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DIOCESE OF SOUTH AMERICA: October 12, 2009
Argentinian Authorities Support the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad In Its Two-year Battle With Schismatics

The Argentian Ministry of Justice recently awarded full relief to clergymen of the local community of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in their claim against an attempt by a group of schismatics to interfere in the operation of their parish.

The suit was filed by Protopriest Vladimir Skalon and Priest Igor Bulatov against several illegal amendments in the statutes of the Russian Orthodox Congregation in Argentina, established over a half a century ago by the Argentinian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. All the real and movable property of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Argentina was registered in the name of the congregation as a legal entity, reported the Parish of Resurrection Cathedral in Buenos Aires to Interfax-Religia on Wednesday.  
 
“Two years ago, the congregation was seized by schismatics, mainly by means of introducing new members, effectively doubling the parish roll. Then a series of amendments to the statutes of the congregation were proposed, in which any ties to bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were severed, and also the requirement that the President of the Congregation be a bishop or priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and that the officers of the administration must include a certain number of clergymen was revoked,” the parish reported.  
 
Fr Vladimir, a member of this organization since its inception, objected against “these uncanonical, Protestant-like reforms.” The clergyman was then subjected to a “trial” by three lay members of the congregation, as a result of which he was replaced by a woman from the schismatic group. 
 
However, in the end, the General Inspector of the Ministry of Justice of Argentina found in favor of Fr Vladimir and restored him in his position, and all the decisions of the “general meetings” and “meetings of the administration” of the Congregation from 2007-2008 were ruled null and void.

“The legal status of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Argentina is confirmed. Consequently, all church property registered in the name of the Russian Orthodox Congregation in Argentina remains as before in the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by the Synod of Bishops in New York,” reported Resurrection Parish. 

Interfax News Service