“An evil faith and a false church is arising.”
(Saint Theophan the Recluse)
This, for example, is what Vladyka Averky said in his welcoming speech to Metropolitan Philaret on his name day, December 1/14, 1967: “We are going through a terrible time. But not only because the forces of world evil are gaining a greater and greater hold over the world, but still more because – terrible to say! – many highly-placed hierarchs of the Church of Christ are carrying out a very real betrayal of our holy faith and Church. Some completely new epoch in Christianity is being proclaimed. They are thinking to create new church into which not only all the Orthodox must enter, but also the heterodox, and even the Muslims, Jews, and pagans. They are even talking about some kind of “dialogue” with the atheists! In this way, instead of the true faith and the true Church, a false faith or, in the expression of our great Spirit-bearing lamp, Bishop Theophan the Recluse, an evil faith and a false church, is arising.
“And it is in these terrible times that we wish to see in your person our steadfast and unshakeable spiritual leader inspiring us all for the holy struggle – the holy battle – for the true faith and the true Church against this false faith and false church.
“That’s what we want!.. And only this!”
“We must make a decisive break with ecumenism, and we must not have anything in communion with its co-travellers,” wrote Vladyka Averky in 1969. “Our path is not theirs. We must say this decisively and show it in our deeds. A time of genuine confession is coming for us, a time when will perhaps remain alone and will be in the position of being persecuted. Insofar as all the Orthodox Local Churches have now entered into the ranks of the ‘World Council of Churches’ and have thereby betrayed Orthodoxy and bowed down to satan, the time of our complete isolation has come. We cannot and we must not have any communion with apostates from True Orthodoxy, and we must be ready, if required, to depart into the “catacombs”, like the “True Orthodox Christians” in our homeland.
“Our position as fighters and confessors of the pure and undefiled truth of Christ places us under great obligation, more than at any time in the past.
“We must always remember that a true pastor of the true Church of Christ can never and must never have any other interests besides pure zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of the souls of his flock – to this and this alone must all his thoughts, all his feelings and all his activity be always directed.”
St. Philaret fulfilled these wishes of the Holy Hierarch Averky to the fullest!