20 July 2006, 11:48
The Synod of the Russian Church denounces Constantinople’s decision to receive Bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate from Great Britain into its jurisdiction
Moscow, July 20, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church considered the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to take the former administrator of the Sourozh diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate in Great Britain bishop Basil (Osborne) into its jurisdiction as null and void and contradictory to the church canons.
‘The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolutely repudiates the uncanonical resolution passed by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on July 8 (on Bishop Basil - IF)... We expect effective moves on the part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople for redressing negative consequences of this decision,’ the Synod’s statement passed at its summer session in Moscow reads.
The Synod regarded the fact of receiving of the dismissed from administering the Sourozh diocese bishop Basil into the Exarchate of the Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe as ‘an unconcealed non-brotherly attitude to the Russian Orthodox Church’ undermining canonical relations among Churches.
The Synod of the Russian church said that the Patriarchate of Constantinople ‘thus exercised arrogance in usurping the right to intervene into internal affairs of other Local Churches. The developments testify to the glaring disparity between the current actions of the Throne of Constantinople and Orthodox ecclesiology and... to the extremely dangerous darkening of canonical consciousness.’
The Synod thinks that such decisions of Patriarch Bartholomew ‘could lead to catastrophic consequences for the Orthodox unity’ and ‘aggravate the highly dangerous ecclesiological disorders,’ as ‘the Patriarchate of Constantinople has actually declared its willingness to act in a similar way in the future.’
The Synod temporarily suspended bishop Basil until he repents or the court of bishops resolves his case. The hierarchs called bishop Basil ‘to bring his repentance without which his further ministry to the Church is impossible,’ and summoned him to the next session of the Synod ‘to hear his own witness.’
‘Bishop Basil remains in the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. The decision on his further status is the prerogative of the holy authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church,’ the document reads.
See the full text of the statement under the Documents heading.
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