Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

Moscow Patriarchate

Communiqué of the Archdiocese – 23 February 2019

The Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) of the Archdiocese, made up of all members of the clergy and lay parish delegates, met in Paris on 23 February, 2019, to deliberate on the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s decision to “reorganise the status of the exarchate”, published in the Communiqué of 29 November, 2018 of the Holy Synod. Since the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to abolish the status of patriarchal exarchate, the Archdiocese had to decide according to Article 34 of the Statutes of the Diocesan Governing Union of Russian Orthodox Associations in Western Europe whether it wished, yes or no, to put an end to its own existence and that, consequently, its 120 or so parishes would be subordinated to the Greek Metropolia of Western Europe.

Under the presidency of the ruling Archbishop, His Eminence John of Charioupolis, the members of the EGA decided in accordance with the statutes, with a majority of nearly 93% of the votes (191 out of 206), not to dissolve the Archdiocese, but to to remain as a united ecclesiastical entity according to its original form (Association founded on 26 February, 1924, OJ, 28.2.1924, №58, p. 2080). The Council of the Archdiocese has taken note of this decision of the EGA and will promptly communicate the decision to His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and his Holy Synod and send a delegation to the Phanar to hand over the letter personally.

For the moment, the life of the Archdiocese continues as on the eve of the EGA. It should be noted, in celebrations, the Archbishop commemorates the Ecumenical Patriarch and the parish clergy commemorate the Archbishop according to the canonical rule.

A new EGA will be convened at a later date, probably in June.