Ms. Kizenko’s article bothered me a great deal, more than I thought this sort of argument would bother me.  The thing is that I came into ROCOR as a convert out of a desire to find a Traditionalist Orthodox jurisdiction, one that was firm on ecumenism and as faithful to Church Tradition as possible, so I sympathised with the skepticism and reservations of those who feared the worst from a reconciliation with Moscow.  I could appreciate the perspective of Old Calendarist friends who believed that the Synod was making a terrible mistake.  In the end, however, I could see nothing that should have stood in the way of reconciliation.  Having made my spiritual home in the Russian Church Abroad, I am not going to become one of these spiritually nomadic people chasing after super-akribeia.  If ever there was a legitimate need for oikonomia for the pastoral care of the Orthodox people and their spiritual well-being, it was the case of the alienation of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church.  This was alienation created by the political interference of the Soviet government in the management of the Church–it would hardly do to perpetuate this alienation out of excessive fear of Putin’s authoritarianism. 

There is no sense in Ms. Kizenko’s article that the spiritual welfare of the Russian Orthodox flock should come first or that the Russian Orthodox Church exists not to counter the Putin regime but to preach the Gospel and provide the spiritual medicine in the hospital of salvation.  Pastorally, reconciliation was the only sane thing to do, especially as more and more immigrants from Russia came to Diasporan communities with baptisms from churches under Moscow’s jurisdiction.  Over the years there have been some cases of Russian immigrant faithful, validly baptised, being denied communion because of the rift between Moscow and the Synod.  That was becoming an intolerable and unsustainable situation, and moreover there was no fundamental issue requiring continued separation.  This division was a wound that needed to be bound up, poison that needed to be expelled.  Wisdom required oikonomia, accommodation, and there are as many examples of our Fathers among the Saints who have practised oikonomia as well as pursuing akribeia as the circumstances required.  Without serious impediments, reconciliation had to happen and was indeed already long overdue (coming 16 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union).  Westerners and Russian Orthodox outside Russia should not allow their opposition to the policies of the Putin regime, which are and ought to be irrelevant to this discussion, blind them to the greater pastoral needs of the Orthodox Church.