Voices from Russia

Monday, 11 March 2013

11 March 2013. St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Puts GOAA Between Rock and Hard Place… You’re NOT Supposed to Allow a Clergyman Suspended by a Proper Holy Synod to Act as a Clergyman on Your Property

00 Devil Stirring a Pot


Click here… it’s more evidence that St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is spitting on the OCA Holy Synod by allowing Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman there. This is highly irregular and more than slightly wacky. Firstly, the parish didn’t get permission from Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis to defy the OCA Holy Synod. No way, no how… no matter how much ‘rasslin’ may go on between the Russians and the Greeks, both sides respect the other’s Synodal decisions. That is, to invite Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman on GOAA property was inappropriate and it was an idiosyncratic action of the parish, which dragged in the whole GOAA. You see, if this parish has RV act as a clergyman, they say, in effect, “We reject the disciplinary action of the OCA Holy Synod and we hold it in contempt”. No matter which way you slice this rotten hunk of bologna, it stinks to high heaven.

That is, Ray Velencia holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for his acting as a clergyman in a GOAA venue is contrary to his suspension. St Demetrios parish holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for refusing to comply with a legit decision. Velencia is a clergyman incardinated in the OCA, NOT the GOAA. Indeed, the only way that Ray could serve in a GOAA parish is with the permission of his ruling bishop, which he doesn’t have. Conversely, the only legit way for St Demetrios to have Ray serve there is with the permission of their ruling bishop, which they don’t have either. In short, this rebellious OCA priest and this rebellious GOAA parish have committed their respective archdioceses to a pointless and bootless wrangle. Frankly, it’s easy to solve. Vladyki Demetrios should say, “I’m sorry that this untoward event happened. I didn’t know about it, but I’m responsible for this mess”. Tikhon Mollard should say, “You don’t need to apologise… YOU didn’t do anything. I know that you’ll keep this suspended cleric from ever serving in any of your parishes ever again”. Actually, Demetrios Trakatellis would be the “lawnmower”, and the St Demetrios clergy would be the “grass” (as in, “Your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower”).

Howard Needle claims that RV’s case is “highly meritorious”…  I wonder what any judge would say after finding out that Sir Ray represented himself as a clergyman after his public, merited, and quite-in-order suspension from the clergy (he’s not supposed to dress as or represent himself as a cleric). That would blow RV’s cred all to hell. After all, a “suspension” in canonical terms is the equivalent of being found guilty of a misdemeanour in legal terms (defrocking is the equivalent of a felony, I’d say). That is, Ray is a convicted criminal in Church terms… and the OCA Holy Synod handed out an appropriate punishment… which he refuses to respect (and the jerks at St Demetrios back him up… as their repeated invites to RV to speak there prove).

Here’s how a reasonable and decent person would solve it. Demetrios would give a pro forma apology to Tikhon, who’d graciously refuse it. Demetrios would “bad dog” St Demetrios for making him step in a cow pat unnecessarily (and in public, no less). Tikhon would convene the OCA Holy Synod, which would then defrock Ray for representing himself as a clergyman whilst under suspension. The two bishs “win” and the bad boys “lose”… what’s not to like?

Quo vadis? This IS a defining moment, after all…




Thursday, 19 January 2012

19 January 2012. New ROCOR “Institute” in Mould of Dodgy “Patriarch Athenagoras Institute” in Berkeley CA


A friend reminded me of another oddbod “Orthodox” facility in the Bay Area. It’s called the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, but oddly enough, for an institution that claims to be “Greek Orthodox“, it has no hierarch of the GOAA on its board, and Metropolitan Niketas Loulias is NOT listed as a hierarch of the GOAA, and he apparently “retired” at the age of… 52! He has the grandiloquent title of “Metropolitan of Dardania and Exarch of all Hellespontus“… if we follow the rule, “the grander the title, the lesser the reality”, one realises that this poseur has no parishes, no money, no faithful, and no following, save for a small group of deluded intellectuals. Furthermore, the PAOI is NOT listed as an accredited GOAA institution, but OrthoWiki lists it as a “seminary”, but offers no page on it, only a link to the PAOI website.

Loulias is an “interesting” sort, even if only a tithe of what’s whispered about him’s true. One of his associates is the well-known Auxiliary Bishop Demitrios of ChicagoIakovos Coucouzis wanted Demetrios ordained bishop, but it almost didn’t happen. The story out there is that people got tired of seeing a prospective bishop gadding along Halsted Street in Lakeview, in and out of Sidetracks… truly, you can’t make this shit up. Is it true? That’s the word whispered in the loggia… believe it or not, as you will. I can only report what people say… I’ll simply say that I refuse to certify it (for reasons of liability, not reasons of truthfulness).

In short, this new ROCOR “Institute” doesn’t “smell right”… and if it doesn’t look right, it may also be crook in substance, too. It looks like it and the PAOI are “two peas in a pod”… Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Spend your money on something REAL… go on holiday in Tinos… that’s the ticket…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 19 January 2012

Albany NY

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