Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The end of a schism

On Ascension Thursday the long standing schism within the Russian Orthodox Church will come to an end. Last summer the IV All Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) gave its approval to pursuing reunification with the mother church in Russia. The two have been estranged since the 1920's, mostly over The Russian Orthodox Church's perceived collusion with the Communist regime then running Russia. Although ROCOR maintained communion with the Serbian Church and the Jerusalem Patriarchate its relations with most of the other canonical Orthodox jurisdictions have been strained at various times.

ROCOR has also been a supporter of some of the so called "old calendar" jurisdictions. A number of these groups received their episcopal orders from ROCOR. However over the last few years most of these groups have broken communion with the Church Abroad as it became increasingly clear that it was interested in healing the schism with the mother church in Russia. For most of the last century ROCOR has been an uncompromising bastion of Orthodoxy, especially for the emigre (white Russian) community. It is well known for being conservative in its interpretations of church canons and disciplines.

The restoration of formal communion will occur at the celebration of Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on Thursday. Following which the Church Abroad will once again become part of the one Russian Orthodox Church, while maintaining a certain degree of self governance. This will also by default resolve the questions of communion between ROCOR and the various other jurisdictions such as the OCA, which has at times been the target of sharp criticism from ROCOR.

All Orthodox Christians should rejoice in this great miracle of spiritual healing.

1 comment:

318@NICE said...

Wow, that is great news!
May the Lord continue to heal all relationships in the Church catholic.

Dave