Russian Europeans scared the Ecumenical Patriarch
The Russians living in Europe provoked drastic steps by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The fact is that they are often parishioners of churches belonging to him. However, because of the policy in Ukraine, there was a real danger of the loss of Constantinople and the Russian flock, and churches in Europe. And Patriarch Bartholomew began to take urgent measures.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople on Wednesday confirmed that it intends to liquidate its archdiocese of the “parishes of the Russian tradition” in Western Europe. We are talking about the Russian parishes, which were created by the emigrants of the first wave and in 1931 moved from the jurisdiction of the Russian Church to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The structure until now enjoyed a certain self-government and (since 1999) was ruled by the Exarch of Constantinople. By the way, something similar now is predicted by the “new united Ukrainian church”.
In other words, Constantinople is cleansing the subordinate to him Russian church self-government in Western Europe.
The entry of the Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe into the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the 1930s was temporary and was due to the difficult situation of the church in Soviet Russia.
The “Russian autonomy” abolished by Fanar comprised 65 parishes, 11 functioning churches and two monasteries. The base of the Exarchate is in France, the center in Paris is the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral on Darya Street, often mentioned in the memoirs of emigrants. But there are parishes in almost all countries of Western Europe. The current archbishop is not Greek, as is usual in the case of the hierarchs of Fanar, but the Russified Frenchman John (Renneto), the successor of the line of the Russian elder, Rev. Siloine of Athos.
Archbishop John’s bewildered statement has now been published that so far he has not received any official decisions from Constantinople about the abolition of the Exarchate. It is noted that before the synod he was not informed about this. With him, this was not discussed at all and was a complete surprise to him.
By the way, the forerunner of John at the head of the Western European Exarchate was the notorious Job (Getcha), who is now actively manifesting himself in the Ukrainian direction and who is tipped as the head of the “new local church of Ukraine”.
If Kiev still can’t wait for a tomos, then the Tomos, which Patriarch Bartholomew issued in 1999, was taken away from the “Russian branch” of Fanar. There is some connection between what is happening with the “Ukrainian church” and the Western European exarchate.
In early November, the Exarchate lost one of the communities in Florence - the believers decided to come under the control of the ROC because of disagreement with the provision of autocephaly to the Kiev Patriarchate.
Constantinople is also worried about church property. “Now, for example, in Belgium, the parish council, which decides jurisdictional issues, is the actual owner of the parish property. There is enough free entry under local law and how this measure may prevent them from leaving if they want is not entirely clear, but apparently this is an attempt to somehow stop this process.
In general, according to Archpriest Andrei Novikov, what is happening shows that there can be no future for Russians in the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Obviously, the destruction of "Russian Exarchate" Constantinople will achieve opposite results.
The way Constantinople acted, and from the church, and from a political point of view, complete insanity, the Patriarch of Constantinople carved himself out.
The ROC has every reason to take Russian parishes under wing, which until this moment were part of the Exarchate. Moreover, unlike in Ukraine, where Phanar invaded the Russian canonical territory, here the Moscow Patriarchate does not invade the territory of Phanar.
In order to clarify this, you need to make a small excursion into the history of the XX century. Russian priests, having appeared in Europe in the 1920s, and their “White immigrant” congregations were grouped around two centers. One, around Metropolitan Eulogius, eventually passed from the Russian Church under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. This is the Western European Exarchate.
Another group formed the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR), which had and has parishes in France, Germany, and so on.