САНКТ-ПЕТЕРБУРГСКАЯ и СЕВЕРО-РУССКАЯ ЕПАРХИЯ  arrow V Всезарубежный Собор РПЦЗ arrow V Всезарубежный Собор РПЦЗ.2008г. arrow Статья о V Всезарубежном Соборе Преосвященного Климента епископа Гардинского, почетного гостя Собора


 Высокопреосвященнейший Софроний, архиепископ Санкт-Петербургский и Северо-Русский


братия и сестры
Вы сможете комментировать и публиковать свои статьи


Вспомнить пароль
Нет регистрации? Создать
Благодарим Вас!

RSS Новости


Санкт-Петербургская и Северо-Русская епархия РПЦЗ, архиепископ Софроний









Статья о V Всезарубежном Соборе Преосвященного Климента епископа Гардинского, почетного гостя Собора PDF Напечатать Е-мейл
Отзывы о Соборе
The Participation of the Holy Synod in Resistance
in Important and Historic Events in
 the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
The Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor
and the Election of a New First 
Hierarch, the Consecration of 
a Bishop, and the Glorification 
of Metropolitan Philaret
esponding to an official invitation, dated September 8/21, 2008, 
by His Eminence, Bishop Agafangel of Tauris and Odessa, our 
Holy Synod decided to take part in the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor of our 
Sister Church, the Russia Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) in New 
York, as well as the Glorification of the Blessed Metropolitan Philaret († November 8, 1985 [Old Style]), third First Hierarch of the ROCA. 
Our Synod appointed a delegation comprised of Their Graces, Bishop Ambrose of Methone and the author of this report, Bishop Klemes 
(Clement) of Gardikion, Secretary of the Holy Synod.
The two Bishops from Greece arrived in the late afternoon of Saturday, November 2/15, 2008, in New York City, U.S.A., where they 
were met by the Very Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow, a most 
amiable cleric. Afterwards, having registered at the Astoria Hotel, we were taken to the beautiful, contrition-evoking, and spacious Church of 
the Holy Trinity in Astoria, where, in keeping with the Slavic Typikon, 
the Sunday Service of Resurrection Matins was already being chanted. Father Vsevolod served with the Reverend Father Victor Dobrov, a 
distinguished and well-educated clergyman, and Deacon Dimitri, in the 
presence of a small group of faithful, who showed us great affection 
and respect.
Father Vsevolod and his Matushka, Irene, were extremely hospitable and helpful, and with youthful exuberance (for their ages) took 
care to manage harmoniously all of the details of the program for our 
• On Sunday morning, November 3/16, 2008, we attended services at the same Church, standing on the Kleros, where we also joined 
the delegation sent from our Sister Church in Bulgaria, comprised of 
two Priests, Fathers Valentin and Peter, and His Eminence, Bishop Photii’s personal secretary, Mr. Constantine Todorov (former counsellor to 
the Bulgarian Prime Minister). The Divine Liturgy was conducted in an 
unhurried spirit of contrition, in the presence of a large group of faithful, many of whom communed.
At the Agape Meal which followed in the parish hall, there was an 
exchange of touching comments with regard to the presence of the Hierarchs from Greece.
Afterwards, we went by foot to venerate the surrounding Greek 
Churches; that is, the Church of St. Irene Chrysovalantou and the 
Church of St. Markella.
Later, at the request of His Grace, Bishop Ambrose, we visited 
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.
* * *
On Monday, November 4/17, 2008, we went by automobile to 
Nanuet, in the vicinity of Spring Valley, about thirty-five kilometers 
from New York City, and checked in at the Comfort Inn Hotel, where 
the working sessions of the impending  Sobor were also to take 
place. We owe, in this regard, a 
particular debt to the Reverend 
Mother Agapia (Stephanopoulos), 
who was our constant driver, providing for all of our transportation needs.
In the afternoon, we travelled to the Church of St. Sergius 
of Radonezh, at the Tolstoy Farm Foundation, near Valley Cottage, reasonably near to our hotel, where 
we attended the Panikhida (i.e., the Memorial Service) for the repose 
of the souls of the previous First Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox 
Church Abroad, Metropolitans Anthony, Anastassy, Philaret, and Vitaly. 
The Service was conducted by His Eminence, Bishop Andronik of Ottawa and North America, along with four Presbyters and his Protodeacon.
From there, with the very energetic and likeable Bishop Sophrony of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia as our driver, we went to a local Chinese restaurant for a light evening meal, and then returned to the 
Church for Vespers and Matins for the following day.
* * *
On Tuesday morning, November 5/18, 2008, after Liturgy at the 
St. Sergius Church, which was celebrated by His Eminence, Bishop Andronik and the Pastor of the parish, the brother-in-the-flesh of His Eminence, the Reverend Father Gregory Kotlyarov (who is well known for 
his simplicity and kindness), as 
well as three Deacons, His Eminence, Bishop Agafangel of Tauris and Odessa, President of the 
Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Administration, arrived, along 
with his Assistant Bishop, George 
of Bolgrad, Secretary of the Russian Synod.
The Russian Hierarchs, 
Bishops Agafangel, Andronik, 
Sophrony, and George, were clothed in the Mandyas, after which they 
celebrated a Molieben, thus inaugurating prayerfully the official opening of the Fifth All-Diaspora  Sobor of the ROCA. All of those who 
were in attendance were blessed by aspersion with Holy Water.His Grace, Bishop Ambrose of Methone read in English 
a text which had been especially 
prepared for the occasion and 
which was also read in Russian 
by Protodeacon Basil Yakimov. It 
read as follows:
“Your Eminences, Reverend 
Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in 
“First, I would like to extend to you the warmest greetings and 
congratulations on behalf of our ailing Metropolitan, the Most Reverend Cyprian, on behalf of the Acting President of our Synod, Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi, and on behalf all of the Hierarchs of our Synod, 
who have been in full communion with the ROCA since 1994. Bishop Klemes of Gardikion, Secretary of the Holy Synod, and I are here as 
representatives of the Synod. We pray that our Merciful Savior, through 
the intercessions of His Immaculate Mother, will bless your working 
sessions with peace, harmony, and wisdom.
“One year has passed since the lamentable decision of the majority of the ROCA to open communion with the Moscow Patriarchate. We, 
in the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Greece, did all that was possible from our side, as a Sister Church, to attempt to forewarn our Russian brothers and to avert this catastrophe, but unfortunately in vain. I 
need not refer at length to this matter, since you, of course, have followed these tragic events more closely than we and know better the 
motives behind this desertion of the traditional confession of the ROCA 
against the dual evils of ecumenism and Sergianism. The result is obvious to all: repeated instances of concelebration on the part of Metropolitan Hilarion and his followers with New Calendarists and ecumenists, 
and its speedy absorption into so-called world Orthodoxy.
“However, glory to God, not all was lost; indeed, one of the Bishops, the Most Reverend Agafangel, with a portion of the clergy and 
faithful, rejected the union (with Moscow) and decided anew to pursue 
the good confession of the ROCA, which had been upheld for so many 
years. It was for us a great joy that our Church, which received Episcopal Consecrations in 1960 from the ROCA, was able to repay this debt 
by helping (that is, our Synod in Resistance) with the Consecration of 
new Hierarchs for the ROCA in Odessa, in November this past year. 
Now, and once again at the invitation of His Eminence, Bishop Agafan-gel, we have come here as observers from your Sister Church in Greece, 
at this important gathering.
“This Sobor was convened to establish a base for the reorganization of the ROCA, and we realize that many problems, requiring solutions, await you at every level. In all of this, we bring to you the support 
of our prayers, our love, and whatever practical help that we can offer.
“However, aside from the many subjects of a spiritual and administrative kind with which you are called to deal, there also looms 
the Glorification of Metropolitan Philaret, which is to take place this 
next weekend. Having had the joy of meeting him and having taken his 
blessing in numerous instances, this is an event of special significance 
for me. However, far more important is the place which he holds in the 
hearts of all traditional Orthodox Christians as a Confessor, who saw 
and expressed with such clarity the dangers which ecumenism poses 
for Orthodoxy.
“I can attest to the great enthusiasm with which the Orthodox 
Greeks read, in the early 1970s, his ‘Sorrowful Epistles’ to the Orthodox leaders in the ecumenical movement. His words still maintain the 
same force that they then contained. In the minds 
of all of us, there is no doubt as to the reaction that 
he would have had to the eventuality of an unconditional union with the Moscow Patriarchate. It would 
have been an unreserved rejection; thus, you have 
been called to preserve his legacy.
“We thank His Eminence, Bishop Agafangel 
and the organizers of this  Sobor for their invitation for us to be present here. It is an honor for both 
of us and a pleasure that we are able to take part 
in your work. We pray that the luminaries of the 
ROCA, St. John of San Francisco and the Blessed Metropolitan Philaret, will enlighten you, such that you may arrive at decisions that are 
pleasing to God for the progress of His Church. Christ is in our midst!
“† Bishop Ambrose of Methone”
* * *
Subsequently, in front of the Church, photographs were taken of 
all of those clergy participating in the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor.
• Around twelve noon, the working sessions of the Synod began in the smartly-appointed Conference Hall of the Comfort Inn Hotel in Nanuet, New York. A total of forty-two delegates were present 
from the dioceses of the ROCA, as well as the specially-invited observers; that is, the two Bishops from Greece and the two Priests and one 
layman from Bulgaria. His Eminence, Bishop Agafangel assumed the presidency of the Synod 
and Archpriest George 
Petrenko the role of 
moderator. The Secretariat was made up of four 
persons, in addition to 
a female translator who 
provided a simultaneous 
English rendering of the 
working sessions, since 
the primary language 
of the Sobor was Russian. In general, from an organizational point of 
view, the Sobor left a very satisfactory impression.
It is also worthy of note that during the first day of the working 
sessions, Bishop Stefan of Trenton, from the True Orthodox Church of 
Russia (Archbishop Tikhon), was present as an observer.
After a prayer before the Holy Gospel, the Precious Cross, and 
the Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, Bishop George of Bolgrad read 
an opening statement, and proposals were made regarding the program, 
the agenda, and the manner of conducting the working sessions of the 
Next, Bishop Agafangel delivered his keynote address, in which 
he emphasized the necessity of preserving the ROCA in spiritual freedom from the dangers of Sergianism and ecumenism, for the continuation of the legacy of its predecessors, which was relinquished by the 
majority of the ROCA through union with the Moscow Patriarchate on 
May 4/17, 2007. He reported on the proceedings of the Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Administration (PSEA) of the ROCA from May 
of 2007 to date, in preparation for the present Sobor, with a view to obtaining its approval thereof, and also mentioned the impending Glorification of Metropolitan Philaret. He insisted that the PSEA categorically reject the union achieved in May of 2007 and appealed, at the same 
time, for the maintenance of a spirit of conciliarity. He referred with 
gratitude to the participation of our Holy Synod in the Consecration of 
Bishops for the ROCA a year ago, to those coming to the ROCA from 
other Orthodox groups, and to the recent reception of clergy from the 
Catacomb Church in Russia.
Following Bishop Agafangel’s address, Father Valentin, one of 
the Bulgarian Priests, read a message of greetings from His Eminence, 
Bishop Photii of Triaditza, First Hierarch of the Old Calendar Church 
of Bulgaria, in which he expressed his good wishes for the success of 
the Sobor for the benefit of Orthodoxy in general.• The first main topic of the 
Sobor was the recent reception, 
through the laying on of hands 
(cheirothesia), of Catacomb 
Bishops, together with their clergy and flocks in Russia. Many 
of the participants took the floor 
and conflicting views were heard, 
which views were expressed, at 
times, with vehemence and emotion. The Hierarchs gave their assurance that the Catacomb Bishops had been received, after proper scrutiny and with circumspection, in a spirit of love, unity, and oikonomia; 
however, some of those in attendance registered their intense disagreement and opposition to this move.
Finally, two votes were taken, and both the reception of the Catacomb Bishops and the remainder of the transactions of the PSEA, as 
set forth in Bishop Agafangel’s address, were approved by a comfortable majority.
• The second main topic of the Sobor was the organization of the 
ROCA. Bishop Agafangel raised the issue of whether a First Hierarch 
should be elected at all, while stating, at the same time, that under the 
present conditions this was perhaps not a matter of urgency and that 
they could continue as they were.
This gave rise to another heated discussion; the delegates at the 
Sobor, who took turns in coming to the podium, expressed a multitude 
of conflicting opinions.
Finally, a vote was taken, by which, with twenty-three votes for 
and nineteen against, it was resolved that a new First Hierarch and Metropolitan should be elected. This concluded the first day of the working 
sessions of the Sobor.
Afterwards, we went to the Church of St. Sergius for the services 
of Vespers and Matins for the following day.
* * *
• On Wednesday, November 6/19, 2008, Bishop Sophrony celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the St. Sergius Church, with the Priests 
and Deacons, and delivered a short homily.
The working sessions of the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor continued 
at the Comfort Inn Hotel.
The issue of forming a permanent Synod, to function as the supreme administrative body of the ROCA, and thereby dissolving the 
PSEA, was put to a vote and passed. The formation of a parallel advisory body to the Synod, consisting of clerical and lay representatives, was discussed and approved. Eight of the clerical and lay delegates in 
attendance at the Sobor were assigned to membership in this advisory 
In the ballot for the appointment of a First Hierarch and Metropolitan, twenty-two votes were cast for Bishop Agafangel, twelve for Bishop Sophrony, and two each for Bishops Andronik and George. However, since Bishop Agafangel did not receive two-thirds of the votes, as 
required by the Constitution of the ROCA, another ballot was held between the two front runners, twenty-three votes being cast for Bishop 
Agafangel, and fifteen for Bishop Sophrony.
The delegates at the  Sobor congratulated the newly-appointed 
Metropolitan and chanted the  Polychronion in his honor. The Greek 
delegation presented him with a pastoral staff as a token of their profound esteem and love.
• A special session of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA was 
convened forthwith for the formal confirmation of the election of its 
new First Hierarch, Metropolitan Agafangel. The Synod resolved that 
he should bear the title “of New York and Eastern America.” It also elevated Bishops Andronik and Sophrony to the rank of Archbishop and 
extended the title of Bishop George of Bolgrad to “Bolgrad and Bilgorod-Dnistrovskyi”; it also decided on the immediate Consecration of 
Father Igor Hrebinka as Bishop of Washington, following his monastic Tonsure.
After a meal, the working 
sessions of the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor continued with the third 
main topic, concerning relations 
with the Moscow Patriarchate. 
The document in which these relations were defined, and which 
had been in effect in the ROCA 
since 1990, was ratified as the basis for further relations with the 
Moscow Patriarchate, and the Act 
of Communion of the ROCA with the Moscow Patriarchate in May 
2007 was decisively and unanimously rejected.
Father Nikita Grigoriev then delivered a report on the issue of 
so-called Sergianism, which, as is well known, along with that of ecumenism, continues to be a cause of dissension with the Moscow Patriarchate. In this report, Father Nikita provided an in-depth analysis of 
Sergianism and demonstrated in an Orthodox spirit the reasons for its 
rejection.This concluded the second day of the proceedings of the Sobor.
• On Wednesday evening, after the service of Matins for the following day in the Church of St. Sergius, the rite of the elevation of the 
new Metropolitan Agafangel to First Hierarch was celebrated, to the 
acclamations of “Axios!” from the clergy and laity in attendance. The 
new First Hierarch was vested in the appointed light blue Mandyas and 
white Klobuk prescribed by the Russian Typikon.
* * * 
• On Thursday morning, November 7/20, 2008, Metropolitan 
Agafangel concelebrated in the Church of St. Sergius with the Russian 
Hierarchs Andronik, Sophrony, and George, and at the end of the Liturgy the solemn Enthronement of the new First Hierarch took place.
The working sessions of the third day of the Fifth All-Diaspora 
Sobor then continued in the Conference Hall of the Comfort Inn Hotel.
After the minutes of the first day of the Sobor had been read and 
approved, the issue of Sergianism was discussed and a number of interesting viewpoints were heard. Father Nikita Grigoriev’s report was accepted and endorsed.
 The fourth main topic of the Sobor was the Glorification of the 
sainted Metropolitan Philaret († November 8, 1985 [Old Style]), the 
third First Hierarch of the ROCA.
Metropolitan Agafangel gave a speech in support of the Glorification, reminding those present of the incorrupt Relics of the saintly First 
Hierarch, as ascertained in 1998, thirteen years after his repose; his 
holy life and outstanding witness; his miracles; his spiritual eminence; 
his dedication to the Truth of the Faith; his devotion to the Church; and 
also the esteem in which he is held by other Sister Churches.
Before the matter was put to a vote, a variety of views was heard, 
some of them, in fact, expressing a degree of caution regarding the 
hastiness of this Act of Glorification. In 
the end, thirty-two votes were cast in favor of it, with four abstentions. Some of 
the delegates were not present. The Proclamation of Metropolitan Philaret’s sanctity was, as planned, scheduled to take 
place on the weekend in the Holy Trinity 
Church in Astoria, New York.
The moderator of the  Sobor, Father George Petrenko, read the proposed 
Message of the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor, 
a straightforward and succinct document 
written by Metropolitan Agafangel, which was unanimously accepted and 
• After that, another special 
session of the Synod of Bishops 
of the ROCA was convened, with 
the participation of the newly-appointed advisory body of clergy 
and laity, and also of ourselves, 
the two Bishops from Greece, 
concerning the possibility of receiving two Bishops from another ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Russia, 
who have submitted a request to this effect, into the canonical ROCA, 
and the manner of their reception. The Sobor was favorably disposed 
towards this, and positive developments are expected very shortly.
This concluded the third day of the working sessions of the  Sobor.
• In the evening, at the 
end of Matins in the Church of 
St. Sergius, the Service of the 
Great Edict of the Bishop-elect 
of Washington was celebrated. 
His Grace had already been tonsured a monk that afternoon with 
the name “Joseph,” in honor of 
St. Joseph, Metropolitan of Petrograd, one of the New Martyrs of 
 Earlier on, at Vespers for the Feast of the Holy Archangels, Bishop Ambrose took part in the Lite, while Archbishop Andronik presided 
at Matins, in accordance with the Slavic Typikon.
* * * • On Friday morning, November 8/21, 2008, the Feast of the Holy 
Bodiless Powers, Metropolitan Agafangel was the principal celebrant at 
the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Sergius, with the participation of 
Their Eminences, Archbishops Andronik of Ottawa and North America 
and Sophrony of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia and Their Graces, Bishops George of Bolgrad and Bilgorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ambrose of 
Methone, and Klemes of Gardikion, four Priests (Russian, American, 
Canadian, and Bulgarian), and three Russian Deacons. During the Liturgy Bishop Joseph of Washington was consecrated.
The new Hierarch, who delivered a short sermon, was born in 
1932 and settled in the U.S.A. in 1950. He studied at the Theological 
Seminary of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery in Jordanville, New York, and also studied mathematics, education, Russian literature, and modern technology at various universities in America. He 
was a married Priest and has five children. He was ordained Deacon and 
Priest by the holy Metropolitan Philaret in 1967, and served a parish in 
Utica, New York, for more than three decades. At the time of the union 
between the ROCA and Moscow, 
which he did not accept, he was 
serving at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, 
and was compelled by circumstances to found another parish 
in the same city. He is a prudent 
and experienced man, of whom, 
in spite of his advanced age, it is 
expected that he will work for the 
glory of God and for the good of 
His Church.
We were especially gladdened on this day by our meeting with 
Archimandrite Alexis, Abbot of the St. Edward Brotherhood in Brookwood, England (which belongs to the Synod in Resistance), who was 
due to participate in the Glorification of the holy Metropolitan Philaret, 
who ordained him to the Priesthood more than three decades ago.
• At twelve noon, the working sessions of the fourth and final day 
of the Fifth All-Diaspora Sobor continued at the Comfort Inn Hotel.
The minutes of the second and third days of the Sobor were read 
and approved. There was another discussion of Sergianism and a confrontation of the charges against the ROCA, pertaining to events that 
occurred after the union in May of 2007 (regarding the stand of the senescent Bishop Daniel, who also opposed the union, and the canonicity of its Consecrations, etc.). Father Victor Dobrov made a very important 
contribution to the discussion of these subjects.
Bishop George read the Synod’s proposed document concerning 
the reasons for its rejection of the Act of Communion with Moscow of 
May 4/17, 2007. According to this document, the union was rejected: 
(1) because the Moscow Patriarchate continues to participate in the ecumenical movement, which was anathematized by the ROCA in 1983; 
(2) because the terms of union were not endorsed by the Synod of the 
ROCA; (3) because the major points of disagreement, namely, Sergianism and ecumenism, had not been resolved; and (4) because the decisions made by the unionists were contrary to the ecclesiological principles of the ROCA.
The document was put to a vote and unanimously approved by 
Next, various proposals were heard regarding a fixed (or nonfixed) time for the convening of All-Diaspora  Sobors, regarding canonical, pastoral, and educational issues, and also regarding the growth 
of monasticism (Archbishop Sophrony) and the growth of missionary 
work (Father Gregory Williams, who is responsible for the mission in 
Haiti). Metropolitan Agafangel emphasized, inter alia, the need for better communication at a basic level through the organization, for example, of pilgrimages with the Sister Old Calendar Churches of Greece, 
Romania, and Bulgaria.After certain final matters 
had been settled, the Fifth All-Diaspora  Sobor came to an auspicious conclusion, with God’s help, 
amidst prayer and thanksgiving.
* * * 
• That same evening, we, 
the Bishops from Greece, had the 
opportunity to meet in New York, 
albeit for a short time, with His 
Eminence, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna and His Grace, Bishop 
Auxentios of Photike, who were passing through the city. The two Hierarchs of our Exarchate in America had arrived that day by ship on their 
return journey from Europe, after participating in the Patronal Feast of 
the Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina and in the Meeting of our 
Holy Synod, as well as making a trip to Constantinople and Sofia. They 
were going to depart immediately on the following morning for the interior of the United States, since their schedule had changed and they 
would be unable, unfortunately, to take part in the Glorification of the 
holy Metropolitan Philaret, as they had originally planned.
* * * 
• On Saturday morning, November 9/22, 2008, we had the opportunity to go with a number of Russian participants in the Sobor on 
a guided tour of Manhattan, as far as the famous Statue of Liberty, that 
familiar symbol of the U.S.A.
We saw, in brief, Columbia University, the famous Broadway Avenue, old Gothic cathedrals (St. John the Divine and St. Patrick), museums, bridges, parks, Little Italy and Chinatown, Brooklyn, several world-famous thoroughfares (Wall Street and Madison Avenue), the 
stately building housing the Synod headquarters of the ROCA, the site 
of the destruction of the Twin Towers at Ground Zero, etc. Skyscrapers 
dominated the scene, the technology was impressive, but it was bitterly cold!
* * * 
• Late on Saturday afternoon, the Resurrectional Sunday Vigil Service was celebrated in conjunction with the Service to St. Philaret, the newly-revealed Ascetic and Confessor, composed by Archpriest Valery Alexeev of Odessa (who was present), in the Holy Trinity 
Church in Astoria.
Another of our own Synod’s clergy, Father Nicholas Chernjavsky, 
who serves the parish in Rochester, New York, came to the Church to take part in the services. (Mother Agapia [Stephanopoulos], sister of 
the former advisor to President Clinton and now a television news personality, resides at the parish house in Rochester.)
Bishop Joseph of Washington presided at the  Lite in Great Vespers. 
At Matins, before the Polyeleos, the seven Hierarchs present (Agafangel, Andronik, Sophrony, George, Joseph, Ambrose, and Klemes) 
came out from the Altar in full Hierarchical vestments, together with 
the clergy, and the Icon for the Glorification of St. Philaret was carried, 
covered, to a special Proskynetarion. At the appointed time, Metropolitan Agafangel uncovered it, and all present venerated it in prayer, compunction, and joy, magnifying the 
new Saint of God here on earth 
and beseeching mercy, Grace, and 
The Synodal Act of Glorification was read by Archbishop 
Sophrony, and Bishop Ambrose 
read in English a festal salutation 
(“A Message of Gratitude”) written specially for the occasion by His 
Grace, Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi, Acting President of our Holy Synod, 
which was also read in Russian translation. 
“A Message of Gratitude
on the Occasion of the Glorification 
of the Russian Metropolitan Philaret
(† November 8, 1985)
“Your Eminence, Bishop Agafangel (*);
Holy Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox 
Church Abroad; Beloved and venerable brothers and
sisters in Christ:
“We are most profoundly moved in the Holy Spirit on this historic 
day and at this historic moment, at which the sanctity of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret is to be proclaimed with the utmost solemnity and in accordance with ecclesiastical order.
“His Eminence, our much-revered Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Phyle, President of our Holy Synod in Resistance, had the especial joy and honor of knowing the most holy Metropolitan Philaret 
personally.“When St. Philaret reposed 
in 1985, our Metropolitan wrote 
the following words, inter alia, in 
an article dedicated to his memory:
“Metropolitan Philaret, the 
First Hierarch of the ROCA, ‘was 
distinguished in particular for his 
vigorous stand against the panheresy of ecumenism; and his epistles, replete with zeal for Orthodoxy, yet composed with characteristic 
discretion, in which he condemned this heresy and censured its ringleaders, saw the light of publication.’
“In Greece, Metropolitan Philaret has 
always been regarded by all of the anti-ecumenists as ‘a man of great virtue and faith,’
and his first ‘Sorrowful Epistle’ (July 1969) 
was characterized quite correctly as a ‘milestone’; ‘for it was, at the same time, a cry of 
“sorrow,” a searing protest and entreaty, and a 
stratagem for the course of Orthodoxy.’
“In the person of Metropolitan Philaret, 
by the Grace of God, Orthopraxy, the Godpleasing and sanctified life, was united with 
Orthodoxy, the correct and Patristic Confession of the Faith.
“This combination of practice and faith, this great offering of God 
to a Shepherd of the True and Only Church, was also a tremendous gift 
of Our Savior Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, to Orthodoxy at a very crucial 
turning-point in its history.
“Metropolitan Philaret was vouchsafed the precious crown of 
Confession, for he proved worthy of the historic calling and ministry 
that the Divine Comforter entrusted 
to him at his Episcopal Consecration.
“In the person of St. Philaret 
the Confessor, the Hierarchs of our 
Holy Synod venerate with profound 
awareness a contemporary God-bearing Father of our Church, who was 
conspicuous for his boldness, humility, compassion, hope, and love in his 
sacred struggle  against syncretistic ecumenism, as well as so-called Sergianism in Russia, and for immaculate 
“May the Hierarchical intercessions of our Father among the Saints, 
Philaret the Confessor, strengthen, 
guide, and protect the Martyric Russian 
Orthodox Church Abroad in this new 
period of its history, and also all Orthodox anti-ecumenists, until such time as 
we are granted the gift of celebrating a new Sunday of Orthodoxy, a 
Feast of the Restoration of Patristic Orthodoxy, unto the Glory of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, through the Most Blessed Theotokos. Amen!
Phyle, Attica, † Bishop Cyprian of Oreoi,
November 1, 2008 (Old Style) Acting President of the
Holy Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian Holy Synod in Resistance
* Bishop Agafangel had already, in the meantime, been elected Metropolitan of 
the ROCA, and was addressed, at the reading of this text, in his new capacity.
1. ?ρθ?δοξος ?νστασις κα? Mαρτυρ?α, Vol. I, No. 2 (January-March 1986), 
p. 29.
2. ?ρθ?δοξος T?πος, No. 113 (January 1, 1970), p. 1.
3. Ibid.
* * * 
• After venerating the Icon of St. Philaret, the Hierarchs anointed 
themselves with holy oil, while the Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, and 
the large multitude of the People of God were anointed by Metropolitan Agafangel and Archbishop Sophrony.
The compunctious service, which lasted for more than four hours, 
concluded after 9:00 p.m.
* * * 
• On Sunday morning, November 10/23, 2008, a Festal concelebration of the Divine Liturgy was held at the Holy Trinity Church in 
Astoria. Metropolitan Agafangel concelebrated with five Hierarchs (Andronik, Sophrony, George, Ambrose, and Klemes), about thirty Priests, 
and five Deacons. Many Subdeacons and a large crowd of the faithful 
were in attendance.
During the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Agafangel ordained a 
Deacon to serve in a parish in the Boston area.Very many faithful communed from two Chalices.
Prior to the Dismissal, a 
Molieben was served before the 
Icon of St. Philaret, and Metropolitan Agafangel delivered a 
brief festal homily.
• Later on, at noon on Sunday, we went to a banquet hall in 
Astoria for a festal repast, at which the Hierarchs, many clergy, and a 
large multitude of the faithful were present. Bishop Ambrose and Bishop Klemes, among others, delivered congratulatory messages.
The presence of the ailing Metropolitan Paul of America, from 
the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece (Synod of Archbishop Chrysostomos [Kiouses]), who came with some of his clergy to 
this happy event, was a pleasant surprise. We had an opportunity to discuss matters of common interest in a friendly atmosphere.
* * * 
• On Monday, November 11/24, 2008, we once again visited the 
Old Calendar Greek Cathedral of St. Markella in Astoria, from where 
we were driven to the hospital at which Metropolitan Paul is staying for 
the sake of his full recovery. We had another rather amicable meeting, 
in which his Assistant Bishop, Christodoulos of Theoupolis, who arrived at the same time, also took part.
At noon, we had lunch at the home of Father Vsevolod, in Astoria, with Metropolitan Agafangel and Father Gregory Williams. We had 
a friendly conversation and bade a very fraternal farewell to each other, 
hoping for a new meeting in the near future, with God’s will and help.
We departed from New York by air on Monday afternoon (American time) and arrived in Athens on the morning of Tuesday, November 
12/25, 2008 (Greek time).
* * * • The memories that we brought back from all that we experienced, saw, heard, and felt were very positive. There is absolutely no 
substitute for personal contact. We participated in historic events in 
the life of our Sister Church, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad—
events that will be decisive for her future. We experienced the mystery 
of unity and love in a tangible way. We shared with our Russian brethren in their deliberations, their ruminations, and their joys at what is a 
critical, but also joyous, time for them. We communed with them in the 
Mysteries, in a spiritual way and in our hearts. We entered into the mystery of our unity in a way that we had never done before. The legacy of 
the newly-glorified St. Philaret devolves on us, too, with exceptional 
clarity and makes us also responsible for its preservation. We traverse 
the path marked out for us by the golden chain of sanctity down to our 
days. We receive and renew the 
commandment of confession in 
love, and of love in confession of 
the Faith.
May the significant steps 
that have been taken for the better 
synchronization and greater unity of the anti-innovationist body 
of Orthodox anti-ecumenists 
throughout the world be a spark for positive growth and development for the good of Christ’s 
 May our common Father, 
the newly-revealed Saint Philaret, 
the humble Ascetic and Confessor, strengthen us and be an example for us on the path of unity 
and self-dedication, and may he 
intercede for the salvation of all 
those in the Church. Amen!
† Bishop Klemes of Gardikion09/15/2011