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Interview with Bishop Gabriel

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  • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
    Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan Feels that the Differences Between the Two Russian Churches Will Be Overcome Moscow, October 6, 2005 The negotiation process
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 6, 2005
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      Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan Feels that the Differences Between the
      Two Russian Churches Will Be Overcome

      Moscow, October 6, 2005

      The negotiation process between the Moscow Patriarchate and the
      Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will lead to the
      unification of the two Churches. "I am certain that this will
      happen," said Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Secretary of the Synod of
      Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who had
      familiarized himself with church life in Russia, in an interview with
      a correspondent from ITAR-TASS. Earlier, Bishop Gabriel was one of
      the opponents of the rapprochement of the two Churches, reports ITAR-TASS.

      The hierarch said that it is possible that this will not happen so
      soon. "But we will definitely come to this decision, overcoming all
      differences. We are heading in that direction," he remarked.

      The bishop gave a positive assessment to the work of the two
      Commissions working on overcoming the problems dividing the two
      Churches. "A great deal of constructive work was done. This friendly
      dialog will help in the decision to unite," pointed out Vladyka. At
      the same time, the representative of the Church Abroad recalled that
      the flock throughout the world is divided: "A large portion of them
      regards rapprochement with the Moscow Patriarchate with caution."

      The interviewee noted that it is difficult to foretell what will
      happen at the All-Diaspora Conference to be held in San Francisco in
      May especially to decide the matter of reuniting with the Russian
      Orthodox Church. "The best case scenario," he said, "is that our
      Church will, on the basis of the work done by the Commissions, come
      to the conclusion that there are no serious obstacles for the Russian
      Church to be one." Still, he did not exclude the possibility that the
      Council will decide to continue dialog in order to "finally overcome
      everything that divides us."

      Bishop Gabriel thinks that "each person living abroad, for the
      purposes of dismissing all doubt, should see with his own eyes what
      is happening in Russia today, how the reestablishment of the holy
      sites of Russia is occurring." His eight-day visit in our country, in
      his words, "left a profound impression." Vladyka visited the churches
      and monasteries of Moscow and its outskirts, saw the churches of St
      Petersburg, traveled to Valaam and Solovki. "It was moving to see how
      the people themselves are participating in the rebuilding of their
      churches," he said.

      The bishop noted in his evaluation of the religious life of the
      country, that "more and more people are coming to know their faith."
      Although there are not that many regular church-goers, "one can speak
      of the rebirth of Orthodoxy in Rus," he said. He feels that "the
      Russian people must make sense of the tragedy of the revolution.
      After the terrible yoke of communism, the opportunity has finally
      arrived to understand, that through faith, through the Church, Russia
      can be reborn as the great Russian dominion," said the representative
      of the Church Abroad.

      (From pravoslavie.ru)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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