New York: December 31, 2019
Fraternal Epistle from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, to His Eminence Archbishop Amphilohije of Zeta, Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands
Your Eminence Vladyka:
I extend my brotherly hand to you, hastening to express on behalf of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to Your Holiness, the Eminent Archpastors, clergymen, monastics and the entire flock of Montenegro and the Coastlands of the Serbian Orthodox Church entrusted to you our words of love and support.
With a warm heart we remember your visit in 1992 to the crypt of the as-yet-uncanonized Vladyka John of Shanghai, the Miracle-worker of San Francisco, whose body reposed at the time under the altar of the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco, when you, together with His Holiness Patriarch Pavle and a delegation of the Serbian Orthodox Church performed a memorial service at the sarcophagus of this great saint, singing a troparion to him, foreseeing his canonization. Your singing was joined then not only by the entire church delegation of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, but by the late Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) and the representatives of the Russian Church Abroad as well. By this act, you emphasized that we and the Serbian Orthodox Church, which 99 years ago gave hospice to the Russian refugee bishops with their clergy and flock, share fathers and spiritual guides. And in 2006, you, with the blessing of, again, His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, joyously accepted the invitation of Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory to actively participate in the work of our 4th All-Diaspora Council, when you conquered the hearts of many of its participants with your loving words, in which we sensed your broad spirit of ecumenical unity in the life of the entire Church of Christ.
Now, remembering your kind contribution to our lives, bowing before the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" and the holy crypt with the un-corrupt relics of St John the Miracle-worker, we wish to assure you and yours of our most fervent prayers for you and your Church, the only canonical one in Montenegro. Our thoughts and concerns are with you and yours! We hope and believe that the injustice our brothers and sisters endure in Montenegro will be quickly and properly overcome to the glory of God and the good of Holy Orthodoxy.
May the Lord strengthen you in this difficult time by the prayers of St John (Maximovich); St Nikolaj (Velimirovic), Bishop of Zica; St Justin (Popovic) and many other ascetics who unite our Churches, and bring wisdom to those who rise up against our Holy Orthodoxy! Amen.
Beseeching your mutual prayers, I remain in perpetual love in the Lord,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia