GOC bishop on ROC Exarchate: Russians have poorly learned the 1917 lesson

Metropolitan Paul. Photo: vimaorthodoxias.gr

The Metropolitan of Drama believes that by creating the Exarchate in Africa, the Russian Church is reviving pre-revolutionary pan-Slavism.

On January 16, 2022, Paul (Apostolidis), Metropolitan of Drama of the Greek Orthodox Church, stated that by establishing the Exarchate in Africa, the Russian Church showed that it “poorly learned the lesson of 1917,” reports Vima Orthodoxias.

According to the Metropolitan of Drama, the creation of the Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa “is the revolutionary pan-Slavism of pre-revolutionary Russia, which is returning with renewed vigor and revenge.”

He stated that the Russian Church is acting in this case "too straightforward and provocative, relying on state forces, but they forget about the Divine slap they got during the 1917 revolution, and they show that they did not learn this lesson well."

Recall that in Greece the priests receive a salary from the state. Thus, in 2018, in accordance with the new Greek law on the wages of senior civil servants, the basic salary of an archbishop was 2,600 euros, a metropolitan – 2,210 euros, and bishops – 1,820 euros. In addition, 75 euros are paid for a doctoral degree and 45 euros for a master's degree.

Ordinary priests with higher education receive 678 euros, after 10 years of service – 1032 euros, priests with 30 years of experience – 1410 euros. For clerics who have only graduated from the seminary, the basic salary is 644 euros, and after 30 years of work it reaches 1099 euros.

At the same time, after the 1917 revolution, the Soviet authorities launched repressions against believers. For example, only in the period from August to November 1937, 31,359 believing Christians were arrested, of which 166 were metropolitans and bishops, 9,116 were priests, 2,173 were monks, and 19,904 were laity. Of these, 13,671 people were sentenced to death, including 81 bishops, 4,629 priests, 934 monks, and 7,004 laity.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that according to priest Georgy Maksimov, half of the clerics of the Alexandrian Patriarchate want to join the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Is the creation of the Exarchate of the ROC in Africa justified?
Yes, because the Patriarch of Alexandria has gone into schism
No, this is the expansion of the ROC into the territory of the Church of Alexandria
Can't make up my mind yet
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