Report on the meeting (personal account) of the events of Sunday morning 11 October at the cathedral at rue Daru.

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Report on the meeting (personal account) of the events of Sunday morning 11 October at the cathedral at rue Daru.

Message par Alexandra de Moffarts le Dim 18 Oct - 21:41

Report on the meeting (personal account) of the events of Sunday morning 11 October at the cathedral at rue Daru.
Participants at the ACER conference had decided, almost unanimously to join the ACER delegation which was to give by hand a letter from the Council of ACER to Arch. Job, as had been announced. They also decided to take part in the divine liturgy at rue Daru and then to wait the exit of the archbishop in front of the cathedral. We had decided that we would greet him in silence, apart from the person who was to hand over the letter, but things turned out differently. There were quite a number of us, more than 50 at the liturgy (both inside the church and outside), and then more came later. There must have been about 100-150 by the end of the liturgy.
During the liturgy, we remarked on the fact that we had been noticed. Firstly a small group, then more and more young men of a rough appearance, whom I shall call 'bodyguards' continually entered and left the church (all near the church). The first ones noticed us very quickly and made some phone calls, to call for reinforcements, who very quickly appeared. One of our group in the church saw the priest Basil Sevciuk make a phone call (presumably as the employer of these men). There numbers grew as the liturgy progressed. In total, one could count about 12 men. As there were in civil dress, it is possible that there were more of them. Some of us were slightly pushed, or surrounded inside the church. No one with a back pack was allowed to enter.
As the liturgy drew to a close, the group of bodyguards posted outside entered the church. A group of bodyguards with earpieces were posted surrounding Cyril Sollogoub (president of ACER) inside the church, another group waited outside. Other young men of a similar sort guarded the other entrances.
These men, at least in part, were Moldavian, speaking amongst themselves in Romanian, and some spoke Russian or Ukrainian.
Then the archbishop left, surrounded by a group of 10 to 12 persons (the film and photos show it). As they descended the steps, Cyrille Sollogoub and Nathalie Victoroff tried to approach the archbishop with the letter, but had difficulty in getting to him because of the guards. Arch. Job said “No, you already have my response, I do not want you letter, since you have called me a liar, I have nothing to discuss with you”. The archbishop and the guards continued to move forward. The guards lightly pushed the people who were in the way (between the church and the house, I got pushed as well).
Eventually the archbishop said “Come and have some coffee upstairs”. This invitation was repeated in a loud voice by the secretary, Andre Gutko. We decided that we would all go, at least a part of the crowd, enough to fill the coffee room upstairs.
The main guard stood at the door checking the individuals (he shoved me, I don't know about the rest, but I got the impression he wanted to scare me). We went upstairs, about fifty people maybe.
The bishop was sitting at the head of the table and drinking his coffee (from a cup larger than all the others, which his secretary took and continued to drink from), surrounded by his secretary André Gudko to his left and a young man in civilian dress to his right. Two older ladies as well. There were bodyguards around the room, and others had gone into the kitchen were they were talking about what was happening. People surrounding the bishop constantly interrupted us to say or shout that one doesn't talk to the archbishop like that, it is shameful, that we are sowers of trouble, that we mock the archbishop with cartoons, and similar things. A lot of gesturing and mocking laughter mostly from the secretary. The latter was whispering in the bishop's ear whenever someone else was talking (as if to make it more difficult for him to hear, and to give some advice, or to calm him down). A strange dialogue ensued between us, which is difficult to retell. The main idea which the archbishop repeated several times, was that he did not wish to enter into a dialogue with us to to hear us, since we had shown lack of respect by:
- not having respected the canonical order and for not having invited him to the camp or the ACER conference.
- having called him a liar (as well as the patriarch)
- publishing lies on the internet
- having treated him with total disrespect – which also goes against the canonical order
Other themes were also raised.
- According to arch. Job, we were in no position to judge decisions that had been taken, as we did not have the files. One would have to address the Holy Synod. We should have confidence in the Holy Synod, for it was the Holy Spirit Who acts through it and it cannot be wrong.
- The case of Fr Christophe D'Aloisio (in the context of 'dossiers', Arch. Job spoke of this subject himself several times, when we were talking about more general topics. ): Fr Christophe had refused to repent for all his serious faults (the last time, when bish. Jean came to Brussels, and it was for that reason that, according to Arch. Job, bish. Jean had gone there). To our question in what way was Fr Christophe at fault, he replied that his dossier was full of serious, shameful acts (he asked Cyril Sollogoub, rhetorically, if he might like to make a public confession; to me, he said “ask him yourself, he know very well”! That, if we would like to know more, we should ask for an audience with the Patriarch.
- The theme of the voice of the laity and on freedom. According to Arch. Job, freedom consists in the following choice: obey one's priest and bishop, or else leave the Church where no one can restrain you. (He said that to me personally, looking me in the eye.) He also affirmed that order in the Church is above all else; laity must obey the priest, the priests must obey the bishop, and the bishop obey the Patriarch. (Later he corrected this; the synod.) There is nothing higher than the canonical order (verbatim). The role of the bishop, it is to see that order, under which he too is, must be respected.
- When we asked him if the Gospel was not more important than the canonical order, the archbishop spoke of love, repentance, humility and forgiveness of one's enemies, that which we were lacking according to him, and then he repeated word for word his sermon which had been in Russian in the church. We replied that he was not our enemy, but our archbishop, that we do not detest him, but would like to discuss what is best for the Church.
- Several times Arch. Job said that if we wished to speak with him, we should arrange for an audience or invite him.
- The archbishop said once; “All this slander against me, I KNOW, I do, where it comes from .. “ (he seemed to be saying that we too know where it comes from).
During this time, not a smile, no word of welcome, of conciliation or pastoral passed his lips. On our part, some spoke of reconciliation, of dialogue, of our sadness faced with the dismemberment of the Body of Christ and of what has gone beyond all conflict. Everyone affirmed that they were not the authors of caricatures and some admitted that some internet site were at times exaggerated. These words were not received, as far as I could see.

The faithful expressed themselves strongly, from the heart, as no discussion had been prepared. They expressed themselves respectfully even when making spontaneous observations, or when asking direct questions. The general tone of the discussion was quite strong. Some of us raised or voices in order to be heard, and some of spoke at the same time, especially after a brief address by Arch. Job when he said that the canons are above all the other thing enumerated above. The archbishop was in a rage, once or twice his voice trembled, and he even shouted at someone at the back who had corrected him; “you haven’t got cotton wool in you ears” (I don't remember the exact phrase), but he held himself back.
Towards the end, a lady came and stood in front (behind the archbishop) and began to talk in Russian. I said to her that we don't speak Russian (which was true for the large part of us), and she shouted with indignation, “If you can't even speak Russian, what are you looking for in a Russian church?” (The archbishop did not react). Then she told us, in French, to leave the room.
At the end, archpriest Basil Sevciuc also stood up in front (behind the archbishop) and told us to ask for an audience on some other occasion and that the archbishop was exhausted after the liturgy, and he had been tired anyway, and that we had no respect for protocol. People began to leave the room slowly, and suddenly the guards began to block the way for those who wanted to approach him, with some hard and almost violent gestures. One of then made menacing gestures with his hands.
We left. That is a first account which will need to be finished later.

Alexandra de Moffarts

Messages : 50
Date d'inscription : 18/10/2015

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