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The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad & The Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece: A History

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Subdeacon Nektarios, M.A.

 

Introduction


History for many people is something they do not invest very much time into learning. For the majority of people history has all but been relegated to the backburner of their interests as something that does not affect the present and does not personally affect them, therefore it is of non-importance. Most people do not study history outside of what was compulsory in grade school or high school, let alone volunteering for any type of formal education in history at the collegiate undergraduate or graduate level. How many of us have seen on social media videos of people quizzing others on elementary historical questions about the United States asking them such things as how many states are there, what year was the United States founded, or even what is the Capitol of the United States and with sad results—most cannot even answer those simple questions. Unfortunately, this same lack of historical interest has greatly seeped into the culture of the Orthodox Church among the laity and to a lesser degree the clergy.

Today most people's attention spans are greatly diminished. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, the attention span of someone using a screen device in 2004 was 2.5 minutes on average. In 2012 that decreased to 75 seconds, and within the last five years that had fallen even further to around 47 seconds on average [1]. These unfortunate statistics show that people have a real struggle in devoting the proper time and attention to learning with due diligence the historical realities of many different subjects, including Church History which is an even more niche area of study that is very difficult to investigate because of its small nature.

These statistics have a great effect on us in the Orthodox Church largely because Orthodox Christians cannot afford to not know and understand history. Promulgating the evangelism efforts of the Orthodox Church requires us to know history to a certain degree; there is no way around this. Merely learning history from social media posts, memes, telegram discussions, tweets, or TikTok and YouTube reels is not sufficient in this effort. Which brings us to the problem at discussion.

Unbeknownst to many people, they have recently been presented with the very unknown, but very well documented history of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece and their long history and relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). This very small and unknown subject of Orthodox Church history spanning from the 1930s to 2006 is primarily discussed among those historical and academically minded so-called Old Calendarist Orthodox Christians, in smaller circles within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (such as myself), and certainly never in any of the New Calendarist jurisdictions. When presented with this history the most universal default reaction by most Orthodox Christians, particularly those in the modernist New Calendarist jurisdictions who know little to nothing about the history of ROCOR and its relationship with the Old Calendar Church, is an aggressive attack against these Orthodox Christians and even against those in the Russian Church Abroad who maintain the position of our Church Fathers such as Saint John of San Francisco, Saint Philaret of New York, and Archbishop Averky (Taushev) and others.


I present to you this subject as an historian, as historically objective as I can so that you are able to, in the recent words of Metropolitan Demetrius of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of America, "think objectively, to have a little bit of critical thinking, perhaps open-mindedness," for a better historical understanding of a very complex subject and to cease promulgating un-Orthodox behavior and attitudes to those who share our Orthodox Christian faith and also desire the defeat of the heresy of ecumenism among the Orthodox Church everywhere [2]. This history is by no means exhaustive but will be my small offering to help people think more critically, historically, and compassionately about our true brothers and sisters in Christ.


Left to Right: Metropolitan Petros of Astoria, Bishop Nektary of Seattle, St. John of San Francisco, Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, Bishop Savvas of Edmonton, Archbishop Leonty of Chile, August 16th, 1963

The Greek Old Calendarist Church & The Seeds of Dialogue with ROCOR


The history of the relationship between the Russian Church Abroad and the Greek Old Calendarist Churches is a long history which stretches from 1926 until roughly 2007 when the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad came into communion with what some of the ROCOR First-Hierarchs [3] believed to be the Soviet created Moscow Patriarchate [4]. The beginnings of the Old Calendar Resistance Movement began to take shape in Greece April of 1926 and the relationship and dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad shortly thereafter. The history of this dialogue begins with the entrance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate into the modern 20th century ecumenical movement, first with a heretical encyclical and then with the calendar innovation. The genesis of this story begins with "the Church of Constantinople under Patriarchal locum tenens, Metropolitan Dorotheos of Prusa, and ten other Metropolitans (Archbishops) [who] published an Encyclical entitled 'To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Might Be,' addressing the [heretical] denominations outside the Holy Orthodox Church as 'fellow heirs and partakers of the same promise of God in Jesus Christ.' This title of this Encyclical already presupposed that the Church was not one; its intent was to open an ecumenical dialogue with all the different heterodox bodies on an equal footing. The first item in this agenda proposed the adoption of a common festal calendar so that all the 'Churches' could celebrate the great Christian feasts simultaneously" [5] whereby taking the first steps into the heresy of modern ecumenism.


In 1924 when the New Calendar innovation was forced upon the Greek Orthodox Christians in Greece by the infamous heresiarch Meletios Metaxakis it was with the cooperation of the Government and the State Church of Greece. At that time, almost all of the clergy of the Church of Greece submitted to this non-canonical innovation. It was only the Holy Fathers on Mount Athos and those very pious lay people and some clergy (readers, subdeacons, deacons, and priests) who refused to bend their knee to this sudden change in the traditional Church calendar. From 1924-1935 it was these pious Orthodox Christians alone who resisted without the protective omophorion of an Orthodox hierarch. These Orthodox Christians who refused to accept the non-canonical calendar innovation began to be persecuted by the State Church of Greece for refusing to accept the New Calendar, one example being the martyrdom of Catherine Routis, who was struck in the head by the Greek Police for attending an Old Calendarist vespers service.

St Catherine of Attica

"On April 24, 1926, the State Church of Greece issued a very hard encyclical (Protocol Number 2398/2203) directed against the traditional Orthodox Christians. The encyclical states: They separate themselves from the Church and cut themselves off from the Body of Christ, drawing upon themselves condemnation and excommunication, not knowing, or perhaps forgetting, that he who does not hear the Church is 'as the heathen man and the publican' (Matt. 18:17)... The decisions of the Church are absolutely obligatory; he who does not obey them no longer belongs to her, he is deprived of the means of divine grace; he is separated and cut off from her, and is liable to eternal torment" [6].


Despite this targeted encyclical against the community of Orthodox Christians in Greece who were actively resisting the calendar innovation, they continued on in their struggle without a bishop until 1935. On May 25th 1935, the community of Old Calendar Orthodox Christians requested of three different Greek Orthodox Bishops to take their community under their omophorion. These three bishops were Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias, the retired Metropolitan Chrysostom of Florina and Metropolitan Chrysostom of Zakynthos. These three bishops who had actively been trying to return the Church of Greece to the traditional Church calendar, to no avail, agreed to take the community under their protection and formed the Old Calendar Church of Greece which elected Metropolitan Germanus as their synodal first-hierarch [7]. This in brief is how the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece and the Old Calendarist movement began.

Now at this early stage (1920-1935) the ROCOR involvement was itself very limited. This was because, as I previously mentioned, the heretical encyclical issued by synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, 'To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Might Be,' was published in 1920, the non-canonical calendar change took place in 1924, and the official formation of the Old Calendar Church of Greece under the omophorion of Orthodox Hierarchs did not take place until May of 1935. It should be noted however, that this encyclical at the time did not have far-reaching effects outside of the Greek world and according to Metropolitan Germanus of Demetrias he had requested this publication "three times for the documents of the Patriarchates to be deposited and they were not deposited, therefore they were not read, so that I and the Hierarchy could be enlightened. The 1920 Encyclical, although printed, was not disseminated and it was only in 1949 that it gradually became known" [8].

Encyclical of the Ecumenical Patriarchate: "To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Might Be " 1920.

With the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia itself only having been formed in 1920, the interaction with those in the Old Calendar resistance movement at these early stages was very limited. However, the first interactions we do have are archived letters from Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the very first First-Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, who wrote multiple letters to a monk on Mount Athos concerning the Old Calendar movement in 1926, nine years before the actual formation of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece. In this letter below it can be seen that Metropolitan Anthony was not in favor of the resistors ceasing commemoration of the New Calendar bishops at the time of his writing. It can be surmised from the language in the letters that because this innovation that divided the Church of Greece (contemporaneously with his writing) was in fact still a fresh issue, that he might have expected that a council would rectify the situation sooner rather than later, let alone over one-hundred years later and counting. Nevertheless, Metropolitan Anthony in Letter No. 98 to Hieroschemamonk Theodosius of Mount Athos, writes:


And Christ is and will be among us.


Honorable Father Theodosius,


I have never approved of the new style nor those who adhere to this style. I hope that if we overcome our ecclesiastical turbulence, the Church, under the threat of excommunication, will demand a return to the old style. However, you are surely aware of the 13th canon of the First-Second Council, which imposed the deprivation of the priesthood on clergy who break communion with their Metropolitan before being judged. That is why I was disappointed that your followers do not receive antidoron in the new-style monasteries. You, especially, should have been cautious, as neither you nor those with you have bishops who share your views, thus approaching the priestless and, at the very least, schismatics in general.


Your zeal is praiseworthy, but self-will and anticipating judgment on the hierarchs are hardly praiseworthy. Finally, the canons prohibit joint prayer with heretics and schismatics, and by continuing the latter but not accepting antidoron as a sign of communion, you introduce something new and enticing.


While sincerely respecting your fasting endeavors, I would like an explanation for these actions, if you do not consider it beneath you, as well as forgiveness from you for my direct words.


I request your holy prayers, invoking God's blessing upon you, and seeking forgiveness on the Holy Forty, I remain your sincere well-wisher.


Metropolitan Anthony.

March 8/21, 1932.


"The cunning one, having sown the seeds of heretical weeds in the Church of Christ, and seeing that they are cut off by the sword of the Spirit from the root, he, having entered upon another path of deception, attempts with the madness of schismatics to sever the body of Christ. But the holy Council, having completely condemned this intention of his, has now decided: If any presbyter or deacon, based on certain accusations, dares to separate himself from communion with his Bishop before the investigation and examination by the Council, and before his condemnation is completed, and he does not raise his name in the sacred prayers during the liturgies, according to the ecclesiastical tradition, let such a person be subjected to excommunication and be deprived of all priestly honors. For the presbyter ordained and assuming the authority of the judge, entrusted to the Metropolitan, and by himself condemning his father and Bishop before the judgment, is unworthy of both the honor and the name of a presbyter. And those who follow such a person, if they are certain of the clergy, shall likewise be deprived of their honor. But if they are monks or laypeople, let them be completely excommunicated from the Church until they renounce communion with the schismatics and return to their Bishop" [9].


Metropolitan Anthony writing in Letter No. 99 to Hieroschemamonk Theodosius, writes:


Truly, Christ has risen!


Rejoice! It is heard from everywhere that the Greeks want to return to the old style, and then your perplexity will end. Of course, I completely disagree with your arguments. The question remains about what to recognize as a sacred tradition, and by acknowledging its violations, let's say among the Greeks, we should pose another question: does such a violation deserve a church schism or only admonishment? Father, you are one step away from falling into delusion; may the Mother of God protect you from further steps. I am writing to you as a friendly friend, so that you do not ruin your 40-year struggle with schism in the Church on the basis of external conditional formalism, and moreover, an arbitrary one. The New Style is no less repugnant to me than it is to you, but even more repugnant is the defection from Orthodoxy and its hierarchy by self-loving monks. However, God will grant that this will end soon with the victorious triumph of the old style over the new. I am certainly not invited to the council [10]. The Greeks have grown to hate me for not sympathizing with their insolence, and they don't even mention my name in correspondence regarding the upcoming council matters. Besides expressing my disapproval of the new style, I have not mentioned anything and do not wish to get involved in this matter. I ask for your holy prayers and remain your well-wisher.


Metropolitan Anthony.


Christ has risen! I greet you with the celebration of the radiant Christ's Resurrection.

April 18, 1932. [11]


The context of Metropolitan Anthony's letter to Hieroschemamonk Theodosius is that he is writing concerning ceasing commemoration of the New Calendar Bishops in Greece and the Patriarch of Constantinople. As with the rest of the Old Calendar priests who joined the resistance movement, they ceased commemoration of the Patriarch and other New Calendar Bishops because of the perceived schism that was created by Meletios Metaxakis' innovation. Metropolitan Anthony, in agreeing that the new calendar was, repugnant, to use his words, was not at this period in time in agreement with ceasing communion with the New Calendarists or the Patriarch. As we can see from the previous history examined, the heretical encyclical To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They Might Be that was signed and published by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was little-known to most of the Greek Orthodox hierarchs, so in all probability it would not have been known to Metropolitan Anthony as well; which would have deprived him of additional historical context concerning the problematic road the Ecumenical Patriarchate was beginning to travel down. What is not in the context of this letter is the subject of parallel jurisdictions which is defaulted to by many Orthodox Christians in the modernist jurisdictions. These letters by Metropolitan Anthony were penned March-April of 1932 at which point in time the Old Calendar Synod was not yet in existence and so, for these letters, this topic was not yet on the table for discussion.


On October 11th, 1934 George Paraschos and Basil Stamatoulis, the President and Secretary General of the Community of Genuine Orthodox Christians, in the attempt to officially come under the omophorion of an Orthodox Hierarch, appealed to the ROCOR Synod and Metropolitan Anthony with the hopes that he would consecrate bishops for them. However, nothing came of this, presumably because by this time Metropolitan Anthony's health was in decline [12]. Metropolitan Anthony would repose in the Lord, in August 1936, twenty-one months after this petition from the Old Calendarists in Greece and just fifteen months after the establishment of the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece.

Signatures of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Heretical Encyclical of 1920

After the repose of Metropolitan Anthony, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad elected as the First-Hierarch Anastasius (Gribanovsky) in 1936. Metropolitan Anastasius, when it came to the ROCOR policy concerning the Church calendar, remained closely in line with his predecessor Metropolitan Anthony. Metropolitan Anastasius says concerning the new calendar innovation that, "Our Church remains loyal to the use of the old calendar and considers the introduction of the new calendar to be an error. Nonetheless, its tactic was always to preserve spiritual unity with Orthodox Churches, even those who have adopted the new calendar, but only to the degree to which they celebrate Pascha in compliance with the decision of the First Ecumenical Council. Our Church has never labeled the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America as schismatic, and never abrogated spiritual union with them" [13]. However, this would unfortunately change within the Russian Church Abroad because of the heretical ecumenism that these modernist jurisdictions would further go into such that "her ties with her sister Old Calendar Churches in Greece, Rumania and Bulgaria [would be] supported and strengthened" [14].


The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad & The Old Calendar Hierarchal Revival


Over the course of time and no-doubt through God's providence, Father Petros (Astyfides), a key figure of the Greek Old Calendar movement in the United States, while traveling through Grand Central Station, on December 25th, 1954, would come across Archbishop Averky of Jordanville and Archbishop Leonty of Chile, both of whom were on their way to Holy Trinity Monastery. As circumstance happens, these three traditional Orthodox clergymen were taking the same train north through Manhattan. It was on this day in 1954 that sparked a life-long friendship between Archbishop Averky, Archbishop Leonty, and Father Petros who would later be consecrated to the episcopacy by Archbishop Leonty in the Cathedral of Saint Markella in Astoria, New York.


After the traditionalist Greek Orthodox Christians learned of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, whom they also saw as resistors to the calendar change, modernism, and the heresy of ecumenism, they eventually petitioned Metropolitan Anastasius (Gribanovsky) and the Holy Synod to consecrate for them bishops for their Church. However, Metropolitan Anastasius, not wanting to get involved in Greek jurisdictional affairs, always turned them down. This, however, did not spoil the friendship between the Russian and Greek clergymen that was created that fateful day on the feast of St. Spyridon in Grand Central Station.


Now around 1955, the eleven Old Calendarist Orthodox Priests who were living in New York City, still trying to rectify their situation and come under the omophorion of a traditionalist Greek Orthodox hierarch, gathered at the old Church of Saint Nicholas in New York, once located at what is today Ground Zero, and decided to nominate a priest worthy of the episcopacy whom they could present to a traditional Russian bishop for ordination and they chose Father Petros (Astyfides). They approached Archbishop Leonty of Chile who was at the time part of the North American Metropolia. Unfortunately, Archbishop Leonty was still not willing to cross this line as it would have serious ramifications throughout the Orthodox world in the United States and in Europe.

Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 1959

In November of 1959 the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad held a meeting and at this synodal meeting was a discussion concerning those Old Calendarists who sought the help of ROCOR in consecrating bishops. A large majority of the bishops of the time were well in support of these Old Calendarist Orthodox Christians. Those in support of them or at least open to exploring to helping them further were Saint John of San Francisco, Archbishop Averky of Syracuse, Archbishop Alexander of Berlin, and Bishops Nikon, Savva, and Anthony of Los Angeles, whereas Bishop Anthony of Geneva, known for his liberal leanings, was reticent and Metropolitan Anastasius, maintaining the position of his predecessor, was not in support of this, and did not want to cause political waves within other jurisdictions.

Of these synodal members, Archbishop Averky of Syracuse was the most supportive of the Old Calendarists. The minutes of the synod have him recorded saying,


Bishop Averky: Old Calendarists often come to Holy Trinity Monastery. In Athens on the [Feast of the] Exaltation [of the Holy Cross], a crowd of Greeks came out of Athens with a procession, during which the Holy Cross appeared in the sky and photographic pictures were taken. The movement deserves a helping hand.


Bishop Averky: Sees a contradiction in the fact that the new style introduced in Greece is recognized as enemies of Orthodoxy by the French and Romanians. Why do we communicate with them while repelling the Greek Old Believers?


Bishop Averky: Finds Bishop Anthony's reasoning quite logical. However, it must be definitively decided whether we allow the new style for liturgical economy. But this is for others, for our own people, we do not allow it. In our mission in the West, we have to be Greeks, and for our own people, we have to be Jews. But we set ourselves the task of proclaiming the truth to the world. They are drawn to this truth. Therefore, we must support the Old Believers [15].


And during this meeting Saint John of San Francisco can be seen supporting the statement of Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago who is recorded saying,

Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago: Says he has been interested in this movement for a long time. The Old Calendarists have two or three groups, but the strongest is the one that appeals to us. There is a group with bishops, but improperly ordained [referring to the Matthewites]. He, too, thought the Old Calendarists could get help from the Jerusalem Patriarch, but then he found out this was mistaken. Some fear complications with other Greek churches, but it is possible to conduct the matter in a way that does not cause great complications. However, we must put the truth of the Church above our own interests. Archimandrite Nicholas [Pekatoros] of Washington speaks negatively about the Old Calendarists. On [Mount] Athos, it is said that Archimandrite Nicholas, who himself belonged to the Old Calendarists, does not have a completely objective assessment of this movement. Being a partisan, he must be relegated. The movement deserves all the attention and help it can get [16].


Although a large portion of the members on the synod supported the Old Calendarists they were still cautious moving forward because of the sensitive nature of what was in question and because of the position of Metropolitan Anastasius on the issue. However, even though the synod at that time decided not to act according to the request of those Old Calendar Orthodox Christians, that was not the end of the road. Within the ROCOR there were two bishops who were willing to help them. These two ROCOR bishops knowing that there was a great need for a traditional Old Calendarist Greek Hierarch in Greece, decided to consecrate a traditionalist Orthodox bishop for the Old Calendarist flock. These two bishops were Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago and Bishop Theophil of Detroit. However, they required that their help would be under the conditions of absolute discretion. Eventually, an Old Calendar Orthodox priest from Greece was selected to be consecrated and on December 9th, 1960, in Detroit, Michigan, Archbishops Seraphim and Theophil consecrated Akakios (Papas) who would lead the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece.

Seated from the Left: Parthenios of the Cyclades (the first to be ordained by Archbishop Leonty), Akakios (Papas) of Talantion (ordained by Seraphim of Chicago and Theophil of Sevres - participated in the consecrations of Archbishop Leonty), Auxentios of Gardikion (the second to be ordained by Archbishop Leonty). Standing from the Left: Akakios of Diavelia (ordained by Parthenius and Auxentius), Chrysostomos (Naslimes) of Magnesia (the third ordained by Archbishop Leonty) and Gerontius of Salamis (ordained by Akakios (Papas) and Auxentius)

When this became known to Metropolitan Anastasius, as one can imagine he was not happy. However, this was not the only ordination of Greek Old Calendarists to take place by Hierarchs of the ROCOR. In 1961, Archbishop Leonty of Chile flew to Athens and with the newly consecrated Bishop Akakios (Papas) they consecrated six more bishops for the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece. When Archbishop Leonty returned from Greece there eventually was a Synodal meeting held on November 26th, 1962 in which the members of the Synod were, in fact, divided amongst each other as to whether it was proper for Archbishop Leonty to have consecrated bishops for the Greek Old Calendarists and in this meeting tempers raged. For example, Archbishop Athanasius of Buenos Aires is recorded in the minutes as "horrified by what has happened. What Archbishop Seraphim says is totally unacceptable. It is not clear to us who Akakios is and on what basis Archbishop Leonty considers him to be a bishop and not an archimandrite. From the canonical point of view, all of this is a gamble, as we have called the consecration of [Basil] Tomaschik. The new Greek Church has now been given a non-canonical start. The matter must be removed from the agenda, placing all responsibility on Archbishop Leonty" [17].


However, Bishop Nikon (Rklitsky) is reported saying, "that on the day of his consecration, he was approached by Greeks to help them leave the Soviet jurisdiction. He is aware of the secret ordinations in the Catacomb Church, and his heart trembles with joy at the news of the Greek Old Calendarists being consecrated. The only thing that caused confusion was the uncertainty as to who had performed the consecration of Bishop Anthony" [18]. And in defense of himself, Archbishop Leonty is recorded stating that in the Church Abroad there have been a number of canonical violations. One should fear God more than men. He answers to God for his deed and does not repent [19].

Now on November 29th, 1962, Archbishop Leonty and Bishop Seraphim of Caracas who had plans to consecrate Archimandrite Petros (Astyfides) in Caracas, Venezuela, at the last minute decided that the consecration would go forth at the Church of Saint Markella's in Astoria, New York, just 5 miles from the ROCOR Synodal headquarters on 93rd Street. When Metropolitan Anastasius and the rest of the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad learned of this consecration they publicly declared that the consecrations by the ROCOR Hierarchs in Greece and in Astoria were not recognized. Another Synodal meeting was held on November 30th, 1962 in which the two groups again debated these consecrations done by their fellow hierarchs. This synodal meeting, much like the last one a few days prior, was again heated. Metropolitan Vitaly recalls that "Archbishop Leonty is losing his temper and speaks in an impossibly harsh tone" [20].


Saint John (Maximovich) during this meeting defends Archbishop Leonty and states, "that the Old Calendarists have been knocking on our door for six years. The Council of Bishops could not take a decision, recognizing this as an internal matter of the Greeks. We must accept Archbishop Leonty's explanations as satisfactory and end the debate there" [21]. Archbishop Averky (Taushev) in turn defends Archbishop Leonty saying with great length that:

Standing on the ground of canons, would not himself have dared to perform the consecrations of the Greek Old Calendarists. But at the same time, in his heart he cannot [but] admire the courage with which Archbishop Leonty committed the act for which his conscience called. One cannot help but be against the formal violation of the canons. But in the life of other Churches, we see a continuous violation of the canons. In view of this abnormal general situation, Archbishop Leonty should be treated with leniency. This is further recommended by the fact that there have been a number of illegal acts on the part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople with respect to the Russian Church, such as: the rejection of Poland and the Baltic States, the creation of the Exarchate of Paris, the rejection of Bishops Orestes and Bogdan in America. Now that everything is irrational, there must be a special approach. The canons cannot now be approached legalistically. The canons are for the man, not the man for the canons. The Sabbath is for the man, not the man for the Sabbath. One must think of the salvation of souls, not of the observance of the form alone. The form can be Orthodox in appearance and false in substance. In this light, we must evaluate the act of Archbishop Leonty. He performed a courageous act of assistance to a fraternal Church, which is now the closest to us in spirit. The Greek Church is now oppressed and persecuted. It was a great mistake that at one time we were too lenient with the introduction of the new calendar, for it was intended to bring a schism into the Orthodox Church. It was the work of the enemies of the Church of Christ. The fruits are already visible. Even in America, there are Greek clergy who torment their conscience for the adoption of the new calendar. Associated with the observance of the old calendar is the preservation of all kinds of devotions in various areas. Along with the removal of the old calendar is the removal of asceticism from the temple. The Old Calendarists are the ones closest to us in spirit. The only "but" in Archbishop Leonty’s action is that he acted, as it were, unbrotherly, in defiance of the decision of the Council, though well-meaning [22].


As the Synodal meeting of November 30th, 1962 came to a close and the Synod officially drafted a statement which said, "The Russian Church Abroad has never interfered in the affairs of the other autocephalous Churches throughout her existence, and for this reason, in spite of her fraternal sympathy with the Greek Old Calendarists, has continually rejected numerous appeals to her by the Greek Old Calendarists for the consecration of bishops for them. The Council of Bishops greatly regrets the fact that His Grace Leonty, Archbishop of Chile, Santiago, and Peru, in the month of May 1962, contrary to the above, on his own initiative, without the knowledge and permission of the Synod of Bishops and the First-Hierarch, Metropolitan Anastasius, participated in the consecration of Greek Old Calendarists. The Council of Bishops henceforth enjoins the Most Reverend Hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad to refrain from interfering in the affairs of both the Greek and other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches. As for the participation of some other hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in the secret consecration of Greek Old Calendarist hierarchs, as indicated in the correspondence on this issue, neither the Synod of Bishops nor the First Hierarch gave any permission to any bishops for such participation, and they are unaware of such consecrations" [23].

Left to Right: Bishop Seraphim of Caracas (ROCOR), Bishop Petros of Astoria (GOC), Archbishop Leonty of Chile (ROCOR) at St Markella's after the ordination on November 29th, 1962

Although the Synod officially did not accept these consecrations as a whole, that was not what would be said in private by a large majority of the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The individual members of the Russian Synod that did recognize these ordinations, albeit in private, were Saint John (Maximovitch), Archbishop Averky of Jordanville, Bishop Nektary of Seattle, Bishop Savvas of Edmonton, Bishop Anthony of Melbourne, and of course Bishops Seraphim of Chicago and Seraphim of Caracas, and Archbishop Leonty of Chile who made the consecrations for the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece possible. This private recognition of the consecrations, particularly that of Bishop Petros of Astoria, can be seen by a letter that was written, signed, and is now archived at the Cathedral of Saint Markella in Astoria, New York, which the above bishops wrote to Petros of Astoria, recognizing him as a fellow Orthodox Hierarch saying:


Photo of the Letter Courtesy of Greek Orthodox Christian Television


The Synod of Saint Philaret of New York & The Recognition of Sister Churches


Now, in 1964 at the Synodal meeting in New York City, Metropolitan Anastasius announced that he would be retiring due to his ailing health and that they needed to choose a new successor to lead the Russian Church Abroad. The Holy Synod elected Bishop Philaret as their new First-Hierarch to succeed the aging Metropolitan Anastasius. "The enthronement of Metropolitan Philaret, which took place on Saturday and Sunday, May 17/30 — 18/31, developed into an unprecedented solemn feast which left a deep and abiding impression upon all. To a degree perhaps never before experienced by such a multitude, participants in this feast felt themselves engulfed by the grace-endowing and holy mystery of the Church. Of great influence was the fact that the entire service, both on Saturday and on Sunday was, so to say, spiritually imbued with the continuing act of elevation to the head of the Church of the new metropolitan" [24]. It was shortly thereafter that the ROCOR former First-Hierarch Metropolitan Anastasius reposed in the Lord in May of 1965. Now that Metropolitan Philaret was installed as the First-Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the policy that was maintained by both Metropolitan Anthony and Anastasius would change as Metropolitan Philaret wanted to help unite the Old Calendar Churches as well as come into full eucharistic communion with them.

Metropolitan Gerontios of Piraeus and Salamis, St. Philaret of New York, Archbishop Auxentios of Athens, & Metropolitan Petros of Astoria

On November 25th, 1969, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officially changed its position on the consecrations of the Greek Old Calendarist Bishops that took place in 1960 in Detroit, 1961 in Athens, and in 1962 in Astoria, New York, by those few ROCOR Hierarchs. The ROCOR Synod in a document addressed to Archbishop Auxentius and the Holy Synod of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece states that, "The many trials which the Orthodox Church has endured from the beginning of its history are especially great in our evil times, and, consequently, this especially requires unity among those who are truly devoted to the Faith of the Fathers. With these sentiments, we wish to inform you that the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad recognizes the validity of the episcopal ordinations of your predecessor of blessed memory, the reposed Archbishop Akakios, and the consequent ordinations of your Holy Church. Hence, taking into account also various other circumstances, our hierarchical Synod esteems your hierarchy as brothers in Christ in full communion with us. May the blessing of God rest upon all the clergy and faithful of your Church, especially during the coming days of the Nativity in the flesh of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [25].

Letter from the Russian Synod of Bishops Recognizing the Old Calendarist Ordinations

From 1969 forward, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad under the saintly leadership of Metropolitan Philaret of New York recognized the ordinations of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece that had been performed by those few ROCOR hierarchs several years prior. "ROCOR [now] was in communion with both the Florinite and Matthewite branches of the Greek Old Calendar Church" [26]. However, by 1971, Metropolitan Philaret and the Holy Synod of the ROCOR wanted these two groups to unite and to become one Old Calendar Greek Orthodox Church. This desire, however honorable, would eventually break down the already shaky unity that existed because of differences in ecclesiology of the Russian Church Abroad, the Florinite Synod, and the Matthewite Synod. In addition to the differences of opinion concerning ecclesiology as it revolved around the matters of grace in the mysteries in the New Calendar modernist jurisdictions; there was also the matter of the problematic episcopal consecrations of the Matthewite hierarchy by Bishop Matthew who in violation of Canon I of the Apostolic Canons, single-handedly consecrated for himself a synod, despite Canon I explicitly stating, "Let a bishop be ordained by two or three bishops" [27].

"We are in full communion with the Greek Old-Calendarist jurisdiction of Archbishop Auxentios in Athens and with the Catacomb Church in Russia; with other jurisdictions our relations are strained, and in some cases broken altogether." - Fr. Seraphim Rose, Letter 253, 1978

These single-handed consecrations were corrected by the Russian Church Abroad on Matthewite Bishops Kallistos and Epiphanios at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston, Massachusetts in September of 1971. According to an official synodal letter penned by Archpriest Gregory (Grabbe) in November of 1973 in which he states, "The Bishops Kallistos and Epiphanios were not ordained by our Synod. They were accepted in communion as bishops with only the laying on of hands on them, already in bishops' vestments, according to the 8 canon of the First Ecumenical Council. That was to rectify beyond doubts the irregularity caused by the founding of their hierarchy through the consecration originally performed by one bishop" [28]. This was done with the foregoing agreement that these two bishops would return to Greece and perform the laying on of hands on all of their clergy as to regularize their ordinations as well. However, once they returned to Greece this was immediately rejected by the majority of the Matthewites which ultimately led to their synod breaking communion with the Russian Church Abroad.


Now in 1974 the Florinite Synod, in an attempt to show equal fidelity to the official confession of 1950 and show the Matthewites they were just as strict in their confession, published an encyclical entitled, Thus Do We Believe, Thus Do We Speak which denied that the Official State Church of Greece was without grace in their mysteries. However, Bishop Petros of the Genuine Orthodox Church in America refused to sign this document under the advice of Saint Philaret of New York and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad who had consecrated him to the episcopacy. This refusal to sign this document caused the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece to remove Metropolitan Petros from the Synod. Metropolitan Petros seeing his Mother Church as the Russian Church applied to them to be received into the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad.

Metropolitan Petros of Astoria Serving Hierarchal Liturgy as Proistamenos at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York

In a letter by Metropolitan Petros of Astoria to the Russian Synod he wrote, "I was ordained by the most holy bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, my ordination was recognized by the Russian Synod. From a canonical aspect I should have belonged to the Russian Synod from the time of my ordination but my heart was set in healing the struggling anti-ecumenist, anti-modernist Old Calendar Church of Greece which is truly suffering greatly from the enemies of the faith. However, I always enjoyed and desired to have communion with my maternal Russian Synod. My communion with the Synod of Greece has been severed and the Russian Holy Synod of Bishops has also severed communion with me ironically enough because I obey and follow its own decrees and I will not sign something the Russian Synod itself condemns.


As for my future canonical position; that I think should be in accordance with the holy canons of the Church in the words of Saint Ignatios the Godbearer, where there is unity there also is Jesus Christ. It is therefore my conviction that the only canonical thing for me and my clergymen to do is ask my brother bishops to accept me into the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as a full member under the Synod's jurisdiction. Presently, we commemorate Philaret's name during the Proskomedia, but we dearly want to commemorate his name during all services [and] in all Churches. I consider the Russian Synod an oasis of Orthodoxy in a desert of ecumenism and heresy and it is for this reason that it is my fondest wish to have ecclesiastical union with you." Tragically, the Russian Synod's refusal left Bishop Petros without membership in any Orthodox Synod of Bishops [29].


In that same year the Russian Orthodox Church in a Synodal Letter clarified its position on the New Calendar and those modernist jurisdictions using this innovation, saying,


"The first resolution of the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia pertaining to the question set forth by the Old-Calendar Church bodies in Greece:


The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia considers the introduction of the new calendar as a mistake, bringing irregularity into the life of the Church and in the final end causing a schism. Therefore she did not accept it, does not accept it and will not accept it and avoids concelebration with the new calendarist. As to the question regarding the presence of non-existence of grace among the new calendarists, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia does not regard itself or any local Church as having the authority to reach a final decision, since a definitive ruling in this matter can be made only by a properly convoked, competent Ecumenical Council, with the indispensable participation of a free Church of Russia. 12/25 September 1974" [30].


As the years passed by and the chaos in the Old Calendar Churches began to die down, Bishop Petros was eventually received back into the Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece in 1985. Interestingly, in 1994, the now Metropolitan Petros was also received into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as a member of its synod, albeit, a non-voting member. In response to a letter written by Metropolitan Petros, Bishop Hilarion (Kapral) of Manhattan wrote the following reply dated March 12th, 1995;

This is to inform you that at the session of the Synod of Bishops our Church, held on Thursday, February 10/23 of this year [1995], your request for a Vicar Bishop and the candidacy of Archimandrite Paul (Stratigeas) were taken into careful consideration. The members of the Synod have given a positive response to your request for an assistant Bishop, but they wish to take more time to become better acquainted with Archimandrite Paul before making a decision concerning his candidacy. In any case, please be assured that you will be given a Vicar, that the Synod of Bishops values very much your presence within its episcopate, and that it will not abandon you and your Diocese in a time of need [31].


Metropolitan Petros & Bishop Hilarion (Future First-Hierarch of the ROCOR) February 18th, 1996 at Saint Isidoros Greek Orthodox Church in New York

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad & Her True Sister Churches


Over the course of time the Hierarchs of the Russian Synod had become weary of the constant turbulence that the Old Calendar situation created and while communion with the Old Calendarists was still there, it was on shaky ground. In 1993 the Synod of Bishops under the leadership of Metropolitan Vitaly published a resolution (No. 3/50/86) that resolved to "consider the previous decision of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, dated Sept. 6/19, 1975, concerning the refraining from concelebration with the hierarchy and the clergy of the Old-Calendarist jurisdictions of Greece, as remaining in effect until unity is achieved among these various Greek jurisdictions" [32].


This was done because of the constant in-fighting that again began to occur within these Old Calendar jurisdictions in Greece. However, this ceasing of concelebrations was short lived. "On 28 June/11 July 1994, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia addressed the question of the possibility of entering into communion in prayer and the Eucharist with the group of Old Calendarist Greeks headed by Metropolitan Cyprian" [33]. A committee which consisted of Archbishop Laurus and Bishops Daniel and Mitrophan was established to examine this. "After deliberation and analysis of all aspects [...] the Council of Bishops holds that at the present time, when apostasy is spreading and many official representatives of Orthodoxy, such as the Patriarchate of Constantinople and other patriarchates, are succumbing to and embracing the position of the modernists and ecumenists, it is very important for the true Orthodox to unite, stand together and oppose the betrayers of the Orthodoxy of the Holy Fathers. In connection with this, the Council of Bishops has decided:

1. To establish communion in prayer and the Eucharist with the Greek Old Calendarist Synod of Metropolitan Cyprian, as well as with His Grace, Bishop Photios of Triaditsa, who heads the Bulgarian Old Calendar diocese.


2. All parties refrain from interfering in each others' internal ecclesiastical affairs. If any questions arise which require deliberation, it is essential to take counsel together.

RESOLVED: 1) To communicate the above-cited decision to Metropolitan Cyprian and Bishop Photios.

2. To inform our clergy and flock of the Council's decision through publication in church periodicals [34].


Left to Right: Bishop Auxentios, Archbishop Chrysostomos, Archbishop Laurus, Metropolitan Vitaly, Archbishop Anthony, and Archbishop Hilarion, Consecrating Bishop Gabriel (Chemodakov), ROCOR.

And so, through God's providence, the relationship with the Old Calendarist Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches was again regularized and in full Eucharistic communion with each other. In 1996 the fraternal bond with the Greek Old Calendar Church here in the United States grew even stronger when Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna and Bishop Auxentios of Photiki were invited to co-consecrate Father Gabriel (Chemodakov), now Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal, to the Holy Episcopate. As recorded in the journal published by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, Orthodox Tradition, "with the blessing of Metropolitan Cyprian, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna, and his assistant, Bishop Auxentios of Photiki, travelled to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, to participate in the Consecration of Bishop Gabriel of Brisbane, who will serve as an assistant to Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, recently appointed by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to administer its parishes and monastic communities in Australia and New Zealand. Archbishop Chrysostomos and Bishop Auxentios were invited to take part in the Consecration by Metropolitan Vitaly and Archbishops Laurus and Hilarion. His Eminence, Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco and Western America also took part in the moving and beautiful ceremony" [35].


The Recognition of a Mutual Saint of the Old Calendar Church


On Saturday and Sunday of June 13th and 14th in 1999, "The Romanian Old Calendar Church Glorified its founder Metropolitan Glicherie (†1985) who struggled against the calendar innovation and the political ecumenism of the Romanian Patriarchate. The Glorification of this contemporary Martyr and Confessor of the Faith, whose amazing spiritual presence (not to mention the many miracles that surrounded his person even before his death) earned him the reputation of being the St. Seraphim of the Romanian Old Calendarists, took place at the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Slatioara, Moldavia, where faithful and clergy from around the world - from Greece, France, Italy, Sweden, the United States, Georgia, Jerusalem, Bulgaria, Australia, Austria, and Africa — gathered for the moving ceremonies" [36].

This issue of Orthodox Life, an official publication of the Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, was published in 1999 in honor of the newly canonized saint of the Romanian Old Calendar Orthodox Church, Saint Glicherie. He is similar to those saints of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, such as Saint Philaret of New York, who were against the modernism that was encroaching on the Orthodox Church everywhere and who struggled against the heresy of ecumenism that was officially anathematized in 1983 by the Holy Synod of the Russian Church Abroad. This glorified saint of the Old Calendarist Romanian Orthodox Church is to this day still held to be a God-ordained saint by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, and the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria.


The End of the Road: The Tragic Sundering of Eucharistic Communion


In the late 1990s and early 2000s the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia had been in dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate concerning reunification of the two Russian jurisdictions after eighty years of separation. This dialogue and eventual but sudden reunification with the Moscow Patriarchate was not well received by all within the Russian Church Abroad. The concerns that the Moscow Patriarchate was still a member of the World Council of Churches, was still actively participating in the heretical ecumenical movement (which the ROCOR under the Synod of Saint Philaret of New York had officially anathematized) and the question of Sergianism (which was never officially repented of) weighed on the minds of many.

Left to Right : Mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff (ROCOR) His Grace Bishop Photius of Triaditsa (B-GOC), 2006

This became a problem among the Old Calendar Sister Churches which were in full eucharistic and prayerful communion with the Russian Synod. This reunification of the Russian Synod with a jurisdiction which represented everything they were resisting was a pill that could not be swallowed. As 2007 drew near many letters were exchanged between all of the Synods involved. “Mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff was sent to Romania and Bulgaria for official visits with the Heads of the Romanian and Bulgarian Old-Calendar Churches […] Fr Alexander read the letter addressed to His Eminence by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and signed by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and heard his response, which expressed the opinion of the Old-Calendar Romanian Church. […] Fr Alexander was also able to attend divine services at the monastery at the episcopal residence, and also at the large Old Calendar Cathedral of Sofia” and then departed back to the United States [37].


In the final letter from Metropolitan Cyprian of the Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad he writes in the last paragraph,


“With inexpressible sorrow, but also in the hope that the Grace of the Mother of God, through the intercessions of St. John Maximovich [of Shanghai and San Francisco], the most holy Metropolitan Philaret, and all the Russian New Martyrs, will awaken anew your Patristic zeal, so that your Holy Synod might prove once again to be an estimable force, a fortress and a fortified city, and a shield and breastplate of Orthodoxy in our truly apocalyptic times, we remain, as the least among Orthodox Hierarchs,


† Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili,

President of the Holy Synod in Resistance" [38]


In two final letters to the primates of the Old Calendarist Orthodox Churches of Romania and Bulgaria after the unification with the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Laurus addresses them as fellow Orthodox Christian Hierarchs saying, “We asked Your Grace to approach the process of reconciliation with the Church in Russia with the understanding and recognition that this is an internal matter of the Russian Church. Our earnest convictions lead us to the fact that the process of the rebirth of the Church in our much-suffering Homeland after the fall of the godless regime is so firmly rooted and broad, by Divine mercy, that we cannot remain on the outside but must join with it. We have no intention of abandoning our confession of true Orthodoxy before the world, and will continue to condemn both destructive ecumenism and modernism” and with this the end of the road came and another tragic separation of Orthodox Christians from each other was created [39], [40].


The Conclusion


As we can see, the historical relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Old Calendar Churches of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania were anything but simple. The history extends over eighty years and is clouded with obscurity, biases from multiple sides, resentment, anger, animosity, sinful passions, different perspectives on major theological and ecclesiological issues, language barriers, buried documents that have either been purposefully hidden or accidentally lost, and history that has been forgotten by people within the Church who have become more a-historical over the course of a century. However, what has been made clear by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church is that these Orthodox Christians in the Old Calendar jurisdictions who our saints stood at the holy altar and shared the most sacred mystery with, are just that—Orthodox Christians. To hurl accusations of being schismatic or heretical is contrary to what was put forth by our Church Fathers of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and we should, in the example of our forefathers strive for unity and peace in Christ our Lord.

"For the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord"

Special Thanks


Thank you to my friends in the GOC and in ROCOR who provided me with their in-depth knowledge on this subject and access to their invaluable historical archives which made this article possible.

 

References


[1]. Dr. Gloria Mark. "Speaking of Psychology: Why our attention spans are shrinking, with Gloria Mark, PhD." American Psychological Association. Accessed June 16th, 2023. https://www.apa.org/news/podcasts/speaking-of-psychology/attention-spans


[2]. Metropolitan Demetrius of America. "Questions About the GOC to Metropolitan Demetrius - The Light of ROCOR." Orthodox Tradition - YouTube Channel. Accessed June 16th, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaQeq4VVtzM


[3]. Metropolitan Philaret of New York, “About the New Martyrs and the Gracelessness of the Soviet False Church,” circa 1964-1985, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Audio Recording, 23:29, From the Private Library of Subdeacon Nektarios Harrison, M.A. "But here's what I wanted to draw your attention to, something that many people don't think about at all. Father Archimandrite Konstantin, probably many of you know him, the late editor of the magazine Orthodox Rus, is a deep, Christian mind, he considered the most terrible of all the communists' "achievements" that communism created its own false church, the Soviet one, which they suggested to the unfortunate people instead of the real Church, that went into the catacombs, disappeared from the surface. Do not think that I am exaggerating, or that Father Konstantin exaggerated. Once there was an All-Russian Church Council, in 1918. At this Council, the entire All-Russian Church, headed by its Primate Patriarch Tikhon, anathematized (excommunicated from the Church) both the enemies of God themselves and all those who would cooperate with them."


[4]. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), "Religion," in American Society of Civil Engineers & R.I. Society of Professional Engineers Inc, accessed August 7th, 2023,

"The Soviets soon found out that they could not risk keeping the Churches closed and therefore set up a puppet Church with a puppet Patriarch. This, naturally, did not satisfy the Russian Orthodox Church and religion went underground. I know of the existence of thousands of so-called catacomb congregations in secret places of Russia. In these underground churches the masses hold religious services, worshipping God and teaching secretly Theology, and educating missionaries for [Orthodox] Christianity."


[5]. The Holy Orthodox Church in North America, The Struggle Against Ecumenism: The History of the True Orthodox Church of Greece from 1924-1994 (Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1998), 23.


[6]. Ibid., 40-41.


[7]. "New Zion in Babylon: The Orthodox Church in the Twentieth Century (Part III)," Dr. Vladimir Moss, PhD, accessed June 27th, 2023,


[8]. Nikolaos Mannis, The Ecclesiology of the Metropolitan Chrysostomos: Presentation of the Ecclesiological Positions of the Former Florentine Confessor, Chrysostomos (Kavouridou) (†1955) in the Form of Questioning (Athens: Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece, 2012), 7-8.


[9]. "Letter No. 98. To Hieroschemamonk Theodosius of Mount Athos," Азбука веры, accessed June 28th, 2023, https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Antonij_Hrapovickij/pisma/#0_100


[10]. This refers to the then planned future Ecumenical Council that never came to fruition.


[11]. "Letter No. 99. To Hieroschemamonk Theodosius," Азбука веры, accessed June 28th, 2023, https://azbyka.ru/otechnik/Antonij_Hrapovickij/pisma/#0_101


[12]. "New Zion in Babylon: The Orthodox Church in the Twentieth Century (Part III)," Dr. Vladimir Moss, PhD, accessed June 27th, 2023,


[13]. "The Development of Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Attitude Toward Other Local Orthodox Churches and Non-Orthodox Christians," ROCOR Studies: Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad, accessed June 28th, 2023,


[14]. Michael Rodzianko, Rassaphor-Monk Vsevolod, The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad (Jordanville: Printshop of St. Job of Pochaev - Holy Trinity Monastery, 2002), 51.


[15]. "The ROCOR Debate at the 1959 Council of Bishops on Consecrating Hierarchs for the Greek Old Calendarists - Protocol #15," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 29th, 2023, http://sinod.ruschurchabroad.org/Arh%20Sobor%201959%20Prot10-16.htm


[16]. Ibid.


[17]. "A Contentious Discussion on the Consecration of Greek Old Calendar Bishops by Archbishop Leonty during the 1962 meeting of the ROCOR Council of Bishops. The Minutes of Protocol #24, November 13/26, 1962," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 29th, 2023, http://sinod.ruschurchabroad.org/Arh%20Sobor%201962%20Prot.htm


[18]. Ibid


[19]. Ibid


[20]. "A Contentious Discussion on the Consecration of Greek Old Calendar Bishops by Archbishop Leonty during the 1962 meeting of the ROCOR Council of Bishops. Minutes of Protocol #28, November 17/30, 1962," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 29th, 2023, http://sinod.ruschurchabroad.org/Arh%20Sobor%201962%20Prot.htm


[21]. Ibid.


[22]. Ibid.


[23]. Ibid.


[24]. Holy Trinity Monastery, "The Enthronement of Metropolitan Philaret," Orthodox Life 87, no. 3 (May-June 1964), 6.


[25]. Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, "To The Most Blessed Auxentius, Archbishop of the True Orthodox Christians in Greece," The Orthodox Archive, accessed June 29th, 2023, https://www.theorthodoxarchive.org/post/50th-anniversary-of-the-goc-episcopal-consecrations-by-the-russian-church-abroad


[26]. Anastasios Hudson, Metropolitan Petros of Astoria: A Microcosm of the Old Calendar Movement in America (Reston: Anastasios Hudson, 2014), 44.


[27]. The Canons of the Holy and Altogether August Apostles, "Canon I," in Nicene & Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 14, ed. Philip Schaff & Henry Wace (Peabody: Hendrickson Publications, 1999), 594.


[28]. "Letter from Archpriest Gregory Grabbe to Mr. V.M. Shallcross, November 7th, 1973," Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 30th, 2023, https://www.theorthodoxarchive.org/post/bishop-gregory-grabbe-to-mr-shallcross-concerning-metropolitan-kallistos-and-ephiphanios-1973


[29]. "Met. Petros of Astoria: His Life and Struggle, Part II," Greek Orthodox Christian Television YouTube Channel, accessed June 30th, 2023, https://youtu.be/vLt7cY78eaM?t=2562


[30]. "ROCOR Resolution September 12/25, 1974, Concerning New Calendarist," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 30th, 2023,


[31]. Anastasios Hudson, Metropolitan Petros of Astoria: A Microcosm of the Old Calendar Movement in America (Reston: Anastasios Hudson, 2014), 66.


[32]. "Resolution of the Council of Bishops (No. 3/50/86) May 31st, 1993," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 30th, 2023,


[33]. "Extract from the Minutes of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 28 June/11 July, 1994," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June 30th, https://www.theorthodoxarchive.org/post/extract-from-the-minutes-of-the-council-of-bishops-of-rocor-june-1994-concerning-the-goc


[34]. Holy Trinity Monastery, "The Old Calendar Church of Greece," Orthodox Life 44, no. 4 (July-August 1994), 46-50. https://app.box.com/s/je2eoy6m2rzda65q1ool5zdr1vcd2l7b


[35]. Archimandrite Akakios, "Consecration of New ROCA Bishop for Australia," Orthodox Tradition, no. 2 & 3 (1996): 73-74. https://www.theorthodoxarchive.org/post/consecration-of-bishop-gabriel-chemodakov-by-roca-assisted-by-met-chrysostomos-bishop-auxentios


[36]. Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), "The Glorification of St Glicherie of Romania," Orthodox Life 49, no. 4 (July-August 1999), 2. https://app.box.com/s/81gdt3nt88e268rf8z5409e77iicdnxb


[37]. "A Representative of the Synod of Bishops Meets with the Heads of the Romanian and Bulgarian Old-Calendar Churches," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia accessed June 30th, 2023, https://www.synod.com/synod/eng2006/4enrombulgrep.html


[38]. "Protocol No. 412. To the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Per His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus, New York, U.S.A.," Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece: Holy Synod in Resistance, accessed June 30th, 2023, https://www.imoph.org/Administration_en/E1a4009Syn412Eng.pdf


[39]."The Synod of Bishops Sends a Letter to Bishop Photii of the Bulgarian Old Calendar Church," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June30th, 2023, https://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2007/7enposlphotii.html


[40]. "The Synod of Bishops Sends a Letter to Metropolitan Vlasie of the Romanian Old-Calendar Church," Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, accessed June30th, 2023, https://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2007/7enposlvlasie.html

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