SAN FRANCISCO: February 14, 2005

First Meeting of the Pre-Sobor Committee is Held

On February 8, the first meeting of the Pre-Sobor Committee was held, headed by His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion. Participating were Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan; Protopriest Victor Potapov, the Rector of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC; Protopriest Peter Perekrestov, Secretary of the local Diocesan Administration; Priest Serafim Gan; and V.V. Krassovsky, Director of the Choir of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" in San Francisco. Divine Liturgy was performed that day by the Deputy Director of the High School of SS Cyril and Methodius, Protopriest Yaroslav Belikov, at which the Committee members prayed, having arrived the day before.

At two o'clock, before the meeting of the Committee, Priest Serafim Gan performed a moleben at the Church of St Tikhon of Zadonsk. Then the Committee members proceeded to the cell of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (Maximovich, +1966), where a magnification was sung to him, and then on to the library of Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000), where Archbishop Hilarion, opening the meeting with a greeting, read several point of instruction from His Eminence the First Hierarch Metropolitan Laurus and of the Synod of Bishops, appointed Protopriest Peter Perekrestov as the secretary of the Committee and proposed that they compose a list of possible additional members from among the laity, which would represent the entire spectrum of viewpoints and opinions of the children of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This list would be presented for consideration to the Synod of Bishops, whose next session will be held in May of this year in Munich in May. The main topic of the planned All-Diaspora Council, which is scheduled to be held in San Francisco in the first half of next year, is the question of the possibility of establishing Eucharistic communion with the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and also matters of intra-ecclesiastical life, the mission and service of the Russian Church Abroad. Two subcommittees were formed: 1) on questions of the practical organization and procedures of the 4th All-Diaspora Council, under the presidency of Archbishop Kyrill, and 2) to compose, on the basis of materials from previous Councils, a corresponding set of Instructions for this Council and other documents. The latter subcommittee began its work on the following day.