Saturday, June 27, 2015

St. Sergius Theological Institute suspends operations

Please forgive this robo-translated passage from a much larger declaration [DECLARATION DE L'INSTITUT SAINT-SERGE (16 juin 2015)].

8. This is the inviolable right of the St Sergius Institute, higher private educational institution recognized by the State and governed by a free association of law 1901 which, de facto , can legally raise the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe, which is a diocesan union of religious associations of the 1905 Act This is also the imperative duty of the St Sergius Institute, in view of the pan-Orthodox mission he accomplished over ninety years in the service of all, the Committee and the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of France, of all the Orthodox Churches in the world and first of the Ecumenical Throne has always guaranteed up today, freedom of the Institute as an expression of its own radiation.

9. This period of suspension of regular education on site will be developed in compliance with the students concerned and the proper pursuit of their studies that will make possible our various cooperation agreements with sister institutions and the maintenance of theological training by correspondence. But this period is mainly used, ninety years after our founding, our thinking overhaul for the next ninety years by adapting the spirit of our origins to current challenges. Throughout fiscal 2015-2016, the Institute, thus escaping the deleterious paralysis in which Archbishop Job of Telmessos works to the dive, do remain nonetheless a lively place, open to all and preparing his future. That all those who have continued to accompany and help are fully assured of our commitment to return perpetuate our vocation. We also invite to participate in our reflection on the future of the Institute.

10. This decision therefore not equivalent to a withdrawal of the Church, but a defense of the Church. It certainly is a risk of marginalization or even disappearance, which nevertheless seemed a lesser evil in terms of the canonical asphyxiation business and ideological diversion led by Mgr Job Getcha. For we are not fighting for ourselves but for the testimony of faith. Thus, it would be better for the Institute no longer exist rather than surrender to a spiritual death that would result in the continuation of his name as he would have lost his identity.

11. Because we want lively St. Sergius, we dare ask, respectfully but trust, His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, which we know how deep their attachment to the Institute, so they give us the spiritual and canonical support that will enable us to continue our mission in a climate of authentic ecclesial communion, legal compliance and human dignity. And that, in turn and in their name we can communicate "living water" of Orthodox theology to any woman and any man "who feels thirst" (Rev 22, 17).

12. Endorsing the definition of Father Sergius Bulgakov which at the same time of the establishment of the Institute and was its first Dean, declared that "Orthodoxy, to be itself, can not be only richness of faith and life by faith, but must be as prophecy, "we make our own finally the word of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, and say with him:" Thanks be to God for everything. "
Complete article here.


  1. I read the headline, figured "Insufficient students and financing," but read on and obviously something more complicated is happening here. If you can clarify/summarize that would be great.

  2. For more on the rather dire situation in the EP's Russian Archdiocese in Western Europe, see here: (of course, this is only one side of what's going on, but still...)

  3. Thanks, very helpful. The site is mostly in French, but they've posted what I think is an English version (not Google Translate English) of the same open letter:

  4. It is my hope that Patriarch Bartholemew will respond to the Institut's request for spiritual and canonical sponsorship, because the life and thought of the Ecumenical Patriarch better accords with the historical spirit and mission of the Institut anyway. Other like-minded and like-hearted voices in the Orthodox world ought to weigh in on this issue as well: Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, the faculty of St. Vladimir's, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Metropolitan Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui), etc. Given the spiritual and intellectual heritage that the institute has engendered, it would be a shame to lose this continuity because of sectarian politics.