(Colorado – Ipswich : 8.31.05) Fr Dionysi MacGowan of St Basil of Kineshima Church in Colorado Springs has left his parish and relocated his family to Ipswich, Massachusetts. It is understood that Fr Dionysi will live on the premises of St John the Russian Parish in Ipswich, where the pastor and assistant priest, Frs. Spyridon Schneider and Christopher Johnson, have been suspended for the past month by Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal.
According to the new website of St Basil of Kineshima Mission (which has been moved to http://www.saintbasilchurch.org due to the sudden redirection of the former website at http://russianorthodox-roac.com to the St John the Russian site) all services are now being held at the nearby royal martyrs chapel, as the Temple has been dismantled on the request of Fr Dionysi.
Fr Dionysi MacGowan was the first priest of ROAC ordained for America in 2001 and initially founded St Basil of Kineshima Parish in Staunton, Virginia. Initially an opponent of former Archbishop Gregory of Colorado, he later became a supporter and moved his family to Colorado. In 2004 he sided with Metropolitan Valentine and the ROAC Synod when the former Bishop of Colorado attempted to cause a schism. However, in early 2005, Fr Dionysi became a loyalist of Fr Spyridon Schneider’s causes and came to Russia to speak on behalf of the latter’s earlier actions.
Fr Spyridon Schneider, formerly a priest of ROCOR, HOCNA, ROCOR-V, and finally the Makarian Synod of the TOC of Greece, is the pastor of St John the Russian Church and was recently suspended along with two other Massachusetts priests for attempting to promote a schism within the ROAC in the hope of creating a Bishop under the spiritual control of the Ipswich parish. The plot to create a schism was revealed late last month by Archbishop Anthony of Vyatka and Yaransk and had been known by members of Fr Spyridon’s inner circle in America. Fr Spyridon, Fr Christopher Johnson, and Fr Victor Melehov were members of ROAC since Great Lent of 2004. The parish is well known for both its early loyalty to the right-wing renovationist policies of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston and the production of Orthodox crosses of the finest quality.
Currently Father Deacon Nikolai Stanosheck is serving the Colorado Mission, with Hegumen Andrei (Maklakov) offering to continue serving the community at least somewhat frequently. NFTU