ROC accounts for establishing its Exarchate to Patriarchate of Alexandria

Residence of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Danilov Monastery. Photo: Wikipedia

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church recalled who is responsible for the encroachment on the principles of the structure of the Orthodox Church.

At a meeting of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on January 28, an answer was given to the Announcementof the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria concerning the establishment of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa by the Russian Orthodox Church, the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate reports.

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that the communiqué of the Patriarchate of Alexandria is based on false theses.

“The decision of the Moscow Patriarchate is accounted for by ‘the fact of the recognition… of the Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’ by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria. This allegation is based on an intentionally false idea, because the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has existed to this day as a part, independent in its governance, of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Ukrainian Church has neither asked for nor received autocephaly. On the contrary, it strongly rejected the process of the granting of the so-called tomos of autocephaly, imposed from outside and supported by the country’s government authorities of the time and schismatics.

The so-called autocephaly was granted by the Patriarchate of Constantinople not to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the largest confession in Ukraine currently numbering 108 hierarchs, 12,381 parishes, 12,513 clergymen, 260 monasteries and 4,630 monastics – but to a group of schismatics who, having fallen away from the Ukrainian Church, continue to be at enmity with it. It was those people without the lawful ordination and the grace of priesthood and like-minded persons that the Patriarchate of Constantinople used, acting in defiance of the canons, to form an 'autocephalous church'. And it was that schismatic structure, void of grace, that His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria entered into communion with,” the Synod said in its statement. 

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized that it is the Patriarchate of Constantinople that encroaches on Orthodox ecclesiology.

“The attempts to establish the Primate, who is the first in the diptychs, as the ‘first without equals’ in the Orthodox Church with the exclusive right to grant and revoke autocephalies at his discretion, tear away parts from the Local Churches, unilaterally annul adjudgements of the Bishops’ Councils of other autocephalous Churches, and at will 'restore' to the holy orders the persons who have never been ordained – constitute an indisputable deviation from the patristic teaching on the Church and the centuries-old Orthodox Tradition.”

The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church recalls that Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria had previously called for support for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but then unexpectedly changed his mind, which led to discord, including within the Alexandrian Church itself.

The UOJ wrote that the Exarch of the Russian Orthodox Church spoke about the main steps of the Orthodox mission in Africa.

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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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