Defense fund established Nyack, NJ parish sued over reunification

May 3, 2012

Archpriest George Larin and the parish council of the Holy Virgin Protection Russian Orthodox Church have established a defense fund to defray the costs of a lawsuit filed against the parish. Fr. George, the church’s rector, was served on Bright Monday, April 16, 2012 with the summons to appear in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to answer the complaint of Mr. Oleg Rodzianko. The Protection Church is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

Mr. Rodzianko has been protesting against the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate since the historic event took place in 2007. A long-time parishioner before he left the parish that same year, the 89-year-old Mr. Rodzianko wishes to take his ideological grievance to the civil authorities. His aim was stipulated in the summons as, “Restraining the Parish of the Russian Orthodox Holy Virgin Protection Church from taking any further steps to merge its parish with the Moscow patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church”.

The octogenarian Rodzianko represents a group of former ROCOR parishioners who refused to participate in the reunification with the Russian Church and joined a schismatic group headed by “bishop” Agathangel of Odessa.

This action, in all likelihood doomed to failure in a country that firmly separates church and state, has nevertheless already cost the parish $10,000 in retainer fees paid to the ROCOR Synod attorney, and threatens to further drain the parish’s financial resources.

The parish website has published an open letter to the plaintiff from Archpriest Victor Potapov, rector of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Washington DC. Fr. Victor’s pathos in defense of the Nyack parish is magnified by the fact that Mr. Rodzianko is the uncle of Fr. Victor’s wife. He expresses a double concern—for the peace of the parish, and for the salvation of “Uncle Oleg’s” soul.

Information on making donations can be found on the parish website.


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