Joint Communique of the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe and the Institute of Theology Orthodox Saint-Serge
“How good it is, how sweet it is to dwell together as brothers” Psalm 133: 1.
Prompted by His Eminence Jean de Charioupolis and in his presence, the delegates of the Diocesan Council of the Archdiocese and the Board of Directors of St Serge Institute met last Monday, May 1, 2017 in the Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Paris.
Fr Jean Gueit, vice-President, Nicolas Lopoukhine, Secretary, and Alexandre Victoroff, Treasurer for the Archdiocese, Mr. Jean-François Colosimo, President, and Mr. François Guès, Vice-President, accompanied by Fr. Nicolas Cernokrak, Dean, for the Institute led the brotherly dialogue to which they had invited Archbishop Jean.
They reaffirmed the spiritual bond which has existed for almost a century now between those two strong institutions that have shared a common history and have worked together in a spirit of ecclesial communion, in the service of Orthodoxy in France and in Europe, within the ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Institute reiterated its faithful attachment to the Archdiocese as the first natural and organic place of its vocation, mission and activity.
The Archdiocese reiterated its faithful attachment to the Institute while respecting its independence as a private academic institution.
Delegates agreed that their duty was to face the challenges of the present and future together, starting with the restoration of the site of the hill of Saint-Serge, 93 rue de Crimée, Paris XIXe, which has now become urgent: indeed the accelerated deterioration of the soil could jeopardize its maintenance.
They also agreed that, in view of this objective situation, of a strictly material nature, and the risks of it interrupting the continuity of academic activities, the Institute needs to move to a different place until this problem is solved, while keeping the strong resolution to reintegrate, in due course, its historic site.
Finally, they agreed that the Archdiocese is entitled to expect a full mobilization of all the skills needed for the necessary rehabilitation and the living continuity, for the Orthodox, and beyond the Orthodox community, of this highly symbolical place.
The delegates decided, on behalf of their respective institutions, to form a joint committee in order to unite their forces and share their resources for the safeguarding of the hill of Saint-Serge.
His Eminence Archbishop Jean de Charioupolis, Exarch of the Archdiocese, Chancellor of the Institute, praised this concord, blessed this concertation and encouraged the delegates to carry out the joint work of this joint committee whose work he will preside.
Paris, May 2, 2017.