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March 7/20, 1979
V. Rev. George Grabbe
15 East 93rd Street
New York, New York

Dear Father George:

Thank you for your reply to my recent letter concerning the letter I have written to Bishop Laurus. It was my understanding that it was to have been placed on the agenda of the September Sobor of Bishops.

Father, please bear with me as I try to reconstruct what has happened. An entire year has passed since I sent my letter to Bishop Laurus. (The letter was dated February 19/March 4, 1978.) As of this date I have yet to receive a reply from him. However, I did receive a response from you (March 1/14, 1978) in which you did inform me that you had transmitted to the Metropolitan the essence of my letter to Bishop Laurus and that His Eminence had ordered both letters (Bishop Laurus' and my own) to be placed on the agenda of the next Sobor of Bishops. I felt assured and relieved by your letter that these items were to be discussed by the Synod of Bishops -- all the more so since these matters were not of a personal nature and were not personal grievances of myself against Bishop Laurus. The issues pertained to our very confession of the Faith and our acknowledgement of the uniqueness of our Holy Church.

For some time after the September Sobor I waited to learn of a resolution of the issues discussed in the letters. Finally, in January of this year, I had the opportunity to ask our own diocesan bishop, Vladika Nektary, if the letters had been discussed at the Sobor. He replied that he knew nothing of it; however, he had missed several meetings because of pressing family matters. At that point he picked up the telephone and called Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco to determine what action, if any, had been taken in regard to the letters. Archbishop Anthony said that the items had not been discussed. We were shocked and disappointed.

The letter we wrote was a serious letter for us to compose. We approached it with hesitation and prayer, yet for the sake of the souls entrusted to us and for the sake of our own souls did we write it, expecting some sort of response.

Frankly, we feel that in view of the continued pro-ecumenical written remarks of Archbishop Antony of Geneva and his unchecked activities in regard to the "official churches" and his attitude that the Soviet Church is truly a Church of Christ, that a reply to my letter is mandated. The other clergy who were aware of my letter to Bishop Laurus have repeatedly asked me about what response I have received from the Synod. In view of the great esteem in which I hold you personally, I could not at the time share with them your reply to me, in which you indicate that the deliberations of the Sobor are not made public so that laymen will not be able to condemn or discuss them. Father, since I am not a layman and did not plan to publish your reply, I am puzzled as to why I was not informed of any decisions which were made on this matter. It is my fervent hope that a real response to my letter will be forthcoming from the Synod.


Fr. Neketas