The ROAC of America: The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America Official Web Site Home Page
"To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ's Church is divided into so-called "branches" which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all "branches" or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the Priesthood and Mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and Eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their heresy of ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!" - ROCOR 1983

This is the official website and authoritative voice of the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH OF AMERICA (ROAC). No other English language based website (other than the sites linked herein) claiming to speak for His Eminence, Metropolitan Theodore of Suzdal and Vladimir, or any of the individual Hierarchs of the Holy Synod of the RUSSIAN ORTHODOX AUTONOMOUS CHURCH (ROAC), should be considered as genuine or valid.

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
The Kallinikite Unia by Vladimir Moss

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

New ROAC parish opened in Italy

On February 10-21, 2014, Archbishop Andrei (Maklakov), administrator of the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) outside Russia, made an arch-pastoral trip to Italy. The key objective of the trip was to establish an Orthodox parish in response to the requests from the faithful in Avellino, a town located 60 kilometers east of Naples.

The newly established parish dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and St. Patrick of Ireland consists of about 25 individuals of different nationalities, including Italians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Russians and Greeks. Fr. Gregorio Iandolo, who works as a police officer in his secular occupation, and who enjoys great respect among the members of the local Orthodox Community, was ordained by Archbishop Andrei as rector of this parish. Formerly, Father Gregorio and his congregation belonged to the synod of the Cyprianites whose ecclesiology has been a source of confusion for numerous Orthodox believers.

“I was warmly greeted by the parishioners in Avellino,” said Archbishop Andrei upon his return to the US. “They had heard about the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church and they chose to join us because neither Cyprianism, nor the pseudo-Orthodoxy of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, could give answers to their burning questions related to the faith. They asked me numerous questions about the history of our Confessing Church, about the spiritual exploits of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) and Metropolitan Valentin (Rusantsov) and about the positions of Metropolitan Theodore (Gineyevsky) and his faithful supporters from among the True Orthodox Christians, who are now being subjected to the oppression that is similar to the oppression of the Church by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s.”

The parish in Avellino is not the only parish of the ROAC in Europe. Archbishop Andrei has Orthodox Christians in Switzerland, France and Greece under his omophorion as well.

Friday, February 28th, 2014


С 10 по 21 февраля 2014 года Управляющий зарубежными приходами РПАЦ Архиепископ Андрей (Маклаков) совершил архипастырскую поездку в Италию. Главной целью поездки было основание и учреждение в этой стране православного прихода по просьбе собравшихся верующих в гор.Авелино, что в 60 милях к востоку от гор.Неаполя.

Новоучрежденный приход в честь Свв. Николая Чудотворца и Патрикия Ирландского в настоящее время насчитывает до 25 человек различного национального состава, в том числе итальянцев, румын, украинцев, русских и греков. Настоятелем прихода стал перерукоположенный о. Григорио Яндоло, в мирской жизни офицер полиции, пользующийся большим уважением в местной общине. Ранее о.Григорио со своей паствой принадлежал «киприанитам», чья экклесиология вызывала смущение у многих верующих.

«Прихожане в гор.Авелино очень хорошо и тепло приняли меня, - рассказал Владыка Андрей по возвращении домой, в США. – Они слышали о Российской Православной Автономной Церкви и сделали свой выбор, так как ни «киприанизм», ни псевдо-православие МП РПЦ не давали ответов на важнейшие вероисповедные вопросы. Теперь же они получили возможность задать мне множество вопросов о пути нашей Церкви-Исповедницы, о духовном подвиге Епископа Григория (Граббе), Митрополита Валентина (Русанцова), о стоянии в вере нынешнего Митрополита Феодора (Гинеевского) и его верных сторонников, истинно-православных христиан, гонения на которых от властей в последние годы напоминают гонения большевиков 20-х годов прошлого столетия».

Приход в гор.Авелино не единственный приход РПАЦ в Европе. Под омофором Архиепископа Андрея духовно окормляются православные в Швейцарии, Франции, Греции.

Thursday, September 5th, 2013
Среди высказываний прихожан и слова м.Феодора

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Court Bailiffs in Suzdal disrupt church services, grab Metropolitan Theodore by his vestments and push him aside, and place a seal on the relics of St. Euphymios and St. Euphrosynia.

In Russian
In English

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Hooligans, representing themselves as "helpers of Putin" (a vigilante group) tear down and steal signs of our ROAC Church in St. Petersburg. The reader answers the door and is subjected to an interrogation by the leader of this group. The lead hooligan asserts that the ROAC has no right to call itself Russian Orthodox, to sell icons and collect donations.

The leader is aggressive and could fit the profile of a KGB agent. The group's behavior is reminiscent of that of the Red Guard during the time of the Cultural Revolution in China.

The leader asks about the price for a 40 day service for the deceased. The reader replies that there is no price, and that any donation is up to the ability of the person ordering the memorial to pay (as is standard practice in the ROAC). Then a member of the hooligan group claims that he had been there two weeks before and that the same reader had told him that the price was 3,000 Rubles ($90).

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

In accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) dated 7/18/2013, His Grace, Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye, during divine services on July 20, 2013, in the Our Lady of Kazan Church in the village of Otradna, Krasnodar region, was elevated to the rank of ARCHBISHOP with the title: Archbishop of Pavlovskoye and Rockland.

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

On September 25, 2012, a Mr. John Robles, of the Voice of Russia World Service, wrote an article, in which he alluded that our Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal and Vladimir, of blessed memory, took financial assistance from the United States government.

Bishop Andrei's Answer to Mr. John Robles

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Епископ Андрей Павловский

ч. 1
ч. 2
ч. 3
ч. 4

Три статьи Георгия Михаиловича Солдатова




Wednesday, July 11th, 2012


In English

In Russian

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Below is an English translation of Archbishop Theodore's Paschal Epistle.

In English.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Nyack parishioner protests MP takeover of his parish.

In English.

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Below is an English translation of layman Alexander's eulogy for Metropolitan Valentine. You may find the Russian text under the January 18th, 2012 posting.

In English.

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Below is information about and photographs of Bishop Andrei's last trip to Greece.

In English.

In Russian.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Eulogies for Metropolitan Valentinе from our website readers.

From Tatiana Beltchev in Switzerland.

From Anthony in New York.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

On January 16th, at about 8:00 AM, Metropolitan Valentine reposed. He had come to the home of one of his spiritual children in Moscow the evening before with the intention of visiting his doctors on the following morning. The coroner's report stated that the cause of death was progressive heart failure, and complications from diabetes, from which Vladyka had suffered for many years. The funeral for Vladyka will be on Sunday, January 22nd. Vladyka wanted to be buried in the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Suzdal, and if the local authorities give their permission, this is where he will lie in repose.

ветлая память нашему Владыке Валентину, Митрополиту Суздальскому и Владимирскому, Первоиерарху Российской Православной Автономной Церкви.

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Paschal Epistle Of His Eminence Valentine, Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir

May be viewed here.

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Christmas Epistle Of His Eminence Valentine, Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir

May be viewed here.

Рождественское послание Высокопреосвященнейшего Митрополита Владимирского и Суздальского Валентина

Можно посмотреть здесь.

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Св. Новомученики и исповедники Российские и их учение о Церкви


January 4, 2010

Christmas Epistle Of His Eminence Valentine, Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir

May be viewed here.

Рождественское послание Высокопреосвященнейшего Митрополита Владимирского и Суздальского Валентина

Можно посмотреть здесь.

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

We offer the pious reader a small tour of Suzdal. It is clear to anyone who takes a look around, who it was exactly that built these churches, who is responsible for the abomination of desolation through which they came into ruin, and who it is that restored them.

The Vladimir Regional Court of Arbitration ruled that the government should take possession of 13 churches in the City of Suzdal, and six in the surrounding villages, for its own use. In this way, the suit brought by the Territorial Administration called "Rosimushchestvo" came to a close. According to Rosimushchestvo, as a result of inspecting these buildings, that had been in use by the ROAC, several instances of "usage violations…" had been noticed, and other such bureaucratic linguistic garbage. In these photographs, one can clearly see what condition these church buildings were in when the people of the ROAC first received them, and how they look now. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who it was for these many years that is truly responsible for "improper use."

As is evident, it wasn't Rosimushchestvo that built these churches, and it wasn't Rosimushchestvo that is the real owner of these churches. To the contrary; it is the native population of the City of Suzdal, which today is again being chased out of them by our "comrades."

At this time, there is a great propaganda campaign, a real informational war even, to discredit ROAC. The officials are saying that "schismatics" have driven the churches into ruin and now require great funds for their "restoration." There is no doubt as to where the funds will go in reality.

Photos may be viewed here.


Предлагаем боголюбивому читателю небольшой экскурс по Суздалю. Наглядно можно лицезреть, кто строил Храм, кто сотворил мерзость запустения, кто и как восстанавливал.

Арбитражный суд Владимирской области постановил изъять в пользу государства 13 суздальских церквей, и 6- в деревнях. Таким образом был удовлетворен иск терр. управления Росимущества. Как утверждают в Росимуществе, в результате обследования церквей, занимаемых РПАЦ, были отмечены "нарушения в эксплуатации... " и прочая чиновничья дребедень. На фотографиях наглядно показано в каком состоянии были переданы Храмовые строения и в каком состоянии они находятся сейчас. Несложно догадаться, кто долгие годы был истинным виновником "нарушений эксплуатации... "

Как видно - не Росимущество строил сии Храмы, и не Росимущество является истинным собственником, а как раз наоборот - посадские люди града Суздаля, которых сегодня изгоняют товарищи.

В настоящее время ведётся целая информационная война. Представители Росимущества сейчас начали пропаганду, что вот до чего довели храмы "раскольники", показывая пустые храмы, как будто там ничего и не было. Теперь в СМИ поднялся вопль о том, что верующие "оставили после себя в храмах полнейший развал" и "искалеченное историческое наследие". Давайте-ка теперь миллионы из бюджета на "реставрацию".

Фотографии можно посмотреть здесь.

Friday, September 4th, 2009

Following are photographs just received from Suzdal. Some of them are from Dormition, some from the people removing their icons from the churches, and some are from the when the police came, cut our locks off of the churches and put their own, more than a week before they were supposed to, thereby preventing our people from removing the last of their possessions from the churches.

Lord Have Mercy!


Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Fr. Vladimir Shishkoff reposed this evening at 5:19 PM. Eternal be his memory!

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

...Another reason why today's Moscow Patriarchate Church IS NOT the True Russian Orthodox Church:


Social Sciences - A Quarterly Journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences

No. 1, 2009. Page(s): 28-42

Legalizing the Moscow Patriarchate in 1927:

The Secret Aims of the Authorities

Click Here To Read

Sunday, April 26th, 2009
New Priest Ordained

On Saturday, April 25th, 2009, during the Divine Liturgy, His Grace Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye, ordained the Reverend Deacon Michael McCombs of SAINT SOPHIA ORTHODOX PARISH in Indiana to the Holy Priesthood. The Divine Liturgy was served at Saint Nicholas Parish in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, with His Grace Bishop Andrew Presiding with Fathers Serguei Serjanov and Michael McCombs concelebrating. Our Church now has two priests serving at two parishes in Indiana. Let us hope our presence there, as well as in other places, will continue to grow. May God grant Father Michael many years of service to His Church!

Иерейская Хиротония

В субботу, 25-го апреля, 2009, за Божественной Литургией, Преосвященный Епископ Павловский Андрей рукоположил диакона Михаила (МкКомбс) из Свято-Софиинского Прихода в штате Индиана, во иерея. Богослужение в Приходе Святителя Николая в Элмвуд Парк, Нью Джерси, возглавил епископ Андрей в сослужении отцев Сергия Сержанова и Михаила МкКомбс. Это уже второй священник нашей Церкви служащий в Индиане. Всего, мы имеем там два прихода. Будем надеяться, что наши общины будут преумножаться. Подай Господи рабу Твоему, иерею Михаилу, многолетнего служения Церкви Твоей, и сохрани его на многая лета!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Letter of Metropolitan Chistophoros of Mesogaias and the Islands to the ROAC


Tel: 6 - (210) 467-2921

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Suzdal Police Illegally Detain Two Clerics of the ROAC and Tried to Arrest Them on False Charges for Stealing Icons

On April 1st, at the doors of the ROAC Krestonikolsky Church, officers of the Suzdal Police Department detained two ROAC clerics - Fr. Deacon Dimitry Karpenko and Fr. Hierodeacon Benjamin (Banin).

A reporter for stated that the two deacons were removing a metal chest containing vestments from the church to the Synodal Building, located 50 yards away.

The police treated the clerics quite rudely, and held them in custody for two hours on false charges of trying to steal icons from the church. Fingerprints were taken, and they started filling out reports containing absurd charges.

Upon learning that the deacons were in custody, Metropolitan Valentine, the First Hierarch of the ROAC, came to the police station. The policemen were very rude to him as well. One of the officers, who knows the Metropolitan personally, began accusing him of "bestowing a  hierarchal rank upon himself." Nonetheless, the First-Hierarch managed to have the clerics released.

Representatives of the Holy Synod of the ROAC believe this incident to be connected with the confiscation of 13 churches in Suzdal from their "alternative Church," which has been scheduled for mid-April. Among those scheduled for "return to government oversight" is the above-mentioned Krestonikolsky Church, which had restored by the ROAC and consecrated back in 1992 by the then Bishop Valentine. Representatives of the local Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate had appealed to the local police with an unofficial demand to "not allow anything of value, including religious/liturgical objects to be taken out of the churches that have been scheduled for return."

On April 1st, 2009, the ROAC Synod was visited by a representative from the US ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, who is concerned by the unprecedented persecution of Orthodox Christians who do not recognize the jurisdiction of Moscow Patriarchate in contemporary Russia.

Translated from an article on (


Deacon Dimitriy Karpenko visited our Diocese with Metropolitan Valentine and Archbishop Theodore during the summer of 2008.

Суздальская милиция незаконно задержала двух клириков РПАЦ и попыталась обвинить их в краже икон.

Cотрудники Суздальского ОВД задержали 1 апреля при выходе из Крестоникольского храма РПАЦ г. Суздаля двух клириков этой Церкви – диакона Димитрия Карпенко и иеродиакона Вениамина (Банина).

Как сообщает корреспондент "Портала-Credo.Ru", диаконы переносили из храма в здание Архиерейского Синода РПАЦ, расположенное в 50 метрах от храма, металлический ящик, в котором ранее хранились облачения.

Представители милиции достаточно грубо обошлись со священнослужителями, продержав их в отделении два часа и обвинив в попытке воровства икон. У диаконов взяли отпечатки пальцев, начали составлять протокол с нелепыми обвинениями.

Узнав о задержании клириков, в отделение милиции пришел первоиерарх РПАЦ Митрополит Валентин (Русанцов), с которым сотрудники ОВД также обошлись достаточно грубо. Один из офицеров, хорошо знающий Митрополита, попытался "уличить" его в самозванном присвоении архиерейского сана. Однако первоиерарху РПАЦ удалось добиться освобождения из-под стражи незаконно задержанных клириков.

Представители Архиерейского Синода РПАЦ связывают этот инцидент с запланированной на середину апреля "силовой акцией" по изъятию у верующих "альтернативной" Церкви 13 храмов в Суздале. Среди намеченных к изъятию "в пользу государства" храмов значится и Крестоникольский, отреставрированный РПАЦ и освященный епископом Валентином еще в 1992 году. Представители местной епархии Московского патриархата обращаются в правоохранительные органы Владимирской области с неофициальными требованиями "не допустить выноса из храмов, подлежащих изъятию, церковной утвари и других ценностей".

1 апреля Архиерейский Синод РПАЦ в Суздале посетил представитель посла США в России Джона Байерли, обеспокоенного беспрецедентными гонениями против православных в России, не признающих юрисдикцию Московского патриархата.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Suzdal Diocesan Herald # 129

ROAC Community in Bryansk Region Registered

On February 27, our parish of the Nativity of Theotokos in the village of Lazovichi, Surozh, Bryansk Region, received its official registration. The parish rector - Fr. Victor Zemlyakov, says it was achieved through "unbelievable effort and financial burden." The parish had to spend 12,000 rubles (app. 350 USD) in order to receive the registration.
Earlier, in November 2008, the documents that had been submitted by the parish were rejected. The community had to make changes and add some papers, and resubmitted the petition on February 5th, 2009.
The church is set up in what used to be the village warehouse. Regular services are carried out since 2004. On December 1st, 2006, they were visited by Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir Valentine and Bishop Irinarkh of Tula and Bryansk.
Altogether, it took the community three years to finally get the registration, due to the bureaucracy.

Orenburg Diocese of the MP is Trying to Disband ROAC Parish.

Clergy of the Orenburg Diocese of the MP is trying to disband the ROAC parish in the village of Krasnaya Gorka (Red Hill) in the Orenburg Region and register their own parish there.
On February 22, the MP Diocesan administrator for clergy, a lawyer and a reporter came to the village, where, in the Town Hall, they called a meeting. When they entered the building and saw the people gathered there, and our priest, Fr. Maxim Korablev, with them, they tried to have him removed from the meeting, saying that he was not Orthodox. When they failed to do so due to the protests of the people, they started to insult him, behaving very rudely, insulting the ROAC and denouncing Her sacraments as not having Grace. The people tried to defend the Church and the priest. Finally, they made him an offer to transfer to the MP, since they do not want to have to travel the great distances necessary to that village to serve and would prefer to have someone there permanently. Fr. Maxim declined this offer. Then they collected the 10 (ten) signatures necessary to apply for a registration and wished to see the room where services are held, but the warden and secretary denied them entry. After that, they left.
Fr. Maxim believes the next step will be registration of the MP parish in the village and the forceful removal of the ROAC parish from their place of worship.
The parish of Our Lady of Kazan is not officially registered, and is located in the village town hall, parts of which, where the church is set up, have been rented by the village administration to the ROAC priest for a period of 10 (ten) years.

Interviews Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal and Vladimir to "International Radio Canada" 
Strange as it may seem, persecution of Orthodox Christians in the Russian Federation is still taking place. We are talking about the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal and Vladimir, who do not belong to the Moscow Patriarchate. In February, the Court of Arbitration of the Vladimir Region decided to take 13 churches away from the ROAC. During his recent visit to North America, Metropolitan Valentin gave an interview to Yevgeny Sokolov of International Radio Canada.

- Your Eminence, I know that your were given the use of churches that, in reality, were just ruins, and that you restored them on your own. Is that so?

- Yes.

- Were you expecting this kind of decision from the court?

- Well, you know that over the past twenty years, the fate of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church has not been an easy one. There was constant friction, constant nagging, constant requests for more information... But, in spite of everything, we managed to restore almost twenty churches in Suzdal and the surrounding area. Before they were given to us, no one cared. They were just ruins. After we restored them, they  immediately began to send different commissions, scrutinizing documents; first threats, and then a lawsuit. And in March, it will be one year since these law suits began. Rather than thanking us for the work that we did, they filed a lawsuit.

- Well, it is clear that the reason for these persecutions is the fact that you do not belong to the Moscow Patriarchate. Moreover, this is the second stage of persecutions, because I know that there was a campaign of defamation, arson, and that physical acts were made against you; I know that you have suffered physically. Incidentally, have the persecutions against your person stopped?

- Unfortunately, they are still going on. Earlier, they wrote blasphemous graffiti on our churches and churchyard fences... set fire to the houses, where our monastics reside - elderly person, with disabilities. My house was set on fire, as well. Later, there was an attempt on my life... Thank God, for Vladyka Fedor, who saved me...  Then came the police and an ambulance, they made a report, but the ofenders were not found.

- Do you still receive threats?

- Right now - yes, over the phone, or just walking down the street, they say to me: "You should be shot, people like you should be hanged..." Or, also over the phone they say things like: "Well, you're still alive? The bullet didn't reach you yet? Don't worry! It'll get to you! Get ready!" Such remarks as these. 

- Did you report them to the authorities?

- Certainly. Each time they write a report, but alas, no results! They take no action.

- Rosimuschestvo, the agency that is suing you, is a state agency. The Institute of Religion and Law stated that there is an attempt to eliminate one of the Orthodox Churches in Russia. In fact, this is a violation of the constitutional right of believers to religious freedom, since the court decision clearly prevents the free exercise of religion. Recently, President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation said during the enthronement of Patriarch Cyril, that there is freedom of conscience in Russia now, and that there is a new stage of relations between Church and State. He, as the president of the country, must be the guarantor of freedom of conscience. Do you intend to appeal to him? 

- Did you know that when Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was still president, we made repeated appeals, but without result. We turned to the Minister of Justice, asking him to contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Minister of the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General... all without result. Our voice is the of one crying in the wilderness. 

- Will you appeal to president Medvedev?

- We will. We recently wrote a letter, and are now collecting signatures and will deliver it personally. Maybe they will accept it; maybe not. The court ruling has already taken place, but in any case, we wrote, and will write, and will continue to seek, by any means necessary, to be heard. If he is truly the guarantor of the Constitution, let him defend the rights of believers. Moreover, there is the law that churches must be used for religious purposes only. And Rosimuschestvo is taking them all away from us. Is Rosimuschestvo going to hold services in these churches? No. They have no right to use these churches as a warehouses. So, they take them away from us, and then give them to the Vladimir diocesan administration of the Moscow Patriarchate, because in their eyes we are second or third class people. But the state religion is the Moscow Patriarchate, and priority is given to it. 

- Vladyka, the Institute of Religion and Law in the Slavic Legal Center believes that the court decision could be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Do you intend to continue this case?

- Definitely. We will stop at nothing. I am worried about my faithful. This Sunday, about 150 people gathered, and some were ready to give their lives. One woman even said she was 80 years old, and had nothing left to lose. She wanted to pour kerosene over herself and set fire to herself in protest. We begged her not to commit such a horrible deed... So sure, we'll write and appeal to every department until we accomplish our goal.

- As I understand it, you can count on the support of your flock?

- Of course, and now that they know about the decision of the court, there are three times as many people coming; even those who did not come before, or came once or twice a year. We also receive statements of support such as: "Oh, Vladyka, where is their conscience? We know you, well, brace yourself, we will pray..." This is how these conversations go. 

- Vladyka, another question. The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church is not the only church which does not accept ecclesiology of the Moscow Patriarchate, but the Russian True Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of Vladyka Tikhon (of Omsk and Siberia) does not accept it either. At one time, you both belonged to the Russian Church Abroad, then, unfortunately, there were some differences. Perhaps, in this situation it might be worth thinking about joining forces, and, incidentally, in the autumn, during the RTOC Council, their Council supported the Suzdal believers, and they called for all fragments of the former Orthodox Church Abroad, who have not accepted union with MP, to gather forces, begin a dialogue and unite. Are you ready to respond to this call?

- Well, this question is a very difficult one. From our side, there are, of course, no objections. Especially since we do not have such big differences between us. Unfortunately, we preach love, but do not display it. We talk about the purity and truth of our faith, and fight, not for the truth, not for purity, but because we are afraid of losing our positions, afraid of losing relevance. This is very bad. Certainly, it would be nice if all gathered around the table, as they say. It would not be possible to solve all of these issues at one meeting, but the second time, or third time, eventually we'll be able to unite, and serve together. Take, for instance, the diocesan administration. It might be arranged where there would be one bishop in one diocese, in Krasnodar - one bishop, and in the Stavropol - another one, in Moscow - another one. But when they meet - they would serve together. And we'd do the same thing. So, let there be one in Odessa, one in Siberia, one in Suzdal... The main thing is that between us there should be brotherly love. And then, with time, we could meet and choose, as they say, the first among bishops. 

- Vladyka, what is the problem? No one Can no one take the first step? 

- Apparently not. Unfortunately, I have distanced myself a bit from it all because I see them fighting among themselves, anathematizing each other, denouncing each other, not recognizing each other, and in general, not showing "brotherly love." I look at it from the outside, and fear comes over me. So far, no one does anything.

- Well, clearly, we have jurisdictions, where they think that they are the only ones to have Grace, and everyone else is schismatic. But, if you talk about the Russian True Orthodox Church - RTOC - led by Vladyka Tikhon, they are not like that. I believe that there are no ecclesiastical differences between us. And they have made an appeal to all of the splinter groups of ROCA, and in particular, to you, too. Are you ready to respond to this call?

- Of course we are. Please let them come, or invite us - we will come for a meeting. You see, even in this jurisdiction of Archbishop Tikhon, again, a schism took place recently, just like in the Greek Churches.  Once there are three, four, or five bishops gathered together, they split again, and form a new synod - and the Russian jurisdictions are following in their footsteps. Unfortunately, this is far from laudable.

- Well, at least those who can and are willing to begin the dialogue, probably should start it,  in my opinion. I understand that your first priority is to defend your churches. I wish you success in this fight.

- Thank you very much. I ask your prayers. With the help of God, I hope everything will be fine. 

February 27, 2009. 

Суздальские Епархиальные Ведомости
Рассылка новостей № 129


27 февраля получил государственную регистрацию приход Рождества Пресвятой Богородицы Российской Православной Автономной Церкви в с. Лазовичи Суражского района Брянской области. По словам настоятеля прихода прот. Виктора Землякова это было достигнуто «ценой неимоверных усилий и финансовых затрат» — общине пришлось заплатить около 12 тысяч рублей.
До этого в ноябре 2008 г. поданные общиной на регистрацию документы были возвращены назад с указанием доработать и исправить ошибки. 5 февраля 2009 г. община вновь подала документы.
Храм обустроен общиной в помещении бывшего сельского склада, с 2004 г. в нем проводятся богослужения. 1 декабря 2006 г. приход посетил Митрополит Суздальский и Владимирский Валентин и Епископ Тульский и Брянский Иринарх, которые совершали там богослужения.


Духовенство Оренбургской епархии РПЦ МП собирается разогнать приход РПАЦ, существующий в селе Красная горка Асекеевского района Оренбургской области и зарегистрировать там свой приход.
22 февраля благочинный епархии МП с причетниками, юристом и репортером прибыли в с. Красная Горку, где в помещении сельского клуба объявили собрание верующих. Войдя туда и увидев собравшийся народ и священника РПАЦ иерея Максима Кораблева, они попытались удалить священника под предлогом того, что он неправославный. Когда под давлением народа это им не удалось, они перешли к оскорблениям, вели себя очень развязно, покрывая поношениями РПАЦ и объявив её таинства недействительными. Народ как мог защищал Церковь и священника, в конце концов, они предложили священнику перейти в МП, поскольку ездить в это село для богослужений они не собираются и им нужен там свой человек, однако получили отказ. Тогда они собрали десять подписей для регистрации десятки и пожелали осмотреть молитвенную комнату, но староста с казначеем не дали им ключи. Затем «чуждопосетители» ретировались.
По мнению настоятеля прихода о. Максима следующим шагом будет регистрация параллельного прихода МП и отнятие у православных христиан молитвенного помещения.
Приход Казанской иконы не зарегистрирован, находится в сельском клубе, часть помещений которого, где и располагается храм, была передана сельской администрацией в аренду священнику РПАЦ на 10 лет.


Как это не покажется странным, но в Российской Федерации идут гонения на православных христиан. Речь идет о верующих Российской Православной Автономной Церкви под омофором Митрополита Валентина Суздальского и Владимирского (Русанцова), не принадлежащих Московскому Патриархату. 
В феврале Арбитражный суд Владимирской области принял решение отобрать у этой церкви сразу 13 храмов. Во время своего недавнего визита в Северную Америку митрополит Валентин дал интервью Евгению Соколову.

 — Ваше Высокопреосвященство, насколько я знаю, храмы, которые были переданы Вам в свое время в пользование, представляли собой в принципе руины, и Вы их восстанавливали своими силами. Это так? 
 — Да. 

 — Вы ожидали такого решения арбитражного суда Владимирской области? 
— Ну, Вы знаете, что на протяжении последних двадцати лет судьба Российской Православной Автономной Церкви не была простой и легкой. Так что постоянно были какие-то трения, постоянно к нам придирались, искали что-то... Но, невзирая ни на что, мы все-таки отреставрировали почти двадцать храмов, это в Суздале и в районе. Когда они стояли, никому дела не было. Это руины. Когда отреставрировали, сразу начали присылать комиссии, начали смотреть документы, начали угрожать вначале, а затем подали судебный иск. И вот уже в марте будет год, как они нас судят за эти храмы. Вместо того, чтобы сказать «спасибо» они, понимаете ли, отсуживают.

 — Ну, речь идет, понятно, о гонениях, потому что Вы не принадлежите к Московской Патриархии. Причем, это второй этап гонений, потому что я знаю, что была кампания клеветы, были поджоги, и были даже против Вас физические действия применены, я знаю, что Вы пострадали физически. Кстати, вот это прекратилось, преследование Вас лично?
— К великому сожалению, до сих пор продолжается. Раньше, конечно, писали нецензурщину на храмах, на заборах ... поджигали дома, где жили монахи, престарелые люди, инвалиды. Были поджоги и моего дома. Затем было покушение на меня... Спасибо, Господи, за владыку Федора, который отбил... Ну, и тут же приехали из скорой помощи, приехали из милиции, составили акт, но найти – так до сих пор и не нашли.

 — Угрозы по Вашему адресу продолжают поступать, владыко?
 — Сейчас – да, сейчас по телефону, или же просто, когда идешь, говорят: «Вот, тебя надо пристрелить, вот, таких надо вешать...». Или же по телефону говорят: «Ну что, ты еще живой? До тебя еще пуля не долетела? – Долетит! Не беспокойся, готовься». Вот, такие вот выпады бывают.

 — А Вы сообщаете о них властям?

 — Безусловно. Каждый раз сообщаю, пишет официально, но – увы и ах! – никаких не предпринимают действий.

 — Росимущество, которое имеет к Вам претензии, это же государственная структура. Так вот, Институт религии и права сейчас заявил, что в России предпринята попытка ликвидировать одну из православных церквей. По существу, нарушено конституционное право верующих на свободу вероисповедания, поскольку решение суда явно препятствует свободному исповеданию веры. Совсем недавно президент Российской Федерации Дмитрий Медведев во время инаугурации патриарха Кирилла заявил, что в России сейчас свобода совести, это новый этап отношений между церковью и государством. Он, как президент страны, обязан быть гарантом свободы совести. Вы намерены обращаться к нему?
 — А Вы знаете, что когда он еще был президентом, это Путин Владимир Владимирович, мы неоднократно обращались, но до сих пор нет никаких результатов. Мы обращались и к министру юстиции, обращались в МВД, к министру МВД, обращались к Чайке, прокурору генеральному... но до сих пор никаких ответов нет. Наш голос остается голосом в пустыне.

 — К президенту Медведеву будете обращаться?
 — Обращаемся, и сейчас вот наши верующие написали письмо, сейчас собирают подписи и отвезут лично туда. Кто там примет или не примет, но вряд ли что – уже суд состоялся, но во всяком случае, обращались и обращаются, и будем в дальнейшем обращаться, во что бы то ни стало добиваться. Именно, уж коли он – гарант Конституции. Так пусть защищает права верующих. Причем, есть в законе, что храмы должны использоваться только по назначению. А у нас их Росимущество отнимает. Что они будут, там служить? Нет. Они не имеют права их использовать, как складское помещение, эти храмы. Значит, они их у нас берут, а потом передают Владимирскому епархиальному управлению Московской Патриархии, потому что мы в их глазах – люди там второго или третьего сорта. А вот государственная религия – это Московская Патриархия. Приоритет дается Московскому Патриархату.

 — Владыко, Институт религии и права при Славянском правовом центре считает, что решение суда может быть успешно обжаловано в Европейском суде по правам человека в Страсбурге. Вы намерены продолжать это дело?

 — Обязательно. Мы не остановимся ни перед чем. Тем более, я боюсь за своих верующих. Вот в воскресенье собрались там человек 150, и были такие, что готовы отдать жизнь, то есть, одна женщина даже сказала, что мне вот 80 лет, ничего в этом я не теряю, я возьму и оболью себя керосином и сожгу себя в знак протеста. Мы начали уговаривать... так что обязательно, мы напишем и кассационную жалобу в республиканские ... да во все (инстанции), будем биться до тех пор, пока не добьемся.

 — Как я понял, на поддержку своей паствы Вы рассчитывать можете?
 — Безусловно, вот сейчас, как узнали о решении суда, сейчас в три раза больше стали приходить, даже те, которые не приходили раньше, или приходили там раз, два раза в год. А сейчас и соболезнования приходят: «Ой, владыка, где же их совесть? Мы знаем Вас, ну, крепитесь, мы будем молиться...» Вот так, такие вот разговоры идут.

 — Владыко, еще один вопрос. Не только Российская Православная Автономная Церковь не принимает экклезиологию Московской Патриархии, так же Российская Истинная Православная Церковь под омофором владыки Тихона Омского и Сибирского тоже не принимает. Когда-то Вы вместе входили в Русскую Зарубежную Церковь, потом произошли некоторые расхождения, к сожалению. Вот в такой ситуации не стоило бы все-таки подумать об объединении сил, и, кстати, осенью, когда был Собор Истинной Православной Церкви, там в решениях Собора поддержали суздальских верующих, и был призыв ко всем осколкам бывшей Зарубежной Церкви, не принявших унию (с МП), все-таки собраться, объединиться и какой-то диалог начать. Вы готовы ответить на этот призыв?
 — Ну, этот вопрос – архисложный вопрос. С нашей стороны возражений, конечно, нет. Тем более, что у нас нет больших таких разногласий. К великому сожалению, мы проповедуем любовь, а сами так не поступаем. Мы говорим о чистоте и об истине нашего вероисповедания, а сами боремся не за истину, не за чистоту, а вот боимся потерять кресло, боимся потерять свою значимость. Вот это очень плохо. Конечно, безусловно было бы хорошо, если бы все собрались за круглый стол, как говорится. В одной встрече не решится этот вопрос, но – второй раз, третий раз, соединиться, иметь служение. Пусть, как в епархиальном управлении. Там в одной епархии, в Краснодарской – свой архиерей, а в Ставропольской – свой, в Московской – свой. Но они когда встречаются – они служат. И мы так. Пожалуйста, пусть будет в Одессе, пусть будет в Сибири, пусть будет в Суздале... Главное, чтобы между нами была братская любовь. А потом уже со временем собраться и уже выбрать, как говорится, единого первого из всех архиереев.

 — Владыко, в чем проблема? Никто не может сделать первый шаг?

 — Видимо, да. Я, к великому сожалению, немного отошел от этого, потому что я вижу, они грызутся там между собою, друг друга анафематствуют, проклинают друг друга, не признают, в общем, сеют, в кавычках, «любовь братскую». Вот я смотрю на это со стороны, и ужас меня берет. Никто пока ничего не предпринимает.

 — Ну, понятно, есть у нас юрисдикции, где, действительно, они считают благодатными только себя, а остальных всех - раскольниками. Но, если говорить о Российской Истинно-Православной Церкви – РИПЦ – во главе с владыкой Тихоном, то там такого нет. По-моему, у вас нет никакой разницы в экклезиологии. И все-таки, с их стороны прозвучал призыв ко всем обломкам РПЦЗ, и, в частности, к вам тоже. Вы готовы ответить конкретно на этот призыв?
 — Безусловно да. Пожалуйста, пусть приезжают или же назначают – мы приедем для собеседования. Видите, даже в этой юрисдикции, преосвященного Тихона, вот недавно опять раскол произошел, идем по пути греческой церкви. Там как три, четыре, пять человек архиереев собрались, так опять раскалываются, опять новый синод – и у нас такое же. К великому сожалению, это далеко не похвально.

 — Ну, хотя бы, кто может и готов к диалогу, наверное, должны все же начать этот диалог, мне так кажется. Я понимаю, что сейчас первостепенная задача Ваша – это все-таки отстоять ваши храмы. Позвольте, Владыко, пожелать Вам успеха в этой борьбе.

 — Спасибо большое. Я прошу Ваших молитв. С Божией помощью, надеюсь, будет все хорошо. 

27 февраля 2009 г.


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

From the OCW
( June 3/16, 1996)

What do Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Harold Laski, George Bernard Shaw, Pablo Picasso, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt all have in common? One thing was their belief that the "Soviet Experiment" offered a great hope for the better future of mankind. They believed, naively, or otherwise, that human nature could be changed by this "experiment,"and a "new man" could be created, and therefore in various ways they aided and promoted Communism as it developed in Soviet Russia. While today we hear less about Communism as such, the belief that some new system of government can create a new kind of human being is far from dead. It still undergirds much political thinking (from both the right and left) in the United States and the democracies of Western Europe. In fact, many people today, although they may not openly admit it, think that Christianity has failed, so they turn to various forms of political systems to create a new person and toovercome the selfishness and egoism of fallen humanity.
With the fall ofCommunism in Russia, it is now possible for us to get an inside look at this "Great Experiment" and see just what sort of "new man" it managed to create. Was this "new man" someone we would want to be like, or was the so-called "new man" really a lot closer to the "old man" that our Lord Jesus Christ came to rescue? The results are becoming very clear: the "Soviet Experiment" was a failure, leading to almost unimaginable human misery and death, environmental pollution, economic waste, and a general loss of hope and trust. It is also at last becoming clear that this "experiment" was not content merely to compete with Christianity for human hearts and minds; it actively infiltrated and subverted the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious bodies in Russia, and it tried to do the same elsewhere. In fact, the idea that government, rather than our Lord Jesus Christ, is the savior of mankind has spread into almost all the religious bodies of the West. But perhaps it seems harsh and suspicious to say that not only did Communism persecute the Church from without, but it also actively tried to pervert it from within. Fortunately for us, some hard evidence of what happened to the Russian Orthodox Church has become available in recent years, and we can learn from it the patterns which this secularist ideology used in Russia to subvert Christianity. A recent book, Tower of Secrets, by Victor Sheymov gives us some disturbing insights into just what the "new Soviet man" is actually like. Victor Sheymov was born in Moscow in 1946. He graduated from the Moscow Technical University and worked on the Soviet space defense system for a time. He then joined the KGB, where he moved up four ranks in five years, becoming a major in 1978. He was given broad responsibilities for a major upgrade of the KGB’s communications security system, but he defected to the West in 1980 and offered his knowledge to the CIA. His position within the KGB gave him a unique understanding of the reality of the Soviet "experiment" and led to his eventual disillusionment with the Soviet state and its ideology.Sheymov describes the various components of the KGB, including: "The Fifth Directorate, responsible for suppressing ideological dissent, running the Soviet Orthodox Church, and laying the groundwork for the First Chief Directorate's subversive promotion of favorable opinion about the country's position and policy." 1 Because of Sheymov’s rank, one of his jobs was the drafting of agents to infiltrate the "Soviet Orthodox Church," as he refers to it. The Church draft was the result of the KGB’s penetration of the Soviet Orthodox Church. It had started years before, with the KGB initially recruiting agents and informants from among the Soviet clergy. The program had developed to the point at which full-time KGB officers were placed in critical Church positions immediately after graduating from the Church’s university, the Spiritual Academy in historic Zagorsk, and were guaranteed an amazing career in the Church. Although all legitimate candidates for the clergy had to pass rigorous entrance exams, the KGB had its own entry quota for the Spiritual Academy. Together, Personnel and the KGB’s Party Committee sought candidates for the KGB’s Spiritual Academy quota from the pool of younger KGB officers. These candidates had to satisfy certain criteria:
They had to be members - (or) at least candidates for membership - of the Communist Party. Party candidacy meant the universal one - year probation period.
They had to volunteer for the Church duty.
They had tobe officers.
They had to be unmarried.
Those candidates who met these criteria had to be individually approached, and the offer was handled as a sensitive matter. If theanswer was no, there was to be no further mention of it, and a rejection of the invitation would not reflect on the officer's career . . . 2
Further confirmation of the degree to which the Russian Orthodox Church had been made into a tool of the Soviet state is provided by the noted Russian researcher John Dunlop: Certainly few today would deny that prior to the collapse of the August 1991 coup, the Russian Orthodox Church had been both tightly controlled and meticulously monitored. Konstantin Kharchev, Chairman of the Council for Religious Affairs from late 1984 through early 1989, has confirmed that the Russian Church was indeed rigorously controlled by the Central Committee of the Communist Party (especially by its Ideological Department) and by the KGB. 3 In early 1992, a former KGB agent, A. Shushpanov, gave an interview to the mass-circulation pro-democracy weekly Argumenty i fakty in which he described in detail his work as a secret police operative inside the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Ecclesiastical Affairs. 4 A "majority" of the individuals working in that department, Shuspanov noted, were in fact agents working for either the Moscow or the all - union KGB. There was also a full-time KGB "resident" or chief-of-station located at the department. Obligatory reports on contacts with foreign visitors had to be submitted in five copies: one copy for the department chairman, one for the Council of Religious Affairs ("in essence a filial [branch] of the KGB"), while three were "submitted directly to the KGB." 5 After reading all this, one may be tempted to say: Granted that under the Communists the Russian Orthodox Church was converted into a tool of the Communist Party, and granted that this was unprecedented in the war of the secular world against the Christian Church; but now that Communism has collapsed in Russia, what difference does any of this make? Unfortunately, it is still very relevant. First of all, as John Dunlop observes, "the overwhelming majority of the current one hundred and nineteen bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate were ordained to the episcopacy prior to August of 1991 [the date of the effective end of Communist rule in Russia]. This suggests that each of these bishops was carefully screened and vetted by both the ideological apparatus of the Communist Party and by the KGB." 6Mr. Dunlop further notes: Materials unearthed from the KGB archives indicate that four of the six current permanent members of the Moscow Patriarchate Holy Synod are, or at least until recently were, KGB agents: Patriarch Aleksii II (agent code-name "Drozdov"); Metropolitan Iuvenalii of Krutitsy ("Adament"); Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk ("Mikhailov"); and Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk ("Ostrovskii"). The head of the Patriarchate’s publications department, Metropolitan Pitirim of Volokolamsk ("Abbat"), was also revealed to be an agent. 7It should be stressed that an "agent" of the former KGB was considerably more than an informer, he or she was an active operative of the Committee for State Security [KGB], in effect a non-uniformed officer of that organization. 8 From this evidence, we could reasonably conclude that the one part of the old Soviet Union which survived the fall of Communism relatively intact was the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church. While leaders of many Communist Party units and Soviet institutions were replaced after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Church leadership remained in place unchanged. How tragic to see that those men, put in place by a Communist Party whose aim was the destruction of the Christian Church, have remained there and, if anything, acquired even more power and influence in Russia today, for we see them featured prominently in the Russian media, occupying positions in the Duma, and meeting with the President of Russia, while enjoying far more respect than they had in the past. Orthodox Christians must be very careful not to be misled by the fact that these men wear the clothes of Orthodox bishops, are called by ancient and honorable titles, and occupy the sees of Saints of the Church. They were appointed by the Communists to serve their ends, they were agents of the KGB, they are at best careerists who would sell themselves to the KGB for advancement in a secure job, and at worst they are themselves convinced atheists who viewed the Church as something to subvert. They are indeed examples of the "new man" created by Communism - a man without moral sense or values, but they are in no sense the "new men" our Lord Jesus Christ intended His Church to create — men who deny themselves even unto death to obey God.

Foot Notes
1. Sheymov, Victor, Tower of Secrets, p. 418. Naval Institute Press, Maryland 1993.

2. Ibid., p. 186.

3. Argumenty i fakty, 1992, no. 8 p. 5, Archpriest Viacheslav Polosin has asserted that the Department of External Ecclesiastical Relations effectively had been turned into "a secret center of KGB agents among the believers." Nezavisimaia gazeta, 20 February 1993, p. 4 (End note 71, taken from Dunlop, John, "The Moscow Patriarchate As An Empire Saving Institution" Chap. 2 in "The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia" Editor Michael Bourdeaux. M.E. Sharp Pub. 1995, Armonk, NY).

4. In Moskovskie novosti; 12 July 1992, p. 20 (from End note 72, taken from Dunlop, John, "The Moscow Patriarchate As An Empire Saving Institution" Chap. 2 in "The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia" Editor Michael Bourdeaux. M.E. Sharp Pub. 1995, Armonk, NY).

5. Ibid. p. 29.

6. Ibid. p. 29.

7. Ogonek, 1992, nos. 18-19, p. 13. To date, the only Moscow Patriarchate bishop to publicly admit that he has served as a KGB agent has been Archbishop Khrizostom of Vilnius. See the interview with him in Moskovskii komsomolets, 30 November 1993, p. 2. Concerning the KGB’s extensive use of church funds to finance secret police operations, see the open letter of Fr. Gleb Yakunin to the Patriarch in Ekspress-khronika, 1994, no. 4, reprinted in Russian and CIS Today, 30 January 1994, pp. 64/22-29. According to the journalist Iurii Buida, monies from this so-called black cashbox may have been employed by the KGB to fund political assassinations. See Novoe Vremia, no. 5, pp.50-51. (From End note 74, taken from Dunlop, John, "The Moscow Patriarchate As An Empire Saving Institution" Chap. 2 in "The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia" Editor Michael Bourdeaux. M.E. Sharp Pub. 1995, Armonk, NY).

8. Dunlop, op. cit p. 30.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Repose of His Eminence, The Most Reverend Archbishop Antony of Vyatka and Yaransk

On the morning of Sunday, March 1, 2009 (ns), His Eminence, The Most Reverend Archbishop ANTHONY of Vyatka and Yaransk, departed to the Lord. His departure was very quick. He was going to visit one of his parishes, where he intented to serve that day. When Father Mitrofan, with whom Vladika was going to visit the parish, came in the morning, he found Vladika reposed in his house.Funeral service for the reposed hierarch was held on Tuesday, March 3rd, at which His Eminence Metropolitan Valentine, Chief Hierarch of the ROACpresided. Eternal be his Memory! Вечная память!


Утром 1 марта на 84-м году жизни скоропостижно скончался катакомбный Архиепископ Яранский и Вятский Антоний. Владыка собирался на службу в один из своих приходов, но Господь призвал его к себе. Приехавший к Владыке утром иерей Митрофан, с которым он должен был прибыть на приход, обнаружил Владыку почившим в своем доме. Погребение было совершено 3 марта Митрополитом Суздальским и Владимирским Валентином.Вечная память!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Photographs of the churches that are being taken away from us.

This is our main Russian site. Here you can see some before and after pictures of the churches in Suzdal that are being taken away from us. The before pictures show what the condition of the buildings when we received them. The after pictures show what they look like today after we have worked so long and hard to restore them.

Фотографии храмов отнятых у нас в Суздале

Ссылка на сайт Суздальской Епархии.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Window on Eurasia: Some 'New Martyrs' Worked for the NKVD and Don't Deserve Sainthood

Paul Goble
Vienna, February 18 – At least some of those venerated by the Russian Orthodox Church as "the new martyrs" because they died at the hands of the Soviet regime do not deserve to be canonized because they either agreed to act as informers for the secret police or denounced their own faith in the hope of leniency, according to a priest now involved in researching these cases.

Speaking to a church conference this week, Father Superior Damaskin said that "far from every individual who suffered for the faith in Soviet times can be elevated to the rank of the saints" because canonization requires an examination of an individual's entire life rather than only one moment of it (

And unfortunately, he continued, many who were tortured or even were killed because of their faith or position in the Church had agreed to act as informers or promised to do so or even denied the Church and its teachings as a whole in the hopes, sometimes realized, of being spared at least for a time.

Thus, Archimandrite Pavel of Yaroslavl, after being arrested in 1929, "agreed to become an informer and was freed," Damaskin said. "But in 1938, the NKVD all the same arrested and shot him." And others were quite prepared to deny their faith if that would save their lives, a strategy that was not successful in most cases.

Unfortunately, the priest continued, sorting out such cases is becoming ever more difficult.  In the 1990s, the Church had access to some of the archives it needed, but more recently, the authorities have put these files beyond the reach of the church, an action that among other things raises questions about who was a saint and who was a police informer.

Damaskin's position represents the rise of a much tougher standard that many in the Church have used before.  Not only do many of the faithful accept that people including churchmen did many unfortunate things because of torture, as any number of memoirs from the 1930s attest, but there is another reason this complicated relationship was not discussed.

As many in the Church and the human rights communities have long been aware, some of the most senior hierarchs in the Moscow Patriarchate have had close ties with or have even been officers in the secret police.  Consequently, to talk about this even as Damaskin does calls attention to something many in the hierarchy would prefer not to have discussed.

But at least some in the hierarchy feel they have no choice, given the importance of the status of saint in Orthodoxy.  Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsky and Kolomna, who heads the Synod's commission on canonization, seconded Damaskin's argument, although he tried to put a more optimistic gloss on it (

The Metropolitan said that "it is of course hard for us now: for us, state archives are being closed, but we believe that the new martyrs will be accepted by the people, and despite all these difficulties," the Church and its followers will gain the intercessors with God that everyone requires.

He added that on April 11th, his commission would mark its 20th anniversary, and he promised that it would continue its work.  But in addition to the problems it faces with access to the necessary archives, the commission also faces difficulties from Orthodox nationalist activists who want to see Rasputin or even Stalin canonized.

The Church is unlikely to agree – the recent case of the priest who hung an icon in his church is instructive on this point ( – but the muddying of the waters that the issues Damaskin and Yuvenaly raise will undoubtedly be exploited by such people.

Moreover, these reports will complicate the Moscow Patriarchate's relations with independent Orthodox groups both within Russia and abroad and cause many of them to take an even firmer position against cooperating with those they suspect have more than a little to hide both now and in the past.

Thus, in yet another way, the closure of the archives under Vladimir Putin is preventing closure over the tragedies of Soviet times. Worse, it ensures that the dark shadow that period cast on Russia and Russian believers even as Moscow now says it wants to support them in every possible way.  

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Russian court seizure of independent Orthodox churches threatens Russia's future, activists say

EASTONIAN LIFE, 17 Feb 2009 Paul Goble

VIENNA, February 16 – A Russian court has confiscated 13 churches belonging to the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, a successor to the Soviet-era Catacomb Church, apparently at the insistence of two Russian nationalist groups who oppose the existence of any Orthodox church in Russia that is not subordinate to and controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Not only does this decision violate the Russian Constitution and raise questions about the independence of Russian courts, but this "unprecedented" action in the history of Russian jurisprudence is tragically "comparable" to Communist anti-religious campaigns, Russian human rights activists said in an open letter to President Dmitry Medvedev that was released last Friday.

And Ludmila Alekseyeva, Lev Ponomaryev, and Father Gleb Yakunin argue passionately and convincingly that the February 5th decision by Suzdal constitutes a far greater threat to freedom of religion, civic peace and the future of Russia than many commentators had assumed when it was first handed down (

The reasons for their fears are rooted in the history of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, the way in which this case evolved, and the dilemma it poses not only for members of this church, who have long experience of conducting their religious affairs underground, but also for other believers who do not.

In Soviet times, many Orthodox faithful refused to have anything to do with the Moscow Patriarchate because they believed with good reason that the hierarchs were thoroughly penetrated and controlled by Soviet intelligence agencies like the KGB. And to keep their faith alive, they went underground and formed what came to be called the Catacomb Church.

Many members of that church, as Alekseyeva and her colleagues point out, were persecuted for this and today thousands of those who were tortured and killed by the communists are recognized as "the New Martyrs" by Russian Orthodox faithful and even by the Moscow Patriarchate.

In 1990, when conditions permitted, some surviving members of the Catacomb Church organized the Russian Orthodox Free Church and acknowledged their subordination to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, the so-called émigré church that was formed outside of Europe by churchmen who fled the Bolshevik revolution.

In 1998, this church, which numbers approximately 60 congregations in the Russian Federation and the former Soviet republics, changed its name to the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. And last year, despite the reunification of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, it refused to subordinate itself to Moscow.

Despite that complicated history, this church was able to "peacefully coexist" with all other Orthodox communities in Suzdal, including the local eparchate of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Old Believers, who also stand apart from the latter. And over the last 15 years, its members have worked hard to restore the churches that the Soviets had damaged or destroyed.

Several years ago, however, a campaign was launched by two Russian nationalist groups in Moscow – the Union of Orthodox Russians and the Union of Orthodox Church Banner Carriers – to force all Orthodox groups to accept subordination to the Moscow Patriarchate, a religious variant of Vladimir Putin's "power vertical."

But despite that campaign, members of the Autonomous Church have said, the court seemed to be on their side until just a few days before the decision against them was handed down. That raises the suspicion, the human rights activists say, that this decision was intended as "a gift" to newly elected Patriarch Kirill.

(But if it was a gift, it was a gift that no one in the local eparchate of the Moscow Patriarchate appears to have been involved with. Eparchate secretary Father Innokenty told "Kommersant" that his Church had never intervened in the case and while interested in Orthodox unity never seeks to force it (

The Suzdal court's decision – and as of now, the court has not released its argument but only its order – creates a moral and legal dilemma, the rights activists say. On the one hand, these believers are law-abiding and want to live according to the law of their country. But on the other, they are committed to supporting their faith against those they see as its enemies.

Consequently, they plan to appeal not only within Russia where some experts believe they will have more success ( but also if need be to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which is likely to find for them and order the Russian government to compensate them financially.

But the members of these congregations and others who may be put at risk in the same way are not afraid to go underground again. After all, the human rights activists point out, these people "have great experience" of keeping their faith alive even "under conditions of the most severe persecution."

If the number of such people were small, the rights activists say, the Russian government might not have much to worry about. But in fact, those Russians who are known as "alternative Orthodox" because they do not want to be subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate now constitute a large community, as last year's struggle over Bishop Diomid showed.

And if the Russian government, especially if it appears to be acting not on the basis of law but at the insistence of radical nationalist extremists, confirms this decision or makes more like it, the number of people who will be ready to go "underground" because of their beliefs will only grow.

Some of them will try to defend their churches to the last, possibly setting the stage for violent conflicts between the faithful who thought that the days of Soviet-style repression were behind them and agents of the current regime who may find it difficult if not impossible to carry out such orders without the use of force.

That will strike at "the prestige of the Russian state," the activists say, and undermine "hopes for the establishment of democracy and the primacy of law in our country." To avoid that, they conclude, President Medvedev must "do everything possible" to ensure that Russia will not see again "the shedding of the blood of new martyrs for the Orthodox faith!"

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Press Release

Subject: Human Rights Violations in the Russian Federation (religious persecution in contemporary Russia)

The Russian Orthodox Church is one of the Churches of the Eastern Orthodox communion. The official date for the Christianization of Russia was 988. From then until the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, Kievan, later known as Moscovian Rus’, has officially been a Christian country. In the fifteenth century, the Metropolia of Moscow became administratively independent from its Mother Church - the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Constantinople). The first Patriarch of Moscow, however, was not elected until 1589. Both of these facts are still being disputed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, and the title “His Holiness,” adopted by the Russian Church for the Patriarchs of Moscow, has yet to be recognized by the heads of other Orthodox Churches.

During the period from 1593 to 1721, there were 10 Patriarchs of Moscow. After the death of Patriarch Adrian in 1700, no successor was elected, and in 1721, Tsar Peter I established a new form for the highest ruling authority in the Russian Church - the Spiritual Council, which was soon after renamed the Most Holy Ruling Synod.

The 11th Patriarch of Moscow, Tikhon (Belavin), was elected only in 1917 by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

After the Bolshevik October Revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church was subjected to unprecedented persecutions that may be compared to the persecutions by the Roman Emperors in the first centuries of Christian history. Most of the clergy, including Patriarch Tikhon and his Locum Tenens, were arrested and executed. The new government confiscated all church property, and initiated the creation of several modernist church groups.

In 1926-27, with the involvement of Bolshevik/Communist government and the secret service of Soviet Russia, the unlawful (from the point of view of canon law) religious organization headed by Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) of Nizhgorod was created. In reality, the entire upper echelon of church authority had been usurped by a handful of hierarchs loyal to the Communist regime. On the 29th of July, 1927, Metropolitan Sergius issued a document called the “Declaration of Loyalty to the Soviet Government.” This moment is considered to be the official date of the division of the Russian Orthodox Church into the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (hierarchs and clergy outside of the Soviet Russia), the Russian Orthodox Catacomb Church (hierarchs and clergy inside Soviet Russia who were not allowed to exist legally) and the so-called Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (the name was finally decided upon in 1943, after Metropolitan Sergius was appointed as Patriarch by none other than Joseph Stalin himself).

One of the distinctive characteristics of the hierarchy loyal to Metropolitan Sergius Stragorodsky were their numerous false statements (spanning more than 60 years, 1927-1992) denying the existence of any persecution on the part of the Communist authorities of believers, and their assertion that there was complete freedom of worship in the Soviet Russia. All the while, hundreds of thousands of clergymen and millions of believing laymen became victims of the regime. Another distinctive characteristic of this hierarchy was the complete cooperation between the hierarchs and the highest-ranking clergy with the secret service and the state. That is apparently the case until this day.

At the beginning of the 1990s, right after the fall of the Soviet regime, it became possible, for a short time, for the remnants of the catacomb church and the structures of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad inside Russia to exist openly, in particular, the Free Russian Orthodox Church. At that time, it was given the use of several half ruined churches in the town of Suzdal and its environs.

In recent years, the believers there have renovated all of these churches, restoring and decorating them at their own expense. The Divine Services in these churches are always well attended. The Churches are served by a full staff of clergy. There are also several active educational, peace-making and humanitarian programs.

In 1998, the Free Russian Orthodox Church was renamed the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), at the behest of the government.

ROAC has no communion in prayer with Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (ROC MP) because of the unwillingness of the hierarchy of the ROC MP to repent of its illegal usurpation of church authority, its cooperation with the KGB, its part in the destruction of fellow Christians and religious persecutions during the Soviet era, its servitude to the secular state, and because of its other gross infringements of the canons and rules of Orthodox Church, such as its participation in the egregious sin of ecumenism. ROAC, as well as other true Orthodox jurisdictions of the Russian Orthodox Church, has had no opportunity of taking part in any Councils of the Russian Church, which therefore cannot be considered as legitimate Local Councils of Russian Orthodox Church. Accordingly, the elections of the Patriarchs of Moscow, after Tikhon (Belavin), cannot be recognized as legitimate from the point of view of the more conservative side of the church.

Moreover, the virtual merging of the ROC MP with the secular authority in the Russian Federation again casts doubt upon how seriously the articles of the Russian constitution and its laws guaranteeing the rights of freedom of religion and conscience to Russian citizens of faith, fundamental human rights, can be taken. Although it would seem to most observers that there is a palpable sense of goodwill on the part of the state towards the Orthodox Church, there is in reality only the illegal state support of one sole denomination – ROC MP. The Hierarchs and the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate openly provoke religious conflicts, suborn perjury, and some of them openly call for violence against other Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians, and the believers of ROAC in particular. Thus, just as in Soviet days, the public is again being lied to by its government. For some years now, several relative officials have been putting extreme pressure upon the hierarchs and believers of ROAC for the purpose of confiscating their churches and eradicating this church jurisdiction.

On February 5th, 2009, by decision of the courts for the district of Vladimir, all of the churches in the town of Suzdal, which is the administrative center of ROAC, are to be surrendered to the government. This court decision was made in complete disregard for the articles of the constitution and the laws of the Russian Federation, and tramples upon the most basic understanding of human rights. The local believers are preparing themselves for protecting their churches from the arbitrariness of the authorities, and the lawyers of ROAC are preparing their appeals.

We appeal to the public at large, to civil rights organizations, to the press and to everyone who values the concepts of religious freedom and is interested in protecting the human right of freedom of worship, for their attention to this terrible event now taking place in Suzdal, Russian Federation, for their understanding of the essence of what is at stake here, and to render all possible support to the Christians of Suzdal.

The hierarchs of ROAC invite all Russian and foreign journalists, as well as experts in jurisprudence, authorized representatives of international human rights organizations, and religious leaders, to visit Suzdal and to become familiar with this situation. The Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church asks everyone to write letters of support directly to the addresses of the authorities of the Russian Federation calling for the protection of the rights of ROAC believers.

The press office of ROAC is willing to provide any necessary documents for the objective illumination of this problem.

Contact in the Russian Federation (in Russian):
Hegumen Theophan at:

Contact in the USA (in English, French and Italian):
Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye at:

Contact in Argentina (in Spanish):


Главным редакторам СМИ
Редакторам новостей

Нарушения прав человека в Российской Федераци (религиозные гонения христиан в современной России)

Русская Православная Церковь – одна из Поместных Церквей-сестер христиан восточного обряда. Крещение Руси имело место в Киеве в 988 году. С тех пор Киевская, а затем и Московская Русь официально являлись православными государствами.В XV веке Московская Митрополия административно отделилась от Матери-Церкви, Константинопольского (Вселенского) Патриархата, и только в 1589-1593 гг. было установлено Московское Патриаршество. И тот, и другой факт до сих пор оспаривается Вселенским Патриархатом, а усвоенный себе Московским Патриархомтитул «Святейший» не признается предстоятелями древних Церквей до сих пор.

В период с 1593 по 1721 год на Московском Патриаршем Престоле побывало 10 Патриархов. После смерти Патриарха Адриана в 1700 году новый Патриарх не был избран, а в 1721 году Император Петр I учредил вместо Патриарха высший орган управления Русской Церковью – Духовную Коллегию, переименованную вскоре в Святейший Правительствующий Синод, которые являлись светскими органами государственной власти.

11-й Патриарх Московский Тихон (Белавин) был избран только осенью 1917 года на Поместном Соборе.

После Октябрьского большевистского переворота Русская Православная Церковь подверглась небывалым гонениям, которые можно сравнить только с гонениями римских императоров в первые века христианства. Большинство священноначалия – в том числе Патриарх Тихон и его Местоблюстители – были арестованы и уничтожены. Власти инициировали полную национализацию церковного имущества, а также создание нескольких обновленческих церковных группировок.

В 1926-27 гг., при непосредственном участии большевистского коммунистического государства и спецслужб Советской России, была создана незаконная с точки зрения церковного канонического права религиозная организация под управлением митрополита Нижегородского Сергия Страгородского. Фактически высшая церковная власть в Русской Церкви была узурпирована групой лояльных комунистическому правительству иерархов. 29 июля 1927 года митрополитом Сергием был издан документ, получивший название «Декларации о лояльности Советской Власти». Этот момент считается официальной точкой разделения некогда единой Русской Православной Церкви на Русскую Православную Церковь Заграницей (иерархия за пределами Советской России), Русскую Катакомбную Православную Церковь (иерархии внутри Советской России, которым не давали существовать легально), т.н. Русскую Православную Церковь Московского Патриархата (название окончательно утвердилось в 1943 году после фактического назначения митрополита Сергия Страгородского на должность Патриарха Московского Иосифом Сталиным).

Одной из отличительных черт иерархии митрополита Сергия Страгородского стали многочисленные ложные утверждения (на протяжении более 60 лет, 1927-1992 гг.) об отсутствии гонений от коммунистических властей на верующих и свободе совести в Советской России. В то же время жертвами режима стали сотни тысяч священнослужителей и миллионы верующих мирян. Другой отличительной чертой этой иерархии есть всемерное сорудничество иерархов и высшего духовенства со спецслужбами и государством, что очевидно продолжается до сих пор.

В начале 90-х годов прошлого века, сразу после падения Советского режима, на небольшое время стало возможным легальное существование остатков Катакомбной Церкви и структур Русской Зарубежной Церкви в России. В частности – Русской Православной Автономной Церкви. Тогда же РПАЦ получила в пользование несколько полуразрушенных храмов в г. Суздале и окрестностях.

За прошедшие годы верующие восстановили все храмы, отреставрировали и украсили их за свой собственный счет. За Богослужениями в храмах всегда много народа, храмы укомплектованы полным штатом духовенства и причта. Ведется активная просветительская, миротворческая и гуманитарная деятельность.

РПАЦ не имеет молитвенного общения с РПЦ Московского Патриархата из-за нежелания высшей иерархии РПЦ МП принести покаяние в незаконной узурпации церковной власти, сотрудничестве с КГБ, способствовании уничтожению своих собратьев по вере и религиозным гонениям в советское время,фактическом подчинени церкви светскому государству, иных серьезных нарушениях канонов и предания Православной Церкви. РПАЦ, как и другие истинно-православные юрисдикции Русской Православной Церкви, не имела возможности принимать участие в русских церковных соборах, которые не могут по этому считаться Поместными Соборами Русской Православной Церкви. Соответственно, не могут быть признаны легитимными с точки зрения церковного права выборы московских Патриархов после святителя Тихона (Белавина).

Однако фактическое слияние РПЦ МП и светской власти в Российской Федерации снова ставит под большое сомнение нормы Российской Конституции и Законов, гарантирующих верующим свободу совести и собраний – основных прав человека и гражданина. На фоне видимого благоволения государства к Православной Церкви по факту имеет место незаконная государственная поддержка только одной юрисдикции – РПЦ МП. Иерархи же и уполномоченные лица Московского Патриархата открыто нагнетают религиозную рознь, лжесвидетельствуют, а некоторые – открыто призывают к насилственным действиям по отношению к другим православным и неправославным христианам, в частности – к верующим РПАЦ. Таким образом снова имеет место публичная ложь. Уже несколько лет ангажированные чиновники оказывают существенное давление на иерархов и верующих РПАЦ с целью отобрать храмы и прекратить деятельность этой церковной юрисдикции.

5 февраля 2009 года постановлениями Владимирского окружного суда совершена попытка отнять практически все храмы в г. Суздаль, который является центром юрисдикции РПАЦ.Судебные решения приняты вопреки нормам Конституции и законодательства Российской Федерации, попирают элементарные нормы прав человека. Верующие жители города готовятся защищать свои храмы от произвола властей, а юристы РПАЦ готовят апелляционные иски.

Мы просим обратить внимание общественности, правозащитных организаций и всех, кому дороги понятия религиозной свободы и кто готов защищать право человека на свободу совести на происходящее в г. Суздаль, Российская Федерации, разобраться в существе вопроса и оказать посильную поддержку суздальским христианам.

Священноначалие РПАЦ приглащает российских и иностранных журналистов и правозащитников, уполномоченных представителей международных организаций и религиозных деятелей посетить Суздаль и ознакомиться с ситуацией на месте. Русская Православная Автономная Церковь просит направить в адрес властей Российской Федерации свои обращения в поддержку и защиту прав верующих РПАЦ.

Пресс-центр РПАЦ готов предоставить со своей стороны все имеющиеся материалы для объективного освещения событий.

Контактное лицо в Российской Федерации (русский язык): игумен Феофан

Контактное лицо в США (английский, французский, итальянский языки): епископ Павловский Андрей

Контактное лицо в Аргентине (испанский язык)

Thursday, February 12th, 2009


of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church

To the Pastors, Monastics, and God-loving flock of the Church of God

Fathers, Brothers and Sisters, Beloved in God!

For the last 20 years, the plight of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church has not been an easy one. In her aspiration to “walk in the Holy Spirit,” and live by the holy Gospel of Christ, the ROAC remains a “stumbling block” on the path to globalism and modernism, that have so captivated the “powers that be,” including some of the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate. The task of bearing witness before the Orthodox world, as a whole, to the truth about the condition of the “subjugated church” in our enslaved homeland, of countering the lies emanating from the official representatives of the Godless authorities, of calling attention to the evil perpetrated by the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate, who are subservient to them, has always been, is now, and always will be among the most important obligations of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.
The betrayal of the Truth of Christ by the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in May, 2007, was the height of cynicism, akin to Satan’s quoting of Holy Scripture, when he tempted Christ in the desert. The traditions of the holy Fathers, the holy Canons of the Orthodox Church, the legacy of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, the founding Fathers of the Church Outside of Russia and of the Catacomb Church inside Russia, the resolutions of the sobors, – all of this have they distorted and trampled underfoot. The hopes and aspirations of the flock, all that had once been carefully preserved and treasured, all this has now been delivered over to the very ones from whom it had been safeguarded for over 70 years. Their new standard of success has become the acquisition of that which is perishable, and aversion for all that is imperishable, the accumulation of that which is temporary and fleeting, and the establishment of an earthy homeland in deference to the heavenly one.
One of the main things worrying the Uniates of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was the question of retaining property rights. This is why the President of the Russian Federation - now prime minister, V. V. Putin - had announced at a meeting in Novo-Ogarevo, that neither the state, nor the Moscow Patriarchate, would lay claim to any property belonging to the ROCOR, which announcement the delegation of the Church Outside of Russia found to be quite “merciful” and satisfactory. In fact, what the ROCOR delegation actually accomplished was the complete betrayal of the witness of the New Martyrs, the stand of the Catacomb Church, and of its own position, which the ROCOR had confessed since its inception.
The Administration of the ROAC has received many “brotherly” telephone calls and exhortations from the Vladimir Diocesan Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) concerning “changing our course,” with all kinds of promises for our betrayal, but we rejected them all. Then, our comrades from the MP resorted to a tried and true method; that of confiscating our properties, just like in Jericho, Hebron, at the Oak of Mamre, and in Jerusalem.
Before, we were unlawfully deprived of our churches in Kainsk, Votkinsk, Trubchevsk, Zheleznovodsk, Sanino and Kideksha. Now, we are being denied the right to register our dioceses of Tula, Orenburg, and Otradnoye, as well as partly or entirely being hindered from registering our parish by-laws, thereby relegating these parishes to the equivalence of an “unruly crowd,” or an “unauthorized religious grouр.” There have been attempts on the life of the First-Hierarch of ROAC, Metropolitan Valentine, as well as attempts to blackmail the ROAC. There have been cases where firearms and ammunition have been planted on our property. More than once, our clergy and faithful have been subject to beatings. Some of our churches and buildings housing our elderly and handicapped monastics have been subject to arson. In the “controlled” media, facts of this kind are always concealed or distorted. There can be no other interpretation of these actions other than as an attempt to finish off the ROAC for good.
In the early 1990’s, the unlimited use of all of our churches had been legally given to us by the office of Rosimushchestvo. Binding agreements were signed. The remains of the buildings that we received, which were referred to in these agreements with labels such as “national heritage” and “national treasures,” were nothing more than their crumbling foundations, such as in Sanino, Krapivye, or other half-destroyed and desecrated churches, which no longer had any value at all.
About a year ago, the Vladimir Administration of Rosimushchectvo brought 14 suits against us in order to take all of the churches in Suzdal away from us.
The bureaucrats from Gosimushchestvo of the Russian Federation (Federal Property Agency) have now completed the “work of Cain;” they have sent those Orthodox Christians who do not wish to accept the ideologies of Ecumenism and Sergianism into exile, by transferring their churches to the Vladimir Diocesan Administration of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The government bureaucrats have set before themselves the goal of making the faithful of the ROAC outcasts in their own land, in the fairy-tale-like museum-city of Suzdal, so that later on, they can claim that the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church is operating outside of the law.
The contempt of the state bureaucrats for the religious feelings of the citizens of Suzdal has gone so far as suggesting that they simply “change their leadership,” which is a way of saying to them that they should join the Moscow Patriarchate, and that by so doing, the lawsuits against them will cease, and they will be left in peace.
In the Russian Federation today, where the government has ostensibly turned in favor of the church, it has actually started returning to the Soviet methods of religious politics, with the only difference being that now, “the starring role” has gone to “the only true and correct Church – the Moscow Patriarchate.”
The Vladimir Court of Arbitration, via its ruling of February 5th, 2009, has ordered the congregations to vacate their churches.
Instead of expressing gratitude and respect to those who worked so hard to save and preserve the churches of Suzdal from complete destruction, restored them from ruins and reinitiated church services and spiritual life in the city, the bureaucrats in Vladimir have shamelessly and unflinchingly spat upon their souls, and have thrown them out into the street, deprived the local clergy of their livelihood, and have sentenced their families to starve, simply in order to please the Moscow Patriarchate, which has arrogated to itself the prerogative of a monopoly over Orthodoxy in contemporary Russia.
There are dozens of churches in the Vladimir region that are in dilapidated condition, or are close to complete destruction. However, the bureaucrats of the government, including those at Rosimushchestvo, don’t seem to be worried about the destiny of these churches, at all. Instead, all they want to do is take everything that we have worked so hard to restore and put back together piece by piece, away from the faithful, violating their rights to freedom of religion and assembly, humiliating and insulting the feelings of our flock, and stomping the ROAC into the ground via the jackboots of the Special Purpose Militia.
Earlier, we, together with other communities of faith, have repeatedly appealed to the former president and current prime minister of the Russian Federation, V. V. Putin; the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, Y. A. Chaika; the Attorney General of the Russian Federation, V. V. Ustinov; the President’s Council for Facilitation of Development of Institutions of Civil Society and Human Rights; the Senior Deputy Prosecutor and Chairman of the Committee of Inquiry for the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, A. I. Bastrikin; the Public Chamberlain of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for Matters concerning Non-profit Organizations and Religious Institutions, S. A. Ponomarev; the International Human Rights Center; the Slavic Legal Center, and other agencies. But our voice remains “the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” and we have received no reply to date.
If once we hoped for a fair decision on the part of the Guarantor of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, we have now become acutely aware that the Constitution is being trampled upon by government bureaucrats and that the outcome of legal cases is decided beforehand, for in this case, the courts are but formal executors of the will of people who want to leave us homeless and deprive our Church of the right to exist under the law.
We have no doubt that the next thing to expect will be the same as we have already seen: the bailiffs being sent in to execute the court’s rulings, and the Special Purpose Militia. We are doing everything in our power inside Russia and beyond her borders to prevent the implementation of the Vladimir regional court’s decision. But, unfortunately, with the present court system of the Russian Federation being the way it is, it is impossible to find any truth other than the one that is wanted in the Kremlin and in Chisty Pereulok – the residence of the Patriarch of Moscow.
We feel intolerable pain for the fate of our nation, where the constitutional rights of its citizens are trampled upon, where the common man cannot gain the right to live in freedom and enjoy the defense of his own government. Instead of fulfilling the requirements of the Directly Applicable Law of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, specifically article 46, which guarantees the right of due process, they comport themselves like corporate raiders, and the Machiavellian principle of “the end justifies the means” holds sway. In the face of this kind of “justice,” a man of faith is left without rights and defenseless. Blasphemers clothed as bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate and in judges’ robes commit evil unto the death of their souls, and are incapable of finding truth.
Dearly beloved children of the Church of God!
Together with the holy Psalmist, King David, with one heart and with one mouth, let us cry out to the Lord God: “O God, my praise do not pass over in silence; for the mouth of the sinner and the mouth of the deceitful man are opened against me. They have spoken against me with a deceitful tongue… Let his days be few, and his bishopric let another take. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow… Let his creditor search out all his substance, and let strangers plunder all his labors. Let there be for him no helper, nor anyone to pity his fatherless children. Let his children be given over to utter destruction; in a single generation let his name be blotted out. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be before the Lord continually, and let the memory of them perish from off the earth… Let him be clothed with cursing like a garment, and let it go in like water into his bowels, and like oil into his bones. Let it be for him like a garment wherewith he is clothed, and like a girdle wherewith continually he is girded.” (Ps. 108)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you.] To Him [be] glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Pet. 5: 8-11)

President of the Synod of Bishops
Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir

Members of the Synod


Архиерейского Собора Российской Православной Автономной Церкви
Пастырям, монашествующим и боголюбивой пастве Церкви Божией.

Возлюбленные о Господе отцы, братия и сёстры!
На протяжении последних двадцати лет судьба Российской Православной Автономной Церкви не была простой и легкой. В своем стремлении ходить в “Духе Святом” и жить по Евангелию Христову РПАЦ остается “камнем преткновения” на путях глобализма и модернизма, которые так прельщают власть имущих, в том числе и некоторых церковнослужителей Московской Патриархии. Среди наиважнейших обязанностей Российской Православной Автономной Церкви всегда было, есть и будет свидетельствование перед всем православном миром правды о положении и состоянии “подъяремной Церкви” в порабощенном нашем Отечестве; в отрицании всякой лжи, исходящей от официальных представителей богоборческой власти; в обнажении творимого зла послушных ей иерархов Московской

Предательство Правды Христовой и Истины в мае 2007 года архиереями Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей явилось апофеозом цинизма, по духу своему вполне сродному сатанинским трактовкам Священного Писания, которыми нечистый искушал Христа в пустыне. Святоотеческое Предание, Каноны Святого Православия, заветы Новомучеников, Исповедников Российских, отцов-основателей Зарубежной и Катакомбной Церкви, соборные постановления - все это
было в одночасье искажено и попрано. Надежды и чаяния собственной паствы, все что бережно хранилось и оберегалось, все отдано именно тем, от кого и сохранялось на протяжении семидесяти лет. Мерилом успеха стало стяжание тленного и отвращение от нетленного, собирание временного и скоропреходящего, строительство земного Отечества в ущерб Отечеству Небесному.

Одним из главных вопросов, волновавших униатов Русской Православной Церкви Зарубежной, являлся вопрос сохранения имущества. Поэтому президент Российской Федерации, а ныне Премьер-Министру РФ В.В. Путин в Ново-Огарево заявил, что ни Государство, ни Московский Патриархат не будут претендовать на имущество РПЦЗ, что вполне “милостиво” удовлетворило официальную делегацию Зарубежной Церкви. Фактически, было совершено предательство подвига Новомучеников Российских и подвига служения Катакомбной Церкви; отказ от собственной исповеднической позиции, которой РПЦЗ следовала на протяжении
своего существования.

Неоднократные “братские“ обращения и увещевания к руководству Российской Православной Автономной Церкви со стороны Владимирского епархиального управления МП о “смене курса”, со всевозможными посулами за предательство, нами неоднократно категорически были отвергнуты. Тогда товарищи из МП
избрали давно опробованный ими путь. Это путь насильственного захвата церковного имущества, как это было в Иерехоне и Хевроне, в Мамврие и в Иерусалиме…

Раннее у нас незаконно отобрали храмы в Каинске и в Воткинске, в Трубчевске и в Железноводске, в Санина и в Кидекше… Ныне нам отказывают в регистрации епархий - Тульской, Оренбургской, Отрадненской; частично либо полностью прекратилась регистрация наших приходских Уставов, тем самым низводя их в положение “самочинных сборищ” и нелегальных “религиозных формирований”; покушались на жизнь Митрополита Валентина, Первоиерарха РПАЦ, шантажировали РПАЦ, подбрасывая огнестрельное оружие и патроны, не единожды подвергали избиению наших клириков и прихожан, поджигали храмы и дома, где проживали монашествующие и инвалиды. В “управляемых” средствах массовой информации всегда факты подобного рода, замалчивались или искажались. Эти действия нельзя воспринять иначе, как попытку окончательно уничтожить РПАЦ.

В начале девяностых годов, все эти храмы были получены нами на законных основаниях от Росимущества в бессрочное пользование, с которым были заключены Охранные Договора. Переданное нам “наследие” и “материальные ценности” тогда представляли собой оставшиеся фундаменты, как например, в селах Санино, Крапивье и других полуразрушенных и оскверненных храмов, либо то, что ни коим образом никакой ценности уже не имело.

Около года назад Владимирское Управление Росимущества возбудило четырнадцать судебных дел с целью отобрать у нас храмы в Суздале.

Чиновники из Госимущества РФ завершили “каинов труд”- теперь изгоняют православных христиан, не приемлющих экуменические молебствия и сергианскую идеологию с последующей передачей этих храмов Владимирской епархии МП.

Государственные чиновники поставили своей целью сделать верующих РПАЦ изгнанниками на собственной земле в древнем музейно-сказочном Суздале для того, чтобы в дальнейшем объявить Российскую Православную Автономную Церковь вне закона.

Глумление Государственных чиновников над религиозными чувствами суздалян доходит до того, что им цинично предлагали"сменить начальство", то есть перейти в Московскую Патриархию, обещая за это прекратить судебные тяжбы и оставить их в покое.

Сегодня в Российской Федерации, где Правительство как будто бы обратилось к Церкви, на самом же деле возвращается к советским методам религиозной политики. Только теперь “руководящая и направляющая” роль отошла “единственно верной и правильной Церковь”— Московскому Патриархату.

Владимирский областной Арбитражный суд решением от пятого февраля, 2009 г. предложил верующим РПАЦ освободить храмы.

Вместо благодарности и уважения ко всем тем, кто сохранил и спасли суздальские храмы от полного разрушения, восстановил их из руин, восстановил в них богослужение и духовную жизнь, владимирские чиновники, не смущаясь и не стыдясь, плюют в душу этим людям и выбрасывают их на улицу, обрекая священнослужителей на безработицу, а их семьи, на полуголодное существавания, но только чтобы угодить Московской Патриархии, присвоившей себе монополию
на Православие в современной России.

Несколько десятков храмов во Владимирской области стоят в полуразрушенном состоянии или близки к полному уничтожению, однако Государственных чиновников, в том числе и чиновников Росимущества судьба этих храмов и людей совершенно не тревожит. Им нужно отобрать у верующих все то, что нами уже восстановлено и отстроено, собрано по-крупицам и отреставрировано, нарушить права на свободу совести и собраний, унизить и оскорбить чувства наших
пасомых, растоптать омоновским сапогом Российскую Православную Автономную Церковь.

Ранее мы многократно совместно с общинами верующих обращались: к бывшему Президенту Российской Федерации, а ныне Премьер-Министру Российской Федерации Путину В.В., Генеральному прокурору РФ Чайке Ю.Я.; Министру Юстиции РФФ Устинову В.В.; в Совет по содействую развитию институтов
гражданского общества и правам человека при Президенте РФ; Первому заместителю Генерального Прокурора Председателю Следственного Комитета при Прокураторе РФ Бастрикину А.И.; в Общественную Палату РФ Председателю комитета Государственной Думы РФ по делам общественных объединений и религиозных организаций Пономареву С.А.; в Международный Правозащитный Центр; в Славянский Правовой Центр и в другие организации.
Однако наш голос остался “гласом вопиющего в пустыне” и ни единого ответа мы не получили до сих пор.

Если ранее мы надеялись на справедливое решения со стороны Гаранта Конституции Российской Федерации, то теперь мы поняли, что Конституция РФ попирается чиновниками, что исход судебных дел решен, ибо в данном случае суды являются формальными исполнителями воли людей, желающих обезкровить нас и лишить нашу Церковь возможности легального существования.

Вне всяких сомнений следующие действия будут такими же, как и предыдущие: присылка приставов для исполнения судебного решения и ОМОНа. К сожалению в нынешней судебной системе Российской Федерации невозможно найти правду, которая неугодна в Кремле и Чистом Переулке – Московского патриархата.

Нестерпимая боль охватывает за судьбу нашего Отечества, где попираюся Конституционные права его сограждан, где маленькому человеку не предоставляется право жить свободно и пользоваться защитой государства. Вместо выполнения требования Закона прямого действия -Конституции РФ, в частности ст. 46, которая гарантирует право на судебную защиту, а они выполняют рейдерское нападение, процветает право по Макиавелли: “цель оправдывает средства”. Верующий человек перед таким “законом” бесправен и бессилен. Кощунники в архиерейских одеждах и в судейских мантиях творят злодеяния в погибель собственных душ.

Возлюбленные чада Церкви Божией!

Вместе со святым псалмопевцем царём Давидом единым сердцем и едиными устами будем взывать ко Господу Богу: «Боже хвалы нашей не премолчи, ибо отверзлись на нас уста нечестивыя и уста коварныя; говорятъ с нами языком лживым… Да будут дни их кратки, и достоинство их да возьмет другой; Дети их да будут сиротами, и жёны их вдовой… Да захватят заимодавцы все, что есть у них, и чужие да расхитят труды их; Да не будет сострадающего ему, да не
будет милующого сирот их; Да будет потомстово их на погиблеь, и да изгладится имя их в следующем роде; Да будет воспом\януто пред Господом беззаконие отцов их, и грех матери да не изгладится; да будут они в очах Господа, и да истребит Он память их на земле… да облечется проклятием, как ризою, и да войдет оно, как вода, во внутренность их и, как елей, в кости их; Да будет оно им, как одежда, в которую они одеваются, и как пояс, которум всегда опоясываются…»(пс.108).

“Трезвитесь, бодрствуйте, потому что противник ваш диавол ходит, как рыкающий лев, ища, кого поглотить. Противостойте ему твердою верою, зная, что такие же страдания случаются и с братьями вашими в мире. Бог же всякой Благодати, призвавший нас в вечную славу Свою во Христе Иисусе, Сам, по кратковременном страдании вашем, да совершит вас, да утвердит, да укрепит, да соделает вас непоколебимыми. Ему слава и держава во веки веков. Аминь.” (1 Пет. 5, 6-11).

Архиерейского Собора
Митрополит Суздальский и Владимирский
Члены Собора

Friday, February 6th, 2009

"Decisive" meeting of Vladimir arbitral tribunal on the case of exemption from ROAC 14 churches in Suzdal and the surrounding area scheduled for February 5 rules - "Take away all the Suzdal churches"

Our faithful have worked for two decades, rebuilding them from ruins, and now, the government is taking them away.

6 февраля 2009 г.


Последний день судебных заседаний по искам владимирского Теруправления Росимущества к РПАЦ завершился 5 февраля.
Утром в 9-45 в зале судебных заседаний арбитражного суда собрались духовенство и верующие РПАЦ числом 15 человек. Прибыла также представитель истца Кострова.
Первые шесть дел рассматривала председатель судебного состава Кочешкова М.Ю. и первым делом было сравнительно простое дело по Воскресенской церкви в с. Новоселка-Нерльская, от которой Суздальская епархия РПАЦ отказалась в 2002 г., через год после получения. Тогда в письменном виде в установленный законом срок храм был возвращен государству в лице передававшего органа — Госцентра. По требованию суда 16 января2009 г. Теруправление совместно с представителем Суздальской Епархии и Госцентра создало Комиссию для выяснения вопроса – кто же занимает эту церковь. В результате Теруправлением был составлен Акт, зафиксировавший, что храм пустует, и РПАЦ в нем нет.Решением судьи Кочешковой суд принял решение Теруправлению в иске отказать.
Второе дело — по Скорбященской церкви с колокольней XVII века постройки — окончилось иначе. Суд вынес решение: обязать РПАЦ и приход «освободить занимаемое здание» и уплатить Теруправлению госпошлину в размере тысячи рублей с каждого ответчика. Это решение суда привело верующих в шок. Посколькусудья сообщила лишь результативную часть решения, а мотивировочная часть будет изготовленаи датирована 12 февраля, никто не мог предположить, на чем основывается законность такого решения.
Третье дело — по Кресто-Никольской церкви — также было решено в пользу Теруправления. Дальше все пошло по одному и тому же сценарию. Судья отклоняла любые ходатайства ответчика, ссылаясь на «отсутствие процессуальных оснований». Это было тем более удивительно, что ранее та же судья Кочешкова говорила представителям Церкви, что она «считает их законными пользователями».
В последних перед 5 февраля судебных заседаниях велось обсуждение полномочий владимирского КУГИ и «Госцентра по охране, реставрации и использованию памятников истории и культуры Владимирской области», передававшего религиозным организациям храмы. Истец настаивал на том, что только КУГИ могло передавать имущество и заключать Договоры безвозмездного пользования. Ответчик напротив полагал, что законом и собственником (Президентом и Правительством РФ) в тот период времени эти полномочия были предоставлены Министерству культуры, которое делегировало их своим представителям в регионах — Госцентрам с правом заключать Охранные договоры. Ответчик признавал Охранные договоры единственным законным документом, дающим права пользования, а договоры с КУГИ – незаконными и ничтожными; истец признавал Договоры с КУГИ обязательными, а Охранные договоры, по его мнению, определяли лишь «режим использования» объектов и не давали право пользования.
К сожалению, представители Госцентра и Инспекции (которой с 1 января 2008 г. были переданы отобранные у Госцентра полномочия по охране) поддержали позицию истца, заявив, что Постановления Правительства якобы противоречат Гражданскому Кодексу и что Госцентр никогда не получал никаких полномочий передавать имущество религиозного назначения. Эти заявления были сделаны без ссылок на какие-либо нормы права. Более того, в материалах дела имелось распоряжение владимирского Комитета по культуре, которым Госцентру передавались полномочия по передаче имущества религиозного назначения. Кроме того, представитель Инспекции подтвердил в устной и письменной форме, что все переданные РПАЦ «объекты» находились и до сих пор находятся на балансе Госцентра (а не КУГИ), как и полагается по Закону.
С другой стороны Теруправление признало, что «Суздальское Епархиальное Управление Российской Православной Свободной Церкви юрисдикции Русской Православной Церкви заграницей», «Суздальское Епархиальное Управление Российской Православной Свободной Церкви» и «Российская Православная Автономная Церковь» — это одна и та же организация, менявшая свои названия. Тем самым вопрос о пресловутом «правопреемстве» был решен в пользу РПАЦ. 12 декабря 2008 г. Теруправление, рассматривая себя как ссудодателя, в одностороннем порядке расторгло с Суздальской Епархией РПАЦ заключенные в середине 90-хгодов несколько Договоров с КУГИ. Уведомления подписаны руководителем Горлановым, уголовное дело против которого приостановлено или прекращено.
С таким «багажом» участники процесса пришли к 5 февраля.
В судебном заседании 5 февраля в материалы дела вдруг был представлен Устав Госцентра от 1998 г., в котором указывалась его двойная подчиненность — Минкультуры и КУГИ одновременно.
Дальнейшие судебные заседания проходили по установленному сценарию. Никакие ходатайства представителя ответчика об отложении рассмотрения в связи с предоставлением новых документов или письменных возражений на отзывы Инспекции, или указанием на то, что истец и третьи лица не исполнили определения суда о предоставлении подлинников документов, судом не принимались. Все проходило очень быстро. Верующим даже не дали права на обеденный перерыв.
«Судьи прятали от верующих глаза, голос их сбивался, — свидетельствует один из присутствовавших на заседании верующих, — а одна из судей даже в нервной истерике задала ответчику абсурдный вопрос: "Вы поддерживаете  исковые требования?" (!). Все ходатайства ответчика об отложении рассмотрения дела были отклонены, в  быстрой и резкой форме. Представителю ответчика не давали даже окончить речь - возражение или реплику, не давали времени на ознакомление с новыми документами».
«Суд велся с нарушением процесссуальных норм. Например, на предыдущих заседаниях не велся установленный АПК протокол; истец и третьи лица неоднократно не исполняли определений суда о предоставлении нужных и важных для рассмотрения документов; какой то странный Устав Госцентра был представлен суду и ответчику лишь на самое последнее заседание; почему то в дело одной судьи попали документы из дела другой; заготовленные (очевидно загодя) судебные решения были отпечатаны на компьютере, тогда как в судебной комнате компьютеров не было, а были лишь у секретарей в соседнем помещении; у судей на столе были мобильные телефоны и т.п. Видно было, что судьям был дан приказ все решить в один день. Отсюда страшная скорость и формализм процедуры разбирательства, где наше мнение никто не слышал и не слушал, и не хотел даже слышать - все было решено заранее».
В зале заседаний присутствовал судебный пристав, а в коридорах усиленная охрана. Судьи Бутина, Щавлева и Александрова вынесли решения по остальным восьми объектам в пользу Теруправления, лишив верующих восстановленных ими суздальских церквей. С последних двух заседаний, около 18-00 часов, верующие со своим представителем (которому стало физически плохо) ушли, со слезами покинув здание суда, в котором государство «законно» ограбило своих же граждан.
Мотивировочная часть судебного акта будет изготовлена к 12 февраля. Тогда верующие узнают, на каких основаниях суд посчитал законным лишить общины и Церковь храмов. Решения суда будут обжалованы в апелляционной инстанции в установленный законом срок — один месяц, отсчитывая от12 февраля.

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Theophany in Brooklyn, New York

On Monday, January 19th, 2009, the parish of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco celebrated the feast of the Lord’s Theophany. His Grace Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye presided at the Divine Services, with the rector of the parish, Fr. Serguei Serjanov concelebrating. The church was full of worshippers, and over 40 people took Holy Communion.

Read moreHere

Праздник Богоявления Господня в Бруклине, Нью Йорк

В понедельник, 19-го января, 2009-го года, приход Святителя Иоанна Шанхайского и Сан Францисского c радостью встретил праздник Богоявления Господня. Праздничное богослужение возглавил Преосвященный Епископ Павловский Андрей в сослужении настоятеля прихода - иерея Сергия Сержанова. Храм был полон прихожан и около 40 человек сподобились причаститься Святых Христовых Таин.

Прочитать подробности можно Здесь

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Orthodox Community in Italy Requests Reception into Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.

English Version Documents

Православная община из Италии объявила о своем намерении перейти под омофор Российской Православной Церкви.

Прочитать подробности можно Здесь

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
Christmas Epistle from Metropolitan Valentine

English Version Documents

Russian Version Documents

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
Open Letter from Vladimir Moss to Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov

See here an open letter from Mr. Vladimir Moss to Fr.Valery Lukianov (MP-ROCOR), with important questions regarding the Russian Church and the Moscow Patriarchate.

Sunday, April 20th, 2008
The American Diocese Welcomes the Parish of
Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco in Brooklyn, NY

On the weekend of Palm Sunday the parish of Saint John of Shanghai & San Francisco was received into the ROAC. Vladyka Andrei served the Divine Liturgy with Father Serguei on Saturday with about 40 parishoners attending. Sunday, the Church had about 120 parishoners attend Divine Liturgy and celebrate their reception into ROAC as well as Palm Sunday. May God bless their efforts and love for one another!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
English Translation of the February Sobor

The translation of the February Sobor in Russia has been completed and is available in the Documents section of our website. Great thanks to Vladyka Andrei for the hard work of translating all of it.

You may also download it here.

Monday, March 17th, 2008
Appeal to the Presidents of the Russian Federatio & USA

The True Orthodox Church in Russia is being heavily persecuted!Below are copies of letters sent appealing for the humanitarian help of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and of the United States of America. Please pray for the mercy of God!

  • Presidential Letter (English)
  • .

  • Presidential Letter (Russian)
  • .

    Saturday, February 23rd, 2008
    February Synodal Meeting in Suzdal

    Recently the synod of ROAC meet and has issued the following espistle:

  • Epistle of the ROAC Synod
  • .

    Friday, February 1st, 2008
    Repose of Bishop Geronty

    During the night of February 1, 2008 (ns), at 5:00 AM local time, His Grace Bishop Geronty (Rindenko) of Sukhodolsk, Vicar Bishop of the Suzdal Diocese of the ROAC, departed to the Lord. Over the past few years, Vladyka Geronty had been seriously ill, and was forced to spend long periods in the hospital. Despite his ailments, Vladyka nevertheless managed to build a stone church dedicated to St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, and three chapels at municipal cemeteries. Last year, His Grace began the foundations for building yet another church. His Grace Geronty was consecrated to the episcopacy in 2001, in the church, which he himself had built in Sukhodolsk, by bishops of the ROAC. Funeral services for the reposed hierarch will be held on Sunday, February 3rd, at which His Eminence Metropolitan Valentine, Chief Hierarch of the ROAC will preside. Eternal be his Memory! Вечная память!

    Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008
    2007 Christmas Epistle of Metropolitan Valentin


  • 2007 Christmas Epistle of MV-1
  • .

    Saturday, December 29th, 2007
    Written by Fr. George Larin and Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Were they right then, or are they right now?
    (in Russian - with 2 signatures)


  • .

    Friday, December 28th, 2007
    (in Russian)


  • Article from archives
  • .

    Friday, December 14th, 2007

    In November, 2007 Bishop Agathangelus of Odessa entered into communion with the "Cyprianite" Synod of Greek Old Calendarists headed by Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili.(The Cyprianites claim that there has never been a break in communion between them and Bishop Agathangelus, but this is not strictly true, since the Lavrite Synod, of which Bishop Agathangelus was then a member, broke communion with the Cyprianites in 2006.) Then, early in December, Bishop Agathangelus consecrated two further bishops for his jurisdiction with the help of the Cyprianite Bishops Ambrose of Methone and George of Alania (South Ossetia) in Odessa: Andronik (Kotliarov) for New York, and Sophrony (Musienko) for St.Petersburg.So the "Agathangelite" Synod, thanks to the Cyprianites, now has three dioceses: one each for the Ukraine, Russia and North America.

    Some are hailing this expansion of the Agathangelite Synod as "the resurrection of ROCOR".Does this title correspond to the truth about the Agathangelite Synod?Read More


    Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

    From the official Estonian State Archive (record group 131, file 393, pages 125-126) signed by the chairman of the Estonian KGB, Col. I.P. Karpov -- (See also)RUSSIAN PATRIARCH WAS KGB AGENT, FILES SAY

    (Translated for The Wall Street Journal by George Soroka)

    "Agent 'Drozdov' -- born in 1929, a priest of the Orthodox church, with a post-secondary education, graduate theological degree, and possessing perfect command of Russian, Estonian, and weak German. Recruited 28 February 1958 on the basis of patriotic feelings for exposing and exploiting anti-Soviet elements among the Orthodox clergy, among whom he has ties which are of operational interest to the KGB. During recruitment, consideration was given (after consolidating our hold [on him] through practical work) to his future promotion, as opportunities allow, to the office of bishop of Tallinn and Estonia.

    During the period of collaboration with the KGB, 'Drozdov' made a positive impression, being precise in his appearance, energetic and sociable. He has a good understanding of the theoretical questions concerning theology and the international situation. With regard to fulfilling our assignments, he reacts with willingness and has already provided a number of materials worthy of attention which are being utilized to document the criminal activities of a member of the governing body of the Iykhviskii Orthodox church, GURKIN and his wife, who is misusing her official position by registering pensions for certain citizens (accepted bribes). Attending to this matter will represent an opportunity to strengthen 'Drozdov' in practical work with the KGB.

    In addition, 'Drozdov' also presented valuable material concerning the case being formulated against the priest POVEDSKII. At the present time he is working on perfecting his German.

    After assigning the agent to practical work with the organs of governmental security on concrete agency matters, we are planning to also utilize him for promoting our interests among capitalist governments as a member of church delegations."

  • KGB File 1
  • KGB File 2
  • KGB File 3
  • KGB File 4
  • KGB File 5
  • KGB File 6

  • Saturday, August 25th, 2007

    Demonstrators bolstered by local police

    Yesterday, Friday, August 24th, there was a demonstration in front of the Synodal headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in Suzdal, Russia. The demonstrators, members of the Moscow Patriarchate, were accompanied by officers of the local police, and gave interviews to members of the local press, critical of the ROAC Church. As they stood demonstrating, they called out,“Sectarians, get out of Suzdal!” and “Sectarians, get out of Russia!”

    Are all sectarians being treated this way, or are the “sectarians” of the ROAC church being singled out for this treatment? What evil are these people doing by going to church and saying their prayers the way they want to? Why would this be a threat to the governing authorities? How does the present government of the Russian Federation even determine who is a sectarian? Since the fall of Communism, Russia, in its bid to join the rest of the civilized nations of the world, has signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of conscience for its citizens, and separation of church and state.

    It would seem that events like this one do more to reinforce the oft-repeated observation of late that the present leaders of the ex-Soviet Union are returning more and more to their former totalitarian ways. It is hard to imagine that any kind of demonstration like this could take place in the West.


    Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
    What Does It Mean?

    A new definition has crept into World Orthodoxy in recent years. World Orthodoxy has begun to recognize Orthodox Churches on the basis of their being 'canonical'. By this newly accepted definition, to be 'canonical' a church must be in full communion with Constantinople. Constantinople has become World Orthodoxy's touchstone. In fact, occasionally there are press releases that describe the Patriarchate of Constantinople as an Eastern Papacy or "the leader of World Orthodoxy.” The late Patriarch Demetrius described the Ecumenical Patriarch as the foremost bishop of Orthodoxy. If a church falls away from communion with him, it is no longer 'canonical'.

    Let's ask a simple question: How did the understanding of the term 'canonical' change? According to the Holy Fathers,    Read More


    Monday, August 20th, 2007

    In 1926, Archbishop Theophanes of Poltava and Pereyaslavl, wrote the following in his work, "Short canonical judgements on chronology":

    Question. Have the pastors of the Orthodox Church made a judgement concerning the calendar?
    Answer. They have, many times - with regard to the introduction of the new Roman calendar - both in private assemblies and in councils. A proof of this is the following. First of all, the Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah II, who lived at the same time as the Roman calendar reform, immediately, in 1582, together with his Synod condemned the new Roman system of chronology as being not in agreement with the Tradition of the Church. In the next year (1583), with the participation of Patriarchs Sylvester of Alexandria and Sophronius VI of Jerusalem, he convened a Church Council. This Council recognised the Gregorian calendar to be not in agreement with the canons of the Universal Church and with the decree of the First Ecumenical Council on the method of calculating the day of Holy Pascha.

    Through the labours of this Council there appeared: a Conciliar tome, which denounced the wrongness and unacceptability for the Orthodox Church of the Roman calendar, and a canonical conciliar Decree - the Sigillion of November 20, 1583. In this Sigillion all three of the above-mentioned Patriarchs with their Synods called on the Orthodox firmly and unbendingly, even to the shedding of their blood, to hold the Orthodox Menaion and Julian Paschalion, threatening the transgressors of this with anathema, cutting them off from the Church of Christ and the gathering of the faithful.

    In the course of the following three centuries: the 17th, 18th and 19th, a whole series of Ecumenical Patriarchs decisively expressed themselves against the Gregorian calendar and, evaluating it in the spirit of the conciliar decree of Patriarch Jeremiah II, counselled the Orthodox to avoid it.

    Question. Is the introduction of the new calendar important or of little importance?
    Answer. Very important, especially in connection with the Paschalion and it is an extreme disorder and ecclesiastical schism, which draws people away from communion and unity with the whole Church of Christ, deprives them of the grace of the Holy Spirit, shakes the dogma of the unity of the Church and, like Arius, tears the seamless robe of Christ, that is, everywhere divides the Orthodox, depriving them of oneness of mind; breaks the bond with Ecclesiastical Holy Tradition, and makes them fall under conciliar condemnation for despising Tradition.

    Question. How must the Orthodox relate to the new calendarist schismatics, according to the canons?
    Answer. They must have no communion in prayer with them, even before their conciliar condemnation.


    Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
    by Bishop GREGORY Grabbe

    (Translated from *Church News* [in Russian], No. 5, Sept. - Oct. 1994, pp. 2-4.)

    The newspaper *Pravoslavnaya Rus*, in its issue number seventeen of the present year, published the Decision of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad concerning the establishment of prayerful Eucharistic communion with the group of Old Calendarists headed by Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili.[1]

    In its concluding section the Decision elucidates the causes that prompted the Sobor to take this step. However, in not one of its six points does it mention that the Sobor of 1975 resolved not to have communion with the Greek groups until they themselves had become united, and the Synod, already presided over by Metropolitan Vitaly, reaffirmed this wise decision in the spring of 1993, that is, a mere year and a half ago. Everyone is aware that the Greek groups can in no wise boast of having already achieved unity, yet the present Conciliar Decision offers no explanation whatsoever for this abrogation by the Sobor of its previous resolutions.

    Thus, in the Decision it is stated,   Read More


    Thursday, July 12th, 2007

    Not a month has gone by since the ignominious capitulation of the ROCOR to the MP, but already the spirit of their new masters is showing itself.

    At about 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 12th n.s., the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Bishop Andrew, the Administrator of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in the US, visited the cemetery at Novo Diveevo Convent, as he usually does on this day, to serve a panikhida at the grave of his spiritual Father and mentor Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko) of Rockland, who died on this feast.

    From 1976 to 1978, Bishop Andrew had lived at Novo Diveevo and served Archbishop Andrei as his cell attendant. In return for his services, Archbishop Andrei gave him private lessons in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood. On Dormition 1982, Bishop Andrew (then known as Fr. Michael Maklakov) was ordained to the priesthood by St. Metropolitan Philaret in the cathedral church at Novo Diveevo.

    After serving the panikhida on Thursday, Bishop Andrew was approached by a priest hitherto unknown to him. This priest introduced himself as Fr. George Zelenin from Paterson, NJ. Fr. George asked Bishop Andrew, “And who are you, Father?” Bishop Andrew replied, “My name is Bishop Andrew.” Fr. George continued, “Well then, Father, you ought to know, especially if you are a bishop, as you say you are, that you have no right to serve a panikhida in the cemetery without first receiving permission from the rector.” Bishop Andrew responded, “Thank you for the information, Father.” Then he continued, “Perhaps you don’t know, but I had been Archbishop Andrei’s cell attendant.” Fr. George responded, “Oh yes, I know. We know everything about you. Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that you must still get permission before entering the cemetery, especially if you want to do any kind of service.” Bishop Andrew responded, “This cemetery is a public place. There are graves here of Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks, Georgians, Bulgarians, Roman Catholics and Protestants. In thirty years, I have never heard of anyone asking for permission to visit the cemetery in order to pray for the souls of the dead.” Fr. George’s answer to Bishop Andrew’s statement that the cemetery was a public place was, “Not exactly, not exactly.” By this time, Fr. George was shaking and his voice was quivering uncontrollably. Bishop Andrew then said, “Well, if you are so sure about your statement, you can call the police if you wish, but I’m not leaving until I am ready to leave.”

    It was Bishop Andrew’s impression that someone had put Fr. George up to this altercation, since he had never met him before this moment, and did not know who he was. It is also a well-known fact that many clergymen visit the cemetery at all hours of the day and evening without seeking special permission. Indeed, there is nowhere to ask for permission anyway, especially at that time of the evening. The idea itself is absurd. There is indeed a custom of asking for permission from the rector before serving inside someone else’s church building. But to extend this to a cemetery is really a stretch. Do they think now that the remains of six thousand of the staunchest opponents of the Soviet Union and the MP have joined them in their apostasy? Do they intend to hold them “hostage” now in an effort to force the rest of us to join them?

    This is not the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation, its bastard child, that we are talking about. This is the United States of America, the land of the free, where this took place. Bishop Andrew is not Russian, nor is he of Russian descent. He does speak Russian, as well as four other languages. Twenty-six years ago, when he was about to become a Russian Orthodox priest, he russified his last name in order to fit in better with the people that he would be serving. His great-great-great-great grandfather was one of the Minutemen who fought at Concord and Lexington, and later served as quartermaster in the army of General George Washington. And now he is being told by a “New Russian” that he has no right to enter a public cemetery to pray for the repose of the soul of his spiritual father, a man whose sufferings for not accepting the declaration of Sergius Stragorodsky are well known!?! What can we expect from these people next? “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matt. 10:36) “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John: 16:2)



    From Louisiana: Wow! What a story! “Blessed are you when men shall revile and persecute you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko) must be spinning in his grave, so to speak.

    From Argentina: This is a very sad news, but there we can see who are the "new masters" of Lavrites, and they are just the "new commissars" of the MP. So, just asthose were servants of Stalin, now the lavrites are servants of MP and his master neo-stalinist Putin.

    From California: This is outrageous!...I am so sorry that you were treated like this, especially being the descendant of those made this country independent from outside domination. But it looks like this is merely the start of the long Soviet reach to rule here! Unbelievable! ...Well, this incident displays how very evil these people are in their persecution of those who have seen the light way back when - and acted upon it instead of whispering complaints like the Rocor clerics who won't ever endanger their "positions" and "reputations" to move to a correct jurisdiction.Thank you for conveying a shocking bit of truth of these vipers!

    From France: Lord, have mercy!

    Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

    A talk delivered by Fr. Maximus (Maretta) to the Inter-Orthodox Conference “Orthodoxy and Modern Ecumenism,” University of Chicago, March 5/18, 2007.

    Your Grace, Fathers and Brethren, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I would like to speak to you today about the problem of conservative New Calendarism. By conservative New Calendarists I mean those who consider the institution of the Gregorian calendar and involvement in the ecumenical movement to be misguided, unfortunate, or even to some degree heretical, but nevertheless remain in churches which follow the New Calendar and foster Ecumenism. While conservative New Calendarists rightly consider Orthodoxy to be the one and only true Church of Christ and adhere to Orthodox doctrines and practices with admirable zeal, they find themselves under bishops who deny those doctrines and shun traditional piety. Although this situation is certainly uncomfortable for them, they are obligated to justify it, and to this end employ the following argument:

    The participation of our bishops in the ecumenical movement is wrong, but it is only an abuse, not a heresy; and if it even descends to the level of heresy, it occurs only on a personal, not an official, level.

    Thus the church as a whole is not implicated in the heresy, and one may in good conscience continue in communion with the bishops in question. This line of reasoning underlies virtually all serious attempts to justify remaining in the New Calendarist, or Ecumenist church, and not returning to the Old Calendarist, or traditional Orthodox Church.

    The argument in itself begs the question of...   Read More


    Thursday, June 14th, 2007
    by Archpriest Michael

    The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has ceased to exist. But not as a result of the events of May 17th. That was only the epilogue. In the Russian language newspaper Nasha Strana (Our Country), S.V. Volkov wrote these remarkable words: The ROCOR ceased to exist the moment the idea was accepted by its Synod that talks with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) were possible.

    The ROCOR had stood on two principles.

    The first one was a consistent stance of anti-Sovietism and anti-Communism. It exposed the regime of the Bolsheviks as criminal. In 1922, the bishops who led the ROCOR sent an appeal    Read More


    Thursday, June 14th, 2007

    By Vladimir Moss

    The Orthodox world was shocked when, in 1965, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras “lifted the anathemas” on their churches.Metropolitan Philaret led the True Orthodox in protesting that this simply could not be done.The anathemas on the Filioque and other Papist heresies were eternally valid, for falsehood remains falsehood for ever; and as long as the Papists confessed these heresies, they fell under the anathemas.

    The essential point is this: if an anathema expresses truth, and the bishops who pronounce it are true, then it has power “to the ages of ages”, and nobody can lift it, because   Read More


    Thursday, May 24th, 2007
    Dearly beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord!

    The entire Orthodox world can now bear witness to the fact that the prophetic words of the holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian as recorded in the Book of Revelation: “And it was given unto the dragon to make war with the saints, and to overcome them” have come to pass.

    The study of the Orthodox Faith lies at the foundation of the spiritual life of each man. However, the signing of the Act of Canonical Union be-tween the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), who are stained with a multitude of sins from the period of the atheistic madness in Russia, is a huge blow against the Orthodox Faith.

    The path leading to perdition upon which    Read More


  • (In Russian) - 20070525 Epistle Synod to Flock
  • .

    Wednesday, April 25th, 2007


    Just as when a clergyman is ordained, it is a public act, so also, when a clergyman’s service to the Church comes to an end, it must be made known publicly. This is so that people may know how to interact with him, and so that they may know that he no longer represents the Church in any way, nor do his actions any longer have any validity as a clergyman.

    I have received a letter from Fr. Nicholas Stanosheck, in which Fr. Nicholas has tendered his resignation from the office of deacon, effective Pascha, 2007.

    Just as when a man who wishes to divorce his wife must submit a petition for divorce and wait for a higher authority to act upon it, even though he may be separated from his wife, so also a clergyman, who by the service of ordination is “married” to the Church, may be in a state of separation from his service, even though he has not yet been freed from the obligations of his office. We usually call this time a period of suspension.

    Fr. Nicholas’ petition is presently going through the appropriate procedures. He no longer represents the ROAC as a clergyman. It is not improper to continue to address him as Father during this time. However, since he is leaving his position by his own volition, I think it is also acceptable to address him simply as a layman, as he himself desires.


    Wednesday, April 25th, 2007
    A group of 13 Jordanville monastics have forwarded the following letter to Metropolitan Laurus:

    "We witness, with great sorrow and frustration, that as the rapprochement with the MP progresses, our ROCOR is disintegrating more and more, both externally and internally.We observe with a sad feeling, that many staunch believers of our Church make a decision to no longer be with us.We regret to see the bitter fruits of the unification process: strife, contention at court, dissent, general perplexity; tragic destinies of some believers; loss of trust in our arch pastors; disillusionment often bordering on despair; self-willed behavior of certain bishops not aligned with truth and canons; obvious deviation from the traditional patristic path of ROCOR; heading for unification in spite of the fact that many questions of Sergianism and ecumenism have yet to be dealt with in the light of the pure patristic teaching of the Church.Globalization gains momentum, a tendency for unification of all nations and religions is all too apparent.Holy Fathers warned us of this time, and interpreted it as an unleashed preparation for the coming of the anti-Christ.   Read More

    Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

    The leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate has now officially declared that it looks upon the property of the Russian Church Abroad as its own, for only it, and no other, is the "sole legal heir to the property of the pre- Revolutionary Church," which, consequently, "is being held by the schismatics abroad -illegally," and that such a decision "is accepted by the Orthodox believing people of Russia with joy and profound gratitude.”This statement compels us, the hierarchs abroad, to address the Russian Orthodox people directly.It is essential that we clarify the essential question which has emerged over the last decade-the question of succession with regard to the Russian Orthodox Church and historical Russia.

    I.On the eve of the fall of the Communist regime it seemed possible that the previous cause of the ecclesiastical division-the atheistic government-was already falling away, and that the rest of our problems would be resolved in a fraternal dialogue.The Council of Bishops repeatedly referred to this idea in its epistles, and in actual fact strove to open paths to this fellowship.In this, however, great difficulties were encountered,    Read More

    Thursday, April 12th, 2007

    Archbishop Theodore of Borisovskoye and Otradna
    (Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church)
    Responds to Various Questions from the Faithful:

    Who ordained Vladyka Valentine to the episcopacy?

    Vladyka Valentine was made a bishop by four hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)—Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Archbishop Anthony of Geneva and Western Europe, Bishop Barnabas of Cannes, and Bishop Gregory. The consecration took place in the memorial church of St. Job the Muchsuffering on February 10th, 1991, in Brussels.

    What led to the reason why Vladyka Valentine left the ROCOR?

    He got in the way of the ROCOR’s plans for unification with the heretics/ecumenists of the Moscow Patriarchate, which had already begun by then. The ROCOR’s well-known expert on canon law, Vladyka Gregory (Grabbe), wrote    Read More

    Thursday, April 12th, 2007
    Управляющий делами Архиерейского Синода РПАЦ Архиепископ Борписовский и Отрадненский Феодор отвечает на вопросы верующих:

    Кто рукополагал вл. Валентина в епископа? — Вл. Валентина поставляли в епископы четыре архиерея � ПЦЗ: Архиепископ Марк Берлинский и Германский, Архиепископ Антоний Женевский и Западно-Европейский, Епископ Варнава Каннский, Епископ Григорий. Хиротония совершилась в Брюсселе в храме-памятнике в честь св. Иова Многострадального 10 февраля 1991 г.

    Почему вл. Валентин ушел из � ПЦЗ? — Потому, что он стал ненужным препятствием на пути начавшегося сближения � ПЦЗ с Московской Патриархией и еретиками-экуменистами. Известный канонист Зарубежной Церкви вл. Григорий (Граббе) написал в одном из своих докладов, что Синод � ПЦЗ «сделал абсолютно все возможное для того, чтобы вынудить � оссийских Преосвященных    Read More

    Thursday, April 12th, 2007
    Why the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) is not the historical Russian Orthodox Church !

    A brief history of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) and Russian Othodox Church Outside Of Russia (ROCOR)

    By Fr. Nikita Grigoriev (November 2006)
    Rector, Saint John of Kronstadt Parish, Utica, NY
    Instructor of Apologetics, Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, NY 1986-2006

    Some of the faithful are being confused by assertions that the ROCOR must necessarily unite with the MP at this time or face dire consequences. These consequences include losing ROCOR’s canonical foundation, creating a schism in the Church, becoming a sect, losing respect in the eyes of the world, partaking in the heresy of Donatism, etc. The positive reasons for immediate union are usually given as the claim that Communism has fallen in Russia, the MP has completely renounced “Sergianism” as well as Ecumenism and above all, that Russia, the long suffering Russian people and the MP need the ROCOR now. In other words, the best way for ROCOR to help the Russian people is to unite with the MP now. If they don’t do it now, ROCOR will not get another chance, and will become a sect and earn the contempt of the world.

    It is worthwhile at this time to sort out some of these assertions in the light of historical fact and to focus clearly on the real issues at hand.

    Donatism has nothing to do with why the Russian Orthodox Church, whether abroad or in catacombs cannot join the organization that calls itself the ROC, MP. Donatism was a heresy that taught that the sacraments performed by a priest or bishop of    Read More

    Saturday, March 31st, 2007
    (English & Russian)

    mpputin “In the near future, we expect to start seeing a gradual confiscation of ROAC churches and their transfer to the Moscow Patriarchate,” affirm Alexander Verkhovsky and Olga Sibireva, authors of a lecture entitled “Problems Concerning the achievement of Freedom of Conscience in Russia in 2006”.The lecture, prepared by the informational/analytical center “SOVA”, was delivered in Moscow on March 22nd.

    The problems concerning the real estate of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) is an illustration of that part of the document where support for religious organizations that enjoy a “privileged” status by the government will be realized by the control of property.

    “The main form of material assistance for religious organizations on the part of the government    Read More

    March 29, 2007



    In a recent letter from Metropolitan Valentine, he spoke about a certain priest who was visiting him from the city of Zheleznovodsk, where the local government took their church property away from them and transferred it to the Moscow Patriarchate.

    "The parish was finally permitted to re-register (re-incorporate) there, but the local police will not let him serve. They recently called him into the police station and asked him what right he had to pray and serve in his own home? They are threatening him with fines and other punishments. Such are our laws now!"


    Thursday, March 15th, 2007

    Once again, in its pitiable attempt to slander the hierarchs or clergy of our Synod, VERTOGRAD has succeeded only in solidifying its reputation for having "news" stories that are so outrageous (and unsubstantiated), that it’s now widely read by those in ROAC for entertainment purposes and not for truthful information.

    This past week, VERTOGRAD published yet another inaccurate report according to which 3 of our American clergy left our Synod here in the America because Read More

    March 5, 2007

    In response to the March 5th, 2007 posting by the VERTOGRAD Orthodox Journal Newsletter, we take this opportunity to correct the claims that their newsletter is trying to purport.

    First, one must understand that VERTOGRAD is a publication owned, operated, and controlled by the few followers of Gregory Lourie.This explains its obvious slant and perspective.Our Synod not only defrocked Gregory Lourie, but even worse, Read More

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007
    Metropolitans Pavlos and Valentine

    "On Sunday evening, February 4th, Metropolitan Valentine and I paid a visit to His Eminence Metropolitan PAVLOS of Astoria. Metropolitan VALENTINE has known Metropolitan Pavlos for many years. He also knew Metropolitan Pavlos' uncle, Metropolitan Petros. During the short, but very cordial visit, the thought was expressed that it would be good for our two churches to have some kind of dialogue. However, no agreement was made about any "official" talks. Much would have to be done on both sides, before any thing like that could come about. This is the kind of decision that all the bishops of both synods would have to agree on. This visit had more the character of a simple social meeting between old friends."

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007

    In Russia, at the MP's request, the Russian government has increased its attacks on the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC). Even though the current ROAC temples have all passed inspections, the government is now reinspecting all of the ROAC churches and declaring them either not improved enough, or improved in unapproved ways! This excuse is used for the government to grab these temples and give them to their MP. In addition, Metropolitan Valentine has been getting repeated calls telling him to leave Russia for good while he still has time. Please pray for the faithful in Russia that are under these attacks purely for standing firm in the faith and not capitulating to the demands of the MP.

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007
    Vladikas AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!
    We have a new bishop! His Grace, Bishop ANDREI of Pavlovskoye is a new bishop who will be the Adminstrator of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America, in residence at the Church of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker in the NYC metro area.

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007
    We present here for you a copy of the official Ukase appointing Bishop ANDREI of Pavlovskoye the Adminstrator of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America.

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007
    In our documents section we have added ALL of the official ROCOR Newsletter of the "Department of Foreign Relations" by Bishop GREGORY (Grabbe), the synod's secretary, in both Russian and English. We also have added all of the issues of the successor publication, "Church News" by Matushka Anastasia, who was Vladyka GREGORY's secretary and daughter. These 30 years of periodicals, showing the true historical path of the ROCOR and the sad ecumenical path of World Orthodoxy that ROCOR has unfortunately chosen to join. Read them all at our documents page.

    Thursday, March 15th, 2007

    On Thursday, October 13th, eve of the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, unknown criminals burglarized the Synodal headquarters and residence of Metropolitan VALENTINE, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.

    Between the hours of 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, the Metropolitan was home alone, recuperating from an illness. At around 7:00 PM, Archbishop THEODORE, returning from services, was unable to enter the Synodal headquarters due to    Read More

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

    vertograd (Letterhead of the Suzdal Diocesan Administration)

    No. 10      March 7, 2007

    Copy to: Dean of the churches of the Moscow Deanery, the Mitered Archpriest Michael Ardov

    T. Senina, A. Soldatov, S. Suvorov, O. Mitrenina

    Without the knowledge or blessing of their ruling hierarch, Alexander Soldatov and Sergei Suvorov, both members of ROAC, established the socalled “group initiative” in the name of the “clergy, monastics, and laity,” and began to foment sedition against the decisions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, collecting signatures in the church of the Holy Martyred Tsar Nicholas in Moscow.

    Alexander Soldatov and Sergei Suvorov “laity,” as well as the so-called “monastics” Tatiana Senina and Olga    Read More

    July 12, 2007

    MONITORING THE MEDIA:Three anniversaries.The MP solemnly noted Sergius Stragorodsky's anniversary, after beginning the gradual preparation of their flock for his "canonization".

    In January-February of 2007 in many dioceses of Moscow Patriarchate celebrations occurred on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the birthday of its "father-founder", the author of the Declaration of 1927: the first Soviet Patriarch Sergius (Stragorodskogo), put in this post in 1943 by the God-hating tyrant Stalin's order.As the official Internet site of the MP "Pravoslaviye.Ru" noted in its eulogy: "January 24 sees the accomplishment of 140 years since the birthday of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Sergius (Stragorodsky - 1867-1944).    Read More

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

    (This copy was apparently faxed to an unnamed third party.)

    Fax machine line reads:
    FROM: Holy Synod
    FAX NO.: 952 20 27
    AUG.07 2006 05:21

    Actual text of faxed document, on official letterhead (which is in Russian and English)

    Russian Orthodox Church
    Holy Synod
    Department for External Church Relations
    Danilovsky Monastery
    22 Danilovsky Val, Moscow 11591

    Phone: (095) 954-04-54
    Fax: (095) 230-26-19

    No.16/72       01-08-2006

    To The President of the Russian Federation, Putin, V.V.

    Most Highly Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich!

    In violation of the prohibition of the Holy Patriarch, and of the memorial society "Primirenie", monuments to the White leaders and to the Cossack Atamans, bearing the names of the accomplices of the Fascists have been erected without authorization on the territory    Read More

    Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
    His Grace Bishop Anthony Grabbe


    Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
    On September 13th, 2005, Metropolitan VALENTINE arrived in New York and proceeded directly to the funeral home where the late Bishop ANTHONY was lying in state, and served a pahikhida together with ROAC clergy. Present at the pahikhida were relatives and friends of the deceased, as well as several clergymen from the ROCOR, in particular, Fr Alexander Lebedeff, Fr Peter Kholodny, and others. On the following day, September 1/14, 2005, Metropolitan VALENTINE performed the funeral service together with other ROAC clergy. When the funeral was finished, Metropolitan VALENTINE gave a short sermon, after which the coffin containing the remains of the deceased was carried out to the singing of "A helper and protector". At the cemetery, Metropolitan VALENTINE and the other clergy met the coffin with the remains of the reposed and escorted it to the place of burial. A short memorial service was served at the grave of the deceased, which was attended by relatives and friends of the deceased, as well as clergymen from the ROCOR. After the burial at Novo Diveevo Cemetery was ended, a mercy meal was offered in two halls of the Tolstoy Foundation. During the mercy meal, Metropolitan VALENTINE and Lazar Djurdjinovich gave speeches, which expounded on the life and work of the deceased. While at the Novo Diveevo Cemetery, Metropolitan VALENTINE served a panikhida for the repose of Bishop GREGORY (Grabbe).

    On September 17th, 2005, the All-night Vigil was served, and on the following day, the Divine Liturgy, during which Metropolitan VALENTINE elevated Igumen Andrew (Maklakov) to the rank of archimandrite, awarded the mitre to Archimandrite Ephraem Bertolette, rector of Saint Barbara’s Monastery, and elevated Father Fotios Roseboro to the rank of archpriest. After the Divine Liturgy was finished, a pahikhida was served for the repose of Metropolitans Anthony and Anastasy, Bishop Gregory, and the newly-reposed Bishop Anthony. The Divine Liturgy was attended by parishioners from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, France and Greece.

    On September 19th, Metropolitan VALENTINE departed for Moscow.

    His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop ANTHONY (Grabbe) of New York has reposed in the Lord. Please pray for his soul, especially over the next 40 days.

    Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

    Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal and Vladimir is back in Russia after a three week pastoral trip to America, having visited the grave of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) of blessed memory and celebrating the 80th birthday of Church News editor Matushka Anastasia Shatilovna.

    On Wednesday, May 18th, 2005, His Eminence Metropolitan Valentine arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York City for a visit to his American flock. He was met at the airport by Father Igumen Andrew Maklakov. On Friday, May 20th, Vladyka Metropolitan paid a visit to His Grace Bishop Anthony Grabbe. On Sunday, May 22nd, the feast of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari, Italy, the Metropolitan served the Divine Liturgy, together with the clergy, at the St. Nicholas parish in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. During the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan awarded Fr. Fotios Roseboro the nabedrennik (epigonation) and the kamilavka. After the Divine Liturgy, all were invited for trapeza. On Monday, May 23rd, Vladyka served a panikhida at the grave of Bishop Gregory Grabbe. On Tuesday, May 24th, Vladyka traveled to Middletown, New Jersey, where he visited St. Barbara’s Monastery. The V. Rev. Archimandrite Father Ephraem, abbot of St. Barbara’s Monastery greeted Vladyka with the traditional ringing of the bells and bread and salt. Vladyka inspected the monastery premises and the new chapel, which is being built there. After their conversation, Fr. Ephraem invited the visitors to trapeza.

    On Sunday, June 5th, Metropolitan Valentine served the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Parish in New Jersey. On Monday, June 6th, after bidding farewell to all of the parishioners and guests, and speaking to other clergy by telephone, Vladyka boarded a plane at JFK airport for his return flight to Russia.

    Contrary to false allegations on the website of former Archbishop Gregory of Colorado (that had been investigated by American clergy and finally answered by Matushka Anastasia last year) that the United States government had subpeonaed the Metropolitan on smuggling charges, the Metropolitan was not approached by law enforcement.

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

    On April 6, the Arbitration court for Stavropol decided to transfer the the St Olga Temple belonging to the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church to the jurisdiction of the Stavropol Diocese of the MP. This decision is a reversal of the previous one from July 22, 2004, which acknoweleged the right of the community to its own Church building.

    The parish of Saint Olga has more than 2,000 parishoners, not only from Zheleznovodsk, but from other districts of the Caucasus, including from Pyatygorska and Essentuki. A temple was built in 1989 on the community's facilities. The Moscow Patriarchate, neither through its Stavropol diocese nor through the city administration, did not pay a penny for the foundation of this Church, according to Priest Roman Novakovsky. Only recently the building of the temple was even officially recognized, and before this the city refused to help the community in any way. All the while, the city authorities tried to disperse the ROAC community.

    Mayor Anatoly Zubtsov of Zheleznovodsk, through Decree #891 from October 3, 2003, deprived the Saint Olga Church community the right to the lot of land on which their Church was built on. They had held the land since 1993. Then the ministry of justice attempted to deprive the community of legal registration. These efforts were yet unsuccessful. Finally, the Civil Court acknowledged the right of the community to the domain of their temple and obliged formal registration to be drafted for the recognition on the part of the civil authorities of the building.

    This decision determined by the law was not appealed and it was given legal force. But then it was abolished in an appellate court. The Stavropol Diocese of the MP attacked with two lawsuits — one for illegal domain of the property and one to evict the community from the building.

    The Saint Olga Community of ROAC has the originals of all the financial and estimate documents on the building of a temple, work agreements, et cetera. In the same area, the Stavropol Diocese of the MP has only the documents about the formal recogniztion of the building, hurriedly made by Mayor Zubtsov of Zheleznovosk. He claimed that BTY, the city land committee, designed all the documents on the domain by building and by an area on the name of dioceses. Already a diocese by next day had certificates about all the structures, despite the fact that the question of ownership was already examined by the court.

    ROAC's Saint Olga Church community is currently arguing a complaint in Appellate court. Father Siluan Dignac

    We wish Father Siluan and his Matushka Nadia many years! Siluan Dignac, the ward of the Vladimir Mother of God Mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Spanish-language moderator of the Euphrosynos Cafe Internet Forum, was ordained to the sacred Diaconate on Sunday and to the holy Priesthood yesterday in Suzdal by Metropolitan VALENTINE of Suzdal and Vladimir, the first hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC). The ordination marks the beginning of the free Russian Orthodox Church's mission to Latin America.

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

    We have just received word that Hieromonk Gerasim (Romanoff) of ROAC's Saint Nicholas Russian the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in New Jersey has fallen asleep in the Lord. Please remember him in your prayers, especially over the next 40 days.

    Persecutions continue against clerics of the Russian Church in the Stavropol region. Now being a member of a ROAC is the all that is needed to be persecuted, Vertograd reports.

    MP Bishop Theofan (Ashurkov) has successfully orchestrated an eviction from the apartment of Priest Andrei Fedyunin, the rector of the ROAC parish of the village of Kursavka. In June of 1999, Father Andrei and a number of the parishioners of the Saint Michael Church in the village of Kursavka left the Stavropol diocese of the MP, after serving in the parish for more than five years. During Father Andrei's service in the MP local authorities granted the family a permit to live in a specified local residence. When Father Andrei withdrew from the MP there were no questions of the legality of the stay in their home. But soon after the passage of Father Andrei into the Free Russian Church was publicized in the local press, articles began to appear about "American sectarians" taking over the Kursava village temple, courtesy of the MP's Stavropol diocese.

    In 2001, the parishioners of the local MP church concocted a statement under advisement from Kursavka's village administration, where it was determined that a direct transfer of residential property was needed for the MP community, which happened to be the same property where Father Andrei lived with his family for five years. Of course, they "forgot to inform" the priest of this fact, leaving him no time to seek any legal recourse prior to this decision. Priest Andrei Fedyunin repeatedly turned the procuratorship of the Andropovsk region of Stavropol with complaints of illegal actions on the part of the village administration, but the procuratorship found nothing illegal in these actions. Meanwhile, the MP SaintMichael Parish filed a motion to the court evicting Fr Andrei from from the apartment he lived in. In response, Father Andrei filed a counter-motion arguing that the building transfer to the MP was illegal, but in the course of two years, nothing was done.

    Assigned this past year to the MP's Stavropol diocese, Bishop Theofan (Ashurkov) turned to the deputy representative of the President of the Southern federal region, Korobeynikov (a native of s. Kursavka) with the request to assist taking the apartment occupied by FatherAndrei "by any means". In spite of all their difficulties, the parishioners of ROAC's Saint Vladimir Church in Kursavka and their rector, Father Andrei, believe that the small community of the Free Russian Church, with God's help and through the might of prayer, will overcome all disorganization and oppression in which it finds itself.

    Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

    On Thursday, November 26, 2004, Archimandrite Michael (Graves), administrator for the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church's Haitian mission, was found dead in the bathroom of Maison Orthodoxe, the mission's administrative center. The official report states that the cause of death was cardiovascular failure. The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear; he was found alone by two young boys some time after his actual repose. There were no reports of Father Michael having health problems before.

    Father Michael singlehandedly started the mission to Haiti two decades ago, and he along with his attached parishes joined the Russian Autonomous Church in June of this year. An active speaker in defense of the Metropolitan during this period, he gained the respect and admiration of almost everyone he dealt with, except his most bitter enemies.

    In his most recent semi-weekly newsletters, Father Michael's tone became peculiarly ominous, including in his second-to-last edition a prediction of his own incarceration or death due to the political circumstances in Haiti. Father Michael had a number of enemies ... Yet his views were consistent with the Gospel; he refused to recognize any nearby government as Christian in nature and was more concerned with consistency with the Gospel above all else. Without a full investigation in Haiti, it is currently impossible to determine whether Father Michael simply died of stress-related heart failure or whether this was a skillfully executed murder on the part of local warlords, who had imprisoned and killed Roman Catholic priests in recent weeks for political views similar to Father Michael's.

    The Hierarchical Synod of the ROAC issued the following Statement on the death of Archimandrite Michael: "The news of the repose of Father Archimandrite Michael has shaken the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. We extend our sincerest sympathies to all of Father Michael's relatives and to all who were close to him. We pray that the Lord grant rest to his soul and admit it to where the righteous repose. The President and Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church"

    Archimandrite Michael will be buried with his parents in his native New Jersey, United States.

    Saturday, October 30th, 2004


    Saturday, October 30, 2004 by Yoav Gonen, Staten Island Advance

    The odyssey of the Rev. Vladimir Shishkoff and the parishioners of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Orthodox Church ended one day in December 2001 when they turned a Stapleton basement into a warm and thriving church. The long tale of what led them there in the first place encompasses catacombs and communism, politics and persecution, and perhaps most of all, faith.

    The Russian Orthodox Church was driven underground or outside of Russia following the Communist-Bolshevik revolution of 1917. According to Father Shishkoff    Read More

    Saturday, October 30th, 2004
    PROTOCOL #48 AND #49

    We present here for you a copy of the official Synodal Protocol No. 48 and No. 49 concerning the suspension, retirement, and excommunication of the former-archbishop Gregory (George Abu Asaly) of Denver and Colorado.

    Saturday, October 30th, 2004

    Fr. Vladimir Shishkoff of St Nicholas Church has been elevated to the rank of Protopresbyter and retains the duty of Administrator for North America.

    For the information and spiritual protection of the clergy and faithful of ROAC in North America: Because of his numerous uncanonical actions, His Eminence Abp Gregory of Colorado, has been temporarily removed as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Colorado, placed in retirement and constrained to live in Dormition Skete without the right to serve or perform any sacraments until such a time as the Synod of Bishops renders a decision concerning his jurisdiction and authority.

    The monastics and faithful living in the Denver Archdiocese have been temporarily placed under the direct authority of the Synod of Bishops of the ROAC.

    Sunday, June 27th, 2004

    At Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church on Staten Island, New York, on June27, 2004 on the Feast of Patriarch Methodius of Constantinople; The Reverend Deacon Fotios Roseboro of Saint Basil of Kineshma Russian Orthodox Church was ordained to the Holy Priesthood for Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called Russian Orthodox Church in Virginia. May God grant Father Fotios many years of service to His Church!

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church relates that on April 18, 2004, Thomas Sunday, His Eminence Metropolitan Valentine celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Dormition Skete. Serving with him were His Grace Bishop Gregory of Denver and Colorado, Hegumen George, Hieromonk Andrew, the priests Dionysi McGowan and John Claypool, and Archdeacon Peter. After the liturgy was ended, there was a trapeza in the monastery refectory to which all of the monastery brotherhood and all of the faithful were invited.

    After the trapeza, the clergy and some of the faithful met with the Metropolitan in order to discuss questions relating to the life and activities of members of the R.O.A.C. in the USA. This meeting lasted until late in the evening.

    At 11:30 PM, Vladyka Valentine became ill.    Read More

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    On Sunday morning, August 3rd, two fires were started on church buildings in Suzdal. The first fire was started on the big metal hangar that is situated next to Synodal House at Teremki Street and and the second one was at the garage in a yard of Rizopologenskij convent at Vasilievskaja Street.

    At 4:30 in the morning, casual by-passers noticed a blaze rising over the hangar building that is used as a garage of Synod and also as a storehouse of construction materials and fuel. Five minutes earlier pilgrims, who were at the building next door to hangar, heard the sound of a car departing in a quick manner. In it, in all probability, were offenders, who set on fire.

    The starting point, of the fire was in a firewood storehouse added to the hangar. Arsonists splashed liquid fuel through a crack in a wall of the storehouse. As a result, their stored saw-timber burst into flames. Soon a metal wall of the hangar glowed because of the fire, and it started to split. Then flames enveloped shelves with car spare parts, wheels and paints.

    Archpriest Nicholas and Protodeacon Vladimir did their best to prevent an explosion of cars, which were in the garage, and they succeeded: one car was rolled out into the street and the other, which was left inside, was continually cooled off by pails full of water. Miraculously the fire didn't spread to areas with fuel, among which was tank with twelve tones of solar oil. A consequence of such a possible explosion of such quantity of fuel could be placed on the same footing as a serious terrorist act.

    In the building next door to hangar was Bishop AMBROSE, several clerics and pilgrims, among whom were two children aged from 7 to 9. They hastily left the building when a pungent smell of smoke began to penetrate in its corridors. Fire brigades arrived in five minutes after the conflagration was revealed. They coped with the fire in about half an hour. As a result of the conflagration several cubic meters of board, slate, other construction material and also motorcycle of subdeacon Ivan Kostin were burned. According to the most modest count, an injury caused by conflagration amounted to 50 thousand rubles. Protodeacon Vladimir, who was near the seat of the conflagration for a long time was poisoned by coal gas. Urgently needed medical help was given to him.

    The second arson took place approximately at 9.30 in the morning. An incendiary splashed petrol from a jerrycan (which was later found) and threw a match inside a crack in the back wall of a garage. The fire was noticed at once and in several minutes nuns and workers of the monastery extinguished it. As a result, saw-timber and plywood stored in the garage were slightly burnt. Also walls of the garage became covered with soot.

    It is far from first time that church buildings in Suzdal become objects of arson. In the last summer a conflagration took place in the Rizopologenskij monastery at Vasilievskaja Street, where a petrol bomb was thrown through window. The building was so damaged that its repair hasn't been completed yet. "Osetrovtzs" also set on fire to chapel on Znamenskoe cemetery in Suzdal and to a church house on Slobodskaja Street, where elderly nuns-invalids live. Several years earlier an unfinished building of women cloisters in the name of Saint John (patronymic Maximovich) was burnt down. Perpetrators of all these arsons, who are well known to many inhabitants of Suzdal "aren't ascertained" by investigation even up to now and criminal cases by majority of such incidents are closed.

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    Around five in the morning of the 28th of August, the day of the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, unknown hooligans gathered in Daoobavrelse and burned the Cathedral Church of the Holy Equal to the Apostles Prince Vladimir, belonging to the Autonomous True Orthodox Church of Latvia — the Latvian Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. The fire in the church was at once discovered by Archbishop VICTOR.

    According to the report of the Latvian firemen, there were discovered two canisters of gasoline, one of which was full, the other empty, which proved the fire was maliciously set. The flames of the fire seriously damaged the roof of the church, the interior, and church property. The damage is estimated at $9000 U.S. dollars.

    According to Archbishop VICTOR, about five in the morning he was woken by a neighbor lady, who informed him that the church was engulfed with flames. At that point the fire was burning the staircase on the second floor where the bishop slept. To flee the burning church, Archbishop VICTOR was helped by our Saviour. Vladyka was taken to the clinic with numerous burns. Later it became evident that the culprits threw bottles with a flammable mixture straight into the window of the Archbishop's residence.

    Archbishop VICTOR had reported that he had been threatened continuously during the previous two months. Whoever threatened the hierarch referred to themselves as Christians.

    The result of the fire was that the bishop's entire bedroom, the trapeza and the Eparchy's boardroom were burned.

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    In the middle of May new acts of blasphemy and sacrilege with respect to the churches of the Russian Orthodox Church in Suzdal were committed by unknown criminals. Some icons and pieces of church plate were stolen from the church of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia which was constructed in 2000 on the initiative and under the guidance of Metropolitan VALENTINE in a new district of Suzdal; the bell tower of the church of Saint Anthypa in Teremky street — which is near the building of ROAC Synod of bishops — was left without its bells.

    The citizens of Suzdal consider those crimes resulting from provocative statements of the former archpriest Andrew Osetrov on Vladimir TV. This person who slandered the head of ROAC and initiated his prosecution claimed that Metropolitan VALENTINE was concealing "innumerable treasures" which should be passed to the parishes. As a matter of fact, the former archpriest called for the expropriation of those mythical "treasures" — that caused a new wave of crimes in Suzdal.

    Several days later, in the night of May 23-24 four icons dating XIX century were stolen from Tsar Constantine Cathedral in Suzdal, a total value of which is estimated approximately at 40 thousand rubles. The burglar penetrated into the Cathedral in the interval between 2 and 4 a.m., having cut metal window bars with the help of hydraulic cutting pliers and having sawed a piece of the window frame in the side-altar in honor of All the Saints of Vladimir. The thief managed to get into the church through the Holy Gates.

    At 4:30 the candle-lighter revealed a burglary and called for the police who reached the spot in more than an hour. Judging from the remaining tracks and prints the experts came to a preliminary conclusion: the crime was committed by two persons at least, one of them being a child or a lean juvenile who entered the temple through the window. The thief was gloved. In order to get inside the temple the criminals climbed over the fence. The burglars had to be in a hurry — it seems that they knew what to do and which pieces could be taken away.

    It is the second burglary of Tsar Constantine Cathedral — which totally repeated the attempt of burglary undertaken a year ago on August 27. That time the burglars succeeded to bite window bars and got into the side-altar but were scared off by the presence of the candle-lighter and ran away having left a military radio transmitter and camouflage. The malefactors still remain undiscovered. The parishioners use to note that the number of crimes sharply increased during the period mayor Ryzhkov being in power. Local authorities remained indifferent to the declarations of Church representatives earlier, and it seems that at present they don't have any inclination to carry on criminal investigation and to punish the guilty. It seems that the outburst of crime admitted by the present Suzdal administration and ineffective activity — or inactivity — of the police which refuse to provide safety of ROAC believers and their temples will continue being part of the campaign; the aim of which is to discriminate against the ROAC.

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    Theophan (Ashurkov), the new bishop of Moscow Patriarchate in Stavropol suddenly came into ROAC church of SaintOlga in the city of Zheleznovodsk. He attentively looked at the interior, then went to church lodge and announced that women there should take a blessing from him and "return to the mother-church". He made off when he was suggested to talk to the priests.

    Later it became known that on the MP clergy meeting this bishop, Theophan, promised to do all his best "to return" the church of Saint Olga to MP (this church was built by its Rector Father George Novakovski and it is a copy of Tsar-Constantine church in Suzdal, some time ago they had to fend off several serious attacks of a previous bishop of Moscow Partiarchate). Bishop Theophan of the Moscow Patriarchate has already prepared some documents for court to seize the building, also he is planning to start publishing different dirty articles in the local press.

    The Bishops' Synod of ROAC was held in Suzdal December 1-3 to discuss consecration of the bishop for the church communities in the USA, the position with regard to the new division in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and other questions.

    The first meeting was addressed by Metropolitan VALENTINE who spoke about his visit to the USA. Speaking about the latest events in the ROCOR, Metropolitan VALENTINE noted a certain increased closeness of the relations between the ROAC and the Synod formed by Metropolitan VITALY. The Primate expressed also regret that the Synod of Metropolitan VITALY refused to sever the relations with the Kyprianites. The meeting ruled that communion with the Synod of Metropolitan VITALY can only be established after it ceases the communion with "the Synod in Resistance".

    Considered were petitions from ROCOR clerics wishing to join the ROAC, and the procedure was established — to admit clerics from the ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate: through repentance, confession of the faith, and bringing the oath. Ordination is prescribed for "doubtful cases" only.

    The meeting appointed Archbishop THEODORE as the chairman of the Theological Commission and gave the blessing for opening a priest-training course under the Suzdal Diocese.

    The Synod decided to begin preparation for the 1st Bishops' Council of the ROAC with participation of clerics and lay worshippers.

    The Synod reiterated that "the ROAC stays outside of any politics and its clerics must not be members of any political party". It was noted in the Synodal definition that "every shepherd and every member of the Church of God must educate one's flock, relatives and friends in the spirit of patriotism with regard to the Church of God and to the Fatherland, and keep one's conscience in purity. Orthodox Christian must not share a state political ideology which is contrary to the evangelical laws and the Orthodox doctrine".

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    Metropolitan Valentine, head of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, arrived in America on Friday October 12, 2001. He flew into Denver, Colorado, and was met by Archimandrite Gregory and the faithful who drove him to Dormition Skete, a monastery three hours driving distance from Denver, in the mountains of Colorado. Despite the elevation of 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), Metropolitan Valentine’s health remained strong and vigorous. He was greeted at the monastery by the brotherhood of Dormition Skete, Mother Mariam of Holy Apostles Convent, and faithful parishioners from across the country.

    On Saturday, Vladyka met and interviewed candidates who had prepared themselves for ordination: Michael Fresco from southern California, and Paul Kalamaras from Virginia. Michael is starting a parish in California named for St. Maximos the Confessor, and Paul will serve at the Church of St. Basil of Kineshma in Virginia under Fr. Dionysi. Fr. Dionysi arrived on this day with his family for a three day visit. In addition to the above candidates, two monks from Dormition Skete were interviewed in preparation for ordination, Hierodeacon Fr. George and Fr. Peter.

    On Sunday morning, the feast of the Holy Protection of the Theotokos, Vladyka served the hierarchal Liturgy and ordained Hierodeacon George to the holy priesthood and Michael Fresco to the holy deaconate. During this liturgy, the abbot of the monastery, Fr. Gregory, was made a mitered archimandrite according to the Russian practice. Fr. Dionysi was honored with the Nebednik and the Scufa.

    On Monday morning, Fr. Deacon Michael Fresco was ordained to the holy priesthood and Paul Kalamaras to the holy deaconate. Because Vladyka Valentine’s trip was accomplished in short notice, the above-mentioned clergy were not able to arrange for a longer visit than the weekend. They had to return home quickly, having work commitments on Tuesday.

    Fr. Peter was ordained a deacon on Tuesday morning by Vladyka on the third consecutive hierarchal Liturgy. Then, on Wednesday, Vladyka was involved in much ecclesiastical work dealing with ROAC, writing letters and sending and receiving faxes.

    The faithful parishioners, who were not able to come and meet Vladyka on such a short notice, called from all over Colorado, and also from the states of Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Florida, and Kansas, and even from Toronto, Canada. They called to greet Metropolitan Valentine, hear his voice, receive his blessing, and wish him a pleasant and fruitful visit to America.

    On Thursday October 18, Dr. Jerjis T. Alajaji flew from Pennsylvania and arrived at Dormition Skete for a five day visit, to get Vladyka’s blessings, be spiritually nourished by the daily cycle of holy services, and get to personally know better Vladyka Valentine, Archimandrite Gregory, Fr. George, Fr. Peter, and Brother John. In addition, Fr. George’s brother Clement came for a one day visit with his wife Elizabeth and his two daughters, Emily and Zoe.

    The translators for Vladyka were initially Maximos Kotyarov, who came from Denver for the first two days, and then throughout the visit of Vladyka, Vladimir Mskhiladze, who traveled from Albuquerque, New Mexico. During his stay, Vladyka walked the grounds of the monastery, and visited Buena Vista and the Twin Lakes, a scenic area north of Buena Vista.

    On Friday afternoon, a special gift for Vladyka arrived from the Ioanna Phillips and her family in Portland, Oregon. The gift was a splendid hand-beaded ostrich egg of the kind which normally hang beneath the icons on the choros which surrounds the chandelier in an Orthodox church [as they do now in our own Church of the Dormition thanks to the God-given talent and generosity of Ioanna]. Vladyka was very impressed by the gift and promised to remember her family especially in his prayers. He said the egg will hang from the chandelier in his church in Suzdal.

    On Saturday, Joseph and Anna Johnson arrived from Utah on a two day visit, and John Mills came from Colorado Springs, Colorado (John Mills is Fr. George’s brother). On Sunday, Joseph and Anna Johnson spoke with Vladyka and departed on their twelve hour journey back to Utah. Also on Sunday, Vladyka provided Dr. Jerjis T. Alajaji with a lesson in the basics of the Russian language.

    On Sunday, Vladyka served his last hierarchal liturgy of this trip at Dormition Skete. It was very emotional. The Metropolitan blessed the brotherhood and the Church of the Dormition.

    On Monday, after the trapeza, Vladyka prepared to travel on to San Francisco, where he will venerate and pray for his flock before the incorrupt relics of St. John the Wonder-worker of Shanghai and San Francisco, and from there to visit Fr. Vladimir Shiskoff in New York, before taking the long flight back to Russia. Archimandrite Gregory, Hierodeacon George, Dr. Jerjis, and Vladimir Mskhiladze accompanied the Metropolitan to the Denver airport, where they received his blessing and bid him farewell. Security at the airport was very tight, but Vladyka made it through with no problems.

    All of us in America cannot express the gratitude that we have for Vladyka Valentine’s sacrifice in coming half-way across the world to meet with us. We all wish him good health and many years in his labors for true Orthodoxy.

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    The unknown criminals broke open the Church of "Joy of All who Sorrow" in Suzdal and stolen an old beautiful icon. Vladyka called the militia (police) but they refused to investigate the matter and said that Vladyka had stolen this icon himself.

    On the next day, after 9 p.m., 4 people (2 in militia uniform and 2 in civil) came to Synodal house on Vasilievskaya street. They asked for the book of registrations and said that they will heck the documents of all the people who live in the house (this is a large building, with a monastery on the firs floor and a number of people leaving on the second floor). Vladyka said that the house is new and they still did not get the book of registrations. "OK, then we shall just check the documents of all the people here," — said the guests, but Vladyka showed them out. "We shall investigate by other means," — said the guests instead of "Good-bye".

    A number of old catacomb nuns (who never received soviet passport) live or come to Suzdal. In Russia living without a passport is a sort of crime.
    Saint Philaret the New Confessor

    The celebrations of the canonization by the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) of Metropolitan PHILARET (Voznesensky) of New York and East America, the third First-Hierarch of the Russia Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), were held April 30 and May 1 at the Tsar Constantine cathedral here with participation of five bishops, about 30 clerics and dozens of laity from Russian provinces and former USSR.

    Taking part in the rites were Metropolitan VALENTINE of Suzdal, Archbishop FEODOR of Borisov, Archbishop SERAPHIM of Suhumi, Bishop ANTONY of Yaran and Bishop AMVROSY of Khabarovsk.

    The text of the Act of Glorification notes the deeds of the canonized, including the canonization in 1981 of the Synaxis of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, the denouncement of the ecumenical doctrine in 1983, the support of the Catacomb Church in Russia, and the "Sorowful Epistles" to the leaders of the Orthodox Churches. The Act states that after the passing away of Metropolitan PHILARET, certain bishops of the ROCOR "took the Church astray and off the straight road that it traveled under Metropolitan PHILARET". The Act expresses surprise that in 1998 the ROCOR rendered to the mould the uncorrupted relics of Metropolitan PHILARET that were acquired at the Holy Trinity monastery in Jordanville, USA. It has been determined to celebrate the memory of Metropolitan PHILARET on November 21, the day of his passing.

    During the rite of the oils presented was an icon of Metropolitan Philaret embroidered by Elena Kudravzeva, a member of the Moscow Brotherhood of the ROAC. She worked over this icon for about 3 years, after her son was healed by the prayers to SaintPhilaret. The service of SaintPhilaret was written at the SaintPetersburg parish of Grand Princess Elisaveta Feodorovna.

    Metropolitan VALENTINE noted in his address the importance of the canonization in the context of the division of Orthodoxy according to adoption or non-adoption of the traditions of the Holy Fathers.

    Sunday, April 18th, 2004

    Bishop AMBROSE of Khabarovsk, who was attacked physically last March, has received an anonymous letter with threats. The letter was delivered at bishop’s home although the envelope carried no address or mail service stamps. The computer-printed text contains a number of insulting expressions directed at the bishop, some of them, like «Satanist», being clearly «religious». The fact that the anonymous writer belongs to a religious organization is also proven by specific phrases.

    «This was your first and last warning. I give you one week to get out of our glorious city. Or else you leave it in a cerecloth of wood».

    Metropolitan VALENTINE thinks that the authors of the letter are seriously scared by the appearance in the city of a bishop «of an alternative jurisdiction», whose missionary work may «damage the dominant confession». Bishop Ambrosy was a cleric of the Khabarovsk Diocese of the ROC in late 1980s and early 1990s, he was off the staff for several years, before he joined the ROAC. Last November he was chirotonized to bishop.

    March 22 unknown persons beat the hierarch and accompanying priest, and he was hospitalized, staying in a life-support unit for several days.

    Thursday, March 22nd, 2001

    Unknown criminals attacked and beat Bishop AMBROSE of Khabarovsk and Father Dimitry in an apartment hallway on March 22, 2001. They were attacked after serving the Liturgy.

    When Bishop AMBROSE and Father Dimitry entered the apartment house that they visit very often, somebody attacked them from behind, starting to beat them with billy clubs. Vladyka immediately lost consciousness, but Father Dimitry noticed 2 young men. He remembers only one of these two who looked to be about 25 years old; his hair was cut short, and he acted as if he were used to using a billy club. People in the house heard the noise and ran out. The assailants ran away and jumped into an old white Toyota (the most common kind of car in Khabarovsk), its plate numbers were covered up. One parishioner tried to stop them, but the Toyota slightly hit her and kept on going.

    Bishop AMBROSE was unconscious for several hours. He was hospitalized and put into the intensive-care unit.

    On March 24th, Vladyka AMBROSE was discharged from the hospital at his on request. His face was covered with contusions, with a numerous bruises, a torn lip, and possibly a brain concussion. Medics say though that his vital organs have not been seriously damaged.

    Right before the incident Vladyka AMBROSE gave an interview to one of the newspapaers in Khabarovsk concerning church problems. The interview was in a very nice and intelligent style, without condemning anybody.

    Vladyka AMBROSE was rather active — he planned to build in Khabarovsk a church of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God and found a convent in the suburbs of the city.

    Thursday, March 15th, 2001

    On March 2/15, 2001, the day of the appearance of the Reigning icon of the Mother of God, a session of the Hierarchical Council of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in the Synodal house in Suzdal.

    The President of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop VALENTINE, made the suggestion of glorifying Metropolitan PHILARET (Voznesensky), President of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA), among the ranks of the saints. His Eminence THEODORE, Archbishop of Borisovskoye and Sanino, concurred with this opinion, and also gave the information that "the chancellery had sent out telegrams to their Graces requesting them to come to the session of the Hierarchical Synod and compose their opinion on the question at issue. As regards my relationship to the glorification of Metropolitan PHILARET," added Archbishop THEODORE, "I consider that our Synod must carry out the will of God and do that which the Synod of the Church Abroad is no longer in a position to do — glorify the holy Hierarch Philaret among the ranks of the saints."

    Those present were acquainted with the opinions on the question at issue of all the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church: his Grace VICTOR, Archbishop of Laugavpis and Latvia, gave the following reply: "Having acquired a preliminary acquaintance with the given material, and having now received the good news of the intention of the Russian Orthodox Church to glorify Metropolitan PHILARET (Voznesensky), who preserved the Church in difficult times — I, humble VICTOR, archbishop, bow my knees before those who have initiated this holy act. I support and encourage the Glorification of the holy Hierarch Philaret (Voznesensky), whom the Lord Himself has already chosen, by the Orthodox Church."

    His Grace HILARION, Bishop of Smelyan: "Who can and will dare to oppose the holiness and purity of life, faith and service to the Church of Christ of the holy Hierarch Hilarion (Voznesensky) The whole of his life and service, and even his incorrupt body, testify to the holiness of his soul. May God grant that his intercession in prayer before the Most High Creator and his present glorification may be reflected by the manifestation of grace also upon our Russian Autonomous Church. I belief that all of us, in glorifying the holy Hierarch Philaret, will not be deprived of his protection in this and in the coming world.

    "I also profoundly believe that the holy Hierarch Philaret is now among the number of the heaven-dwellers and speaks to us as it were in the words of G. Derzhavin: 'I am nothing! But Thou, O Lord, shinest in me, by the majesty of Thy goodness. In me Thou dost form Thyself as the sun in a small drop of water.'

    "I profoundly believe that the glorification of the holy Hierarch Philaret will bring grace-filled strengthening also to our Russian Orthodox Church, and, uniting my feeble voice, I beseech: O holy Father and Hierarch Philaret, pray God for the prosperous, peaceful and true stand of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, for her Hierarchs, servers and for all her spiritual children!"

    His Grace Bishop TIMOTHY and His Grace Bishop GERONTIUS also completely supported the glorification of the holy Hierarch Philaret (Voznesensky). The same opinion was supported by all the Hierarchs present. And so the decision was unanimous:

    1. Taking into account that fact that the Hierarch PHILARET (Voznesensky) was the helmsman of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and led her Orthodox ship amidst the sea of life in accordance with the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, not entering into compromises with the sergianists and in accordance with the popular veneration of the ever-memorable Metropolitan PHILARET by the members of the Russian Orthodox Church, and also with the incorruption of his relics in Jordanville at their reburial: TO GLORIFY the holy Hierarch Philaret (Voznesensky), Metropolitan of New York and First Hierarch of the ROCA in the Emperor Constantine cathedral of the God-preserved city of Suzdal after holy Pascha.

    2. To establish the day of the celebration of the holy Hierarch Philaret on the day of his death, November 8/21, the feast of the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other bodiless Heavenly Powers.

    Further, the President of the Hierarchical Synod of the ROAC, Archbishop VALENTINE, informed that recently a series of petitions to the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church has come from clergy and believers of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, requesting that they be received under the omophorion of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.

    The clergy and believers gave as the reason for their exit the fact that the hierarchs of the Church Abroad have departed from the truth and adopted a course bringing them closer to the Moscow Patriarchate and other ecumenists.

    The participants in the session expressed the opinion that it was necessary to receive the clergy without a canonical release, since they were leaving their bishop because of his coming closer to the heretics and ecumenists. The basis for this is laid by the 15th canon of the First-and-Second Council of Constantinople: "Those who depart from communion with their President for the sake of some heresy condemned by the Councils or Fathers, when, that is, he preaches heresy publicly, and teaches it openly in the Church, even if such people separate themselves from communion with the so-called Bishop before conciliar examination, not only are not subject to the epitimia laid down by the canons, but are worthy of the honour befitting the Orthodox. For they have condemned, not bishops, but false bishops and false teachers, and have not divided the unity of the Church by schism, but have tried to preserve the Church from schisms and divisions."

    Passing to the second question on the agenda, his Grace Archbishop THEODORE read out the addresses and suggestions of the Hierarchs presented by them at the Session of the Hierarchical Synod of the ROAC. In their addresses, for the good of the Church, their Graces suggested examining the question of the future leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church by a Hierarch in the rank of Metropolitan. In connection with this they simultaneously suggested raising Archbishop VALENTINE of Suzdal and Vladimir to the rank of METROPOLITAN. "My opinion," said Archbishop THEODORE, "is the following: the President of the Hierarchical Synod of the ROAC, Archbishop VALENTINE, has already led the Suzdal Diocese for ten years, keeping the tiller of Church administration on the course bequeathed by the First Hierarchs of the Church Abroad. For this he deserves this high rank, and being raised to the dignity of Metropolitan and being named First Hierarch of the ROAC."

    A similar opinion was expressed by Bishop HILARION of Smelyan: "From the time of its last council, the ROCA has ceased to exist as a true bearer of Orthodoxy. Her hierarchs have signed up to a secret aggiornamento — that is, they have transferred to the path of the Moscow Patriarchate. Therefore the Russian Orthodox (Autonomous) Church is in urgent need of a First Hierarch — Metropolitan, for the restoration of the fullness of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. I write to you as a cleric of our Church that the Providence of God has from the beginning chosen Vladyka VALENTINE as the instrument for the restoration in Rus' of the True Orthodox Church of Christ, and he has suffered much in the carrying out of this providential act. His Grace Bishop HILARION went on to write: "I, as a feeble, unworthy and sinful Hierarch of the Church wish to see and commemorate in my ecclesiastical service Archbishop VALENTINE in the rank of Metropolitan of the ROAC, and I raise my hierarchical voice and with joy and for all to hear I cry: AXIOS, AXIOS, AXIOS!"

    His Grace Bishop AMBROSE added to this that the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church was worthy to be a Metropolitan having the right of wearing two panagias. And the eldest Hierarchs after the First Hierarch — Archbishop THEODORE, Archbishop SERAPHIM and Archbishop VICTOR — were worthy of the right to wear a cross on their klobuks. This corresponded to the situation of the Russian Church and would serve for the strengthening of her authority.

    The participants in the session decreed:

    1. Taking into account the suggestions of their Graces the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, for the good of the Church of God, from now on the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church is to be led by a Hierarch in the rank of METROPOLITAN.

    2. Taking into account the labours of Archbishop VALENTINE for the glory of the Church of God, and taking into account the desires of their Graces, the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, TO RAISE TO THE RANK OF METROPOLITAN with the right of wearing two panagias his Eminence Archbishop VALENTINE of Suzdal and Vladimir.

    3. To count their Graces Archbishop THEODORE, Archbishop SERAPHIM and Archbishop VICTOR worthy of the right to wear a cross on their klobuks. Further, questions relating to the internal life of the Russian Orthodox Church were examined. His Grace Bishop AMBROSE voiced the opinion that the time had come for the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to issue a decree on the gracelessness of the sacraments of the Moscow Patriarchate. The members of the Hierarchical Synod agreed with this and decreed: to begin work on the given problem, in order to examine this question in more detail at the next sessions of the Hierarchical Synod, having asked the opinions of all the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.

    This session of the Hierarchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church ended with the chanting of the prayer "It is very meet to bless thee".



    Issue #1

    May be read here


    As has been reported in recent news stories, the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church is being sued for possession of 13 churches that it received from local authorities over the past 15-20 years, which were received by us in utterly ruined conditions and carefully renovated and returned to use as churches at our expense. The cases were heard at trial on February 5th by the Vladimir Regional Court of Arbitration. This court ruled against the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church and ordered the local authorities to confiscate the churches. We were given 30 days to vacate the buildings. Appeals were begun, and recently the Court of Appeals postponed the hearing of these cases until the 24th of April. Believing that the Court of Appeals is prejudiced against us, and in compliance with the court order, our people have been trying to gradually remove our belongings from these churches - vestments, icons, church vessels, books, etc. Two of our deacons were recently detained by the local police, who explained that they had received a request from the Moscow Patriarchate not to allow us to remove our own belongings from these churches. Apparently, they think that they have a right even to those furnishings that we have placed in these churches.

    Today, on Orthodox Good Friday, Metropolitan Valentine made a frantic telephone call to Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye, who resides in the US, and had time enough to say only that people who came for the service have been arrested for entering the church to serve Holy Week services and none could leave the churchnor enter it, before his telephone call was cut off.

    We ask all of our people to pray for the deliverance of our FIRST HIERARCH and our faithful from the lawless police, and we ask all men of good will, who value the rights of people everywhere to pray in peace and freedom of conscience, as supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution of the new Russian Federation, to make their concerns known to the authorities both in Russia and in their respective countries.

    Bishop Andrew
    95 Elm Street
    Elmwood Park, NJ 07407 USA
    Telephone: (347) 321-4870
    Mobile: (551) 580-4965
    Fax: (208) 730-7551

    Срочное Сообщение

    Сегодня, в Великий Пяток,в 7-00 вечера по Москве / 12:00 по Нью Йорку, позвонили из Суздаля и сообщили о том, что к Храму приехали ТОВАРИЩИ в милицейских погонах и закрыли Храм с людьми, никого не впуская и не выпуская... Так продолжалось около 30-40 минут, пока митрополит Валентин, в сопровождении архиепископа Федора и юриста епархии не направился к находящимся в насильственном заключении людям. Вмешательство митрополита и сопровождавших его лиц позволили освободить людей от произвола творимого властями РФ. На долго ли?


    Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir.

    To the God-loving flock of the Russian Orthodox Church
    Christ is risen!

    Now does the Orthodox Church beam with pride and dance for joy, the Church on earth and in heaven, where death has been vanquished, for Christ is risen, and life abides for all eternity!
    Mankind, in the person of its first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into the sin of disobedience to God, and thereby doomed itself to condemnation and spiritual death. As a result, not only mankind, but all of creation suffers and ails together with it, to the present day.
    However, our all-merciful heavenly Father, through His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, gave us the New Testament, which revealed to mankind that God is love, and does not desire that we should perish, for He so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have life everlasting. (John 3:16)
    The resurrection of Christ, the Giver of life, is the guarantee of our own immortality. It is the type, or image, of the future general resurrection, the source of eternal life and victory over sin, condemnation and death. The risen Christ, Son of the living God, encompasses the entire world, since He is true God and true man.
    From the risen Christ, we receive divine assistance to live out our lives in diligence and godliness. (2Peter 1:3)
    We have been given the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, in which our Lord Jesus Christ unites us to Himself, reveals to us the source of that eternal and sinless life in the mansions of our heavenly Father, where the righteous shine forth like the sun. (Matthew 13:43)
    St. Gregory the Theologian, speaking about the day of Pascha, said, “Great and holy is our Pascha – the Word of God, and Light, and Life, and Wisdom, and Strength! We celebrate the very resurrection, not that which is to come, but that which has already been accomplished, and which reconciles everyone in the universe with each other.”
    During the days of holy Pascha, only the demons and their faithful servants fall into despondency, but we, Orthodox Christians, must rejoice with the risen Christ, despite even the fact that during this bright period of paschal joy, the representatives of our local government authority, in the persons of Mr. Poltavchenko and Mr. Gorlanov, are evicting us, Orthodox Christians, citizens of the ancient city of Suzdal, from our churches, which we restored from ruins, without giving us a single dime whereby we might erect another church to pray in.
    During the 1990’s, Christians from the catacombs brought to Suzdal icons and liturgical vessels that they had carefully preserved from the totalitarian Communist regime, which had once beautified our churches. Now, our communities of believers, citizens, who spared no effort or even their own health, who have resurrected Orthodoxy in our city, are being thrown out of their churces.
    We have been persecuted for twenty years. We have been repressed, we have been covered with slanderous accusations for having “sold ourselves out for American dollars,” for being agents of the CIA, for being guilty of every kind of mortal sin, we have been sued in the courts, and now they are taking our churches away. In truth, the horrible atrocities of the lawless 1930’s have come back to revisit us!
    “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” the Divine Teacher inquired of his disciples. “We are able,” the Apostles answered Him. “Ye shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,” said our risen Christ, “and ye shall drink indeed of my cup.” To our great spiritual joy, to drink from this cup is now given to us, together with the opportunity to to be baptized with the baptism of the sufferings of Christ for the Church, Which He founded. It is a great honor to become co-sufferers in the passion of Christ and in the martyrdoms of the Saints who came before us. Especially coming as they do during these upcoming days of Holy Week, when the holy Church calls upon us to follow our Lord during His last days on the earth.
    Neither our Church, nor any one of us, will inscribe ourselves into the new system of the prince of this world. “If we were of this world, the world would love us,” said Christ, “Ye will weep, but the world will rejoice, but take heart – I have overcome the world.”
    We will, indeed, take heart throughout all of the difficulties foretold to us by our Lord. We will deepen our faith. We will increase our hope. And we will, indeed, rejoice that we have been given the opportunity to experience the passion of Christ through these trials and slanders. We will not permit our spiritual treasures of faith, hope, and love, to be lost in these coliseums of our day.
    We will, indeed, dance for joy in the risen Christ. We will redouble our efforts in strengthening our Russian Orthodoxy, which has been revealed to us as the source of moral perfection, godliness, diligence, and has brought many faithful souls to their eternal salvation.
    With a feeling of trembling love for our risen Lord, and for His much-suffering Church, we will carry the joy of our faith and love into our daily lives. We will be zealous for the glory of God, and we will flee from an attitude of indifference not only as regards our fellow man, but as regards the eternal salvation of our immortal souls, which is worth more than the entire world.
    Beloved Flock in Christ of the Church of Russia! Be triumphant and rejoice, for…


    With abundant love,
    Metropolitan of Suzdal and Vladimir,



    Пасхальное послание
    Высокопреосвященнейшего Митрополита
    Суздальского и Владимирского Валентина.

    Боголюбовой пастве Российской Православной Церкви
    Христос Воскресе!

    Ныне красуется и ликует Православная Церковь, Церковь земная и Небесная, где побеждена смерть, ибо Христос Воскрес и жизнь жительствует во веки!
    Человечество в лице своих прародителей Адама и Евы, пало во грех непослушания Богу и тем самым обрекло себя на проклятия и духовную смерть. В результате не только человечество, но и вся тварь состраждет и соболезнует даже доныне.
    Однако, Всемилостивый Отец Небесный через Сына Своего Единородного Господа нашего Иисуса Христа дарует Новый Завет, который открыл человечеству, чтоБог есть любовь и не желает нам погибели, ибо так Он возлюбил мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел жизнь вечную (Ин.3,16).
    Воскресение Христа Жизнодавца – это утверждение нашего бессмертия, это образ будущего воскресения, это начало вечной жизни и победы над грехом, проклятием и смертью. Воскресший Христос, Сын Бога живаго, заключает в Себе весь мир как истинный Бог и как истинный Человек.
    От Воскресшего Христа нам подается Божественная помощь для жизни в трудолюбии и благочестии (2Петр.1, 3).
    Нам даровано Святое таинство Причащения, в котором Господь наш Иисус Христос соединяет нас с Собой, открывает нам начало той вечной и безгрешной жизни в обителях Отца Небесного, где праведники воссияют, как солнце (Мф.13,43).
    Святитель Григорий Богослов в день праздника св. Пасхи сказал: «Велика и священна наша Пасха: Слово Божие, и Свет, и Жизнь, и Мудрость, и Сила! Мы празднуем самое воскресение, не ожидаемое, а совершившееся и примиряющее собой весь мир".
    В дни святой Пасхи только бесы и их верные слуги приходят в уныние, а мы, православные христиане, должны радоваться о Воскресшем Христе, несмотря даже на то, что в эти светлые пасхальные дни радости, нас, православных Христин, жителей древнего города Суздаля, представители государственной власти в лице Полтавченко и Горланова изгоняют из наших храмов, которые были нами подняты из руин, не получив от государства ни единой копейки.
    В начале 90 годов прошлого века катакомбные христиане привезли в Суздаль сбереженные ими от тоталитарного коммунистического режима святые иконы и церковную утварь, украшавшие наши храмы. Теперь общины верующих, жителей, не щадивших сил и здоровья, возрождавших Православие, изгоняют из их храмов.
    Двадцать лет мы были гонимы. Нас преследовали, на нас возводили клеветнические обвинения в том, что мы «продались за американские доллары», что мы являемся работниками ЦРУ, нас обвиняли во всех смертных грехах, нас судили, а теперь нас лишают храмов. Поистине вернулось страшное бесправие тридцатых годов прошлого века!
    «Можете ли пить чашу, которую Я пью, и креститься Крещением, которым Я Крещусь, - вопросил своих учеников Божественный Учитель,-Можем, - ответили апостолы. И крещением Моим вы будете креститься, - сказал Воскресший Христос, - и чашу Мою будете пить». К великой духовной нашей радости ныне нам тоже дается Чаша и дается возможность креститься Страданиями Христовыми за основанную им Церковь. Это - великая честь стать сопричастниками Христовых страстей и мученичества святых, которые были прежде нас. Тем более, что они начались для нас в дни наступающей святой Страстной седмицы, когда Святая Церковь призывает нас следовать за Своим Господом в Его последние дни.
    Наша Церковь и мы все не вписываемся в жизненную систему князя мира сего. «Если мы были от мира сего, то любил бы нас мир», - сказал Христос, - вы восплачете, а мир возрадуется, но дерзайте - Я победил мир».
    Будем дерзать в делах, завещанных нам нашим Господом, будем укреплять нашу веру и нашу надежду, возрадуемся, что нам дана возможность пройти по СтрастямХристовым через суды и клевету, не растеряем же в этих коллизиях наши духовные сокровища веры, надежды и любви.
    Будем в радости ликовать о Воскресшем Христе, будем преуспевать в укреплении нашего Русского Православия, которое являлось источником нравственного совершенствования, благочестия, трудолюбия и направляло верующих к вечному спасению.
    С чувством трепетной любви к Воскресшему Господу, к Его многострадальной Церкви понесем в жизнь радость нашей веры и любви. Будем ревнивы к славе Божией и будем избегать равнодушного отношения не только к нашим ближним, но и к вечному спасению нашей бессмертной души, которая стоит целого мира.
    Возлюбленная о Христе Паства Церкви Российской! Торжествуй и Веселись, ибо


    С премногою любовью

    Митрополит Суздальский и Владимирский,
    Пасха Христова


    To His Beatitude Metropolitan Valentin and his Holy Synod.

    Your Beatitude and your Eminences, brothers in Christ, God among us!

    I've heard of the recent persecutions borne by you, and I felt it necessary to write this letter to express my sorrow and sympathy.

    In the past, we drank the same cup of sorrow, that hatred and anger of the main enemies of Orthodoxy have brought before you now, and we still drink today from this cup. Rest assured that I fully understand your situation.

    Dear brothers, let me say that while these courts may hurt your heart, at the same time will benefit as they will renew and strengthen the faith in our religious beliefs. Greatness is not found on walls and buildings, but in the Orthodox Confession of Faith, without which no one can remove your will, since they can boast in the grace of God.

    A Fraternal Embrace,

    + Metropolitan Chistophoros of Mesogaias and the Islands

    Письмо Христофора, митрополита Месогейского и Островов ( ИПЦ Греции - Каллиникитский" или "Ламейский" Синод )



    Tel: 6 - (210) 467-2921

    Саламин, март 2009

    Его Блаженству Митрополиту Валентину и его Священному Синоду

    Ваше блаженство и Ваши Высокопреосвященства, братья во Христе, Бог посреди нас!

    Мне стало известно о недавно перенесенных вами гонениях и я счел нужным написать вам это письмо, чтобы выразить вам свою скорбь и свое сочувствие.

    В прошлом мы уже испили из этой чаши скорби, которую ненависть и злоба главных врагов Православия теперь поднесла вам, и мы еще пьем из нее сегодня. Поэтому будьте уверены, что я полностью понимаю ваше положение.

    Дорогие братья, позвольте мне сказать вам, что несмотря на то, что эти суды ранят ваше сердце, в то же время они приносят и пользу, поскольку обновляют нас в вере и укрепляют наши религиозные убеждения. Величие находится не в стенах и зданиях, но в исповедании Православной веры, которую без вашей воли никто не сможет отнять у вас, и которой вы можете хвалиться в благодати Божией.

    Братски обнимаю вас

    + Митрополит Месогейский и Островов Христофор

    Thank you all for your warm wishes on the occasion of the feast of the Annunciation! We also wish everyone a joyous feast. God grant you all health, peace, salvation, and every blessing!

    Thank you also for your interest in the fate of Fr. Ambrogio in Italy. Many have written and asked about him after hearing about the earthquake that took place last night in central Italy. I did hear from Fr. Ambrogio today. He and Matushka Giovanna were awakened by the earthquake, and heard the noise and felt their house shaking, but, thank God, they sustained no damage to their home. They have also asked me to thank you all for your interest and prayers, and they greet all of our brethren with the feast of the Annunciation.

    With much love and affection, in Christ,
    +Bishop Andrew

    Спасибо за поздравления с радостным праздником Благовещения! Также поздравляем всех, и желаем здоровья, мира, души спасения, и всего, всего найлучшего!

    Спасибо также за интерес о судьбе о. Амброджо в Италии. Многие писали и просили о нем после землетрясения, которое произошло вчера ночью. Я услышал от о. Амроджо сегодня. Хотя он и матушка Джованна проснулись в момент землетрясения, и услышали шум и чувствовали шатание дома, они, слава Богу, никакого повреждение не претерпели. Они также благодарят всех за интерес и за молитвы, и приветствуют всех собратьев с праздником Благовещения!

    Смногою любовью во Христе,
    +Епископ Андрей