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Patr. Pavle about ROCA

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  • Olga Mitrenina
    Information Bulletin of the Department of External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate (N 3, 2000, pp. 51-52) THE SERBIAN PATRIARCH HAS
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2 3:54 AM
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      "Information Bulletin" of the Department of External Ecclesiastical
      Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate (N 3, 2000, pp. 51-52)

      THE SERBIAN PATRIARCH HAS EXPRESSED HIS POSITION IN RELATION TO THE RUSSIAN
      ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD

      By a decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church of December
      28, 1998, a Podvorye of the Moscow Patriarchate was formed in the city of
      Bari, Italy, for the spiritual nourishment of the local Russian-speaking
      community and the numerous pilgrims who visit this city to venerate the
      honourable relics of the holy hierarch and wonderworker Nicholas, as well as
      for the support of working contacts with religious, state and social circles
      in Italy. The co-worker of the Department of external ecclesiastical
      relations, the priest Vladimir Kuchumov, was appointed as superior.
      From the beginning of the activity of the Podvorye, it became known
      that
      in the lower church of the former Russian home for receiving pilgrims, which
      is partly used, in accordance with an agreement, by the Russian Orthodox
      Church Abroad (ROCA), there was serving a clergyman of the Serbian Orthodox
      Church.
      His Holiness Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia wrote to His
      Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, asking him to clarify the situation that
      had been created, which violated the canonical structure of the Orthodox
      Church, insofar as the pastoral service of a clergyman of the Serbian
      Patriarchate was taking place in a schismatic ecclesiastical structure
      having
      no communion with any Local Orthodox Church.
      His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia sent a return letter to His
      Holiness Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia, in which he expressed
      the position of the Sacred Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church in relation
      to the schismatics. In particular he declared the following:
      "The Sacred Hierarchical Synod of our Holy Church has forbidden their
      Graces, the Diocesan Bishops, to give any kind of canonical permission to
      priests to depart for the jurisdiction of the above-mentioned 'church'. We
      hope that they will stick to this.
      "We are sorry that such a thing could have taken place, and we hope
      that
      this incident will in no way spoil the age-old good brotherly relations that
      have existed throughout the course of our united history.
      "In this hope, we beseech Your Holiness and the Most Holy Russian
      Orthodox Church, which is so dear to us, [to forgive] our oversight, which
      took place in the city of Bari, and not to consider it to be a sin. We
      assure
      you that such an unpleasant incident will not be repeated.
      "Your Holiness knows the brotherly and Christian relations that the
      Serbian Orthodox Church and people had towards Metropolitan Anthony
      (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev and the bishops, monks and Russian people who came to
      us in flight from the violence of the communists in 1918. This brotherly
      relationship continued only until, after the fall of the communists, the
      representatives of the Russian Church Abroad started to spread their
      priesthood onto the territory of Russia, thereby violating the canonical
      authority of the Russian patriarchate. The Sacred Synod has more than once
      directed its protests to the leadership of the Russian Church Abroad in
      America and demanded that it cease from such actions since they are
      anticanonical and worthy of every condemnation."
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