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Proclamation To the faithful members of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canadian Dioceses of the ROCA

Synod of Bishops - Epistles from bishops Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Proclamation

To the faithful members of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canadian Dioceses of the ROCA

November 05\18, 2014
Holy Martyrs
Galacteon and Episteme

Dear in Christ fathers, brothers and sisters, faithful sons and daughters of the Church Abroad!

On this coming Sunday, November 10\23, the 24th week of Pentecost, the Church Abroad celebrates the memory of St. Philaret of New York.

One of Bishop Philaret’s many acts of service to the Church Abroad was his ability to maintain the strict adherence and observance of all church Rules, Canons and the Orthodox Faith and thereby preserve peace and unity within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The Church Abroad always allowed and respected diverse opinions.  Even in such pointed church questions such as whether grace is present or not present in the mysteries of New Calendarists and even the MP, each diocesan bishop could express and hold to his own personal opinion and deviate slightly to either side of the official ROCA position in anticipation of a final determination on the question by a future Ecumenical Council.

At this time, the vessel of our salvation, the Church Abroad, is being buffeted from the forceful blows of disagreements which are harming the unity and Christian love within the Church.

The current situation is all the more tragic, as the unrest is being caused mostly by politics.  For the message of the Church Abroad to bear fruit as it found itself in various countries all over the world, it had to be and try to remain apolitical.  Monarchists and democrtas, Vlasovites and anarchists and NTS members all found a home and peace in the Church.  Representatives of various races and nations also found a home alongside ethnic Russians.

For me, an archbishop who spent most of his years of service to the Church Abroad in the monastic silence of the Holy Land, as with all those clergy and laypeople in my see, it is painful to endure the current unease.

Political disagreements cannot reach such a fevered pitch in the Church, which is made up of true Christians who abide in this world, but in the Words of God, “not of this world.”  One could understand and take comfort if the disputes between brothers were not because of political views, but from different interpretations of the Holy Fathers, in the understanding of the Canons, or in religious matters such as name worship or the lack of grace of apostates.

In conclusion, I appeal to all clergy and flock in my care and give my blessing to all the parishes to read this Proclamation from the ambo after the Sunday Liturgy in memory of St. Philaret of New York and to serve a moleben to Bishop Philaret and raise our holy prayers for the restoration of peace in the Church Abroad and a beneficial outcome of the forthcoming ROCA Council of Bishops, whose decisions we await humbly with hope and in a spirit of service.

+Archbishop Andronik
Of Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canada

Archpriest Victor Dobroff
Secretary of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas Diocese

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