ROC Synod calls on Patriarch Theodore to renounce his support for schism
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church explained that it does not claim the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
The statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopted at a meeting on January 28, notes that the entry of the Alexandrian Church into the Eucharistic communion with Ukrainian schismatics caused a powerful backlash within the Church, writes the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate.
“As is known, the recognition of the schismatic structure in Ukraine by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros met with opposition, including within the Orthodox Church of Alexandria itself. Many of its clergymen publicly spoke out in defence of the canonical Ukrainian Church, stated their disagreement with the clearly unlawful decision of their Primate and had no wish to remain under the canonical authority of the person who had embarked on the path of schism.”
The Synod of the Russian Church recalled that the ROC had received appeals from African clerics for two years but hoped that the Primate of the Alexandrian Church would change his mind.
“However, during that time not only did His Beatitude commemorate the head of one of the Ukrainian schismatic groups in the diptychs of the Orthodox Primates, but he also entered into the Eucharistic communion with him and other “hierarchs” of that structure. Those sorrowful developments convinced the Russian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod of the necessity to respond to the coming appeals and under these exceptional circumstances to establish the Patriarchal Exarchate in Africa,” the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church notes.
The creation of the Patriarchal Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Africa, the Synod emphasizes, is by no means a sign of claims to the canonical territory of the Church of Alexandria. This is a forced measure of canonical protection of those Orthodox clerics in Africa who do not want to be involved with the Ukrainian schismatics.
“We call upon His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and the archpastors of the Most Holy Church of Alexandria to renounce their support for the Ukrainian schism and return to the canonical path in order to preserve the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy,” the Synod’s resolution says.