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[orthodox-synod] Re: Men in Blcak a Reality Check

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  • William Redondo
    Thanks for sharing your experience! ... From: Timothy Tadros To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com Date: Tuesday,
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 3, 1999
      Thanks for sharing your experience!
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Timothy Tadros <tadros@...>
      To: orthodox-synod@egroups.com <orthodox-synod@egroups.com>
      Date: Tuesday, August 31, 1999 6:45 PM
      Subject: [orthodox-synod] Men in Blcak a Reality Check

      >My priest Fr. Elias Warnke recounted an incident which happened to him
      >this past weekend.
      > Reader Timothy Tadros
      > I thought I would relay this story, partly for humor value and
      >partly to display how little respect for clergy exists. Last weekend
      >I was invited to bring the Icon of St. Nicholas to our
      >parish in London Canada for the Fortieth Anniversary of their temple
      >building. Since I was already in Detroit for the Feast of the Dormition
      >at our cathedral there it was just a short two hour drive into Canada. I
      >should state that I have traveled with the Icon to Canada before,
      > but only by air, and have never had any problem at all.
      > I drove through the tunnel from Detroit to Windsor, at the guard
      >booth I was asked my citizenship (USA) and my reason for travel, which I
      > stated as: Visiting our parish in London for it's anniversary and would
      >only be there for two days. The guard asked why I would want to do that
      >and I informed him I was a priest. After a few minutes he told me to
      >pull into the immigration area. Once there I was instructed by another
      >guard to unlock my doors and trunk and to step to the side while they
      >searched my car. Five guards tore my car and luggage apart asking
      >questions about everything. What intrigued them the most was the
      >packets of cotton with myrrh that I was bringing to the parish. I
      >informed them that the cotton was soaked with holy oil and was a gift
      >to the people I was to visit. The I was asked why I had so many
      >pictures of "this man". I informed them that they were pictures of the
      >Icon of the saint, Saint Nicholas.
      > I noticed no recognition of that name or the fact that these were
      >religious items. Then they opened my suitcase with the vestments in them
      >and they all gathered around poking and picking at them. The person
      > who seemed to be in charged asked, "What's this stuff for?. I told her
      > that they were my vestments and were used for serving Divine Liturgy,
      >or mass, if they understood that better. With a look of disbelief on
      >her face she said, "But what are they for?". I told her again they are
      >part of the religious practice of which I am a priest. This continued
      >for about forty five minutes until one of them began to take the case
      >from the Icon. At that I protested that they should not touch it, I
      >would be happy to show it to them, but it would be a violation of my
      >faith for them to touch it. The woman in charge saw that I was not going
      >to budge on this and she said for me to remove the case. Upon removing
      >the case she and two others witnessed the Icon, which was streaming.
      >They said nothing for a few seconds and finally the woman said; "Thank
      >you." I put the Icon back into the case. The woman asked me to accompany
      >her to a nearby bench, there she asked if I had ever been to Canada
      >before. I said yes, many times. She asked if I had ever been searched
      >before. I said no. She then said I would have to go to the
      >administration office. I asked if I could lock my car to protect the
      >Icon and she agreed.
      > In the office a woman began to interrogate me for about half and hour.
      >She started by saying that they had found many strange things in my car
      >and were concerned about what I really was going to do in Canada. I told
      > her I was just a priest and asked why that was so strange. She replied:
      >"Well its because you are dressed so weird.?" At this I must admit I
      > lost a little of my composure and said that I was a priest and
      >dressed as one, and certainly did not appreciate her calling my attire
      >weird. Her comment was that she had seen priests before and none of them
      > looked like me. At that point I asked what exactly they wanted of me
      > and if I am not welcome in her country, then since I have violated no
      >law, I should either be admitted or allowed to leave, but I would no
      >longer subject myself and my faith to her observations or opinions. She
      >said that in her opinion I was entering Canada for the purpose of making
      >money. I told her that I was not. She said: "Your going to preach in
      >Canada and that was work" I told her that I was not going to preach
      >and if I did not receive compensation for serving in a religious service
      >it could not bee seen as work. Once again in a somewhat loader voice I
      >told her either to allow me to pass or return to the US, but I was done
      >talking to her and wanted to see a supervisor.
      >Just then a man walked in, from the look on the girls face he was a
      >supervisor. He looked at me and smiled saying; "Hello Father." He
      >turned to the girl and said; "Is there a problem?" She remarked; "This
      >man is trying to enter Canada for the purpose of working without a
      >permit." He looked at me and said; " Is this true Father?" I said, "As
      >I told the man at the gate, I am going to celebrate the anniversary of
      >our temple in London and would be returning to the US tomorrow." He
      >smiled again and took the piece of paper from the girl's hand and
      >stamped it, much to her dismay, handed it to me and said; "Enjoy your
      >stay in Canada Father."
      >I returned to my car amid the stares and smirks of the guards and went
      >on my way. I am sure this was an incident inspired by the evil one's
      >minions to detour the Icon from coming to the faithful in London, but
      >the reaction of the guards made me feel as if being a Christian and a
      >priest made me a stranger in a strange land. I guess I have to keep in
      >mind this is the country that forced an Orthodox Church to allow a dog
      >inside the temple, fining the priest.
      > In Christ
      > Fr. Elias
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