What do you think of this letter from the Russian Church, Jah777?
I don't think anything in particular about it, to be honest. I suppose it is an interesting account, but it begs a great deal more information. The account you provided was preceded by:"It was written that I will resume our relations with the Copts, says Ouspensky in his account, but it was not written that I will renew their relationship with our church. However I think and hope that our St. Synod will continue this important work. "
But it showed no willingness to resume negotiations, attitude greatly missed by Ouspensky, as he says, the moment was particularly favorable…
So, if the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church did not consider the Copts to be heretics, then why did they seemingly have no interest in further negotiations with the Copts? Was this because the Church in Russia realized that it could not act on the matter unilaterally and without consultation with the other local Orthodox churches? We aren’t told here.
It seems from the lack of action and support from the Holy Synod that perhaps Ouspensky is basing his comments on the position of the Holy Synod in Russia solely on the fact that Ouspensky published a book stating that the Copts were not heretics, and the Holy Synod in Russia approved his book for publication. Since he claimed that he was the first to publish a book in Russia in which it was stated that the Copts were not heretics, how was this publication, and this statement in particular, received in Russia? Perhaps it was received poorly, and for this reason Ouspensky’s overtures towards the Copts lost the support of the Synod, but the account does not say and I have no other information. If his work was published prior to the 1860s, what did St. Theophan the Recluse, St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), the Optina Elders, or other Russian saints of that period think of this remark? If the Holy Synod of the Church in Russia made such a decision regarding the Copts, was this decision recorded anywhere or officially proclaimed? Again, I do not know, but I think these are important questions regarding the significance (or lack thereof) of Ouspensky’s account. In general, however, the assertion that the Holy Synod of one local Orthodox Church has an opinion on a certain matter is no guarantee that their position is a correct one, which is why in the Orthodox Church the principle of conciliarity is of such importance.