Kisumu, Kenya, January 4, 2022
African clergy in at least one diocese have received a letter from the local hierarch of the Alexandrian Patriarchate, calling on them to reconsider their decision to join the Russian Orthodox Church.
On December 29, the Holy Synod of the Russian Church announced the creation of an African Exarchate, including two dioceses covering the entire continent, including Egypt, and the reception of 102 priests from eight countries into this new structure. The Alexandrian Holy Synod will meet next week to formulate an official response.
In the meantime, Bishop Marcos of Kisumu and Western Kenya has sent a letter to the relevant priests from his diocese, calling on them to recant and pledge their loyalty to the Alexandrian Patriarchate. Remaining affiliated with the Russian African Exarchate “will endanger their priesthood,” he writes.
The letter has been published on Facebook. OrthoChristian has confirmed its authenticity:
In order to join the new African Exarchate, the 102 African priests signed an oath, testifying that they are “transfer[ring] from the Orthodox Church of Alexandria to the Russian Orthodox Church voluntarilty and not under any pressure. I do it not in pursuit of personal financial benefit, but for the sole purpose of saving my soul from spiritual danger of associating with the schism in Ukraine, with which the Patriarch of Alexandria entered into communion.”