God Will Reveal Whom to Commemorate
Statement of Hieromonk Sava, Former Cleric of the Russian Spiritual Mission of the ROCOR in Jerusalem
Until recently I hoped that I could pray to God in quiet in a peaceful place, not taking part in arguments and divisions. “It turns out, however, that church life does not stay frozen at zero, but seethes and boils over the point of boiling” (Letter of Hieromartyr St. Joseph of Petrograd to Archimandrite Leo Yegorov). Because of this, I too must say something and not stay on the sidelines of Church life. First of all, however, I pray to Our Lord and God Jesus Christ that my poor words will not scandalize anyone.
As Bishop Agathangel (Pashkovski) does not cease to mention my unworthy name (see the official site of the Russian Church Abroad (A)), I must respond, not to him, as that would be useless, but rather to those who sincerely sorrow over my fate.
There are many lies and deceptions in the actions of Bishop Agathangel, but it is not mine to judge. I will try to speak only of what concerns me personally.
In 1995 I was with Bishop Lazarus (Zhurbenko), and sensing that sooner or later my path would cross that of Bishop Agathangel, I asked, “Can Bishop Agathangel be considered Orthodox?” To this question I was given the unambiguous answer: “No.” Then the canonical reason for the aforementioned Agathangel not being Orthodox was brought forth. As there has never been a conciliar trial concerning this question, and as the respected Bishop Andronik (Kotljarov) has not been allowed to address it, I will say only this, that, basing my actions on the 15thCanon of the First-Second Council, I have never commemorated Bp. Agathangel in the Liturgy. Once only, in 2007, prior to the ordination of Fr. Andronik to the rank of bishop, I had decided to take part in the Liturgy at which the ordination was to take place, although I fervently prayed to God to enlighten me by His providence if this was not His will. Glory to God, Bp. Agathangel himself told me before the Liturgy that I should not serve with them.
After that, he suggested that I create a parish in Kiev, in the community of the provocateur D. Korchinsky, which I decisively rejected. I do not know why Bp. Agathangel put me on his list for his mission to Jamaica. I was never given a summons for this assignment, I was never there, and I never prepared to go.
Let me return for a bit to the 1990’s. At the sobor of the ROCOR in 1994 held at Lesna, Archbishop Anthony (Sinkevich) told me the following prophetic words: “The Russian Church Abroad is not spiritually greater than Optina Monastery at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. When they closed the Optina Monastery, three great elders were living an ascetical life there, but that did not prevent the monastery from being closed. And we, that is, the Russian Church Abroad, are not spiritually greater than those Optina elders, andthus we shall be closed as well.” I asked him, “What should we do then?” And I was given this answer: “First it will be very blurry, and you won’t know whom to commemorate, so serve according to the ukaz of Patriarch Tikhon #362. After the sludge settles, God will reveal whom to commemorate.”
Nearly two decades have gone by since then. In 2007 I asked Metropolitan Lavr for a release, because I did not know what the will of God was for me a sinner, and I did not want to take part in apostasy. For three years I lived in isolation on Mt. Athos, and then I found a desert place in the Carpathian Mountains where I am trying to build a skete dedicated to the venerable St. Seraphim of Sarov. It seems that the sludge has settled, and now it can be seen that Bp. Agathangel is not striving for that purity about which St. John Maximovich prophesied: “The Russian Church Abroad will be very small in the last times, but pure as crystal!”
Let us now look at the Russian True Orthodox Church. A healthy organism expels pus, while a sick organism nourishes various parasites.
Thus some parasites left the Russian True Orthodox Church and joined with Bp. Agathangel. Our Lord and God Jesus Christ did not join them together; rather, they are united in their common apostasy, the apostasy of which the ever-memorable Bishop Lazarus (Zhurbenko) spoke. In order not to say too much before a conciliar judgment, I will only say that this concerns the matter of the heresy that Alexander Men preached. The Orthodox will know what this is about, and I am not concerned about the thinking of the non-orthodox.
May I remind you of that which I personally saw, and of which I had the opportunity to assure myself from the mouth of my close friend and murdered brother Jose Munoz: According to the command from Above, he painted a copy of the wonder-working, myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon which was called the Montreal Icon, and he was told from Above that this copy should remain with that pillar of Orthodoxy, Bp. Lazarus (Zhurbenko). As it was commanded, so it was accomplished. In 1995 I prayed before this icon with Bp. Lazarus. To this day, this icon illumines the way of the Russian True Orthodox Church! (Icon) I pray that Our Lord and God Jesus Christ will preserve this icon, under the protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, by the prayers of the Archangel of God Michael and all the Heavenly Hosts, the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, and all the saints.
Let the closing of this humble epistle be these words from a letter of St. Theophan the Recluse: “O Lord, may Thy will be done, and by Thy Providence save me.”
Unworthy Hieromonk Sava (Bogdan)
7/20 November 2011
The Holy Father-Confessors of the Catacomb Church