SAN FRANCISCO: May 11, 2006

Christ is Risen!

We, the participants of the IV All-Diaspora Council, having gathered in the God-preserved city of San Francisco, in the blessed presence of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, and the holy relics of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, in trembling recognition of the duty laid upon us, in obedience to our Archpastor, Christ, with complete trust and love of the pastors and laity to our First Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and the Council of Bishops, attest that as loyal children of the Holy Church, we shall submit to Divine will and obey the decisions of the forthcoming Council of Bishops.

We archpastors, pastors and laymen, members of the IV All-Diaspora Council, unanimously express our resoluteness to heal the wounds of division within the Russian Church-between her parts in the Fatherland and abroad. Our Paschal joy is joined by the great hope that in the appropriate time, the unity of the Russian Church will be restored upon the foundation of the Truth of Christ, opening for us the possibility to serve together and to commune from one Chalice.

Hearing the lectures read at the Council, the reports made by the Commission on negotiations with the corresponding Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the various points of view expressed during the discussions, we express our conciliar consent that it is necessary to confirm the canonical status of the Russian Church Abroad for the future as a self-governing part of the Local Russian Church, in accordance with the Regulations of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia currently in force.

From discussions at the Council it is apparent that the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in the World Council of Churches evokes confusion among our clergy and flock. With heartfelt pain we ask the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to heed the plea of our flock to expediently remove this temptation.

We hope that the forthcoming Local Council of One Russian Church will settle remaining unresolved church problems.

Bowing down before the podvig [spiritual feats] of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, glorified both by the Russian Church Abroad and by the Russian Church in the Fatherland, we see within them the spiritual bridge which rises above the abyss of the lethal division in the Russian Church and makes possible the restoration of that unity which is desired by all.

And we, the members of the IV All-Diaspora Council, address our brothers and sisters in the faith in our renascent Homeland with the Paschal hymns: "Pascha! Let us embrace each other joyously!"

 


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