By: Rev. Father George, SSJt. - Cor-Bishop
With on-going present day activities of the World Council of Bishop, World Council of Churches, the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church and their heretical synchrestic ecumenistic associates such as Pentecostals, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints), etc.; many of the Orthodox Catholic Christian Churches have been facing a crisis of immense proportion, both East and West. Those many nationally named Orthodox Churches such as the Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Antiochian, Ukrainian and others including some parts of the Roman Catholic Church which is chief amongst them; having, for the most part, given into this brand of antichristian activity that was deposed and anathematized by the Seven Ecumenical Councils; caused for many from within those various jurisdictions to separate themselves to become a part of the "Catacomb Church" movement under a variety of nomenclatures or identities.
The AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH and the NORTH AMERICAN ORHTODOX CHURCH (California, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, U.S.A., and Canada, amongst many) have not joined in and with the modern day heresy of a synchrestic ecumenism, humanism, etc., but had taken action for what it saw was on the horizon back in 1984 with more aggressiveness in 1998-1999 under then, and now, the Primate, Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D.
With on-going actions and activities being what they are, it has become even more important in this year of our Lord and Savior, 2003 and 2008, to become more attuned to the ideals and actions or activities of the "Catacomb Church" which in previous times we had not been so attuned for, but had begun the process in minute degrees. The AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH and the NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH do not lay claim to being a "Catacomb Church" in the strictest definition or sense as given by Part I of this article, but during the time of 1998-1999, under our Primate, had begun to ordain priests and consecrate bishops in secret who are now a part of the growing Catacomb Church movement within this jurisdiction. For the most part, those clergy have been known only to the bishop who ordained them, the faithful they serve, as well as the Primate.
This jurisdiction, like many small jurisdictions around the world for the most part, do not have buildings (temples) usually mis-named and identified as churches (in the secularistic sense) in which to worship, meaning a 'building' in error; present day actions and activities of clergy known and unknown have been and are to hold Divine Liturgy in the homes of the faithful or in their own. Those who believe that a 'Church' means a building(s) are in error because the "Church" is truly and factually, THE FAITH OF THE PEOPLE in action on a day-to-day basis.
The building is a "Temple". The "Church" is the people and clergy shepherded by a Bishop (an Apostle in a line of succession of Apostles which goes back to the times of the original Apostles of Jesus Christ).
In most of North America, the term "Catacomb Church" has been used to refer to those who, as priests, follow the "Home Church" movement. The "Home Church" movement would be the more accurate reflection, not "Catacomb Church" movement. To use the term "Catacomb Church" movement for those priests and bishops who are known, would be an inaccurate use of the term. They are, for the most part, "Home Church" clergy.
To a very significant degree, the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH and the NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH is involved in both the "Home Church" and the "Catacomb Church" movements.
Most of her clergy who are both known and unknown are involved in providing Divine Liturgy and instruction from either their own or another's home.
While some are being ordained and/or consecrated in secret and others openly, one can only ask "Why?".
With the advancement of synchrestic ecumenism gaining momentum among more and more CULTIC Protestants, which has seeped into both Roman Catholicism and various Orthodox Churches in the Patriarchal Sees of Constantinople, Moscow Patriarchate, Antioch, etc.; there also has been political processes which have had far-reaching effect in many countries of the various secularistic governments.
The United States of America, Canada and Mexico are no exceptions to the infection on-going.
We have learned that in many countries, provinces or states, laws are passed where the provincial or state government has certain rights which surpass constitutional safe-guards.
Where the interests or sovereign rights of the people in a province or state exist, and where the Church speaks out in opposition to some of the laws being passed affecting moral issues, the sovereign rights of the province or state has been or is being applied against those churches or their subordinate religious groups.
Tax exempt status is sometimes removed because clergy of that church or group has spoken out on the moral issue in question. In other instances, we have heard that the state or province require that the church must show that they are a benefit to the people in material or social service areas without any care, concern or relevancy as to the religious resource provided, discounting such religious resource as having no benefit, unless that church or group has opted to all that is accepted by the government.
Convents or cloistered nuns, even monks in some instances where there is no overt service or material benefit to the local community: have been known to loose not only their tax exemption but have had their land/property confiscated (even here in the U.S.A.). These kind of acts are on an increase more and more. These kind of activities by states or provinces in many countries, even in the United States of America - are on the increase to limit, restrict and/or close that which is proper, true and right for Orthodox Catholic Churches established on the fountain of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Apostles.
Freedoms of religion and speech are seemingly being limited is opinionated by some. Clergy would seem to be the object of muzzingling or oversight by some states or provinces.
To be sure, the fulfillment of prophecy is being done. More and more, it would appear, various jurisdictions of the Orthodox Catholic Christian world are being attacked by disease which affects churches and governments around the globe.
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