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Russian Church Has Chance To Reunite In 12-18 Months

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.01.31 RIAN: 2005-01-31 20:41 * RUSSIA * USA * SYNOD * COMMENTARY * RUSSIAN CHURCH HAS CHANCE TO REUNITE IN 12-18 MONTHS MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 4, 2005
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      2005.01.31 RIAN:
      2005-01-31 20:41 * RUSSIA * USA * SYNOD * COMMENTARY *
      RUSSIAN CHURCH HAS CHANCE TO REUNITE IN 12-18 MONTHS

      MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti's Olga Lipich) - The Russian Orthodox
      Church Outside of Russia, or ROCOR, and the Russian Orthodox Church of the
      Moscow Patriarchate may regain their unity in a matter of twelve to
      eighteen months. Achievements of a ROCOR Bishops' Synod, which gathered in
      New York City last week, allow to expect this long-awaited reunion.

      The Synod determined to convene a 4th ROCOR Ecumenical Council within
      next year's first half, to represent the clergy and the laity, the ROCOR
      reports on its official web site. The Cathedral of Our Lady the Joy of All
      Afflicted, in San Francisco, Calif., will host the council.

      Symbolically, preserved in the cathedral are the relics of St. John of
      Shanghai and San Francisco. Ioann Maximovich by secular name, the now
      canonized priest of profound wisdom is specially venerated by the Russian
      community abroad. In his lifetime, Father John insisted on the two parts of
      the Russian Church to reunite as soon as the aggressive godless regime fell
      in Russia.

      The upcoming Ecumenical Council will be a public ecclesiastical forum,
      say ROCOR spokesmen. The agenda will certainly include reunion prospects.
      The ROCOR Bishops' Synod will be able to make a canonical decision to merge
      with the Russian Orthodox Church after the council.

      The Moscow Patriarchate met ROCOR synodal resolutions with profound
      satisfaction.

      "Our identical ad hoc commissions will carry on their work on schedule,"
      with the nearest joint session due next spring, says Archpriest Nikolai
      Balashov, Secretary for Contacts of Orthodox Churches on the Moscow
      Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations.

      As the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Church Outside Russia were
      establishing their commissions for a rapprochement, they determined not to
      publish documentary achievements of their team efforts unless both Parties
      agreed on such publications, added the Secretary. The Russian Orthodox
      Church has not tackled the matter to this day as ROCOR has not come up with
      a respective request. "Now, it has addressed us on the issue," said our
      informant.

      Basic matters on which the two commissions are elaborating joint stances
      were determined as early as May 2004, when Metropolitan Laurus, Primate of
      the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, was visiting Moscow.

      "These are Church-State relations, stances on non-Orthodox Christian
      denominations and interdenominational Christian organizations, the
      canonical status of ROCOR within a reunited Russian Local Orthodox Church,
      and canonical terms of Church unity reinstated," says Father Nikolai Balashov.
      The Russian Orthodox Church split early in the 20th century as the result
      of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War in Russia.

      © 2004 RIA Novosti
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