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MOSCOW: January 30, 2007
His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II Meets with a Delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

On Tuesday, January 30, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II met with a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia at the Patriarchal Residence in Chisty Pereulok in Moscow. During the meeting, questions were discussed connected with the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, scheduled for this May.

Participating in the meeting were, on behalf of the Russian Church Abroad: the Chief Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand; and the President of the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany. Also attending on behalf of the Moscow Patriarchate were: President of the Department of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad; Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun; and Secretary of the Office of Inter-Orthodox Relations of the DECR, Protopriest Nikolai Balashov.

As had been earlier reported, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (on December 8, 2006) and the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate (on December 26, 2006) had approved the proposals of the Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate on dialog with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate regarding the place, time and rite of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, and also regarding divine services to be held. These proposals had been drafted at the eighth joint session of the Commissions held in Cologne on October 24-26, 2006.

In accordance with this plan, the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion is scheduled for May 17, 2007. It is expected that on this day, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and the members of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate; His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and the members of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, will arrive at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. After a brief moleben, the decree of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and that of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the confirmation of the Act of Canonical Communion will be read, and then the Act itself.

His Holiness and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus will then sign the Act, after which there will be mutual greetings and the singing of Many Years.

Immediately after the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and the other hierarchs will conduct Divine Liturgy. During the service, the Royal Doors will remain open in the Paschal tradition, so that the people of God may fully share in the joy of the joint partaking of the Holy Gifts by the bishops and clergymen of the now-united Russian Church.

On May 19, on the day of St Job the Much-Suffering, which also marks the birth date of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the bishops and clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad will celebrate Divine Liturgy at Uspensky Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin.

On May 20, 2007, on the 7 th Sunday of Pascha, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, along with the bishops and clergymen of Russia and the diaspora will perform the consecration of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Butovo, and then, Divine Liturgy in the newly-consecrated church.

Photos: Patriarchia.ru