Statement of Canonicity of
Archbishop Gregory of Denver and Colorado
Archbishop Gregory is a hierarch of the true Russian Orthodox Church in the direct line of the great hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad. When the Ecumenical Movement officially started in 1965, it was St. Metropolitan Philaret and his Synod who first objected and then broke communion with the Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate and all those in communion with it. The Greek Old Calendarists also were of the same mind and were in communion with the Russian Church Abroad (ROCA) up until ROCA’s union with the ecumenist, Met. Cyprian of Fili in 1994. After the fall of Russian communism, in 1991 the ROCA ordained bishops for Russia. Those Russian bishops consecrated Archbishop Gregory in Russia. He is also a missionary bishop, in that he finds himself not only responsible for the churches in America, but also has churches in Bulgaria, Italy, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. What follows below is a short chronology of the events to show the canonicity of Archbishop Gregory.
In 1986, Metropolitan Vitaly became the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad succeeding the saintly Metropolitan Philaret.
On February 10, 1991, in the church of St. Job the Much - Suffering in Brussels, Archimandrite Valentine was consecrated Bishop of Suzdal and Vladimir (Russia). The consecration was carried out by four bishops of the Russian Church Abroad (ROCA), among them Bishop Gregory Grabbe, who had for many years assisted the great first-hierarchs of the ROCA. More bishops were later consecrated for Russia.
In the year 1994, Metropolitan Vitaly, with his Synod, announced that they were accepting the ecclesiology and theology of the deposed heretical ecumenist, Met. Cyprian of Fili and therefore entered into communion with him. When this apostasy occurred, the Old Calendar Church of Greece broke communion with the Russian Church Abroad and about this time the bishops in Russia also severed communion with Metropolitan Vitaly. Archimandrite Gregory of Dormition Skete in Colorado also left the ROCA and joined the Old Calendar Church of Greece.
From 1994 to 2001, the bishops in Russia were united under the leadership of Archbishop Valentine. When their church was organized as the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC), they decreed that its head should hold the rank of Metropolitan.
On November 19/December 2, 2001, Archimandrite Gregory of Dormition Skete, in Colorado, having been released from the Old Calendar Church of Greece, was elected unanimously by the ROAC Synod of Bishops, and was ordained Bishop of Denver by Metropolitan Valentine, Archbishop Theodore, and Catacomb Bishop Anthony of Yaransk in the St. Constantine Cathedral, Suzdal, Russia. In 2002, Bishop Gregory was made ruling bishop of Denver and Colorado. In 2004, he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop because of his great missionary work.
In 2004, Metropolitan Valentine, (after recuperating from a pentuple heart bypass surgery in Colorado), attempted to compel Archbishop Gregory to accept several canonical infractions - (1) that the Metropolitan has universal and supreme jurisdiction in all dioceses and he is above the canons; (2) the wrong opinion that some of the mysteries of heretics and schismatics are valid; (3) that Baptism in a canonical form is unnecessary for the Orthodox Church, on which basis Met. Valentine received 180 unbaptized Haitians into the ROAC; and (4) the uncanonical seizure by Met. Valentine of several of Archbishop Gregory’s clergy and monastics without Archbishop Gregory’s consent.
When Archbishop Gregory sent a petition to the Synod in Russia against these crimes, Met. Valentine took all matters in his own hands, and cut off Archbishop Gregory from any further contact with the bishops in Russia. No synod meeting was ever permitted to convene to hear the charges against Met. Valentine.