Bishop Gregory (hgr) wrote,
Bishop Gregory

HOCNA, part 2

Reply to "Who are the Real Victims", Part 2
один из важных уроков этой истории: судебные процедуры в наших ИПЦ 1.х полезны, но для собственных верующих и для будущего. а для решения текущих проблем с дикарями, играющими в careful investigation, надежнее опробованные веками средства белых колонизаторов...
Reply to "Who are the Real Victims", Part 2

In Part 1 of this reply, I reiterated our position:

As we stated in our introductory posting to this list, "We have no
intention of discussing here the scandalous accusations made against
us." We still stand by that statement: we feel no need to refute point
by point all those lurid fabrications. Time will tell…

However, I will respond to this present thread since it deals with
those of us monastics still struggling here at Holy Transfiguration
Monastery, Boston, with the status of HTM then and now, and with
certain details or misconceptions concerning how the so-called
investigation of our case was carried out.

Excerpts from some recent postings on this issue:
June 10, 2006 Sex Scandal Deniers
Peter Chaplain wrote:
"What struck me was that many of them have deep psychological problems
from the sexual abuse. Worse, some have left Orthodoxy… Because of what
actually did transpire, a lot of them are messed up psychologically.
Thanks to God, there are exceptions ― monks who married and appear
reasonably adjusted and happy. Let's pray for them all, and vow never
again to continue to abuse them by maligning them to support the lies
of HTM. God help us all!
Peter Chaplain
June 13, 2006 Who Are The Real Victims
You say you've had enough of talk about the abused monks, yet you
slander another. Would you please leave the 24 abused monks alone....
Let's pray for the victims, (that they be left alone)
Peter Chaplain
June 10, 2006 RE: I told you so
Fr. Stephen Pavlenko wrote:
The post was made because people are claiming that no investigation
took place. One most certainly did, and the evidence showed that
abnormal and amoral activities took place at Holy Transfiguration
Monastery. How cruel it is that men who had their souls ripped out and
devoured along with their dignity as male human beings, are now, years
later, accused of "sneaking out at night", "leaving monastic life",
"getting married and divorced"... is this not attaching one self and
sharing in the ORIGINAL DISCUSTING SIN against these men Have your
arguments about whose jurisdiction is the purest of all but spare the
battered souls of men who were ruined, some maybe (with the apparent
LACK OF COMPASSION displayed on this and other lists) for eternity. The
activities at Transfiguration Monastery were indeed examined by Bishops
of the Church and no amount of shuffling things around can disparage
Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko
From: "(matushka) Ann Lardas" < matanna@...>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 19:47:06 -0000
Subject: [paradosis] Not that wretched letter again

> Our bishops were in no way "too busy to come." They spent time and
> energy and money on an investigation which it grieved them to have to
> instigate, and for which they were slandered, berrated, and
> abandonded by the accused and those who trusted the accused. They
> didn't conduct the investigation in the home of the investigated, and
> for this you chide them?
From: "DDD" < dimitradd@...>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 00:01:03 -0400
Subject: Re: [paradosis] Apologize and Refute Malignment of Holy
--- DDD < dimitradd@...> wrote:
>People did come -- just not where HTM could control
> the proceedings.


In all of the above messages, in all of the debates, polemics, accounts
and postings over the years, there is one element missing from the
equation: we monastics who remained at Holy Transfiguration Monastery,
who did not leave our obediences, and who did not break our vows. Those
who left are hearkened to, sympathized with, and pitied. We who
remained are, at best, ignored, or else told to keep quiet, lest we
cause additional trauma to those who left. It's a topsy-turvy case of
guilt by association.

But why were we never taken into consideration, neither then, nor now?
And why should we be muzzled or intimidated into silence by those who
choose to believe our detractors and who declare that every discussion
of our side of this story causes those 'victims' more "pain and
anguish"? How much "pain and anguish" do you think has been caused to
us, our families, and friends by those fathers' lurid tales on Pokrov,
HOCNA-info, and elsewhere? Why does no one ever stop to think of that?
Well, this one time our voice is going to be heard, and we monastics
who are still here at HTM are going to state our case. (However, we do
*not* intend to return to this topic endlessly.)

Contrary to the statements above, we did not expect the bishops to
"conduct the investigation" solely "in the home of the investigated" ―
which is, after all, not some private residence, but a monastery
occupied by thirty five other Orthodox monks. Nor did we try to
"control the proceedings". However, we do think that out of Christian
love and common decency the investigating clergy themselves should have
wished to speak to us and hear us out. And actually, how could the
monastery seek to control an "investigation" concerning which it was
told next to nothing? Regardless of what others may think of our long
letter to Bishop Hilarion of Jan. 28/Feb. 10, 1987, as one who was in
monastery at the time, I can testify that it does relate the course of
events as experienced by us here at the center of the storm.

The *only* time anyone from the ROCOR Synod visited us concerning this
case, was when our superiors constrained Archbishop Anthony of Los
Angeles and Bishop Alypy to stop by the monastery briefly after their
strange meeting with Fr. Panteleimon at the motel in April of 1986.
(Sadly, the hierarchs themselves had had no intention of even coming by
the monastery.) It was a very odd and strained visit, during which they
told us nothing of consequence, nor did they ask us much of anything.
During this brief encounter Archbishop Anthony stated that it was to be
a "thorough investigation". We kept wondering, "How can this
investigation be thorough if they don't even want to speak with us who
lived and worked with all these fathers for so many years?" If our
detractors can cite twenty-four accusers, what of the thirty-five
monastics here in the monastery (plus former novices and others) who
declare that such things never took place here?

Since no one else ever bothered to come to hear our opinion, our
religious superiors gave us the opportunity to write our thoughts on
this case to Archbishop Anthony and Bishop Alypy. No one was compelled
to write, but we were allowed to do so, if we wished. I myself wrote to
Archbishop Anthony in Russian, hoping thereby to avoid any possible
"language barrier". Archbishop Anthony never replied to any of us, nor
even acknowledged receiving our letters. Bishop Alypy simply returned
them unopened.

The only official, written communication we ever received from the
ROCOR Synod during the course of the eleven months prior to our leaving
the Synod was the short, ambiguous ukaze of Sept. 4/17, 1986,
appointing Archbishop Anthony of L. A. as "acting Abbot". When we
inquired what precisely was meant by "acting Abbot", we were told by
both Metropolitan Vitaly and Bishop Hilarion that that was a
"mistranslation". Requests for a copy of the Russian original of the
ukaze went unanswered. [More on this aspect of the case another time.

During all that time I often wondered how those who believed the
accusations perceived of us who remained here in the monastery ― and
how do they perceive of us at present. (Well, at least Fr. Alexander
Lebedeff has been candid enough to express himself: "The path of HTM is
strewn with the victims of the cult mentality they fostered and
maintain even to this day".) But then, shouldn't love have dictated
that attempts be made to dissuade us poor souls from our "delusions"
and free us from the "cult"? But no one came to talk to us or contacted

Pray tell, what were our options, as monastics, if we did not (and
still do not) believe the accusations? What courses of action were open
to us? What level did the number of accusers have to reach before we
would be justified in telling our religious superiors: "We do not
believe any of the slanders, in fact we know that they are false, but
since you have been accused by so many, we have to abandon you and our
vows in order to appear integral"? At what point were we simply to cut
and run? Rather, as Orthodox Christians and monastics, were we not
morally bound to remain in the monastery and under obedience, since we
knew the accusations to be slanderous? (One of the demonstrations of
the oddness of this whole case is the fact that we even have to argue
such a point.)

To put it in a non-monastic setting, one closer to home for the rest of
What if your father, mother, brother, sister, or spouse ― someone you
know intimately and trust implicitly ― was falsely slandered by a
multitude of people? What if it became the talk of the town, or of the
whole country, and was in all the media? What if you became a
laughingstock in the eyes of all for "stupidly" remaining loyal to your
relative or friend because in the depths of your soul you knew that he
was innocent? How long would you hold out before caving in to popular
opinion and the many "proofs"? What would your moral obligations be in
this situation, no matter what? Now please raise that to a spiritual
plane and reconsider our case.

For, you see:
We are not stupid dolts, not hopelessly naпve simpletons, not
co-conspirators, not accomplices in sin, not brain-washed zombies, not
cowed cult members, not prisoners, not spin doctors, not deniers, not
victims. We are weak, sinful, Orthodox monastics simply struggling to
save our souls. With God's grace, and through the prayers of our
monastic superiors, we hope to remain here in the monastery and attain
unto our goal of salvation. We wish the same for all of you.

We know our religious superiors well: Fr. Panteleimon, our founder, Fr.
Isaac, our abbot, and the now Metropolitan Ephraim, our hierarch.
Therefore, we do not "think" that the accusations against them are not
true; we do not "hope" so; we do not "wish" so ― we **know** that they
are not true. Period.

We likewise know the fathers who have left. In fact, no one knows them
better than we do, and no one loves them more than we do, and no one
grieves over them more than we do. But we love them for eternity, and
not for this vain world only; therefore we pray that they repent and
return to the monastic discipline which they had embraced and wherein
alone is found salvation for them. May God grant that it come to pass
before the end. Amen.

Fr. Nicholas

PS: In one of his messages above, Peter Chaplain made the following,
startling, remark:
"Thanks to God, there are exceptions ― monks who married and appear
reasonably adjusted and happy."

Firstly, the chronology here is wrong. It is not as though those
fathers left the monastery, then got over their "traumatic experience",
and only later got married. Several left *in order* to get married, and
only later made their slanderous accusations to cover their sin. For
example, Fr. Mamas, the first of them, had "proposed" to the widow
woman even *before* he left the monastery. They got "married" in a
civil ceremony, but later had their "marriage" "blessed" by a Syrian
priest. They then sought to impose their fait accompli on the
parishioners in our area. When the faithful refused to accept their
marriage, they became embittered, blamed the monastery, and vowed to do
everything they could to destroy us, and thus avenge themselves. The
outcome was the malicious letter written by Fr. Mamas at the request of
Fr. Gregory some months later. Many of the phrases and arguments betray
the thought patterns and expressions of a psychologist, which Fr. Mamas
is not, but he was "married" to one at the time.

Secondly, an Orthodox Christian *cannot* thank God that schema-monks
have gotten "married" and are adjusted and happy. A schema-monk did not
vow to be well-adjusted and happily married!

As Fr. Panteleimon explained in his letter of April 13, 1986 (written
at the request of Metropolitan Vitaly) to Archbishop Anthony of Los

"But aside from my accusers, something which grieved me when we met,
Vladyka, was the attitude of Bishop Alypy… At one point, Bishop Alypy
said that if things were as Fr Mamas claims, then he did well to get
married. I never expected to hear such a thing from a monastic and
bishop. No! Fr Mamas did not do well to get married. Even if everything
were true (and both I and all here with me emphatically deny that they
are…), Fr. Mamas would not be justified in getting married. Fr. Mamas
is a monk of the Great Schema. He was not tonsured as a child or as a
teenager. He was an adult who was well-educated both here and abroad
and had seen the world. He had lived in the monastic discipline four
full years (two at Holy Trinity, Jordanville and two at Holy
Transfiguration, Boston) before he was tonsured into the Angelic Schema
― the canons provide for the minimum of three years before tonsure. If,
therefore, after making his full vows, he came to the conclusion that
he wished to depart because of reasons of Faith or morals, this would
not give him license to renounce his vows, but rather to seek another
monastery in order to continue his monastic vocation. In the instance
of Fr. Mamas, he could have returned to Holy Trinity from whence he
came. He could have gone to the Holy Mountain where there are other
Synodal monks. He could have joined Vladyka Metropolitan Vitaly's
community in Montreal, etc., but certainly not break his vows and

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