Statement Concerning the Cyprianites
July 16/29, 2007
Sunday of the Holy Fathers
Revised August 1/14, 2007
As often happens, when a spiritual feat has occurred in the Church, such as when many souls have come to salvation, the evil one, the initiator of malice, incites those that are under his sway to sow confusion and slander, so as to belittle in any way possible our Savior’s accomplishments. We see this most strikingly in the lives of the many clergy and tens of thousands of faithful in the heart of Africa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda as well, who have escaped from the pernicious nets of Ecumenism and Cyprianism.
The devil has instigated one spiritually ill Bishop Ambrose of Methoni, the mouthpiece of Cyprianism, to use the internet as a means of slander against all the faithful in the Congo as well as Archbishop Gregory, to blacken the wonderful achievements which have recently been accomplished through God’s help in Africa.
Behold, he travailed in wrongdoing! He conceived toil and brought forth lawlessness. (Psalm 7:14)
To this end, Bishop Ambrose has made three devastating allegations. First, he alleges that the Congolese clergy were financially enticed by Archbishop Gregory to sever their affiliations with the Cyprianite heresy, which was condemned in 1983 by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Anathema. Bishop Ambrose furthermore seeks to slander said Congolese clergy by bringing into question the validity of their orders. Lastly, he has declared, “for no apparent reason” the Congolese Clergy and faithful have left their lawful Cyprianite bishop.
Let this statement be affirmed as the truth before Almighty God that not one priest, not one deacon, not one subdeacon nor reader, was offered any monetary recompense or ecclesiastic promises to leave the Cyprianite heresy and join the true Orthodox Church. By contradicting this fact, Bishop Ambrose is, in fact, blaspheming the Holy Spirit, Who moved so many people to understand the heresy of Ecumenism and Cyprianism and to make decisive actions to unite with a canonical Bishopric. For Bishop Ambrose to say that for no “apparent reason” these clergy left the heretical Cyprianite church is the height of senselessness and down right stupidity. These clergymen are far more advanced in their understanding and love of Orthodoxy than he ever will be.
The Church in Congo understands the heresy of Ecumenism, and, on their own account, came to the accepted conclusion that Cyprianism is an offshoot of this heresy. Cyprian affirms that the heretical Ecumenists are still part of the Church, and thereby is condemned by the Ecumenical Councils and the teachings of the holy Fathers. Because of this he was justly and canonically deposed by the Church that he was a member of. Therefore, according to the teachings of Orthodoxy, the man is no longer a bishop and those whom he has ordained, like this miserable Ambrose, are not bishops at all. Rather than a Synod, Cyprian has created a graceless parasynagogue, or we more accurately describe them as a mob of men whose minds are rendered dysfunctional through their profane education. The above is not said recklessly, for these so-called “bishops” have scarred many innocent souls, not only in the United States, but also in Europe and Africa.
Also, Ambrose’s assertions that the clergy were married multiple times is utterly absurd. The slanders in this respect have centered on Archpriest Chrysostom of Kananga who was married in the 1970s and was ordained in the Patriarchate of Alexandria in the 1980s. Father Chrysostom has remained with his one wife all these years and has had ten children out of this holy union.
It is evident that Bishop Ambrose’s proliferation of falsehoods is a final effort to retain those few poor souls left in his heretical establishment by rendering the evil of slander on the Congolese Clergy and faithful. Shame on him for this evil.
As was recorded last year in 2006, we recall that Archbishop Gregory asked the fathers in Congo if there was anyway that we might be able to help them because of their poverty. There were various requests: some asked for money for food and a cell phone. Another requested money for a motorcycle so he could travel such great distances to serve the parishes in far away villages. Another priest requested funds to help educate his children and help feed them. All of this moved Archbishop Gregory so that when he returned to America he made a plea to his faithful who were not only in America but also abroad that if it were possible, they should send something every month to help the faithful in the Congo. This plea did not go unanswered. The faithful donated continuously so that the monastery was able to send to the clergy in the Congo over $14,000. This money has been incrementally sent every month since Archbishop Gregory’s first trip, which amounted to approximately $100 to each priest and around $60 for each deacon.
In 2007, Archbishop Gregory returned to the Congo and the clergy rendered an accounting of how they had used their support funds. All of them consistently reported that the first thing they used the money for was for food for their families. Then they gave some of the money to widows and orphans. Then they said that some of the money was spent on the education of their children, because in the Congo one must buy ones own books as well as pay to enroll ones children in school, since there is no public education system. There was report of a prison ministry of which also taxed the alloted funds. After all these expenditures, there were no funds remaining to buy cell phones or motorcycles, et cetera; so clergy have continued to walk tens of kilometers to serve and visit parishes in the remote villages of Congo. Let this prove to us the dedication and determination of these Congolese clergy. Without exception, all the clergy expressed their sincere thanks for this monetary assistance regardless whether they or their families benefited or to the contrary.
During his 2007 visit, for the first time Archbishop Gregory, out of curiosity, decided to ask the fathers if they had received any monetary assistance from their previous illegitimate and profane hierarchy, since Cyprian is noted for the abundance of his wealth. He asked first the clergymen from Kinshasa if there was any monetary assistance given to them previously. They told him that a priest could expect nothing more than $50 every two years. In Kananga and Tshikapa the Archbishop posed the question a second time. They all answered with the same answer: $50 every two years. Finally, when the Archbishop went to Uganda and received the medical doctor Father Joachim and Fr. Cyprian, they also replied with the same answer: $50 every two years. This amount breaks down to fifty cents a week, which is not enough for a human being to even purchase a soft drink in these countries, let alone survive. The inhumanity was shocking to the Archbishop.
Let no one think that these suffering clergy did not ask for help, for on the many occasions that they pleaded for assistance, “Please help us, we are suffering here”, the response from the tyrant Ambrose was that, “We are as poor as you are....this is all we can give you.” However, the clergy knew that they were being lied to, since some had been brought to Greece and visited the center of the Synod of Resistance, the Cyprianites, in Fili, to see that these bishops were living in great luxury, with gold plated door knobs, and where they were building a multi-million dollar church to replace the one that was destroyed by the earthquake a few years ago, among other things. To justify their cruelty with the words, “We are as poor as you are” is certainly one of the most dehumanizing and demoralizing statements a supposed Christian can make to one supposedly of his own church.
“My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds thrust them out, they caused them to wander on the mountains: they went from mountain to hill, they forgot their resting-place.” (Jeremias 27:6)
The people in Africa heard the word of Orthodoxy and they accepted it even though it came through the lying mouth of the perverse. Now these faithful have understood that bad seed was planted by tyrants and unworthy hierarchy. Nevertheless, God, Who seeks those who are lost, did not abandon these sincere, God-seeking souls to be utterly destroyed in the hands of the wretched Cyprianites, but, in His great mercy brought to them a bishop of the Genuine Orthodox Church who answered the call of Jesus Christ, “Do not begin to go into the way of the nations...But go rather to the sheep, the lost of the house of Israel.” (St. Matt. 10:5-6).
The underlying root which has given birth to such inhumane treatment of so many sincere people is demonic deception, prelest. It begins with Cyprian himself, who is completely convinced of his holiness. He is the only “bishop” in the world who has cultivated sufficient spiritual pride to have an icon already painted of himself. This fact in itself makes abundantly clear to anyone that the leader of this “Synod” is a sick individual. What can be said of his disciples, like Ambrose or the whole of his organization?
We thank God that the clergy and the faithful of Congo and Uganda have freed themselves from the error of heresy. Thank God that He has given us the strength to help these sincere souls. Amen.
From the Chancellery of the Genuine Orthodox Church of America