Moscow Patriarchate responded to the publication of our Portal on "tough negotiations" with the Parisians in Vienna

The Moscow Patriarchate is ready to change its charter for the sake of compatriots
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Credo.press reported on June 25 that 4 days earlier in Vienna, Metropolitan Anthony (Sevruk), Bishop Savva (Tutunov) and Archpriest Nikolai Balashov urged Archbishop Ioann (Rennetto) to transfer the Russian Archbishop in Paris to the ROC MP.

Negotiations are continuing between Moscow and the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe regarding the entry of parishes of the Russian tradition under the omophorion of the patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. ROC is ready to make concessions. In particular, change your charter. NG managed to get the first official comment from representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate in all seven months of the negotiation process.

The charter of the Russian Orthodox Church will be changed if the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe accepts the proposal of Patriarch Cyril. About this in a conversation with “NG” said one of the participants in the negotiating commission with the parishes of the Russian tradition of the ROC, Deputy Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Bishop Savva (Tutunov). The Bishop also clarified the details of the meeting, which took place on June 21 in Vienna and which was attended by Archbishop John of Hariupol (Rennette) with two other representatives of the Western European Archdiocese. The ROC was the patriarchal exarch of Western Europe, Metropolitan Anthony (Sevruk), the vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov and Bishop Savva (Tutunov).

“Our main principle, which was laid by Patriarch Cyril and which we adhere to, is that the Moscow Patriarchate is ready to accept the Archdiocese completely in the control system that now exists there. That is, the statute of the archdiocese will operate within the framework of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church will have a new education, which is not yet provided by our charter. But some amendments will be made to the charter, providing for the existence of such an archdiocese with a special form of government. Similarly, for example, the charter of the Russian Orthodox Church until May 17, 2007 did not provide for the existence of such a management system as is in the Church Abroad. But after signing the act of canonical communication between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), the Bishops’ Council in the summer of 2008 made the necessary amendments to the charter in accordance with the new reality of the existence of the ROCOR as part of the Moscow Patriarchate. It will be the same here. If the canonical connection of the Moscow Patriarchate with the Archdiocese is restored, then in accordance with the framework of its existence, amendments will be made to the charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, ”Tutunov emphasized.

Recall that on November 27, 2018, the Constantinople (Ecumenical) Patriarch Bartholomew withdrew Tomos, according to which the Archdiocese had a separate territorial and legal status of the Exarchate, that is, eliminated it. February 23, this year in Paris, the General Assembly of the clergy of the parishes of the Russian tradition took place, where by a majority of votes (93%) it was decided not to comply with the decision of Fanar and to preserve the archdiocese at any cost. Among the options that are being considered now is to return under the omofor of the Moscow Patriarch. On December 12, 2018, Patriarch Kirill sent a letter to the head of the former Exarchate, Archbishop John (Renneto), in which he promised to preserve the integrity of the Archdiocese.

Tutunov also explained that the meeting on June 21, which was held in Vienna, is not the first and not the only one. The web has information that the last conversation was very tough. “The conversation was not simple, but it was not harsh,” assured NG another participant in the negotiations in Vienna, Archpriest John Gate, vice-president of the Archdiocese Council. – He was serious and responsible. We really had to explain and decide in which order we should act. ” According to the representative of the archdiocese, after the meeting, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov really asked if financial assistance was needed for those who find it difficult to attend the assembly, and was therefore interested in whether lists of its members already exist. According to a statement issued in June by the Russian Orthodox parish in Biarritz, not all parishes have enough funds and therefore some clerics for financial reasons could not attend the pastoral meeting of the Archdiocese, which took place in Paris on May 11. “To this we replied that the lists are not yet ready, but they refused from financial assistance. But neither rudeness nor offers of bribery was not. Everything was very polite and serious. We understand that the moment is very important and historical, at least for us. And I think they understand this in the Russian Church. After all, the decision depends on the vote of the assembly, and not the personal desire of Archbishop John (Renneto. – “NG”) or two or three people from the commission, so we must now speak and clarify all points and get certain guarantees and conditions, ”said John Gate . “To this we replied that the lists are not yet ready, but they refused from financial assistance. But neither rudeness nor offers of bribery was not. Everything was very polite and serious. We understand that the moment is very important and historical, at least for us. And I think they understand this in the Russian Church. After all, the decision depends on the vote of the assembly, and not the personal desire of Archbishop John (Renneto. – “NG”) or two or three people from the commission, so we must now speak and clarify all points and get certain guarantees and conditions, ”said John Gate . “To this we replied that the lists are not yet ready, but they refused from financial assistance. But neither rudeness nor offers of bribery was not. Everything was very polite and serious. We understand that the moment is very important and historical, at least for us. And I think they understand this in the Russian Church. After all, the decision depends on the vote of the assembly, and not the personal desire of Archbishop John (Renneto. – “NG”) or two or three people from the commission, so we must now speak and clarify all points and get certain guarantees and conditions, ”said John Gate .

“This time it was more about the wording of the future document, thanks to which the Archdiocese will be able to restore canonical communication with Moscow. The Archdiocese will continue to exist with its charter – liturgical, managerial, and its pastoral features, ”Tutunov confirmed. He added that the conversation took place with the knowledge of the Council of the Archdiocese, who at one time formed the negotiating commission with Moscow. In addition to Renneto, it included John Gate and Archpriest Theodore van der Voort, a member of the Council of the Archdiocese.

The next General Assembly of the parishes of the Russian tradition is scheduled for September 7. “The dialogue with Vladyka John is being conducted, it is very intense, as is usually the case in such a situation,” Tutunov noted. “After a separate existence of almost 90 years, the dialogue should be deep and constructive. We hope that the Archdiocese will be determined in September. But the decision will depend entirely on the assembly, and the Moscow Patriarchate cannot influence it in any way, ”the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church concluded.

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About the Author

Jivko Panev

Jivko Panev

Jivko Panev, maître de conférence en Droit canon et Histoire des Églises locales à l’Institut de théologie orthodoxe Saint Serge à Paris, recteur de la paroisse Notre Dame Souveraine, à Chaville en banlieue parisienne.

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