Moscow, February 21, Interfax - Two Moscow clerics - Archpriest Andrey Novikov and Priest Georgy Maksimov - were summoned to the church court of Alexandrian Patriarchate for their missionary work in the newly created exarchate of Russian Church in Africa, patriarchal exarch of Africa Metropolitan Leonid of Klin writes in his Telegram channel.
The reason for creation of exarchate, as reported, was the desire of more than a hundred African priests to transfer to Russian Church as a sign of disagreement with the fact that Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria recognized the non-canonical "Orthodox church of Ukraine" (OCU). The arrival of the Russian Church to Africa was met with hostility by the Alexandrian episcopate and perceived as an encroachment to canonical territory of another Church. Meanwhile, according to the metropolitan, it's not allowed to summon to church court the priests belonging to another local Church.
"They have no right to call our clerics to court. The Patriarch of Alexandria can address his clerics, his flock. As for the other local Church, there are certain framework rules, the charter, and if Patriarch Theodore has any questions, he should address directly to the fullness of Russian Church, and not act as is customary in some seemingly serious organizations that speak in one person and absolutely don't want to hear anyone around. We hear such mantras now on the political platform, we hear them from the Patriarch of Constantinople, and, of course, the Patriarch of Alexandria echoes him," the patriarchal exarch said in his interview with Interfax.
According to him, the Patriarch of Alexandria shouldn't look for the guilty among the priests who fulfill their pastoral duty with the blessing of the hierarchy, but should carefully read the decision of Synod of Russian Orthodox Church and the latest message from the Department for External Church Relations, where it is written in black and white that Russian Church calls on Patriarch Theodore to reconsider his anti-canonical decision on Ukraine, and return to the rails of canonical Orthodoxy, and not to make a split in it.
The metropolitan said that the decision of Alexandrian court on the case of Russian priests will have absolutely no consequences. "This is an illegal decision that the Russian Orthodox Church will never recognize," he stressed and told that two more missionary groups of Russian Church will soon leave for Africa.
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