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SAN FRANCISCO: May 14, 2006

The Conclusion of the IV All-Diaspora Council

The IV All-Diaspora Council closed on May 14, 2006, the Sunday of the Healing of the Paralytic.

The day began with a solemn Divine Liturgy at which the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, officiated. He was joined by 12 archpastors, 48 priests and 14 deacons.

The sermon was read by a delegate from Australia, Protopriest Nicholas Karipoff. Fr Nicholas read the Epistle of the IV All-Diaspora Council to the God-loving Flock and then spoke on the spiritual side of the Council's work. He likened the sessions of the Council to the grace-filled presence of the Lord with the Apostles on Mount Tabor. Fr Nicholas said that each delegate must take back to his parish or church institution the grace he received and to declare the good news of what was accomplished. The Russian people are like the Paralytic from the Gospel who for decades yearned for healing from his affliction of godlessness. By Divine mercy, this moment has now arrived, and the children of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia must bring thanks to God for this and must do everything possible to never again fall away from the Lord as we did in 1917.

After Liturgy was the closing reception of the IV All-Diaspora Council. Giving speeches were His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Mark, Bishop Agapit and others. Protopriest Peter Perekrestov, President of the Organizing Committee, told of the enormous task performed by its many members and expressed his heartfelt thanks to each one of them.

The delegates lingered long after the reception ended, wishing to share their impressions and to thank each other for everything they saw and heard in the preceding days.