2019-10-08 10:03:00

Patriarch Kirill congratulates Western Europe's 'Russian exarchate' on rejoining Russian Orthodox Church

Sergiev Posad, October 8, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulated the clergy and parishioners of the "Russian exarchate" in Western Europe on their return to the Russian Orthodox Church.

"First of all, I would like to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Western Europe, and all of us, on a reunion of a part of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been separated from it until recently, with the mother church," the patriarch said on Monday following the Holy Synod meeting in the Holy Trinity - St. Sergius Lavra, where the reunification of the "Russian exarchate" with the Russian Orthodox Church was officially formalized.

This exarchate with its central branch in Paris until recently has been part of Russian Orthodox emigration, which was brought about by the revolution and the civil war, the patriarch said.

"The Paris church emigration passed a very hard way from the confrontation with the Russian church, which was caused by political circumstances, to making a decision to rejoin the Moscow Patriarchate. All of us also passed the relevant path," the patriarch said.

The return of the exarchate, which was founded by Russian emigrants, became possible, "because a lot has changed in Western Europe, and because much has changed in the life of our country and our Church," he said.

Archbishops of Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe, also known as the "Russian exarchate," has been subordinate to the Constantinople Patriarchate for about 90 years, up to the end of 2018.

The "Russian exarchate" unilaterally abolished the Synod in Istanbul at the end of last year that prompted the latter to seek new options of its canonical future, one of which has been the reunion with the Church in Russia.