The following is an open letter to Gavin Newsom, Governor of California from His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America in light of the decree issued by the Governor of California that forbids choral singing in churches:
I hereby express my protest against the recent prohibition of liturgical singing in houses of worship, which is an infringement of the rights and religious freedoms of the clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Diaspora, the other Local Orthodox Churches, performing their ministry in this state, as well as other religious bodies.
During the years of Soviet rule, when the Russian Orthodox Church was subjected to persecution, Russian émigrés and their descendants comprising the Russia Church Abroad, came to the United States of America and other countries overseas, in order to freely confess their Orthodox Faith, to freely perform Divine Services, to observe the feast days, fasts and all the customs established by the Orthodox Church. In this manner, they followed the example of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, who sought the possibility of freely confessing their faith.
From the very beginning of the current global outbreak of the coronavirus the clergy and faithful of our Diocese, desiring to preserve the health of the population and stop the spread of the coronavirus, and respecting those in power, rigorously strove to adhere to all the standard norms and restrictions introduced by local health authorities. Even though they were deprived of the reverent Divine Services of Great Lent and the joyous celebration of the Triumph of the Holy Resurrection, our parishioners were sympathetic to our directives, attending our churches “virtually.” However, we now observe a contradiction in that mass protests take place everywhere, at which absolutely all precautions are violated with impunity. Yet, liturgical singing performed during the Divine Services and while observing all of the rules, is forbidden. This is open discrimination, hypocrisy and the infringement of our religious rights, prompting us to recall the era of godless persecutions in the USSR.
Nonetheless, we will continue to pray with gratitude “for this land, its authorities and armed forces,” and “for this city, every city and country and all who in faith dwell therein.” Yet, at the same time, we will defend the rights of our clergy and our parishioners who possess full citizenship in the United States of America.
+KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad
The archbishop does value our Constitution. He fled the Soviets and sees that we are heading in that direction. Trumpovsky, maybe those who don’t value our Constitutional rights, like the First Amendment, should go to a country that does not have such rights. We should all be thankful we’re here. But, let’s not let our country be run by unelected leftists, whether “health officers” or justices of the Supreme Court. At least in Russia they know which restrooms to use and that there are only two genders. Oh, and did you notice, the weather warmed up and the virus is still here?
“The virus will disappear as the weather warms up.”?
I think that you are getting fake news. It is warming up and the infection and death rates, here in California and across the country, are sky high these days.
Didn’t help with the border crossings and riots either. Maybe the sky high are due to that… yea think…..
Playing the victim card is never pretty, especially when lives are at stake.
YFC, do you really think the archbishop wants to put the lives of his flock at risk?
And, you and I have likely never been true victims of totalitarianism like he has.
He is standing up for religious liberty.
No one is forced to worship in an Orthodox cathedral (or Catholic church or mosque or synagogue or any other place of worship). Those who are concerned for their health may stay at home and pray.
No of course I don’t think he wants to put the lives of his flock at risk, but he is. He is also putting at risk people he doesn’t even know. That is called remote participation in evil.
Who is he putting at risk? Those who want to attend services in their large cathedral?
No one is obligated to attend. You and others are free to remain at home and pray.
Those who want to attend likely still go to grocery stores and drug stores.
If the archbishop agreed to recite, rather than chant, the Liturgy, would you be okay with that?
(Some Orthodox bishops have already granted pastors in California permission to recite the Liturgy.)
Give me a break. This is nothing more than an excuse to shut the Churches down. Riots didn’t seem to bother pro-abort Newsom and border crossings…
Thank you, Your Eminence. I have been blessed to have attended Saturday and Sunday vespers at the cathedral on Geary Boulevard several times and have been deeply impressed. I wish you and your Faithful all success. Stronger push back from Catholic bishops across the state would certainly be appreciated by their Faithful.
Russian padre muy huevon
Viva Cristo Rey !
Thank you Archbishop. I wish more of our Catholic bishops had the moral strength to speak out against the our religious liberties that are slowly being taken away.
Any theories as to why Orthodox bishops are generally more likely to speak up than Catholic bishops?
I think it may have to do with their devotion to Scripture and Tradition and being less concerned about current social and political events.
Of course, that doesn’t apply entirely to evangelical Protestant leaders who also often speak up. While they don’t usually value tradition much, they do value the Bible.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is a KGB/FSB agent (code-name Mikhailov).
Hymie, of course! How could we have forgotten that every Ruskie is a spy and bad guy?!
And, since the San Francisco archbishop’s name is spelled almost the same, that’s proof that he’s a spy too.
He probably wants to chant just to kill Americans.
They’re probably Masons as well.
. . . as was his predecessor Alexy II (code-name Drozdov).
Hymie (code-name Hymie), guilt by association for the Orthodox archbishop of San Francisco (code-name “the bearded one”)?
One foggy Saturday night, he was seen carrying an umbrella. Watch out for the poisoned tip!
Are all Russian Orthodox clergy KGB/FSB agents?
Thanks for enlightening all of us. (Code-name ignorant hoi polloi)
Hymie, you forgot to tell us that the First Lady (code-name FLOTUS) must be a Russian spy too. She was born in Slovenia when it was still part of Soviet-dominated Yugoslavia. Probably pretty much every Eastern European or someone with an Eastern European sounding name (code-name Can’t Spell That Name) must be a spy.
. . . as were the other two candidates in Kirill’s ‘election’ to Primate: Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk (code-name Ostrovsky) and Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga (code-name Topaz).
. . . as was a former President of the World Council of Churches, Metropolitan Nikodim (code-name Adamant).
i is a Russo-phile but the original Hymie be correct
moscow patriarch be KGB, jes like Putin
that said, good folks @ russian orthodox monastery
saved home of Catholic deacon from burning down
in infamous Thomas fire Ventura county
also – say what u want,
the Russian church in the Richmond, on Geary
IS beautiful !!!