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Quotes from Father Thaddeus

Quotes From His Eminence, +Joseph Thaddeus, O.S.B., SSJt., Ph.D.

Metropolitan Archbishop - Abbot

 

Quotes from Father Thaddeus  is a series of questions and answers placed in a "Basic Theme" format.  The questions and answers are based on real events, actual happenings, news and information garnered from throughout the world and questions posed.  Some questions under the "Basic Theme" may not necessarily reflect on the theme itself, but have (as a side issue) some relevance. 


December 2004

 

Jason (Florida): December 29, 2005 (Posted January 3, 2005)

Father, your blessing:  What constitutes spiritual fraud versus material fraud?

 

Father Thaddeus replies: There are many ways to answer this question and those of true Orthodoxy would probably want to rake me over the coals for the manner with which I will attempt to answer the question straight forward.

 

Most know what material fraud is.  Spiritual fraud is anything whereby an individual has attempted to break a promise that impinges on some things material and on many things spiritual relating to one's promise to change their ways.  Let me provide an example.  Many, many years ago a man came to me who showed documentation that he was a duly ordained priest.  In some of those documents was a photo.  Yet, the very civil documents needed to identify the individual exactly were never presented.  He played upon the religious documents.  He claimed coming from New York State, USA.  Because of our own episcopal youth (as a bishop), we were not as alert as we are in these present times. 

 

The man was accepted and sent to serve in a parish in the North West part of the U.S.  He did much damage afterwards. 

 

When a friend of ours in the Greek Church took action to investigate, it was found that the man stole documents from the true priest who had passed away.  In this instance, both material and spiritual fraud were perpetrated. 

 

Then, for another example: a man of the hierarchy has for many years claimed himself to be a certain person.  He presented religious documentation.  Telephone calls verified the identity of the individual as being a clergyman of degree he claims.  Yet, even though the man had promises to "Make all things known" - he has continually found excuses and means to work around the keeping of the promises made.  In fact, the man has done worse than that by claiming many things that would make it appear that he and those with him have little to nothing.  The fact that they have little to nothing is virtually true.  And, by so doing, received much support and has replied with many promises.  Nothing has actually come about to support those promises in spirit and truth except words and minor actions.  Although having promised to change his ways, everything points to the opposite.  This is a form of spiritual fraud.  The same exists in another example where one received temporary use of a corporate religious name, failing and refusing to give due honor and respect to the one from whom he had received it, along with those of that synod.  When he was apprised of his failure, he claimed that because the original documentation had no wording to that effect of "temporary" he could do as he sought fit.  In fact he did just that.  Yet, as for the promise of "temporary" his remarks had been 'that was then, this is now, I am in control and I am the power'.  This is spiritual fraud too.

 

When making promises to anyone, be as honest as possible in living up to those promises without a fault.  If, for real excusable reasons one cannot live up to promises made on-time, let it be know and be specific as to the exact reasons.  Don't shilly-shally around! 

 

We all err.  This is not a perfect Church in this life.  We are not perfect clergymen.  We were never promised that the Holy Spirit would make us wholly perfect, but to lead us into truth!  And it is that truth which is being violated by those who make promises and have no intention to maintain those promises, often times stretching a promise's goal or time sequence in which it is to be kept, in a way and manner this is akin to politics, an unholy thing.  Spiritual fraud is many things.  A promise made to another person is the same as making a promise to God.  If you are dishonest in making the promise, you are dishonest to God Himself.  For your intentions become known.  To make it appear that you are one thing and then do another, it is a form of spiritual fraud.  To claim you are going to do one thing and do another, that is spiritual fraud. 

 

Spiritual fraud is also akin to that of sheep stealing when clergy claim one thing and go behind the backs of others, either directly or indirectly through using others by ardent verbiage, to dissuade faithful away from a clergy man to that of another.  This is, again, a form of secularizing the Church by inculcating politics that is akin to spiritual fraud!  There are many times in which this has been seen not just by priests and bishops, but by faithful themselves after they have awakened to the realization of what has happened and what the real truth is.

 

Spiritual fraud can also be seen as not telling the whole truth, but only a part of the truth!  If the whole truth, when known, is not told... it is a truth twisted into a lie and it is a form of spiritual fraud too.

 

One last comment on this subject.  This question and the answer hinges on one's understanding or lack of understanding on Mark 4:11-12 in which it is stated, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and many indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven."  There are many a clergyman who fails to understand and thus commit both knowingly and unknowingly, spiritual fraud. And here you can learn its meaning by clicking on this sentence.

 

Alex C. (Baltimore, MD): December 26, 2004

Bless Father.  I noticed the information on your website concerning the differences in traditions of the East and West concerning Christmas.  Do you observe the Orthodox Christmas of January 7th versus that of the Western Christmas of December 25th?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

Yes, we most assuredly do!  While many observe the present day materialism of December 25th, we most assuredly observe those things described in the Christmas Message as posted.

 

Samuel D. (Los Angeles, CA): December 24, 2004

Your blessings Eminence.  I was recently ordained a "Deacon" in another jurisdiction which is in communion with the American Orthodox Church (also known in recent times as the North American Orthodox Church) under your direction.  As a student at one of the large Universities in Los Angeles, I began my thesis.  In one of my course studies I began to do some research and noticed your birth name versus that of your adoption name and your professional which became your legal name followed by your religious name.  In my scouring the internet I came across other information and found that your birth name is used as being a co-consecrator once for a bishop in Indiana with the principle consecrator out of Ohio. Then I found that the consecration of that Indiana Bishop was for the name of just "Orthodox Benedictine Monastery" under the religious umbrella of "Orthodox Benedictine Monastery of the Dormition of Mary" and/or "Latin Orthodox Benedictine Fathers/Northwest Indiana".  What befuddles the imagination is how can a consecrator ordain/consecrate a bishop for a specific purpose and later change the direction or documents to that of another nomenclature such as "Athonite Benedictine" from the initial purpose for which the bishop was consecrated?  How can they appropriate the name "Athonite" when they were not even  brought into the Benedictine fold by those who were truly "Athonites" from Mt. Athos? How could you even sanction such an action and why did you not demand or declare the truth for the purpose of clarification as to your roll as assisting bishop?  And last... would this not be tantamount to that which you have often times called "spiritual fraud"? What is the real truth?

 

A reply:

When the assistant webmaster brought your questions on this particular issue forward, an e-mail which, by now, you should have received concerning this issue, was sent in reply.  The Indiana bishop is a true bishop in the Lines of Succession.  But, because of a denouncement, a repudiation, of any consecration by 'Thaddeus" as regards the laying on of hands by the Ohio bishop upon 'Thaddeus', it only stands to reason that the Indiana bishop has received his consecration single-handedly as any assistance would have been automatically included in the repudiation/denouncement.  Although single handed consecrations are valid, they are irregular.  You are correct in your findings concerning the birth name, adoption name, professional name and the religious name of 'Thaddeus'.  In time to come it is intended to place all things in proper perspective.  As to the initial name used by the assisting consecrator, their was nothing illegal involved so much as it was the consecrand (Indiana bishop) who demanded that the religious name not be used as a means to distance himself from the taint of truth which would have otherwise shown a support of all that the Church defends without exclusion!  Because the primary (Ohio) consecrator and the one who had been consecrated (Indiana) are not a part of the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH international and national headquarters, their usage of the nomenclature "AOC" is only with regards to their individual state for they are an offshoot of the original AOC (NAOC) out of California, and their validity is not denied for they are indeed valid bishops. As to "Athonite" we are not qualified to answer that question even though it is believed in your question lies the answer. And might it be added that they were truly made Benedictine members by others who are Benedictine.  They are consecrated Bishops and they are also Benedictine members.  What they call themselves today may be different from yester-days and the many tomorrows to come.

 

Ted (Las Cruces, NM): December 22, 2004

Your Eminence, bless.  I watched a television special in which it was reported that Muslims (Islam) believe Jesus Christ to be a prophet and that Mary is revered by them as a significant figure in their Muslim beliefs.  I can only wonder what tripe this is.  Correct me if I am wrong.

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

If you had studied history to any degree concerning the Muslims (Islam), you would have learned that their originator and his followers had been kicked out of their native land because the pagans would not listen or even accept his new teachings which are supposed to be inspired by their 'Allah'. 

 

The truth of the matter is that their originator, when he and his followers were run-out of their pagan lands, they sought refuge in Constantinople in those ancient times.  They were dumb-founded for both the beauty of the Temples (what we today call Cathedrals), the music, the life, teachings and beliefs of the people of Orthodox Catholic Christianity.  They felt they had entered 'Heaven on Earth'.  This greatly impacted them.  Then they left and it is believed they sought further refuge with some who were Jews.

 

How can 'Allah' have inspired them to make reference to holy individuals when they actually learned of them from other cultures? 

 

How can the Koran (Q'oran) be inspired by a just and loving God when it is filled with vile vindictives to such a degree as to bring about degradation, dehumanization and even murder (even in these times) of those who do not believe in their 'Allah'?  This has led to the killing of Christians, Jews, men, women and even children.... all in the name of their Allah, their Koran (Q'oran)!

 

God is not divided against Himself, so how can the founders of Islam (Muslims) believe in a Loving God who embraces all of His children who attempt to do that which is right, true and correct according to one's nature and degree of ability to live a life of compassion and understanding? 

 

Because of the destruction of persons, the pedophilia sanctioned by Islam (Muslims) [the Koran {Q'oran}] and degradation of human life, of women and children; there is no other source for this misbegotten madness which poses as a religion of peace, but Satan himself!

 

There are those who argue against Christianity because of the horribleness of what is known to be true as written in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.  They forget that we are called "Christian" because we follow and practice the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  And those who would reply with derogatives about the historical crusades are not aware nor ready to accept the fact that even in Christianity, there are those who have, as history has shown, men and clergy who have erred in their misguided understandings about the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, believing they were doing a "Holy" thing. 

 

Alex (Tucson, AZ): December 22, 2004

A blessing your Eminence.  I have it said that Lines of Succession is argued in regards to a Church or jurisdiction's standing which has created an awful lot of inter-church politics.  As regards your own Lines of Succession there has been much talk about Maxey, Itkin, etc. as being irregular or invalid.  How does this affect your jurisdiction?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

It doesn't.  The fact of the matter is that Archbishop Maxey was valid.  If you wish to gain understanding about him or Archbishop Itkin, dig deeper into the website for more information.  As with the apostles who turned away from Jesus Christ during His sufferings and Crucifixion, so do some bishops.  That makes them no less the apostles or Bishops they were ordained.  To turn away is not just a "physical" action, it is significantly important to understand that the physical showed a less than strong faith and belief in Him and thus it could be taken as tantamount to the turning away of the Faith and Teachings.  Yet, to accept heretical beliefs by some bishops of the past, all things in and with them can be restored when they return to the fullness of the Faith, the Church, when they have erred, repented and sought forgiveness.  Far too many play an "ethnic" politics in the various churches and jurisdictions just to raise an argument against some bishop (who is literally and 'apostle') because their "line" was tainted by a former consecrator whose actions leave for serious question. 

 

In the matter of Archbishop Maxey, I know personally that his reason for going to "Universalism" was to obtain information by walking and talking with the people so that he could amass one-on-one understandings that went beyond their universalistic dogma or doctrines.  He continued, in his home, in private, to practice his Orthodox Catholicity (Old Catholic practices).  But, because of health issues and alcoholism he became a broken man.  Because there was an eventual 'hue and cry' by those who were plagued by the political correctness disease and the disease of academia, he publicly repented, sought forgiveness and continued on as a true Bishop in the Church Catholic. 

 

Itkin may be another story too, but the same applies even there. 

 

The problem today with many "Orthodox" and even "Old Catholic" clergy be they 'ethnic' or otherwise, is that they attack those who can no longer defend themselves from the grave by making judgments against men who became even more worthy of honor because of Repentance and Forgiveness, some very publicly before their repose. 

 

So very many of those who today have been proclaimed a saint, truly lived a "Saintly" life at some point in their growth.  They learned in their spirit what they needed to do.  Many of them were not so scholarly.  Yet, they became Saints.  Some of them even turned away but came back to the root of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  The Church has had the tendency to 'white-wash' the lives of the Saints, deleting or making no publication of the fact that the Saints were, for many of them, men and women who at some time in their lives, lived less than 'saintly' lives. 

 

This does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that I would wish to see either Archbishop Maxey or even Archbishop Itkin declared a 'Saint' - so much that I would wish for all clergy to stop and think before they make pronouncements of judgments to denounce others who have served in this army of Christ as Servants to the people.  The teachings are very clear.  What we do to others (even those who are no longer with us) will be done unto us as well. 

 

The Church is a spiritual hospital for sick souls.  Even clergy err.  Where is the church when even its clergy attempt an approach that is disease ridden with giving causes or reasons for why another clergyman is unworthy after that individual has repented?  It is nothing more than being un-christ-like and a turning away from the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  To keep up the same harangue is to show forth their lack of spirituality which seeps down, into and through to the physical in one's actions (by word and deed) which bespeaks of the degree they truly do, or do not, live up to the Faith once delivered.

 

There are clergy in Ohio, New Mexico, and in many other states and countries through out the world that I know who err on a constant and, sadly to say, consistent basis.  Yet, my daily prayer is to include them by name as I pray God will pique their conscience, their very heart, to come to a more spiritual understanding without the politics of man in order to come closer to God and to do that which is right, true, and correct as God would have each of us do.  Even my unworthy self have made very bad mistakes and I've truthfully have a past filled with error.  My problem today is that when I become angry with other clergy, it is an anger concerning their less-than-spiritual understandings by allowing man-made politics and academia to cause division.  Yet, while the politics and academia of man must be addressed to some degree; even so, and more importantly, the spiritual understandings of an individual must be all the more reflected so that politics and academia of man can be set aside.  The politics and academia of man oft times clog the spiritual receptors of individuals.  They become so clogged that one's 'ego' take over.  They need an antihistamine of sorts to become unclogged which means they need the help of the Holy Spirit through meditation, reflection, prayer, repentance, and finally, seeking forgiveness of both individuals and God.

 

This is the spiritual medication I often take for my unworthy self.  It is a sweet medicine.  It works!

 

 [Apostle1.com's Editorial Comment]:  The lines of Succession of our Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus can be viewed by clicking here.  Read what is said there.  Go to the American Congregation of St. Benedict (ACSB) page to see what has been authored about Archbishop Maxey.

 

Debbie (Deming, NM): December 22, 2004

Your Blessings Eminence.  I live in another part of New Mexico.  My Father and Mother have raised us Orthodox Catholics of an ethnic church.  I have a brother who has been serving in one of your parishes.  Is it true what he says about "Promises"?  I ask only because he feels that promises made by other clergy to those of another jurisdiction must be kept or the vow itself is a broken vow to God?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

Yes!  When one makes a promise to another person... and it doesn't matter if it is one clergyman to another regardless of jurisdiction or church affiliation, but just to another person or even to an organization, be it religious or secular, it is also a promise to God! 

 

There are always good cause for promises to be broken.  But in truth, if a promise cannot be kept by the one who made the promise, it is their duty and their responsibility to make an honest attempt to show good cause why they are unable to keep the promise.  Money matters, borrowing items, doing things and more, all fall under this when a promise is made to either pay back someone (be it an individual or an organization) or to do something.  If it cannot be kept, it is the responsibility of the individual who made the promise to let the other one know that the promise cannot be kept on time or cannot be kept at all because of the reason. 

 

Too many people, including clergy, make promises that they do not keep.  In many instances they make promises just to get the other person(s) off their proverbial "backs" with no intention of keeping the promise at all.  This is a most heinous kind of sin.  It is a sin against the person and most of all... To God!  This does reflect as to what the inner core belief of the individual is like.  And, such does have an effect upon their immortal soul. 

 

Your brother is very right in what he told you.  Pray for him and all of those in the clergy who, according to their nature and degree of ability, serve our Lord and Savior as Servants to the people of God who are the faithful.

 

 

John (Deming, NM):  December 20, 2004:

I am a member of another church.  Are the Athonite Benedictines of Deming a part of your group?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

No!  They are a part of a splinter group from our California Parent Church corporation.  The AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (a 1972 California corporation) could not legally (secularly) incorporate in New Mexico because another group had used the same name in previous years.  They are no longer in existence.  It appears that the State of New Mexico has the approach that a corporation name can only be used once.  Thus the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (California) had to incorporate under another name which. for us, is the NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.  It is still the same Church. 

 

The Athonite Benedictines of Deming operate under a Toledo, Ohio splinter group which no longer has any affiliation or connection (as of 2002-2003) with its parent body whatsoever.  We are truly the National Headquarters.  Anyone who desires may visit the Ohio and the California Secretary of State(s) corporation pages to determine the validity of secular (civil) time sequence of existence for each corporation.  And, anyone may access information relating to times on which various clergy were consecrated "Bishops" in the Church or jurisdiction regardless of what lines of succession may be validly claimed.

 

There is no disparaging understandings that should be gained as regards validity of either religious bodies whatsoever.  For, indeed, they are valid! 

 

The true AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (North American Orthodox Church) is about Orthodox spirituality, not necessarily from an ethnic Orthodox sense because "spirituality" be it Easter or Western is ORTHODOX only when it is divested from the machinations of inter-church politics of men.

 

For further understandings there are several links to various pages which explains this further.  One of them is (Deming AOC).  [Back to Question/Reply]

 

Pat J. (Deming, NM): December 19, 2004:

My family saw the local news and were rather amazed about no mention of your services and other things.  What is the relationship of the Toledo, Ohio based AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH and the AMERICAN ORTHODOX Church International Headquarters?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

Click on this link (Deming AOC) and read the reply.

 

Joe D. (Deming, NM): December 18, 2004

How can I learn about Orthodoxy?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

In a venue like the internet (or books etc), Orthodox Christianity can be discussed, and information passed... but it can not be LEARNED here or elsewhere.

Orthodoxy isn't something that is "learned" in the usual sense. It's something that's LIVED. And in living it, you begin to learn it.. to truly learn it.

Orthodoxy is lived by those in the secular and religious world both corporately and individually. It is lived corporately in the liturgy and other services, and it's lived individually in the home and workplace... and everywhere else! And it's lived in the mysteries (or sacraments)... the eucharist, repentance, confession, forgiveness, chrismation, baptism....

Can it be lived only at home, or only in the services, or only in the mysteries? Well... can any life really be lived partially?? Orthodox life is a complete life, if it is to give life.

So we'll be glad to discuss it with you, and answer questions, and lead you to good printed Orthodox resources, on the internet and in the bookstore. But... that won't teach you Orthodox Christianity; at best, it will only teach you ABOUT Orthodox Christianity... much like a book can tell you about music -- the history of music, the physics, the styles etc.... but until you hear music, all that reading isn't really meaningful.

So we'll encourage you to visit an Orthodox Church, and see it being lived.....


November 2004

 

Scott (New Mexico): (Nov. 27, 2004)

Your Eminence,

    In response to the question asked of "Father C" dated Nov. 24th, your response included such words as "TRUTH", RIGHT THINKING, AND RIGHT BELIEF.

 

    It has been said that your answers are based on your own personal definitions and interpretations of these words.

 

    After all, what truth was their in the Inquisition? Yet the church thought at that time they were correct. So what is truth?

 

    "Orthodoxy" defines itself in opposition to heresy. The heretic is a man, thinking not in accord with the mental organization of the collective orthodox church. People, esteeming themselves "orthodox" while denouncing heretics, i.e. those that think differently, love to declare that they are defending truth.

 

    Truth is not readily given, it is an endless task. Truth does not fall down from above upon man, like some sort of thing. And it is impossible to understand the revelation of truth in a naive-realistic sense. Truth is a pathway and life, it is the spiritual life of man.

 

    Those outside the fullness of orthodoxy, in essence, do not know truth, since they do not know spiritual life. Those outside of orthodoxy think, that they are humble people, since they are obedient to churchly truth, and they accuse others of pride. This is self-conceit, and no people are more proud and self-conceited, than the so-called guardians of truth. They identify themselves with churchly truth. But herein perhaps, "thou as an orthodox fanatic, knows it not, thou knows but fragments of it by virtue of narrow-mindedness with an attachment to legalism, which is the absence of giftedness and grace".

 

    A Bishop outside of true orthodoxy can be an extreme adherent of the principle of authority. But he always imperceptibly identifies the authority with himself and is never subject to any sort of authority in disagreement with him.

 

    An example of this would be those who are opposed to correction, then use such words as "Correctness Disease". The authoritatively disposed bishop recognizes no sort of authority over himself, and he is conscious of himself as the bearer of authority and truth. Lets be honest, no one subjects themselves to authority, if they consider it not to be in accord with their understanding of truth.

 

    As for the term "RIGHT THINKING". The term "orthodox" means "right thinking" and reflects the accumulated wisdom of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

 

    As you are aware, the word orthodox comes to us from the Greek roots "ortho" and "doxa." The former word means "right" The latter word means "opinion, judgment or view. Orthodoxy is "traditionally used in the Church for the profession of the authentic Christian faith as defined and taught by the Church, in contradistinction to heretical or erroneous opinions."


    The word "heretical" comes to us from the Greek word "hairesis" which came to mean a "personal opinion" or "choice" that varies from the received wisdom and collective truth of the church. A heresy is a willful separation from or opposition to the right-thinking or orthodoxy of the church. So a heretical opinion is one at variance with the traditional belief the church.


    You claim the Anglican's are not diametrically opposed to orthodoxy. When you claim that someone is an "orthodox Anglican," are you not really saying that he is dedicated to the traditional faith as enshrined in the old Books of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles of Religion? Does not the 39 Articles BLATANTLY, DENY THE REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST?


    As for "RIGHT BELIEF", the Orthodox Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself on the day of Pentecost. Thus the Orthodox Church is the Church which has maintained for twenty centuries the right belief in Jesus Christ. The Church is also called "Catholic" in that it is universal, and seeks to spread the Good News of Christ throughout the world.

 

    For the first four centuries of Christian history, the Orthodox Church was the only Church, and nothing is done in Orthodoxy that does not have precedent in the lives, writings, and practices of the Christians who lived in the first eight centuries.

 

   The Orthodox Churches in America are more properly thought of as a "communion of churches" following the traditions of the Apostles, in a number of different orthodox jurisdictions. This situation is temporary however, and one day, sooner that expected, there will be a true, single and united "American Orthodox Church".

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

   What you say is pure truth with right thinking and right belief. 

 

    You seem to appear to be very scholastically minded. 

 

    Within what you have sent is the very answer to the question posed and I humbly thank you.  Such definitions and interpretations are the root of Our understanding Orthodoxy itself.

 

    I, on the other hand, am not so "scholastically" minded, I'm sorry to say. For I believe that oft times scholasticism can be a hindrance to the spiritual importance of what and who we are all about; prayer, contemplation, meditation, repentance and forgiveness.  But I continue to study, to absorb the very essence of the words of our Patristic Fathers, pray and meditate and find myself honored from time to time with the Grace of God to be given understanding.  Every clergyman of every rank and status must gain insight within, in order to grow both spiritually and otherwise. For not to do so, leaves them outside of the truth of Orthodoxy and leads them to the very things we said in our reply to Father "C" Arkansas (Nov. 24th) which is the various diseases plaguing the various jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church and even the Roman Church in these present times, the diseases of correctness, politicalism, scholasticism along with financial flow-chart mentalities.

 

    As to some (not all) Anglicans and other churches, I believe Father Gregori's response (below) is most appropriate too.  For it is in my reply to Father "C" (Arkansas - Nov. 24th) that I equally stated the facts of discernment concerning those churches.  Lest one forgets historical Truth about some Anglican jurisdictions who were received by the Moscow Patriarchate (St. +Tikhon of blessed repose... What an example. 

 

    Please, pray for me, for I am an unworthy sinner in the vineyard of Jesus Christ.

 

Father Gregori - Abbot (New York): (Nov 27, 2004)

    Your blessings Eminence;

 

    I feel that your response was clear and to the point, and made plenty of sense. I also feel that it fully expresses the spiritual AND the theological aspects of the "ONE MIND OF THE CHURCH."


      And may I be so bold as to add that if many of the Bishops of today, would try a little harder to be more like the Bishops of the past, perhaps they and the Church would be better off. By this, I mean that so many bishops of the 20th and 21st century seem to be more wrapped up in the trappings and prestige of the office of Bishop, and many are more concerned about nationalism as concerning their own various Churches, i.e., Russian, Greek, Antiochean, etc., than they are about the spiritual aspects of THE ONE TRUE CHURCH. The real Question should not be about; "Who is more Orthodox than whom", but rather it should be, "
How can we work together to help one another to attain TRUE ORTHODOXY?"


      You have a Western view (mindset) of Orthodoxy and I, on the other hand, lean more toward the Eastern (mindset), in so far as my choice of Liturgical celebration, but I sincerely believe that both you and I work very well together. We may not agree fully on the minutia (minor, meaningless details), we agree on those things which make Orthodoxy and Catholicism meaningful, and this shows that it is possible for those of the Eastern persuasion, those of the Western persuasion, Anglican, Roman, Lutheran, etc., to work together in spirit of peace, understanding, and Christian Love, to reach the goal of True Orthodoxy, or at least, to start on the right path.

 

Father Thaddeus replies: (Nov. 27, 2004)

    Blessings to you and yours... for truly I am humbled and give thanks that there are those who see through to truth.

 

Father C. (Arkansas): (Nov. 24, 2004)

    Bless Father.  Several of our parish members and other clergy in other parishes and jurisdictions (removed for posting purposes) have been holding discussion about what is going on with various Orthodox Jurisdictions and the 'Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church' that you coin.  The questions we pose to you and hope you will be able to answer for our viewers of your web site is not to deride or 'rub-in' some of the truths that we already know, so much as to provide Q&A for viewers. Many of us are dissatisfied with many things going on in the world with various Orthodox and Roman Catholic actions and activities, yet many of those very things are no different than what other Protestant Churches are doing in the material areas.

  1. Your web site is apparently about TRUTH!  Why haven't you fallen under, joined, or been taken under one of the more Eastern Orthodox Churches such as the Russian Orthodox, the Ukrainian Orthodox, or the Antiochians, etc.?

  2. If you were to change your web site and adopt certain Eastern Orthodox ways, would you be more acceptable to them?

  3. Recent postings on your web site suggests you are becoming more "Anglican".  Why is that?

  4. Where do you stand on those who are Anglican, Lutheran and such others that hold to the Catholic confession?

  5. Why do some consider that you "Attack" when posting truth?

Father Thaddeus replies:

    You pose some rather interesting and direct questions that are not easy to answer in simple short words or sentences.  We are North Americans (Canadians and Americans).  We are Orthodox Catholic in spirit.  We do not necessarily have the "Eastern Mindset" about us.  We do not ride two horses or serve two masters, meaning that we do not play the heavy-handed game of inter-church politics nor maintain a financial flow-chart mentality for keeping parishioners in the flock or in the pews.

    Many Eastern Orthodox of various jurisdictions, including those of the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, feel we are attacking when truth is posted... when they fail or refuse to realize that this website is an educational, research, news-information and a hosting service for others who are, at least, "ORTHODOX" in their spirit... being followers of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  There are a few in Anglicanism, a few in Lutheranism, and several other nomenclatured churches and jurisdictions who, by their actions and beliefs, are more 'Orthodox' than even the Orthodox because they believe, live and practice their faith daily.  That does not mean all Anglicans, all Lutherans and others are to be accepted carte blanche... so much as they must be viewed on a case by case situation. 

    With the above understanding, we have begun to host at this web site, those who are truly Orthodox although they have different Church nomenclatures to them. 

    Not all who are Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic are going to go to Heaven.  Not all who are Protestant are going to go to hell either. 

    Equate, in your mind, the various jurisdictions as a diamond in the rough.  On first starting out in life, they may have been more pure and sparkling.  But, as actions were taken and understandings were accepted, they either became chipped or discolored, even darkened, while others began to show more brightly even though they may have a dull or darkened side.  Actions taken or failed to be taken is that which brings them either closer to or away from the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and the ancient Ecumenical Councils which either brightens or darkens that diamond.  The way one handles and responds to the materialistic ideals and goals of these times can lead one into the arms and love of God or the arms and use for abuse by the Evil One.

       If we say nothing... report nothing... make no comments... that might be an acceptable way in what is considered "Orthodox" - {Even the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church believes similarly only for so long as they can hold the scepter of power as to who says what and when as to who is or is not "Catholic"} - but that is mans political way... which means by saying nothing and reporting nothing, we give assent to all that is on-going and therefore, in spirit, we have fallen into the trap of the Evil One as though we, ourselves, had done those very same things.  When a disease is discovered, information goes out so that others can take steps to protect themselves.  If nothing is said, people will die.  So too, the spirit can be killed while the body lives... that is the Spirit of Christ in each one of the faithful.  Orthodoxy itself requires TRUTH... RIGHT THINKING... RIGHT BELIEF...  Without truth, the faith falters into something else...  This, even St. John Maximovitch taught me through Blessed Father Seraphim Rose.  Yet, they did not, in fact, teach me to shout it out, so much as to inculcate these truths within.  Others who have been and are strugglers in this life on the same or similar path, must also have the chance to make their own FREE WILL decisions based on what they can learn so they too can inculcate into their spirit what is Right, True and of the Faith once delivered.

    We learn from Scripture several things.  In St. Luke 12:25-59, consider its meaning.  Does it not apply more to just individuals?  Wouldn't you say also that it applies to jurisdictions of the Faith?  And what about the candlesticks of the various churches?  What more about the Word of God in the Epistle of Timothy?  Are these things falling on deaf ears?  Chapter 2 of Timothy are warnings about fruitless discussions.  Are we to avoid truth while others are involved, in this life, in the same fruitless discussions for the sake of honor among men and not God?  Did not Jesus Christ Himself tell us that when He comes again he would unite all of the earth and make his Church One?  It is not 'men' but Jesus Christ Himself who shall do this.  Thus all the discussions on-going and all the rhetoric and returning of holy relics is nothing more than that of men who, as bishops of the church, have fallen away from the truth and do not want the truth to be known or seen.

    If the faith of the church is to survive, the truth must be told and those things that were opposed by the ancient epitome of the Canons and the Faith of Our Lord and Savior, must be made known.  Thus we are considered by many as to be 'attacking' when we are doing nothing more than showing TRUTH. 

    We are not at war with any one of the Eastern or Roman Jurisdictions of the Catholic Church whatsoever.  We are at war with the Evil One who has inculcated himself into the various jurisdictions to alter, misshapen, and disfigure the Church in ways as to make it appear to men as being truly One while they do not wish to change or return to the very roots of belief, understanding and action that they came from.     

    This shows that Synchrestic Ecumenism is truly alive and doing well to bring about the one thing Scripture warns us against in Revelation.... a ONE WORLD CHURCH, a time in which those who are not a part of it, will not be able to purchase or obtain services but will be sought out for alteration, change, maimed or killed.  It is better to loose one's very body than it is to altogether loose both body and soul to the Evil One in our midst.

    When men of the Church, the clergy and even the bishops are more concerned for their loosing flocks from their jurisdictions, seeing that, in these present times, the various jurisdiction number of faithful leaving... working toward rebuilding their flock on the footstool of finances and politics to regain a number of members... this indeed is not the action of Jesus Christ and His Holy Apostles at all that is working in them... It is the political machinations and financial flow-chart mentalities that are working which is the Evil One who has imbued himself in their midst. 

    Your second question should have been answered.  It would be nice to be "accepted" by them, but it is more important, and our goal, to be accepted by Jesus Christ, even given our many faults, frailties and sins... Besides, I am truly not worthy to be one with them. 

    We are not about being a "Metropolitan Archbishop" or this... or that... it is not about pontificating... It is about Christ, Jesus... He stood up to the Pharisees and Sadducees... and so must we who are his Servants... not just individually, but collectively in as humble a manner possible.  What may be thought as "arrogancy" on my part is not an arrogancy, but the pointing toward truth. 

    While this Web Site is about News, others have said it is a circus... a forum.  They also have said it does not lead anyone to Christ.  Yet, we know from responses that it has.  This Web Site is also about Research... and that we do provide too.  This Web Site is a Religious Hosting Service... and that we attempt to accomplish.  Yet, there are those who take umbrage at our hosting certain Anglican jurisdictions too.  Yet they forget that we also have posted the fact that "The true Orthodox Catholic Christian Church is large enough to accommodate various  theologies that are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church" and that is what is happening for those who we Host at this Web Site are Orthodox Catholic although their theology varies but are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church.

    Love does not always mean remaining silent, but out of Love, especially for others, we point out that Love which comes from Jesus Christ as expressed in the Holy Gospels about His Life and Teachings. 

    In many of an Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church are parishioners who have come to them because we had asked them to go there, for even we know that the Love of Christ can be, as it has in the past, even in the present, been expressed in the terms of Jesus Christ Himself in those who are His Servants.  Yet, in doing this, it was with regards to each individual instance or case by which a family or person has contacted us for which they were directed to those parishes or jurisdictions to search for what they would find most fitting for their need and because we did not have a local parish of our own jurisdiction for them to go to.  So, in the long of it all, the Orthodox Catholic (Russian, Ukrainian, Greek, Antiochian, etc.) and Roman Catholic Churches have benefited in many ways.  What we have therefore posted is not about US versus THEM, but about Jesus Christ, the ancient epitome of the Canons and Patristic Fathers versus Synchrestic Ecumenism which leads to the false ONE WORLD CHURCH.

    To all my Orthodox and Roman Brother Catholics in Christ...  I do seek their forgiveness for the real or perceived harms they imagine I may have done to them...

    If I, and those with me, are able to preserve or save just one soul for the sake of Jesus Christ even though I, myself, may be caste into Hades for my many sins, then a good thing has been done.  If I were to look out for just myself and have not the love of and for my fellow men, then I am selfish, foolish and have not the love of Jesus Christ in me whatsoever.  For if I were to more fully humble myself and accept those other jurisdictions, I would be silently accepting the actions that involve Synchrestic Ecumenism.  I truly believe there are many in those jurisdictions and those who are the head of them, who - - - out of sincerity of belief, believe they are doing a good thing... no matter how political and financial flow-chart mentalities may be involved.

    The politics of men and their financial flow-chart mentalities is certainly not about Jesus Christ, but about men and the Evil One.  Truth is about Jesus Christ!  And those who are faithful according to their nature and degree of ability, are surely to be given, where possible, truth and all the various perspectives of what that might, could or would mean. 

    We actually make no vile vindictives against any jurisdiction... We make known what news is being reported, and what others from within their own, have had to say and what actions have been taken or are taking place by those jurisdictions.  What they do, they do themselves... and it is that which is being reported in our news.  We proclaim the truth of their actions or statements in light of the Gospel, the Seven Ecumenical Councils and Patristic Fathers.  If their actions or statements proclaim something different... it must be made known to all who view our web site so that they can make, for themselves, their own Free Will decision to either continue with those whom they are a part of, or to turn away toward that which will aide them in progressing forward into the arms of Jesus Christ not based on politics and financial flow chart mentalities nor on the disease of "correctness," etc.. which comes from the Evil One.

 

Anonymous: (Nov. 20, 2004)

    Father Thaddeus... You said: "This "Body of Christ" is His second coming!  This is something many Protestants and even, now-a-days, some Orthodox, have failed to understand because they have allowed themselves to depart from the faith once delivered." How can you say this? If this is true, then you must have been asleep.

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    Surely you missed the previous paragraph to that October 25th reply from which you read your quoting of my unworthy self... for it says in no uncertain terms.... "Jesus Christ came into the world as the Word of God.  That was His first coming.  He ascended into Heaven and before he left this world, he made Apostles which became, by the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as sent by the Father because of Jesus Christ.... established the Church as the Body of Christ."  Can you not understand that it is a "type" of His Coming again... ??? That the Church is the alter-ego of Christ...??? There are many so-called 'churches' so it must be asked that you consider and be careful as to what is a true church and those that call themselves 'christians' for some are no different than those who have fallen into the false belief of synchrestic ecumenism which leads, in contradiction to the ancient epitome of the Canons, to the ONE WORLD CHURCH, a false Christ... do you now see with your heart???  For when He, Jesus Christ, comes again he surely will bring judgment too!

    As to 'some will be taken and others left behind' ... re-read Revelation... read it with spiritual eyes... Yet, even so, we must remember that every second we have left to us in this life, we have a chance to seek repentance and forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not an option.  Without it, we die apart from Him who is our salvation! and thus we are left behind... that is, for those who are living in those times and become witness to those events..

    When Holy Scripture speaks about "false Christs" ... many have interpreted it as to individuals.  Yet, they forget or fail to understand that it is not just individuals, but also groups who claim themselves to be "Christian" ... plural intended for some are actually so-called "Churches" too... These are the ones who have intermixed their theologies with an entertainment mentality, a political mentality of 'correctness' as to what is proper or improper to say... oft times dismissing the very things that the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ provide for guidance.  Many have opted for this 'falseness' which, under guise of 'moral' agendas, {many of which are surely 'moral' without understanding where it is leading them... even Satan is a 'moral' spirit... yet 'ego' is the center of the problem which insinuates itself into the very being of each living person} lead to a false worship of the very thing they openly deny, anti-christ.  Therefore the idea of "false Christs" is not specific to just individuals but can be applied to Churches too.

    Synchrestic Ecumenism (leading to the ONE WORLD CHURCH) is built upon just such idealisms never before sanctioned by the ancient canons... which lead to a false worshipping not of God, but Satan himself.  For the challenge of every true Christian, is to stay focused in the heart on the very thing delivered ... Jesus Christ Himself... On saying this, I am saying that the false 'churches' are misapplying, misusing the ideals of 'morality' in just such a fashion, and in a manner, by which they are able to preach a way of worship that was never before sanctioned because such worship, especially to those who believe it out of sincerity of their own faith... leads to horrible acts and actions, much of which is already taking place today.  It is therefore a 'false' worship by those who preach such as though it comes from 'Christ' when it does not.

    Remember... 'Worship' is not just a seventh day action but an action of the mind and heart on a daily basis.  What is, or is not said to others, even our actions for or against others, day-to-day... is worship to God or to Satan!

 

Many E. (California): (Nov. 10, 2004)

    Bless Father.  I am a minister in a non-denominational Church.  I was raised Greek Orthodox.  My regular secular job is law enforcement.  Yes, I'm a cop with a rather large national group!  My job provides financial and other securities for both my family and myself.   The problem that I am having is finding some of my religious beliefs in conflict with some of the very laws I am empowered to enforce.  Do you have any suggestions?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    Scripture tells us that one cannot ride two horses or serve two masters because one will conflict with the other.  First, get your spiritual life in order.  Return to the roots of Christian truth which is in Orthodoxy.  Get out of the "non-denominational" church you minister in because there is no real such thing as "Non-Denominational" for it is the invention of the evil one to further disguise and pervert the real truth of God through Jesus Christ.  All who claim they are "non-denominational" have actually obtained their misguided understandings from a denominational stance, mixed up as it is with (for example) Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormon, and other heretical groups who call themselves "Christian" but are far removed from the very roots of Christ.  Second: Make up your mind as to whom you serve.  Either you serve man and his civil-secularism with all its perversions of Christian Truth or you serve God which require that you return to the very roots of your Christian faith based in Orthodoxy that you grew up with.  Are you catering to materialism or to the Evil One?  When one is truly of the Faith and Belief in Jesus Christ, there is no issue but what He solves with your erstwhile desire to gain Truth and to do that which is right in His sight.  He never promised and in fact warned that those who would truly follow Him would suffer much.  Where is your heart and spirit?  Once you make that decision, act!  You are either the law enforcement Officer for man, or the law enforcement officer for God by being observant to and practicing the very tenets of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ... You cannot be both.  May you be blessed!

 

Father Adrian (Arizona): (Nov. 3, 2004)

    Bless Eminence.  Why are is your jurisdiction claiming to be Orthodox when it is not under a Patriarch?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    Have you not yet read the "Lines of Succession" or the "Grammata" or any of the other documents which grants us autocephalous standing?

    The other part of the equation, more especially in these times in which we find ourselves (you included)... I would pose a question to you... How can anyone who claim to be truly Orthodox be under a Patriarch who has opted to join in and with the World Council of Churches or to support the World Council of Bishops and other such groups who have departed from the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils? 

    I must admit that I have to meditate on an argument recently sent to us that is not posted here, but it suggests that all who are members of a parish under a jurisdiction who fall under one of the Patriarchates that has become part and partial of the World Council of Churches, does not necessarily mean that the faithful member has accepted the totality of the patriarchal membership.  But once it becomes known as to the membership, it is the duty of the Orthodox faithful to flee from the heretics.  Scripture, the ancient Canons and even the Patristic Fathers tell us that much!

 

Mrs. Bench (Wisconsin): (Nov. 2, 2004)

    I have noticed that there has been information posted to your website which is against the Council of Churches, World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops.  Why is that?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    If you want to find out how a rose smells... do you ask the question or do you go out and seek out a rose and smell it?

    American Orthodoxy is much like the Rose...

    This web site has many articles.  It is difficult to determine which, in specific, you may be referring to.  But if you had done some more research, you would find the very answer and many more as to why!  Most sincere and true Christians do their research first and not opt out to the easier ways or the entertainment mentality which incorporate a "correctness disease" approach.  While this possibly sounds a bit harsh, cold or brash, it is truth!  A true Christian seeking information, normally and usually researches first then ask their question where their research fails to supply the answer.  I know the answer(s) to you question is already in existence at apostle1.com.

 

Father Benjamin (Utah): (Nov. 1, 2004)

   Your Blessings Eminence.  I have noted the inclusion of the American Congregation of Saint Benedict (ACSB) out of Oakland, California.  How are we to perceive Anglicanism as a whole?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

     We should view all who call themselves "Christians" as though they are truly Christian no matter how far from the true Christian roots (which is Orthodoxy) that they may have strayed.  For it is that many, even those who are Anglican or Old Roman Catholics who are truly Christian having not strayed from the roots so much as their theology is different in approach. 

    Look to the spirit of each individual, not to the political doctrinization of a jurisdiction and you may be surprised at what a blessing that individual may bring about.


October 2004

 

George (Montana):  (Oct. 25, 2004)

Bless Father... I am concerned about the Protestant's invasion of truth concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  Is this not a heretical teaching?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

   You are blessed by the fact that you ask a most important question.  The ancient Church, especially the "Orthodox" Catholic as it is known today, which is the roots of that which has separated itself (Roman Jurisdiction's schism of 1054) ... has always taught that the second coming has already happened.

 

   Jesus Christ came into the world as the Word of God.  That was His first coming.  He ascended into Heaven and before he left this world, he made Apostles which became, by the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost as sent by the Father because of Jesus Christ.... established the Church as the Body of Christ. 

 

  This "Body of Christ" is His second coming!  This is something many Protestants and even, now-a-days, some Orthodox, have failed to understand because they have allowed themselves to depart from the faith once delivered.

 

Father Gregori (NY): (Oct. 10, 2004)

Greetings and blessings to you Fr. Nguyen,

    I hope that you don't mind, but from your name, I shall assume that you are a Vietnamese/American, so let me say: "Chao ong. Ong manh Khong?"

    My purpose for this e-mail letter is to add to Archbishop Thaddeus's answer to your question of "What are the significant ingredients for priests and nuns?"  Besides having a very strong prayer life, I feel that the most significant ingredient needed for the formation, of not just a good priest or nun, but a Great priest or nun, is a "Spirit of Obedience". By this, I mean obedience to the rules of their individual religious orders to which they be-long, as well as to their religious superiors and the canons of their Church.

    It is sad that in today's world, so many individuals who enter the religious life, want the Church and the religous orders to change to suit "the times", or their own individual desires, wants or wishes, especially here in America.

    Many years ago (1980), I had the great privilege and honor to meet Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, of blessed memory, at a small Franciscan monastery in Rochester, NY. We talked for sometime about the spirit of obedience and how so many in religious life today, seem to lack it. There are times, when one should question those in charge, especially if those in charge are teaching things that are against the dogmas and traditions of the Church as handed down by the Church Fathers and Holy Scripture.

    Much of the disobedience that I have seen, on the part of members of the clergy and nuns, has been in the form of refusal to wear distinctive clerical garb, wanting to take part in all sorts of worldly pursuits, many of which are totally unbecoming for those in religious life, etc.

    It all comes down to the old saying; "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen". No one, be they members of the clergy, a religious community, or members of the laity, should try to force the Church or their religious order to change to fit the "times" or their particular whims. The individual MUST conform to the Church and to the  Will of God.

Sincerely,

Very Rev. Fr. +Gregori,SSJt - Abbot

 

Father Nguyen (California): (Oct. 5, 2004)

    Bless Eminence.  What are the most significant ingredients for monks and nuns? 

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    The most important ingredients is to read a chapter of the Holy Bible, especially the New Testament and Old Testament Psalms, each and every day.  Spend time in prayer, meditating and contemplating Holy Scripture's meaning in your life, in your community.  Read in sequential form, the Rule of Life for the Holy Order one belongs to, again, pray, contemplate and meditate on the significance of such Rules for one's day to day life both spiritually and materially.  Only by prayer and the aide of Holy Spirit can one come to such an understanding.  Read and pray not as the Romans do... but as those who are truly Orthodox, with the spirit.  Readings should never be in the form or with the mind of scholasticism or the disease of "correctness" but by the Holy Spirit which avoids such paths... and piques the heart, the very soul.  Follow the practice of daily offices where possible for some cannot do all the daily offices and normally have the blessing of one's spiritual father to accommodate other schedules out of necessity. 

 

Father Conrad (Wisconsin): (Oct. 5, 2004)

    A Blessing Eminence.  How can one be "expelled" from a Benedictine Community?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    First one has to belong to a Benedictine Community in a specific locale!  I believe I know where your thoughts are going, or have gone.  I was never a member of a Benedictine Community in another north-eastern state of the U.S..  I was a visitor!  I was never a part of a Benedictine Community other than the one established by ourselves in California and then, later, here in New Mexico. 

    While it is not normally allowed for a Benedictine Stavrophore Monk to be a part of two different religious Holy Orders, it is, under special circumstances, allowed.  I was given, prior to the establishment of the Benedictine Community in California and here in New Mexico, granted irrevocable permission to belong to two Religious Holy Orders for special cause.

 

Brother Seraphim (California): Oct. 4, 2004

    Your Blessings Eminence.  I belong to the religious community in Monterey-Santa Clara County you established with Father Nugyen.  I would like to know why you advocate Bishop-Abbot, Dom +Donald Weeks as being Anglican Orthodox and is he not a part of that jurisdiction?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    You are blessed indeed.  Dom +Donald Weeks, OSB has come a very long, hard and difficult path in life.  He has progressed to the degree that the basic articles of faith of the Anglican communion, for him, have changed in his life.  He believes in the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  He believes in the Seals of the Confessional.  He is a man for Truth!  He is a man who has walked the walk and talked the talk, as street ministers would say.  He has borne the hardships that come with such a spiritual and material territory.  There are many other things I could say, but alas... room here does not provide. 

    The very term and nomenclature of "Anglican Orthodox" is both a jurisdiction and a descriptive phrase.  He is not a part of the jurisdiction called the "Anglican Orthodox Church" but is very much a part of the descriptive term "Anglican Orthodox" as is his "American Congregation of Saint Benedict (ACSB)".   He has brought many to the fold over the years, decades, who are beholden to him as their spiritual father. 

    Remember the saying at the very entry page of "apostle1" "The true Orthodox Catholic Christian Church is large enough to accommodate various  theologies that are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church.With this in mind, might I remind many of you that during my seven and a half years sabbatical, a compact agreement had been made by the former Bishop holding the reigns of the AOC until my return and re-in vesture, by vote, as Primate, and in which Bishop (Dom) +Weeks, OSB had been made a part of the Holy Synod of the AOC.  He was never "officially" removed and remains as a member in spite of all the negativity between the persons of himself and ourselves.  The very fact of his change in theology and practice invigorates the Church and this jurisdiction as a whole.  Also remember, We do not subscribe to the heresy of false (Synchrestic) Ecumenism, inter-faith worship, Cultural Paradosis, Neo Papism, or Modernism, the same as also Dom +Weeks becries.

   

Charlotte (Michigan): Oct. 1, 2004

    Eminence, your blessing.  What is the position of the Orthodox jurisdictions of the Catholic Church regarding the Apocrypha (Revelation of John), the Nag Hamadi library, and the Dead Sea Scrolls?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    The Church (East and West) have always accepted the Apocrypha! 

    As to the Nag Hamadi Library and Dead Sea Scrolls... if they are to be read... read them with the spirit of discernment which may be gained by dutiful prayer beforehand.  For they are considered, at this time, to be no different than reading most any other book from the shelves of a local store.

        Until all jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church (East and West) have sat together and prayed for the Holy Spirit at such a convocation from which the Church discusses and decides those other manuscripts, they are to be counted as any other secular writing.  Those manuscripts may indeed include names of the Holy Apostles, but so do many secular writings... and therefore they are not to be counted among those worthy of being called "Holy". 

        When reading such manuscripts named, the reader may obtain some things rather spiritual in part, but not as counted by the Church as wholly worthy in themselves.

 

Georgio (Texas): (Oct. 1, 2004)

    Bless Father!  I have heard many things and seen many things and yet I have not heard and seen all things.  But, what I have seen and heard of and about you is considerate over a time span of years.  I met you when the now reposed Bishop +O'Connor was alive in Seaside, California, after you had raised him up from the priestly ranks. 

    Your web site, by the accounts of some people, is to busy, busy, busy!  And your spirit is only partially reflected in it.  That last sentence is said from personal knowledge about you.  Others believe that they gain an understanding of and about you by your web site.  They believe you are to wordy and answer things that require no answer or should not be answered because it is not the "Orthodox" thing to do.  Some have said you are to wrapped up with being the "Metropolitan Archbishop" and not that of being just a Priest and Monk.  They say that is akin to 'Pontificating'.  As for myself, I am one with you.  But, how would you respond to the rest?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    Shall I respond with, "I spend at least an intermittent three hours or more in daily prayer".   My concern is God and His children.  Might I add that His children come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of education or no education.  What can be said with few words for some, must be said with more words for others in order to either answer a question or to get a point across.  So should I respond with the fact that I have many other sins about me too and would you like to hear them?  This is not being defense... this is a fact!  If that is 'Pontificating' then I sin!  There goes my two gun western mentality of approach... I sin because God needs no defense, just the people who need answers too!

 

Archive of "Quotes from Father Thaddeus"

 


September 2004

 

P. Mikelsen (Nevada): Sept. 26, 2004

    The question and reply from Monk Nguyen is rather interesting.  My wife and I visited a friend of mine in Michigan during the summer months and was introduced to someone who is supposed to be a Schema-monk.  I found his attitude and approach to be less than that of a Schema-monk, as he showed himself to be puffed up with pride, envy and the very basic things of this world normally rejected by true monks, especially those who have suffered with spiritual struggle in their lives for the world to come.  This man is committing spiritual fraud.  He talked much with words that are Orthodox, but his ideas, coupled with his body language were very Roman Catholic, even there rather popish and pontificating.  He said much about the faults of others.  What kind of man had I encountered?

    I used to be a part of a rather large Orthodox brotherhood where I was in contact with a true Schema-monk.  I learned much during my ten years experience with them.  I also met monks from other monastic communities, even other Schema-Monks.  I am still very much Orthodox, but returned, with a blessing from my spiritual father, to the outside world many years ago so that I could marry.  Do your monks and nuns follow or practice the Orthodox tradition of monastics?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    We struggle with those things spiritual in our desire to rise up the Ladder of Divine Ascent.  We are not perfected yet!  We have not arrived yet!  But, prayer, contemplation and meditation along with Divine Liturgy is a daily practice that binds us together.  We are few in number here in this part of New Mexico.  We have become like Desert Fathers. 

    No one can be a true Schema-Monk unless he has met the requirements for such a high spiritual office, including the time requirement for testing of both his spirit and his resolve.  As you know, it is not something accomplished overnight, not in two years, not in five years, not necessarily in ten years... lest of all a Schema-monk!

    Anyone who is unable to meet such requirements as Orthodox communities have long established is not a true Schema-monk!

    There are few who have met a real Schema-Monk... Yet... with what you know, understand and as to those whom you have met... you know more than most about what a true Schema-monk is all about... and you are blessed by that!

 

B. D. Schwartz (Ontario, Canada): Sept. 25, 2004

    Dear Father, your blessing.  My local priest, Roman Catholic, has remarked in a private conversation with me (he's my drinking buddy) that he has not seen only a few articles at your web site authored by you.  He wonders why you don't write more?  Do you?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    As a Benedictine, even a Thaddean Companion, we do not believe that we are the authors of anything but what God is the author of all things.  All things that have ever been said, or could be said, in writing articles; has already been said and done.  That which you view or see is nothing more than the same thing presented in a different manner for the needs of the changing times in which people find themselves both culturally, geographically, etc.

    The Glory is to God, not to man!

 

Father Nguyen (California): (Sept. 22. 2004)

    Bless Father.  When a priest or a monk comes to me, or anyone else, with physical tears and words of repentance, seeking forgiveness... I know that as a monk, I must forgive.  But when the same person is found to have 'acted' as a means to gain sway... which is a false repentance, how should I respond?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    They doubled and tripled their sins. First: because it was a false repentance.  Second: because they misused and abused the gifts of God.  Third: because they have surely entrusted their soul to the gates of hell without remorse for harming the Church herself which is a sin against the Holy Spirit... in short... they blasphemed the Holy Spirit which is the one unforgivable sin.  If it were truly a monk, or even a priest or for that matter a bishop... May God have mercy on their immortal soul for they have sown their own doom in both this life and the next for the sin of blasphemy. 

    If they come to you again with physical tears of so-called repentance... shun them, turn them away... offer them no help either spiritually or materially for their sin is an unforgivable one that no man, be he monk or priest, cannot forgive... They have doomed themselves, whether a monk, stavrophore monk, even a schema monk.  We too know of a few who fit a similar image that you have portrayed in your question.   It would seem to appear that these false acts of repentance have multiplied in the ranks of clergy of every degree throughout the whole Church.  What the Evil One has caused and brought about will not go unpaid.  It might be best the renounce their Ecclesial positions and authorities, return themselves to lay status and cut off all communication with those who are truly trying to maintain the faith in spirit and truth.  For to continue themselves as clergy of any degree, especially on an unsuspecting society is to continue to further themselves in digging a greater pit from which there is no escape in the eyes of God.

 

Father Lazarus (Michigan): (Sept. 21, 2004)

   Your Blessing Eminence.  Although I am not a part of your jurisdiction, my religious superior has stated that you, as expressed by your web site, has taken a dramatic change for the good.  However, I have noticed that the information on the Yuri Spaeth Lines of Succession that were originally posted on your "Quotes from Father Thaddeus" is no longer available.  You had posted the fact that those who had consecrated yourself, who had been consecrated by Yuri Spaeth, were co-consecrated by a female bishop under the name of Zacharius.  How do you view this truth which is known in the Ukraine?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    Because of the taint of a female bishop, the lines are valid but illicit. 

 

To: Father Conrad of Florida, Mr. Williams, and to any one else who had been posted as regards their September 2004 e-mail questions and replies concerning allegations out of Florida and New York, we have removed them as a result of recent developments for the sake of one bishop whose health is in jeopardy, so we are apprised.

    Although the e-mail we received contained much misinformation, outright lies and twisting of facts to suit the sender's own empirical ends concerning us and our jurisdiction, we were able to verify the causative factor involved for sending us the e-mail and visited the individual bishop here in New Mexico about which the primary purpose of it was concerning; and are temporarily satisfied with our findings, accompanied by another bishop.

    To make a more proper understanding of recent developments, might it be said in more secularistic terms... "I would not turn any one away who is in serious pain or having serious health problems be they spiritual, mental, emotional or physical, but would extend a helping hand to them, even if they be one's opponent or enemy.  For all are truly "children of God"... even clergy!"  Thus, the modification of this "quotes" page to accommodate those who need more peace of mind in order to handle their daily existence.  This is the Christ-like thing to do. 

    However, in saying all that we have thus far said, we will not give in to further intimidation, coercion, fraud and attempts to blackmail us because the Orthodox Church Catholic is not for sale, so-to-speak, and the various jurisdictions such as this one, will not be controlled by any one individual who has made him or their selves a pontificating patriarch who has no standing in the true Orthodox Catholic Christian Church East or West.

 

+Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D.

Metropolitan Archbishop - Abbot - Primate

American Orthodox Church

North American Orthodox Church

 

Father Benjamin (Utah): (Sept. 14, 2004)

    I recall having seen something on your web site about a Synod/Conference in 2005.  Is this still definitely planned and will it be held?  Exactly where and when?  And, to whom will it be open to?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    The Synod Conference is open only to those who send in requests showing who they are and to what jurisdiction they belong.  It does not matter if they be Old Catholic, Independent Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican... etc.... only that they be of the Catholic Confession.  However, in saying this... they will have to disclose full particulars about themselves and their jurisdiction. 

    A small entry fee, to be announced, will have to be included to cover any expected outlay of expenses.  The various subjects, guest speakers, etc. will be made known on our web site.  Of course, the primary theme will always be from the "Orthodox" perspective...

    Once we receive such information, along with the entry fee, we will send out by U.S. Postal Service (Snail Mail) a special invitation credential exclusive to the individual applying and not transferable.  Identification tags will be supplied.  The place and time will yet be announced.  Other information for hotels, motels, RV parks, restaurants, etc. will also be provided.

    Without proper credentials as supplied by us, no one else will be able to gain entrance to the Synod/Conference.

    Keep coming back to this web site for a special announcement in the months to come.

 

Mr. Donavon (Maine): (Sept. 14, 2004)

    Your Eminence, your blessing.  I have watched your web site for many years now and have to ask.  Would you recommend Archbishop Donald Weeks and his Anglican Benedictine to other inquirers? If so, why?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    May be I am being a bit harsh, but you said that you have watched this web site for many years now.  I would have thought you had also noticed our explanations for the change.  He has become, unknowing to himself I believe, more orthodox in his Anglican approach.  While there are differences in his theology, they are not sufficient to argue about because of our own attitudes concerning other jurisdictions.  If you haven't noticed, our "home page" as you enter this web site says in rather sufficient terms:

"The true Orthodox Catholic Christian Church is large enough to accommodate various  theologies that are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church."

    I would not only recommend, but encourage and endorse any one and everyone who can, to join in support of Archbishop Donald Weeks' endeavors.  Provide him material and spiritual support.

 

Mr. Young (Alaska): (Sept. 13, 2004)

    Father, your blessings.  What happened to your prisoner/inmate web page work?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    I have not given up on that special project so much as I have found that with myself and several of us... getting older, we have had to redirect our priorities here. We have also found that there was little response and that most of the prisons are so infected with the various heresies of false Christianity, that is a mind-boggle almost like walking through a mined field of bombs... that it became all the more difficult. 

    Balancing one's responsibilities and duties with other projects and issues is in itself rather difficult.

    I thank you for your concern and I pray that there will be other more energetic and robust Orthodox Catholic Clergy who would take on this special project for indeed it will take those who have the patience of a saint and one who can be both champion and warrior to continue in the special struggle of dealing with the prisoner-inmate issues.  I would be more than happy to aid or assist those who would truly desire to engage themselves in this special work for many a good mind and spirit imprisoned behind the Wire and the Wall are going to waste.  It is a vast resource for eventual spiritual growth in the Church.

 

Mrs. Abramson (Tennessee): (Sept. 13, 2004)

    Your Blessings Father.  My fifteen year old son and I are recently by ourselves after I went through a very rough divorce from my former husband of thirteen years.  The cause of the divorce surrounded his bi-sexuality and noticeably, his predominate pattern toward youth and young adults.  He's in prison now.  My son was not directly affected by his father's sexuality.  That is, he was not molested.  During the course of the investigation and trial, several youth, both male and female, came forward and testified against my husband. 

    Now I am going through therapy through the local county services but I find it is somehow lacking in aiding me and my son.

    I have a sense or feeling that my neighbors have turned against me even though they say kind words.  How can I really deal with this for the sake of both my son, who also feels the same as I do about our neighbors, and myself as I feel myself cracking since the divorce and prison sentence of my former husband? 

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

[Addendum: in reply to your e-mail the following came to us from another viewer 9/16/04 and we also agree with this: I have yet to find any secular psychiatrist, psychotherapist or whatever other nomenclature they choose to be licensed under, who has ever cured anybody. They are one of the few who make huge sums of money for doing absolutely nothing. Yes, an Orthodox clergyman is the best person to go to, as just about all (if not all) emotional and so-called psychiatric problems have a spiritual basis, thus an ordained priest is much better qualified to handle such situations, and in many cases without the use of drugs.]

    My dear mother and son... how can I respond regarding such traumatic events in your life?  I can pray for both of you.  But, I know that will not be enough. 

    It is good that you are going through therapy.  However, I would suggest extreme caution because you might end up viewing all persons of such sexual persuasions in the same manner as you look or view your husband which would be the worst thing to do.  Yet, I would also caution you about therapy and therapists because the majority of them are themselves the victims of the very governments they work for which is very secularistic and fail or refuse to honor or even respect the faith teachings under which one has been raised or subscribes to.  For Orthodox Catholic Christians this all the more true because secularism in government, even down through and to therapists, is filled with ideas and attitudes whereby they, whether intentional or not, attempt to persuade an individual away from the roots of true Christian Faith by imbuing a person with thoughts and feelings opposed to those roots.  It would more often than not, be best for an individual going through therapy to go to their minister, pastor or priest especially if they are Orthodox Catholic than to stay in the hands of a therapist.  Government and secularism go hand-n-hand.

    Not all people of various persuasions are of the alternate lifestyle as your husband - - - meaning, not all of them 'feed' on youth. 

    I say "feed" only because every sexually active individual, whether clergy or not, has a tendency toward what I term as "feeding" because the desire and fulfillment of that desire is like a "feeding frenzy" in which they do not get enough to satisfy their hunger.  They must be prayed for at all times and at all cost, especially if you know anyone of that nature, such as your husband.  But those whom I am referring to are both men and women of every walk of life who are infected with the entertainment mentality seen or viewed in the electronic news media, the television programs, etc.   Some of those very people are clergy who have failed or refused to take responsibility for their actions of the past or present and I know of several.

    One of the strongest armaments you could provide yourself and your son is to get deeply involved in an Orthodox Catholic community of people, attending Divine Liturgy, being involved in both the prayer life of a local parish, Orthodox bible study and going often to confession and finally... to partake of the Holy Mysteries which fortifies and strengthens both the spirit and nurtures a healing with the salve of His Love through such activities.  I would strongly suggest that you avoid inter-mixing any involvement with other denominations where bible study, etc. is often in these times, become a 'new thing' because it will not ground you in the roots of the ancient and authentic understandings for you, neither mentally or spiritually ... and such will have a disastrous affect on either or both you and your son in the future.  More especially is this true because of your weakened mental and spiritual state of unsureness.

 

Mr. Sebastian (New York): (Sept. 12, 2004)

    I live in upstate New York, I think I know you from old school days.  Am I wrong in my understanding about some of the things you are saying concerning criminals, especially child molesters, that those who have been convicted priests, you would take in and forgive them and provide a means for them to continue in ministry?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    I was raised in upstate New York... We may know each other from times past if you grew up in East Rochester, New York.     

    A first, or even a second, conviction of any crime does not necessarily make a person a 'bad' person.  Mistakes happen.  I would direct you to what true repentance and forgiveness is all about, what it means, and what it requires of all of us, especially clergy.  If you be without sin, caste the first stone, is what Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees about the other Mary.  Every day, you and every individual in society, including my unworthy self, transgresses the laws of man in some way, whether walking across the street or stepping on the gas pedal of our vehicles... how much more we will be treated by God for our daily transgressions.  What is more important to you, the laws of man or the laws of God?  Get your priorities in order before casting any judgments. 

    And yes, I would most definitely prefer a first timer... than to take on someone who is learned from books.  Why?  Because the one who has had the experience, if they are truly repentant, truly sincere in their repentance, will be the more likely one to be wary of many other things in life and therefore arm the children of God, people, with that which makes their faith stronger.  Have you not noticed that many counselors of various drug/alcohol treatment programs are former alcoholics or druggies?  Why do you suppose they have turned out to be good counselors??? After-all, it isn't always about money.

 

Mrs. Armbruster (Kentucky): (Sept. 12, 2004)

    As a solid Christian, I can only wonder how in the world you can even think that an alleged child molester could be innocent because the very idea that an allegation may have been lodged is sufficient for me to believe there is some truth and therefore he is guilty.  Can you explain that one now?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    How can you call yourself a "solid Christian" when you are so quick to judgment?  Have you not yet learned, "Judge not lest you be judged" or "With what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged".

 

Rev. Father Gregori (New York): (Sept. 11, 2004)

       Your Blessings as I also send my Greetings and blessings to you, hoping and praying this e-mail finds you in good health and spirits.

       I am sending this e-mail because I have just finished reading the latest update to your "Quotes" section on the Apostle1.com website, the letter from Mr. Wellington of Maryland, dated September 6, 2004. Upon reading Mr. Wellington's letter and your excellent response, it makes it very clear that Satan has done a rather good job of infiltrating the Church, especially through the ranks of the clergy. This should not come as a surprise or shock to anyone, since the same thing happened in Judaism thousands of years ago. Jesus himself, told the scribes and Pharisees, "You say you are one of us, but you are not, your father was a liar and murderer." I may not have the quote exact, but it is close. He was referring to those who claimed to be Jews, but who in reality were the off spring of Cain.

     Going back to the late 1960's, all of the Catholic seminaries, along with the various Protestant Bible colleges, were infiltrated by these very same off-spring of Satan, remember Marxist theology that took hold in all Christian religious training centers? This led to the "God is dead" mentality, which seemed to be popular during the 1970's and now the political correctness which has been controlling every aspect of our lives since the 1980's. This has given rise to the proliferation of the Secular Humanism which now controls most of the world today.

     Since we are all human beings and prone to the sin nature of mankind, even those of us who are members of the clergy, we all have things in our past that we are not proud of and some things that we would like to keep known only by God and ourselves, and rightly so, especially if we have received forgiveness and have  had a repentance. Knowing this, we should realize that we are more prone to the attacks of Satan then are the laity. There is no greater source of elation to the Evil One then to bring about the ruination of members of the clergy, thus, it is most important for those of us in Holy Orders to strive hard to live our lives openly and in such a manner so as not to bring scandal to ourselves, our order, and most importantly, our Church. And, since we may have things in our past that may be shameful, then that puts us in a position of being vulnerable to blackmail and coercion by those who wish to bring about the ruination of the Church, so we must be on guard and know how to counter any and all attacks against us and/or the Church.

       I strongly urge you to continue to put this information out, especially to all of your clergy, (your spiritual sons), under your Episcopal jurisdiction. And I pray that we can be a source of help and strength to one another in this endeavor along with the protection of the Holy Spirit.

      As always, I remain your humble and unworthy servant in the service of Christ Jesus, and you remain constantly in my prayers.

 

Mr. Wellington (Maryland): (Sept. 6, 2004)

    Your blessings Eminence.  I have watched your postings for some time now.  I belong to a Roman Catholic Parish.  My priest says of your web site and especially your 'quotes' page that it is not right to post such things.  I am glad you do though.  But, what prompted you to do so?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    An Update Note: (Sept. 10, 2004) [In saying the following, His Eminence asked that this addendum be added, even though late:  "If the average person's faith is to be strong, having information about world events and activities both political and otherwise is so necessary so that one may place it in context with one's faith.  Without that, one's faith is nothing more than mere 'do-good-ism' and does not provide for a more solid faith whereby one's struggle in this life is faith-based! The moral and spiritual must be balanced with information in which one's test of faith will stand up strong.  To avoid information, to avoid struggle, to avoid the moral implications is to avoid the truth of faith that Jesus Christ gave through His Life, Death, and Resurrection which broke the bonds of hell and opened the gates of Heaven.  It is this life in which we struggle that can be compared to that of a baby's cradle... We are living in the cradle of God's making, this earth... this life... and we have to learn how to grow to meet all things that come our way.  Our Free Will that He gave us at birth must be an exercise for our strong and weak points of faith!]

        The faith of the people is at stake.  In times past they did not want to know much of anything to do with the actions and activities of things normally held tight.  Now, with all that is happening through out the world, people want to know truth! 

        If the faith is to survive and if the people of faith are to survive, they must have a balanced understanding of what their faith comprises in not just theological or spiritual things, but things of man which includes the actions and interactions of the church and her clergy no matter whom they may be. 

        Most of those who are, shall we say, "mainline" - the jurisdiction or church will not divulge things most needful for the people because they are afraid of loosing members which equates to the pocketbook of the church.  If, as you say, you have been viewing this web site and the various pages, you should come to the realization we are not afraid to make such postings because we believe that the "Church" IS THE PEOPLE!  Thus, they have a right to know TRUTH and not someone's fanciful ideas and desires for self-serving needs of an economic and political agenda as most do in these times.

        We attempt to answer your question with that which fortifies, without making ourselves as being any more or less than what we are... first: human beings who are, as clergy, trying to become holy through our human-ness... second: as spiritual leaders who are trying to tell people of the importance of being spiritual and that being spiritual means understanding the struggles in this life and how it is affected by spiritual and material things pertinent to one's faith. 

 

Father Wiley (Des Moines, IA): August 31, 2004

    Bless Father.  I read an article about new priests being brought in by the Roman Catholic Church from other countries as a result of the vocations shortage here in the United States.  It would seem they would have slightly different approaches and difficulty with the people.  What does this mean to you?  What does this mean to the Orthodox Church?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    It means that the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, as we too are a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, - - - SUFFERS as a result of the errors of their ways.  This is true of the Roman jurisdiction as it is of the Orthodox too, and oddly enough, even for the Protestants. 

    Those who have decided to leave the faith of their upbringing because of scandals and changes... leave their faith because of a spiritual weakness in themselves more often than not, looking for an entertainment and lazy way of approach.  This also says that priests of the Roman jurisdiction are not behaving or being taught properly and thus the same filters down to the people too.

    I have noticed that the Orthodox jurisdictions of the Church are actually growing.  Yet, caution is the by-word for there are many who call themselves "Orthodox" - - - even "Catholic" when, in fact, there are many who are actually Protestant in their worship, in their theology and in their overview of the faith which is not true to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles and the Seven Ecumenical Councils or patristic Fathers.  Equally so, be cautious for there are many "Orthodox" - even "Catholic" whose spirituality is less with more "political correctness" and "power" than the true Spirit which is the core of the true Church. 

    There are, in fact, many "Protestants" whose own belief, out of sincerity of faith, will cause for their entry into the halls of Heaven for they have known no other way from the cradle to the grave.  This may indeed sound a bit heretical in part, but it is actually true when one reviews the many patristic writings.  For those who, out of sincerity of faith, have never known the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Orthodoxy, will be treated similar (not the same as) those of babes...  There is much more than this that would apply, but basically speaking... it is, in generalized form, true!


August 2004

 

Night Shift Sam (Florida): (August 25, 2004)

         Bless Father.  Your "Concerned Mother" of 8/20 sounds familiar to me.  My son who lives with his mother in Largo told me a similar story when I visited him over the weekend.  Because I work night shifts, I come home and go on-line.  I am divorced and live alone.  When I saw the posting this early A.M. I decided I should contact you.  The reason is because my own son has a friend similar to "Concerned Mother".  Should I get involved?  I would also ask why the dating of the "Concerned Mother" posting is out of sequence?

 

Father Thaddeus replies:

    May I suggest you follow the advice given to Concerned Mother and pray for them who are suspected as being alleged perpetrators.  Pray that they will, by the Grace of God, be led to repentance and forgiveness if they are truly guilty.  Pray that they will be led to Christ's Salvation through proper conduct and action. Do not judge!  Do not say they are guilty for they indeed may not be.  But pray that they will be vindicated by God's Grace if they are not guilty!  But, as said to "Concerned Mother" - - - running away is not an alternative for it only compounds the problem in the eyes of man's justice systems.  In the eyes of God, they are already judged for He knows the Truth!  And if the perpetrator or perpetrators are truly clergy, anyone under whom or with whom they serve, may be affected to a very serious degree...

    When our webmaster brought the communication to us... we waited and prayed because we too have heard of similar situations in which the clergy ran away.  This is distressing!  Prayer is required for right direction.  Thus the posting was out of sequence.

    Something We feel needs to be made specifically clear.  In as much as We have always been known as the "Bishop of last resort" - - - we cannot countenance those who are unwilling to face up to their errors of such magnitude.  Yet, when those who do face up to such errors, if they are in fact guilty... once sentence is passed and they have repented and come to forgiveness... then we must forgive them and allow them to return to some form of ministry.  I say "some form" because such religious activities for them may not be the fullness of ministry previously accustomed to for obvious reasons.  But yet, they too, after full repentance and forgiveness has been sought and provided by all involved, can lead to a wholly new spiritual and material understanding.  I will not, if it is within our abilities, deny anyone from continuing as a priest where full confession and repentance has been made for such would be a violation of the spiritual meaning of our faith.  But before any of this can take place, one has to take responsibility for their actions whether or not they are factually guilty or innocent.  I know of many instances where one was factually innocent and others who were not.  Yet, the self-guilt and fears brought about, creates for even many adults who are innocent, to run for man's law in these times are harsh to judge first without finding out FACT!  Yet, in these times where 'Hearsay' has become the norm without true evidence... such a FEAR causes for many an adult to do strange things to escape the consequences of a faulty justice system.  Again, pray for them!  To gain more insight into the problem, may I suggest you visit the web page on REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS for some of the attributes of this same issue as described by you is reflected upon and provides for hoped for positive direction in dealing with the present situation.

 

A Concerned Mother (USA): (August 20, 2004)

Your Blessings Eminence.  I am a lax Roman Catholic.  I was directed to your web site by my teenage daughter.  After seeing what you posted recently in your “Quotes From Thaddeus” section, I decided to contact you.  I am well aware of what Orthodoxy is because I was raised Greek Orthodox.  My daughter has a teenage friend, a boy, whom she has been friends with for some time.  He tells my daughter that a clergyman who had been living in a motel with a couple of other clergy, had provided him with alcohol and various drugs.  One of the clergy is a friend of his who turned of legal age recently and was made a deacon in the Orthodox Church and who has had knowledge of the alcohol, drugs and even the questionable activities which are suspected of being sexual in nature.  My daughter’s friend apparently told his mother as well as his young clergy friend who resided in the motel with the alleged perpetrator at about the time the incident had happened, so it would seem obvious all three of the clergy knew they could be faced with an investigation and prosecution if convicted.  I know the parents of the young clergyman too.  Yet, I have heard and seen nothing that tells me that a complaint was filed to the police either by the mother or her son.  The clergy have since moved and everyone who knew them are either silent or say they don’t know where they have gone.  I think an honorable man, especially a clergyman, knowing they might be investigated would stay to show his honesty and integrity.  What should I do?   

 

Father Thaddeus replies:  Go to the mother of the young boy who is a friend of your daughter.  Ask her if she knows anything and if she lodged a complaint with the local authorities.  It must be investigated first.  Also, go to the parents of the young clergyman whose friend is alleged to have been victimized before you go to the police so that both families are more fully aware.

    Sometimes, it is not uncommon for a son to make things up, a fantasy, in order to gain attention.  Sometimes, a father or even a mother who may not like the suspected clergyman, may attempt to use the fantasy to gain control over the clergyman through blackmail.  Sometimes others will abuse and misuse truth in order to get their way.  Yet, it may be, depending on the circumstance and situation, to be real.

     No true ORTHODOX CATHOLIC clergyman will ever use drugs or alcohol as a means to gain advantage over an unaware youth if they are true to their faith.  No true ORTHODOX CATHOLIC clergyman would leave or intentionally relocate knowing he has done nothing wrong when there may be a potential for an investigation.  No true ORTHODOX CATHOLIC clergyman who is true to his faith would leave, unless there is some degree of truth in what your daughter was told. 

      I believe that every adult has his or her own private life.  What s/he may or may not do behind closed doors with another consenting adult is between each other.  And if anything has been done that is not normally sanctioned by one’s faith, it should be taken to one’s spiritual Father in the confessional where correction can be obtained if one is truly sincere to one’s self, their spiritual Father and God. 

     As for drugs and alcohol in one’s life…  Let us take this subject in simple words of proper perspective.  All things on earth were created by God for man’s use.  Drugs, by whatever means they come about for use… can be misused, abused or... used properly and in moderation whether prescribed or not… Drugs of any kind is just that… DRUGS!  The same for alcohol.  Each individual has to make a decision for themselves as to where the fine thin line is drawn and not overstep it.  The same for clothes, food, sex, entertainment, etc. ...  Let's be honest.  Everything used by mankind can be misused and abused.  It is not peculiar to just drugs and alcohol.   If one does, STOP! 

     No adult should engage in unbecoming and illegal activities with any under-aged minor.  Yet, in saying this... No parent, relative, friend or anyone else should ever take advantage of a situation as a means to coerce or blackmail an alleged perpetrator if nothing factually had happened either. 

    A last piece of advice to you, concerned mother; if you have spoken with the mother of the under-aged alleged victim, the son, and she has failed or refused to lodge the complaint, then you must go to the police after you tell the mother what you intend to do.  In some states, if you do not go the police, you could be held as an accomplice after the fact and pay a penalty similar to the alleged perpetrator if he is convicted AND IF it becomes known that you had known.  All those who have factual knowledge without doing anything may be held as accomplices.  Be very careful though.

    We know from experience with an association of Orthodox and Catholic clergy, that sometimes blackmail and Seals of the Confessional may be involved.  In some states, it does not matter as to whether SEALS OF THE CONFESSIONAL are involved, but will hold a clergyman accountable to law unjustly if he should refuse to break the Seals of the Confessional.  This is the Evil One whose intrepid fangs are attempting to break the bonds of the faith which causes for some clergy to go to prison for false and errant charges.  In times past, it was not uncommon for some priests, regardless of the issue, who would not break the Seals of the Confessional, to be put to death.  But, what you have told me does not sound like it involves the Seals of the Confessional. 

    If you are friends, or associated with any individual who is knowingly engaged in sexual activity with an under-aged youth....  Run... Do Not walk... away from them, even clergymen.  You have a responsibility... to God and to the law of man ! ! !  Choose carefully which is to be obeyed... You are not a priest, obviously, and therefore your faith demands you deal with the situation according to man's law.

 

Mrs. Cosigen (Massachusetts): (August 21, 2004) Blessings Father.  Many years, in another state, when my two sons who were aged 14 and 17, I learned that my oldest was supplied date rape drugs and other drugs, even alcohol. Then he was sexually molested by a clergyman.  The whole thing was reported and a conviction of the clergyman came about. 

     But now that I am older, and so are my children, I've recently learned from the oldest that the clergyman did not start the whole thing, but my boy did.  He states to me now that he got the date rape drugs and sneaked the alcohol from the cabinets of the clergyman, even taking advantage of the clergyman when he was drunk because he 'loved' or adored the priest and wanted him.  I'm not sure what to do or how to handle this.  My oldest, even though he's married now, claims his wife had known before they were married, even now, that he is bi-sexual.  He says he's gone to the clergyman who is out of prison, off parole and begged forgiveness even though the clergyman has not been actively involved in ministry since he was let go from the major church he was a priest in.   What can I do to make correction of these things?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

   There is very little that you can do because the situation has long passed.  And, in most states, they do not want to revisit old cases and make correction, especially in those sex offender crimes.  Your son did the right thing in trying to make correction directly with the clergyman.  Much depends on what state this incident happened in and whether you and your son have enough finances if you decide to evaluate the possibility toward correcting this gross miscarriage of justice in the state in which it was prosecuted.  But, to be honest, I believe you may find that the state in which it occurred and was prosecuted will deny any right to re-open the case.  Again, the clergyman and your son would seem to have resolved any misgivings and sought both repentance and forgiveness.  As for the Church the clergyman had been active in, I doubt, if it be the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church... if they will attempt to make correction to return a priest to the fold even with limited faculties.

    However, what you situation brings up suggests many things.  Each person has human faults and frailties.  A youth struggling with his individual testosterones can cause confusion and anxieties to an enormous degree.  Some youth, who do not want to take an action to violate a female will sometimes, even at 17 (more so if younger and in development threshold stages), engage in activities to manipulate an adult, through the use of drugs and alcohol, for sexual activity.  However, state laws, for the most part, are rather explicit... there is little to no excuse for an adult, even under inebriation, as with drugs or alcohol, to engage in sexual activities with anyone under the legal age of consent.  It matters not, in law, if the activities were precipitated by an over-sexed youth who manipulates the adult.  It is illegal and if reported will bring a conviction against the adult.  

    There can be a certain kind of inebriation with drugs, alcohol and sex. which produce intense pleasure. Often times, if continued, the individual(s) ceases to respond, and then comes the collapse, emotional and also physical. 

   Not knowing where one's personal threshold is, whether it be in the areas of sex, drugs, alcohol, food, clothing, etc.  the individual is out of control because the individual has not been taught how to gauge himself.  This is much the cause for overweight children in these times, because parents don't know themselves either.  If parents do know, they are not aware of the mental and emotional problems of the child, thus they cannot help him or her.

   In the instance of sexual improprieties... the adult, in civil law, will always be held as responsible because they should have known better, even when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

   Drugs come in many forms, whether via prescription from a doctor or otherwise.  It is not the drugs or the alcohol that is at fault, but the failure of families and individuals to know where their limits lie, going beyond their limits in sex, drugs, alcohol, food, etc. 

   However, in saying all thus far that I have, I must remind you that a clergyman or any adult, for that matter, who engages in intentionally supplying any youth with drugs of any kind, even alcohol, for the sole purpose of having sex with an under-aged youth, should be prosecuted!  Even without the drugs and alcohol, no one should engage in sexual activity with an under aged youth.  Those activities go against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ as well as civil law. 

   Parents should get to know their children better than what most do today.  Speak on those issues and subjects openly and without castigating them if you learn they have a propensity for things that are actually experimental as it is in the human make-up of youngsters or youths to experiment.  Be sure to be armed and equipped with factual information, BOTH PRO and CON... for and against so that the youth can make use of their God-given free will... for indeed it will be up to them to square themselves with both God and man when they reach adulthood.  To demand of youth to think of something in a wholly negative light, is to deny God's Free Will in the youth and also you are denying those youths of good Christian households to decide for themselves the spiritual reality versus the physical reality of justice.

    For those adults who have a propensity for youth, especially under-aged youth, you must consider what the results of your actions will bring about, not only for yourself, but for the youth and the family of the youth!  More importantly, you must also consider the results of your actions before God and man alike.  STOP! THINK! LISTEN to the Spirit that will be with you if you truly put yourself to strong prayer!

   But let this also be a warning to those clergy and other adults who have have used date rape drugs, other drugs, even alcohol to have their way with under aged youth for sex and have not as yet been caught!  God will surely reap justice upon them unless they turn themselves in to both their superiors and civil authorities where a lesser sentence may be gained instead of a harsher one if they are finally caught up with.

 

Father Tom (Utah): (August 15, 2004) 

   Bless Father.  I was born and raised in the Islamic or Muslim religion.  After I turned of age I began to explore other religions.  Eventually, after almost 20 years, I converted to an Independent Catholic jurisdiction and then came to true Orthodoxy.  But something happened alone the way.  Because I was born and raised in a Muslim country, I was involved in all things pertaining to youth and engaged in conduct that would be considered unbecoming an adult in the U.S.A. and even most of the free world.  There are many things unknown to the average person in the free world which Muslim males are allowed to do that would not be sanctioned by most countries of the free world, involving sexual practices or activities, whether with a male or female.  I, in turn, obviously and eventually, got my hands severely slapped although I didn't serve a prison sentence, only jail time.  As a result I was dismissed from the Church as a priest.  Yet, I say "Father" as regards myself because of the time held belief that "once a priest, always a priest". 

  I know that if I wished, I could return to the religion of my upbringing where such as my past (civil law) would be scoffed at and thus I would be somewhat welcomed back to Islam.  Yet, it is not my religion.  It is not true to all that God, as I have learned, desires of man spiritually and materially.

  Where can I go where I would be accepted as a priest, even if limited faculties were imposed, and where I can breathe more freely from the fear of my past?  I have to register annually.

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

   Even as Metropolitan Archbishop, Abbot  - I can make no absolute promises or guarantees.  However, depending on what your past contains, there is a possibility that your contacting us may be a God Send for you and for us. 

  The Church, as I have always said, is a spiritual hospital for sick souls.  In as much as your communication was limited, I believe their are always "open doors" to resolve every issue and ever instance in life.  More especially is this true if you have been or are open to giving yourself over to intense meditation and prayer, coupled with all that you know in your heart to be true as regards repentance and forgiveness.  All things are possible where faith is true according to one's nature and ability to abide.

  Please feel free to contact me, personally, to discuss and hopefully resolve the situation for yourself and for the One, Holy, Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

 

Rev. Father William (Illinois): (August 2, 2004)

   Your blessings Most Reverend Father.  With the reply of a previous question that I posed, I am most grateful and now ask if those who are supposed clergy continue to bring up things of the past which were covered by true repentance and forgiveness, are themselves involved in spiritual pursuits or otherwise?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    Of whomever you speak of, if they continue... are truly involved in such that will, unless they seek true repentance, damning themselves and those with them.  By their continuance in bringing up such things, shows their own lack of accepting or giving forgiveness and thereby they may incur the same sins in themselves even though they may not physically have been guilty of them in this life, but be judged by them in the next as though they had committed them.  And this applies not just to clergy, but all people of every walk, talk, and persuasion.  Not a one of us are exempt from the teachings whatsoever. 

 

Mr. Williams  (Ohio): (August 2, 2004)

    Bless Father... Thank you for such a quick response and posting last month to my question.  My wife and I have, as said before, been very much intrigued with your jurisdiction because of where we have lived for over twenty years.  We know one or two of the players who have been causing problems on your jurisdiction even during the time when you resided in Toledo.  We are well aware of the individuals from Florida and if we could have talked with you directly during your stay in 2003, we would have provided much information then.  Since there was no way in which that could have happened and because our priest had asked that we stay away from yourself and the persons who are no longer with you, we felt that the only way to avoid problems for ourselves and keep peace abiding was to follow the instructions of our own priest at the time.  Even though I no longer serve as a Deacon for my Parish due to health problems, I also have had to retire from my secular job.  I was in law enforcement.  I know about the persons you had been connected with, including the ones in Michigan, Indiana, Florida and here.  The Roman Church has a wide and vast network of information exchange as does law enforcement.  We know that you have held out your hand to many and have been damaged along the way both in California and here, as well as New Mexico by recent developments that you have, in the past, and recently gone through.  We maintain friendships with a variety of people in most of the states and are a part of a group of concerned people whose backgrounds involve law enforcement, the Church, and numerous other organizations.  We believe you have been far to soft in reaching out a hand of help to many, especially those who you have found out are almost the worse ones of the worst. 

    What now do you and your jurisdiction plan to do as regards the future clergy and activities you engage in for the needs of the people as we would like to be "friends" and aide in only small ways if we can.  Would you answer this multi-part question?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    Blessings to you and your wife.  You have been a blessing to us in many ways both seen and unseen.  Your prayers and your activity to provide us with recent information (not posted) says much about your belief that there are many in North America who are in need of aide and assistance in their attempt to clean out their jurisdictions of those who have less the spiritual aim and goal for themselves and the people. 

    I cannot fault you in anything that you wrote, and that which I have asked not be included in this web posting, only salient portions which are quotes from your letters. 

    Your aide and extended assistance of us and this jurisdiction with information and advice is well received and we are more than grateful to you and those with you. 

    We were advised of your activities to help other jurisdictions who have been or are victims of those, like us, have been attacked with attempts to tear apart the Church based on the issues of 'personality' alone.  We were also advised that you are a part of a group, which you have indicated, of whom we believe are the ones who contacted us and drove by here to see if all was going well.  Now, we are sure and can only thank you and them.  

    Our goals and desires for this jurisdiction is no different than what it has always been.  With your combined efforts, the spirit of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Apostles will be followed and maintained to the best of our abilities in spirit and truth.  We are guilty of having many faults and frailties as this is not a perfect church or even a perfect jurisdiction.  Yet, as we pray, we pray for you and those with you and seek guidance from above along with your erstwhile efforts to provide guidance here below too.  Your contacting and helping us is an answer to many, many prayers.  We thank you!

    We have discussed with several others here and elsewhere who are a part of this jurisdiction and cannot help but believe that you, your wife and those with whom you are working with, take the stance and attitude that it is not "jurisdiction" or "rite" that is a motive for your efforts, but faith in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church both East and West that drives you in your efforts.  Of this we are convinced as we learn more from and about you.  Thank God! 

    The true Church is not about who is the more "correct" or even about "rite" or who is more "Eastern" or even "Western" - or who is more "Benedictine," "Franciscan," etc., so-much-as it is about the faith of the Church.  We notice that in all that you have said and done, you do not or, (at least) have not shown an involvement in that which we call synchrestic ecumenism, but only that which is (as said) of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to which even the Roman jurisdiction of the "Catholic" Church does not hold control over the moon and sun which rises and sets upon us who are Catholic.


July 2004

 

Father Conrad (Wisconsin): (July 23, 2004)

    I have just read your "quotes" and have viewed your web pages.  I've been on vacation and usually keep up with what's happening.  I notice the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Western Rite Metropolia and His Eminence +Damian Benedict (Palladino) and those with him are no longer working with the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.  I've also noticed that His Eminence has gone back to being with (un-named) in Ohio who initially caused problems in the last several years.  What has become of the UOC-WRM Metropolitan +Damian and the inter-religious relationship with the AOC? 

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    It was mutually agreed between ourselves and the UOC-WRM's Metropolitan Archbishop that our separation from each other and the joint working toward things in common would be to our individual and collective mutual benefit. 

 

    We agreed that each of us have different methods and ways of approach to teaching,  preaching, training and administering to the needs of the Church.  You are correct in that the UOC-WRM has indeed gone back to the un-named one out of Ohio which even surprised us, personally, to some degree, but on retrospect - - - was not surprising to so very  many others. 

 

    We pray for them in the UOC-WRM and remember them in our prayers at the altar for there is much we believe they have contributed toward in the faith, although (again) methods and manner of approach differ between us, as we feel sure they too would publicly say of us in return. 

 

    The separation of our working together was by mutual agreement with an understanding that we would say and do nothing either civilly or Ecclesiastically concerning either of us as individuals or any of our collective human faults and frailties that may exist or have existed in each of us... for we are all sinners, by which only sincere prayer, repentance, and forgiveness heals all things and imbues each one with the means to correct those defects in our individual personalities that may have caused for a separation.  Anyone can find a human fault or frailty in the other.  No exceptions on that point.  But, in this mutual understanding and agreement, there is to be no attacking of each other by any means, or mentioning of any thing, that might, could or would disenfranchise the people of our individual jurisdictions either civilly or Ecclesiastically whatsoever; for to do so is not being One in and with the Faith whatsoever.  It is much similar to, if not the same as, the agreement we reached as regards the un-named one in Ohio whom they have gone back to.

 

    As regards the UOC-WRM, we do say that the only differences between us, as already pointed out, is that of having different methods of approach to training, teaching and preaching and caring for our individual obligations to both the Church and secular areas of life.  Each of us may be correct in how we do what we do even though the different approaches appear to clash.  Such is personality differences amongst many clergy.  Nothing new, whether it be Orthodox Catholic, Roman Catholic, Independent Catholic, Independent Orthodox, etc. etc.

 

    May I correct you in saying that His Eminence has taken the Episcopal name of +Michael and has dropped the +Damian Benedict (Palladino).

 

    Truthfully, we wish them well in the journey they have taken for themselves as we continue moving forward in this jurisdiction of the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH which is a part of the vine of the One, Holy, Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ as they are too.

 

Mrs. Davidson (Canada): (July 18, 2004)

    I live just across the US-Canadian border and my husband is with a large law enforcement agency.  I have learned over the years of how things of this world affect us in the next because it affects our daily prayer and worship.  What I have learned as fact about you and those who had been with you leave me appalled.  But when I investigate further, I find your problems to be miniscule in comparison.  Even those who had moved to New Mexico USA to be with you and since moving, I have come to learn, are no different.  I would wish you had a priest locally.  Those who had been with you in Ohio and those connected with them in Michigan are not the types we want here because they breed contempt, sow seeds which cause for division and confusion to the faith.  Your clergy and even your hierarchs admittedly are sinners and have shown repentance which I understand as a "change" of ways.  What I wish to ask is, why isn't the whole Church through out the world conforming to this understanding?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    Thank you and blessings to you and yours in the faith.  What you have said is so very true.  Actually, I am a bit surprised that you may know more about what is on-going here and otherwise than most know. 

 

    Hardly can a priest or bishop be what they are in spirit and truth if they concoct real and imagined situations in his or their attempts to divide the church or jurisdiction of the church, create confusion and division amongst the congregations and even amongst other bishops and clergy in the Church. 

 

    Bishops have, by way of their commission and charge to the Episcopacy; the duty and responsibility to be stewards and administrators of the Church while being a guide to both the clergy and faithful.  When those Bishops, who are apostles, no longer act according to and speak differently than what the mind of the Church is, they loose not only their dignity, but the very character of their episcopacy which becomes nothing more than an invention of man's ideal for revenge, materiality, power and control.

 

    Sometimes that which causes for the character of one to change involves the use of deceit, lies, even (in some instances) thievery and sometimes attempts to blackmail by saying, "If you do this, I won't do that," or "If you don't do this, we will say this..." even though untrue and unfounded in material fact! 

 

    When any one is faced with anything similar to these kind of people, I have always advised that they be prepared both civilly and spiritually in the future.  I know some of these things and have always had set in place such that aids in proving 'who said what' and even 'when' beyond just witnesses.  Example: An incident of attempted blackmail recently came about where a priest received a phone call.  Another priest was there who was involved as well.  The caller, was kept talking while the original priest went inside and turned on a device unbeknownst to the second priest and the caller.  Although, the second priest on the wireless phone where the incoming call was received, said he was getting static, meaning the original priest should hang up the extension phone, the whole conversation was not only overheard, but documented.  A simple but rather unusual method of back tracing other calls reveals a history of constant communication between the second priest and the initiator which caused for the call to come about.   Because of numerous clues and suspicions about the second priest and those who arrived from another state with him, and with law enforcement having been contacted initially, certain precautions to safeguard documents and other materials including phony e-mails containing viruses, etc. - precautions  were taken, even before leaving California in 2003. 

 

    While there are those who desire to destroy, their attempts to do so is without forethought of the eventual damage they do to themselves, their families, and those with them whether in religious circles or otherwise... civilly and spiritually.  Sometimes it causes civil authorities to allow the continuation of those alleged practices in order to build a log of activities by the perpetrators.  This is called, giving a person or a group of people enough rope to hang themselves!  There is nothing unfaithful or irreligious in taking these precautions, especially in these times where clergy and churches are being singled out for real and often imagined harms, so much as setting in place safeguards to ensure truth, not falsehoods.  Yet, in order to make someone appear to be in error... their propensity and degree to be aggressive in causing problems, the actions of perpetrators are more often the actions to destroy without forethought to their own selves.

 

    There are some who claim to be clergy, but who have departed from their vows which is the commission and charge through which they were initially ordained (vowed to accept).  Some have veered from the commission and charge of their ordinations that they have acted in a manner that some consider to be 'cult abuse' while others have said 'scam' - as a means to hold people sway to their unknown lusts for power and control.  No Church, no jurisdiction, not even those of the Protestant (non-Orthodox and non-Catholic) are exempt from these types for they exist in greater numbers than what many know, except for what has been reported in the electronic news media.

 

    Not only priests or clergy, but people in general are advised as to some ways in which they can take precautions, as happened in Ohio and now, even in New Mexico.  Many have benefited from this advice, but in all instances, attorneys or law enforcement should be contacted for special advice in these kind of matters so that they may take proper action as a means to protect.  While the Church does believe in separation of Church from State, so also should it be understood that God is the appointer and annointer of all good things for those who truly believe in and practice those things pertinent to faith in Him.  God could destroy those whom he cannot use to aide others in coming to Him.  He uses those in authority, not just clergy and faithful.

 

    The Faith of the Church as handed by Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles, Patristic Fathers and Saints is an exacting faith based on belief and upon one's daily struggle in this life to live up to that belief according to each one's own nature and degree of ability.  Nothing else will do.  For those who create and cause for division or revenge, their faith comes from the Evil One and not from Jesus Christ.

 

Mr. Williams  (Ohio): (July 18, 2004)

    Bless Father.  Although I am retired from being a deacon in a large Catholic Church due to my own health problems, there are things I've known about some of the problems your church or jurisdiction has been facing for the last several years.  I can only presume that your "quotes" about things not-so-spiritual is for the purpose of showing experiences which can be used to show those things spiritual and how one can or can not handle them.  Is this a correct presumption on my part?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    I am sorry to learn of your problems which limit you.  We shall add your name amongst those for whom we pray.  Yes!  You are so very correct!

 

Rev. Father Nguyen (Calif.): July 17, 2004

    Your Blessing Most Rev. Father.   Being one of your's in the faith and in the jurisdiction of the American Orthodox Church here in California, I ask on behalf of my brothers and myself if you would allow for the aide of other jurisdictions to help in building the monastic community there in New Mexico?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    We give thanks to all who would, out of sincerity of heart through the action of struggle for the faith in spirit and truth, aide us in our combined endeavors.  We give true thanks and know that where the heart is open, nothing is hidden.  Where desire to aide others is sincere and true, there is Love and Compassion.  Where all things are befitting the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, all things of the past are of no consequence for true repentance by persons and/or jurisdictions becomes the means for forgiveness when there may have been resentments or anger.

 

    For all those who do not know us from experience but from rumor, but yet strive forward in the Goal for Jesus Christ, they have put aside rumor; put aside political ambitions for self-glory and self-image.  They have put aside what man sews in the heart as implanted by the Evil One... extending a helping hand out of true sincerity seeking nothing in return. 

 

    Let the prayer of St. Francis be a guide for the heart and soul for although it may appear to be a prayer by another jurisdiction's Saint... truthfully, he was a Saint in spirit and truth whose own life is but an icon for many to emulate.  The prayer of St. Francis, when sown into the heart and soul, causes the blinders covering the eyes to be removed and thus all things appear as though new and nothing as seen before is seen again except love, compassion, joy and blessedness.

 

    Aide comes in many forms.  Aide is aide!  How can we refuse when it is out of sincerity of heart?  We cannot refuse that which comes from Christ, Jesus!

 

Rev. Father William (Illinois):  July 18, 2004

    Your blessings Eminence.  I have noticed in the last week several changes in what had originally appeared to be a combined effort of two jurisdictions to work together.  Now I see that the AOC International Headquarters is no longer working with the other jurisdiction.  Is there a reason for this?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

    May you truly be blessed by your ability to understand that unlike the Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, most true Orthodox jurisdictions have not been wholly infected by a disease that eats away and preys upon the souls of those who do not have the desires of working toward being truly Orthodox.  Those of us in this jurisdiction have never said that we are FULLY ORTHODOX because we shall never know until we draw our last breath if we are, in the eyes of Lord and Savior, arrived at the goal.  And that goal, which he established and to which we are all mandated by the Gospel accounts, require that we strive mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually in this earthly struggle toward it. 

 

    There are those who believe themselves more "correct" and more "true" to being Orthodox although they make much use of those things that are of the Roman jurisdiction, including a way and manner of looking at life and living.  That kind of view inculcates a similarity of how to teach, even using Roman materials, even going further into using a "political" correctness approach.  Thus an attitude of imperviousness shows through which can be seen by the eye of those who are true strugglers, not those who appear to be strugglers.  No one, not even ourselves, are perfect, but working toward those things established by Our Lord.

 

    Jesus had told us that we can not ride two horses or serve two masters.  While allegorical as provided by him in his parable... it is for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see that we serve either Him or serve mammon, self-glory, self-image, not soul lifting, but soul degrading. 

 

    If someone suffers in this life with things appertaining to things physical but is truly aware of his short-comings and prays forgiveness to the Lord while striving to abolish those things not fitting for the Kingdom of God; the Lord forgives.  So we too must forgive those who use us, slander us, make away with things obtained through, deceit, lies, theft, malice, judgmental attitudes of indifference, etc.   We must turn the other cheek after finding these things out and pray for them.  Saying nothing of, or about them but moving onward.  Of course, should it ever come about that in their thinking to believe they have stolen the proverbial "silver" and "gold" (so-to-speak), they should be warned that any continued action to disrupt, cause further dissension and worse can and will be met in this life with equal force as the means to protect those who rely on us, even yourself.  Without such, even to accepting the penalty of imprisonment or death is nothing new in the history of the Church, for it is true even for today.  But, in the doing, the damage would only be widespread and cause for harm not to just one, but all.

 

    We do therefore look at the other jurisdiction as separate and apart from us, not being one with us in spirit and truth.  Their ways are good for them only insofar as they do and say nothing either directly or indirectly by themselves or through others to bring harm on anyone of the faith as had been done by those with whom they have now aligned themselves with.

 

Anonymous: (Minnesota): (July 17, 2004)

    I am a member of the Holy Synod of Bishops. In the last 24 hours (July 17th) I have been apprised of the causative factors for the removal of information concerning a Synodal action involving more than ten bishops regarding (documents of the Church) issued on the "Wild Benedictine".  The documents, were posted properly and appropriately.  I have been aware of the various involvements of those who are not a part of this jurisdiction who live in a North Eastern State of the U.S.A.  They are not even legitimate members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church except by civil law as regards their incorporation papers which does not make one truly of the faith when they fail and refuse to abide by the faith of the Church.  I have some of the documents pertaining to the attempts to use what I can only call psychological and spiritual blackmail in 2003 and now, again, on our hierarch by a former bishop of the Church who has deposed and excommunicated himself.  What I am most concerned about is how can the man (the former bishop) even dare to ask for "forgiveness" on one hand and then get one of his parishioners (same as before) to make threats against the hierarch when the former bishop has only engulfed himself in showing not just "prelest" but no true repentance?  I would think his actions are false and wholly abusive as regards supposed seeking "forgiveness" ... because their has been no true repentance as the evidence shows. Doesn't this also show that those who consider themselves as "Parishioners" and "friends" consider themselves above the laws of Jesus Christ's Life and Teachings as does the former bishop?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

We know of whom you speak.  The fact of the matter is that it came as no surprise to us that these things would happen as all jurisdictions are infected with some form of clergy who practice a "correctness disease" approach without coming forward with the admitting their own sins in a manner which show lack of repentance, but seek a false forgiveness.  The former bishop in question has shown that he is not repentant by the use of his parishioners ("friends") to accommodate his own self-image goals.  Forgiveness cannot be given because the repentance was not real as shown by recent events.  As for the parishioners in question, they fail or refuse to see how their own lives and that of their family members could be and are jeopardized both spiritually and materially. 

 

The initiating bishop from Florida who had been a part of this jurisdiction's synod at one time, and who has his own synod now, and who had begun the process for which caused the information or documents concerning the "Wild Benedictine" to be posted, agreed not only with us, but with Synod members that the time had come to delete the information and reply only to them who may inquire in the future.  That would be the most honorable and Christian approach.  It is the same as the teaching of not serving two masters, we serve one and only one... the same as riding two horses, we ride one and only one... it is the same as the gospel teaching  "IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME; TEACHING AS DOCTRINE WHAT IS ONLY HUMAN PRECEPTS." [Matthew 15: 9] because the former bishop in question has shown by action what is in his heart for worship is not just a seventh day activity at a special time, but an action that must be in one's heart, mind, body and soul and therefore an action in every step he takes through out life. 

 

He has violated the canons of the Church, and showed the degree to which he continues in violating those canons (being especially true of First Canon - the Gospel accounts).  What this former bishop has done is to drag those parishioners down with him in spirit and truth both materially and spiritually, unless they consider themselves above the commandments of Jesus Christ in spirit and truth as would seem to be indicative by their actions of recent.  Manipulation of facts has very serious spiritual and material consequence in the eyes of God.    Outside of true prayer for such lost souls, nothing else is required by those who maintain the faith!

 

Manfred (Iowa, USA) asks:

Bless Father... I read your reply to the question asked by the Minnesota man.  I have two questions...  1) What about some Old Catholics and Independent Catholics, even Roman and others who have ordained below the age requirements... does that invalidate their ordinations?  and, 2) I would like to know how you, personally, would react if someone of another denomination came to you for help and aide?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

Because I had come from the Roman Catholic jurisdiction upbringing in my youth, entering into the Old Catholic and then coming into Orthodoxy several decades ago, I have seen much of what you mention regarding the various age differences of ordinands.  When one makes review of the Holy Canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, it is rather clear that all have violated them in some measure, in most instances, unintentionally.  However, the evil one infects those who are not prepared to take responsibility dutifully and carefully, especially many who have been ordained without due preparation and understanding of the reasons for the existence of the Canons which is both Biblical and Patristic so as to settle problems and situations in the Church Catholic.  Yet, in the Independent movements, Old Catholic and Roman, even some of the Orthodox jurisdictions, such has become almost a cafeteria approach in observing the Holy Canons.  While those who have been ordained at a younger age than allowed, their ordinations are rather valid so long as the Lines of Succession are valid and the bishop ordaining is not found heterodox or having intentionally  failed to observe the commission and charge of his consecration. 

 

As to your second question:  I require of my clergy that they, like myself, accept each individual from right where they are coming from, if such can be ascertained.  It is difficult to deal with people, as individuals, if we come across to them in an empiracle, self-centered and egotistical fashion regarding matters of faith and morals.  To do so will 'turn them off'.  They must be won over by both our personality and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who seeks to heal sick souls.  For indeed, we will not know at that moment if but what the person is truly Christ, Jesus in the flesh.  Yet, to view them as though they were Christ, we view the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.  Review how he treated many who were not of the faith of His upbringing (Jewish) and you have an idea and model of how one should treat others.  Without that approach, we are nothing but serving the ego and the Evil One.

 

By the way... your use of the word "Denomination" suggests that you view all jurisdictions of the Roman and Orthodox as equally as one views non-catholics be they Roman or Orthodox.  The Catholic Church is not one of "denominations" because it is the very root of Christianity from which the Roman jurisdiction did, in fact, schism (separate) from while those today called "Orthodox" carry on with the faith as it was once delivered without alteration additions and adulterations.  That which is "Catholic" has always been ... The Roman Church is a jurisdiction as is the Orthodox Church... both being very Catholic although not always observing many things they should have been or are required.  The Protestant Church is made up of all those churches who are not "Roman" or "Orthodox" for which the Protestant Church has many denominations, not so with the Roman or Orthodox for they are in spirit and truth, the very roots of Christianity historically and otherwise.

 

For myself, I claim that while I am "Orthodox" but I do not claim that I have come to fullness of Orthodoxy... I will never truly know until after I have gone to my repose... For to be Orthodox is to have not only the fullness of spiritual truth within one, but have the totality of "Right Thinking," "Correct Belief" and "True Spiritual and material ability to practice the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ"... To be Orthodox Catholic is to struggle in this life whether one is ordained to the priesthood or even to fullness of the priesthood as a bishop, Stavrophore Monk, Hieromonk or even a Schema Monk.  That struggle is an on-going activity in the heart, mind, soul and body of each one of us, no matter who we are.  When any one rejects that which they have come to learn as "truth" - they have opposed the faith and are not truly "Christian" or even "Orthodox" but have saddled themselves with Evil One...

 

Aiden (Minnesota, U.S.A.) asks:

Your blesing Father... I am a parishioner from a small Old Catholic group locally.  I wonder what the age requirements are for sub-deacon, deacon, arch-deacon, priest and bishop?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

Sub-Deacon 20, Deacon 25, Archdeacon is open as between 25 and 30 or otherwise, depending upon the one's ability to inculcate both the material and spiritual; Priest 30, Bishop 50. 

 

On saying the above, may you also know that in some jurisdictions, as is more common in the West, ordinations to the various degrees has become less than stated.  In some instances, the use of the Canon of "Necessity" has been applied for right or wrong!  Prior to our coming closer to Orthodoxy, we too had followed similar practices, but as we move forward, corrections are being made toward that which is more acceptable in Orthodoxy. 

 

Father Nguyen (California, USA)

Your Blessing Father... What is the difference between the Benedictine under the Roman Jurisdiction and that of the Orthodox jurisdictions of the Catholic Church?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

The same Rule, the same word, but a different understanding.  It is a pardigm shift that makes the difference.  Remember, the Benedictine expression by the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church is not eclectic or holistic for it is one of "correctness" that has been much opposed to by all the early saints and martyrs of the Church prior to that jurisdiction's (Roman) schism from the Catholic Church.

 

The difference can best be more fully understood when you view the manner and action of a person who has grown up on the East Coast of the U.S.A. - who comes to the west's small town, U.S.A. 

 

The individual (especially one from New York City) will be looked upon as one who is quick and somewhat defensive before everyone.  Forget the movies... they do not provide understanding.  The individual is somewhat forceful, aggressive and defensive when he is told that he has a problem in communicating with others on a subject (any subject)... On first meeting, everything is nice.  After a time, the small town folk see the differences and in their desire to apprise the individual of the differences as being too aggressive and forceful... the individual automatically (without forethought) goes on the defensive... and most of what is said to him is taken negatively.  It is an attitude!  And the same goes for how the Rule of Life of St. Benedict is viewed by the Roman jurisdiction and the Orthodox jurisdiction of the Catholic Church.

 

While this explanation is not all that I would like it to be, it is just one example!

 

Fr. Benjamin (Alaska, USA) (synopsis of communication)

Your blessings Father... and thank you for accepting me into your jurisdiction.  I am elated because I find much of what is going on with what you call synchrestic ecumenism is what you are taking me out of by accepting me.  My question is whether or not the UOC-WRM and the AOC are now One?

 

+Father Thaddeus replies:

All jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church are ONE who - when they, according to their various nature and degrees of ability to understand that which has been handed down to us from the times of Apostles through a line of successive apostles, of which those (as ourselves) maintain our jurisdictions in line with the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles, the Seven Ecumenical Synods and Patristic Fathers in spirit and truth.  That means not to add or subtract from them in word or action.  That also means that where sins of one jurisdiction become known, the whole church suffers.  That also means that no sins should be hidden but be made known so that true repentance and healing may be effected.  That also means that when the sins of one are hidden (swept under the rug) the stain itself will eventually show forth and the sins become worse because of the hiding that was attempted.  This would be the same for that jurisdiction you came out of.  They continue in their actions to hide their sins and to alter by adding and subtracting from that which they had initially received which disenfranchises them from the fullness of being ONE in the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  What is on paper, so-to-speak, does not make them ONE... but their words and actions either make a jurisdiction ONE or separates them from us.

 

Of the many jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, there are many who have opted to join in and with the World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops and other such groups which are in total... a part of that movement attempting to bring about a ONE WORLD CHURCH which was and is a violation of the Seven Ecumenical Councils for it is synchrestic ecumenism in spirit and truth... such as it is... there have been pronouncements by the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church as seen by their Bishop of Rome (Pope) in collusion or concert with the Patriarch of Constantinople, such that disenfranchises them and those with them who are a part of them from their being of the ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH in spirit and truth.  While they hold the sanctity of the Holy Mysteries, their spirit has changed from that which had been handed down to them and thus the spirit that is within them is not that of the Holy Spirit, but another kind which is more about ambitions, self-image, control, etc.  That is not and never has been the action of the Holy Spirit, but another spirit not of or in JESUS CHRIST!

 

Such actions and expressions are rampant more now than ever through the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church's various Holy Orders, such as the RC Benedictine (Collegevile) ... etc.  It is further reflected in the various "Autocephalous Independent Movement" groups, some of which, are not even "Catholic" but very Protestant (non-Catholic and non-Orthodox) who actually follow a form of Roman Catholic belief and who, in their doings, claim we are a "hate site" while themselves having fallen sway to the ONE WORLD CHURCH ideals.   You had said in one of your communications, "... the Church has become like walking into a Protestant Church ..." and "... the piety, reverence, and sacredness has been reduced ... " should be an example of what the synchrestic ecumenist movement is all about.  For indeed, the Great Deceiver, although inculcating a moral appearance through the various entities (ie: churches) has caused for the bringing about of a lessening of piety, true belief, right thinking in spirit and truth!

 

I believe you - yourself - said it correctly when you said in one of your communications to us that you have found the spirit of the Church (your former jurisdiction) as having changed, and you said further ... "that while I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is, the spirit and direction of the Church has so changed that I can not identify it or explain what it is."  I therefore hope that this explanation is a correct one that you might be able to identify with as the explanation you had trouble with.  Remember:

"IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME;

TEACHING AS DOCTRINE

WHAT IS ONLY HUMAN PRECEPTS."

[Matthew 15: 9]

I pray that is a proper understanding for you?  But as for the AOC and the UOC-WRM, we are each a separate jurisdiction and will remain as separate jurisdictions even though we work together in our formation of clergy and our being jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in resistance to the actions of the larger jurisdictions who have separated themselves from the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Patristic Fathers, the Seven Ecumenical Councils and more.  Each of our jurisdictions are unique in themselves and the Metropolitans have the approvals of their synods for this venture we have entered into.  We believe that everything must be placed on the proverbial "table" for all to see so that there can be no misunderstanding. 

 

While other jurisdictions take the approach that their jurisdictions are above reproach in all things, we know that history says otherwise.  It is the faith of the Church that remains the same.  The actions of its clergy, as human beings, can be and often is the center of politics, etc. which cannot be hidden for the very politics of a church and actions of its clergy is open to scrutiny not only by parishioners but by society as a whole... If we are to move forward in spirit and in truth (materially) - we must recognize that the children of God, the people, the parishioners, in light of what is on-going in these times, are viewing the various Churches with a microscopic eye and what they see is that the clergy are also a sinful lot too... Lest we forget the actions of the Apostles who abandoned or denied Christ and that should be sufficient to prove this point.  And in this age of technology, all we are doing is providing the information and applying the balm of understanding accordingly.  We too say that we are indeed sinners trying to become Holy... and that is intrinsic upon what it means to become more human!

 

The Church is a spiritual hospital where all sinners need the balm of that which only Jesus Christ can give through those Holy Mysteries handed down through time and history as being from and through those who are truly Apostles in a line of Apostles (Lines of Succession) who hold the fullness of the Holy Mysteries, not as the Protestants (non-orthodox and non-roman Catholic) do... for Christ did not guarantee on the day of Pentecost that the apostles would be free from error or that they would not err... In fact, they did err... as do we from time to time.  We are not the sanhedrin, the sadducees or pharisees as understood in olden times of Christ's Life on earth... We are Apostles who admit our errors and sins.  The modern day Sanhedrin, the Sadducees and Pharisees exist in various other jurisdictions who believe themselves and what they are bishops over, as being above reproach and act accordingly as though they are SUPER APOSTLES... God forgive them!  May we learn from the past and the present that we too are truly sinners and as Apostles, we seek forgiveness and heal the Church by our example which means the Holy Spirit, sees our intentions and abides in and with us!  One would wish the same could be said of the others!


June 2004

In reply to many e-mails concerning a question of "sin" and "nation(s)" +Father Thaddeus replies:

This passage (Ps 103:15-18) is really referring to man (ie: an individual), but one can see the connections with an empire.  "As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes." (Psalm 103).  An empire can grow up to be great, as noble as a flower - but the next verse tells us of all things that happen to creations of this world: "For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more" (ibid).  An empire can be destroyed (literally "blown away") and nothing remains to show that it existed.

Then the Psalmist goes on: "But the mercy of the Lord is ... On those who fear Him" (ibid) that is to say that He will protect us, or as another Psalm puts it "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty ... And under His wings you shall take refuge" (Psalm 91: 1,4).  The Lord will deliver "those who fear Him" from the enemy: not any worldly enemy, but the Evil One (see also The Lord's Prayer).

Massachusetts Steve asks:  How can one relate to that which the Russian Orthodox Church experienced, and its people, during the 19th and 20th century and that which we, in America are going through and the growing influence of Islam (Muslim) religion as opposed to Christian?

Father +Thaddeus says: 19th century Russia was severely rebuked and warned by St John of Kronstadt who prophesied that because of its unbelief (particularly in high places) it would undergo purging (i.e. the communist period) until such time as the Lord had deemed appropriate and then there would be a returning to its former self for a short period. My memory fails but I know there was another Russian "prophet"/ascetic, as it were, who also gave a similar prophecy which would seem to bear this out.

Certainly America has shown itself to be in a period of spiritual down-spiraling over the past several decades. The amount of "gangsta-wrap" (as they call it these days), along with the membership explosion in the anti-Roman Catholic and anti-Orthodox Catholic Churches which are the very roots of Christianity says much too.  Yet, take a real hard and long look at the increasing membership of those Islamic (Muslim) groups in the United States.  Doesn't any of this say something?  Our very leaders of this country are opting for things that many decades ago would have been unheard of and even rejected.  Satan is surely taking over as that great deceiver did in Russia.  But, Russia has come out of those times that we are ever increasingly going toward.

The very number of abortions alone should be a stern warning that the Lord will bring about judgment upon many nations, especially this nation that has so little concern for its most innocent except with eloquent words and bureaucratic semantical expressions.

America will cease to be great if it continues to allow evil into its system as forbidding prayers at school amongst other things being dismantled once held strongly by the fathers of this nation.

Allowing Satanic cults to practice, and allowing other false religions to be freely preached in public while banning Christian symbols and writings from the public, etc...  The same happened throughout history where kingdoms fell because of their great sins as allowed by their leaders.  ]

Israel fell because of their rejection to their God given prophets exhortations. They did not repent and the consequences are all documented in the bible. So why not the repeat of such to the nations and kingdoms of these times in which we live, and even the church? God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow is He not?  If the church is rebuked or warned as it was in Revelation does it not mean that the body of Christ is not complete? Since the invisible part of the body of Christ far surpasses in quantity the current visible church does it not?

Your question as to why Islamic nations are not punished is valid, however God chastises His own. The sinners will get their everlasting punishment in due time.

Father +Thaddeus says:  Regarding many questions about Ecumenism and celebrating Pascha, the following is offered as a fair understanding:

An Orthodox Statement on Ecumenism by Metropolitan Maxim of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA ... Although we are not members of his synod (vice-versa) is offered as a partial reply with notation added.

 

QUESTION: Is a "common celebration" of Pascha with the other Christians (Roman Catholic and Protestant, for example) possible for the Orthodox? Can we Orthodox "concelebrate" with the ministers of the other Churches?

 

Notation by Father +Thaddeus: Only with the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church since we are the core and root of the Christian Church, being called today, rightly so... as "Orthodox".  Thus, all other Protestants (those who are not "Catholic" in spirit and truth) cannot be concelebrated with as might be inferred by the following.
-

ANSWER: Dear _________, let me respond to your questions, as objectively as I can, and as the limited space of this newspaper allows. Regarding the first question, if it is possible to establish a "common celebration" of Pascha with the other Christians, the answer is, YES. Off and on, as with this year, we celebrate together the "feast of feasts and solemnity of solemnities," without this meaning that Holy Orthodoxy is compromised! The rule regarding the celebration is only one, that established by the first Ecumenical Council. However, there is a difference in calculating the date of that celebration between the Holy Orthodox Church and the other Christian communities. It seems that, according to the learned scholars who did their homework, both ways are faulty, to some extent, at least. The well-known study of the Aleppo group of scholars (the "Aleppo Statement") has proposed a new way of calculating the date of Pascha, on the basis of the Jerusalem meridian. This study would have allowed both calculations, Eastern and Western, to arrive at one common date of Pascha for both traditions. However, the study was not received by the Eastern Churches, for fear that a new schism, similar to that of the Old Calendarists, would have happened as a result of this common calculation, which could have been misconstrued by some uninformed people as a giving-in to Western pressure. This was the meaning of the statement given to the newspapers (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) by me; in spite of that, these same "half-learned" people of whom many Orthodox are afraid, find a way of criticizing my statements.

 

In the same way, the so-called "ecumenical prayer" and "blessing" (by the way: not "cursing"!) the City of Pittsburgh is misconstrued by the uninformed Orthodox brothers. Prayer with the other Christians, who are also baptized in Christ, and have put on Christ at their baptism; who have called upon the name of Christ not in vain at their baptism, and who keep calling upon the name of Christ not in vain, is not prohibited by the ORTHODOX ECUMENICAL GUIDELINES of S.C.O.B.A. What is prohibited is shared sacramental life ("inter-communion" or "communion"), which, unfortunately, has not been restored. Only when this communion is restored, then, and only then, will "sacramental sharing" be possible. But, there is no "sacramental sharing" in the kind of common "ecumenical" prayer, to which the uninformed Orthodox object. As His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, ably stated it, "Praying with someone does not equal being in communion." Unfortunately, this is what the uninformed Orthodox Christians assume; and these are the people who are scandalized by the common ecumenical prayer of the "Christian Leaders Fellowship" of Pittsburgh. Without a stole (epitrahelion), which is the sign of a sacrament, or, even, a "sacramental," and with a text different than the sacramental one (especially produced for the circumstance), the Orthodox Bishop blesses the water, and what happens after that is not sharing in any sacrament of the church or any appointed blessing, but something called "para-liturgical" or "para-sacramental," which does not engage the faith or the sacramental life of Holy Orthodoxy. This is what has happened for the past eight years (not the second time) for your information. And this is not betrayal of Holy Orthodoxy, but betrayal of bigotry, religious fanaticism, satanic pride, complacency, and un-Christian arrogance. To put it in other words, what is strictly prohibited by the S.C.O.B.A. Ecumenical Guidelines is "inter-communion," which is the enemy of communion. What is encouraged, is "inter-communication," which includes sharing in prayer, but not in communion. What the Christian Leaders Fellowship practices is "inter-communication," which promotes the Christian spirit of mutual understanding and support, according to the teaching of Christ. I do pray for the so-called "conservative" or uninformed Orthodox brothers to see the light of Christ, and become truthful to Him, and only to Him, by leaving aside their religious fanaticism and following the Leader of the faith, who wants us to recognize Him as being present in other Christians, too, besides the pious Orthodox Christians.

 

+METROPOLITAN MAXIM

 

New York, Patrick asks:  What the Russian people and the Russian Church went through and have come out of ... isn't it because of their sinning during the reign of the Russian Emperor and before? And, is not America also following in their footsteps which will lead to the same because we have not learned the lessons provided as brought about by Darwin and Marx, both Jews? 

 

Father +Thaddeus says:

I believe you are wrong in using the ethnicity or racial group of Jews as the harbinger for the sins of a nation.  That is almost as good as saying that the Jews killed Jesus Christ, when, in fact, we often times forget that Jesus Christ was a Jew whose people were agitated and manipulated by the Jewish Sanhedrin in order to maintain favor with their overlords, the Romans, and to keep peace.  So, in short, Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins not only of the nation, but of the world.  That is biblical truth!  The statement would be almost like saying that the Russians killed their Emperor and his family when the facts show that it was a segment of the Russian people who believed in an ungodly thing.  While a bad comparison, it most suitable fits the ideology!  Politics make for strange bedfellows in every nation, even the United States. 

 

I compare the fate of our church and this nation (God's people) with the fate of OT kingdom of Israel. When they sinned they brought on the wrath of God which caused the annihilation of their kingdom. The same happened to our church as mentioned before. This has nothing to do with our beloved saints! Most of the writing of the saints was about rebuking the church men from false worship, heresies, and sin. Actually sin is what lead them to write what they wrote. They were almost all rejected and hated and so many had to live in the deserts or in remote places that later became monasteries and churches. You see Christ Jesus in Revelations was mainly rebuking the 7 churches of the East being all in today's Turkey. And all these 7 churches have been hit hard after fair warning with almost all of their members being in-captivated (exiled) into Islam! What is wrong with the truth!!! Don't get angry with me; get angry with ignorance and sin!

 

Finally it is not my fault that Marx or Darwin were Jews, although I believe Darwin was not a Jew whatsoever!!!  These two anti-christian men caused the greatest destruction to our children whom the likes of were rebuked by the Life and Teachings of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as sons of snakes. Their heresy and blasphemy lead millions if not billions away from Christianity to Satanic paganism and anti-christian beliefs.  I am not anti-sementic and if they were hindus I would say the same and more. But well they were the master minds whom received this evil inspiration from Satan himself to lead into captivity and eternal death too many souls!!! Stalin and Lenin were fools not the brains behind this all. They were the killing machines that implemented the designs.

 

I agree with some of you who, like myself, know that the light of Orthodoxy has never been put out. However I truly believe that it will lead millions back to Christ if we were to figure out what the sin is. This is just my feelings and are not intended to turn anyone away from our beloved church.  Just a thought... the disciples were heavily persecuted because of their preaching, yet the church was growing fast at that same time because of their sufferings. Today we have disciples who do not suffer nor spread the good news of Christ, and a shrinking church that has been hit hard as mentioned in other materials.

Another questioner asked a similar question as asked about the Russian people, he asked about the fall of Constantinople:

Father +Thaddeus replies:

A few things here. First: As to why all the suffering on the Orthodox Church.  Look around at the icons in your Church and in your home - God has given us heroes, people to celebrate and role-models for our lives, since they have given themselves to God, being martyred for His sake.  Why haven't you followed them by example in both spirit and truth (in your daily life)?

Secondly, as to the fall of Constantinople.  A passage from the Psalms came to mind:

As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children's children,

To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

[Psalm 103:15-18]

(California, USA)

Father Nicholas asks:

    Your blessings Father.

    I have gone through you web pages and notice that it has changed.  I know that many other web sites of the Orthodox and even Roman Catholic Churches have declared your web site as a "hate site" for which Tony Begonja's Independent Movement even lists your site as a "hate site".  What has changed the picture... is it a melting of your cold heart because of your image or something else?

 

The Most Rev. Father Thaddeus replies:

    In April 2004 a similar question was asked.  I have instructed our Webmaster to research and include the answer to that question in this one and hope it will provide an understanding.

 

Father James (Illinois) asks: (a posting in April 2004)

    Your Blessings...

    I have been a frequent visitor to your web site over numerous years.  I noticed that at one time you were very harsh on the Roman Catholic Church for the many things over time that has happened within and outside which has to do with Father Bede Griffith, the Pope and other issues that border the lines of synchrestic ecumenism.  What has changed to take your web site from being one considered as a "hate site" to that of a more "Orthodox Catholic" web site?

Father Thaddeus:  The Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church is still "Catholic" in spirit and truth.  The Orthodox Church (American Orthodox and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Western Rite Metropolia) do not feel that we are about destructive intentions toward those who are having situations or problems from within their jurisdiction. 

Remember, during those previous years under which we had one who is no longer with us, who lives in Ohio, there was much that he had promulgated that was Roman Catholic bashing to a grave and serious degree. 

On discussion with His Eminence in Florida, we both are in agreement that the web site needs to change to conform to our true Orthodox Catholic heritage in our walk and talk, in spirit and truth. 

 

(St. Louis, MO, USA)

Your Blessings Most Reverend Father...

Thank you and your staff for accepting me into your jurisdictional fold of the Orthodox Church.  I had sent an e-mail regarding questions of "Validity" for priests and other clergy some time ago while I was in the process of making application to your august self.  I hadn't received the reply to my question either by e-mail, U.S. mail and haven't seen anything concerning the question.  I am concerned, as are those with me here who have sent in their individual applications. One of our brothers here does have a serious conviction in his past (not sexual) and has done everything possible in repentance for his admitted crime.  I believe the question is of utmost importance because of what has been happening through out the world concerning the Roman Catholic jurisdiction. 

 

The Most Rev. Father Thaddeus replies:

Your question is a most valid and important one that needs to be answered!  And, because of its seriousness affecting so very many clergyman in the world in which we live, I have sent our webmaster such that hopefully will have been posted by the time you receive this answer in reply. 

    [Webmaster Note:] Click on the following in reply...

A Question of Apostolic (Episcopal) Validity versus secularism's convictions

 

Your Blessings Father...

My sister was married and got a divorce.  Later on she became pregnant by someone unknown.  She came to me for advice and I thought I had persuaded her to let the unborn child come to life, to full term, and be born; that I would help her financially and otherwise if need be.  We both come from a very strict Protestant background.  Because of her own emotional insecurity and my mom and dad's insistence on her to never come home unless she is married before the birth, she went ahead on her own and had an abortion.

 

Her Protestant church kicked her out and made her life a living hell which caused for her to loose her job and eventually had to move out of the area where she had lived (Southeastern part of the USA).  I love my sister very much.  She stood by me as I was growing up and was there for me when our mom and dad wouldn't have anything to do with me.  Now I am at a loss.  Several years ago I converted to Catholicism (Roman) and find problems with the Roman Church.  I've finally located my sister.  But before I visit or communicate further with her, is there anything I can learn or do that might help me to assist her in her continuing struggle?

 

The Most Rev. Father Thaddeus replies:

This advice I give to all women who are contemplating or have had abortions.  And, this information may or may not be helpful to you in your meeting her.  Some of taken me to task on this manner of approach, but I believe it is solid and Christ centered in spirit and truth!

 

I tell them that while it is true that the unborn are truly God's and they are the caretakers, having no right to take a life through abortion, it is not man's right to step in and deny a woman the right to make her own decisions in this kind of matter.  Yet, the sin does happen where life is taken because of a very bad decision.  But the sin is also upon the people too because they did not voluntarily stand by the woman in support of her need to keep the child but relied upon the "state" which, for many reasons, aids in making the wrong decision because of self-pride.  The sin is a forgivable one regardless of what any one thinks.  There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven!  It is the duty of every one who consider themselves to be a "Christian" to stand with women who have made or are making wrong decisions and seek a means whereby they can come to understanding the error of their ways and seek forgiveness through sincere repentance.  Every priest, mother, father, sister, brother, aunt and uncle is accountable to God for what they either refused or failed to do because of ill-begotten understandings. 

 

Stand strong for your sister.  Support her, even though she made a wrong decision.  The Church is a spiritual hospital... She must seek out the Church where healing can begin both mentally, emotionally and spiritually!  Every true clergyman of Jesus Christ's should walk with these women before, during and after their decisions (for right or wrong) are made.  Why? Because they too need to be aware of the fact that the decisions they make are between them and God.  It is the clergyman's purpose and should be their goal to be like Christ who said, "lest you be without sin, caste the first stone..." and forgave the sinning woman...  All to often, most clergymen are willing to be at the head of the line to cast the first stone!  That is not being of Jesus Christ, but the evil-one!  Again, the Church is a spiritual hospital.  Those in that hospital must also bear the burden for others through action in society, in prayer and in faith!  And that action must be a learning, teaching, practicing and healing action, not an action in violation of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ!

 

Feel free to contact Us again and may God's love and compassion for all those of His children who are in mental, emotional and spiritual turmoil because of errant mankind's misguided and often times intentional perversion of the Word of God!

 


April 2004

 

April 23, 2004- Father Jamison (Nebraska) asks: Public admission of sins says something of the one who makes the admission... is this repentance?

 

Father Thaddeus: It is one way and acceptable only insofar as the one making the admission has not repeated the error of his actions, even though forgiveness is mandated seven times seventy (meaning as often as one confesses and truly tries to avoid the narrow occasion of the sin[s])!

 

April 22, 2004- Monk Nugyen (California) asks: I, and many others, have watched with somewhat keen interest at the back and forth e-mails on the various Independent and Benedictine lists regards Bishop Weeks of Oakland, California.  One in particular says (in part) "... I was not under any vow of celibacy or chastity" as regards to his claim of being a BENEDICTINE... I have always thought Benedictine had to take vows of chastity and celibacy? 

 

Father Thaddeus:  Yes!  When one becomes a true Benedictine, they must take vows of celibacy and chastity!

 

April 22, 2004- Father Jim (Arizona) asks: I have watched the back and forth e-mails regarding the Donald Pierce Weeks issue in Oakland, California.  Pray tell, when he made mention of your august self, why did you not post the whole message but edited a portion of it before allowing it to be posted?

 

Father Thaddeus: I have often said that I have not become fully "Orthodox" in practice even though my faith grows daily, as it does for each of us until our last dying breath.  For indeed, if any one of us says we are truly "Orthodox," - - - in my way of thinking and feeling in spirit ... it would also be the same as saying '...we are," individually, "...Holy" which we are not!  Not a one of us, whether East or West, Benedictine, Franciscan, Thaddean or other member of a Holy Order... we can not say we are "Holy" until we draw that last breath and even then, it is God's judgment, not ours.  For indeed to make such a claim is to appropriate from God what is His to give and not for us to take.

   For myself, the most I can say, is that I have not yet arrived at the fullness of Holy Orthodoxy.  I am a man dedicated by my vows to God and His children who sincerely seek in spirit and truth the holiness of life in God's service out of pain of heart, through struggles ... that is to become Holy, yet not having arrived.

   I say I am "Orthodox" only in so far as the path which is the "eye of the needle" that Jesus spoke about... and my knowing of my own sinfulness, bars me from passing through.

    I too saw the message, obviously, and feel that old issues need not be revisited, especially since those issues involve religious who are no longer alive and cannot defend themselves in spirit and truth.  I will say that what he posted was true!  And the Seals of the Confessional were involved to a very substantial degree for which I felt was my bounden duty then, and still today, to protect as it is one of the pillars of the Church Catholic.

 

An Inquirer (Maryland) asks: Can a clergyman truly "retire" from his ordained position as a priest to God and to the People?

 

Father Thaddeus: Such "retirement" which many claim, is from their 'administrative' position which is more a 'religio-secularistic' mentality of thinking whereby a priest reaches a particular age and they 'retire' with a pension.  In spirit and truth a priest forever and can not retire but must, by his ordained vows, continue to minister to the needs of God and the children of God.

 

Another Inquirer (Ohio) asks: Is Islam (Muslim) a peaceful religion?

 

Father Thaddeus: If one reads the so-called "Holy" book of Islam (Koran, also the Qoran), and if one is an ardent faithful observer, practioner and believer, then one can not but be violent against those who are not members and believers of  the Islamic (Muslim) religion for it is viewed as being a religion of the Evil One.  Remember, the Evil One, the Devil, Satan, is a deciever while also being a very "moral" entity whose primary purpose is to turn believers in God through the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ - - - to turn them away, to lead them (their souls) into the pit of no return.  One's daily actions and words bespeak of the inner core of a man.  One can appear "good" while holding to a violent faith belief not sanctioned by our Heavenly Father as given us through the Word, Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles, Seven Ecumenical Councils and Patristic Fathers. Also remember the history of the Islamic religion. 

    It came about some time after the Christian Church had been established.  The proponents of the new religion "Islam" were run out of their own country and came to Constantinople where they found the Christian symbols and its temples (today, errantly called a church).  The services of the Orthodox Catholic Church and the inside of the Temple (Church) made all feel as though they had arrived in Heaven.  The forms of worship in those times were what we see many proponents of Islam using in their manner of so-called prayer in the mosques, such as using a carpet, on their knees, facing East, reverent bowing, etc.  All that came from the early Christian Church.  Islam, in those times, adopted many of the Christian manners of praying.  When they left Constantinople and converted many of their pagan (idol worshipping) brethren, they taught them that which came out of the early Christian Church.  Yet, the founders of Islam and their so-called Holy Book caused for much that is seen today which becries the violence against those who are not Islamic or Muslim, especially if they be Christian or Jew, calling them "infidels" and calling for a "Holy War" (Jihad) upon us.  Isn't that what is happening in Iraq and even Iran and other countries?  Similar to many Protestant sects and cults in these times, they seek out those who are more illiterate and ignorant, twisting their minds and perverting the sanctity of holy things to un-holiness against those who are of a holy mind where there is little to no violence.  Violence begets violence and is not sanctioned by God for man to do against another man!

 

Another Inquirer asks (Washington): Your Eminence, I have seen both good and bad in what you have posted on the world wide web (internet) over the many years.  I've had thoughts at various times of asking to be accepted by you into your Church.  But, my reluctance has been due to the numerous rumors since the internatet came about, concerning you and your past.  You must admit that you have been around a rather long time.  Can you enlighten me about those rumors?

 

Father Thaddeus: As previously alluded to in other articles and replies to questions, "rumors" are just that... old ladies (proverbially speaking) passing on gossip which they (the gossipers) have picked up and enlarged upon which they have little to no factual first-hand experience in.  Some may 'claim' as though they had 'first-hand' knowledge as a means to puff themselves up in the eyes of their audience.  We see this more and more on the internet.  The psychology of these persons, especially present day 'so-called' clergy is that they are attempting to play 'one-up-manship' games on the minds of others.  Most of those who claim to be clergy and are acting in that kind of manner, are themselves 'cast-offs' for their un-christian conduct in spirit and truth for they sought fame, self-image and glory... they reap the whirl-wind!  Those who hear the rumors about someone whom they really have had no direct communication with, especially face-to-face knowing-ness, want nothing to do with the one being 'rumored' about... They feel that a clergyman should be an 'angel' a 'saint' in this life before he can act upon his ever-evolving spiritual growth.  Thus the mistakes one makes in this life are held against him, for right or wrong whether real or imagined in the minds of the gossipers. 

   This should actually cause for the true Christian's alarm bell to go ring!  For a true Christian, in spirit and truth, knows they should not 'gossip' and should not pass on 'gossip' in a manner to draw attention either to themselves for any reason whatsoever.  Those rumor mongers (gossipers) - high and low - have fallen short of the 'mark' for a true priest of Christ's and have therefore violated both their vows to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, which is a blasphemy by action and word.  The only medicine for this is true repentance, penance and seeking forgiveness from the one whom they have gossiped about, especially if they desire God's forgiveness.  God will not forgive them until they do.  And as to those whom they gossiped about in a negative manner, who have gone to their repose... only true prayer, confession and penance of the heart can eradicate their sinful actions.

   Therefore, those clergymen who turn away from the clergyperson who is the focus of the rumor, shows that what they preach about what a Christian should do... failing to do it for themselves too, shows them up in the eyes of God as being false priests and ministers of the Word of God, Jesus Christ!  Those kind of clergy ride two horses and serve two masters: 1) as a priest of the Lord,  and 2) as a priest of the secular religio-politcs which serves only Satan... There can be no half-way about one's bounden duty as a vowed priest.  Either one is or is not!  Words and actions are the key to where a true clergyman's faith really is.  I know, personally. 

    There was a time in my own life in which I bad-mouthed another clergyman to a horrible degree.  My facts were true and correct.  But, by providing those facts (negative as they were) about another (a clergyman not of the Orthodox Catholic or Catholic Church) was displeasing to God and the tenets of my faith in Jesus Christ.  I paid a traumatic price in my heart and soul for this mistake.  My foolish pride took me down a road, which if I had not caught myself or if the Holy Spirit had not caught me in my struggles in this life; my  unfolding Orthodox understandings, I would have gone further.  But, alas... thank God... I learned the spiritual truth of my own error and sought repented and did penance where I could to those whom I harmed.  I asked forgiveness.  Those who cannot follow that example are adherents of the very thing Jesus Christ admonished against... which is to depart from the attitude and belief in "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth".

    The duty of a responsible Christian Priest (clergyman) who comes by a rumor concerning another clergyman is to contact the one being discussed to seek out truth!  Otherwise they are no better than the one who "goes to the altar to give their gift" and remembers they "have aught" against their brother.  In this instance, they violate the commandments of Christ by not seeking out their brother (friend or foe) and continue to give their gift which now becomes a false gift (in the heart and soul) to God for the action has become a "show-n-tell" performance for their own sake of pride and vanity, to puff themselves up in the eyes of those in the church as the Saducees and Pharisees did in the time of Christ.  This serves none other than the Evil One who drags the gift giver down and away from God!  What is more the people learn how (unbeknownst to them) to blaspheme God by giving a false gift... failing Confession, seeking repentance and doing true penance of the heart and body wherefrom seeking forgiveness.

    Yes!  Go to the one being rumored about first, the same as you should also go to the one whom you have offended or been offended by.  For in the doing, repentance, penance and forgiveness can be more fully realized in the soul, in self, in the other person (for real or imagined reasons), even if they do not forgive you.  But, one thing is guaranteed by the Promises of Jesus Christ... God will forgive you if you do those things mentioned.  Prayer alone is not sufficient as some may wish to believe.  Action with prayer is so very necessary!

 

Another Inquirer (California) asks: Your Eminence, I ask about the Protestant bishop, Donald Pierce Weeks and his recent arrest in Oakland, California.  I know that you and he had been something of 'friends' without being to close, but had known each other, I believe in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's... For whatever length of time... I am not sure, but I remember the internet feuds you two had over the internet through e-mails covering, at least, 1997 to 2000.  Will you provide some comment on his recent situation?

 

Father Thaddeus: I will say nothing concerning Donald Weeks' present problems in Oakland, Alameda County, California and his St. Pat's Abbey. 

   I will say that those who claim to be clergy and are attacking him on the internet are not true to their vows as monks or priests, regardless of what "Catholic" or 'non-catholic' jurisdiction they come from.  They should pray for Donald and make no negative commentaries on his present and past whatsoever.  For right or wrong, real or imagined, Bishop Weeks needs prayers so that he may be strengthened in his spirit in order for him to be able to come to a place within himself for true self examination, true repentance and accept whatever penance may be meted out to him by secular authorities.  In doing so, our prayers are for his soul to the Glory of God.

    I do admit having attacked the man in reply to his vitriolic tongue and his inability to accept the covenants of what it means to be a priest, especially the Seals of the Confessional which he had broken at one time.  Yet, forgiveness of him and prayer has been and continues to be offered up for him!  So too must you!

   As for the clergy under Bishop Weeks, especially those who fled without supporting him ... pray for them as they have shown the degree of their own culpability to follow the Evil One who has made them weak in understanding the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, being more concerned for what can only be viewed as a "sinking ship" in this material secularistic world.

   Those clergy who left, or departed, Bishop Weeks prior to his recent arrest, should indeed pray for him.  They are not culpable because they left, in most instances, for personal differences that may have existed between themselves and Bishop Weeks.

    But as to those clergy who fled him because of Bishop Weeks's arrest... they were not, in spirit, true to their calling, for they have shown themselves to be the same as Judas Iscariot who sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver... Not much different than what those clergy under Weeks have done in running away when Bishop Weeks came under scrutiny.  As such, they have become priests of Satan for they are more concerned for themselves and not for truth... unless the truth will hurt them too? 

    In spite of the history between Bishop Weeks and myself that came to an end in-so-far as communication (mostly bad and negative), in 1999-2000, I ask each and every one of you to pray for him more earnestly than I normally do.  I will also pray for those of his clergy who fled from him in his greatest moment of need for those individuals, whomever they are, have shown their materialism, not their spirituality. 

    Out of pain of heart, I must ask that each of you (whether you be Anglican, Roman, Orthodox or Independent Catholic... to renew your vows to God and make from this day, from this hour, from this minute... a vow to strive in loving God all the more than you have ever claimed, and thereby to fulfill His Holy Will in word and deed on a daily basis.  For in this venture of renewal, you will find the means, especially for those of you fled from Bishop Weeks due to his recent arrest... to aide him spiritually and/or materially (for some of you who have access to resources).  It is not up to you or myself to pass judgment on Bishop Weeks, for what has happened is nothing more than what he had been warned about in 1997 if he didn't change his methodology in his self-proclaimed ministry to the homeless, addicts and alcoholics, etc. - - - in his theology and spirituality because he showed that he had real concerns for those whom he was ministering to, but ill prepared by his actions and thinking in approach ... May I also correct your understanding.  Bishop Weeks did indeed use the 1928 BCP with the revisions mandated by St. Tikhon (Russian Orthodox Saint) and therefore the most anyone can say about denominational nomenclature is that Bishop Weeks was at least an Old Catholic and not Protestant. 

    May I also remind you that each person, including yourself, in growing - you change understandings due to your growing knowledge in this information age.  As such, one changes in one's (shall we say) 'theology' ... No different for Bishop Weeks.  I do know personally that he is a valid Bishop in the Old Catholic and/or Independent sense and meaning. While saying that, I have concerns (as previously voiced) about certain consecrations he received in addition to those he already had.  His growth over time tells me that he has become true to the belief required in spirit and truth as an Old Catholic or such as exists in the Independent movement and should be accorded respect no matter what differences of opinion one may hold to concerning him - for to do so would indeed be 'nit-picking' at this time.  May God Bless Him according to his (Bishop Weeks) nature and degree of ability.

 

Father Nugyen asks (California): Your blessings Eminence.  I saw what had been posted below concerning the position on those in same sex, long term, relationships... Now I ask what you feel the direction of the Church should be as regards same-sex marriages?

 

Father Thaddeus:  Two people of the same sex cannot be married for that which is reserved by God for one man and one woman. 

    I recognize that in your e-mail you too (as someone else did) make reference to St. Paul's commentary about "homosexual" ... but, I must remind you that the language or lingua-fraca of those times and the words used was not "homosexual" as has been errantly interpreted, but "sodomites" or "sodomy" which is an act that can be and often is conducted between male and female as well as male and male... the same as regards the Epistle of St. Jude (Thaddeus).  Far to many Protestant versions (and even the Roman Catholic versions, and some Orthodox Catholic versions, in these present times) of the Holy Bible have been published with impunity, in a manner that violates the WORD of God wherein not one 'jot' and not one mark or title should be altered or changed, but that is exactly what has happened in order to attain the personal agenda of those who are prejudiced, bigoted and lack understanding of the God's Holy Word in some things - being more concerned for their pocket-books and their political standing in the eyes of society as a whole... and in the doing, altered the meaning and understanding of God's Word... Woe be unto them! 

 

Father James (Illinois) asks:

    Your Blessings...

    I have been a frequent visitor to your web site over numerous years.  I noticed that at one time you were very harsh on the Roman Catholic Church for the many things over time that has happened within and outside which has to do with Father Bede Griffith, the Pope and other issues that border the lines of synchrestic ecumenism.  What has changed to take your web site from being one considered as a "hate site" to that of a more "Orthodox" web site?

 

Father Thaddeus:  The Roman jurisdiction of the Catholic Church is still "Catholic" in spirit and truth.  The Orthodox Church (American Orthodox and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Western Rite Metropolia) do not feel that we are about destructive intentions toward those who are having situations or problems from within their jurisdiction. 

 

Remember, during those previous years under which we had one who is no longer with us, who lives in Ohio, there was much that he had promulgated that was Roman Catholic bashing to a grave and serious degree. 

 

On discussion with His Eminence in Florida, we both are in agreement that the web site needs to change to conform to our true Orthodox Catholic heritage in our walk and talk, in spirit and truth. 

 

Bishop Dominic (Mass.) asks:

   I am curious about three things in particular: 1) Where does the AOC stand on the issue of married Bishops? 2) Where does the AOC stand on the issue of female deacons and priests? and 3) What is the AOC position on those in same sex, long term, relationships as members of the clergy?

 

Father Thaddeus:  Those are, obviously, "sock-it-to-me" questions!  Ha! (smile)... and the answers are in order (by number) of receipt for you are not the first to ask, but the first in which I believe the answers should be made open and available to our visitors and faithful.

    As to the first:    1) Where does the AOC stand on the issue of married Bishops? There is nothing the FIRST CANON (the New Testament of the Holy Bible) that indicates either directly or indirectly a prohibition against married bishops.  Both married and unmarried (celibate) bishops are indicated.  We do therefore allow and encourage qualified married bishops, although we equally encourage unmarried bishops from the ranks of monastics (monastic communities).

    As to the Second:    2) Where does the AOC stand on the issue of female deacons and priests?  The Church, from the times of Jesus Christ's Life and Teachings, the Holy Apostles and Patristic Fathers, motivated by Holy Spirit, have consistently held that female involvement in the activities of the Church in high esteem.  This is seen by the involvement of the Most Holy Theotokos.  Also we should direct your attention to the life of the sinner, Mary Magdalene who was converted by Jesus Christ's forgiveness.  Mary Magdalene became an icon for all sinning women and she was very much involved in the growth of the Church as a witness to the message of Jesus Christ.

    However, while in the early church there has always been a great involvement of female activity... IT WAS NOT A LITURGICAL activity, even when some began to be called "Deaconess".   

    A woman married to a priest is properly known as "Presbytera".  Because of these modern times in which we live, there has been a growing fashion, especially among the Protestants, where woman are now involved in liturgical activities of that denomination as deaconess and even priests.  In the Roman Catholic Church it has become a fashion to allow females as "altar servers" in the same manner that they have "altar boys" so now they also have "altar girls".  These things were never allowed in previous times and cannot be allowed in the Orthodox Catholic Churches of any jurisdiction.  Those that do, disenfranchise themselves from the faith and praxis of that which had been handed down from the times of the Holy Apostles and the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

   If a jurisdiction has encouraged or coined the usage of "deaconess" in their activities, it is more likely an activity that is not Liturgical!

     There are no female priests.

     As for question Three:  3) What is the AOC position on those in same sex, long term, relationships as members of the clergy?  

    To answer this in the manner that We would like, we have created another page for it.  You may click on these sentences to go there.  Be sure you read it in its entirety in order to gain a thorough understanding.

 

Monk Jamison (Nebraska) asks: (A synopsis of his e-mailed question) I am one who was recently received and I beg for a blessing your Eminence as I ask the following.  Those who compose the AOC Internationally and are members of the Holy Synod of Bishops... are they of one mind as the Church so that in the even anything would happen to you, that the jurisdiction of the AOC would continue?

 

Father Thaddeus:  Your are blessed for seeking out an answer to a question I feel surely has been on the minds of several but not asked.  While appearances are one thing, reality is another.

    The Church must have vision!  The Church must have consistent faith!  The Church must be in one accord in commitment amongst all the Apostles (Bishops).  When any one or more of these are missing, there arises problems.

    Because of opposite actions and activities by someone no longer with this jurisdiction, who had caused upheaval and dissention in this jurisdiction, there is much to be done for all to be healed so that there is a commitment without equivocation.  I know of a bishop in the Church who has faith and works but lacks commitment to this jurisdiction even though he is a part of this jurisdiction. 

    It is that "lacking" that can tear one asunder!  Again, healing is a time consuming process when there has been division and dissention. 

    As for "vision" - it has never departed from this jurisdiction whatsoever.  I see it among various bishops of the Holy Synod. 

    I must presume and assume that your question equally involves the idea that a jurisdiction must have only one uniform liturgy in common and that all must be of one mind in this and other matters.

    As there are many patriarchates that have several different liturgies and goals, so too does the AOC Internationally.  Each of the Bishops have the right to allow for that which is acceptable and common to the people only in so-far as it does not depart from our commonality of our Orthodox belief and praxis. 

    My answer is not fully extant but is very brief in truth only because there is not enough room for me to fully articulate the deeper things pertinent to your question.  I therefore hope and pray it will be sufficient?  If not, please feel free to write again.

 

Mr. Andrew C. (Illinois) asks: 1) Are you in Communion with the Roman Catholic Church? and, 2) Do you believe in Papal Infallibility?

 

Father Thaddeus:  We are in spiritual communion only with those jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church who maintain a faith and praxis to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles, the Seven Ecumenical Councils and Patristic Fathers.  This negates all who have become involved in and with adherence to a synchrestic ecumenism such as the World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops that are "Protestant" inventions with all the heretical teachings they bring. Those "negated" who call themselves "Christian" - - - are only "Christian" in name only.  Unknowing to some of them, they have given themselves over to the "Anti-Christ" the Great Liar, the Great Deceiver.

    All true Bishops of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church who believe in and practice that which comes to us from Jesus Christ, the Holy Apostles, the Seven Ecumenical Councils and Patristic Fathers, speak as the "Mind of the Church" without innovations being added or things deleted there-from and are therefore "infallible".  One does not need to invent that which never existed in spirit and truth!


February 24, 2004

(Corrected - Updated: March 18, 2004)

Brother Justin: (Arizona)

   Your blessings Eminence.  Thank you for accepting me into the A.O.C.  As a former Roman Catholic monastic, I rejoiced this morning in prayer during Divine Liturgy upon receiving the news.  Several other brothers are awaiting notice of a hoped for acceptance too.  I pray for them.  I have several questions and know not if you will respond to them as they reflect upon former matters of your Toledo, Ohio experience in 2002 and 2003.  I, and my brothers here, are familiar with one individual bishop with whom we understand and now know is no longer a part of the Church even though he may still go by the same or similar church name.  1) How can such a bishop make remarks as though he had first hand knowledge of and about other bishops who are now reposed such as Archbishop Michael Itkin, Archbishop Wallace David de Ortega Maxey, Archbishop Jerome Joachim and Archbishop David Luther?  2) I was told that you were consecrated in Toledo, Ohio and that there was some mischief, supposedly on your part, in obtaining that consecration.  Is this true?

 

Father Thaddeus:  It was not myself who accepted you, but the Apostle (Bishop) under whom you serve Our Lord and Savior.  My own action after prayer, was to confirm his.  As to your questions, I respond as follows: 1) I have had posted at apostle1.com an article under News Metropolitan Archbishops +Wallace David de Ortega Maxey, +Mikhail Itkin, +Jerome Joachim, +David Luther and other lines of succession which is my answer.  As to item 2) Insofar as any consecration of myself, by a former bishop in the North Eastern part of the U.S., we repudiate any such action and do not show him in our Lines of Succession, while my own intentions were honorable and true.  Even when discussed with the Metropolitan Archbishop in Florida (UOC-WRM) in 2001 which was the time when arrangements and agreements for my being consecrated by the Toledo, Ohio Bishop were made.  NO one was pressured either by myself or the Florida Metropolitan Archbishop... The consecration by the former bishop in the North East was not valid because of such as violating first Canon (Example) as given in 1 Sam. 15:13-23 and Prov. 6:16-19 (referencing the 6 things an Apostle should not do, insofar as I am concerned, and thus repudiation is made.  The Lines of Succession that I hold in these regards, come through the Florida Metropolitan Archbishop, not the former Bishop in the North East who we and the synod do not recognize.  He has, in fact, caused for his own downfall.

 

Father Nguyen: Your blessings Eminence.  I and another of from our Order visited the State of Washington recently.  We found things there a bit disturbing as relating to many of the so-called "Orthodox" monastic communities and churches.  When I say "many" - I should have said three monastic communities and eight different "Orthodox" Churches.  What I found is what you have been warning us about.  The people were arrogant, disrespectful by their attitude as though they were the 'upper crust' of religious life and looking down their noses at us.  Is this normal?

 

Father Thaddeus: Not only is this becoming the 'norm' - it is become endemic to the United States and other countries in the west.  Yet, I am advised it is becoming a 'norm' to many in the East as well.  We do know that it is a 'norm' amongst many of the ethnic monastic communities too.  The Roman Catholic Church's many communities are no different either it would seem.  Thus, when you are greeted with respect and at the same time 'reverence' - appealing to you for a blessing, know that you may have entered in a more true Holy place among those who truly desire Holiness in spirit and truth!  Much that you have said in your e-mail (that I have not allowed to be printed) describes the horrible attachments to politics and an entertainment mentality which is a part of that which is known today as 'synchrestic ecumism' that was un-acceptable by the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils, Patristic Fathers, Saints and Martyrs of times previous and is un-acceptable today. 

 

When the heart has grown cold, it becomes difficult to warm unless the individual is imbued, by the Grace of God, with a desire to be detached from demonic desires of the heart to control others, have materialistic things of this world to such a degree as to maximize their importance over the importance of God's Love.  Those who are cold, speak arrogantly of the love of God without true understanding in their heart, on a spiritual level, for they lack contact with the Holy Spirit and have thus become afflicted by that of an disguised un-holy spirit... that being one of synchrestic ecumenism which denies anyone and everyone who do not agree with them.

 

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February 16, 2004

Father Lawrence: (Idaho):  Your blessings Eminence.  Since your acceptance of my unworthy self, I have been captured by the many articles posted at your "apostle1.com" and was most struck by Father Seraphim Rose's "Toll House" theory and the many arguments that have been on-going through out the Orthodox world.  Some in favor, some against, others non-committal. What is your own personal attitude or understanding.

 

Father Thaddeus: We cannot dismiss or ignore this teaching because many of the patristic fathers spoke and taught on this very subject.  For one example, one might wish to read the ORTHODOX WORD No. 230-231 (2003).  If a Saint speaks of such, then there must be truth.  The Saints do not lie!

 

Brother Dennis:  My sister visited me recently and provided me with the "SUN" weekly for Febraury 17, 2004.  Most would say it is a gossip rag.  The front cover declared, "Prophecy 2004" from Edgar Cayce, Virgin of Guadalupe, Bernadette of Lourdes and Nostradamus.  What can all this mean?

 

Father Thaddeus:  Be sure you know the Church teachings first and then place them in context with such.  For there is much falseness in the world, and there is also much truth.  Sometime, more often than not, both are intertwined for the sake of "selling" a rag.  Yet, after reviewing what you are referring to, I would dare say that regardless of whether the same is true or false, it does point out one important need most especially for our time.  That is to pray!  Pray for self and those whom you hold near and dear.  But, most especially, pray for them who are self-deluded and unaware.  Let your actions be in conformance with your prayers so that you become the beacon of light upon whom others who are also sinners, may be imbued with the desire to seek refuge in the spiritual hospital for sick souls, the Church.

 

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WHAT IS: The American Orthodox Church about?
- Our Mission Statement.
- MAN: To err, the Church and Holy Spirit!
- The Mystery of Holy Repentance!

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February 4, 2004

 

David (Nebraska) I know that I am not a clergy member, yet I visit your web site often because I get a 'reality check up' which other religious web sites do not provide.  The other websites have a lot of information, but yours has a tendency to present things in a down-to-earth fashion for the average person such as I am.  I am not a college graduate.  My brother-in-law is a priest in one of the Orthodox jurisdictions and he was the one who put me and my family onto your web site and told me a bit of the history concerning the American Orthodox Church and its Primary Metropolitan Archbishop whom we've come to learn is Joseph Thaddeus (Stanford). Well, to be honest, my own family is not even Catholic in the Orthodox sense.  I and my family are inspired by what you present and your Metropolitan Archbishop, Thaddeus, often writes, even though he doesn't seem to always put his name to an article.   His style has become familiar.  Thank you!  Now for my question.

    Why do I often hear through my brother-in-law, other groups lists and chat rooms that he is considered to be and known as the "Bishop of Last Resort"? 

 

Father Thaddeus: By now you have a personal response from one of our staff members.  We thank you for granting us permission to post a portion of your e-mail (above).  Initially, I would not allow for such because I do not like for anything to draw attention to me for it is not me, but the body of Christ that must be glorified and credited with all that happens, through Holy Spirit. 

  

    Yet, I have been prompted to respond to your question directly.

 

    There are many who have become clergy members of one jurisdiction or church (even pseudo-churhes) after another.  Some who have decided to leave that which provides for their economic and other material sustenance which is similar to or involved with (for example) the Roman Catholic Church, the pseudo-christian churches of ecumenist heresy of these times.  Others have come to us for a multitude of sundry reasons.  Yet, they all have a common denominator.

    They are all lovers of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ according to their individual nature and degree of ability to act on them in their day-to-day struggles in this life.  Yes... we have some who have been scandalized by their previous churches.  Some who have found that their churches speak in a fashion similar to the American Indian idea of 'forked tongues' which, in essence means to be speaking one thing and doing another. 

    Many of them were unacceptable to other jurisdictions or did not like the repeated actions of other jurisdictions they had applied to which were similar to that which they left.

    A few were clergymen who have experiences and understandings without a paper 'degree' from a college or university, yet excelled in their Christian walk and talk whereby they put to shame those who have a college or university training.

    As I have often said, "the Church is a spiritual hospital," even for clergy.  As such, even those who have been imprisoned for right or wrong, once they have truly (from the depths of their hearts and souls) repented (see the article on Forgiveness, Repentance and Seals of the Confessional)... are truly worthy of returning to ministry.

    In short, when no one else wants them, they come to me and I find that, for many of them, they are the very ones whose spiritual and material struggles has caused for a (sort-of) holy fire to have burnt away the soiled conditions of pride, arrogancy, elitism, the disease of 'scholasticism' and more.  Some of these disheveled, and often times betrayed, men (and some women who are nuns) are often the very ones whom the Lord uses for ministry.  I cannot reject them.  Some have serious educational flaws, but the fire of the Holy Spirit in them, as a result of their struggles, invigorates and enflames spiritual passions that aids the faithful.

    These men and women know they are sinners to a very serious degree.  Yet, being enflamed as they are to want to continue in ministry in spite of what they have gone through, says more than any words I can write. 

    Several of them have had dyslexia problems, some Attention Deficit disorders (ADD), others have other disabilities, even health issues, of one form or another.  Yet, they all have one common denominator... they struggled to either overcome or find a medium ground within themselves to work in the true vineyard of Jesus Christ. 

    Did not Jesus Christ sit down with the tired, the hungry, the disheveled, the vagabond, the diseased and sick, even worse? 

    Now, I ask you who are Bishops in the various jurisdictions of the One, Holy, Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church... if Jesus Christ worked with those types of persons and personages, from the high to the low... and if you are true to the commission and charge of your episcopal consecrations... being true to that commission and charge... you are the alter-ego of Christ and therefore you cannot in truth, dismiss these strugglers in the vineyard or throw them away or even cast them out.  What you do throw away and caste out... I take in as I am the bishop of last resort for many of them who hold true to the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ according to their individual nature and degree of ability... They know that they have yet a long way to go in coming to Christ and are open to learning and earning their way up the ladder of Divine Hope through their passing on to others what they may know.  They want to offer service to Christ in the most basic medium possible because they know that to do so is to walk in the shoes of Christ, and if not, at least in the foot-steps of the fisher of men.

A Message From Our Metropolitans

Primate's Message Archives
WHAT IS: The American Orthodox Church about?
- Our Mission Statement.
- MAN: To err, the Church and Holy Spirit!
- The Mystery of Holy Repentance!

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January 20, 2004

 

Brother John:

    Blessings Father... Now that we are in New Mexico and have some time to assimilate the area, I've notice that while this is supposed to be a "Roman Catholic" state, usually called (mistakenly) as "Catholic" - - - that it seems to appear to be more Protestant with all the bells and whistles of present day syncrhestic ecumenism.  Why is this so?

 

Father Thaddeus: I would draw your attention to a very good article which would answer your question. Signs of the Times is very good in explaining what is happening.  In that article is the relevant information having to do with both the "Roman Catholic" Church (which is actually a jurisdiction of the "Catholic" expression that originates from that which is today known and called "Orthodox").  Once you assimilate and contemplate both your question and the answer that the article brings out, you will come to a realization that much is happening in these times that leaves a very sour taste in one's mouth and heart, affecting both the spirit and the soul.  But, as blessed Father Seraphim Rose has repeatedly said, "don't let this bother you for it was prophesied" and what is to come is not even the worst, for the worst (as explained) is still time and time to come. 

 

Father Nguyen: 

   Your blessings Eminence.  I talked with you by phone recently and when I asked you a question about Ohio and Michigan, you said to leave it alone.  Now, what I would ask is how it may or may not have impacted your spirituality?

 

Father Thaddeus:  It did impact me both personally and otherwise.  But, such experiences is for growth.  God does not close the door, but what He leaves open a window.  Otherwise we would not have made it through some of the problems we had encountered.  But, to be honest, I was (like any human being) left with a distraught feelings and emotions.  But God's Love and my love for Him through my keeping in mind that I am a sinner, strengthened me.  The situations and problems that we have encountered was a strengthening of the spirit.  Some would say that I became soured and cold.  And, indeed, for a short period of time I did grow cold and very wary of anyone who came across our path.  But, with meditation and prayer, I was given the chance to see my own strengths and weaknesses at that time. 

 

All of us have differing strengths and weaknesses.  Depending upon the situation and circumstance at the time of their happening, one's own strength and weakness will show itself.  We never know the fullness of what all our strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to our Faith, our character, our resolve in maintaining not only our belief in the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, but acting according to those beliefs on a day-to-day basis. 

 

I will be putting up some information about "Wisdom" from a purely psychological perspective in the not to distant future.  The information that will be put up is from the human science perspective.  The goal of the reader, if they have an understanding of the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ about them; must discern how such "human wisdom" interacts.  The purpose is for readers to send their questions for reply.  Hopefully, you will be able to add your input  because of your own training background.

 

As for how Ohio and Michigan impacted me and those with me... well, I've answered.  It is not what you may have wanted.  Those who acted against us are examples of what blessed Father Seraphim Rose speaks about as being "Christian" in name only for their hearts have grown "cold".  Let it be a warning to all of us that we must be compassionate, warm and always struggling in this life for the life to come by living and breathing the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ and therefore avoid those who have fallen into the "anti-christian" trap of the Evil One where hearts have and do grow 'cold'.

 

One may have a good heart and still be cold.  A heart without backbone is a heart that is cold and indifferent to the spiritual and material needs of others.  One way to warm a cold heart is to pray Divine Office daily.  If in a rush and short on time, the hesychast approach to prayer is better than no prayer at all.  God, through prayer, warms a cold heart and makes all things appear differently.

 

A Message From Our Metropolitans

Primate's Message Archives
WHAT IS: The American Orthodox Church about?
- Our Mission Statement.
- MAN: To err, the Church and Holy Spirit!
- The Mystery of Holy Repentance!

Back To Main Page