Hierarchical Synod Meets, Investigates Fr Gregory (Lourie)

(NFTU: Suzdal, 7/25/2005) The Hierarchical Synod of the ROAC met on July 20 after the third meeting of ROAC’s theological commission changed its direction as expressed in previous meetings.

Unlike previous sessions of the commission, Metropolitan Valentine of Suzdal, First-Hierarch of the ROAC, and catacomb Archbishop Anthony of Vyatkinsk and Yaransk were both present, leading the commission to change a number of its positions and requests. Fr Gregory (Lourie) excused himself from commission membership, according to the Russian edition of Vertograd. The commission also reviewed a letter of protest from Matushka Anastasia Schatiloff, editor of the print journal Church News, which argued that unnecessarily changing the confession of faith by adding to the Synodicon has consistently been a source of division among True Orthodox jurisdictions.

Both of the American priests slated for inclusion in the theological commission, Protopresbyter Victor Melehov of Worcester, Massachuesetts and Hegumen Andrei (Maklakov) in New Jersey, distanced themselves from the commission, citing both the commission membership and the lack of notification of their inclusion.

After the commission meeting, the Hierarchical Synod met and issued an Ukaz establishing a new fact-finding commission to investigate charges that Father Gregory (Lourie) is involved in heretical activities as well as a “suicide club” on the Internet. Heading the new fact-finding commission is Archbishop Anthony. They are given the difficult task of completing their investigation and presenting a report to the Synod by August 19.