Editorial: Joseph Suaiden
It has come to my attention that the increased activity of Subdeacon Nathaniel (Kapner), a monastic of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in America who went into schism with former Archbishop Gregory of Denver for a year before returning, has led people to believe that his positions are in accord with that of the ROAC in Russia or America. This has led to a short note summarizing his activities since his repentance, which is apparently empty.
1) Since his return, he has slandered no less than three clergy of our Church both by email and by phone. He has referred to one as a “homosexual sympathizer” and another as a “KGB Agent”.
2) He has spit upon the memory of Fr Michael (Graves) of blessed memory by repeating former Archbishop Gregory’s false assertion that Fr Michael was unbaptized. Thankfully, the slander never made it out to the public: he made the claim on my LiveJournal, where his response was screened. Thankfully as well, in that state he can never delete it and deny it. In this, he is directly contradicting the position of Metropolitan Valentine himself who received Fr Michael into the ROAC in spite of Gregory’s position.
3) He has harrassed this author incessantly with various and bizzare letters ranging from diatribes to what can only be called love notes, to which he was given no response.
4) Two months ago, on the Paradosis Email List where he was subsequently banned, he called specifically upon “women zealots” to join him in his struggle (a monastic, thus in violation of his vows and the holy canons); when corrected, he questioned whether he was still really a monastic.
5) He has publically claimed to be an “avenging angel” (itself uncanonical if not a sign of outright delusional behavior) and made a shameless attack on a young married woman’s lack of children, claiming the husband was impotent, and then later claimed that “the Lord told him to [say so] in prayer.”
6) Through rude commentary that can only be described as having its origins in the gutter, he has destroyed any possible discussion with ROCOR members over the dangerous question of union with the Moscow Patriarchate, cementing the false rumors that we are in fact “kooks” and “weirdos”, as is sometimes claimed. This has also filtered down and is destroying ROAC’s public confession of faith in the eyes of the rest of the Orthodox world.
7) He has DIRECTLY DISOBEYED Metropolitan Valentine’s order for clergy to cease posting on the Internet, ignoring the fact that he is not only lower clergy, but a monastic.
8) He is working with Vladimir Moss on these matters, who has been very open about his belief that Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal should be removed from the hierarchy of the Church.
9) He has fled former Archbishop Gregory for secular reasons, but refuses to repent of being an adherent of his renovationist ideology.
Primarily for these reasons, but others, I not only do not consider Subdeacon Nathaniel a voice of our Church, but only a nominal member of it and hanging onto such membership by a very thin tether.
For what little it’s worth, unless ordered to by my spiritual father, I would never breathe in the same temple as him– let alone commune– until he repented and sought psychological help. I further repeat that his internet activities are his own and have no official sanction, nor do they seem to be in obedience to any part of the Church, but in a couple of cases the Church’s enemies. NFTU