Letter of Metropolitan JOHN to Metropolitan Raphael Concerning Name-Worshipping
July 25, 2014
October 6, 2014

By request of the Metropolitan, we are reiterating the following for clergy and faithful of our Metropolia:

1. The heresy of Name-Worshipping or Onomatodoxy (Russian: Имяславие, Имябожие) was condemned by word and Epistle by the Holy Russian Synod in 1913, and Patriarchs St Tikhon of Moscow and Germanus of Constantinople wrote various Epistles against it.
2. Onomatodoxy is a gross and intentional distortion of the teaching of St Gregory Palamas and various Holy Fathers, and soils the name of the very Orthodox Church it fraudulently deigns to represent.
3. Onomatodoxy has never, at any time, nor at any place, been the teaching of the Church. It is false teaching.
4. We reiterate that our own Metropolitan, as an archimandrite in 1978, was advised to make clear the difference between the heresy of Onomatodoxy and the Orthodox teaching in the naming of our Synodical monastic center, the Abbey of the Holy Name, in one of a number of discussions with Metropolitan St Philaret and Father George (later Bishop Gregory) Grabbe.

Consequently, those who have been swayed by this heresy are hereby forbidden from communion in our churches until their repentance before the Church. While we have always used economy in the reception of faithful from other True Orthodox jurisdictions, the rise of this heresy among those who once claimed an Orthodox confession of faith requires us to act. Those who hold to this false belief who, approaching the Sacred Mystery of Communion in Churches of our Metropolia, will not be granted it.


For a detailed refutation of the heresy of Name-Worshipping, please click here.


For H.B. Metropolitan JOHN’s Further Response to Metropolitan Raphael of Moscow on the matter, please click here.