Uncertain future for Russian Orthodox in Western Europe
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Vkontakte
  • Messanger
  • Telegram
  • WhatsApp
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople revoked the Tomos (Decree) which placed the Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe under its jurisdiction, and decided, without asking for their opinion, to integrate them into the Greek Orthodox Metropolises of their respective countries.

Interview conducted by Marie Duhamel – Vatican City

What will be their future? They must consult each other this week to think about it. At the end of November, the Russian Orthodox in Western Europe were stunned to learn the dissolution of their archdiocese.

This was decided by the patriarchate to which they have been attached since 1931, temporarily at first, and then permanently since 1999. We are talking here about the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not of Moscow, although these tens of thousands of faithful are of Russian spiritual tradition, and they celebrate in Slavonic in their 120 parishes throughout France, Benelux, or Scandinavian countries.

Exiled in Europe after the 1917 revolution, these Russian Orthodox had indeed refused to remain under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate, perceived then as subjected to Soviet power.

So today, their exarchate has been dissolved. At the end of a Holy Synod meeting in Istanbul (Turkey) and without preamble, Patriarch Bartholomew delivered the news to Archbishop Jean, who was in charge in this archdiocese. Officially, this decision aims to “further strengthen the link between the parishes of Russian tradition with Constantinople,” according to the statement by the Synod.

Christophe Levalois is the chief editor of Orthodoxie.com, and author of “Le christianisme orthodoxe face aux défis de la société occidentale [Orthodox Christianity and the Challenges of Western Society] , published this year by Cerf editions.
In the following interview, he comments on the “shock” provoked by this dissolution and on the questions left unanswered about the motives for such a choice.

This sudden and unpredictable announcement comes at the time of a serious dispute between Moscow and Constantinople. On October 11, Patriarch Bartholomew decided to recognize an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, “putting an end to 332 years of Russian religious supervision” in the country, says the newspaper La Croix.

Last Saturday, he convened a “Unification Council” hoping to unite the Orthodox Church headed by Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and the Ukrainian autocephalous Church headed by Patriarch Onufriy, under the authority of one man, which is not easy to bring about. In any case, this decision has angered the religious authorities of the Moscow Patriarchate, inside Russian and in the diaspora. They accuse Bartholomew of “transgressing the unity and conciliarity of the Orthodox Church”, “a threat to the Church of Christ”.

Source in French (you can listen to the interview in Fench)

Orthodoxie.com Newsletter

Don't miss out on important news and updates. Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter.


Popular Posts

10 février (ancien calendrier) / 23 février (nouveau) 96623

10 février (ancien calendrier) / 23 février (nouveau) Dimanche du Jugement dernier / de l’abstinence de viande Saint Charalampe le thaumaturge, hié...

Déclaration du Patriarcat d’Antioche et de tout l’Orient au sujet de la réunion d’Amman Headlines 169055

Le Centre des medias du Patriarcat d’Antioche et de tout l’Orient a procédé à la déclaration suivante, en date du 22 février 2020

A Statement by the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Middle East 169051

Balamand, February 22, 2020 Following the generous invitation of His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem to His Beatitude Patriarch Joh...

Mgr Hilarion de Volokolamsk : C’est Jésus Christ qui est le fondateur de l’Église, un président n... Headlines 169043

Le métropolite Hilarion de Volokolamsk, président du département des relations ecclésiastiques extérieures du Patriarcat de Moscou, a donné une int...

L’archevêque de Chypre Chrysostome se rendra à Constantinople pour le Dimanche de l’orthodoxie News 169036

D’après le site Internet Romfea le primat de l’Église orthodoxe de Chypre, l’archevêque Chrysostome aurait accepté l’invitation du patriarche...

9 février (ancien calendrier) / 22 février (nouveau) Living with the Church 96564

9 février (ancien calendrier) / 22 février (nouveau) Commémoration des défunts.  Clôture de la sainte Rencontre. Saint Nicéphore d’Antioche, ...

22 février Living with the Church 96560

22 février Invention des reliques des saints apôtres et martyrs au quartier d’Eugène à Constantinople (VIIème s.) ; saint martyr Maurice d’Apamée e...

Le différend entre les patriarcats de Jérusalem et d’Antioche serait en voie de règlement et le p... Headlines 169028

Le Saint-Synode du Patriarcat de Jérusalem s’est réuni le 21 février sous la présidence du patriarche Théophile. Au cours de la session, les membre...

Communiqué from the office of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church regarding the invit... 169016

“In connection with the letters received from His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem, in which he sent an invitation to particip...

Communiqué du bureau du Saint-Synode de l’Église orthodoxe bulgare à propos de l’invitation du pa... Headlines 169012

« En réponse aux lettres reçues de Sa Béatitude, le patriarche Théophile III de Jérusalem, invitant les présidents des Églises orthodoxes locales e...

8 février (ancien calendrier) / 21 février (nouveau)  Living with the Church 96509

8 février (ancien calendrier) / 21 février (nouveau)  Saint et grand martyr Théodore le Stratilate (319) ; saint prophète Zacharie (vers 520 avant ...

21 février Living with the Church 96507

21 février Saint Timothée du monastère des Symboles (IXème s.) ; saint Eustathe, archevêque d’Antioche (377) ; saint Félix, évêque de Metz (1...