ROAC, ROCOR-A conference

Delegates of the Conference in Odessa

(source: Representatives of the ROAC and the ROCOR-A met last week in Odessa at a conference called “Paths of the ROCOR in the Modern World”. On the ROCOR-A side, Metropolitan Agafangel, Bishop Georgy and assistant clergy were present; a delegation of priests led by Archpriest Alexey Lebedev of the Joy of All who Sorrow Church in St Petersburg, represented the ROAC.

The discussion apparently started quickly, with Metropolitan Agafangel began by appealing to the audience to ask questions urgently and without pleasantries so that they could get to the heart of the ecclesiological differences between the two sides. Father Alexey read a statement which dealt with the recent history of the ROCOR as well as the question of “Cyprianism”, which he pointed out was condemned by both ROAC and RTOC in 2008.

The question of the communion with the Synod in Resistance became the focus of the second day of discussion during which the primary speaker was Portal-Credo editor Alexander Soldatov. Soldatov argued that the 1994 union sped the union process with the Moscow Patriarchate and that the ROCOR-A remained the only part of seven parts of the old ROCOR/FROC that was in communion with the Synod in Resistance. On the second day a paper was also presented discussing the ramifications of the Sorrowful Epistles of St Philaret of New York.

Finally, on the third day the conference wrapped up with discussion on the state of World Orthodoxy, the apparent capitulation of the primates of World Orthodoxy to the primacy of the Pope of Rome, and the causes of the 2007 union being tied to the abandonment of the repentance of the Russian people. Metropolitan Agafangel expressed the hope that such an inter-jurisdictional conference could become an annual event.

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