The above warning was given to me when I first met Orthodoxy in 1986. Today [2009] it is even more perilous, even more difficult to find the Royal Path. For one thing there is a far greater abundance of misinformation. And many materials are missing, and other materials are being rapidly rewritten. For another thing there are fewer than ever guides remaining on the Royal Path, especially who speak English. Hopefully this website will be a place where Newcomers to the Faith can keep at least one foot on solid ground, while they are "exploring."

blog owner: Joanna Higginbotham


jurisdiction: ROCA under Vladyka Agafangel

who did not submit to the RocorMP union in 2007


11 June 2011

Why does this blog list Lazar Puhalo as a "Not Safe Author"?

Letters from Fr. Seraphim Rose to Fr. Alexey Young
page 185
Nov 3/6, 1977

The letter (you received) from Fr. Lev is similar to his last letter to us, though much more detailed.  I wouldn't answer it.  The man is deeply sick, and no matter what you say he will respond in a sick way.

When he was a deacon he was defrocked [not "deposed"] by ROCOR (circa1980) as a heretic.  He has never repented, he's only gotten worse.   The details of Lev Puhalo's heresy are recorded in the ROCOR Synod Meeting Minutes of  19 Novemeber/2 December 1980:

The following internet research on Puhalo was done by a Remnant Rocor team member:
Exposé against Puhalo:
This video is denouncing him for his condoning gay marriage, not really a complete expose as Puhalo has a lot of skeletons in his closet. 

Here's some info from the Orthodox wiki about his defrockment  by ROCOR. 

I do remember reading something about him years ago saying Lazar Puhalo isn't really his birth name but he had changed it to that so as to appear to be Serbian. I found this on OrthodoxChristianity.net about his name change "  The guy's real name is Ron Haler IIRC"

This from a post on The Byzantine Forum ... 
Re: Check out the OCL conference [Re: Alice]
 Registered: 07/23/05 
Posts: 2298 
Loc: The Third Rome

I am willing to be more blunt (surprise!).
"Archbishop" Lazar Puhalo, aka defrocked Deacon Lev Puhalo, aka Ron Haler, is a well known "actor" in Orthodox circles. He was defrocked as a deacon and laicized by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for teaching and propogating the heresy of "soul sleep", despite numerous appeals and warnings to cease and desist. He immediatey made the rounds of various "schismatic" Orthodox Churches, amongst them being the "Free Serbian Orthodox Church", The "Kieven Patriarchate" and the "Milan Synod", all without canonical release from the ROCOR, and ordained priest and consecrated bihop uncanonically, being defrocked and laicized and under "epitemia". He has been in more jurisdictions than Marie Presley has had husbands! The man could make jumping jurisdictions an Olympic event! For some reason that I have never seen explained, the OCA decided to accept him as a "retired" bishop, but forbidden to post on the internet and isolated in a remote monastery in Canada. Unfortunately, "Archbishop" Lazar mantains a busy speaking schedule, much to the dismay of the OCA hierarchy, who are otherwise occupied currently, and is much sought after as a speaker by those who support a, for lack of a better word, "Protestant" role model for the Orthodox Church. Amongst the revisionist policies that he has put forth include things like a married episcopate and attacks on monasticism, with Elder Ephraim of the GOA and Hieromonk Seraphim Rose of Blessed memory being particular targets of his tirades, in which he accuses them of being cults, while at the same time surrounds himself with his followers like a guru. He is a syncretist who endorses dualism and this is what he means by his introduction of "the force" in his star wars movies, traits quite inimicable to Orthodoxy. Refer to: http://www.next-wave.org/may99/starwars.htm 

Among some of his looniness' are the following:

Archbishop Lazar believes the USA & WTO want to annex Canada and they are engaging in a conspiracy to pressure Canadians into legislation which will bring it about.

NATO is the front for a New World Order and is run by America with the express intent of creating Slave States!!

Even the goofy vigante "Milan Synod" which elevated him to the Episcopacy now regrets their involvement with him:

September 2000

Concerning Incorrect Information Posted on the Internet
About the New Ostrog Monastery In Canada
Belonging to the Jurisdiction of Archbishop Lazar

We were very astonished about the way the history of this very small church is presented. We suppose that the archives of the New Ostrog Monastery are very inaccurate about historical information. Since Archbishop Lazar and Bishop Varlaam were consecrated by our Metropolia we are able to provide the public with better information.

First: Archbishop Lazar was consecrated by the will and initiative of our Primate, Metropolitan Evloghios, who proposed Vladyka Lazar as a candidate to the Holy Synod of our Metropolitan Church which received complete autonomy in 1984 from the head of the Old Calendar Church of Greece, Archbishop Auxentios.

In 1989, Metropolitan Gabriel, the first primate of our Metropolia, abandoned our jurisdiction and was received as bishop, together with his other vicar bishops, into the Orthodox Church of Poland.

In 1990, Archbishop Evloghios of Milan was elected as second primate and proposed the consecration of then Archimandrite Lazar to the remaining Synod after the departure of the Portuguese bishops. The Synod of our Metropolia accepted this proposal of the new Primate Evloghios and Father Lazar was consecrated bishop by him, assisted by Archbishop Gregorio of Turin and Bishop Vigile of France.

For this reason it is completely wrong when our brethren of New Ostrog Monastery publish on the internet that Archbishop Lazar was ordained under Patriarch Volodymir of Kiev after the Autonomous Metropolia of Western Europe and Canada entered into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev. This assertion by New Ostrog Monastery is absolutely false because the holy Patriarch Volodymir of Kiev was not even a bishop at the time of Abp. Lazars consecration, but only an archimandrite. It was only afterwards that Archimandrite Volodymir became vicar bishop and in 1992 Archbishop of Lviv.

The information on the internet from New Ostrog Monastery reads: In 1994, at the decision of Patriarch Volodymir, Vladyka Lazar was elevated to archbishop and Father Varlaam was consecrated bishop of Vancouver. We are very scandalized because of these false statements.

In 1989 the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Mstyslav (who later became the first Patriarch of the Ukrainian Church) recognized our Autonomous Metropolitan Church as equal to us and granted us spiritual communion. Only in 1994 did we enter in canonical communion with Kiev, but even then as completely independent and autonomous, according to the conditions of our original tomos of autonomy from Archbishop Auxentios of Greece. Because the holy Patriarch Volodymir was a very correct prelate, he respected our Church and our autonomy. For this reason he neverwe emphasize, neverinterfered in the internal questions of our Church, as, for example, the consecration of bishops. He never dared to decide any consecration of bishops for our Church. For this reason the text of the New Ostrog Monastery is an invention and not a fraternal sign of gratitude for our Primate, Metropolitan Evloghios, who has always shown great respect and brotherly love for Vladyka Lazar. To hide this reality is not a correct way of behaving. We still have in our archives the written agreements of our bishops concerning the intention of Metropolitan Evloghios to elevate Bishop Lazar to Archbishop and ordain Father Varlaam as bishop.

In 1997 we decided to retire our communion with the deposed Patriarch Filaret for two reasons: first, Michael Filaret Denisenko never respected our Church and its autonomy--his intentions were to destroy our autonomy; second, the deposition, anathematisation and excommunication of Michael Filaret Denisenko by the Patriarchate of Moscow was accepted by the other Orthodox Churches and created so many internal problems for us that we decided to retire our intercommunion by synodal decision.

Archbishop Lazar subsequently, and without consulting his Primate, Metropolitan Evloghios (who had always been a great benefactor to him and to whom he owes all his ecclesiastical dignity) abandoned our autonomous Church to follow a deposed and discredited patriarch. Despite this we still hope that one day Archbishop Lazar will repent, understanding his great lack of gratitude, and return so that there will be a great feast as the Gospel tells of the prodigal son.

Issued by:
The Autonomous Metropolia of Milan and Aquileia
Western Europe and America
In the month of September, 2000


Need I go on? 

Now as far as the OCL, the Orthodox Christian Laity, know that they are neither Orthodox, nor Christian in their thoughts or deeds. They have one goal, destruction of the Orthodox Church as we know it and replaced by Neo Protestantism in it's worst form, with their hand picked representatives running it. They have sued and attempted to sue the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and were directly responsible for removing the Greek Orthodox Archbishop from power, because he was, (hard to believe!) Greek!

What did they expect him to be, Puerto Rican?  Stay far away from these people!  Have nothing to do with them! 

Now this brings me to my real point, and it is something that many will not like.  There is a tendency amongst American inquirers about Orthodoxy and even American Orthodox to assume that the theological works and opinions available to them represent Orthodox thinking in it's entirety.  Alas, if this were only the case!   Much of what is available in the English language tends to be of the Far Left Wing School of thought.  Popular "theologions" such as Frs. Schmemmann, Lossky, Meyendorff, etc. represent a certain school of thought amongst the Orthodox.  Unfortunately, as their writings are the only ones readily available in the English language, many here in this country assume that they represent Orthodoxy in it's entirety.  They do not!  It is a big problem that is making itself known today by some of the inherent problems of such theology being made manifest.  More mainstream theologions such as Pomozhansky, Papademetriou, St. Ignati Brianchaninov, St. Nektarios of Aegina, St. Nikolai Velimirovic and others are seldom if ever available in English.  As an example, at many seminaries in Russia, Fr. Schmemmann's books are not to be found, as they do not represent mainstream Orthodox thought.  There have even been cases where his books were burnt!  That is not the norm, but it has happened.  While not condoning such draconian measures, the Church in Russia has enough problems without introducing American pseudo Orthodox fantasies. 

A comparison might be if the only available Catholic theologions in English was Hans Kung or Alfred Loisy, one might come away with a concept of Catholic theology that was flawed.  Well the same thing holds true amongst the Orthodox.  So please be aware that what you read, might not neccesarily be wrong, but it might not be totally right either.


He had also taken in Christ of the Hills Monastery for a while after they left ROCOR.

And this from an anonymous who knows him:
Archbishop Lazar claims he was deposed (he doesn’t use the word defrocked) for leaving ROCOR without a canonical release. In his own words: “I asked [a ROCOR bishop] for a canonical release. He informed me that ROCOR was not in communion with any other Orthodox Churches. The Serbian Patriarchal parishes, he said, were riddled with Free Masonry and they did not recognize the New Gracanica Serbs or the South Bound Brook Ukrainians. So I left anyway.”
[For a canonical release to be granted, the one requesting the 
release must be planning to move to a recognized jurisdiction. 
 Rocor never recognized the jurisdictions where Puhalo was planning to go.  
It is untrue, of course that Rocor does not recognize ANY other jurisdiction.]

His last statement is very telling: “I left anyway.” He definitely charts his own course.
Although claiming he is a Serb “through and through,” he was born Ron Haler in TX. He says he was adopted at birth by his mother’s third husband, F. Haler, who was 17 at the time. It’s hard to compute how his mother could have been married 3 times before marrying a 17 year-old boy who was not his biological father, but this is what he claims.
Archbishop Lazar later marries and has a son, Ron Jr. When Ron Jr. loses his mother at the tender age of 6, he leaves him with relatives, changes his name to Lev Puhalo, declares he is a monastic, and moves into a monastery (a one room hut) with another man.
From there, he becomes a deacon in ROCOR. He disobeys ROCOR with his teachings and later leaves, (he says) because of sexual harassment issues, joining the schismatic Free Serbs without a canonical release. The Free Serbs make him a priest. He leaves the Free Serbs for the Portuguese Milan Synod. The Milan Synod make him a bishop. Against their protests, he migrates to the Kyiv Patriarchate whom he also leaves to transition into the OCA as an Archbishop, presumably to retire, which he hasn’t. – I know him, too. He is not what he appears to be.

Dear Folks, 
this might not be the worst, because there are rumors that Puhalo is gay.  I don't know if he denies being gay, but some who knew him when he was associating with monk Herman Podmoshensky back in the early 80's say that he is gay.  We suspect he has several internet identities...  But even without these suspicions, there is already more than enough documented reason not to accept this man as a teacher of the Orthodox Faith.