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Letter July '08

To: The North American Holy Synod

When I was a youth I had great respect for the Papal Office under Pius XII. After his repose it seems the office went down hill in a hurry. Rome did the unthinkable by doing away with the Latin Mass, St Christopher, the old style vestments, facing the congregation and doing away with the most loved large altar in favor of a "table". Now the modern mass is so far removed from the Latin Mass people will attend non-Roman Catholic Latin Masses to get back to the Church the know.

The late Pope, John Paul II, did a lot for the Church but it was still lacking. Benedict is slow but appears to be aimed in the right direction... (at times) but is it to late for the Roman Catholic Church? Their declining numbers and the closing of many parishes makes me believe Rome will be the richest little Church around the world.

Rome may have been the first among (Orthodox) equals at one time but no more. They have ignored possible concordats with canonical church groups but have over the years accepted independents who stayed awhile then left with their new "status".

As many of you know I am not into the pomp and circumstance the major Churches, esp. Rome, go out of their way to display. I have enjoyed some of the pomp when I have seen special services on TV or tape but I feel this is a waste of time in today's Church.

Our synod is made up of men in Holy Orders - consecrated bishops - who are men! We are not holier than thou! We can and do make mistakes and our prayers include that "we are sinners". We pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Augustine spoke up at a time when Monks on the Holy Mountain were under attack by the Greek police at the direction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. I must here remind you of our decree of Schism in American Orthodoxy. A predecessor of the present Ecumenical Patriarch caused and allowed others to cause this Schism and to date these Patriarchs have shown their unholy greed and desires not only towards us but towards others also.

I feel guided to make the following statement:

This Patriarchate should avoid contact will all Orthodox clergy from SCOBA jurisdictions because they are unchristian in their ongoing attacks on this Church and our long dead clergy!

This Church should not offer communion to any SCOBA Orthodox unless they denounce the Schismatic acts of their Church!

Our clergy should no longer share the altar with any SCOBA Orthodox clergy.

Our clergy may give communion (Sacraments) to Roman Catholics who come to us for any reason, even if their is a Catholic priest a few blocks away.

We do not try to convert all who come to visit us but we shall not, like the SCOBA Orthodox, turn people who are deserving of the Sacraments away from them.

+Nikon
Patriarch