Communiqué No. 02-07 of the Council of the Archdiocese

Meeting of 8 March 2007

The Council of the Archdiocese met on 8 March 2007, with His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel in the chair. Among the questions addressed were :

1. Preparations for the Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) of the Archdiocese. The Council of the Archdiocese studied various questions concerning the practical organisation involved in running the OGA that has been called for Monday 30 April and Tuesday 1 May 2007. Members were reminded that the deadline for letting the Diocesan Administration know the names of the lay delegates elected by the parishes was 20 March 2007.

2. Relations with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). On 13 February, Archbishop Gabriel met in Paris with Archbishop Mark of Berlin, a member of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR and co-President of the Commission for Dialogue between ROCOR and the Patriarchate of Moscow. Archbishop Mark gave an account of the actual state of negotiations and described the steps by which communion would be re-established between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate. The two bishops exchanged views on the implications that would follow for the ecclesiological situation of the Orthodox diaspora in general, and for Western Europe in particular.

3. Parishes. Sub-deacon Maxim Khomenko, a graduate of the Theological Seminary of the Volhynia (Ukraine), was ordained deacon by Archbishop Gabriel on 11 February 2007 in the church of St Germogen in Marseille, and priest on 15 February 2007 in the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. He will carry out his pastoral ministry in Spain, where he has been entrusted with the task of founding a community at Saragossa.

4. Survey of the life and composition of the parishes To date, only forty-two completed forms have arrived at the Diocesan Administration (out of just over eighty sent out). The deadline for the return of the questionnaire had been fixed for 31 January. The rectors of the parishes and communities that have not yet responded were invited to do so as soon as possible.

5. St Sergius Theological Institute Archimandrite Job (Getcha), Dean of the St Sergius Theological Institute, described the state of the reorganisation work undertaken at the Institute both as regards teaching and as regards financial administration. A revision of the civil statutes of the Institute is being undertaken so as to better meet the requirements of civil legislation in both the academic and administrative spheres.

6. Model statute for parishes (associations cultuelles) The Council studied the draft for the revised ‘model statute’ for parishes (called Associations cultuelles in French law) drawn up by the Canonical and Juridical Commission. This draft aims to bring up to date the text that was prepared in 1999 by the preceding Diocesan Administration, which in certain details does not conform to the legislation now in force (Law of 1905). After discussion the draft was sent back to the Commission so that they could rework certain articles.

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