- Dear Olga!
I do not know the whole story of Fr. Alexander but I am to some extent
familiar with the way things are in St. Petersburg. By the way, in the case
of murder the regional police (otdelenie militsii) would have very little to
do anyway. By definition they are "operativnye organy" and not
investigators. It is the district or city prosecutor's office that is in
charge. Only the prosecutor has the authority to close the case. There has
got to be an investigator (sledovatel' prokuratury) working on the case.
From what you said it is obvious that the prosecutor's office is not
interested in investigating the case. There may be several reasons for it,
some of which are quite obvious.
There is no surprise that the MP is not welcoming alternative jurisdictions
on its territory and it is not surprising that the government takes the side
of the MP. I would be very surprised if a parish that left MP would be left
alone and the MP would just swallow the loss of a building. From what I
understand any group of people may be registered as a religious community
(religioznoe obyedineniye) but it is only after certain period of time they
can be granted recognition as a religious organizations (religioznaya
organizatsiya) that give then some legal standing. There are different ways
and methods of implicating this distinction some of which you have
described. Btw, from what I understand as long as the ROCA parishes in
Russia go under the Synod of Bishops they fall under the category of foreign
religious communities (according to the new law) and may not officially use
the word Rossiysky or Russky in their title or be registered under such
name. Same applies to the Roman Catholics. There are certain other things
that foreign churches cannot do. This however would not apply to the
"Autonomous" and others who do not have a governing body outside of the RF.
If you look up the phone book there are actually several churches in the
city that are listed as Istinno or Svobodnaya Pravoslavnaya Cerkov. I know
that most of them are not in communion with us and the fact is that some are
not in communion with anyone with just one priest serving himself at home.
As to the canonicity of ROCA parishes in Russia, as far as I know there are
no ROCOR bishops in Russia proper. Vl. Agafangel is in Crimea, Vl. Veniamin
is in the Krasnodar Krai and Vl. Evtikhiy bears the title of Ishim and
Siberia. The situation with ROCA parishes in Russia is such that they have
excommunicated themselves from the MP and recognize the jurisdiction of the
ROCA. The question whether there is any interference is the one that has
been discussed on this list and the one that the Synod will have to answer:
whether there is grace in the MP and if the MP bishops are valid. If MP
bishops are not valid then there is no such thing as their canonical
jurisdiction and such may be established by the ROCA. If the bishops are
valid we'll have to face them and whatever isn't right in the MP.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Olga Mitrenina" <alektor@...>
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2001 2:40 AM
Subject: RE: [orthodox-synod]
> Dear Mr. Ross-Podliaskiy,
> I live in Russia, and I can tell you that what Dr. Dolskaya-Ackerly says
> completely true.
> Our priest, Father Alexander Zharkov, was threatened by Metropolitan
> Vladimir of MP and by MP priest who tried to seize his church. Father
> Alexander was taken to police, where he was kept several hours, and
> one policeman told him: "We do not need you, but you disturb somebody
> upstairs". Then Father Alexander was killed, and nobody investigated the
> murder. Completely nobody did. Even the main witnesses were not
> even the names of those people who saw how his body was thrown out of the
> car were not written down. The parish managed to move the study of this
> murder to another regional department of police but nothing was studied
> I know other similar examples of how the "symphony" of MP&Gorevnment acts.
> The ROAC Church of Kazan icon of Mother of God was closed with the help of
> Tax-police. Orthodox parishes that do not belong to MP almost can not
> receive state registration, and they will not allow you to serve openly
> without the registration. Etc, etc, etc.
> For those who visit Russia from time to time is not always possible to see
> it. Any MP priest will be as kind as possible to a foreigner, because they
> know that foreigners always have some dollars :-)
> Also I am answering the question from another letter:
> > However - is there not also some sort of a canonical problem
> > when ROCOR opens parishes inside MP dioceses?
> Why do not you ask about Catholic dioceses? Orthodox churches open
> on their territory sometimes:-) (This is only Patriarch Alexey who use the
> tern "Canonical territory" speaking about the territory of Catholic
> There was a True Church in Russia before 1990. But it was not MP. It was
> catacomb parishes. The process that started in the end of XX century was
> the "opening parishes of ROAC in Russia" but a sort of a union of the True
> Church in Russia and ROCA.
> The most destroying thing that MP does in Russia it that it make people
> to a false Christianity (a set of superstitions and young elders--"your
> walking conscience"), so that it is difficult for people to realize that
> quite another things are needed. Again, please, see:
> With love in Christ,
> Olga Mitrenina
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