Fourth All-Diaspora Council

O Master all-good, watch over Thy flock and all the children of the Russian Church Abroad, that we may bring about the structuring of our Church in a manner well-pleasing to Thee. Grant us the spirit of wisdom and understanding; instill in our hearts the spirit of the fear of God, the spirit of piety and zeal for the glory of Thy holy name. Guard us against all temptations, stumbling-blocks and divisions, that, bound together, one to another, by the bond of love for Thee, our Master, we may without hindrance perform the work of our ministry for the edification of the Holy Church as the one Body of Christ. We pray Thee, O greatly Merciful One: hearken and have mercy!

O good Shepherd, Who hast promised to gather Thy scattered sheep into a single flock, put down scandal and division within the Church; all who have strayed from Thy path do Thou lead to repentance and a knowledge of the Truth, and return them to Thy fold; and confirm us all in the Orthodox Faith and the doing of Thy commandments. We pray Thee: hearken and have mercy!

These are the two petitions which the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad have stipulated are to be included in the Augmented Litany of the Divine Liturgy until the All-Diaspora Conference to be convened this May.

This will only be the fourth such conference since the beginning of the late unpleasantness in 1917. The main topic of discussion will be the question of restoration of communion with the Patriarchate of Moscow. The Church Abroad only ever considered itself to be the free part of the Russian Orthodox Church and not an autocephalous jurisdiction in its own right. Its formation was an accident of history, but its continuation was made necessary by incidents in Russia and later, specifically within the Moscow Patriarchate. However, political situations have changed and the Church in Russia is free once more. There are still issues to be worked through, and the Church in Russia is still finding it difficult to regain the trust of many in the Church Abroad.

Please pray for the working of God's will in this situation and for the long-awaited unity of the Church of Christ.

1 responses:

Ben Johnson said...

Lord have mercy (x3)!

It is heartening to see Orthodox unification. The world will benefit much from the example -- of unity and of the unified witness of deep and ascetic Russian piety in ROCOR and MosPat.

BTW, Michael -- glad to have you back!

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