(NFTU) Bishop Andrei of Pavlovskoe has apparently rejected, in a public notice on the Internet, a request by Fr Elias Greer and the community of St Athanasios in Texas, as reported on this website and the official website of ROAC in the US. Citing “people inimical to our Church” relaying the information to the public, the Bishop claimed that he was only considering receiving him in, and that he had changed his mind based on the reception of new information. As well, he mentioned that the parish’s reception is “still under consideration. This strange turn of events leads us at NFTU to believe that the problem is not so much the message, but the messenger.
The note reads as follows:
“It has been reported on the internet, by people who are not in the know and whom I consider to be inimical to our Church, that I have received Fr. Elias Greer as a priest into the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church. While it is true that I was considering his petition to be received by us as a priest, I received certain information during the course of the reception process, which inclined me to decide against it. His name and address did briefly appear on our web site as being the contact information for the community that he leads. The mere publishing of contact information does not constitute reception. Because of the ensuing confusion caused by the inaccurate report, we have removed the contact information. The community’s petition to be accepted is still under consideration. +Bishop Andrew of Pavlovskoye.”
We here at NFTU appeal to the Bishop to be honest and up front with the True Orthodox in Texas: do they have a parish, or not? Will they have a priest, or not? It wouldn’t be fair to anyone involved if their reception into the ROAC is being delayed because official announcements haven’t been properly prepared. One cannot imagine, that if this new information has not completely defeated the request of the parish to be received, that they are permanently barred from the communion of the True Orthodox. Does Fr Elias need to be reordained? If so, why?
We hope that this is the beginning of the American Bishop’s increased public communication, and not a poor attempt of controlling the flow of information that belongs in the hands of the True Orthodox public.