First Joint Session of the Committees of the Moscow Patriarchate
on Dialog with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and
the Committee on Dialog with the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
The first joint working session of the Committees of the Moscow
Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was
held from June 22-24 at the Office of External Church Affairs on
the grounds of Danilov Monastery in Moscow.
Participating in the work of the Committees were, on behalf of the
Moscow Patriarchate, the President of the Committee, Archbishop
Innokentii of Korsun, Archbishop Evgenii of Verey, Protopriest Vladislav
Tsypin, Archimandrite Tikhon and Protopriest Nikolai Balashov, Secretary
of the Committee.
On the part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, taking
part in the sessions were Committee President Archbishop Mark of
Berlin and Germany, Bishop Ambroise of Vevey, Archimandrite Luke,
Protopriest George Larin and Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Secretary
of the Committee.
The work of the Committees was productive and was done in the spirit
of love and peace, in accordance with the words from Holy Scripture:
"BrethrenÉbe perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind,
live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you"
(2 Cor 13:11).
The Committees considered a series of questions in accordance with
the agreements achieved during the official visit of the delegation
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus on May 14-28, 2004. Joint proposals were developed
which will be presented to the hierarchies of the Moscow Patriarchate
and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The Committee members viewed as a manifestation of the exceptional
providence of God the fact that the celebration of the return of
the great holy treasure, the Miracle-working Tikhvin Icon of the
Mother of God to Russia, occurred exactly in the middle of the discussions,
on Wednesday, June 23, after a 63-year sojourn abroad.
The Committee members participated in the greeting of the Miracle-working
Icon, praying at the Church of Christ the Savior during all-night
vigil, led by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All
Russia together with Metropolitan Herman, Archbishop of Washington,
Metropolitan of All America and Canada [OCA].
The members of the Committees raise their prayers to the Lord God
and His Most-Pure Mother with gratitude for the possibility to fruitfully
labor towards the overcoming of the sorrowful divisions wrought
upon the Russian Orthodox Church as a result of the Bolshevik revolution,
and ask the Lord to bless the continuation of their work for the
benefit of the Holy Church of Christ and the Russian Orthodox people,
both in the Fatherland and in the diaspora, remembering that their
joint work must be performed in concordance with the words of the
Apostle: " Now the God of peace, that brought again from
the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through
the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every
good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing
in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and
ever. Amen" (Heb. 13:20-21).