Heinävesi, Finland, November 28, 2017
The local council of the Finnish Orthodox Church, currently underway at the Transfiguration-New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi, Finland, unanimously decided yesterday to relocate the archbishop’s throne from Kuopio to the capital of Helsinki, reports the site of the Finnish Orthodox Church.
The change will be effective as of January 1, following the retirement of the current hierarch of Helsinki Metropolitan Ambrose (Jaaskelainen) on December 31.
Thus, from the very beginning of 2018, the ruling hierarch of the Finnish Church will have his cathedral in Helsinki and bear the title “Archbishop of Helsinki and All Finland.”
The current primate of the Finnish Church is His Eminence Archbishop Leo (Makkonen) of Karelia and All Finland.
The archbishop’s chancellery will be in Helsinki, while the services and staff of the Church’s administrative center will remain in Kuopio. The primate’s cathedral will become Dormition Cathedral in Helsinki.
The decision was made because the majority of the Church’s flock lives in the Helsinki Diocese. The city of Helsinki alone has 20,000 members, while the entire Karelian Diocese has 20,000. The bishops also noted the usual tradition of the Church whereby the primate of a Local Church is located in a given country’s capital city.
The name of the Karelian Diocese will change to “Kuopio and Karelia” as of January 1, and its ruling bishop, to be elected by the time of the 2018 local council, will bear the title “Metropolitan of Kuopio and Karelia.”
The council also decided to make certain amendments to the charter of the Church and to publish them in its bylaws.