Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in Jordanville, New York, the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), had to be evacuated on Thursday afternoon, September 28 due to a bomb threat.
The threat was called in due to the perpetrators' belief that Jordanville supports the war in Ukraine. This was reported to OrthoChristian by multiple sources.
While OrthoChristian is unaware of any statements about the war coming from Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary in particular, the monastery site does have a page entitled, "Concerning the War in Ukraine," which hosts links to the Archpastoral Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the recently deceased First Hierarch of ROCOR, from February 24, 2022, the day the war started, in which he called all to fervently pray for peace, and the address of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, also from the first day of the war, in which he condemned and called for an end to what he called the "fratricidal war."
The threat comes two weeks after the publication of the article, "Putin’s Useful Priests: The Russian Orthodox Church and the Kremlin’s Hidden Influence Campaign in the West," by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, in Foreign Affairs, the official magazine of the Council on Foreign Relations.
An American Orthodox priest, Fr. John Whiteford, who serves in ROCOR, reacted as follows:
"Those who stoke Russia Hoaxes have an impact on innocent people in the real world. Next time it may be more than just a theat."
Those who stoke Russia Hoaxes have an impact on innocent people in the real world. Next time it may be more than just a theat. https://t.co/j6c42HD6ha— Fr. John Whiteford ☦️ 🇸🇴 公 公 (@frjohnwhiteford) September 28, 2023
The Foreign Affairs article argues that Russian Orthodox parishes outside of Russia, and especially in America, are a source of strong backing for the Russian government, which, the authors say, was cultivated over the course of two decades by an unnamed employee of the Russian Church’s Department for External Church Relations.
However, the article is hampered at least by plain factual errors, such as massively overestimating the number of Russian Orthodox parishes in America, and a gross misrepresentation of the stance towards the war from both the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, who issued a response.
US mainstream media has just this month begun airing unverified claims that Russian intelligence is embedding itself in Orthodox churches in the West...
CNN:— Dagny Taggart (@DagnyTaggart963) September 16, 2023
‘The Kremlin is trying to use Orthodox churches in the US to recruit spies and intelligence sources.
They warn Russian Orthodox churches that they could be targeted for recruitment by Russian intelligence services”
Coming soon : aliens are 🇷🇺 and 🇨🇳 spies . pic.twitter.com/N9WzKNyMFm
One of the authors that went on CNN to talk about Russian Churches in America supposedly being used to spy for Russia.