I was notified that your current lead article (December 15, 2008) is a letter from a “Dimitri” who is from Washington, D.C. and is a member of ROCA under Met. Agafangel. I want to clarify that I, Dimitri G., did not write that letter.
In fact, I support Met. Agafangel in this decision. He did not overrule the Sobor decision of 1990, but fulfilled it. ROCA at that time did not have sufficient information to make a decision, so they set it aside. Since then, much more information is available and Met. Agafangel took the steps the true ROCA certainly would have. The matter was thoroughly investigated by Bishop Sofroniy and he presented his findings to the PSEA, who made its decision.
The materials show the Sekachev bishops have apostolic succession, but they may not have been ordained with the requisite number of bishops. Met. Agafangel and the PSEA corrected that by laying on the hands by the necessary number of bishops. It should be noted that the Sekachev bishops underwent these steps with the appropriate humility and obedience to the Russian Orthodox Church as represented by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the PSEA, as should bishops and clerics from other jurisdictions. Too many clerics say they will not submit to Met. Agafangel, while forgetting they are submitting to the Church, not just to its representative. Too many people are overly concerned with personalities instead of fidelity to the Church.
These Sekachev bishops, their clergy, and church members have endured great hardship to remain faithful to the Church. They should not be blocked from admittance to the church because of some intra-jurisdictional jealousies and rivalries. We should all learn from their example.
I would be glad to post your letter. Per current policy we do not post last names unless someone is acting in an official capacity. Thank you for writing! Considering how many Dmitris there are in Orthodoxy, I will not post any more “I didn’t write this letter” letters. NFTU