To His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
To the Eminent Archpastors, Members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:
Beloved in the Lord Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion, Eminent Archpastors:
I send my sincere greetings to you all, hierarchs of the Russian diaspora, who have gathered in Munich to convene a Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
It is significant that your gathering is held on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, an event of great historic breadth, which put an end to the long division of the Russian nation incurred by the tragic troubles in our Fatherland 100 years ago.
I am happy that many of you were able to participate in the great consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Sretensky Monastery, which took place on the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord. It was on this very holiday in 2007 that, on the ambo of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York inscribed their signatures on the historic Act, opening for us the possibility of praising and glorifying the Most-Holy Name of God “with one mouth and one heart,” and of partaking from one Chalice of Christ. Our joint services in this newly-built church became our common grace-filled prayer to the Lord, Who by His Omnipotent hand led us to the desired unity. Today, ten years later, we bear witness to the good fruits of this unity, fully sensing ourselves members of a single ecclesiastical organism.
Expressing my gratitude to you for your selfless witness to Orthodox Christianity, I call upon you to continue with the same fervor to “edify the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
To mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, and in recognition of the your zealous labors in strengthening the spiritual unity we have recovered, I deem it worthy to bestow upon the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the right to wear two panaghias within the spiritual territory entrusted to him.
I invoke Divine blessings upon the efforts of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA