Talk:Western Rite and Old Calendarists

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An Editorial, Not an Entry

The original version of this page represents a blog entry or a Milan Synod editorial, not a Wikipage of any sort. It is factually erroneous, self-contradictory, poorly written, and violates NPV standards.

The article claims Western Rite parishes make up a "substantial portion" of Old Calendarists; in fact, "Numerically, Western-rite Old calendar communities outnumber every other jurisdiction of traditionalist Orthodox communities in the United States." If this were true, it would mean there are more Western Rite Old Calendarists than Byzantines in ROCOR, Moscow, Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Jerusalem Patriarchate, not to mention the schismatic "Greek Old Calendarists."

It then claims, "There are parishes under the Orthodox Church of France using the Old Calendar (this is not the case, according to a priest of L'ECOF, in France)." Well, which is it?

Then it falsely asserts, "some under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia using the Sarum Rite, though how important the use of the Old Calendar is among them is the subject of debate." First, Fr. James Deschene and Fr. Anthony Nelson are Old Calendarists who use the traditional Liturgy of St. Gregory. Secondly, there is no "debate" as to the obedience of Frs. James, Anthony, Michael (of St. Petroc), Barry, nor the ROCOR faithful.

The rest of the article is a long editorial pushing an agenda: to inveigh against the canonical Western Rite. There are alleged philosophies that supposedly "color" the views of WRO. That Western Rite parishes would be reabsorbed by Rome, Canterbury, and/or Antioch "was an unavoidable (and foregone) conclusion with the Antiochians." (!) There is alleged "hostility" between Old Calendarists and Antiochians (news to Fr. James and Fr. Paul Schneirla), etc., etc.

It is merely an editorial proselytizing for the Milan Synod, or at least besmirching canonical Western Rite Orthodoxy. Either way, it has no business here. I've edited it as much as the facts will support, but I don't know if the stub will support a full article or if this stub should just be deleted, probably the latter. --Willibrord 23:28, June 24, 2008 (UTC)

Just as a note: Old Calendarist is used on this site to refer to those groups which have broken communion with the mainstream Orthodox Church primarily or initially over the question of the calendar, not those mainstream Orthodox churches who happen to use the Julian calendar and remain in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 00:22, June 25, 2008 (UTC)
I note nearly all the same inaccuracies were restored. (It was "an unavoidable (and foregone) conclusion" that AWRV parishes would be reabsorbed by the Papacy, Canterbury, and/or the Anglican Continuum? A most indefensible of many such assertions in this editorial. I wonder where one could verify how many parishes the Old Calendarists have overall (all synods), and how many are Western Rite? The assertion that there are more WR GOCs than ER GOCs seems dubious. --Willibrord 17:58, August 2, 2008 (UTC)

It is statistically correct, since I said that GOC's in the United States and Western Europe were outnumbered. That is absolutely correct, and if you don't believe me, please count the number of diaspora parishes among the GOC's. Milan's parishes in America outnumber the GOC's of Chrysostomos, Andreas, Maximos, and the Russians' Valentine's, Tikhon's, and Bartholemew's combined. Those are usually the recognized GOC's in the country, save for HOCNA, which uses inflated numbers.

Count them if you do not believe me. --JosephSuaiden 20:17, August 2, 2008 (UTC)

Of course, not all Milan Synod groups are Western Rite. (And I am told HOCNA is not alone in inflating its numbers.) Were one to count actual WR groups in the Milan Synod, would these outnumber all the Old Calendarist churches combined (including any Old Calendarists of Romania, Bulgaria, etc., if they have churches in these territories)? If so, how might one VERIFY this? The claim seems questionable. Thanks.--Willibrord 02:59, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I will not waste my time: however, that's exactly my point. Both the jurisdictions you mention have NO parishes in Western Europe or America. Please start counting. Thank you. --JosephSuaiden 04:18, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

There was NO editorial.

Response: 1) there IS an Old Calendar parish under L'ECOF: Paraclete Church in the US. 2) I was only referring to Old Calendarist communities, not to ROCOR (which has 2 Western Rite parishes in America) nor the AWRV. 3) The subject of debate was the fact that some Western rite communities in ROCOR have used the New Calendar. 4) I was not inveighing against anything but discussing two different mindsets. The intolerance of one has shown its ugly face here. You will not delete my work to promote your agenda. I shall remind you once, Deacon, that even among the Antiochians, patience for such abuses as promoting Anglicans as Orthodox saints grows ever thinner. For those who don't know what I am talking about? http://bloggingthefraud.blogspot.com/2008/07/king-charles-i-saint-of-awrv-part-ii.html

Trust me, even canonical Orthodox agree with me on some of these matters, because they love Orthodoxy. You don't have to be an Old Calendarist Zealot to see what you are trying to cover up is wrong.

Unless I am banned, I will put this back and continue to do so.--JosephSuaiden 19:57, July 18, 2008 (UTC)

Don't tempt fate!  :) I don't know the state of your emotions/soul/etc., but I can say that your language is getting a bit heated. Please calm it down and don't make threats.
I honestly can't understand why it is that the articles on the WR so often seem to draw such controversy. In any event, please note that turning these articles into debate grounds will necessitate drastically reducing their content to conform to our rules on controversial topics (i.e., no original research; only reliable, third-party, published sources). If y'all don't want that, I suggest everyone find a way to work together in a calm manner. Thanks! —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 00:00, July 19, 2008 (UTC)
On reading this article, I was confused...then I realised something. There's _very_ little in this article that has anything to do with Old Calendarists and the Western Rite. Lots to do with the philosophies of the WR, motives...but the title, as I understand it, is rather misleading, and refers to - at most - the introduction and one or two paragraphs. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 00:12, July 19, 2008 (UTC)
That's it, exactly. As I wrote, this is merely private opinion about WR. And OrthodoxWiki is not the place for private opinions. I've edited it, attempting to make this read more like an encyclopedia entry then a private blog. --Willibrord 17:58, August 2, 2008 (UTC)

You once again deleted the whole article. It seems your "full of anti-WR screeds" argument is gaining ground, although I must point out again that the article is about mindsets and should be subjected to further revision. However, you made clear at the outset that you don't want these words to exist at all.--JosephSuaiden 20:17, August 2, 2008 (UTC)

I did not delete the entire article but preserved as much as could be readily verified and considered on-topic (which, I grant, was very little). The moderators have noted your opinions of the "mindsets" is not really part of the topic, and as has been noted, doesn't seem to accurately reflect anyone's thinking except the author's. Beyond that, the article erroneously claims ROCOR has only Sarum Rite WRITE parishes (there is also Christminster); the wording implies these ROCOR churches do not care about Old Calendar use (false); and seems to be stating Antioch has already determined to hand over its WR parishes to Rome, Canterbury, and the Anglican Continuum (Really? Source?). I am given to understand elsewhere you have accused OrthodoxWiki of trying to "shut down the discussion" or some-such by editing your article. But OrthodoxWiki is not a discussion forum; it's a place for uninformed readers to find verifiable facts. This entry, as you keep reposting it, may express your views, and inaccurate as I think they are, you are welcome to do express them in this country -- but continually reposting these kinds of blog-entry thoughts is inconsistent with the purpose and standards of OrthodoxWiki. I will make one final reversion and leave the rest to the moderators. (Sigh...) --Willibrord 02:59, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

Anyone can objectively look at the history of your edits and easily see you are deleting the entire article, and worse, placing a subjective commentary of one or two sentences in its place. I can prove it by dissecting it here, it's short.

Some Old Calendarists in the United States have approved the formation of Western-rite communities, though they are currently far less numerous than their counterparts in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate.

Uncertain, since we have no clear numbers of existing parishes in the vicariate. In fact, the number of Milan parishes rivals the number of those in the vicariate. However, since this isn't an article about the vicariate, but about "Western Rite and Old Calendarists", I opted not to make such a comparison except where relevant.

These parishes under the Holy Synod of Milan are former members of the Old Catholic/vagante movement.

This is simply false, since you do not know the history of many of the parishes; nor is that universally true. Nor is it relevant, since I was talking about the history of the parishes and their eventual union with the Old Calendar Church in the Milan Synod. Certainly, if you wanted to mention they were of questionable canonicity (as were many of your own parishes, since they all knew each other then) you could have done so in the article. But that would be self-defeating, I assume.

There is one American parish under the Orthodox Church of France using the Old Calendar and some under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia using the Sarum Liturgy, The English Liturgy, and the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great. Specifically, ROCOR's Western Rite includes Christ the Savior Monastery (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), and St. Petroc Monastery (Tasmania) and its dependencies.

We have already noted that including ROCOR has some historical value, but it is far from the only church using the old calendar. As well, the Synod banned the use (temporarily) of Western rites in 1973. So you may wish to stop treading where you know not.

I should also add that what I've commented on is in fact all you left. Exactly three sentences. You say "I did not delete the entire article but preserved as much as could be readily verified and considered on-topic (which, I grant, was very little)". Now, while it could be argued there are opinions in this piece (I respectfully disagree) I don't think any objective reader could say that there were only three "verifiable sentences", all of which, oddly, you wrote. Even more so, no objective reader could say they are on-topic. So again I am defying your "edit". Anyone who looks at the edit history sees I ignore edits on my work. But you are not acting as an editor, but a grand inquisitor. Reading the beginning of this talk, we can see the lengths travelled to justify this deletion (referring to Serbian Orthodox as "Old Calendarists", et cetera). I am leaving this up to the moderation team as well. And if you take it out again, I will again restore it. Until you deal with facts, and not try to rewrite them, I will answer you bluntly.--JosephSuaiden 04:18, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

The ROCOR Synod did not ban Western Rite in 1973. The 'ban' came out of HTM and was told to people as having been an act of Synod. In any case, in 1975 Abp Nikon Rklitsky (contrary to HTM's psuedo-ban) received Mount Royal monastery in New York from the Moscow Patriarchate - which was supported by the Synod. It never would have happened if the Holy Synod of ROCOR had actually produced any such document. Whether ROCOR should be included at all is probably pov - as ROCOR was never part of the Old Calendarist movement (Moscow is still Old Calendar, as is ROCOR post-rapprochment - 'Old Calendarism' is more of a phenomena with those churches affected by the New Calendar.) Some Old Calendarists were inside ROCOR, but ROCOR as a whole was never Old Calendarist itself - rather, it was the keeper of the true Russian tradition (which, it so happens, includes Western Rite: "It was Western rite in 19th c. Russia!") An implication of a difference between ROCOR today and ROCOR of a few years ago is *extremely* pov - especially as the mainstream understanding that ROCOR is the same body, in continuity, and has only changed in restoring concelebration between its hierarchy. Aristibule

I admit error. I was relying on memory. It did not ban WRite in 1973. It banned it in 1978 in their own Synodal documents.

If I could figure out how to put a footnote on this, the text is here of all the Synodal resolutions. Perhaps you should read them, unless you think HTM wrote them all.

http://roacusa.org/1.DoFRotSoBotROCoRNewsletter/1979/DoFR19790221.PDF

--JosephSuaiden 20:33, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

That's my impression, as well. It seems to me that most of this analytical material should be elsewhere, though I'm not really sure where.
We really need someone who can be our de facto Sysop In Charge of WR Stuff. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 00:14, July 19, 2008 (UTC)
I think that this article is a bit of personal ideology - I don't know that it accurately represents the approach of any group. It sure doesn't represent ROCOR (our Holy Synod's ukases on Western Rite do). Personally, my vote for a Sysop for WR would be someone who knew those involved with the Western Rite (AWRV, ROCOR, MP) and has access to the clergy and the archival material.I know that Fr. Michael of Saint Petroc monastery has done some editing here - he might be someone to ask (though he is often busy.) But, he does have the breadth of knowledge. Otherwise, Willibrord if pretty fair, for Byzantine rite clergy. ... back to an earlier question: why the subject attracts controversy... mostly because there are a few small groups external to the Western rite that have particular agendas, and hope to use (or abuse) Western rite towards their own goals. IF Orthodox Wiki is an encyclopedia of Orthodoxy, it should represent the accepted majority view of the Western Rite in Orthodoxy: at this point, that is the Russian Western Rite and the Antiochian Western Rite. Domination and harassment from other parties is mostly what makes us Western Rite Orthodox come here - hoping at the least to defend against (yet again) more attacks, misrepresentations, or to tie up our thinly-spread resources on controversial argumentation. Aristibule
Aristibule has it just right. This is private opinion and does not accurately represent anyone's views. This advocacy and private opinion simply has no place on OrthodoxWiki. Incidentally, Aristibule would be a great Sysop for WR matters; he's proven his knowledge and fairness throughout. (See the discussion section of any WR article, or how he has set the record straight on William Henry Francis Brothers' legacy.) --Willibrord 17:58, August 2, 2008 (UTC)
I'd be putting some of it in Western Rite in the Nineteenth Century or Western Rite in the Twentieth Century articles (the bits that aren't there already, anyway), but a lot of it is not universally accepted (thinking of the the 'catastrophist' and 'developmental' positions) and would make very good opinion pieces, rather than encyclopaedia articles, IMHO. I think you may be right about the WR Sysop, though... — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 00:24, July 19, 2008 (UTC)

I really don't like the idea of tearing apart the article. The two schools of thought are quite common throughout every text that discusses the schism from an Orthodox perspective.

Er... well, it seemed like a good title. I was trying to explain the existence of Western Rite people in the Old Calendarists, but that might make a more confusing title.... "Philosophy of Western Rite Old Calendarism"? But then that would immediately make developmentalists mad at catastrophists... *sigh* well, I tried.

On another note I vote for Fr Lev to be a Sysop (though he punished me on this article on the French Church thing). He seems to be balanced and knows this stuff. With respect to some of the other vocal WR people (not naming names) I notice a sort of "across the board" desire to control the flow of information rather than disseminate it, which I've seen in other places. That mentality should have no place in an encyclopedia. --JosephSuaiden 00:28, July 19, 2008 (UTC)

I think perhaps a Western Rite historical thought article (or something like that) might be useful, if only because the majority of this material does not bear directly on the Old Calendarist WR in its content. (It informs what they do, to be sure, but so does the material in the Western Rite article itself, etc.)

It's fine to disseminate information, but on OrthodoxWiki, that information is to be disseminated in an encyclopedic manner, which includes proper categorization and organization but also includes describing the value judgments of various notable groups rather than advocating them.

It is true that the mainstream churches which have a WR (Antioch, Moscow) are going to be presented as the mainstream on OW, but that does not mean that every viewpoint that someone has within those churches is going to be presented as The Truth. They should be presented in descriptive, not prescriptive or advocacy terms.

Please keep in mind the policy on controversial topics and original research. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:35, July 19, 2008 (UTC)

Russian Orthodoxy and Western Rite

The Russian Orthodox Western Rite outside of Europe did not go to the Ukrainians, it went to ROCOR with Mount Royal monastery. The misunderstanding may center around Francis Brothers - who was an Old Catholic bishop who got consecration in the 'Living Church', and was later received by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1962 as a priest. He left Orthodoxy within a year, and began to operate as an independent Old Catholic bishop after that time. Mount Royal monastery stayed with Orthodoxy, and did not follow Brothers. Aristibule

I didn't go into that here,however Metropolitan William did not claim to be Old Catholic, but Orthodox by the time of his death. He left the MP because he did not trust going to Soviet Russia to be ordained a Bishop. Those communities later joined the Milan Synod. --JosephSuaiden 20:48, July 18, 2008 (UTC)

You've been misinformed. Brothers did claim to be Old Catholic - from the time he left his priesthood in the Russian Orthodox Church, until his death - as the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Old Catholic Church in America. He had already gone to Soviet Russia before when he was 'consecrated' by the Living Church movement. Within a year of being received into Orthodoxy by Bp Dositheus (Russian Orthodox - not 'Living Church'), he left to perform Old Catholic consecrations as an Old Catholic bishop: unaware he had been elected as a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. The leadership passed to Dom Augustine (Whitfield) who took the body into ROCOR - where it remains to this day. 'Metropolitan-Archbishop Brothers' most interesting activity was in Ecumenicism: where he supported the claims and ministry of "Father Divine", as well as Billy Graham. The only contact with Orthodoxy he ever had was the one year he was a priest of Mount Royal under Bishop Dositheus. His 'communities' that joined the Milan Synod were Old Catholic, and never had Orthodox orders. The only community that he was ever associated with that became Orthodox was Mount Royal - and its former members (including novices) are to this day either still in ROCOR, the MP, or with the Antiochians. It helps to have access to archives - and the people who lived through it.You might find some illumination here: http://sourcebook.oldcatholichistory.org/index.php?name=Sections&req=viewarticle&artid=75&page=1

 Aristibule

Since we are currently locked in a debate about the current status of certain members of our Churches that are living I would venture to say that neither of us is acting objectively.--JosephSuaiden 20:17, August 2, 2008 (UTC)

France?

I don't know why the Orthodox Church of France is mentioned in this article; they aren't Old Calendar. --Fr Lev 04:28, April 28, 2008 (UTC)

France

I was under the impression that they were at one point on the Old Calendar-- since it appears one of their American parishes uses the Old Calendar. That said, their history is very much tied into the history of the Russian Church Abroad as the ROCOR was beginning a period of deeper isolation from official Orthodoxy, which nurtured a catastrophist position.--JosephSuaiden 12:57, May 2, 2008 (UTC)

I believe that France was New Calendar even while under the protection of Archibsihop (Saint) John Maximovitch and ROCOR. They were not the only ones in ROCOR using the New Calendar. More controversially, the Church of France follows the Western Paschalion. No parishes of the French Church in France are Old Calendar. The fact that there is an American parish that observes the Old Calendar is idiosyncratic, so I don't think France has a place in this article. --Fr Lev 13:19, May 2, 2008 (UTC)

You may well be right, Father. I will check the history, and if this is the case, I think at the least that should be noted in every instance of the French Church's mention in the article as soon as humanly possible. I am loath to remove reference to them altogether, because the ideological stance of the French Church as against the stance of the more "mainline" Western rite groupings matches more the thinking that is found in Milan and ROCOR Sarum parishes (what I call "catastrophic"), which do use the Old Calendar. (However, it should be noted that in those same circles I have heard the argument adduced that even before the schism, the French Church was using a pre-schism Roman Rite.) I may well be misreading them, however, and am open to correction. --Suaiden 15:48, May 4, 2008 (UTC)

As of yesterday, I did ask the priest of L'ECOF in America if what you said was correct. I have corrected the page accordingly. --Suaiden 00:23, May 15, 2008 (UTC)

ROCOR and ECOF

This is grossly inaccurate: "In Europe, the ROCOR's role in the formation of the Church of France is undisputed, as the Church's existence was blessed by St John of Shanghai and San Francisco. However, the majority of the Church of France's parishes in France are on the New Calendar." 1. The Church of France was established in 1936 by Moscow. It was over two decades before St John became the archpastor for ECOF. 2. I know of NO parish in ECOF (in France) that uses the Old Calendar. --Fr Lev 00:35, May 15, 2008 (UTC)

It is possible to just correct it.... L'ECOF had no Bishop until St John of Shanghai, and therefore couldn't perpetuate itself. As for the calendar, that was just a mistake. Will update accordingly.... --Suaiden 19:54, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

Updated. --Suaiden 19:58, May 16, 2008 (UTC)

It is not correct to say that the Church of France had no bishop until Archbishop (Saint) John (Maximovitch). The Church of France was under the PAtriarchate of Moscow, which has bishops. There is one and only one priest under the omophorion of the bishop of the Orthodox Church of France who uses an Old Calendar reckoning of the date, but I'm not sure this is what is conveyed by saying he is onl the Old Calendar. He follows the calendar of the Church of France, which is Western, only he observes this Western calendar 13 days after everyone else. In any event, the existence of one priest being given permission to so reckon the calendar doesn't warrant including France in this article. --Fr Lev 20:13, July 18, 2008 (UTC)

Relevance of text to title

I reassert that considerable amounts of this article have nothing to do with the specific issue of the Western Rite and Old Calendarists. There are five sections to this article:

  • Introduction - Mostly on topic.
  • Difference in Mindset Among Western Rite Orthodox - Should be its own article.
  • Suitability of Definitions - See above.
  • History - The line about Overbeck is relevant to the previous section; the remainder is (or should be) covered in the history of Western Rite articles.
  • Ecumenism and the Western Rite - Badly named, and needing an full rewrite. There's a lot of prejoratives, in addition to discussion of 'Mainstream' Orthodox Churches, which should be, at most, peripherally in the article, if at all.
  • "Catastrophist" Thought and Orthodox Traditionalism - Should be tied to the 'Difference in Mindset Among Western Rite Orthodox' article.

I posit that this article should be two articles - one talking about WR and Old Calendarists (which would include ROCOR pre-reunification, but not post), the other talking about different viewpoints on the Great Schism. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 05:19, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

Should there, perhaps, be some form of documentation to his claims, as well? As Aristibule points out, this is both factually wrong and representative only of his own opinion. --Willibrord 20:15, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I am providing more documentation to my claims than you are aware. I admit I was off by five years, but unlike Aristibule, I can admit when a document written by Synod was actually written by Synod, not trying to blame everything on HTM.--JosephSuaiden 20:28, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

THANK YOU! This was extremely constructive. I would be glad to try to see such a "split" occur if it would make this more useful to the wiki. I will look over "Ecumenism" section to see what can be done with it. (looking over it now, I can't find too much opinion, but much that can be seen as such without actual proof -- saying the MP abandoned the Western rite without proof seems opinionated- open to suggestions). Thank you very much. --JosephSuaiden 05:26, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I know that most discussion boards work differently, but OW general practise has been that everything under a header is written chronologically - note the 'thank you' para now doesn't relate to what it used to. The reason for this is simple - it means that other people can follow the discussion (right now it's very difficult to follow, which is why it's just been the two people involved).

If you feel that something is, although hypothetically possible, just plain unlikely, there is a template that you can insert into the text: {{citation}}, which will pop up with a nice "citation needed". If there's no documentation after, say, a week, then one can legitimate pulling it down without revert wars. And, if there's documentation, link to it or use Wiki's in-text referencing with footnotes - ideally to a document that is online, but if it's not online then we probably can't do much about that. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 21:47, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I haven't had to say this before, but my personal philosophy is that 10 reverts inside an hour is, well, unsane. I'm not worried about seeming like I'm taking sides because I figure that there's a 50/50 chance that either side's view will stay on the page (for now).
Please cite your documented evidence. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 22:00, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I cited, in this talk page (I still don't know how to footnote), an issue of a newsletter produced at Synod by Father George-- later Bp Gregory (Grabbe) -- that included the ROCOR 1978 resolutions. Since then, I have been answered with personal opinions. I've not stated my opinion on it, but simply noted its existence. I was told it was "ROAC point of view" (because I took it off an archive run by ROAC of all the newsletters from the 70's onward) but have not been given a single documented proof that these minutes were forgeries. Then I was told HTM forged it. By contrast, every member of ROCOR received these informational newsletters which contained Synodal archives and other news stories from Synod.

The reason this is being "covered up" is simply because the new "official story" of Christminster is that they were connected to Mt Royal which came to ROCOR in '75, and then in 1993 were blessed to move. The real story is that Fr Augustine left ROCOR under pressure after 1978, went to the Church of France and other places and the real *official* beginning of Christminster is 1993.

However, cover-ups have no place in encylopedias.--JosephSuaiden 22:10, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

The citations Joseph Suaiden provided are circular - the 1979 purported decision was never acted upon and are believed to be spurious (as Bishop-Elect John R. Shaw has written elsewhere online.) The burden of proof is rather with the claim that the ROAC document was both a good translation, and accurately reflects the actual decisions of the ROCOR synod. Fr. Augustine, however, never left ROCOR - which is why Dom James was able to join him back East and found Christminster in 1993. Mount Royal was in Woodstock with the MP in 1962-63, NYC with the MP from 1963-1975, and in NY and a succession of other places from 1975-1988. Fr. Augustine was still with ROCOR (see his article "Valid Orders" in the ROCOR publication "Orthodox America" Issue 88, Vol. IX, No. 8, March, 1989 - the year of his retirement to Florida. http://www.roca.org/OA/88/88n.htm ) This isn't a 'new' story, but simply the continuous story. The documentation exists - but it isn't all online. The fact that someone can pop up some websites, and make various new claims doesn't make it documentation. Aristibule

"And in NY and a succession of other places from 1975-1988" is exactly my point. By 1979, he was NOT recognized at Synod. Bp Gregory did not even regard his existence, let alone his membership in Synod. You are pointing over a gap of 11 years-- and have not even regarded the fact that in practice the dictate was followed. The fact that Fr John thinks EVERYTHING from the Sorrowful Epistles to the Anathema against Ecumenism was ghostwritten by HTM is not relevant to the fact that the official ROCOR position, openly stated, was that Western rite was banned in '78, and I do not deny that this prohibition was relaxed later. You are attesting to the factuality of this article, not the reverse. --JosephSuaiden 22:36, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

P.S. Please cite what your argument that the "ROAC translation" (again, made at Synod in ROCOR by the secretary of the Synod a decade before ROAC existed, and while ROAC's primate was with the Moscow Patriarchate) of the Synodal decisions were never accepted with a Synodal document attesting to the same. Thanks. --JosephSuaiden 22:43, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

I don't have an interest in the Old Calendarist issues here, but I do want to say that I was active in the Church of France in America from late 1992 on, and served as the bishop's vicar for America beginning in early 1993. No one connected to Mt Royal, including Dom Augustine, was in any way connected to the Church of France at that time or since. --Fr Lev 22:58, August 3, 2008 (UTC)

The 11 years in question were 1978-1989. --JosephSuaiden 23:04, August 3, 2008 (UTC)


A lot of the dispute seems to me to be about whether the extant minutes are valid minutes (or something along those lines). Remember, OW is able to describe an issue without taking sides in it (e.g. 'the extant minutes say x, but objections from name have been recorded regarding problem with extant minutes).
An official website is a valid resource, no matter who runs it, but it does have limitations. It doesn't matter if (to use the pertinent example) Suaiden is the webmaster of the ROAC website, if official things are on the ROAC website, then we can cite it - but that only goes towards proving that ROAC puts these ideas forward - but that doesn't, in and of itself, make it correct (and the same is true of ROCOR, AWRV, etc). If there is a dispute amongst official sources, then I see no other course for OW than to document the claims on both sides in as NPOV a manner as possible.


Just a point of order: they are not 'extant minutes', they were a supposed translation produced by HTM-Boston, which were disavowed by members of the Synod. Fr. Averky (of blessed memory) of Jordanville told me some years ago that Gregory (Grabbe) did remove Fr. Augustine's name from the directory for ROCA "on his own initiative". It was not something accepted by the Synod, which is why he was still a priest under Bp. Hilarion (Kapral) after Gregory (Grabbe) had left ROCOR. But, no one has ever claimed (not the least Fr. Augustine) that he had left ROCOR. Documenting all 11 years is unnecessary: he was ROCOR in 1979, and still ROCOR in 1989 - and he didn't have to be 'received back'. The same happened with Fr. James of Christminster - his name is till not on the 'directory' of ROCOR, but he is under a ROCOR bishop, and celebrates with a ROCOR antimins. This is the same history and traditions I was taught from 1999 on: both by clergy, monks, and laymen who were either connected with Jordanville, HTM before it left ROCOR, and the various ROCOR WRITE works. It has often been the case that Western Rite works in the Russian church were not listed in the Russian directories (used by Russian laity) - as the Western rite works were either small monastic works, or tasked with missions: not chaplaincy to the Russians. Not being in the directory doesn't mean you aren't in the Church: having the bishop still visit, and giving an antimins: that does. The Suaiden new version stands everything on its head I've *ever* heard from any ROCOR clergy. (And yes, as Fr. Lev says, Mount Royal and Dom Augustine were not connected with L'ECOF.) Joseph Suaiden's wish for a document opposing the ROAC document isn't going to happen - the tendency is to ignore bodies like ROAC. And again, most documentation isn't online. And yes, what Bishop-Elect Fr. John R. Shaw knows about the attempt to hijack ROCOR by HTM is relevant - as the unsuccessful attempt to get rid of Fr. Augustine, and the fake 'ban' on Western rite show (for that matter, Fr. Ambrose (Young) has also written extensively on this attempt by HTM, wherein there was much published in the name of ROCOR that wasn't ROCOR speaking. Notice - you can't find that 1979 'document' on the ROCOR website: you have to go elsewhere to dig it up? An official website may be a valid website for the organization it represents: but not necessarily when speaking of other bodies. And, just because a resource isn't online doesn't mean that it shouldn't be reflected. Aristibule
If I have to say it 50 times, this is not a ROAC document, because when it was written there was no ROAC.
You say the ban is "fake". Prove it. The document I am citing was distributed to every single priest of the ROCOR when it was printed. Where is there a public retraction of this on part of the declarations made at Synod in 1978, NOT 1979?
Aristibule is asking me to accept his propositions on faith. I was about to get the ROCOR directories for the period and now he is admitting neither priest was in them, but they were really "part of Synod anyway". How do we know? We know otherwise because of documentation. And if we have to go there due to the question of Fr Augustine, we will.
None of the newsletters were put up because none of them were computerized documents. Early versions of the Synod sites cited some of the information, but no one attempted to put up all the documentation until it was possible-- but then it became inconvenient to the purpose of union. But this is neither here nor there.
That would be fair enough if that was a "ROAC" position-- but it isn't! The "ROAC" page in question the document is listed from is an archive of the official newsletters of Bp Gregory (Grabbe) at Synod known as the "NEWSLETTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AND FOREIGN RELATIONS" and the unofficial newsletters of Matushka Anastasia (Shatiloff) known as "Church News" from 1975 to 2005. The documents are not altered, but simply .pdf copies of the original typewritten and xeroxed files and are the same documents sent out to the clergy from Synod, which any honest ROCOR priest from the time would easily admit (whether he had a high opinion of them or not is another matter altogether). As I pointed out repeatedly, the ROAC did not exist in any form when these documents were written, so they can't be called "ROAC documents", and are listed on the document archive under "HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad". If Aristibule wishes to claim they were altered (which he isn't-- he is claiming they were written by HTM) then I ask him to demonstrate it. But since he has simply tried to delete the reference, I am a little confused as to how I can prove the reference is really a ROCOR source. If I get an identical copy from a ROCOR priest and scan it, can't it simply be said that I am "copying the ROAC document", to the point of the absurd?
There are 24 declarations of that Synod meeting in 1978. Almost 10 involve actions with Bishops. Did HTM simply make that all up? Were they responsible for the glorification of Blessed Xenia which was the first declaration of the meeting? --JosephSuaiden 23:32, August 3, 2008 (UTC)
Disclaimer: I have no way to know how to interpret the claims made by Joseph and Aristibule since I am ignorant of the history of the WRITE and ROCOR. However, I am concerned with the idea expressed here and elsewhere online that HTM managed to carry out some kind of all-encompassing conspiracy to control, edit, and manipulate all information emanating out to the public in some attempt to control the Synod, in order to do various nefarious things that the Russian bishops just would have not otherwise done. Does anyone have any concrete evidence for this assertion? What did Fr Alexy Young write about it and where can we find these writings, and why should we consider him a trustworthy source on HTM considering his known affinity for Platina, who were engaged in a dispute with HTM all throughout the 1970's? Where are the responses by others to HTM from the 1970's against these attempts? Making this blanket claim seems to suggest that the entire episcopate of ROCOR was too ignorant, feeble, brainwashed, or misinformed to handle this monastery as it carried out this massive campaign throughout the 1970's. I'd like to see some concrete proof of this claim that HTM was involved in all of this.
I am also confused why this keeps being referred to as a ROAC document when it is merely hosted on a ROAC site.--Anastasios 00:02, August 4, 2008 (UTC)


A private message from the ROCOR priest corrected me on one matter: it was not Bp Gregory (Grabbe) that removed Fr. Augustine's name from the directory. It was Fr. Gregory Williams of HTM-Boston (without Synodal permission). I also have personal accounts of ROCOR clergy visiting Mount Royal in 1984 and it being ROCOR, and again Bp. Hilarion serving Western Rite Vespers there again in the late 1980s. Private interviews, emails, letters - are all material that may be cited according to any style manual that I know of. AFAIK, it was only the one matter of the Western Rite that appeared in that 'translation' out of HTM that was disavowed by members of the Synod actually present at that meeting. Aristibule

How incredibly convenient! Now Fr Gregory Williams (who was not part of HTM-Boston and did not leave ROCOR until the union of 2007) "removed the names from the directory" and Bishop Gregory Grabbe didn't recognize him. All of this was controlled by HTM. You realize St John of Kronsdadt Press produced the OFFICIAL directory of the ROCOR until 2006 (AND the quoted page on Father Augustine that you cited)?

Can you prove Fr Gregory was under HTM at all? No. He did not leave in 1986, and was not part of HOCNA at all.

But you have loads of "personal accounts". How nice.

And AMAZINGLY, when confronted with the ugly possibility that by simply brushing off the Synodal declarations as "written by HTM", you ascribed the glorification of St Xenia of Petersburg to HTM, you decide to note that they "snuck in a declaration" which was "disavowed by the members of the Synod" with NO PROOF, NO CITATIONS, AND NO SIGNATURES. I have already accepted the possibility (not the proof, as you've provided none) that Fr Augustine rejoined the Synod in '89, so why would Bp Hilarion showing up there around that time to receive him be relevant? And how were all these people involved? Maybe they were all secretly in ROAC, which didn't exist then....--JosephSuaiden 00:00, August 4, 2008 (UTC)

No one said that all of the material translated was not representative of the Synod's decisions - just that one item that ROCOR clergy have maintained was snuck in. Having to cite 'common knowledge' is unnecessary: this has all been common knowledge in ROCOR since before my time (beginning in 1999). The idea that the Synod was 'too feeble', is contrary to what was stated: HTM made an attempt, but did not succeed - WRITE stayed in ROCOR, and HTM left. A few online sources as related to the Western Rite in ROCOR, and the effects of the Panteleimonites on it are available - here is one: Bishop Elect Fr. John R. Shaw on https://listserv.indiana.edu/cgi-bin/wa-iub.exe?A2=ind0607A&L=orthodox&P=R1049&D=1&O=D&m=54423 But, back to the question: why the need to be so shrill in the argument - to create straw men e.g., "denying 24 declarations ..from 1978" when that was not stated: simply that the translation was produced by HTM (and was not official), and that the item on the Western Rite produced in that translation was not recognized by members of the Synod. More ridiculous is the attempt to say some living clergy were in an 'on again/off again' relationship with their bishops: when both those clergy and bishops still living remember only continuity. Aristibule

You've still cited NOTHING that demonstrates that the ROCOR document produced was an HTM forgery. To the contrary, you now admit that everything in the document was ROCOR's, save one declaration. (At least you aren't pretending that Metr Valentine of Suzdal wrote it.) The quote from Fr John Shaw did not say HTM "stuck that in" in the link you provided at all; for that matter, he says Metr Philaret didn't care about the Western rite (which wasn't true), that two Bishops in the Synod were supporters of the Western Rite (when Bp Gregory was actually an ardent support of the Western Rite at one time), and nothing related to 1978. To my knowledge Fr John has never said anything about the 1978 document and were he to do so at your urging it would frankly look disingenuous.

You also have no proof that HTM translated the documents when Bp Gregory (Grabbe) was perfectly capable of doing so himself and have not even provided a past assertion that this meeting was translated by HTM. As for "straw men", what would you call a repeated reference to a document you now *admit* is ROCOR as a "ROAC document", to the point of trying to fool a SysOp? Would you care to mention that this document was in the posession of every single priest you've cited? As you yourself have noted: certain priests DO in fact have an "on again, off again relationship with their Bishops".

So forgive me if I seem shrill. It does bother me when someone can only admit the truth (that this was not a "ROAC document", but a ROCOR one) once they've created a large series of convolutions. --JosephSuaiden 00:56, August 4, 2008 (UTC)

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