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ROCOR's Reception of Moscow Patriarchate Priests by Repentance (1953-2007)

Updated: Jun 10

№ 36

Resolution of the Bishops' Council

of the Russian Church Outside Russia on the acceptance of priests

of the Moscow Patriarchate through Repentance

October 27, 1953

After hearing the report of Bishop Anthony "on the situation of the Church in Soviet Russia," the Bishops' Council determines:

1. The Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Patriarch Alexy, who was elected in 1945 in clear violation of the rules of the All-Russian Moscow Council of 1917-18 and under direct pressure from the godless communist authorities, is currently in complete subjugation of this power and is its obedient instrument.

2. The Moscow Patriarchate in the hands of the godless communist government is used to strengthen this power within Russia and spread godless communism throughout the world.

3. The performance by Patriarch Alexy and his priests of memorial services for the beatification of the greatest persecutor of the Church of Christ and the instiller of godless communism throughout the world, Stalin, is an unheard-of blasphemy in the history of the Church.

4. The above circumstances compel the Russian Church Outside Russia to reaffirm that it does not and cannot have any communication with the modern Moscow Patriarchate, which is finally enslaved by the godless communist government and serves the tasks and goals of the latter.

5. The Bishops' Council determines that in the future, in the event of the transfer to the Church Outside Russia of priests who were part of the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate or persons who were ordained by the hierarchy of the current Moscow Patriarchate, to accept such persons, after careful consideration of each individual case, through repentance offered in the church in the face of all the people, and through imposing a penance corresponding to their spiritual state.

6. If communists are found to have been ordained from the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate with the intention of preaching the communist principles of godlessness in the holy order, the ordination of such should not be recognized as gracious and lawful.

7. To confirm the spiritual unity of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad with the hierarchy, clergy and the believing Russian people, persecuted by the godless authorities and who have remained faithful to the Holy Orthodox Church. To express our deep sympathy to the Russian people in their suffering from the godless government and prayerful wish for the freedom of the Russian people.

8. The Bishops' Council expresses deep regret that representatives of some local Orthodox Churches have communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, supporting it with their authority. The Bishops' Council would like the representatives of these local Churches to understand the course of action of the Moscow Patriarchate and cease their relations with it [1/2].



[1]. A.A. Kostryukov, The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1939-1964: Administrative Structure and Relations with the Church in the Homeland (Moscow: St. Tikhon's Orthodox University, 2015), 466-467

[2]. Church Life. 1953. № 9-12. Pp. 56-57.


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