Monday, October 21, 2013

Testimony of a Monk

The departure of a large group of monks from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Brookline, MA, last fall left observers with many questions.  The issue of heresy was debated openly, but the accusations of abuse were not.

Observers could ask: If Archimandrite Panteleimon was truly abusing monks, why did the monastery deny it for 27 years and revile accusers who left the monastery?  Why did fathers who had remained in the monastery finally come forward with accusations last summer?  Was it a ploy to justify leaving?  Did Fr. Panteleimon submit to the accusations though innocent, simply as an act of humility?  Did Fr. Isaac lie in protecting him for so many years or did he lie in revealing the alleged abuse?

In the letters below, you will find answers from one senior father who left the monastery and who now lives at Holy Ascension Monastery in Bearsville, NY.  The letters are cautiously and temperately worded.  They express only in the mildest way the violation and betrayal endured by monks who suffered abuse and by those who only learned the truth after living in the monastery for many years.

The first letter was written to a married priest who had been a close friend.  They had worked together to nurture faith in a group of prison inmates.  The married priest remained in the Holy Orthodox Church of North America (HOCNA).  The monk wrote to give over care of an inmate who broke relations with him after his departure from Holy Transfiguration Monastery and HOCNA.

The second letter was written to the inmate in question, answering accusations the inmate had made against the monk in another letter, not published here.

Following the letters are a number of supporting documents the monk provided to the inmate with the second letter.

This site is not open to comments.  If you have any questions about these letters, please contact Holy Ascension Monastery.