Articles Serbia 2021

The Relationship of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and ROCOR from 1950 to the Present According to Documents in the OCA Archives

Metropolitan Anastasia visits Metropolitan Leontia
Metropolitan Anastasia visits Metropolitan Leontia. Photo: The Orthodox Church

An abstract of the paper that will be presented at the conference on the history of the ROCOR in Belgrade in November 2021.

This paper will provide an overview of the main historical events in the relations of the North American Metropolia, which, after receiving autocephaly in 1970, became the Orthodox Church in America, with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) from 1950 to the present day, mainly on the basis of materials preserved in the Archives of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).  The OCA Archives is the official repository for inactive records transferred from the chancery of its Primate for permanent preservation and provides access to historians for scholarly research.  Through these official church administrative files, the evolution of relations between the Metropolia/OCA and ROCOR can be traced over this period, from conflicts and disagreements surrounding the granting of autocephaly to the OCA to the joyous and unifying restoration of Communion within the Russian Church in 2007 and the resulting renewal of fraternal ties between the OCA and ROCOR.  Among the historical documents concerning ROCOR in the OCA Archives there are well-known public statements, bilateral correspondence between the first hierarchs and their staffs on various issues, as well as internal documentation on various aspects of the relationship of the OCA with ROCOR.  The files on ROCOR in the OCA Archives also include numerous articles clipped from both ecclesiastical and secular periodicals and even whole journals and booklets that document ROCOR activity, its statements and inter-Church relations. In summation, this paper will endeavor to draw conclusions from the bilateral relations of the last 70 years and to contemplate their potential to contribute to the growth of the Holy Orthodox Church on the North American continent to the greater Glory of God.


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