12 May 2006, 10:27
All-Diaspora Council favors unification with Moscow Patriarchate
San Francisco, May 12, Interfax - The majority of delegates to the IV All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia has voted for a resolution expressing determination to heal the wounds of the division of the Russian Church.
The resolution of the council under way in San Francisco also voices hope that "the unity of the Russian Church will be restored on the basis of the truth of Christ offering us the possibility to serve together."
The delegates found it necessary to confirm the future canonical status of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia as a self-governing part of the Russian Church in compliance with its current regulations.
At the same time they indicated that the involvement of the Moscow Patriarchate in the activities of the World Council of Churches is troubling the clergy and parishioners.
The delegates hoped that the coming Local Council of the unified Russian Church will settle the issues that remain open.
The Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia was established during the civil war by Russian clergymen in emigration under an edict of Patriarch Tikhon who headed the Russian Church in those days.
Presently it unites about half a million believers living in over 30 countries outside of Russia.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union head of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Patriarch Alexy II made several calls to the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia to start the unification process in the belief that the obstacles to the unification had disappeared.
In May 2004 he had his first meeting with the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia Metropolitan Laurus and they decided to work for the unification of the two parts of the Russian Church.
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