OFFICIAL APPEAL OF THE SYNOD OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF MOLDOVA TO GROUP OF "NONCOMMEMORATING" CLERGY OF KISHINEV-MOLDAVIA METROPOLIA
Kishinev, 28 February 2016
With sadness of heart we have learned that several priests and monastics of our Kishinev-Moldavia metropolia have published in news media a statement to the effect that henceforth they are ceasing to commemorate the ruling bishop.
After the bishops' council of the RPTsMP, which was held on 2-3 February 2016, the Pre-conciliar Conference in Chambesy (Switzerland), and the meeting of Patriarch Kirill with Roman Pope Francis, the "noncommemorators" declared that they have ceased commemorating the hierarchy, perceiving in its actions ecumenism and betrayal of the Orthodox faith.
With this statement, they effectively place themselves above the bishops' council, which, guided by the apostolic spirit "Today the grace of the Holy Spirit unites us" (troparion of Pentecost), approved the action of the delegation of the RPTs at the Pre-conciliar Conference of the heads of Orthodox churches. By their distrust of the council and also by their personal ambitions, the "defenders" of Orthodoxy have fallen away from the unity of the Holy Church.
It should be recalled that at the Pre-conciliar Conference in Chambesy, the delegation of the RPTs, led by Patriarch Kirill, achieved the removal of many questions that could confuse the conscience of believers and bring conflict and schisms into local churches. Among these questions were the elimination of reform of the church calendar, prevention of changes in the institution of marriage, and others.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill insisted that the work of the conference and of the future council be exceptionally transparent and open for all Christians so as to avoid any kind of fears, rumors, and fables.
At the bishops' council in Moscow in February of this year, His Holiness the patriarch consecrated the work of the Pre-conciliar Conference before the bishops. The concluding document of the council expressed absolute support for the work of the delegation of the RPTs in Chambesy. "The members of the bishops' council testified that in their current drafts the documents of the Holy and Great Council do not violate the purity of the Orthodox faith and they do not depart from the canonical tradition of the church" (point 3).
The accusation by the "noncommemorators" that the patriarch betrayed Orthodoxy by his meeting with Pope Francis in Havana is unsubstantiated and irrational. There were no dogmatic and canonical violations in this meeting.
With great sorrow, there have been found within the midst of the church those "zealots without reason," who by their fears have brought schisms and divisions into the body of Christ. Not heeding the voice of the church and "zealous for purity," they have confused believers' hearts and brought "great dread" (Ps. 13.5).
With love we appeal to you, reverend fathers, and to you, our flock, and to all those who because of your emotions have turned from the church and ceased commemorating your archpastors: return to the bosom of mother-church, do not go onto the path of schism, do not doom your soul. There are no grounds for your fears.
We invoke God's blessing upon you, awaiting your coming to your senses; we believe that in the future we will "with united voice and united heart" profess the truth of our Orthodox faith.
+Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kishinev and all-Moldova
+Savva, Archbishop of Tiraspol and Dubossary
+Anatoly, Bishop of Kagul and Komrat
+Petr, Bishop of Ungeny and Nisporeny
+Markell, Bishop of Edinets and Brichany
+Ioann, Bishop of Soroka, vicar of Kishinev diocese
(tr. by PDS, posted 29 February 2016)
Russian original posted on Pravoslavie.ru site, 29 February 2016
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