I feel very saddened by one of the items listed in November/December
2005 Resolutions of the Heirarchal Synod (ROCOR), the last article in
Issue 6 of Orthodox Life (translated from the russian Church Life,
numbers 1-2). I will paraphrase the report with some things in quotes.
Please understand that the quotes are to highlight that this is the
wording used in the magazine's report, not to imply that this was the
exact wording of any correspondence, or to cast any underhandeded
aspersions on the decisions and actions undertaken by any Heirarchs.
It was resolved that a letter be sent from the Synod Heirarchs,
concerning an uncanonical enthronement of a former ROCOR cleric, to
Met. Cyprian of Fili, of the Greek Old-Calendar Church. The letter was
to inform the Metropolitan that ROCOR was "forced to brake [sic] off
Eucharistic Communion with them until there was a complete elucidation
of this affair" at the Heirarchal Council in May of this year.
It was still a shock, to read of the Greek Metropolitan's response,
even though I heard of it before I read the article. In case there are
any who did not know yet, Metropolitan Cyprian indicated "that their
Synod adopted a similar decision on this question, and that the name
of our Metropolitan was expunged from their diptychs already a year ago."
Perhaps it's because it is Lent, or the dry, matter-of-fact way in
which the loss of our communion with our Greek brethren is reported,
but whatever the reason, I feel heartbroken for this loss.
It may seem foolish to some, considering it took place some time ago,
and relationships had been strained for some time. All I knew was that
it was a temporary suspension, and now I read that it was not only
mutual, but that the Greek Metropolitan apparently did it long before!
So sad to see how cold and distant the relationship had become, that
we had to "break up" by mail a year after the fact.
What a burden our Heirarchs bear. It's hard to know there is nothing
more helpful I can do to support them than to pray for them. I'm sorry
I haven't prayed for them more, when I read about the weighty
decisions they must make.