"We have come to that time when Truth will reveal itself not in the decisions of Priestly Synods or even Councils of various Churches ... but rather by the faithfulness of each, considered individually, to the Christian dogmas and canons of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church."
An encouraging note from the illustrious Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye — Even though a number of high ranking Patriarchs and Bishops may go astray, the true Church will always be present on earth, via individual bishops and people who remain faithful.
Translation provided by Fr. Zechariah Lynch.
Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!
Be faithful to God in word, life, and love!
Reflections on the Statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The dynamic change in world society indicates all the more the acceleration of the process of globalization, which will lead to the last period of human life in this earthly world.
The active involvement of overseas diplomats in the life of the Orthodox Church cannot be explained simply in geopolitical terms. Behind it all a person may sense something more important and significant than political and economic interests. The spirit of universal evil has been activated in the sphere of church relations, for which it was necessary to prepare the soil beforehand.
In the conditions of the last times, the existence of the Church will also change.
The presence of the virtue of faithfulness to Christ will separate the faithful from those who worship the antichrist, whose power in this world will be outwardly presented in the many varying religious traditions, including orthodoxy. Their legitimacy (in the world order) will be determined by their willingness to bow before the image of the beast. Those who refuse to do this will be declared unlawful.
St. Ignatius the God-bearer says: “Where the bishop is, there is the Church.” The fullness of the Church is present in community, which is composed of the bishop - as the successor of the apostles - the college of priests and deacons, and the believing people, united in the Eucharistic gathering. This fullness is self-sufficient and offers to its members everything needful for the knowledge given to us by God our Redeemer.
It is vital for us to understand this truth, so that we may guard the purity of Orthodoxy in the new situations of human society.
In the case of the Churches in Constantinople and Greece we see that the antichrist decisions are not accepted by the fullness of the church, rather they are accepted by top administrators who have been accordingly prepared by the directors of the new world order.
At the same time, in the midst of these Churches there are large amounts of clergy and laity who do not agree with these decisions and remain faithful to holy tradition. It may be said with confidence, that in the future the overseas diplomats will seek to leverage influence on Bishops of other Local Churches, most of all on those who have an authoritative voice.
Yet this, altogether, does not mean that every Local Church will fall away from God due to only the decisions of a small group of people.
It follows that according to the ecclesiology of the holy martyr Ignatius the God-bearer and ancient church tradition, Eucharistic communion must be guarded through inter-church unity with those Eucharistic communities which have not gone down the path of betraying their faith.
According to the spirit of the times and the prophetic words of our Savior, we may assess that faithfulness to the Mother Church will be upheld in holiness on the level of the individual being of each Eucharistic fullness (community), led by those bishops who have not gone down the path of betrayal.
Therefore the Synod of the ROC made a decision to guard Eucharistic communion with those hierarchs who did not receive the noncanonical and robber decisions of the Synod of the hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church. This was a correct, deeply considered, and wise decision.
We have come to that time when Truth will reveal itself not in the decisions of Priestly Synods or even Councils of various Churches, which already may be guided by the administrative spirit of this world, but rather by the faithfulness of each, considered individually, to the Christian dogmas and canons of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
We must live and believe in such a manner that we may give a positive answer to the question given by our Savior, “Will He find faith, when He returns to judge the world” (cf. Lk. 18:8)? Only the small flock which has remained faithful to God will say a strong “Yes” to Him.
Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye
October 17th, 2019
This letter was translated from the original Russian by Fr. Zechariah Lynch.