On June 4/17 of this year, the calling together of the Hierarchical Sobor (Council) was announced, as appointed by Metropolitan Vitaly on the feast day memorial of the Holy Royal Martyrs, July 4/17, 2006. At the same time the following documents were published signed by Metropolitan Vitaly: ďThe Synodal Joint Council MeetingĒ regarding the calling together of the Sobor, four invitations from Metropolitan Vitaly to the appointed Council Meeting, the Agenda for First Meeting of the Sobor and an ďAppeal to all the Eminences (Bishops)Ē from Metropolitan Vitaly with the herald: ďPut aside everything to come to the SoborĒ.|
At the personal invitation of Most Blessed Metropolitan Vitaly to the Sobor, hierarchs and representatives of the bishops and clergy arrived from various countries, where there are parishes and bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The Sobor was scheduled for July 17, 2006, and would last until July 20 of the same year.
The organizers of the Sobor wish to express deep gratitude to Parliamentary Member of Canada, Mr. Ouellette, who at the personal request of the First Hierarch, exercised incredible efforts in order to expedite the visit of all the hierarchs of Russia and provided priceless assistance with securing the necessary documents through the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. The Senatorís help in the summons for the Hierarchical Sobor of ROCOR aroused the great interest of the press, and for this reason all the events occurring at this time in Mansonville will be published and widely discussed in the local newspapers.
However, it is necessary to note that the opponents of the calling of a Church Sobor until today are making every effort to stop the Hierarchical Sobor (Council). A concerted psychological campaign was launched on the Metropolitanís Secretary, L. D. Rosnyansky, striving to bring her over to their side. On July 13, when visitors from the Montreal parish by concensus with L. D. Rosnyansky, ďorganizedĒ a meeting of the hierarchs and clergy with Metropolitan Vitaly with a prestaged scenario, it became clear that the main organizers of the disruption of the Hierarchical Sobor, the followers who were in complete submission to Father Benjamin (Zhukov) and Bishop Vladimir succeeded in bringing over to their side L. D. Rosnyansky and subject the Sobor (Council) to the threat of disruption against the personal wishes of Metropolitan Vitaly to call the Sobor on July 17, despite all of his invitations, his ďAppeal to all the Eminences (Bishops)", and also ignoring the fact that over 10,000 American dollars had already been spent on the organization and invitations to the Sobor, not including the expenses for telephone calls, visa fees and expense for accommodations for the Hierarchs and clergy, who had been personally invited by the Metropolitan. The full control taken over the aging Metropolitan by Rosnyansky is not only overstepping the canonical norms of the Church, but also the boundaries of human decency, dignity and reason.
One of the numerous examples that we are dealing with well-planned scenarios for disrupting the Hierarchical Sobor is the blatant fact that at the official reception for Metropolitan Vitaly at the Hierarchical Sobor along with the clergy were present perfectly gangster-looking strangers, who behaved absolutely without respect. As it was later pointed out, at the request of L. D. Rosnyansky, they held a hidden recorder taping conversation with Metropolitan Vitaly, during the course of which (as the first and last speaker) L. D. Rosnyansky asked leading questions to which she often gave the answers herself, instead of the Metropolitan. At the conclusion of a conversation in the residence of the Metropolitan, events which could be called none other than open church lawlessness took place. Somewhat later we will publish the eye-witness accounts and statements of proof of these violations of law, which Metropolitan Vitaly would by no means have sanctioned.
Several days later a group of those same people from Montreal forming the opposition to the Church Sobor Sessions, headed by Deacon Alexei (Fimin), who worked under Archpriest Zhukov, made dirty, false statements of deformation of character in a report to the local police about I. N. Vinogradov and also about Hierarchs and clergy, who were invited guests to Mansonville, with the plea that they be evicted by force from the Metropolitanís residence one day before the opening session of the Sobor (Council) Meetings. This is an act worthy only of Soviet operatives, which once again confirmed the words spoken by Deacon Alexei Fimin while Archbishop Sergiy was still living: ďI work for and answer only to Father BenjaminĒ.
Finally, things were reduced to the point of the July 15, Sunday all-night Vigil, when opponents of the Sobor called the police and requested that they break into the church, stop the Divine Services and put out all the people pointed out by them to the police. Despite the insistant demands of Fiminís group, even the local police would not stoop to such a blasphemous deed. After the refusal of the police to submit to the demands of these gangsters, Igor E. appeared in the church in an intoxicated state and began to demand that I. N. Vinogradov leave the kliros and step outside the church. Mrs. Vinogradov politely agreed to go outside to speak to Igor E., but only after the Services, completely unsuspecting that near the church the police were waiting for her. This is how, the complaint filed by Fiminís group against I. N. Vinogradov, was accidentally discovered a bit later during her conversation with the police.
After Services, the Hierarchs and clergy leaving the church could not get into their cells, since all the doors were locked, as stated on a sign at the main entrance. Late in the evening followed a phone call to I. N. Vinogradov from Fiminís group with an ultimatum to leave Mansonville by 12:00 noon on July 16, or in the event of her refusal, the caller threatened Vinogradov with murder. This threat was so serious, that I. N. Vinogradov was forced to call the police, who came right away. The incident report continued until 2 oíclock in the morning, during which time in the discussion with the police to the surprise of all present, it became apparent completely by accident that prior to the death threat made to I. N. Vinogradov (which was the reason for the police call), a slanderous complaint was not only filed against her, but also against all of the invited clergy with the signatures of those same persons working for Archpriest Benjamin Zhukov. After hearing the explanation of the events from Archbishop Antony, who presented the police with irrefutable proof of the innocence of Mrs. Vinogradov, along with documents and facts, the police agreed completely with his conclusions and decided in favor of Archbishop Antony. Instead of carrying out their requested forced deportation, which was included in the contents of the slanderous complaint made by Fominís group, the police advised I. N. Vinogradov to press criminal charges against the conspirators. At the same time the police offered Mrs. Vinogradov temporary protection from threats of the Montreal bandits.
Hereís how the detailed plan of a criminal nature to disrupt the Hierarchical Sobor failed.
Having discovered that their plan had been unsuccessful and that the police fully supported I. A. Vinogradov and Archbishop Antony, on July 16, the opponents of the Sobor sent a reinforcement group of church bullies, who were intending to completely isolate Metropolitan Vitaly, and most importantly to remove any access to him from Archbishop Antony (Orloff), no matter what it takes; and in this way disrupt the scheduled Sobor the day before its opening. From that day forward without any basis or any kind of explanations for their actions, a round-the-clock guard post was provided by Fiminís group in the Metropolitanís living room, which more likely had the appearance of house arrest. This incredible and unheard of mutiny by simple lay people against their legitimate Hierarch and moreoveróagainst the legitimate Vice President of the Synod, Archbishop Antony (Orloff), to whom they refused to give access to Metropolitan Vitaly. Despite the numerous attempts to reason with and to make peace coming from Vladyka Antony, the hired Montreal bullies from Prot. Benjamin Zhukovís camp continued their vulgarities.
On July 17, the feast day of the Holy Royal Martyrs, Father Benjamin Zhukovís people made every effort not to allow Archbishop Antony and BishopVictor into the Church for the Feast Day Divine Worship. Early in the morning the reinforcements of the Montreal group managed to change the lock and deny entry into the Church to the Hierarchs. Their actions resembled some sort of ďgroup siegeĒ, and not the behavior of Orthodox Christians. On the steps in front of the Church sat Fiminís adjutant with a shaved head, and while reading a newspaper barred access through the priestsí special entrance. The sisterhood from Montreal along with two women from Monk Onufriusí entourage, who had arrived the night before from New York, locked themselves inside the Church, so as not to allow anyone in for Divine Worship. Even Metropolitan Vitaly was kept out of the Church for the Feast Day Services, on such a momentous day for him. Divine Liturgy in Holy Transfiguration Cathedral was taken away by a group of parishioners from Montreal.
Moreover, constant unheard of insults, which we might have happened to overhear from a street gang, were cast against Archbishop Antony. In spite of all the obstacles and assaults of the evildoers, Archbishop Antony served Divine Liturgy in the candle-making studio, thanks only to the fact that he always travels with his church kit (i.e. antimins, chalice, censor, the Gospel, Vestments, etc.)
That night after vespers, Archbishop Antony had to bake prosphora himself, which he finished just before morning. Those faithful parishioners loyal to Metropolitan Vitaly and Archbishop Antony who came to the Feast Day, used every resource to ensure that the Feast Day Divine Liturgy would take place. In a very short time, the candle-making workshop was cleaned out, tidied up and transformed into a Church for the Feast Day Liturgy. To the delight of everyone, the Day of Celebration of the Holy Royal Martyrs proceeded triumphantly and joyfully; and everyone was in an especially elated, prayerful mood, similar to that experienced in the Ipatyev house by the Holy Royal Martyrs, who were in the throes of revolution, which Fiminís people had decided to emulate. Holy Transfiguration Church, in which not a single Divine Service took place, has been locked up by them ever since.
During the latter part of the day, on the opening day of the Hierarchical Sobor (Council) Sessions, a delegation of representatives from Fiminís group concealing themselves under the name of the Metropolitan came to the candle-making workshop and delivered an ďukazĒ (declaration) to Archbishop Antony that the Sobor had been concluded. This ďdeclarationĒ was clearly fabricated by them to achieve their chief goalóby any means to stop the scheduled Sobor. It was also obvious that this delegation was sent by L. D. Rosnyanskyóthe personal secretary to Metropolitan Vitaly.
It did not seem very likely that a declaration from Metropolitan Vitaly about closing the Sobor sessions would be delivered to Archbishop Antony at the last minuteóon July 17, the same day Metropolitan Vitaly had appointed for the opening of the Sobor Sessions. The very words the delegates from Montreal conveyed to Archbishop Antony in the name of Metropolitan Vitaly regarding the fact that Vladyka Vitaly would not participate in the Sobor Sessionsóalso seemed unlikely. When Archbishop Antony asked for a face-to-face meeting with the Metropolitan, so he could hear the words himself, the delegation from Montreal categorically refused Archbishop Antony, the legitimate Assistant First Hierarch, the possibility of a personal meeting with the Metropolitan, an act of unheard of church lawlessness, unmitigated boldness, insubordination, clear injustice and humiliation of dignity against the Hierarchs who are most worthy of our respectóby the delegates from Montreal.
Archbishop Antony is very worried about the complete isolation and health condition of Metropolitan Vitaly, and most importantly about his spiritual state. At 96 ½ years old, Vladyka Metropolitan is at a critical age, yet he is not allowed into the Church to take Holy Communion.
In conclusion of this news report, we are publishing the two rather strange ďdocumentsĒ, which were hand-delivered to Archbishop Antony by the delegates from L. D. Rosnyansky with Metropolitan Vitalyís signature. Only one fact is obviousóthat this is an evident counterfeit, since in the unnumbered ďdeclarationĒ (ukaz) dated July 1/15 (??), 2006, Archbishop Antony is ďappointedĒ by Metropolitan Vitaly as the ďPresident of the Sobor Planning CommissionĒ, then in the next document from July 17, 2006, with the Metropolitanís signature, the very same Archbishop Antony without judge nor trial was ďdefrocked [reduced]Ē to a layperson by the Metropolitan. We suggest to our readers to study these documents to the letter, as much as to the spirit, and make the appropriate conclusions.
We are also including the letter from the Canadian Senator , written by him at the personal request of Metropolitan Vitaly, vouching for the importance and urgency of the upcoming Hierarchical Sobor of ROCOR, scheduled by Metropolitan Vitaly for July 17, and the invaluable help of the Senator in the planning of this Sobor (Council).
In the event that Vladyka Metropolitan not be allowed to meet with Archbishop Antony and will not be able to participate in the Sessions, the Hierarchical Sobor will be conducted under the chairmanship of his Assistantóthe Most Eminent Antony, Archbishop of Los Angeles and South America. In light of the complete isolation of the Metropolitan, the Sobor notes as they stand with the Metropolitanís signature remain unchanged.
The Editorial Staff (Publisher)