Paris, January 31, 2020
Bishops-elect Syméon and Elisée. Photo: exarchat.eu On January 24, the Western European Archdiocese held its first General Assembly after its reunification with the Russian Orthodox Church on November 3.
The meeting was held at the St. Serge Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna. According to the communiqué published on the Archdiocese’s official site, 133 of the 181 registered delegates participated in the meeting, electing two new vicar bishops: Archimandrite Syméon (Cossec), the abbot of the Monastery of St. Silouan in Saint-Mars-de-Locquenay, France, and Igumen Elisée (Germain), the rector of the parish of the Holy Trinity in the crypt of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris.
The elections were met with a fervent “Axios!” and the singing of “Many years!”
Under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Archdiocese was not allowed to elect new bishops, despite Met. John’s advancing age, which caused concern for the future of the Archdiocese. However, Met. John was unceremoniously released from the Patriarchate of Constantinople without warning in October and soon thereafter received by the Russian Church, after which he immediately announced the revitalization of the Archdiocese, with the upcoming election of two vicar bishops.
On January 25, the Extraordinary General Assembly also voted 94% to amend the Archdiocese’s Charter in accordance with the gramota of reunification of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
At the end of the meeting, Met. John called for all the parishes of the Archdiocese to be places of meeting and evangelism.
The Archdiocese currently includes 67 monasteries, parishes, and communities throughout Western Europe.