WHITE SUPREMACY IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: AN OPEN LETTER TO THE ASSEMBLY OF CANONICAL ORTHODOX BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Those wishing to sign this letter may send their name and city/state/province/country of residence to editors@orthodoxyindialogue.com. Names will be added as quickly as possible as we receive them.

mattheim

Dear Metropolitans, Archbishops, and Bishops, Member Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America:

[Addenda of January 24 – 1). The gravity of the situation described below is underscored all the more by the heartbreaking fact that we have begun to hear from American families of colour who have converted to the Orthodox Faith and no longer feel safe or welcome in their own Church. 2). See today’s letter to the editors here. 3). A few people who signed below have asked to have their name removed for fear of retaliation.]

[Addendum of January 25 – An SPLC-designated hate group has responded here to our Open Letter.]

Masters, bless.

At approximately 7:50 a.m. today, January 22, Arthur Hatton of St. Anne Orthodox Church (OCA) in Oak Ridge TN took the above photograph on the Knoxville campus of the University of Tennessee. “The Rock” is available to students as a medium of free expression.

Mr. Hatton has given Orthodoxy in Dialogue permission to publish his photograph and his name. As a new convert to Orthodoxy he has asked the following question: “Why is a symbol of my faith being used alongside Nazi and White Nationalist symbols, and what is American Orthodoxy going to do about it?”

heimIn various pockets of the Orthodox Church in the United States white supremacy has raised its ugly head in highly visible ways. Images of the 3-barred cross used as a weapon in physical altercations make the rounds of the news media and social media and sear themselves into the public memory. Some of our priests openly display Confederate symbols on their Facebook timelines. At least one individual studying for the priesthood in one of our Orthodox seminaries in the US posts white supremacist materials and messages under an alias on Facebook.

We, the undersigned Orthodox Christians and friends of Orthodoxy, feel that the time has come for our Church to issue a clear, unambiguous, public condemnation of white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia in all its forms as absolutely incompatible with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, with membership in the Holy Orthodox Church, and especially with membership in the sacred ranks of the clergy.

With deep respect for each of you and for your archpastoral ministries, we urge you with all our heart to issue a unified statement from the Assembly of Bishops, and to disseminate it as widely as possible in the news and social media.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue will do its part to distribute your statement to our tens of thousands of readers living in 140 nations around the planet.

Sincerely in Christ,

  1. V. Rev. John Breck (Wadmalaw Island SC)
  2. V. Rev. Stanislav Gregorio (Marfa TX)
  3. V. Rev. Isaac Skidmore (Ashland OR)
  4. Rev. Steven Clark (Bremerton WA)
  5. Rev. Serge Ledkovsky (Jackson NJ)
  6. Rev. Martin D. Watt (Ames IA)
  7. Rev. Joel Weir (Crawfordsville IN)
  8. Rev. Pdn. Sergei Kapral (Wilkes-Barre PA)
  9. Rev. Dn. Samuel Davis (Somerset NJ)
  10. Rev. Dn. Stephen Hayes (South Africa)
  11. Rev. Canon James L.J. Nuzzo (Boston MA)
  12. Giacomo Sanfilippo, Editor, Orthodoxy in Dialogue (Toronto ON)
  13. Andrea Jarmai, Editor, Orthodoxy in Dialogue (Toronto ON)
  14. Inga Leonova, Editor, The Wheel (Boston MA)
  15. Gregory Tucker, Editor, The Wheel (Germany)
  16. Glen R.J. Mules (New Rochelle NY)
  17. Lucian Turcescu (Montreal QC)
  18. Boris Jakim (Port Washington NY)
  19. Serge Troubetzkoy (France)
  20. David J. Dunn (Franklin TN)
  21. Patricia Fann Bouteneff (Yonkers NY) 
  22. Tatiana Bouteneff (West Hartford CT)
  23. Benjamin Amis (Rome GA)
  24. Cameron Davis (Logan UT)
  25. Liam Farrer (Toronto ON)
  26. Matthew Chan (Burnaby BC)
  27. Ramez Rizkalla (Richmond Hill ON)
  28. Stephen Morris (New York NY)
  29. Ron Dart (Abbotsford BC)
  30. John Tzavelas (Toronto ON)
  31. Brad Jersak (Abbotsford BC)
  32. Dave Brown (Scottsdale AZ)
  33. Grant White (Finland)
  34. John Burnett (San Anselmo CA)
  35. Michael Pickel (Brunswick ME)
  36. David Brault (Burnaby BC)
  37. Jason T. Lamoreaux (Fort Worth TX)
  38. Sean A. Lotz (Shelton WA)
  39. Eric Simpson (Phoenix OR)
  40. Rick Scouler (West Jordan UT)
  41. Gerard Zabik (Niantic CT)
  42. Charles Compston (Winnipeg MB)
  43. Candice Compston (Winnipeg MB)
  44. Ioanna (Linda) Karounos (Toronto ON)
  45. Susan Anderson (Livermore CA)
  46. Martha J. Smith (North Bend WA)
  47. Gavin James Campbell (Langley BC)
  48. Jenise Calasanti (Los Angeles CA)
  49. John Congdon (Oberlin OH)
  50. Stephen D. Montgomery (Fort Lauderdale FL)
  51. Bryan Michael Maes (Albuquerque NM)
  52. Kevin Duffy (Mill Valley CA)
  53. Rev. Kip Yahya Wanamaker (Los Angeles CA)
  54. Volkert Nicholas Volkersz (Peterborough NH)
  55. Justin Avery (Plainfield IN)
  56. May Rico (Modesto CA)
  57. Αnnα Preslαr (San Francisco CA)
  58. Joshua Ramsey (Wellsville OH)
  59. Scott Carlson (Huntsburg OH)
  60. Bethany Sheldahl (Nicholasville KY)
  61. Gregory Robertson (Denver CO)
  62. Michael Widener (New Haven CT)
  63. Patricia Slatin (Council Bluffs IA)
  64. Christopher Evangelos Brenna (Rochester MN)
  65. Sophia Kostoff (Cincinnati OH)
  66. Benjamin Cairns (Bellingham WA)
  67. Alana Sheldahl (Nicholasville KY)
  68. Bruce Anderson (Saskatoon SK)
  69. Eric Sheldahl (Nicholasville KY)
  70. Vladimir M. Laven (Las Cruces NM)
  71. Brian D. Boyd, Esq. (Richardson TX)
  72. Betsy C. Boyd (Richardson TX)
  73. Jim Forest (Netherlands)
  74. David Damiano (Buffalo NY)
  75. James Chater (France)
  76. Kristian C. Gustafson (United Kingdom)
  77. Jona Reed (Albany KY)
  78. Grayson Alexander (Fanwood NJ)
  79. Rick Zajac (Garden City MI)
  80. Anna Cory (Raleigh NC)
  81. Pauline Costianes (Westland MI)
  82. David Vermette (Annapolis MD)
  83. Martha Dage (Detroit MI)
  84. Kristine Keane (Columbia SC)
  85. Sean Cobb (New Haven CT)
  86. Jurretta Jordan Heckscher (Arlington VA)
  87. Nicolae Roddy (Bellevue NE)
  88. Maia Sheldahl (Nicholasville KY)
  89. Jeffrey Wilson (Ottawa KS)
  90. Jeanette Garza (Alameda CA)
  91. Geoffrey Miller (Austin TX)
  92. Michael E. Malulani K. Odegaard (Oceanside CA)
  93. Peter Von Berg (New York NY)
  94. Stephen Fong (Westchester NY)
  95. Yossi Lopez-Hineynu (Chicago IL)
  96. Elizabeth A. Ledkovsky (Salt Point NY)
  97. Lena S. Zezulin (Takoma Park MD)
  98. Lisa Sergienko (Chicopee MA)
  99. JC Brigid Flynt-Wamble (Lancaster PA)
  100. Gregory Adair (Novato CA)
  101. Pietro Del Franco (Italy)
  102. F. John Herbert (Cedar Rapids IA)
  103. N.B.A. Nicholson (New York NY)
  104. Paulette Crockett (Meshoppen PA)
  105. Anne Wilkinson (West Haven CT)
  106. Tatiana L Hoff (Jersey City NJ)
  107. Robert K. McMeekin (Philadelphia PA)
  108. A.M. Iliana Filby (Hartland VT)
  109. Paisios Jones (Morristown TN)
  110. Christopher Gombos (Fairfield CT)
  111. Tita Deacon (Oakland CA)
  112. Geoffrey Deacon (Oakland CA)
  113. Olena Chemodanova (Ukraine)
  114. John Carter (Wichita KS)
  115. Mitya Liberastov (Los Angeles CA)
  116. Rebecca Matovic (Astoria NY)
  117. Elizabeth Hamre (Tacoma WA)
  118. Kevin Basil Fritts (Washington DC)
  119. David-Constantine Wright (Athens GA)
  120. Silouan Reyes (Houston TX)
  121. Robert Mims (Salt Lake City UT)
  122. Elizabeth Clark (Calgary AB)
  123. Alice Carter (Corvallis OR)
  124. Ilya Tolchenov (United Kingdom)
  125. Judith M. Scott (Bronx NY) 
  126. Michelle Bahumian (Falls Church VA)
  127. Logan Morris (Lethbridge AB)
  128. Christo El Morr (Toronto ON)
  129. Anastasios Hudson (Reston VA)
  130. Heather Irwin (Athens OH)
  131. Justin Gray (Athens OH)
  132. James Wilcox (New York NY)
  133. Geoffrey Thompson (Ames IA)
  134. Pavlos Gottfried (Yonkers NY)
  135. Timothy O’Brien (Indianapolis IN)
  136. Jennifer Wilson (Boston MA)
  137. Adam S. Tesh (Columbia SC)
  138. Andrew Fedosov (Toronto ON)
  139. Sarah Habersberger (Columbia SC)
  140. Esther Robinson (Fond du Lac WI)
  141. Eva Fadel (Arlington VA)
  142. Christopher Flippo (Statesboro GA)
  143. Emmanuel Tovar (Port Richey FL)
  144. David Jenkins (United Kingdom)
  145. Jennifer Jenkins (United Kingdom)
  146. Scott Cairns (Tacoma WA)
  147. Donna K. Hoffman (Columbia MO)
  148. Marcia Vanderlip (Tacoma WA)
  149. Angela Doll Carlson (Chicago IL)
  150. Jonathan Yance Jones (Benson NC)
  151. Yvette Cuny (Sacramento CA)
  152. Lance Goldsberry (Woodbury MN)
  153. Adrienne Pyle (Oak Ridge TN)
  154. Joshua Fowler (Crawfordsville IN)
  155. Robin Fowler (Crawfordsville IN)
  156. Monica Klepac (Wilmore KY)
  157. Eve Levin (Lawrence KS)
  158. Luke Beecham (Indianapolis IN)
  159. Will Vazquez (Crawfordsville IN)
  160. Hannah Vazquez (Crawfordsville IN)
  161. Brandon Benitez (Rockville MD)
  162. Tom Allen (Ocean Springs MS)
  163. Joanne Zbravos (Queens NY)
  164. Sarah R. Doyle (Wasilla AK)
  165. Mary G. Doyle (Wasilla AK)
  166. Fevronia E. Doyle (Wasilla AK)
  167. Samuel J. Doyle (Wasilla AK)