By: Vladimir Moss




The "Juridical Theory"
The Meaning of "Justification"

The Sacrifice for Sin
The Prayer in the Garden
Gethsemane vs. Golgotha
The Theory of "Moral Monism"
Original Sin

Conclusion: Love and Justice

Conclusion: Love and Justice

In the midst of two thieves, Thy Cross was found to be a balance of justice.

Triodion, Ninth Hour, Glory…, Troparion.

     Metropolitan Anthony's ambitious claims to originality in his teaching on redemption put us on our guard right from the beginning of his work. Thus he writes: "No one has as yet given a direct and at least somewhat clear answer to the question, why Christ's incarnation, sufferings and resurrection are saving for us, unless we take into consideration the small leading article published in the Ecclesiastical Herald of 1890 and the little article in the Theological Herald of 1894 composed by the author of the present work. But let not the reader not think that we force our solution to this inquiry upon him as something irrefutable. Supposing it were entirely incorrect, we nevertheless maintain that it is still the only direct and positive answer to the above-mentioned dogmatic query yet formulated."[161]

     The question arises: why should it be given to Metropolitan Anthony, nearly 1900 years after the Death and Resurrection of Christ, to expound the positive meaning of redemption for the first time? Why were the Holy Fathers silent (if they were indeed silent)? Metropolitan Anthony's answer to this is that "the contemporaries of the Fathers so clearly understood the Saviour's redeeming grace that it was unnecessary to elucidate upon it. In the same way, in our days there is no need to explain to rural Christians what humility, compunction, and repentance are, yet the intellectual class is in great need of an explanation of these virtues since they have alienated themselves from them. Thus, educated Christians who from medieval times have been caught in the mire of juridical religious concepts, have lost that direct consciousness or spiritual awareness of their unity with Christ Who suffers with us in our struggle for salvation, a unity which the early Christians kept so fervently in their hearts that it never occurred to the interpreters of the sacred dogmas and the commentators on the words of the New Testament to explain what everyone perceived so clearly".[162]

     This is unconvincing. The problem of semi-believing intellectuals did not appear for the first time towards the end of the second millennium of Christian history. Nor did the Holy Fathers fail to explain the significance of Christ's death and resurrection. Such explanations involved the development and exploration of those images and metaphors to be found in the New Testament, of which the juridical metaphor is undoubtedly the chief. This metaphor was evidently not to Metropolitan Anthony's liking; but there is no evidence that the Apostles had some more "positive" explanation which they were hiding from the general Christian public and which was revealed to the Church some 1900 years later. After all, the Church has no esoteric teaching like that of the Gnostics. The whole truth was revealed to, and handed down by, the Apostles, and the task of subsequent generations is to explicate and explore that heritage, not speculate about hidden teachings.

     Evidently conscious of this objection to Metropolitan Anthony's language, the Bostonite bishops hasten to his rescue by quoting from another of his essays. "As if anticipating [or perhaps answering?] his own critics," they write, "he wrote these prophetic words in his introduction to his essay, The Moral Aspect of the Dogma of the Church: `When an author offers his readers a (more or less) new explanation of Christian dogmas; then, if he believes in an Orthodox manner, he reckons least of all to introduce any kind of new truth into the consciousness of the Church. On the contrary, he is convinced that the fullness of the truth is a permanent attribute of the Church's own consciousness; and if, for example, before the fourth century, the concepts of nature and persons had not been elucidated, or if before the Seventh Ecumenical Council no dogma of the honouring of icons was defined, this does not in any way mean that the early Church did not know the correct teaching about theTrinity or vacillated between the venerating of icons and iconoclasm. In these cases it was not the content of the faith which received a supplement in Christian consciousness, but rather the enrichment of human thought consisted in that certain human concepts or everyday occurrences were explained from the point of view of true Christianity. Even before the fourth century, the Church knew from the Gospel and Tradition that the Father and the Son are one, that we are saved by faith in the Holy Trinity. But how to relate these truths to the human, philosophical concepts of person and nature, - in other words, what place these concepts receive in God's being – this was taught to people by the Fathers of the First Council and those who followed them.

     "'In exactly the same way, if any contemporary person… starts discussing the truths of the faith (in new terminology), but without any contradiction of Church Tradition, remaining in agreement with Orthodox theology, then he does not reveal new mysteries of the faith. He only elucidates, from the point of view of eternal truth, new questions of contemporary human thought." (p. 97).

     All this is true, and thankfully more modest than the metropolitan's claims in The Dogma of Redemption. Even here, however, he claims that his work is a new elucidation of old truths on a par with the achievements of the Fathers of the First or Seventh Ecumenical Councils. But what new terminology or insights has he given us?

     What is new in "moral monism" is its monism – that is, its reduction of the whole work of redemption to one principle only, love, instead of two, love and justice. But this novelty is false: the restoration of justice between God and man, that is, the blotting out of sin, is not a "secondary", "incidental" aspect of redemption, but redemption itself – at least that part of it which was accomplished by Christ on the Cross and which the Scriptures call "justification". For Christ shed His blood, as He said, precisely "for the remission of sins", that is, for the restoration of justice between God and man, for the justification of mankind. Also new in the theory is its moralism – that is, its reduction of the whole mystery of our redemption to what Metropolitan Anthony calls "the law of psychological interaction"[163], the submission of the will of the believer to Christ's compassionate love as "an active, revolutionary and often irresistible power".[164] But this novelty, too, is false: it confuses the work of redemption in itself with the assimilation of redemption by the individual believer, with his response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It confuses the justification wrought by Christ on the Cross, which is an objective fact independent of the believer's response to it, with the holiness wrought by the Holy Spirit in the soul of the believer who does in fact respond to it.

     The concepts of holiness and justification, love and justice are logically distinct, and to speak of the perfection of Christ's love does not in itself explain how justice is perfected. It is the so-called "juridical theory", rooted in the Holy Scriptures and developed by the Holy Fathers, but denied by Metropolitan Anthony, that tells us how justice and justification are achieved, and in what that justice consists – without in any way diminishing the significance of the Divine love. Metropolitan Anthony, however, seeks in every way to play down the significance of redemption viewed as the restoration of justice between God and man. He writes: "The act of redemption – the exploit of compassionate love which pours Christ's holy will into the souls of believers – could not, as an act of love, violate the other laws of life, that is, justice. And yet it has not infrequently been considered from this secondary, non-essential, and incidental viewpoint, a viewpoint which the sons ofRoman legal culture, as well as the Jews, considered extremely important. Such a view of the secondary aspect of the event in now way obscures its real meaning as an act of compassionate love".[165] It is this attitude towards Divine justice as "secondary, non-essential and incidental" which constitutes, in our view, the fundamental error of Metropolitan Anthony's work and the root cause of all its other errors.

     We can see how fundamental an error it is when we compare it with the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas, who saw the primary reason why Christ chose to save us through His Incarnation and Death on the Cross, and not in any other way, as consisting precisely in its justice: "The pre-eternal, uncircumscribed and almighty Word and omnipotent Son of God could clearly have saved man from mortality and servitude to the devil without Himself becoming man. He upholds all things by the word of His power and everything is subject to His divine authority. According to Job, He can do everything and nothing is impossible for Him. The strength of a created being cannot withstand the power of the Creator, and nothing is more powerful than the Almighty. But the incarnation of the Word of God was the method of deliverance most in keeping with our nature and weakness, and most appropriate for Him Who carried it out, for this method had justice on its side, and God does not act without justice. As the Psalmist and Prophet says, `God is righteous and loveth righteousness' (Psalm 11.7), `and there is no unrighteousness in Him' (Psalm 92.15). Man was justly abandoned by God in the beginning as he had first abandoned God. He had voluntarily approached the originator of evil, obeyed him when he treacherously advised the opposite of what God had commanded, and was justly given over to him. In this way, through the evil one's envy and the good Lord's just consent, death came into the world. Because of the devil's overwhelming evil, death became twofold, for he brought about not just physical but also eternal death.

     "As we had been justly handed over to the devil's service and subjection to death, it was clearly necessary that the human race's return to freedom and life should be accomplished by God in a just way. Not only had man been surrendered to the envious devil by divine righteousness, but the devil had rejected righteousness and become wrongly enamoured of authority, arbitrary power and, above all, tyranny. He took up arms against justice and used his might against mankind. It pleased God that the devil be overcome first by the justice against which he continuously fought, then afterwards by power, through the Resurrection and the future Judgement. Justice before power is the best order of events, and that force should come after justice is the work of a truly divine and good Lord, not of a tyrant….

     "A sacrifice was needed to reconcile the Father on High with us and to sanctify us, since we had been soiled by fellowship with the evil one. There had to be a sacrifice which both cleansed and was clean, and a purified, sinless priest… It was clearly necessary for Christ to descend to Hades, but all these things were done with justice, without which God does not act."[166]

     "Justice before power", the Cross before the Resurrection. And "all things done with justice, without which God does not act." Clearly, justice is no secondary aspect of the Divine economy, but the very heart essence of our salvation.

     So let us attempt, in conclusion, to present the relationship between love and justice in redemption in a more balanced manner.

     Christ's redemptive work can be described as perfect love in pursuit of perfect justice. The beginning of all things and of all God's works is without a question love. As the Apostle of love writes in his Gospel: "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3.16). But with the appearance of sin, which is injustice, God, Who is called justice as well as love (St. John of the Ladder), directed all things to the abolition of injustice and the justification of man.

     That is why the same apostle of love (who is at the same time the son of thunder) combines the concepts of the love of God and the expiation of His justice in one sentence with no sense of incongruity as follows: "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation [or propitiation or atonement] (ilasmon) of our sins" (I John 4.10).

     The attitude of the Divine love to sin and justice is called in the Holy Scriptures the wrath of God. This term does not denote a sinful passion of anger (for God is completely pure and passionless) but expresses the utterly inexorable determination of God to destroy that which is evil and unjust, that is, which is opposed to love. As Archbishop Theophan puts it: "The wrath of God is one of the manifestations of the love of God, but of the love of God in its relationship to the moral evil in the heart of rational creatures in general, and of man in particular."

     However, since man was immired in sin, not only his personal sins but also "the law of sin", or original sin, that had penetrated his very nature, he was unable to justify himself. That is why even the best men of the Old Testament were barred entry into heaven and went to hades after their death (Genesis 37.35). For "[sinful] flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of heaven" (I Corinthians 15.50).

     So how was justice to be restored and man justified? Through the perfect Sacrifice for sin offered by Christ on the Cross. However, in order to understand what is meant by this we need to look a little more closely at the nature of justice itself.

     One of the earliest and clearest examples of moral justice is the lex talionis: "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth". Justice here consists in balance, equality, compensation - evil committed in one direction is compensated for by an equal evil committed in the other direction. But since the second evil is committed with the intention of restoring justice, it is no longer evil, but good.

     Now it will be immediately pointed out that this law has been superseded in the New Testament by a new law forbidding us to seek compensation for wrong done to us: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain..." (Matthew 5.38-41).

     However, whatever the old law may lack in comparison with the new, it cannot be called unjust: on the contrary, it is the very paradigm of justice. Moreover, it was promulgated by God Himself, and therefore was right for the people of God at that particular stage in their development as a nation. Nor has it proved possible to dispense with the old law in the conduct of government since Christ. Where would a government or society be if there were no laws of a compensatory character? Even if the saints managed to conduct their personal lives by at all time returning good for evil, they never advocated abandoning the principle of retributory punishment for crime in public life, although they did try to temper justice with other considerations, such as the rehabilitation of the offender.

     An example of this is provided by the life of one of the greatest of Christian hierarchs, St. Dunstan of Canterbury (+988): "Once three false coiners were caught and sentenced to have their hands cut off. On that day, which was the feast of Pentecost, the Saint was going to celebrate the Divine Liturgy; but he waited, asking whether the sentence had been carried out. The reply came that the sentence had been deferred to another day out of respect for the feast. 'I shall on no account go to the altar today,' he said, 'until they have suffered the appointed penalty; for I am concerned in this matter.' For the criminals were in his power. As he spoke, tears gushed down his cheeks, showing his love for the condemned men. But when they had been punished he washed his face and went up to the altar, saying: 'Now I am confident that the Almighty will accept the Sacrifice from my hands.'"

     Thus justice has an absolute value in and of itself; and if the New Testament has brought other values to the fore, these have in no way superseded justice. Moreover, if the new law is superior to the old, this is not because the old law is unjust, but because the new fuses justice with love and therefore increases the sum total of good. In any case, according to the new law, too, evil must be balanced by an equal and opposite good. The difference is that according to the new law the counter-balancing good need not be offered by the offender, but can be offered by his victim in his place. Thus if the victim suffers the offense but forgives the offender, the debt of justice is paid; the act of love, which is forgiveness, blots out the original sin – so long as the offender accepts the gift through repentance. Nor is this unjust, if the creditor agrees to pay the debt. For it is not important who pays the debt, so long as the debt is paid – and the debtor shows his gratitude through repentance.

     We see, then, that when evil has been done there are two ways in which justice may be satisfied and evil blotted out: by the suffering of the offender, and by the suffering of the victim in the offender's place. Only in God's law, as opposed to the laws of human government, the suffering of the offender is ineffective if it is not mixed with the particular joy-bringing sorrow of compunction; while the suffering of the victim is ineffective if it is not mixed with the sorrowless joy of forgiveness. Indeed, according to God's law, a victim who does not forgive his offender is himself offending and adding to the total of injustice in the world. Why? First, because "we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3.23), so that all the suffering we receive is, if we would only recognize it, the just repayment of our sins. And secondly, because all sin is, in the first place, sin against God, not man; for as David says: "Against Thee only have I sinned and done thisevil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words and prevail when Thou art judged" (Psalm 50.4). Therefore if we are to be justified before the Just Judge, we must at all times recognize that we are offenders, not victims, remembering that "if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (I Corinthians 11.31).

     Returning now to Christ's redemptive suffering, we find the new law put into practice to a heightened and supremely paradoxical degree. For, on the one hand, since Christ alone of all men was without sin, He alone had no need to suffer, He alone suffered unjustly. But on the other hand, for the very same reason He alone could suffer for all men, He alone could be the perfect Victim, by Him alone could justice be perfectly satisfied. All sacrifices for sin that we could offer are tainted since they are offered from a sinful nature. Only a sinless human nature could offer a true sacrifice for sin. Moreover, Christ suffered all the reality of sin as far as His sinless nature would allow, even to the suffering of death, the tearing apart of His most beautiful creation. And this meant, as we have seen, that His suffering was immeasurably greater than ours in proportion as sin is immeasurably distant from the holiness of God. Thus did He accept to suffer the whole wrath of God against sin in place of sinful mankind, becoming "the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world" (John 1.29). For "surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that made us whole, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53.4-5).

     So the Cross is perfect justice, "the balance-beam of justice", as the Church hymn says - but justice of a supremely paradoxical kind. In St. Maximus' words, it is "the judgement of judgement"[167]. Sin, that is, injustice, is completely blotted out -but by the unjust death and Sacrifice of the Only Sinless and Just One. Christ came "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8.3) and died the death of a sinner, uttering the words expressive of sinners' horror at their abandonment by God. The innocent Head died that the guilty Body should live. He, the Just One, Who committed no sin, took upon Himself the sins of the whole world. When we could not pay the price, He paid it for us; when we were dead in sin, He died to give us life. "For Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust" (I Peter 3.18). And the self-sacrificial love of this sacrifice was so great in the eyes of Divine justice that it blotted out the sins of the whole world - of all men, that is, who respond to this free gift with gratitude and repentance.

     The Church has expressed this paradox with great eloquence: "Come, all ye peoples, and let us venerate the blessed Wood, through which the eternal justice has been brought to pass. For he who by a tree deceived our forefather Adam, is by the Cross himself deceived; and he who by tyranny gained possession of the creature endowed by God with royal dignity, is overthrown in headlong fall. By the Blood of God the poison of the serpent is washed away; and the curse of a just condemnation is loosed by the unjust punishment inflicted on the Just. For it was fitting that wood should be healed by wood, and that through the Passion of One Who knew not passion should be remitted all the sufferings of him who was condemned because of wood. But glory to Thee, O Christ our King, for Thy dread dispensation towards us, whereby Thou hast saved us all, for Thou art good and lovest mankind."[168]

     So there is no conflict between justice and love. To say that God should be loving but not just is like saying that the sun should give light but not heat: it is simply not in His nature. It is not in His nature, and it is not in the nature of any created being. For the simple reason that justice is the order of created beings, it is the state of being as it was originally created. For, as St. Dionysius the Areopagite writes, "Divine justice is really true justice because it distributes to all the things proper to themselves, according to the fitness of each existing thing, and preserves the nature of each in its own order and fitness…, the nature of each in its own order and capacity".[169]

     When people say that God is loving but not just, or, that His justice demonstrates a lack of love, they do not know what they are saying. For His love is aimed precisely towards the restoration of justice, the restoration of "the nature of each in its own order and capacity", in which alone lies its blessedness. And if the restoration of justice involves suffering, this is not the fault of God, but of His creatures who freely go against their nature as God created and thereby create injustice.

     God is justified in His words and prevails when He is judged by those evil men who accuse Him of injustice. As He says through the Prophet Ezekiel: "Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not My ways equal? Are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways" (Ezekiel 18.29-30.). Again, the Prophet Malachi says: "Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgement?" (Malachi 2.17). But God is not unequal in His ways, and He is always the God of judgement.

     For, as St. John of Damascus writes, "a judge justly punishes one who is guilty of wrongdoing; and if he does not punish him he is himself a wrongdoer. In punishing him the judge is not the cause either of the wrongdoing or of the vengeance taken against the wrongdoer, the cause being the wrongdoer's freely chosen actions. Thus too God, Who saw what was going to happen as if it had already happened, judged it as if it had taken place; and if it was evil, that was the cause of its being punished. It was God Who created man, so of course He created him in goodness; but man did evil of his own free choice, and is himself the cause of the vengeance that overtakes him."[170]

     Nor is justice a kind of cold, abstract principle imposed upon Him from without, as it were. As Vladimir Lossky writes: "We should not depict God either as a constitutional monarch subject to a justice that goes beyond Him, or as a tyrant whose whim would create a law without order or objectivity. Justice is not an abstract reality superior to God but an _expression of His nature. Just as He freely creates yet manifests Himself in the order and beauty of creation, so He manifests Himself in His justice: Christ Who is Himself justice, affirms in His fullness God's justice… God's justice is that man should no longer be separated from God. It is the restoration of humanity in Christ, the true Adam."[171]

     Love and justice may be seen as the positive and negative poles respectively of God's Providence in relation to the created universe. Love is the natural, that is, just relationship between God and man. Sin has destroyed love and created injustice. Divine Providence therefore acts to destroy injustice and restore love. We would not need to speak of justice if sin had not destroyed it. But with the entrance of sin, justice is the first necessity – love demands it.

     However, since love never demands of others what it cannot give itself, the justice of God is transmuted into mercy. Mercy is that form of justice in which the punishment of sin is removed from the shoulders of the offender and placed on the shoulders of another, who thereby becomes a propitiatory sacrifice. Thus the Cross is both love and justice, both mercy and sacrifice. It is the perfect manifestation of love, and the perfect satisfaction of justice. And therefore it is at the same time the perfect sacrifice of mercy.

     This intertwining of the themes of love and justice in the Cross of Christ is developed with incomparable grace by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow: "Draw closer and examine the threatening face of God's justice, and you will exactly discern in it the meek gaze of God's love. Man by his sin has fenced off from himself the everlasting source of God's love: and this love is armed with righteousness and judgement – for what? – to destroy this stronghold of division. But since the insignificant essence of the sinner would be irreparably crushed under the blows of purifying Justice, the inaccessible Lover of souls sends His consubstantial Love, that is, His Only-begotten Son, so that He Who `upholds all things by the word of His power' (Hebrews 1.3), might also bear the heaviness of our sins, and the heaviness of the justice advancing towards us, in the flesh of ours that He took upon Himself: and, having Alone extinguished the arrows of wrath, sharpened against the whole of humanity, might reveal in his wounds on the Cross the unblocked springs of mercy and love which was to the whole land that had once been cursed - blessings, life and beatitude. Thus did God love the world.

     "But if the Heavenly Father out of love for the world gives up His Only-begotten Son; then equally the Son out of love for man gives Himself up; and as love crucifies, so is love crucified.[172] For although `the Son can do nothing of Himself', neither can he do anything in spite of Himself. He `does not seek His own will' (John 5.19 and 31), but for that reason is the eternal heir and possessor of the will of His Father. `He abides in His love', but in it He Himself receives into His love all that is loved by the Father, as he says: `As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you' (John 15.9). And in this way the love of the Heavenly Father is extended to the world through the Son: the love of the Only-begotten Son of God at the same time ascends to the Heavenly Father and descends to the world. Here let him who has eyes see the most profound foundation and primordial inner constitution of the Cross, out of the love of the Son of God for His All-holy Father and love for sinful humanity, the two loves intersecting with, and holding on to, each other, apparently dividing up what was one, but in fact uniting the divided into one. Love for God is zealous for God – love for man is merciful to man. Love for God demands that the law of God's righteousness should be observed – love for man does not abandon the transgressor of the law to perish in his unrighteousness. Love for God strives to strike the enemy of God – love for man makes the Divinity man, so as by means of love for God mankind might be deified, and while love for God `lifts the Son of man from the earth' (John 12.32 and 34), love for man opens the embraces of the Son of God for the earthborn, these opposing strivings of love intersect, dissolve into each other, balance each other and make of themselves that wonderful heart of the Cross, on which forgiving `mercy' and judging `truth meet together', God's `righteousness' and man's `peace kiss each other', through which heavenly `truth is sprung up out of the earth, and righteousness' no longer with a threatening eye `hath looked down from heaven. Yea, for the Lord will give goodness, and our land shall yield her fruit' (Psalm 84.11-13)."[173]

     Only at the Last, Most Terrible Judgement will love and justice not be united in mercy for all. And yet the Last Judgement is a mystery proclaimed by the Word of God and grounded in the deepest reality of things. It both proceeds from the nature of God Himself, from His love and His justice, and is an innate demand of our human nature created in the image of God. It is the essential foundation for the practice of virtue and the abhorrence of vice, and the ultimate goal to which the whole of created nature strives, willingly or unwillingly, as to its natural fulfillment. Without it all particular judgements would have a partial and unsatisfactory character, and the reproaches of Job against God, and of all unbelievers against faith, would be justified. And if the Last Judgement is different from all preceding ones in that in it love seems to be separated from justice, love being bestowed exclusively on the righteous and justice on the sinners, this is because mankind will have divided itself into two, one part having responded to love with love, to justice with justice, while the other, having rejected both the love and the justice of God, will merit to experience His justice alone…

     Metropolitan Anthony's error consisted in the fact that he balked at the justice of God, and sought, in a rationalist and pietistic manner, to disengage it, as it were, from His love, assigning to love the primary role in the work of redemption while dismissing justice as a "secondary, incidental aspect" of it.

     First, he balked at the justice of original sin. He considered it unjust that mankind should suffer as a result of the sin of Adam. So he proposed a "rational" solution: that men suffer from their inherited sinful nature, not because of Adam's sin, but because of their own sins – or, more precisely, because they would have sinned in the same way as Adam if put in the same situation. But this contradicts the clear witness of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers, the tradition of the Church in baptizing children "for the remission of sins", the fact that all men before the law died although no sin was imputed to them, and the fact that the Mother of God, though she reversed the sin of Eve by successfully resisting personal sin in all its forms, was nevertheless born in original sin. Moreover, it destroys the perfect symmetry between the old Adam and the new Adam: if we do not inherit original sin from the old Adam through carnal birth, then neither do we acquire redemption from the new Adam through spiritual birth.

     Secondly, he balked at the justice of the Cross. He considered it unjust that by the death of Christ on the Cross, as by a propitiatory sacrifice, the sins of all men should be blotted out. So he proposed a "rational" solution: that the sins of all men are blotted out, not by any propitiatory sacrifice, not by the death of Christ on Golgotha, but by the overflowing of the "revolutionary, almost irresistible" force of His co-suffering love in the Garden of Gethsemane into the hearts of believers. But this contradicts the clear witness of Holy Scripture and the Holy Fathers, the tradition of the Church in communicating believers in the Body and Blood of Christ as in a Sacrificial offering for sin which is "for the remission of sins", and the fact that the sufferings of Christ alone, without His death, could not save us, in that death could be destroyed only by the Death of Christ and the New Testament could be signed only in the blood, presupposing the Death, of the Testator.  Moreover, it confuses the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our redemption: the work of Christ in justifying us is logically and chronologically prior to the work of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying us.

     In many ways, Metropolitan Anthony's error is a typically modern one. Modern man is all in favour of love; but he wishes to disengage it from truth, on the one hand, and justice, on the other. He misinterprets Blessed Augustine's saying: "Love and do what you will"; he thinks that "love covers a multitude of sins", that is, that it can co-exist with all manner of falsehood (which is ecumenism) and all manner of sin (which is secularism, hedonism, modernism of all kinds), and that in the last analysis falsehood and sin simply do not matter: as the pop song puts it, all you need is love.

     But it is not true that all we need is love. We also need truth and justice. These three principles are one in God, but at the same time they are three. God is love, but He is also truth and justice, and His love is incompatible with all untruth and injustice. Christ, Who is love incarnate, came into the world "to witness to the truth" (John 18.37) and "to destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3.8).. He came into the world, therefore, to reestablish truth and justice. He is perfect love in pursuit of perfect truth and perfect justice.

     And if His truth defies all rationalist reason, and His justice all human standards of equity, this only goes to show that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways not our ways, and that we must work out our salvation in fear and trembling; "for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12.29)…

Pascha, 2003.

[1] http://deltard.org/hocna/defense.htm

[2] Andrew Blane (ed.), Georges Florovsky, New York: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1993, p. 311.

[3] Protocols of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, 9/22 April, 1926 (in Russian).

[4] The Letters of His Beatitude Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), Jordanville, 1998 (in Russian), #8470; 83, p. 235.

[5] Letters, op. cit., #8470; 91, p. 244.

[6] Letters, op. cit., #8470; 31, p. 169.

[7] However, in a handwritten note dated February 16/29, 1932, Archbishop Theophan wrote that "under the influence of objections made [against it] Metropolitan Anthony was about to take back his Catechism, which had been introduced for school use instead of the Catechism of Metropolitan Philaret. But, as was soon revealed, he did this insincerely and with exceptional insistence continued to spread his incorrect teaching On the Redemption and many other incorrect teachings included in his Catechism." (Archive of the present writer (in Russian)).

[8] Rose, in Fr. Michael Pomazansky, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1994, Appendix IV: On the New Interpretation of the Dogma of Redemption, p. 403.

[9] Parenta, Herald of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate, 1926, N II (1/14 June), pp. 168-174 (10-34).

[10] One of the earliest critics of Metropolitan Anthony, New Hieromartyr Archbishop Victor of Vyatka, noted already in 1911 that the "new theology" of Metropolitan Anthony and his pupil, Metropolitan (and future "Patriarch") Sergius (Stragorodsky) "would shake the Church". And he saw in Metropolitan Sergius' disastrous "Declaration" of 1927 a direct result of his teaching on salvation – which teaching was openly praised by Metropolitan Anthony in The Dogma of Redemption (Hieromartyr Victor, "The New Theologians", The Church, 1912; Protopriest Michael Polsky, The New Martyrs of Russia, 1949-57, Jordanville, vol. 1, p. 601(in Russian)).

[11] Thus he writes: "We must not quickly return to Peter Moghila, Philaret and Macarius: they will remain subjects for historians. It is quite another matter with his Grace Bishop Theophan of Vyshna: he pointed to the centre of Christian life and r(eligious) thought as being in the domain of morality, and he mainly worked out the concepts of repentance and the struggle with the passions. I venerate those" (Letters, op. cit., #8470; 91, p. 244.).

[12] The Dogma of Redemption, Montreal: Monastery Press, 1979, pp. 5-6.

[13] Metropolitan Philaret, Extended Christian Catechism of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Church, 1823.

[14] St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 21, 24, 31; in Christopher Veniamin (ed.), The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, South Canaan, PA: Saint Tikhon's Seminary Press, 2002, pp. 193, 195, 201.

[15] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, A Sketch of the Christian Moral Teaching, Moscow, 1891, pp. 9-26; quoted in Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, pp. 24-25.

[16] Archbishop Basil (Krivoshein) of Brussels writes that the juridical metaphor is "one-sided" and "incomplete", but nevertheless "expresses a doctrine contained in the Revelation" ("Christ's Redemptive Work on the Cross and in the Resurrection", Sobornost, summer, 1973, series 6, no. 7, pp. 447-448).

[17] Vladimir Lossky, "Christological Dogma", in Orthodox Theology, Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1989, p. 111.

[18] St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book I, chapter 1.

[19] St. Gregory the Theologian, Sermon 28.

[20] St. Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, book II.

[21] St. Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, book II.

[22] St. John Chrysostom, Homily 26 on the First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[23] St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book I, chapter 2.

[24] St. John Chrysostom, Works, Russian edition, vol. V, p. 49. Cf. vol. V, pp. 80-81.

[25] St. John Chrysostom, Works, Russian edition, vol. V, p. 24. Cf. vol. V, p. 79.

[26] St. Gregory the Theologian, Word 31, Works, Russian edition, vol. III, p. 100.

[27] St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book I, ch. 11.

[28] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, p. 48.

[29] St. John of the Ladder, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 24.23.

[30] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, p. 51.

[31] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 13.

[32] Kalomiros, "The River of Fire".

[33] Archbishop Seraphim, The Holy Hierarch Seraphim Sobolev, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood Press, 1992, pp. 46-47 (in Russian).

[34] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 13.

[35] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of Chapters 1-8 of the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans, pp. 231, 234.

[36] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of Chapters 9-16 of the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans, p. 82.

[37] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of Chapters 9-16 of the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans, p. 325.

[38] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of Chapters 1-8 of
the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans, p. 323.

[39] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of  the First Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, Moscow, 1893, p. 86.

[40] The Holy Hierarch Seraphim Sobolev, pp. 48-50.

[41] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of Chapters 1-8 of
the Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Romans, pp. 226-228.

[42] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of  the Second
Epistle of the holy Apostle Paul to the Corinthians,  p. 106.

[43] Bishop Theophan the Recluse, Interpretation of the Epistle of
the holy Apostle Paul to the Galatians, Moscow, 1893, pp. 204-205.

[44] The Holy Hierarch Seraphim Sobolev, pp. 51-53.

[45] St. John Chrysostom, P.G. 61:700, cols. 652, 653.

[46] Blessed Theophylact, Explanation of the Gospel of John, 14.16.

[47] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 52.

[48] Or, offering. The kinship of the Russian word for sacrifice (#1078; #1077; #1088; #1090; #1074; #1072;) and for contribution (#1087; #1086; #1078; #1077; #1088; #1090; #1074; #1086; #1074; #1072; #1085; I #1077;) should be noted. – note of the translators (HOCNA).

[49] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 42-43.

[50] St. Gregory, Homily 45 on Pascha, 22, quoted by Protopresbyter George Grabbe in his foreword to The Dogma of Redemption, pp. vi- vii.

[51] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, pp. 9-11.

[52] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, p. 11.

[53] Metropolitan Anthony wrote opposite this: "True, but this contradicts [Metropolitan] Philaret" (HOCNA bishops resolution, p. 13). But does it? No proof is offered that Metropolitan Philaret  would have rejected Archbishop Theophan's formulation.

[54] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption.

[55] St. Gregory the Theologian, Works, Russian edition, vol. V, p. 42. Cf. Homily 20  (PG 35.1068d).

[56] St. Gregory the Theologian, Works, Russian edition, vol. I, pp. 179-180, Moscow, 1889 and vol. I, St. Petersburg edition, p. 669.

[57] St. Gregory the Theologian, Works, Russian edition, vol. IV, pp. 132-142, Moscow, 1889 and vol. I, St. Petersburg edition, p. 675-680.

[58] St. John Chrysostom, Works, Russian edition, vol. III, pp. 898-900.

[59] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, pp. 25-27.

[60] St. Gregory the Theologian, Word 30, Works, Russian edition, vol. III, p. 82 or vol. I (St. Petersburg), p. 442.

[61] St. Gregory the Theologian, Word 19, Works, Russian edition, vol. II, p. 129 or vol. I (St. Petersburg), p. 296.

[62] St. Gregory the Theologian, Word 3, Works, Russian edition, vol. I, pp. 58-59 or vol. I (St. Petersburg), p. 58; Word 20, vol. II, p. 235 or vol. I (St. Petersburg), p. 299; Verses on himself, vol. IV, p. 247 or vol. II (St. Petersburg), p. 66.

[63] St. Gregory the Theologian, Verses on himself, vol. IV, p. 245 or vol. II (St. Petersburg), p. 22.

[64] St. Gregory the Theologian, Word 29, Works, Russian edition, vol. III, p. 61 or vol. I (St. Petersburg), p. 427.

[65] St. Athanasius the Great, Tenth Paschal Epistle, 10; Works, Russian edition, vol. III, p. 464.

[66] St. Athanasius the Great, On the Incarnation of God the Word, 37; Works, Russian edition (St. Sergius Lavra, 1902), vol. I, p. 238.

[67] St. Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, book VI, 2; Works, Russian edition, vol. VI, pp. 43-44.

[68] St. Gregory of Nyssa, To Olympius the Monk on Perfection; Works, Russian edition, vol. VII, p. 237.

[69] St. Gregory of Nyssa, Word on Holy Pascha; Works, Russian edition, vol. VIII, p. 38.

[70] St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on John, 13, 3; Works, Russian edition, vol. VIII, p. 95.

[71] St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on John, 18, 2; Works, Russian edition, vol. VIII, p. 119-120.

[72] St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on John, 46, 4; Works, Russian edition, vol. VIII, p. 306.

[73] St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on John, 46, 3; Works, Russian edition, vol. VIII, p. 305.

[74] St. John Chrysostom, Against the Jews; Works, Russian edition, vol. I, p. 722.

[75] St. John Chrysostom, Works, Russian edition, vol. II, pp. 437-438. Cf. vol. II, pp. 446-449.

[76] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Interpretation of the Gospel of John; Works of the Holy Fathers, Sergiev Posad, 1901, vol. 64, pp. 175-176 (in Russian).

[77] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On worship and service in spirit and in truth, part I.

[78] St. Cyril of Alexandria, Interpretation of the Gospel of John; Works of the Holy Fathers, Sergiev Posad, 1901, vol. 66, pp. 175-176 (in Russian)..

[79] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On worship and service in spirit and in truth, part II.

[80] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On worship and service in spirit and in truth, part II.

[81] St. Basil the Great, Letter to Bishop Optimus; Works, Russian edition, Sergiev Posad, 1892, vol. VII, p. 224.

[82] St. Basil the Great, Homily 19 on Psalm 48, 3, 4; Works, Russian edition, Sergiev Posad, 1892, vol. I, pp. 194-195.

[83] St. Basil the Great, Works, Russian edition, Sergiev Posad, 1892, vol. I, pp. 241-242.

[84] St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book IV, ch. 11.

[85] St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book IV, ch. 11.

[86] Prayer recited secretly by the priest during the Cherubic hymn.

[87] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, pp. 29-32.

[88] In 1157 another council was convened at Blachernae in Constantinople which condemned the teachings of the Deacons Basilakes and Soterichus. The condemnation was incorporated into the Synodikon of Orthodoxy as follows:


     To those who say that at the season of the world-saving Passion of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, when He offered the sacrifice of His precious body and blood for our salvation and fulfilled in His human nature the ministry of High Priest for us (since He is at the same time God and Sacrificer and Victim, according to St. Gregory the Theologian[88]), He did offer the sacrifice to God the Father, yet He, the Only-begotten, in company with the Holy Spirit, did not accept the sacrifice as God together with the Father; to those who by such teachings estrange from the divine equality of honour and dignity both God the Word and the Comforter Spirit, Who is of one essence and of one glory with Him: Anathema (3)

     To those who do not accept that the sacrifice offered daily by those who have received from Christ the priestly service of the divine Mysteries is in fact offered to the Holy Trinity, and who thereby contradict the sacred and divine Fathers, Basil and Chrysostom, with whom the other God-bearing Fathers also agree in both their words and their writings: Anathema (3)  (The True Vine, issues 27 and 28, Spring, 2000, pp. 53-55)

[89] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption.

[90] St. Gregory of Nyssa, Sermon One on the Resurrection of Christ, Jaeger, vol. 9, p. 287. In William A. Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1979, volume 2, p. 59.

[91] Triodion, Sunday of the Prodigal son, Vespers, "Lord, I have cried", verse.

[92] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 18-19, 24, 27-29.

[93] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 30.

[94] Archbishop Theophan lists: St. Athanasius the Great (On the Incarnation of the Word and against the Arians, 21; Third Word against the Arians, 57), St. Gregory of Nyssa (Antirrheticus, or Refutation of the Opinions of Apollinarius, 32), St. John Chrysostom (Against the Anomeans, Word 7), St. Cyril of Alexandria (Interpretation of the Gospel according to John, 12.26-27; Interpretation of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah), St. Ephraim the Syrian (Interpretation of the Four Gospels) and St. John of Damascus (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, III, 18). Fr. Seraphim Rose adds to this list St. Symeon the New Theologian (Homily 39, 5).

[95] St. Maximus the Confessor, PG 91:297B-300A. Translated in Joseph Farrell, Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor, South Canaan: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1989, pp. 167-168.

[96] St. Maximus the Confessor, PG 91:297CD; St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, III, 23.

[97] St. Maximus the Confessor, Theological and Polemical Works 6, PG:68C. In Farrell, op. cit., p. 172.

[98] St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, III, 18.

[99] For, as the same author writes, commenting on the verse: "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" (Matthew 20.22), "the cup means martyrdom and one's own death" (Commentary on Matthew, House Springs, Mo.: Chrysostom Press, 1992, p. 171).

[100] Blessed Theophylact, Explanation of the Gospel according to Luke, House Springs, Mo.: Chrysostom Press, 1997, pp. 293-294.

[101] Archbishop Averky, Guide to the Study of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, Jordanville: Holy Trinity Monastery, volume 1, 1974, pp. 290-291 (in Russian)

[102] "What did Christ Pray about in the Garden of Gethsemane?", Living Orthodoxy, N 87, vol. XV, no. 3, May-June, 1993, pp. 5, 6, 7, 8.

[103] Archbishop Theophan, On the Redemption, p. 23.

[104] Archbishop Nikon, Life and Works of Metropolitan Anthony, 1960, volume IV, p. 45 (in Russian).

[105] Grabbe, Introduction to The Dogma of Redemption, pp. ix, viii.

[106] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 6.

[107] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 51.

[108] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 52. And in his Catechism he writes that the purpose of Christ's death consisted in "making death itself unfrightening" (p. 50). Fr. George Florovsky calls this explanation "rather naďve".

[109] St. John of Damascus, On the Holy Sabbath, 2; P.G. 96:604A; in
Vassiliadis, op. cit., p. 143.

[110] St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, IV, 11; P.G. 94:1128-1129; in Vassiliadis, op. cit., p. 143.

[111] Bishop Theophan, Interpretation of the Epistles of the Holy Apostle Paul, St. Petersburg, 1912, Moscow, 2002, p. 588 (in Russian).

[112] St. Gregory the Theologian, Homily 45, on Holy Pascha, 28.

[113] Florovsky, "Redemption", Creation and Redemption, Belmont, Mass.: Nordland Publishing Company, 1976, pp. 99, 104. The last sentence here is not an accurate translation of the Russian. It should rather read: "This was the destruction of death. And one can understand this only from the meaning of death".

[114] Florovsky, "On the death of the Cross", Dogma and History, Moscow, 1998, p. 189, footnote (in Russian). This footnote is not in the English Nordland translation.

[115] Lim, Sermon, September 14/27, 2002.

[116] Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, London: James Clarke, 1957, p. 148.

[117] St. Philaret, Great Friday sermon, 1973; in The Dogma of Redemption, op. cit., pp. 57-58.

[118] One Soviet metropolitan is reported to have said that Christ on the Cross, in uttering the cry: "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?", actually became an atheist. This is, of course, nonsense. But it is not nonsense – rather, it is the precise truth – to say that on the Cross Christ took upon Himself the horror of the atheist's condition, the accursedness of being without God ("a" – without, "theos" – God).

[119] St. Basil the Great, Long Rules, Question 2.4; P.G. 31:916A; in Vassiliadis, op. cit., p. 143.

[120] St. Augustine,Discourse on Psalm 37, 6, 7; New York: Newman Press, 1961.

[121] This doctrine was also confirmed at the Council of Blachernae in 1157 and included in the Synodicon of Orthodoxy as follows: "To those who hear the Saviour when He said in regard to the priestly service of the divine Mysteries delivered by Him, `This do in remembrance of Me', but who do not understand the word `remembrance' correctly, and who dare to say that the daily sacrifice offered by the sacred ministers of the divine Mysteries exactly as our Saviour, the Master of all, delivered to us, re-enacts only symbolically and figuratively the sacrifice of His own body and blood which our Saviour had offered on the Cross for the ransom and redemption of our common human nature; for this reason, since they introduce the doctrine that this sacrifice is different from the one originally consummated by the Saviour and that it recalls only symbolically and figuratively, they bring to naught the Mystery of the awesome and divine priestly service whereby we receive the earnest of the future life; therefore, to those who deny what is staunchly proclaimed by our divine Father, John Chrysostom, who says in many commentaries on the sayings of the great Paul that the sacrifice is identical, that both are one and the same: Anathema (3)" (The True Vine, issues 27 and 28, Spring, 2000, p. 55)

[122] St. Gregory of Nyssa, First Sermon on the Resurrection; quoted in Georges Florovsky, op. cit., p. 335.

[123] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 33-34.

[124] Archbishop Theophan, On the unity of nature, p. 11.

[125] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 34-35, 36.

[126] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 37-38.

[127] St. Maximus the Confessor, Fourth Century on Love, 14. As Fr. George Florovsky writes: "sin does not belong to human nature, but is a parasitic and abnormal growth. This was point was vigorously stressed by St. Gregory of Nyssa and particularly by St. Maximus the Confessor in connection with their teaching of the will as the seat of sin" ("Redemption", Creation and Redemption, op. cit., p. 98).

[128] St. Maximus the Confessor, Epistle on love, 6.

[129] St. Maximus the Confessor, PG 91:309B-312A, quoted in Farrell, op. cit., p. 159.

[130] Archbishop Theophan, On the Unity of Nature, pp. 16-18.

[131] Archbishop Theophan, On the Unity of Nature, p. 11. In what sense, it may then be asked, did Christ take on human nature? Did He take on human nature understood as an abstract unity, or as the human species comprising all individual human hypostases? Neither the one nor the other, according to St. John of Damascus. For, as Professor Georgios Mantzaridis explains the Holy Father's thought: "'nature' can be understood firstly to denote an abstraction, in which case it has no intrinsic reality; secondly, to denote a species, in which case it comprises all the individual hypostases of that species; and thirdly, it can be viewed as a particular, in which case it is linked with the nature of the species but does not comprise all its individual hypostases. The Logos of God made flesh did not take on human nature in the first two senses, because in the first case there would be no incarnation but only delusion, and in the second case there would be incarnation in all human individual hypostases. Therefore, what the Logos of God took on in His incarnation was the `first-fruits of our substance', individual nature, which did not previously exist as individual in itself, but came into existence in His hypostasis" (The Deification of Man, Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984, pp. 29-30).

[132] St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, book I, chapter 8.

[133] Archbishop Theophan, The Patristic Teaching on Original Sin.

[134] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 47.

[135] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 47-48.

[136] Attempt at a Christian Catechism, Third Article, Victoria, Australia, 1990, p. 45.

[137] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 47.

[138] Quoted in Demetrios Tzami, I Protologia tou M. Vasileiou, Thessaloniki, 1970, p. 135 (in Greek).

[139] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On Romans, 5.18, P.G. 74: 788-789.

[140] St. John Chrysostom, Homily 10 on Romans.

[141] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 40. Cf. similar statements in his Catechism, p. 54, "On the Fourth Article".

[142] St. Cyril of Alexandria, On Romans 5.15, P.G. 74:785C; quoted in Nikolaos Vassiliadis, The Mystery of Death, Athens: "Sotir", 1993, p. 85.

[143] St. Symeon, The Discourses, V: On Penitence, 9.

[144] St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 5: On the Meeting of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ, in Christopher Veniamin, The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, South Canaan, PA: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 2002, vol. I, p. 52.

[145] Archbishop Theophan, The Patristic Teaching on Original Sin.

[146] St. Maximus the Confessor, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, 42.

[147] David here, as St. John Chrysostom points out, "does not condemn marriage, as some have thoughtlessly supposed" (On Psalm 50, M.P.G. 55:583).

[148] St. Gregory of Nyssa, On the Beatitudes, 6, PG. 44, 1273.

[149] St. Gennadius, in K. Staab (ed.) Pauline Commentary from the Greek Church: Collected and Edited Catena, Munster in Westfalen, 1933, 15:362.

[150] St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 14, 5; Veniamin, op. cit., p. 159.

[151] Archbishop Theophan, The Patristic Teaching on Original Sin.

[152] St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 15.31.

[153] Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Paul's Epistles, CSEL 81:165, 167, 169.

[154] Blessed Augustine, On Romans, 27-28.

[155] St. John Chrysostom, Homily 10 on Romans.

[156] Quoted by Archbishop Theophan, op. cit.

[157] St. Ambrose of Milan, On the death of his brother Satyrus.

[158] St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 17; Veniamin, op. cit., p. 190.

[159] Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev), op. cit., p. 72.

[160] St. John Maximovich, The Orthodox Veneration of the Mary the Birthgiver of God, Platina: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1996, p. 59.

[161] The Dogma of Redemption, pp. 1-2.

[162] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 10.

[163] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 20.

[164] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 19.

[165] The Dogma of Redemption, p. 41.

[166] St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 16, 1,2,21; Veniamin, op. cit., pp. 179-180, 194.

[167] St. Maximus the Confessor, Quaestiones ad Thalassium, PG 90:408D.

[168] Menaion, September 14, Great Vespers of the Exaltation of the Cross, "Lord, I have cried", "Glory… Both now…"

[169] St. Dionysius the Areopagite, cited in Orthodoxy Canada, 1980, vol. 7, p. 29.

[170] St. John of Damascus, Dialogue against the Manichaeans, 37.

[171] Lossky, "Christological Dogma", op. cit., pp. 114-115. My italics (V.M.).

[172] In the mystery of the Cross, says Metropolitan Philaret, is expressed "the crucifying love of the Father, the crucified love of the Son, the love of the Holy Spirit triumphant in the power of the Cross. For God so loved the world". Metropolitan Anthony's comment on these words is dismissive: "this is a most unpersuasive sophism, a mere juggling of words. What sort of love is it that crucifies? Who needs it?" (The Dogma of Redemption, p. 6).

[173] Metropolitan Philaret, "Sermon on Holy Friday (1816)", in Philareta Mitropolita Moskovskogo i Kolomenskogo Tvorenia, Moscow, 1994, pp. 107-108 (in Russian).

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We get them all the time.  But one thing we do many are unaware of... We keep an automatic telephone log and then we turn them over to the same group who monitors and interacts with the hackers, etc.

It no longer matters if the caller telephones once in a day, every other day or every day or several times a week, once a week or for several months... All get logged, even those who think they have escaped notice by using the actual I.D. Caller number of "000-000-0000" which is has been used, even those who don't show up on caller I.D. as hang-ups now. With new technology being what it is it only takes one ring at a person's (receiving phone to activate some of the new technology being used which locks the caller's phone number in, even when they use by-pass alternate numbers to make shrewd calls).  We are advised one caller is facing terrorism criminal charges even though he used three different go-through numbers ranging all around the world, but were found to originate their call from California.  Hmmm.... what does this tell you?   Others, we are advised were found to be out of Michigan, Ohio, even Illinois and another state.

It is known that a telephone number showing up on some caller I.D.'s may actually be a telephone service provider phone number, yet... they too keep logs and information as to each individual cellular or local (their locale) phone usage... 

In the not-to-distant future, we intend to post some of those telephone numbers and, hopefully, persons, which constantly show up as "harassing hang-up" callers.  May be, you too have the same? 

Keep Watch!

Those who do such unscrupulous things, HATE some of the news, quotes, and such as to inform the general public.  Some of them pose as clergy, while a few are actually clergy from various "other" offshoot AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH or other jurisdiction(s) of the same or similar name of which we are, in some instances, their former MOTHER CHURCH (as is the same named Toledo, Ohio based, an offshoot, who had once been a part of us and unknowingly to our unworthy selves, were once a part of the clergy but they did not obtain permission to leave the jurisdiction they were under, according to Canon, and thus obtained for themselves re-ordination and consecrations, several times... and then using a variety of church names, including our own after they were defrocked and excommunicated, having more than three (3) times being excommunicated by other legitimate apostles/bishops); having joined in and with  "Independent" churches who have nothing to do with us or even true Orthodoxy.  We have the information on their numerous "Paper Church" names and name changes.  But the real issue is whether they were ever truly an ordained Priest and bishop?


It is true that when one is ordained to the priesthood, the old saying of "Once a Priest, always a priest forever..." holds true... But where there has been or is deception and fraud involved, the old saying is invalid altogether which is the stool kicked out from under any subsequent consecrations as a Bishop for the Episcopacy has then been obtained on a sheet of lies and therefore they are frauds, wolves in sheep's clothing.  The problem here is with civil authorities and agencies. 


Any documents a false one obtains from those who ordained him, including subsequent documents relating to consecrations; civil authorities never (or hardly ever) verify their validity and thus issue their own documents and errantly recognize the individual. 


These false sheep in wolf's clothing seek to go out of their way to character assassinate and disparage religious web sites who do not meet their own brand of standardization and those who know where the proverbial "bones are buried on them" which is evidence of the wolf not being "Orthodox" "Christian" or even "Catholic" no matter what their nomenclature corporate name may be.  The Toldeo, Ohio based same or similar named person/group under his/their so-called leader has been deposed, defrocked and excommunicated more than three different times by various bishops/apostles.  He, and several others, have become just as bad as the modern day Ecumenists of the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops and more.  It matters not now... whether they use the so-called name of "Athonite" "Benedictine" "Celtic" "Old Roman" "Old Catholic" - etc..  A name does not make one Christian. Their ultimate aim and goal is destruction to those from whom they had either originated from or gone through to obtain the same or similar named "church" they claim to hold to by the state's civil law in which they reside alone.  They are not a "Schema-monk" or even a true "monk" for they were deposed and excommunicated for violations of the Holy Rule they claim to subscribe to, giving and openly providing false misleading and inaccurate information about other more honorable clergy.  These 'wolves in sheep's clothing attract other nefarious and questionable persons whose aims are similar: for fame, image, power and glory, and if it should be that 'fortunes' come along, all the more is their power based.


    Remember, anything that is a HALF TRUTH is not truth but a lie!  Many there are that you may know who fit those descriptions... pray for them.  Pray that God will send his Spirit of Truth upon them and lead them to Salvation through tears of Repentance, conversion of their cold and calculating hearts toward seeking forgiveness from God and those whom they attempt to harm. 


    Those who receive e-mail from us, know who we are and from where we send mail.  There are also many who know that they can send e-mail under another group or person's e-mail address, which has been happening.  If you receive e-mail that purports itself to be from us, verify first by hitting your "reply" button and ask, "I received this e-mail but would like verification if it is from you.


    If you are of another jurisdiction, you too could find that your parishioners, clergy and faithful might become subject to the same as we have recently found. 


    Let this be a warning to visitors so as to be safeguarded against unscrupulous e-mails which contain viruses, worms and unsavory material from person(s) organizations or institutions that are more self-serving than uplifting and informatively news worthy. 


    For ourselves, we have, as in the past, so once again, acquired the assistance of those who are able and capable of tracing e-mails back to their source and taking appropriate action in North America. 


    We have learned that the organization we subscribe to, whose members come from various legal and law enforcement backgrounds amongst other areas of society, are committed to the faith even though they may hold different theologies.  Yet, in their monitoring of electronic communications of various persons or people, they do not always make haste to bring perpetrators to justice until after enough evidence has been gained in order to build a solid case.  We do not always know what information they have gained, but we do know the organization, whom we've been asked not to name, has had a 97% success rate in bringing to justice and obtaining a conviction against individuals, people, and sometimes even religious organizations of a persona that gives the appearance of both secular and religious bearing but who abuse and misuse technology.  The organization views those who abuse and misuse the internet and other technologies as nothing more than a form of "domestic terrorism" - - - - and, it would seem to appear that the courts are in agreement!


 Those kinds of people, organizations, etc. who misuse and abuse communication technologies are no different than those who attempt to use coercive measures, and in some instance, even blackmail for the same idea is involved... to cause havoc and wreckage, to destroy the spirit and activity of those who struggle in the faith out of pain of heart for the Orthodox Church which is TRUTH. The degree that some have been known to go to, as seen by other jurisdictions, is to take advantage of questionably mentally challenged or those who have a lack of education and understanding to get them to make statements, even outright lies, in writing, in order to destroy.  Such persons or groups are spiritual terrorists for unholy and un-Orthodox causes, aims and goals.


    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...


    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".


  The Founding of Orthodoxy 

How Many Times

Is Christianity Collapsing? A theological evaluation regarding T.B.N. and its so-called ministers!

Part II -Is Christianity Collapsing?

The Demise of Marriage And Dissolution of the Family

» Abouna's Two Cents Worth or at his new website at:

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Amber Alert Information on missing Children

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It is one's duty as a true Christian which rests upon the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith established by Jesus Christ, that one continues on the path, the struggle in this life to: Learn the true meaning of Pascha (Easter) and the Life of Christ, His teachings and their importance for all who call themselves "Christian" which means "a follower of Jesus Christ":



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When Viewing a News Article click on the link to Return to "Home Page" or Daily News for 2006. For Daily/weekly News and Information Archives click on one of the follwoing:


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     Our Daily/Weekly News and information gathering has enlarged.  As a result, we will be posting, on the entry page, only those current News and Informational Items for the day/week.  All other news and informational items for previous days in the month will be moved to our Archive Pages for that month and year, as shown above... 

     Also... It is suggested you view the article and especially the related commentary opinion having to do with your telephone, internet and other activities since the defeat of one of the extension provisions of the Patriot Act by clicking here...


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We are an educational, News-informational and research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life.

A few have sent us inquiries as to why we post information and/or articles relating to what might be considered as political and sometimes from other Protestants .  And the reply is much the same as it states on the entry page....  We Are:

A Non-Profit Religious Hosting Service


an Educational, News, Informational and Research Web Site dedicated to providing such as befits those who seek things pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith and life for various

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While the answer and question above is not sufficient for some to understand, we take the view (which we believe is ORTHODOX) that all things pertinent to life and living affects, and has an effect, upon not just our belief (Orthodox), but (for many) the way in which we act in accordance with our belief, our very faith. 

Because this is a highly Protestant Country in which we live, having an effect upon the laws of the land, we should know something of what is on-going and where efforts by those denominations may affect and have a intrinsic effect on our very laws, for such does have an effect upon our daily lives as Orthodox Catholic Christians. 

If one is not cognizant of the real events happening both locally and in the world, although many are removed from the world... one will not know what to expect or what to do, or how one can or cannot act which might betray one's faith and accrue the wrath of civil authorities as laws change.  Yet, we are also reminded that these things must happen and it was for that which there exists many early Christian Martyrs and Saints. 

While we can remove ourselves from the world, we still live in it.  And for the faithful, theirs is a struggle for knowledge and understanding.  All things are pertinent to the Orthodox Catholic Christian Faith which is the very foundation of Christianity.  As such, we can not abandon them and leave them blind to events and happenings. 

What we post as related to those things similar to various articles which might have a political theme or non-Orthodox Catholic Christian content of sorts ... does not mean or imply that we are supportive of, for, or against something articulated in an article, so much as it is NEWS and our faithful should be made aware, for such may be the very thing that will impact their day-to-day life.  It is for them, their free will... to judge the relevancy.

Remember, not all Protestants, especially hard core cultic groups such as "Charismatic" - "Evangelical" "Promise Keepers" "Church of Christ" "Methodism" "Pentecostals" "Jehovah's Witnesses" "Mormons" and other people are not so generous in their viciousness toward anyone and anything that appears "Catholic" whether of the Roman or Orthodox jurisdictions, for they do not know or want to learn that which makes them "different" in their walk and talk as being far from the roots of Christianity. 

Remember, it is the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church which has more outwardly shown that it can be one of the most vicious toward those who are not Roman but are very much "Catholic" - for the sun and moon does not rise and set on the Vatican (Latin or Roman) jurisdiction as to who is or is not "Catholic" for the Roman jurisdiction split (schismed) from the roots of "Catholicism" which is founded in what is termed and called today as "Orthodoxy".

Any good article or piece of information will be considered so long as it is not defamatory or slanderous toward an individual when not based on TRUTH or FACT, or which is altered out of context from its original publishing by recognized sources. All new articles submitted, after viewing and recommendations, are passed to our Editor, our Vladyka, +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.

“I prefer a defeat accompanied by humility to a victory accompanied by pride.”

                                                                               --An Elder

    Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ.  The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...


    The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption!  It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".


   "It would be better to have ten (10) true repentant X-felons who ask for and give true forgiveness than it would be to have one (1) non-x-felon or common person whose self-righteousness exceeds even the Pharisees, Sadducees, the gossip mongers, slanderers and un-repentant; for the repentant x-felon understands the true meaning of the Church's purpose as being the spiritual hospital." (siq) +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate


Yes... "Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater..." (1992-Fr. Alan Stanford)


One can ask, "What part of 'Prejudice' and 'hate' do you not understand?  Are you a complacent person?  In light of the saying, examine yourself!  You may be surprised if you are honest with yourself for your soul may convict you before Jesus Christ convicts you in the times to come!


"When tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came, but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor."

St. Mark the Ascetic.

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalms 32:1-2

    For further information about how spammers, hackers and those who are angry with you can or will attempt to do damage, we offer the following link as regards some of the computer - internet problems:



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Privacy Watch NOTICE to VISITORS ABOUT OUR E-MAIL, Telephone and Response POLICY - Updated


Saint Jude Thaddeus (Helper of the Hopeless) and  The Thaddean Fathers (SSJt.)


MAN: To Err, the Church and Holy Spirit

The True meaning of Repentance and forgiveness



Is Christianity At The Cross Roads?


As The World Goes, So Goes The Church


Anomalies in Ecclesiology of Contemporary Orthodox Churches


Attempts at Coming to An Understanding of Orthodox Catholic Christianity


A Response to two articles: “Pedophilia Condoned (Approved) By Islam & Dalai Lama With Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox and Others"




The Definition and Meaning of "Orthodoxy"

Orthodox Catholic Christian Fasts, Feasts, and Daily Prayers

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