LONDON: October 19, 2012
The Conference of Russian Orthodox Bishops Serving in the Diaspora Begins

With the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Conference of Russian Orthodox Bishops Serving in the Diaspora opened in London on October 19, 2012. The event marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion.

After a prayer before the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign,brought to London for the event, His Eminence Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, opened the conference with a welcoming word on behalf of His Holiness. Metropolitan Ilarion then read a lecture, during which he said in particular: One cannot but see the saving hand of God in the canonical unity which was manifested, which led both sides onto the path of constructive dialog, positive cooperation, and finally, reconciliation and the achievement of full brotherly unity with each other.

The conference participants were then greeted by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. He stressed that a double challenge faces the archpastors serving in the diaspora: to minister to people from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus living abroad, and to reveal the truth of Orthodox Christianity to the world, to do missionary work among the native populations of the countries where they serve.

Each of the conferees then reported on the state of affairs in their own regions, concentrating on cooperative efforts between dioceses and parishes and analyses of the fifth anniversary of the reestablishment of unity. The following archpastors shared their views on these matters: His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Egoriev; His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh; His Eminence Archbishop Anatoly of Kerch; His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe; His Grace Bishop Iov of Kashira; His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland; His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America; His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield and His Grace Bishop Nestor of Korsun.

The conference of archbishops of the Russian Orthodox Church serving abroad continues in accordance with the broad agenda they approved.

The secretariat of the conference includes Protopriest Nikolai Balashov, Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Protopriest Serafim Gan and Protopriest Mikhail Dudko.

The St Gregory the Theologian Benevolent Fund and the Sourozh Diocese provided material support for the event.

Press Service of the DECR

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