The ROAC of America: The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America Official Web Site Home Page
"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 heresy of ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!"
This is the official website and authoritative voice of the
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH OF AMERICA (ROAC).
No other English language based website (other than the sites linked herein) claiming to speak for His Eminence, Metropolitan Theodore of Suzdal
and Vladimir, or any of the individual Hierarchs of the Holy Synod of the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH (ROAC), should be considered as genuine
JUST WANT TO LIVE IN A FREE
OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ARE GIVEN TO US BY GOD
The events unfolding in the Ukraine at present again bring up questions
about the future of Christian civiliztion. There has been an ongoing
stand-off taking place there since November of 2013. The people are
at opposition with the authorities. But it is necessary to make one
clarification: the people are Christian, primarily Orthodox, and the
authorities are Godless, and criminal.
“Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no
salvation,” is what we sing in Psalm 145. This quotation serves as a
cornerstone in the relationship between Orthodox Christians and the
powers that be of this world. And, of course, the psalmist is exactly
In January of 2014, in Independence Plaza (as it is called; in Ukrainian
– Майдан Незалежности), in the capital city of the country, Kiev,
several bloody confrontations have taken place. Six people have been
killed, dozens have disappeared without a trace, and hundreds have been
wounded or beaten up.
These confrontations were provoked by the authorities. The special
forces division of the police department “Berkut” have been trying to
rout the people by force, who were only trying to assert their rights and
freedoms. The crowds answered with a violent protest. Out came the
flying rocks, sticks, and Molotov cocktails. The authorities answered
with rubber bullets, and not-so-rubber bullets. But this response did
not frighten off the people, which understood that they had to defend
their rights and freedoms at all costs. For these rights and freedoms are
given to men not by the authorities that rule over them, but by the Lord
In the words of one of the opposition leaders, “I am not afraid, and don’t
you be afraid either!”
After overcoming their fear of the authorities, the people immediately
turned to the Lord. On the shields carried by the protectors of the plaza
they began to draw crosses. Among the assembled defenders of the
opposition appeared priests dressed in their vestments. And they, as
is proper, attended to their normal duties as concerns the wounded
and killed: they prayed, made appeals for mercy, sought to alleviate
suffering, and buried the dead.
Now is not the proper time to continue our theological arguments and
explanations about who is more faithful and worthy before God. Now
is the time for all of us, bishops and priests, Orthodox Christians and
Christians of other denominations, to rise to the occasion with words of
support and defense for those rights and freedoms, which are given to
men by the Lord. And among the first of those rights is the right of any
church that believes in God to fulfill its obligations before man and God.
As literal proof of the Godlessness of his regime, President V.
Yanukovich has called for the punishment of those clergymen who have
taken part in the opposition. He, as well as his officials, have begun
making threats that priests who take part in the opposition will have their
licenses to perform religious services pulled. This has called down upon
him a wave of indignation in religious circles, including the parishes of
the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church outside of Russia, which I
oversee as their ruling bishop.
Yanukovich’s sympathizers wanted to turn the indignation of the people
into the usual political arguments, and even better, into street riots,
which could be seen as having been started by small groups of “radicals,”
rabble-rousers, and regular criminals. Such riots should indeed be put
down by the forces of normal law and order.
However, these attempts were simply a propagandistic trick on the
part of Yanukovich’s regime, and he did not succeed in doing so. The
confrontations in Kiev, and in other cities of the Ukraine, are not simple
political differences of opinion which have broken down to the point
where physical violence has started. These confrontations represent the
spiritual rebirth of a nation. On the part of the authorities, this “idiotic
desire” for rebirth must be stopped by any and all means.
Ukrainians simply want to live in a free country. They want to be able
to express their desires without fear, they want to put an end to the
criminal usurpation of their national wealth, they want to build their
lives according to the rules of the civilized world. This, today, is the
crux of this historical mission of the Ukrainian people.
Ukrainians have understood that only a return to their Christians roots,
to the faith of their fathers, starting with Great Prince Vladimir, “the
Beautiful Sun,” will bring back the rights and freedoms to them that
must lie as the foundation of any national independent government. And
it is for this reason, that the people no longer fear shedding their blood,
or death itself.
The true, Orthodox, attitude to physical death, which none will escape,
was set, once and for all, by the words of St. John Chrysostom: “Let no
one fear death, for the Savior’s death hath set us free from death,” which
is a phrase repeated often during our Paschal services.
And this is absolutely true. In the Lord, Jesus Christ, we acquire
such freedom that we no longer fear pain, neither the desperation of
loneliness, nor submission to untruth. We acquire spiritual freedom,
the freedom of salvation unto life eternal. It was upon this Christian
founding principle that Holy Rus’ was raised, which has shown to the
world an amazing example of loyalty to Jesus, as well as the adoption of
His teachings in the lives of millions of Orthodox Christians.
The people gathered on Maydan, remaining there by day and by night,
know their refusal to accept atheistic authority is the equivalent of
refusing the darkness and coming into the light. For the Lord has said,
“I am the Light of the world; whoever follows Me, will not walk in
darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12).
But we must stand in support behind these people with all our might and
efforts, for they have seen the light of Christ’s truth, and are prepared to
stand for it until the end.
Archbishop of Pavlovskoye and Rockland
Administrator of the parishes belonging to the Russian Orthodox