Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodore II. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Tatiana Bollari)
BOSTON – The Patriarchate of Moscow has launched an ‘ecclesiastical invasion’ (εισπήδηση) into the jurisdiction of the ancient historic Patriarchate of Alexandria by establishing an Exarchate within its boundaries. The Patriarchate of Alexandria is second in status after the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the administrative system of the Orthodox Church. This act of Moscow is considered as an ‘ecclesiastical coup’ and creates a schism in the Orthodox Church.
The Moscow Patriarchate received 102 priests of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in eight African countries, as announced at the meeting Synod of the Church of Russia, on December 29, 2021.
This decision on the part of the Patriarchate of Moscow is an anti-ecclesiastical act of revenge against His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria All Africa because he recognized the autocephaly which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew granted to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine three years ago.
The Moscow Synod appointed Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia as Patriarchal Exarch for Africa, Metropolitan of Klin, with instructions to administer the Metropolis of North Africa and to be the temporary administrator of the Exarchate of South Africa.
The announcement of the Patriarchate of Alexandria stated the following: “The ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria expresses its deepest sorrow at the synodal decision of the Russian Patriarchate to establish an Exarchate within the canonical boundaries of the jurisdiction of the Ancient Church of Alexandria, a decision taken in the midst of the Nativity of Christ and the Divine Epiphany, during which Christ the King of Peace is projected.
“The Patriarchate of Alexandria will continue to carry out its pastoral duties towards the flock which has been entrusted to it by the Lord, which fall under the spiritual legacies of the great Greek Fathers of the Church, who, according to the modern Russian theologian the late Fr. George Florovsky, left an indelible mark on Orthodox Theology and the Church.
“The decision of the Russian Patriarchate will be discussed at an upcoming session of the Synod of our Patriarchate, at which time relevant decisions will be taken.”
The announcement was signed: “In the Patriarchate, 30th December 2021 – From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy Synod.”
No reaction has been voiced thus far by the Ecumenical Patriarchate or any other autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox Church of the World.
The National Herald contacted His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, who expressed thanks for the call but declined to make any comment before the meeting of the Holy Synod in the very near future.
It is reminded here that for many months now the Patriarchate of Moscow has been heralding threats for revenge against those prelates who recognized the autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine and has interrupted Eucharistic communion with Patriarch Theodoros, and Archbishops Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece and Chrysostomos of Cyprus.
This decision of the Patriarchate of Moscow was encouraged by some Russian propagandists in Greece, the United Statess, and Cyprus.
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