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Act of communion between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate

Discussion in 'Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonia' started by James the Persian, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Hi all,

    I know that I'm likely the only person here with either knowledge of or interest in this subject, but I simply have to post the great news that communion between Moscow and ROCOR and hence between ROCOR and all the rest of the Church is due to be restored shortly. For us the current irregularities are pretty much the last vestiges of the period of communist persecutions and to see them vanish is wonderful. Here is the act that is due to be signed in Moscow early next year, for anyone who is interested, but whether you are or not I hope everyone here can at leastbe happy for me and my Church. This is a great time that many of us doubted we'd ever see.

    James

    01 November 2006, 12:45
    Act of Canonical Communion

    We, the humble Alexy II, by God's mercy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
    jointly with the Eminent Members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox
    Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, having gathered at a meeting of the Holy
    Synod (date) in the God-preserved city of Moscow; and the humble Laurus,
    Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian
    Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, jointly with the Eminent Bishops, members
    of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
    having gathered (time, place);

    Being guided by the effort towards reestablishing blessed peace,
    Divinely-decreed love, and brotherly unity in the common work in the
    harvest-fields of God within the Fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church and
    her faithful in the Fatherland and abroad, taking into consideration the
    ecclesiastical life of the Russian diaspora outside the canonical borders of
    the Moscow Patriarchate, as dictated by history;

    Taking into account that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
    performs its service on the territories of many nations;

    By this Act declare:

    1. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, conducting its salvific
    service in the dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other
    ecclesiastical bodies that were formed through history, remains an
    indissoluble part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church.

    2. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is independent in
    pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property, and civil
    matters, existing at the same time in canonical unity with the Fullness of the
    Russian Orthodox Church.

    3. The supreme ecclesiastical, legislative, administrative, judicial and
    controlling authority in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is her
    Council of Bishops, convened by her Primate (First Hierarch), in accordance
    with the Regulations [ Polozheniye ] of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
    Russia.

    4. The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
    elected by her Council of Bishops. This election is confirmed, in accordance
    with the norms of Canon Law, by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the
    Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    5. The name of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the name of the
    First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are
    commemorated during divine services in all churches of the Russian Orthodox
    Church Outside of Russia before the name of the ruling bishop in the
    prescribed order.

    6. Decisions on the establishment or liquidation of dioceses of the Russian
    Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are made by her Council of Bishops in
    agreement with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of
    the Russian Orthodox Church.

    7. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are elected by
    her Council of Bishops or, in cases foreseen by the Regulations of the Russian
    Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, by the Synod of Bishops. Such elections are
    confirmed in accordance with canonical norms by the Patriarch of Moscow and
    All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    8. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are members of
    the Local Council [ Pomestny Sobor ] and Council of Bishops [ Arkhiereiskij
    Sobor ] of the Russian Orthodox Church and also participate in the meetings of
    the Holy Synod in the prescribed order. Representatives of the clergy and
    laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia participate in the
    Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in the established manner.

    9. The supreme instances of ecclesiastical authority for the Russian Orthodox
    Church Outside of Russia are the Local Council and the Council of Bishops of
    the Russian Orthodox Church.

    10. Decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church extend to the
    Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with consideration of the
    particularities described by the present Act, by the Regulations of the
    Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and by the legislation of the
    nations in which she performs her ministry.

    11. Appeals on decisions of the supreme ecclesiastical court of the Russian
    Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are directed to the Patriarch of Moscow and
    All Russia.

    12. Amendments to the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
    Russia by her supreme legislative authority are subject to the confirmation of
    the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian
    Orthodox Church in such case as these changes bear a canonical character.

    13. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia receives her holy myrrh from
    the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

    By this Act, canonical communion within the Local Russian Orthodox Church is
    hereby restored.


    Acts issued previously which preclude the fullness of canonical communion are
    hereby deemed invalid or obsolete.


    The reestablishment of canonical communion will serve, God willing, towards
    the strengthening of the unity of the Church of Christ, of her witness in the
    contemporary world, promoting the fulfillment of the will of the Lord to
    "gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" (John
    11:52).

    Let us bring thanks to All-Merciful God, Who through His omnipotent hand
    directed us to the path of healing the wounds of division and led us to the
    desired unity of the Russian Church in the homeland and abroad, to the glory
    of His Holy Name and to the good of His Holy Church and Her faithful flock.
    Through the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, may the
    Lord grant His blessing to the One Russian Church and Her flock both in the
    fatherland and in the diaspora.
     
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    What wonderful news!
     
  3. Djamila

    Djamila Bosnjakinja

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    Congratulations, James!

    I'm trying to understand... does this basically correct a sort of relatively minor, mainly Communist-enforced 'schism', so to speak? By relatively minor, I mean the Churches weren't that different, not that the differences we're important - they obviously are very important to you.

    It's nice to see #2, "That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property, and civil
    matters, existing at the same time in canonical unity with the Fullness of the
    Russian Orthodox Church." - you know my view on Russia and Russian politics - hehehe - so that's comforting to see.

    Again, congratulations!
     
  4. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    It wasn't a schism as such. ROCOR has always been in communion with the Serbian and Jerusalem Patriarchates, but their status has been rather a difficult one since the Bolshevik revolution. The Patriarch at the time told those outside Russia to form their own synod until such time as the communists fell, which is how ROCOR came about. The Patriarchate of Moscow then basically became infiltrated by the KGB and many of the heirarchs compromised with the State (though many were also martyred). Most churches supported Moscow nonetheless (through fear of the Soviet Union more tha anything else, I'm afraid to say) and this lead a lot of ill feeling between Moscow and ROCOR which has meant that it has taken much longer than it should have done for the two to be reunited since the fall of the USSR. God willing, that period is now at an end, or will be once the act is formally signed next year.

    I think you'd be quite surprised by just how Russian ROCOR is. Certainly in the west I often get the feeling that ROCOR parishes are more Russian than their MP equivalents. This is particularly obvious in England, where the Sourozh diocese of the MP was rather controversial. In fact there are also some ROCOR parishes within Russia, which they planted there in opposition to the soviets. It's my understanding that, in the long run, ROCOR is likely to become the synod for Russians outside Russia and the MP for those inside, which would involve certain parishes moving from one to the other. Both synods, however, will be under the omophorion of the Patriarch of Moscow.

    There are two main ways in which this might have a personal effect on me. Firstly, it'll be much easier to explain who ROCOR are to enquirers. Secondly, and more importantly, I might be able to see the day when relationships that I have tried to foster between my parish and that of a ROCOR priest who was extremely helpful to me after my conversion become much more formal and direct. I would love to see the day that our two priests can concelebrate a Liturgy as both men have been such a strong influence on me.

    James
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    If you have time, please explain why this could not happen now....send me a PM if you'd like.

    S
     
  6. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Orthodox priests may only concelebrate with those priests who belong to other churches with which they are in communion. ROCOR is not in communion with the Romanian church because our Holy Synod went with the majority of Orthodox churches in ceasing to be in communion with that part of the Russian Church that Moscow considered schismatic (as I said, this was mainly political, but understandable given the realities of living next door to such a beligerent giant). If Moscow reenters communion with ROCOR then Romania (and everyone else) will almost certainly follow suit immediately. It will be an extermely happy day as far as I am concerned.

    James
     
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  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I get you now... thanks.

    I pray that day comes soon... as well as the day we can all be in communion together.

    S
     
  8. Djamila

    Djamila Bosnjakinja

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    Thanks for the explanation, James! I hope you get what you want from all this!

    The whole structure of Christian Churches really fascinates me. It's not completely foreign to me, I'm sure those who know anything about Bosnian Islam are aware it has a heirarchial structure similar to Christian Churches - with a Chief Ulema (Pope) leading Dzemat Imams (Cardinals), who are responsible for regions and all their Mosques, Imams, and Worshippers. So I understand the structure of Christian Churches, but it still fascinates me, really.
     
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