A Letter to Bishop Agafangel from the Chairman of the RTOC Synod

Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia

August 13/26, 2007

St. Tikhon, Wonderworker of Zadonsk

 

Your Eminence!

 

We have learned of your letter addressed to the Chairman of the RTOC Synod, Archbishop Tikhon, and which appeared on the Internet. We had hoped for a dialogue with you and certainly would be pleased if it were to commence, considering the Russian Churchs current, tragic situation. Many are anticipating a dialogue between us, and we have called and continue to call on you to join in it. We understand that it will not be easy, but it is necessary, since the division of the Russian Church into micro-synods may lead the Russian Church, as the local (Pomestnaya) church, to grow ever smaller until it would be even difficult to speak of its very existence. Most importantly, it would be difficult to recognize its canonical episcopate in an endless sea of schisms and sects, all calling themselves the heirs of ROCA.

 

It would seem that a mutual understanding between us would be possible only if our treatment of each other is done sincerely and simply, leading to one goal to find agreement for the sake of the Russian Church. There simply cannot be any personal designs in such an important matter. The dialogue must proceed without any personal distractions, as we are faced with a serious, gravely important task. The fate of many of the faithful, those people who follow us, depends on its fulfillment.

 

Therefore, allow us to express our surprise that your letter, addressed to the Chairman of the RTOC, was not sent personally to me, nor to the address of the Synod. It was simply posted on the Internet, and its contents were not known to us right away. At the moment, we find ourselves somewhat confused, should we answer the appeal, if it was not sent to us personally? Do you await some thoughtful answer from us, though you did not consider it necessary to address us directly?

 

Your Eminence! We will say it again and again, that we are engaged in an endeavor of the utmost responsibility. For the sake of remaining steadfast in the Truth, we invite you to a serious, fair and open dialogue, worthy of the order of Orthodox bishops, which God has blessed us to be.

 

+Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia

Chairman of the Synod of the Russian True Orthodox Church

August 13/26, 2007

St. Tikhon, Wonderworker of Zadonsk