The First Ecumenical Council – the heresy of Arius. Sermon by Saint Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) on Sunday of the Fathers.

The Orthodox Church today prayerfully remembers the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, which once met in the city of Nicaea in order to investigate and judge the heresy of Arius. We know that in the first centuries of Christianity, the Church endured severe persecution, first from the Jews and then from the pagan Roman imperial power. But despite the fact that the persecution was bloody, despite the fact that thousands of Christians died under torture for their confession of faith, nonetheless, it was not dangerous for the Church.

The Christian of the first centuries remembered well that the Lord Jesus Christ said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the sou: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt 10:28). And in the Apocalypse He said: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev 2:10). In these bloody persecutions Christians were faithful to death, went to martyric death, and received from the Lord Savior the crown of eternal life earned by them.

20.05.2018Read more

Saint Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York, The New Confessor – The First Sorrowful Epistle (1969).

PRESIDENT
OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA

75 EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028
Telephone: LEhigh 4-1601

TO THEIR HOLINESSES AND THEIR BEATITUDES
THE PRIMATES OF THE HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCHES
THE MOST REVEREND METROPOLITANS, ARCHBISHOPS, AND BISHOPS:

A SORROWFUL EPISTLE 
FROM
THE HUMBLE PHILARET,
METROPOLITAN OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX 
CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA

The Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church have exhorted us to keep the Truth of Orthodoxy as the apple of our eye. And Our Lord Jesus Christ, teaching His Disciples to maintain every jot and title of the Divine Law intact said, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. v. 19). He sent His disciples to teach the doctrines He gave them to all nations in a pure and unadulterated form, and that duty then devolved upon each of us Bishops, as the successors to the Apostles. We are also taught to do this by the dogmatic definition of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which says: "We keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or by word of mouth." And the Holy Fathers of that Council added, in their first Canon: "The pattern for those who have received the sacerdotal dignity is found in the testimonies and instructions laid down in the canonical constitutions, which we receiving with a glad mind sing unto the Lord God in the words of the God-inspired David, saying: 'I have had as great delight in the way of Thy testimonies as in all manner of riches.' 'Thou hast commanded righteousness as Thy testimonies for ever.' 'Grant me understanding and I shall live.' Now if the word of prophecy bids us keep the testimonies of God forever and to live by them, it is evident that they must abide unshaken and without change."

19.05.2018Read more

Saint Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York, The New Confessor – Open Letter to Greek Archbishop Iakovos (1969).

PRESIDENT
OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA

75 EAST 93rd STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028
Telephone: LEhigh 4-1601

OPEN LETTER TO HIS EMINENCE 
ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS,
GREEK ARCHDIOCESE OF NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA

YOUR EMINENCE:

Many practices of our Church are based on precedent, and indeed the higher the position of him who sets the precedent, the more important it is. Therefore the ways in which Orthodox bishops act in their contacts with the representatives of heterodox confessions or religions are of special significance, and in those cases in which they deviate from the order accepted over the centuries, they cannot leave us indifferent. Our silence might be construed as consent, bringing consequent confusion to our own flock as well as misunderstanding to the heterodox, who expect our actions, especially in matters of public worship, to be performed by all of us in conformity with our doctrines and canons. Therefore, an incorrect action made by one bishop may be taken for something permitted by the whole Church, and those who are "without" may form a misconception in regard to Orthodox doctrine. At a time such as this, when so much mutual interest is shown by various confessions, we may be found offering them a stone instead of a loaf of bread.

18.05.2018Read more