Prohibition № 15

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Priest Nikolai and Deacon Vasily, we are informing you that, on the basis of your admission and the deceitful action that transpired, arranged secretively so that no one would become aware of it, akin to a system of conspiratorial organizations; since for the entire Paschal week we prayed together and you knew the reason for the emptiness of the church, which was left without worshippers, and you failed to inform our humility of this. When evidence of videos appeared on the Internet regarding the participation of our parishioners from Oregon and Alaska in joint prayer with heretics in a heretical church, then our humility imposed a bishopric prohibition on those persons who participated in prayer with heretics, while others, during the conduct of the liturgy, simply and effortlessly received communion. Through such an action and deed, the Rules of the Holy Apostles were broken and defied, as were indicated in prohibition letter number 14 stating the reasons for which the bishopric prohibition followed: Canon 10 of the holy Apostles, which reads: "If any one, even in the house, prays with a person excommunicate, let him also be excommunicated". Commentary: "If anyone prays with a heretic in a church, or in a house with those who are excommunicated from the church, let he himself also be excommunicated" (Korm., Chapter 1 pg. 3) Also in canon 65 of the holy Apostles speaks ""of participation in the ecumenical movement and being in their instruction, as well as entering into a heretical church, having prayed with them, if he be a layperson, let him be excommunicated. And if he be a cleric, let him be defrocked". In the same place we find canon 45 of the Holy Apostles: "Let one who only prays with heretics be excommunicated; but if one also accepts them as clergymen, let him be defrocked". And on the basis of patristic tradition, I FORBID all those persons who prayed with heretics and communed unworthily, until their complete repentance and recognition of their misdeeds (number 14 of May 3, 2023).

Following such a notorious event, on the feast of holy glorious great martyr and the trophy-bearer George, you made an admission and I received a text with the message that: "They went there on (your) my advice and blessing!", that is, our parishioners abandoned their own church and deviated to a different jurisdiction, which has ordinations from heretics of the Nikonian movement and who call themselves Old Believers (Edinovertsy). - "For this, I accept your prohibition upon myself, and will pray at home in the meantime. Forgive me, a sinner." (Saturday - May 6th, time 13:28).

Based on the above, a very deceitful and insidious act, it turns out that by taking such an action, prior to the acceptance of the bishop's decision to impose a ban upon you, you have excommunicated yourself from the Church of Christ. Stating that you will not attend the Church, where you were ordained and married with the throne of the Lord, which was consecrated in the name of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, but that you will pray at home. Thus, at your own discretion, you have decided, at any cost, to move toward a schism. Since you do NOT seek to set an example of humility and true repentance before your flock and the Church, with this bad example you are instructing the people to follow you, to NOT attend the church of God. Such bold actions bear the scent of a schism; you exacerbate the status of your prohibition for the sake of pride, since the rules of the Church prohibit praying at home at one’s own behest. On the contrary, I urge you to attend the church of God and humbly repent, to pray to the Lord God for your conscious mistakes and to receive remission of sins in the church where you were ordained, only to NOT perform religious rites: "If any one shall teach that the house of God and the assemblies held therein are to be despised, let him be anathema" (Canon 5, Holy Council in Gangra, Korm. pg. 58). In the same place: "If any one shall hold private assemblies outside of the Church, and, despising the Church, shall presume to perform ecclesiastical acts, without the presence of a priest with consent of the bishop, let him be anathema" (Canon 6, Holy Council in Gangra). Also: "If anyone has no very grave necessity so as to keep him from church for a very long time, but does not go to church on three consecutive Sundays — three weeks — let him be cut off". Interpretation: "If anyone should be without the Church for three weeks, except for any adversity or great misfortune, if he is a cleric, let him be defrocked: if he is a lay person, let him be excommunicated" (Canon 80 of the 6th Ecumenical Council). There are also other rules that prohibit leaving one's own Church and praying at home and defecting to under the yoke of Nikonian jurisdictions. Because without the Church of God, there is no salvation.

According to this: from this moment on, on the basis of the above indicated Rules of the Holy Apostles and the Holy Fathers, WE FORBID you, father Nikolai Pimenovich Yakunin from the stole and cuffs, from liturgical service and the conduct of all church mysteries, which are allowed for a priest, including panikhidi and burials, together with your son deacon Vasily Yakunin, until your complete repentance.

I ask you to immediately return the church seal and that matushka Martha, also return the stamps for the prosphora and the Holy Lamb in order to celebrate Divine Liturgies.

Tell Deacon Vasily that I urge him to stop manipulating the people of God in our communities from Oregon and here in Alaska, to agitate and convince them to abandon their Church and move to other jurisdictions (there are witnesses to this).

Recall that the very separation from Christ's Church, which accepts the true Christ-given priesthood, is a sin equal to heresy.

"I assert and protest," says the universal teacher St. John Chrysostom, - that to make a schism in the Church is no less an evil than to fall into heresy" (Homily 11 on the epistle to the Ephes.).

"Nothing so provokes God’s anger as the division of the Church. Yea, though we have achieved ten thousand glorious acts, yet shall we, if we cut to pieces the fullness of the Church, suffer punishment no less sore than they who mangled His body ... not even the blood of martyrdom can wash out this sin" (Works, vol. 11, pg. 102).

Therefore, with sorrow in my soul and love do I call you both to sincere repentance and correction, and to cease your malicious contention, as bitter consequences from God, together with various disasters and punishments, will ensue soon. Though you may leave for other confessions and jurisdictions (ROCOR), your conscience will torment you, as both of you are FORBIDDEN before God and people.

May the God of peace and love soften your hearts which are afflicted by contention, a sin which even the blood of martyrdom cannot blot out.

Humbly Sofroniy,
Old Believer Archbishop of Australia and Canada-American, of the Belokrinitskaya hierarchy!
Nikolaevsk, Alaska, USA