Opposition of Greek Church Members to Vladimir.




A Declaration That He Is Unworthy of His Title and Dangerous to the Peace and Welfare of the Community.


At a meeting held at 10 California street on Friday evening of the members of the Orthodox Greek Church in sympathy with Bishop Vladimir a committee was appointed to take such action as might be deemed advisable to protect the Bishop. Last evening the other side was heard at a meeting of the Gopchevitch-Russel faction, held at 20 Eddy street.

B. M. Gopchevitch, a Servian, was elected Chairman of the meeting, and in his address upon taking the chair he referred to the Bishop as a cruel tyrant. He said that the Greeks, Russians and Slavonians here, members of the Greek Orthodox Church, who are opposed to Bishop Vladimir, may not be able to control the church as they wish, because the church is directed by the Russian Government, but they may be able to enforce their rights in regard to the cemetery, for which $50,000 has been subscribed by the people living here. All this money, said he, has been spent and a debt of $3,000 is announced.


Dr. Russel, who was excommunicated by the Bishop, made a brief address, in which he remarked that he had no personal quarrel with the Bishop. He said that some people seem unable to know the difference between God and the Bishop. "As for me, if the Bishop, the Metropolitan, or even the Czar himself, were against God, I would be against the man," he concluded.

A. Zingel counseled sending a petition to St. Petersburg asking the removal of the Bishop, and presented the following document, which was passed by the meeting by a unanimous vote:

"Considering the dissensions brought by Bishop Vladimir into the midst of a small, peaceful and harmonious Russian colony, who, justly regarding political, national and religious differences at such a distance, remained heretofore united by one common, respectful, filial sympathy towards their mother country;


"Considering the disgrace brought by the said Bishop upon our church and religion by the unexampled aggressiveness, libelous and slanderous methods adopted and unworthy a Christian, the use of the title of the Bishop and prestige of the head of the church in personal quarrels;

"Considering the groundless anathema, contrary to the spirit of the age, inconsistent with the love of man expressed from the cross, and illegally and maliciously pronounced upon one of the members from a personal spite;

"Considering the general bad, senseless, despotic and cruel administration of the diocese, manifested in the restoration of medieval 'Boursa' with all its horrors under the guise of an ecclesiastical school, the dissipation of the church funds for personal purposes, defrauding the subordinates of their salaries, arbitrary assumption of the duties of a political detective unworthy of a prelate, desecration of the cemetery, inability to give satisfaction to the public mind respecting the fires in the church, association with criminals and favoring the parties charged with embezzlement of the cemetery and society's treasury, driving the parishioners in crowds into the churches of other Christian denominations, transformation of the church building into a pagan temple, bribery, false denunciations, forging our names under fraudulent petitions, etc.,

"We, the Greek Orthodox parishioners in this city, of Greek, Russian and Slavonian descent, do hereby solemnly express our indignation respecting the behavior of the said Bishop Vladimir, and sustaining the complaint of thirty Russians of June 1, 1889, to denounce him to the public opinion of the people of this country as unworthy of the title he bears and the office he occupies, as misrepresenting Russia in America and American people in Russia, as dangerous to the peace and welfare of this community, and beg the authorities of this city, disregarding the high office and the title of the Bishop, to treat him as he deserves."

N. Gordenko made an address in Russian and then Father Levin, a priest of the Greek Church, with great warmth, denounced the Bishop in most vigorous language. He said that the Bishop had commanded him to be a thief and a liar, but he preferred to follow Jesus rather than the prelate.

San Francisco Examiner, Sunday Morning, September 20, 1891.

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Modified 9/15/97-