The Nierian Bishop Neophyte (in Kenya) of the Alexandria Patriarchate has made public the attempt to take over the diocesan church of his diocese from Russian “missionaries” who travel around African countries to persuade local priests to move to the Moscow Patriarchate.
Bishop Neophyte describes what happened on February 5, when the Russian priest Georgi Maximov tried to celebrate a liturgy in a foreign church and thus “join” him to the ROC. Candle. Georgy Maximov was sent by the newly appointed Russian Exarch Leonid (Gorbachev) to tour various African countries and “gather” African clergy and temples for the new Russian structure.
The bishop of Alexandria called this behavior “ignorance” and “spiritual insult”, noting that he was forced to expel uninvited guests. “Let them form their own mission, no one will hang them there, but they cannot settle in foreign temples,” the bishop said.
With much indignation and pain he wrote:
“Spiritual insult and ignorance of the highest order is for the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate to invade the altar in our diocese for worship, knowing full well that there is canonical spiritual authority that oversees the church in the region where this church was established.
It is sad that I had to stop him and his followers to celebrate a liturgy today in Nieri (our diocese) and I asked them to leave in peace. It was an invasion that was well coordinated by a priest whom I immediately dismissed from the parish. They can establish their own church and no one will interfere in their mission. Father Georgi, the Russian priest (emissary), said in his statement that he was very sorry for this because the priest (s) had not told him the truth. Is it true? Only God knows!”.
The bishop then appeals to those of his clergy who want to join the ROC, urging them to behave politely, with respect for each other, because otherwise everything that has been built for years will be destroyed. He warns them that not everything that shines is gold:
“We are Africans and if we destroy what we have built for years, we are the ones who lose. Why be our enemies? No one will force you to stay with us, but remember that every action has its counteraction. As far as I know, there is no war, but always remember that what we sow we reap, and that not everything that shines is gold. Things may not be what they seem when offered as heavy promises in the basket of “hope.”
Since the Russian Church wants to know the truth about what we do and who we are, let them also tell the truth and be truly free. For now, let them enjoy the spoils of the “well of schism.” One day it will suddenly dry up and then our eyes will open. I will not forget to remind you to walk slowly and rethink your actions and decisions. Avoid insults, provocations and lies. Speak the truth on the way out, because that truth will one day be required of you when you enter. Don’t close the door so hard, because you may need to run back when you run away. and destroy everything we have worked for. Don’t they really understand it ?!
I am in deep pain and my heart is bleeding after witnessing what happened today. I pray that our hierarchy will soon sit down and find a friendly solution to this madness. It is painful to see the church split in two, it is painful to see clergy leave the church they have served for many years. Something went wrong, there is a big mistake somewhere, and the Orthodox world is watching us. The liturgy was interrupted today by St. Moses the Black in Nieri against my wishes, but the fact remains: there is only one church, one bishop (one spiritual authority) at the moment. We must protect our churches and our innocent believers who have no idea about this policy. This spiritual war is real.
God bless Africa! ”
Pictured above: His Eminence Neophyte tells the Russian priest Georgi Maximov to leave the altar