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MOSCOW : March 24, 2006

A Website on the Reconciliation Process Between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate is Launched

On March 23, 2006, an internet site was launched, www.pravos.org, devoted to the dialog between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

In December, 2003, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia decided to establish Commissions to discuss the resolution of the problems that had accumulated over the years.

During the first official visit of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to Russia in May 2004, and the meetings between the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate, the decision on the joint work of these commissions was made. Since then, six joint meetings have taken place. The most important documents prepared at these meetings were published in 2005 after their approval by the hierarchies of the Moscow Patriarchate and of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The progress of the dialog has evoked a great deal of interest among the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. A wide scope of opinions from Russia and abroad have been expressed in the press and on the internet.

In connection with this, at the last meeting of the Commissions, held in February 2006, the idea of creating a new informational website was discussed, which would present both official documents and historical texts as well as the personal points of view not only of those in favor of the process of reconciliation, but of those who have a more critical attitude. This proposal was deemed beneficial .

The website www.pravos.org includes the more significant historic and recent documents on the question of the relationship between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The section "Main Problems" divides the documents by specific topic. This project is supported by the webmasters of www.pravoslavie.ru and www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws. This new website is not an official site of either the Moscow Patriarchate or of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and the various opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect official church positions.

(The website www.pravos.org is a Russian-language website which will provide links to available English translations.)