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SAN FRANCISCO: MAY 7, 2006

The Greeting of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia

The greeting of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia was proclaimed by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenego and the Coastlands

To His Eminence, The Most Reverend Laurus, Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and all the delegates to the IV All-Diaspora Council:

Your Eminence, Your Graces, honorable Fathers and Brothers!

I have the special honor of greeting you, the delegates to the IV All-Diaspora Council, on behalf of His Beatitude Pavle, the Patriarch of Serbia.

As you all know, during the horrific post-Revolutionary trials of the Russian Church and Russian Orthodox faithful, hundreds of thousands of Russian exiles, among whom there were many bishops, priests and monastics, were given refuge by the Serbian Orthodox Church. In the 1920's the Serbian Church, in accordance with Church economia, also received your Higher Church Authority within its canonical boundaries and gave it the opportunity, under the leadership of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of blessed memory, to organize the Sobor and Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad in Sremski Karlovci.

Nonwithstanding the tremendous trials and catastrophes which befell the Serbian Orthodox Church in the XX century - we have in mind the 50-year godless communist yoke in Yugoslavia - the Serbian Church's ecclesiastical and Eucharistic ties with both the persecuted and suffering Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church diaspora, which temporarily suspended Eucharistic communion with the Church in Russia, never ceased till this day.

Thus, by God's Providence, the Serbian Church is the only one of the Local Orthodox Churches which has maintained unbroken, direct and deep ties with the fullness of the Russian Church.

Of course, firstly, this fullness was preserved by by the martyric blood of the New Martyrs of Russia. The Russian Church diaspora maintained the holy memory of these martyrs, as well as the Moscow Patriarchate who solemnly glorified them during the jubilee year of the second millenium of Christianity. The glorification of the New Martyrs, at whose head stand the holy Patriarch Tikhon with the holy Royal Martyrs, their martyric blood and Holy Russia's Golgothan witness in a miraculous way restored and are restoring oneness of mind and spirit of the All-Russia Church Pleroma to the whole
world.

Since the main obstacles and reasons that have been in the way of church unity have receded into the historical past, this blood of the martyrs calls all Russian Orthodox people to overcome all boundaries and differencees so as to once again, with one heart and one mouth, confess and glorify the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a united Russian Church of God.

His Holiness Patriarch Pavle reiterates and witnesses to all you Russian people and to all us Orthodox people: Without oneness and unity in the Russian Church there cannot be a spiritual, moral and national revival of the Russian people. The future of the whole world and the genuine mission of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ lies in this unity.

The joint committees of the Moscow Patriarchate and Russian Church Abroad, who have worked and are working so hard for the attainment of church unity, bring us joy. His Holiness Patriarch Pavle calls all Russian Orthodox Christians to unity in the bosom of the Mother Church of Moscow and All-Russia, bestows God's blessing upon all the delegates of the IV All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and greets you all with the joyous paschal greeting:

Christ is Risen!

+PAVLE
The Archbishop of Peca, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Sremski Karlovci and Patriarch of Serbia

Belgrade
May 5, 2006