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ROC will establish parishes worldwide independently from Constantinople
The decision of creating the Orthodox Exarchates in Europe and Asia was taken by Holy Synod of ROC as a response to Constantinople Patriarchate’s actions. According to Metropolitan Hilarion, Head of Department for External Church Relations, ROC considers the establishment of parishes as a missionary and educational objective, Interfax reports.
The decision of Synod of ROC was forced. After contravention of its own 17th century order of transfer Kiev Metropolis to Moscow, Constantinople ceased to exist for ROC and a large number of members of its congregation. In this regard, the question of pastoral care of Orthodox believers abroad was raised. Previously these processes were under the authority of Constantinople Patriarchate, and ROC facilitated its decisions. Now, ROC considers itself being entitled to establish its own entities in different parts of the world without the alignment with Constantinople. According to Metropolitan Hilarion, the establishment of the particular ROC’s parish abroad is generally dictated by congregation’s initiative.
ROC’s Western European Exarchate to be formed with its centre in Paris. The pastoral sphere of responsibility will include 13 countries, such as United Kingdom of Great Britain, France, Italy, etc. Exarchate in South-East Asia with the center in Singapore will minister to the believers in South Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and other countries.
Also at the meeting of Holy Synod, ROC encouraged other regional Orthodox churches not to acknowledge the community formed by Autocephalous Orthodox Church in a so-called Unifying Council in the middle of December in Kiev, RIA Novosti informs.