This is a follow-up to previous posts (see here and here). It's interesting that this declaration freely calls the actions of the "Canadian" both "strange" and "bad," but won't detail any actual behaviors. Also interesting is that the Metropolitan is claiming exclusive territorial control over all of South East Asia and goes so far to say that the Russian Church is "conceal[ing]" things. Those aren't softball pronouncements and I expect even more updates in the coming days. This is obviously a lamentable and divisive situation.
(OMHKSEA) - After publishing the notice of excommunication imposed by the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia upon two schismatics who live in Taiwan, numerous messages were received from various people, who in a good-willing spirit wished to find out the facts of the matter.
Of course we are well aware of all the scurrilous comments that were published on various websites and social networking sites.
We cannot reply to abuse, since it is from people who not only do not know anything about what happened, but who also do not have an ecclesiastical ethos.
Here below are the actual facts, for anyone who wishes to know the truth.
It should be stated from the outset that this is not about a personal dispute; the aim of the Orthodox Metropolitanate is to safeguard the Orthodox faith, protect the Ecclesiastical order, and maintain the unity of the Church Body.
The two schismatics were for many years members of the Orthodox community in Taiwan, and benefited in many ways from the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong. The first person, who is a Canadian citizen, was helped in both spiritual and material ways, so that he could complete his studies in Taiwan. The Orthodox Metropolitanate helped him to pursue postgraduate studies in Greece. Unfortunately, without giving any explanation, he did not go to Greece in order to continue his studies, but he disappeared even from Taiwan. Many years later he appeared in Taiwan again, but now wearing the Orthodox cassock. The Orthodox Metropolitanate, as in accordance with the canons, asked him for his canonical permit from his Bishop. The fact that he did not want for a long time to produce this document, which he should have obtained from his Bishop, made a bad impression. As does the fact that to this day he has not revealed the name of the Bishop who ordained him. After much time and urging, he sent a letter to the Metropolitan of Hong Kong, signed by Bishop Iov of Kashira, Vicar of the Moscow Diocese, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada, which clearly states that he grants permission to the new clergyman to continue his studies for one year in Taiwan (until 1 July 2013) and that he commends him to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Metropolitan of Hong Kong.
On the basis of this letter, the Metropolitan of Hong Kong gave him his blessing so that this clergyman from Canada could concelebrate with Fr Jonah, who is the vicar of the Orthodox Community in Taiwan.
Unfortunately, afterwards this Canadian cleric behaved strangely and badly, and wanted to form his own “parish”. He began to divide the congregation into “Greeks” and “Russians”. He began to spread the virus of ethno-phyletism. He cut off communication with the Metropolitan of Hong Kong, and while he has been at least twice in Hong Kong he avoided paying a visit to the canonical Metropolitan.
The Orthodox Metropolitanate knows who is protecting him, as well as all the bad things that he and his collaborators are doing in order to gather followers. We do not want to make any disclosures yet, so as not to scandalise the faithful.
What has been said about so-called different “ecclesiastical jurisdictions” and “mission” is completely untrue. In Taiwan there are no “parallel Orthodox jurisdictions”, and the cleric from Canada did not come to Taiwan as a missionary but in order to study.
If he himself and his supporters believe otherwise, they should explain why they have said so many lies to the Metropolitan of Hong Kong.
The second schismatic is a U.S. citizen. He was catechized in the Orthodox faith and was baptized by Fr Jonah, vicar of the Orthodox Community in Taiwan. The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong secured scholarships for him so that he could study Orthodox theology at Holy Cross College in Boston. He then returned to Taiwan, but he was disappointed that the Metropolitan of Hong Kong did not want to use him for missionary work, for he did not consider him mature enough or ready for something so serious. At this point he decided to cut himself off from the Orthodox Church and to turn against his benefactors. Both cases are typical cases, which show how the passions of vanity and the love of money can do so much harm.
Finally, to those who speak of the presence of the Church of Russia in South East Asia and its supposed canonical rights, the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia states once again its unwavering and clear position that the presence of the Church of Russia in South East Asia is uncanonical and that any decision of the Synod of the Church of Russia concerning the Far East is considered invalid. At some future point, the Orthodox Metropolitanate will comment on the so-called historical arguments presented by the Church of Russia to support its uncanonical actions. As such, it will present the whole truth, and reveal all those things that the Church of Russia is trying to conceal with such mastery.
The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia, faithful to its mission and the tradition that it received from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, will continue its missionary work, safeguarding the Orthodox faith and order, and praying for the repentance and return of those who, through their uncanonical actions, tear apart the robe of unity of the Body of Christ.
Hong Kong, July 5, 2013