Aleksandr Schmemann (1921-83), perhaps, the greatest Renovationist heretic of the 20th Century, still the guiding light of the gibbering pseudo-intellectuals in the OCA (sadly, some in the ROCOR, too).
Professor Osipov questioned the usefulness of reading the works of this modernist priest…
The official publication of the Yekaterinburg diocese Православная газета (The Orthodox Newspaper) reported that Aleksei Osipov, Doctor of Theology, Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy (MDA) expressed his opinions on the works of the famous modernist theologian, Protopresbyter Aleksandr Schmemann, on a live TV broadcast on the Союз (Union) channel. In response to a question on whether it’s useful to read the Schmemann’s books, he said, “It depends on what you’re looking for… What does it mean that something’s useful to read? It’s useful to walk down the street and observe things. It’s useful to go to museums and libraries. What does ‘useful to read’ mean? What criterion do you use to test such ‘usefulness?’ That’s what one needs to talk about. However, if you ask from a Christian perspective about ‘usefulness’, it’s all the things that help to change our lives, to change what’s wrong and sinful. Therefore, we have to ask, ‘Do these books change our life’s path for the better?’ Schmemann, I would say, was a very clever man, a man of very high intellect. Moreover, his reasoning, his rationality, in human terms, is somewhat attractive. He was clever, I would give him that, but he, unfortunately, was clueless in his understanding of the spiritual life. In his diary, he wrote frankly, ‘I can’t accept Brianchaninov or Feofan the Recluse. My soul isn’t in contact with them, they don’t speak to me’. Therefore, please, ask yourself if reading Schmemann helps you to change your life or not? You should use this criterion to judge his output”, Aleksei Ilyich rightly noted.
The well-known Church journalist Igor Druz has written the most detailed in-depth analysis of Schmemann’s works. In his opinion, “The books of Protopresbyter Aleksandr Schmemann are vague and incredibly ambiguous, they’re incompatible with the letter and spirit of the Gospel and the Fathers, which always clearly define sin, and clearly distinguish between light and darkness, sin and righteousness, and hell and reward. His books negate these concepts and words through silence, such concepts are absolutely out of bounds for his disciples. Fr Aleksandr actually tried to abolish the very concept of truth, he constantly stated mutually illogical contentions, blasphemed fasting and prayer, and looked down on saints, ascetics, and confessors of Christ’s Faith. Moreover, each of these blasphemous attacks dissolved into sentimental maunderings about Christ and an incomprehensible ‘Primitive Christianity’. The danger in Schmemann’s books, especially his Diaries, lies not only in the fact that he openly slandered the Church and our motherland, he also wanted to introduce destructive ‘reforms’ in the Church. In general, he tried to undo the truth as such, artfully blending truth and lies. All of his books fly in the face of solid criteria of good and evil. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (The Gospel According to St Matthew 5.37). All of his anti-clerical statements hide behind such masquerades as ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘possibly’, and ‘apparently’”.
11 August 2010
Благодатный Огонь (Blessed Fire)
A priestly friend sent on some interesting links… this is the only one that I had time to translate. For those who have facility in Russian, there’s also:
Both are GOOD reads!
A Comment from a Correspondent:
Here’s something from one of my “regulars”:
I was reading something so amusing that I couldn’t resist the temptation to share it. It is from a long post of a Romanian “Patrologist” living in France. “This country (France) saved Orthodoxy from rotting over the last seventy years. We shouldn’t forget that, thanks to Russian émigrés of exceptional valour that settled on the banks of the Seine after the Bolshevik Revolution, Orthodoxy could stand tall”. I needn’t tell you who those “exceptional Russians” were.
Hmm… I think that they mean “exceptional” people like the arch-heretic Sergei Bulgakov (one of the few people actually excommunicated (anathematised) by the MP in the 20th century). Does it surprise you that Bulgakov was ADS’ mentor and idol? The student surpassed the teacher, though…
Do note that the MP excommunicated Bulgakov. This is VERY rare in the Orthodox Church and konvertsy should stop bandying about the word. You have to WORK at it… it’s only for the worst unrepentant heretics, not those targeted for elimination by local gossips and jumped-up convert “experts”. Get your mind right.