(Hat tip to R.D.) This was a letter sent to various channels by Bishop Andrei of Pavlovskoye, the ROAC’s resident Bishop in New Jersey. It appears the situation is finally coming to a close– and ROAC will return from whence many came in the 90’s– the Russian Catacombs. NFTU
Today Metropolitan Valentine received word from Suzdal that he is being sued by the parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate church in Suzdal. They want all of the icons and other things that we removed from our churches. They say that these items once belonged to them, and that our people had no right to remove them.
Metropolitan Valentine left the MP in 1989. This is the first time in 20 years that the MP’s parishioners have made this claim. They are also claiming that they had contributed funds to Metropolitan Valentine when he was building his home (which houses the Synod of Bishops and two chapels), the house where the nuns live and where the school was, and while he was renovating the churches of Suzdal. On the basis of that, they are saying that all of these properties, even
his private homes, must be given to the MP. The local government wants to know where this money came from (most of it came from donations, especially from abroad, from Russians who donated money for the renaissance of the Church in Russia), and if taxes were paid for this income.
Some of our people were working on the fence that surrounds the Church of the Holy New Martyrs of Russia on the outskirts of town, which was wholly built from scratch by our Church. They were approached by the local police and told to desist, since the church is government property. It is not. It is the private property of Archbishop Theodore.
A special high-ranking officer from the Anti-terrorism Task Force is due to arrive in Suzdal to speak with Metropolitan Valentine the upon his return. The local officials have already tipped their hand by warning us that if we did not give in to their demands that Metropolitan Valentine and his followers would be branded as “extremists, which would be akin to being marked as a terrorist by US law. If our Church is branded as an extremist organization, that would give them the legal right to disband it, de-register, or un-incorporate it.
President Medvedyev’s office has issued an “invitation” for all of our clergy in the Suzdal area to come to his office on Tuesday. They are expecting to be offered an ultimatum ” join the MP or be destroyed. They have already resolved ahead of time to answer as follows: When we were younger, and in the military, we gave an oath to defend the country, even unto death, if necessary.
We were loyal to that oath. We have given an oath as clergymen, to be loyal to Metropolitan Valentine and the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church even unto death. We will likewise be loyal to the end, if necessary.
95 Elm Street, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407 USA
Telephone: (347) 321-4870 Mobile: (551) 580-4965 Fax: (208) 730-7551