(Updated 10/30) The HOCNA Situation: A Timeline of the Fallout

Below is a timeline of stories for our readers just catching up with the latest on the HOCNA situation as it occurs. 

9/6: A letter is released to Portal-Credo warning of conflict at the Synod meeting if the name-worshipping controversy is not resolved. According to the text, it is apparently signed by a single deacon in advance of the Synod meeting. The title on Portal-Credo indicates little of what is happening in HOCNA, referring to name-worshipping simply as a “doctrine”. It is to be noted that the leading proponent of name-worshipping in Russia, Monk Gregory Lourie, writes commentary on Portal-Credo.

Want to know more about the name-worshipping issue? Read these posts on NFTU:

2005: Hierarchical Synod Meeting of the ROAC

2005: Removal of Gregory Lourie for Name-Worshipping

See also: OnImyaslavie.blogspot.com: an exhaustive reference of documents on the Name-Worshipping Heresy from clergy of the GOC-Kallinikos

9/11: Synod meeting in HOCNA takes place.

9/13: An official letter of Bp Demetrius of Carlisle surfaces indicating that he has resigned from the leadership of HOCNA.

9/14, 15: NFTU places the open letter, apparently of Deacon Jacob Wojczk, in English on the site. Inside sources reveal shortly thereafter that in fact the open letter had been written by the Cathedral clergy of St Mark of Ephesus Cathedral, HOCNA’s largest Church in the United States. Sources leak documents indicating that Metropolitan Ephraim has rejected the requests of the clergy.

Confusion takes hold upon many as Bishop Demetrius’ resignation from the HOCNA Synod becomes known. Statements from the Synod meeting indicate that the Bishops have no intention of resolving the impasse between the parties. A document revealed indicating that Fr Panteleimon has been removed from the priesthood.

9/16: Bp Demetrius issues a full statement explaining that doctrinal issues had caused problems in HOCNA for too long, and that the rise of name-worshipping, being condemned for 100 years, was inexcusable. He indicates that he intends to apply to the Synod of Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and that half the monastery will be going with him.

9/17: A letter is placed on the Internet indicating that 13 monks and two laypeople are leaving the monastery for the Ascension Monastery in Bearsville, NY. It is announced that the parish of St Mark of Ephesus Cathedral in Roslindale has voted to leave HOCNA. In an utterly bizarre twist, Moscow Patriarchate Bishop Jerome (Shaw) appeals to the HOCNA membership to join the ROCOR-MP.

9/17: A letter is released from Fr Sergius explaining the schism to his spiritual children and what is happening to the monastery from inside.

9/18: The three remaining hierarchs of the Boston and Toronto Dioceses of HOCNA issue a formal statement which denies name-worshipping, while avoiding comment on certain positions of the name-worshippers, indicating that name-worshipping is permissible.

9/20: In official correspondence from the Metropolis of Toronto, Father Panteleimon is revealed to have admitted to moral transgressions, being the reason for his official removal from the priesthood.

An announcement dated 9/18 appears on the website of the GOC-Kallinikos confirming that Bp Demetrius (Kyriakou) of Carlisle has been accepted into the Synod as Assistant Bishop with see in Boston, along with a number of monks and clergy representing seven parishes formerly of the HOCNA.

Meanwhile, Portal-Credo, inexplicably, refers to “one Bishop, a few (neskolko) clergy and 13 monastics leaving HOCNA” in an article largely dismissive of the chaos in HOCNA. Further, the article implies– admittedly correctly– that HOCNA has endorsed name-worshipping, referring to it as the “first resolution on name-worshipping in modern times”, apparently forgetting that the name-worshipping controversy was last dealt with in the 20th century, having only begun at the end of the 19th.

9/21-22: An Open Letter surfaces from Protopresbyter Victor Melehov of Holy Resurrection Parish, formerly of HOCNA, answering Jerome (Shaw) on why joining the MP is an unacceptable solution for anyone involved.

9/24: An anonymously transmitted letter appears, defending Fr Panteleimon and HTM, claiming that the monks who left attempted to extort the monastery.

10/10: HOCNA releases a document formally accepting and expousing the teachings of the name-worshippers. Metropolitan Moses of Portland responds that such adherence undermines their own position.

10/23: An Open Letter of Fr John Fleser of St Anna’s Church in Roslindale surfaces asking Metropolitan Ephraim to denounce name-worshipping and explain why Fr Panteleimon was “released” from the priesthood without investigation according to the canons.

10/24: Metropolitan Ephraim condemns the departing clergy while leaving how they are to be dealt with his clergy. Fr Mark Beesley writes an open defense of Bulatovich and the Imyabozhists.

10/28: A Departure Letter of HOCNA’s Fr Michael Azkoul is circulated on the Internet, explaining his reasons for leaving for HOTCA on the basis of the name-worshipping heresy.