The Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church has reached a judgment regarding the union of the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Greece and the Greek Synod in Resistance, having taken place in March, 2014. Having discussed the circumstances of this union, the Synod has come to the following decision:
1. The Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church remains in its position accepting the decisions of the Sobor of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1983, and pays special attention to the declared anathema to the heresy of Ecumenism. The Synod considers the teaching of the Greek Synod in Resistance “An Ecclesiological Thesis, orExposition on the Doctrine of the Church, for the Orthodox Opposed to the Heresy of Ecumenism” (in short –regarding the “sick Mother Church” - the New Calendarist Greek Orthodox Church and those like her,the other Churches of World Orthodoxy)to be a veiled form of ecumenism, or crypto-ecumenism, thereby falling under the anathema of 1983.
2. The Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church considers the decision of the Sobor of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on June 28/ July 11, 1994, (protocol №7) regarding its entry into Eucharistic communion, and the agreement with the ecclesiology of the Synod in Resistance - to be erroneous, as was evidenced during the Sacred Sobor of the Russian True Orthodox Church in 2008: “We reject the existing pernicious opinion that heretics and schismatics are not considered to be fallen-away, but rather are so-called ‘sick members of the Church’ ….” Apparently, the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR in 1994 adopted such a decision because it did not have sufficient familiarity with the given ecclesiology, and because of the influence of certainEcumenically-minded ROCOR bishops, who later went into union with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007.
3. The Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church maintains its position recognizing the previous decisions of the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Greece, chaired by Archbishop Auxentius, and later by Archbishop Chrysostom, which did not recognize the canonicity of the Synod in Resistance, and condemned its ecclesiology as heretical.
4. After studying the published documents compiled during the preparation for union of the Greek Synods, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church does not find in them any mention of repentance by the Synod in Resistance, nor the correction of their former ecclesiology, nor the requirement by the Synod of the TOC of Greece for repentance or correction from the Synod in Resistance. In order to resolve such a dispute, the Synod of the TOC of Greece must either cancel its previous decisions, or the Synod in Resistance must repent. Such silence regarding heretical teaching suggests that the motives for this union were far from the Teachings of the Holy Fathers concerning unity in the Truth. We must be guided by the instruction of our Lord: “But let your communication be, Yeah, yeah;Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of the evil one.” (Matt. 5: 33-37).
5. Taking into account the absence of any announcements revising its earlier decisions by the Synod of TOC of Greece, or any repentance by the Synod in Resistance, despite the other numerous Orthodox-sounding decisions in their joint document, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church considers the union of these synods as a sorrowful event in the history of the Greek Church. The false doctrine and schismcreated by the Synod in Resistance has caused serious damage to the Greek Church, and no less harm to the Russian Church by contributing to the union of the ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate, and the subsequent schism of Bishop Agafangel.
It is with great regret that the Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church declares that the union of the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Greece and the Greek Synod in Resistance gives no cause for celebration, but to the contrary, it is a sad historical event – the fall of the TOC of Greece into union with schismatics and crypto-ecumenists.
False doctrine and schism cannot be ignored or disregarded by True Orthodox Christians. To the contrary, in order to correct a false teaching, we must have a period where awareness, investigation, and repentance can take place.