Russian Synod rejects Alexandria’s defrocking of second African Exarch

Moscow, March 14, 2024

​Bp. Konstantin of Zaraisk. Photo: ​Bp. Konstantin of Zaraisk. Photo:     

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church rejects the Patriarchate of Alexandria’s decision to defrock another Russian hierarch who has been active in Africa.

On February 16, the Alexandrian Holy Synod resolved to defrock His Grace Bishop Konstantin of Zaraisk, who was appointed acting Patriarchal Exarch of Africa by the Russian Holy Synod in October, for a series of canonical offenses, including “encroachment on the jurisdiction of an ancient throne, distribution of antimensia, buying off native clergy, even defrocked clergy, factionalism, ethno-phyletism, etc.”

And on Tuesday, March 12, the Russian Synod resolved to consider Alexandria’s decision “unlawful and invalid,” reports

At the same time, Bp. Konstantin was officially confirmed as the Russian Church’s second African Exarch.

Recall that the Alexandrian Synod ruled to defrock the first African Exarch, Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, in November 2022 for the same offenses, though the Russian Church formally rejected that decision as well.

In February 2022, the Alexandrian Synod also ruled to defrock Archpriests George Maximov and Andrei Novikov, the two most active priests of the Russian Exarchate in Africa.

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