On December 29, 2021, at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church took place.
JOURNAL No. 100
A report by the Deputy Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations, Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia on the numerous requests from clergy of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church which continue to be received by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ Kirill asking to be accepted under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Due to Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria going into schism, and commemorating, at a Divine Liturgy on November 8, 2019 the head of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” among the Primates of the autocephalous Churches, as well as the recognition of the above-mentioned schismatic group and concelebration with its head on August 13, 2021, a part of the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, declaring their disagreement with the position of the Primate, addressed the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ Kirill with a request to be accepted into the fold of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia, with the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ and according to the decision of the Holy Synod of September 24, 2021 (Journal No. 61), studied numerous requests from clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and held a meeting with community leaders – priests from a number of African countries who wish to come under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarch. Today, at least one hundred parishes of the Alexandrian Patriarchate, headed by their rectors, have declared their desire to join the fold of the Russian Orthodox Church. Many of them made this request to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’ back in 2019, after the recognition of the schismatic group by the Primate of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Theodore.
WE CAME TO THE DECISION:
- To state the impossibility of further refusing the clergy of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, who submitted corresponding requests, the ability to come under the omophorion of the Moscow Patriarchate.
- To accept into the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church 102 clergy members of the Alexandrian Patriarchate from eight African countries, as per submitted requests.
- To form the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa, set to contain the North African and South African dioceses.
- The head of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa is to have the title “of Klin”.
- To include the following countries within the area of pastoral responsibility of the North African Diocese: the Arab Republic of Egypt, Republic of Sudan, Republic of South Sudan, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, State of Eritrea, Republic of Djibouti, Federal Republic of Somalia, Republic of the Seychelles, Central African Republic, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Chad, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Republic of Niger, State of Libya, Republic of Tunisia, People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Kingdom of Morocco, Republic of Cape Verde, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Senegal, Republic of the Gambia, Republic of Mali, Burkina Faso, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Sierra Leone, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Ghana, Togolese Republic, Republic of Benin.
- To include into the North African Diocese the stavropegial parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Tunisian Republic and the Kingdom of Morocco.
- The diocesan bishop of the North African diocese should have the title “of Cairo and North Africa”.
- To include the following countries within the area of pastoral responsibility of the Diocese of South Africa: Republic of South Africa, Kingdom of Lesotho, Kingdom of Eswatini, Republic of Namibia, Republic of Botswana, Republic of Zimbabwe, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Angola, Republic of Zambia, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Madagascar, Republic of Mauritius , Union of the Comoros, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Uganda, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabonese Republic, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.
- To include the stavropegial parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Republic of South Africa within the Diocese of South Africa.
- The diocesan bishop of the South African diocese shall have the title “of Johannesburg and South Africa”.
- To appoint Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia as Metropolitan of Klin, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, with the role of governing the North African diocese and temporarily managing the South African diocese.
- To dismiss His Grace Bishop Leonid from the position of Deputy Chairman of the DECR, keeping him as the temporary head of the Yerevan-Armenian Diocese.
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