Fr Spyridon Schneider finds a home… again.

(Ipswich) Early reports on the Internet say that Fr Spyridon Schneider, the pastor of parish of St John the Russian in Ipswich, Massachusetts, has joined the ROCOR under Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) and has accepted union with the Moscow Patriarchate.

Fr Spyridon was one of the first priests to leave the ROCOR in 1987 under the HOCNA, when 30 ROCOR parishes followed the monastery of the Transfiguration in Boston, Massachusetts, to the Greek Old Calendarists. He returned to the ROCOR shortly thereafter. He was also involved in the departure of a number of priests and Metropolitan Vitaly (who formed the Russian Church in Exile) before he was removed for canonical infractions and went to the Synod of Archbishop Makarios of Athens, who then began canonical trial against them, finally considering the Matthewite Synod (Archbishop Nicholas) before going to the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church.

He joined the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church in 2003, and was involved in an attempted (and thwarted) schism within the Catacomb bodies there, for which he was eventually suspended along with three other American priests. He along with Fr Christopher Johnson parted ways with the other two priests, who are still under one of the jurisdictions of the Catacomb Russian Church. He returned to the jurisdiction of the ROCiE some time later, where he was finally suspended for departing to the ROCOR-PSCA and “publishing slander against his Bishop”, according to the text, with one month before officially being defrocked by ROCE. In January of 2008, Fr Spyridon, Fr Christopher, and the St John parish joined the ROCOR-PSCA Church of Bp Agafangel of Odessa. It appears he has switched jurisdictions again, and has finally left the True Orthodox movement altogether. For a priest who had continually promoted himself over the memory of the Fathers they claimed loyalty to, this move comes as little surprise to those intimate with this situation. It is worth noting that according to Bp Vladimir, Fr Spyridon had one month to repent or be defrocked: at this point, defrocked officially or not, Fr Spyridon Schneider has finally abandoned True Orthodoxy.

(Full disclosure: in 2004, Fr Spyridon attempted to shut down NFTU.)