Abp. Andrei of ROAC Denied Entry into Russia

September 22, 2014 (Source: http://www.roacusa.org)

Originally reported on Sept. 17

In the morning of September 16 an officer of the Border Guard of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport denied entry to Russia to Archbishop Andrei of Pavlovskoye and Rockland, hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), without assigning any reasons. As reported to the correspondent of Portal-Credo.Ru in the Office of the Hierarchical Synod of ROAC, Archbishop Andrei was going to visit Suzdal where ROAC’s spiritual and administrative center is located at the invitation from the Hierarchical Synod and a number of congregations of the Church. He planned to conduct the service on September 21, the day of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, in the Synodal Church of the Iveron Mother of God in Suzdal and visit his congregation in the village of Pavlovskoye in the outskirts of Suzdal where the Church of St. John the Baptist was confiscated by the state from ROAC a few years ago.

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NFTU Editor Opinion: It seems Abp. Andrei has been accused by some of being a “KGB agent” and now others (particularly the Russian government) have accused him of being  “connected with US intelligence”.  The ROAC has been a thorn in the side of the MP for over 20 years now; mostly over their large presence in Suzdal.  During the leadership of Met. Valentine (Rusantsov), ROAC expanded and successfully challenged attempts by both the Moscow Patriarchate and the ROCOR.

One one hand, they faced the obvious antagonism of  MP, which  was mainly upset because of  ROAC’s ability to legally gain possession of pre-Revolutionary Russian Orthodox church building that had been abandoned since the Revolution as well as relics (for example, St. Euphrosyne); ROAC renovated the buildings and became a very prominent fixture of Suzdal and other regions (as opposed to other Russian jurisdictions, which, while successful in entirely legitimate ways, never gained old Russian church buildings, nor did thy prove able to successfully ‘compete’ with the MP in this ‘larger’ sphere).

On the other hand, ROAC was faced by the uncanonical attempts by ROCOR in the early 1990s to claim control of ancient episcopal sees even after their restoration (thus, the strange position of bishops in the new world, with young sees, claiming authority over sees of ancient and high status and privilege, contrary to the Canons of Carthage, see Cn. 219, Carthage 418, approved by the Synod in Trullo).

ROAC thus made powerful enemies for itself both inside of Russia and also outside of Russia.