A quick look at former ROAC monastery Dormition Skete’s “ROAC-America” website today reveals that former Archbishop Gregory of Colorado and his remaining followers still believe the story they made up about Metropolitan Valentine’s “criminal behavior”, though reality does not in any way correspond to the tale they concocted anymore.
Two days ago, the Metropolitan returned from a three-week pastoral visit to North America a little under a year after retiring the Archbishop. After the retirement order, a mysterious phone call was placed to U.S. Customs, claiming the Metropolitan was smuggling massive amounts of money into Russia. This sadly led to a humiliating strip search in which nothing was found.
Not satistfied, however, representatives for the former Archbishop claimed that in fact the Metropolitan was smuggling currency (revealing the source of the tip) and began to produce doctored “subpoenas”, which in fact could not be verified with the court system, leading the assistant U.S. Attorney in New York to believe they were poor forgeries.
Yet on Internet lists, the former Archbishop’s dwindling followers continued to argue that the Metropolitan was “banned from America”, avoiding the unavoidable court trial for smuggling. At the least, they made the argument from absence: after all, if the Russian Metropolitan wasn’t living in America anymore, can it be for any other reason than that he was banned from the land of the free?
That is, until the Metropolitan showed up in America three weeks ago. No police came, no attorneys, no customs officers, soldiers or jack-booted thugs, in the words of the inimitable Charleston Heston. No arrests, no interrogations. In fact, the trip was described by the Metropolitan as “uneventful”.
This leaves the partisans of the former Archbishop to come up with a new spin. Perhaps now there will be a conspiracy between the Metropolitan and Customs– or the Metropolitan and the U.S. Supreme Court, making our Metropolitan less accountable to the law than the President of the United States.
Still, they have been fairly creative over the past year. One can expect almost anything. And one can also expect it will be entertaining. And that will guarantee that we will comment on it here at NFTU.