Constantinople Explains Synod’s Decision to Dissolve Western European Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Church
Russian parishes will be integrated into the dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople already present in their countries
Photo from Ukrinform
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has released a statement explaining its decision to dissolve the archdiocese of Russian orthodox churches in Western Europe by repealing the Patriarchal Tomos of 1999, the Ecumenical Patriarchate posted on Facebook.
The Patriarchal Tomos of 1999 ensured that the pastoral care for Western European Russian churches had been transferred to an Archbishop-Exarch over the parishes.
Russian parishes will be integrated into the dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople already present in their countries, while their particular liturgical and spiritual traditions will be preserved.
The statement also notes that the circumstances under which the Exarchate was created have changed, and the new move is aimed at strengthening the ties between the Russian-tradition parishes “with the mother church of the patriarchate of Constantinople.”
“This decision responds to the pastoral and spiritual needs of our time, with the greatest respect for canonical law and the spiritual responsibility that lies with us,” the Ecumenical Patriarchate said.
“Each of these communities has a spiritual heritage that has been established in the wake of a dramatic history marked by persecution and exile and has participated in the theological revival of Orthodoxy in the 20th century. It is indeed through personalities, theologians, philosophers, artists, leading to the Russian immigration that orthodox faith has radiated in Western Europe and beyond.”
It was reported on Tuesday that the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate had resolved to dissolve its Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of the Russian Tradition in Western Europe.
The report was later confirmed by the administration of the Archdiocese itself, which noted in its statement that the decision came as a complete surprise and had not been requested by anyone within the Archdiocese.