2006-06-15 10:08:00

The Russian Orthodox Holy Synod’s decision on the Bishop's Basil (Osborn) case

The Holy Synod meeting chaired by the Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia

CONSIDERED: the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Holy Synod on admission of the Right Rev. Bishop Basil (Osborn) to its jurisdiction.

NOTE: The Patriarchate of Constantinople Holy Synod circulated on June 8, 2006, a report on the admission of the Right Rev. Bishop Basil, formerly of Sergievsk, into the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and his appointment as vicar of the Most Rev. Archbishop Gabriel of Comana with the title of Bishop of Amphipolos within the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe, ‘so that he may take pastoral care of those Orthodox living in Great Britain who wish to be under the jurisdiction of the Exarchate’.

RESOLVED:

1) that the action of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Holy Synod to accept in its jurisdiction the Right Rev. Bishop Basil without his obtaining a letter of release and without a preliminary notice to be given to the Supreme Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church be considered to be canonically invalid as violating Apostolic Canons 33 of the First Ecumenical Council, 6 of the Second Ecumenical Council, 2 of the Third Ecumenical Council, 8 of the Council of Carthage, and 15 of the Twice-Held Council and that a special judgment be made on the merit of the case after all the circumstances of this decision have been examined.

2) Note be made that the issue of a letter of release is a necessary condition for a canonically valid move to the jurisdiction of another Local Orthodox Church and that, since such a letter of release has not been granted to the Right Rev. Bishop Basil (and could not be granted as no request for it came from the Supreme Authority of the Patriarchate of Constantinople), Bishop Basil remain a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in retirement until his case is fully considered and that, in this connection, the Right Rev. Bishop Basil (Osborn) be summoned to the Holy Synod meeting to take place on July 17, 2006.


June 12, 2006