The Attempted Abduction of Metropolitan Vitaly by Representatives of the ROCOR under Metropolitan Laurus
On November 22, 2001 Michael Donskoff ( formerly Bishop of Toronto and vicar of Metropolitan Vitaly) arrived with the Priest Paul Iwaszewicz, several "hired security guards" and the legal counsel of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia under Metropolitan Laurus. They attempted by brute force to remove Metropolitan Vitaly against his will from his own property and monastery.
Such behavior was truly the peak of the "New Synod's" violence towards those who would not accept their change of course. After this shocking event, which literally was seen worldwide and related in several newspapers, a "regrouping" took place in the tactics used by the synod under Metropolitan Laurus to appear more benign. However they still did not stop in their lawsuits against those they deemed vulnerable and their treachery in making secret agreements with those who they claimed were endangering the life and well-being of Metropolitan Vitaly.
We have placed here in one location, communiques, reactions, documents and subsequent statements issued as a result of that event unprecedented in the History of the Church Abroad.
METROPOLITAN VITALY PHYSICALLY ATTACKED!!! (Posted 11/22/01) The original story that appeared as it broke that day
Attack Upon Metropolitan Vitaly - As Related By An Eye-witness (posted 11/23/01)
Communique from the Chancery of the Office of Bishops (issued 11/23/01)
The Cossacks reject Michael Donskoff (posted 12/17/01)
Photo Gallery of the violence done to His Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly on the instigation of Mr. Michael Donskoff (posted 11/22/01) Warning! These photos are VERY alarming and upsetting. Also note that in photo "vitaly14.jpg" the metropolitan's feet are in the air! Priests of the ROCOR are calling this a simple gentle "escorting."
File size: 11.9 MB
Approximate download time
30 minutes @ 48.0 Kbps.
File size: 5.5 MB
Approximate download time
10 minutes@ 48.0 Kbps.
This Video was taken at the time of the attempted abduction. In this clip is heard the second occasion that Metropolitan Vitaly pronounced an "Anathema" on Michael Donskoff ( the first occasion being when he came into the altar bringing police, including a woman, into the Holy Altar to arrest him and place him in a mental hospital overnight)
Since this Video's public release on 08/01/02 the following information was received: "I believe that bundle [that the "lawyer" is carrying upstairs] to be... the pillow that Met. Vitaly spoke of in his sworn statement that was brought in from the car, used by the lawyer to stifle his cries. When a par is honer who I am acquainted with (who attends the Chicago Cathedral where Fr. Paul is the priest) read Met. Vitaly's sworn statement they were sickened to find out their priests (Fr. Paul) involvement, one of the things they asked Fr. Paul was why the pillow was brought, Fr. Paul replied... "to keep the Met. comfortable."
I looked back at the dreadful photos to see that "comfortable pillow" lying on the ground while they were forcing the Metropolitan into the limo. I suppose it served it's purpose...not for comfort which would be in the car for the Metropolitan's use.
I also noticed that the video clearly shows Fr. Paul wearing a jacket with a fur trim hood while going up the stairs to the 2nd floor in the monastery... only to see in the photos, that coming down the stairs Met. Vitaly is now wearing Fr. Paul's jacket. Met. Vitaly describes in his sworn statement as being forcibly dressed with Fr. Paul's jacket and Fr. David Moser dares to describe the Metropolitan as being warmly dressed and looking good. For shame!"
The video ends abruptly with the Synod's "legal" counsel destroying the camera.
The Video is provided in two versions. The only difference is the amount of "compression" applied for delivery on the internet. Those with slower connection speeds should use the 5.5 MB version or wait for the larger better quality movie to download. Quicktime 6 is required to view.