ROC Rejects Sergius Declaration
- From the AP Newswire:
Russian Orthodoxy disavows Soviet-era document in step toward reunion with
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 1920.
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are deemed no longer valid."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 respective synods.
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."