Dozens more African priests have already joined Moscow Patriarchate, says Russian Exarch

Moscow, January 25, 2022

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The Russian Church’s African Exarchate began on December 29 with 102 African priests who had petitioned to be received into the Moscow Patriarchate.

That number has already grown by several dozens, according to Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, the Patriarchal Exarch of Africa.

In an interview on the Orthodox television station Spas yesterday, the Metropolitan said: “The number of clerics is growing. When the Holy Synod made its decision on December 29, 2021, there were 102, and today there are 150 from more than 12 countries.”

In response to accusations that the Russian Church is receiving defrocked or schismatic priests, the Metropolitan said that every cleric who petitions to join the Russian Church is thoroughly checked before a decision is made.

The Russian Holy Synod announced the creation of its African Exarchate late last month. The Exarchate consists of a Diocese of Northern Africa and a Diocese of Southern Africa. According to Met. Leonid, hierarchs will soon be appointed to these dioceses and Russian priests will soon arrive to begin missionary and catechetical work.

“But we place a big stake on the indigenous population,” His Eminence emphasized.

The Alexandrian Holy Synod strongly condemned the Russian Synod’s decision, calling it a distortion of ecclesiology and evangelical love, and a manifestation of ethnophyletism and “neocolonialism.”

The Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria are hoping to meet with the primates of the Churches of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Cyprus to condemn the Russian Church’s move into Africa, though the participation of His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch and His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem is questionable, given their good relations with the Russian Church and their stance against the Ukrainian schismatics.

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Tikhon Pino2/3/2022 1:00 am
That image is of an Old Believer priest (named Fr Joachim) in Uganda. Neither he nor that parish have anything to do with the ROC-MP.
Alexander Leitner1/25/2022 10:24 pm
Good news! May many leave the schismatics and unite with the Churchbof Christ.
Joseph Lipper1/25/2022 6:17 pm
In the same interview, the Russian Exarchate's Metropolitan Leonid of Klin states "the Russian Orthodox Church does not claim primacy, but now it has an ecumenical mission to protect the Orthodox canons." Ecumenical? So, in this new Poststructural Ecclesiology (thank you Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun) that's unfolding, it sounds like the Russian Church doesn't overreach by claiming primacy per se, but rather considers itself the bearer of ecumenical responsibility. What is the Ecumene that's referred to here? Russian World?
Michael 1/25/2022 5:22 pm
The Patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria have brought this on their own heads by plunging a dagger into the heart of the sister Church of Russia. I suspect they have very little time to repent of their treachery to turn any of this around. On the bright side the Russians will actually go into Africa and do real missionary work and spread the Gospel. We have seen precious little of this from either Patriarch. It pains me to say this because I am Greek. But I am Orthodox first and fully support the Church of Russia in what it is doing.
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