14 July 2014
About Ukase #362
Q: Just so I put everything in context, where can I read Ukaz #362?
I've seen that mentioned from time to time and I don't know what that is either.
Seems like Ukaz #362 is central to the fragments' argument, so I better understand it.
A: It is true you will often see mention of the famous Ukas #362. Last night, reading a short memorial of Patriarch Tikhon, I again came across mention of the Ukase #362, where the important part is quoted, translated into English. I googled some of the key words and found this translation on a RocorMP site:
By the way, this website was created for, and is devoted to, rewriting history.
In December 1918, Bishop Mikhail assumed the administration of the Diocese of Primorsk & Vladivostok. He was appointed as Bishop of that Diocese in 1919, by the Provisional Supreme Church Authority of Siberia, organized along the same lines, and for the same reasons-inability to communicate with Patriarch Tikhon-as the Temporary Higher Church Administration of South Russia that was the forerunner of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Patriarch Tikhon himself had foreseen the need for such measures, and provided for such a situation: “Seeing that the persecutions were intensifying, and that the time could come when the central church authority would find itself separated from the local church administrations, the Patriarch, together with the Holy Synod and the Higher Church Council, issued the ukase (#362) of November 20, 1920. The ukase reads: ‘In the event that a diocese finds communications with the Higher Church Authority broken, or the Higher Church Authority headed by the Patriarch, for some reason ceases its activity, the diocesan bishop shall immediately contact the bishops of the neighboring dioceses with the object of organizing a higher unit of church authority … in the event of this being impossible, the diocesan bishop must take upon himself the fullness of power.’ Point 3 of this ukase states that this higher unit of church authority must be headed by the senior of the Hierarchs.” 28
Footnote 28 refers to:
M. Rodzianko “The Truth About the Russian Church Abroad (The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)” Translated from the Russian by Michael P. Hilko, Jordanville, New York 1975 pp. 37-38
I have that book online, but without the page numbers:
Skimming through the booklet I do not find a translation of the ukase itself, but quotes from it, and I'm reminded how complicated it is… actually there were 2 ukases involved, – and to understand this we also need to understand the terminology – defining things like "provisional supreme authority", etc.
Basically the ukas gave the Russian Church the ability to re-establish their diocese abroad in the case of what did end up happening: the Church was captured by the evil government in 1927.
Only the MP denies the authority of the ukas. We don't need to try to determine the legality for ourselves whether the ukas is valid or not – that has already been proven by God who gave the ROCA numberless martyrs and undeniable saints such as St. John of San Francisco. The only argument there is about the ukas is: to WHAT FRAGMENT does the ukas pertain? Who has the right to apply the ukas?
RocorMP basically gave up its right in 2007 by joining the MP. They decided that whether or not they at one time had the right, that the ukas does not apply anymore anyway, (so why argue about it?) – now their philosophy is to "let bygones be bygones" and to "forgive".
The jurisdictional ecumenists (Joseph Suaiden of NFTU) say that all the fragments have a right to exercise the authority given in the ukas. But the Sister Churches witness against this idea. Despite serious attempts made by the fragments to try to establish communion with one or more of the Sister Churches, none of the Sister Churches are in communion with any of the fragments. They only recognize ROCA (under Agafangel) as being the true sole continuation of the ROCOR – and let me add, – this recognition was swift in coming after the shipwreck of the RocorMP union; and it remains unwavering thanks to God's protection. The Sister Churches all see ROCA as the only jurisdiction having the right to apply the ukaze.
Some of the fragments also say their right to existence is their (false) claim to be the Catacomb Church. But, the true Catacomb Church always recognized only the ROCA as having the right to apply the ukas and only to that particular situation in history. In early 2009 two true catacomb bishops left one of the false catacomb churches for the ROCA.
To this day both of the fragments are furious about this and continually criticize our reception of these bishops saying it was illegally done.
"Why the hundredth time to repeat what has already been discussed?"
Why? I know why... It is for maintaining the idea in their flock – they need to keep pounding it into their flock – that ROCA is "uncanonical" and commits "uncanonical acts" which is what the fragments say about us.