ROCOR Synod discusses situation with the Paris Archdiocese

New York, December 17, 2021

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During its session on December 8-9, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia discussed, among other things, long-standing tensions in relations with His Eminence Metropolitan John of Dubna, head of the Archdiocese of Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, about which OrthoChristian reported earlier this month.

The Synodal report reads:

Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, Synodal Secretary for Inter-Orthodox Relations, then spoke on events in the Orthodox world. During his extensive report, the uncanonical actions of Metropolitan Jean of Dubna, who has illegitimately claimed to have received a number of clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad without their canonical release, were considered; and the decisions of the Ecclesiastical Court of the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe regarding these clergymen were also reviewed.

The report also refers to another issue:

His Grace then spoke of his recent visit to the Archangel Michael Parish in Cannes, France, which is under the rectorship of Priest Antony Odaysky, who was awarded the gold pectoral cross by the Synod of Bishops. Bishop Irenei expressed hope that this large and active parish will soon return to its church building, following a court ruling in Grasse in November, confirming that the Archangel Michael Church belongs to Russia.

Last month, OrthoChristian reported that a French court ruled that Russia is the rightful owner of the late-19th-century Church of the Archangel Michael in Cannes, France. The church has changed jurisdictions several times over the years, and in 2014, the association owning the parish decided to join the Paris Archdiocese, at that time part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. ROCOR disputes the canonicity of this transition, and there remains a ROCOR parish community in Cannes to this day, which Bp. Irenei visited in November.

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