2006-06-14 11:38:00

Russian Church: Bishop Basil Osborn’s move to Constantinople’s jurisdiction invalid as he is still her bishop

Moscow, June 14, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church deemed the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople that the former administrator of the Diocese of Sourozh, Bishop Basil Osborn, ‘be accepted into its jurisdiction’ as ‘canonically invalid’.

The Synod’s resolution of June 13 states 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’.

This letter of release, the Holy Synod pointed out, had not been granted to Bishop Basil, nor could it be issued since no request for it came from the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In the absence of such release, the Synod emphasized, Bishop Basil ‘remains a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in retirement till his case is fully considered’.

In this connection, it was decided to summon Bishop Basil to Holy Synod meeting to take place on July 17, 2006, and to examine the situation in which the Church of Constantinople made her decision and only after all this ‘to make a judgment on the merit of the case’.