Petition update

Status update

Former Board of Directors of the Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral

Jun 3, 2016 — Dear friends and supporters,

Six months have gone by and you all deserve an update on the current state of the situation at Russian Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral.

A short summary of what happened since the beginning of the year.

On January 6, the heating boiler exploded due to the overheating. Lack of proper maintenance and care by certain members of the interim Parish Council caused the Cathedral to remain without heat for the whole month and eventually cost a huge amount (tens of thousands of dollars) to replace the heating system.

The blame was placed on the fired Board members with an accusation that we (!) didn't pass the heating systems maintenance knowledge and manuals to the "new board", therefore it was our fault that it exploded.

On February 3, all of the fired Board members received a letter from the lawyer, which was hired by the new Interim Board members at the expense of the Parish. The letter laid out false and simply ridiculous accusations, such as that we commit fraudulent financial activities against the church, damage the church property, hijack the church web site, file false reports with the government and so on. The letter also stated that our Parish membership was in the process of being terminated because of all of the accusations and police was being involved to persecute us in criminal and civil courts.

To complicate things even further, some of the members of the Interim Parish Council and Fr.Vasyl personally told us several times to ignore this letter.

As was agreed in early February, the former Treasurer finished the financial report for the year of 2015 up until November 15 and passed all the documents to the rector, Fr.Vasyl. At the same time he was promised, that the Annual General Meeting would be called right away. This promise never materialized. Instead, we were told that the AGM will not be called at all in 2016.

In March we all received one more letter from the office of the Archbishop Irenee asking that we all sign the letter of resignation back-dated November 15, 2015 and officially pledge to never again run for the Parish Council or occupy any official position within the Parish.
We refused to sign such a letter.

In March, Fr.Vasyl requested password to the Parish web site, which he was given right away. During a conversation with the Web Site administrator, a fired Board member, Fr. Vasyl re-assured him, that he remains the Web Site Administrator and is considered an honest parishioner in good standing. In May the Web Site Administrator was restricted by the police to come to the Church premises.

From the very beginning of this conflict, the English mission in our Cathedral and its priest, Fr. Geoffrey, took a considerable but difficult role of a peacemaker, trying to bring the parties together, de-escalate the conflict and eventually resolve it by helping run an Annual General Meeting in a peaceful and non-confrontational way.
As the situation evolved, it became evident that the new Interim Council was not interested in any peacemaking efforts and was not going to even allow the former Board members to make proper exit reports to the Parish members, let alone have them run again for the Parish Council seats.
Seeing no place for themselves in this toxic environment, the English Mission left the Cathedral and started a completely new Orthodox mission on premises of the University of Toronto Trinity College chapel.

On May 14, 2015 the remaining five members of the former elected Board of Directors, received a call from the Toronto Police department. The police officer explained that Fr.Vasyl requested that we are not allowed on the Church premises and would be charged with trespassing if we ever appear there again. In other words, we were forcefully removed from the Parish.

These are all the current facts up until today. We'll keep you posted if and how the events evolve.

Thank you again for your support.

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