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the 5th Working Session of the Commissions of the MP and ROCOR

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    On July 26, 2005, the 5th working session of the Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate for Dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and the
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 29, 2005
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      On July 26, 2005, the 5th working session of the Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate
      for Dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and the Commission of
      the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia for Dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate,
      opened in the Office of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, on the
      territory of the Monastery of St. Daniel.

      In the course of this meeting, the commissions continued discussing problems of
      ecclesiastical and canonical nature. In part, they considered questions regarding the
      ecclesiastical status of several clergy; the structures of Russian Orthodox Church Outside
      Russia that exist today on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate; and mutual
      relations with groups that are outside of communion with the Local Orthodox Churches.
      It was recognized that these questions should be resolved on the basis of the sacred
      Canons of the Church, in a spirit of charity and economy.

      Also examined were questions of a practical character, concerning the relations of the
      parishes and dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church
      Outside Russia in the lands of the Russian diaspora. Perspectives of further joint activity
      were noted.

      On July 28, the members of the commissions continued work in the St.-Sergius Skete of
      the Moscow Sretensky Monastery, in the Ryazan province. The participants in the meeting
      had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the revival of monastic life in that
      community, and with the work of the monastery.

      The work of the commissions concluded on July 29, with a visit to the monastery of St.
      John the Theologian in the diocese of Ryazan.

      The cordial atmosphere of the meeting has furthered the successful and fruitful work of
      the commissions. The next joint session is scheduled for autumn, 2005.

      (Unofficial translation by JRS).
    • John Haluska
      Regarding the following comment made by Fr. John R. Shaw, the materiel which is presented just after his comment is a direct copy from Moscow s The Statute of
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 4, 2005
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        Regarding the following comment made by Fr. John R. Shaw, the
        materiel which is presented just after his comment is a direct copy
        from Moscow's "The Statute of the Russian Orthodox
        Church".

        In it, one will find Moscow's specific wording
        regarding "properties".

        My questions to Fr. Shaw or Fr. Alexander are:

        1.
        "In light of the materiel presented, as quoted directly from
        Moscow's "Statute", and, of course, the taking into
        consideration the
        complexity of the negotiation process and the non submittal of
        answers prior to consummation of rapprochement/union, exactly how
        will properties now belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
        of Russia, (for example: Synod headquarters in Manhattan, Holy
        Trinity Monastery, the newly built Churches in the Diaspora, the
        other monasteries, the properties in the Holy Land and elsewhere in
        the world), be considered once a union is completed?"

        2.
        "With regard to the extremely detailed "questionnaire" asking for
        minute details with respect to individual parish properties,
        appurtenances, holdings (monetary and otherwise), et cetera, which
        were given to the Rectors of Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church
        Outside of Russia a few years ago, "How will individual parishes and
        their above-mentioned "properties, holdings, et cetera" be "handled"
        once the" rapprochement/union" is completed?

        In other words, once "rapprochement/union" takes place, will the
        properties, to include individual parishes, which now belong to the
        Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 'then' belong to Moscow?"

        The "Statute" appears to be very explicit/clear regarding these
        matters. It was an extremely well-drafted legal document which covers
        all questions.

        Quote from Fr. John R. Shaw:

        "Also examined were questions of a practical character, concerning
        the relations of the parishes and dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate
        and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the lands of the
        Russian Diaspora. Perspectives of further joint activity were noted."

        Thank you, in advance, for your time and effort in the answering of
        the above questions. They are very important, to me anyway.

        John Haluska

        +++++++++++++++++++++

        THE STATUTE OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

        I. General provisions

        6. The Russian Orthodox Church has a hierarchic structure of
        governance.

        7. The supreme bodies of the church authority and governance shall be
        the Local Council, the Bishops' Council and the Holy Synod headed
        by
        the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

        10. The canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church shall not
        engage in political activities and shall not rent their premises for
        political events.

        II. The Local Council

        1. The supreme power in the field of doctrine and canonical order in
        the Russian Orthodox Church shall belong to the Local Council.

        V. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

        1. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church shall have the title
        of `His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia'.

        2. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall have primacy in
        honour among the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church and shall
        be accountable to the Local and Bishops' Councils.

        V. The Holy Synod

        1. The Holy Synod, headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
        (or the Locum Tenens), shall be the governing body of the Russian
        Orthodox Church in the period between the Bishops' Councils.

        XI. The Parishes

        8. In the event that the Parish meeting takes a decision to withdraw
        from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian
        Orthodox Church, the Parish shall no longer be recognized as
        belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. That will entail the
        cessation of the activities of the Parish as a religious organization
        of the Russian Orthodox Church and will deprive it of the right to
        property, which belonged to the Parish by the right of ownership, use
        or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name and
        symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.

        VIII. The Self-governing Churches

        1.The Self-governing Churches, which comprise the Moscow
        Patriarchate, shall exercise their activities on the basis of the
        Patriarchal Tomos issued in accordance with the decisions of the
        Local or Bishops' Council and within the limits provided by it.

        4. The Primate of the Self-governing Church shall be elected by the
        Council from among the candidates approved by the Patriarch of Moscow
        and All Russia and the Holy Synod.

        8. The decision on the establishment or dissolution of the dioceses
        making up the Self-governing Church and the definition of their
        territorial boundaries shall be taken by the Patriarch of Moscow and
        All Russia and the Holy Synod upon the presentation from the Synod of
        the Self-governing Church.

        XII. The Monasteries

        2. The decision on the opening of the Monasteries shall belong to the
        Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and to the Holy Synod on the
        petition of a Diocesan Bishop.

        3. The stavropegic monasteries shall be under the supervision and
        canonical administration of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia or
        of those Synodal departments, to which the Patriarch of Moscow and
        All Russia shall give his blessing for such supervision and
        administration.

        10. In the event the monastery takes a decision to withdraw from the
        hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church,
        this monastery shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the
        Russian Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the
        activity of the monastery as a religious organization of the Russian
        Orthodox Church and the monastery shall be deprived of the right to
        property, which belonged to the monastery by the right of ownership,
        use or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name
        and symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.

        XIII. The Theological Educational Institutions

        2. The Theological educational institutions shall be under the
        authoritative supervision of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
        exercised through the Education Committee.

        6. In the event that the Theological educational institution takes a
        decision to withdraw from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction
        of the Russian Orthodox Church, this Theological educational
        institution shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the Russian
        Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the activity of
        the Theological educational institution as a religious organization
        of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Theological educational
        institution shall be deprived of the right of property, which
        belonged to it by the right of ownership, use or on any other legal
        basis, as well as the right to use the name and symbols of the
        Russian Orthodox Church in its name.

        XIV. The Church Institutions in the distant abroad

        1. The church institutions in the distant abroad (hereinafter
        called `institutions located abroad') shall be dioceses,
        deaneries,
        parishes, stavropegic and diocesan monasteries, as well as missions,
        representations and church representations located outside the
        borders of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States
        and the Baltic countries.

        2. The higher church authority shall exercise its jurisdiction over
        these institutions through the Department for External Church
        Relations.

        3. The institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church located abroad
        shall be guided in its governance and activities by the present
        Statute and by their own Statutes, which must be approved by the Holy
        Synod with respect to the laws operating in each country.

        4. The institutions located abroad shall be established and abolished
        by the decision of the Holy Synod. The representations and church
        representations located abroad shall be stavropegic.

        5. The institutions located abroad shall carry out their ministry in
        accordance with the aims and tasks of foreign activities of the
        Russian Orthodox Church under the authoritative supervision of the
        Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.

        6. The heads and executives of the institutions located abroad shall
        be appointed by the Holy Synod on the presentation from the Chairman
        of the Department for External Church Relations.

        XV. Property and Assets

        The Russian Orthodox Church owns the movable and immovable property
        in the distant abroad.

        5. The property belonging to the canonical units of the Russian
        Orthodox Church by the right of ownership, use or on other legal
        basis, including the religious buildings, the buildings of the
        monasteries, general church and diocesan institutions, the
        Theological educational institutions, general church libraries,
        general church and diocesan archives, other buildings and facilities,
        plots of land, objects of religious worship, the objects used for
        social, charitable, cultural, educational and economic purposes, the
        financial assets, the literature and other property purchased or
        created at their own expense, donated by the natural persons and
        legal entities, enterprises, institutions and organizations, as well
        as handed over by the state and purchased on other legal basis shall
        be the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.

        9. The Self-governing Churches and the Exarchates shall use the
        property that belongs to them in accordance with the order determined
        in the `Regulations on Church Property'.

        12. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall manage the financial
        assets of the Moscow Patriarchate.

        18. The property which belongs to the Diocese by the right of
        ownership, including the buildings, constructions, the objects of
        religious purpose, the objects of social, charitable, cultural,
        educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
        assets, literature and other property purchased or created at their
        own expense, donated by the natural persons and legal entities -
        enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over by the
        state, as well as purchased on other legal basis, shall be the
        property of the Russian Orthodox Church.

        19. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese as the legal
        entity, its movable and immovable property of religious purpose,
        which it possessed by the right of ownership, shall be transferred to
        the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in the person of
        the Moscow Patriarchate. Other property shall be sold to satisfy the
        creditors and to meet the contractual and other legitimate claims of
        the legal entities and natural persons. After the legitimate claims
        of the creditors are met, the rest of the property shall be
        transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in
        the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.

        20. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese, all property
        which it acquired by the right of economic management, efficient
        administration, use or any other legal basis in the manner and under
        the conditions stipulated by the law of the country where the diocese
        is located, shall be placed at the disposal of the Russian Orthodox
        Church, also in the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.

        21. The financial assets of the parishes, monasteries, Theological
        educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods shall be formed
        from the sources mentioned in p.1 of this section.

        26. The property belonging to the parishes, monasteries, Theological
        educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods by the right of
        ownership, including the buildings, constructions, objects of
        religious purpose, objects of social, charitable, cultural,
        educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
        assets, libraries, the literature, other property, purchased or
        created at their own expense, donated by natural persons and legal
        entities - enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over
        by the state as well as that purchased on other legal basis, shall be
        the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.

        27. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
        Theological educational institution as the legal entity, their
        movable and immovable property of religious purpose belonging to them
        by the right of ownership, shall be transferred into the ownership of
        the Diocese. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
        meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
        and natural persons. After the legal claims of the creditors are
        satisfied, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
        Diocese.

        28. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
        Theological educational institution, all property which they acquired
        by the right of economic management, efficient administration, use
        and on other legal basis in the manner and under the conditions
        established by the law of the country, where the parish, monastery
        and Theological educational institution are located, shall be passed
        over to the Diocese.

        29. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and sisterhood
        as the legal entity, their movable and immovable property of
        religious purpose belonging to them by the right of ownership shall
        be transferred into the ownership of the parish, at which they were
        established. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
        meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
        and natural persons. After the legitimate claims of the creditors are
        met, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
        aforementioned parish.

        30. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and
        sisterhood, all property which they acquired by the right of economic
        management, efficient administration, use or on any other legitimate
        basis in the manner and under the conditions stipulated by the law of
        the country where the brotherhood and sisterhood are located, shall
        be passed over to the parish at which they were established.

        40. The use of candles and other church items purchased or produced
        outside the Church shall not be allowed.

        XVIII. The alterations to the present Statute

        1. The present Statute shall be in force for the whole Russian
        Orthodox Church.

        2. The Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted by the Local
        Council on 8 June 1988 with the amendments made by the Bishops'
        Council of 1990 and the Bishops' Council of 1994 shall lose its
        validity from the date of the adoption of the present Statute.

        3. The right to make amendments to the present Statute shall belong
        to the Bishops' Council.
      • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
        ... Not clear what non-submittal of answers means. . .where are the submitted questions? ... Exactly the same as they now are-- the rightful and inalienable
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 4, 2005
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          At 07:19 AM 8/4/2005, John Haluska wrote:

          >Regarding the following comment made by Fr. John R. Shaw, the
          >materiel which is presented just after his comment is a direct copy
          >from Moscow's "The Statute of the Russian Orthodox
          >Church".
          >
          >In it, one will find Moscow's specific wording
          >regarding "properties".
          >
          >My questions to Fr. Shaw or Fr. Alexander are:
          >
          >1.
          >"In light of the materiel presented, as quoted directly from
          >Moscow's "Statute", and, of course, the taking into
          >consideration the
          >complexity of the negotiation process and the non submittal of
          >answers prior to consummation of rapprochement/union,

          Not clear what "non-submittal of answers" means. . .where are the submitted
          questions?


          >exactly how
          >will properties now belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
          >of Russia, (for example: Synod headquarters in Manhattan, Holy
          >Trinity Monastery, the newly built Churches in the Diaspora, the
          >other monasteries, the properties in the Holy Land and elsewhere in
          >the world), be considered once a union is completed?"

          Exactly the same as they now are-- the rightful and inalienable property of
          the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia or
          the Parish (or Monastery) Corporations which currently own them.

          Someone has obviously not read, or not read carefully, the recently
          published documents, which state that after the signing of the Act of
          Canonical Communion, "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
          independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property
          and civil matters."

          "Independent in administrative and property matters. . " What could be
          clearer?




          >2.
          >"With regard to the extremely detailed "questionnaire" asking for
          >minute details with respect to individual parish properties,
          >appurtenances, holdings (monetary and otherwise), et cetera, which
          >were given to the Rectors of Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church
          >Outside of Russia a few years ago, "How will individual parishes and
          >their above-mentioned "properties, holdings, et cetera" be "handled"
          >once the" rapprochement/union" is completed?
          >
          >In other words, once "rapprochement/union" takes place, will the
          >properties, to include individual parishes, which now belong to the
          >Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 'then' belong to Moscow?"


          No. Not at all. See above.

          By the way, the reason the Synod was interested in parish property issues
          was to ensure that none of its parishes would be able to "depart" for
          "breakaway" jurisdictions. Nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate at all.


          >The "Statute" appears to be very explicit/clear regarding these
          >matters. It was an extremely well-drafted legal document which covers
          >all questions.


          First of all--there is no such thing as a document "which covers all
          questions."

          If you are able to draft such a document, John, I am sure large law firms
          would be willing to pay you huge sums of money, either to draft such
          documents, or to keep silent about the possibility of such documents
          existing, as they would obviate the need for lawyers.

          Nonetheless, if you look more carefully than you obviously have at the
          recently published joint commission documents, you will read the following:
          "In accordance with the Act on Canonical Communion, certain additions and
          amendments must be entered into Chapter VII of the Statutes of the Russian
          Orthodox Church ("Self-Governing Churches"),


          Therefore, you are making quotations from a document which will be
          significantly amended to accommodate the specific situation of the Russian
          Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, including the issues of its independence
          in administrative and property matters, and selection of the First
          Hierarch, bishops, and establishment or redistricting of dioceses..

          Why quote from a document which simply does not apply, since it has been
          clearly announced that it will be amended for this specific case of the
          Church Abroad?

          The paragraphs of the Statutes which concern parishes and institutions in
          the "distant abroad" apply to parishes and institutions currently under the
          jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. They do not apply, at all, to the
          independently administered Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which
          will continue to be governed by its **own** Statutes, as before.


          With love in Christ,

          Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


          >Quote from Fr. John R. Shaw:
          >
          >"Also examined were questions of a practical character, concerning
          >the relations of the parishes and dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate
          >and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the lands of the
          >Russian Diaspora. Perspectives of further joint activity were noted."
          >
          >Thank you, in advance, for your time and effort in the answering of
          >the above questions. They are very important, to me anyway.
          >
          >John Haluska
          >
          >+++++++++++++++++++++
          >
          >THE STATUTE OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
          >
          >I. General provisions
          >
          >6. The Russian Orthodox Church has a hierarchic structure of
          >governance.
          >
          >7. The supreme bodies of the church authority and governance shall be
          >the Local Council, the Bishops' Council and the Holy Synod headed
          >by
          >the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
          >
          >10. The canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church shall not
          >engage in political activities and shall not rent their premises for
          >political events.
          >
          >II. The Local Council
          >
          >1. The supreme power in the field of doctrine and canonical order in
          >the Russian Orthodox Church shall belong to the Local Council.
          >
          >V. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
          >
          >1. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church shall have the title
          >of `His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia'.
          >
          >2. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall have primacy in
          >honour among the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church and shall
          >be accountable to the Local and Bishops' Councils.
          >
          >V. The Holy Synod
          >
          >1. The Holy Synod, headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
          >(or the Locum Tenens), shall be the governing body of the Russian
          >Orthodox Church in the period between the Bishops' Councils.
          >
          >XI. The Parishes
          >
          >8. In the event that the Parish meeting takes a decision to withdraw
          >from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian
          >Orthodox Church, the Parish shall no longer be recognized as
          >belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. That will entail the
          >cessation of the activities of the Parish as a religious organization
          >of the Russian Orthodox Church and will deprive it of the right to
          >property, which belonged to the Parish by the right of ownership, use
          >or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name and
          >symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
          >
          >VIII. The Self-governing Churches
          >
          >1.The Self-governing Churches, which comprise the Moscow
          >Patriarchate, shall exercise their activities on the basis of the
          >Patriarchal Tomos issued in accordance with the decisions of the
          >Local or Bishops' Council and within the limits provided by it.
          >
          >4. The Primate of the Self-governing Church shall be elected by the
          >Council from among the candidates approved by the Patriarch of Moscow
          >and All Russia and the Holy Synod.
          >
          >8. The decision on the establishment or dissolution of the dioceses
          >making up the Self-governing Church and the definition of their
          >territorial boundaries shall be taken by the Patriarch of Moscow and
          >All Russia and the Holy Synod upon the presentation from the Synod of
          >the Self-governing Church.
          >
          >XII. The Monasteries
          >
          >2. The decision on the opening of the Monasteries shall belong to the
          >Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and to the Holy Synod on the
          >petition of a Diocesan Bishop.
          >
          >3. The stavropegic monasteries shall be under the supervision and
          >canonical administration of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia or
          >of those Synodal departments, to which the Patriarch of Moscow and
          >All Russia shall give his blessing for such supervision and
          >administration.
          >
          >10. In the event the monastery takes a decision to withdraw from the
          >hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church,
          >this monastery shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the
          >Russian Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the
          >activity of the monastery as a religious organization of the Russian
          >Orthodox Church and the monastery shall be deprived of the right to
          >property, which belonged to the monastery by the right of ownership,
          >use or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name
          >and symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
          >
          >XIII. The Theological Educational Institutions
          >
          >2. The Theological educational institutions shall be under the
          >authoritative supervision of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
          >exercised through the Education Committee.
          >
          >6. In the event that the Theological educational institution takes a
          >decision to withdraw from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction
          >of the Russian Orthodox Church, this Theological educational
          >institution shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the Russian
          >Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the activity of
          >the Theological educational institution as a religious organization
          >of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Theological educational
          >institution shall be deprived of the right of property, which
          >belonged to it by the right of ownership, use or on any other legal
          >basis, as well as the right to use the name and symbols of the
          >Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
          >
          >XIV. The Church Institutions in the distant abroad
          >
          >1. The church institutions in the distant abroad (hereinafter
          >called `institutions located abroad') shall be dioceses,
          >deaneries,
          >parishes, stavropegic and diocesan monasteries, as well as missions,
          >representations and church representations located outside the
          >borders of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States
          >and the Baltic countries.
          >
          >2. The higher church authority shall exercise its jurisdiction over
          >these institutions through the Department for External Church
          >Relations.
          >
          >3. The institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church located abroad
          >shall be guided in its governance and activities by the present
          >Statute and by their own Statutes, which must be approved by the Holy
          >Synod with respect to the laws operating in each country.
          >
          >4. The institutions located abroad shall be established and abolished
          >by the decision of the Holy Synod. The representations and church
          >representations located abroad shall be stavropegic.
          >
          >5. The institutions located abroad shall carry out their ministry in
          >accordance with the aims and tasks of foreign activities of the
          >Russian Orthodox Church under the authoritative supervision of the
          >Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.
          >
          >6. The heads and executives of the institutions located abroad shall
          >be appointed by the Holy Synod on the presentation from the Chairman
          >of the Department for External Church Relations.
          >
          >XV. Property and Assets
          >
          >The Russian Orthodox Church owns the movable and immovable property
          >in the distant abroad.
          >
          >5. The property belonging to the canonical units of the Russian
          >Orthodox Church by the right of ownership, use or on other legal
          >basis, including the religious buildings, the buildings of the
          >monasteries, general church and diocesan institutions, the
          >Theological educational institutions, general church libraries,
          >general church and diocesan archives, other buildings and facilities,
          >plots of land, objects of religious worship, the objects used for
          >social, charitable, cultural, educational and economic purposes, the
          >financial assets, the literature and other property purchased or
          >created at their own expense, donated by the natural persons and
          >legal entities, enterprises, institutions and organizations, as well
          >as handed over by the state and purchased on other legal basis shall
          >be the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
          >
          >9. The Self-governing Churches and the Exarchates shall use the
          >property that belongs to them in accordance with the order determined
          >in the `Regulations on Church Property'.
          >
          >12. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall manage the financial
          >assets of the Moscow Patriarchate.
          >
          >18. The property which belongs to the Diocese by the right of
          >ownership, including the buildings, constructions, the objects of
          >religious purpose, the objects of social, charitable, cultural,
          >educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
          >assets, literature and other property purchased or created at their
          >own expense, donated by the natural persons and legal entities -
          >enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over by the
          >state, as well as purchased on other legal basis, shall be the
          >property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
          >
          >19. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese as the legal
          >entity, its movable and immovable property of religious purpose,
          >which it possessed by the right of ownership, shall be transferred to
          >the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in the person of
          >the Moscow Patriarchate. Other property shall be sold to satisfy the
          >creditors and to meet the contractual and other legitimate claims of
          >the legal entities and natural persons. After the legitimate claims
          >of the creditors are met, the rest of the property shall be
          >transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in
          >the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.
          >
          >20. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese, all property
          >which it acquired by the right of economic management, efficient
          >administration, use or any other legal basis in the manner and under
          >the conditions stipulated by the law of the country where the diocese
          >is located, shall be placed at the disposal of the Russian Orthodox
          >Church, also in the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.
          >
          >21. The financial assets of the parishes, monasteries, Theological
          >educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods shall be formed
          >from the sources mentioned in p.1 of this section.
          >
          >26. The property belonging to the parishes, monasteries, Theological
          >educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods by the right of
          >ownership, including the buildings, constructions, objects of
          >religious purpose, objects of social, charitable, cultural,
          >educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
          >assets, libraries, the literature, other property, purchased or
          >created at their own expense, donated by natural persons and legal
          >entities - enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over
          >by the state as well as that purchased on other legal basis, shall be
          >the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
          >
          >27. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
          >Theological educational institution as the legal entity, their
          >movable and immovable property of religious purpose belonging to them
          >by the right of ownership, shall be transferred into the ownership of
          >the Diocese. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
          >meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
          >and natural persons. After the legal claims of the creditors are
          >satisfied, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
          >Diocese.
          >
          >28. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
          >Theological educational institution, all property which they acquired
          >by the right of economic management, efficient administration, use
          >and on other legal basis in the manner and under the conditions
          >established by the law of the country, where the parish, monastery
          >and Theological educational institution are located, shall be passed
          >over to the Diocese.
          >
          >29. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and sisterhood
          >as the legal entity, their movable and immovable property of
          >religious purpose belonging to them by the right of ownership shall
          >be transferred into the ownership of the parish, at which they were
          >established. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
          >meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
          >and natural persons. After the legitimate claims of the creditors are
          >met, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
          >aforementioned parish.
          >
          >30. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and
          >sisterhood, all property which they acquired by the right of economic
          >management, efficient administration, use or on any other legitimate
          >basis in the manner and under the conditions stipulated by the law of
          >the country where the brotherhood and sisterhood are located, shall
          >be passed over to the parish at which they were established.
          >
          >40. The use of candles and other church items purchased or produced
          >outside the Church shall not be allowed.
          >
          >XVIII. The alterations to the present Statute
          >
          >1. The present Statute shall be in force for the whole Russian
          >Orthodox Church.
          >
          >2. The Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted by the Local
          >Council on 8 June 1988 with the amendments made by the Bishops'
          >Council of 1990 and the Bishops' Council of 1994 shall lose its
          >validity from the date of the adoption of the present Statute.
          >
          >3. The right to make amendments to the present Statute shall belong
          >to the Bishops' Council.
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • gene703
          Dear Fater Alexander, During the negotiations has anyone raised an issue of ROCOR properties in Holy Land very recently taken away from us by MP ? Will those
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 5, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Fater Alexander,

            During the negotiations has anyone raised an issue of ROCOR properties in Holy Land very recently taken away from us by MP ? Will those be returned to us ?

            Gene

            "Fr. Alexander Lebedeff" <lebedeff@...> wrote:
            At 07:19 AM 8/4/2005, John Haluska wrote:

            >Regarding the following comment made by Fr. John R. Shaw, the
            >materiel which is presented just after his comment is a direct copy
            >from Moscow's "The Statute of the Russian Orthodox
            >Church".
            >
            >In it, one will find Moscow's specific wording
            >regarding "properties".
            >
            >My questions to Fr. Shaw or Fr. Alexander are:
            >
            >1.
            >"In light of the materiel presented, as quoted directly from
            >Moscow's "Statute", and, of course, the taking into
            >consideration the
            >complexity of the negotiation process and the non submittal of
            >answers prior to consummation of rapprochement/union,

            Not clear what "non-submittal of answers" means. . .where are the submitted
            questions?


            >exactly how
            >will properties now belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
            >of Russia, (for example: Synod headquarters in Manhattan, Holy
            >Trinity Monastery, the newly built Churches in the Diaspora, the
            >other monasteries, the properties in the Holy Land and elsewhere in
            >the world), be considered once a union is completed?"

            Exactly the same as they now are-- the rightful and inalienable property of
            the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia or
            the Parish (or Monastery) Corporations which currently own them.

            Someone has obviously not read, or not read carefully, the recently
            published documents, which state that after the signing of the Act of
            Canonical Communion, "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
            independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property
            and civil matters."

            "Independent in administrative and property matters. . " What could be
            clearer?




            >2.
            >"With regard to the extremely detailed "questionnaire" asking for
            >minute details with respect to individual parish properties,
            >appurtenances, holdings (monetary and otherwise), et cetera, which
            >were given to the Rectors of Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church
            >Outside of Russia a few years ago, "How will individual parishes and
            >their above-mentioned "properties, holdings, et cetera" be "handled"
            >once the" rapprochement/union" is completed?
            >
            >In other words, once "rapprochement/union" takes place, will the
            >properties, to include individual parishes, which now belong to the
            >Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 'then' belong to Moscow?"


            No. Not at all. See above.

            By the way, the reason the Synod was interested in parish property issues
            was to ensure that none of its parishes would be able to "depart" for
            "breakaway" jurisdictions. Nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate at all.


            >The "Statute" appears to be very explicit/clear regarding these
            >matters. It was an extremely well-drafted legal document which covers
            >all questions.


            First of all--there is no such thing as a document "which covers all
            questions."

            If you are able to draft such a document, John, I am sure large law firms
            would be willing to pay you huge sums of money, either to draft such
            documents, or to keep silent about the possibility of such documents
            existing, as they would obviate the need for lawyers.

            Nonetheless, if you look more carefully than you obviously have at the
            recently published joint commission documents, you will read the following:
            "In accordance with the Act on Canonical Communion, certain additions and
            amendments must be entered into Chapter VII of the Statutes of the Russian
            Orthodox Church ("Self-Governing Churches"),


            Therefore, you are making quotations from a document which will be
            significantly amended to accommodate the specific situation of the Russian
            Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, including the issues of its independence
            in administrative and property matters, and selection of the First
            Hierarch, bishops, and establishment or redistricting of dioceses..

            Why quote from a document which simply does not apply, since it has been
            clearly announced that it will be amended for this specific case of the
            Church Abroad?

            The paragraphs of the Statutes which concern parishes and institutions in
            the "distant abroad" apply to parishes and institutions currently under the
            jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. They do not apply, at all, to the
            independently administered Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which
            will continue to be governed by its **own** Statutes, as before.


            With love in Christ,

            Prot. Alexander Lebedeff


            >Quote from Fr. John R. Shaw:
            >
            >"Also examined were questions of a practical character, concerning
            >the relations of the parishes and dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate
            >and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the lands of the
            >Russian Diaspora. Perspectives of further joint activity were noted."
            >
            >Thank you, in advance, for your time and effort in the answering of
            >the above questions. They are very important, to me anyway.
            >
            >John Haluska
            >
            >+++++++++++++++++++++
            >
            >THE STATUTE OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
            >
            >I. General provisions
            >
            >6. The Russian Orthodox Church has a hierarchic structure of
            >governance.
            >
            >7. The supreme bodies of the church authority and governance shall be
            >the Local Council, the Bishops' Council and the Holy Synod headed
            >by
            >the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
            >
            >10. The canonical units of the Russian Orthodox Church shall not
            >engage in political activities and shall not rent their premises for
            >political events.
            >
            >II. The Local Council
            >
            >1. The supreme power in the field of doctrine and canonical order in
            >the Russian Orthodox Church shall belong to the Local Council.
            >
            >V. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
            >
            >1. The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church shall have the title
            >of `His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia'.
            >
            >2. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall have primacy in
            >honour among the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church and shall
            >be accountable to the Local and Bishops' Councils.
            >
            >V. The Holy Synod
            >
            >1. The Holy Synod, headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
            >(or the Locum Tenens), shall be the governing body of the Russian
            >Orthodox Church in the period between the Bishops' Councils.
            >
            >XI. The Parishes
            >
            >8. In the event that the Parish meeting takes a decision to withdraw
            >from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian
            >Orthodox Church, the Parish shall no longer be recognized as
            >belonging to the Russian Orthodox Church. That will entail the
            >cessation of the activities of the Parish as a religious organization
            >of the Russian Orthodox Church and will deprive it of the right to
            >property, which belonged to the Parish by the right of ownership, use
            >or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name and
            >symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
            >
            >VIII. The Self-governing Churches
            >
            >1.The Self-governing Churches, which comprise the Moscow
            >Patriarchate, shall exercise their activities on the basis of the
            >Patriarchal Tomos issued in accordance with the decisions of the
            >Local or Bishops' Council and within the limits provided by it.
            >
            >4. The Primate of the Self-governing Church shall be elected by the
            >Council from among the candidates approved by the Patriarch of Moscow
            >and All Russia and the Holy Synod.
            >
            >8. The decision on the establishment or dissolution of the dioceses
            >making up the Self-governing Church and the definition of their
            >territorial boundaries shall be taken by the Patriarch of Moscow and
            >All Russia and the Holy Synod upon the presentation from the Synod of
            >the Self-governing Church.
            >
            >XII. The Monasteries
            >
            >2. The decision on the opening of the Monasteries shall belong to the
            >Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and to the Holy Synod on the
            >petition of a Diocesan Bishop.
            >
            >3. The stavropegic monasteries shall be under the supervision and
            >canonical administration of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia or
            >of those Synodal departments, to which the Patriarch of Moscow and
            >All Russia shall give his blessing for such supervision and
            >administration.
            >
            >10. In the event the monastery takes a decision to withdraw from the
            >hierarchic structure and jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church,
            >this monastery shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the
            >Russian Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the
            >activity of the monastery as a religious organization of the Russian
            >Orthodox Church and the monastery shall be deprived of the right to
            >property, which belonged to the monastery by the right of ownership,
            >use or on any other legal basis, as well as the right to use the name
            >and symbols of the Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
            >
            >XIII. The Theological Educational Institutions
            >
            >2. The Theological educational institutions shall be under the
            >authoritative supervision of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
            >exercised through the Education Committee.
            >
            >6. In the event that the Theological educational institution takes a
            >decision to withdraw from the hierarchic structure and jurisdiction
            >of the Russian Orthodox Church, this Theological educational
            >institution shall no longer be recognized as belonging to the Russian
            >Orthodox Church. This shall entail the cessation of the activity of
            >the Theological educational institution as a religious organization
            >of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Theological educational
            >institution shall be deprived of the right of property, which
            >belonged to it by the right of ownership, use or on any other legal
            >basis, as well as the right to use the name and symbols of the
            >Russian Orthodox Church in its name.
            >
            >XIV. The Church Institutions in the distant abroad
            >
            >1. The church institutions in the distant abroad (hereinafter
            >called `institutions located abroad') shall be dioceses,
            >deaneries,
            >parishes, stavropegic and diocesan monasteries, as well as missions,
            >representations and church representations located outside the
            >borders of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States
            >and the Baltic countries.
            >
            >2. The higher church authority shall exercise its jurisdiction over
            >these institutions through the Department for External Church
            >Relations.
            >
            >3. The institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church located abroad
            >shall be guided in its governance and activities by the present
            >Statute and by their own Statutes, which must be approved by the Holy
            >Synod with respect to the laws operating in each country.
            >
            >4. The institutions located abroad shall be established and abolished
            >by the decision of the Holy Synod. The representations and church
            >representations located abroad shall be stavropegic.
            >
            >5. The institutions located abroad shall carry out their ministry in
            >accordance with the aims and tasks of foreign activities of the
            >Russian Orthodox Church under the authoritative supervision of the
            >Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations.
            >
            >6. The heads and executives of the institutions located abroad shall
            >be appointed by the Holy Synod on the presentation from the Chairman
            >of the Department for External Church Relations.
            >
            >XV. Property and Assets
            >
            >The Russian Orthodox Church owns the movable and immovable property
            >in the distant abroad.
            >
            >5. The property belonging to the canonical units of the Russian
            >Orthodox Church by the right of ownership, use or on other legal
            >basis, including the religious buildings, the buildings of the
            >monasteries, general church and diocesan institutions, the
            >Theological educational institutions, general church libraries,
            >general church and diocesan archives, other buildings and facilities,
            >plots of land, objects of religious worship, the objects used for
            >social, charitable, cultural, educational and economic purposes, the
            >financial assets, the literature and other property purchased or
            >created at their own expense, donated by the natural persons and
            >legal entities, enterprises, institutions and organizations, as well
            >as handed over by the state and purchased on other legal basis shall
            >be the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
            >
            >9. The Self-governing Churches and the Exarchates shall use the
            >property that belongs to them in accordance with the order determined
            >in the `Regulations on Church Property'.
            >
            >12. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia shall manage the financial
            >assets of the Moscow Patriarchate.
            >
            >18. The property which belongs to the Diocese by the right of
            >ownership, including the buildings, constructions, the objects of
            >religious purpose, the objects of social, charitable, cultural,
            >educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
            >assets, literature and other property purchased or created at their
            >own expense, donated by the natural persons and legal entities -
            >enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over by the
            >state, as well as purchased on other legal basis, shall be the
            >property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
            >
            >19. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese as the legal
            >entity, its movable and immovable property of religious purpose,
            >which it possessed by the right of ownership, shall be transferred to
            >the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in the person of
            >the Moscow Patriarchate. Other property shall be sold to satisfy the
            >creditors and to meet the contractual and other legitimate claims of
            >the legal entities and natural persons. After the legitimate claims
            >of the creditors are met, the rest of the property shall be
            >transferred to the ownership of the Russian Orthodox Church, also in
            >the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.
            >
            >20. In the event of the dissolution of the diocese, all property
            >which it acquired by the right of economic management, efficient
            >administration, use or any other legal basis in the manner and under
            >the conditions stipulated by the law of the country where the diocese
            >is located, shall be placed at the disposal of the Russian Orthodox
            >Church, also in the person of the Moscow Patriarchate.
            >
            >21. The financial assets of the parishes, monasteries, Theological
            >educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods shall be formed
            >from the sources mentioned in p.1 of this section.
            >
            >26. The property belonging to the parishes, monasteries, Theological
            >educational institutions, brotherhoods or sisterhoods by the right of
            >ownership, including the buildings, constructions, objects of
            >religious purpose, objects of social, charitable, cultural,
            >educational and economic purposes, the plots of land, financial
            >assets, libraries, the literature, other property, purchased or
            >created at their own expense, donated by natural persons and legal
            >entities - enterprises, institutions and organizations, handed over
            >by the state as well as that purchased on other legal basis, shall be
            >the property of the Russian Orthodox Church.
            >
            >27. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
            >Theological educational institution as the legal entity, their
            >movable and immovable property of religious purpose belonging to them
            >by the right of ownership, shall be transferred into the ownership of
            >the Diocese. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
            >meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
            >and natural persons. After the legal claims of the creditors are
            >satisfied, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
            >Diocese.
            >
            >28. In the event of the dissolution of the parish, monastery or
            >Theological educational institution, all property which they acquired
            >by the right of economic management, efficient administration, use
            >and on other legal basis in the manner and under the conditions
            >established by the law of the country, where the parish, monastery
            >and Theological educational institution are located, shall be passed
            >over to the Diocese.
            >
            >29. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and sisterhood
            >as the legal entity, their movable and immovable property of
            >religious purpose belonging to them by the right of ownership shall
            >be transferred into the ownership of the parish, at which they were
            >established. Other property shall be sold to satisfy creditors and to
            >meet contractual and other legitimate claims of the legal entities
            >and natural persons. After the legitimate claims of the creditors are
            >met, the rest of the property shall be passed over to the
            >aforementioned parish.
            >
            >30. In the event of the dissolution of the brotherhood and
            >sisterhood, all property which they acquired by the right of economic
            >management, efficient administration, use or on any other legitimate
            >basis in the manner and under the conditions stipulated by the law of
            >the country where the brotherhood and sisterhood are located, shall
            >be passed over to the parish at which they were established.
            >
            >40. The use of candles and other church items purchased or produced
            >outside the Church shall not be allowed.
            >
            >XVIII. The alterations to the present Statute
            >
            >1. The present Statute shall be in force for the whole Russian
            >Orthodox Church.
            >
            >2. The Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted by the Local
            >Council on 8 June 1988 with the amendments made by the Bishops'
            >Council of 1990 and the Bishops' Council of 1994 shall lose its
            >validity from the date of the adoption of the present Statute.
            >
            >3. The right to make amendments to the present Statute shall belong
            >to the Bishops' Council.
            >
            >
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            >
            >
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            >
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          • Fr. John R. Shaw
            ... JRS: First: as regards my comment , please note that the words are not mine, but my translation of the Russian text into English. The text was first
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 5, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              John Haluska wrote:

              > Regarding the following comment made by Fr. John R. Shaw, the
              > materiel which is presented just after his comment is a direct copy
              > from Moscow's "The Statute of the Russian Orthodox
              > Church".
              >
              > Quote from Fr. John R. Shaw:
              >
              > "Also examined were questions of a practical character, concerning
              > the relations of the parishes and dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate
              > and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the lands of the
              > Russian Diaspora. Perspectives of further joint activity were noted."

              JRS: First: as regards my "comment", please note that the words are not mine, but my
              translation of the Russian text into English.

              The text was first posted on the MP website, in Russian only, but did not appear on our
              ROCOR website for a few days.

              However, it is currently on the ROCOR website, and if you compare the English translation
              provided by the website with my "comments", you will see that they are translations by
              different people, but almost word for word the same.

              Second: Fr. Alexander has already replied to the questions about church property, but in
              short, everything that belongs to the Church Abroad, will so remain.

              In Christ
              Fr. John R. Shaw
            • John Haluska
              Fr. Alexander, Thank you for responding to my questions. I now see that they have already been `addressed , and your reiteration of their content is most
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 5, 2005
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                Fr. Alexander,

                Thank you for responding to my questions.

                I now see that they have already been `addressed', and your
                reiteration of their content is most appreciated. Thank you.

                Regarding your statement:

                "Not clear what "non-submittal of answers" means. . .where are
                the
                submitted questions?", I offer the following…

                My phrase "…non-submittal of answers…" referred directly to
                the Synod
                of Bishops statement regarding the non-submittal of information
                during the negotiation process. Perhaps the phrase
                "…non-submittal of
                information…" would have been more appropriate. I apologize.


                Regarding my comment:

                "…Exactly how will properties now belonging to the Russian
                Orthodox
                Church Outside of Russia, (for example: Synod headquarters in
                Manhattan, Holy Trinity Monastery, the newly built Churches in the
                Diaspora, the other monasteries, the properties in the Holy Land and
                elsewhere in the world), be considered once a union is completed?"

                And your response:

                "Exactly the same as they now are-- the rightful and inalienable
                property of
                the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                or
                the Parish (or Monastery) Corporations which currently own them.

                Someone has obviously not read, or not read carefully, the recently
                published documents, which state that after the signing of the Act of
                Canonical Communion, "the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
                independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, management,
                property and civil matters."

                "Independent in administrative and property matters. . " What could be
                clearer?

                I offer the following:

                My obvious non-reading or not reading carefully enough of the
                recently published documents is my error, and I apologize.

                My reading of "The Statute" showed me one thing, and had I
                seen/read
                where these specific portions of "The Statute" were mentioned
                and
                addressed I would not have asked the question. Again, I apologize.

                Clearly, the last portion of the "Statute" materiel quoted refers to
                such
                questions, and "this" was obviously passed over by me,
                according to
                your
                statement. Obviously, this was addressed at the meetings. Thank you.

                >2.
                >"With regard to the extremely detailed "questionnaire" asking for
                >minute details with respect to individual parish properties,
                >appurtenances, holdings (monetary and otherwise), et cetera, which
                >were given to the Rectors of Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church
                >Outside of Russia a few years ago, "How will individual parishes and
                >their above-mentioned "properties, holdings, et cetera" be "handled"
                >once the" rapprochement/union" is completed?
                >
                >In other words, once "rapprochement/union" takes place, will the
                >properties, to include individual parishes, which now belong to the
                >Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, 'then' belong to Moscow?"

                You wrote:

                "No. Not at all. See above.

                By the way, the reason the Synod was interested in parish property
                issues
                was to ensure that none of its parishes would be able to "depart" for
                "breakaway" jurisdictions. Nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate
                at all."

                My response:

                I understand clearly…now. Thank you.

                In essence then, the properties of the Russian Orthodox Church
                Outside of Russia remain just that, the properties of the Russian
                Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Forgive the reiteration, but I
                have not had the luxury of having these questions asked nor having
                them answered by anyone who actually knows what is happening. Thank
                you, again.

                You wrote:

                "First of all--there is no such thing as a document "which covers all
                questions."

                If you are able to draft such a document, John, I am sure large law
                firms
                would be willing to pay you huge sums of money, either to draft such
                documents, or to keep silent about the possibility of such documents
                existing, as they would obviate the need for lawyers.

                Nonetheless, if you look more carefully than you obviously have at the
                recently published joint commission documents, you will read the
                following:
                "In accordance with the Act on Canonical Communion, certain additions
                and
                amendments must be entered into Chapter VII of the Statutes of the
                Russian
                Orthodox Church ("Self-Governing Churches"),


                Therefore, you are making quotations from a document which will be
                significantly amended to accommodate the specific situation of the
                Russian
                Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, including the issues of its
                independence
                in administrative and property matters, and selection of the First
                Hierarch, bishops, and establishment or redistricting of dioceses..

                Why quote from a document which simply does not apply, since it has
                been
                clearly announced that it will be amended for this specific case of
                the
                Church Abroad?

                The paragraphs of the Statutes which concern parishes and
                institutions in
                the "distant abroad" apply to parishes and institutions currently
                under the
                jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. They do not apply, at all,
                to the
                independently administered Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
                which
                will continue to be governed by its **own** Statutes, as before."

                My response is:

                From the "General Provisions" of "The Statute", as
                follows:

                "3. The jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church shall include
                persons of Orthodox confession living on the canonical territory of
                the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia,
                Moldavia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Latvia, Lithuania,
                Tajikistan, Turkmenia, Uzbekistan and Estonia and also Orthodox
                Christians living in other countries and voluntarily joining this
                jurisdiction."

                I have a question regarding your quote:

                "…They do not apply, at all, to the independently administered
                Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which will continue to be
                governed by its **own** Statutes, as before…"

                Please bear with me…from what I read, in this portion, it says:

                "…The jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church shall include
                persons of Orthodox confession living on the canonical territory of
                the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia,

                …And also Orthodox Christians living in other countries and
                voluntarily joining this jurisdiction…"

                Does not the phrase,

                "…And also Orthodox Christians living in other countries and
                voluntarily joining this jurisdiction…" apply, as the Russian
                Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will (in the future) be "…
                voluntarily joining…" with Moscow?

                Please clarify, as this is important to me.

                I very much appreciate your taking the time (and patience) to answer
                these questions. To date, I have not been able to ask these and many
                other questions to anyone who can answer them accurately (and
                unbiased), nor have I been allowed for fear of retribution.

                Please forgive me if the questions appear redundant, too simple or
                stupid, but they are questions that deeply concern me.

                John Haluska
              • John Haluska
                Fr. John, Thank you for your reply. I meant no aspersion to be cast against you regarding the comments . I realize that they were from the Bishops and I erred
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 5, 2005
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                  Fr. John,

                  Thank you for your reply.

                  I meant no aspersion to be cast against you regarding the "comments".

                  I realize that they were from the Bishops and I erred in asking in that
                  particular "person". Sorry.

                  John
                • Fr. John R. Shaw
                  ... JRS: Fr. Alexander was referring to the decision *about* that document, not quoting the document itself. ... JRS: Here it is you who are quoting a
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 5, 2005
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                    John Haluska wrote:

                    > Therefore, you are making quotations from a document which will be
                    > significantly amended to accommodate the specific situation of the
                    > Russian
                    > Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, including the issues of its
                    > independence
                    > in administrative and property matters, and selection of the First
                    > Hierarch, bishops, and establishment or redistricting of dioceses..
                    >
                    > Why quote from a document which simply does not apply, since it has
                    > been
                    > clearly announced that it will be amended for this specific case of
                    > the
                    > Church Abroad?

                    JRS: Fr. Alexander was referring to the decision *about* that document, not quoting the
                    document itself.

                    > Does not the phrase,
                    >
                    > "…And also Orthodox Christians living in other countries and
                    > voluntarily joining this jurisdiction…" apply, as the Russian
                    > Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will (in the future) be "…
                    > voluntarily joining…" with Moscow?
                    >
                    > Please clarify, as this is important to me.

                    JRS: Here it is you who are quoting a "document that does not apply". The above refers, as Fr.
                    Alexander already stated, to those who belong to the current Moscow Patriarchate dioceses
                    and jurisdiction in those places.

                    ROCOR will be a separate exarchate within the Russian Church.

                    Perhaps this parallel may help you understand:

                    The Ecumenical Patriarchate has several "exarchates" in the United States: the Greek
                    Archdiocese, but also the Ukrainian, Carpatho-Russian, Belorussian and Albanian
                    administrations.

                    The bylaws of the Greek Archdiocese do not apply, for example, to the Carpatho-Russian
                    Diocese. The latter is also part of the Church of Constantinople, but not of the Greek
                    Archdiocese.

                    In the case of the Russian Church, there used to be 3 jurisdictions in the United States (the
                    Moscow Patriarchate, the American Metropolia, and ROCOR).

                    As a result, the parishes that remain directlly under Moscow, are known as "Moscow
                    Patriarchate" parishes.

                    But once reconciliation is achieved, there is no plan for those parishes to be placed under
                    ROCOR (they themselves objected to being placed under the OCA after the autocephaly
                    agreement of 1970).

                    So, in the USA and elsewhere, there would be separate "exarchates" for the dioceses,
                    churches and monasteries that had been directly under the Moscow Patriarchate, and for
                    ROCOR, which would retain its own administrative structure.

                    Both would be under the Patriarch of Moscow, but they would be separate entities, and the
                    rules applying to the exarchates traditionally known as "MP", would not apply to ROCOR.

                    Therefore everything pertaining to church property would remain unchanged -- as it is
                    today.

                    Hope this helps.

                    In Christ
                    Fr. John R. Shaw
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