Monday, April 19. 2010
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Svoboda, a publication of the Ukrainian National Association, (an insurance society not connected to a church) is still in existence. The address is 2200 Route 10, Parsippany, NJ 07054. Perhaps you could find out more information from their archives.
#1 Nancy Weres on 2010-04-19 18:36
Without minimizing the proper gathering and weighing of information about the life of Archbishop Arseny, I am providing a few of my thoughts regarding the context in which a Saint (with a capital “S”) is recognized and how the saint comes to be sought out as an intercessor.
It is my understanding that in Orthodox Christianity the mind and heart are illumined by love – love of the good, the beautiful, and specifically love of the living God, revealed and incarnate in fullness in Jesus Christ. The majority of those who witnessed His life and work rejected Him as a blasphemer, a destroyer of the law of Moses, an enemy of true faith, a false prophet. Today as well, the vast majority of human beings who have in some way heard of His life, have judged Him not be who the Church knows Him to be.
The rational faculties can take us so far in organizing, planning, weighing and sorting through information. However, the rational faculties, though wonderful in themselves, are limited by the capacity of each person who exercises them, and also by their place in a creation and universe which has countless and unfathomable dimensions. Rational exploration, for every discovery which it makes, opens up more questions and mysteries, just as the development of means of seeing those things which are beyond the capacity of the human eye, regarding both things two small to see, and those too distant to see, opens up new worlds of mystery. Furthermore, our rational faculties are influenced by pre-suppositions, experiences, the inadequacy of memory, and our passions. What then shall we say about spiritual realities, which can be perceived only by another capacity, which might be called the spiritual intellect, for which illumination, purity of heart, desire, intention and will, must take place, often over a long period of time, in which the gradual illumination also purifies the heart?
So it is that a person’s sanctity in the presence and life of God is recognized, not only, or even primarily by investigation of the life of the saint, but in the life and spirit shared in common in Christ and the Holy Spirit, in which communion between that saint and those living now takes place.
Many great saints, until their last breath, have confessed their sinfulness and unworthiness in the sight of God. Note that this is long after their coming to Christ.
Saints are recognized as such, despite sins and even major sins and failings, by their repentance and by the witness of their whole life and words in the service of Christ and His people.
Those other than the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whose hearts and minds the Father had revealed the identity of the Lord Jesus Christ, did not have the resurrection appearances, or the experience of the ascension, to include in their weighing of the evidence. Such proofs were not accessible to them and presumably would not have convinced them. They did not view Him as a saint, let alone as the Son of God (though one of the thieves on the cross and the Roman centurion did not have this evidence either, but only their own heart’s response to what they heard and saw, and the love of the Lord drawing them to Himself).
The life of St. Theophan the Recluse, and his retreat into seclusion as a young bishop, based on concern regarding his association with women, and with a particular incident*, has some parallels with the situation with Archbishop Arseny. For those who are seeking God with their whole hearts, and whatever St. Theophan’s sins and limitations, knowledge of God and the state of his heart is manifest in the depth and beauty and life-giving nature of his counsels. *(according to the account in the introduction to the collection of his homilies to female monastics, called "Kindling the Divine Spark": St. Xenia Skete Press, 1994)
Saints (which we all are in Christ), are those in whom, and through whom, God is working, who have also to a significant extent, because of co-operation with the grace of God, become means of God’s message and presence to others. But it is the Lord Himself who conveys spiritual life, and we all remain sinners.
Furthermore, King David is acknowledged as a saint, though, while a consecrated leader of God’s people, he committed adultery, and arranged the death of the husband, Uriah. He was said to have a heart in tune with God.
I mention these things to put matters in perspective, not to preclude investigation, or time for people to come to learn about the life of Arseny and his work, including his limitations and sins.
What is it about the life and ministry of Arseny as a shepherd of God’s people, which has united to him so many in Canada in particular? One blogger at least has assumed to read the psyche of those Canadian Orthodox people who have come to seek the intercession of Arseny as a saint, as a psyche in desperate need of a saint. My experience would suggest that at least some of those people may rather have had their psyche read and sought out by a saint. Read his writings, his sermons, in which he pours out his heart. Read carefully his life and struggles and sufferings on behalf of the Gospel and people whom he loved. Live in the Archdiocese of Canada today and see his vision being implemented and various people carrying some aspect of that heart and vision for the establishment and nurture of the Church here.
It is my own conviction that this current exploration of one troubling incident in the early life of Father Arseny, or whatever questions might be raised by it, or whatever conclusions might be drawn from it, will, in fact, lead eventually to a broader recognition and deeper confirmation of his continuing care and work of intercession for the Church in Canada and beyond.
Much further happened in the life of Fr. Arseny, in Canada, and in Europe after the trial in question (in which his accusers were defending themselves against the charge of libel), before his consecration as a bishop at the request of the people of Canada and his return here as Bishop of Winnipeg and Canada in the late 1920’s.
It will not count as evidence in a court of law, but I have shared a few reflections on what might have been behind the words of bishop Arseny when he declared at his consecration as bishop for return to Canada, “My heart is ready, O God.” It may be found in the fall, 2009 issue of the on-line "Canadian Journal of Orthodox Christianity" – www.cjoc.ca where also, in previous issues, may be found a brief life of St. Arseny, and hymns for services of vespers and matins in honour of him.
Priest Anthony (Spencer) Estabrooks
Director of St. Arseny Institute, Winnipeg MB, Canada
#2 Priest Anthony (Spencer) Estabrooks on 2010-04-20 09:21
#3 Anonymous on 2010-04-20 14:58
Christ is Risen,Father Anthony-thank you so much for an Orthodox comment on the life of St.Arseny-I hope that these "investigators" will take it to heart.In the Risen Lord,Fr.Dragan
#4 V.Rev.Father Dragan Filipovic on 2010-04-20 18:13
In today’s world, a history of a man raping a women does not arouse any thoughts for the clear headed and hearted to interest the same crime by "made holy" with the proposed named becoming a saint. While it may bring together those who believe sexual assault crimes should be forgiven and the doers of them live in some common ground place where the criminals are given a free ride for housing and support and continue their sexual advances on each other and other victims and innocents, then I guess those proposing have a cause.
#5 anon. who does not see rape as a condition for sainthood in the church they know on 2010-04-20 22:35
By: Sir Steven Runciman
Excerpts from “The Great Church in Captivity: A Study of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the Eve of the Turkish Conquest to the Greek War of Independence.”
Sir Steven Runciman
In the East money making has never, as it was in the feudally minded West, been considered to be incompatible with aristocracy. A moneyed nobility began to emerge among the Greeks, closely knit by common aim and interests and by intermarriage, but open to newcomers. These rich families were ambitious. Authority among the Greeks was in the hands of the Patriarch. It therefore became their object to control the Patriarchate. Calling themselves “Archontes” of the Greek nation, they built their houses in the Phanar quarter of Constantinople, to be close to the Patriarchal buildings. They obtained for their sons positions in the Patriarchal court; and one by one the high offices of the Great Church passed into lay hands. Their members did not enter the Church itself. That was considered to be beneath their dignity. The bishops and the Patriarch himself continued to be drawn mainly from bright boys of humbler classes who had risen through intelligence and merit. But by the end of the seventeenth century the Phanariot families, as they were usually called, dominated the central organization of the Church…. But the Patriarchate could not do without them; for they were in a position both to pay its debt and to intrigue in its favor at the Sublime Porte (pgs. 361-362).
It was good for the Church to have to meet an intellectual challenge; but the challenge was too abrupt. The strength of the Byzantine Church had been the presence of a highly educated laity that was deeply interested in religion. Now the laity began to despise the traditions of the Church; and the traditional elements in the Church began to mistrust and dislike modern education, retreating to defend themselves into a thickening obscurantism. The cleavage between the intellectuals and the traditionalists, which had begun when Neo-Aristotelianism was introduced into the curriculum of the Patriarchal Academy, grew wider. Under Phanariot influence many of the higher ecclesiastics followed the modernist trend. In the old days Orthodoxy had preferred to concentrate on eternal things and modestly to refuse to clothe the faith in trappings of modish philosophy. The Phanariots in their desire to impress the West had no use for such old-fashioned notions. Instead, seeing the high prestige of ancient Greek learning, they wished to show that they were, by culture as well as by blood, the heirs of ancient Greece. Their sons, lively laymen educated in the new style, were now filling the administrative posts at the Patriarchal court. As a result the Patriarchate began to lose touch with the great body of the faithful, to whom faith meant more than philosophy and the Christian saints more than the sophist of pagan times.
Above all, the Phanariots needed the support of the Church in the pursuits of the ultimate political aim. It was no mean aim. The Megali Idea, the Great Idea of the Greeks, can be traced back to the days before the Turkish conquest…With the spread of the Renaissance a respect for the old Greek civilization had become general. It was natural that the Greeks, in the midst of their political disasters, should wish to benefit from it. They might be slaves now to the Turks, but they were of the great race that had civilized Europe. It must be their destiny to rise again. The Phanariots tried to combine the nationalistic forces of Hellenism in a passionate if illogical alliance with the ecumenical traditions of Byzantium and the Orthodox Church. They worked for a restored Byzantium, a New Rome that should be Greek, a new center of Greek civilization that should embrace the Orthodox world. The spirit behind the Great Idea was a mixture of neo-Byzantinism and an acute sense of race. But with the trend of the modern world the nationalism began to dominate the ecumenicity. George Scholarius Gennadius had perhaps unconsciously, foreseen the danger when he answered a question about his nationality by saying that he would not call himself a Hellene though he was a Hellene by race, not a Byzantine though he had been born at Byzantium, but, rather, a Christian, that is, an Orthodox. For, if the Orthodox Church was to retain its spiritual force, it must remain ecumenical. It must not become a purely Greek Church.
The price paid by the Church for its subjection to the Phanariot benefactors was heavy. First, it meant that the Church was run more and more in the interests of the Greek people and not of Orthodoxy as a whole. The arrangement made between the Conquering Sultan and the Patriarch Gennadius had put all the Orthodox Church within the Ottoman Empire under the authority of the Patriarchate, which was inevitably controlled by Greeks (pgs. 377-379).
If any Orthodox Palestinian wished for advancement he had to learn Greek and entirely identify himself with Greek interests; and the Patriarch (of Jerusalem) himself spent much of his time at Constantinople or in the Principalities. The Greeks were not prepared to let this luscious plum fall into other hands. Yet it is doubtful whether in the long run the Greek nationalism that was being increasingly infused into the whole Orthodox organization was beneficial to Orthodoxy. It was not in the old Byzantine tradition. Though within the Empire itself a knowledge of Greek was necessary for any official position, there had been no distinction of race; and the Byzantines had encouraged vernacular liturgies and had been cautious in trying to impose a Greek hierarchy upon other peoples. But the Great Idea encouraged the Greeks to think of themselves as a Chosen People; and chosen peoples are seldom popular, nor do they fit well into Christian life.
This attempt to turn the Orthodox Church into an exclusively Greek Church was one of the outcomes of Phanariot policy. It lead also to a decline in spiritual values, by stressing Greek culture as against Orthodox traditions and seeking to turn the Church into a vehicle of nationalist feeling, genuine and democratic up to a point, but little concerned with the spiritual life. At the same time it place the Patriarchate on the horns of a moral dilemma. It involved the Church in politics, and subversive politics. Was it not the duty of the Church to render unto Caesar the things which were Caesar’s? Could a Patriarch justifiably jettison the agreement reached between the Sultan and his great predecessor Gennaidus? Could he abjure the oath that he had sworn to the Sultan when his election was confirmed? On a more practical level, had he the right to indulge in plots which if they failed would undoubtedly subject his flock to ghastly reprisals? The more thoughtful hierarchs could not lightly support revolutionary nationalism. Yet if they failed to join in the movement from a sense of honor or from prudence or from spiritually minded detachment, they would be branded as traitors to Hellenism. The Church would lose its hold over the livelier and more progressive elements of his congregation. The rebirth of Greece was to involve a gallows erected at the gate of the Patriarchate and a Patriarch’s corpse swinging thereon (pgs. 382-384).
#6 Heny Mouse on 2010-04-21 08:41
Are you saying that it doesn't matter whether +Arseny was guilty or not? With penitent saints like King David, there is ample evidence for their repentance. Had +Arseny been guilty and repented, he would have become a simple monk and lived out his days in a monastery. There is no evidence that he ever admitted raping the girl, much less repented of it.
Of course, if he was innocent, then he was like so many saints who have been wrongfully accused. The real problem is that the Canonization Committee of the Archdiocese of Canada has covered up the whole story. They knew about the accusations, they had the court documents, and this was even mentioned in the original Vita of +Arseny, by Fr. John Hainsworth. But now, it's not in the current Vita, and it's not in the Timeline. Yet according to +Arseny's testimony, it is the reason he went to Canada in the first place! It was a major event in his life and ministry. Why on earth would the Canonization Committee cover it up?
So, three questions for you:
1. Do you know, one way or the other, whether +Arseny raped Mary Krinitsky?
2. Do you think whether +Arseny raped Mary Krinitsky is relevant when we consider him for canonization?
3. Do you think it is in any way wrong or problematic that the Archdiocesan Canonization Committee hid this incident from the public?
When we canonize someone, we judge them. We say, "This person is holy." How can we say that with confidence, if the Canonization Committee is hiding evidence from the public, and if it is unclear whether +Arseny committed a heinous crime? And what does it say to the women of today, if the OCA knowingly canonizes a man who may be a sex offender? The OCA, of all jurisdictions, should know by now the value of transparency. Let us strive for it in canonization, just as we should strive for it in financial matters.
#7 Ferris Haddad on 2010-04-21 12:06
Thank you! Well worth a careful read
#8 David M Lewis on 2010-04-21 14:34
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovch
The Prologue from Ohrid
© Serbian Orthodox Church Diocese of Western America
At the time of the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.], the
quarreling clerics wrote accusations one against the other and presented
them to the emperor. Emperor Constantine received all of these accusations
and not opening them, burned them over a flaming candle. To the amazement of
those around him, the emperor said: "If I would see with my own eyes a
bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak,
so that no one would ever see his sin." Thus, this great Christian emperor
embarrassed the scandalmongers and sealed their mouths. Our Faith prohibits
us to be spies of the sins of others and stresses that we be merciless
judges of our own sins. The sick person in the hospital is concerned with
his own particular malady so that he has neither the will nor the time to
question others who are ill or to mock their illness. Are we not all in this
world as patients in a hospital? Does not our own common sense underline
that we look at our own illness and not at another's illness? Let no one
think that they will be cured of their illness in the other world. This
world is merely a hospital and a place for healing and, in that world, there
is no hospital; there is only a mansion or only a prison.
#9 Epiphanius on 2010-04-22 06:35
It shouldn't be incredibly surprising. The OCA/ROEA harbored a war criminal for years (+Valerian), actively raising money to defend him. And to this day continue to gloss over his involvement in the Iron Guard and fascism.
There is nothing new under the sun.
#10 Anonymous on 2010-04-22 08:21
A read of Runciman is always refreshing. If opnly we could produce such writers about the Church IN the Church and not depend on Presbyterians. Come to think of it, "Presbyterian" --- not that bad an idea for church governance. Frequently makes more sense than "Episcopal".
As for the memory of this bishop, if one wishes to ask his intercession, go ahead. Just the question makes it a good idea to keep his sanctity or assumption of it on a local popular level. It sounds very much like an ethnic football. I hope the Church will choose to leave it ALONE.
#11 ba'ab on 2010-04-22 10:38
Dear Ms. Haddad,
Thank you for your very clear and well worded commentary.
It is very significant the Canonization Committee leaves out the Rape by Arseny. This seems very indicative of this current mindset whereby men set up other men and make them gods in their own image and then think the laity should pay for them to have some heritage museum to hang out and do likewise. If they want a men's club, let them follow the rules of their local government and open a men only club but NOT call it a monastery. and .. Let's also be sure to call RAPE a crime and not a "moral failing".
In any case where is the commitment in any of these cases to giving aid and helping those who have been the victims of the sexual predators? This would be more of a litmus test if there was any intention to be monastery more than a church subsidized men's club.
#12 anon. who does not see rape as a condition for sainthood in the church they know on 2010-04-22 11:53
Epiphanius, I found this quote especially notable -- "If I would see with my own eyes a bishop, a priest or a monk in a sinful act, I would cover him with my cloak, so that no one would ever see his sin."
Yes, it is fine to cover the sins of Archbishop Arseny, so long as no one is trying to canonize him. But as soon as we start considering somebody for canonization, we open their whole life up to inquiry.
Or do you think it is irrelevant whether or not he raped a girl?
For that matter, is the behavior of any bishop or priest relevant? Should we imitate the Roman Catholics, and allow child molesting priests to remain active in church life? Should we "cover their sins" and just transfer them to another parish?Or does is "covering sins" balanced by protecting the faithful from wolves? And what does it say to the flock if we canonize someone who may have committed rape?
#13 Ferris Haddad on 2010-04-22 20:37
Or, we can use modern criminalistics to decide if this happened or not. Part of it is that was it a consensual act or not? It would have helped us if the bishop had come clean on this, as now we have two acts, rape and lying, to investigate. We are looking for the Truth, which is always a good thing. I hope the bishop will be vindicated, but he could have helped his cause before he died. This reminds me of Patriarch 'Alexi not coming clean about his involvement in the KGB. But Alexi never aspired to be a saint.
#14 Nancy Weres on 2010-04-22 23:20
"Should we imitate the Roman Catholics, and allow child molesting priests to remain active in church life?"
We already do.
Melanie Jula Sakoda
I'd be a better selection for a saint than any priest who raped a woman, or any priest that disavowed a son for any purpose.
Fr. Oliver is a good and decent fellow. To put investigator in quotes is the same old thing we see all the time from men of the cloth when they aren't happy about the message. Just discredit the messenger and ride on your laurels. Heaven forbid you'd address the message.
If the committee missed or glossed over something as important as these, then I'd suggest the Arseny canonization go to sleep for a couple hundred more years so people like me don't have to laugh about it.
#16 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-04-23 20:36
After all is said & done regarding + Arseny; the investigators will find that there is no truth to the claims that he abused a woman. If one goes back and reads the original accusations, case and why the woman did this, they will find trumped up charges. The man is truly a saint, but don't take my word for it, do the investigation!
(Editor's note: Thanks for not jumping to a conclusion. Let's let the evidence speak before we make a decision.)
#17 Anonymous on 2010-04-24 06:52
I'm curious, Anonymous -- how are you so sure? What evidence do you have for your claims?
Also, why on earth would you not sign your name to your post? What exactly are you afraid of?
#18 Ferris Haddad on 2010-04-26 05:31
Christ is Risen!
For centuries, in some churches, when a candidate for canonization was proposed, appointed one member of the commission with the responsibility of presenting every single bit of contrary evidence available as to why this individual should NOT be canonized, or recognized as a saint within the church. This one member was called "The Promoter of the Faith" but more commonly referred to as "the devil's advocate" (that is where we derive the term). Unfortunately, in too many instances the Orthodox Church has failed to appreciate this common sense approach and has accepted only those bits of evidence that support the candidate. Had we allowed for this position, some of the saints we now recognize probably would not have passed muster (ex. Peter the Aleut, for whom there is no historical evidence, at all, and whose entire story is contrary to the evidence which does exist). This is not to suggest that some individuals who didn't pass the commission are not saints. Only God knows the heart and the depth of contrition and worthiness. I would, however, suggest that both sides of the canonization issue be considered, both the proponents and also the opponents. In the case of +Aseny, while we should readily acknowledge the considerable work he accomplished for The Church, there appears to be abundant reason to seriously consider whether the unresolved issue of the Charge of Rape is something he was guilty of. If it is true, than the canonization process should immediately cease. If it is not true, then the evidence supporting the dismissal of the case should be made public. I agree, there must be transparency in finances, and there must certainly be transparency in the canonization process. I do not fathom why the canonization process should be even remotely secret. Let the facts speak for themselves.
#19 Sean O'Clare on 2010-04-26 08:49
The University of Minnesota Ethnic Archives has many old newspapers on microfiche. Does anyone have the exact title and date of the articles dealing with the rape charges against Archbishop Arseny?
Also where is the link to the court documents please.
#20 Linda on 2010-04-26 09:17
You must not know your history very well as you show by your statement about Archbishop Valerian Trifa.Any anti communist was on their "hit list" either by assasination or a smear campaign-Draza Mihajlovic,St.Nikolai of Zicha and South Canaan,Bishop Irinej Djordjevic of Dalmatia and many other Serbian patriots.The commies *manufactured*credable *evidence that the western press was more than happy to print and blacken the names and reputations of anti-communists.Archbishop Valerian was one of it`s many*victims*.I would go so far as to say that these people were modern day martyrs for the *Orthodo Faith*.In all humility Fr.Dragan-at the Final Judgment all this will be made crystal clear!Christ is Risen!
#21 V.Rev.Dragan Filipovic on 2010-04-26 12:53
This is the archive web site for June 1908 issue # 26.
Perhaos someone can write to the editor to see if any other articles were written on the case.
#22 Steven on 2010-04-26 14:06
Of some interest, remember that in those days it wasn't unusual for a couple to
adopt or foster the children of siblings/cousins who died or had other problems.
So it is possible that Arseny didn't lie when he said
> S: Didn't your wife give birth to a son to you?
> A: No.
So too it would make sense that Arseny bequeathed his estate to the
adopted/foster child. So there is one way it is possible he
didn't force himself on the woman, and didn't lie on the stand.
Might be worth looking into the Russian son's birth/baptism and other records.
(Editor's note: They have. He is. Perhaps the civil litigation records will tell us why he answered the way he did.)
#23 Harry Coin on 2010-04-26 15:14
It is good to see the committee post such a wise message. I will now respectfully shut up on the matter.
#24 Daniel E. Fall on 2010-04-26 19:58
I frankly don't even recognize what Church I am apart of anymore. When people in the Orthodox Church begin arguing points like you've argued, "oh everyone is a sinner, don't judge, cover his sins, and go ahead and reinstate him as a Bishop/priest/ he only raped, assaulted, or embezzled millions....or go ahead, and canonize a rapist....after all we're no better and have no right to judge them anyways"...I'm sorry, but that argument is just....I cannot even fathom or wrap my mind around it to be honest.
I've been reading all over the place this very line of thinking about Orthodoxy for the better part of a year in regards to some of our "saints" and our current day hierarchy, and frankly (putting aside the fact that the story about Constantine is probably apocryphal), this whole argument that "saints are just like everyone else" is complete nonsense. Canonization is the process of recognizing a high level of theosis within a person's life, that they are an example for us all to live our lives and that we can go to and have them pray for us, and that their prayers are especially efficacious in some way....or at least that is the theory that I was taught.
In one sense, I think you, and others who argue this "saints are just sinners to" are in some ways being fairly honest. To say that saints are actually "holy men/women" would be contrary to the evidence of saints like Justinian. (the man slaughtered 30,000 citizens of Constantinople....I just do not buy him as a saint. I'm sorry, I just cannot accept it for me personally) So in a way, one MUST argue that it's ok to canonize a rapist, since the Church has canonized plenty of people who did much worse than that throughout it's history. One must argue this, if indeed one believes the Church is absolutely unerring, in ALL respects....however I believe the Church can and DOES err from time to time, and so I'm not bound by past canonizations which may or may not have been "questionable".
It is true, that saints, no matter how holy, are still sinners, of course they are. But the idea that we should not only ignore their sins, but actually COVER UP their sins, is down right horrific. It's immoral, un-Christian, and is more about protecting "The Church" or perhaps some personality cult that may have developed around an individual we are to "protect" rather than truth. Rome has been using the same argument with the child abuse scandals, and so do we.
Of course we are NOT to judge some elses salvation, Bishop Arseny may be in the Kingdom and I may not be....we cannot say who is and who is not saved. And I would argue that in most cases of even blatant sin, we should not "judge" either...as long as the sin is NOT against another human being, we might even be moral to not broadcast it to the world. But the moment someone's sin does violence to another human being (and I'd say rape, even if it is what we today would "only" call "date rape"....rape is doing violence to another person, no matter it's "flavor"...and in those cases we have a DUTY to uncover the sin. In the case of Canonization this is especially true...by canonizing a person, the Church is saying "yes this person is WORTHY of public intercession in our Church services"....the idea that we just cover up the sins, or ignore them and pretend they did not happen, can only lead to more and more abuses. And I've been reading this line of thinking for a better part of a year now on many different topics, and as I opened with, I don't even recognize the Church of Christ that I am a part of anymore. A man wants to be a Bishop, or we consider someone for canonization....well as the saying goes, with much power comes much responsibility. Saying someone is an eternal intercessor before the throne of God, is about as much power as the Church can bestow upon a human being.
Anyways, I've said enough, and maybe have been too harsh, and I meant it not at anyone personally, and I've probably only caused more damage to my own soul by saying this, but I just felt I had to speak up. No hard feelings, and in all sincerity, may the peace of the Lord be upon you!
#25 Anonymous on 2010-04-27 08:31
You may wish to track down members of the family of the girl. Also, the family of the man who published the accusation in Svoboda. There really are too many conflicting issues here. If the court found reasonable guilt, why didn't it act? Who would have lied and why? DNA tests can be done on the progeny and samples from + Arseny.
(Editor's note: The child that was born died before he was two.)
#26 Anonymous on 2010-04-27 12:03
Are there other examples of Archbishop Arseny lying under oath? For example, the court cases over church property between the ROCOR & the Russian Metropolia (now the OCA)?
Also how much time did he actually spend in Canada? Where was he consecrated bishop of Winnipeg and by which church: the ROCOR in Serbia or the Russian Metropolita here in America?
#27 reg on 2010-04-28 07:50
"(Editor's note: The child that was born died before he was two.)"
Take samples from the remains of both +Arseny & the child; examine for DNA match. Then go from there!
(editor's note: it presumes we know the child's name and where he was buried. That may be most difficult to ascertain, as is clear from the court documents we have, the child was given away by the alledged victim and raised by others. She remembers his birthday - June 4th, but not his date, nor even month, of his death. I agree it would be much easier if it could be made simpler.....)
#28 Any Mouse on 2010-04-28 09:23
"She remembers his birthday - June 4th, but not his date, nor even month, of his death. I agree it would be much easier if it could be made simpler...."
The child had to have lived in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Surely records can be obtained of all children of the age who died in the area. Furthermore, the investigation should center on why the court "dropped" the case. Did the girl break down and admit she lied and was abused by someone else? Was there really no proof at at? Was she a victim of incest?
#29 Any Mouse on 2010-04-29 07:01
He was consecrated by ROCOR.
#30 Anonymous on 2010-04-29 20:41
It is hard to believe we would canonize a clergyman who should have been deposed/"defrocked" for both: (1) rape or fornication (if it was consensual) and (2) perjury.
If a person were to come forward and admit these things and accept deposition and then become holy, perhaps canonization as a saint could be discussed. But I don't see how sainthood could possibly be discussed for someone who continued to function in an ecclesiastical position from which he should have been barred or removed. I know of no such precedent in 2,000 years, though I am open to someone pointing out such an example.
#31 Pedalion Lover on 2010-04-29 22:02
Oh dear. Well completely independent of the rape allegation / trial , I'm pretty unthrilled with the idea of a saint leaving a living son with a dead mother behind in another country in order to go talk about God an ocean away. How old was the boy when his dad abandonded him? 14? What's up with that?
#32 Anonymous on 2010-04-30 18:08
It strikes me as absurd that we can determine who is worthy of Sainthood. I'm not talking about this group, but any body of human beings charged with such a responsibility. God alone can judge. - Did +Arseny do anything worth emulating? Did he protect the Church and Her ideals? If one can answer yes to either of these questions, why should he NOT be considered for Sainthood? Are we that naive to presume that other Saints didn't do despicable things? As Father Anthony pointed out, history tells a different story. Consider Saint Mary of Egypt and Saint Paul. Are they any less worthy of Sainthood because of their sexual proclivities and willingness to shed innocent blood? In reading the lives of the Saints, it is often the most passionate who achieve Sainthood and that passion is manifested in a variety of fallen ways until redirected by God. Not to believe in redemption is not to be Christian.
#33 Gail Sheppard on 2010-05-01 12:41
I have followed with heavy heart this entire exchange on our Father among the saints Arseny, and have come to the following conclusions on the matter.
1) I am the chief of sinners and am unworthy to spout forth an opinion, but offer it up in the prayful hope it will help someone else better understand the Gospel and follow our Lord.
2) That the faithful of Canada are correct and Arseny is numbered already among the saints with God having already determined the matter.
3) That those seeking to judge this man after his repose had better do a quick heart check, because He (God) will hold them accountable for their words. That accountability might not result in them being numbered among the saints unless they first learn to forgive others and love them as Christ has loved each of us.
4) That those so worried about sexual offenses once committed in someone's life, need to seriously ask themselves how Paul the Apostle, Dismas the theif, Moses the Ethiopian and Mary of Egypt were canonized as Saints, to name just a few saints with colored pasts. May the God who numbered these holy ones among His saints - have that same mercy upon all of us!
5) The key to triumphing over evil is love in Christ - it takes a lifetime to master it, and along the way many pitfalls await us, let us pray God that when we fall - and we will - that we will be able to rise again to accomplish the race of salvation - with our brothers and sisters as ardent helpers along the way.
In closing, begging God's forgiveness and yours for any offense brought or caused, I encourage all to not judge others, but to love them as Christ loves all of us.
#34 Igumen Patrick on 2010-05-03 11:46
With all due respect -- we Catholics are making tremendous strides toward cleaning up our act and creating a culture of transparency. We were essentially forced to do this, but we are doing it. That is why the recent New York Slimes' stories are so horribly misleading. These mendacious stories covered decades-old cases (already publicized to death) as though they'd happened yesterday. They didn't. And, even in those decades-old cases, the perps had in fact been removed from public ministry. (In one case, it was the police, not the Church, who dropped the ball by refusing to jail the perp!)
The 2002 Boston Globe revelations were a salutary, much-needed wake-up call for U.S. Catholics. We went through Hell in the ensuing years. But we responded. Even when our efforts were hampered by foot-dragging bishops with a circle-the-wagons mentality, we did respond, and we dis make progress. And even some of the worst bishops were forced to respond. It's amazing what a $600 million legal settlement will do to an episcopal enabler!
Nowadays, we have a zero-tolerance policy so stringent it almost goes overboard. Every single U.S. diocese has to report any allegations to the civil authorities as soon as they arise, plus launch an internal investigation. The accused priest is removed from ministry pending the outcome of the police and ecclesial investigations. Even the Baptists who run stopbaptistpredators.org acknowledge that this is far more than most other communions do!
The spotlight is on us Catholics, big-time, so transparency is now a given. Most other communions fly under the radar; they are MUCH less likely to attract media scrutiny or the attention of lawyers; therefore they can get away with a LOT more. And hide it a lot more successfully.
I would be willing to bet that there are no U.S. Catholic bishops nowadays shuffling perps around -- not even the biggest offenders of yesteryear, such as Cardinal Mahony (who cannot leave the episcopate soon enough, as far as I'm concerned). Maybe we were forced into transparency, but transparent we certainly have become. I'm not saying we have totally solved the problem by a long shot -- there were six credible allegations in 2009, and that is six too many -- but we are trying really hard, and we are making progress. In future years, our current efforts and policies may serve as models for other communions struggling with the problem of clergy sex abuse and episcopal coverups.
We also have a laity who won't stand any more of this ranygazoo. That helps, too.
It sounds as if the Orthodox laity are similarly unwilling to tolerate any more ranygazoo. Good on y'all!
In the meantime, please give us papists some credit. We've come a long way since 2002. Seriously!
Your sister in Christ
#35 anonymous papist on 2010-05-09 20:20
I think this may be a problem of the court translater. I believe the translator was a Russian. The months of the year are different in Ukrainian than in Russian.
#36 anonymous on 2010-05-27 12:59
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