• 26 March 2016

    Report and Resolution from Pastoral Retreat of the Priests & Clergy of the Diocese of Montréal & Canada March, 2016

    Resolution of the Clergy of the Montreal and Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Outside of Russia

    Montreal, Quebec

    March 23-25, 2016

    This year, we, the clergy of the Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, gathered in our cathedral church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra and Lycia in Montreal, Quebec under the chairmanship of our diocesan hierarch, Archbishop Gabriel. We greet all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, our parishioners, scattered throughout our vast diocese and pray that each of you will use the time of Great Lent to worthily prepare for the great feast of Pascha.

    We are pleased to see that the exterior reconstruction of the cathedral in Montreal has been successfully restored and hope that with God’s help the interior will soon be completed as well.

    This year, an important anniversary for all Orthodox Christians living in the diaspora will take place; the fiftieth year of the repose of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. The life and struggles of this man of God should inspire each of us to work to preserve our Russian Orthodox faith and tradition in our families and parishes, while at the same time spreading the Word of God as expressed by the One Holy Orthodox Church to the people of Canada. The Holy hierarch John helped bring to the true faith many people, including Fr. Seraphim Rose.

    Clinging to these traditions, we reaffirm a commitment to the moral, intellectual and spiritual formation of the faithful and repeat, as in last year’s resolution, our worry and pain with the legalization of euthanasia in Canada. Once more we confirm that euthanasia is suicide and an immoral act for which there is no repentance. All Christians are called to remember the patience and suffering of the saints and all pious and Orthodox Christians and to emulate them throughout our lives.

    Each family living in Ontario, must take note of the recent changes to the provincial school curriculum and guard their children against the indoctrination of immorality.

    This year marks the tenth anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Vitaly, the fourth first hierarch of the Church Abroad and Archbishop of Montreal and Canada for almost forty years. We call on everyone to keep him in their prayers.

    As a diocese we want to address the subject of the upcoming “Great and Holy Council” in June of 2016 in Crete. Joining our voices to the many bishops, theologians, priests, and faithful around the world, we want to express our concern with certain pre-conciliar texts. We urge the adoption of theological terminology that is unequivocal about the Orthodox Church’s self-identity as the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,” which remains ever undivided, though many have separated themselves from Her.

    Dear brothers and sisters let us strive for a life of purity and holiness as demonstrated by St. Gregory Palamas, the ascetic and pillar of the Church, who’s memory we celebrate on the second Sunday of Lent, and to put into practice the words which the Church sings yearly on the Sunday of Orthodoxy:
    Let us now set out with joy upon [the time] of the Fast; and like Elijah… let us fashion for ourselves … a fiery chariot from the four great virtues; let us exalt our minds through freedom from the passions; let us arm our flesh with purity and our hands with acts of compassion; let us make our feet beautiful with the preaching of the Gospel; and let us put the enemy to flight and gain victory. (Stichira at ‘Lord I have cried’ at Vespers of the first Sunday of Lent)

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