GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

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Barbara
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GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

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"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 implicated in 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."

https://orthochristian.com/146745.html

Headline from February this year mentioning the highly questionable bishop-elect and his suspicious brother. I would post the photo but have forgotten exactly how to !
On February 2 2022, Eliprchbishop Elpidophoros of America received Archimandrite Alexander Belya and Fr. Oleksander Belya of the Slavic Vicariate in his office to discuss future projects and the growth of this unique ministry of the Archdiocese of America.

Older background stories are below :

ROCOR Holy Synod laicizes archimandrite who joined Constantinople after not being chosen as bishop

New York, February 27, 2020

Former Archimandre Alexander served with his new hierarch, Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese, on the feast of Theophany Former Archimandre Alexander served with his new hierarch, Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese, on the feast of Theophany Meeting at the Synodal Headquarters in New York on February 5/18, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia came to a decision in the case of Alexander (Belya), the archimandrite who left the jurisdiction without a canonical release after failing to get himself elected as a bishop.

The ROCOR Eastern American Diocese announced in October that Fr. Alexander was suspended from his priestly duties for “[leading] the Cathedral of Blessed Matrona of Moscow in Dania Beach, FL, and St. Nicholas Monastery in North Fort Myers, FL, out of the structure of the canonical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

At that time, it was also noted that Fr. Alexander and his younger brother Ivan refused to submit and ignored summons to be questioned by a diocesan investigative committee.

The investigation against the Belyas involved, among other things, the strange situation when Archimandrite Alexander managed to get his name sent to Moscow as a nominee for vicar bishop of Miami in ROCOR, despite the fact that he had not been nominated. Elections to the episcopate for ROCOR must be confirmed by the Holy Synod in Moscow, and the matter caused no small amount of confusion when the Synod met on August 30 to confirm the election of Archimandrite James (Corazza) as bishop of Sonora and also had the name of Belya before them.

At its most recent session, the Synod heard an appeal from the Spiritual Court of the Eastern American Diocese and resolved to laicize Archimandrite Alexander. The statement reads:

At the February 5/18, 2020, session of the Synod of Bishops, which was held at the Synodal Headquarters in New York City, an appeal was heard from the Spiritual Court of the Eastern American Diocese regarding the activities of Archimandrite Alexander (Belya) who, while under suspension from serving, wrought disturbance in the church life of several diocesan parishes. Having discussed the appeal and the circumstances of this case comprehensively, as well as the violations of the terms set forth in his suspension that have been a cause of temptation for both clergy and flock, to the point of fleeing beneath the omophorion of a separate jurisdiction without a release from his ruling bishop, it is with sorrow that the Synod of Bishops adopts the following resolution, provided here in brief:

To ratify the resolution of the Spiritual Court of the Eastern American Diocese regarding the laicization of the former Archimandrite Alexander (Belya), in accordance with the determination of his ruling bishop.

About a month after Alexander Belya announced that he had joined the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Patriarchate of Constantinople), his father, Archpriest Alexander Belya, rector of the ROCOR St. John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, also departed for the Greek Archdiocese without a canonical release from his hierarch. He is currently under suspension.

Both Belyas had been diocesan deans—Archpriest Alexander of the NYC Deanery and Archimandrite Alexander of the Florida Deanery. "

https://orthochristian.com/128850.html

New York, November 11, 2019

"Last month, the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia announced that Archimandrite Alexander Belya, “betraying the trust and love of his archpastors, led the Cathedral of Blessed Matrona of Moscow in Dania Beach, FL, and St. Nicholas Monastery in North Fort Myers, FL, out of the structure of the canonical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Belya and his brother Ivan were under investigation for a number of serious accusations, and it is known that Alexander attempted to get himself confirmed as a bishop of ROCOR by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, despite the fact that he had not been nominated by the ROCOR hierarchs.

Alexander ignored his suspension and continued serving, now commemorating Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Archdiocese of America of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He also announced that the Greek Archdiocese had taken control of the parish.

Unfortunately, the situation has repeated itself in New York, this time with Archpriest Alexander Belya, the father of Archimandrite Alexander and Ivan.

On October 24/November 6, on behalf of the Eastern American Diocese, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the First Hierarch of ROCOR, issued a notice stating,

It is our sorrowful duty to confirm to parishioners and friends of Saint John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, that the suspended Archpriest Alexander Belya, formerly rector of the parish, turning his back on his native and persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with whom the Russian Church Abroad is in full accord, has uncanonically departed from his ecclesiastical obedience and, in defiance of all Church order, illegitimately fled to the homophorion of a hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with which we are not presently in communion.

This flight represents a violation of the vows given at his ordination and “has necessarily resulted in his canonical suspension from all canonical and administrative duties,” Met. Hilarion writes.

A full and final decision will be rendered by a spiritual court in the future.

“The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia laments this sorrowful betrayal of his Church and of his flock by the suspended Archpriest Alexander, who has placed himself in collaboration with a diocese external to the Church Abroad, which has no canonical or legal authority whatsoever to legitimize this schismatic act,” the notice reads.

Met. Hilarion also warns his flock “that following such individuals into schism or receiving sacraments from their hands is to place one’s own soul in profound peril,” calling on the faithful to begin attending other ROCOR parishes.

In conclusion, Met. Hilarion writes:

We urge the faithful of Saint John the Forerunner Cathedral to remain steadfast in this time of trial, secure in the knowledge that our Diocese and our Church will not leave its God-preserved flock destitute or uncared-for in the face of this sorrow. We do not put our trust “in princes or in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation,” as the Psalmist says, but in God Who is undivided and always protects those who abhor schism and personal gain, remaining steadfast spiritual children of our beloved Church."

https://orthochristian.com/125429.html
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Barbara
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Re: GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

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Latest news :

5 of the most well-known World Orthodox hierarchs in the United States have loudly protested to Abp Elpidophoros against this bizarre behavior and issued threats if the latter does not back down on the consecration of the shady character, Alexander Belya :


A number of top hierarchs of the jurisdictions of the Canonical Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America have united to protest the Greek Archdiocese’s planned consecration to the episcopacy of a defrocked former archimandrite.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, announced earlier this month that the Constantinople Synod elected Alexander Belya as an auxiliary bishop of the Greek Archdiocese for its Slavic Vicariate, with his consecration set for July 30.

However, Belya is, in fact, a defrocked former archimandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

In a letter addressed to the Greek Archdiocese’s Archbishop Elpidophoros, the signing hierarchs, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), His Grace Bishop Longin (Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America), His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas), His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia), and His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon (Orthodox Church in America), warn that the consecration of Belya poses a great threat to Orthodox unity in America.

In fact, if Belya is made a bishop and therefore becomes a member of the Assembly of Bishops, the hierarchs warn that they will be forced to quit the Assembly, as they recognize the canonicity of his defrocking by ROCOR in 2020.

Besides Abp. Elpidophoros, the letter was also sent to Patriarch Bartholomew and all members of the Assembly of Bishops.

“In addition to our canonical concerns, we have serious questions about his character based on past direct and indirect interactions with him and his family,” the bishops write to Abp. Elpidophoros.

“It was with pain of heart and great dismay that we learned from Your Eminence of the decision to proceed with the episcopal consecration of Alexander Belya… We feel duty bound as your brothers and concelebrants at the Holy Altar to plead with you and your Patriarchate to reconsider this decision for the sake of our common devotion to Orthodox unity and canonical order,” they implore.

Given the situation of overlapping jurisdictions in America, the actions of one necessarily affect the others, the hierarchs remind the Greek Archbishop. Such a decision also threatens to “further erode our Assembly of Bishops … you must feel the weight and seriousness of this threat most acutely.”

The hierarchs are already concerned about the break in communion between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates, and the Assembly hierarchs should do nothing to further impede the eventual return of Russian hierarchs to the work of the Assembly, the OCA, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Serbian hierarchs write.

They also recall that many Assembly hierarchs protested the very creation of GOARCH’s Slavic Vicariate, which is largely composed of defrocked, suspended, and schismatic clergy, precisely because of Belya’s canonical status.

And underlining the seriousness of their concerns, the bishops warn that they will be forced to leave the Assembly and possibly suspend concelebrations with Abp. Elpidophoros if Belya is consecrated:

Naturally, then, we cannot continue participating in the Assembly itself if this man is elevated to the episcopacy and thereby becomes an Assembly member. With great sorrow, we must question our ability to continue our in-person meetings and precious concelebrations."
***
https://orthochristian.com/146933.html
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Barbara
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Re: GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

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The plot thickens as more details emerge from the protracted conflict here :

"The ruling hierarchs of the Orthodox jurisdictions of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America are again calling upon the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to reconsider the decision to consecrate a defrocked former priest to the episcopacy.

“Our broken culture needs the Orthodox Faith, not a broken Orthodox Church in this land,” the bishops write, reiterating the warning from their first letter that they will be forced to leave the Assembly if Alexander Belya becomes a bishop and thus a member of the Assembly.

“This moment requires more from us hierarchs than simply a reassertion of our jurisdictional rights, especially when doing so harms our united witness to a land thirsting for the life- giving Faith ‘once and for all delivered to the saints,’” the bishops write in response to Abp. Elpidophoros’ own response to them from June 29.

Like the first, this second appeal to the head of the Greek Archdiocese is signed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America), His Grace Bishop Longin (Serbian Orthodox Church in North, Central and South America), His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas), His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia), and His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon (Orthodox Church in America).

The letter was delivered to all member bishops of the Assembly.

Given that Abp. Elpidophoros’ reply ignored and attempted to shift focus from the points being made by the concerned hierarchs, this second letter largely reiterates and calls upon the Greek Archbishop to focus more closely on the original points.

The bishops are quite disappointed that the Greek Archbishop has simply ignored the danger his plans pose for Orthodox unity in America, and it is for this reason that they have chosen to address him corporately, on Assembly letterhead.

Concerning GOARCH’s Slavic Vicariate as a body, the bishops identify that it’s “sole intent [is] poaching dissatisfied people of another canonical jurisdiction,” which “is unprecedented and could prove to be destructive and undermine our stated goal of unity.”

The bishops are also “painfully aware” that Abp. Elpidophoros also recently attempted to establish a Romanian vicariate, despite the existence of two Romanian jurisdictions in America already. The hierarchs are grateful that this plan didn’t come to fruition.

Given that Abp. Elpidophoros simply dismissed the hierarchs’ concerns about Belya as hearsay, this second letter goes into more detail. First, the hierarchs note that Belya was received into GOARCH after he had already been suspended by his former jurisdiction, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

While the Russian Church has broken communion with Constantinople over its anti-canonical invasion of Ukrainian Church territory, Constantinople repeatedly emphasizes that this decision was one-sided, and so, “how do you explain receiving a clergyman from a Church with which you are in communion without first resolving with that Church the matter of his canonical discipline?” the hierarchs ask.

Second, Belya has brought a lawsuit against the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which is a direct violation of Scripture and the holy canons. “This fact alone should prevent him from becoming a bishop… We do not understand how you can endorse the episcopal consecration of the very man who is pursuing such an anti-hierarchical action against a fellow Orthodox jurisdiction,” the hierarchs write.

In conclusion, the hierarchs reiterate their position, that they will quit the Assembly if Belya becomes a member, and renew their prayers “for a renewal of the conciliar spirit manifest when they met in Jerusalem and declared, It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.’”

***

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 implicated in serious crimes, including the trafficking of women."

https://orthochristian.com/147200.html
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Re: GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

Post by Jean-Serge »

Now the consecration is on hold.
Priidite, poklonimsja i pripadem ko Hristu.
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Barbara
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Re: GOARCH consecrating defrocked clergyman Alexander Belya a bishop

Post by Barbara »

Hello, Jean-Serge !

Yes, finally it was postphoned, though stated in vague terms. It seems that GOARCH backed down - a little.

"Abp. Elpidophoros was also forced last week to indefinitely postpone the episcopal consecration of a man who was canonically defrocked from the priesthood following the persistent protest of the other hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the United States of America."

https://orthochristian.com/147269.html

*********************************************************************
Who knows, though, if they will wait til the fury subsides and attention goes elsewhere - and then try to sneak it by ?

Hopefully the out-of-control Abp. Elpidophoros will finally show circumspection and announce the permanent cancellation of the shocking consecration.

Surely he can find other clergymen who are actually suitable ?
Are the pickings so slender these days that he didn't care about the drastic unsuitability of his candidate for the episcopacy ?

Perhaps Abp Elidophoros is in league with the Belyas himself !
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