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APPEAL of the Diocesan Conference of Canada

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  • byakimov@csc.com.au
    APPEAL of the Diocesan Conference of Canada Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord! We, the clergy of the Canadian Diocese, gathering on the days of the Holy
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2002
      APPEAL of the Diocesan Conference of Canada



      Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord!

      We, the clergy of the Canadian Diocese, gathering on the days of the
      Holy Elders of Optina, 10/23 October, at the Church of the Holy Trinity
      in the God-preserved city of Toronto, for our Diocesan Conference under
      the presidency of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of
      the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, appeal to the flock
      entrusted to us by the Lord with words of lvoe and consolation.

      Through our sinfulness, this past year has truly been difficult for all
      of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. We must say, also,
      that these difficulties have taken an especially heavy toll on the
      Canadian Diocese. Under the presidency of the First Hierarch, His
      Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, with His Grace Bishop Gabriel of
      Manhattan, the President of the Diocesan Council of Canada, we, to the
      best of our abilities, have tried not to succumb to fruitless arguments
      and complaints. Times of trouble often serve more beneficial for the
      work of the Church, and so we tried to invoke God's help, tried to find
      the paths of the speediest resolution of our problems. A half a year
      has elapsed since our last Diocesan Conference, held in Kanata
      (Ontario), at St. Xenia of St. Petersburg Church. We deign to say with
      joy that many of the troubles of the Diocese have been alleviated. This
      is first of all seen in the noticeable calming of church life, as well
      as in the administrative organization of the diocese.

      Still, we are far from saying that the Diocese's problems have all been
      resolved. Divisions have not yet been eliminated, and our financial
      situation is particularly difficult. The rebuilding of St. Nicholas
      Cathedral in Montreal, damaged by fire, upon which enormous sums have
      been spent, is not yet finished. The parish and diocesan treasuries are
      practically empty. We are also alarmed by the fate of the Millennial
      Memorial Protection Church in Ottawa; a great debt has been laid upon
      it, in connection with an extended legal battle with those who, in
      their blindness, attempted to tear the church away from those who built
      it, from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

      Raising fervent prayers to the Most-Holy Mother of God and the
      Ever-Virgin Mary, the participants of the Diocesan Conference discussed
      the means at our Church's disposal which could help these two
      especially-suffering parishes. The urgent needs of St. Nicholas
      Cathedral in Montreal were examined. Its parish is selflessly seeking a
      way out of the situation and is trying to find funding for the
      resumption of the project. But they cannot do so without the help of
      their brethren in other dioceses, and from the Synod of Bishops.

      The Cathedral city of the Diocese, its spiritual capital, cannot be
      abandoned in its time of need. The participants of the Diocesan
      Conference made the decision to support St. Nicholas Cathedral in every
      way possible. Some parishes of the Diocese, on the initiative of their
      rectors, are conducting special collections for Montreal. The problems
      of St. Nicholas Cathedral were discussed at the session of the Synod of
      Bishops in San Fransisco. The decision was made to assist the Cathedral
      from Synodal funds. The Conference in Toronto adopted the decision to
      take all necessary steps to reestablish parish life in Protection
      Church in Ottawa, the flock of which is in need of pastoral guidance.
      An appeal for support for the Ottawa Church is being sent to our kind
      brethren, whose selfless support has more than once aided a
      storm-tossed ship. The participants of the Diocesan Conference know and
      believe that now our appeal will be heard.

      To our sorrow, divisions have not all been overcome. Those who have
      departed from us, unfortunately, stubbornly continue in their errant
      ways. We do not condemn them, but suffer over them and call them to
      come to their senses and return to the bosom of the Church, where they
      will be met with brotherly love.

      The participants of the Diocesan Conference pray over the health and
      salvation of Metropolitan Vitaly, who led our Diocese for many years,
      and we grieve over the sufferings he has been forced to endure. The
      Conferees express the desire that as soon as conditions permit, the
      possibility will present itself to calmly and in good faith to discuss
      various plans to resolve the trying and spiritually-harmful
      disagreements over property.
      The Conference once again touched upon the question of our relationship
      with the Moscow Patriarchate and church life in the Homeland. In
      response to these questions, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and His
      Grace Bishop Gabriel cleary reiterated that the course of the Russian
      Orthodox Church Outside of Russia remains unchanged, as it had been
      determined by our First Hierarchs of blessed memory: Metropolitans
      Anthony, Anastassy and Philaret. This means that the more difficult
      ecclesiastical questions are left to final resolution by a future
      All-Russian Church Council. But it follows also to attentively,
      soberly, and more than anything, with love, to observe church life in
      our Fatherland, in which one cannot but see good changes--but also to
      do everything necessary for our voice to be heard by all of Orthodox
      Russia.

      The Conference meetings coincided with the day of the election of our
      First Hierarch. On this occasion, the Conferees expressed their wishes
      for his good health and strength from the Lord to continue to steer our
      Church ship in the direction prepared for her by his predecessors, in
      the spirit of peace and Divine love.

      Let us remember also, dear brothers and sisters, the words of the
      Apostle: "I...beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
      ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering,
      forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the
      Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as
      ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one
      baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all,
      and in you all." (Eph. IV:6).

      November 2002
      Canada
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