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ROCOR: On the Visit to Russia of the Official Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

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  • Fr. John Whiteford
    http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/onthevisit.html On the Visit to Russia of the Official Delegation of the Russian Orthodox
    Message 1 of 1 , May 18 10:25 AM
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      http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/01newstucture/pagesen/news04/onthevisit.html

      On the Visit to Russia of the Official Delegation of
      the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

      In these joyous Paschal days, an official delegation
      of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
      headed by its First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus of
      Eastern America and New York, came to Russia at the
      invitation of the Russian Orthodox Church.

      On May 14, 2004, the day the delegation arrived in
      Moscow, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus had a meeting
      with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II. The discussion
      was held in a warm atmosphere of mutual understanding.
      The following day, the delegation members prayed at
      the service performed by His Holiness the Patriarch at
      Butovo Polygon, the site of the murder of countless
      martyrs by the godless regime, many of whom have been
      glorified as saints. The delegates also made a
      pilgrimage to Donskoy and Danilov Monasteries, Holy
      Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra and the holy sites of the
      Moscow Kremlin.

      On May 17-18, joint discussions between the delegates
      of the Russian Church Abroad and those of the Moscow
      Patriarch were held. On May 18, these discussions were
      held under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch
      Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

      Participating in the discussions on behalf of the
      Moscow Patriarchate were Metropolitan Juvenaly of
      Krutitsy and Kolomna, President of the Synodal
      Commission on the Glorification of Saints;
      Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad,
      President of the Department of External Church
      Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archbishop
      Innokenty of Korsun, President of the Synodal
      Committee on Dialog with the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia; Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin of the
      Historical-Judicial Committee of the of the Moscow
      Patriarchate; the Prior of Sretensky Monastery,
      Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov); Protopriest Leonid
      Roldugin, Dean of the Preobrazhensky Deanery of
      Moscow; Protopriest Nikolai Balashov, Secretary of the
      Inter-Orthodox Relations of the Department of External
      Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate;
      Protopriest Georgii Mitrofanov, a teacher of St.
      Petersburg Theological Seminary and Protopriest Maksim
      Kozlov, Associate Professor of the Moscow Theological
      Academy.

      The official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia at the discussions was headed by
      Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York.
      Comprising the delegation were also Archbishop Mark of
      Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, President of the
      Committee on Discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate;
      Archbishop Kyrill of Western America and San
      Francisco; Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Rector of
      Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles and
      Secretary of the Committee on Discussions with the
      Moscow Patriarchate; Protopriest Peter Perekrestov,
      Secretary of the Western American Diocese; Protopriest
      Nikolai Artemoff, Secretary of the German Diocese;
      Protopriest Peter Holodny, Treasurer of the Synod of
      Bishops; Priest Serafim Gan, member of the
      administration of the Synod of Bishops, and Priest
      Pavel Ivanov, clergyman of Holy Trinity Monastery in
      Jordanville, NY.

      Expressed at the joint discussions was the common
      desire of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to overcome the
      tragic division of our people, which arose as a result
      of the revolution and civil war, and the desire to
      achieve the reestablishment of Eucharistic communion
      and canonical unity within one Local Russian Orthodox
      Church, an indissoluble part of which the Russian
      Church Abroad always sensed itself. Our goal is to
      draw nearer that day when with one mouth and one heart
      we would glorify God.

      An important role in the resolution of various
      problems which hinder the restoration of the fullness
      of communion is reserved for the Committees which were
      established in December 2003 by the hierarchies of the
      Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside of Russia. The Committees, having earlier
      worked separately, will in the near future commence
      working jointly. The Committees are charged with
      developing a common understanding on the following
      matters, based on the historical experience of the
      Russian Church and the problems facing the Church
      today:

      * The principles of the relationship between the
      Church and state in accordance with the teachings of
      the Church;

      * The principles of the relationship between the
      Orthodox Church and heterodox communities and
      inter-confessional organizations in accordance with
      Church traditions;

      * The status of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
      Russia as a self-governing part of the Russian
      Orthodox Church;

      * The canonical conditions for the establishment of
      Eucharistic communion.

      The Committees must prepare, by God's will, a joint
      statement on the above questions of principle, which
      is to reflect their current understanding of both the
      Church in Russia and the Church Abroad. This statement
      will be presented for confirmation by the hierarchies
      of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church
      Abroad.

      It was recognized as necessary to continue the joint
      academic-historical study of church events of the 20th
      century, especially the examination of the podvig of
      the holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and the
      experience of the Church existing under conditions of
      persecution by the godless regimes.

      Witnessing with joy the growing mutual understanding
      in discussing those topics which in the past were
      causes of division, the participants of these talks
      noted the importance of refraining from steps which
      could harm the further process of rapprochement, in
      part, from the expression of animosity. A special duty
      in this regard lies upon the clergymen and
      participants of church institutions.

      The Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
      of Russia headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus
      and the group of pilgrims accompanying him plans on
      May 19 to attend the consecration of the church of the
      Life-Giving Trinity in Borisovskiye Prudy, dedicated
      to the 1000 year anniversary of the baptism of Russia,
      and on the day of the Ascension of the Lord, May 20,
      to attend the patriarchal service in the Great Church
      of the Ascension at Nikitskiye Gates.

      On May 21, the Delegation will depart for
      Ekaterinburg, where its members will pray at the site
      of the martyric end of the Royal Passion-bearers. The
      delegation also intends on visiting the holy sites of
      St. Petersburg, Sarov, Diveevo and Kursk. The
      Delegation will leave Russia on May 28.

      The participants of the joint discussions in Moscow
      are full of faith that mortal weakness and limitations
      will be overcome by the power of God through the
      prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.

      Christ is Risen!


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      Fr. John Whiteford
      St. Jonah Orthodox Church
      Parish Home Page: http://www.saintjonah.org/
      Parish Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saintjonah/
      ROCOR Discussion Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox-rocor/
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