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Ecclesiology of the Old Calendar

Orthodox Church of Romania


Since1924,withtheRomanianOrthodoxChurchschism,dueto
theintroductionofwesterninnovationsinmattersofFaith,two
greatMysteriesoftheOldCalendarOrthodoxChurchhave
beencontroversial.Thisiswhyweoweaseriesofexplanations
andcanonicalarguments,bywhichwerefuteunjustified
accusationsmadeagainstourChurch.
Aboutordination
Sinceancienttimes,theOrthodoxChurchisguidedbytwo
principlesthatoftruthfulness(accuracy),inwitnesswhereof
thecanonshavepowerandbecomeletterofthelawandthat
ofdescending(dispensation),whichimpliescanonical
tolerance,appliedonlyincriticalsituationsandonlyfora
periodoftime.
In1955,theOldCalendarOrthodoxChurchofRomania,
recognizedbytheMinistryofReligiousAffairsActno.38955
ofAugust3,1945andfunctioningastheTraditionalist
ChristianDenomination,accordingtotheFirstCanonofSt.
BasiltheGreat,andfollowingtheprincipleofchurch
dispensation,acceptedasvalidtheordinationofBishop
GalactionCordun,whointhatyear(1955)wouldreturntoOld
CalendarOrthodoxChurch.Atthistime,anotherbishopofthe
NewCalendarRomanianOrthodoxChurch(R.O.C.)alsoshows
sympathytowardstheTraditionalChurch,ledbyhieromonk
GlicherieTnase.ItistheBishopAtanasieDincBrldeanul,
ordainedin1945andexcludedfromtheR.O.C.byPatriarch
JustinianMarinaanditssynod,in1948,forpoliticalreasons.
ThereturnofBishopGalactiontotheancientOrthodoxChurch,
observeroftheoldteachingoftheHolyFatherstookplaceon
April5,1955andwasmaterialisedbythepublicdeclaration
(theconfessionoffaith)onthesamedate.Hispersonality,ofan
uprightnessbeyondreproach,didnotadmitthiskindof
concealment,anditsfirmpositionwithregardtoobservingthe
HolyTraditionandconservingtheHolyCanons,werealready
wellknown,bothbythehighrepresentativesoftheChurchand
amongtheOrthodoxpeople.Thedeclarationofreturningtothe
TraditionalistChurchwasatrueconfessionoffaith.Itscontent
isasfollows:I,theundersignedBishopGalactionCordun,
residinginBucharest,districtNicolaeBlcescu,StreetCuza
Vodno.2,thespiritualleaderoftheTraditionalEastern
OrthodoxChurch(theOldCalendarOrthodoxChurchof
Romania),herebydeclare,infrontoftheclergyandthepeople
ofallparishesandmonasteriesontheterritoryofR.P.R.that:I,
BishopGalactionCordun,byfreewillandnotundercoercion,
haveacceptedtorepresenttheproposalandthechoiceofthe
people,ofbeingthespiritualleaderofthisChurch,itsBishop,
asIdeclaredtotheHolySynodintheletterthatIsentbymeans
oftheCourtoftheCapitalofR.P.R.(TheSocialistRepublicof
Romania)onApril5,1955,lettermentionedinthemagazineof
theRomanianOrthodoxChurch,theOfficialGazetteofthe
HolySynod,no.34.Ihavenevergivenuptothispublic
declaration.Ideclareinfrontoftherighteouspeople,thatIam
andwillremaintheBishopandtheSpiritualLeaderofthe
TraditionalEasternOrthodoxChurch,aconfessionthatImake
onceandforall.
Inconclusion,throughthispublicdeclarationofBishop
GalactionCordunfromApril5,1955,addressedtoboththe
CourtoftheCapitaloftheSocialistRepublicofRomaniaand
theSynodoftheRomanianOrthodoxChurch,ledbyJustinian
Marina,hebecomesTheSpiritualLeaderoftheTraditional
EasternOrthodoxChurch(OfficialGazette,nr.34/1956),
currentlyknownastheOldCalendarOrthodoxChurchof
Romania.HisofficialreceptionastheMetropolitanofthe
EasternOrthodoxChurchtookplaceonMay21,1955,butat
thatdatehehadalreadymadehisconfessionofreturningtothe
EasternOrthodoxChurch(theTraditionalistChristian
Denomination).
Accordingtotheabovementionedcanon,HisGraceGalaction
CordunwasreceivedasBishop,byconfessingtheapostolic
faith.
Itisknownthatinthe4thcentury,theHolyFathersfrom
Africa,throughdispensation,receivedtheordinationsofthe
schismaticDonatists(InterpretationCan.66,61ofCarthage,
note346)andtheDonatistsordainedwerereceivedinthesame
clericalranks,bytheirreturntotheOrthodoxChurch.Inthe
sameway,inagreementwiththosebackthenandbythe
principleofchurchdispensationaswell,wereceivedBishop
GalactionCorduninthesameclericalrank.Thus,thiswasdone
bydispensation(descending)andonlyforthattime(1955).
Today,whenthroughthemercyandwiththehelpofGod,our
Churchhasstrengtheneditshierarchy,theprincipleof
dispensationcannolongerbeapplied,butthattruthfulness
(accuracy)instead,whichgivespowertothecanonsoftheHoly
Fathers.Underthisprinciple,theordinationsofschismaticsare
nolongeracceptedasvalid.InaccordancewithSt.Basilthe
Great,who,inhisfirstcanon,receivesthebaptismandthe
ordinationofrefrainingandNovatiansschismaticsby
dispensation,althoughhecallsthemwithoutgraceandas
thosebaptizedandordainedbylaymen,andinCan.47,the
sameSaint,byChurchtruthfulness,rejectsboththebaptism
andtheordinationoftheseschismatics,becauseatthattimethe
useofdispensationwasnolongerneeded,sodowetogether
withSt.CyprianofCarthageandhisSynod;togetherwithSt.
FirmilianofIconiumandPatriarchDositheosofJerusalem(at
Dodecavivlios,page221)wesaythatwhathasbeendoneby
dispensationatacertaintime(i.e.receivingtheordinationof
BishopGalactionCordunin1955)isnotalawintheChurch.
And,becausetheOldCalendarOrthodoxChurchhaspassed
theperiodofpersecutionandlackofservants,weabandonhe
principleofdispensationandadopttheprincipleof
truthfulness,inwitnesswhereofwenolongerreceivethe
ordinationsofschismatics.
Aboutbaptism
However,theHolySynodoftheOldCalendarOrthodox
ChurchinRomania,followingthewordsofSt.BasiltheGreat
inhisfirstcanon,decidedtoreceive,bydispensation,the
baptismofschismaticsoftheRomanianOrthodoxChurch
(NewCalendar),i.e.onlythethreeimmersionsinwater
performedinthenameoftheHolyTrinity.Nevertheless,in
ordernottohinderthesalvationofmany,theSynodoftheOld
CalendarOrthodoxChurchofRomaniaappliedtheprincipleof
dispensation,asdidtheHolyFathersofthe1stSynod(Can.8)
andthe2ndSynod(Can.7),aswellasSt.Basil(Can.1).Based
onthesecanons,weonlyreceivethebaptismofschismatics(the
threeimmersionsinwater),butonlyifthisbaptismis
performedaccordingtotherulesoftheOrthodoxChurch(the
threecompleteimmersionsinwaterandinthenameofthe
HolyTrinity).AlthoughSt.Basilcallsschismaticslayand
withoutgrace,westillreceivetheirthreeimmersions,basedon
theabovementionedcanons,butalsotakingintoaccountmany
miraclesintheHolyScriptures,whentheimmersionsprovedto
bevaliddespitebeingmadeonlybylaymen.Generally,the
Churchacceptsthebaptismmadebylaymenonlywhentheone
tobebaptizedisindangerofdeath.Inthisrespect,werecall
themiraclefromthelifeofSt.Athanasius,Archbishopof
Alexandria,who,asachild,wasbaptizingforfunbychildren
ofhisageontheseashore.Lookingintothismatter,theHoly
PatriarchAlexanderandhissynod,declaredvalidtheMystery
oftheHolyBaptismperformedbychildAthanasius,according
totherulesofOrthodoxy.AndbecauseweconfesswithSt.
ApostlePaulOneLord,oneFaithandoneBaptism,inorder
nottobecometransgressorsofGodslaw,weanointwiththe
HolyandGreatChrismtheschismaticsbaptizedbythethree
immersionsinwaterandinthenameoftheHolyTrinity,
returningtotheEasternOrthodoxChurch,asSt.Basilsaysin
Can.1,ortheHolyFathersofthe2ndSynod,inCan.7.And
becausebydispensationtheHolyFathersreceivedthebaptism
ofschismaticsandNabatiens(Can.7,2ndSynod)whofollowed
Jewishcustoms,celebratingEasterandtheotherholidayswith
theJews,butwerebaptizedwiththetruebaptism,weaswell
receivethebaptismofschismaticsbydispensationandbythe
poweroftheabovecanons.
Ifthosecomingtothetruefaithhavenotbeenbaptizedbythe
threeimmersionsinwaterandinthenameoftheTrinity
whetherschismaticsorhereticswereceivethemasifthey
wereunbaptizedandbaptizethemwiththetruebaptismofthe
ApostolicOrthodoxChurch,afterwhichweanointthemwith
theHolyandGreatChrismandcommunethemwiththeHoly
Mysteries(InterpretationCan.46and47oftheHolyApostles,
notes83and84).
Synodaldecisions
ThroughCan.3(2ndEcumenicalSynod);Can.7(3rd
EcumenicalSynod),Can.1(4thEcumenicalSynod);Can.1(6th
EcumenicalSynod);Can.1(7thEcumenicalSynod),theHoly
Fathersdefrockthosewhointroduceoronlyacceptallegations
inmattersoffaith(introductionoftheGregoriancalendarin
theuseoftheChurch;changingEasterdatefrom1926and1929
andcelebratingitatthesamedateastheJews;reducingoreven
cancellingthefastoftheHolyApostles;celebratethegreat
holidaysoftheChurchatthesamedateasCatholics,
ProtestantsandNeoprotestants).TothesecanonsoftheHoly
Fathers,areaddedtheanathemasofthePatriarchsofthefour
OrthodoxPatriarchates(Alexandria,Constantinople,Antioch
andJerusalem),recognizedandpublishedasSynodal
Encyclicals(PatriarchalSigillions)from1583,1756,1848,by
whichthosewhohaveintroducedoronlyacceptedinnovations
inmattersoffaith(astheexamplesabove),aredefrockedbythe
SynodsoftheOrthodoxPatriarchatesandcalledwithout
Grace.InaccordancewiththeHolyFathers,who(bytheir
canons),andwiththeSynodsoftheOrthodoxPatriarchates(by
theanathemasofSynodalEncyclicals)callthemdefrocked
andwithoutGrace,sodowe,theHolySynodoftheOld
CalendarOrthodoxChurchofRomaniacallallthosewhohave
receivedinnovationsinmattersoffaithdefrockedandwithout
Grace.AccordingtoCan.15oftheFirstandtheSecondSynod
ofConstantinoplein861,theHolySynodoftheOldCalendar
OrthodoxChurchofRomaniasetsitsownboundariesanddoes
notaccepttheliturgicalcommunionorotherreligiousrelations
withthosewhohavereceivedthechangeofthecalendarsince
1924(inRomania).Inthisrespect,basedonthecanonsofthe
HolyFathersandsynodaldecisions(fromabove)ofthegreat
patriarchsoftheworld,theHolySynodofOldCalendar
OrthodoxChurchofRomaniadoesnotrecognizeanyofthe
mysteriesoftheChurchesinvolvedinthecalendarschism,
exceptforbaptism.WedonotrecognizeOrdination,
Eucharisticsacrifice,HolyUnction,Chrismation,Marriage,
ConfessionorBaptism(ifthelatterisnotmadeaccordingtothe
rulesofOrthodoxy.)ThisisreinforcedbythefactthattheHoly
FathersoftheSixthEcumenicalSynod,intheinterpretationof
Canon6note204,bythepoweroftheprincipleof
truthfulness,statethatallPresbyters,aswellasBishopswho
willbedefrockedforprovedcharges(innovationsinmattersof
faithn.ed)suchpersonscanneitherblessnorsain,nor
performanyotherholywork,orhouselsomeone(...)because
alltheseholyworksinvolvesharingblessingandholinessthat
theydonothave.Thus,suchpersonsnolongerhavethepower
ofperformingChurchmysteries,religiousservicesforsaining
andnootherworkofholiness.Andweespeciallydonotaccept
anymysteryperformedbyWesternhereticsorotherreligions
originatingintheschismof1054.
But,becausewe,togetherwiththeHolyFathers,callthe
schismaticsdefrockedandwithoutGrace,thereforewedonot
recognizeanyofthemysteriesperformedbythem,exceptfor
theOrthodoxbaptism(thethreeimmersionsinwater)andthe
latterbydescending,especiallywedonotrecognizethemand
evencallalltheiractionsanddecisionsontheOldCalendar
OrthodoxChurchnullandvoidoftheworkoftheHolySpirit,
suchasdefrockingBishopGalactionCordunonApril14,1955.
Werejectthisdefrockingandcallitnullandvoidoftheworkof
theHolySpirit,becauseitwasnotperformedbytheChurch
canons,butonlyasanexpressionofrevengeoftheschismatic
synodontheBishopwhich,accordingtoCan.15oftheFirst
andtheSecondSynodofConstantinoplein861andCan.31
Apostolic,wasseparatedfromtheschismaticgrouponfaith
grounds.NocanonoftheOrthodoxChurchdefrocksfor
returningtothetruefaith,butforalienatingfromit.Defrocking
ofBishopGalactionCordunbytheSynodoftheRomanian
OrthodoxChurch(NewCalendar)wasuncanonical.Firstofall,
itshouldbeknownthatatthattimeBishopGalactionCordun
wasnolongerpartoftheNewCalendarChurchstructure,but
oftheOldCalendarOrthodoxChurch.TheInterferenceofthe
NewCalendarChurchinthegovernanceoftheOldCalendar
OrthodoxChurchwasuncanonicalandpowerless.Atthattime
(April14,1955),BishopGalactionCordunwasalreadypartof
theOldCalendarOrthodoxChurch,whichwasandstillis
anotherchurchstructure.Hisdefrockingin1955wasdictated
bypoliticalmotives.Longbefore1955,PetruGroza(Prime
MinisterinthefirstCommunistgovernmentofRomania,
between1945and1952,andlaterPresidentofthePresidiumof
theGrandNationalAssemblyoftheRomanianPeoples
Republic)hadaskedPatriarchJustinianMarinatofinishas
quicklyaspossiblewiththeroyalistGalaction,whichiswhy
BishopGalactionCordun,togetherwithotherbishopsofthe
R.O.C.asChesariePunescuofDunreadeJosandAtanasie
DincBrldeanulwereremovedfromtheR.O.C.Synodonthe
groundsofretirementondemand.Withthemovingofbishop
GalactionCorduntotheOldCalendarOrthodoxChurch,
PatriarchJustinianMarinahadonemorereasontogetridofa
truepastor,alreadybecameaninconvenientforthefurther
policyoftheNewCalendarChurch,whichwastobecome,
evenunderthepastoralleadershipoftheredpatriarch,a
propagandatoolofthecommunistregimeandanannexofthe
totalitarianstate.
DuringameetingbetweenBishopGerasimCucoelofRdui
(R.O.C.)andthecurrentMetropolitanoftheOldCalendar
OrthodoxChurch,VlasieMogrzan,HisGraceGerasimsaid
thatIn1990,PatriarchTeoctistArpauremovedallpolitical
defrocking,amongwhichthedefrockingofBishopGalaction
Cordun.
ObservingthethoughtsoftheHolyFathersoftheChurch,we
aswellrejecthereticsassomeenemiesofthesavingdogmasof
theOrthodoxfaith.
Werejecttheheresyofecumenism
TheHolyCanonsoftheOrthodoxChurchforbidthejoint
prayerwithhereticsandschismatics(throughcan.10,11,45,65
oftheHolyApostles,can.6,9,32fromLaodicea).Therefore,
neitherdowe,theHolySynodoftheOldCalendarOrthodox
ChurchofRomania,receiveanykindofjointministration;we
donotperformanyoftheSevenMysteriesoftheChurchor
religiousserviceforsainingoranyotherspiritualwork,with
thesupportersandrepresentativesofcontemporary
ecumenism.Wedonotacceptanykindofjointprayerwith
theseecumenistheretics(Catholics,Monophysites,Lutherans,
Calvinists,Protestants,Neoprotestants,etc.),sectarians,pagans
ornewcalendaristschismatics,whooverruledthedecisionsof
theHolyFathers,carriersofGrace,oftheFirstSynodofNice,
beinganathematizedthroughtheEncyclicalsofEastern
Patriarchsfrom1582,1756,1848.Wejointhegreatgospellerof
theChurch,St.JohnChrysostom,who,intheinterpretationof
theEpistletotheHebrew,word34,says:Ifthebishoporcleric
isastuteinmattersoffaith,thenyoushallrunandabandon
him,notonlyasaman,butevenifheisanangelfromheaven.
Contemporaryecumenismaimsatrelativizing,minimizingand
cancellingthetruthofthesavingOrthodoxy.Whoeverjoins
thisheresyseparatedfromthefoundationoftheChurch,sucha
personisasJudas,whobetrayedChrist.Suchpersonsfall
undertheanathemasoftheHolyFathersagainsthereticswho
forgedthedogmasoftheChurchanddisrespectedtheright
orderoftheHolyCanons.WeconfesswithSt.MarkofEphesus,
MetropolitanofEphesus(1444),andtheonlydefenderof
OrthodoxyattheunionistSynodofFerraraFlorence(1438
1439),andsaywithhim:Ourfaithistherightconfessionofour
HolyFathers.Withit,wehopetopresentourselvesbeforeGod
andreceiveforgivenessofsins;andwithoutit,Idonotknow
whatkindofpiousnesscouldsaveusfromtheeternaltorment.
Thereisnoconcessioninmattersoffaith.Issuesoffaithdonot
admitdispensation.
WealsoconfesswithSt.PaisiusofNeamt,whosays:Butarent
theRomanCatholicshereticsthemselveswiththeirPope?I
knowforsureyouwillsaytheyareheretics.Andsincetheyare
heretics,andtheytrulyare,thenourHolyChurch
anathematizesthem.AndthoseanathematizedbytheHoly
Church,areanathematizedbymeaswell,togetherwiththe
Church,asherson.(Wordsandspiritualletters(Cuvintei
scrisoriduhovniceti)vol.II,Tipogr.CentralPublishing
house,Chiinu,1999,p.49).AssonsoftheChurchofChrist,
werejectallmanifestationsofthecurrentecumenism,because
wehaveadutytofightfortruth,untilthelastbreath,andnot
againstthetruth.WefindjustificationinthewordsofSt.John
theEvangelistaswell,whosays:Ihavenogreaterjoythanto
hearthatmychildrenwalkintruth.(3John,1,4).
ArchbishopandMetropolitanVLASIEMOGRZAN