Moscow, March 20, Interfax - The spread of the coronavirus has prompted the Russian Church Outside of Russia to postpone the Jubilee Council of Bishops, the organization stated on its website.
The event was scheduled for early June, but after an emergency meeting of the Synod of Bishops it was decided not to take the risk.
The Synod has decreed "to humbly bow down before Divine Providence and, not wishing not to "tempt the Lord thy God" (Matthew 4:7), to postpone the Jubilee Council of Bishops scheduled to be held in Munich, Germany, on the Week of Holy Pentecost this year that was to mark the centennial of the Church Abroad," the statement reads.
The Church has urged the clergy and flock to take "responsible measures of caution, maintaining healthy ecclesial reason and to heed the recommendations of the local civil authorities to preserve the public health and help prevent the spread of the virus."
The Russian Church Outside of Russia is a self-governed part of the Moscow Patriarchate, which was set up about 100 years ago by Russian emigres who fled the 1917 revolution. Currently, the organization is mostly present in the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, in Germany and several other Western European countries. It also has a monastery in the Holy Land.