By Fr German (Cuiba)
(These thoughts were posted to a clergy list on the third day of Bishop Deniel's repose, and the day of his funeral – Wednesday April 15/28 2010)
1. Vladyka Daniel was always himself, without any pretence, without any ambition, without any fear, without any considerations of political correctness. He was a multilingual, multitalented genius.
While being completely loyal and devoted to the Orthodox faith and serving the Orthodox Church as priest and bishop, he pursued his own interests, which could include sailing ships and translating an odd work from one language into another even though no one was interested in it. His life shows that a priest of the Church does not have to be a conformist, a man-pleaser, a servant of expediency.
2. Vladyka Daniel was chiefly devoted to the Old Rite, which has always seemed to the majority of Orthodox people to be an incomprehensible lost cause. He travelled around and ministered to scattered groups of Old Ritualists, seeking to keep them within the saving enclosure of the Orthodox Church.
His long years of scarcely-rewarded labours in this field at last bore fruit in 1982, when, following his example, one of the largest parishes of Old Believers in existence outside
When Father Dimitri Alexandrow became Bishop Daniel of
As far as I know, before the episcopal consecration of Bishop Daniel, there had been only one other Old Ritualist bishop in the Russian Orthodox Church, the Holy New Hieromartyr Simon (Shleyev), Bishop of Okhta. Although there have been hierarchs who drew close to the Old Ritualists, such as our Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky), of blessed memory, and the Holy New Hieromartyr Andrew (Prince Ukhtomsky) of Ufa, and in our days Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Bishop Daniel was unique in being a bishop of and for the Old Rite. His existence was a seal upon the unity of the Old and New Rites in one Russian Orthodox Church.
3. Vladyka Daniel rendered a great service to our Russian Church Abroad by what he did not do.
Always independent-minded, he never subscribed to the ideology of gracelessness, and believed that the Church Abroad should be in communion with the Church in
When the wind changed and even churchmen who had been vocally anti-Moscow became ardent adherents of the Patriarchate, Vladyka Daniel still remained independent. He feared that our little church would be swallowed up by the much-larger Patriarchate. He desired our Church to enjoy that independence of spirit that had characterized his own life.
Nevertheless, when he was approached by representatives of those opposed to any reconciliation with
Because Bishop Daniel would not consent to join Bishop Agathangel in forming a synod and ordaining new bishops, Bishop Agathagel was left in the untenable position of claiming to be the sole remaining hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and after some time he had to seek out the aid of one of the Greek Old Calendarist groups to create his hierarchy. Thus, Vladyka Daniel, by remaining, as always, who he was, what he was and where he was, deprived the followers of Bishop Agathangel of the support and prestige his accession would have contributed to their cause and their claims.
Many people will tell stories about Vladyka Daniel for many years, and the stories will be amusing, wise and true. Many who met him heard this little story, which I repeat for the benefit of those who didn't know him. It goes something like this:
Vladyka Daniel to a visitor: Would you like to join our new society, the "Three F" Society?
Visitor: What do the three Fs stand for?
Vladyka: Fault-finding Farisees.
Visitor: But "Pharisee" is not spelled with an F …
Vladyka: Ah, you see, you are already one of us!
Memory eternal to the Right Reverend Bishop Daniel!
Abbot German (Ciuba)
who was privileged to know Vladyka just a little
Posted with permission