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More canonical violations of Metropolitan Vitaly since 1992

1992... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) goes into communion with the Romanian Synod of Resistors who are in communion with Metr. Cyprian. (What the outcome of this union would accomplish was uncertain at the time. Would it lead to the breaking of communion of the Romanians with Cyprian, or would it lead to the ROCOR’s union with Cyprian? As time showed, this was the first step towards union with Cyprian, although there was never an official statement on the part of ROCOR that the Romanian ecclesiology was identical to ROCOR’s.)

May 1993... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) meets in Lesna, France, and uncanonically ‘retires’ Bishop Valentine, who opposes union with the MP., then one year later requests he (Valentine) participate in the decisions of the 1994 Lesna Sobor as a ruling bishop.

July 1994... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) uncanonically unites with the heretic and deposed Ecumenist Met. Cyprian of Fili and his “Synod of Resisters”.

1996... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) uncanonically retires Archbishop Antony of Los Angeles. He vigorously opposed union with the MP.

July 31, 1997... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) makes an official statement saying that they are in eucharistic communion with the Jerusalem Patriarchate! [Implementing Cyprianite ecclesiology]

Apr 15/29 1999... Russian Church Abroad, (Met. Vitaly) make an official statement stating their prayerful unity with the Ecumenist Serbian Patriarchate.

Oct 13/26, 2000...At the October 2000 Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Metropolitan Vitaly seeks union with the Moscow Patriarchate, and asks Serbian Patriarch Pavel to help!

April 24, 2001... Metropolitan Vitaly and the ROCA Synod appropriately suspend and indict Bishop Barnabas of Cannes for numerous canonical violations, then on October 14/27, 2001...Met. Vitaly, on his own, uncanonically, restores him to help him ordain bishops for his new schism of ROCE, and then on November 6/19, 2004...Met. Vitaly deprives Archbishop Barnabas of his episcopal rank by deposing him without a trial.

Nov. 3, 2001...In violation of the Canonical Epistle of the Third Ecumenical Council decreed that a retired bishop can no longer govern the Church or ordain bishops, the retired Metropolitan Vitaly, “restored to himself the rights of the Head of the Church”, and together with the suspended Bishop Barnabas, “consecrate” Archimandrite Sergius (Kindiakov) as Bishop of Mansonville.

December 29, 2001...The new ROCE under Metropolitan Vitaly breaks communion with the deposed heretic and Ecumenist Cyprian of Fili; however, it does not renounce communion with the other Cyprianite ‘Resister’ Synods of Bulgaria and Romania, who are in communion with Cyprian. Nor do they renounce Met. Vitaly’s statements that he is in communion with the other Ecumenist Patriarchates, thus he accomplishes two uncanonical acts at the same time –1) he repents to himself in a Protestant fashion, and –2) repents of only half of his wicked and sinful acts against the Church.

2003...Metropolitan Vitaly accepts into his schismatic church Bishops Lazarus and Benjamin with their dioceses in Russia, and through the continuous intrusive meddling of Ludmila or other officiousness, miscommunication ensues. Because of this, the two bishops “ordain” four more bishops in Russia and Vitaly retaliates by breaking communion with them, thus creating another schism.

24 June/7 July 2004...Metropolitan Vitaly announces to the rest of his synod that two years before, unbeknownst to them, Fr. Nikita Orlov, a married priest, was secretly elevated to the episcopacy by Met. Vitaly in the Metropolitan’s cell. He then bids them greet and accept their ‘fellow-hierarch.’ Thus Metropolitan Vitaly manages to accomplish ten uncanonical acts at the same time.

Met. Vitaly:

1) sinned against a priest’s wife by taking away her husband without her prior consent or just cause, as if there ever could be a cause, --

2) does not ordain him on an altar or antimensia with holy relics, --

3) elects a bishop by himself without the consent of the other bishops, --

4) ordains a bishop by himself without the prior consent of other bishops, --

5) ordained a bishop without any witnesses, --

6) ordained a clergyman of another bishop (Bp. Vladimir of Sacramento) without the latter’s consent or knowledge --

7) ordained a bishop without the knowledge and consent of his future flock, --

8) divided and redistributed the diocese of another bishop without his or the synod’s knowledge or consent, --

9) had a bishop living with a wife for two years after ordination, and --

10) authorized a bishop to operate in other bishops’ dioceses without their knowledge or consent (Fr. Nikita/Bp. Anthony visited ‘his’ parishes across the country and overseas for two years, before Met. Vitaly announced his existence as a bishop to the other hierarchs). It might be relevant here to recall Met. Vitaly’s statement (so typical of his later years) made some years previous to this when hearing a report on the canonical course of action for the ROCOR synod: “You are always talking about the canons! Forget the canons! Now is the time for action!” Only a man with more regard for his own opinion than the Church’s rules could perform such an anti-canonical act as this consecration.

2005...Metropolitan Vitaly continues to maintain his disrespect to the Holy Canons by ordaining twice married men into all ranks up to the priesthood!

The bishops of ROCE to the present time;

Metropolitan Vitaly; a “ruling bishop”, who cannot think properly, who has no fear of disobeying the Church canons, who does not serve and will not retire!

A new “synod” of eight bishops fashioned by Metropolitan Vitaly, and again epitomizing the essential characteristics his former synod from New York City, namely having a complete disrespect for canonical order and refusing to oppose Metropolitan Vitaly’s disobedient leadership!

Bishops Sergei and Vladimir; ordained as ruling bishops, and according to the ROCE Bishops’ Conference of April 7/20, 2002, are not permitted to ordain!

Bishop Vladimir; ordained as bishop of Sacramento and Western America, thrown out of his cathedral and diocese on the west coast and now lives on the east coast!

Bishop Vladimir; not allowed to serve in his diocese, but Bishop Anthony allowed to serve in every diocese!


Metropolitan Vitaly, over the course of his tenure as head of the Russian Church Abroad, has developed and adopted a mentality that he is somehow superior to canonical order as we have seen above.  

This erroneous and invalid practice of canonical violations stems from his blind pride and he has thereby accomplished many abhorrent acts, such as:

  suspending and unsuspending bishops on his own authority,

  retiring bishops who disagree with him by his own will,

  uniting with and communing with heretics and schismatics,

  administrating the church according to his own laws and not the canons,

and all this while still maintaining that he is purely Orthodox, a valid and canonical bishop. This episcopal folly, of course, produces nothing but schism, heresy and confusion.

Metropolitan Vitaly believes in the authority of his person, that the Church revolves around him, as if he were some pope. “Trust only my living voice”, are the words of his 2001 Nativity Epistle! Because of this, many have suffered at his hands and most affirm that he is responsible, single-handedly, for the destruction of the Russian Church Abroad.

Some say it is because his mental capacity has diminished badly, and bring forth as proof the fact that, one day in New York he votes for Metropolitan Laurus to replace him and congratulates him, and the next day in Montreal, he calls Metropolitan Laurus an apostate. The Church has suffered much at the hands of Metropolitan Vitaly, and yet he has the audacity to say, after he himself became an apostate and harmed so many souls, that he has always governed the Church rightly. An apostate cannot build the Church of Christ and an apostate cannot build a synod on an uncanonical foundation.

The crux of the matter is that Metropolitan Vitaly has not repented of his Cyprianism. He has renounced the person of Cyprian only, but in reality, since he acknowledges that he was in communion with a heretic and is still part of the Church, therefore, he stubbornly holds very dear the teaching of Cyprian that says that an erring bishop or synod is still part of the Church.

May Christ enlighten to repentance both the clergy and laity of ROCE!

+Archbishop Gregory

Jan. 4/17, 2006

Archbishop Gregory
Dormition Skete
P.O. Box 3177
Buena Vista, CO 81211-3177
Contact: Archbishop Gregory
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