EPISTLE OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS to the Clergy and Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you”(John 14:27).

Having gathered in an expanded session of the Synod of Bishops as we approach the feast day of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City, we, the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, warmly greet the clergymen and God-loving flock with the all-diaspora celebration of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”, the “Protectress” of the Russian diaspora.

We are approaching the centennial of the founding of the Russian Church Abroad, which continues to minister to its flock, scattered like Divine kernels of wheat throughout the world. Over the course of that time, the work of its Councils, the sessions of its Synod of Bishops, important ecclesiastical-social gatherings and various Church celebrations have all taken place under the auspices of the Kursk-Root Icon. This miracle-working image has accompanied Russian refugees fleeing cruel persecutors who dared to desecrate or destroy the holy sites of our Fatherland, murder archpastors, pastors and a multitude of believers, including the Royal Passion-bearers. The hundredth anniversary of the martyrdom of the latter was prayerfully marked in all the dioceses of our Church this year.

To our profound sorrow, a new threat to the Church of Christ has arisen in connection with the pretensions to global jurisdiction of the Hierarchy of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The Patriarch of Constantinople and his supporters now reject the commonly-accepted concept held by the Orthodox Church of its status with regard to relations to other Local Churches as “first among equals,” attempting to demonstrate that his position must be seen as “first without equals.” Based on this erroneous and anti-canonical concept, the Patriarch of Constantinople deems it possible to intervene in the internal life of any of the Local Orthodox Churches, violating the principle of sobornost’ [collegiality] which has guided the Church since Apostolic times. Unfortunately, the present claims by the Constantinople Patriarch on the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are not the first example of the violation by Constantinople of the unity and sobornost’ of the Orthodox Church. As early as 1923, the Constantinople Patriarchate unilaterally rent asunder the unity of Orthodox Christians with the introduction of the so-called “new calendar,” which upset joint prayer and the Liturgical life of the Church.

The Russian Church Abroad especially poignantly grieves over current events in the Ukrainian land, considering her historical genesis from the Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Administration in the south of Russia. Taking part in a Council of Bishops of the future Russian Church Abroad, which took place on November 6/19, 1920, on board the vessel “Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich,” were Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of Odessa, Archbishop Feofan (Bystrov) of Poltava and Bishop Veniamin (Fedchenkov) of Sevastopol, who held sees in the territory of today’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Additionally, among the eminent hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were many who were closely bound with the Ukrainian lands: the respected head of the publishing brotherhood of Pochaev Lavra, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who continued his missionary work abroad; and St John (Maximovich), who shared the name of his great ancestor, Metropolitan John the Miracle-worker of Tobolsk, who was born in the Kharkov region and graduated from the Poltava Cadet Corps and Kharkov University, together with many other renowned archpastors.

Grieving profoundly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and her much-suffering people, we cannot help but remember the words of the Apostle: “Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Considering the sorrowful events connected with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which have taken place with the aid of the powers of this world, the Synod of Bishops declares its full support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the archpastors, pastors and flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and expresses its agreement with all the decisions of her Council of Bishops of November of this year. Praying fervently before the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, we fraternally join ourselves to the collegial prayers of the canonical Church of Ukraine for her Primate, who this year humbly marks the 28th anniversary of his archpastoral service, earnestly wishing His Beatitude firm health, boldness of spirit and the all-powerful aid of God.

The faithful of the Russian Church Abroad are disturbed not only by the aforementioned events, but with the continuing internecine war in which Orthodox Christians on both sides of the conflict dividing Ukraine are dying. Also, military actions continue in Syria and other parts of the world, and the news is replete with reports of terrible natural disasters, fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes which threaten thousands of human lives and leave many homeless. We must combine our fervent prayers for all the dead, the victims and their relatives with assistance to our neighbors to the best of our ability.

Let us remember that the Lord warned us about how we must regard calamities that befall us, saying: “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

For “God is with us!” And if a person not only believes in God but trusts the Right Hand of the Almighty, and in His guidance, then he will always be at peace.

We invoke upon all of you Divine blessings in these days which are leading us to the celebration of the Nativity of Christ.

+ HILARION,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

+ MARK, 
Archbishop of Berlin and Germany,
Vice President of the Synod of Bishops.

+ KYRILL, 
Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America,
Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

+ GABRIEL, 
Archbishop of Montreal and Canada.

+ PETER. 
Archbishop of Chicago and Mid-America.

+ IRENEI,
Bishop of Richmond and Western Europe.

+ THEODOSIUS, 
Bishop of Seattle, Vicar of the Western American Diocese.

+ GEORGE,
Bishop of Canberra,
Vicar of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.

+ NICHOLAS, 
Bishop of Manhattan,
Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops,
Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.

November 27/December 10, 2018
Feast day of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”

Source in English

Dear readers,

This is one of the five free articles that you can read in their entirety.

To access the unlimited number of full articles, please:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Beside an anthology on Cistercian texts, Emma Cazabonne has translated and published articles on Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She converted to Orthodoxy in 2008. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

Orthodoxie.com Newsletter

Don't miss out on important news and updates. Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter.



Divider

Popular Posts

Atelier œcuménique de théologie (AOT) à Genève 109804

Une formation théologique ouverte à toutes et à tous

Littéramorphose rencontre Bertrand Vergely – vidéo 109772

Bertrand Vergely, sur l’invitation de Littéramorphose, a présente le 15 juin dernier son dernier livre Notre vie a un sens !, publié chez « A...

Messages pour la fête de la Pentecôte 109765

En ligne : les messages pour la fête de la Pentecôte du métropolite Joseph et de l’archevêque Jean de Charioupolis.

Recension: « Un prophète de la beauté incréée, le moine Grégoire (Kroug) »: le catalogue de l’exp... 109667

À l’occasion de l’exposition des icônes du moine Grégoire Kroug au Centre culturel orthodoxe russe du quai Branly, un magnifique catalogue intitulé...

Les Éditions Apostolia 109724

Mgr Joseph présente “Apostolia“, la maison d’édition de la Métropole orthodoxe roumaine d’Europe occidentale et méridionale.

June 3 (old calendar) / June 16 (new)  Living with the Church 109742

June 3 (old calendar) / June 16 (new)  8th SUNDAY OF PASCHA — Tone 7 Holy Pentecost: Feast of the Holy Trinity Martyr Lucillian and those who suffe...

June 16  Living with the Church 109740

June 16 8th SUNDAY OF PASCHA — Tone 7 Holy Pentecost: Feast of the Holy Trinity St. Tychon (Tikhon, Tycho), Bishop of Amathus in Cyprus (4th-5th c....

3 juin (ancien calendrier) / 16 juin (nouveau) 109738

3 juin (ancien calendrier) / 16 juin (nouveau)  PENTECÔTE Saint Lucillien, sainte Paule, vierge, et les 4 enfants saints Claude, Hypatios, Paul et ...

16 juin 109736

16 juin Saint Tikhon, évêque d’Amathonte en Chypre (vers 450) ; saint Ferréol, prêtre, et saint Ferréol, prêtre, et ses compagnons, martyrs à...

Le métropolite de France Emmanuel (Patriarcat œcuménique) ignorait que l’un de ses concélébrants ... 109733

Le directeur du bureau du Patriarcat œcuménique pour les relations publiques a déclaré que le métropolite Emmanuel ignorait qu’un prêtre de « l’Ég...

Pèlerinage de la Fraternité des médecins orthodoxes 109727

Le traditionnel pèlerinage de la Fraternité des médecins orthodoxes Saint-Luc de Crimée au monastère Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Protection, à Bussy en Oth...

Vient de paraître: Alexandre Schmemann, « Les fondements de la culture russe » 109704

Les Fondements de la culture russe regroupe l’ensemble des émissions données par le père Alexandre Schmemann sur Radio Liberté en direction de la R...