A trial has been set by a faction of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas. The defendant is Matthew Raphael Johnson, suddenly deemed too far right for this tiny synod’s image. The promoter of this purge is Bishop Joseph (Royer) of Canada, a new bishop received into the church just two years ago. Up until now, Johnson’s “Orthodox Nationalist” podcast and writings were followed by synod members with full support. Something changed.
The target is Matthew Heimbach, baptized by Johnson in the Spring, but the scapegoat is Matthew Raphael Johnson. The Canadian Bishop Joseph Royer has threatened to leave the Synod if Heimbach and his allies are not removed. No clear reason has been given other than he is politically incorrect. This bishop seems to have no functional knowledge of theology and no steady principles of any kind.
While claiming to be a member of a traditionalist group, we read on his parish’s website:
All Saints Orthodox Cathedral offers various ways to provide for the spiritual and temporal needs of individuals. We do so, keeping in mind that salvation must be offered in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of ethnic, racial, cultural or social backgrounds. Reflecting the rich mosaic of peoples in Canada, we are proudly a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-racial Orthodox Church. Our Sunday Divine Liturgy, Holy Mysteries/Sacraments and all Services and programs in the Cathedral Parish are offered in one of the two official languages of Canada, English. Our Parish follows the proper Canonical, Old Calendar for the entire Church/Liturgical year, in adherence to the unchanging and venerable patrimony and praxis of Orthodoxy and, in spite of the many religious, secular and social pressures to conform to the world. In this we stand as living witnesses and defenders of the true faith…Orthodoxy!
Someone needs to tell this modernist bishop that he IS the world. This kind of kowtowing to the power structure shows this bishop to have no understanding of the prophetic nature of Orthodox in an increasingly corrupt, materialist world run by globalists. These globalists think precisely as this bishops does.
Going from church to church, from the ultra liberal Ukrainian Autocephalist dissident movement to the traditionalist Orthodox metropolia certainly suggests a radical change of heart. Yet, that is not visible anywhere in his highly limited public presence. Using financial levers, Royer has demanded all politically incorrect members of the church be removed on the flimsiest of charges, all through anonymous denunciations and the use of proxies. Going behind the backs of his targets, he seeks to purge his newfound church without being noticed. I wonder if this bishop is aware of what Metropolitan Polykarp Sikorsky, one of the forebears of the Ukrainian church he claims membership in, said about Hitler:
Its been nearly a year since the glorious German army, under the command of the Great Fuehrer, crossed the eastern border into the USSR and began the fight against the terrible enemy of mankind and our European-Christian culture: Muscovite-Jewish communism. During this time, the invincible German army in its crusading expedition has freed the Ukrainian nation from it’s cruel oppressor. But the titanic struggle between two worlds still continues. In this struggle we all must not stand idle, we all are called on to fight Judeo-communist slavery.
While the heroic German Army is shedding blood at the front, we must, together with the German people, keep up our struggle too. This requires thousands of workers both in agriculture and in the factories. Our sacred duty and our Ukrainian nation depends on it: we must work.
Therefore, obey the call of the German authorities. We work with the Germans and consider it a sacred duty and honor for a worker to give his all for the war effort. So I call upon my flock and all honest clergy to work with the Germans and obey their labor call.
The Ukrainian peasantry and working class needs to be conscious of what is at stake for both Germans and ourselves; in these great historical times it will contribute to a better world and a free Ukraine. (Polycarp, Archbishop of Lutsk and Kovel, Administrator, 1942, May 16 (State Archives of Volyn region F. R-69, O.1, Spr.310, ark.3).
It so happens that Bishop Joseph, as the Autonomous Metropolia, derives canonically from Polykarp! The Orthodoxy preached by this modernist bishop is not that of those he claims to follow. He is attempting to cleanse the church that he is going to take over. He has been deemed the successor of the current Metropolitan John and seems to want to make a globalist, liberal group out of this traditionalist body.