Message from the Primates of the TOC (R), the Synods of Metropolitans Anghelos, Gervasie, and John on the occasion of signing the Tomos of Canonical Communion
The True Orthodox Churches gathered at Moscow on 30 June [civil calendar 13 July], 2011:
Beloved! Gathering now on this glorious day at the holy Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles at St. John the Baptist Monastery – the spiritual center of the True Orthodox Church of Russia led by the Archbishop of Moscow the Metropolitan of All Russia Raphael, in order to witness our spiritual unity and communion, we, the primates and hierarchs of the True Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, America and the British Isles, are appealing to all to follow the urgent apostolic calling, and to follow suit.
The past has shown us that in the twentieth century there was the beginning of the falling away — a forerunner of the coming of the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3) — when starting from the 1920s, one of the “official” Orthodox Churches, led by Constantinople, became controlled by the world behind the scenes. Another part of the Churches went into the service of the atheist Bolshevik regime when there was first formed the Moscow Patriarchate (1942), and then after World War II the other local Orthodox Churches in Eastern Europe fell under the control of the Antichrist’s power. All this in turn gave birth to a movement of adherents of True Orthodoxy, locally formed in different countries, but especially in Greece and Russia, each having its own church structure. Trouble befell them, and it was our misfortune until recently that often, as the Apostle wrote, we were not jealous of true understanding (Romans 10:2), but were absorbed in endless genealogies and word-fighting (1 Timothy 1:4). Now is the time for all True Orthodox Christians to realize that the way of the so-called “World Orthodox” with its arguments about the diptychs, about who and under what conditions Local Churches can grant autocephalous or autonomous status is not our way. Let us not seek power over one another. Let us also not follow the vain customs of this world. Therefore let us leave the debates regarding “jurisdictions” and turn rather to the continual building up of the unique Church of Christ in love. It is in this Church that we find all effectiveness, and in which we acquire real unity. Referring to His Heavenly Father our Lord Jesus Christ testified in His High Priestly prayer when He spoke of His disciples and their followers: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know That thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me (John 17:23). Thus complete unity is achieved and we have a common faith in accordance with the preserved truth of Orthodoxy, in the words of the Apostle, through love (Gal 5:6), when this belief allows us to truly have unity in the Holy Eucharist. Thus it is to this love we urge all of you, True Orthodox. Let us love one another (1 John 4:7) in order to have this eucharistic interchange and therein find true unity in the Church of Christ. Then indeed we are one body and one Spirit, one hope and one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and the father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6).
+ Angel, Metropolitan Avlonsky and Beotiysky, chairman of the Holy Synod, Metropolitan of the Church of the true Orthodox Christians of Greece of the Patristic Calendar
+ Gervasi, Metropolitan Sofia and all Bulgaria