Orthodox America

  The Heroic Struggle of Fr. Dimitry Dudko

Another recent victim of psychiatric abuse is Fr. Dimitri Dudko, whose televised "confession'' on Soviet television last summer caused some people to doubt his sincerity. However, anyone with even a slight knowledge of methods used by the Soviets in extracting such "confessions", would not be so quick to judge Fr. Dimitri. His courageous actions in the past, his inspiring sermons which have brought hundreds to faith in Christ--this goes far beyond the call of duty of a KGB agent whom some have suspected him of being.

A report received recently from Moscow by the New York-based Research Center for Religion and Human Rights in Closed Societies (RCDA Nov 20, 1980), indicates that in fact Fr. Dimitri was subjected to drug treatment which caused a temporarily abnormal state. After his release following his confession, he would greet his spiritual children who came to visit him in his underwear, fail to acknowledge them and then proceed to go to bed, turn to the wall and fall asleep. This erratic behavior lasted two weeks after which he began acting more normally but would not refer to his confession or his hospital treatment. (See full text in Orthodoz Word #93).

A letter written by Fr. Dimitri to Archbishop Vasiii of Brussels has reached the West. The letter expressed regret concerning his confession: "I have overestimated my own strength," writes Fr. Dimitri. Letters such as this, written since Fr. Dimitri's release, resulted in a visit to his home by KGB officials who tried to persuade him to sign a document entitled, “Gratitude to the Soviet Government”. When Fr. Dimitri refused to do so, he was summoned to Moscow for questioning. In his letter to the Archbishop, he stressed that his case "is not yet dosed; it is really only just beginning" (KNS 110, Nov. 1l, 19803.

May God strengthen His suffering servant and may we increase our prayers for him.