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SYDNEY: April 4, 2008
The Pastoral Conference of Australia and New Zealand  Responds to Archbishop Hilarion

Your Eminence, dear in the Lord Archpastor, Vladyka Hilarion, bless us!

The clergymen of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand and the local representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate whom you invited, gathering for our customary retreat and conference at the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, regret your necessary absence and thank you for the warm words and kind wishes expressed in your epistle.

This year our Great Lenten repentant sorrow over our sins is exacerbated by the loss of our beloved abba, the father of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and we, the clergymen gathered here, express to you, as his spiritual son and student, our earnest condolences.

We hasten to assure you, Holy Vladyka, that the Pastoral Conference, heeding your call, is being conducted in the spirit of the peace of Christ and in brotherly love, and we also wish to express to you our filial support, heartfelt love and wishes for spiritual and physical strength in carrying out the new, added obediences of your archpastoral cross.

We respectfully ask you to extend our condolences to the episcopacy, clergy and all the faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Chairman of the Pastoral Conference 
Mitred Protopriest Michael Protopopov 
and its participants

Sydney 
St Benedict of Nursia 
March 14/27, 2008