Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)

Our cathedral belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) (Official Site of ROCOR).

The Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is manifested in the Council [Sobor] of Bishops through the First Hierarch with the Synod of Bishops and the Diocesan bishops. The Synod of Bishops is the executive organ of the Council. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is divided into dioceses. All dioceses are under the authority of their diocesan bishops.

ROCOR currently has 349 parishes and 21 monasteries for men and women in 32 countries throughout the world, served by 462 clergy. The distribution of parishes is as follows: 152 parishes and 8 monasteries in the United States; 42 parishes in Germany; 31 parishes and 4 monasteries in Australia; 21 parishes and 3 monasteries in Canada; 22 parishes in Indonesia; and a handful of institutions in France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, South America, and New Zealand. There are twelve ROCOR monasteries for men and women in North America, the most important and largest of which is Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, New York), to which is attached ROCOR’s seminary, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary.

In concert with the Church of Jerusalem, ROCOR also oversees the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, which acts as caretaker to three holy sites in Palestine, all of which are monasteries

metr_hilarionMetropolitan HILARION of Eastern America and New York, FIRST HIERARCH of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

 

A bit of history:

The Revolution of 1917, having destroyed the centuries-old Russian state, drew along with it onerous consequences for the Russian Orthodox Church. The first result of the bolshevik coup was the upsetting of the unity of the Russian Church . Political shifts of power, civil war, the severing of contact with the far reaches of the empire, the loss of Russian territories and, finally, the emigration, all this tore a portion of the Russian people away from the ecclesiastical centers. Although in Poland , the Baltics, and the Far East , dioceses preserved their organization, communication with Patriarch Tikhon and his Ecclesiastical Authority was lost. Even more difficult was the situation in territories seized during the civil war and among the emigre communities beyond the reach of the Soviet state. Many Orthodox people were left as “sheep without a shepherd,” and urgently needed ecclesiastical order.

 

In 1920, a group of bishops found themselves in Constantinople, having been evacuated from Russia together with military and civil populations. With the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople they convened a Council of Russian bishops in the diaspora, and, not yet knowing of Patriarch Tikhon’s order, formed the Higher Ecclesiastical Authority Abroad. This council was not an arbitrary meeting of a few bishops but a conference of a multitude of ruling bishops who left their dioceses along with their flocks. Soon ruling bishops outside of Russia joined them–from Finland , Latvia , Manchuria , China , Japan and North America . There were 34 bishops, all of them separated from Moscow , who deemed it necessary to form a higher ecclesiastical organ for the temporary administration of the dioceses abroad.

 

The Council in Constantinople chose as its leader Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev and Volyn’, the eldest hierarch of the Russian Church , who was one of the candidates for patriarch, and formed its own executive arm–the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority Abroad. In 1921 this center moved, at the invitation of Patriarch Varnava of Serbia, to Yugoslavia , and that year it convened the 1st All-Diaspora Church Council of Russian Bishops, Clergymen and Laymen. The Council was held in Sremsk-Karlovats with the participation of 155 representatives chosen from all regions outside of Russia , along with 16 bishops. Presided over by Metropolitan Anthony, the Council studied all the questions pertaining to the organization and administration of church life abroad. Questions regarding help for the starving in Russian were also discussed, and an appeal was made to the International Conference in Genoa for aid to Russia , as were appeals to the flock of the Russian Orthodox Church in the diaspora.

 

The Act of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) was signed at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral on 18 May 2007. The historic document was signed by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and by First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Laurus.

 

250px-Laurus_alexii_signingAccording to the Act of Canonical Communion, the Moscow Patriarchate recognizes the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as “an indissoluble part of the local Russian Orthodox Church, but independent in pastoral, educational, administrative, managerial, property and civil matters,” and remaining “in canonical unity with the Fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church.”