ROCOR-OCA: Time to heal?

A report from the regular session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, held May 5-7 in New York, discloses a plan to form a joint commission with the Orthodox Church in America to discuss issues that have kept the Churches apart. HT: Joe. The report says:

It was also decided to form a commission to study the relationship with the Orthodox Church in America and to hold joint meetings to discuss the sources of the division between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the American Metropoliate. Included in this commission are Bishop George, President; Archimandrite Luke (Murianka); Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Secretary; Protopriest David Moser and Priest Peter Jackson. The commission is to study and present findings on the reasons for the division and to evaluate the mutual accusations, and propose methods of healing the separation.


  1. If by, “heal”, it is meant that this is the momement for the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad reclaim its heritage as the descendants of the original Russian Orthodox missionaries of 1794, then, yes, IT IS TIME.

  2. George Michalopulos

    Speaking as somebody who has always had a great deal of respect for ROCOR, it appears to me that as in the case of the late +Laurus of blessed memory, this church is headed by sober individuals who are again acting in good faith.

    I still search in vain for the ROCOR’s text regarding the recent (hastily-executed) visit of the GOA to Jordanville. It appears to me that this was just a publicity stunt by the GOA at the behest of the Phanar and that it has come to be viewed as such by Jordanville.

  3. Scott Pennington

    Well this is odd to the max.

    While I am sure that there is some bad feeling between some of those in the OCA and in ROCOR, they are in communion. So “propose methods of healing the separation” indicates to me that the separation to overcome is their separate existence as two different jurisdictions. Since neither the OCA nor the MP seem to have any intentions of returning the OCA to some autonomous status (if that is even possible), it appears to me that OCA and ROCOR may be planning to discuss terms about merger as an American Orthodox Church. This would certainly solve the canonical problem of the MP having an autonomous province on territory given to the OCA when it was granted autocephaly.

    My only caveat here, and it is directed to ROCOR, is that I strongly encourage them not to compromise their stance in traditional orthopraxis. We don’t need one of the true lights of orthopraxis in the US to lose ground.

    Other than that, Alleluia!

  4. George Michalopulos

    Scott, from where i stand, ROCOR is definitely the leading Orthopractic jurisdiction in the West. To be fair to my own jurisdiction, I don’t feel that we in the OCA fall much farther behind. (This is based on my own observation as a Greek-American who was a stranger to both.) But kudos all around. I also saw on ROCOR’s website where the OCA is turning over its last remaining parish in Australia to ROCOR. That’s sounds like a goodwill gesture to me. What’s your take?

  5. Michael Bauman

    If the GOA and the AOCA continue in the path of self-destruction, we all may be joining these guys one way or another.

  6. George Michalopulos

    I remember asking Matthew Gallatin speak last year. (Highly recommend him btw.) I asked him if there would ever be jurisdictional unity in the US and he said only if there was persecution of the Church.

  7. Michael Bauman

    Persecution won’t bring unity either, IMO. It will produce an ‘official’ church and a catacomb church. Given the Slavic, esp. the ROCOR experience in such things I expect them to become increasingly important.

  8. George Michalopulos

    Yeah, Michael, I guess you’re right.

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