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Clarification of the First Hierarch o f the ROCA regarding the acceptance of th e “Moscow Patriarchia” parishes

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://news.ruschurchabroad.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195%3A-qq&catid=6%3Awords&Itemid=3&lang=en Clarification of the First Hierarch of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2011
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      http://news.ruschurchabroad.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195%3A-qq&catid=6%3Awords&Itemid=3&lang=en

      Clarification of the First Hierarch of the ROCA regarding the acceptance
      of the “Moscow Patriarchia” parishes
      Synod of Bishops - Epistles from bishops

      Since doubt and questions still persist regarding our acceptance of the
      parishes in Udmurtia as parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate under the
      authority of the ROCA Synod of Bishops, I decided to provide this
      clarification.

      It is quite apparent that those whom we are used to calling the Moscow
      Patriarchia are actually not deserving of that name, since that name can
      only be used by the Local Russian Church.

      There can be no doubt that as a result of persecution the Local Russian
      Church split into the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, the Catacomb
      Church and the church subservient to the Soviet regime, led in 1943 by
      “Patriarch” Sergey (Stragorodskiy). His enthronement was never
      recognized by the two other parts of the Russian Church – the Catacomb
      Church and the Church Abroad. In spite of that, this church entity
      applied the name “Moscow Patriarchia” to itself and unfortunately over
      time it became the accepted term. Our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
      never recognized and does not recognize to this day the false-patriarchs
      of this false-patriarchia which were assigned by the Soviet regime.
      ROCA First Hierarch Metropolitan Anthony considered this part of the
      church to be schismatic and without grace. Subsequent First Hierarchs
      were of the same opinion.

      To this day, the Church Abroad is the only legitimate Church
      Administration, formed by a decree of the Supreme Church Authority. As
      a result of persecutions, the Catacomb Church was unable to retain its
      Central Administration (which existed in the period of 1927 to 1937,
      when Metropolitan Joseph headed such a Central Administration). After
      1927, the Administration of the so-called Moscow Patriarchia was always
      considered uncanonical, since it had deviated from its redemptive role
      and its members were not elected by the Church, but assigned by the
      atheistic regime.

      After the schism of 2007 in ROCA, a completely new period began in
      relations between the Russian Church Abroad and the so-called Moscow
      Patriarchia, characterized by an utter lack of hope of uniting the two
      parts of the Russian Church on the level of the hierarchs. Though we
      continue to await the repentance of the episcopate of the Moscow
      Patriarchia for the heresy of ecumenism and the sin of sergianism, we
      conduct the affairs of the Church without the hope that this repentance
      will occur. The priests that we accepted and will accept henceforth
      from that church entity, which continues to contain that heresy, sever
      all relations with their former church superiors and recognize the ROCA
      Synod of Bishops to be the sole canonical administrative entity in the
      Russian Church. Any other legitimate Church Administration can be
      established only by a higher church entity. In this case, it is a Local
      Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has not been convened
      since 1918. We do not intend to nor are we capable of establishing
      administrative entities either for the Catacomb Church or the Moscow
      Patriarchia, as we do not have the authority of a Local Council of the
      Russian Church. Similarly, we cannot recognize as canonical any other
      administrative entities that arose of their own accord within the
      Russian Church.

      The ROCA Synod of Bishops, having acknowledged the existence of the two
      other parts of the Russian Church, considered it proper to accept under
      its care representatives of these parts of the Russian Church until a
      Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church can be convened, which has
      the sole authority to select the legitimate administrative entity for
      the entire church.

      We await the convening of a legitimate Local Council of the Russian
      Orthodox Church and are preparing to present an account of our actions
      and humbly accept its judgment of us.

      +Metropolitan Agafangel

      Odessa, July 1225, 2011. Martyrs Proclus and Hilary.
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