The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church met under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in Moscow yesterday.
Among its decisions, the Synod resolved to receive 102 African priests into its jurisdiction at their request, reports Patriarchia.ru.
The Synod heard a report from His Eminence Archbishop Leonid of Yerevan and Armenia on the appeals of numerous clergy from throughout Africa who reject Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria’s recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics and therefore want to come under the Russian Church.
With the blessing of Patriarch Kirill, Archbishop Leonid recently traveled to Africa and met with many of the appealing priests. Today, at least 100 parishes of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, together with their priests, have declared their desire to move to the Russian Church. Many of them first appealed in 2019, after Patriarch Theodoros first began commemorating the schismatic head of the OCU, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko.
After Patriarch Theodoros liturgically concelebrated with Dumenko in August, the Russian Church Holy Synod decided it could no longer ignore the priests’ appeals.
Thus, having heard Archbishop Leonid’s report, the Synod officially resolved “to accept 102 clerics of the Patriarchate of Alexandria from eight African countries into the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, according to the petitions submitted.”
Further, it resolved to form the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa, consisting of the Diocese of North Africa and the Diocese of South Africa. Archbishop Leonid has been named the Patriarchal Exarch of Africa.