Sunday, May 28, 2006

leading toward unity

I ended up going on vacation and having only limited online access after the results of the ROCOR synod came out. I must say, I'm happy to see that everything seems to be moving toward unity. If you haven't followed the action, you can see the updates from the sobor and the following bishops' council on ROCOR's official site. The agreement on the final statements was surprising--I think to others as much as it was to me. There's a great testimonial from Bishop Evtikhii of Ishim and Siberia, who will oversee all the ROCOR parishes inside Russia. He came to the sobor planning to argue for a slower pace to the reconciliation process, but God led him through a complete change of heart. He seems to have been spiritually prepared for the task ahead, of leading the ROCOR parishes inside Russia through this process. Although I haven't seen anything explicit to this effect, I assume they will be working toward a strictly geographical distinction--that parishes within Russia will be under their respective metropolitans in the Moscow Patriarchate, while those outside Russia will be under ROCOR, as a self-governing metropolitanate. This process will probably be hardest on the Patriarchate parishes outside Russia and the ROCOR parishes inside Russia.

Still, I'm excited to see the direction things are headed. Not only does this mean healing for the Church of Russia, but God willing it will lead the way for other fractured groups to reconcile.

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