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Two Russian clergymen to a church court in Alexandria

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The St. Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria summoned two Russian clergy to a church court. These are the priests Georgi Maximov and Andrei Novikov, who were sent by the Moscow Patriarchate to Africa to attract African clergy to the Russian Exarchate in Africa.

In the two letters of the Holy Synod says: “You are summoned to appear in person before the First Instance Synod Court of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, intended for elders, deacons and monks, in the Patriarchal Palace of Alexandria (hereinafter the address, ed. Note) on February 24, Thursday, 10 a.m. to be tried for the offenses you are accused of, as described below, in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Procedure of the Ecclesiastical Courts of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Based on divine and sacred rules, he is accused of the following canonical violations:

• acts outside (church) borders by performing the Divine Liturgy and other sacraments in the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa without the permission of His Divine Beatitude the Pope of Alexandria and All Africa Pope and Patriarch Mr. Theodore II and in places (rules 15th of the First Ecumenical Council, 15th of the Holy Apostles, 3rd of the Council of Antioch, etc.);

• fellowship with deposed clergy (rules 10th and 11th of the Holy Apostles, 2nd of the Council of Antioch and 3rd of the Council of Carthage, etc.);

• intrigues and divisions (rules 18th of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, 31st of the Holy Apostles, 6th of the Council of Ganges, 5th of the Council of Antioch, 5th of the Antioch, 10th, 53rd, 62nd of the Council of Carthage, 34 the Fifth Ecumenical Council, etc.);

• severe scandal of the believers in the Church “woe to that man by whom the offense cometh” (Matt. 18: 7).

We warn you that in case of your disobedience and non-appearance on the specified day and time, you will be tried in your absence.

The following are the signatures of three metropolitans, members of the court of first instance, as well as the place and date of the summons: Alexandria, February 18, 2022.

Simultaneously, theologians from the Thessaloniki Faculty of Theology declared: The actions of the Russian Church in Africa are blasphemy against the Holy Spirit!

The Department of Social Theology and Christian Culture at the Faculty of Theology at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki described the Moscow Patriarchate’s decision to establish an “exarchate” in the Alexandria Patriarchate as an “anti-canonical act” that violates “fundamental church principles.” a strong blow against the unity of the Orthodox Church. “

“The theological world is watching with pain the growing isolation in the Orthodox Church, mainly due to ethnocentrism,” said an extremely sharp statement from the university, which essentially accused the ROC of succumbing to the “temptation of power.” arising from the feeling of power.

“It is unjust and ultimately blasphemous against the Holy Spirit for the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which is finally recovering from the cost of struggle, martyrdom and the testimony of humble missionaries, to suffer the anti-canonical behavior of a younger sister church. according to Orthodox diptychs. “Especially when this church in its inter-Christian relations shows special sensitivity and attention not to harm, for example, its good cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church,” the theologians said.

Here is the text of the entire statement, signed by the head of the department Prof. Konstantinos Hristu:

The Department of Social Theology and Christian Culture at the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki expresses deep sorrow at the decision of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate to establish a Russian Exarchate under the jurisdiction of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria. This canonical act violates above all the basic ecclesiastical principles based on the canonical decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, and is a strong blow against the unity of the Orthodox Church. The consequence of this action is the weakening of the authority and testimony of our Church in the modern world. A study of historical sources shows that such actions ultimately turn against those responsible for this anti-canonical nature.

The theological world is watching with pain the growing isolation in the Orthodox Church, mainly due to ethnocentrism, which has recently, unfortunately, become associated with the logic of “an eye for an eye”. This spirit, alien to the gospel of Christ, opposes above all the laws of catholicity and unity introduced by the Founder of the Church himself. We know from the teachings of the Holy Fathers that the Church, according to her highest principles, carries the gospel message of “the unity of all.” In this context, the use of secular authority to achieve world ecclesiastical hegemony is a temptation similar to that of Christ in the desert, so it is most strongly rejected by the Church Fathers, and even by secular authors, as a typical representative. is the Russian writer F. Dostoevsky in “The Grand Inquisitor” by “The Karamazov Brothers”.

The temptation of power, arising from the feeling of the strong, of one who can use even the means of a superpower, but also the channels of propaganda to look convincing, has nothing to do with the spirit and thinking of the holy fathers. In the long-suffering African continent, the Church was created through the sacrificial service of weak missionaries, but strong by the grace of Almighty God. The arrogance of the secular ruler, according to the apostle of the nations Paul, collapses before the spiritual power of God’s saints, these devoted workers of the Lord’s vineyard.

Unfair and ultimately blasphemous against the Holy Spirit is the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which is finally recovering from the cost of struggle, martyrdom and the testimony of humble missionaries, suffering from the anti-canonical behavior of a sister church, younger than her according to orthodox diptychs. Especially when this church in its inter-Christian relations shows special sensitivity and attention not to harm, for example, its good cooperation with the Roman Catholic Church. We remind you that when the Russian Church endured the hardships of the ungodly regime, the churches of the Greek tradition invariably provided assistance to support the Russian Orthodox brothers in the faith and alleviate their pain. Then the spirit of unity, blessed by God, prevails. In addition, we recall that the Moscow Patriarchate performed its ministry much better when it practically carried out the spiritual covenants, experience and tradition of the ancient patriarchates and especially of the Great Church of Christ. Numerous cases of spiritual assistance from the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the strengthening of Orthodoxy in the Russian lands are known.

The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church (Crete 2016) stated that: “The Orthodox Autocephalous Churches are not a confederation of churches, but one, holy, universal and apostolic Church” and as such must develop and promote its unity. The same council decided that it was not possible to have a diaspora within the jurisdiction of the local autocephalous Orthodox churches. Therefore, the Russian Church, with its concrete action, also challenges the modern conciliar decisions, which were also adopted by it, as it co-signed all the pre-conciliar texts.

The future of the Orthodox Church presupposes unity, and that is why we must all work in this direction, respecting and supporting church institutions. Recent experience from pan-Orthodox cooperation to the Holy and Great Council has shown the way to the creative and fruitful cooperation of local churches. This process must continue.

Standing in the apostolic and patriarchal tradition, we call for the restoration of the canonical order, which revives the testimony of Orthodoxy in the world and glorifies God in the Trinity.

Everyone is responsible for reconciliation.

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