Communiqué N° 02-11 of the Council of the Archdiocese

Meeting of May 26th 2011

The Council met on May 26th 2011 under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel. Among the matters considered were :

1. The Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit to Paris His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch came to Paris for a four-day visit from April 11th to 14th this year, on the occasion of the publication of the new Ecumenical Translation of the Bible into French (TOB) and of his new book in French by Editions du Cerf. On the morning of April 14th, he went to the St Sergius Institute for a formal academic session before meeting the clergy and faithful present for a brief meal. While extending gratitude for the constant interest shown by the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Institute, the Council regretted that the Patriarch’s agenda did not allow him also to go, on this visit, to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral , which is both the seat of the Archdiocese and the oldest Orthodox church in the capital, celebrating its 150th anniversary in September.

2. Exchange of correspondence with the Patriarchate The Council of the Archdiocese has taken note of a letter from the secretariat of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarch, confirming His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel as a member of the assemblies of Orthodox Bishops that were established in various European countries in conformity with the decisions of the Fourth Pan-Orthodox Pre-Conciliar Conference held in Chambésy in 2009. There is also a question in this letter of the situation and future of the communities and parishes in Great Britain. The Council decided to send a letter to the Patriarchate taking note of the first point and requesting certain clarifications concerning the second.

3. Nice The Council noted with astonishment and consternation the reasons adduced for the order of the Court of Appeal in Aix-en-Provence which, in a judgement given on May 19th this year, confirmed the allocation of the grounds on which St Nicholas Cathedral in Nice is built to the full possession of the Russian Federation. The Religious Association decided to appeal in the Supreme Court, bearing in mind the denial of justice made clear by this decision, which had ignored a number of arguments put forward by the lawyers representing the Religious Association. The Council also protests against the despoilment of which the Association is a victim, seeing itself deprived, by this same decision of the court in Aix-en-Provence, of the possession of two registered plots of land adjacent to that on which the cathedral is built, which had never belonged either to the Russian Imperial Family or to the Russian Empire and therefore, a fortiori, not to the Russian Federation ; in fact, the last-mentioned had never made any request for possession of these two plots.

4. Clergy Archpriest Patrick Hodson has been relieved, at his request, of the rectorship of the Community of the Holy Trinity in Guildford. He is replaced by Father Constantine Litvinenko .

5. Finance M. Alexandre Victoroff, treasurer of the Archbishopric, presented the accounts for the past year and the budget plan for the current one. He noted with satisfaction that all the parishes had settled their dues in 2010, including the parishes of Great Britain that had completed the staggered payments that had been granted them because of the costs incurred by the legal proceedings of 2006-9.

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