Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

Moscow Patriarchate

Communiqué of the Office of the Diocesan Administration of May 13, 2019

A pastoral assembly convened by his Eminence Archbishop Jean de Charioupolis in his pastoral letter of April 22, 2019 was held on May 11, 2019 in the premises of the St. Sergius Institute of Theology with the assistance of the parish St Sergius.

This initiative follows the disarray caused by the decision of 27 November 2018 of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to close down the Exarchate and by the spontaneous debate that has developed regarding the future of our Archdiocese.

After the celebration of the divine liturgy presided by Archbishop John, the assembly of priests, deacons and members of the council of the Archdiocese successively heard reports by the Fr. Jean Gueit (ongoing talks with the Patriarchate of Moscow) and Fr. Alexandre Fostiropoulos (on the visit to the Patriarchate of Constantinople). Fr. Vladimir Yagello then presented the position of those members favouring a proclamation of autonomy; Fr. Jivko Panev, who teaches canon law at St Sergius Theological Institute, explained the reasons why such a proclamation did not seem possible.

The ensuing two-hour debate, intense and peaceful, highlighted the deep suffering endured by the ecclesial body that constitutes the Archdiocese, shaken in its integrity and identity. In his conclusion, his Eminence Archbishop John explained that he had no choice but to propose a new canonical solution and that he considered that such a decision should be taken as soon as possible in order to avoid a de facto dismantling of the Archdiocese.

An extraordinary general meeting has been convened for September 7, 2019.