I received Your letter, at a time when the Offices of the Piraeus Metropolis were closed and so I am sorry for delaying my reply to it. I therefore ask You to forgive me.
Because I truly love You, just like every other fellow-human, I am writing the following with much humility before the Builder of the Church, Jesus Christ, not so that I might justify the positions for which you have criticized me (because they are not mine, they are the positions of the Indivisible Church of God, which I, the least of all, have merely transferred them onto paper, when asked by the journalist media of the vigilant Brotherhood of the Pan-Hellenic Orthodox Union, whom you have grievously wronged when you characterized them as supposedly being “extremists”, when in fact they are simply adhering to what the One, Holy, Indivisible Catholic and Apostolic Church has dogmatized and proclaimed for the past twenty (20) centuries), but so that I might tell You what is self-understood: that the Church of Christ “where the Spirit placed bishops to minister to Her, and which is nourished by His very Blood” (Acts 20:28) is the indivisible Church of the 1000 first years; whose unbroken historical continuation was our Orthodox Catholic Church, and that by breaking away from Her, Your religious Community, through the familiar schism, lost the Grace of the Living God and lapsed from heresy to heresy and from indecency to indecency, having distorted the salvific message of the incarnated Son of God and overthrown with words and acts the overthrown established structures and authorities of the fallen world to which the Son and Logos of God had contributed, with His unfathomable Crucifixional sacrifice and His Immaculate Blood.
Therefore it is understood that the theory of “sister churches” and the “branch theory” thereafter, which You have espoused through the text of Your letter and the “Peter dogma” which Your Religious Community proclaimed recently through its encyclical “Dominus Christ”, are in no way associated with the Indivisible Church of the Apostles, of the Ecumenical Fathers and the Holy Seven Ecumenical Synods.
Consequently, you can easily perceive how, by following the decisions of the Indivisible Church, from Which Your heresy-fallen Religious Community severed itself, I am not able to accede to your fallacy and not say to You in brotherly love that You are deluded by considering Yourself a “Bishop of the Church of God”. You have personally defined yourself in this manner, when the truth is that You are spiritually accountable for the faithful of Your community who remain in the schism and the heresy.
Love, without Truth, is altogether deprived of any essence, which is why Your position that “I have never stopped telling my faithful that nothing ever justifies the overlooking of love – not even the defending of the Truth itself” seems truly inexplicable; because, if we truly love someone, we do not abandon the one we love in his pitiful state of delusion, allowing him to also drown in it by believing that he is not in the wrong.
For one entire millennium we had a common Faith, a common Polity, a common Eucharist, common Dogmas, common Spirituality and God-oriented ascesis, with the Ecumenical Synods and the Pentarchy as our common Authority.
So, what exactly happened, that overturned everything?
Why didn’t this matter preoccupy You during all the 33 years that You were Bishop of Your Religious admission?
Why is it, that for a thousand years, these positions regarding the Pope of Old Rome’s Primacy in jurisdiction, on his Infallibility, on Purgatory, on Indulgences, on thesaurus meritorum , on Immaculate Conception,…on….on…. were nonexistent?
Why is it, that in the Apostolic Synod of Jerusalem, it was the Council of the Apostles and the Presbyters who had opined, and not the (according to You) “President of the Collegium” of the Apostles, the Divine Apostle Peter (Acts 15:22)?
Why did the Seven Ecumenical Synods convene in the East, in communion and in unity with the (then) Orthodox Bishop of Old Rome?
Why does the 28th Canon of the 4th Ecumenical Synod of the Undivided Church bestow equal honor to the Throne of Old Rome as well as of New Rome?
When and why were these things overthrown? Didn’t they preoccupy You, if not as a clergyman, at least as a thinking person who is in anticipation of the “eighth day” and who knows that the end of human things is nigh, for each one of us?
And what will You have to say, I wonder, to the Builder of the Church, the Lord, for the hecatombs of people who were murdered by Your Heresy (“Holy Inquisition”, “Holy Wars”, “Crusades”) in the name of a supposed purity of the faith, when you condescend and do not separate Your position from all these crimes – but even more importantly – from the overturning of the message of freedom, of love, of the otherness of the son of God Who was sacrificed on the Cross so that the blaspheming person would not die?
Recently, You beatified the cardinal Augustine Stepinac of Zagreb, Croatia – the moral perpetrator behind the fascist “Ustasi” hordes of Ante Pevelic (whom the Vatican helped to escape to Latin America) and the bloodbath of 800.000 Orthodox Serbs. I did not see You protest then, nor separate Your position, even though You have been ministering to the “Church of Christ” for 33 years. If that insensitive and cold-blooded murderer is recognized as “blessed”, then the “God” who would acknowledge him as such, is – to us – entirely useless; he is unnecessary; he does not concern us. That is why I wrote the thing that embittered You, being fully aware of what I wrote; that is, that “Papism led to atheism”. It initially led to Protesting and to atheism afterwards, because it came to worship a God who was the moral perpetrator of crimes, religious wars, hecatombs of blood and suffering. Should I remind You of the 29.000 slaughtered Huguenots, on the tragic night of Saint Bartholomew? Should I remind You of the hecatombs of the so-called 100-year religious war? What should I begin to tell You? Who was it that burnt Joan of Lorraine at the stake? The Holy inquisition – that is, the Papal Throne – burnt her as someone demon-possessed, and later on, it beatified her. I will repeat – slightly altering – the question posed by my blessed elder, the precedent Archbishop Seraphim: Are these the actions of a Church that acts as treasurer of Divine Revelation? Those who truly love You have the obligation to tell You the truth of the Church, otherwise, they will be leaving You in the fallacy of Your beliefs, without any concern for Your eternal future. For this reason, I unshakeably believe that the participation of the Church in your movements in Europe and elsewhere, as well as in the so-called “Theological Dialogues”, is firstly detrimental to You and to Your faithful, because it gives You a false taste of a presumed recognition as well as cover for Your slip-ups, and it will leave You in the darkness of Your vain dogmas.
You reason in Your letter that the dogmatic positions that are discerned in my letter to Your Religious Community, are –supposedly- “conjectures”, by writing characteristically: “Permit me to tell you that what you have written and presented as the teaching of the Catholic Church is not being taught by the Catholic Church, just as it did not –and does not- teach all that has been written in school books for Religious Studies and History during the recent past, which have poisoned the innocent souls of students and have cultivated intolerance.”
Instead of any other reply to Your –permit me to say– inaccurate and therefore pejorative to my humble person references, I shall quote two paragraphs only, out of the endless cacodoxies of Your Religious Community, from the book “Catechesis of the Catholic Church” (Vatican-Cactos Publications 1996 – Cactos – Liberia Editrica Vaticana – Apostolic Clause “The Trust of the Faith” – Fidei Depositum) which is in circulation.
On page 332 is stated:
“III. The final purification or Purgatory. 1030. All those who die in grace and in the friendship of God, but without being purified thoroughly, even though they may be certain of their eternal salvation, they are subjected after death to a purging, so that they can attain the required holiness to enter into the joy of heaven” and on page 454 it says:
“X. Indulgences. 1471. The teaching and the practice of Indulgences in the Church is closely tied to the outcome of the Sacred sacrament of Repentance.
Indulgences are an absolution before God of the temporary punishment of crimes, whose guilt has already been erased; an absolution that the well-intentioned and under specific conditions faithful will succeed in obtaining through the activity of the Church, which, being the steward of redemption, distributes and imposes with its authority the treasure of the merits of Christ and of the Saints. Indulgences can be applied to the living, as well as the dead.”
Is it, or isn’t it true, that through these dogmatic positions the juridical element was introduced into the Church? That the salvific work of the Lord of Glory is presented like a case of give-and-take between Man and his Creator? Isn’t the Lord of mercy – Who is not in need of anything and is unaffected by passions and beyond every worldly influence – blatantly insulted, by being presented as a stern and unkind judge?
The overall ethos has being altered; the New Testament – that New Constitution between God-World-Man has being warped; also warped is Salvation, which was introduced by the sacrificed Son and Logos of the Father; all on account of these untheologized teachings.
So, my references to your cacodoxies are merely “conjectures”?
Can You explain (on the basis of the deductions of Your aforementioned tragic beliefs), why the tax-collector and the prodigal son were vindicated, and not the Pharisee and the elder son of the parable? Furthermore, how is it, that without any form of satisfaction being implemented, or any act of repentance, the adulteress who was caught in the act was acquitted of the legal punishment of stoning? And how was it that the first inhabitant of Paradise happened to be a robber on the Cross? And most importantly, can there be any room for juridical reporting of one’s labors in His Vineyard? Have You forgotten His own words regarding “wretched servants”?
This letter of mine is not a diatribe or a study of the endless cacodoxies of Your Religious Community, so, accordingly, I am merely making certain observations in it. Of the vast number of Your fallacies, I have selected one more, which You have clothed with a dogmatic validity. I am referring to the new dogma on the supposed Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos, which was proclaimed as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in the year 1854, and, so that you don’t doubt one more time that this is a teaching of Yours, I shall quote from the aforementioned Catechesis book the pertinent reference in page 163:
“491. During the passing centuries the church became aware that Maria, the one who was “Grace-endowed” by God, had been “purchased” from the time of her conception. This is confessed by the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854: the blessed, ever-virgin Maria from the first moment of Her conception, by the grace of an exceptional favour of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ Saviour of the human race, was preserved intact from every trace of the original sin.”
If this cacodoxy on the “immaculate conception” of the Ever-virgin Theotokos was true, can You inform us how She transmitted human mortality to the incarnated perfect Person, the exempt of sin and perfect God-Son of Hers? Have You ever stopped to consider that if this fallacy of Yours were indeed true, then the death of the Son of God would have to be an “assumed” one, since mortality would not have been transmitted into His human nature? Can You perceive just how tragic Your beliefs are?
You are right to feel poemantic responsibility for the present and for the future. However, You made no mention whatsoever of the mistakes of the past, acknowledging them as mistakes. Many of them are being continued. Could it be, that by acknowledging the errors of the past, Papal “infallibility” will be shaken? Unfortunately, we are condemned if we do not acknowledge the mistakes of the past and also if we repeat them in the future, for which You feel poemantic responsibility and sensitivity, as You mentioned. For all these aforementioned things, what is recommended is humility, love, and divine enlightenment – all of which are incompatible with the diabolical infallibility by which Ecclesiology and the Polity of the Indivisible Church have been subverted.
Finally, another paragraph of Your letter was considered unacceptable, where an attempt was made –by means of interpretational acrobatics- to sow discord and dissent with His Beatitude the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Mr. Christodoulos, who is well known for his courteousness, his reconciliatory mien and his genuine feelings of love; thus, Your letter is exceeding its limits, given that it is invoking the untimeliness of our letter in connection to the illness of His Beatitude, who –despite Your interpretations– remains unshakeable and steadfast in the words of Father Kosmas of Aetolia, patriarch of the Neo-Hellenic Nation whom he frequently invokes, and who always speaks knowledgeably and clearly, just like many Holy Martyrs and Fathers of the Church did – from Saint Mark of Ephesus and Holy-Martyr Cyril I Loukareos, up to the Serb neo-martyrs of the XX (20th) century, who blamed the abased Papal Throne and its Heresy-leader (on account of the fallacy), the Primate of the Throne.
I would like to close these words, asking You to depart from the Latin cacodoxy and return to the Indivisible Catholic Church of the first 1000 years, whose Faith, Theology, Ascesis, Spirituality, Polity, Truth and Tradition have been continued through Time by Her historical extension: the Orthodox Catholic Church. Remove from Your eyes the haze of the 1000-year long cacodox life, and incorporate yourself into the One, Holy, Apostolic, Indivisible Catholic Orthodox Church, Whom “the gates of Hades cannot conquer”, so that You may return to the One and Only Body of Christ and thus find mercy and pardon.
In anticipation of Your return, we sincerely remain,
With profound love and wishes.
† Seraphim of Piraeus
The content of the Reverend Metropolitan’s letter is staggering, because it has defended the struggles of the Saints and the God-bearing Fathers, who had strived to convince Papism to abandon its fallacies.