Tuesday, July 7, 2020

EP creates vicariate of Russian parishes in France

(orthochristian.com) - Late last year, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul of the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced the creation of a vicariate of Russian parishes in France, and on Saturday, July 4, a constitutive general assembly of the vicariate was held, thus marking its official formation.

“There was an historical event yesterday. The Russian Vicariate of the Metropolis of Gaul of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was officially formulated,” writes Hieromonk Damaskin of the new vicariate.

Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message on the occasion of the assembly in which he notes that the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople resolved to remove the status of exarchate from the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe in November 2018 and to instruct its parishes to move under their local Greek metropolis “in order to conform to the canonical tradition of the Orthodox Church.”

This change of status eventually led to the majority of the Archdiocese, under the guidance of its hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna, to return to the Russian Orthodox Church from which it was born in the early 20th century. The new vicariate is made up of those clergy and laity who did not follow Met. John and did not join other Churches, such as the Romanian Patriarchate.

“From now on, the vicariate is organized and is entirely part of the Metropolis of France, under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel,” the Patriarch writes.

“It is the mission and vocation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to preserve the unity of the Orthodox Church by respecting the ecclesiological criteria according to which the bishop of a locality must be the only one in whose name the Holy Eucharist can be celebrated, and the sole administrative and pastoral manager,” he continues.

“Moreover, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has always been concerned to serve all Orthodox without distinction of nationality or ethnic origin,” he adds.

The Metropolis of France has a rich history, and the parishes of the vicariate have their own history with Constantinople dating back to 1931, Pat. Bartholomew writes. It is “thanks to the protection offered by the Great Church” that the parishes have been able to bear witness to the Gospel in the West, he states.


The Archdiocese of Russian Churches of Western Europe originated within the Russian Church in the early 20th century, but ended up with the Patriarchate of Constantinople due to the difficulties of the 20th century. It existed as an exarchate until November 2018, when the Patriarchate suddenly revoked its exarchate status, instructing the parishes to join their local Greek-tradition metropolises. The Archdiocese, however, voted overwhelmingly to remain together as an ecclesiastical body and began exploring different avenues for its future. In the end, Abp. John joined the Moscow Patriarchate after Constantinople suddenly and unexpectedly released him from its jurisdiction, and over 80 clergymen later voted to go with him. The Archdiocese formally reunited with the Russian Church at a service in Moscow in early November last year.

Met. Emmanuel of Gaul offered to create a vicariate for the parishes of the Archdiocese within his metropolis after seeing that the majority and clergy were intent on remaining together under the guidance of Met. John of Dubna.


  1. Hard to believe I miss when the biggest problem was EPB playing Pope...BLM protestors stormed a church in NYC and shut down the service and the physically/verbally assaulted parishioners. Communion is banned in Canada (and Germany last time I checked) and singing in church is banned in CA. At what point does this get classified as persecution?

    The writing on the wall for what’s to come is in all caps these days.

    1. All tactile participation is being removed from a Faith which reveres the icons, greets one another with a holy kiss, sings hymns, consumes the Sacred Mysteries from a common cup and breaks bread together. The Faith is being transformed into incorporeal idealism, lone Protestants with their Bibles.

      On the material plane, humans--social and tactile pack animals--are rendered atomized and solitary. The State is doing what it always does: acquiring power to regulate the minutiae of individual existence. This democratic Beast preaches the false gospel of Black Lives Matter and equality, which does not exist above the atomic level. The only public liturgy allowed is mass riots and squalid encampments where everybody gets to do what they want. Of course, this has all been foretold.

    2. Anti-Gnostic, your comment on "equality, which does not exist aboe
      the atomic level" is pertinent, true and a refutation of much of the
      insanity plaguing us today. Thank you.

    3. I don't know where you get your info, but I can confirm that communion is allowed in Toronto Canada, the Catholics got explicit permission for it, despite a guideline that discourages it. It seems like the video you have seen is the Greek Diocese changing their guidance to parishes.

    4. Michael - we might run into problems with the government over our ritual method: common loaf and common cup and spoon.

  2. I digress. Anyway, a hereditary Greek bishop in what is now unalterably Turkey grants a "Russian" vicariate in Roman lands after the parishes select another omophorion (I think I've got this right). Like I say, I hope somebody in the hierarchy is trying to figure this out.

    Atheism and Islam have done a real number on the Church.

  3. What is missing is how many parishes are part of the vicarage. It would be nice to know were all the former parishes are today. The Greeks are good at smoke and mirrors,,,in the USA they have an Albanian diocese and bishop with two parishes. Or their byelo Russian group with five, that they abolished and put with the carpatho- Russians, or lastly their new Russian vicarage with two parishes. Therefore, it would be important to know the statistics.

    1. Slightly above the half switched to the MP, around 35% remained in the EP, the remaining dozen or so spread around Serbians/Romanians/Bulgarians

  4. Is there a composite listing available?

    1. there was a volunteer-made google map with all the parishes of the former Exarchate marked. I cannot find it at the moment. if you know someone from France involved you could ask about it

      basically, the numbers IIRC were as follows

      - 60-70 switched to the MP (including 2 or to the ROCOR before the Russian Russian Exarchate was created)
      - 35-40 remained in the EP
      - 2-3 switched to Serbians/Romanians/Bulgarians (mostly in far regions like Scandinavia or what not)

      there had been around 120 communities in the diocese before the split