Head of exile Russian Orthodox church to visit Moscow over rift

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004

MOSCOW (AP) The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which broke with Moscow-based Orthodoxy in 1920, will visit Russia May 14-28 hoping to mend the rift, the Interfax news agency reported.

The visit by Metropolitan Laurus would be the first since exiles in New York formed the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. They severed ties with the Moscow church after Patriarch Sergiy pledged loyalty to the Communist regime in 1927. The Moscow Patriarchate says Sergiy needed to save the church from complete ruin.

Current Patriarch Alexy II has long called for church reunification. Russian President Vladimir Putin met Laurus in New York last September and invited him to Russia on Alexy's behalf.


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