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Statement from the Chancery, Nov 2

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  • Rev Mark Gilstrap
    Statement from the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Following the final session of the Council (Sobor) of
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3, 2001
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      Statement from the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops
      of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

      Following the final session of the Council (Sobor) of
      Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      Russia on Tuesday, October 17/30, 2001, a session
      of the Synod of Bishops of the Rocor was held.

      The Synod of Bishops, in accordance with the Council's
      decisions, determined that:

      -It is necessary to gather all information on the
      health of retired Metropolitan Vitaly.

      -It is necessary to emphasize the inconsistent
      character of the latest documents published in
      the name of Vladyka Vitaly, but unlikely to have
      been written by him, as evidenced both by the
      contents of the documents and their style.

      -Attention was given to the actual abduction
      of Vladyka Vitaly from the Synodal building
      in New York by a group of individuals who
      subsequently dared to declare publicly that the
      Metropolitan was being kept their under "house
      arrest." But at the same time, these same
      individuals publicly testified that they allegedly
      saw how a Vladyka Vitaly was "thrown out" of
      the Synod building. Similar examples of false
      witness only confirm our fears concerning the
      authorship of these documents.

      -These same individuals compelled Vladyka
      (who was certainly completely free in his actions,
      as the testimony of others confirms) to abandon
      the Synodal building.

      -As has now been learned, the former employee
      of the Synod, Mrs. L.D. Rosniansky, considerably
      exceeded her authority and literally through her
      own will--a fact previously inconceivable in our
      Church--undertook all of the infamous actions
      which influenced the very course of Church matters.

      -One example which caused special consternation
      was the concealment by her from the Synod of the
      character of treatment and medicines which she
      employed in her tending to our former First Hierarch.
      Over the course of many years Mrs. Rosniansky did
      everything to isolate Vladyka Metropolitan from his
      brethren-bishops, and as a result, the Synod knew
      nothing about the health of its President. For if Vladyka
      Metropolitan was sick, the Synod should have been
      informed first and foremost of this, of his treatment,
      his well-being, his medical status. Especially since certain
      changes were noticed in his condition. But the required
      information could never be obtained. Only after the
      departure from the Synod building of Mrs. Rosniansky
      were all the medications found which she used to exploit
      Vladyka Metropolitan. A physician was charged with
      analyzing these medications. His conclusion was that
      such preparations are given in grave conditions of health.
      But this was insufficient to accurately determine what the
      ailment is, however, its undoubted gravity necessitated
      further research. The Synod obtained additional consultation
      from other physicians. Their answer was that it is necessary
      to evaluate the patient, for the type of medications
      administered to him speaks of a grave illness.

      Taking into account that the Metropolitan's "secretary"
      refused to give the necessary information to the Synod
      of Bishops, did not respond to questions by its members,
      did not allow them to obtain such information, the Council
      could no longer remain indifferent to the situation.
      Therefore the following decision was accepted: to carry
      out the necessary medical examination with all its ramifications.

      -The Synod obtained a judicial decision on the
      realization of such an examination without delay.

      -The civil authorities addressed Vladyka
      Metropolitan directly with the offer to agree
      to such an examination. After long negotiations,
      the consent of Vladyka was obtained, and,
      escorted by members of the Canadian Royal
      Mounted Police (RCMP), which ensured his
      safety in leaving Mansonville, they set off to
      conduct this examination. The presence of
      protection was necessary, as the extraneous
      individuals who came to the Mansonville skete--
      the suspended Bishop Varnava (Prokofiev)
      suspended Archimandrite Bartholomew (Vorobiev)--
      did all they could to prevent the peaceful course
      of events. Hieromonk Vladimir, who was
      present, constantly repeated to the Metropolitan:
      "Do not listen to them, Vladyko, they all left to
      the Moscow Patriarchate! " These individuals
      uttered other insane words in the attempt to
      distort and pervert what was actually happening.

      -As these words are being written, the medical
      consilium has determined the condition of the
      retired First Hierarch. Its results have not yet
      been received, but as soon as they become
      known, they will then be published to the extent
      allowed.

      -The Synod of Bishops sees the main task in
      giving the retired Metropolitan Vitaly the best
      care, and also not to allow the individuals who
      are attempting to sow discord within the Church
      by expoiting the condition of Vladyka Metropolitan
      and abusing his kindness, to foster hopes of creating
      so-called "parallel structures," thereby preparing
      the way for their hoped-for ecclesiastical schism.
      May this not be!

      We call upon all the faithful pastors of our Church,
      all our God-loving flock to sanity in their approach
      to this developing situation, from which, through
      faith and hope and our prayers, the Omnipotent
      Lord shows us a speedy and favorable outcome.
      Let us rejoice over the Conciliar election of our
      Metropolitan, the fifth First Hierarch of the Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and witness
      in oneness of mind, in prayer, with one mouth and
      one heart, illumined, to intrepidly resist all which,
      since the very origin of our Church, strives to destroy
      Her. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
      and he shall lift you up" (James, 4; 10).

      Bishop GABRIEL
      Secretary
      2 November / 20 October, 2001
      Great Martyr Artemius. St. Artemius Verkolsky
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