According to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, the reunion of the Archdiocese of the Western European parishes of the Russian Tradition with the Russian Church is the final act that closes the drama of the Revolution…
The Sunday, 15 September, the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, the Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias Kirill celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St Olga in the district of Ostankino in Moscow. At the end of the service, His Holiness gave a sermon.
“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In today’s apostolic reading, and this was an excerpt from the First Epistle to the Corinthians of the Apostle Paul, we find the words: “Brothers, watch, stand in the faith, be courageous” (1 Cor. 16:13). We must take these words as the great command of the apostle, ”called the High Hierarch. – It is remarkable that the list of virtues that a Christian should possess begins with the word “watch.” What does it mean to stay awake? It means not to sleep, to be conscious; and a person in consciousness is able to establish a connection with the outside world, perceive the outside world, analyze what is happening around him, and thus build his relationship with the outside world. ”
“This raises a very important question. What criteria should we be guided to evaluate the world around us, everything that happens around us? – asks the Primate of the Russian Church. – Of course, you can use political, scientific, artistic criteria, but they do not cover the entirety of the human worldview. And more often than not, we evaluate the world around us, assuming ourselves as a criterion. What is right from our point of view, what is good for us, then becomes the measure of the assessment of everything that is happening around. This is a great mistake, because the assessment of the world around cannot be reduced to a personal understanding of what is happening or to personal interests. But not only individuals suffer from this sin – sometimes whole groups, communities of people are subject to this sin. So, starting from the 18th century, godlessness gradually began to supplant faith from the consciousness of our intelligentsia. And when, instead of the Divine truth and the word of God, personal interests, the interests of the bearers of certain political and ideological views became the criterion, then the death of the people began, which led to the catastrophe of the Revolution and civil war. ”
“We are talking about the Revolution, about the civil war as a distant past – indeed, for the modern generation it is the time of their great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers. But, having gone into the past, these terrible events of our history should not be left without a nationwide assessment, the First Hierarch is convinced. – After all, this is what happened: people laid the basis of their actions for the political and ideological criteria that divided the people, divided the country. The result of this division was the expulsion of a huge number of Russian Orthodox people, our people, our fellow citizens, abroad. This outcome greatly weakened our intellectual, spiritual strengths, and it took decades to restore everything that was lost as a result of the breakdown of our whole life. ”
“However, the consequences of this outcome persist in some sense to this day,” he said. – We know that the Russian Orthodox Church was divided. Emigres created the Russian Church Outside Russia with its center in Sremsky Karlovtsy in Serbia, but there was another group of Orthodox people who grouped around Metropolitan Eulogius – it was conventionally called the Paris emigration. And those children of the Russian Orthodox Church who maintained contact with Moscow made up the third part of the entire Russian emigration. This division reflected political contradictions, which led Russia to the Revolution. And our cherished dream was the unification of the whole Russian emigration, the unification of the Russian Church outside Russia. We know that in 2007, by the grace of God, the miracle of reunification with the Russian Church of that part of the emigration was revealed to all of us, which belonged to the Russian Church Outside Russia. This reunion solemnly took place in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but it did not affect the emigres grouped around Paris. ”
“It so happened that the Russian Orthodox people who had Paris as their center and Metropolitan Eulogius as their ruling bishop ended up in the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and this state of affairs persisted to this day. But yesterday there was an event that could become historic. I say “it could become,” because much remains to be done to ensure that this action brings results. But such an act – Archbishop John, who is in Paris and leads the very fragment of the Russian emigration that did not belong to the Russian Church Outside Russia or the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, sent me a request for reunification with the Russian Orthodox Church, ”said the Primate.
“This happened yesterday, September 14, that is, September 1, according to the old style, on the first day of the church new year, or, as we say, the beginning of the indiction. Opening this petition, I realized that the deed of Archbishop John is full of many meanings. Because the implementation of this petition closes the topic of the division of the Russian Church outside Russia, the separation of Russians living abroad, and the fact that this happened on the first day of the Church New Year, helps to understand that reunification should happen forever, for all the times that lie ahead. This opens up the possibility of establishing the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the homeland and abroad, ”said Patriarch Kirill.
“Yesterday, we held a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church by telephone, because there was no time to gather the Most Reverend members of the Synod. But I talked with everyone and received not just consent, but ardent consent. It was necessary to hear the intonations with which the members of the Synod responded to my message about what had happened. When I asked them if they voted for this decision, I received an enthusiastic answer: “We don’t just vote, we vote with all our hearts.” And indeed it is so. Because it cannot be a matter of secondary importance, indifferent to every Orthodox Russian person, for every member of the Russian Orthodox Church, regardless of his nationality, the restoration of the unity of our Church and the unity of our people, ”the Primate was convinced.
“Having satisfied the request of His Grace John, who headed the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Western Europe of the Russian tradition, the Holy Synod reunites by its decision all Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe with the Mother Church. We thank the Lord for the mercy that has been shown. This is not just a Church act – most likely, this is the final act that closes the drama of Revolution, civil war, the drama of the division of our people. Therefore, today our prayer to the Lord is a prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that He, having led our people in Russia and scattered abroad through divisions, through unrest, through persecution and upheaval, today opens up the possibility for us to feel like a single people, united by a single Russian Orthodox Church. Thank God for everything! Amen,” concluded the primate of the Russian Church.
Translation by Orthodox England