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Moscow Patriarchate welcomes adoption of Act of Canonical Communion

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=1964 08 September 2006, 13:16 Moscow Patriarchate welcomes adoption of Act of Canonical Communion by Church
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2006
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      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=1964

      08 September 2006, 13:16
      Moscow Patriarchate welcomes adoption of Act of Canonical Communion by
      Church Outside Russia as historically important decision

      Moscow, September 8, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate welcomes the
      adoption of the Act on Canonical Communion by the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside Russia (ROCOR) seeing in it a natural result of the process of
      restoration of unity with the Church in Russia.

      'This decision is historically important for the Russian Church Outside
      Russia since it unequivocally expresses the will to have the unity with the
      Church in Russia fully restored', Archpriest Nikolay Balashov, secretary of
      the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations, said to
      Interfax on Friday.

      The decision of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops, according to him, 'is a natural
      result of the process of restoration of mutual trust', which began in
      autumn 2003 with a visit of a delegation of the Church Outside Russia to
      Moscow.

      The Moscow Patriarchate official also recalled that the reunification of
      the ROCOR with the Church in Russia would involve at least one more joint
      meeting of the negotiations committees to be held this autumn.

      'The meeting will discuss both details of the solemn event to mark the
      restoration of church unity and some problems that have not yet been fully
      and finally settled', he remarked.

      Among these problems, he said, is the situation with regard to the parishes
      and dioceses of the Russian Church Outside Russia in the canonical
      territory of the Moscow Patriarchate.

      Father Nikolay also reminded the agency that the Russian Orthodox Church
      Synod, on its part, had approved already last July the two committees'
      joint proposals for finalizing the Act on Canonical Communion.

      http://en.rian.ru/russia/20060908/53646329.html

      Russian Orthodox churches could heal rift, unite in 2007
      12:34 | 08/ 09/ 2006

      MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Orthodox believers could soon
      be united in one church after a rift that has outlasted the fall of
      communism, a Moscow church official said Friday

      The Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church Outside of Russia have
      been in talks on unification and Nikolai Balashov, secretary of the Moscow
      Patriarchy's commission on talks with ROCOR, said the two churches could
      sign the Act on Canonical Communion next year. The act was approved by the
      ROCOR governing body, the Council of Bishops, this May.

      "If circumstances are favorable, as ROCOR hierarchs intend to discuss the
      issue again at a Council of Bishops in December, we believe the full
      restoration of relations could happen next year," Balashov said.

      He said the signing would be a major step toward unity, which the Moscow
      Patriarchy and the Orthodox Church abroad had been working to achieve since
      fall 2003, when a ROCOR delegation first visited Moscow.

      The revolutions of 1917 and ensuing Civil War in Russia caused a split in
      the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920s, when some top clergy in exile
      refused to be subordinated to Church leaders who had allegedly collaborated
      with the communists.

      Metropolitan Laurus, the head of the ROCOR, visited Russia in May 2004 and
      participated in a number of joint services. The churches decided at the
      time to set up joint commissions and determined the range of issues to be
      discussed at the All-Diaspora Council, which met for the first time since 1974.

      The ROCOR is expected to join the Moscow Patriarchy as a self-governed
      branch, which will retain its autonomy in terms of pastoral, educational,
      administrative, economic, property and secular issues.

      Balashov said the churches were still to discuss "details of the great
      event" and clear up remaining controversies. Their representatives will
      meet this fall to talk about ROCOR parishes on the Moscow Patriarchy's
      canonical territory and the status of clerics who have left the Moscow
      Patriarchy for positions in ROCOR without due canonical procedures.

      Decisions to be made at the meeting will be offered for consideration of
      the ROCOR Council of Bishops and the Holy Synod in Moscow. The latter will
      gather late this year, Balashov said.
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