African diocese calls on clergy to renounce decision to join Russian Church

Kisumu, Kenya, January 4, 2022

Bishop Marcos of Kisumu with Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria. Photo: Romfea Bishop Marcos of Kisumu with Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria. Photo: Romfea   

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.”


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Alexander Leitner1/6/2022 1:17 pm
The Russian Orthodox Church should immediatly establish a Church in Constantinople and call on all true orthodox christians to join them.
Daniel Smith1/5/2022 10:12 am
That’s what you get Teddy. Maybe think it through next time.
Mariko Hishamunda1/5/2022 5:54 am
At least someone's trying to heal schisms...
Dionysius Redington1/4/2022 9:14 pm
While providing an haven for clergy unwilling to participate in the 'primus sine paribus' heresy is admirable, the creation of a specifically Russian exarchate is hard to justify. In particular, the language in the Oath binding these clergy to Moscow for life ignores the possibility that Pat. Theodore will repent. The exarchate should be a temporary structure, lasting only until a non-heretical patriarch occupies the see of Alexandria; it should (unlike the existing Alexandrian diocese) be run entirely by Africans. If Moscow is serious about its commitment to global Orthodoxy, it must avoid the impression of seeking Russian political hegemony; it should convene a Council to depose Bartholomew and his allies unless they recant their heresy, and it should make the canonical Ukrainian church autocephalous (or, if that is unacceptable, move its own see to Kiev). Holy Russia is unquestionably the bastion of Orthodoxy, but Russian phyletism is no better than Greek phyletism. Dionysius Redington Lubbock, Texas
Wanjala Emmanuel1/4/2022 8:32 pm
African priests who renounced communion with Alexandrian Patriachate should not receive those letters from Bishop markos and patriach. Already they signed an oath crossing to Russian. Glory to God
Alexandru1/4/2022 8:25 pm
Only God is able to fix this whole mess! May He replace all that is wrong in the Church with people to His liking and may God forgive us for our ignorance. Mother of God, help us! Lord, Jesus Christ, let Your True Church be known so that we may Glorify Thee without the fear of being part of a sect. Please Lord, for those who truly wish to be part of the True Church, lead them and make them part of Your Holy Church. Do not forsake us o Lord. Protect us from being deceived by wolves in sheep's clothing, whoever it might be, make known to us your True Church o Lord, and have mercy on us in these troubled times. Amin.
Mikhail1/4/2022 8:01 pm
The clergy should send letters back to the Hierarch stating that the only chance of them staying with the Alexandrian Patriarchate would be for the Patriarch of Alexandria to repent and recant of recognizing the schismatic Constantinople OCU group in Ukraine. I expect to see many other priests flocking to the Russian Exarchate...and perhaps some Bishops.
observer1/4/2022 7:20 pm
You would think that after almost 100 years that there would than just one (or is it two?) native -African bishops out of 35 dioceses in Africa, with over 4,000,000 faithful. Instead, some lucky monastic in Greece or Cyprus gets the call to be a bishop, no necessity even to learn the local language.
Theodoros1/4/2022 6:33 pm
The bishops of Alexandria have themselves to blame for this whole affair. Maybe they should reflect on their errors and repent. Then maybe their priests won’t want to leave. The Russians gave Theodore and his bishops two years to rethink their decision to enter communion with schismatic.
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