Moscow Patriarchate welcomes adoption of Act of Canonical Communion
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
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.
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.