Sergiev Posad, October 8, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Synod, which has admitted the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe, has allowed it to retain financial independence.
"The archdiocese retains its financial autonomy and running of its moveable and immoveable property under the laws of the countries in which it operates," ROC spokesman Vladimir Legoyda said at a briefing at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
The resolution was signed with immediate effect, he said.
The archdiocese will also retain its theological and pastoral peculiarities and traditions, including the calendar, he said.
Now that it is part of ROC, the Russian Exarchate will be receiving holy oil from Moscow, the Synod said in the journals published on the Moscow Patriarchate's website on Monday.
The archdiocese can change and amend its bylaws in consultation with the Patriarch of Moscow and with approval by the Holy Synod. The Moscow Patriarchate can make changes to a list of candidates for the head of the archdiocese.
The head of the archdiocese will have the exclusive right to establish new monasteries and parishes, grant leave of absence to its clerics, admit, and ordain priests.
Archbishops shall be members of the ROC Local and Episcopal Councils; its clergy and laity shall be duly elected members of the Local Council. Also, the head of the archdiocese will attend Holy Synod meetings as a temporary member.
The Synod resolution separately emphasizes the traditional unacceptability of participation in election campaigns and politics. In their pronouncements on pastoral and public matters the archdiocese's clergy "should follow the principle of the freedom of conscience."
Right after the Synod meeting, Patriarch Kirill phoned the Exarchate leader, Archbishop John (Renneteau) of Dubna, to thank him for his pastoral efforts. John in turn thanked the patriarch and his Synod for the decisions made today.