Sunday, August 07, 2005

Representatives of the MP and ROCOR(L) hold another round of discussions

(Interfax - Vertograd, Moscow)

“Problems of an ecclesiastical/canonical nature” were the subjects of the fifth round of discussions on the unification of the ROCOR(L) and the Moscow Patriarchate. The meetings of the “unity committees” took place in Moscow July 26-28.

In particular, under discussion were the ecclesiastical status of several clergymen, the structure of certain establishments of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia located on the “canonical territory” of the Moscow Patriarchate, and relations between the ROCOR and church groups in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria not in communion with their official Local Churches.

In the words of one representative of the Dept. for External Ecclesiastical Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Archpriest Nicholas Balashov, questions of a practical nature were also looked at, concerning relations between parishes in dioceses belonging to the ROCOR and the MP in countries with Russian emigrants.

As was explained to reporters by Archpriest Nicholas Artemov, ROCOR(L) member of the committee, clergy belonging to the ROCOR(L) inside Russia will be transferred to the MP after the unification; however, during the “transitional period” they will be administered by Bishop Evtikhy (Kurochkin), who will become a vicar bishop of Patriarch Alexis II. In turn the “Lavr-ites” have suggested that the MP parishes abroad should be transferred to the corresponding dioceses of the ROCOR(L), but the leadership of the MP categorically refuses to look at that question.

At the invitation of Archimandrite Tikhon, the local head of the Presentation Monastery in Moscow, the members of both commissions traveled to Ryazan province, where the St. Seraphim Skete of Presentation Monastery is situated.