Statement from the Chancery, Nov 2
- 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
-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).
2 November / 20 October, 2001
Great Martyr Artemius. St. Artemius Verkolsky