Updated (12/23): Bishop Sergios of Loch Lomond (HOCNA) was present at Fr Vladimir’s bedside during his final moments. Inclusion of his words on those fateful minutes. See below.
Another clerical disciple of Fr Seraphim (Rose) has reposed.
Father Vladimir Anderson, who was ordained priest at the very coffin of Fr Seraphim, died Thursday, December 3/16, after complications related to surgery in October.
According to the ROCOR Refugees blog, Fr Vladimir Anderson of the ROCOR-A has reposed, and sadly, his family– ardent members of the OCA– are burying him with an OCA funeral on Tuesday.
Bishop Sergios of Loch Lomond, who was at the bedside of Fr Vladimir shortly before his repose, offered these words on the matter:
“I was with Father Vladimir for about 15-20 minutes just before he reposed; he was not conscious during my visit; his breathing was laboured and he was on a respirator.
About 5 minutes after I drove away from the Creekside facility, where he was being cared for in Santa Rosa, I received a phone call saying that Father Vladimir had just reposed.
So, in that sense, I suppose I was the last person to be with him and to be praying for him at his bedside.
I cannot say where he was jurisdictionally after he became seriously ill and dependent on others. I can say that when he was in full possession of his faculties, and active, he was a faithful member of one of the continuing ROCOR groups.
He was certainly, in his own quiet, humble way, one of the great ones, one of the few remaining links to the era that saw the founding and early days of the Platina community, and a man of real consistency in his ecclesiological principles throughout his active life.
If he abandoned the struggle against ecumenism at the end of his life, that would represent an immense change of mind on his part, and it would be, undeniably, passing strange, given his clear, life-long commitments.
I myself cannot, however, verify anything regarding his actual state of mind ecclesiastically after he became seriously ill.”
Memory Eternal, Father Vladimir.
It is a bit sad that the family has gone to such lengths to isolate a cleric in his dying days and then remove him from his spiritual home, but it is far from uncommon. This author remembers well the tragic situation which occurred in Haiti with Archimandrite Michael (Graves) of the ROAC (+2004), whose body was cremated and the subsequent funeral turned into a monstrous ecumenist celebration by the local world Orthodox clergy around the urn, a sickening enough display that his assistant deacon walked out in disgust. Sadly, that too was orchestrated by his family members.
We can only hope that at the least the OCA Bishop will not disrespect the body in such a shameful fashion.
We could all take a practical lesson from the late Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) who, in the last years, of his life, had entered into communion with the ROAC. He took a very simple step to prevent such occurrences: the key is to state clearly among your dying wishes (preferably on paper) who can and cannot preside at your funeral. It will provide the comfort of knowing that those with whom you have no communion in life will not try to impose their will upon your remains.