The Russian Emigration, "Jurisdictions", and Reconciliation with the MP
- Many of the Russian emigres do not really understand, it seems to me, the real state of
affairs between ROCOR and the MP. Therefore they do not understand what the goals of
As I have mentioned many times on the internet, lay people are liable go back and forth
between jurisdictions, as if all were one.
Therefore, they do not understand what there is to "reconcile".
Therefore, they tend to look for something that is simple and clear to them, even if it is a
completely false idea.
For many people, the idea of "reconciliation" between ROCOR and the MP would be
something like the absorption of Luxembourg by Germany.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg used to be one of about 300 tiny principalities, most of
which were united over the years into Germany or Austria (Liechtenstein is another such
People can go back and forth freely between these countries, and the only thing that sets
them apart is their political status.
If Luxembourg were "reunited" with Germany, there would be no more Luxembourg, except
as a geographical entity. The same would be true of Liechtenstein, Monaco, or a few other
tiny countries (or Sikkim, when it was united with India some years back).
So, people assume that ROCOR is already a self-administered part of the Russian Orthodox
Church under Patriarch Alexy II, and that "reconciliation" would mean "no more ROCOR".
These people are quite unaware that the issue has nothing to do with administration, but
with normal communion: the ability of clergy to concelebrate, or for canonical reassignment
to a place in the other jurisdiction.
Experience has also shown that terms like "ecumenism" can be totally misunderstood by
ordinary lay people.
For example, a devout old lady in one of our parishes was scandalized when she read that
more than 50 priests had taken part in the consecration of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in
"50 priests serving together sounds terribly like ecumenism!" said she.
I tried to tell the lady that these were all priests of the same Church Abroad, but that made
no impression at all. Ecumenism, to her, meant "many priests serving together".
Consequently, the reason the nonsense in "Nasha Strana" and elsewhere finds an audience, is
that certain people are disastrously uninformed to begin with.
Fr. John R. Shaw