Paris, September 4, 2019
Metropolitan Emmanuel (Adamakis) of Gaul of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is demanding that the French parishes of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe commemorate him as their ruling bishop, reports the French outlet Orthodoxie.
His order comes after the Patriarchate of Constantinople released His Eminence Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, the ruling hierarch of the Archdiocese. As Abp. John explained, he had never even requested a canonical release, and the decision came as a surprise to him, just as had the Synod’s November decision to revoke the Archdiocese’s exarchate status, with instructions for the Russian-tradition parishes to move under their local Greek metropolitans.
“This dismissal underlines the fact that Archbishop John has no relation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the communities of the former Exarchate. His Excellency Archbishop John no longer has any spiritual or administrative authority over the communities for which he was previously responsible,” Met. Emmanuel said.
“Therefore, from this day and in accordance with the decisions taken by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, I ask you to commemorate my name as your hierarch during the liturgical services,” he instructed.
However, Abp. John still intends to hold the upcoming General Assembly on Saturday, at which the Archdiocese hopes to decide its future. The Assembly originally was to have discussed the possibilities of restructuring itself as an autonomous body, of restructuring itself within the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and of joining the Moscow Patriarchate, which has offered to receive the Archdiocese as is.
However, in light of Abp. John’s unexpected dismissal, the Assembly will discuss only the option of joining the Moscow Patriarchate, though it is not a given that all the clergy and laity will support this option although Abp. John openly supports this course.
Met. Emmanuel, however, has preemptively dismissed any results of the Assembly: “As for the extraordinary meeting of the Western European Exarchate on September 7 … if this meeting takes place, know that it cannot have any authority to make decisions.”
He himself intends to convene the Diocesan Council soon to take stock of the situation.
The clergy of the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky in Paris have announced that they will serve a moleben tomorrow for Abp. John and for a good outcome to the upcoming Assembly.