Cairo, November 22, 2022
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria made several serious decisions today regarding the Moscow Patriarchate.
Convened under the chairmanship of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria at St. George Monastery in Cairo, the Synod extensively discussed the issue of the Russian Orthodox Church’s African Exarchate, which was created late last December, and which has been spreading throughout the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria since then.
After its discussion, the Synod resolved to defrock Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, the Russian Church’s Exarch for Africa, “for a series of canonical offenses (invasion of the jurisdiction of the ancient Church, consecration of antimensions, distribution of holy Chrism, bribery of local clergy, even those deposed from the rank, factionalism, ethnophyletism, etc.) and condemned the new ecclesiastical-political ‘theories’ about the spread of the Russian World around the world on the basis of nationality,” reports Romfea.
In February, the Alexandrian Synod also ruled to defrock Archpriests George Maximov and Andrei Novikov, the two most active priests of the Russian Exarchate in Africa, though the Moscow Patriarchate doesn’t recognize this ruling. Pat. Theodoros threatened Met. Leonid with the same at that time.
As a priest, Met. Leonid once served for several years as the Russian Church’s official representative to the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
According to today’s statement, Pat. Theodoros has written to Pat. Kirill over the past year, calling on him to abolish the Exarchate. However, after months of silence from the Russian primate, the Alexandrian Synod resolved that Pat. Theodoros will no longer commemorate Pat. Kirill in the Divine services.
Pat. Kirill stopped commemorating Pat. Theodoros in December 2019, after the latter began commemorating “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
He also stopped commemorating Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus for the same, but today’s decision from Alexandria marks the first time another primate has ceased commemorating Pat. Kirill.