Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: long road to reunification with Moscow Patriarchate

An extended pastoral conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia devoted to ways of achieving rapprochement with the Moscow Patriarchate is to wind up on Friday in Nyack (state of New York).

Gathered in the town, more than 150 clergymen from five continents are to approve a resolution with recommendations for a council of bishops of the Church which opens on December 13.

Metropolitan Laurus, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, told the conference that Russian people wherever they may live must "unite around Orthodoxy". He advocated "communication and concelebration" with the Moscow Patriarchate, but emphasized that improvement of relations does not mean "self-liquidation" of the Church outside of Russia.

Protopriest Alexander Lebedev, rector of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, who chaired the meetings, remarked that discussions proceeded in a constructive spirit and "although different points of view were expressed, none of the participants called in question the need for dialogue with the Church in homeland and spiritual communication with the Russian people.

"For all the diversity of opinions, which have been heard at this conference, there is one central thing: we all realize that we represent one Russian Orthodox Church," Archimandrite Tikhon, who represented the Moscow Patriarchate at the conference, said in a RIA Novosti interview.

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