Early last week, Alexis Liberovsky, the Archivist for the Orthodox Church in America, returned from a trip to Serbia in order to participate in the conference “Link between Times: Conclusions and Perspectives. On the Centennial of the Russian Church Abroad”. The conference was organized by Dn. Andrei Psarev, founder and director of the ROCOR Studies website and Professor at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY in cooperation with Dr. Radovan Pilipović, Director of the Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Joining Mr. Liberovsky at the conference were twenty two other speakers from around the world.
Mr. Liberovsky’s presentation was entitled “The Relationship of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and ROCOR from 1950 to the present according to the documents of the OCA Archives.” He spoke on the relationship between the two churches, balancing the documented conflicts that arose with the positive moments in the history of the relationship, concluding with an optimistic outlook for cooperation in the future. Mr. Liberovsky also conveyed well-wishes from His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon to all the conference participants and took questions and comments from the audience. Conference papers are being prepared for publication in both Russian and English.
The official news release on the day’s proceedings noted: “Alexis Liberovsky, the OCA’s lead archivist, struck an especially open and conciliatory note in his richly illustrated and sourced talk by emphasizing the cordial relations between Metropolitans Anastasy and Leonty, the important 2010 Joint Statement between the ROCOR and the OCA, as well as the fact that the OCA, for its part, had never formally broken off communion with the ROCOR.”
In addition to the presentation of papers, the conference was a chance to strengthen contacts with scholars who had consulted the OCA Archive in the past and to acquaint a broader audience with the collections and work of the Archive.
Following the conference, Mr. Liberovsky was able to visit the Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church, meet with their staff, and see some of their collections. He visited several churches, historical sites in Belgrade, and was given a tour of the Museum of the Serbian Church located at the Serbian Patriarchate.
Mr. Liberovsky noted that his travel to Serbia provided international visibility for the OCA and introduced a wide-ranging audience of both ecclesiastical and secular scholars to the vision of the OCA, in some cases, for the first time. Ties were also strengthened with the Archive of the Serbian Orthodox Church and there are hopes for future collaboration.
Photo credit: www.rocorstudies.org