Much space is devoted to the ecclesiastical developments in Georgia of the past year. Mention is made that the official Georgian Orthodox Church was compelled to withdraw from the World Council of Churches at the insistence of its more zealous members. Attention is given to the recent official pronouncement by the Georgian Orthodox Church that many of the ecumenical resolutions of the WCC (which the Georgian Patriarchate had approved at the time) are now "unacceptable." Credit is given to the State Church of Georgia for having taken these "steps in the direction of the Orthodoxy of the Holy Fathers, to which Pravoslavnaya Rus has constantly called upon people to return," yet it is also shown that once again this decision too was reached under pressure from the zealous monastics.
While discussing the Georgian Orthodox Church, the editors also inform their readers that: "Unfortunately, the Georgian monastics who had seceded from Patriarch Ilia, have joined the parasynogogue formed by former clergy of the ROCA, the so-called Bostonians. This sad fact reminds us that the danger of falling into spiritual calamity lies in wait for Christians even on the right path."
The editors correctly state that "eucharistic unity is impossible without doctrinal unity," and then conclude by offering their readers the following reassurance:
In its January-April, 1987 issue, Church Life, a ROCOR periodical, published the Decisions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Among its other deliberations, the ROCOR bishops officially commended Archpriest Alexander Lebedev for his "written defenses of the position of the Russian Church Outside Russia in connection with the Boston schism." Completely contrary to what Pravoslavnaya Rus asserts in its above-mentioned 1998 issue, the letters of Fr. Alexander Lebedev?officially and synodically commended by the ROCOR bishops?state that it is permitted to the ROCOR clergy to give communion to members of new calendar and ecumenistic jurisdictions!
Which of these two pronouncements is true?
Unfortunately, this is not the only example of the ROCOR’s theological "double-speak."
After the repose of Metropolitan Philaret, the ROCOR issued many false communiques concerning the large exodus of clergy and laypeople from its ranks in 1986. And this, in fact, raises the question: Are the communiques and statements of the ROCOR hierarchy really trustworthy?
A look at some examples of these statements will give us the answer.
In 1983, the ROCOR bishops published the anathema against Ecumenism, specifically against those who "advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism." But in 1986, an article published in Orthodox America (Oct., 1986) presented a different story.
In the fall of 1986, a clergy conference of the Mid-West Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad took place at the parish of St. John Chrysostom in St. Louis, Missouri. The discussions were presided over by Bishop Alypy of Cleveland. A report of this meeting was published in the above-mentioned issue of Orthodox America, in which the following comments were recorded:
Later, in 1991, Fr. Seraphim Johnson, a priest who left the ROCOR almost a year after the clergy that left in 1986, wrote the following observations to a layman.
But recently, in the Epistle of the Council of ROCOR Bishops of May, 1998, the following bald-faced and completely untrue statement was made: "The Council of Bishops finds it necessary to make clear that our Church has never held any negotiations concerning union with the Moscow Patriarchate"! [emphasis added].
Then, a little later, the bulletin Church News (June-July, 1998) published an article entitled, "A Few Words About the ‘Non-Existent’ Negotiations of the ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate," with the following information:
Archbishop Theophan declared: "First of all, from the very start we agreed that we are one Church, and not two, or even two confessions. This was Vladyka Mark’s idea ? to speak of one Church and two dioceses, which, truly, are in a rather delicate situation. . . In general, I see no legal obstacles [i.e., to collaboration, Ed.]. The only problem is the manner of entrance of the Church Abroad into the Moscow Patriarchate, maybe some sort of reunion, I don’t know what to call it. I am afraid to make definitions, which might frighten someone. . . All of it might be decided in one day [Emphasis by Church News] After our dialogues, I do not see what can seriously separate us. Of course, one can invent anything, but there are no serious obstacles for reunion. . ."
Such is the authoritative opinion of a hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate, who held negotiations with a representative of the ROCOR, Archbishop Mark.
Archbishop Mark, in turn, made the following statement: "In some questions we could rather quickly come to a common denominator, and in others problems arose, which we did not anticipate. . . Therefore, we have to strive to transfer the discussion onto Russian soil [Emphasis by Church News]. The idea of such discussion was born in our diocese, but at some time we received a blessing from the Council of Bishops of our Church" [Emphasis by Church News].
Where is the truth in all these self-contradictory pronouncements?
As Metropolitan Vitaly stated in the above-mentioned interview: "Among the [ROCOR] clergy there is a lack of understanding, a lack of knowledge."
Given these theological zig-zags, should this "lack of understanding and knowledge" among the ROCOR clergy (and laity) surprise anyone?
 Cf. Ecclesiastes 1:6 — “The wind goes round
and round, and the wind returns to its circuits.”
 See “An Unacceptable Resolution,” issued recently by the clergy of the Orthodox Church in Georgia (i.e. of the True Orthodox Church) against the above-mentioned official pronouncement of the Georgian Patriarchate.
 Editors’s Note: Actually, there was an official reaction from Bishop Hilarion, the Assistant Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR. In a letter to Matushka Anastasia Schatilova (2/15 October, 1988), Bishop Hilarion ordered her to print a retraction of her report of this wedding, and he affirmed that a “thorough investigation” had demonstrated that her report did “not correspond to reality.” However, a video-tape of the wedding showed clearly that the service had indeed taken place as she reported it.
 Quoted in The Free Russian Orthodox Church: A Short History (1982-1998), by Vladimir Moss, p. 42.