JOINT MEETING OF THE COMMITTEES OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE
OF RUSSIA AND THE MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE HELD
The fourth joint working meeting of the Committee of the Moscow
Patriarchate on discussions with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia and the Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia on discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate was held from
March 2-4, 2005, in the outskirts of Paris. The sessions, which
were accompanied by mutual prayer, were held in an atmosphere of
brotherly love, yet with frankness in their discussions and a common
genuine effort to overcome divisions.
The participants of the meeting on the part of the Moscow Patriarchate
included the President of the Committee, Archbishop Innokenty of
Korsun, Archbishop Evgeny of Verey, Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin,
Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) and Protopriest Nikolai Balashov,
the Secretary of the Committee. Representing the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia were Committee President Archbishop Mark
of Berlin and Germany, Bishop Ambroise of Vevey, Archimandrite Luke
(Murianka), Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, the Committee's Secretary,
and Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff.
Work continued over preparing documents which would present a view
of the questions connected with the tragic fate of the Russian Church
in the 20th century, the relationship between the Church and the
state, the canonical status of the Russian Church Abroad as an self-governing
part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church, and the canonical requisites
for the reestablishment of full communion.
At the beginning of the joint work of the committees, it was decided
that the documents it will draft, upon approval by the Hierarchies
of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia, would be published at the end of the entire discussion
process. Still, for reasons of pastoral expediency, it was deemed
beneficial to publish documents already adopted before then. Members
of the committees presume that the documents drafted at this present
meeting may be published upon their approval by the Holy Synod of
the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Synod
of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. At
the same time, it is proposed to publish documents already prepared
by the committees and adopted by the Hierarchies of Moscow Patriarchate
and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Other matters were discussed during the meetings regarding the progress
of the reestablishment of unity.
The next joint session of the committees is scheduled for the summer