Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe


Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe

The Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe is an exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Russian Orthodox tradition, based in Paris, and having parishes throughout Europe, mainly in France. The Exarchate is sometimes known as Rue Daru from the street in Paris where its cathedral is located. The current leader of the Exarchate is Archbishop Gabriel of Comane. In 2006 the Exarchate has incorporated a newly established vicariate in Great Britain and Ireland.

Contents

History

The Exarchate traces its origins to the episcopal service of Metropolitan Evlogii, who in the late 1930s felt himself unable to guide his flock of the Russian Orthodox Church within the embrace of the Moscow Patriarchate, given the atheistic influence of Communism in Russia after the revolution of 1917. Metropolitan Evlogii sought to carry forward his service under the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Exarchate therefore sees itself as the successor of the earlier ‘Provisional administration of the Russian parishes in Western Europe’ founded by Patriarch (later Saint) Tikhon of Moscow and entrusted to Evlogii in 1921.[2]

The Exarchate was closed by Patriarch Athenagoras I through a letter dated 22 November 1965, with an assembly meeting 16–18 February 1966 noting that such provisional ethnic structures were no longer necessary, given that the passage of several generations had allowed immigrants to become accustomed to their new lands, which were now made up of more and more converts to the faith.

The Exarchate remained closed until 22 January 1971, when it was reinstated by the same Patriarch Athenagoras I - again under the Omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch, but with internal autonomy of organisation. This status was blessed by Patriarch Bartholomew I on 19 June 1999 who, according to the Exarchate's own account 'recognised the full autonomy of the Archdiocese in administrative, pastoral and material terms'.[3]

Structure and composition

Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland

From June 9, 2006-October 12, 2009 the Episcopal Vicariate of Great Britain and Ireland was the Exarchate's vicariate, overseen by an episcopal vicar in these countries (known at times simply as 'The Vicariate'); since the retirement of its bishop on October 12, 2009, it has become a Deanery within the Exarchate.

The Vicariate, as it existed under its vicar-bishop, was made up of a number of full-time parishes and some parishes and communities that meet less frequently. It was created by an act of the Council of the Archdiocese during an extraordinary meeting held on 9 June 2006, one day after the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople had met (8 June 2006) and issued a statement receiving Bishop Basil of Sergievo into the Ecumenical Patriarchate - an act that caused substantial controversy, as he had not been released from the Moscow Patriarchate.[1] The same statement gave Bishop Basil the new title, Bishop of Amphipolis (taken from an ancient see in Greece that no longer has a bishop), and charged him with the care of Exarchate's parishes in Great Britain and Ireland, as auxiliary bishop under Archbishop Gabriel of Komana in Paris.[4] At that time, no such parishes existed. After his appointment a number of parishes and communities, as well as some of the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Sourozh, followed Bishop Basil into the Exarchate and came to constitute the Episcopal Vicariate. Other parishes and communities were formed later, where none had previously existed, for example in Cumbria, and Northampton.

Bishop Basil's first liturgical service as a member of the Exarchate was a concelebration of the Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Gabriel in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris on 18 June 2006. Statutes were adopted by the Episcopal Vicariate on 23 June 2007,<ref)[5]</ref> and the Vicariate was registered as a charity (registration number 1124252) on 29 May 2008.[2]

Retirement of Bishop Basil, and transition to the Deanery

Since Bishop Basil retired (on October 12, 2009) the Vicariate has become a Deanery within the Archdiocese. The formal name has now become the Deanery of Great Britain and Ireland within the Archdiocese of Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe.

Bishop Basil initially announced his retirement in a letter to parishioners on September 1, 2009, stating in that letter that he intended to retire on November 28, 2009, the same day that the Exarchate's Council would meet to, presumably, discuss the Vicariate's future.[6] However, when the Council met on September 23, 2009, under the presidency of Archbishop Gabriel, it moved Bishop Basil's retirement forward, to be effective from October 12, 2009.[7] In its communique No. 05-09 (dated September 23), it noted that Bishop Basil "will not have any further pastoral, liturgical or administrative mission in the Vicariate" from his retirement. Archbishop Gabriel made clear that the life of the [Vicariate's] parishes and communities in Great Britain and Ireland "are continuing, and that new communities are in formation and the ordinations of new clerics in preparation."[8]

See also

  • Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • Patriarch of Constantinople

External links

References

  1. ^ See details under Russian Orthodox Diocese of Sourozh.
  2. ^ [1]

Coordinates: 48°52′40″N 2°18′06″E / 48.87778°N 2.30167°E / 48.87778; 2.30167


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