Stockholm, November 21, 2018
The rector of the Russian Church of the Transfiguration in Stockholm, Sweden, a parish of the Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has excluded 16 people from the parish for their stance against Constantinople’s uncanonical actions in Ukraine.
The decree of the rector, Archpriest Angel Velichkov, which was provided to Interfax-Religion today, reads: “The above-mentioned persons, by their public statements after October 15, 2018, came into conflict with our charter, as they ceased to recognize the legitimacy and spiritual authority of His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Eminence Archbishop John of Chariopoulis. Thus, their membership loses its meaning and legitimacy.”
On October 11, the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced that it had taken Ukraine under its jurisdiction and had rehabilitated the anathematized schismatic leaders in Ukraine along with their entire communities. On October 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church therefore resolved to break communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In accordance with the rector’s decision, the 16 people are no longer members of the parish and therefore cannot participate in parish meetings or exercise the other rights of membership, including having their commemoration being included in the permanent list, participating in the children’s school free of charge, using the parish premises, etc.
At the same time, the rector noted that the former parishioners can restore their membership in the parish by a written statement of obedience and loyalty to the clergy who administer the parish.
As OrthoChristian previously reported, on October 28, the parish community of the Orthodox Church of the Nativity of Christ and St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Florence, Italy, in the same Western European jurisdiction of Constantinople as the Stockholm parish, decided to switch to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia due to Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.
Fr. Mark Tyson, a priest formerly of Constantinople’s Carpatho-Russian Archdiocese in America, also joined the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia following Constantinople’s October 11 announcement.
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