American Metropolia Bishops to Hold Ecclesiastical Trial for Controversial Priest

1903 Reply of the Russian Orthodox Church to Phanar’s 1902 Encyclical on the New Calendar and Ecumenism
July 27, 2016
August 21, 2016

American Metropolia Bishops to Hold Ecclesiastical Trial for Controversial Priest

The Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles will be hold an ecclesiastical trial in the case of a Plaint issued  against one of their Priests, the first case of its kind since its granting of Autonomy from the now-defunct Milan Synod in 2011.  A source tells NFTU that the Bishops are currently discussing a formal plaint.

The Metropolia’s website  names the priest as Father Raphael Johnson (known in his writings as Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson) and has information concerning the  official plaint, or list of canonical charges, which has been filed and sent to all the Bishops concerning Fr. Raphael. According to the source, Fr. Raphael has been formally sent the charge, and the Metropolitan– as well as the Synod– has accepted the plaint, indicating a canonical trial will be held on the matter on September 17th.

Traditionally, such a summons is valid for 30 days, with the priest being given time to answer the charge or charges in the plaint before the judging Synod, as well as cross-examination. The Synod acts as the ultimate judge of the question of whether a party is guilty or innocent.

The Plaint  indicates that the charges stem from Fr. Raphael’s writings on the Imiaslavie heresy (which was anathematized by the Metropolia in late 2014), the Phyletism heresy, and his  involvement in a group known as the Traditionalist Youth Network, an umbrella organization for various White Nationalist and Skinhead groupings. His role in the organization is currently unclear. Fr. Raphael’s article seems to say he does not believe there is any such heresy as Imiaslavie.

We will report on this story with more information as it happens and news becomes available.

Full Disclosure: the charge was brought by two editors for NFTU.


  1. Irineos Plac says:

    The transparency of the Metropolia is to be commended.

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