Monday, November 07, 2005

The Rapprochment between ROCOR and the MP

This past summer saw the publication of a series of documents written in concert by committees, one of persons appointed by the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the jurisdiction in which I serve, and one of representatives appointed by the Church of Russia-Moscow Patriarchate (MP). The documents were approved by the Synod of Bishops of both ROCOR and the MP, and were simultanteously published by both. (The documents can be found at the web site of ROCOR.)

The documents address a variety of issues and questions that are involved with the proposal to establish eucharistic communion between ROCOR and the MP. The contents, as well as th eproposal in general, have had a varied reception. There are those who think that closer relations should already have been established; others who oppose closer relations, no matter what may be resolved, or remain unresolved, through the dialogues; those who don't know (or don't care) what happens; and those who are willing to allow the hierarchs of ROCOR make the decision, trusting that they will fulfill the ministry entrusted to them by God to serve as guides of the Church, and defenders of the faith. I would count myself in this last group: If our hierarchs say, "Go," we go; and if they say, "Not now," we don't go. It's that simple -- really!

It has sometimes been difficult to find a place where conversation about the questions and concerns that have been raised can take place. One such forum is a group at, called "Orthodox-Reunion." In the next several days, I intend to post here a series of articles that have been posted there (in whole or in part) that I have written to try to facilitate the discussion of some of the issues and concerns. The first will give a bit of background to the reason why the separation of ROCOR and the MP occurred, and what has transpired since 1917 that has caused some of the problems that await resolution to arise. Articles about ecumenism and "Sergianism" will follow.

It has always been my belief that we can best choose when we are as informed as possible. In the hope that these articles will help in that process, I post them here.