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DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK : March 28, 2006

A Meeting is Held at St John the Baptist Cathedral on the Restoration of Communion Between the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate

The reestablishment of spiritual unity and Eucharistic communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate is only possible on the basis of repentance and absolute honesty in the evaluation of recent history and the Church in Russia today. This was the opinion of the participants of the meeting held on Sunday, March 26 at St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington , DC . It was organized by the Parish Rector, Protopriest Victor Potapov, a member of the Pre-Council Committee, along with his parishioners and guests from Russia—the famous ecclesiastical historian and political scientist Professor Andrei Borisovich Zubov of Moscow State Institute of International Relations and Priest Georgii Edelstein of Kostroma Diocese in Russia.

According to Professor Zubov, Russian society and the Church are still in the grip of a terrible misfortune, the scale of which is not as yet completely understood. The expert also feels that a spiritual and national rebirth has begun, especially within the young generation. Reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia under these circumstances, he feels, would mean the restoration of a "root running deep in the Russian soil," a sort of "healing vaccination." Fr Georgii, in turn, stressed the need for frankness and repentance of sins; he also warned the Russian Church Abroad of falling into Phariseeism, of taking pride in one's piety.

The four-hour discussion was one step in the ongoing preparations for the IV All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which is to convene on May 6 in San Francisco with the special goal of discussing the possibility of restoring ecclesial communion. The final decision will be made by the Council of Bishops. In fact, the participants in the discussion proposed, it may serve as an example, and a stimulus, for an All-Russian Church Council in Russia .

Professor Zubov will speak at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville on the topic "On the Current Relationship Between the Church and State," and will answer questions. Andrei Borisovich will then hold discussions at Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY, on Saturday, April 8 at 4 pm; and on the fifth Sunday of Great Lent the following day after Divine Liturgy at St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff , NY . For biographical information on Prof. Zubov, visit the website of St Seraphim Church at www.stseraphimschurch.org.