Russian Orthodox Church Abroad - Provisional Supreme Church Authority

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The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad - Provisional Supreme Church Authority (PSCA) is a body composed of parishes from the ROCOR who refused to enter into communion with the Moscow Patriarchate in May of 2007. Like the ROCOR before the union, they have maintained communion with the Holy Synod in Resistance under Metropolitan Cyprian of Fili and their sister churches. The current head of the jurisdiction is Metropolitan Agafangel (Pashkovsky) of Odessa. Unlike ROCOR, they are not in communion with any canonical Orthodox Church, while even prior to reconciliation with the Moscow Patriarchate, ROCOR had maintained communion and concelebrations with the Church of Serbia, and the Jerusalem Patriarchate.

History

By mid-2006, a number of ROCOR parishes had made clear that they wanted no part of the reconciliation between the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR, wishing to retain the status quo as it had been for most of ROCOR's existence. When it became clear that the reconciliation would occur after it had been approved by the 4th All-Diaspora Sobor, various clergy began to make plans for the establishment of a rival Synod.

Following the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow, Russia, on May 17, 2007, Bishop Agafangel declared that he did not accepted the document and would "continue to abide by the previous Bylaws of the ROCOR, considering any actions of the Moscow Patriarchate to be unlawful." He accused the Moscow Patriarchate of "sins of sergianism and ecumenism." On May 22, 2007, Bishop Agafangel issued a statement that he and Bishop Daniel of Erie were organizing a Provisional Supreme Church Authority for those who "have remained in the ROCOR", citing authority of Ukase No. 362 of Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow, dated November 20, 1920. While Bishop Daniel had previously expressed reservations about the Act of Canonical Communion, there is no evidence that he ever intended to break with the ROCOR Synod; rather, the elderly vicar for the care of Old-Ritualists continued to remain in communion with Metropolitan Laurus. There were claims that Bishop Daniel had been placed under a form of house arrest on some internet journals[1], but there is no evidence that this is true.

Agafangel found himself alone, supported by a handful of clergy and the majority of his parishes in Ukraine, which had refused to join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), and thus would have no part of the reconciliation.

On May 20, 2007, the members of the ROCOR synod, meeting in Moscow, suspended Bishop Agafangel for inciting schism, disobeying lawful authority, and refusing transfer to the Buenos Aires cathedral.

At an emergency meeting of the ROCOR synod on June 28 and 29, 2007, issued a "final letter of warning" to Bp. Agafangel, calling on him to cease all schismatic activity. The synod also approved the suspension of Abbot Andronik (Kotliaroff), head of the Russian Ecclesiastic Mission in Jerusalem, and other clerics that supported Agafangel. However on December 7, 2007, with the aid of bishops from the Holy Synod in Resistance, with whom ROCOR had been in communion until about a year prior to reconciliation with Moscow (though relations had been strained since, and episcopal concelabrations had essentially ceased after 1998), Agafangel carried out the consecration of Abbot Andronik (Kotrliaroff) as Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York and Hieromonk Sofroniy (Musienko) as Bishop of Saint Petersburg and Northern Russia. These ordinations marked the final breach of the new organization with the ROCOR synod, calling itself the Provisional Supreme Church Authority.

On September 4, 2008, the PSCA received into its communion two bishops from the Seraphimo-Gennadian (Sekachev) branch of the Russian Catacomb Church. There was considerable debate over the status of the two bishops received. On November 19, 2008, the Provisional Supreme Church Authority called what it termed the Fifth All-Diaspora Council (in reference to the Four All-Diaspora Council of the ROCOR which overwhelmingly supported reconciliation with the Moscow Patriarchate). Among other decisions, the council elevated Bp. Agafangel to the rank of metropolitan.

Dioceses

The current structure of the ROCOR-PSCA (as of the Sobor of November, 2008) is as follows:

  • Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Tavrich, First-Hierarch of the ROCOR-PSCA

(United States and Europe)

  • Archbishop Andronik of Ottawa and Eastern America
  • Bishop Joseph of Washington and Florida

(Russia)

  • Archbishop Sophroniy of St Petersburg and West Russia
  • Bishop Ioann of Buin
  • Bishop Afanasy of Vologod
  • Bishop George of Bolgrad

External link

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