APPEAL FOR REPARATION OF A CRITICAL STATE OF ORTHODOXY IN POLAND

Members of the Polish Delegation at the gathering of Crete (Source: YouTube.com)
 
 
Members of the Polish Delegation at the gathering of Crete (Source: YouTube.com)

 

These are the contents of an appeal letter addressed to the Synod of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church on the serious doctrinal abuses resulting from the involvement of the Hierarchy in ecumenism and basic concerns with the participation of the Local Church in the so-called Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete.

 

____________________

 

 

Dr Pawel P. Wroblewski, Assistant Professor

Institute of Philosophy, University of Wroclaw

ul. Koszarowa 3/20, 51-149 Wroclaw, Poland

e-mail: pawel.wroblewski@uwr.edu.pl or pawwro@uni.wroc.pl

 

Wroclaw, 12 June/30 May 2016 – Seventh Sunday after Pascha

Commemoration of the God-bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council

 

To His Beatitude Vladyka Sava, Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland

along with the Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Poland

 

Your Beatitude,

Most Reverend Hierarchs,

Taking the opportunity provided by the ongoing preparations for the participation of the Delegation of the Local Church to the gathering of Crete, with my Orthodox heart, in honest love of God and with humility towards His Revelation, I find it necessary to make a fervent appeal out of concern for the matters of utmost importance which affect the authenticity of your service as the first Keepers of the Mysteries of Faith sealed by the Holy Spirit. I would like to submit this letter on behalf of the group of the Orthodox Faithful and Catechumens who are living in Poland.

Since Baptism is the first among the Mysteries of the Church of Christ, the infringement of its essence results in the most severe negative consequences for the principles of the Orthodox Faith and for living by this Faith. Baptism consists in immersion in two natures of our Saviour Jesus Christ, a divine, that is participation in the life of the Holy Trinity, and a human through taking part in His Death, Burial and Resurrection. For this reason, the two-fold ritual trinitarity of Baptism manifests itself without confusion, without change, without divisibility, without separability of God’s order which reveals itself in the invocation of the Divine Hypostases, and human order which corresponds with three full descents into the water as the symbols of our participation in the redemptive Events. In accordance with the words of St. Paul the Apostle, the unity of Baptism is a consequence of the unity of Faith in one God (Ephesians 4:5), and since the unity of Faith is violated, there can be no question of sacramental effectiveness of a non-Orthodox ritual. As St. Cyril of Jerusalem explains in the commentary on the Symbol of Faith in the Pre-Catechesis (I, 7): “This is why only heretics are baptised anew, for earlier there was no Baptism.” Thus the principle of baptismal economy cannot nullify the sacramental norm, it merely allows for not repeating a rite which was correctly performed outside of the Orthodox Church, whereas only in the Church can it become the source of God’s Grace.

However, on 4 October 1978 in Warsaw, the local Orthodox and Roman Catholic delegations signed a bilateral protocole, as a result of which, contrary to the charismatic principles of the Orthodox sacramentology and ecclesiology (The Apostolic Canons: 46, 47, 50, 68; can. 19 of 1st Ecumenical Council; can. 7 of 2nd Ecumenical Council; can. 14 of 4th Ecumenical Council; can. 95 of 5th-6th Ecumenical Council; the Canon of St. Cyprian of Carthage; can. 1 and 91 of  St. Basil the Great) not only was it officially acknowledged that “there is no doubt as to the validity of Baptism administered in the both Churches” (point 5a) but also a clearly non-Orthodox doctrine was accepted whereby Baptism “takes away original sin” (point 3-4). The above document (in point 6) provided for Your Beatitude the basis for the signing on 23 January 2000 in Warsaw of the declaration entitled “The Sacrament of Baptism as a Sign of Unity” in the presence of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The declaration solemnly recognizes the full validity of baptism not only of the followers of Papism but also Lutheranism, Calvinism, Methodism, Mariavitism and Polish-Catholicism. The both acts due to their clash with the Divine Canons are flawed as ineffective and invalid per se.

One should also point out the fact that for decades you have recognized, and you continue to do so today, the sacramental validity of other heretic rites, including the cases of establishing Eucharistic unity with the heterodox; furthermore, the rite of threefold immersion is repeatedly violated by replacing it with canonically unlawful affusion; joint prayers with heretics are organized on a large scale. According to the assessment criterion of ecumenism contained in the Gospel of Christ (Matthew 7:15-20), there can be no doubt that its results, which take us away from the life-giving and redemptive Dogmas, are a lethal, slow-acting spiritual poison. Out of this poisoned source flows a severe weakening of the Orthodox Faith on Polish soil. Listen at last, Most Reverend Vladykas, to the voice of Hieromartyr Hermogenes, Patriarch of Moscow, who called upon the Polish Crown Prince Wladyslaw of Vasa to receive the only true Orthodox Baptism!

Therefore, it is with the utmost pain and fear of God that one has to address the disregard of the Synod for the most significant canonical consequences that stem from the establishing of communion in sacred things (Lat. communicatio in sacris) with the heterodox. The Divine Canons announced by “the sacred trumpets of the Spirit”, which you obliged yourselves to defend strenuously under the episcopal oath (can. 1 and 2 of the 7th Ecumenical Council) impose on you a penalty of removal from the clergy. This situation poses a clear obstacle to recognize you as the lawful Shepherds of the Orthodox Church.

Therefore, out of the most fundamental concerns for our salvation, in respectful awe before our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, I fervently implore you, Most Reverend Hierarchs, with true love and dedication towards you, to make and confirm the Orthodox Confession of Faith by immediately withdrawing from the non-canonical baptismal declarations of 1978 and 2000, reinstating infringed sacramental discipline, leaving the so-called World Council of Churches and Polish Ecumenical Council, and most of all making satisfaction to the faithful for causing immensely severe spiritual harm; otherwise, the effects that result from the wording of can. 15 of the Double Local Council of Constantinople will occur [1].

Thus I would like to express my deepest unity with His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira and Antikythira, who in the letter of 3 May 2016 addressed to Your Beatitude (prot. no. 8708) bore such significant testimony of the Orthodox Faith in the face of menacing threat from the so-called Pan-Orthodox Council to be held in Crete.

This gathering cannot constitute a confirmation of the conciliar self-identity of the Orthodox Church if the principle of jurisdictionality takes precedence over the sacramental unity and equality of all the bishops, just as in Papism. Unanimity is given to the Church by the Holy Spirit and those who do not have the Holy Spirit are not in accord with the Orthodox Church; the Spirit of God manifest itself throughout the whole Apostolic Tradition, which is fully contained in the canonical and immutable teachings of the God-bearing Apostles and Fathers, so for those who do not have the Spirit, the Apostolic Tradition is foreign as well.

The Councils are constituted by the descent of the Holy Spirit to confirm the truth of God’s Revelation vividly present in the Orthodox Christianity, so it is necessary to evaluate ecumenism from this perspective, taking the Scripture and Canons as the criteria. The great saints have already done that not leaving us a grain of doubt as to what forces hide themselves behind the mask of ecumenism: “for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). None of the Ecumenical Councils perceived inconclusive dialogue with the heterodox as a value in itself. On the contrary, the triumph of truth over falsehood was announced in a plain and clear way, strengthening Faith at its supernatural Source; furthermore, the Councils did not discuss world affairs such as natural cataclysms and human rights for the sake of themselves, acknowledging that in the earthly order of things it is sufficient to follow what had already been ordered by God. Today, one feels tempted to declare that the Church is engaging in dialogue with heresy. However, the Apostolic Tradition teaches us that the Church does not hold dialogue with the Evil One, but merely casts him out so that he does not inflict harm on humankind. Hence the Church does not engage in dialogue with heresy which comes from the Evil One, but always holds out His hand to man so that he can discover faith which will lead him to salvation. Let us then look into the redemptive reality of the Ecumenical Councils. Has any of them announced: “we shall enter into dialogue with the Arians” or “we shall enter into dialogue with Iconoclasm”? In this sense, the forthcoming gathering of Crete has to be assessed on equal terms with other “robber councils”.

I fervently hope that Your Beatitude and the whole Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Poland, as well as other Local Churches, will wish to confirm the Divine origin of your archpastoral service among us by withdrawing from participation in this godless event.

If the Most Reverend Hierarchs considered it appropriate, I am ready to appear before all of you together or each of you individually and take full responsibility for each word contained in this letter.

May God have mercy upon us!

With love and highest respect,

 

Pawel P. Wroblewski

 

[1] “…Those, who because of a certain heresy condemned by holy Councils or Fathers, separating from communion with their chief hierarch, who preaches this heresy clearly, publicly, and openly teaches the Church, such persons, not only not liable to a penance prescribed by canons, before a conciliar expertise for guarding off themselves from communion with one, who is a so called bishop, but clearly [they] will be worthy of dignity of the Orthodox. For not bishops, but pseudo bishops and pseudo teachers they have condemned and not by a schism intentionally cut the Church, but have been zealous to save the Church from schisms and divisions”.

 

 

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