Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

Moscow Patriarchate

Patriarchal Charter

Your Eminence, dear Vladyka!

  1. The Archdiocese of churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe, carrying his saving priesthood within the whole, as has historically formed of its parishes, monasteries and other ecclesiastical institutions, including the Saint Serge Institute of Theology in Paris becomes and will remain a inalienable part of the Moscow Patriarchate.
  2. Archbishop Jean (Renneteau) is accepted at the Moscow Patriarchate with the title of “…………” as the leading archbishop of the Archdiocese of Churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe. Also accepted at Moscow Patriarchate all members of the clergy, monks and nuns, laity of the Archdiocese who wish it. The hierarch ruler of the Archdiocese the immediate canonical link between the Moscow Patriarchate and the communities composing the Archdiocese.

III. The Archdiocese of churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe will operate within the Moscow Patriarchate according to the following provisions:

1. The Archdiocese retains its pastoral and liturgical specificities -specificities that are part of its traditions.

2. The Archdiocese retains the specificities of its diocesan functioning and parish, including those established by Metropolitan Euloge given the peculiarities of the entity’s existence in Western Europe church leader and taking into account certain decisions of the 1917-1918 Moscow Council.

3. The Archdiocese is administered according to the statutes of the Archbishopric in force, and taking into account the legislation of the countries in which the Archdiocese.

4. The Archdiocese is entitled to modify its statutes according to the order established in these same statutes after prior approval of these modifications with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and with confirmation subsequent changes by the Holy Synod.

5. The Archdiocese receives the Holy Cremation of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

6. The Archdiocese is led by a diocesan hierarch who has the title Archbishop.

7. The head hierarch of the Archdiocese exercises full rights provided by the canons with regard to monasteries, parishes and members of the clergy belonging to its jurisdiction. Among others it is the hierarch Archbishop’s leader who owns the exclusive right:

a. to create new monasteries and new parishes within the Archdiocese;

b. to give canonical holidays to members of the clergy of the Archdiocese;

c. to accept clerics at the Archbishop’s Palace (taking into account the established at the Moscow Patriarchate with regard to the transfer of clerics of the dioceses established within the boundaries of the canonical territory of Patriarchate of Moscow to the dioceses established outside these borders);

d. to ordain clerics for the Archbishopric;

e. to appoint and authorize an ecclesiastical deaconry any cleric or layman subject to its jurisdiction;

f. to execute the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Archdiocese.

8. The election of the hierarch ruler and the bishops vicars of the Archdiocese is subject to the following provisions:

a. for the election of the hierarch ruler of the Council of the Archdiocese a preliminary list of candidates after collecting the proposals sent by monasteries and parishes; for the election of vicar bishop such a list is established by the diocesan hierarch of the Archdiocese, after consulting the Episcopal Committee and the Council of the Archdiocese;

b. the list of candidates is submitted to the Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia, which is entitled to make modifications;

c. the Council of the Archdiocese can either send the list of candidates received from the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to monasteries and parishes of the Archdiocese, or submit another list to the Patriarch from Moscow and all Russia;

d. after receiving the list of candidates, the monasteries and parishes elect their delegates in the order laid down by the statutes of the Archdiocese;

e. the General Assembly of the Archdiocese composed of all the members of the clergy and lay delegates proceed to the election of the bishop according to the order provided for by the statutes of the Archdiocese;

f. the election of the bishop is confirmed by the Holy Synod of the Church Russian orthodox.

9. The name of the archdiocese’s senior hierarch is commemorated during the celebrations in all the churches of the Archdiocese after the name of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. The names of the vicar bishops are commemorated during celebrations in the churches of the Archdiocese according to a list defined by order of the hierarchic ruler of the Archdiocese after the name of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia and of the hierarch ruler of the Archdiocese.

10. The bishops of the Archdiocese are members of the local council and the council Episcopal of the Russian Orthodox Church. Representatives of clerics and of the Archdiocese are members of the Local Council of the Church Russian Orthodox, being delegated to this function by election according to the order established.

11. The senior hierarch of the Archdiocese participates in the order established in sessions of the Holy Synod.

12. Decisions of the Local Council and the Episcopal Council of the Church Russian Orthodox impose themselves on the Archdiocese. The decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church apply within the archdiocese by holding account of the specificities of its operation and in accordance with the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.

13. Consideration of appeals against the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of  the Archdiocese belongs to the High Ecclesiastical Tribunal of the Patriarchate of

Moscow. Examination of the faults of the bishops of the Archdiocese Ecclesiastical Court of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

14. The Archdiocese retains its financial autonomy and manages its personal property and immovable property within the framework of the operation of the legal person corresponds to the Archdiocese and in accordance with the legislation in force in the countries where the Archdiocese operates.

15. The relations of the Archdiocese with the civil authorities are defined by the principle of the separation of Church and State taking into account the legislation in force in each country. In accordance with what has been underlined by the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 2011 the participation of clergy in the campaigns is not allowed elections and political struggles. When speaking about pastoral and societal issues the clergy of the Archdiocese have freedom of conscience. As it was emphasized by the Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 2008 the principle of freedom of conscience “Is in accord with the Divine Will when it defends the individual from outrage to his inner world and the imposition by force of any beliefs “.

IV. This synodal decision takes effect as soon as it is published.

V. At the next Episcopal Council of the Russian Orthodox Church it will be appropriate to amend the Statutes of the Moscow Patriarchate in order to provide for the existence within the Moscow Patriarchate of the Archdiocese with a particular status, defined by this synodal decision.

VI. The Archdiocese will have to amend its statutes according to the order established by these same to bring them into line with all the provisions of the present.

VII. In view of the request of Archbishop John, it is accepted that initiated a procedure of election of new bishops vicars of the Archdiocese even before the amendment of its statutes provided for in Article previous. This procedure will be initiated in accordance with established above.

VIII. The hierarchs, clergy and laity of all the dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate in Western Europe including the dioceses of the Patriarchal Exarchate in Europe Western, the dioceses of the Russian Church Hors Frontieres and the Archdiocese are called to fruitful cooperation to overcome any problem that impede common collaboration and testimony.

IX. The canonical improvement of the presence in Western Europe of the Patriarchate of Moscow, represented today by several structures ecclesiastics, requires an in-depth discussion with the participation of all interested parties.

Download the Patriarcal charter in Russian : Gramota-2