петак, 13. јануар 2012.

The Zealot Of Orthodox Piety

The catacomb journal of the True Orthodox Christians of Serbia

The Zealot
Of Orthodox Piety
Fifteen Years Since the Publication of the First Edition

In January of 2012, it will be exactly fifteen years since the publication of the first Zealot – the journal of the True Orthodox Christians of Serbia. The editor of the first number of this legendary catacomb journal was the St. John of Shanghai Cell on Frushka Gora, which quickly changed its name to that of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Methodius and Cyril.
The Zealot was “samizdat” (self-published) in the form of a fanzine – a handmade publication which is different from regular magazines or journals because it is not edited by professional journalists – the editors do everything themselves, because they have no sponsors or advertisements. The reproduction is mostly done by copying (in the Soviet Union, where the KGB controlled all copy machines, samizdat journals were reproduced on typewriters). Fanzines were made in this way: texts were typed on typewriters, then they were cut and pasted together, then copied. Basically, this was the method for making the Zealot also, with the one difference that computers (old, unwieldy, with a 486 processor, and later Pentium) took the place of typewriters. This newsletter followed the general samizdat/fanzine philosophy, in which the readers are invited to help spread the ideas of the publication by themselves making copies and distributing it. The Zealot was characterized by its specific design, which was illustrated with drawings done by its editor, Hieromonk Akakije, which included some front pages.

Aside from the Zealot, one of the most famous and most influential Orthodox fanzines is Dead to the World, which was started in 1994 by Monks John and Andrew (former punkers, by the way) at the Monastery of St. Herman of Alaska in Platina (California). Between 1994 and 1998 in America, twelve editions of this journal were published. It is believed that after advertisements for Dead to the World were published in the rock magazine Maxime, even 50,000 copies of this fanzine were in circulation.
In the Soviet Union, however, Orthodox Christians sometimes paid for samizdat publication with their heads. For example, the Holy New Martyr Lydia, a confessor of the Russian Catacomb Church frum Ufa, was discovered by the GPU exactly for those very catacomb self-publications written on a typewriter. New Martyr Lydia was discovered because the “k” on her typewriter was a bit damaged. The GPU with her arrest in 1928 realized that they had found the key to uncover the entire Catacomb Church. New Martyr Lydia was horribly tortured in the effort to make her betray the clergy and believers  of the Catacomb Church, but she refused to say anything. After long and harsh tortures this loyal handmaid of God was killed. In 1981, the Russian Church Abroad numbered Holy New Martyr Lydia among the choir of the Russian New Martyrs of the Russian Catacombs. Hieromonk Akakije was also persecuted for publishing the catacomb journal the Zealot. The Batchka Eparchy church court in 1999 in Novi Sad, with the president, Bachka Bishop Irinej, gave as its explanation for the final judgment of his exclusion from the church community the following: “The proof of the guilt of the accused is based on the journal the Zealot, in which he slanders and undermines the church hierarchy.”
The Zealot had about 40 pages of A5 format. There were 100 copies of the first circulation, and after that it was printed out as needed. The readers themselves reproduced and distributed it further, so it cannot be said with certainty how great a circulation it finally reached. It can be estimated, however, that the average circulation of the Zealot was much greater than 500, and some for editions, there were than 1,000 copies. Because the various editions are being reproduced to this day, it is impossible to say with certainty the total number in existence. The journal was published every three months, and from the beginning of 1997 to the end of 2002, 23 editions came out in fanzine form. Also, in September 1997, one extra edition was put out, caused by a division which took place in Serbia, when a part of the True Orthodox went to the Greek Old Calendar Matthewites. The title of this extra edition was “A Short View of the History of the TOC of Greece.” The last edition of the Zealot published did not come out in the form of a fanzine, but like a regular journal with standard printing and color illustrations, with 146 pages and a circulation of 1,500 copies. Its editor was not, furthermore, the cell of Sts Methodios and Cyril on Frushka Gora, but rather the Holy Trinity Monastery on Avala. The contents of the Zealot were documents of Church history, the lives of the confessors of the faith from the 20th century, the reports about important events of that period, deeds of the holy fathers of the church, and the deeds of contemporary theologians and spiritual fathers (most of all, Russian and Serbian, but also Greek and Bulgarian). Most interesting were the short announcements and news from the life of the Serbian TOC – these articles and news made up a chronicle of the life of the STOC. There was also news from Mt. Athos, and from other Local True Orthodox Churches, along with information about uncanonical acts of the members of World Orthodoxy. (That which the Bachka Church Court Eparchy described as “slander of the church hierarchy,” although all of reports were from public and reliable sources, supported by official documents and photographs).  The Zealot also regularly followed the happenings inside various Greek Old Calendar factions such as the “Matthewites” and the “Cyprianites.”
There were letters from readers and answers on their practical concerns about church life. The Zealot printed official announcements, such as the historical one which was composed by the sisterhood of Stjenik, or the Encyclical from the Synod of the Greek TOC (whose temporary jurisdictional government the True Orthodox Christians of Serbia were under at the time). This journal published several texts which came out in installments from number to number. The most comprehensive was one with the title “Letters of a Catacomb Bishop” which has thirteen installments. In the Zealot #10 an interview with Archbishop Chrysostom II was published. The readers of this catacomb journal could follow first-hand a chronology of the stormy happenings within the ROCOR during the 90s and receive information about them very quickly. For example, in #7 (1998) was published the article “The Gradual Process of Apostasy in the Russian Church Abroad (A Short Review of the Events in the Last 10 Years).” In the next number (#8, 1998) the article with the title “Union in Truth or…” was published. This article was about the dialogue for union between the Synods of the Greek TOC and the Russian Church Abroad. There were four points in this article outlining why this union was unacceptable for the TOC of Serbia. It was related how Hieromonk Akakije was assured by Archbishop Chrysostom II that the union would not take place before changes in the stance of the ROCOR. In numbers 15-17 (2001), two articles were dedicated to this theme: “The Final Convergence of ROCOR with World Orthodoxy ” (about the 2000 ROCOR Sobor) and “The Letter of the ROCOR Hierarchical Sobor.”  True Orthodox Serbs were disappointed with the various developments inside of ROCOR, but soon came some joyous news.  Already in #20-21 (2002) was published the article “The Long-expected Reversal in the Russian Church Abroad” about those hierarchs who remained loyal to the elder Metropolitan Vitaly and the original ideas of the ROCOR. Finally in #22-23 in 2003 there was a report about the establishment of contact between the Serbian TOC and those factions of the Russian Church Abroad which did not accept union with Ecumenist and Sergianist Orthodox.  This report was entitled “The Creation of Contact with the Russian Church Abroad (Vitaly).”
The Zealot was first to publish the lives and texts of some great Orthodox saints and theologians of the 20th century who until then had been unknown in Serbia, such as St. John of Romania or Elder Theodosius of Karolya. Readers impatiently waited for the new Zealot, and only they can express what joy and comfort each new edition of their journal brought.
In recent times, printed medias, and especially fanzines, have been pushed into the background by the internet. Many articles from the Zealot can be found on the site “Serbian True Orthodox” by those who are interested. These days these kind of journals are published as “e-zines” – fanzines in electronic form. Usually they are put up in PDF form so readers can freely download, print, read, and distribute them further, albeit with the same condition as that for the fanzine, that the distribution be nonprofit. It is also possible to use parts of the texts, as long as they are cited. Although the Zealot experienced a transformation from a fanzine to a journal in standard form, which was then changed to internet, that is, the site “Serbian True Orthodox” (http://www.serbiantrueorthodox.org/), it would in any case be nice if the old editions of this organ of the Serbian True Orthodox Christians could be found on this site in PDF format, so that everyone who wishes could print, read, and reproduce them further. This little jubilee, 15 years from the publication of the first edition, would be the right occasion for this.
Let us recall the contents of the Zealot volumes.
#1 – January-March 1997
-        Letters from a Catacomb Bishop (1)
-        The Life of St. John of Romania
-        The Second Encyclical (from 1756)
-        Elder Theodosius of Karoulya, “The Old and New Calendar”
-        Schemamonk Anthony Chernov, “The Russian Catacomb Church”
#2 April-June 1997
-        Alexander Kalomiros, “The Ark”
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (2)
-        Nun Confessors
-        False Union
-        Orthodox Beware!
-        A Homily of Elder Anatoly of Optina
-        Schema-Hieromonk Akakije, “Is the Ecclesiology of ‘Metropolitan’ Cyprian Kutsumbas and His Synod in Resistance Orthodox?”
#3 July-September 1997
-        Letters from a Catacomb Bishop (3)
-        The Third Divine Appearance of the Holy Cross, September 14, 1925
-        1995 Encyclical of the Clerical Synod of the Greek TOC
-        Patristic Instructions
-        1756 Tome on Baptism
-        Archbishop Averky, “’In Step with the Times’ We will Not Go”(1)
-        An Orthodox View on Some Current Questions
-        Communing “Orthodox” Ethiopians
-        Chronicle
4# October-December 1997
-        The Apostolic Succession of the Church of the TOC
-        Hieromonk Akakije, “Exit from Membership with the WCC”
-        P. Budzilovich, “The New World Order in 2000”
-        A Short Announcement
-        Archbishop Averkey, “’In Step with the Times,’ We Will Not Go” (2)
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (4)
#5 January-March 1998
-        Encyclical
-        Rosen Siromahov, “The Final Step on the Way to Apostasy”
-        Current Events – An Invented Blessing
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (5)
-        Short Announcements
-        Chronicle
#6 April-June 1998
-        Introductory Words
-        A Short Biography of Archbishop Chrisostomos I
-        Current Events
-        Metropolitan Kalliopis, “Union with the Monophysites” (1)
-        Mt. Athos News
-        Short Announcements
#7 July-September 1998
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (6)
-        The Gradual Process of Apostasy in the Russian Church Abroad (A Short Review of the Events of the Last Ten Years)
-        Metropolitan Anthony (Krapovitsky), “Concerning Baptism by Pouring”
-        Short Announcements
-        Metropolitan Kalliopis, “Union with the Monophysites” (2)
-        Chronicle
#8 October-December 1998
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (7)
-        Sermon of Catacomb Priest Fr. V.
-        Letter of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR Metropolitan Philaret
-        Short Announcement
-        Current Events – Union in Truth, or…
-        Farewell Sermon of Our Holy Father Mark, Archbishop of Ephesus
-        Life of Fr. Nikita. Memories of His Spiritual Children.

#9 January-March 1999
-        Introductory Words
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (8)
-        Hieromonk Akakije, “I Confess One Baptism”
-        Excerpt from 1848 Encyclical
-        Martyr’s Blood – The Life and Suffering of the Holy New Martyr Katherine

#10-11 April-September 1999
-        Epistle of Metropolitan Kallinikos
-        Interview with Archbishop Chrysostomos II
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (9)
-        Short Announcements
-        An Unknown Letter of Metropolitan Anthony
-        1994 Hierarchical Sobor of ROCOR
-        Current Events
#12-14  October 1999-June 2000
-        The Zealot Has Reached 3 Years
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (10)
-        Current Events
-        From the Life of the TOC of Serbia
-        Letters from Readers
-        The Life of Saint Glikiri
-        The Miracles of St Spyridon
# 15-17 July 2000-March 2001
-        Letters from a Catacomb Bishop (11)
-        Current Events  - The Final Convergence of the ROCOR with the World Orthodox
-        Current Events  - Letters of the ROCOR Hierarchical Sobor
-        Bp. Gregory (Grabbe), “Akrivia and Economia”
-        Chronicle
-        Impressions After a Meeting with “Metropolitan” Cyprian (1)
#18-19 April-September 2001
-        Letters of a Catacomb Bishop (12)
-        Hierodeacon Theophan, “The Bishop and His Church”
-        Impressions After a Meeting with “Metropolitan” Cyprian (2)
-        Short Announcements
-        Letters from St. Philaret
#20-21  October 2001-March 2002
-        Letters from a Catacomb Bishop (13)
-        Current Events – The Reversal of ROCOR
-        Elder Sava the Athonite, “Letter – Apologetics”
-        From the Life of the TOC of Serbia – A New Priest
-        Hieroschemamonk Akakije, “Give Blood, Receive the Spirit”
-        Mont Athos News
#22-23  April-September 2002
-        The Last Line of Defense – Esphigmenou Monastery
-        Documents – The New ID Cards
-        Documents – Synodal Encyclical
-        Current Events
-        “The Creation of Contact with the Russian Church Abroad (Vitaly)”
-        Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles, “Why is the Moscow Patriarchate Without Grace?”
-        St. Philaret (Voznesensky) – A Letter to the First Hierarch of the American Metropolis
-        Short Announcements
-        Chronicle
(This was the last edition of the Zealot in the form of a fanzine published by the Sts. Methodius and Cyril cell on Frushka Gora.)
# 1 (24) Pascha 2006
-        Introduction
-        Fr. Seraphim Rose, “Archbishop Leonty of Chile”
-        Archbishop Averky, “Modernity and Spiritual Life”
-        Hieromonk Akakije, “Humility Beneath General Economy”
-        Hieromonk Akakije, “Blessed are Those Who are Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake”
-        The Official Announcement of the Sisterhood of Stjenik
-        Hieromonk Akakije, “The New Schism Among the ‘Matthewites’ and the Question of Recognition of Herotesia”
-        Monk Joseph, “We Accept Man, but Reject His Mistakes”
-        Letter of Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) to Abbess Magdalena (Countess Grabbe) Superior of Lesna Monastery in France
-        Short Announcements
-        Questions of the Readers
-        From Old Church Publications
-        Chronicle

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