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Determination of the Sobor of Bishops of RTOC Concerning Dogmatic Questions Regarding the Sacraments of World Ecumenical Orthodoxy, the Ecclesiological Heresy of "Cyprianism" and the Anathematizing of the Heresy of "Sergianism"

Both in terms of canonicity and confession of Faith, the Second Sobor of Bishops of the RTOC, testifies to the complete continuity in its relation to the decisions of the First Holy Sobor of the RTOC held in the year 2008. Specifically, the Sobor confirms the most important of the determinations - "Regarding the Confession of Faith and Ecclesiological Foundations of the Russian True Orthodox Church," which states: "The Russian True Orthodox Church ... following patristic teachings, determines that official World Orthodoxy has fallen away from the Church of Christ and its sacraments are ineffective toward salvation." During the period between Sobors, some clergymen of our Church, who are committed to the heresy of Cyprianism, attempted to reinterpret the relationship of the RTOC to the sacraments of the ecumenists, and to diminish the significance and effectiveness of the anathema of the ROCOR Sobor of Bishops in 1983 regarding ecumenism. Because of this, the Sobor of Bishops underscores that the term "ineffective" in the above determination of the 2008 RTOC Sobor should be strictly understood as "invalid in its fulfillment."

After a careful examination of the teachings of Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropós, which he sets forth in his "Ecclesiological Thesis",* the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church has determined Cyprianism to be an ecclesiological heresy, falling under the anathema of Ecumenism, which was issued by the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1983, and later confirmed by the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1998. It is also the dogmatic determination of the RTOC (in agreement with the determination of the Holy Sobor of 2008: «Regarding the Confession of Faith and the Ecclesiological Foundations of the Russian True Orthodox Church.»). The Sobor of Bishops analyzed the position of other jurisdictions of the TOC toward this heresy and has determined it to be a false teaching of hidden ecumenism – Crypto-Ecumenism.

Regarding the polemics, which took place during the years of 2015-2016, with the schismatic clergy and the laity led by them, the Sobor of Bishops of the RTOC finds itself obliged to testify that this schism was based upon the adherence of those fallen clergy, together with the laity which followed them, to the heresy of Cyprianism. Their main points of disagreement were: the Determination of the Holy Sobor of 2008 – "Regarding the Confession of Faith and Ecclesiological Foundations of the Russian True Orthodox Church," their refusal to recognize the Moscow Patriarchate and "World Orthodoxy" as having fallen away from the Church of Christ with their sacraments deprived of Grace, their refusal to recognize the Orthodox teaching regarding an anathema, and their refusal to recognize Cyprianism as a heresy.

According to their own testimonies, they were unable to overcome the temptation of considering their ordinations as geniune, albeit received from the heretical bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate (which is one of the leaders of the Ecumenical movement). Because of this, the Sobor of Bishops is obliged to remind all that the basis for receiving clergy from the MP into the ROCOR and RTOC was always merely economia, where the person being received must have sincere repentance for receiving ordination from the false hierarchy of the MP.

The Sobor confirms that the heresy of Sergianism is comprehensively and fully condemned by the podvig and witness of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, confessing that: as a teaching this is a heresy of a God-less, God-hating worldy power; as a support to the antichrist – it is as Judas’ betrayal of Christ, and a blasphemy on the Holy Spirit; as a church authority – it is as a neo-Renovationist schism from the Russian Orthodox Church.

For the final liberation from the influence of Sergianism on those received from the Moscow Patriarchate, it is imperative for such to decisively proclaim against the MP an anathema as a medicine to completely free the soul from heresy.

By the decision of the Sobor of Bishops, the drafting of this anathema is entrusted to a specially appointed commission of clergy, to be approved and included in the "Right of Reception" of priests who apply to the RTOC from the Moscow Patriarchate at the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

*Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos "Ecclesiological Thesis, or an Outline of the Doctrine of the Church for the Orthodox, opposing the heresy of Ecumenism."

 
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