Milan Synod - Part the Second

Last year, I posted this, wondering what had become of the excitement surrounding the supposedly imminent restoration of communion between the Holy Synod of Milan and the Russian Orthodox Church (Milan was once in communion with ROCOR, whence it acquired its hierarchy). I had welcomed the rumours, which I had heard from two independent and reliable sources, so could only conclude that whatever discussions had taken place had come to nothing. There was no public news about this, to my knowledge. I did, however, wonder at how this could ever have gone ahead with such public and vociferous opposition to the Russian Church from certain quarters within the Milan Synod. Other individuals aside, it is no secret that Archbishop John of New York is no fan of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Over the past few days, things have taken an interesting turn. Archbishop John has been elevated to the rank of Metropolitan and appointed leader of a new metropolis of North and South America, and the British Isles, formerly the American dioceses of the Milan Synod, along with its deanery of two priests in the British Isles. Remaining in communion with Milan, this new metropolis has been granted autonomous status.

At the same time, the Milan Synod issued a statement, reproduced on the news blog of Bishop Abbondio of Como, to the effect that it is not engaged in fraternal relations with any Russian breakaway group but only the Moscow Patriarchate. To my knowledge, this is the first public acknowledgement of any movement of Milan in the direction of Moscow, and I wonder whether it may be a sign of things to come.

Could it be that the release of Archbishop, now Metropolitan, John into his own autonomous synod was simply Milan's way of "trimming the fat", unburdening itself and thus allowing itself to move more freely to pursue what it had seemingly tried to pursue a little over a year ago? It seems curious that, a mere few days after all of this transpired, this document of the new metropolis was posted for public consumption.

Let's see where this goes. I, for one, shall continue to pray for communion with Milan under its head, Metropolitan Evloghios. I have long sympathised with this particular Old Calendar synod, if not for its stability then certainly for its resistance to some of the ecclesiological heresies that seem to be plaguing much of the Church today, and hoped for its restoration to the Orthodox Church. I do believe that it will be a healthful presence within the Moscow Patriarchate should this result in communion. It only seems unfortunate that any such good news will not apply to the former Milan clergy here in Britain, at least for now.

May God bless their efforts.

3 responses:

Jon Marc said...

God grant it! I'd been wondering similar things given recent events :-). It's a pity Metropolitan John is so against the Moscow Patriarchate - the Western Rites communities could use a bishop of their own.

Anonymous said...

Metropolitan John and the new Metropolia of the Americas & British Isles are true to the struggle for Patristic Orthodox Christianity. They are in fact closer to the original Old Calendar Church of Greece than the Milan Synod ever was although being itself once the Western European Diocese of the GOC of Greece under Abp. Auxentios of blessed memory.

Michael said...

Be that as it may, it seems that there may have been some degree of prematurity in the naming and drawing of the boundaries of the new metropolis. It would be improper for me to say more than that publicly but perhaps these matters ought to have been worked out before any public announcements were made.

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