AUSTRALIAN DIOCESE; October 30, 2003


Pastoral Conference of the Australian Diocese

On Wednesday, 29 October, a Diocesan Pastoral Conference was held at the residence of the ruling bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese in Croydon. Of the 55 clergymen of the Diocese, 24 were in attendance.

Before the beginning of the Conference, Protopriest Michael Protopopov and Protodeacon Boris Evstigneev conducted a service of supplication before the Harbin and Akhtyrka Icons of the Mother of God at the Bishop's chapel.

His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion opened the Conference, stating that the topic of the meeting was the matter of the interrelationship with the Church in Russia (the Moscow Patriarchate), and also welcomed the honorary guests--His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan and Protodeacon Joseph Jaroschuk.

The Conference lasted approximately 6 hours. All the Conferees had the possibility to express their opinions, ask questions and share their thoughts.

The Conference considered the following topics: the historical path of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the situation in China in 1938, the document published by the Council of Bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate of 2000, the "Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church," the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Ecumenical movement, the notion of the "Mother Church," contemporary parish life of the Church in Russia and the participation of laypersons in church life.

At the end of the Conference, the following Resolution was accepted, and Archbishop Hilarion thanked all the participants for their brotherly earnestness.

Resolution of the Pastoral Conference of the Australian Diocese

We, the clergy of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, having gathered on Wednesday, 16/29 October 2003 in Sydney, under the chairmanship of the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese, Archbishop Hilarion and in the presence of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, to discuss the reasons for the convening of the forthcoming All-Diaspora Pastoral Conference in New York, express the following opinions:

1. We, members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, never separated ourselves and do not separate ourselves from either the Russian people or from the Russian Orthodox Church, but are, on the basis of Ukase No 362 of Holy Patriarch Tikhon and his Synod, in a state of temporary self-governance.

2. We consider that the time has arrived for all the parts of the Local Russian Church to draw together and return to the principles and spirit of the All-Russian Local Council of 1917-1918 by means of negotiations.

3. In light of the fact that many years have passed since the time of the All-Russian Local Council, many problems have arisen which need to be exhaustively examined and we must return to the canonical norms of conciliar Church life. We feel that this process must be conducted in the spirit of truth, Christian love and mutual understanding.

4. We pray the Lord God for the successful labors of the forthcoming All-Diaspora Pastoral Conference and Council of Bishops for the general benefit of the Church.

+Metropolitan Laurus

+Archbishop Hilarion

+Bishop Gabriel

Protopriest Michael Klebansky

Protopriest John Stukacz

Protopriest Michael Protopopov

Protopriest Michael Konstantinoff

Protopriest Nikita Chemodakov

Protopriest Nikolai Karipoff

Protopriest Gabriel Makarov

Protopriest Nicholas Dalinkiewicz

Protopriest Alexander Morozov

Protopriest Michael Boikov

Protopriest Sergei Okunev

Protopriest George Lapardin

Priest Boris Ignatievsky

Priest Vladimir Tsukanov

Priest Daniel Metlenko

Priest James Carles

Hieromonk John MacPherson

Priest George Robinson

Protodeacon Joseph Jaroschuk

Priest Boris Evstigneev

Priest Basil Yakimov

Priest Nicholas Triantafillidis

Deacon Vadim Gan

Deacon John Bots

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