Holy Orthodox Church of North America (HOCNA)

A Chronology of Events Leading up to the Panteleimonite Schism, from http://www.kursmda.ru/books/pravoslavny … oc72897813

In January 1986, several former members of HTM (Holy Transfiguration Monastery, of Brookline, MA, I assume) charged Fr. Panteleimon with sexual perversion. A special commission was appointed: Archbishop Anthony of Los Angeles (who like Met. Vitaly were considered to be among the staunch conservatives of the Synod of Bishops) and Bishop Alypy were selected. 

Just before things came to a head (with regard to the accusations about him), Fr. Panteleimon had this to say: 

“The Synodal Church [the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad] is a real standard of Orthodoxy…. Therefore, discerning where the Truth is found, we remain in unity under our bishops in the midst of many trials and temptations…because grace abides in the Synod…. We uphold our Synod primarily and foremostly as a standard of Orthodoxy. All others have betrayed the Truth. This was demonstrated of late by the election of our new Metropolitan [Vitaly]….” (Fr. Alexey Young, The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia: A History and Chronology (San Bernardino: The Borgo Press, 1993), p. 77f. Original source: A personal letter from Fr. Panteleimon to Fr. Alexey Young, dated February 10, 1986 — a month after the first accusers came forward. 

The commission presented its report to the Synod in May of 1986, having interviewed both the accused and the accusers before the Gospel and Cross. At this meeting, two additional accusers also came forward – Monk Menas and Monk Eugenios (having left HTM several weeks previously). The written testimony of two other former members of HTM were read, and two previously interviewed give oral testimony. 

The dean of the New England Deanery and Monk Ephraim spoke in defense of Fr. Panteleimon. Fr. Panteleimon was extensively questioned, denied the charges, but asked to be relieved of his duties as abbot. The Synod granted this request on May 16/29, and decreed that Fr. Panteleimon was retired — this decision was relayed to him by Met. Vitaly personally. Archbishop Anthony was appointed by the Synod to oversee the Monastery, and Heiromonk Isaac was given temporary charge pending his arrival. Instead of obeying the Synod, HTM elected Fr. Isaac as it’s new abbot, despite being told that neither he nor the Monk Ephraim could be considered until charges against them had been cleared. 

Rumors started to circulate that the Boston monastery was thinking of joining the more numerous, but of very bad reputation, synod of Archbishop Auxentios (who at that time had been deposed by his original synod on charges of having ordained a proven homosexual for money and other crimes). HTM had actually disseminated articles denouncing Auxentios a few years before their going under him. Bishop Akakios wrote a letter (labeled: Protocol No. 287) dated July 1, 1987, to the monastery warning them against joining Auxentios. At this time, Fr. Anthony Gavalas (who later parted company with HTM/HOCNA altogether) also expressed his opinion against joining Auxentios, especially since Archbishop Akakios and a canon law expert were conducting an investigation with a view to exoneration of the charges and verdict against Fr. Panteleimon and Fr. Isaac. 

Auxentios’ successor, Maximos, eventually began a serious investigation of the charges against Fr. Panteleimon and Fr. Isaac and the other monks [now ‘bishops’] involved in their unnatural activity, and reduced the HOCNA-bishops to simple monks. It was during these events that HTM and company fled yet again from their ruling synod. However, now with bishops from the monastery and under Fr. Panteleimon’s thumb, they had no need to join any established Old-Calendar synod, but soon established their own: the ‘HOCNA’. 

The pattern at this point is very clear: over a ten year period, Archimandrite Panteleimon and company joined and left three jurisdictions always departing when the leading monks were under investigation for homosexual and other crimes. To this incriminating pattern may be added the testimonies of over 22 monks and novices that have left HTM between the mid-1970’s and the present all of whom alleged that Fr. Panteleimon and others there were complicit in homosexual victimization of those under ‘holy obedience’ to Fr. Panteleimon. Over 22 independent witnesses (whom we ourselves have met and spoken with) to a man’s criminal behavior is overwhelming evidence of his guilt. In addition to this, we have the testimonies of those, like then-member of HOCNA John Chaplain, who heard a victim’s testimony and who witnessed a HOCNA-bishop’s attempt to cover it up firsthand.

(Also visit HOCNA.Info)

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