The eighth meeting between the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate and the corresponding Commission of the Moscow Patriarchate was held in Cologne, Germany, from October 24-26.
Participating in the meeting were, on behalf of the Russian Church Abroad: Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; Archimandrite Luke (Murianka); Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff and Protopriest Nikolai Artemoff; and for the Moscow Patriarchate: Archbishop Innokenty of Korsun; Archbishop Evgeny of Verey; Protopriest Vladislav Tsypin; Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) and Protopriest Nikolai Balashov.
In accordance with the directions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church and of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, proposals were worked out for the time and procedures for the signing and enactment of the Act on Canonical Communion already approved by both Synods, and also jointly examined the questions set before the Commissions in May, 2004.
The meetings, which were preceded daily by prayer at Divine Liturgy, concluded on the feast day of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. The members of the Commissions visited the ancient churches of Cologne and venerated their relics, including those of the New Testament Magi, who brought gifts to the Christ Child, and of Martyr Ursula of the 4 th century, the Protectress of Cologne.