to Patriarch Athenagoras
on the Lifting of the Anathemas of 1054
December 2/ 15 1965
We have inherited a legacy from the Holy Fathers that everything in the Church should be done in a legal way, unanimously, and conforming to ancient Traditions. If any of the bishops and even primates of one of the autocephalous churches does something which is not in agreement with the teaching of the whole Church, every member of the Church may protest against it. The 15th Canon of the First and Second Council of Constantinople of the year 861 describes as "worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox Christians" those bishops and clergymen who secede from communion even with their patriarch if he publicly preaches heresy and openly teaches it in church. In that way we are all guardians of the truth of the Church, which was always protected through the care that nothing of general importance for the Church would be done without the consent of all.
'Archpriest Michael Polsky, The New Martyrs of Russia, Montreal: Monastery Press, 1972.
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PREFACE OF THE PUBUSHER
"And when he had opened the fifth seal,
I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God,
and for the testimony which they held.” (Rev. 6: 9).
We are publishing the book, “The New Russian Martyrs” on the occasion of the fiftielh anniversary of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Since we represent the free part of the Russian Church, we consider it our sacred duty to act as the voice of all those who have been, and still are being, martyred and persecuted by the Communists, for confessing their belief in God.
Moreover, we have, in the number of our faithful here in the free world, tens of thousands of living witnesses to the persecution of the faith in the USSR. These are people which did not return to the homeland after the second world war and who, to this day, thank God for that freedom which they enjoy here in the west. Many of them bear upon their own bodies, scars from wounds and tortures as sacred imprints of their suffering for Christ.
Without me, ye can do nothing
First of all we consider it necessary to declare directly and distinctly our deep and steadfast conviction that only the canonically true Orthodox Church — possessing the full grace of the Holy Spirit with its holy Mysteries, holy dogmas, patristic literature, extensive teaching on Christian morality in moral theology — can give an unshakable foundation for building an integrated and effective pedagogical system for the moral upbringing of children.
In the hierarchy of values, the highest, top place undoubtedly is occupied by religion. The most perfect religion is Christianity. Christianity is unthinkable without the Church. The one, true, holy, catholic, and apostolic church is the Orthodox Church.