IN THE SHADOWS
Part III

By: Rev. Father George, SSJt. - Cor-Bishop
4/19/2003

Many Countries in the free world who have been faced with terrorist threats and activities since the attack on the now infamous 911 (September 11) on the soil of the United States of America.

They are seeing and becoming victims as a result of the implementation of newer laws where many things, both spoken and written by news media, various social and philanthropic organizations, churches and their various religious organizations and services are being placed under closer scrutiny by various agencies of their Federal and local governments.

The laws causing this scrutiny would appear to be coming on the heels of a broader definition of what is a "threat" both inside and outside the borders of a country.  Such threats against those of public people and the government, including priests and other clergy who are considered by most as being 'public figures' who have public focus both good and ill has become more acute without regard for religion or denomination unless they have joined in and with the modern synchrestic ecumenism of these times as well as those who are Islamic or Muslim.  This includes churches, organizations and others who have either a religious or political character whose voices are heard by the people.

There are people who hold to the opinion that this has become a more intense scrutiny in North America as the trembling undertone of personal clashes between hierarchies cut across jurisdictional lines of various Orthodox and Catholic Christian Churches.

The results of those events have caused for an increase in the Catacomb Church movement due to the tightening of religious freedoms it has been opined, more especially upon those groups who refuse to join in and with the spreading disease sometimes referred to as 'synchrestic ecumenism' and cultic Protestantism. 

It is further the opinion of some that this disease is spurned forward by the World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops who enjoy such membership as worshippers of Satan (both knowingly and unknowingly), various Protestant denominations, Pagans, Gnostics, etc.  They subscribe to un-christian doctrines and ethics which sound "Christian" but are not adhering to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Seven Ecumenical Councils of ancient times.  This is a move toward that ONE WORLD RELIGION and ONE WORLD CHURCH, a religion of the Antichrist as prophesied and a Government that will be ruled by Satan or the spirit of Anti-Christ.

While printed and other electronic news media carried the story, only mildly, about the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and his intentions to evict monks of the Esphigmenou Monastery on Mt. Athos, there is a more in-depth cause and reason for the monks to be in opposition. 

The opposing of the Patriarch lays in his having joined in and with the modern day ecumenists, as so many other Patriarchs have done or are doing (there has been and does not now exist any one individual known as a Patriarch in North America, and those who claim they are a PATRIARCH in North America, are self-made! for such an descriptive term would violated the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils). 

Such involvements and dialogue with the ecumenists compromises Orthodox (East and West) and betrays Christianity's true teachings as has been shown by the Protestants and the World Council of Churches actions to date.

It is no wonder that the monks of Mt. Athos oppose the Patriarch of Constantinople.  The history is rather succinct.  The Patriarch is not truly elected by the clergy and faithful anymore as was the common way according to the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils, but now elected by the Satanic Muslim (Islamic) political arm, the government of Turkey.

Yet, this very action as described, is but a smaller picture which is a glimpse into the larger picture of what is happening through out the world.

Some believe that the actions of the monks in resistance on Mt. Athos make them members of the "Catacomb Church" movement because of their refusal to bend to the will or seed of an anti-Christian action and activity which has seeped its ugly fangs and venom into the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith.

Earlier, in our definition of the "Catacomb Church,' reference was made to the 'ordinations in secret' by the Primate, Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, and that when this particular venture was first begun, in accord with the bishops under whom they feed the sheep of Jesus Christ's, there was much to understand.

Those unknown priests and bishops in the shadows work quietly among those who know them.  There is not any outward identifying factors for the most part in these present times.  They wear no identifying clothing, no public insignia or signs to identify themselves.  They wear no habit of a religious holy order to which some may belong; and make no solicitation for funds directly.  They are truly quiet, speak (for the most part) softly, are attentive to what is being said, are not rash to judgment, show compassion, not interruptive of others, follow and practice a form of being meek, humble and never consider themselves above others, even other clergy.  These are a few of their many attributes which this writer has come to know from personal observations.  Truly, they are strugglers in this life for the life to come and exemplars for us who are more visible in the vineyard. We could learn much from them.

Because of various situations and events which had a small affect on the health of the A.O.C. Primate, +Thaddeus in past years; and his many experiences of the past, he took a more aggressive approach for the continuation of the Catacomb Church movement within this jurisdiction, precipitated more by what he had viewed or seen as not only anti-Christian sentiment through out the world, but the growth of such pseudo-Christian activities under the aegis of synchrestic ecumenism and the "correctness disease" including heretical Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints) and the satanic Muslim (Islam) religion.

His Eminence, +Thaddeus, momentary encounters with the now blessed and Sainted Archbishop, +John Maximovitch and his disciple, Father Seraphim Rose of reposed memory, had a profound effect upon much that +Thaddeus believes, thinks and does which, when taken together, has endeared a few to support him and his endeavors.

In his actions, prior to his relocating from California to Ohio, then to New Mexico, our Vladyka +Thaddeus was asked several questions concerning the "Catacomb Church".  One in particular struck me most prominently.  His answer that I recorded, implies the question.

"The good virtues which our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, wishes us to hold, practice and follow, I have not yet obtained in spite of my off-handed jokes in times past.  I am a struggler in the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith like many others and can make no claim of having obtained the fullness of Orthodoxy itself or any other virtue as I am unworthy of such a claim until I learn, in the next life, of whether my faith and struggle was worthy.  Only Jesus Christ can say we have arrived or obtained, and then only, I believe, when we have crossed the veil that separates us in this life from the next.  Forgive me for my off-handed joking on some of those things for surely I have sinned and therefore an example of unworthiness.

In a recent telephone conversation with +Thaddeus, shortly after he and those with him had moved into their own residence was I reminded of his admonition to newly ordained catacomb priests in California; "Your identities as priests are to be known only to those who ordained you, those gathered here who form the nucleus of your missionary efforts and to God.  No one outside of all of us and those who may join your missionary efforts later, shall know you as priests unless those who may secure verification of your ordinations from myself as your ordaining bishop or the bishop under whom you will serve.  Even then, those who may, in the future, attempt to contact me for verification shall not be given such information until I know that you have vouchsafed their need to know."

I was also reminded by His Eminence that this action is similar to the actions of the so-called "Breaking of the Seals of the Confessional" in a civil court of law which some had been falsely accused of doing by newspaper accounts and which many of the faithful do not even understand the operation of.

"In a Civil or Secular Court of law, the Seals of the Confessional may not be broken unless the repentant sinner who made the confession, himself confesses in open court what was said either in part, or in whole.  Only that which is made known by the confessant, can the priest testify to or verify.  But those things not disclosed to others in such a civil action, may not be disclosed by the priest who heard the confession.  Those things not made known under the Seals of the Confessional by the repentant sinner may not be discussed by the priest.

Newspapers and the electronic news media have made a political field-day with these many issues either purposefully or unintentionally... having played upon the 'ignorant' on how Seals of the Confessional operate.  Sadly to say, even some of the faithful, in their own ignorance, have believed lies as truth and truth as lies regarding some clergy in the Roman Catholic Church, other jurisdictions, even the American Orthodox Church and North American Orthodox Church. 

Some of these things have been instigated upon the faithful by errant clergy of other jurisdictions who have attempted to attack other clergy. Most of this is instigated by unbelievers such as Pentecostals, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Church of Christ and those who call themselves (errantly) as being "Non-Denominational" because they cannot abide by or hold to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ Himself and those Apostles he ordained and their successors, Holy Martyrs and Patristic Fathers. 

In spite of what others have said or make claim to, those of the Catacomb Church movement operate in a similar fashion as to their identities.

Truly, the Catacomb Church Movement consisting of those clergy... are a clergy IN THE SHADOWS!

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