RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA
HIS EMINENCE THE MOST REVEREND LEONTY ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK METROPOLITAN OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK-CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA
59 EAST SECOND STREET NEW YORK 3, NEW YORK Telephone, Gramercy 7-7836
May 9, 1960 # 18649
TO ALL PASTORS AND CHURCH COMMITTEES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX GREEK CATHOLIC CHURCH OF AMERICA
The Great Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of America, in session on March 29, 1960 RESOLVED: to publicize again for general information, the resolution concerning Masonry passed by the Great Council of Bishops on October 25, 1949 (see Russian Orthodox Messenger, p. 33 # 3, 1950) which reads as follows:
a) to caution members of the Russian Orthodox Church of America and especially the pastors, of the incompatibility of membership in the saving Church of Christ and simultaneously membership in Masonic Lodges, which are a mixture of pagan and other religions with certain secret "initiations" as a fixed ritual of the order;
b) to explain to the faithful that our Church views Masonry in perfect accord with the teaching of the Greek Orthodox Church and accepts her testament expressed by the Head of the Church of the Hellenes, the Most Reverend Chrysostom, Archbishop of Athens, in session of October 12, 1933 in Athens, in the following two statements:
FIRST: All the faithful children of the Church must stand apart from Freemasonry. With unshaken faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, possessing the truth revealed by Him and preached by His Apostles, partaking in the Divine Sacraments through which we are sanctified, we must not fall from the grace of Christ by becoming partakers of other mysteries. It is not lawful to belong at the same time to Christ and to search for redemption and moral perfection outside Him.
SECOND: all who have become involved in the initiations of masonic mysteries must from this moment sever all relations with masonic lodges and activities, being sure that they are thereby of a certainty renewing their links with our one Lord and Saviour which were weakened by ignorance and a wrong sense of values.
c) to reiterate the statement of the Eastern Churches to those who entered masonry not realizing that by it they were passing into another religion comparable to the Gnostic sects of Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Persia and Greece, that the Church awaits with great love their contrition for their ignorant departure from Christ, and calls on all faithful to pray that the One Lord Jesus Christ 'the way, the truth and the life' may illumine and return to the truth those who in ignorance have gone astray.
d) to caution all faithful, especially the youth, to take to heart the directions of our Episcopate concerning Masonry, that the Grace of God be with them, their parents and relatives and with their organizations, now abiding in the mercies from above for their loyalty to the Orthodox Church of their fathers.
This resolution is to be promulgated to all concerned and is to be published in the official organ of the Metropolia and if possible, in circulars, for the guidance of all."
In informing all members of the Russian Orthodox Church of America of the above, the Great Council of Bishops strongly recommends that all Reverend Rectors admonish their parishioners who are members of the Masonic Lodges, and use their pastoral influence, especially during Penance, that they repent and leave the masonic organizations. The parishioners who refuse to do so are to be deprived, as unrepentant sinners, of Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, to whom is glory and honor forever. Amen.
The names of those deprived of Communion must be kept in the parish records as evidence for their exclusion from membership in Parish and Diocesan councils and as delegates to the All-American Sobor. SIGNED by Member of the Metropolitan Council Protopresbyter Feofan Buketoff and Secretary of the Metropolitan Council Right Reverend Joseph Pishtey.
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