ROCOR and MP heal rift

As they say, It’s official! Apparently immediately, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) today became a more-or-less autonomous Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP). As a result, ROCOR’s status as a ‘canonical’ Orthodox Church, ISTM, is now unquestionable – though if there are technicalities or formalities required with regard to other Patriarchates, Churches, and Jurisdictions, one may hope they take place quickly.

The United States is ROCOR’s main base today; they also have significant numbers in Western Europe, Australia, and the Former Soviet Union, especially Russia and Ukraine. [Go ahead, say it: The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Inside Russia!] As I understand it, cooperation is supposed to increase between ROCOR and MP structures and personnel throughout the world, aiming for integration before too long, ie, the end of overlapping ‘jurisdictions.’

To clarify, during the years when most of the Church considered ROCOR out of Communion, they were said to still have ties of some sort with the Patriarchates of Serbia and Jerusalem, and I have heard that sometimes “canonical” Orthodox could receive Communion in their parishes and vice-versa.

So, as I was urged to do last year by a Commenter, I am pleased to add the names of the Active ROCOR Bishops:

  • Metropolitan LAURUS, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Ruling Hierarch of the Eastern America and New York Diocese, Locum Tenens of Eastern Canada
  • Archbishop HILARION of the Sydney, Australian, and New Zealand Diocese
  • Archbishop ALYPY of the Chicago and Detroit Diocese
  • Archbishop MARK of the Berlin, German, and Great Britain Diocese, and Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem
  • Archbishop KYRILL of the San Francisco and Western American Diocese, Locum Tenens of Western Canada
  • Bishop EVTIKHII of the Ishim and Siberian Diocese, Deputy Ruling Bishop of the Parishes of the Church of Russia in Moscow and St. Petersburg
  • Bishop AGAFANGEL of the Simferopol and Crimean Diocese
  • Bishop MICHAEL of the Geneva and Western Europe Diocese

Auxiliary Bishops:

  • Bishop DANIEL of Erie, Vicar Bishop for Old Believers
  • Bishop GABRIEL of Manhattan, Vicar Bishop of the Eastern American and New York Diocese
  • Bishop AGAPIT of Stuttgart, Vicar of the Berlin, German, and Great Britain Diocese
  • Bishop PETER of Cleveland, Vicar of the Chicago and Detroit Diocese
  • Bishop AMBROISE (Vicar of the Geneva and Western Europe Diocese?)

To clarify, ROCOR’s Synod has only five members, as indicated on their Bishops page, who govern the Church in between sessions of the whole Council of Bishops, which includes all of them. I think Synod membership rotates or something like that. (The MP is similarly structured, as is the Serbian Patriarchate; maybe some others too, though not The OCA, all of whose Ruling Hierarchs meet as the Synod twice a year [I believe their Auxiliaries also attend], a committee of whom, the “Lesser Synod,” meets between Synod meetings for the governance of the Church.)

ROCOR parishes, institutions, etc., may be found here. Many years!!!


  1. Rachi

    Praise the Lord!!!!

    We need to pray constantly for the unity of the church.

    This is huge. And an important issue for me. I am raised Catholic (non-practicing) but cannot receive communion in the Orthodox church until I am chrismated. Yet Orthodox can receive communion in the Catholic church…

    I hope these rifts can be healed. Though both churches have their differences, we have more similarities and should focus on them, rather than the differences.

    Since joining the Orthodox church I have been reunited with the Catholic church. I now try not to look at them as two churches but as THE Church…

    just some of my thoughts anyway
    love Rachel xoxo

  2. me

    Welcome back, Rachel! đŸ™‚

    I’m an ex-Catholic too!

    To clarify for other readers, the Church of Rome allows Orthodox who can’t obtain the Mysteries (“sacraments”) from their own Church in time of need to do so with Roman clergy/parishes, without having to “become Roman.” However, The Orthodox Church does not allow Orthodox to receive the sacraments of any religious body not in Communion with us, and some Orthodox consider the Roman unilateral grant of permission to be mischievous. Ironically, Orthodoxy takes the same kind of position Rome generally does – eg, Catholics can’t receive communion from Anglicans, Lutherans, Mennonites, etc., because they’re not in communion with Rome, or even close really. It’s just that in recent years Rome has loosened-up on who it considers ‘close enough,’ so to speak, to allow emergency-type arrangements, to wit, the Orthodox, the Oriental Churches (better known as “Monophysite” though they deny this label), I think the Assyrian Church (b/k/a “Nestorian” though they deny this label), the Polish National Catholic Church, maybe some other Western “schismatic Catholic” groups…I can’t find the complete list just now.

    Many Orthodox laity, clergy, even Bishops see Orthodoxy and Rome as very close indeed. But many other Orthodox see the two as farther apart. There’s even been, in the last generation or so, an increase in the numbers and degree of the latter – not all ‘raving sectarians’ by any means (though some, yes); some are people influenced by – among other things – the Patristic Revival going on increasingly in the mainstream of the Orthodox Church.

    I pray God guides you as you move towards Chrismation, Rachel!

    Leo Peter

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