(Updated 8/27/2018 OS)
The following represents a concise statement, in the form of a Clergy Confession, of the beliefs of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles, concerning the important issues that face the Church today, i.e., ecumenism, modernism, and Sergianism. This was approved as a sufficient statement by Metropolitan John.
For Priests and Clergy who Desire to be united under, or are under, the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolitan Church of North and South America and the British Isles of the Milan Synod
(a) The Encyclical of 1920 of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, “To the Churches of Christ Wheresoever They May Be,” proclaims that the union with the (heretical) churches of the West is not impeded “by the existing dogmatic differences” and that this union is desirable and seemly, and that one of the first steps towards its accomplishment is “the acceptance of a common calendar so that all the Churches may celebrate the great Christian feasts simultaneously…”;
(b) the ecumenistic innovation of the calendar change also cultivated the ground for the steps that followed, such as the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964 in Jerusalem, and all the subsequent acts and heretical pronouncements which were made “with bared head”;
(c) the “lifting” of the Anathema against the Papacy in 1965 is not a true lifting, in that the Papacy has not renounced its heresies, but, to the contrary, it places under its Anathema even the “Orthodox,” according to the dictum of the Fathers, “If anyone does not anathematize all heretics, let his portion be with theirs”;
(d) the enrollment of a Church as a member of the World Council of Churches altogether, or at the very least implicitly, constitutes an acceptance of the Branch Theory and a denial of Orthodox ecclesiology and faith, by virtue of the acts of common prayers, pronouncements, and even concelebrations and giving of Sacraments to heterodox; as such these in themselves constitute a proclamation of heresy as the holy Fathers of this past age have confirmed and explicated. For if the Holy Fathers and Saintly men of God, in this age of mass apostasy wherein the possibility of any council being called is unlikely, have in the prophetic Spirit of God declared the Branch Theory and the Theory of Ecumenism, and not only its praxis, but its exposition to be heresy, who are we to resist our betters in the Gospel. How can one deny the proclamations of the Orthodox teaching by the luminaries such as the Holy Fathers Philaret of New York, Averky of Jordanville, Justin of Celije, and many others?
(a) Sergianism is the evil teaching that allows the subjugation of the Church authorities to atheist and God-hating forces, and is embodied in the much condemned declaration of Metropolitan Sergius, the soi-disant Patriarch of Moscow;
(b) The teachings and practice of Sergianism are contrary to the evangelical law of the Gospel and the Apostolic Doctrine, and their expressions found in the Sacred Canons of the Ecumenical and Local Synods of the Catholic and Apostolic Church;
(c) The Holy Fathers of the much suffering Church in Russia condemned it (i.e., Sergianism) with equal vigor to their condemnation of ecumenism; and their successors, who suffer under Sergianist-Ecumenist domination still suffer persecution, kidnapping, seizing of churches, and even death threats by the organization which calls itself the Moscow Patriarchate; sitting as it does in the temples of God, being an abomination of desolation.
(a) The introduction of the Gregorian calendar brought disastrous consequences into the liturgical order and harmony of the Church and created a schism;
(b) The acceptance of the secular calendar as an acceptable Church calendar by the innovating and schismatic hierarchs stands in opposition to the law of God in that, according to St. Theodore the Studite, “No authority has been given to the hierarchy to transgress in any matter whatsoever that which is the rule, but [it has power only] to continue in that which has been passed down and to follow in the steps of the those who have gone before”;
(c) The faithful people of God acted in a manner pleasing to God when it rejected this innovation, because, according to St. Cyprian of Carthage, “He that separates and divides the Church of Christ cannot possess the robe of Christ”;
(d) The Pan-Orthodox Councils (such as those of 1583, 1587, and 1593 under the Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias the Illustrious, and the Council of 1848 under the Ecumenical Patriarch Anthimus) have forbidden and condemned the change or alteration of the calendar, saying, “Whosoever does not follow the customs of the Church . . . and wishes to follow the new-fangled Paschalion and new Menologion of the ungodly astronomers of the Pope, and set himself in opposition in all these matters, and wishes to overturn and to destroy the doctrines handed down by our Fathers and the Customs of the Church, let him be under anathema, and let him be outside of the Church of Christ and the Assembly of the Faithful”-the Council of 1583
This section has been superseded by the Synodal Chancery Statement Regarding the Pre-Agreement of 2018 between the First Hierarchs of the Communion of True Orthodox Hierarchs of 8/27/2018 (OS). For historical purposes, it can be read below the confession.
(a) Furthermore, modernism must be rejected as contrary in all points to the One True Faith, the Holy Catholic Church, the Apostolic Deposit, and the simple Orthodox Christian Faith. Modernism teaches that the Scriptures, especially of the Old Testament, were not written by the authors that the Scriptures and Holy Fathers attribute them to. The Holy Ghost, Being Himself God, inerrantly and infallibly exercised His authority by speaking through Holy Men of old, in both the Old and New Testaments, from Prophet and Law-Giver Moses to the Blessed Apostle and Evangelist John, and He (the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, a Person of the Holy Trinity, God Himself) expressed His Truth in the Scriptures, and He exercised His guidance for the written Word of God against error clearly in the writings of the Holy and God-bearing Fathers of the true Orthodox Christian Faith.
(b) Therefore, the Holy Fathers taught correctly, in approved consensus, in saying that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch, Isaias the author of all of his book, and Daniel of his, and all such as was proclaimed. As well, as all those books of the Old Testament being those which the Church has received.
(c) And, that these works are not vainly invented fables, legends, and baseless stories ( for the Blessed Apostle Peter says, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,”), but the factual truth and commonly understood meaning as allowed by the Holy Fathers and the general consensus of the saints, who proclaimed the Will of God. This further includes the authorships of the Gospels and Epistles, and other New Testament books.
(d) Furthermore, the Holy Ecumenical Councils, their Canons and Decrees, and the Tradition received concerning Our Most Pure Sovereign Lady the Theotokos and Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary are to be received, as commonly understood and applied by the Church, being guided by the Holy Ghost, and proved by the Spirit in the lives of countless godly and saintly men and women, not the least of which were our Fathers Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Meletius of Antioch, Hilary of Poiters, Cyril of Alexandria, Anatolios of Constantinople, Leo the Great, Eustacia of Chalcedon, Gregory of Tours, Gregory the Dialogus, Patriarch Eustichios of Constantinople, Maximus the Confessor, Martin the Confessor, Taraisios of Constantinople, Photios the Great, Gregory Palamas, as well as the Defender of the Faith, Mark of Ephesus, and countless other holy ones, whose unanimous consent reflects the movement of the Holy Ghost in expounding the Orthodox Catholic ChristianTruth. As such, their decisions are not subject to review or reinterpretation outside of the purely non-dogmatic minor economies allowed by consensus of the Holy Fathers;
(e) Therefore, Nestorius was a Nestorian, Dioscorus and Severus Monophysites, Honorius a Monothelite, the wicked Isaurian an iconoclast, Barlaam a non-Orthodox thinker and fighter against Grace, and the Roman Catholics and Protestants expounders of heretical doctrines;
(f) Therefore, all the successors to these heresies must accept the canons, decrees, decisions, anathemas, and teachings of all Seven Ecumenical Synods, the Local Synods approved by them, and all the Pan-Orthodox Synods which confirmed the Truth; for these groups are separated from the Pillar and Ground of Truth, which is the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, Guardian by the pure mercy and Grace of God, of the Orthodox Faith; for we can only confess ourselves to be unworthy servants;
THEREFORE, I confess that I accept all of the forgoing, as well as rejecting every ecclesiastical and liturgical relation or association with the non-Orthodox bodies and the modernist/ecumenist Patriarchates and those who are in communion with them. I confess and proclaim with the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod: “We follow the ancient traditions of the Catholic Church. We keep the institutions of the Fathers. We anathematize those who add anything or subtract anything from the Catholic Church.” I confess that I am joined and united to the saving and true Orthodox Church, under the jurisdiction of His Beatitude, John, Archbishop of New York and New Jersey, Metropolitan of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles, under whose spiritual guidance and omophor I shall be.
Section 4 (Part of the Confession from 2011 onwards but ultimately superseded by Synodal Chancery Statement of 8/27/2018)