02 September 2011, 12:29
Keys from Nice cathedral not likely to be transferred to Russian Church soon
Paris, September 2, Interfax - The Constantinople Patriarchate delays
the process of factual transfer of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Nice to the
Russian Orthodox Church as this church has been handed over for
indefinite rent-free tenure.
As was reported, the French court confirmed Russia's ownership rights
for the cathedral on May 19. The Russian state decided to hand the
church over to the Moscow Patriarchate which has recently appointed the
first two clerics with the instructions to obtain the keys and documents
and to put an end to the collection of pay for visits to the cathedral.
The Korsun Diocese to which French parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate
are subordinated said in its statement this week that the Nice Orthodox
religious association (ACOR) that judicially disputed Russia's claim to
the cathedral "can in no way be equated with the parish of St. Nicholas'
Cathedral and the Orthodox community of the region."
Meanwhile, head of Russian Parishes Exarchate in Western Europe
(subordinate to Constantinople - IF) Archbishop Gabriel at his Wednesday
meeting with Bishop Nestor of Korsun gave to understand that the Moscow
Patriarchate will have to solve the questions of obtaining keys and
abolishing entrance fee directly with ACOR.
"Archbishop Gabriel said he was incompetent in settling the questions.
According to him, the Exarchate consists of self-governed associations
and thus the decision should be taken at the level of Nice Orthodox
religious association (ACOR)," the Korsun Diocese says in its statement
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The meeting has not had any results in settling canonical questions as
Archbishop Gabriel is expecting a letter from the Constantinople
Patriarchate and until he receives it he does not believe it possible to
take any actions.
Archbishop Gabriel also wished that the new meeting took place in
extended composition among representatives of the Exarchate Council and
the Korsun Diocese.
"The Korsun Diocese regrets that the meeting initially planned on August
23 was postponed for a week without any explanations, but did not bring
any results and negations are delayed again," the statement says. <>