12 May 2006, 10:31
Moscow Patriarchate welcomes the decision of the 4th All-Diaspora Council to reunite with the Church in the Fatherland (updated)
Moscow, May 21, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate welcomes the decision of the 4th All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Church Outside of Russia to restore unity with the Church in the Fatherland. The decision was carried by the majority.
‘We welcome the 4th All-Diaspora Council delegates resolution opening the door to quick overcoming of the schism between the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church that lasted for over eight decades,’ secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Commission for dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia archpriest Nikolay Balashov told Interfax on Friday.
He also noted that the restoration of unity was of tremendous spiritual significance for the Russian Church.
The interviewee is convinced that ‘having one Church, Russia would be stronger, wherever its children live. The unity of the Church is needed for our national revival and for rooting those spiritual values in the Motherland by which the Civil War time emigrants stood by ’.
He remarked that when the Church has regained its freedom in the early 1990s, ‘when the revival of church life earlier chained by stifling limits began,’ many people had expected the reunion with the church abroad soon to follow.
According to Rev. Nikolay, there are practical, ecclesiastical and canonical problems to be resolved. These include, for example, the ROCOR parishes on the territory of the Moscow Patriarchate, mostly in Russia and Ukraine, and the situation of certain clergymen. ‘However, they could be solved in the near future, as the principle approach to their solution has been outlined’, he noted.
The All-Diaspora Council’s resolution says that the ROCOR would retain its current canonical status as a self-governing part within the one Russian Church. Proper relation of this part of the church to the Moscow Patriarchate and its Primate would be restored in accordance with the canons.