Saturday, October 24, 2015

Selections from Russian Synod's large release

The entire very long post is available here. The below are selections I found interesting.

I receive lots of emails about autocephaly and the Great and Holy Council of next year. The last I saw on it before the below was that it would not be included in the discussion as the topic was too contentious. This seems to confirm that continued omission of this very important topic and others besides.
The members of the Holy Synod expressed their profound concern over the fact that no conciliar draft decision on the Orthodox Diaspora had been taken and that consensus had not been reached on the following draft documents of the Pan-Orthodox Council: “Calendar Issue” and “Impediments to Marriage.” These topics have been developed for decades already. The members of the Holy Synod noted a particular significance of the pan-Orthodox consensus regarding the draft document on Autocephaly in the Orthodox Church and the Method of Its Proclamation, and of the inclusion of this document in the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council.
It might surprise some that the Russian Church is very engaged in ecumenical dialogues. Anglicans, Catholics, Christians of all stripes in the Middle East, and many more besides are annually in talks with Moscow. That said, Russia doesn't just talk to talk, but actually has goals in places as well as limitations on what is possible. Met. Hilarion will go to London and tell Anglicans to their face that there can be no meaningful progress while they continue on their "destructive" path of liberalism and breaking Church tradition. So there's no sipping tea and pretending reunion with any of these groups is around the corner. There is, though, strategic dialogue on defending Christian values and helping the suffering Christians around the world.
Among other issues considered at the session of the Holy Synod was the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. In compliance with the agreements reached at the meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV on 28 May 2014, during a visit of the Primate of the Assyrian Church of the East to Russia, a working meeting took place in Moscow on July 21. Participants in the meeting discussed the preparation of the dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East and approved the proposals aimed at setting up the Bilateral Dialogue Commission. Among the issues on the agenda of the commission are joint scholarly and theological consultations, promotion of cooperation in the academic sphere and in opposing various manifestations of Christianophobia, as well as in the information sphere and in social ministry. The Holy Synod approved the proposal concerning the establishment of the Bilateral Commission for Dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.
This is a far cleaner process than you will hear about between most other patriarchates.
The Holy Synod took a decision concerning the establishment of a joint commission of the Russian and the Bulgarian Orthodox Churches on the canonization of Archbsihop Seraphim (Sobolev) of Boguchar. A letter proposing to set up such commission was sent by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria on 5 May 2015. On September 2015, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church considered the proposal of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church and approved the list of the commission members representing the Bulgarian Church.

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