Saturday, November 26, 2022

Alexandria responds to Russian incursion

( - The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria made several serious decisions today regarding the Moscow Patriarchate.

Convened under the chairmanship of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria at St. George Monastery in Cairo, the Synod extensively discussed the issue of the Russian Orthodox Church’s African Exarchate, which was created late last December, and which has been spreading throughout the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria since then.

After its discussion, the Synod resolved to defrock Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, the Russian Church’s Exarch for Africa, “for a series of canonical offenses (invasion of the jurisdiction of the ancient Church, consecration of antimensions, distribution of holy Chrism, bribery of local clergy, even those deposed from the rank, factionalism, ethnophyletism, etc.) and condemned the new ecclesiastical-political ‘theories’ about the spread of the Russian World around the world on the basis of nationality,” reports Romfea.

In February, the Alexandrian Synod also ruled to defrock Archpriests George Maximov and Andrei Novikov, the two most active priests of the Russian Exarchate in Africa, though the Moscow Patriarchate doesn’t recognize this ruling. Pat. Theodoros threatened Met. Leonid with the same at that time.

As a priest, Met. Leonid once served for several years as the Russian Church’s official representative to the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

According to today’s statement, Pat. Theodoros has written to Pat. Kirill over the past year, calling on him to abolish the Exarchate. However, after months of silence from the Russian primate, the Alexandrian Synod resolved that Pat. Theodoros will no longer commemorate Pat. Kirill in the Divine services.

Pat. Kirill stopped commemorating Pat. Theodoros in December 2019, after the latter began commemorating “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”

He also stopped commemorating Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus for the same, but today’s decision from Alexandria marks the first time another primate has ceased commemorating Pat. Kirill.


  1. You snooze you lose. If Alexandria cannot properly administer Africa, but Moscow can, then bravo Moscow. Polemics will not improve the situation. And we love polemics and threats. Positive action is what produces results. Btw, what is Alexandria doing regarding the protestant and Roman Catholic incursions,? Aren't they equally as distressing?

    1. It's great that Russia wants to support missionary activity in Africa, but what they are doing is creating a division. I'm still very hopeful though that the native Africans will eventually see through the Russian ploy, take their money and return to the Alexandrian Patriarchate. That will likely happen when the Russian money spicket is eventually shut off, and the whole world turns against Russia, just like after WW1.

    2. Alexandria can and does properly care for its flock across Africa. The number of missions, parishes, and dioceses has grown incredibly just in the past 25 years alone, as has the number of African (as opposed to Cypriot, Greek, or Russian) hierarchs. Monasteries are opening, seminaries are working to educate candidates for ordination, and Orthodox Christianity is finally growing outside of the ethnic Greek, Russian, et cetera, parishes of the colonial era.

      And what "[P]rotestant and Roman Catholic incursions"? Both have had a significant presence in Africa since the colonial era (even somewhat before that in the case of Roman Catholicism and the Kingdom of Kongo), and continue to do so. Likewise many Alexandrian Orthodox converts come from both backgrounds. But asking what Alexandria is doing about such "incursions" is a bit like asking what the Roman Catholics are doing about Buddhism in India...

  2. Even if there was a post Roman Empire framework (i.e. a "canonical" rule) to these sorts of conflicts, it still would be hard to argue that the viewpoint of the leftovers of Ottoman/Greek ethnic compromise (aka the 'Patriarch of Alexandria') are in any way important to the life of the Church now or in the future.

    1. The Alexandria Patriarchate is important to those of us who are Orthodox and from Africa. Although I suppose we could say the same of the OC[N?]A, the ROCOR, et cetera - fading little remnants of old Slavic ethnic and political squabbles kept alive by occasional spurts of immigration from the former USSR that are in no way important to the overall life of the global Orthodox Church now or in the future. But that would be a slap in the face of the faithful Orthodox Christians belonging to both groups, and really quite unnecessary to say as well given the demographic trends...

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    3. Yes, the OCA and ROCOR are indeed "fading little remnants" of immigrant Orthodoxy's birth and life in the USA and western civilization in general.

      This is not a mere subjective statement (though it is that as well) but an *objective* one as well, as the AoB own research reveals how small Orthodoxy is (and only getting smaller) and failed to pass the faith on past the 3rd generation.

      Objectively as well Orthodoxy has a canonical structure created in and for the Roman Empire, and an "ortho-praxis" that assumes an underlying Christendom, which is the case in *any* "mother" or "old world" Church, let alone for immigrant Orthodoxy in western civilization.

      I don't know what "demographic trends" you believe exist, but I would suggest you take a look at them again as they are in fact the opposite of what you seem to believe they are. As for the specific demographic trends (see for good NA data - our host has a better link I think).

      Finally, when you say:

      "...Alexandria can and does properly care for its flock across Africa. The number of missions, parishes, and dioceses has grown incredibly just in the past 25 years alone, as has the number of African (as opposed to Cypriot, Greek, or Russian) hierarchs..."

      Do you have any *factual data* to back this assertion up? What are the numbers to back up "grown incredibly"? In any case whatever the numbers actually are, they can not be in-of-themselves a justification for a Greek Patriarchate in "Alexandria" that is structurally and self-consciously a memory of a very long dead glorious past.