2007-03-29 15:24:00

Canonical conflict over Bishop Basil Osborn’s going over to Constantinople settled - Metropolitan Kirill

Moscow, March 29, Interfax - The problem over Bishop Basil Osborn’s moving to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been canonically settled completely, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the department for external church relations, told journalists commenting on the Holy Synod’s decision of March 27.

‘The problem arose because Bishop Basil went over to Constantinople illegally, without any request from Constantinople and without any consent from the Moscow Patriarchate. Now Constantinople has requested his documents, which customarily include a letter of release. This means that the Moscow Patriarchate has granted Bishop Basil a canonical leave’, Metropolitan Kirill explained as cited by Blagovest-Info on Thursday.

Thus, he added, the resolution of this ‘canonical misunderstanding’ is a result of the meeting held in winter in Geneva between a delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and a delegation of the Russian Church led by the DECR chairman.

‘We let Bishop Basil go. Now he will legally represent the Church of Constantinople. It will be possible to concelebrate with him’, Metropolitan Kirill said.