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Steve Hayes

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Nov 1, 2006, 11:46:27 PM11/1/06
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01 November 2006, 12:45

Act of Canonical Communion

We, the humble Alexy II, by God's mercy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,
jointly with the Eminent Members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox
Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, having gathered at a meeting of the Holy
Synod (date) in the God-preserved city of Moscow; and the humble Laurus,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, jointly with the Eminent Bishops, members
of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
having gathered (time, place);

Being guided by the effort towards reestablishing blessed peace,
Divinely-decreed love, and brotherly unity in the common work in the
harvest-fields of God within the Fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church and
her faithful in the Fatherland and abroad, taking into consideration the
ecclesiastical life of the Russian diaspora outside the canonical borders of
the Moscow Patriarchate, as dictated by history;

Taking into account that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
performs its service on the territories of many nations;

By this Act declare:

1. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, conducting its salvific
service in the dioceses, parishes, monasteries, brotherhoods, and other
ecclesiastical bodies that were formed through history, remains an
indissoluble part of the Local Russian Orthodox Church.

2. That the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is independent in
pastoral, educational, administrative, management, property, and civil
matters, existing at the same time in canonical unity with the Fullness of the
Russian Orthodox Church.

3. The supreme ecclesiastical, legislative, administrative, judicial and
controlling authority in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is her
Council of Bishops, convened by her Primate (First Hierarch), in accordance
with the Regulations [ Polozheniye ] of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
Russia.

4. The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is
elected by her Council of Bishops. This election is confirmed, in accordance
with the norms of Canon Law, by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the
Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

5. The name of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the name of the
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are
commemorated during divine services in all churches of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia before the name of the ruling bishop in the
prescribed order.

6. Decisions on the establishment or liquidation of dioceses of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are made by her Council of Bishops in
agreement with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of
the Russian Orthodox Church.

7. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are elected by
her Council of Bishops or, in cases foreseen by the Regulations of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, by the Synod of Bishops. Such elections are
confirmed in accordance with canonical norms by the Patriarch of Moscow and
All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

8. The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are members of
the Local Council [ Pomestny Sobor ] and Council of Bishops [ Arkhiereiskij
Sobor ] of the Russian Orthodox Church and also participate in the meetings of
the Holy Synod in the prescribed order. Representatives of the clergy and
laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia participate in the
Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in the established manner.

9. The supreme instances of ecclesiastical authority for the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia are the Local Council and the Council of Bishops of
the Russian Orthodox Church.

10. Decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church extend to the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with consideration of the
particularities described by the present Act, by the Regulations of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and by the legislation of the
nations in which she performs her ministry.

11. Appeals on decisions of the supreme ecclesiastical court of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are directed to the Patriarch of Moscow and
All Russia.

12. Amendments to the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of
Russia by her supreme legislative authority are subject to the confirmation of
the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian
Orthodox Church in such case as these changes bear a canonical character.

13. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia receives her holy myrrh from
the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

By this Act, canonical communion within the Local Russian Orthodox Church is
hereby restored.

Acts issued previously which preclude the fullness of canonical communion are
hereby deemed invalid or obsolete.

The reestablishment of canonical communion will serve, God willing, towards
the strengthening of the unity of the Church of Christ, of her witness in the
contemporary world, promoting the fulfillment of the will of the Lord to
"gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad" (John
11:52).

Let us bring thanks to All-Merciful God, Who through His omnipotent hand
directed us to the path of healing the wounds of division and led us to the
desired unity of the Russian Church in the homeland and abroad, to the glory
of His Holy Name and to the good of His Holy Church and Her faithful flock.
Through the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, may the
Lord grant His blessing to the One Russian Church and Her flock both in the
fatherland and in the diaspora.


--
The unworthy deacon,
Stephen Methodius Hayes
Contact: http://hayesfam.bravehost.com/stevesig.htm
Orthodox mission pages: http://www.orthodoxy.faithweb.com/

jmd

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Nov 2, 2006, 4:57:56 AM11/2/06
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Steve Hayes wrote:
>
> 01 November 2006, 12:45
>
> Act of Canonical Communion
>
> We, the humble Alexy II, by God's mercy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,

interesting, thank you - could I please have the URL, so I can put it from the page to
French?

thank you!

jm

jmd

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Nov 2, 2006, 5:00:00 AM11/2/06
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I'm quite late : it's already done in French :-)

http://egliserusse.typepad.fr/chersonese/2006/11/document_acte_d.html

jm

AGGreen

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Nov 2, 2006, 7:54:16 PM11/2/06
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http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2006/11ensummation.html

COLOGNE, GERMANY: November 1, 2006
Summation of the Joint Work of the Commissions of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate

Concluding the eighth joint meeting of the Commissions and summarizing its
work, it is worth noting the path traveled, beginning with the meeting
between His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and His
Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia, in Moscow in May 2004. It was then that the Commissions
were charged with preparing the documents needed to reestablish canonical
communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Church Abroad.

The path towards dialog was opened by fundamental changes in the life of the
Orthodox Church in Russia: ruined churches and monasteries are being
rebuilt, parish life and spiritual education are returning to normal, more
and more people are coming to the Orthodox faith. Orthodox Christians in
Russia and abroad are children of one Mother Church, heirs of a great
spiritual tradition, cognizant of the artificiality of continuing division.
Meetings among clergymen and laypersons, joint conferences, contact on the
diocesan and parish level have helped destroy old stereotypes and
prejudices, steering mutual relations onto a constructive track and
preparing the groundwork for dialog on the hierarchical level.

The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church of 2000, which
glorified the host of New Martyrs of Russia and adopted a series of other
important positions of principle, was an event that laid the foundation for
the irreversible movement towards unity. The Acts of that Council evoked a
positive response from the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad
held the following October. A series of practical measures were subsequently
taken towards rapprochement.

Finally, in the bright Paschal days of 2004, at the invitation of His
Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, a delegation of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus visited Russia.

After a common prayer over the relics of the holy martyrs on the plain of
Butovo, where tens of thousands of Orthodox Christians gave their lives for
Christ, it became apparent that the time had come "to overcome the tragic
division of our people, which arose as a result of the revolution and civil
war, and the desire to achieve the reestablishment of Eucharistic communion
and canonical unity within one Local Russian Orthodox Church, an
indissoluble part of which the Russian Church Abroad always sensed itself.
Our goal," states the document adopted during Metropolitan Laurus' visit,
"is to draw nearer that day when with one mouth and one heart we might
glorify God."

For the sake of eliminating obstacles to full church communion, His Holiness
Patriarch Alexy and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus called upon the flock
to pray fervently for the blessed success of the path taken. The negotiating
Commissions established by decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian
Orthodox Church and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia were given instructions to "develop a common understanding
on the following matters, based on the historical experience of the Russian
Church and the problems facing the Church today:

a.. "The principles of the relationship between the Church and state in
accordance with the teachings of the Church;
b.. "The principles of the relationship between the Orthodox Church and
heterodox communities and inter-confessional organizations in accordance
with Church traditions;
c.. "The status of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as a
self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church;
d.. "The canonical conditions for the establishment of Eucharistic
communion."
Over the course of eight joint meetings of the Commissions, held in Moscow,
Munich, Paris, New York and Cologne since June 2004 through October 2006, a
series of documents were prepared expressing a common understanding of these
matters of principle. All of these documents have now been approved by the
Hierarchies of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia.

The document "On the Relationship Between the Church and State," declares:
"The Church is called upon to exert spiritual influence on the state and its
citizens, to confess Christ, to defend the moral foundations of society. By
interacting with the state for the good of the people, the Church, however,
cannot assume civil functions for itself. The state must not interfere in
the inner structure, administration or life of the Church. The Church must
support all good initiatives of the state, but must resist evil, immorality
and harmful social phenomena and always firmly confess the Truth, and when
persecutions commence, to continue to openly witness the faith and be
prepared to follow the path of confessors and martyrs for Christ."

These principles, upon which the Russian Church establishes its relationship
with the state, were actually adopted earlier, at the Council of Bishops of
the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000, the Council that glorified the New
Martyrs of Russia. This Council of Bishops declared: "The Church remains
loyal to the state, but God's commandment to fulfill the task of salvation
in any situation and under any circumstances is above this loyalty... If the
authority forces Orthodox believers to apostatize from Christ and His Church
and to commit sinful and spiritually harmful actions, the Church should
refuse to obey the state."

The "Commentary" to the document "On the Relationship Between Church and
State" was devoted to reaching an understanding of events in the history of
the Church in the 20 th century in light of this concept.

The Commissions studied the viewpoints of the relationships of the Orthodox
Church to other confessions that had developed in the Moscow Patriarchate
and in the Church Abroad. Despite variations stemming from different
circumstances in church life, both sides unanimously declared:

"The Russian Orthodox Church strictly adheres to the teaching set forth in
the Creed that the Church of Christ is one...

"A condition of the Orthodox Church's participation in inter-confessional
organizations, including the World Council of Churches, is the rejection of
religious syncretism. Orthodox Christians insist on their right to freely
confess their faith in the Orthodox Church as the One Holy Universal and
Apostolic Church without conceding the so-called 'branch theory' and
definitively reject any attempts to dilute Orthodox ecclesiology.

"The Orthodox Church excludes any possibility of liturgical communion with
the non-Orthodox. In particular, it is considered impermissible for Orthodox
to participate in liturgical actions connected with so-called ecumenical or
inter-confessional religious services... In general, the Church should
determine the forms of interaction with the heterodox on a conciliar basis,
stemming from its teachings, canonical discipline and ecclesiastical
expediency" ("On the Attitude of the Orthodox Church Towards the Heterodox
and Towards Inter-Confessional Organizations").

With regard to actual manifestations of such relations, the document states
the following: "[T]he possibility of cooperation with the heterodox is not
excluded, for example, in helping the unfortunate and by defending the
innocent, in joint resistance to immorality, and in participating in
charitable and educational projects. It may be appropriate to participate in
socially meaningful ceremonies in which other confessions are represented.
In addition, dialog with the non-Orthodox remains necessary to witness
Orthodoxy to them, to overcome prejudices and to disprove false opinions.
Yet it is not proper to smooth over or obscure the actual differences
between Orthodoxy and other confessions."

Within such limits in the relationship with the heterodox, it is clear that
the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the World Council of
Churches does not have ecclesiological significance. The Moscow Patriarchate
views this organization as nothing more than a forum, since the Church as
the Body of Christ by her very nature cannot be a part of a heterodox
organism. This position is unequivocally expressed by the Council of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church of 2000 in the "Basic Principles of the
Russian Orthodox Church's Attitude to the Non-Orthodox."

The most important of all the documents drafted by the Commissions was the
"Act of Canonical Communion," which was considered by the Council of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church, the IV All-Diaspora Council and Council of
Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and finally
approved by the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Synod of
Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The "Act on Canonical Communion" recognizes the independence of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in pastoral, educational, administrative,
management, property and civil matters. Its Council of Bishops is preserved;
moreover, her bishops, clerygmen and laity become full-fledged participants
in the Local Council [ Pomestny Sobor ] of the Russian Orthodox Church; and
her bishops also participate in her Council of Bishops and Holy Synod in the
established order. Decisions of the Local Council and Council of Bishops of
the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy Synod extend to the Russian Church
Abroad, yet with consideration of her Regulations [ Polozheniye ] and of her
circumstances in the diaspora.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Synod of Bishops of
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia accepted proposals of the
Commissions on the status of clergymen who had gone from one jurisdiction to
another and were under canonical suspension, and also on parishes of the
Church Abroad on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate. The
hierarchies of both sides affirmed that these problems must be resolved on
the basis of Holy Canons and in the spirit of love and oikonomia .

Where necessary, in the parishes of the Russian Church Abroad, in that same
spirit of oikonomia and at the discretion of the local ruling bishop, a
five-year transitional period may be established with special liturgical
commemoration.

The Hierarchies of both sides approved the proposal of the Commissions to
convene-following the adoption of the "Act of Canonical Communion"-a
conference of the archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church in the
countries of the diaspora, and confirmed a list of those topics which should
be discussed.

As we approach the end of the present stage of our work, the members of the
Commissions recognize that over the years of division, more than a few
questions have accumulated which require understanding and resolution. These
include interrelationships in diocesan and parish life abroad; Orthodox
mission; specifics in relationships with other faiths; agreement on the
celebration of newly-glorified saints; martyrologies, and clarifying the
titles of diocesan bishops. These and other ecclesio-canonical and pastoral
problems, and also the challenges which our difficult times will continue to
set before the Church, must be decided within a new phase in the life of the
Russian Church-with conciliar discussion. The hope for this was expressed by
the members of the IV All-Diaspora Council: "We hope that the forthcoming
Local Council of One Russian Church will settle remaining unresolved church
problems."

Cooperation between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia during the period of the Commissions' work was not limited
to the preparation of joint documents. Reciprocal visits by hierarchs,
clergymen and laypersons enhanced better understanding and the development
of fraternal relations. The holy relics of Holy Grand Duchess Elizaveta
Feodorovna and Nun Varvara from Gethsemane Convent of the Russian Church
Abroad in the Holy Land were brought to the territory of the Moscow
Patriarchate, and over a million worshipers venerated them.

The German Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad and the Stavropol Diocese of
the Moscow Patriarchate are together building a rehabilitation center for
the people of Beslan who suffered from terrorism.

The theological schools of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia have begun a student-exchange program.

Representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad
jointly participated in the return to Russia of the remains of Empress Maria
Feodorovna, General A.I. Denikin and the philosopher I. A. Ilyin.

The unfolding of dialog drew a great deal of attention both in Russia and
abroad. The Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Serbia and Bulgaria, the Holy Kinot
of Mount Athos, archpastors of Local Churches, monastics, social and civil
leaders have all sent letters and appeals to the hierarchy of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia expressing hope for the expedient
conclusion of the process of regaining unity.

The efforts of the Commissions were accompanied by the prayers of Orthodox
Christians in Russia and abroad who see in the desired unity the fulfillment
of the will of God. Through the prayers of our New Martyrs of Russia and of
the entire nation, may this, God's will, be done.

The feast day of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God
Cologne, October 13/26, 2006

Presidents of the Commissions:

Mark, Innokenty,
Archbishop of Berlin and Germany
Archbishop of Korsun


AGGreen

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Nov 2, 2006, 7:55:50 PM11/2/06
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http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_addendum.html

Addendum to the Act of Canonical Communion

The Act of Canonical Communion goes into effect upon its confirmation by the
Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, on the basis of the decision of
the Holy Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church "On the
Relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia" (Moscow,
October 3-8, 2004); and by decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on the basis of the resolution "Regarding
the Act on Canonical Communion" of the Council of Bishops of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (San Francisco, May 15-19, 2006).

1. In accordance with the Act on Canonical Communion, certain addenda and
amendments are to be made to Chapter 8 of the Regulations [ Ustav ] of the
Russian Orthodox Church ("Self-governing Churches") and to the Regulations
[ Polozhenie ] of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

2. Acting in the spirit of ecclesiastical oikonomia , the Holy Synod of the
Russian Orthodox Church and the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia envision a five-year transition period for the full
regularization of the status of former parishes of the Russian Church Abroad
on the canonical territory of the Moscow Patriarchate, through their
entering into the jurisdiction of the local ruling bishops. Before this
period elapses, such parishes which are not on the territory of
Self-governing Churches have the opportunity to be under the protection of a
Vicar to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, who, with the blessing of
the Patriarch, may participate in the work of the Council of Bishops and
Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia by
invitation of her First Hierarch.

3. In the countries of the diaspora where parallel church structures exist,
including the Holy Land, both sides will, with proper pastoral discretion,
apply every effort to resolve problems hindering successful cooperation and
joint witness.


AGGreen

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Nov 2, 2006, 7:56:22 PM11/2/06
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"jmd" <dogg...@NoSpamsPlize-gmail.com> wrote in message
news:Usenet.tthctbbt@localhost...

http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/engdocuments/enmat_akt.html


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