Message from our Synod
ROCA: Message of the Synod of Bishops
October 29, 2015
The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox
Faithful children of the homeland and in the diaspora.
Reverend hierarchs and pastors, monastics and lay people!
Having gathered these days in the God-preserved city Odessa, members of the Synod of Bishops pointed out that in most of our parishes, scattered around the world, spiritual life goes steadily and safely. But at the same time, in some areas of the territory of the Russian Federation and, in part, in other places, for our Church is the time of special tests. Here, unfortunately, a few parishes, reels and recriminations become almost the norm. "If one member suffers, all suffer with him members" (1 Cor 12.26) - the Apostle writes. Therefore, the pain in one area of our Church passed over her body.
We all know that the unity of the Church is due to the unity of faith and love between her faithful children. If the unity of the faith right now there and witnessed the signing of Omologii with our sister sister Churches - Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian, which is the right path unerring proof that our Church is, together with representatives of other Orthodox Churches Confessor for the past more than twenty years. This unity is the great value of which we must cherish and make every effort so as not to disturb.
If you can confidently assert that the unity professed Orthodox Faith unites us all today, and there is no reason to reproach our bishops in the confession of a heresy, it is necessary to say that we are now faced with a serious test of the strength of our brotherly love. Of course, you should give the report that this is largely due to Ukrainian fratricidal war, which, in exceptional cases, love among the brothers are changed to hatred. Our faithful children are those who have been on opposite sides of the conflict. And this conflict sometimes directly transferred into the church wall. This, unfortunately, is often a cause of unjust uncanonicity division. But, "Is Christ divided?" (1 Cor 1.13). Is there in the land values that more unity in Christ? Physical war should not go into "spiritual battle" between Christians same faith, and this, unfortunately, forget some of our brothers, overly enthusiastic political slogans.
Constantly hear reproaches hurt pride caused some of our fellow former, as well as those of our children, who do not understand the essence of the issue, trying to protect those on which the hierarchy of fair imposed bans. It falls under the rebuke, rather than change their behavior, hardened - not only did they take no efforts and attempts to fix their position, they will further continue to insult and blame bishops and brethren. In the words of the Apostle: "Let no corrupt word does not come out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Eph 4.29). Therefore, the Synod invites them to remove all their offensive remarks against the hierarchs and to ask for their forgiveness. Otherwise, these statements will remain forever impenetrable wall between us.
Not wanting to make internal disputes to an external display, we tasked the ruling bishop, if necessary, for a more detailed explanation to hold meetings with priests who, in turn, will bring the opinion of the Synod to interested parishioners.
Today we appeal to all faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad: Our Lord Jesus Christ constantly repeating: "Peace be with you." These words, and it draws us all. Against the background of a general hostility and retreats, which are now spread all over the earth, we must indicate that we deserve to be called Christians - disciples of the Divine Master. We must remember that we are the children of peace, not war, and, remembering this, make every effort to maintain our unity.
Chairman of the Synod: + Metropolitan Agafangel
The members of the Synod: + Archbishop Andronicus, + Archbishop George, + Bishop Athanasius, + Bishop Gregory, + Bishop Cyril, + Bishop Nikon.