The Kalends of September proved long and full, and now another Kalends comes upon us. The Ides (13 Sept) celebrates the anniversary of the dedication of the Temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva atop the Capitoline Hill of Rome. It is therefore especially sad to learn that the Temple of Jupiter Perennus that is being built for our community in Poltava, Ukraine, was attacked last Monday night by a group of Orthodox Christians. Our chief priest of Jupiter, the Flamen Dialis Marcus Corvus was injured while defending the altar of Jupiter and has been hospitalized. This comes after news that another Christian band attacked a Romuva sanctuary in Lithuania. Even here in Ohio, some years ago, Christians attacked a sanctuary that was erected by a CUUPS group on the grounds of a Unitarian church in Fairlawn, a suburb of Akron. While sad to hear such events continue today, it is no shock to learn of them. Not when ministers like John Hagey preach that “Tolerance is a sin,” when Pat Robertson, among others, blamed the 9/11 attacks on pagans, or when Rev. Billingsly, the former minister of the Akron Baptist Temple, once preached from the pulpit to his congregation that they ought to burn pagans at the stake. Such is the face of the “New Christianity” that we are met with each day, and now it has touched my friend Corvus and his family.
This has been doubly troubling news for me at this time. I was invited by Corvus to visit Poltava in August, where, as Pontifex Maximus, I was to inaugurate two of our new sacerdotes. Unfortunately other events and a lack of funds prevented me from doing so this year. Recently I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I shall receive an operation to remove the cancer on this coming Monday. Esophageal cancer is incurable and fatal, usually. However in my case it has been discovered very early and I am expected to survive without difficulties. Still, it has upset any travel plans and other religious activities I was to participate in, since I have been receiving tests, exams, and now treatment. The news also comes at a time when some of us are looking towards being registered as a belief organization in Europe, and thus prepare to seek protection for the Religio Romana and its adherents under the EU Charter. Maybe next year I shall be able to travel to Poltava for the inaugurations of our sacerdotes and possibly to dedicate the Temple of Jupiter Perennus when completed.
For those who may wish to show your support for our community in Poltava, you can contribute to the Temple Fund at http://prodiis.org/c/pay/