Appeal from the Pre-Council Commission
A meeting with the Committee to the VI All-Diaspora Council concluded on September 7, 2016 with the following:
Dear brothers and sisters! Our pastoral concern for the parishes of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and the many pressing issues facing our Church, have made necessary the convocation of the 6th All-Diaspora Council, which will be held in the first half of 2017.
A committee of clergy and laypeople has been created to prepare for the Council. This precouncil committee will determine the exact date and location of the Council and will develop the agenda, which will include the following main points:
1. An assessment of the actions of Met. Agafangel (Pashkovskiy) and his Synod in light of the Word of God, the Traditions of the Church, and the principles and practices of the historic ROCA as it was led by Metropolitans Antony, Anastasiy, Vitaliy and St. Philaret of blessed memory.
2. An examination of the unjust punishments imposed by Met. Agafangel and his Synod against the archpastors, pastors and laypeople of our Church, which were implemented without the required investigations and adherence to legal process.
3. An invitation to all parts of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to begin a dialogue to resolve any misunderstandings and divisions, with the goal of a possible uniting of all the faithful members of the Church in Eucharistic communion.
4. A restoration of the spirit of Sobornost in the Church to guarantee the impartial functioning of the Spiritual Court to ensure a fair adjudication of all future disputes and accusations.
As Met. Agafangel and his Synod, through their wrongful decisions and abuse of power, have forfeited their authority and our trust, our dioceses in order to guard the faithful of the Church from such lawlessness are exercising their inherent right to self-rule during the period before the Council. Through this action, neither a new church body is being established nor is some unauthorized group or “parasynagogue” being created, as some are want to say in an effort to disgrace this noble undertaking. The decision to convene the 6th All-Diaspora Council has been made not for the sake of ambition or a lust for power but rather out of our loyalty and love for Christ and His Holy Church, and in fulfillment of the spiritual bequest of St. Philaret: “Keep what you have.” The Pre-Council Committee