Russian Orthodox church leaders mum on bishop removal

Author: Ralph Gibbs
Date Published: 03/06/2008

For nearly every member of the Alaskan chapter of the Orthodox Church in America, the last 24 hours have been nail biting. On Wednesday, bishops met with the church’s leader by telephone, in a special session to discuss the rising tide of open rebellion by clergy within the Diocese of Alaska.

The OCA headquarters is in Syosset, N.Y.

At issue is the growing war between the Alaskan clergy and Archbishop Nikolai Soraich, the leader of the Alaska diocese. It’s a multi-sided war whose battlefield has become the Internet and people are surfing in to view the results.

Although the meeting was concluded by early afternoon, no decision was made public as of press time.

Alaskan clergy and parishioners had hoped to see a quick decision. Archpriest Alexander Garklavs said after the meeting a response would be forthcoming. Mark Stokoe said that his Web site,, where much of this war is playing out, had 40,000 readers on Tuesday and 42,000, Wednesday.

“That’s individual computers,” Stokoe said. “For a church of 28,000 paying members