А Pre-Council Committee Teleconference was held on November 29, 2016.
The Pre-Council Committee held a teleconference on 11/15/16…
In accordance with the decrees to begin fundraising efforts…
Pre-Council Committee Teleconference November 8, 2016…..
Our bishops will most probably be censured at the Council of Bishops in October 2016, in Odessa. Therefore, they and the priests that commemorate them will no longer have the ability to serve with the clergy remaining in the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Agafangel. This will be very painful for us, though such an administrative division cannot be called dividing the Church or separating from the Church.
We believe that the Church is one. Serving the liturgy together is but one of the visible manifestations of the unity of the Church, but it is not that unity in of itself. In some cases, this outward display may be lost, but the oneness of the Church is not damaged by this.
A schism was perpetrated a while back, in 2014 by Met. Agafangel. Due to the unfair punishments at that time, two bishops, Dionisiy and Iriney, and several priests with their flocks stopped commemorating the Metropolitan. It must be noted that they announced that they are not splitting off from the Church, but are compelled to adopt self-administration.
The same situation has now repeated itself; with B. Andronik and B. Sophroniy being punished. In this way the Metropolitan is cutting off one part of the Church after another. Why is this happening? Met. Agafangel is imposing his will on the Church, which inevitably results in the church members resisting. This resistance does not arise from some lust for power or disobedience. Piety is preserved in the Church by its members, and any attempts at violating the spiritual freedom of the Church will be rejected. This is a healthy reaction of the church body.
At a meeting of the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Syracuse and the Canada it was decided that preparations for an All-Diaspora Council should begin and a Pre-Council Committee, to include bishops, priests and laity, was elected. The Pre-Council Committee will determine the exact date and place of the Council, and will develop an agenda that will include the following key issues:
An assessment of the actions of Met. Agafangel and his Synod.
An examination of the unjust punishments imposed by Met. Agafangel and his Synod against the archpastors, pastors and laypeople of our Church.
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 in Eucharistic communion of all the faithful members of the Church.
The restoration of the canonical conciliar order of the Church.
The establishment of a Church Court.
The Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Its history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles. For over twenty centuries it has continued in its undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today its apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ. It is also the second largest body in Christendom with 225 million people worldwide. The term “Orthodox” translates from the Greek to mean “correctly believing” and was adopted by the Church in order to distinguish itself from what was becoming a larger and larger body of non-orthodox Christian denominations.
In May, 2006, the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) convened the IVth All-Diaspora Council to discuss primarily if the time had come for it to join in Eucharistic communion with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). Almost half of all the council delegates were either opposed to the proposal or felt it was premature. This opinion was reflected in the Council Resolution, which was approved unanimously by all the delegates, and which stated that unity was desired “in the appropriate time,” after the resolution of such important matters as the continued participation of the MP in the ecumenical movement. Tragically, subsequent meetings of the ROCA Synod of Bishops did not heed the Resolution and plans for union were accelerated, even over the objections of a number of the bishops. Despite protests from within the ranks of bishops, clergy, and laypeople, on May 17, 2007, a large part of the ROCA entered into Eucharistic communion with the MP with the signing of the “Act of Canonical Communion” and is now known as the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (MP). A smaller part chose to remain loyal to the historical Russian Orthodox Church and continue the mission of the ROCA.