The Epistle of the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad September 11/24 of 2017

Beloved in Christ, the children of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in the Fatherland and in the diaspora!

We, the Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, gathered at the most recent  Bishops' Council at the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Diaspora, at the Savior's Transfiguration Skete (Mansonville, Canada), in the same place where Metropolitan Vitaly spent his last earthly years, under the shadow of holy icons of the Kursk Root Mother of God and The Sovereign Myrrh-Streaming Mother of God. First of all we would like to note that by God’s grace our Church was in relative peace and prosperity from the time of the previous Bishops' Council.

We consider the preservation of the unity and traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as a priority task at the present time. This is possible under the condition the spiritual heritage of Metropolitan Vitaly is preserved. Being the indisputable authority for the entire Orthodox world, the Chairman of the Bishops' Council of the ROCA, Metropolitan Vitaly determined all the canonically significant divisions in ROCA before his transition to eternal life. Only in the realization of this, can we be granted the preservation of the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is counteracted by modern schismatics who are trying once again to use the decree of Patriarch Tikhon No. 362 to justify their schisms, not understanding that this decree was issued only for all those who were disconnected from St. Tikhon and his Supreme Church Administration. Today, the actions of these schismatics are, therefore, a kind of canonical revolution, and they vainly claim that they are trying to preserve the traditions of ROCOR.

These schismatics are, in fact, are the successors of the cause of the revolutionary persecutors of the Church. And in this they continue the traditions of the February revolution, which violated the peaceful course of the creative life of the Russian Orthodox Church. This revolutionary tradition is also supported by the so-called "name-worshipers", whose forerunners began their harmful activity already in the pre-revolutionary period.

These sad anniversaries will be to their spiritual death, as well to their contemporary followers, and all of those who support them, if they do not repent.

Even a cursory analysis of the schisms that shocked our Church Abroad in the 20th and early 21st centuries makes it possible to conclude that almost all of them arose not because of imaginary or actual "jealousy over God" or doctrinal differences, but because of unsatisfied passion for power and this worldly ambitions of the schismatics, which were skilfully used by the world’s powerful.

The roots of this go to the same well-known reasons that pushed our Motherland into the abyss of the bloody upheavals of the 20th century - a retreat from the Truth and from the Church that holds this Truth.

Unfortunately, at the present time we are witnessing a constant aggravation of apostasy. Having lost the true understanding of the Church, its unworldliness, the Moscow Patriarchate and its partakers, have taken a course toward rapprochement with the Catholic Church. At the same time, in the "best traditions" of the ROCA split of 2000-2001, the MP flock is convinced that there will be no unification with the Catholics.

With the same sorrow, we should note the aggravation of problems in our homeland. According to the immutable words of our Savior: "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Mt 7:16), one can say with certainty that the current godless power in Russia remains true to the methods and means of its predecessors-theomachists. The spiritual struggle is replaced by an open struggle against dissent, the installation of monuments to the executioners of the people and to the schism-teaching leaders continues, and Soviet names of cities and streets are preserved. And all this against the backdrop of talk about the fight against international terrorism while the mummy of the main terrorist continues to be carefully stored in the mausoleum in Moscow.

A hundred years later, for many people it became obvious that the death of Russia was such a huge catastrophe that even the unbelievers began to see in it the expression of the punishment of God. However, we must not forget about the other side of the coin of this tragedy, which Metropolitan Vitaly said. Namely: dispersed throughout the world, which departed from Christ, Russian people were able to convey to all its corners the religion of true worship - Orthodoxy. The acquisition for the Church of many children from different tribes and peoples was the fruit of this true faith in the diaspora  Among them were such blazing candles as the holy martyr Peter Aleut, father Seraphim Rose, Joseph Muñoz. Until recent times, the Lord strengthens his faithful children by the miraculous and incorruptible relics of the hierarchs of the Church Abroad, which have been unsuccessfully attempted to be hidden by those who do not benefit from it.

The same small miracle or consolation is also in the Gospel words at the Divine Liturgy, which preceded the current conciliar meetings, with which it is time to complete the present message: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk.12.32). Amen.


+Archbishop Vladimir of San Francisco and Western America

+Bishop Victor of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia

+Bishop Alexei of Soltanov and Lesser Russia

+Bishop Tikhon of Vasilkovsk, Vicar of the Lesser Russian Diocese

+Bishop Ambrose of Denver, Vicar to the Western American Diocese