I ran across a comment on the Monomakhos blog this morning that has troubled me greatly. Since I had not heard anything about this anywhere, I wanted to ask the folks here at OC.net if they had heard anything. A person saying he is Fr. Martin Gardner, formerly of St. John's Monastery in Manton, California, added a comment yesterday to a (lengthy) discussion in a post on Monomakhos. The original post, and most of the earlier comments, concerned the recent kerfuffle regarding Metropolitan Jonah. However, the post from Fr. Martin, if it's truly him, related to a different issue entirely. Apparently Fr. Martin has left Manton, along with some other monks, and is levying some fairly serious accusations against Fr. Meletios Webber. Here's an excerpt from Fr. Martin's comment (the link to the whole comment - as well as the other comments in the string - is below):
One should not bring an accusation against a priest without 2 or 3 witness. There are three of us who are now in Platina who can verify every word I have just written. In fact, as soon as we had the freedom in Platina to talk to each other, there seemed to be no end to the horrifying revelations of what Fr. Mel has said and done. May the Lord have mercy on him and on us all who have suffered. Pray especially for the 9 left behind. My heart grieves for a dream that has died.
I never ever ever thought that I would ever leave the place of my repentance. But I asked for his release after dialog had deteriorated into lies and denials. Contrary to what he has told the brothers, .he gave me his release. There were two witnesses: another monk and a person from outside the community.
Has anyone heard anything at all about any of this? From some other comments in the thread, this appears to be genuinely Fr. Martin speaking, but I can't tell for certain. I had been planning a trip to Manton, so needless to say this disturbs me greatly. I don't want to cancel a trip based on rumor and innuendo, but I also don't want to walk into a hornets' nest, either.
I don't post here too often, though I'm a frequent visitor - please forgive me if I've asked my question in the wrong place or transgressed any forum rules regarding links outside OC.net.
Link to the full comment: http://www.monomakhos.com/ineptocracy/#comment-25811