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Reply of Bishop R.W.Dunkan, episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh, to Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=documents&div=91 28 August 2006, 13:55 Reply of Bishop R.W.Dunkan, episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh, to Metropolitan
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2006
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      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=documents&div=91

      28 August 2006, 13:55
      Reply of Bishop R.W.Dunkan, episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh, to
      Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of the Moscow
      Patriarchate department for external church relations

      Your Eminence,

      May Grace and peace be multiplied upon you in Christ Jesus.

      Your letter of 21st August, 2006, was received with very great joy. Your
      fraternal care for us is a timely confirmation of our will to endure in the
      face of hardship and adversity. Lamentably, our trial is being brought on
      from within the Body of Christ rather than by forces outside. To you who
      have suffered before us, we salute you.

      For the Diocese of Pittsburgh (and the small number of dioceses who
      continue to stand with us) to achieve the restoration of relationship with
      the Russian Orthodox Church would be of the greatest significance
      imaginable. May our Good Lord give us the means to make it so.

      There is one matter, about which I must humbly advise you, that may impede
      the recognition you so graciously propose. Among the dioceses that
      Pittsburgh leads are dioceses that do ordain women to the diaconate and
      presbyterate, just as do many of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion.
      Under these circumstances would the Russian Orthodox Church still be
      willing to recognize those dioceses in our fellowship that share this
      practice, Pittsburgh being among them?

      Let me assure you that the Diocese of Pittsburgh, together with each of the
      dioceses banded together with us, share Your Eminence's profound conviction
      that secular liberal political and philosophical ideas, however we may
      treat them, cannot and must not change the Apostolic Tradition and the
      understanding of New Testament texts guarded by this Tradition. Any attempt
      to adjust Christian morality and especially the church order to the
      political tastes of an external environment is dangerous as it threatens
      with a loss of Christian identity. There must be no fear in the efforts to
      keep faithful to Christ." It is this profound conviction that guides us and
      no other.

      As Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, and on behalf of those
      Episcopal bishops and dioceses committed to the Faith once delivered, I
      stand ready to carry forward whatever process might lead to the restoration
      of those extraordinarily happy relationships, recognitions and mutual
      undertakings initiated by St. Tikhon the Patriarch of All Russia and his
      contemporaries, both Orthodox and Anglican.

      With love, respect and gratitude in Christ Jesus,


      The Rt. Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan,
      Bishop
      August 24, 2006
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