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60 parishes of Russian Exarchate transferred to ROC
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Sixty communities and ninety clergymen of the Western European parishes of the Russian tradition transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop John (Renneto) of Dubna said on November 4. Ten parishes remained in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. According to Metropolitan John, some of them have not yet decided which church to join.
The head of the archbishopric explained that the West European parishes were included in the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) as an independent legal structure. He recalled that "no one except the archbishopric owns the archbishopric."
Metropolitan John respected how “the church and the state in Russia work together” and expressed hope that the Russian Church would respect the way Western parishes interact with the state in France.
On November 3, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill handed Metropolitan John the Patriarchal and Synodal letter of restoration of the unity of the archbishopric with the ROC. The patriarch held a service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior together with several dozen clerics of the archbishopric.
As Russkiy Mir reported, last month the ROC received an appeal from the head of the “Russian exarchate” Archbishop John and a number of parishes asking them to join the Moscow Patriarchate after the abolition of the exarchate by the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Synod of the Russian Church responded positively to the appeal of Archbishop John and other clergy of the "Russian exarchate." According to the ROC, most of the clergy followed their head and expressed a desire to enter the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Patriarch Kirill believes that the reunion of the “Russian exarchate” of the Western European parishes with the ROC puts an end to a long-standing church schism.