Vth All-Diaspora Council




http://revniteli.livejournal.com/41894.html




FIFTH ALL-DIASPORA CHURCH HIGHER COUNCIL (beginning)
Vth All-Diaspora Council
(This page will contain documents pertaining to the Vth All-Diaspora Council.)
Proposed Council Determinations
1. Directive
2. Opening Ceremony
3. ROCA PSEA Declaration of the Opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council
4. The Council Schedule
5. The Order of the Services for the Opening of the Council
6. The Council Agenda
7. List of delegates
Commentaries related to the forthcoming Sobor
1. Fr. Andrey Trachuk - Some comments on our spiritual priorities.
2. A Letter from Archpriest Igor Chitikov and the Parish Council of the Church of St. Andrew Stratelates and Bishop Agafangel's Answer.

Directive 
To convene the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
I.
  1. This Directive is for the convocation of the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
  2. The All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will be based on the Word of God, the Holy Canons, and the legal provisions of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the legal provisions set forth by the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
  3. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be held at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Nanuet, NY, USA.
  4. The ROCA PSEA Chairman will open, close, and chair the Council.
II.
Attendees of the Vth All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be made up of:
    1. the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad;
    2. clergy and laymen, who have been elected according to the rules of the All-Diaspora Council;
    3. representatives of parish schools;
    4. guests invited by the ROCA PSEA Chairman;
    5. representatives of the local organizational committee;
    6. according to accepted tradition, all delegates of previous Councils, who have remained loyal members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and who are not under church censure;
  2. Every Council delegate has the right for one vote.
  3. The agenda of the All-Diaspora Council is tentatively decided by the ROCA PSEA, and later, at the Council, by the Bishops’ Council.
  4. The determination that the All-Diaspora Council was held properly will be made by the ROCA Bishops’ Council.
III.
The General Meeting of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. A binding quorum will be considered when half of the delegates to the All-Diaspora Council are present.
IV.
Regarding the Advisory Council and committees of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council is composed of the Council Chairman, the Vice-Chairman (with the office of presbyter), the Senior Secretary and his assistants, and who are all elected by the Bishops’ Council.
  2. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council determines the procedures for the meetings, carries out directives of the All-Diaspora Council, and if necessary, has the power to conclude the Council and also has the authority to decide all questions.
  3. The Bishops’ Council establishes the following committees:
    1. Credentials Committee, which will verify the credentials of all delegates arriving at the All-Diaspora Council, as well as informing the Meeting of who is present and who is absent.
    2. Tabulating Committee, which tallies all votes during voting.
    3. Editorial Committee, which prepares drafts of resolutions, epistles, and other documents as directed by the Meeting, and also, confirms official releases of the All-Diaspora Council to the press.
  4. The members of each committee will be confirmed by the Bishops Council of the All-Diaspora Council.

V.
Procedures for discussing issues at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Vice-Chairman officiates at each meeting, leading the discussion, and if necessary, admonishes speakers. If a speaker is warned twice or more, he can suspend a speaker’s right to speak.
  2. Each delegate will be allowed no more than 5 minutes to speak during a discussion of any issue at the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. Each delegate has the right to speak out no more than two times on any one topic.
  4. A delegate who wishes to speak, may allot his time to another delegate only once.
  5. All-Diaspora Council delegates are obligated to conduct themselves in a Christian manner, with respect for others, and not use any sharp or offensive words or expressions during discussions.
  6. All issues at the All-Diaspora Council will be decided by a majority of votes.
  7. The Chairman has the right to ask for a closed vote, using ballots.

VI.
The Bishops’ Council at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. All the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad are members of the Bishops’ Council, which can meet as needed during the proceedings of the Council.
  2. The Chairman of the Bishops’ Council is the Chairman of the ROCA PSEA.

VII.
The Secretariat of the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Bishops’ Council names the Senior Secretary and his assistant for the All-Diaspora Council.
  2. The Secretariat handles the minutes of the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. The Secretariat continues its work until the end of the All-Diaspora Council, after which it prepares all the documents of the Council and submits them to the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
  4. The Secretariat also contains an administrative office, which is organized by the Senior Secretary of the All-Diaspora Council.

Draft

Directive of the ROCA PSEA on the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit


The Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad gives thanks to God, who has allowed the wishes of our God-loving flock to be fulfilled, and announces the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council. May the All-powerful Bishop of heaven and earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who created His holy Church for our salvation, turn His loving gaze upon our Sobor and send down upon us His Holy Spirit and bless us with His Grace, so that our minds may become enlightened, that our decisions may be wise, that our will may be strong, and that we approach each good deed with love and zeal, so that we come together as one in a spirit of peace and love in order that all the works of the Sobor fulfill His commandment: seek first the Kingdom of God and His truths, glorify His holy Name, so that together, with one heart and one lips, we can unceasingly confess our God, One by the Trinity, for ages and ages. Amen.
Signatures
Draft

Opening Ceremony of the Vth All-Diaspora Council
The church bells will toll at 08:55 on November 18, 2008. The bishops will gather in the altar preparing for the meeting of the ROCA PSEA Chairman, dressed in their mantiyas. A Gospel and a cross lie on a lectern in the center of the church. A table for the bishops stands on the ambo, where the archpastors will sit during the opening. On the soleas, on either side of the Royal Gates, there will be lecterns with sacred items upon them.
The delegates of the Vth All-Diaspora Council, both clergy and laymen, will enter as their names are called and will take their places in the chairs on either side of the church interior and around the bishops’ cathedra (laymen will be seated behind the clergy), and then the laypeople will occupy the rest of the church interior. Priests must be in cassocks, wearing their crosses and kamilavkas (if they have the right to wear them). If not, then with skufias or nothing on their heads. Choir members will join on the left kliros.
Then the Royal Gates will open, and after the bishops venerate the altar table, they will come out in mantiyas without staffs to meet the ROCA PSEA Chairman. Sub-deacons and attendants holding the staffs will stand at the entrance to the church. The bishops will stand in order of seniority, as when priests gather to meet bishops. The church rector will stand there with a cross on a tray and the protodeacons of the church will stand facing west, with their backs to the cathedra, holding censers and the dikiriy and trikiriy.
The ROCA PSEA Chairman will be met at 0900, with the choir singing "The Sun from the East" and "Ton Despotin." The Chairman will venerate the Gospel and cross laying on the lectern in the middle of the church. A moleben will be served to open the Vth Council. At the end, while "Ton Despotin" is sung, His Eminence will bless the faithful from the ambo. Then one of the bishops will take his place on one of the soleas and will read the following ROCA PSEA Declaration on the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council:

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad gives thanks to God, who has allowed the wishes of our God-loving flock to be fulfilled, and announces the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council. May the All-powerful Bishop of heaven and earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who created His holy Church for our salvation, turn His loving gaze upon our Sobor and send down upon us His Holy Spirit and bless us with His Grace, so that our minds may become enlightened, that our decisions may be wise, that our will may be strong, and that we approach each good deed with love and zeal, so that we come together as one in a spirit of peace and love in order that all the works of the Sobor fulfill His commandment: seek first the Kingdom of God and His truths, glorify His holy Name, so that together, with one heart and one lips, we can unceasingly confess our God, One by the Trinity, for ages and ages. Amen.
ROCA PSEA Chairman
(the signatures of the ROCA PSEA members will follow)
Having declared the Vth All-Diaspora Council open, the Most Reverend Bishop Agafangel will ask everyone to sing the Creed and "Dnes blagodat Svyatago Dukha nas sobra." The Chairman prays facing the altar table. The Council participants sing. Then the bishops take their seats at the bishops’ table. Sub-deacons and attendants holding the staffs will stand behind the ROCA PSEA Chairman, who sits at the Chairman’s place at the table. The Council participants take their seats.
The ROCA PSEA Chairman, Bishop Agafangel, will make an opening remark. Then the Vth All-Diaspora Council Declaration will be read, along with the decision of the ROCA PSEA, which will have been made the day before, as to the make up of the Sobor Council, and the Secretariat, Editorial, Credentials, and Tabulating committees. Then the bishops and delegates of the Vth All-Diaspora Council will come up to venerate the Gospel and cross, just as the ROCA PSEA Chairman did, and according to rank. Having venerated these sacred items, the bishops and delegates of the Vth All-Diaspora Council will go to the ROCA PSEA Chairman, who will bless the clergy, deacons, and laymen with Holy Water. Everyone will gather for a group photograph. After that is done, the Chairman and the bishops will enter into the altar through the Royal Gates, and after bowing to the altar table, remove their vestments.

Draft

The Order of the Services for the Opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council
November 4\17, 2008, in the year of Our Lord, in the 27th week after Pentecost, in the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Valley Cottage, NY, at 4:15 PM, a panikhida for the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad; Metropolitans Anthony, Anastasy, Philaret, and Vitaly, will be served, officiated by the bishops and clergy. Vigil will begin this day at 6:00 PM.
November 5\18, 2008, at 7:30 AM, Divine Liturgy will take place, after which, the bishops, clergy, and delegates of the Vth All-Diaspora Council will conduct a moleben and the ceremonial opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council.

Draft

Directive of the ROCA PSEA on the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Provisional Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad gives thanks to God, who has allowed the wishes of our God-loving flock to be fulfilled, and announces the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council. May the All-powerful Bishop of heaven and earth, our Lord Jesus Christ, our God, who created His holy Church for our salvation, turn His loving gaze upon our Sobor and send down upon us His Holy Spirit and bless us with His Grace, so that our minds may become enlightened, that our decisions may be wise, that our will may be strong, and that we approach each good deed with love and zeal, so that we come together as one in a spirit of peace and love in order that all the works of the Sobor fulfill His commandment: seek first the Kingdom of God and His truths, glorify His holy Name, so that together, with one heart and one lips, we can unceasingly confess our God, One by the Trinity, for ages and ages. Amen.
Signatures





Draft
 Directive
To convene the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
 I.
  1. This Directive is for the convocation of the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
  2. The All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will be based on the Word of God, the Holy Canons, and the legal provisions of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the legal provisions set forth by the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
  3. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be held at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Nanuet, NY, USA.
  4. The ROCA PSEA Chairman will open, close, and chair the Council.
 II.
Attendees of the Vth All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be made up of:
    1. the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad;
    2. clergy and laymen, who have been elected according to the rules of the All-Diaspora Council;
    3. representatives of parish schools;
    4. guests invited by the ROCA PSEA Chairman;
    5. representatives of the local organizational committee;
    6. according to accepted tradition, all delegates of previous Councils, who have remained loyal members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and who are not under church censure;
  2. Every Council delegate has the right for one vote.
  3. The agenda of the All-Diaspora Council is tentatively decided by the ROCA PSEA, and later, at the Council, by the Bishops’ Council.
  4. The determination that the All-Diaspora Council was held properly will be made by the ROCA Bishops’ Council.
 III.
The General Meeting of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. A binding quorum will be considered when half of the delegates to the All-Diaspora Council are present.
 IV.
Regarding the Advisory Council and committees of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council is composed of the Council Chairman, the Vice-Chairman (with the office of presbyter), the Senior Secretary and his assistants, and who are all elected by the Bishops’ Council.
  2. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council determines the procedures for the meetings, carries out directives of the All-Diaspora Council, and if necessary, has the power to conclude the Council and also has the authority to decide all questions.
  3. The Bishops’ Council establishes the following committees:
    1. Credentials Committee, which will verify the credentials of all delegates arriving at the All-Diaspora Council, as well as informing the Meeting of who is present and who is absent.
    2. Tabulating Committee, which tallies all votes during voting.
    3. Editorial Committee, which prepares drafts of resolutions, epistles, and other documents as directed by the Meeting, and also, confirms official releases of the All-Diaspora Council to the press.
  4. The members of each committee will be confirmed by the Bishops Council of the All-Diaspora Council.
 V.
Procedures for discussing issues at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Vice-Chairman officiates at each meeting, leading the discussion, and if necessary, admonishes speakers. If a speaker is warned twice or more, he can suspend a speaker’s right to speak.
  2. Each delegate will be allowed no more than 5 minutes to speak during a discussion of any issue at the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. Each delegate has the right to speak out no more than two times on any one topic.
  4. A delegate who wishes to speak, may allot his time to another delegate only once.
  5. All-Diaspora Council delegates are obligated to conduct themselves in a Christian manner, with respect for others, and not use any sharp or offensive words or expressions during discussions.
  6. All issues at the All-Diaspora Council will be decided by a majority of votes.
  7. The Chairman has the right to ask for a closed vote, using ballots.
 VI.
The Bishops’ Council at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. All the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad are members of the Bishops’ Council, which can meet as needed during the proceedings of the Council.
  2. The Chairman of the Bishops’ Council is the Chairman of the ROCA PSEA.
 VII.
The Secretariat of the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Bishops’ Council names the Senior Secretary and his assistant for the All-Diaspora Council.
  2. The Secretariat handles the minutes of the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. The Secretariat continues its work until the end of the All-Diaspora Council, after which it prepares all the documents of the Council and submits them to the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
  4. The Secretariat also contains an administrative office, which is organized by the Senior Secretary of the All-Diaspora Council.





Vth ALL-DIASPORA SOBOR (Church Council)
(This page will contain documents pertaining to the Vth All-Diaspora Council.)

Proposed Council Determinations
1. Directive
2. Opening Ceremony
3. ROCA PSEA Declaration of the Opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council
4. The Council Schedule
5. The Order of the Services for the Opening of the Council
6. The Council Agenda
7. List of delegates

Commentaries related to the forthcoming Sobor:
1. Fr. Andrey Trachuk - Some comments on our spiritual priorities. (Translation omitted)
2. A Letter from Archpriest Igor Chitikov and the Parish Council of the Church of St. Andrew Stratelates and Bishop Agafangel's Answer.
Directive
 To convene the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
I.
  1. This Directive is for the convocation of the Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen.
  2. The All-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad will be based on the Word of God, the Holy Canons, and the legal provisions of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the legal provisions set forth by the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
  3. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be held at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Nanuet, NY, USA.
  4. The ROCA PSEA Chairman will open, close, and chair the Council.
II.
Attendees of the Vth All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Vth All-Diaspora Council with the participation of the clergy and laymen will be made up of:
    1. the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad;
    2. clergy and laymen, who have been elected according to the rules of the All-Diaspora Council;
    3. representatives of parish schools;
    4. guests invited by the ROCA PSEA Chairman;
    5. representatives of the local organizational committee;
    6. according to accepted tradition, all delegates of previous Councils, who have remained loyal members of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and who are not under church censure;
  2. Every Council delegate has the right for one vote.
  3. The agenda of the All-Diaspora Council is tentatively decided by the ROCA PSEA, and later, at the Council, by the Bishops’ Council.
  4. The determination that the All-Diaspora Council was held properly will be made by the ROCA Bishops’ Council.
III.
The General Meeting of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. A binding quorum will be considered when half of the delegates to the All-Diaspora Council are present.
IV.
Regarding the Advisory Council and committees of the All-Diaspora Council:
  1. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council is composed of the Council Chairman, the Vice-Chairman (with the office of presbyter), the Senior Secretary and his assistants, and who are all elected by the Bishops’ Council.
  2. The Advisory Council of the All-Diaspora Council determines the procedures for the meetings, carries out directives of the All-Diaspora Council, and if necessary, has the power to conclude the Council and also has the authority to decide all questions.
  3. The Bishops’ Council establishes the following committees:
    1. Credentials Committee, which will verify the credentials of all delegates arriving at the All-Diaspora Council, as well as informing the Meeting of who is present and who is absent.
    2. Tabulating Committee, which tallies all votes during voting.
    3. Editorial Committee, which prepares drafts of resolutions, epistles, and other documents as directed by the Meeting, and also, confirms official releases of the All-Diaspora Council to the press.
  4. The members of each committee will be confirmed by the Bishops Council of the All-Diaspora Council.
 V.
Procedures for discussing issues at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Vice-Chairman officiates at each meeting, leading the discussion, and if necessary, admonishes speakers. If a speaker is warned twice or more, he can suspend a speaker’s right to speak.
  2. Each delegate will be allowed no more than 5 minutes to speak during a discussion of any issue at the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. Each delegate has the right to speak out no more than two times on any one topic.
  4. A delegate who wishes to speak, may allot his time to another delegate only once.
  5. All-Diaspora Council delegates are obligated to conduct themselves in a Christian manner, with respect for others, and not use any sharp or offensive words or expressions during discussions.
  6. All issues at the All-Diaspora Council will be decided by a majority of votes.
  7. The Chairman has the right to ask for a closed vote, using ballots.
 VI.
The Bishops’ Council at the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. All the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad are members of the Bishops’ Council, which can meet as needed during the proceedings of the Council.
  2. The Chairman of the Bishops’ Council is the Chairman of the ROCA PSEA.
 VII.
The Secretariat of the All-Diaspora Council.
  1. The Bishops’ Council names the Senior Secretary and his assistant for the All-Diaspora Council.
  2. The Secretariat handles the minutes of the All-Diaspora Council.
  3. The Secretariat continues its work until the end of the All-Diaspora Council, after which it prepares all the documents of the Council and submits them to the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
  4. The Secretariat also contains an administrative office, which is organized by the Senior Secretary of the All-Diaspora Council.
Draft
 Directive of the ROCA PSEA on the opening of the Vth All-Diaspora Council.
Agenda of the Vth All-Diaspora Sobor(Council)



Delegates of the Vth All-Diaspora Sobor
  • Determination about the Supreme Church authority in the ROCA.
  • Ruling on the Act of Eucharistic Communion of May 17, 2007.
  • The canonization of Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky), Hierarch of the ROCA.

EPISCOPATE

Most Reverend Agafangel, Bishop of Taurida and Odessa

Most Reverend Andronik, Bishop of Ottawa and North America
Most Reverend Sofroniy, Bishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia
Most Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad
Most Reverend Ioann, Bishop of Buinsk and Volzhsk
Most Reverend Afanasy, Bishop of Vologodsk and Velikoustyuzhsk
AUSTRALIAN DIOCESE

Hegumen John (Shmelts)

Protodeacon Vasiliy Yakimov
Aleksey Serdtsev
SOUTH AMERICAN DIOCESE

Archpriest Vladimir Shlenev

Archpriest Georgiy Petrenko
Fr. Aleksandr Ivashevich
Fr. Vladimir Petrenko
EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE

Archpriest Wsewolod Dutikow

Fr. Daniel Meschter
Fr. Nikita Grigoriev
Protodeacon Iov Chemerov
Deacon Dimitri Dobronravov
George Gerasimowicz
Mark Kotlaroff
WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE

Archpriest Aleksy Mikrikov

Fr. Elias Warnke
CANADIAN DIOCESE

Fr. Andrew Kencis

Hieromonk Arseniy (Manko)
Vladimir Skok
Nicholas Timtsenko
Aleksey Freis
ODESSA DIOCESE

Archpriest Valery Alekseyev

Fr. Leonid Plyats
Fr. Aleksandr Martynenko
Hieromonk Methodius (Gerb)
Aleksandr Mutilin
Yuriy Sosyurko
Georgiy Sakharuta
Sergey Savchenko
ST. PETERSBURG DIOCESE

Fr. Aleksandr Shchipakin

Reader Mikhail Balashov
VOLOGDA DIOCESE

Fr. Aleksandr Lipin
CENTRAL RUSSIAN ADMINISTRATIVE DISTRICT

Archpriest Valery Kravets

Archpriest Oleg Mironov
Hieromonk Nikon (Yost)
Fr. Valery Leonichev
Monk Diodor Pashentsev
Reader Aleksandr Khitrov
PRE-SOBOR COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Archpriest Igor Hrebinka

Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff
Archpriest Sergey Klestov
Archpriest Konstantin Busygin
Fr. Victor Dobrov
Dimitri Gontscharow
Peter Koltypin
Nikolai Tchertkoff
DELEGATES OF PREVIOUS ALL-ABROAD SOBORS

Archpriest Igor Chitikov

Reader Daniel Olson
John Herbst
Andrey Kotchoubey
George Schidlovsky
MISSION REPRESENTATIVES

Archpriest Gregory Williams
REPRESENTATIVES OF ORGANIZATIONS

Evgeniy Magerovsky
Oleg Rodzianko

Sergey Sauer
SOBOR GUESTS

Most Reverend Cyprian, Bishop of Oreoi

His Eminence Vlasie, Metropolitan of Slatioara and Suceava
Most Reverend Photii, Bishop of Triaditza
(and those invited by them to accompany them)
________________________________
A Letter from Archpriest Igor Chitikov and the Parish Council of the Church of St. Andrew Stratelates
and
Bishop Agafangel's Answer.
His Eminence
Most Reverend
Bishop Agafangel
PSEA Chairman
October 5\22, 2008
Hieromartyr Phocas
Your Eminence, bless,
The Parish Council of the Church of St. Andrew Stratelates in St. Petersburg, Florida, met on October 5, 2008, and reviewed the current status of our parish.
After the Act was signed, our parish remained with its bishop, the Most Reverend Bishop Gabriel, who spoke out, as you had, against the signing of the Act. Our rector, Archpriest Igor Chitikov, wrote and spoke about the unlawfulness of the Act and called for the dissolution of ROCA. After the Sobor of Bishops, we were finally convinced that the bishops who had left ROCA would not return. Then when our beloved Bishop Gabriel was removed from the Synod administration and transferred to Canada, we made the difficult decision to leave ROCOR(MP).
We carefully investigated the circumstances of your censure and saw that the game-playing of the "two ukazes" was symptomatic of the cheap "political strategies" of the functionaries of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. Unfortunately, those who never lived or worked in the former USSR, often do not see or understand what is truly occurring there. For us, the entire last year was a year full of political maneuvering. Before we knew it, we found ourselves in a ROCOR MP which had become a banal, post-Soviet department outside of Russia.
We are deeply grateful to you, that you understood our circumstances and took us under your omofor. Yet we have concerns regarding the forthcoming Vth All-Diaspora Sobor. We are troubled by the following issues:
1. In our opinion, ROCA has fulfilled its mission. What grounds are there to create a church body outside of the borders of the Homeland, similar to the many divisions in the Greek Church based on the calendar? Would it be more correct for the parishes in the US and Canada to integrate into the bodies of the lawful churches here? 

2. What is the basis for the canonization of Metropolitan Philaret? What documentation exists for this? How does one become familiar with this documentation? Who makes up the committee for canonization? Since when is Met. Philaret more venerable in the Church Abroad than Metropolitans Anastasy or Anthony? 
The reason we are writing this letter to you was the decision to include our parish in the ranks of parishes in Bishop Andronik’s diocese. We believe this was done prematurely. We did not make any requests to Bishop Andronik, since there was no administrative district here in our Church before May 17, 2007. We turned to you not as the head of some new church body, but as the only ROCA bishop (out of the ones listed on May 17, 2007) who did not agree with the "Act of Eucharistic Communion." We do not consider the MP to be our enemy. But we firmly believe that there is no one in North America who has the right to force us to be an "Embassy of Russia" (in the words of Archpriest V. Potapov). On the other hand, we are even more worried about becoming part of another orthodox schism.
Your Eminence’s humble servants,
Archpriest Igor Chitikov and the members of the Parish Council
________________________________________________
Dear Friends in Christ Fr. Igor and members of the Parish Council!
You brought me great pleasure that you react in an engaged and straight-forward manner to events transpiring in the Church. This is a testament to your concern for your salvation, which can also help us to see and recognize our possible errors.

The questions which you pose to me should be decided rightly only at a Sobor. I can only give my personal opinion of them.
1. My personal opinion can be summed up by saying ROCA will fulfill its mission only then, when a lawful and free Local Sobor of the Russian Church is held at which ROCA will have to give an account of all the time of its existence as a part of the Russian Church separated from it because of political events, and whose dogma was changed due to these events. Our founding bishops, along with all those who split with Met. Sergey (Stragorodsky), considered such sobors to be the supreme administrative bodies of the ROC and we are subject likewise to them. We are not self-contained and exist independently only until the situation of the entire Russian Church is finally settled. Before we consider the matter of "integrating into the bodies of the lawful churches here," we should, I believe, carefully consider these bodies, and if possible, develop good relations with them. Only after that, should we consider your question. We do not have the right to make decisions that will lead to confusion among our flock and push our now much smaller Church to the edge of schism. We should be able to prove and explain the correctness of any of our decisions. All decisions must be made at a sobor and we should learn how to obey decisions made on a sobor level. 

2. A final decision about the canonization of Met. Philaret must also be made at our Sobor. The grounds for it are: the incorruptible remains of the holy man, the many miracles resulting from praying to him (these accounts were even printed earlier in Pravoslavnaya Rus (Orthodox Russia)), his disciplined and ascetic life, as well as his steadfastness in confessing the Orthodoxy of the Holy Fathers. Accounts of the miracles are being gathered and will be presented at the All-Diaspora Sobor. This reverence of Met. Philaret does not diminish in any way our love and respect for Metropolitans Anastasy or Anthony. 
The decision to accept your parish was made personally by me, because of the desire of the parish to engage in missionary activities. Therefore, the final status of the parish must be decided together with you and Bishop Andronik, since the parish is located in territory under his authority. In spite of this, I pledge to you that the status will not be imposed upon you. It will be confirmed only with everyone’s agreement. This is spelled out in our list of parishes.
Yours in Christ,
+Bishop Agafangel
October 7\September 24, 2008 – Holy Protomartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles Thecla




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