Dear Fr. Gregory,
His Eminence, Metropolitan Valentine, has asked me to engage in dialogue with you concerning the disagreements that have arisen between you and certain members of our Church, myself included, in regard to a series of ecclesiastical questions. The goal of such a dialogue is the overcoming of misunderstandings and, if possible, disagreements, in a spirit of peace and love; and, if significant disagreements still remain at the end of the dialogue, to report these to the Holy Synod for its review and final decision. Due to the semi-official character of this dialogue, I would consider it reasonable to define several rules for its conduct, and offer the following:
1. To conduct the dialogue in Russian. Considering my weakness in Russian, to permit me to engage the services of a philologist who is a member of our Church for the review and correction of my linguistic errors.
2. To refrain from providing information about the progress and results of our dialogue to people who are not members of our Church.
3. To save the dialogue in archive format (e.g., dialogue 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b), with dates, for convenience in cross-referencing.
4. To refrain from limiting the number of topics within the three main categories (see point 5) or the length of discussion for each topic, but to move from one topic to another by mutual agreement.
5. To group preliminarily the topics under the following categories: (1) Name-Praising [Imiaslavie] and Name-Worshipping [Imiabozhie]; (2) The Status and Canonicity of the Russian Church before and after the revolution; (3) Difference between the Old and New Testaments.
If you agree with these points we can begin the dialogue immediately.
love in Christ,
March 5/18, 2001
The reply of Hieromonk Gregory