A Letter of Condolence from His Eminence Bishop Andronik on the passing of Metropolitan Lavr (ROCOR (MP))

The death of anyone is always an occurrence that evokes particular feelings and thoughts in all of us. The death of the last ROCOR metropolitan, Metropolitan Lavr, a name which we commemorated in the holy altars not so long ago, causes us to feel doubly sad.

A year has not even passed since the Church Abroad, under his pastoral omofor, split into two parts. God in His wisdom made the circumstances of the passing of His Eminence Met. Lavr especially noteworthy, in that it occurred on the day when Christians celebrate the Triumph of Orthodoxy. This compels us to seriously consider once again the division in the Church Abroad and evaluate it from an Orthodox standpoint. The spiritual life of every Christian and cleric of the Church of Christ should be ruled by the Holy Canons and by Truth. This is what governed the actions of those ROCA faithful who remained within their Church, and we hope, also ruled the actions of those who decided to merge with Moscow.

What should we say in regard to the passing of the newly-reposed Metropolitan Lavr? That he was a monk since childhood and unique in his capacity as a bishop? What words are really important now to the soul of the reposed? Certainly, they are the words of our prayers for the salvation of his soul.

We send our sincerest condolences to everyone who shares our sorrow and we hope that the ROCOR (MP) episcopate, its clergy and laypeople find in themselves the spiritual strength to overcome the spiritual inertia that has been created in their part of the Church Abroad and return to be one with us, their brothers and sisters within the original ROCA.


Bishop of Richmond Hill and New York