One of the greatest acts of ingratitude in modern Church history was perpetrated by Metropolitan Valentine against the clergy and Diocese of Denver and Colorado.
In 2004, Metropolitan Valentine, according to several doctors, was on the verge of death due to his cardiovascular condition. When he came to Colorado and his condition became known, immediate attention was given to him, both by the clergy headed by Archbishop Gregory, and the local medical facilities. The doctors who said that he would not live longer than a few months performed a quintuple (5) bypass surgery on him. Throughout his time of testing, surgeries, and recuperation, Archbishop Gregory and the clergy under him paid the closest attention to his every need, even sending back to Russia photographs and periodic reports on his condition. Great expenditure was made throughout the months of this ordeal for the comfort and well being of Metropolitan Valentine by the clergy in Colorado. Dormition Skete’s resident priest-monk, Father Andrei Maklakov, was loaned by Archbishop Gregory to be the Metropolitan’s hospital room attendant, companion, and translator.
However, after the operation, the heart of Metropolitan Valentine felt no gratitude for all the sacrifices that were made on his behalf. Seeing all the devoted clergy and laity gathering around Archbishop Gregory, Metropolitan Valentine was smitten with envy. Indeed, practically all the ROAC clergy in America were under Archbishop Gregory. Metropolitan Valentine desired to steal from his benefactor, and thus fulfilled the words of the Prophet David: “Yea, even the man of my peace in whom I hoped, who ate of my bread, hath magnified the lifting of heels against me” [Ps. 40:9]. Metropolitan Valentine showed the utmost disrespect for Christ and His Canons. He attempted to steal clergy who were not subject to him, which is called “episcopal thievery.” He succeeded in bribing not a few of the clergy of the Colorado diocese, one of whom was Father Andrei, the Hiero-schemamonk living at Dormition Skete.
The Metropolitan promised to consecrate Father Andrei a bishop, if he would follow him and leave the monastery without his abbot’s permission, which he did. Metropolitan Valentine has lately “consecrated” Father Andrei a bishop for the Russian town of Pavlovskoe, and placed him in New Jersey. In so doing, Metropolitan has attempted to establish a branch of his church in America, under the leadership of this hapless soul. Father Andrei is thus laying the foundation for his episcopacy upon broken Canons, broken vows and disobedience to his spiritual father, and in general, on a complete disregard for all the traditions of Orthodoxy. By these means, Metropolitan Valentine has guaranteed the utter failure of Father Andrei.
We proclaim to our readers, that the only canonical Russian bishop in America is Archbishop Gregory who has upheld the Canons of the Church and acted in accordance with the Gospel in all his dealings with Met. Valentine and Father Andrei. According to the Canons of the Church, when someone in the position of Father Andrei disobeys his bishop, and moreover his spiritual father, the Church requires his immediate repentance. If this does not happen, the deposition of the unworthy cleric is required. Therefore, Father Andrei was duly deposed by Archbishop Gregory on December 15/28, 2004.
The uncanonical actions of Metropolitan Valentine were submitted to the Synod for their decision by Archbishop Gregory in a formal accusation. There was no response to his accusations, but only e-mail notices that the Synod had broken communion with Archbishop Gregory. Archbishop Gregory could not contact any of the other bishops in Russia because all their addresses and telephone numbers were withheld.
The following charges, with proof, were presented before the Synod of the Russian Autonomous Church against Metropolitan Valentine: (1) his uncanonical act of stealing clergymen of another diocese; (2) his uncanonical act of slandering a fellow hierarch; (3) his uncanonical act of receiving unbaptized laymen into the Church (almost 200 Haitians); (4) his uncanonical act of receiving unbaptized clergy and, therefore, unordained clergy into the ranks of the Church; and (5) his uncanonical act of stating that the Jerusalem Patriarchate is grace filled and part of the Church and refusing to denouncing it as ecumenical..
Formal accusations were submitted to the Synod in order to correct Met. Valentine. If he would not be corrected, the Synod had the power to depose him. The only response was suspicious e-mails stating that the Synod had broken communion with Archbishop Gregory.
So now we see the last chapter of one of this centuries’ most ungrateful acts by a clergyman: the supposed consecration of Father Andrei Maklakov. Instead of repenting of all of his mischief, Metropolitan Valentine believes that he can force Christ to be favorable to him, even after he has slapped the Lord in the face.