Third Joint Session of the Committees of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarch
The third joint session between the Committee of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia on discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate
and the Committee of the Moscow Patriarchate on discussions with
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held from 17-19
November at the Office of External Church Affairs of the Moscow
Patriarchate at St Danilov Monastery in Moscow.
Representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were
the President of the Committee, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of
Berlin and Germany, Bishop Ambroise of Vevey, Archimandrite Luke
(Murianka), Secretary of the Committee Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff,
and Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff.
Attending the session on behalf of the Moscow Patriarchate were
Archbishop Innokentii of Korsun, President of that Committee, Archbishop
Evgenii of Verey, Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin, Archimandrite Tikhon
(Shevkunov) and Committee Secretary Protopriest Nikolai Balashov.
The meeting was held in an atmosphere of brotherly love and mutual
understanding, and preliminary conclusions of their work were drawn
up. Drafted also were new documents with the aim of achieving ecclesiastical
As a result of the meetings, the two sides developed joint documents
on matters of the relationship of the Church and state and on the
attitude of the Orthodox Church to heterodox faiths. Also discussed
were canonical matters: on the status of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia as a self-governing part of one Local Russian
Church, and also on the conditions for establishing Eucharistic
communion. General approaches to their joint resolution were established.
On the eve of the meetings, the delegation of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia attended the opening of the Festival of
Orthodox Mass Media "Faith and Word," where a meeting
of the delegation with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and
All Russia and His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia was held.,
A display was set up at the Festival with samples of the publications
of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville and also those of dioceses
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
During the opening of the Festival, the delegates of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia became participants in an historic
even in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church; the return of what
seemed to have been lost forever—the ancient cross from the cupola
of St Sofia Cathedral in Great Novgorod.
The prayerful mood of the participants of the third joint meeting
aided in its work. The members of the Committees noted with a feeling
of gratitude towards God what significant progress was made on the
joint path towards unity, with the aid of the Lord, over the course
of but one year, since the first visit to Moscow of the Delegation
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by Archbishop
Mark of Berlin and Germany (held from 17-22 November 2003).
The documents adopted at the meeting will be submitted for further
consideration by the Hierarchies of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia and of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The next joint session of the Committees will be held in the spring