On Involvement in Politics

The scandalous association of Bishop Barnabas (Prokofiev) in 1991-1993 with the right-wing nationalist front Pamyat’ forced the ROCOR administration to react. This ROCOR bishop was based in Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow and officially represented the Russian Church Abroad there. In order to disassociate itself from the activities of Bishop Barnabas, the 1993  Council of the ROCOR Bishops adopted the following statement that was composed by Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan and Fr. Victor Potapov, rector of St. John’s Cathedral in D.C. This statement follows the lead of the All-Russia Council of 1917-18, which on August 15, 1918, proclaimed the Russian Church free of any official political agenda.

Decision of the Bishop’s Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia April 24/May 7, 1993 Be it resolved:

  1. To publish in the church press a declaration that our Church does not ally itself with any political movement or social organization whatsoever, but receives into its bosom all those who seek salvation, regardless of their political views.
  2. That our Church also condemns any demonstration of hatred towards people based either on their ethnic heritage, their political views, or their religious convictions.

Source: Tserkovnaia Zhizn'. 1993. nos. 3-4, p. 10.

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