Wednesday, January 19, 2005

ROCOR (L) NEWS. Bishop Michael (Donskoff) Holds Joint Prayer Service with Metropolitan of Moscow Patriarchate

(Vertograd: St. Petersburg)

Joint public prayers were held by Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlerov) of the Moscow Patriarchate and Bishop Michael (Donskoff) of Boston, the Vicar of the Eastern- American Diocese of ROCOR (L) before the holy relics of the New Martyr and Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara, which were brought to the City-on-the-Neva by Bishop Michael on January 16. The sharing and common veneration of the relics of the Holy-New-Martyrs in the region of Russia and CIS member-states is the first joint program between the MP and the ROCOR (L), blessed by their first-hierarchs as a "step towards the union of the two churches".

MP-Bishop Vladimir, the Metropolitan of St Petersburg and Ladoga, is noted for his ecumenical and modernist views, which he has repeatedly and openly expressed. For his ecumenical activity he was awarded by Catholics in Poland with a medal and monetary compensation, known as the "Holy Brother Albert's award", in February, 2000. During the award ceremony, which took place remotely through the Polish Consulate in Petersburg, the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Yezhe Skotarik, stated that "Poland's Council on Ecumenism adopted the decision about the presentation of a medal and a the award of the Holy Brother Albert to Metropolitan Vladimir for ecumenical activity and for efforts in his work for Christian unity." At the moment of the awards presentation, the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate sang "axios" ("worthy!") to their Bishop. In his reply, Metropolitan Vladimir thanked those being present for the award for what he considered a "modest contribution to the cause of Christian unity".

The previous award of St Albert was was bestowed an another Bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate - Metropolitan Kyrill (Gundayev) of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, with whom Bishop Michael of ROCOR (L) will have the opportunity to pray during the transfer of the holy relics to Moscow this trip.