Paris, September 18, 2019
At an historic Liturgy on September 15 in Paris, a native part of the Russian Church, once divided by the storms and suffering caused by the Bolshevik Revolution, was finally reunited to the heart of Russian Orthodoxy.
Years of painful division were finally healed as the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe celebrated their first Liturgy as part of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Archdiocese was originally part of Russian Parishes in Western Europe, which were separated after the revolution, and eventually ended up in the Ecumenical Patriarchate, until Patriarch Bartholomew choose to dissolve the Archdiocese in a move which shocked everyone. The Russian Orthodox Church, however, offered to receive the Archdiocese, and the majority of the people were overjoyed to have both the opportunity to remain together, and to rejoin their Mother Church.
It was reported that the entire church was filled with faithful, who tearfully thanked their hierarch, Archbishop John, for a “long overdue decision.”
“We are now [united] with our Patriarch, with our Church!” said the faithful visiting the Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky from other parishes of the Archdiocese, expressing their gratitude as well to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’.
Archbishop John conveyed to the faithful the love and blessing of their new primate, Patriarch Kirill.
After the reunification of ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, on May 17, 2007, this represents the largest reunion of the Russian diaspora with the Russian Church, restoring historical justice and trampling upon the Bolsheviks and other anti-Christian forces who attempted to divide the Church.
It remains to be seen exactly how many parishes and clergy will follow Abp. John, though reports indicate that a great number will preserve the integrity of the Archdiocese now as part of the Russian Church.