Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 September 2011

24 September 2011. Interesting Intel about a Disgraced OCA Priest I Got From Some Greek Informants…

Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska (1942- ) and Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev (1946- ) flank JP in Moscow… I somehow think that they’re not happy with JP at all… keep this image in mind as you read what’s below…


Earlier today, I wrote about Raymond Velencia, a disgraced OCA priest who has the brass to air a parishioner’s private affairs in front of the whole OCA Metropolitan Council. I noted that he was still on the OCA clergy list, attached to St Nicholas Cathedral in DC, despite all the news that he’d gone over to the Greeks. Well, some of my Greek confrères were happy to clue me in on the straight story on the matter.

Even though he’s still officially attached to St Nick’s in the District, my contacts swear that he’s never set foot in the place and he’s cosied up to his pals in the GOAA, hoping they’d take him in. My sources tell me that Garklavs put out the word, right after Velencia’s removal from his parish, that not only did JP deny Velencia’s request for a release, but that the GOAA told Ray that they wouldn’t take him, even if he did get a release. Apparently, he gadded around GOAA parishes in the Bawlmor area assisting and filling in, mainly at Annunciation and St Demetrios. During the summer, when he was allowed to work at that GOAA kids camp, a camp counsellor reported that Velencia was shadowed by Fr Manny Burdisi, and that Velencia, along with his stooge and former assistant Duane Johnson, was assisting at a miniscule parish, Ss Mary Magdalene and Markella in Cecil County, which is over an hour’s drive one-way from Velencia and Johnson’s home base in Columbia. Some tell me that they no longer allow him to assist at Annunciation, although that’s a large parish in downtown Balto with only one priest.

JP is allowing “spoilt goods” to circulate amongst the faithful. To put it bluntly, Velencia’s a contumacious criminal who broke the law. Pastoral confidentiality is a LEGAL concept, not a canonical one, ergo, the secular courts have jurisdiction in such matters. Don’t forget, as civil secular government didn’t break down in the provinces of the Empire that didn’t fall to the Western barbarians, the Church understands that some things are in its purview… others are the state’s responsibility. That’s what symphonia is all about, kids. If a priest breaks the secular law, the Church has no problem with handing him over to the secular authorities for judgement and sentencing. As a result, the Church could depose a priest for shaming Christ’s Church and Priesthood by breaking the civil law… indeed, it should. Shame on Paffhausen and all who support him, they allowed this criminal priest to continue to serve. JP had the duty to defrock Velencia. Full stop. JP had to see to it that Ray harmed no more people. He refused to do his duty… just as the OCA Holy Synod refused to do its duty in the case of Benjamin Peterson. I know of no Local Church or any other church body that’s allowed a bishop to serve after a DUI arrest. Indeed, the EKD deep-sixed its leading bishop, Margot Kässmann, because the coppers nicked her for DUI.

If JP can’t protect the people from a ravening priest, he’s got to go. As one of my Greek friends put it, “We’d be brain-dead to accept someone like that. As soon as they heard about it in 79th Street {GOAA HQ: editor} they’d send the guys down here a message telling ‘em to knock off the monkey business”. JP’s secrecy is unbecoming of an Orthodox bishop. JP has to go for not doing his duty vis-à-vis Ray Velencia. If I’ve heard of Velencia serving outside of his archdiocese… so has Fathausen. Think on that. He KNOWS of this and he hasn’t stopped it. He smiles a drooling smirk of approval at this flagrant violation of the canons. If Ray wants to serve in the GOAA… let him get a release. However, he can’t get one, so, that means that he’s still an OCA cleric… which means that he’s JP’s headache. IT ALSO MEANS THAT RAY’S PRESENT SERVING IN GOAA PARISHES IS AN UNCANONICAL BREACH OF ORDER. I passed this to a priest friend, who informed me that, according to Hoyle, there has to be EXPLICIT permission from the bishop for “foreign” clergy to serve in a given diocese, even clergy from another diocese in the same archdiocese/metropolia. Ray Velencia is spitting on the good order and name of the Church… and JP does NOTHING. THAT should tell you something…

JP’s got to do what the ROCOR Holy Synod had to do in the end. Gleb Podmoshensky finally got le sabot from the ROCOR Holy Synod… they also acted in the case of Sam Greene’s band of merry men in Texas and Antony Grabbe in the Holy Land. All of these cases were embarrassing as all hell… it made the ROCOR bishops look like a bunch of schlemiels. Yet, they stepped up and did what they had to… these clerical poseurs were kicked out, deposed, or made redundant very rapidly. The OCA had to pay out an undisclosed settlement to Kristi Koumentakos (trust me, I know no more details of that than anyone else does)… that only happened because it was clear that Ray Velencia, acting as an agent for the OCA, breached pastoral confidentiality. They paid up rather than have an adverse verdict.

I don’t think that KMG would act in such a fashion. Look at the image at the head of the post again. Does it look like Mel and Nibs are happy with El Gordo? I leave it to your decision…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 September 2011

Albany NY


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