New York, June 16, 2022
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople has elected Alexander Belya of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate as an auxiliary bishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, reports the GOARCH press service.
Belya is, in fact, a defrocked former archimandrite, and the Slavic Vicariate is largely composed of defrocked, suspended, and schismatic clergy.
As a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Belya was known to dodge diocesan dues and bring clergy to America without the proper paperwork. His brother has also been accused of serious crimes, including the trafficking of women.
In the summer of 2019, Belya forged a letter supposedly from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), then the First Hierarch of ROCOR, to the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, requesting that Belya be confirmed to become a bishop. However, the ROCOR Synod hadn’t actually nominated Belya, and he was subsequently suspended from priestly duties.
Refusing to abide by his suspension, he instead fled to GOARCH without a canonical release from ROCOR. He was defrocked by ROCOR in February 2020, and thus is canonically only a lay monk.
Belya even sued Met. Hilarion and a number of other ROCOR hierarchs and clerics in the secular court system. The case is ongoing.
And on July 30, Belya is scheduled to be consecrated as a hierarch of Constantinople’s Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
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