I was not as close to Metropolitan Anthony as my wife, but for a time I was his spiritual son and enjoyed his confidence. Once, I think it was in 1975, I asked him why a group of Italian parishes in Sardinia which had joined the Moscow Patriarchate and come under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Anthony had left our jurisdiction. My wife's son-in-law had visited them at Metropolitan Anthony's request and had witnessed to their great zeal for the faith, so I was puzzled. Metropolitan Anthony explained that he had received a phone call from Metropolitan Juvenaly of Tula. (Others have witnessed that Metropolitan Anthony seemed to be afraid of Metropolitan Juvenaly, who sometimes visited London.) Juvenaly said that the MP was conducting negotiations with the Vatican over the uniate question in the Ukraine, and the Pope had laid it down as a condition of the success of the negotiations that that there should be no Italian convert parishes of the MP in Italy. So Metropolitan Anthony was requested to "drop" the Italian parishes - which he did, although he admitted he was not happy about it.
The story alarmed me. After all, I thought, suppose the Anglican church put the same kind of pressure on the MP as the Pope had done, and insisted that as a condition of the success of some kind of negotiations there should be no English convert parishes of the MP in England. Would Metropolitan Anthony "drop" us as he had "dropped" the Italians?
After their expulsion from the MP, the Italian parishes under Metropolitan Giovanni joined the Nestorians for a short time, then tried to join the Matthewites, but were not accepted, and are now with the Cyprianites...
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