28 June 2019, 14:12
Russian Orthodox Church can change its statute to include Russian exarchate of Constantinople
Moscow, June 28, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church is ready to change its own statute in order to include the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe with its unique system of administration.
"Our basic principle, which was founded by Patriarch Kirill and we stick to it, is that the Moscow Patriarchate is ready to accept the Archdiocese with the system of administration existing there today," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate's administration Bishop Savva said in his interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
Thus, he commented the meeting which was held on June 21 in Vienna between the head of the mentioned exarchate (under Constantinople) bishop John and Patriarch Kirill's exarch in Western Europe Metropolitan Antony.
According to Bishop Savva, the situation was the same in 2007 after restoration of union of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate as it has also preserved its system of administration.
The next general assembly of the archdiocese is planned on September 7.
The Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe (the Russian Exarchate) with center in Paris was set up on basis of Russian emigrants parishes after the Revolution of 1917. Since the 1930s it was administered by Constantinople, however in November, 2018 the Synod in Istanbul took a unilateral decision to dismiss the Russian exarchate and offered its clerics and believers to move under administration of local Greek bishops. The Archdiocese has not agreed with this decision and today is discussing variants of its future one of which is joining the Russian Orthodox Church.
The archdiocese has 65 parishes, 11 acting churches, two monasteries and seven hermitages in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Great Britain, Germany, Norway, Sweden,Denmark, Italy and Spain, there are over 100 priests and 30 deacons among its clergy.