NEW YORK: November 17, 2017
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York Sends a Third Archpastoral Letter to the Clergy and Laity of Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral in Geneva
Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
Despite our calls for peace and accord, observance of customary order within the Church which is necessary for the establishment of her life, the group of individuals who disrupted a general parish meeting on Sunday, October 15, continue their anti-ecclesiastical activities, collecting signatures, demanding the convening of an extraordinary meeting and in every way inflaming passions within our cathedral parish. To this I respond that one does not behave this way in the Church. Pressure, slander and lies only increase passions and disorder and in no way foster the healing of the wounds on the body of church-parish life which were inflicted by recent events.
Such behavior, totally unacceptable in the Church, bear glaring witness to the utter lack of ecclesial consciousness among these people. Unfortunately, it has become known to us that there are persons behind them who are granting their blessing for this “activity.” Calm dialog, patience, mutual respect and obedience to one’s Church Hierarchy and collegial constructiveness are the only way out of the existing situation. I call upon everyone to return to this more churchly approach. Let us not forget that we are people and we are Christians, which compels us to a certain kind of behavior.
The Synod of Bishops, as I reported earlier, has already appointed a committee headed by Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, which is called upon to bring the by-laws of Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral and the Societe de l’eglise russe in Geneva into alignment with church norms. When the Synod of Bishops reviews these documents and approves them, then the opportunity will be presented to lay the groundwork for a general parish meeting.
One would think that the individuals organizing the rebellion and are leading the absolute majority of parishioners and worshipers of the cathedral, let alone of the Western European Diocese, into temptation, should immediately cease their anti-Church actions and seek forgiveness from the most senior, by ordination, member of the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, who by the blessing of my unworthiness presided at the meeting of October 15, and who was not even given the opportunity to finish speaking on that day. Such treatment of an emissary of the Synod of Bishops is not only a violation of accepted Church norms, but of basic decency.
And so I once again call for peace, hoping that my words will not only be taken into account but also fulfilled, and I invoke Divine blessing upon that those clergymen, parishioners and worshipers of Elevation of the Holy Cross Cathedral who pray and labor peacefully in obedience.
With love in Christ,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.