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STATEMENT OF BISHOP AGATHANGEL

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  • gskok@istar.ca
    Friends, I wonder why those who were so eager to translate and/or post Bishop Agathangel s statements when he removed his signature from earlier council
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 12, 2001
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      Friends,

      I wonder why those who were so eager to translate and/or post Bishop
      Agathangel's statements when he "removed" his signature from earlier
      council documents or rallied behind certain clerics are silent about
      his very clear statement of November 11th, now on his website,
      http://www.ipc.od.ua/. I enclose, for your consideration, my
      unofficial translation.

      George Skok
      (reader since 1971, tonsured by Metropolitan Vitaly, then Abp. of
      Canada)
      ----------
      STATEMENT OF BISHOP AGATHANGEL

      Having become familiar with information relating to our recently
      completed Council of Bishops which is being spread on the internet
      and through other means, I considered it necessary to make this
      statement.

      First of all, what is obvious is the one-sidedness and bias of this
      information. If it is to be believed, then all the hierarchs of ROCOR
      are simply some band of criminals who have turned on Orthodoxy and
      are cruelly persecuting Metropolitan Vitaly. I would like to state
      that it is not so.

      Metropolitan Vitaly himself, voluntarily and without coercion, made
      the decision to retire. He stated this both orally and in writing.
      The Council was called specifically according to his wishes. He is 91
      years old, and for at least two years he has not been involved with
      any administrative issues – he made no assignments, no decisions,
      saw no-one, being completely and willingly isolated from all matters
      by his secretary. He had not served for three years. It turned out
      that his secretary, L.D. Rosnianskaya, had placed Metropolitan Vitaly
      in complete dependence on her care. She alone prepared his food,
      administered his medicine (while completely covering up the illnesses
      of the Metropolitan, the names of the medicines and the identities of
      the physicians who were treating him), decided who could meet with
      him and which documents he should sign. Several years ago the
      Metropolitan was still able to not abide by her opinion, but lately
      she has completely controlled his will. This was shown when at the
      very start of the Council, Metropolitan Vitaly distributed to all a
      paper signed by him which stated that since he knew with certainty
      that this Council would make a decision to unite with the Moscow
      Patriarchate, he considered it illegitimate. Orally he added that he
      knew that Vladyka Laurus and Vladyka Alypy had met with Alexei II and
      had already agreed to everything. His statement, therefore, was based
      on complete disinformation. After long assurances that no-one was
      planning to join with the MP, Metropolitan Vitaly said that he would
      participate in the work of the Council and gave a sealed envelope
      with his vote for the election. That evening and in the morning after
      Liturgy, he said he would come for the election of the new
      Metropolitan. At the same time, five minutes before the procedure to
      determine the results of the vote began, L.D. Rosnianskaya phoned and
      announced that the Metropolitan would not be coming. In this way,
      whether or not Metropolitan Vitaly would participate in the work of
      the Council was decided not by him but by his secretary. It was in
      these circumstances that the decision to release L.D. Rosnianskaya as
      an employee of Synod and to ask her to leave the Synod building was
      made. The next day after the vote, Metropolitan Vitaly came to the
      meeting of the Council and congratulated Vladyka Laurus with his
      election as the new Metropolitan of ROCOR, expressed a warm send-off
      and said that he was fully passing on to him his authority as first
      hierarch in connection with his retirement. He wished the Council
      successful work. This was the free expression of the will of the
      Metropolitan when L.D. Rosnianskaya was not present in the Synod.
      Therefore the election of Metropolitan Laurus is legitimate and is
      recognized as such by Metropolitan Vitaly himself.

      The next day, L.D. Rosnianskaya arrived at Synod with several of her
      supporters, accompanied by police officers. She told the police that
      Metropolitan Vitaly was being held prisoner and, possibly, was lying
      unconscious. The police officer went to the third floor to the
      Metropolitan and was convinced, by the Metropolitan's own words,
      that the Metropolitan was completely free and needed nothing. Then
      they asked him to come downstairs so that the people who had come
      could see him. Understanding that they were attempting to take him
      away, nearly all the hierarchs, priests and synodal workers came down
      into the vestibule of the Synod building. They were all trying to
      convince the Metropolitan not to leave and to stay with them.
      However, the Metroplitan said that he was a free man, was retired,
      and wished to meet with L.D. Rosnianskaya. Having come out into the
      street and having learned from Rosnianskaya that she had been
      released, the Metropolitan announced that he was leaving the Synod.
      The Metropolitan, therefore, in deciding between all the hierarchs of
      our church and L.D. Rosnianskaya, chose in favor of the latter. This
      was also his free choice. (By the way, the police, having been
      witnesses at the scene, on their initiative brought a legal action,
      as they considered that Metroplitan Vitaly had been taken away
      illegally, and the court decided that L.D. Rosnianskaya was to return
      the Metropolitan to the Synod.)

      Shortly thereafter a letter appeared on the internet stating, in the
      name of Metroplitan Vitaly, that he had reconsidered his retirement.
      What was the council of Bishops to do in this case? Moreover, no
      documentation other than that on the internet was forthcoming. There
      followed an elevation to the episcopate and an announcement of the
      establishment of a new church, which with finality made it impossible
      to normalize the situation.

      Unfortunately, Metropolitan Vitaly has become very easily influenced,
      and can change his opinion several times a day depending on with whom
      he is speaking. One thing remains unchanged for him – the
      impossibility of union with the Moscow Patriarchate. It is this
      position that those who have surround him at present are vigorously
      exploiting, constantly stating that all the rest of the hierarchs of
      ROCOR will join with the MP. In addition, L.D. Rosnianskaya had taken
      into her complete control the sums which had been donated to the
      Metropolitan for the church in the course of many decades. She
      removes these sums from the books, by deceit obtaining the
      Metropolitan's signature on bank documents, taking advantage of
      the fact that he does not at all remember which sums, how much, and
      where are under his control. In this sense, the attempt to obtain a
      medical examination was the last, desperate action to protect him and
      the Church from being finally plundered.

      If we are to talk about the morality of this matter then it is
      completely clear that the abuse of the aged Metropolitan is being
      carried out by those who currently surround him, covering up the
      schism which they have created with the name of him who fought
      against schism his entire life, sparing neither the honour nor the
      good name of the revered elder who has done so much for the Church.
      They also hysterically shout in the direction of other hierarchs,
      blaming them for non-existent crimes against the church, in the
      process not citing any convincing arguments, but pointing out only
      that possibly, something might happen in the future. We must fight
      for the Church and not against the Church.

      By this I declare with full responsibility that I am not with these
      people.

      11 November 2001
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