Talk:Lazar (Puhalo) of Ottawa

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Help me fix the table! He is succeeded by Archbishop +Seraphim of Ottowa and Canada. I'm sleepy now so I didn't finish the update. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Authiodionitist (talkcontribs) .

It looks like he never actually served as the OCA Archbishop of Ottawa, but received that title in retirement as he changed jurisdictions. I'm a little confused, but tried to get the gist of things into the succession box. I'm not sure that he should have a succession box for that title, as he wasn't really part of the succession of bishops to carry it actively... —magda (talk) 17:07, September 11, 2007 (PDT)
I agree with Magda's assessment. He's never served as the OCA's bishop of Ottawa. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 07:41, September 12, 2007 (PDT)

I've made some changes to the text at the request of Archbp. Lazar's secretary. We need better documentation on this various jurisdictions. I'm afraid the repeated use of the word "schismatic" does not do justice to the complicated history of these groups due especially to Communism. Additionally, I've seen no evidence of deposition from any of these groups. It is unfair to make this disputed claim without adequate documentation here. — FrJohn (talk) 17:36, December 21, 2007 (PST)

The free serbs did not separate from the Serbian Patriarch until the 70's, and so communism was not the primary issue. They were also not recognized by anyone as being anything other than schismatic. I'll see what I can find about the depositions... but did Lazar's secretary have any evidence that he was released by the Free Serbs? That should be fairly easy for them to prove, if true. Frjohnwhiteford 18:32, December 21, 2007 (PST)
I didn't push for documentation. Let's go with "innocent until proven guilty" here. Better to assume the best of people. About the Free Serbs, aren't they now the New Gracianica diocese and in full communion with the Patriarchate? If so, it would seem, at least, that a fuller discussion is needed and that the situation is more complex than straightforward schism, no? — FrJohn (talk)
He was without a doubt deposed by ROCOR. Did he deny that? As for the free Serbs, yes they were reconciled to the Serbian Patriarchate... long after Lev Puhalo came and went -- but prior to that they were considered schismatic by every legitimate Orthodox jurisdiction. Frjohnwhiteford 18:56, December 21, 2007 (PST)
If there is documentation of a ROCOR deposition (which, for some reason, I remember seeing online), then IMHO it is largely irrelevant what the secretary (or anyone) says; however, without that, it's probably best to not put it in; similar for deposing by the Free Serbian Church versus release. Currently, the only specific reference in the article (not taken from his official biography) is that then-Dcn Lev was prohibited to speak in parishes without signing a pledge; as it stands, everything that is outside of that those two references can really only be considered accusation.
I'm not sure how anyone would try to justify the Abp coming under the UOCKP in 1990 and the monastery in 1996, though... — edited by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 22:48, December 21, 2007 (PST)

A similar letter?

What is the reference for the claim that Fr. Seraphim received a similar letter to the one received by then Deacon Lev Puhalo? This letter chastises him for directly contradicting the tradition of the Church. I do not believe that Fr. Seraphim received a letter that was at all similar. I think he may have gotten something telling him to stop publishing polemical articles in response to Deacon Lev, but he was not told he could not speak or write on the subject of the Toll Houses, nor was he told he could not publish the book "The Soul After Death." If he was, I would have to see that reference to believe it. Frjohnwhiteford 09:04, December 24, 2007 (PST)

Fr. John, looking at the letter linked from OrthodoxInfo, both on this page and on the Seraphim Rose page, it doesn't seem too much of a stretch to imagine what happened. Here's the relevant paragraph:
"However, entering a domain which has not been fully revealed to us, and furthermore, unwillingly employing non-Orthodox materials. Hieromonk Seraphim, despite various reservations, initiated a controversy, in which his opponent, Deacon Lev Puhalo, paying no heed to the disclaimers, with yet greater persistence, and with a spirit of condemnation, wrongly accuses him of heresy. This controversy can cause great harm to the souls of the faithful."
It is obvious to me that both parties are being censured here. — FrJohn (talk)
This quote simply states that Fr. Seraphim wrote a book on this subject which prompted Deacon Lev Puhalo to condemn him for heresy. All the censuring that follows is directed at Deacon Lev. The Bishops were not necessarily endorsing every jot and tittle of Fr. Seraphim's book, but they affirmed his essential position (that the toll houses are a reality, taught by the tradition of the Church), and they explicitly state that Deacon Lev was in error, and was to remain silent on the subject, and not publish anything further. There is no similar ban placed on Fr. Seraphim. The article posted on the Orthodoxinfo site was taken from Orthodox Life which published it in English not long after the bishops made that decision. I have a copy of that issue. There is nothing similar directed at Fr. Seraphim. I also contacted Platina, and they sent me a series of excerpts from Fr. Seraphim's personal letters on the controversy, and those letters all indicate that Fr. Seraphim took the action of the Bishops as a complete vindication of his position. There is no indication that he was censured. Frjohnwhiteford 03:25, December 27, 2007 (PST)


Lazar (Puhalo) is self-proclaimed cleric who was giving to himself various titles throughout his life, the highest one being "Archbishop of Ottawa and (all) Canada". With his buddy Varlaam, started a several times name changing monastery, currently known as "The Canadian Orthodox Monastery of All Saints of North America" and "New Ostrog", in BC, Canada.

Information on who ever ordained Mr. Puhalo to any ecclesial seat is not known. Various stories about that exist, and are told by Mr. Puhalo himself. He was changing his stories as he has found it fit, and in general he is not quite happy to talk about that. The title of "Archbishop", he apparently obtained: "during the tenure of Ukrainian confessor and national hero Patriarch Volodymir". Mentioned Volodymir was anathemized as leader of non-canonical organization under the name "Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate", one of the religious groups appeared after the fall of Soviet Union.

Several years ago, Mr. Puhalo and Varlaam were received by Orthodox Church of America - OCA, as retired clerics, altogether with their monastery, and surrounding property. The deal was for them to retain titles and honor those titles come with, in exchange for becoming "canonical". Results of such an action by OCA were severed ties with Serbian Orthodox Church, and cold feet with other Orthodox churches in Canada. On a parish level, priests of OCA are not welcome in the canonic Orthodox Churches, even during the Week of Orthodoxy.

Cebactokpatop 18:04, May 2, 2008 (UTC)

He was ordained by the Milan Synod in 1990. He broke communion with the Synod to get in with "Patriarch" Filaret Denisenko, in the hope of getting a more "semi-official" status. I still think his elevation was one of the biggest mistakes the Milan Synod ever made, though some disagree with me. Citation given; other pages in archive include photos and documents related to his consecration. --JosephSuaiden 19:27, August 9, 2008 (UTC)

Changing his Birth Name.

I have been able to verify the above edit of Archbishop Lazar's birth name with people who knew his father, Luka Puhalo, personally.

--SeraphimEdw 14:03, November 29, 2013 (PST)