Communique from the Chancery of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany
on the International Russian People's Council in Moscow
On March 9-10,
His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, along with the
Diocesan Secretary, Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff, participated in
the International Russian People's Council, headed by His Holiness
Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia. The Patriarch opened the
Council. In his absence, representing the Church was Metropolitan
Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. During the plenary session held
on the first day, His Eminence Archbishop Mark read a brief address.
Also representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
were the Secretary of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York,
Mitred Protopriest George Larin, and the Dean of the Third Deanery
of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America, Protopriest
Alexander Lebedeff, who is also the Secretary of the Committee on
discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate. The representatives of
the Russian Church Abroad participated in one part of the Council,
and Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff and Metropolitan Kirill jointly
answered questions posed by journalists during the concluding press
On March 10,
2005, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, an agreement was signed between
His Eminence Archbishop Mark and His Grace Bishop Feofan of Stavropol
and Vladikavkaz (ROC/MP) at the Patriarchal Residence in the presence
of His Holiness the Patriarch, which will form the foundation of
the further cooperation of the two dioceses and through them, of
the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
was signed with the press and television reporters present. Television
news stations reported on this event immediately following the main
item regarding the death of Aslan Maskhadov, the organizer of numerous
terrorist acts, including the one in Beslan. Images of the students
of the school in Beslan were shown, and the moment of their release,
followed by the signing of the agreement.
After the signing,
the participants were offered an opportunity to speak with His Holiness
the Patriarch. Additional participants in this discussion, besides
the two diocesan bishops who signed the document, were Metropolitan
Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk, Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate,
Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff, Protopriest Nikolai Balashov (DECA)
and the recently-ordained Andrei Sikoeff (Diocese of Berlin and
Germany of the ROCOR). The conversation was animated and constructive,
lasting for approximately an hour. Then the remaining journalists
interviewed Archbishop Mark and Bishop Feofan.
the text of the agreement:
Diocese of Stavropol and Vladikavkaz of the
the Diocese of Berlin and Germany of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Christians living in the diaspora throughout the world have responded
with sympathetic love to the victims of the terrorist act in Northern
Ossetia in the first days of September 2004 in which defenseless
children, their parents and teachers were attacked in the city of
Beslan. Prayers burned throughout the diaspora, first for the emancipation
of the children and their parents, then, for the repose of the dead,
the healing of the wounded, the Christ's consolation for the mourning
and suffering. Immediately after the freeing of the hostages, the
goal was set by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in
the following form: to provide medical and spiritual aid, united
and as a whole. In September and November 2004, the German Diocese,
with the blessing of Archbishop Mark, sent planes containing medical
equipment to Northern Ossetia.
goal is the spiritual strengthening and aid in healing the seriously
injured society of Northern Ossetia. For this, the rebirth of ecclesiastical
supports and the bolstering of church structures are needed, and
also the creation of establishments connected to them for the aid
to those children and their families who have suffered physically
and emotionally, both in Beslan itself and throughout Northern Ossetia.
Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will
jointly build a convent, the plans for which have already been prepared,
and also a new therapeutic-trauma center in the convent.
The Work of the Diocese of Stavropol and Vladikavkaz of the Moscow
Patriarchate to Date.
- The reconstruction
of residential units for nuns and the construction of the unfinished
church in Epiphany Convent.
- Joint project
on-site planning performed by clergymen of the Moscow Patriarchate
and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
- Support of
research, the establishment of contact with the suffering and with
the mass media.
- The organization
of meetings for the creation of plans, providing premises.
- The support
for work with German television companies on-site (Beslan, Northern
Ossetia) to cover this project.
The Work of the Diocese of Berlin and Germany of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia to Date.
- The delivery
of medical equipment for the children's medical clinic by employing
German support, specifically, the Kindernothilfe Foundation of the
Bundeskanzleramt of the FRG, in the amount of 10 million rubles.
- Social work
(calls for donations in the German Diocese and throughout the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on behalf of Archbishop Mark of
Berlin and Germany).
for the training of trauma therapists in Northern Ossetia, including
instructors, social workers and church helpers (clergymen, nuns,
etc). This work began in February 2005 with a budget of 10 million
- The invitation
of German organizations for support for future aid. As a result,
the Kindernothilfe, in direct contact with the Diocese of Stavropol
and Vladikavkaz, is helping by providing 20 million rubles.
Further Joint Actions.
support in the construction of Epiphany Convent in Northern Ossetia
(appeals for donations already published).
for the monastics in their needs (over the course of three years).
3. The transfer
to Epiphany Convent of a part of the relics of Holy Martyrs Grand
Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna and Nun Varvara (their relics now repose
at Gethsemane Convent of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
4. The complete
financing of the construction of a baptistery in the name of Holy
Prophet, the Forerunner, John the Baptist, on the grounds of Epiphany
in the financing of a trauma therapy center at the convent through
goal-oriented therapy in cooperation with Kindrenothilfe of the
6. Joint search
for further material aid (donations).
in the acquisition of a bus for pilgrimages throughout Russia.
8. Joint church
measures and seminars for the two dioceses.City of Moscow, Patriarchal
Residence, March 10, 2005
With the blessing
and presence of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia,
the present agreement is signed by:
Archbishop of Berlin and Germany
(Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Bishop of Stavropol