A Post by Fr. Alexander Lebedeff on the continuing fragmentation of the ROCiE Schismaticts
Apr 22, 2002
All the documents of the Voronezh Meeting of ROCA(V) have now been published on Peter Budzilovich's web site, along with several other key documents.
There you will find a personal directive from Archbishop Varnava to Peter Budzilovich to post Archbishop Varnava's reaction (FRAUD--DISGRACE) to the Voronezh Meeting's Resolutions and that meeting's Epistle to him directly, where he (abp. Varnava) is accused of numerous canonical infractions and, in fact, calling his actions "a knife in the back of his brothers."
There you will also find a copy of two messages that were apparently sent by Metropolitan Vitaly to Archbishop Lazarus and Bishop Benjamin, dated March 11, 2002, in which Metropolitan Vitaly blesses them to perform new hierarchical consecrations and to establish a separate and independent
Synod in Russia.
There you will also find a copy of a letter from ROCiE Bishop Vladimir dated April 19, 2002 to Mr. Budzilovich, in which Bishop Vladimir states that he heard about the above-mentioned Letters of Metropolitan Vitaly to Archbishop Lazarus and Bishop Benjamin for the first time when he saw the
letter published on Mr Budzilovich's site, and states that it appears to him that these letters are a forgery and a provocation, "because the question of the administrative situation in Russia falls within the competency only of a Hierarchical Sobor (and not of a single bishop, even in the rank of a Metropolitan)."
So, it is clear that either Metropolitan Vitaly is acting like a "loose cannon" and making critical administrative decisions without consulting his other bishops, or someone else, taking advantage of the Metropolitan's diminished capacity is doing it for him and having him sign these documents, or -- two of the bishops of your Church, who have pledged unfailing loyalty to Metropolitan Vitaly, have engaged in a fraudulent activity, forging Metropolitan Vitaly's name on key documents affecting the
administration of the Church in Russia.
In any case, according to the letters of Archbishop Varnava and Bishop Vladimir, they themselves have been held in the dark and out of the loop--which also speaks volumes about the dynamics of the administration of the ROCA(V).
Also, it should be noted that the Voronezh Meeting documents attack the ROAC (calling them Suzdalite schismatics) and especially the ideology and practice of most Greek Old Calendarists, specifically the Matthewites and the Chrysostomites (but not the Cyprianites).
Paragraph 2.6 of the Official Closing Statement of the Conference in Voronezh (signed by 42 clergymen) states:
"We may not accept the ideology and practice of certain Greek Old Calendarists (e.g.,
"Matthewites" and "Chrysostomites") and Russian schismatics analogous to them (uncanonical catacomb structures), who, in order to conceal their passions, use the schismatic theories and methods of Novatian and Donatus relative to "pure churches." That narrowly radical ideology reduces the ranks of those opposing ecumenism and a new world order, at the same time increasing the number of uncanonical societies of the sectarian sort, and drags its adherents to the abyss of destruction."
The Voronezh Meeting openly upheld the defenders of the Cyprianites, while attacking other Greek schismatic groups as "unsuccessfully attempting to cover up their moral falsehood and canonical infractions with radical demagoguery and ultra-right-wing ecclesiology" and calls their path one of
"behind the scenes intrigue and calumny, which creates within the Church a morally corrupt atmosphere." In its Letter to Archbishop Varnava, the Convocation of Clergy writes: "In your own diocese, we see that people in your entourage, for the sake of secret dialogue with the schismatic Greek Synods of Chrysostomos and Kallinikos, have invented a fight with the "heresy of Cyprianism," using it as an excuse to undermine the worthy clergy from Lyons."
The Voronezh Meeting also attacked the entourage of Metropolitan Vitaly directly, writing:
[The situation of Metropolitan Vitaly] "becomes even more complicated because of the fact that among those persons who are closest to the First Hierarch, reign dissensions, competition, and a struggle by groups for influence and inheritance."
All is not sailing on smoothly in the ROCiE, it seems.
With love in Christ,
Prot. Alexander Lebedeff