A Reply to Archpriest Tarasiy Kravchenko, on his article,

Yet Another Thought About True Unity in the Church

(The English Page Editor apologizes for not having the translation of the article ready yet. It is rather lengthy and will require some time. Meanwhile, Bishop Agafangels reply makes some important points worth reading now. Thank You.)

 

Dear Archpriest Tarasiy Kravchenko!

 

I am very grateful to you for the many valuable insights contained in your article, Yet Another Thought About True Unity in the Church.

 

Yet I must point out that if you and your colleagues wish to establish truthfulness in our mutual relations, then before anything else, the focus of your thoughts needs to change somewhat, and move from polemics based on personal accusations to constructive dialogue.

 

Your representatives insist (or at least, do not refute) that they constitute the leadership of the Catacomb Church. The Catacomb Church never had one leadership group and still does not. There are far more traditional catacomb parishes in the other fragments of ROCA in the RAOC, or perhaps in ROCA(V). But they, to their credit, do not pretend as you do, to head the Catacomb Church.

 

Only two primary administrations existed in the Russian Church during the Soviet era the Synods of ROCA and the MP (setting aside the question of their canonicity). If you wish to aspire to the role of the main leadership of the Catacomb Church, then you should direct your calls for unity not to us, but to the other representatives of the TOC. It would certainly be wonderful to convene a Sobor of the representatives of the various TOCs and establish a supreme administrative body for the traditional catacomb parishes. Our ROCA PSCA does not have the right to recognize the RTOC as such a central leadership or to grant you the appropriate authority. In the context of the canonical rights we possess, we can only offer you to return to the part of the Church from which you emerged in 2001.

 

With Sincere Good Wishes,

Chairman of the ROCA PSCA

 

+Bishop Agafangel

 

August 16/29, 2007

Translation of the Image Not-Made-By-Hands of our Lord Jesus Christ from Edessa to Constantinople