the Visit to Russia of the Official Delegation of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia
joyous Paschal days, an official delegation of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia, headed by its First Hierarch, Metropolitan
Laurus of Eastern America and New York, came to Russia at the invitation
of the Russian Orthodox Church.
14, 2004, the day the delegation arrived in Moscow, His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus had a meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy
II. The discussion was held in a warm atmosphere of mutual understanding.
The following day, the delegation members prayed at the service
performed by His Holiness the Patriarch at Butovo Polygon, the site
of the murder of countless martyrs by the godless regime, many of
whom have been glorified as saints. The delegates also made a pilgrimage
to Donskoy and Danilov Monasteries, Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra
and the holy sites of the Moscow Kremlin.
17-18, joint discussions between the delegates of the Russian Church
Abroad and those of the Moscow Patriarch were held. On May 18, these
discussions were held under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch
Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.
in the discussions on behalf of the Moscow Patriarchate were Metropolitan
Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, President of the Synodal Commission
on the Glorification of Saints; Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk
and Kaliningrad, President of the Department of External Church
Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun,
President of the Synodal Committee on Dialog with the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia; Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin of the Historical-Judicial
Committee of the of the Moscow Patriarchate; the Prior of Sretensky
Monastery, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov); Protopriest Leonid
Roldugin, Dean of the Preobrazhensky Deanery of Moscow; Protopriest
Nikolai Balashov, Secretary of the Inter-Orthodox Relations of the
Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate;
Protopriest Georgii Mitrofanov, a teacher of St. Petersburg Theological
Seminary and Protopriest Maksim Kozlov, Associate Professor of the
Moscow Theological Academy.
official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
at the discussions was headed by Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern
America and New York. Comprising the delegation were also Archbishop
Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, President of the Committee
on Discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate; Archbishop Kyrill of
Western America and San Francisco; Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff,
Rector of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles and Secretary
of the Committee on Discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate; Protopriest
Peter Perekrestov, Secretary of the Western American Diocese; Protopriest
Nikolai Artemoff, Secretary of the German Diocese; Protopriest Peter
Holodny, Treasurer of the Synod of Bishops; Priest Serafim Gan,
member of the administration of the Synod of Bishops, and Priest
Pavel Ivanov, clergyman of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville,
at the joint discussions was the common desire of the Moscow Patriarchate
and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to overcome the
tragic division of our people, which arose as a result of the revolution
and civil war, and the desire to achieve the reestablishment of
Eucharistic communion and canonical unity within one Local Russian
Orthodox Church, an indissoluble part of which the Russian Church
Abroad always sensed itself. Our goal is to draw nearer that day
when with one mouth and one heart we would glorify God.
role in the resolution of various problems which hinder the restoration
of the fullness of communion is reserved for the Committees which
were established in December 2003 by the hierarchies of the Moscow
Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The Committees, having earlier worked separately, will in the near
future commence working jointly. The Committees are charged with
developing a common understanding on the following matters, based
on the historical experience of the Russian Church and the problems
facing the Church today:
- The principles
of the relationship between the Church and state in accordance
with the teachings of the Church;
- The principles
of the relationship between the Orthodox Church and heterodox
communities and inter-confessional organizations in accordance
with Church traditions;
- The status of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as a self-governing
part of the Russian Orthodox Church;
- The canonical conditions
for the establishment of Eucharistic communion.
Committees must prepare, by God's will, a joint statement on the
above questions of principle, which is to reflect their current
understanding of both the Church in Russia and the Church Abroad.
This statement will be presented for confirmation by the hierarchies
of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad.
recognized as necessary to continue the joint academic-historical
study of church events of the 20th century, especially the examination
of the podvig of the holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and
the experience of the Church existing under conditions of persecution
by the godless regimes.
with joy the growing mutual understanding in discussing those topics
which in the past were causes of division, the participants of these
talks noted the importance of refraining from steps which could
harm the further process of rapprochement, in part, from the expression
of animosity. A special duty in this regard lies upon the clergymen
and participants of church institutions.
Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed
by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and the group of pilgrims accompanying
him plans on May 19 to attend the consecration of the church of
the Life-Giving Trinity in Borisovskiye Prudy, dedicated to the
1000 year anniversary of the baptism of Russia, and on the day of
the Ascension of the Lord, May 20, to attend the patriarchal service
in the Great Church of the Ascension at Nikitskiye Gates.
21, the Delegation will depart for Ekaterinburg, where its members
will pray at the site of the martyric end of the Royal Passion-bearers.
The delegation also intends on visiting the holy sites of St. Petersburg,
Sarov, Diveevo and Kursk. The Delegation will leave Russia on May
participants of the joint discussions in Moscow are full of faith
that mortal weakness and limitations will be overcome by the power
of God through the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors of