Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
The decision is aimed at strengthening the relations of the Western European parishes of the Russian tradition with the mother Church of the Constantinople Patriarchate, said at the Phanar.
28 November 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued an official communiqué of the Orthodox churches of Russian tradition in Western Europe.
As reported in the document, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople at the meeting on 27 November 2018 decided to cancel the Patriarchal Tomos of 1999, on the basis of which he exercised pastoral care and management of Orthodox parishes of Russian tradition in Western Europe through its Archbishop-Exarch.
“The decision responds to the pastoral and spiritual needs of our time, with great respect to the canonical law and of our spiritual responsibility, – said in a communiqué. – Indeed, the historical circumstances that led to the creation of such structures after the October revolution of 1917, a hundred years ago, much has changed. We thank God for the tireless courage which your communities have shown over time, the preservation of the rich spiritual tradition that came from Russia after the bloody persecution of the new atheistic regime. We are particularly glad that the mother Church the Ecumenical Patriarchate has assumed responsibility for providing its canonical protection to these communities and thus allowed them while maintaining Church order to enjoy freedom, stand for life in the Holy Spirit”.
The Synod also stressed that his decision is aimed at further strengthening of ties between parishes of the Russian tradition with the mother Church of the Constantinople Patriarchate.
“Each of these communities has a spiritual heritage, which was established after the dramatic story of persecution and exile and the prophetic participated in the theological revival of Orthodoxy in the XX century. Thanks to the individuals, theologians, philosophers, artists, immigrants from the Russian emigration, the Orthodox faith was emitted in Western Europe and beyond”, – the document says.
Further, the authors of the document explain what will happen to the parishes of the former Exarchate in the future.
“Thanks to the pastoral care of the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to unite and to connect parishes with different Holy cities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the countries where they are. Our mother Church will continue to provide and guarantee the preservation of their liturgical and spiritual tradition. A FILIAL relationship with the Constantinople throne, will be even smaller, as the latter wants to continue to exercise his pastoral grace and his Apostolic concern for the people of God, for which he is responsible”, – is spoken in the decree.
Also in the communiqué highlights the writings of Archbishop John Mariupolska for that, “he led their communities with love and loyalty to this new phase of its history, trusting the grace of God which calls us to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true Holiness” (Eph. 4:23-24)”.
Earlier in the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe reported that they were never consulted regarding the revision or abolition of their status.