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ROCOR Vitaly (ROCIE/ROCA Vladimir)

The title ROCOR-Vitaly refers to that part of the formerly-united ROCOR that followed Metropolitan Vitaly in his post-retirement break with ROCOR-Laurus (see ROCOR-Laurus) in 2000, and which rejected their former course of communion with Ecumenical World Orthodoxy and the Soviet Moscow Patriarchate.

After his retirement from the episcopacy, Metropolitan Vitaly “re-claimed”, against Church rules, the leadership of the ROCOR. He did this under the banner of trying to be more faithful to Orthodoxy, in the name of saving her from the ecumenical policies of Metropolitan Laurus. This was grossly hypocritical, because the ecumenical course of Metropolitan Laurus was the same course which Metropolitan Vitaly himself had set for the ROCOR.

Consequently, another ROCOR formed around Met. Vitaly, who repudiated his former decisions of union with the heretical Cyprianites, and communion with Ecumenical World Orthodoxy and the Soviet Patriarchate. However, having repudiated his erroneous decisions, he unacceptably preferred to repent to himself in a Protestant fashion, rather than to those Russian and Greek hierarchs who had remained faithful to the Church and who had broken communion with him in 1994-5 when he first fell into heresy.

Metropolitan Vitaly fell away from Orthodoxy in 1994, when he entered into communion with the ecumenical heretic Metropolitan Cyprian, who believed that heretical World Orthodoxy still possess the grace of the Holy Spirit and are therefore valid churches. Metropolitan Vitaly admitted openly eight years later that Cyprian was indeed a heretic. Met. Vitaly had fallen under the Russian Church Abroad’s Anathema of 1983 by this union. He, however, maintained by some illogical reasoning, that being in heresy and under anathema did not affect him, even though at that very time many ROCOR faithful abandoned the heretic Vitaly.

Thus, having renounced his heresy and his communion with World Orthodoxy, ROCOR-Vitaly chose not to reunite with true Orthodox churches, but rather to remain separated from all those who have remained pure in their confession of faith. Out of blind loyalty to the obstinate person of Metropolitan Vitaly, who refused out of pride to repent of his falling away, the group ROCOR-Vitaly, sadly, must be classified among the Cyprianite heretics.

Upon the death of Metropolitan Vitaly the leadership fell to Bishop Vladimir, whom Vitaly ordained before the canonical age. Vladimir, like his predecessor, refused to repent of his apostasy.

Being Russian does not make one immune from falling away from Christ, even if you are the heir to such an illustrious church as the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, which blossomed and thrived for many years under its saintly first-hierarchs. The fall of the ROCOR in 1994 is a great tragedy.

As St. Theodore the Studite and the other holy fathers clearly teach, communion with heresy is apostasy. One cannot remain united with Cyprianite heretics for seven years (despite many warnings) and still think he is part of the Orthodox Church. Thus, anyone looking for the true Church of Christ should beware of this false group of bishops, and all of the illegitimate groups that spawned from them.

The Horrific Death of Heresiarch Cyprian (2013)

Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili, the concelebrant and brother-bishop of Metropolitan Vitaly from 1994 to 2001.

After his death in 2013, Heresiarch Cyprian's body immediately became as hard as a rock with his mouth wide open. At his funeral a fan was placed next to his body to drive the awful stench of his body away from the congregation.

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