On what grounds can a council convened by two dioceses of the ROCA be called an All-Diaspora Council?
To begin with, this title is a tribute to tradition. Councils in the Church Abroad included clergy and laypeople from all over the diaspora and thus were called All-Diaspora. They were convened for a specific purpose and at special times in history. In all of the history of the ROCA, there were only four such councils before 2007.
The 5th All-Diaspora Council already did not include all those who opposed the decision of Met. Laurus’ synod to join with the Moscow Patriarchate. Met. Agafangel was chosen as the primate by this Council. Since our Council is being convened with the aim partly to evaluate the actions of Met. Agafangel, then it is only fitting to name it the 6th All-Diaspora Council.
The Pre-Council Committee recognizes that the name of this Council does not accurately describe its standing, but the name does adequately describe the intent of its organizers. We consider the task of restoring the entirety of the Church to be the duty of all the fragments. They are all invited to the Council.
The topics which will be included in the Council’s agenda affect all the parts of the Church Abroad. We understand fully that our plan evokes mixed feelings among many of the fragments. There is doubt and distrust and stereotypes formed over the decades, and even a desire not to ruin the established balance. That is why the forthcoming Council is for us but a first step on the way to a common resolution of administrative and theological questions.
The interest that representatives of other jurisdictions are expressing in our Council shows that they acknowledge our genuine desire for the union of all the parts of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad scattered throughout the world.