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Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC)

In 2004, while visiting America, Metropolitan Valentine as head of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), on his own initiative and without the knowledge of his Synod, proceeded to uncanonically dismantle the archdiocese of Archbishop Gregory of Denver and Colorado. To accomplish this, he attempted to steal all of the archbishop’s clergy and place them under his own authority. Archbishop Gregory made formal accusations to the Synod against the Metropolitan for his breaking of the Canons. Along with the above mentioned fact, Archbishop Gregory also notified the Synod that Metropolitan Valentine had uncanonically received an unbaptized “clergyman”, Fr. Michael Graves from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, along with his 188 unbaptized Haitian followers, into the Church. In addition to this, the Metropolitan also accepted into ROAC three deposed priests, Victor Melehov, Spyridon Schneider, and Christopher Johnson. Archbishop Gregory sent an appeal to the Synod for an ecclesiastical court to judge between himself and the Metropolitan, but they did not respond.

Upon his return to Russia, the Metropolitan presented a carefully crafted report to the 2 bishops in Suzdal which not only failed to answer the formal charges against him, but also presented a series of slanders against the Archbishop. To justify the new ecclesiastical course that the Metropolitan was taking, he appealed to the condemned "Kniga Consistorium", a collection of uncanonical rules that were instituted during the reign of Tsar Peter I. These rules undermined the canonical structure of the Russian Orthodox Church. They gave a Metropolitan powers which are not sanctioned by the Holy Canons. These “powers” were Papal in character which enabled a Metropolitan to usurp the dioceses of other ruling bishops in his synod. Fearing further divine displeasure, the Metropolitan only issued via email protocol #48 and #49, declaring that they had broken communion with Archbishop Gregory.

The outcome of all the above was that Metropolitan Valentine broke communion from Archbishop Gregory for no canonical reason and thereby willfully caused a schism in the Church. His followers and successors have made themselves schismatics who must be avoided.

Building upon this foundation of sand, the ROAC proceeded to ordain to the episcopacy the deposed Andrew McGloughlin, commonly known under the pseudonym of Maklakov, as bishop of an obscure city in the Russian Federation. Under Maklakov’s pressure, the ROAC proceeded to alter the Synodikon for the Sunday of Orthodoxy to number the miserable schismatic, Matthew of Vresthena, among the righteous confessors of Orthodoxy.

Unfortunately, the ROAC, failing to take Archbishop Gregory’s warnings and exhortations seriously, continues tumbling further down into the chasm of ecclesiastical darkness and senseless violations of the canons. The ordination of late of Archimandrite Kassian the Bulgarian to the episcopacy is another milestone in this tragic story. Despite serious impediments to the priesthood which are widely known in Bulgaria, the ROAC turned a blind eye to Kassian’s long string of outrageous canonical violations, and proceeded to rebaptize and reordain the man, finally elevating him to the episcopacy.

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Archbishop Gregory
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