Letter From Archimandrite Isidore (Brittain)
PO BOX 210569
Anchorage, AK 99521-0569
August 9, 2007
St. Herman Of Alaska
Your Beatitude, Your Eminences, Your Graces,
As you are all aware, I entered treatment for alcohol addiction on May 18, 2007. Since coming to treatment, I have had time to reflect upon the history of my addiction and its causes. I am of a multi-generational alcoholic background. Given time and enough liquor, I would have inevitably developed the disease of alcoholism. I thank God for this opportunity to finally rid myself of this affliction and move on to a life that is centered on Christ instead of the bottle.
Allegations have been made against me by Paul Sidebottom and I was made aware of those allegations a few weeks ago, after His Beatitude forwarded Sidebottom’s letter to His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI. According to the policy that exists, an investigator was appointed and I made contact with him. I am cooperating fully in his investigation of the allegations against me. Insofar as the investigation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on them at this time. We have a process and that process should be followed. I must say, the allegation made by Paul Sidebottom and their subsequent leaking to OCANews.org came as a great shock to me. Needless to say, I am now faced by a situation wherein I find myself accused, tried and sentenced all at once. Still, I am committed to cooperating fully in the process established by the church in dealing with issues such as these.
Accusations against His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI have also been attributed to me but here is the truth: I have made no accusations. I can’t be held accountable for what I may or may not have said while I was impaired, but I certainly am not impaired now and I categorically attest that there has been no abuse and I am making no such allegations.
Regardless of what the investigation reveals pertaining to the allegations against me, I can’t allow Paul Sidebottom to succeed in his attempt to `kill two birds with one stone’ and assassinate Bishop NIKOLAI’s character as well as my own. Vladyka NIKOLAI has been more than patient with my drinking; a disease which I kept almost entirely hidden through secret drinking and binges when he was out of town or I was otherwise not with him. If anyone has been abused, it has been His Grace, Bishop NIKOLAI: abused because he had to see me, his own spiritual child, deteriorate from the disease of alcoholism and refuse all avenues of help he offered me.
I believed this was over when Bishop BENJAMIN called me prior to the most recent Holy Synod meeting to find out about these allegations of abuse by Bishop NIKOLAI and I told him that they were not true. This most recent sensationalism compels me to write each of you and put your concerns to rest. Please continue to pray for me as I continue to undergo a very successful treatment for the disease of alcoholism so that I can return home, to Alaska, and carry my newly found sobriety to a land that so badly needs it. While I am more than dismayed that these allegations have become a topic of the gossip mongers before they could be investigated fully and the truth revealed, I have to say, even something like this does nothing to extinguish the optimism I have in my sobriety and for my future serving Christ’s people in Alaska.
Asking Your Blessings,
Pokrov.org Note: The text of this letter was posted on the Orthodox Forum on August 11, 2007, by Matushka Mona Soot, with the following preamble: “Below is a copy of a letter Fr. Isidore wrote to the Synod of Bishops. He forwarded a signed copy to me in a pdf file. This is an exact copy of his letter. This is posted with permission from the author.”