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Catholic Old Believers #110047 02/03/05 03:51 PM
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Filipe YTOL Offline OP
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Hello all,
My Dictionary of Eastern Christianity has an entry on onld believers, it describes their origin, the fact the for a long time they had no Hierarchy, how they eventually established one etc. It also mentions that there are communities of Catholic (Uniate) old believers...
My question is, seeing as how the Old Believers arose from what they considered to be heretical departing from the true faith, through liturgical reform, i.e. a departure from true orthodoxy, how does one go from that, from seeing oneself as the only remaining true guardian of Orthodoxy, to seeking union with Rome?
I would have thought the Old Believers to be even more zealous than most "reformed" orthodox in denying catholocism and any ecumenical ideas.
As you can guess, I am asking this because the dictionary does not go into any more detail.
Any ideas?
Filipe

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110048 02/03/05 04:00 PM
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Father Gregory Offline
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Filipe, I think the answer might be, that the Orthodox (in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine at least) do NOT any longer consider the Old Believers to be heretical...but rather just not in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church at the present time, but not heretical. There have been great strides in union made by the Churches in the above countries to try and correct the relationship with the principal Old Believer jurisdictions in the last few years. May this continue!

In His Holy Name,
+Fr. Gregory


+Father Archimandrite Gregory, who asks for your holy prayers!
Re: Catholic Old Believers #110049 02/03/05 05:42 PM
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Dear Filipe,

My own view is that the Old Believers have always had a running debate on jurisdiction and who to be or not to be in communion with.

They have both "priestless" and "priestly" communions, and have recently established a Patriarchate. The Bila Krinitsa church and others have canonized their own saints.

They have always had the "United Believers" who were in communion with the Nikonian Moscow Synod or Patriarchate - at the time of the Russian Revolution, there were more than 700 parishes of such United Old Believers and the Russian Church canonized a number of New Martyrs who were "Bi-ritual" that is, who served both Rites of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The recent Synod of the ROC last year wants to promote more United Believer parishes and referred to the Old Rite as one of the "two Rites of the ROC."

Rome has always recognized the validity of both Russian Rites and Met. Andrew Sheptytsky even promoted union with them and had an Old Believer chapel in his residence in Lviv in Western Ukraine.

Fr. Evtimy and his Old Believer group joined the UGCC in the thirties and this priest is up for canonization as a martyr.

I have read that Bl. Leonid Fyodorov was, at least in his youth, an Old Believer.

I met a priest, a Studite, once who knew of an Old Believer Eastern Catholic.

He told me that the reason he joined with Rome was that this was the most ancient tradition and that he felt perfectly comfortable that under Rome his Old Rite traditions would be left alone.

Alex

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110050 02/08/05 04:04 PM
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Diak Offline
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Dear Filipe, there is a tendency to think of the Old Believers as you have said. But you will not find the overzealous attitude you might expect with some ultraconservative Roman groups.

There is a world of difference between the Old Believers and say, the Lefebvrists in terms of personality, spirituality, culturally, etc. One has to keep in mind that there was a genocide targeted against the Old Believers by the Russian government of the time. Many fled outside of Russia to continue to practice their faith. They have almost continually met with harrassement wherever they have gone.

In many ways the Old Believers have preserved some of the best elements of the prayer and spirituality and even many cultural traditions of early Rus'.

The issue of union with Rome is not as big of a deal as you might expect. Two Russian Catholic priests, Fr. Patapy Emilianov, and Fr. Eustachy Susalev, were Old Rite priests who were steadfast in both their desire to keep the Old Rite and their desire to attain communion with Rome. They became central figures in the history of the Russian Catholic Church.

Fr. Emilianov brought his entire Old Rite community of Nizhnaja Bogdanovka end environs into communion with Rome. Unfortunately, most were martyred under the ensuing Stalinist persecutions, and may these nameless saints intercede for us.

The primary factor is being allowed to practice the Old Rite. During much of the time of the practice of the Old Rite there was an almost understood idea of the church of Rus' being in dual communion with Rome and Constantinople (Moscow didn't come along as the major regional ecclesiastical power until very late).

In Russia there is an entire Old Rite metropolitanate in communion with the Church of Moscow. Several years ago, actually beginning under the last Patriarch Pimen, the ROC made public apoligies for the historical treatment of the Old Believers, and stated that the pre-Nikonian Old Rite was absolutely a legitimate expression of the Orthodox faith.

The ROCOR also had made similar statements.
In the US the largest Old Rite parish in Erie, Pennsylvania is in communion with the ROCOR. Other Old Rite jurisdictions are in various states of communion with this or that Orthodox jurisdiction that is post-Nikonian.

There are exceptions, and there are still some groups, especially priestless (bezpopovtsy), who do still feel that their communion with any jurisdiction who embraces the Nikonian usage would be in error and not genuine communion on their part.

Brother Ambrose (Moorman), who resides at Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon, has a nice Russian chapel and museum. He has been an archvist for the Old Believer community in Oregon for many years and is very faithful to the Old Rite spiritual tradition. I am not sure there will be anyone after him to continue his unique charisma and work. frown

And to comment on Alex's post, Blessed Exarch Leonid was firmly grounded and trained in the Nikonian tradition, having been a student at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. But he did concelebrate on several occasions with the Old Rite Russian Catholic clergy, and was supportive of their efforts to maintain the Old Rite. He also was a signatory to the famous Christmas Greeting letter to Tsar Nicholas II from the Russian Catholic parish in St. Petersburg.

In the 1917 Russian Catholic Sobor, Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytsky) mandated that either the Old or Nikonian Rites could be used for the Divine Liturgies, but the two could never be mixed and each was to be celebrated according to their respective received traditions from Orthodox service books.

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110051 02/08/05 04:54 PM
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Dear Diak,

Is the person in your avatar St Paul Florensky?

Also, what do you personally believe about the two-fingered Sign of the Cross?

Is it the original form?

I'm beginning to think . . . well, what do you say?

Alex

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110052 02/08/05 05:49 PM
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Diak Offline
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Ding! Ding! Alex wins the "Russian Clergy Photo Trivia Contest" for this week... yes it is the great Fr. Pavel Florensky. I just finished reading his "Iconostasis", and it moved me so much I wanted to honor him here. smile

And in answer to your question, I only can raise two fingers to you, my friend. biggrin

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110053 02/08/05 06:36 PM
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Dear Diak,

I just love winning things! I'm going to go out and buy a lottery ticket tonight!! wink

What a great martyr and man of faith St Paul was!

As you know better than I, he would attend his classes at Moscow wearing his priestly garb and that Cross at the HEIGHT of the Soviet communist anti-religious terror.

A brilliant artist and scientist, a man with an incredible soul, a great champion of Christ!

May he intercede for us!

Alex

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110054 02/08/05 06:58 PM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Filipe,

I have some excellent links to sites with quite a bit of information on the Old Believers, particularly on the large community in Oregon to which Randy alluded, as well as a couple with photos. Let me know if you're interested and I'll dig them out and post them.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Catholic Old Believers #110055 02/08/05 07:04 PM
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Dear Neil,

Please do!!

Alex

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110056 02/08/05 09:00 PM
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Alex,

How did I know you'd ask biggrin

Following is a sampling - it should keep you busy for a while. I can't locate the weblink for a great series of photos of a community in California (if I remember correctly) from about the turn of the century, but I'll keep digging. It may be on my old PC, some favorite links didn't get transferred for some strange reason.

History of Oregon Old Believer Community

Collection of Old Believer History & Tradition

Great Holydays According to the Old Believer Liturgical Calendar

Manual for Educators of Old Believer Children - this sounds as though it wouldn't be worth much reading time, but it has a fantastic wealth of cultural and historical info included in it

Old Russian Rite Church of the Nativity

Russian Orthodox OldRite Church Links - many of these are in Russian, includes some with audio of Old Rite chants

Praise Old Believers - this one also has an audio link and several photos

Old Believers in Alaska

Russian Dissidents in Alaska

The Pilgrims of Russian Town - 70 Years Later


Molokane Home Page - I realize this one is a bit off-topic, but it has some interesting materials.


Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Catholic Old Believers #110057 02/09/05 10:13 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Irish Melkite:
I can't locate the weblink for a great series of photos of a community in California (if I remember correctly) from about the turn of the century,
Ok - found it; it's actually photos and audio of a Russian Molokane community in San Francisco, recorded during as part of a WPA project. Here's the link:

Russian Molokane Community - San Francisco

The same site has some equally fascinating materials on other ethnic groups as well; go to the ethnic groups keyword link at California Folk Music of the Thirties to see what's available.

Bill/Ghazar take note, there's audio there of a number of traditional Armenian musical instruments wink .

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Catholic Old Believers #110058 02/10/05 06:54 AM
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Randy,

There's a newspaper article from about a year ago that quotes Brother Ambrose among others. If memory serves me correctly, I believe the actual name of the museum is Our Lady of Tikhvin Center.

A terrible theft occurred at one of the Old Believer churches in the Woodburn area 4 or 5 years ago with icons, bibles, and ritual texts stolen, most of them irreplaceable. Do you remember hearing whether any of the holy things were ever recovered?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Catholic Old Believers #110059 02/10/05 02:28 PM
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Filipe YTOL Offline OP
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Neil,
Thank you very much.
None of the links you posted seem to refer directly to Catholic Old Believers, or did I miss any?
The Lords Church is truly a treasure of diversity!
Filipe

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110060 02/10/05 03:20 PM
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Diak Offline
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Dear Filipe, outside of Br. Ambrose the only other history is that connected with the Russian Catholic Church. One of the better summaries is contained in Fr. Cyril Korolevsky's book "Metropolitan Andrew" in which he discusses the entry of Old Rite priests Frs. Emilianov and Susalev into communion with Rome along with their communities. It is available from Icon and Book Service or Eastern Christian Publications.

Re: Catholic Old Believers #110061 02/10/05 03:22 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Filipe YTOL:
None of the links you posted seem to refer directly to Catholic Old Believers, or did I miss any?
Filipe,

Umm, no ..., looking back you didn't and none do biggrin . Take a look at this History of the Russian Catholic Church by Reader Methodios from St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church in NYC. He provides a bit of info on both Fathers Eustachios and Patapios, both of blessed thrice-blessed memory, whom Randy mentioned, and their congregations.

Other than that, I don't have any links for them. If I remember correctly (and Randy or Incognitus can correct me on this, if I'm wrong), there was briefly a tiny community of Old Ritual Catholics among the Old Believer communities in Oregon and it was for that reason that Mt. Angel Abbey became involved initially. My impression is that the community either died out or was reabsorbed into its Orthodox parent church.

Randy, did I make that up?

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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