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The Russian Emigration, "Jurisdictions", and Reconciliation with the MP

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2006
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      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
      reconciliation are.

      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
      surviving principality).

      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
      Jackson, NJ.

      "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.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
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