2019-12-27 07:03:06 UTC
PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA
Moscow, December 26, 2019
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church met in Moscow today
under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and
The hierarchs considered and responded to the decision of Patriarch
Theodoros of Alexandria to recognize the Ukrainian schismatics,
expressing their deep sorrow at his decision that makes it impossible
to maintain Eucharistic communion with him.
The Synod also came to decisions regarding the Alexandria
representation church in Moscow and the Russian representation and
parishes in Africa.
According to Vladimir Legoida, the Patriarchal Press Secretary, the
1. To express deep sorrow in connection with the anti-canonical
actions of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, who entered into
communion with the schismatics.
2. To emphasize that Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria’s decision to
recognize the Ukrainian schismatics contradicts His Beatitude’s
repeated statements in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox
Church and its primate Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine,
including the statement made during his last visit to the Ukrainian
Orthodox Church from September 27 to October 1, 2018, three weeks
after the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s invasion of Ukraine by
appointing “exarchs” to Kiev.
3. To note that the decision to recognize the schismatic structure in
Ukraine was not made at the session of the Holy Synod of the
Patriarchate of Alexandria held on October 7-9, that it was not put to
a vote of its hierarchs, and, accordingly, it does not have a
conciliar character, but was made by the primate of this Church
4. To confirm the impossibility of commemorating the name of Patriarch
Theodoros of Alexandria in the diptychs, as well as prayerful and
Eucharistic communion with him.
5. To maintain Church communion with the hierarchs of the Alexandrian
Orthodox Church, except for those who have supported or will support
the legalization of the Ukrainian schism in the future.
6. To suspend the activity of the representation (podvoriye) of the
Alexandrian Patriarchate to the Moscow Patriarchal See.
7. To convert the representation of the Patriarch of Moscow and All
Russia to the Patriarch of Alexandria into a parish of the Russian
Orthodox Church in Cairo.
8. To withdraw the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church located on
the African continent from the jurisdiction of the Alexandrian
Patriarchate, giving them a stavropegial status.
The decision to move the given parishes to the jurisdiction of the
Moscow Patriarchate is sure to draw serious criticism from the
hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and to increase
inter-Church tensions in world Orthodoxy.
Earlier, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the
Synodal Department for External Church Relations, stated: “I don’t
want to predict how events will develop, but if the Patriarchate of
Alexandria is on the side of the schism, then, of course, we will
probably have to create parishes for our believers, because they will
not be able to take communion in the churches of the Patriarchate of
Met. Hilarion also noted that it was only in the 20th century that the
Patriarchate of Alexandria expanded its jurisdiction beyond northern
Africa, which it did with Russian support. In particular, when the
Russian Church built parishes in Africa, it did so with the agreement
of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, and the churches were placed under
the jurisdiction of Alexandria and the priests, who came from Russia,
became clerics of the Patriarchate of Alexandria on a temporary basis.