How can one break with the canonical church authority!
The canons were established for the edification of the Church, so that relations between the members of the Church were built upon the Gospel. The book of the canons is an extension of the Gospel and the writings of the Apostles and is imbued with the same spirit. The canons of the Church cannot be viewed as a collection of formal rules. The letter of the canons has no meaning, if there is no one living by the commandments of the Gospel. Renunciation of the commandments of the Gospel is equal in degree to the renunciation of Christ, because Christ mystically reveals Himself in His commandments.
Christ is Truth and Love; what can be said then of a church administration for whom falsehood and brute force is commonplace? What good is a formal canonicity, when a parody of the Church is being created; a church without Christ? The actions of the Odessa synod contradict the spirit of the Gospel, and moreover, we are asked to consider this situation to be normal and agree to it. We are compelled to accept falsehood as truth, brute force as fairness. The Church of Met. Agafangel is becoming a small, aggressive copy of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Our circumstance can be compared with the one in which the New Martyrs found themselves in relation to Met. Sergey (Stragorodskiy). By the letter of the canons, he represented the legal authority, yet the New Martyrs broke relations with him. Mikhail Novoselov, who was secretly ordained bishop and later became a New Martyr, said the following regarding those who did not have the strength to break relations with Met. Sergey:
“These people…tied themselves up in the canons, which for them are not the defenses of truth in the Church, but rather the shackles of the latter. (They say,) ‘Met. Sergey is tightening a noose on the Russian Church, but we are powerless to resist, since he is canonical.’ Horrifying words.”
Turning to our situation, something similar can be said, that our metropolitan has locked up our Church, in a canonical trap, in a dark circle of synods and councils of bishops, which gather so as to pass judgment on the innocent. If you follow the letter of the canons, it is not possible to escape this trap.
It is remarkable that those who follow the letter of the canons are unable to provide any way out of the current crisis in the Church. You can divide them into two groups. Some insist, despite reality, that everything is fine with us, it is as it should be. This means we are asked to close our eyes, stick our head in the sand and believe that the ship is not sinking, but is sailing along peacefully. Others agree that the situation in the Church is dire, but say that we must endure it; the Church survived the Mongols and the Turks, surely it can endure the heavy yoke of the Odessa synod. This opinion is more reasonable that the first, but is just as unacceptable. One can answer such people that the Church endured difficult times not by agreeing to falsehood, but thanks to the courageous and uncompromising martyrs and confessors. It would be absurd to resign oneself to the fact that the Church is being destroyed, for the good of a formalistic obedience of the canons.