


Further on in their letter, the Fathers guide us to the Orthodox way in a time of heresy, which is walling off: “and how shall an Orthodox soul endure these things, and not stand off immediately from the Communion of the commemorators, and regard them as traffickers of divine things.”

The interruption, therefore, of ecclesiastical communion, as the Fathers state, is nothing more than an internal indignation for the defilement of the faith and the Mysteries, which leads to the interruption of “the ecclesiastical communion of the commemorators.” The heretics, and those who commemorate them, are hucksters, that is, merchants who trade, and indeed in the most shameful manner of adulteration (that is what huckster means), in the Divine Mysteries. The paradox is that many anti-Ecumenists characterize Ecumenism as the worst of heresies (because it evidently pardons all heresies and coexists with them) and on the contrary they accept the contamination and the theater during the Divine Liturgy, mixing the Truth Himself with dogmatic falsehood and error.


Subsequently, the Athonite Fathers list Orthodox Tradition on the subject of commemoration and its ecclesiastical dimensions. “For from the beginning, the Orthodox Church of God has accepted the commemoration of the name of the bishop in the sanctuary as complete communion with him. For it is written in the explanation of the Divine Liturgy, that the celebrant commemorates the name of the bishop, indicating both submission to a superior, and that he is a communicant with him, and his follower in the faith and the Divine Mysteries.”


They therefore state that the commemoration during the Divine Liturgy signifies in the most official and sacred manner the “complete communion” (identification, assimilation) of the commemorated and the commemorator and, moreover, of the accepting clergy and laity. And during the commemoration, they say finally that the priest declares his “submission to a superior,” that likewise he is identified with his faith and that he has full authority to administer the Mysteries. The identification with the faith means that the priest automatically also becomes an Ecumenist, as he is incorporated with the heretical Ecumenist head.


Subsequently, as proof and support of what was said, the Fathers cited the letter of Saint Theodore the Studite that we mentioned previously. That is, what they related is in accordance with both Holy Scripture and the Saints of the Church and thus, this is the Orthodox teaching on the subject of commemoration. Now if some contemporary Orthodox has an objection on the subject, let him search Holy Scripture and the Saints and testify to the teaching on the subject, so that he may prove that these Fathers are lying and therefore leading us on a wrong path.


Needless to say, the immediate ecclesiastical removal from the heretical shepherds is taught by Athanasios the Great, St. John Chrysostom, Photios the Great, St. Maximos the Confessor, St. Theodore the Studite, St. Mark Eugenikos, and all of Orthodox Tradition, without recognizing the new age theory by which we remain in the mouth of the wolf until the Synod’s decision (contingent interpretation of the Canon of the First-Second Synod, etc.).

Here it is necessary to add that we have a communion of faith with the heretics not only by the commemoration in the Divine Liturgy, but also by the Mystery of Baptism. The Holy Apostles mention this in the Apostolic Constitutions as follows: “For as there is one God, one Christ, and one Comforter, and one death of the Lord in the body, so let the Baptism which is given into that death be one; but those that receive polluted Baptism from the ungodly will become partners in their opinions.” (Apostolic Fathers EPE 1, 298, 28)


Here again, the Holy Apostles regard the Baptism as a polluted Mystery, because it is administered by heretics (there did not exist at that time those condemned by a Synod and those not condemned, but those with heretical spirits), and they also emphasize that those baptized by them are also polluted as to the faith because “they will become partners in their opinions.”


The same defilement is also received by someone who is ordained by a heretical Bishop. This is mentioned by St. Theodore the Studite, speaking especially of a Bishop who had fallen into the Moechian heresy, and performed Ordinations in a certain monastery. The remedy for this situation takes place with the walling off of the Bishop from the Moechian heresy, when, the Saint teaches, his Ordinations are also immediately accepted.


“You have rightly answered the presbyter and abbot, that those now ordained by a bishop being found out, although he says that the synod was held badly, and, we are lost, have been shut off from their ministry. For why does he not vow to flee from destruction, acknowledging the heresy, so that he may remain a bishop of God? And his ordinations will be accepted immediately. Or why in the presence of heresy has the abbot promoted the brethren for heretical ordination? Therefore, if the one who ordains is set straight, they are immediately able to minister, but being in heresy by commemorating the heretic, even if he says he has a sound spirit, those whom he ordains are not in truth ministers of God. And if the spirit of zeal of God is lit in the abbot and he is eager for the crown of confession, let him neither officiate in the church inaugurated by him, nor commemorate him as a bishop. And blessed is he, becoming an example of salvation for many others; and with an altar set in the church, there is nothing to forbid him from serving there.” (P.G. 99, 1056, Fat. 40, 119, 129)


Here the Saint advises this abbot not to officiate in the church which was consecrated by this Moechian Bishop and he will be blessed by the confession, in fact, of the faith. Here the defilement, according to the Saint, lies in the validity and the illegitimacy of the Mystery of Ordination of “those whom he ordains are not in truth ministers of God.”


It is necessary to also mention some thoughts about the situation in the Church today in relation to Holy Communion. That is, when we receive Communion from the Ecumenists and from those who commemorate them, with all the consequences that we mentioned above, what happens, are we sanctified, are we helped spiritually and, chiefly, do we contribute to the suppression of heresy? On this subject we have to mention the following:


First of all, the Ecumenist Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs, ardently desire and tyrannically seek to have under their authority sheep that are unthinking, obedient and careless and indifferent to matters of faith, who would recognize their power, authority, despotism, their position as a type and place of Christ, and in short, would accept them as the sole bearers of the Divine Grace. These are the comfortable Orthodox clergy and laity, who are busy with life’s necessities and utilize the Church when they need something (e.g., Holy Communion, Baptism, wedding, funeral, etc.), precisely like they go to some store to get what they need. I think they are unfit to offer the slightest help in a heretical time period, that is, to contribute so that the heretical fire may be extinguished. They of course are also the majority.


The minority also exist, who are interested in the spiritual life, who participate in the Mysteries and show an interest in the problems of the Church, even in matters of faith. Unfortunately, however, a great number of these few are mistakenly directed by the spiritual fathers, to turn their effort and their struggle only to their personal spiritual life, being taught and nursed by the spiritual fathers that they will help in matters of faith only through prayer, that God will grant the solution, that it is not correct for the laity to take on the Bishops and to check them, to judge them, etc. That is, they are like the obedient crew and the passengers of a ship, who perform all their spiritual duties faultlessly, but the ship however is knowingly directed toward the West at full speed, or even as if their house is on fire and they are taught by the spiritual fathers to pray, and God will grant the solution. Surely, these few are also useless as to their offering to the Church’s course in a time of heresy.


But what is the benefit from their personal struggle and specifically from their participation in Holy Communion? When someone communes the Body and Blood of Christ, normally he must be changed, he must be altered to a point of wanting to be sacrificed for the love of Christ. That is, Christ must be sovereign in him, Who, beyond other things, will enlighten him on the subjects of both faith and heresy, which devour the Church and alter its character. Whereas, therefore, we receive Communion and our disposition does not change, neither are we enlightened on what must be done regarding matters of faith, I think that, beyond the contamination which the Saints spoke of, we also have condemnation, because we use Holy Communion as a means to reassure our conscience and to convince ourselves that we are good and pious Christians.


The Saints and the Orthodox in a time of heresy wanted Holy Communion so as to be strengthened in the struggle, to reach martyrdom and to not betray, and to not neglect in the least. For this reason, even when they were not able to participate in the Mystery for whatever reason, they had the Grace of God because of the good (of a martyr in this case) intent and they performed their duty, which in a time of heresy is chiefly to not lower the flag of the confession of the faith. The Orthodox today receive Communion and believe this is sufficient, as if Holy Communion (always in a time of heresy) is the indicator of legitimacy and of the limit which, when they reach it, they have carried out all their duties.


For exactly this reason, both the newly-minted and the new-age theories of John Zizioulas of Pergamon desire the Bishop as a minister par excellence, with the main and only purpose and goal being the liturgical gathering, and for the Christians to attend service and to receive the Mysteries. That is, everything begins and ends there, because obviously this does not trouble them in the advancement and the prevalence of heresy, neither of course does it trouble the heretics with whom the Bishops flirt, if we are occupied with our liturgical duties, but on the contrary it accommodates them. For this reason, with their presence (the Papists, the Protestants and the priestesses) they profane or otherwise defile the Orthodox Mysteries, in spite of the Fathers, who with the direction “the doors, the doors, in wisdom let us attend,” demand the removal of every heretic at the time of the Divine Liturgy.


Perhaps if we are at least honest with ourselves, it would be preferable, as things stand, to not participate specifically in the Mystery of Holy Communion, as a sign of our unworthiness to rise to the occasion, having Christ inside us through Holy Communion. For when we receive Communion and simultaneously betray and definitely get comfortable in matters of faith, I believe that we mock and dishonor Christ Whom we have communed. That is, as Judas communed at the Mystical Supper and subsequently withdrew to betray, so in a way we also receive Communion and subsequently participate in the Ecumenist game and, in our own way, we help in the advancement of heresy. Indeed, Judas also had remorse of conscience, while we, by receiving Communion, have our conscience calmed, that we carry out our duties to completion. However, our duties in a time of heresy are chiefly to sacrifice ourselves for the faith, to put all other business aside and in the back seat, and to utilize the Mysteries to strengthen us so we may accomplish this goal.


In conclusion, it is our formidable responsibility to commune the Body and Blood of Christ and simultaneously heresy is promoted, the heretical Ecumenists are relying on their subordinate clergy and laity and the reactive embodied followers, and the anti-Ecumenists are describing the situation, the evolution of heresy, precisely where we are found at this moment, and its ultimate goal (perhaps only in this are they illuminated by Holy Communion).


If there are objections from brethren on the subjects that were raised it is correct that they be submitted, so that we may see if perhaps we are mistaken somewhere, falsifying the teaching of the Holy Fathers. But if opinions are submitted, baseless from a hagiographical and Patristic perspective, or relying on rationalism or on contemporary theories and theologies of our time, I will not engage myself to enter that sea of discussions, which, because they are unsupported from a hagiographic or Patristic perspective, create only confusion and nothing else. Unfortunately, such are both the positions and the views of Mr. [Kostas] Nousis, who moves between rationalism and fantasy in his writing, as well as between himself and Zizioulas of Pergamon [1].



 

References

 

[1]. Ιερομόναχος Ευθύμιος Τρικαμηνάς, Ο ΜΟΛΥΣΜΟΣ ΤΩΝ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ ΥΠΟΧΡΕΩΤΙΚΟΝ ΤΗΣ ΑΠΟΤΕΙΧΙΣΕΩΣ, accessed February 5, 2024,

 

 

Comments


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page