NEW YORK: June 22, 2018
Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, to the Assembly of the Diocese of Western Europe
From the Editors: Today Diocesan Assembly of Western Europe convenes, with the participation of clergymen and laity of the Russian Church Abroad, chaired by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion sent a greeting to open the event.
Your Graces, Honorable Fathers, Dear Brothers and Sisters:
By Divine mercy, you are gathering to manage the organization of the life of the Western European Diocese. At one time, Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome that he wished to be with them to console them, in his words, “that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Romans 1:12). Unfortunately, due to present circumstances I could not join you. Still, I prayerfully participate in the work of the Diocesan Assembly, invoking upon you God’s blessing and lifting fervent prayers to St John (Maximovich) the Miracle-worker, who once blessed the Western European Diocese with his labors, his personal asceticism and Archpastoral ministry.
This Diocesan Assembly is being convened now for the careful, calm and prudent deliberation of means of manifesting the main goal of our existence, our earthly search for the Kingdom of God. Since man consists of both soul and body, the organization of the Church relies both on its spiritual aspects as well as material. With regard to both aspects, there are strict paths laid out in canon law upon which the life of the Church must proceed.
As we approach this very important task for the Western European Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, let us beseech the Chief Pastor, Christ, that He blesses this work for success and unanimity.
Let us lift our prayers for the repose of Archbishop Anthony (Bartoshevich). I also call upon you to reach an appropriate decision on properly celebrating the silver anniversary of his blessed repose, so that we once again turn our attention and that of others to his life, to enrich ourselves with his spirit and legacy.
With love in the Lord,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.