The Church-Laity Council of the Serbian True Orthodox Church (STOC)
at its regular session on the 24th of October 2013,
at the God-preserved place of Novi Banovci,
ratifies and publishes:
THE HOMOLOGIA OF FAITH
THE SERBIAN TRUE ORTHODOX CHURCH
In the Name of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Тhe Serbian True Orthodox Church considers herself an inseparable part and canonical inheritor of the Serbian Orthodox Church after the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church apostatized from the Orthodox Christian Faith by co-operating with the godless communist authorities, entering into communion with the new calendar schismatics (and new Paschalionists), organic membership in the World Council of Churches, which implies active participation in ecumenist activities with heretics and members of other non-Christian religions, and in that manner sinning against the laws of the Holy Apostles, the Ecumenical and Local Councils, and of the Holy Fathers. In such extraordinary circumstances, the canonical episcopacy was renewed for the Serbian Orthodox Church with the consecration of a Serbian bishop by the bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church (the Hierarchal Synod presided over by His Eminence Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia) which has Apostolic Succession and spiritual legacy from the Russian Church Abroad and the Catacomb Russian Orthodox Church, who have their heritage from the Russian Orthodox Church before the Bolshevik Revolution.
We believe in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, The Most Holy Trinity, and in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as it is confessed by the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Symbol of Faith. We confess one baptism for the remission of sins and strictly hold to church rules which prescribe that it be performed by three complete immersions in water in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
That which was accepted and confirmed by the Holy Apostles and Holy Fathers of the Church, we accept and confirm, and that which was rejected and anathematized, we reject and anathematize, without adding or subtracting. With St. Sava we proclaim: We accept all of the Seven Ecumenical Councils; we accept all of the Holy Councils which by God’s grace assembled in various times and places for the confirmation of the Evangelical Orthodox teachings which are accepted by the Catholic Church. Those whom the Holy Fathers renounce, we renounce. Those whom they condemn, we condemn. For the many heresies in various times and periods which the devil invented, and the many tares of evil faith which he sowed through his servants the principal heretics throughout the world for the sake of destroying and confusing of the True Faith, we condemn, and with them those who invent evil dogmas. Every infamous heresy we abhor.
We confess spiritual and ecclesiological unity with the confessors of Orthodoxy of the Russian Catacombs, the Russian diaspora, and the Greek and Romanian fighters for the preservation of the traditional patristic calendar.
Aside from the ancient heresies which were rejected by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the better part of which still flourish in the modern world, in the twentieth century a significant number of modern heresies have sprouted:
Ecumenism: With the fall of the protestant world with a continually growing number of sects, the faith in the existence of One Church was undermined to such an extent that all attest how the One Church no longer exists, at least in visible form, and so it must be reconstructed through a process of dialogues and compromises among various heresies and sects. This process, known as the ecumenist movement, has encompassed all the Local Orthodox Churches through their membership in the leading ecumenist organization – the World Council of Churches. They have renounced their belief that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church was, is, and will always be none other than the Orthodox Church, that is, the Church which confesses the faith of the Apostles and Fathers, unchanged from the beginning of the Christian age. From 1980, the official Orthodox church even entered into “extreme ecumenism,” acknowledging the possibility of salvation not only outside the Orthodox Church, but even in non-Christian religions. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad under the leadership of St. Philaret of New York in 1983 anathematized ecumenism, ecumenists, those in communion with them, those who help them, or those who defend their heresy of ecumenism. The Serbian True Orthodox Church joins in this decision and declares an anathema on ecumenism and the ecumenists.
Cyprianism. In 1984, Cyprian (Kutsumbas), Metropolitan of Oropos and Fili, a clergyman in schism with the True Orthodox Church of Greece, published his “Ecclesiological Thesis,” a refined version of the ecumenist heresy. Cyprianism consists of the affirmation, in opposition to the patristic teachings, that whoever preaches heresy “openly, with uncovered head,” remains a member of the True Church until he is excommunicated by the resolution of a “Unifying Council,” i.e., an Ecumenical Council in which both Orthodox hierarchs and heretics would participate. According to Cyprianism, the Church consists of “healthy” and “sick” members, that is, of Orthodox and heretics. Cyprianist teaching falls beneath the 1983 anathema on ecumenism, for it does not distinguish between the grace-bearing Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox and the graceless mysteries of the heretics. Cyprianism was further condemned by the Greek TOC under Archbishop Chrysostomos (Kiousis) of Athens and the Russian TOC under Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia. The Serbian True Orthodox Church joins in this condemnation of Cyprianism.
Sergianism. In 1918, the Bolshevik regime was anathematized by Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow and the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. The faithful were obliged to have no part with these “degenerates of the human race.” In 1927, however, the Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod, Sergius (Staragorodski), later “patriarch” of Moscow, scorned this anathema and entered into close communion (“symphony”) with the god-fighting communist authorities, uniting the joys of the communist regime with the joys of the Church, and the sorrows of that regime with those of the Church. He justified his Judas-like action by claiming that he “saved the Church” from destruction, blaspheming the words of the Lord: “Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hades will not prevail against it.” (Mt. 16:18). From that time the course of cooperation with the god-fighting communist powers, and the false justification for that course, came to be named “Sergianism,” after him. Sergianism was condemned by the Catacomb Church and the Russian Church Abroad. The Serbian True Orthodox Church joins in this condemnation and rejects Sergianism.
The New Calendar. In 1582, Gregory, Pope of Rome, introduced a new calendar (named the Gregorian calendar after him). In 1583, and then in 1587 and 1593, the eastern patriarchs assembled in councils, and in agreement with the Russian Orthodox Church, anathematized the Gregorian calendar (both the new paschalion and the new menaion). In 1918, the Russian Orthodox Church also rejected the new calendar at its Local Council. When the Greek Church, accompanied by all the Greek patriarchs and the Romanian and Polish churches introduced the new calendar in 1924, the Greek True Orthodox Church, in 1935, declared that the new calendar church had fallen beneath the anathema of the Local Councils of the 16th century. They also declared that the new calendar church was in schism and without grace. This resolution was confirmed by the Greek True Orthodox Church in 1950, 1974, and 1991. The Belgrade Patriarch, despite all of these condemnations, maintains complete Eucharistic communion with these new calendar schismatics. The Serbian True Orthodox Church joins with all of these condemnations and anathemas.
We confess that the all members of the Church who who live in the world and bear flesh are afflicted by their sins, and that only from the True Church of Christ can they receive true healing and salvation. Straying into heresy and schism is nothing other than apostasy from the Body of the True Orthodox Church. Thus the Belgrade Patriarchate is not the true Church of Christ and her mysteries cannot be conducive to salvation.
In the instance of receiving those from the heretical and schismatic communities, the Serbian True Orthodox Church follows the practice of the Serbian Orthodox Church for reception until the Second World War, along with that of the Russian Church Abroad and their historically continuous local church practice and conciliar resolutions which were based on the ecclesiological principle of oikonomia, so that, according to the words of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad St. Philaret (Vosnesensky), “many not be repelled from the Church.” We determine that those from the Belgrade patriarchy who enter the True Church should be received by oikonomia through repentance, and clergy with the performance of a supplementary laying-on-of-hands (cheirothesia) by hierarchs of the True Orthodox Church for the purpose of fulfilling the ordination which the clergyman received from the heretical Belgrade hierarchy.
The STOC recognizes the anathema of the Russian Church Abroad from 1932 which anathematizes Masonry as an organization inimical to Christianity, along with all organizations related to Masonry. We condemn the idea of “A New World Order” along with the processes of globalization and global control over mankind which are being introduced with the goal of preparing human society for the establishment of the future government of the Antichrist.
Faithful to the holy Nemanjich dynasty, we believe that Orthodox Autocracy is the authority established by God. We mourn the fact that we have lost the divinely-granted Autocracy and pray to the Lord for its renewal. Autocracy can only be established with the repentance of the Serbian people and their return to the True Church, for in the false church there cannot be repentance nor the renewal of the Orthodox Autocracy. A Serbian kingdom established with the “blessing” of a church of the wicked, would from its very foundations be wicked. Such a kingdom would not be pleasing to God.
We summon all the Orthodox Christians of Serbia to steadfastness in Truth, to prayer, to repentance, and to unity around their Holy Mother - St. Sava’s True Orthodox Church. The spiritual rebirth of every human soul and society as a whole is only possible through repentance and catholic communion of all of us in the Body of Christ, through which the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth and Love, acts. The loss of true catholicity in society leads to the loss of communion in the Body of Christ, to the loss of the action of grace of the Holy Spirit in that society. The action of grace is only possible through the True Church of Christ. Realizing this, the fallen modern world, guided by the enemy of our Salvation, attempts to exchange spiritual surrogates and false churches for the True Church. Thus, for the Orthodox Christian, nothing can be more important than the true rebirth of the True Orthodox Church, the pure Bride of Christ, which remains loyal to its heavenly bridegroom. Outside the Church, true spiritual healing of a soul infected by passions, and salvation, are impossible.