Russian Orthodoxy disavows Soviet-era document
- From the AP Newswire:
Russian Orthodoxy disavows Soviet-era document in step toward reunion
with foreign church
MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian Orthodox Church has disavowed a Soviet-era
declaration of loyalty to the Communist government, a step that could
help bring reunion with an emigre church that has been separate since
The New York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia severed
contacts with the Moscow-based church after Patriarch Sergiy issued
the loyalty declaration in 1927.
The Moscow Patriarchate has said Sergiy did this to save the church
from ruin, but a new document on its Web site says the declaration
was among documents that "do not express the true voice of the Church
of Christ (and) are deemed no longer valid."
The Web site presented several documents drafted by delegates of the
Moscow Patriarchate and the foreign church and approved by their
The two churches set up working groups on reunification issues after
a 2003 visit to Russia by three archbishops of the foreign church and
a 2004 visit by its head, Metropolitan Laurus.
The documents went further than ever before toward apology by the
Moscow Patriarchate for Soviet-era compromises with the state.
"Some clergymen and laypersons, trampling upon divine truth,
facilitated the persecutors in their actions directed toward the
destruction of the church," said a posted document. "Such actions
cannot under any circumstances be permitted and justified: they
deserve all condemnation."