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JORDANVILLE: October 6, 2006
The "Colloquium Dedicated to the Legacy of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) (1863-1936)" Begins at Holy Trinity Seminary

A historical-theological conference and exhibition dedicated to the first Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), opens today at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. The conference and exhibition were prepared and conducted jointly by experts from Russia, the USA and other countries, who feel that it serves as a visible expression of the reconciliation of both parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, and also of the gaining of understanding of the history of the Fatherland in its fullness, as reported by ITAR-TASS news agency.

The conference and exhibition are being held on the 70 th anniversary of the death of Metropolitan Anthony. As the current First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, pointed out, during the All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918, Vladyka Anthony was "one of the first candidates to the patriarchal throne, but the Lord prepared another task for him." Finding himself outside the borders of the Fatherland during the strife that followed, Metropolitan Anthony headed the Synod Abroad and fully devoted himself to establishing church life in the diaspora. He stood at the helm of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from 1920 until his death in Serbia in 1936, where he was buried. It is the illumination of his service abroad that the organizers of this exhibition see as their primary goal.

The State Archives of the Russian Federation provided a good deal of material. Among these are documents of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which, as the Archive Director Sergei Mironenko wrote in an accompanying letter, "are symbolically returned to the place of their origination." Of interest are many letters: corresponding with Metropolitan Anthony were King Alexander of Yugoslavia, members of the Romanov Family, church hierarchs and eminent social activists.

In Russia today, Mironenko notes, specialists are very happy that the process of the unification of the two branches of Russian Orthodoxy has given impetus to the widening of scholarly contacts and publishing and exhibition projects. "I am certain that the conference and exhibition devoted to Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) will be an important step in the development of ecclesiastical and lay scholarly bonds," stressed the Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation.

His Holiness Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia send the following greeting:

"Your Eminence, dear in the Lord brothers and sisters, honored conference participants!

"I greet all you who have gathered at this conference devoted to the life and work of the eminent hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky).

"The labors assumed by the participants of the conference has great meaning for a deeper understanding of church history and for the fruitful development of the present dialog between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Metropolitan Anthony proved to be a bright archpastor in the pre-Revolutionary years, having achieved a great deal towards the restoration of the patriarchate, and for the development of the Orthodox mission. Widely known are the efforts of the venerable hierarch in the area of pastoral theology. In the years of the emigration, Metropolitan Anthony devoted no small effort to nourishing Orthodox refugees, becoming a father to those who, due to tragic circumstances, found themselves torn away from their Fatherland.

"I hope that this conference will leave its mark in the process of discovering the persona of this great hierarch and will be an important step in the study of his legacy.

"I genuinely wish the participants of the conference God's help in their efforts towards the good of the Church and of history.

"With love in the Lord,

"+ Alexy, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia"