Resolution concerning the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
towards the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Hierarchal Council, having heard on October 4/17, 2000 the report of His Grace Bishop Eutychius about the August 2000 Hierarchal Council of the Moscow Patriarchate, has decided upon the following resolution:
The archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad always aspired to attentively and objectively follow ecclesiastical life in Russia, both in Soviet times, as well as in the recent decade. When a certain part of the official Church in Russia would compromise in questions of faith and piety, as well as denying the martyrs for the faith in our century, the archpastors of the Russian Church Abroad stood up in defense of the purity of Orthodoxy and in defense of the glory of the Russian Church in the 20th century — the Holy New Martyrs of Russia. Any apostasy was looked at with sorrow and prayer, so that sooner or later the truth would triumph in Russia. When clergy and the faithful in Russia were subject to persecutions, then the hierarchs of the free part of the Russian Church, co-suffering with them, raised their voice in their defense.
At every Liturgy in the course of 80 years, in our churches prayer did not cease, so that in the suffering country of Russia, no one, redeemed by the previous Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, would perish but "all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth".
This is why the Hierarchs assembled for this Council of the Russian Church Abroad with hope and thankfulness to our Lord God accepted the decision of the Hierarchal Council of the Moscow Patriarchate concerning the canonization among the saints of the entire host of the New Martyrs of Russia and among their number the Tsar-martyr Nicholas with his holy royal family. We hope this glorification will be the beginning of the act of repentance and it will have a positive reaction not only on ecclesiastical life in Russia, but on all of Russia in general. We hope that now becoming truly a prayer that is pan-Russian to the Tsar-martyr it will bring to the much suffering Russian nation a renaissance of true faith, peace and prosperity. We also consider, that one reason for the division of our Church and the Moscow Patriarchate explained in the Hierarchal Councils Epistle of the Russian Church Abroad in 1987, by the mercy of God, in greater measure has ceased.
At the Hierarchal Council of the Moscow Patriarchate there was also partially overcome another question that divided us: the so called "Sergianism". "If the government forces Orthodox faithful to fall away from Christ and His Church, as well as to sinful, soul-destroying actions, the Church must refuse to obey the government." (From the "Foundations of the Social Concept of the ROC-MP"). For the first time, on a counciliar level, the Moscow Patriarchate, is trying to keep the independence of the Church and is trying to loosen itself from the government, in such a way going against the principles laid-out in the sorrowful Declaration of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) of 1927 and in an indirect way admitting to the praise-worthy path of the confessors who did not follow the course of Metropolitan Sergius.
The decisions of the Hierarchal Council of the Moscow Patriarchate concerning the attitude towards the heterodox, and consecutively, towards ecumenism, are not clear enough and at times have double meaning. By its broadness, certain decisions are acceptable to the zealots of Orthodoxy, while other decisions — to the joy of ecumenists. There is a special fear that is brought on by these decisions because there is not one word about not allowing mutual prayer with the heterodox as well as a complete justification of all past and present ecumenical activity. Therefore, the question about the participation of the MP in ecumenism
takes primary place in the question dividing the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate.
Taking into consideration all the above, the Hierarchal Council of the Russian Church Abroad establishes a constantly active commission at the Synod for questions concerning unification of the Russian Church.