Moscow, January 26, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church has been told that it continues to accept the new African parishes.
As reported, more than a hundred clerics of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which don't agree with the creation of non-canonical "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" (OCU), declared their desire to move together with the flock to the Moscow Patriarchate. At the end of December, they were admitted to the Russian Orthodox Church, whose Synod established its exarchate in Africa, which caused indignation on the part of the Greek bishops who recognized the OCU.
"The increase is almost daily - countries are being added, dozens of pastors are being added, hundreds of thousands of believers are being added. Of course, this is global, and this is a very serious agenda, and we understand what a burden we are shouldering in this regard," Patriarchal Exarch of Africa Metropolitan Leonid said on the Spas TV.
He noted that at the time of the adoption by Synod, there were 102 clerics who had transferred to Russian Church (from eight African countries), and today there are already 150 clerics from more than 12 countries, "and the number is constantly increasing," while the Russian Church is actively engaged in checking all people who want to transfer to its jurisdiction.
"Our task is, in addition to take care of the spiritual care of these people, we'll be engaged in humanitarian activities there, social activities, we'll try to provide everyone with basic access to medical services, open by analogy, remember how in the Soviet Union there were, paramedic stations in remote places, we will try to do this," the patriarchal exarch said.
He also said that Patriarch Kirill blessed to allocate quotas in the educational institutions of Russian Orthodox Church for students from Africa.
"We have now fully entered the continent, where the entire normal vertical of life is required to be fully restored, and the Russian Church will not stop only on its pastoral activities," Metropolitan Leonid concluded, noting that Moscow Patriarchate doesn't seek to destroy the Alexandrian Church and is not engaged in expansion, but will never give anyone "the opportunity to mock Orthodox canons."