Why the 1983 Anathema is a Principle of Unity for the Orthodox and a Cause of Separation for the Lukewarm

Atakującym Cerkiew Chrystusową i uczącym, że podzieliła się ona na rozgałęzienia, które różnią się swoją nauką i życiem i twierdzącym, że Cerkiew jawnie nie jest prawdziwa, ale z odgałęzień, rozłamów i różnych nauk ma się zjednoczyć w jedno ciało; i tym którzy nie odróżniają prawdziwego kapłaństwa i sakramentów Cerkwi od heretyckich, lecz uczą, że chrzest i eucharystia heretyków doprowadzą do zbawienia; i tym, którzy obcują z tymi heretykami lub pomagają im lub bronią ich nowej herezji ekumenizmu, uważając ją za wyraz braterskiej miłości i sposób zjednoczenia poróżnionych chrześcijan — anatema.


To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ’s Church is divided into so -called “branches” which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all “branches” or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, anathema.

Our goal should be to be faithful Orthodox Christians and to be under Orthodox
bishops—and to avoid heresy and avoid being under heretical bishops. The 1983
Anathema Against Ecumenism simply defends the Symbol of Faith of the Christian
religion — if a person resists the Anathema, then he is resisting the Orthodox Christian
Creed. In order to be a Christian, one needs to confess one Church and one baptism, as
the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed confesses. Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch,
and others repeatedly confess heresy when they recognize the Orthodox, the Monophysites, and the Latins as sister churches, all with efficacious sacraments. The God-given truth is that there is only one Church of God, the Orthodox Catholic Church.

The Monophysites and the Latins are outside the Catholic Church. The problem is that
Constantinople et al. proclaim that the Church is divided into sister churches, lungs,
denominations, or branches that “differ in doctrine and way of life” and have been out of
communion with one another for centuries, but, somehow, all these denominations are
sisters! That is heresy, because it goes against the apostolic and patristic consensus that
there is one Church and one baptism. The God-given truth is that there is only one
Church and only one baptism—that of the Orthodox Catholic Church.

When most people in ROCOR joined Moscow, they betrayed the God-given truths
underlying the Anathema, the Creed, the Apostolic Canons, and the Orthodox patristic
consensus. ROCOR-MP clergy, both before and after the Act of Canonical Communion,
have systematically downplayed the degree to which Constantinople-Alexandria-Antioch
have preached the heresy of sister churches that differ in dogma and the heresy of
heretical-but-efficacious sacraments. Some of these people may be sincerely ignorant of
how clearly heretical Constantinople-Alexandria-Antioch have become, but, if ROCORMP people care about the faith, they can easily find out.

Patriarch Kirill and the Patriarchate want to be recognized by the fallen world. The
false Patriarchate wants to be recognized by heretical Constantinople, but it wants to tell
“conservatives” that it is better and more Orthodox than Constantinople. The false
patriarchate wants to flirt with Rome, but it does not want to lose its authority in Ukraine
and other territories outside Russia. The false patriarchate wants the support of Putin,
Castro, and every evil dictator with whom it can collaborate. What the false patriarchate
will never do is anathematize the branch-theory heresies and the heretical-butefficacious-sacraments heresies. Orthodox Christians have always rejected such views.

The anti-Orthodox Council of Crete and the Moscow Patriarchate are similar. These
bishops want authority and power and they feel they need alliances with the
Monophysites, the Latins, and the WCC for their agenda. When Orthodox Christians
(whether old ROCOR or other traditional Orthodox) proclaim the Orthodox faith of one
God, one Church, and one baptism, these Orthodox Christians are denounced as
schismatics by these un-Orthodox patriarchates. A key sign of the un-Orthodox nature of
these patriarchates is the contrast between how they praise the heretical Monophysites
and Latins and how they viciously denounce the Orthodox Christians who maintain the
traditional faith. The MP and the anti-Orthodox people of the robber council of Crete are
similar in this: they have long and repeatedly denounced bishops, such as Saint Philaret
of New York and Archbishop Auxentios of Athens, who are Orthodox in faith.
Who still tells the truth about the heresies of the Monophysites, the Latins, and the
Protestants? It is the Orthodox bishops, not the pseudo-bishops of the Council of Crete
and of the Moscow Patriarchate. The goal is not to be “super correct” (to use that unfair,
polemical phrase), but to be Orthodox and not in communion with pseudo-bishops.

Orthodox Christians are aware of the problems within historic ROCOR and the
many ambiguous and contradictory statements. Quoting them again today serves little
purpose, other than rationalizations and excuses for known errors today. However, it is a
fact that the ROCOR Councils of Bishops and its first-hierarch, Saint Philaret, defended
the faith in many official statements, including the decree on baptism and the Anathema.
What the ROCOR documents (especially the decree on baptism and the Anathema)
show is that ROCOR under Saint Philaret stood up for the Christian faith in one Church
and one baptism. Saint Philaret was inspired by God to anathematize ecumenism (the two
specific heresies defined above) but avoid overly specific decrees on the loss of
sacramental (deifying) grace in various churches at specific times. All Orthodox
Christians should follow him on that. In theory, all those who have succession from
ROCOR are already obligated to accept the Anathema. Because the Anathema is simply a
defense of the Orthodox patristic consensus that there is only one Church and one
baptism, it should be accepted by all Orthodox Christians. In fact, it is accepted already
by Orthodox bishops who are actually Orthodox in doctrine.

Why isn’t Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR-MP sending Sorrowful Epistles to the
entire world like Saint Philaret did? Because he is not Orthodox like Saint Philaret!
A big problem is the wishy-washy bishops of new ROCOR. They want to claim that
they have not compromised Orthodoxy, but they also want the support of the false
Patriarchate and the Putin regime. They lack anything remotely approaching a coherent
stance in support of Orthodox truth and in separation from heresy. What they are very
good at is compiling excuses. That is what the two recent compilations (from Platina and
other sources) are: 2017 efforts to rationalize and excuse communion with heresy today.
Nothing from the moderate expressions of Metropolitan Anastasii or Father Seraphim
Rose justify communion with heretical Constantinople or obedience to uncanonical Kirill
in 2017. We do not need any more excuses for communion with heresy. What we need is
to be under Orthodox bishops who confess plain, simple Orthodox doctrine, which
includes the two dogmas underlying the Anathema: There is only one Church and only
one baptism. Constantinople (and many in the MP) no longer believe this. Constantinople
(and many in the MP) are no longer Orthodox. We all need to stay away from these
pseudo-bishops and place ourselves under bishops who confess the Orthodox Catholic faith, its dogmas, and the Anathema. No more excuses. Anathema to those who deny one
Church and one baptism. Those who want to be plain, simple Orthodox Christians accept
the Anathema — others, sadly, are reluctant to do the Orthodox thing.

Before he reposed in 1979, Archimandrite Justin Popović told the bishops of the
Serbian Patriarchate that, if they wished to be Orthodox, they must immediately and
forever stop all of the common prayer services with the heterodox. Those false bishops
increased these false prayers and they even called Rome a “sister church” — and plain,
simple Orthodox Christians no longer consider those bishops to be Orthodox. Before he
reposed in 1985, Saint Philaret, the Church, and the Holy Spirit, anathematized the two
great relativistic heresies of our time. Will we today do the Orthodox thing and affirm the

Diakrisis Dogmatōn
November 24, 2017 / December 7, 2017,

Saint Clem ent of Rome and Saint Catherine ofAlexandria